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Kircaldy was defired to peruse this letter; and he pressed them no
* Mr. Hume is candid enough to give up the authenticity of this letter; and, indeed, so far as I have observed, there is not the flightest pretence of a reason to conceive it to be genuine. Hift. of Engvol. v. p. 120. It was not mentioned by the Earl of Morton, and his adherents, to Throgmorton, when Elizabeth interfered in the affairs of Scotland, upon the imprifonment of the Queen in the castle of Lochleven; a period of time when these itatesmen were desirous to throw.out every imputation to her prejudice, and when in particular they were abusing her with vehemence for her attachment to Bothwel. Keith, p. 419. Nor was it made use of by Murray be. fore the English cominiffioners. Mary, in the condition to which the nobles had reduced her, could not well think of a step of this sort, although her attachment to Bothwel had been as strong as they were pleased to pronounce it. For, not to speak of the greatness of her diitrefs, she was guarded by them so stridly as to make it vain for her to pretend to elude their vigilance. In regard, too, to her love of Bothwel, it is not clear that it was ever real. While the King was alive, there are no traces of their improper intercourse.
The affair of Dunbar was a criminal seduction. The arts of a prus fligate man, the frailty of nature, and the violence of a temporary tenderness. overcame her. There was no sentiment of love upon either fide. After her marriage his rudeness extinguished in her al. together any remain of kindness and respect; and hence the coldnets with which she parted with him.
But we foon come to the grand stroke of forgery, the capital artifice of that unprincipled band. Concerning this Dr. Stuart speaks in the following manner, p. 272.
* But while the Regent,' the Earl of Murray, and his friends had anxieties upon account of the Earl of Bothwel, they were still more alarmed with apprehensions on the part of the Queen. That Bothwel might be induced to reveal the whole bloody secret, and to open up the scenes they had acted with him, was a terror that was
* Melvil, Memoirs, p. 167.
distant, when compared with the dangers that might affail them, if the Queen should recover her liberty and grandeur. Their infults and cruelties had been so vile and criminal, that, in this case they could not poflibly expect any mercy or pardon. Her condemnation or death, therefore, could alone operate a full security to them. In a prison she would be a source to them of of constant disquiet. Her misfortunes would awaken the compassion of her subjects ; her friends would continually uphold her hope of a deliverance ; foreign states might be drawn to act decisively in her favour; and a naked sword would be perpetually suspended over their heads, reminding them of their crimes, and threatening to revenge her wrongs. They were fully aware of their hazardous situation ; and it appeared to their matureft deliberation, that by the ample establishment of her guilt, they could effectuate with the greatest security to themselves her complete overthrow and destruction. They had already succeeded in detracting from her reputation, and in throwing a ftain upon her honour; and the letter which they had produced as intercepted from her to Bothwel, and with which they had imposed upon Kircaldy of Grange, encouraged them to adopt the only means in their power by which they could multiply at pleasure the proofs of her indiscretion. They had uniformly affirmed with confidence, that her love of Bothwel was incurable, and that it threatened the Prince and the nation with ruin. It was upon this foundation, that they reited the defence of their proceedings *. They knew, therefore, that it was incumbent upon them to produce the vouchers of her passion. The infamy of such a project did not deter them from its execution. They had been even accustomed to actions that were more atrocious. Įt was an expedient necessary to them; and they hoped, by their management and resolution, to render it successful in the greatest degree.
• They had allured to them a partizan who was admirably qualified for entering into their purposes, and for advancing them.This was George Buchanan, a man of high genius, and who was well acquainted with the world. He had this very year acted as a moderator of an assembly of the church, and had written a treatise in vindication of the deposition of the Queen. He was poor, had propenfities to pleasure, and was ambitious. The bounty and the power of the Regent could lead him to the summit of his wishes. He became attached to him with more vehemence than confisted with the integrity of his character. When put in motion by his patron, he scrupled not to forget all the duties which he owed to his fovereign, and and all the respect which he ought to have paid to himself. It was by his aid that those letters were framed; which the Regent and his cabal were to impute to Mary, and by the operation of which they thought finally to accomplish her ruin. It was to them that they were to point as the decisive vouchers of her guilt.
• While it was, therefore, their object to procure an effectual vindication of their own conduct and proceedings, it was not less anxioufly their desire to criminate their sovereign. For these purposes they held deliberations, of which the minute or memorial has fortu
nately defcended to posterity. The Regent, the Earl of Morton, Maitland of Lethington, with the lords of the secret council and other persons of the cabal, after mature consideration determined and agreed in declaring, that all the transactions in which they had been engaged from the time of the murder of the King were highly proper and meritorious ; and that the righteousness of their quarrel, the fecurity of their persons and estates, and the protection of their pofterity, ought to be provided for and amply established by the thrce Estates affembled in parliament. They declared it likewise to be their firm opinion, that the Queen herself was the real cause and impelling spring of all the mischiefs which had so completely disordered the realm ; since it was most certain “ By her letters to Bothwel " and their private marriage, that the was art and part of the actual “ devise and deed of the murder of her husband ; and that she fully *t deserved the treatment she had already met with, and the refent
ment which might yet be shewn to her*.
• As they had employed the strongest terms in expreling the love of Mary to Bothwel, it was necessary to throw into the letters the most open and explicit language. The strain of thera, accordingly, and their expression are of this kind. They breathe a passion that is gross and inordinate; they express the wantonness of a mind practised in vice, and lost to virtue ; and they indicate a consent to the murder of the King They give with exactness that picture of the Queen which the Regent and the cabal wished to pais for her likeness. To the tenor of her life, and to the testimony of undoubted monuments of history they are in the most direct contradiction, To their past transactions they have an obvious reference; and they correspond with the purposes which it most concerned them to adopt, and for which they were to be active and strenuous. Their friend. ship for Bothwel, his murder of the King, his eagerness for a trial, their protection of him, his acquittal, their bond inculcating his innocence, and pressing the Queen to take him for her husband, her conveyance to Dunbar, her feduction, her marriage, their rupture with him, their permission to his flight, their accusations of him in his absence, their attempt to involve her in his wickedness, their rebellion, the indignities with which they treated her, her imprisonment, her forced resignation of the crown, the elevation of Murray to be Regent, and in fine the project of the letters as the apology of their own proceedings, and the evidence of her guiit; these tranr. actions, fo particular, fo united, and so concurring are all the parts of a system which carries in its bofom the full conviction of their deep deceit, their unprincipled profligacy, and their intrepid and fanguinary ambition. They were now to atchieve the last act of their drama; and by the death, or utter humiliation of the Queen to secure their future tranquillity, and to enjoy at ease the luxurious pride of prosperity and greatness.'
In p. 296 we return to the conduct of Elizabeth again.
• Upon revolving these measures and topicks, Elizabeth and her counsellors were induced to conclude that it was by far the wisest ex
Haynes, p. 453; 155
† Anderson, Collections, vol. ii. p. 129,
pedient to keep the Queen of Scots in confinement ; to invent me, thods to augment her distress; to give countenance to the Regent ; and to hold her kingdom in dependance and subjection *.
- In these resolutions there were indeed an evident injustice, and a favage rigour. But objections of this kind, it was thought, might be taken away or concealed by expressions of lenity, and under appear. ances of respect aud affection. It was contended in vain, that a plan more moderate in itself, and in effect equally destructive of the confequence of the Queen of Scots, would preserve better the national integrity and honour. It was proposed to restore Mary to her kingdom, under limitations and conditions that would
Elizabeth the most ample opportunities to interfere in her affairs, and to direct and govern them t. This scheme, however, was derided as. precarious and uncertain.. The prime counsellors of Elizabeth knew well her temper and dispositions ; and they encouraged them. No, fentiment of generosity opened itself in her bosom. The greatness of replacing an injured and suffering princess upon her throne, and of recovering to her the full and undirninished enjoyment of her rank and rights, never once entered into her conceptions. It was in her power, by atchieving this inagnanimous part, to gain to her for ever the gratitude and attachment of her fister Queen, and to cover her, brow with the most honourable laurels. But the chose to indulge in jealousies, and anger, and rivalslip, to add to the ferment of miserable paffions, and to feed the cankers that were waiting her heart."
And in p. 352, we have this note.
· Notwithstanding the ability and the partiality of Elizabeth's commisioners, it is very remarkable that the papers in the conferences at York and Westminster lead to a strong censure of the English, Queen. It is also to be inferred, that this censure would have been greatly stronger, if Secretary Cecil had not in many places altered and interlined these papers. It is likeways known that Mr. Anderfon, the editor of the Collections about Mary, actually omitted and fuppreffed, with defign, many of the vouchers which were the most favouroble to her actions and memory. Under almost every disadvantage, the fuperiority of her cause evinces itself, and is a forcible admonition, that truth is the daughter of time.'
[To be continued.]
ART. V. The History of Lord Belford and Miss Sophia Woodley :
in a Series of Letters. 3 vols 12mo. 93. Noble. 1984. HIS hiftory has a distant resemblance to the old romance of Sir Charles Grandison and Miss Harriet By
The heroine runs away from a graceless ravisher, and in this flight first encounters Lord Belford. They mutual-; ly fall in love with each other ; but Lord Belford is prevent-, ed by an unhappy entanglement which had befallen him in his travels, from declaring his passion. Perceiving, however,
* Anderson, Collections, vol. iv. p. 34, 42.,
+ Ib. p. 40, 44•
the growing partiality of Miss Woodley, he makes her the confident of his foreign adventure. He informs her, that having become security for an imprudent friend, and being diftreffed 'for money, a certain lady, called Julia, sells her jewels, and privately sends him the sum produced by thein, fifteen hundred pounds. The next day Julia goes mad-- for the loss of her jewels, we suppose---for no earthly reason befide can be assigned for the freak. She raves, however, on Belford ; a bleeding scene follows, and his lordship promises to marry
her if she recovers. Soon after this confidence Lord Belford hears she has shut herself up in a nunnery, and immediately declares his paffion to Miss Woodley. " It was all a mistake, somebody of a fimilar name had taken the veil. Julia arrives in England at this critical period, and claims his hand. What a distress! Conveniently, however, she adventures in the evening air, takes cold, dies, and Lord Belford is united to his Sophia Woodley.
From this abstract the reader will perhaps accuse our partiality. " What the dickens !” if he be a master of the same elegant stile with our author, he will exclaim; call you this a distant resemblance ? ---Yes, Sir, we do, and we beg leave to observe, that however unfavourable matters may appear, we are perfectly justified in asserting, that there is by no means an exact coincidence between our author and Mr. Richardfon, that on the contrary our author has an original manner, a vein sui generis, to which that popular novelist might in vain have aspired. As there is no point we hold dearer than the integrity and independence of our decisions, we will beg leave to go a little out of our way, and justify our assertion by a short extract. It shall be from the interview between Lord Belford and Miss Woodley, after Julia's arrival in E:gland.
6. The moft rigid stoic would have wept at beholding the meeting of these lovers : it puts to defiance all description, or even the mind to conceive their distress. Belford tenderly took the pale trembling hand of his conce) Sophia, and presfing it to his lips, in faltering accents enquired of her health. “ I am better, greatly better,” said the angel,“ how is your Lordship?”. To be brief, I foon found I could not stand this scene.' The letter writer accordingly retires, but immediately returns again.-" I now and then,” says she, “ caught " the sound of Sophia's voice concluding a few sentences, in which were -“ No more, my Lord-an union was not good for us.--Heaven thought it not proper."---Good God, exclaims the writer, what is their magnanimity! What dignity of virtue do they possess ! I really look up to