IT WAS said in the last chapter that Mary loved her husband, infirm and feeble as he was both in body and in mind.
This love was probably the effect, quite as much as it was the cause, of the kindness which she showed him. As
we are very apt to hate those whom we have injured, so we almost instinctively love those who have in any way
become the objects of our kindness and care. If any wife, therefore, wishes for the pleasure of loving her
husband, or which is, perhaps, a better supposition, if any husband desires the happiness of loving his wife,
conscious that it is a pleasure which he does not now enjoy, let him commence by making her the object of his
kind attentions and care, and love will spring up in the heart as a consequence of the kind of action of which
it is more commonly the cause.
About a year passed away, when at length another great celebration took place in Paris, to honor the marriages
of some other members of
 King Henry's family. One of them was Francis's oldest sister. A grand tournament was
arranged on this occasion too. The place for this tournament was where the great street of St. Antoine now
lies, and which may be found on any map of Paris. A very large concourse of kings and nobles from all the
courts of Europe were present. King Henry, magnificently dressed, and mounted on a superb war-horse, was a very
prominent figure in all the parades of the occasion, though the actual contests and trials of skill which took
place were between younger princes and knights King Henry and the ladies being generally only spectators and
judges. He, however, took a part himself on one or two occasions, and received great applause.
At last, at the end of the third day, just as the tournament was to be closed, King Henry was riding around,
the field, greatly excited with the pride and pleasure which so magnificent a spectacle was calculated to
awaken, when he saw two lances still remaining which had not been broken. The idea immediately seized him of
making one more exhibition of his own power and dexterity in such contests. He took one of the lances, and,
directing a high officer who was
 riding near him to take the other, he challenged him to a trial of skill. The
name of this officer was Montgomery. Montgomery at first declined, being unwilling to contend with his king.
The king insisted. Queen Catharine begged that he would not contend again. Accidents sometimes happened, she
knew, in these rough encounters; and, at any rate, it terrified her to see her husband exposed to such dangers.
The other lords and ladies, and Francis and Queen Mary particularly, joined in these expostulations. But Henry
was inflexible. There was no danger, and, smiling at their fears, he commanded Montgomery to arm himself with
his lance and take his position.
The spectators looked on in breathless silence. The two horsemen rode toward each other, each pressing his
horse forward to his utmost speed, and as they passed, each aimed his lance at the head and breast of the
other. It was customary on such occasions to wear a helmet, with a part called a vizor in front, which could be
raised on ordinary occasions, or let down in moments of danger like this, to cover and protect the eyes. Of
course this part of the armor was weaker than the rest, and it happened that Montgomery's lance struck
here—  was shivered—and a splinter of it penetrated the vizor and inflicted a wound upon Henry, on the head, just over the
eye. Henry's horse went on. The spectators observed that the rider reeled and trembled in his seat. The whole
assembly were in consternation. The excitement of pride and pleasure was every where turned into extreme
anxiety and alarm.
They flocked about Henry's horse, and helped the king to dismount. He said it was nothing. They took off his
helmet, and found large drops of blood issuing from the wound. They bore him to his palace. He had the
magnanimity to say that Montgomery must not be blamed for this result, as he was himself responsible for it
entirely. He lingered eleven days, and then died. This was in July, 1559.
One of the marriages which this unfortunate tournament had been intended to celebrate, that of Elizabeth, the
king's daughter, had already taken place, having been performed a day or two before the king was wounded; and
it was decided, after Henry was wounded, that the other must proceed, as there were great reasons of state
against any postponement of it. This second marriage was that of Margaret, his sister. The ceremony in her case
was performed in a
 silent and private manner, at night, by torchlight, in the chapel of the palace, while her father
was dying. The services were interrupted by her sobs and tears.
Notwithstanding the mental and bodily feebleness which seemed to characterize the dauphin, Mary's husband, who
now, by the death of his father, became King of France, the event of his accession to the throne seemed to
awaken his energies, and arouse him to animation and effort. He was sick himself, and in his bed, in a palace
called the Tournelles, when some officers of state were ushered into his apartment, and, kneeling before him,
saluted him as king. This was the first announcement of his father's death. He sprang from his bed, exclaiming
at once that he was well. It is one of the sad consequences of hereditary greatness and power that a son must
sometimes rejoice at the death of his father.
It was Francis's duty to repair at once to the royal palace of the Louvre, with Mary, who was now Queen of
France as well as of Scotland, to receive the homage of the various estates of the realm. Catharine was, of
course, now queen dowager. Mary, the child whom she had so long looked upon with feelings of
jeal-  ousy and envy was, from this time, to take her place as queen. It was very humiliating to Catharine to assume the position of
a second and an inferior in the presence of one whom she had so long been accustomed to direct and to command.
She yielded, however, with a good grace, though she seemed dejected and sad. As they were leaving the
Tournelles, she stopped to let Mary go before her, saying, "Pass on, madame; it is your turn to take precedence
now." Mary went before her, but she stopped in her turn, with a sweetness of disposition so characteristic of
her, to let Queen Catharine enter first into the carriage which awaited them at the door.
Francis, though only sixteen, was entitled to assume the government himself. He went to Rheims, a town
northeast of Paris, where is an abbey, which is the ancient place of coronation for the kings of France. Here
he was crowned. He appointed his ministers, and evinced, in his management and in his measures, more energy and
decision than it was supposed he possessed. He himself and Mary were now, together, on the summit of earthly
grandeur. They had many political troubles and cares which can not be related here, but Mary's life was
com-  paratively peaceful and happy, the pleasures which she enjoyed being greatly enhanced by the mutual
affection which existed between herself and her husband.
Though he was small in stature, and very unprepossessing in appearance and manners, Francis still evinced in
his government a considerable degree of good judgment and of energy. His health, however, gradually declined.
He spent much of his time in traveling, and was often dejected and depressed. One circumstance made him feel
very unhappy. The people of many of the villages through which he passed, being in those days very ignorant and
superstitious, got a rumor into circulation that the king's malady was such that he could only be cured by
being bathed in the blood of young children. They imagined that he was traveling to obtain such a bath; and,
wherever he came, the people fled, mothers eagerly carrying off their children from this impending danger. The
king did not understand the cause of his being thus shunned. They concealed it from him, knowing
that it would give him pain. He knew only the fact, and it made him very sad to find himself the object
of this mysterious and unaccountable aversion.
In the mean time, while these occurrences had been taking place in France, Mary's mother, the queen dowager of
Scotland, had been made queen regent of Scotland after her return from France; but she experienced infinite
trouble and difficulty in managing the affairs of the country. The Protestant party became very strong, and
took up arms against her government. The English sent them aid. She, on the other hand, with the Catholic
interest to support her, defended her power as well as she could, and called for help from France to sustain
her. And thus the country which she was so ambitious to govern was involved by her management in the calamities
and sorrows of civil war.
In the midst of this contest she died. During her last sickness she sent for some of the leaders of the
Protestant party, and did all that she could to soothe and conciliate their minds. She mourned the calamities
and sufferings which the civil war had brought upon the country, and urged the Protestants to do all in their
power, after her death, to heal these dissensions and restore peace. She also exhorted them to remember their
obligations of loyalty and obedience to their absent queen, and to
sus-  tain and strengthen her government by
every means in their power. She died, and after her death the war was brought to a close by a treaty of peace,
in which the French and English governments joined with the government of Scotland to settle the points in
dispute, and immediately afterward the troops of both these nations were withdrawn. The death of the queen
regent was supposed to have been caused by the pressure of anxiety which the cares of her government imposed.
Her body was carried home to France, and interred in the royal abbey at Rheims.
The death of Mary's mother took place in the summer of 1560. The next December Mary was destined to meet with a
much heavier affliction. Her husband, King Francis, in addition to other complaints, had been suffering for
some time from pain and disease in the ear. One day, when he was preparing to go out hunting, he was suddenly
seized with a fainting fit, and was soon found to be in great danger. He continued some days very ill. He was
convinced himself that he could not recover, and began to make arrangements for his approaching end. As he drew
near to the close of his life, he was more and more deeply impressed
 with a sense of Mary's kindness and love.
He mourned very much his approaching separation from her. He sent for his mother, Queen Catharine, to come to
his bedside, and begged that she would treat Mary kindly, for his sake, after he was gone.
Mary was overwhelmed with grief at the approaching death of her husband. She knew at once what a great change
it would make in her condition. She would lose immediately her rank and station. Queen Catharine would again
come into power, as queen regent, during the minority of the next heir. All her friends of the family of Guise,
would be removed from office, and she herself would become a mere guest and stranger in the land of which she
had been the queen. But nothing could arrest the progress of the disease under which her husband was sinking.
He died, leaving Mary a disconsolate widow of seventeen.
The historians of those days say that Queen Catharine was much pleased at the death of Francis her son. It
restored her to rank and power. Mary was again beneath her, and in some degree subject to her will. All Mary's
friends were removed from their high stations, and others, hostile to her family, were put into
 their places.
Mary soon found herself unhappy at court, and she accordingly removed to a castle at a considerable distance
from Paris to the west, near the city of Orleans. The people of Scotland wished her to return to her native
land. Both the great parties sent embassadors to her to ask her to return, each of them urging her to adopt
such measures on her arrival in Scotland as should favor their cause. Queen Catharine, too, who was still
jealous of Mary's influence, and of the admiration and love which her beauty and the loveliness of her
character inspired, intimated to her that perhaps it would be better for her now to leave France and return to
her own land.
Mary was very unwilling to go. She loved France. She knew very little of Scotland. She was very young when she
left it, and the few recollections which she had of the country were confined to the lonely island of
Inchmahome and the Castle of Stirling. Scotland was in a cold and inhospitable climate, accessible only through
stormy and dangerous seas, and it seemed to her that going there was going into exile. Besides, she dreaded to
undertake personally to administer a government whose cares and anxieties had been so great as to carry her
mother to the grave.
 Mary, however, found that it was in vain for her to resist the influences which pressed upon her the necessity
of returning to her native land. She wandered about during the spring and summer after her husband's death,
spending her time in various palaces and abbeys, and at length she began to prepare for her return to Scotland.
The same gentleness and loveliness of character which she had exhibited in her prosperous fortunes, shone still
more conspicuously now in her hours of sorrow. Sometimes she appeared in public, in certain ceremonies of
state. She was then dressed in mourning—in white—according to the custom in royal families in those days, her
dark hair covered by a delicate crape veil. Her beauty, softened and chastened by her sorrows, made a strong
impression upon all who saw her.
She appeared so frequently, and attracted so much attention in her white mourning, that she began to be known
among the people as the White Queen. Every body wanted to see her. They admired her beauty; they were impressed
with the romantic interest of her history; they pitied her sorrows. She mourned her husband's death with deep
and unaffected grief. She invented a device and motto for a seal,
ap-  propriate to the occasion: it was a figure
of the liquorice-tree, every part of which is useless except the root, which, of course, lies beneath the
surface of the earth. Underneath was the inscription, in Latin, My treasure is in the ground. The expression
is much more beautiful in teh Latin than can be expressed in any English words.
Mary did not, however, give herself up to sullen and idle grief, but employed herself in various studies and
pursuits, in order to soothe and solace her grief by useful occupation. She read Latin authors; she studied
poetry; she composed. She paid much attention to music, and charmed those who were in her company by the sweet
tones of her voice and her skillful performance upon an instrument. The historians even record a description of
the fascinating effect produced by the graceful movements of her beautiful hand. Whatever she did or said
seemed to carry with it an inexpressible charm.
Before she set out on her return to Scotland, she went to pay a visit to her grandmother, the same lady whom
her mother had gone to see in her castle, ten years before, on her return to
 Scotland after her visit to Mary.
During this ten years the unhappy mourner had made no change in respect to her symbols of grief. The apartments
of her palace were still hung with black. Her countenance wore the same expression of austerity and woe. Her
attendants were trained to pay to her every mark of the most profound deference in all their approaches to her.
No sounds of gayety or pleasure were to be heard, but a profound stillness and solemnity reigned continually
throughout the gloomy mansion.
Not long before the arrangements were completed for Mary's return to Scotland, she revisited Paris, where she
was received with great marks of attention and honor. She was now eighteen or nineteen years of age, in the
bloom of her beauty, and the monarch of a powerful kingdom, to which she was about to return, and many of the
young princes of Europe began to aspire to the honor of her hand. Through these and other influences, she was
the object of much attention; while, on the other hand, Queen Catharine, and the party in power at the French
court, were envious and jealous of her popularity, and did a great deal to mortify and vex her.
The enemy, however, whom Mary had most
 to fear, was her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England. Queen Elizabeth was
a maiden lady, now nearly thirty years of age. She was in all respects extremely different from Mary. She was a
zealous Protestant, and very suspicious and watchful in respect to Mary, on account of her Catholic connections
and faith. She was very plain in person, and unprepossessing in manners. She was, however, intelligent and
shrewd, and was governed by calculations and policy in all that she did. The people by whom she was surrounded
admired her talents and feared her power, but nobody loved her. She had many good qualities as a monarch, but
none considered as a woman.
PORTRAIT OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Elizabeth was somewhat envious of her cousin Mary's beauty, and of her being such an object of interest and
affection to all who knew her. But she had a far more serious and permanent cause of alienation from her than
personal envy. It was this: Elizabeth's father, King Henry VIII., had, in succession, several wives, and there
had been a question raised about the legality of his marriage with Elizabeth's, mother, Parliament decided at
one time that this marriage was not valid; at another time, subsequently, they decided that it was.
 This difference in the two decisions was not owing so much to a change of sentiment in the persons who voted, as to
a change in the ascendency of the parties by which the decision was controlled. If the marriage were valid,
then Elizabeth was entitled to the English crown. If it were not valid, then she was not entitled to it: it
belonged to the next heir. Now it happened that Mary Queen of Scots was the next heir. Her grandmother on the
father's side was an English princess, and through her Mary had a just title to the crown, if Queen Elizabeth's
title was annulled.
Now, while Mary was in France, during the lifetime of King Henry, Francis's father, he and the members of the
family of Guise advanced Mary's claim to the British crown, and denied that of Elizabeth. They made a coat of
arms, in which the arms of France, and Scotland, and England were combined, and had it engraved on Mary's
silver plate. On one great occasion, they had this symbol displayed conspicuously over the gateway of a town
where Mary was making a public entry. The English embassador, who was present, made this, and the other acts of
the same kind, known to Elizabeth, and she was greatly incensed at
 them. She considered Mary as plotting
treasonably against her power, and began to contrive plans to circumvent and thwart her.
Nor was Elizabeth wholly unreasonable in this. Mary, though personally a gentle and peaceful woman, yet in her
teens, was very formidable to Elizabeth as an opposing claimant of the crown. All the Catholics in France and
in Scotland would naturally take Mary's side. Then, besides this, there was a large Catholic party in England,
who would be strongly disposed to favor any plan which should give them a Catholic monarch. Elizabeth was,
therefore, very justly alarmed at such a claim on the part of her cousin. It threatened not only to expose her
to the aggressions of foreign foes, but also to internal commotions and dangers, in her own dominions.
The chief responsibility for bringing forward this claim must rest undoubtedly, not on Mary herself, but on
King Henry of France and the other French princes, who first put it forward. Mary, however, herself, was not
entirely passive in the affair. She liked to consider herself as entitled to the English crown. She had a
device for a seal, a very favorite one with her, which expressed this claim. It contained two
 crowns with a
motto in Latin below which meant, "A third awaits me." Elizabeth knew all these things, and she held
Mary accountable for all the anxiety and alarm which this dangerous claim occasioned her.
At the peace which was made in Scotland between the French and English forces and the Scotch, by the great
treaty of Edinburgh which has been already described, it was agreed that Mary should relinquish all claim to
the crown of England. This treaty was brought to France for Mary to ratify it, but she declined. Whatever
rights she might have to the English crown, she refused to surrender them. Things remained in this state until
the time arrived for her return to her native land, and then, fearing that perhaps Elizabeth might do something
to intercept her passage, she applied to her for a safe-conduct; that is, a writing authorizing her to pass
safely and without hindrance through the English dominions, whether land or sea. Queen Elizabeth returned word
through her embassador in Paris, whose name was Throckmorton, that she could not give her any such
safe-conduct, because she had refused to ratify the treaty of Edinburgh.
When this answer was communicated to
 Mary, she felt deeply wounded by it. She sent all the attendants away,
that she might express herself to Throckmorton without reserve. She told him that it seemed to her very hard
that her cousin was disposed to prevent her return to her native land. As to her claim upon the English crown,
she said that advancing it was not her plan, but that of her husband and his father; and that now she could not
properly renounce it, whatever its validity might be, till she could have opportunity to return to Scotland and
consult with her government there, since it affected not her personally alone, but the public interests of
Scotland. "And now," she continued, in substance, "I am sorry that I asked such a favor of her. I have no need
to ask it, for I am sure I have a right to return from France to my own country without asking permission of
any one. You have often told me that the queen wished to be on friendly terms with me, and that it was your
opinion that to be friends would be pest for us both. But now I see that she is not of your mind, but is
disposed to treat me in an unkind and unfriendly manner, while she knows that I am her equal in rank, though I
do not pretend to be her equal in abilities and experience. Well,
 she may do as she pleases. If my preparations
were not so far advanced, perhaps I should give up the voyage. But I am resolved to go. I hope the winds wilt
prove favorable, and carry me away from her shores. If they carry me upon them, and I fall into her hands, she
may make what disposal of me she will. If I lose my life, I shall esteem it no great loss, for it is now little
else than a burden."
How strongly this speech expresses "that mixture of melancholy and dignity, of womanly softness and noble
decision, which pervaded her character." There is a sort of gentleness even in her anger, and a certain
indescribable womanly charm in the workings of her mind, which cause all who read her story, while they can not
but think that Elizabeth was right, to sympathize wholly with Mary.
Throckmorton, at one of his conversations with Mary, took occasion to ask her respecting her religious views,
as Elizabeth wished to know how far she was fixed and committed in her attachment to the Catholic faith. Mary
said that she was born and had been brought up a Catholic, and that she should remain so as long as she lived.
She would not interfere, she said, with her subjects adopting such form of religion
 as they might prefer, but
for herself she should not change. If she should change, she said, she should justly lose the confidence of her
people; for, if they saw that she was light and fickle on that subject, they could not rely upon her in respect
to any other. She did not profess to be able to argue, herself, the questions of difference, but she was not
wholly uninformed in respect to them, as she had often heard the points discussed by learned men, and had found
nothing to lead her to change her ground.
It is impossible for any reader, whether Protestant or Catholic, not to admire the frankness and candor, the
honest conscientiousness, the courage, and, at the same time, womanly modesty and propriety which characterized
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