i π1r

Mary,
Queen of Scots;


an
Historical Tragedy,


or,
Dramatic Poem.

by Mrs. M. Deverell,
Gloucestershire.

Through this opaque of nature and of ſoul, This double night, tranſmit one pitying ray, To lighten and to cheer. O lead my mind, (A mind that fain would wander from its woes,) Lead it through various ſcenes of life and death; And from each ſcene the nobleſt truths inſpire. Dr. Young’s Complaint

London:
Printed for the Author, and ſold by her, at No.7, New-Bond Street,
Price Three Shillings; and her former Publications, viz. Sermons
, Third Edition; Miscellanies, Second Edition; and
Theodora and Didymus, an Heroic Poem, Second Edition.—
Alſo ſold by Mr. Stockdale, Piccadilly, and Mr. Long,
Sackville-ſtreet, near Piccadilly; Mr. Richardson, under the
Royal Exchange; and Mr. Washbourn, Glouceſter.
1792M,DCC,XCII.


Entered at Stationers Hall.
ii π1v iii A1r

to her grace the Duchess of Rutland, this feeble effort of the dramatic muse is, with the highest sense of gratitude and duty, inscribed, with peculiar felicity, by the author, being permitted to look up to so exalted a character, for a patroness to this composition, as Her Grace of Rutland, whose celebrity hath long shone with such brilliant lustre in human courts, as needs no pen to celebrate; nor is she less a favourite at Apollo’s; where she exerts that polite and benevolent attention to science, in all its branches, as may soften the harsh eye of criticism, and render its votary happy in prefixing a title truly illustrious in each lineal descent, to a production, that, in point of poetical merit, may not deserve so satisfactory an honour; the enterprising muse, being conscious of writing this piece more under the auspices of Clio than her tuneful sisters; now, with profound humility, submitted to the candid judgment and benign protection of your grace, by her, who is proud to subscribe herself,

madam, your much obliged and most obedient servant,

Mary Deverell.

iv A1v v A2r

To the Candid Reader.

In apology for this compoſition, the Author begs leave to offer the following obſervations from the Dramatic Cenſor, Vol I. Page 3.

Of all thoſe various ſubjects which have engaged the Tragic Muſe, none are of equal force and dignity to hiſtorical ones. From a multiplicity of great and intereſting events, they rouſe and command more paſsions than any other:—of this, Skhakeſpeare was a moſt competent judge, and happily availed himſelf. When, in a political ſenſe, he did honour to his country, by delivering faithfully many A2 memorable vi A2v [iv] memorable events, in a much more ſtriking manner than any hiſtorian could poſsibly do; he has alſo thereby indulged that commendable national vanity which makes Britons fond of ſeeing Britons diſtinguiſhed on the theatre of life.

The Author was unwarily led to this her firſt effort, and ſhe thinks her laſt, in the Dramatic line, being conſcious there are parts in it liable to objection; but ſome profound critics differ in opinion of theſe. For inſtance, one tells us――Soliloquies are unnatural, and only ſpeaking to the Pit: others juſtify their propriety, ſaying, It is common for perſons warmly poſseſsed of any ſubject, to talk as if in converſation, though alone, which brings a true picture of the ſpeaker’s mind in view, by a delineation no one elſe could give in ſuch explicit language. So Queen Elizabeth’s ſpeech, p. 96, may be a ſoliloquy, or told to Sir Chriſtopher Hatton and Daviſon, if ſo fortunate to be brought on the Theatre.atre. vii A3r [v] atre. This is ſubmitted to the future judgment of the Reader. So are other parts to correction, alteration, abridgment, or extirpation of ſuperfluous ſcenes, to bring the Piece within the limited time of performance; of which circumſtance actors are often the beſt judges: and many eminent authors have been pleaſed to acquieſce with their deciſion; a deciſion which will be eſteemed a moſt grateful favour to the writer of Mary Queen of Scots.

This compoſition is truly publiſhed at the requeſt of friends. It was written before the Author knew of the Hon. Mr. St. John’s Tragedy, on the ſame ſubject, which, alas! took place of it on the ſtage. This precedes that only a few months in hiſtory, which furniſhes the incidents in the two firſt Acts.

Hiſtorical plays treſpaſs much on unities of time and place; and the Muſe ſlumbers in recital. Shakeſpeare could not bring thirty years events within the idea of one, in his Henry’s; yet they are highly eſteemed in the cloſet, and often on viii A3v [vi] on the ſtage. Fine morals attend them; though their reſpective heroes were not perfect characters: nor is the Queen of Scots, though one that much more deſerves compaſsion than reprobation. Martyrs glory in their crown! ſuffice to add, as one Mary dies happy.

N.B. The Author is yet uncertain if this compoſition will be, or not be honoured with ſtage repreſentation: but the publication cannot be delayed longer to the reſpectable Subſcribers,

By their highly obliged, And moſt obedient, Humble Servant,

Mary Deverell

.

London, New-Bond-Street, No. 7, 1792-10-02October 2, 1792.

Pro-. ix A4r

Prologue.

To combat prejudices, our ſires ſupported,

And which, e’en long before themſelves, were courted—

Calumniate her, who, forty years and four,

Defied each foreign threat, each ſoothing lore;

Who gen’rous, open, hearty and ſincere,

Eat good old Engliſh beef, and drank ſtrong beer?

Elza blame!—who, high in eſtimation,

Was (till of late) rever’d throughout the nation,

Say, who ſhall dare?—An inconſiderate elf

Follows ſuperior wits—ergo, Myſelf:

A bold aſsertion—from a female too—

Alas! full oft, they’ve made A much ado.

The time has been, and may perhaps agen,

When women us’d the ſword;—Why not the pen?

A truce to trifling.――When female woes

By treach’ry caus’d, ſhall baniſh calm repoſe;

When ranc’rous Calumny, by Murray’s art,

Wing’d the barb’d ſhaft through injur’d Mary’s heart.

Faulty although in ſome degree ſhe prove,

Yet Pity prompts commiſerating Love;

Let Mercy, darling attribute of Heav’n,

Be to the contrite Royal Suff’rer giv’n.

Ye Fair, forget her errors—drop a tear;

Hallow by this, the Queen of Scotland’s bier.

Dramatis. x A4v

Dramatis Personæ.

Men.

Murray, Regent of Scotland.

Argyle,

Morton,

Lennox,

Athol,

Kirkaldry,

Maitland,

Glencairn,

Lindsay,

Duke of. Norfolk, in love with Queen Mary.

Bishop of. Ross, her Ambaſſador.

Lord Herries, her Friend.

Sir Andrew Melvil, Maſter of her Houſehold.

Burgoyne, her Phyſician.Sir William Cecil, andSir Francis Walsingham, Privy-Counſellors to Queen Elizabeth.

Sir Christopher Hatton.

Davison, her Secretary.

Sir Amyas Paulet, and. Sir Drue Drury, Queen Mary’s Warders.

Women.

Elizabeth, Queen of England.

Mary, Queen of Scotland.

Ladies, attendant on the Queen of Scots.

Argyle,

Herries,

Melvil.

Women, ditto.

Vanilla,

Aretta.

xi a1r

Subscribers Names.

    • Her Grace the Duchess of Rutland.
  • A.

    • Right Hon. the Earl of Aldborough, Belan, Ireland
    • Lady Aylmer, Pickwick, near Bath
    • Rev. E. Armſtrong, Bath
    • Richard Aldridge, Eſq. Briſtol2 Copies
    • Henry Auſtin, Eſq. Great James-ſtreet, London, 2 ditto
    • Nathaniel Atcheſor, Eſq. Lamb’s Buildings, Temple
    • Mrs. Anderſon, Great Mary-le-bone-ſtreet, London, 2 Copies
    • Leonard Auſt
    • Miſs Abbott, New Bond-ſtreet
    • Mr. Alder, Nailsworth, Glouceſterſhire, 2 Copies
  • B.

    • Her Grace the Ducheſs of Buccleugh
    • Right Hon. the Counteſs of Buchan, Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland2 Copies
    • Rev. William Blare, New College, Oxon4 ditto
    • Rev. Edward Brudnell, Rector of Holbeach, Lincoln
    • John Bacon, Eſq. Firſt Fruits Office, Temple
    • Robert Batſon, Eſq. Limehouſe
    • Mrs. Betteſworth, Brook-ſtreet, London4 Copies
    • B. Bartlett,Eſq.
    • a Mrs. xii a1v
    • Mrs. Betteſworth, jun. Southampton
    • Wilſon Braddyle, M. P. Carliſle
    • Mrs. Braddyle, Bruton-ſtreet, London4 Copies
    • George Bigland, Eſq.
    • Archer Blackwell, Eſq. Chalford, Glouceſterſhire, 2 ditto
    • Mr. Bryant, Stroud, — ditto2 ditto
    • Mrs. Beard, Stonehouſe, — ditto
    • Mr. Richard Beſt, Greenwich4 Copies
    • Mr. Richard Beſt, jun. ditto4 ditto
    • Mrs. Boſwell Brandon Beddome, and Co. Fenchurchſtreet, London8 Copies
    • Mr. Beachamp, St. Paul’s Church-yard, London
    • Mrs. Bartholomew, Fleet-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. Bruton, Jermyn-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. B. York Houſe, Bath2 Copies
    • Mrs. Bennet, Belmont, ditto
    • Mr. Brickenden, ditto
    • Miſs Blane, Reading
    • Mrs. Barker, Tottenham
    • Mr. Baniſter, Broad Mead, Briſtol
    • Mrs. Brown, Trinity-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Baynton, Old Market, ditto
    • Mr. J. B. Bence, Wine-ſtreet, ditto
  • C.

    • Right Hon. Lord Colville, Bath — 2 Copies
    • Right Hon. Lady Winefred Maxwell Conſtable
    • Hon. Mrs. Caſtleman, Pickwick, near Bath
    • Hon. Mr. Colville, Bath
    • Hon. Mrs. Colville, ditto
    • Rev. George Chatterfield, — 4 Copies
    • Captain Crookſhank, Eaton-ſtreet, Pimlico
    • Mrs. xiii a2r
    • Mrs. Campbell, George’s-ſquare, Edinburgh
    • Mrs. Campbell, Pimlico
    • Mr. Callend, Pall Mall, London
    • Miſs Carter, Frith-ſtreet, Soho, ditto
    • Mrs. Cowley, Cateaton-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Crips, Strand, ditto
    • Mrs. Coombe, Cork-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Crane, Bow-lane, ditto
    • Mrs. Crane, dittoditto
    • Miſs Crane, dittoditto
    • Mr. Thomas Commeleni, Glouceſter2 Copies
    • Mr. Catalin, Cloiſters, Weſtminſter Abbey
    • Mrs. Clayfield, Caſtle-ſtreet, Briſtol
    • Mrs. Croſley, Paragon Buildings, Bath
    • Mr. Cruttwell, St. James’s-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. R. Chandler, Glouceſter
    • Miſs Chandler, ditto
    • Mrs. Caſtleman
  • D.

    • Right Hon. Lord Ducie4 Copies
    • Right Hon. Lady Ducie4 ditto
    • Rev. — Douglas, D. D. Beenham, Berks
    • Rev. Richard Davies, Vicar of Tetbury, Glouceſterſhire, 2 Copies
    • Thomas Davies, Eſq. Hackney4 Copies
    • William Dimond, Eſq. Theatre, Bath4 ditto
    • Mr. Day, Nailſworth, Glouceſterſhire4 ditto
    • Mrs. D. Day, ditto — 4 ditto
    • Mrs. Deverell, Clifton, near Briſtol2 ditto
    • Mrs. Day, Glouceſter
    • Mrs. Denn, Great George-ſtreet, Weſtminſter
    • Mrs. Davies, Hatton-ſtreet, London2 Copies
    • a2 Mrs. xiv a2v
    • Mrs. Douglaſs, Great Marlborough-ſtreet, London2 Copies
    • Miſs Dickenſon
    • Miſs Downie, Brewer-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Dilly, Poultry, ditto
    • Mrs. Darling, New Bond-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. Deverell, Saliſbury-ſquare, ditto
    • Mr. Dyer, Nailſworth, Glouceſterſhire
    • Miſs Deverell, ditto
  • E.

    • Major Eſte, 68th Regiment of Foot
    • The late Mrs. Egerton
    • Mrs. Elliott, Glouceſter2 Copies
  • F.

    • Right Hon. Lady Charlotte Finch, St. James’s2 Copies
    • Mr. Ford, Charles-ſtreet, Bath4 ditto
    • Mrs. Ford, ditto4 ditto
    • Francis Freeling, Eſq.
    • Mr. Froſt, Kingſton Buildings, Bath
    • Miſs Fleming, John-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. William Fox, Glouceſter2 Copies
    • Mr. Faulder, New Bond-ſtreet, London
  • G.

    • Right Hon. and Rev. the Earl of Glencairn
    • Right Hon. the Counteſs of Glencairn
    • Mr. Gyde, Belle Vieu, near Bath, — 8 Copies
    • Mrs. Gyde, ditto — 8 ditto
    • Major Gale
    • Maxwell Garthſhore, M.D. of the Royal College, London
    • Joſeph Gerrald, Eſq.
    • Mr. xv a3r
    • Mr. Grant, New Palace Yard, Weſtminſter
    • Mr. E. Gordon, Bromley, Middleſex,
    • Mrs. Gallaway, George-ſtreet, Bath
    • Mrs. Goldney, ditto
    • Mrs. Glegg, Duke-ſtreet, Weſtminſter
    • Mrs. Gardiner, Wandſworth
    • Mrs. Garrett, near London Bridge
    • A Gentleman unknown — 8 Copies
    • Mr. Garden, High-ſtreet, Briſtol
    • A Gentleman
    • Mr. Goodwin, St. Martin’s-court, London
  • H.

    • Lady Hay
    • Rev. Edward Hughes. Greenford, Flintſhire4 Copies
    • Charles Hayward, Eſq. Quedgley, Glouceſterſhire 8 ditto
    • Mr. Haycock, Woodcheſterditto4 ditto
    • S. R. Hamilton, M. D. Ipſwich
    • Mrs. Heaven, Lower Rooms, Bath
    • Mr. Heaven ditto2 Copies
    • Mr. Heaven, Briſtol2 ditto
    • Mrs. Holmes, Exon
    • Mrs. Hill, Larn, Brecknockſhire
    • Miſs Hill ditto
    • Mrs. Heathcote, Devizes
    • Miſs Heathcote, ditto
    • Mrs. Hunt, Portland Place, Bath
    • Mrs. Harrington, Harrington Place, ditto
    • Mrs. Horbert
    • Miſs Hodſon
    • Mrs. Hemans, Moor-fields, London
    • Mr. Bewley Wynne Hemans, Watling-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mark Hodſon, Eſq. Bromley, Middleſex
    • Mrs. Harman, Jermyn-ſtreet, London
    • Mrs. xvi a3v
    • Mrs. C. Hutchinſon, Duke-ſtreet, St. James’s, ditto2 Copies
    • Mrs. Hawkins, Lothbury, ditto
    • Mr. Hawkins, Pall-mall, ditto
    • Miſs Hamilton, Frith-ſtreet, Soho, ditto
    • Mr. Heaven, Featherſtone Buildings, ditto2 Copies
    • Mrs. Heming, Hillingdon
    • Mr. Hawkins
    • Miſs Hawkins
    • Mr. Hay, Blaudits Buildings, Bath
    • Mr. C. and Co. Bond-ſtreet, London12 Copies
  • J.

    • Rev. Mr. Jervis, London
    • Wm. Jervis, Eſq. Comptroller of his Majeſty’s Cuſtoms, St. John’s, Antigua2 Copies
    • Wm. Jones, Eſq. Swanſea, Glamorganſhire
    • Mrs. Jackſon, Portland Place, Bath
    • Mrs. Jones, St. James’s Parade, ditto
    • Miſs Jones, ditto
    • Mrs. Jefferis, Glouceſter
    • Miſs Jefferis, ditto
    • Mr. Jones, Groſvenor-ſtreet, London
    • Miſs Jervis, Ipſwich
    • Mr. R. Irvine, Fenchurch ſtreet, London
  • K.

    • Rev. — Keyfall, May-Fair, London
    • Mrs. Keyfall, ditto
    • Wm. Keasbury, Eſq. Theatre, Bath8 Copies
    • Mrs. Kelly, Grove, ditto
    • John Kemble, Eſq. Royal Theatre, Haymarket, London.
    • Mr. Knutton, St. James’s Square, ditto
    • Edward King, Eſq. Serle-ſtreet, Lincoln’s Inn, ditto
    • Mr. xvii a4r
    • Mr. Kemp, Dover-ſtreet, Loundon
    • Miſs Knight, St. Michael’s, Briſtol
  • L.

    • A Lady — 6 Copies
    • Rev. Robert Lewis
    • Mrs. Legh4 Copies
    • Mrs. Lygon, Great George-ſtreet, Weſtminſter
    • Mrs. Lloyd, Red Lion Square, London2 Copies
    • Mrs. Lloyd, Holborn, ditto
    • Mr. Hugh Lloyd, Furnivals Inn, ditto2 Copies
    • Miſs Lang, Poland-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. Lunar, Strand, ditto
    • Miſs Loveday, Reading
    • Mrs. Lane, Leadenhall-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. Legatt, Ipſwich
    • Mr. Long, Sackville-ſtreet, Piccadilly, London6 Copies
  • M.

    • Mrs. Montagu, Portman-ſquare, London2 Copies
    • Miſs Hannah More, New Town, Bath8 ditto
    • Miſs Merrick, ditto
    • Mr. Murray, Theatre, ditto
    • Mr. Morris, North-gate-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mrs. Mandeville, River-ſtreet, ditto
    • George Paulet Morris, M. D. Parliament-ſtreet, Weſtminſter.
    • Wm. Byam Martin, Eſq. Reading
    • Mrs. Martin, ditto
    • George Maſkelyne, Eſq. General Poſt-Office, London
    • Mrs. Meſham, Reading
    • Mrs. Michell, ditto
    • Miſs xviii a4v
    • Miſs Morgan, Devon
    • Mrs. Michell, Goodge-ſtreet, London
    • Mrs. Moſenau, Wigmore-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Meylor, Grove, Bath
  • N.

    • Hon. Mrs. N—, Glouceſter8 Copies
    • Mrs. Nicholls, ditto2 ditto
    • Mrs. Naltrever, Bath
    • Mr. Thomas Newbury, Reading
    • Mr. Noble, Eaton-ſtreet, Pimlico
    • Mrs. Nelſon, Great George-ſtreet, Weſtminſter
    • Mr. De Neufville, Poland-ſtreet, London
    • Mr. Norris, Jermyn-ſtreet, ditto
  • O.

    • Owen Owens, Eſq. Llnydeddy, Denbighſhire 2 Copies
    • Mr. Orlidge, Small-ſtreet, Briſtol
  • P.

    • Right Hon. Lady Caroline Paget
    • Right Hon. Lady Jane Paget
    • James Phillips, Eſq. St. James’s Parade, Bath 4 Copies
    • Caleb Parry, M. D. ditto2 ditto
    • Miſs Parry
    • John Palmer, Eſq.
    • Mrs. Pote, Eaton
    • Mr. Richard Prynn, Market Place, Bath
    • Miſs Paul, ditto
    • Mrs. R. Pettat, Stroud, Glouceſterſhire
    • Madame de Pelleve
    • Mrs. Poole, Great Portland-ſtreet, London
    • Mrs. xix b1r
    • Mrs. Parker, Piccadilly, London
    • Mr. James Perry, Strand, ditto
    • Mr. Pratten, New-Bond-Street, ditto
    • Mr. Porteus, Mancheſter
    • Mrs. Price, Weſtminſter
    • Francis Philip, Eſq.
    • Mr. Parſons, College GreenBriſtol2 Copies
  • R.

    • Mrs. Robertſon, Eaton-ſtreet, Pimlico
    • Mr. Rollinſon, ditto
    • Mrs. Rollinſon, ditto
    • Mrs. Rutherſon
    • Thomas Rigge, M. D. Kenſington
    • Mrs. Rigge, Trinity-ſtreet, Briſtol
    • Miſs Rigge, ditto
    • Miſs Roworth, Glouceſter-ſtreet, Queen-ſquare, London
    • Mrs. Raveaud, Bath
    • Richmond, M. D. ditto
    • Mrs. Raikes, Glouceſter
    • Mrs. Ridley, Jermyn-ſtreet, London
    • Mr. Remmington, Horſley, Glouceſterſhire4 Copies
  • S.

    • John Silveſter, Eſq. Barriſter at Law, London 2 Copies
    • Mrs. Sedgley, Charles-ſtreet, Bath2 Copies
    • Mrs. Shelly ditto2 ditto
    • Mrs. Siddons, Royal Theatre, Haymarket, London2 ditto
    • Thomas Sayer, Eſq. Bow, Middleſex
    • Mrs. Swinter
    • Mr. Schomberg, Reading
    • Mrs. Schomberg, ditto
    • b Mrs. xx b1v
    • Mrs. Saunders, Glouceſter4 Copies
    • Mrs. Symons, King’s-ſquare, Briſtol
    • Mr. Salmon, Queen’s-ſquare, ditto
    • Mrs. Smith, Warwick-ſtreet, London4 Copies
    • Miſs Seymour, Marybone, ditto
    • Mrs. Suwe, Southampton-Row, Bloomſbury, London
    • Mrs. Sarel, Berkley-ſquare, ditto
    • Mrs. Simpſon, Chancery-Lane, ditto
    • Mr. Stockdale, Piccadilly, ditto — 25 Copies
    • Mr. Spilſbury, Snow-hill, ditto — 2 Copies
    • Mr. Saunderſon
    • Mr. Wm. Browning Smith, Nailſworth, Glouceſterſhire
    • Mr. John James Smith, Bunhill-Row
    • Daniel Stowe, Eſq.
    • Mr. Stevens, Barton-Buildings, Bath
  • T.

    • Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Fracy
    • Right Hon. Lady Dowager Templetown
    • Right Hon. Lord Templetown, Caſtle Upton, Ireland
    • Rev. Nathaniel Thornbury, Rector of Avening, Glouceſterſhire2 Copies
    • Auguſtus Theſiger, Eſq.
    • Mr. Tippets, Durſley, Glouceſterſhire2 Copies
    • Mr. Tyndale, Woodcheſterditto
    • Greaves Townley, Eſq.
    • Mrs. Turner, Sierra Leona Houſe, London4 Copies
    • Mr. Tomkins, Park-ſtreet, St. James’s, ditto
    • Mr. Tolſon, New-Bond-ſtreet, ditto
    • Miſs Taylor, Barton-ſtreet, Weſtminſter
    • Mr. Tully, North Parade, Bath
    Right xxi b2r
  • U, and V.

    • Right Hon. Counteſs of Uxbridge
    • Rev. T. Vincent, Archdeacon of Cardigan
    • Mrs. Viney, Glouceſter
    • Mrs. Voyſey
    • Mrs. Vincent, Davies-ſtreet, London
  • W.

    • Rev. Charles Edmund Wylde, Glaſsley, Shropſhire
    • John Wade, Eſq. Pud-Hill, Glouceſterſhire
    • Richard Winpenny, Eſq. Park-ſtreet, Briſtol
    • Edward Wilbraham, Eſq. Horſley, ditto2 Copies
    • Mrs. Wilbraham, ditto
    • Mrs. Wilbraham, Cirenceſter, ditto
    • Mrs. Wiltſhire8 Copies
    • Mrs. Weſtley, Shippon-Mallet8 ditto
    • Mr. Walker, Lecturer of Philoſophy, London 2 Copies
    • Rev. John Adam Walker, Cathedral, Hereford2 ditto
    • Mrs. Welchman, Stamford-ſtreet, London
    • Mr. Alderman Woodcock, Glouceſter
    • Mrs. Woodcock, ditto
    • Miſs Woodcock, ditto
    • Miſs Walker, Everdon, Northamptonſhire
    • Mrs. Whalley, Circus, Bath
    • Mr. Weſt, Weſtgate-Buildings, ditto
    • Mrs. Williams
    • Mr. Whiteſet, Kingſton-Buildings, ditto
    • Mr. Williams, Abbey-Church-Yard, ditto
    • Miſs Withington, St. James Barton, Briſtol
    • Mrs. Webb, Pentonville, Iſlington2 Copies
    • Mrs. xxii b2v
    • Mrs. Wigan, Cheapſide, London
    • Mrs. W. Store-ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. B. White, Fleet ſtreet, ditto
    • Mr. Waſhborn, Glouceſter6 Copies

Errata.

  • Page31, laſt line, for in, read within.
  • — 56, line 6, dele e’er, read poor Mary’s.
  • — 57, line 16, for ſummit of bliſs, read bliſsful ſummit.
  • — 70, line 6, for under, read beneath.
  • line 9, for lamentation, read woe-fraught heart.
  • line 10, for ſtate, read calamity.
  • — 74, line 21, for could prove, read durſt arraign, or.
  • — 77, line 16, for ſanctified hearts, read in hearts ſo ſanctified.
  • 989, line 15, for ſuch a ſin calls loud, read ſuch a ſin would ſurely call loud.
The Author preſents her reſpectful Compliments to the Public, and hopes to experience their lenity for inaccuracies in this her new mode of publication. Miſtakes happening relative to the delivery of the Books ſhall immediately be rectified, by addreſsing a line to Mrs. M. Deverell, No 7, New Bond-ſtreet, London, ſaying to whom the Subſcription was given. N. B. The delay of this Publication has been occaſioned by a ſad ſucceſsion of accidents and diſappointments, very painful to the Author.
001 B1r

Mary, Queen of Scots.

Act I.

Scene I.

Diſcovers Lord Athol walking the Stage, much agitated.

What deep diſtreſs attends on regal ſtate

Great Emperors have felt, and Rome’s delight

Well knew. Ah! ſure mark for cruel archers!

Since a perfect Sov’reign ne’er fill’d a throne,

Unleſs in ſculpture carv’d. There the head achs

Not for its awful weight, as Mary’s doth. Enter Lord Herries.

My good Lord Herries, tell me what tidings?

B Herries. 002 B1v [2]

Herries.

Oh! moſt heavy from Pinkie! whence I’m come,

And ſaw—there ſaw the confederate troops

Drawn in fierce hoſtile form. Our Sov’reign’s army

Poſted advantageouſly on riſing ground,

The Ambaſsador of France ſtrove there with

Friendſhip’s zealous rhet’ric to urge a peace

For th’ unhappy Queen. Vain effort! The Nobles

Were inflexible! who advanc’d to th’ attack,

As veterans in war. Mary’s troops, alarm’d

At their reſolute approach, ſhrinking with fear

From th’ engagement, gave them a bloodleſs victory,

Tho’ ſhe alternate wept, threaten’d and reproach’d

Her chiefs with cowardice. Fruitleſs attempt

To reanimate the ſpirits of her

Drooping generals:—they fled—vile Bothwell

With them! leaving their royal Miſtreſs grief’s

Abject prey!

Athol.

Sad news, indeed! ſway’d by tender

Friendſhip, her woe I deeply commiſerate;

But ſay how, where is ſhe now? Doth not this

Defeat make our diſconſolate poor Queen

Incapable of reſolution?

Herries.

Truly ſo. Therefore, by dire neceſsity

Compell’d, 003 B2r [3]

Compell’d, the weeping Fair, with piercing ſighs,

Surrender’d a pris’ner to the brave Kirkaldy.

But ne’er was beauteous youth treated with

Such indignity as Scotland’s Majeſty,

By the inſulting rabble and vulgar

Soldiery! who pour’d in her ears volleys

Of ſuch opprobrious names as quite o’ercame her.

Thus earth, our common parent, receiv’d her,

Whoſe tears, like orient pearls, bedew’d the ground,

And call’d forth triſtful drops from ev’ry gliſt’ring eye.

There, ſuccumb’d in grief! as great Darius, ſhameful ſcene,

Long ſhe lay, O moſt horrid to relate!

A ſpectacle to glut her ſubjects cruelty!

At length ſome nobles, tinctur’d with humanity,

Led her into a cot, unworthy to

Receive the royal pris’ner, who fainting cry’d,

Pray give me a little water now, for

Mercy’s ſake.—Oh! could my life ranſom her

Liberty, to the racking wheel I’d give it

To liberate the Queen; who is now ſtrongly

Guarded, remov’d to Lochlevin Caſtle.

Theſe, theſe are the ſad tidings of the day!

And I defeat’s herald.

Going.

Athol.

Stay, Herries, ſtay;

We’ll haſte together, and work ev’ry nerve

B2 To 004 B2v [4]

To ſoften this unexampled rigour

To her who left the Gallic ſhore, eſcorted

By ſix royal Princes; with Nobles an

Illuſtrious train.—That ſcene of greatneſs paſt,

Still we ſhould reverence our Sov’reign and her ſex,

Whom now her Peers have ſo ignobly treated

That future calendars will bluſh to mention.

Exeunt Lords.

Scene II.

Sterling Caſtle, Diſcovers the Confederate Peers, Argyle, Morton, Lennox, Murray, Athol, Kirkaldy, Lindsay, Maitland, and Glencairn. (Chiefly Proteſtants.)

Lindsay.

My Lord and Barons, here aſsembled

To adviſe in council, and henceforth determine

On the late conduct of our ſinking Queen;

To quell commotions which have ſhook the realm

Almoſt to anarchy, requires deep thought

And ſpeedy reſolution.

Argyle.

True, my Lord;

The 005 B3r [5]

The brilliant ſplendor of our northern ſtar

Is much obſcur’d; Mary’s late luſtre fades;

Her mind’s a bark, toſt with furious ſurges,

Or wretchedly becalm’d! So to preſerve the ſtate,

We inſtantly muſt ſteer the royal veſsel.

What! ſhall freeborn ſubjects, noble and brave,

Supinely ſee a fell ambitious traitor,

With ev’ry horrid mark of murder on him,

Wading his way through blood to Darnley’s ſeat?

Gaze on him, loaded with favours which only

Royalty may claim, and reſt as ſtatues!

Behold him revelling in our Sov’reign’s ſmiles,

Who moſt impartially ſhould hold the beam

Of juſtice, and foremoſt ſtand t’avenge her huſband’s

Murder! Pray, my good Lord of Lennox, ſpeak!

Lennox.

My noble Lords, aſk not a father’s voice:

While nature’s dictates are predominant,

Our words, nay e’en our thoughts muſt partial prove.

Reluctant came I here, where duty only

Brought me. Permit me to retire, and let my

Feelings ſpeak. I can no more.

Morton.

Enough, my Lord—

Enough from Darnley’s ſire: your meaning’s clear.

’Tis on our hearts engrav’d. Retire, aſur’d,

That ſhould perſuaſions fail, we’ll arm like an

Embattled 006 B3v [6]

Embattled phalanx, our hoſtile troops, to

Right the people: elſe our illuſtrious ſires,

Pale ſhades, once valiant Scots, would here ariſe,

And chide their coward ſons.

Lindsay.

Since ’tis agreed

Not to loſe time in this juſt act; let us

Unanimous in council, Lords and Barons,

Seek and puniſh the late daring regicides,

And zealouſly protect, with ev’ry care,

Henry’s lawful heir, the princely infant James,

Scotland calls forth intrepid youths to arm

As vet’rans in her cauſe: all who refuſe

Shall hence be branded with a traitor’s name!

How ſay ye, Lords?

Morton.

I readily enliſt

Murray, Glencairn, &c. &c.

And all, all—

Lindsay.

Our vows are ſeal’d in Heav’n.

Maitland.

Moſt noble Lords, let not a court of juſtice

Baniſh mercy, an attribute divine!

Which ne’er could tarniſh ſouls of braveſt luſtre.

Let 007 B4r [7]

Let us all look on Mary as ſhe was

Now with feeling compaſsion as what ſhe is;

When on the Gallic, or the Scottiſh throne,

Pitying mildneſs ever rul’d her ſoul,

And none e’er ſued her clemency in vain.

She may perhaps have foibles; caſual

Eclipſes of the mind. What of thoſe?

A Queen is but a mortal! Who’ll aſert

A mortal is without ’em? If ye will

Judge ſo harſhly, queſtion you own breaſts,

Make conſcience umpire, and let that plead her cauſe.

Which of us all, if match’d ſo ill in love

As royal Mary, laviſhing her ſoul

On one who in return for the vaſt bleſſing He ne’er knew how to prize, prov’d an ingrate,

A moſt perfidious——

Lindsay.

Stop, my lord, nor ſeek

T’excuſe thoſe crimes which earth nor heav’n can pardon.

Kirkaldy.

Thoſe crimes can ne’er be prov’d upon our Queen:

But could they, we, her ſubjects only, can

Ne’er have legal power to ſit her judges.

She ſtands accus’d of hatred to Darnley,

Whom, thro’ miſguided love, ſhe made her husband:

A match 008 B4v [8]

A match ne’er form’d in Heav’n.—Now, my good Lords,

Adopt the ſage advice: let conſcience ſpeak:

If ye had warm’d a viper in your breaſts,

And the ingrate, recov’ring, had ſtung you,

Would ye not quickly throw the ſerpent out?

Maitland.

Certainly. Thanks, my worthy Lord, for pleading

Thus the royal ſufferer’s cauſe, whoſe virtues

Will her faults o’erbalance, although ſhe’s winnow’d

With ſo rough a wind.—My Lords of Lindſay,

Morton and Glencairn, with patience favour me:—

If poſsible, I’d fain incline your hearts to Mary;

Whom, view mentally as the Gallic Queen,

Whoſe copious mind art after art well ſtor’d;

Her virtue ſuch, ſuſpicion’s foul breath ne’er dar’d to ſoil,

In the full reign of beauty, youth and ſplendor!

Tho’ Francis ſhone not brighteſt among Kings,

She kindly threw a veil o’er ev’ry weakneſs—

Was all the tender, all the loyal wife;

And when he early paid Nature’s great debt,

His relict, like the widow’d turtle, moſt

Piteous moan’d his loſs! The brilliancy

Of Mary’s charms then ſhone ſupreme, and won all

Beholders hearts, converting awe to love.

Such her certificates of innate goodneſs,

And truſt of power ne’er violated,

When 009 C1r [9]

When courted to reſume her native throne,

Here ſhe reigned her people’s idol; applauded,

Bleſt, wherever ſeen! Could this ſov’reign Lady

At once degenerate;—fall from a planet

To a mere meteor!—a ſtar of glory,

To a noxious vapour?

Kirkaldy.

Impoſsible. So ’tis to think her tongue, whoſe enchanting

Eloquence might charm the angelic choir,

Could e’er ſpeak Darnley’s death; or her lily hand,

With mighty Kings breath-dew’d, work the foul deed!

The arrogated pow’r which ye, my Lords,

Have proudly claim’d o’er this unhappy Queen,

I beſeech you, exert as men, not tyrants:

Drive her not to acts of deſperation.

Surely My Lord of Athol joins this wiſh

Athol.

Moſt fervently. In a princeſs ſo young,

Could we expect Solon’s ſteady wiſdom,

Blended with Dian’s purity?—vain hope!

From one nurs’d at the Gallic Court, where moſt

Pernicious ſcenes of gallantry and revenge

Are light offences, and by their holy fount’s

Ablution are ſoon cleans’d. Here ’tis not ſo;

Where Mary was ſorely urg’d to retaliate

On Darnley: he that in cool blood aſsaſinated

C Rizzio 010 C1v [10]

Rizzio, harmonious Rizzio, before her!

Each blow the pregnant Queen internal felt

So ſtrong, as nearly ſhook her embryo babe

From his affrighted mother! Thus terrified,

Bothwell protected the ſacred perſon

From her ſavage Lord. Hence his vile ambition

Sprung, hence Mary’s miſery! Therefore pity

Calls us to guard her realm; but let us dread

Heav’n’s ſwift avenging wrath, ſhould we uſurp her ſtate.

Exeunt Lords. Manet Argyle.

They frowning went; yet Scotland muſt revere

Their wiſe reſolves, thus boldly to defend

The Prince and realm from that Machiavel’s

Encroaching power; aſpiring Bothwell!

Who certainly won Mary, by philt’ring arts,

Black as his ſoul t’allure and poiſon hers:

Bleſt with learning’s lore, beyond what Athens’

School could teach. But alas! a heart too tender,

Too ſuſceptible! Female hearts had need

Be adamant, when ply’d by plaints, tears, and pray’rs,

From our deluding ſex. Sad caſe of Scotland’s Queen!

Who better rul’d her ſubjects than herſelf.

Thus t’was the roſes wither’d early in

Her nuptial garland, mildew’d o’er and o’er

With peſtilential blaſts! as ſpecious Darnley,

Sottiſh and brutal, ſoon loſt her tender love,

And ſhipwreck’d Mary’s happineſs.

Scene 011 C2r [11]

Scene III.

Lochlevin Caſtle. The Queen of Scots Priſoner, very meanly dreſsed; and Murray Regent.

Regent.

Madam, th’import of Lord Lindſay’s commiſsion,

I’ll not repeat; the papers he preſented

Being ſigned with your hand, which ſtamps me— Regent

Of the Scottiſh realm, during your ſon’s minority.

Queen.

By what pow’r can ye dethrone your regal Queen,

Who ne’er infring’d her people’s right, nor in

One article e’er broke her coronation oath?

Regent.

You’ve twice dethron’d yourſelf by ſep’rate acts,

Thoſe papers moſt clearly evince.

Queen.

They were extorted by cruel tyranny!

Elſe I’d ne’er yielded to my rebellious

Subjects dictates. All counſellors and friends

C2 Forbade 012 C2v [12]

Forbade my preſence, e’en too France and England’s

Ambaſsadors; ſurrounded by troops, each way,

Of female fears and enemies; accompanied

By ſavage threats of inſtant death! Thus driv’n,

Read it neceſsity, not will, that ſtamp’d

Thoſe papers:—Lindſay, horrid Lindſay forc’d

My ſignature—this ſordid garb alſo!

But calmer thoughts firmly convince me,

This action of my hand, not mind, in law is null.

Nature and juſtice muſt abſolve the act.

Regent.

You’ll ne’er find it ſo. Hence know this, your deeds

Conſequences: in numerous Scottiſh Lords’

Preſence, the Prince, your ſon, was crown’d at Sterling;

And now all ſtate buſineſs, public writs, and

Forms of government, are only valid

In the name of James.

Queen.

Preſumptuous man!

Thus to gloſs faction! yea, night-born treaſon!

When firſt my ſubjects raiſed themſelves againſt me,

On certain terms of peace, I yielded to Kirkaldy;

When he and Morton ſolemnly aſsured me,

In all confederates names, they would reſtore

Me to my realm and throne. I now claim promiſe

Of 013 C3r [13]

Of loyalty as their lawful Sov’reign.

What! James ſeize his mother’s crown?—a ſuckling!

Impoſsible!—and thou, thou Scotland’s Regent?

Regent.

Yes, captive Queen: I ſend Ambaſsadors

Hence; nor are its Peers confederates,

As you call ’em, but Lords of ſecret Council:

Whence learn now moſt juſtly you’re depoſed.

Queen.

Say, Murray, of the infernal Council;

Since ſuch high, vile, complicated treaſon

Demand one ſecret. No open Council

Durſt abet ſuch traitorous deeds, ſuch adroit

Villainy! and ſuch, ſuch inſulting baſeneſs

As thou, their chief, haſt utter’d. No Parliament

Would dare to proceed thus againſt a Sov’reign,

Sprung from a lineal race of Scottiſh Kings.

Inaugurated ſix trebled centuries.

Regent.

Proud-fall’n Princeſs! your crimes debaſe rank, deſcent,

And degrade you to the low vulgar: elſe to

Scotland’s crown, and me, you’d ne’er been priſoner.

Queen.

To Murray?—Matchleſs effrontery!—To thee!

Who 014 C3v [14]

Who made earldoms thine?—Who twice pardon’d thee,

Outlaw’d, cringing for ſafety and power

In a diſtant realm, till there my pardon

Reach’d thee? Are theſe clement acts razed from

Thy memory? If ſo, ’tis treacherous

As thy enormous baſeneſs!

Regent.

Too much to hear

From her who could abet aſsaſsin’s deeds,

Then wed her huſband’s deſp’rate murderer!

Queen.

Too much to hear and bear, indeed, from thy

O’erflowing gall, who haſt ſtolen thoſe ſubjects allegiance

From me their head, who were my ſtate-pillars.

What name befits thee! uſurper of legal rights!

Thou arch-fiend!—thou Scottiſh Cinna!

Whom I’ve ſtretch’d my royal power to ſerve,

And thought till now my ſubject, yet treated

As my friend and brother.

Regent.

Your boaſted friendſhip,

And your regal blaze, are irkſome tales!—ſo trite,

They 015 C4r [15]

They grate upon the ear. I ſcorn all honour

Mary can confer, who threw away her own;

E’en when a two-fold crown ſhone round her brow,

Trampling on Chaſtity, her ſex’s diadem,

Next her ſubject’s weal:—more, alas! dead to all

Maternal kindneſs due to her infant ſon,

To be a licentious villain’s paramour!

A mere rapacious hell-kite. O woman! woman!

Thus to liſten unto the guileful ſerpent!—

For him leave Eden!—ſinking t’inky darkneſs.

Curs’d infatuation! If Rome’s proud Prelate

Grants abſolution to crimes of your deep die,

Proteſtants are not ſo charitable.

Ne’er more will Modeſty, for example,

Look to you: but all—all bright maids and matrons,

Profeſsing virtue, will turn from Mary,

Who, in ſome ſhort months, will only be remembered

As a ghoſt! creating aſtoniſhment!

And horror!

During this ſpeech Mary walks to and fro, greatly agitated, weeping, muſing, and looking on the Regent alternately.

Queen.

Aſtoniſhment had ſo

O’erwhelm’d me! that I had no pow’r to ſtop thy

Viper’d tongue’s envenom’d ſlander! Such language

Ne’er before aſsail’d mine ear: yet Heaven knows,

Thy 016 C4v [16]

Thy charges falſe, and will reveal the junto

Of Darnley’s horrid murder! thy agency

In’t too behind the curtain, which t’atoms

Will blow thy maſsy accuſation; ſince

Criminals, midſt death’s poignant tortures,

Clear’d each ſpeck of guilt I’m baſely charg’d with,

By letters forg’d proceſs veil’d: elſe ſoon ere now I’d

Fully refuted ’em, as ye can’t produce

Originals; nor e’er name the mother,

Whoſe anxious heart felt more for her child,

Her only child! than mine for James’s, whoſe image

On my ſoul lies ſtamp’d; and ſtill, methinks, I ſee.

Sweet babe! baptiz’d with his mother’s tears ere exil’d!

Nurs’d by her foes, and guiltleſs made her throne’s

Uſurper; e’er yet his infancy hath

Seen one circling year! Now playful as the

Tender fawn, when the fell huntſmen, with chace

Impetuous, drive the ſad parent from its

Harmleſs ſide: though ſavagely I’m deny’d

To claſp my child, and ſmother him with kiſses!

Yet hear, thou virgin mother of purity Queen kneels.

Divine! may Scotland’s Prince, inveſted with a crown,

Ne’er feel the thorns with it that pierc’d my temples!

May he flouriſh like the palm-tree, or mountaincedar,

And ne’er meet ſuch opprobrious inſults

As 017 D1r [17]

As ſharpen now my pangs, and tear my lovely

Bloſsom from the tree that bore him!

Regent.

’Tis firm

Juſtice, that holds her balance o’er your head;

’Tis ſhe implants thoſe thorns you ſeem to feel

For Darnley’s death, and baſe temerity!

Queen.

Look down, down, all-gracious Power,

With beams of mercy, on the poor ſuffering wretch,

Who finds none here! My pungent griefs and tears,

Are to thee grateful as rain to the parch’d earth.

Name the crimes that penitence and prayer

Can’t expiate. Bleſs’d ſound! a prophet’s voice

Re-echo’d and recorded. Yet erring man’s

Inexorable! Man alone forgets ’tis

Slippery ground he treads here, and perchance

He may ſtrain a muſcle, where his brother fell.

Regent.

You talk highly; but ſwol’n ſpeech and aſsum’d virtue

Will ne’er expiate ſuch complex ſins as yours.

No. The ſacred pow’r you implore, kens ſuch

D Contrition, 018 D1v [18]

Contrition, hypocriſy; its worſt climax.

’Twere better far n’er t’incenſe a juſt God,

Than thus to deprecate his vengeful ire

By ſeeming penitence.

Queen.

Goodneſs infinite,

Malice cannot limit. Ah, mercy! mercy!

Though I feel it dead on earth, I know it

Lives above; where wearied ſpirits reſt

On downy pillows. Thy longer viſit,

Murray, I wiſh not, while unconſcious

Of thoſe acts I ſtand, charg’d on me by foes, Queen riſes.

Who’ve ſworn my reprobation. Thy cruel

Share in all, now riveted on my ſoul!

Moſt amply ſhe forgives. But as thou’rt young

In thine high office, deign t’accept advice

From the firſt victim of thy lawleſs pow’r.

Never inſult the wretched; ’tis cowardice;

More inhumanity! reflect, my combin’d wrongs

Have rais’d thee to that pinnacle of greatneſs,

Which may not long be thine. ’Tis my birthright,

Remember; which to gain, thou haſt depos’d

Heav’n’s own anointed. Thy aſsum’d pow’r is

Merely form the rabble; whoſe veering tongues

To day extol, to-morrow execrate!

On ſuch reeds never lean. Thence timely mark

Haughty 019 D2r [19]

Haughty diſsimulation, veil’d e’er ſo thick,

Makes inborn foes; who, keen-ſighted as the lynx,

Will watch to wound thee.—Yet hear me, Murray,

Hear, while I charge thee with dying pow’r’s voice!

As thou doſt arrogate my ſceptre, Oh! be

My realms true guardian, and my dear ſon’s,

Thy ſov’reign; ne’er bring either into mean

Dependance upon proud England’s power.

Pity th’ unfortunate, and think of her,

Who henceforth only reigns the Queen of Sorrows!

Exit Queen. Manet Regent.

Think of thy unconquer’d ſpirit, Mary;

Undoubtedly I ſhall. Each day’s

Tranſactions as Viceroy here, will force more

Remembrance of thee than I wiſh

End of the First Act.

D2 Act 020 D2v [20]

Act II.

Scene I.

Glaſgow. Lord Regent holding a Court of Juſtice; ſitting in a State Chair at a Table, large Books, Parchment Rolls before him, and the Writing Apparatus. Enter Lords Lyndsay, Morton, and Glencairn, &c.

Regent.

My Noble Lords, what news abroad? Something

Important your looks preſage. If aught to me,

Pray impart it ſoon.

Lyndsay.

It much concerns your Grace,

And the whole Scottiſh realm. Then, to be brief,

Mary, your pris’ner, is eſcap’d by means

Of youthful Douglas; who, won by high promiſes,

Freed 021 D3r [21]

Freed her perſon; whilſt her warder and guards

Took thoughtleſs their nocturnal meal: mean while

Douglas ſtole the keys; the ſtrong wards yielded

Strait to the Queen’s wiſhes: a boat was ready

To waft her, and one poor truſty female,

To the deſir’d haven; where Lord Seaton,

Sir James Hamilton, with numbers more,

Receiv’d Mary with rapid joy; who mounted

a ſteed, inſtantly high-ſpirited as

His rider, to th’ eye outſtripping the wind.

Thus, full accompanied, ſhe reach’d Lord Seaton’s lodge.

Regent.

Is the Queen at Weſt Lothain now?

Morton.

No, my Lord; there ſhe only halted three hours;

And though night had drawn her ſable curtain,

Mary, like a wing’d courier of th’ air,

Purſu’d her journey, and reach’d Lord Hamilton’s

At dawning morn.

Regent.

Never, never more, my Lords,

Let us admit female timidity

A bar to any hazardous enterprize.

Woman, however weak, her will aſsiſting,

She’d 022 D3v [22]

She’d ſcale the Alps, yea, ride o’er Mount Atlas

T’accompliſh it. Yet this fugitive Fair

May chance to break the ſword ſhe’d fain fight with.

Say, my Lords, what detains this Amazon

At Hamilton?

Glencairn.

Your Grace muſt know, the Queen

There holds her court, raiſing a potent army;

Now more than ſix thouſand ſtrong; formidable

Aſsociations plan’d beſide, to defend

Her perſon and authority: to which

Nine Biſhops, nine Earls, eighteen Lords, and brave

Gentlemen by the ſcore, have now ſubſcrib’d.

Regent.

Ha! is it ſo indeed?

Morton.

Moſt true, my Lord.

Regent.

Then ’tis no time to loiter. We muſt repel

Force by inſtant force of hoſtile rage, whate’er’s

Th’ expence of blood and treaſure to the realm.

Lyndsay. 023 D4r [23]

Lyndsay.

Yes, inſtantly our arms, new burniſh’d, muſt

Try their metal, though the Queen’s cavalry

Nearly twice numbers ours; and ſhe hourly

Expects t’augment it by Huntly, Ogilvie,

And the northern clans—beſide her certain

Aid from France—perchance from England.

Argyle.

O miſerable Scotland! widow’d country!

How art thou environ’d! Muſt brother againſt

Brother unnat’ral raiſe his ſword; and the

Primeval curſe be ours? Thy lonely ſtreets, O Scotland!

Shall mourn her laws enactors; their murderers;

Thus the feat of civil war and ruthleſs

Deſolation!

Regent.

Away, away with women’s

Fruitleſs plaints! they muſt give place to action:

Let rank contend with rank, and claſhing ſpears

Create a mighty din. To arms, to arms!

War ſhall arbitrate.

Exit with a flouriſh of Martial Muſic. [If 024 D4v [24] If time permitted, the Battle at Langſide might be repreſented here, with Mary at the head of her troops, fighting with ſword and ſpear; as ſuch ſhort skirmiſhes have produced good ſtage-effect.

Scene II.

Dundrenan Abbey, in Galloway, Opens and diſcovers the Queen, Ladies Argyle, Herries, Melvil, and attendant Women—The Queen ſitting in a penſive attitude, leaning on a Table.

Queen.

Surely th’ ireful Fates conſpire againſt me!

In ev’ry view of fortune ingulf’d in woe!

Diſtracted with the paſt—cruſh’d with the preſent;

And dreadful looks the future! Where can I fly?

What do? Chac’d from my throne and realm; defeated

In the field; I’m now hunted down the abyſs

Of miſery!—forc’d e’en in this dark retreat

To ſeek refuge from mine own ſubjects. Ah!

What horrid viciſsitudes hath mutiny

Made 025 E1r [25]

Made mine. When Scotland ſtamp’d me with her

Diadem, ’twas civil Diſcord’s rough ſea!

On which I’ve been toſt e’er ſince. Dear ladies,

Tell me, if ye think Heaven has reſerv’d

One gracious drop of comfort for your

Wretched miſtreſs! if ye hope but one drop,

Now, now, implore it. Since, alas! like me,

Was ever woman ſo involv’d in woe?

Or e’er a mother’s joy ſo early blaſted?

Was e’er yet woman ſo deſtroy’d by greatneſs?

Was e’er a regal Queen ſo girt with foes?

Or by rapacious furies ſo beſet?

In each relation ſtruck beyond relief;

Enforc’d to fly from the laſt fatal battle,

Sixty long miles expos’d to warring elements,

Without refreſhment; ere ſleep, Nature’s ſweet nurſe,

Could cloſe mine eyes: now op’d to new diſtreſs!

But I’ll to England.—My little all ſee

Safely pack’d: Ah! my good girls, I muſt away. To her Women.

Ladies, will ye attend me?

To the Ladies.

Lady Argyle.

Oh! moſt aſsuredly.

But, royal Madam, ſaid you to England?

Queen.

I did. Why aſk you?

E Argyle. 026 E1v [26]

Argyle.

Doth not Elizabeth

Reign there?

Queen.

Yes. What then?

Argyle.

My thoughts I’d fain conceal.

Queen.

Speak all without reſerve.

Argyle.

Sov’reign Lady,

May I aſk, is Elizabeth your friend?

Queen.

She is my cousſin, ſiſter, near in blood,

And in alliance with my crown; as ſuch

I deem her friend.

Argyle.

England’s Queen, I’ve heard, hath

Profound 027 E2r [27]

Profound judgment, nervous ſenſe; but more than proud,

She is imperious, and brooks no rival.

O’er all the mighty Potentates in Europe

She holds herſelf the greateſt; nor is her

Jealouſy confin’d to regal power,

But e’en in beauty’s empire fain would triumph!

Queen.

Alas! ſhe’s little there to dread from me:

I’m a mere wither’d flow’r, cruſh’d by ſtormy fate.

Mine eyes, whatever luſtre they might boaſt,

Now are as dim as yon expiring lamps:

The roſy bloom haſtes to forſake my cheek,

And cheerleſs ſorrow ſteals my ev’ry charm.

Argyle.

The world will ne’er ſuppoſe that rapid wane.

Elizabeth not only envies your

Superior charms, but e’en your joy maternal.

For when each foreign Court ſent gratulations

Warm on your ſon’s birth, the poor virgin Queen,

At your parental honours inly pin’d!

Herſelf comparing to a barren ſtock;

And you unto a fruitful tree, extending

Royal branches o’er the world.

E2 Queen. 028 E2v [28]

Queen.

Theſe ſentiments

Are ſomewhat capricious from my fair ſiſter,

Who offer’d and ſtood firſt ſponſor to my

Hapleſs babe! Much I wiſh’d her marriage,

Whoſe ſuitors have been many: Sweden’s King,

Arran, heir of great Chateerhault; and a

Numerous train of other Princes, who

Laid their ſceptres at her feet.

Argyle.

Ah! Madam,

I’m well inform’d theſe princely ſuitors were

Allur’d more by Eliza’s wond’rous policy,

Than true regard; elſe why ſo long retain’d,

At length diſcarded, but from private views?

Queen.

’Twas ſo with ſome, who ſought t’avenge Love’s ill-

Requited cauſe. My ſiſter’s mind is maſculine;—

Her aim, conqueſts more renowned than thoſe of hearts:

While Fame’s loud trump reſounds through diſtant climes,

The matchleſs glory of the virgin Queen!

Argyle. 029 E3r [29]

Argyle.

The reaſons are, this Queen, like Eaſtern Monarchs,

Jealous of prerogative, would let no Prince

E’er ſhare her throne, or claim an equal pow’r.

Queen.

Oh! that I’d ne’er ſhar’d either! ’Twas venom

That anointed me the Queen of Scots; and ſnakes,

Gloſsy ſnakes, were wreath’d in my ill-fated crown!

I’d been far happier a village maid,

Wearing a May-day’s garland: a ſheep-hook

In my hand would lighter ſway’d than e’er did

Globe or ſeptre. All inſignias, gariſh

Flags of royalty, are now to me as

Mere regalias of th’illuſtrious dead!

Whoſe gaudy banners ſtream high, announcing

Duſt enſhrin’d!—ſuch pageants mock my miſery!

What am I now?—I know not, except a

Limed wounded bird, from th’invidious net

Hardly eſcaped! while falcons and vultures,

Hov’ring o’er its devoted head, proclaim

Deſtruction! I’ll try now to forget

The painful thought by an interval of reſt:

My ſpirits aſk it; tho’ th’ effort may be vain.

If ſo, I’ll quick return.—Good Ladies, ſtay. The Ladies offering to go with the Queen.

Vanilla 030 E3v [30]

Vanilla and Aretta, come with me.

Oh!I am ſick at heart!

Exit Queen.

Scene III.

Lady Melvil.

Heav’n grant Sleep’s opiate dews may chace her ſorrows off!

Lady Herries.

Somnus waves his peaceful wand

Seldom o’er grief like hers. To ſad a truth

Our Miſtreſs ſpake, ſaying, I’m ſick at heart.

She dreams of England as a recipe;

But much I dread, that foggy air will more

Obnoxious prove than Scotland’s keener breath.

Numberleſs reaſons Mary might advert to,

Which ’gainſt this expedition ſtrongly militate.

Melvil.

True: ſince her unſuſpecting ſoul is blind to

Dangers that await her from Elizabeth,

Her pow’rful, envious rival! Cool reaſon

Can’t comprehend that meteor of caprice,

Who haughtily denied our Sov’reign

An 031 E4r [31]

An eſcort from the Gallic coaſt, to mount

Her native throne.

Herries.

Unprecedented refuſal!

A requeſt no ſtranger would vainly ſue.

Melvil.

More:—Elizabeth, for certain, ſent ſhips

T’intercept Mary’s voyage, and bind her

To th’ Engliſh fleet, like t’a conquer’d victim.

Herries.

Could Mary then ſcape?

Melvil.

Neptune, far kinder

Than Elizabeth, well knowing his ward,

Cruſh’d her intent; and pale Cynthia, inſtant

Hung out a ſable robe, beneath whoſe miſty

Creſcent Mary eſcap’d the ſnare; yet England’s

Queen hail’d ours loudly firſt, when here ſhe ſafe arriv’d.

Argyle.

Elaborate duplicity! Oh! much

I wiſh, Mary would ne’er truſt her ſacred perſon

In her ſiſter’s realm.

Herries. 032 E4v [32]

Herries.

Soon I expect my Lord,

Who perhaps may try to diſsuade our Sov’reign’s

Purpos’d flight, could aught avail her tortur’d mind!

Lo! here ſhe comes!

Enter Queen.

Argyle.

We hope your Majeſty

Hath found ſweet repoſe.

Queen.

No, Ladies: I’m grief’s

Centinel; ſleep, like my velvet friends, flies me,

E’en while I court it—yea, as I would an

Approaching ſerpent.

Scene IV.

Lord Herries entering.

Lord Herries, thrice welcome!

’Tis kind, ’tis very kind thus to viſit

Your fall’n Queen! My heart records it truly ſo:

While it longs t’ unload her weight unto thy

Friendly 033 F1r [33]

Friendly ear. But matters ſo numerous

And cogent, crowd on my poor brain! ſtruggling

for prior vent, each retards th’other’s claim;

Though time forbids my ſpeaking aught diſtinct,

But that I’ll ſtrait for England.

Lord Herries.

Heav’n forbid!

Queen.

Say why, My Lord?

Lord Herries.

Oh! for an hoſt of reaſons.

Queen.

Where elſe can I fly? Think not my ſpirit

So entirely broke, that I’ll e’er poſt to France,

A fugitive! ſince, in that lap of bleſsing,

I ſpent my halcyon days, and left all

My glory! England now’s my only fort,

Where my good ſiſter courts me to her arms;

Will in her royal perſon meet, and in

Her court benignly welcome and protect me:

There I ſhall regain life; ſeem like a being

From another world; emerg’d from Chaos.

F Lord 034 F1v [34]

Lord Herries.

It pains me much to tell your Majeſty,

Vehement warmth, and a too credulous ear,

Oft uſhers arrow’d pain to guileleſs hearts.

Think how conſpicuous England’s Queen hath ſhown

Her pow’r, e’er ſince you ſway’d the Scottiſh ſceptre!

You, her preſumptive heir, if ſhe dies childleſs,

Excites her cruel jealouſy! whoſe legal

Claim to Henry’s throne is doubtful e’en ’mongſt

Proteſtants and all European Princes,

Who can’t allow her father’s marriage null

With living, loyal Catherine; when Boleyne

Took her bed, and gave your rival blotted birth!

Which made her, like Bolingbroke, guard royal

Prerogative with more than dragon’s watch

And eyes of Argus. Hence ſprang Elizabeth’s

Rooted reſentment to you for aſsuming

Th’ Engliſh arms and title.

Queen.

Alas! to woe

I’m a true heireſs! Not nine dawning morns

Mine eyes were ope’d on this pernicious world,

Ere my father left it. His crown devolv’d

On me with direful care! Woo’d in infancy,

For pious Edward’s future bride——

(He Albion’s heir). Weigh’d by political

Reaſons, Henry would fain have ta’en me,

E’en a cradled property, from my nurſe’s breaſt;

But 035 F2r [35]

But on ſuch terms, my guardian peers forbade.

Hence England’s ſordid views quite defeated;

Freſh wars commenc’d betwixt our neighb’ring realms

I, an innocent actreſs in all theſe ſcenes;

Howe’er, the Gallic Monarch from England

Gain’d me, in my ſixth year, to wed the Dauphin.

Lord Herries.

Oh! was the courteous Francis living,

You ne’er had known this hydra-headed trouble:

His manners mild as the morn that uſhers

In Day’s radiant King.

Queen.

E’en ſo:—All deeds

Preliminary fix’d by my husband’s fire,

And my maternal uncles, Lorrain’s Cardinal,

And Duke of Guize, wiſdom’s oracle rever’d!

Their joint counſel I obſerv’d, as ancients

Thoſe of Delphos. There, in conjunct opinion

Of Elizabeth’s illegitimacy,

Henry of France, enjoin’d his ſon and me

T’aſsume the title of England’s King and Queen,

And bear th’ arms as my heredit’ry right.

Lord Herries.

Great Queen, they were, and ſtampt you vaſt importance

F2 In 036 F2v [36]

In all European Courts, ken’d with a hawk’s eye

By your proud ſiſter, then mounting her throne;

When ſage Cecil, reading his Sov’reign’s heart,

With prompt zeal met her wiſhes in weakening

Your regal pow’r, and aggrandizing hers

By treaty, wherein he ſtipulated

Mary ſhould renounce all claim t’England’s crown.

Queen.

Cruel deſtiny! that e’er gave one to me,

Or any title but of innocence!——

Lord Herries.

I beg your Majeſty, ſhun what yet you may;

Doubt is oft’times wiſdom’s friendly beacon.

Ne’er fly to England, nor in your foe confide,

Whoſe many indignant flights and ſubtle wiles,

Should be full warning, not to rely on her,

Who hath ſo oft deceiv’d you.

Queen.

No more, no more:

I’ll relinquiſh royal claims for peace; kingdoms

For liberty and ſafety, which this realm

Affords me not. I’m now an humbled Queen!

Seeking the oliv’d, not the laurel’d crown,

Which long, I hope, will flouriſh on my ſiſter,

Who, feeling as a Sov’reign in my perſon,

Will defend its ſacred rights, cancel wrongs,

And 037 F3r [37]

And make me ev’ry, ev’ry recompence.

Lord Herries.

Gracious Princeſs! I’ve weigh’d events by time,

Truth’s parent; who oft’ hath mourn’d to ſee treaties

Royal ſtamp broken, ere th’ impreſs’d wax was cold,

By her who brib’d your ſervants, aided your foes,

Hamilton, Murray, with other malcontents,

Under her auſpices, when your known rebels.

Though conſcious of the treacherous part,

Elizabeth deny’d all to France and Spain’s

Remonſtrances. Hence I aver, Mary’s

Not more beauty’s accompliſh’d Queen, than her

Siſter is diſsimulation’s.

Queen.

Fie, Herries, fie!

You draw my ſiſter in too black a ſhade!

She ne’er could do all this; national honour

And faith of Kings forbid it.

Lord Herries.

Benign Sov’reign!

It ſhould.—To ſay it has, armies of futile

Evaſions, and reſponſes to plain queries,

Will fully refute. Think how this potent Queen

Repuls’d your princely ſuitors; feigning many

Great ones were warmly hers, who, wing’d by love,

Came 038 F3v [38]

Came from earth’s diſtant corners to court your hand,

Then preſs’d to wed by Scotland’s voice. Nay, to your throne

She e’en propos’d her ſubject, minion!

Next a mere man of wax, Darnley, this ſnare

You fell into. No wonder; ’twas deeply laid;

While, like enamel’d meads carpeted o’er

With ſuch luxuriant flow’rs that caught th’ eye,

Till as gourds they wither’d, and prov’d the root

Too weak to bear tranſplanting in a royal ſoil.

Queen.

O Darnley! Oh, it harrows up my ſoul,

To hear him nam’d! all mis’ries poignant ſhafts

Are lodg’d in me by him: from remembrance

Fain, fain I’d chace him!

Lord Herries.

I’d not have nam’d him,

But t’evince deceit you ſuffer’d greatly by!

No limpid ſtream runs clearer than my conſcience,

Thus warning my Queen againſt the poſsible,

If not probable future troubles from her

Jealous elder ſiſter.

Queen.

My elder ſiſter

Now can dread in me no rival; a wretch

Forlorn 039 F4r [39]

Forlorn—a poor beggar in her kingdom!

As ſuch, to reject her offer’d friendſhip,

Were to incenſe my regal patroneſs,

And refuſe th’ only ſafe aſylum from my foes.

Here ye have new laws—unprecedented laws!

Scotland is govern’d by ariſtocracy;

To which I’m forc’d to yield, though born its Sov’reign.

—Avaunt cruel ſuggeſtions againſt

Elizabeth, whoſe breath will blaſt rebellion;

Bright Seraphs, waft me to her kindred arms,

Who longs to ſoothe and mitigate my woes!

Bleſs’d guardian angel! now to her I’ll fly.

Herries, write inſtantly to Louther, Carliſle’s

Governor; ſay I’m embark’d: bid him prepare

To receive a haraſs’d Queen! his Sov’reign’s ſiſter.

Lord Herries.

Reflect, Oh, yet reflect on what I’ve urg’d!

That glowing brand of enmity, England’s Queen,

Bears Scotland’s. Here witneſs’d by Heaven’s eye,

Behold your faithful ſervants kneeling t’implore, Lord Herries and Ladies kneel to the Queen.

That ſanguine hopes may ne’er your Majeſty

Delude, to hazard that dangerous ſhore.

Queen

I’m reſolv’d: write this moment as I command.

Lord 040 F4v [40]

Lord Herries.

Reluctant I obey.

Lord Herries retires to write.

Queen.

My good Ladies,

In ſympathy comment not on what you’ve heard;

Nor cowardly muſe o’er it in ſilence,

I charge ye, on my love.

Lady Melvil.

Could tearful pray’rs

Invoke ſtern, awful fate! the briny ſhowers

Bedewing now our cheeks; we would unite

With manly Herries t’intreat our Sov’reign,

Ne’er from her realm to ſtray; leſt in the tangled

Mazes of expectations flow’ry land,

You find a fork-tongu’d viper lurking to

Bite you deadly!

Lord Herries entering gives the Queenhis Letter.

Lord Herries.

Would I’d been fix’d in my

Bed with a blisſt’ring fever, or palſy’d age,

Ere I’d been compell’d thus t’employ my hand.

Infatuated Queen!

Aſide. Exit Lord Herries. Queen 041 G1r [41]

Queen.

Ladies, be cheerful.

In ſpite of all ſage Herries can divine,

My ſiſter England will be my pole ſtar;

And ye ſhall find me more your friend than miſtresſs.

Though here I’m native, Scotland inhumes my

Happineſs, and e’en merits not my bones.

Vile, vile nurſery of infernal foes,

And complicated treaſon; black as the

Stygian lake! Such thy enormous deeds

Might make e’en the centre move with earthquakes!

And the land diſsolve in air; blowing her

Treacherous ſons to ſavage regions;

There with their kindred brutes to herd! but yet,

Though ye have torn my ſoul’s peace to atoms,

If poſsible, Scotland’s perfidious cruelty

I’ll ſteep in Lethe: farewell—farewell!

Exeunt Omnes.
Interlude. The Scotch Reel, with Highland Dreſses, and the uſual Accompaniment of lively Muſic, a Tabor and Pipe.

End of the Second Act

G Act 042 G1v [42]

Act III.

Scene I.

Whitehall. Queen Elizabeth, and Sir William Cecil, Prime Minister.

Queen Elizabeth, with a Letter.

This letter much diſturbs my thoughts: to thee

Faithful Cecil, I’ll impart ’em; asking thine

How to ſteer in this Sicilian ſtrait.

Beton’s arriv’d with wing’d news from Carliſle

There the Scottiſh Queen reſts: this informs me,

Expecting I’ll perſonally meet and

Here eſcort her, paying her regal honours

As to a Monarch; more, eſpouſe her cauſe,

And inſtantly join my force ’gainſt the fierce Scots.

Cecil.

Are not theſe high expectations ſomewhat

Abſurd from a depos’d Sov’reign to England?

Queen 043 G2r [43]

Queen Elizabeth.

They are. To meet her, let me think—to meet

Her hoſt of troubles;—adopt ’em;—fold Mary

To my heart, and lull her griefs to ſleep! My will,

Nor honour, can bend thus to a fugitive,

Under imputed crimes too enormous

E’er for Elizabeth’s throne to ſhelter.

What!—an exile t’ expect my court’s homage?

Shallow woman!—Yet for her, as a fall’n Queen,

I feel. Subjects have no right to trample

On Sov’reign’s necks, to whom our private conduct

Was ne’er amenable. Thou, my warder

Of political ſecrets, now adviſe

What reception ’tis beſt to give Mary,

My late dreaded, but now humbled rival.

Cecil.

Moſt wiſe and mighty Princeſs, you well know

Your royal ſiſter’s aſpiring ſpirit.

Whom ſhould you embrace at Whitehall, raiſe troops

To reinſtate, and fix on her native throne;

The Regent’s pow’r muſt fall, who governs Scotland

By your counſel. Your deep penetration

Clearly views th’importance of the moment,

With all its attendant conſequences.

’Tis far beyond my futile reach of thought

So to adviſe in aiding, or rejecting

Mary’s ſuit, that future times may ne’er regret.

G2 Well, 044 G2v [44]

Well, bright Queen! I know your eye’s on glory fix’d,

And high renown.

Queen Elizabeth.

In this exigence, how,

How can I purſue glory’s radiant track?

Oh! there’s a ſtrange whirl of paſsions in my ſoul—

Each claiming audience. By piteous moans

Mary wooes my friendſhip:—ſhe returns me a ring Holding up the Ring.

I preſented her as my love’s token

In former days, now claim’d by this Xenia.

Therefore ſhould my offer’d protection cool.

’Twill be reſounded through each diſtant clime——

From all bring me reproach.

Cecil.

Foreign cenſure,

My royal Miſtreſs had better incur,

Than weaken England’s cauſe. I apprehend

Self-preſervation ſhould be your guiding ſtar.

Queen Elizabeth.

Say, is’t beſt to ſtand neuter in Mary’s cauſe,

Aid, or diſmiſs her my realm with diſdain?

Who long hath artful woo’d my diadem,

And gave me much diſquiet.

Cecil. 045 G3r [45]

Cecil.

Should my Sov’reign

Reject the plaintive Queen, France, her avow’d friend,

Would abet her cauſe, and Spain ſupport it;

Where Mary’s late lover, Don Carlos, might

Renew his ſuit, e’en mount in higher flame,

And join your rival in the Papal pow’r;

Which muſt diſtreſs your Majeſty, and aid

Your foes.

Queen Elizabeth.

Greatly, indeed! So doth th’abject Queen’s

Claim’d friendſhip from me. Now her petition

I’ll ſee if I’ve minutely read.—No, ſurely: Reading the letter ſilently

Since, after vows of amity, eternal

Gratitude, and ſoforth, credulous Mary,

Fully relying on me in her cauſe,

Wiſhes me ſole umpire.—’Tis well:—I’ll be ſo.

Yet ne’er fold the plaintiff to my boſom,

Until her character, bleach’d in the ſun,

Appears as new-fall’n ſnow, which ſo I’ll manage,

’Twill take ſome time to whiten. Aſide.

Mean while Mary’s lofty ſpirit muſt and ſhall

Bow to Elizabeth’s ſupremacy.

But where to place her perſon, now in my pow’r,

Is the grand queſtion.

Cecil. 046 G3v [46]

Cecil.

Your Majeſty

Can’t fix the royal captive in your palace,

Whoſe youth, beauty, bland addreſs, and sufferings,

E’en now faſcinates all ſtrangers.

Queen Elizabeth.

What then?

Allow her a court elſewhere, to fill with

Bigoted Papiſts, who would elbow me

From my throne?

Cecil.

No, mighty Princeſs, never.

Sooner confine the ſuppliant t’ a caſtle,

Whence o’er the world Mary can ſpread no more

Deluſions, nor, with a wand’ring fire,

Inflame enemies to that religion

Which ſupports Great England’s crown.

Queen Elizabeth.

Good Cecil,

Thy counſel’s energetic; I’ll adopt it.

So Bolton ſhall be Mary’s park, Lord Scroop

Her warder. Give inſtant orders this captive’s

Guarded there; her indulgencies but ſmall,

Attendants few. Fly ſwift to Bolton, with her:

Elizabeth’s 047 G4r [47]

Elizabeth’s ſtrong pow’rs ſhall humble this

Scottiſh rival.—Siſter, no more, unleſs in form.

Exit Cecil.

Scene III.

Duke of Norfolk entering.

My Lord of Norfolk, I joy to ſee you:

’Tis a pleaſure ſuperlative indeed,

To have my Court honour’d with your preſence!

What hath detain’d your Grace ſo long from it?

Methinks you look chagrin’d.

Norfolk.

Sov’reign Lady,

Such various affairs have detain’d and

Lately engag’d me, they would be tedious

T’enumerate; and great impertinence

E’er t’obtrude ’em upon your royal ear.

Queen Elizabeth.

This artful evaſion gives tacit proof

Your Grace hath ſeen the fugitive Mary:

Is ſhe pleas’d with her Engliſh reſidence?

Norfolk. 048 G4v [48]

Norfolk.

I frankly own, Imperial miſtreſs,

I’ve lately viſited Scotland’s Majeſty,

Who, with pious rhetoric in her eye,

Was intenſely mourning for your diſpleaſure!

Source of more poignant grief than all ſhe felt

From uſurpation of her realm and crown.

Then on my knees let me intreat my Sov’reign, Norfolk kneels to Elizabeth.

Once to ſee the diſconſolate ſtranger,

And ſoothe her anxious ſoul!—Whate’ers the

Real or ſuppos’d crimes clouding her fame;

Comfort from you will ſpread new glories round

England’s gracious Queen!

Queen Elizabeth.

What mean’ſt thou, Norfolk?

Has Mary ſent thee here to plead her cauſe?

Art thou her champion? Ta’en captive by

The ſyren? Liſted amongſt her ſuitors,

Who din my ears with plaints from that fall’n fair?

Ye all ſhall find my ſceptre faction’s ſcourge,

While I ſway it. So, my Lord Duke, take heed;

Take heed whoſe cauſe you aid; or how hoiſt the flag

Of ſilken dalliance with my proud rival!

Leſt, when entranc’d in golden ſlumbers, I

Loudly wake ye: in friendſhip’s name I warn thee.

Norfolk. 049 H1r [49]

Norfolk.

Dread Sov’reign! Mary’s thoughts ſeem congenial

With her thrice-humbled ſtate! When the meaneſt peaſant

Is traduc’d, Nature would fain plead its cauſe.

Pardon me then, moſt ſage and potent Queen,

If I dare, urg’d by humanity alone,

Now ope my lips for injur’d royalty,

To a ſiſter’s feelings: ſince your bright throne

Is great Aſtræa’s temple, where th’oppreſs’d

Moſt gladly throng.

Queen Elizabeth.

Ariſe, Norfolk! this exile

Shall find I’m not dead to pity; ſhe feels not

More than me; torn with conflicting paſsions!

True, I’ve ſought peace, ſanctimonious peace,

Throughout my realm, at vaſt expence! thwarted oft

By Mary’s ſecret meaſures.—Yet ſhe makes me

Sole arbitreſs in the quarrel ’twixt her

And th’ invidious Scots! therefore at York,

Soon, thou, Norfolk, my faithful delegate,

Shalt ſit ſupreme, to hear and judge what the

Warm Caledonians bring ’gainſt their

Dethron’d Sovereign; whoſe preſum’d black ſtains,

Much I wiſh may be expung’d: then I’d meet

Mary in a ſoul’s embrace! cheering my heart

H That 050 G1v [50]

That ſecretly yearns to ſoothe and heal her grief,

With ſiſterly affection. But till then

My rectitude, and regal dignity,

Admit no interview with the ſweet mourner.

Howe’er, thou mayſt conſole the fugitive,

With full aſsurance of my tender love.

Norfolk.

Bleſs’d Queen of mercy! whoſe inſpiring ſtrains

This moment makes Elyſium round me!

Not light’s firſt rays to men born blind, nor ſounds

Cherubic to the deafen’d ear, could e’er

Enchant th’ awaken’d ſenſe, like this employ!

Thanks, gracious Sov’reign; thanks, e’en vocal air

Might join for this moſt grateful embaſsy!

Now, Hermes, waft me on thy wings, to pour

This balm in the deep ſuff’rer’s wounds.

Exit Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth.

Apt Duke,

In love to the degenerate Mary.

Go, vain man! go and ſoothe her to thy ruin!

Or learn more loyalty to thy Sov’reign.

Exit Queen Elizabeth.
Scene 051 H2r [51]

Scene III.

Bolton Caſtle. Diſcovers Queen Mary reading.

Queen Mary.

Thrice bleſs’d the pow’r that gave me early love

For ſcience, and pious meditation!

Howe’er delighted with youthful gaieties,

Or jewell’d thrones; books ſtill retain’d their charms!

Nor could the ſyren pleaſure drive ’em from me:

In this drear priſon they’re my only comforts;

Shewing me what I am, and what I ſhould be.

Now adverſity, torrent-like, pours on me

From all quarters. Each month’s a blaſt of time,

Stripping hope’s tree of her ſweet foliage,

Till it is leafleſs.

Enter Duke of Norfolk.

Since an age of abſence,

Forgive, bright Queen! if duty thus obtrudes

On ſacred ardor. In contemplation wrapt,

I found thee laſt Permit me t’eye your author.—

Oh!The Lives of the Saints. Let not th’abſtruſe ſage

H2 Wholly 052 H2v [52]

Wholly engroſs your pious mind. But turn

Your thoughts to joys more lively than this writer

Inculcates; who treats of bliſs remoter far,

Than that I woo thee t’embrace.

Queen Mary.

Devout authors

Are beſt adapted to my ſtate and mind.

Fain would my ſoul mount with diſtreſs, and ev’ry

Wiſh direct to Heaven; there my joys center.

My empire’s loſt on earth; I ſoar beyond it.

Norfolk.

Yet, much-injur’d ſaint! to a mortal’s ſuit,

Prove not inflexible; ſince by gales of joy,

From England’s Queen I come: joy ſhe permits

T’ impart to my ſoul’s ſweet empreſs!

Queen Mary.

Extinct

My hopes from her, who monarchiſes here

With iron ſceptre! and, from power of

Referee ’twixt my revolting ſubjects

And ſelf, uſurps deſpotic tyranny

O’er me a regal Queen; whom ſhe keeps guarded;

Deny’d 053 H3r [53]

Deny’d her preſence, or leave to quit her realm.

On theſe barb’rous wrongs I’ve expoſtulated—

Warmly expoſtulated oft times

With her, and foreign Princes, alas in vain!

Elizabeth ſways all; and binds me here

In chains of adamant, while ſhe holds converſe

With my baſeſt foes, nay, with ’em and their

Canker’d ſcrolls, e’en fills her cloſet; ſtill adding

Fire to ancient feuds, as if determin’d

They ſhould never die. This her love’s effects,

Proves increas’d mis’ry and ſtings of inſult,

Pointed to my heart, now writh’d with anguiſh!

Norfolk.

Rejoice! theſe pungent griefs will ſoon ſubſide;

Since the virgin Queen ſeems penetrated

With your woes, and anxious to redreſs ’em.

By me ſhe bids you hope for peace and comfort.

Queen Mary.

What-new blown bubble! all, all deluſion!

And cruel irony! Her cruelty

Will never, never remit my tortures:

Since deeds, her heart’s oracle, ſpeak Elizabeth

As oppoſite to peace, as th’ antipodes

To 054 H3v [54]

To us. I tell thee, noble Duke, the Queen’s

Duplicity hath been ſyſtematical

E’er ſince ſhe wore a crown; though long ſo veil’d

In friendſhip’s guiſe; beneath it I could ne’er

Suſpect a quickſand of deceit! Hence, my foes

Preſent power o’er Mary: Now creſt-fall’n!

Though great Fergus was my ſire’s progenitor:

While maternally York and Lancaſter

Cements our blood by beauteous Margaret.

The kind Ocean too, as if emulous of peace,

Join’d our dominions in one iſland:

Ah! were its Sovereigns ſo united,

Each India might humbly bow to us,

And our regal power outweigh Europe’s:

Circumſtances I’ve oft prov’d t’ Elizabeth,

Intreating peace by ſalutary offers;

Though none ſhe’ll take, while jealouſy, maniac

Of her mind, reigns there deſpotic. But ne’er

Shall its cruel power fetter my ſoul,

Though it inthralls my perſon.

Norfolk.

Imperial Queen!

Then to Norfolk’s ſuit, deign to liſt I’ve great hopes

The Regent, with your Scottiſh Peers, will aid me

To reinſtate their Sov’reign in her realm.

Queen 055 H4r [55]

Queen Mary.

Paſt events forbid my credence. Murray,

I durſt not hope! Murray, ambitious, cruel,

Ever aſpiring to my ſtate and crown,

Will ne’er reſign it to the rightful owner.

While o’er the blackeſt falſehoods he daring throws

Religion’s ſacred mantle! His conduct

Ever wrapt in myſtery to me, alas!

In England’s Court was better known.

Norfolk.

In York’s

Auguſt conference, my pow’r with Murray

Quaſh’d that tyrannic commiſsion. All future

Inſult your Scottiſh friends requeſt, you’d take

Safe refuge from in a faithful husband’s arms!

Pious Roſs, Maitland, the Regent likewiſe,

All announce Norfolk for the happy man!

Beſides, this to your Majeſty, Engliſh Peers,

A long liſt ſubſcrib’d; written by Leiceſter, Norfolk preſents a paper, kneeling.

Who will inform his Queen on’t, imploring

My ſoul’s treaſure may crown its ardent love

By Hymen’s bands! In royal Mary’s mind

Are all the diadems I wiſh For her alone

I’d barter India’s wealth, and count as traſh

Peruvian mines!

Queen 056 H4v [56]

Queen Mary.

Thou glorious ſon

Of innate worth! ariſe inſtantly, and now,

And ever fly my cauſe and me.

Norfolk.

Annihilated firſt muſt all my ſenſes lie.

Queen Mary.

Oh! noble Howard! ne’er think that Hymen’s torch

Will e’er be rekindled in Mary’s heart!

Forcibly wedded t’ indiſsoluble grief;

Scotland can witneſs I’ve been Love’s tennis-ball,

Now its puiſsant wretch! building my bliſs

On ſtairs of ſand.

Thy gen’rous friendſhip I gratefully accept:

Fetter it not with pleas of love; leſt it

Steals credence from me, and that kind return

Which would enſure thy ruin. Tho’ I’ve been twice crown’d,

I’m now in expectation poorer far

Than ſhe who roams for food from door to door.

Would England’s richeſt Peer wed ſuch a mendicant?

All my dow’r, the fulleſt cup of direful

Vengeance from thy cruel Queen! No, Norfolk, no!

I will not plunge thee in the deep abyſs,

Nor 057 I1r [57]

Nor ſhalt thou ſhare the hapleſs Mary’s fate;

Or leap from life, when thou mayſt live to glory.

Norfolk.

This tranſcendent care will ever bind me

To the great ſoul of my inimitable Queen!

Who wilely treated, muſt not let her princely

Spirit think aught leſs of prerogative,

Merit, or rank, than if you ſtill had kingdoms

In poſseſsion, and legions at your nod.

A love like mine, ſighs not for dominions;

But pants with finer feelings! The glory

To ſoothe and relieve oppreſt innocence!

T’adore ſuch excellence in ev’ry ſtate,

Deſire was planted in the heart of man,

And here becomes a duty.

Queen Mary.

On woe refine not.

Earth’s ſummit of bliſs I’ve long ſince reach’d:

Now in miſery chain’d, each ſtate I retroſpect

This ſad ſeminary elevates my mind,

And teaches, not to contend with Omnipotence;

But ſuffer as becomes royal innocence.

Here former vanities are phyſick’d well; and

Through the ſurrounding gloom ’tis my ſoul’s comfort,

She has abdicated the world; and ev’ry

I Pulſe 058 I1v [58]

Pulſe beats woes away by haſt’ning my final hour.

What though I’m made afflictions direful mark!

Time will ſo blunt their edge, I ſhan’t feel their

Poignancy; as erſt, when they aſsail’d me

In poſseſsion of all weak mortals calls great.

Then my ſpirits danc’d high to ſublunary bliſs,

And vivid joy.—Now my blood’s purple current

Glides through theſe mazy veins more ſoft and

Tranquil; altering nature in her courſe

To fourſcore years, by ſtorms of fate! that drive

Me down Time’s hill, ere I’ve my zenith reach’d.

Norfolk.

Since thoſe tremendous ſtorms ne’er impair’d your

Peerleſs beauty, why will Scotland’s Majeſty

Waſte her blooming days in cheerleſs ſolitude?

When love inthrones you in my heart, flying

On eagle wings to lay crowns at your feet.

Queen Mary.

Recall thoſe words: again I charge thee, ne’er

More dare e’en whiſper love to me. Perdition’s

In the ſound! Howe’er ſecret faithful inſtinct

Attunes our ſouls, th’ union will ne’er gain

The virgin Queen’s award, without it bodes

Ten thouſand horrors! Death the leaſt――

Norfolk. 059 I2r [59]

Norfolk.

What, oh! what doth the royal Mary utter?

The moſt deſpotic tyrant that e’er diſgrac’d

A heathen throne, e’en Nero, could not, in pow’rs

Cruelty, controul his ſubjects paſsions.

In love the ſimpleſt hind claims Nature’s right

T’obey its pure dictates, without his Sov’reign’s leave.

Beſides, I’ve pow’r and wealth enough to place

My ſoul’s empreſs on Albion’s throne now,

Should your jealous ſiſter reject my ſuit.

Thus driv’n, I’m well inform’d his Holineſs,

With all Rome’s ſee, gladly would unite force

To reſtore Scotland’s Queen to her undoubted right.

Queen Mary.

I beſeech your Grace, let not ſuch cruel—

Such treaſonable thoughts, enter the confines

Of your heart. To hear one ſyllable

On ſuch a ſubject, is rack and torture!

Whate’er I ſuffer, vengeance is not mine;

Nor mortals to retaliate. My Lord,

Reſt firmly aſsur’d, in no ſhape will I

E’er ſanction ſuch ideas; and dreading

To hear aught that might leſsen gallant Norfolk

In my eſteem, I muſt prohibit your

Future viſits.—’Tis time we part: adieu;

Though pangs are in the word, adieu, my Lord.

Queen Mary going. I2 Norfolk. 060 I2v [60]

Norfolk.

Is’t poſsible your Majeſty can be

Thus cruel; colder than Thracian ſnows

Or Greenland ice! Stay, ſweet enchantreſs, ſtay;

I conjure thee, ſtay! let me regale my ſoul

By one kind look!

Queen Mary.

I dare not; though, could angels mourn,

They might, to witneſs with what grief at honour’s

Call I leave thee. May benign bleſt ſpirits

Guard thy couch—ſoothe thy conflicting ſoul!

And (though I can’t reward thy wond’rous worth)

I go t’implore ’em for thee.

Exit Mary, with tender ſolemn aſpect on Norfolk, and sighing deeply.

Norfolk.

Angels are deaf,

Or hear thee not. Elſe could Envy’s brandiſh’d ſword

Prove more deſtructive than the flaming one,

That drave our fire from bliſsful Eden! Th’ incenſed

Angel left him his Eve; ſweet ſolace in diſtreſs!

To go without mine, is a fate far more

More 061 I3r [61]

More rigorous than e’er juſt Heav’n inflicted;

Since life without thee is protracted miſery.

End of the Third Act

Act IV.

Scene I.

Whitehall. Queen Elizabeth, Cecil, and Walsingham, Privy-Counſellors.

Enter. Messenger.

Ambassadors from Philip, King of Spain,

And Henry of France, crave, in their maſters name,

Speedy admiſsion to your Majeſty.

Queen Elizabeth.

Unwelcome viſitants they are: my throne

I can’t now take, to give ’em audience,

As I’m engaged in bus’neſs of th’ utmoſt import.

Go: 062 I3v [62]

Go: this from thy Sov’reign.—Doubtleſs Exit Meſs

More overtures and pray’rs for Mary’s freedom.

I’m harraſs’d with them! For her all bend the knee.

Was the royal doe once liberated,

No huntſmen in my realm would e’er o’ertake her.

Then what enſues, but to depoſe me, and fix a

Scot on my throne? All European Princes,

Now pleading her cauſe, would then, by hoſtile arms,

Defend it. Fir’d by revenge for what’s paſt,

My crown and life would ſoon be ſacrific’d

To this inſulting captive! whom to ſet free,

I’ll ne’er hear more from France or Spain.

Cecil.

Potent Queen,

Conſummate wiſdom dictates the reſolve,

Which well befits your Majeſty.

Queen Elizabeth.

But how,

Conſiſtent with my regal dignity,

And rights of nations, can I ſhun theſe bold

Remonſtrating daring Ambaſsadors?

Honour compels t’ admit ’em to my preſence,

And return reſponſes to their queries,

However vexing. I dare not violate

My faith to Kings, though I have to a Queen.

Aſide. Cecil. 063 I4r [63]

Cecil.

Permit me, royal Madam, with courteſy,

Gladly to receive theſe foreign obtruders;

Telling ’em my Sov’reign is ſuddenly

Ta’en dreadfully ill! alarming complaints,

Preſageing danger and long confinement,

Which make th’Eſculapian tribe ſtrictly

Prohibit all but pers’nal attendants,

To the chamber, where your precious life

Depends on reſt, from all bus’neſs national

Or domeſtic.

Queen Elizabeth.

Well, go ſummon thy rhet’ric

To juſtify thy much-embarraſs’d miſtress!

’Tis not all a feint; ſince I am ſick indeed;—

Sick of myſelf, my throne, and of the world,

While Mary’s in’t.

Exit Cecil.

Walsingham.

I’m afraid your Majeſty

Hath too much reaſon for this malady:

Since duty bids me ſay, there’s amazing work

Going on with Mary’s party. Alva’s Duke

Is bound to land ten thouſand men near London.

The Catholics, t’ a man, will riſe in arms:

Many 064 I4v [64]

Many Engliſh Peers are ripe for a revolt,

And turn their eyes to Norfolk, for a leader.

Queen Elizabeth.

To Norfolk! unparalleled ingratitude!

Where can I expect loyalty, or ſweetly

Rely on a ſubject, if Norfolk’s falſe?

E’en now, I’ve given him liberty, on his

Averring firm allegiance to me,

And renouncing Mary’s cauſe. Oh! that Circe,

That deluding traitoreſs!

Walsingham.

Moſt gracious Queen,

I know it: yet ſtill Norfolk is Mary’s

Privy-counſel; keeps all its ſecret keys; with gold

Supplies her; bears an emboſom’d treaſon,

Mountainous high, againſt your Majeſty,

Deeply contriv’d, and as deeply digeſted.

Queen Elizabeth.

How—deeply contriv’d?—Solve thy myſtic hints.

Walsingham.

I mean, by adviſing and abetting

All Mary’s deſigns, who leagues with the Pope,

Spain, France, and other avow’d enemies

To your ſacred Majeſty. Beſides, Norfolk

Holds 065 K1r [65]

Holds cloſe conference with that fiery Prelate,

Roſs, agent of intrigues, num’rous as hail-ſtones

In the fierceſt ſtorm, and dark as Erebus.

Queen Elizabeth.

Haſt thou ſtrong proof, Walſingham, for this black

Liſt of crimes ’gainſt Norfolk?

Walsingham.

Yes, Royal Madam:

Indubitable proof. But ſee, the Duke is here.

Scene IIIII.

Enter Duke of Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth.

My Lord Duke, what, once more at Whitehall!

I thought your Grace was better entertain’d,

Than to tread my antique Court’s dull circle.

’Tis a fine hunting ſeaſon; I hope you’ve

Enjoyed all rural ſports, ſince laſt I ſaw you:

I’m oft told you’re full maſter of the chace

And throw your net ſo wide, that e’en the groves

K Sequeſter’d 066 K1v [66]

Sequeſter’d tenants, as well as the fields

Nobler quadrupedes, all drop into your toils.

Norfolk.

Your Majeſty is pleaſant, but I fear

Miſinform’d; ſince I’m no very keen ſportſman

In the field, and too fond of the feather’d choir

To moleſt ’em. Literary amuſements,

And convivial ſociety, chiefly

Engage me in rural ſhades.

Queen Elizabeth.

Right; yet Norfolk’s

Tow’ring ſoul will ne’er reſt alone in cold

Languid meditation! It ſoars higher.—

The timid deer, perchance, too low purſuit

For his vaſt mind! when he durſt hunt for ſceptres,

Kingdoms, globes—yea, e’en aſpire to mine.

But know, thou daring rebel! Elizabeth

Is her realm and crown’s ſole guard and ſov’reign;

And ne’er will yield either to that adroit

Sorcereſs Mary, who mounts thy wiſhes

Higher than thyſelf, or all Scotland’s worth.

Howe’er, I’ll curb thy ſoul’s atrocious

Preſumption! cruſh thy lofty creſt, and hers too,

Who maddens thee to treaſon.

Norfolk. 067 K2r [67]

Norfolk.

Awful Queen!

Since all my treaſon lies in humanity,

Let me implore that mercy ever quick

In your royal breaſt, and is the brighteſt gem

That e’er yet ſparkled in a Monarch’s crown.

True, I’ve pity’d, nay lov’d that illuſtrious

Sweet pattern of ſuffering excellence!

Your noble ſiſter. Yet heav’n can witneſs

I ne’er waſted a thought to realms, or diadems.

Give me but liberty, and Mary Stuart;

’Tis all the treaſure I deſire on earth.

Queen Elizabeth.

This amorous parley to thy Sov’reign!

I’ll hear no more on’t. Thy ſoft love, pity,

Sweet excellence;—what elſe?—intoxicated fool!

Juſtice awaits thee: thy peers ſhall try thee,

And full monarchial vengeance thou ſhalt feel.

Exit Queen Eliz. and Walsingham. Manet Norfolk.

There went the malignant Queen of Furies;

Her brow curv’d with wrath; and, by her hands wafture,

Toſsing head and fiery eyes, I dread ſome

K2 Fatal 068 K2v [68]

Fatal ſtorm gathers in her venom’d heart!

In laſt night’s ſlumbers, methought Elizabeth’s

Stern form ſtood by me, denouncing dreadful ire

For my love t’ injur’d Mary. Charming Queen!

Baniſh’d with thee to ſome remote deſart,

Where human foot ne’er trod, would to Norfolk

Be conſecrated! and pleaſanter far,

Than e’er Alexander knew in a conquer’d world.

Could my life appeaſe my vengeful Sov’reign!

And reſtore Mary to her regal rights,

I’d be a joyful victim.—Ah! who comes here?

Enter Guard and Officers.

Iſt. Officer.

Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, in the name

Of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth,

We arreſt you of high treaſon againſt her

And the State of England.

Norfolk.

No more: this is ſomewhat haſty.—

Ah me!

2d. Officer.

No more; but to attend your Grace

Inſtantly to the Tow’r. You muſt go with us.

We are ſervants t’England’s deſpotic Queen;

And 069 K3r [69]

And muſt obey her, though very painful

Our commiſsion here!

Shewing the Warrant.

Norfolk.

To the Tow’r! then Norfolk’s grave is dug.

Well: I ſtand prepar’d for my great audit,

And fear none human, ſince Death breaks my mooring;

—Shakes off the ſoul’s bondage by writ of eaſe:

So adieu to all life’s pompous nothings that

Ne’er yet charm’d me. Wealth, ſplendid manſions,

Rule, what are ye?—dumb, dumb envoys ’twixt me

And terror’s pale King! Yet, ’tis higher fame

To die in honour’s cauſe, plaudit of men

And angels, with perſonal and mental ſtrength,

Than calmly to yield up a worn-out life,

In want of all. Death’s but a farewell triumph,

That frees th’ immortal part to mount th’ upper ſkies.

Avaunt, then, daſtard fear! I cheerfully

Go with ye.

Exeunt omnes, Norfolk guarded.
Scene 070 I3v [70]

Scene III.

Diſcovers Queen Mary, and attendant Women, in a cloſe Priſon.

Queen Mary.

Vanilla, bring me that embroider’d veſt

I’ve nearly finiſh’d for my ſon: to look on’t,

And contemplate the Prince I wiſh to wear it,

May e’en give a momentary turn to

Melancholy thought— —Ah! ’twill not do!

Queen tries to work a flower, and lays it down

No flow’r nor leaf will ſpring under my hand.

I’ve ſuch a direful heavineſs on my ſoul,

I can’t work now. Come, play that tune, ſet to

My Lamentation—both are well ſuited

To my ſtate.

The Lamentation played.

Queen Mary’s Lamentation. Song.

I ſigh and lament me in vain;

Theſe walls can but echo my moan:

Alas! they increaſe but my pain,

When I think of the days that are gone.

Through. 071 I4r [71]

Through the grate of my priſon I ſee

The birds as they wanton in air;

My heart how it pants to be free!

My looks they are wild with deſpair!

Above, though oppreſt by my fate,

I burn with contempt for my foes:

Though fortune has alter’d my ſtate,

She ne’er can ſubdue me to thoſe.

Falſe woman! in ages to come,

Thy malice deteſted ſhall be;

And, when I am cold in the tomb,

Some heart ſtill ſhall ſorrow for me.

Ye roofs, where cold damps and diſmay,

With ſilence and ſolitude dwell,

How comfortleſs paſses the day!

How ſad tolls the evening bell!

The owls from the battlements cry,

Hollow winds ſeen to murmur around;

O! Mary, prepare thee to die!

My blood it runs cold at the ſound!

Sounds ſolemn indeed! all in ſtrict uniſon

With thoſe around me. Ye, my friends, muſt think

Now Death rides poſt to me with haggard ſtrides!

Have 072 I4v [72]

Have ye not heard the bats and croaking ravens,

With ill-boding notes, flapping their heavy wings

Againſt theſe grated windows? I hear ’em ſtill.

Long, long I’ve dreaded ſteel, cord, or poiſon,

Would like a ſudden ſurge drive me on an

Unknown coaſt Therefore I’ve beſought my uncle

Guize t’ implore public pray’rs for me in France,

Knowing to my relentleſs foe, my groans

Have long been muſic; and to her thirſt, my blood

Will be rich nectar.

Aretta.

Then in her breaſt a wolf’s

Th’ inmate: elſe, ſhe’d ne’er cloſe thoſe radiant eyes,

Nor ſtrike a heart glowing with ev’ry virtue!

Your ſleepleſs warders ſeem alſo ſavages,

Who treat your Majeſty with ſuch vile inſult,

As ſhock, and e’en writhes my ſoul, to witneſs.

Queen Mary.

In vain I’ve told theſe to their cruel Queen!

While outrages to me ſecures their office,

I, vaſsal to their mercileſs commands,

Muſt obey them. Hereafter, when my wrongs

Are fully konwn, the brave, and tender fair,

At Mary’s ſufferings, will ſtand aghaſt!

But I’ll no more wound your ſympathetic hearts

With moaning iteration.

Vanilla. 073 L1r [73]

Vanilla.

Sov’reign Lady,

If your vengeful foe’s invet’rate malice

Can only be ſatiated in your death,

As much we dread! yet, Madam, reſt aſsur’d

Your woes period will be hers æra,

Who inflicts ’em: her name ſtigmatiz’d,

When your’s rever’d!—her day’s ev’ning haunted

And hagg’d by ſad reflection!—then die childleſs—

No real mourner follow her corſe: but your ſon,

Phœnix-like, riſe from her aſhes, mount her throne,

And in him Mary live ideal, t’ enjoy

Her envy’d rights; while you, inveſted with

A ſtarry tiara, will look down with

Smiling contempt on all earthly crowns.

Queen Mary.

Thy laſt prediction ſpeaks conſummate bliſs!

May gracious Heaven realize it!

Scene IV.

Enter Archbishop of Ross.

Reverend Father, I ſcarcely thought earth

Left me ſo great a joy as ſeeing Roſs

My warm and ſteady friend!

L Ross. 074 L1v [74]

Ross.

Angelic ſuff’rer!

I deeply mourn my friendſhip’s ſad events.

Yet all I could, I’ve done at Weſtminſter,

Where your innocence would have ſhone as the ſun,

In mid-day glory, had not each proof been

Precluded by artful villainy of

Stygean depth! ſuch your ſpecious ſiſter!

Inſtigated to ſend home baſe Murray!

With thoſe ſpurious accumulated

Forgeries, that refuting each other,

Dreaded the glance of Truth’s diſcerning eye,

While th’import is nurs’d in Elizabeth’s

Ruthleſs boſom! under whoſe wrath I’m fall’n,

For ſtriving to ſupport your ſacred cauſe;

Her fury inly raging, like thoſe fierce flames

We dread not till we ſee. Theſe made Norfolk’s head

Bow to the axe ſome few days ſince.

Queen Mary.

Alas!

That fatal news I’ve heard, and ever muſt

The noble victim mourn!—yet I ne’er thought

Even infernal influence could e’er prove,

If ſwear high treaſon ’gainſt his Grace. Then tell

(Yet tell me not) by what means his precious life

Was ſacrific’d?

Ross. 075 L2r [75]

Ross.

Norfolk’s Secretary

Betray’d his benign Maſter by tenfold

Perfidious ingratitude! producing

Letters giv’n him to decypher, then burn,

That paſs’d betwixt the noble Duke and you.

Perjur’d Hickford exhibited theſe in court,

Sad vouchers of Norfolk’s love to my Queen!

Own’d to, and witneſs’d by the vile Regent’s

Duplicity! Here lay his Grace’s high treaſon

’Gainſt his Sov’reign.

Queen Mary.

Surely no former annals

Can unfold ſo rigorous a fate as mine!

Not one faint gleam from Iris, ’twixt theſe ruſhing ſtorms,

But all flatt’ring proſpects totally eclips’d.

I am a finiſh’d wretch! Tho’ the dark Monarch

Delays to cloſe my ſorrows with mine eyes:

What a hecatomb of friends in my cauſe

Have been immolated! Not one adopted

But ſuffers for me—I for them: ſad chain

Of deaths! horrid Aceldama! each drop

Of tender’d comfort, prov’d a deep chalice,

O’erflowing with bitter poiſon to my peace!

L2 All, 076 L2v [76]

All, all the manes of warm advocates

Stand in dire array before me! Norfolk,

Beſt, laſt added to the dreadful number!

Whoſe headleſs trunk lies feſt’ring in his ſhroud.

Yet if thy gentle ſpirit hovers in air,

Stay, guardian angel, ſtay, ’till Mary’s ſoul

Meets thine, t’aſcend the bliſsful skies together:

There, only there ſhall I find reſt――

Ross.

That bliſs, bright ſaint, awaits trials of great

Magnitude well borne here. Though perſecutions

Are Humanity’s reproach, yet from them

Spring Confeſsors and Martyrs, Religion’s glory!

Hence oft times too heroes and heroines

Celebrity, which ſtill the world illumes.

Therefore, if poſsible, let meditation,

Solitude’s ſweet child, waft all your wiſhes

To that temple, where ſpirits unimbody’d

Will be incapable of wound or pain.

Queen Mary.

Fain, fain would I, ſince thoughts of things terrene

Would certainly deſtroy my brain, were it

Not wond’rouſly form’d of th’ asbeſtos kind.

’Twas dreams that told me I was born to command,

Not 077 L3r [77]

Not kneel to fortune: or heavy rains have

Waſh’d away the ſoft conſecrating oil

Whereby I was anointed, and crown’d with

Double glory. Now only ſupreme in

Poignant miſery! In darker times, augury

Preſag’d what bleeding Julius felt.

Thus planet-ſtruck, my birth: all good ſtars orbleſs:

Others comet-like, in dire conjunct of

Malignant blaze. But think’ſt thou, pious Roſs,

Heav’n’s whole wrathful quiver is not empty’d

On me?

Ross.

No victim of divine wrath riſes like you,

Refin’d from affliction’s furnace, whence the

Droſsy part left, the ſoul is corrected,

Dignify’d, and wing’d by grace divine to Him

Who bears no rival in ſanctify’d hearts;

But deadens ardent love to mundane objects;

Or in mercy takes ’em from proſperity’s

Baneful ſtate! Here, alas! with grief we ſee

Inexorable foes exaggerate frail youth’s

Inexperience, and giddy paſsions

To wilful crimes; then record ’em heinous ſins

In vellum’d articles.—’Tis not ſo above;

There th’ accuſer and accuſed ſtand at one bar,

Omniſcience th’ judge.

Queen. 078 L3v [78]

Queen Mary.

That reflection is balm

To my wounded ſoul, ſince here mine honour,

Like a ſhooting ſtar, hath long ſince kiſs’d the ground.

Ross

Albany’s high-ſoul’d Queen muſt not think ſo;

Since t’will mount aſsuredly in future fame,

When your oppreſsors ſink. Mary’s ſtrong caſtle

Is higher built than all her northern ones

Lately uſurp’d.

Queen Mary.

Enough of them, ſince thoſe

Uſurpations are whiten’d into law:

I’ll no longer cheriſh deluſive hope;

Each glimpſe being vilely wrapt in covert guile,

Or prohibited. Fond letters to James

All intercepted! He Elizabeth’s

Pris’ner, I’ve vainly implor’d his freedom

And mine, by ev’ry mode of obſecration!

Since my ſon’s bondage, ſurely my throes for him

Have been as poignant as when I gave him birth!

Though I’m afraid his mind is harden’d ’gainſt

His hapleſs mother! Or he’s not endow’d

Eminently with the ſtork’s filial love:

Elſe he might ſecure her an aſylum,

Whoſe 079 L4r [79]

Whoſe crown wreſted from me he hath long worn:

While, like the deſart pelican, mine offspring

I’d ſupport with my heart’s ſtreams. Though my child

Hath broken nature’s bands! all mine allies

Forget me too; e’en France, my dow’ry ſtopt there.

Elizabeth hath many tedious years

Amus’d the Gallic Court by nuptial

Treaty with Alencon’s Duke: her private view’s

To cruſh my intereſt there.—’Tis done.—

Heaven defend us, here’s a rude approach!

Cold fear thrills through my veins—I ſink with terror!

The Queen ſcreams and faints.

Scene V.

Enter Guard and Officers.

Ross.

What, who are ye? Stand off, ye ruffians!

Nor dare aſsault Scotland’s ſacred Majeſty!

Firſt. Officer.

We won’t. But in the name of our Sovereign

Lady Elizabeth, and by her moſt

Special 080 L4v [80]

Special mandate, we arreſt you, John Leſsey,

Archbiſhop of Roſs.

The Queen is carried off the ſtage, fainting, by her Women.

Ross.

It can’t be Roſs: impoſsible t’arreſt

The Ambaſsador of Heav’n s vicegerent!

The right of nations guards me; beſides my

Sacred function!

Second Officer.

The Tow’r beſt anſwers that.

There our royal warrant ſtrait takes you. Know,

Pertinacious prieſt, an Ambaſsador’s

Power falls, when his Sov’reign is dethron’d;

Nor will the mitre, or pontiff robe, here

Protect you. No longer time for parley;— Seizing Ross ſtruggling,

Vain your ſtruggles.

Exeunt omnes—Ross guarded.
Scene 081 M1r [81]

Scene VI.

Queen Elizabeth and Sir Francis Walsingham.

Queen Elizabeth.

Walſingham, do not theſe anathemas

Amaze thee; fix’d on my Palace-gate and

London Houſe? though excommunication

Affrights not me, who own no papal pow’r,

Nor Pope to hold the keys of Heav’n.

Walsingham.

Your Majeſty well knows his Holineſs’s

Curſes are mere vapours! Yet his influence

Is mighty, tremendous, and extenſive!

Queen Elizabeth.

I’ve long known Mary combines with the Pope,

And her fertile brain is ever plotting

Miſchief’gainſt myſelf and ſtate.

Walsingham.

Yes, mighty Queen,

M Such 082 M1v [82]

Such diabolical machinations

As almoſt rivet me to th’ earth with horror,

E’en to think on’t.

Queen Elizabeth.

Proclaim ’em inſtantly.

Walsingham.

Treaſon, moſt complicated and enormous!

Murder, regicide!

Queen Elizabeth.

Of whom?

Walsingham.

It almoſt

Stagnates my blood t’ announce—your Majeſty.

Queen Elizabeth.

Eaſy to gueſs its arch directoreſs.

But how could Mary project ſo dire a deed!

Being lately never ſeen but in her

Warders preſence? Tell this ſtrange viper’s brood.

Walsingham.

Two I’ve ſecur’d, who confeſs’d twelve others;

Bold 083 M2r [83]

Bold young men of parts, fortune, and anceſtry;

Warm Papiſts; who deem it higheſt glory

To kill an excommunicated heretic

(Such they impiouſly term England’s Queen)

In conformity to the bull of Pius.

Queen Elizabeth

Pius, indeed! Lucifer, I call him.

Proceed you with the tale.

Walsingham.

Theſe vile comrades

Have ſolemnly vow’d to perform aſsign’d

Parts in this ſacrilegious, horrid plot!

Six of theſe nominated aſsaſsins,

Regicides! are portraited in one piece;

Babington, their chief, conſpicious in the midſt

Queen Elizabeth.

Horror! this pyramidical treaſon

Is Babel high! Thus diſcover’d, e’en ſo

’Twill fall. Walſingham, Thy vigilant care

Shall be royally rewarded; this vile crew

Put under ſtrong arreſt in the Tower,

Confin’d apart, and ſtrictly examin’d

Inſtantly. I muſt prove fiercer than the pard,

M2 Or 084 M2v [84]

Or Hyrcanian tyger, to protect

Myſelf and crown. Hence, my faithful Council

I’ll ſummon, and rouze their ſouls by unfolding

This execrable ſcene! Th’ inſtigator,

This iſland’s precinct can’t long hold; mean while

I’ll pulverize this Scotch puiſsant dame,

And whirl a vortex of deſtruction round her!

As Phaëton’s, truly Mary’s, mount was high;

So, like a weight long ſuſpended, her fall

Comes forcible. Whoſe too warm ſummer, alas!

Bred thoſe caterpillars, that prey’d on the fair

Leaves of England’s State: but th’inverted blaſt

Will early winter all the proſcrib’d Queen’s

Preſumptive hopes. I attend the Senate.

Exeunt omnes.

End of Act the Fourth.

Act 085 M3r [85]

Act V.

Scene I.

Fotheringay Caſtle. The High Court of Commiſsioners held in the Great Hall, conſiſting of forty Engliſh Peers and Barons; with five Judges, and the Clerk of the Crown; two Doctors of the Civil Law, and two Notaries. A chair of ſtate at the top for Elizabeth, Queen of England, who doth not appear; another at the bottom for Mary, Queen of Scotland, priſoner. Commiſsion opened by Queen Elizabeth’s Attorney and Solicitor. Lord Chancellor Bromley, turning to the priſoner Mary, daughter and heir of James the Fifth, late King of Scots, commonly called Queen of Scots, and Dowager of France.

You are impeach’d of high treaſon againſt our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, conſpiring againſt her ſacred life by a moſt horrid aſsaſsination. Copies of your 086 M3v [86] your treaſonable letters to Mendoza, Babington, Engelfield, Paget, and others, whoſe conſpiracy you ſecretly aided, have been faithfully examined. By them our ſerene Sovereign’s death was conſidered as a neceſsary preliminary to the invaſion of her kingdom by the power of Spain, and overturning the Proteſtant religion. Theſe evidences have been minutely ſcrutinized; and all unite with the declarations of Nawe and Curl, your late Secretaries, in producing irrefragable proofs of your guilt. All theſe acts are contrary to the expreſs words of the Statute lately made for the better ſecurity of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth’s life. To theſe ſeveral charges of high treaſon, you, Mary, late Queen of Scots, are deſired to make your defence.

Mary, Queen of Scots,

in defence.

My Lords and Judges;

So I call ye; ſince to meet you as ſuch,

Is by that tyrannic force I can’t repreſs—

But note it well, I ſtand not here to degrade

My royalty, rights, laws, nor my ſon’s crown,

By owning your authority o’er me.

’Gainſt all my heart is tenfold girt by juſtice;

Since ’tis impoſsible all th’ earth’s Princes

Can e’er inveſt you with legal power

To try Mary Stuart, an independent

Sov’reign 087 M4r [87]

Sov’reign of another realm; ſo can’t be

Amenable to foreign juriſdiction.

Though noble England’s Peers, they’re not my equals;

Much leſs my Judges.—Inſulting mockery

To my regal rank, e’en to ſuppoſe they are!

Examine cloſe your reſpective conſciences,

That boſom barrier, my Lords, whence you’ll learn

’Tis unjuſt, cruel, and wildly abſurd,

Thus to expoſe yourſelves and miſtreſs

To heart-felt deteſtation, upon the

World’s wide theatre! where ſhe, and you her

Miniſters, will be the actors; if ye thus

Proceed againſt a Queen, reverſe to law,

Precedent, or humanity; whilſt this

Ruſhing breach of waters can’t o’erwhelm my ſoul.

My throne is that of Kings, for many, many

Centuries paſt; and if I muſt be tried,

Kings only ſhould ſit my judges. If ſuch,

Your claim produce, your regal deſcent,

Or authority.

Lord Burleigh.

England’s Sov’reign ſeals

Our authority; ſo juſt, ’twill ne’er exempt

E’en royalty, a ſubterfuge from law,

Or ſcrutinizing crimes like yours. Her life

Hung by a thread ſeemingly, by that vile

Babington’s 088 M4v [88]

Babington’s dire conſpiracy! you its

Directoreſs, his dying words affirm’d.

So leſs artful evaſion, and more true

Subſtance, Madam, to defend your treaſon,

Would prove more pertinent to this proceſs

Of Engliſh laws that have protected, now

Arraigns you.

Queen Mary.

Surmiſes all! High treaſon ’tis,

Indeed, to charge thoſe crimes on me, a regal Queen;

Which ye recite from ſleeping proofs alone.

I ne’er enter’d this realm in arms, but ſeeking

That juſt protection I ne’er yet found;

And all I’ve ever known of Engliſh laws

Is cruelty extreme! Whate’er the real

Or imputed crimes of crown’d heads, trial

From an impartial tribunal, they muſt

Only hope for in poſterity.

Burleigh.

Still, ſtill,

Evaſion, Madam! not refuting high

Impeachments. The ſtatute made to preſerve

Our Sov’reign’s pers’nal ſafety, anſwer to.

Queen 089 N1r [89]

Queen Mary.

Ah! that recent ſtatute is a moſt ſharp

Babyloniſh decree, ſtudy’d to throw me

In the lion’s den; where, alas! I’m ſunk

Beyond e’en bleſt humanity’s kind reach!

Since from this dark domain, e’en foreign Princes

Want the perilous courage to pluck me!

They ſtand aghaſt, thunderſtruck! to hear I’m made

Subject to laws for private perſons form’d;

Whilſt my royalty and avow’d innocence

Set me as far above ’em as Heav’n from you.

There, there, I make my laſt, my juſt appeal!

Sanguinary views mock ev’ry other.

What, dare embrue my hands in kindred gore!—

Kill an anointed Queen!—my ſiſter?—Ah!

Such a ſin calls loud for ſacred vengeance;

Nature ſtands agonizing at the charge!

But muſt I be the ſin-offering for

Such deſp’rate ruffians! regicides!

Of whoſe crimes, in God’s omniſcient preſence,

Now ſolemnly I ſwear, I am in thought,

Word and deed, moſt truly innocent. Nay,

I ne’er knew the conſpirators names, my Lords,

’Till by ye inform’d, ranking me their head;

Thus wounding what’s far dearer to me than life,

My regal honour! my father’s bequeſt:

That alone I plead for, and will leave my ſon,

Howe’er expos’d to ſubtle antagoniſts,

N And 090 N1v [90]

And the wrangling chicanery of law.

Walsingham.

This is mere invective declamation,

And idle jargon of royal privilege!

Not exculpating accuſations ’gainſt you.

While, Madam, explicit confeſsion

Would much avail your cauſe. What defence, pray,

To your treaſonable letters, by Nawe

And Curle copy’d, your late Secretaries?

Queen Mary.

I aver, they’re complicated forgeries,

And frontleſs perjury! Bring me, Sir Francis,

One proof from all your ſubterraneous ducts,

That I e’er receiv’d, or once anſwer’d ſuch

Letters? I challenge it. If Nawe and Curle

Swear it, why examin’d in the Star-Chamber?

Not here to give perſonal evidence?

Theſe writings that, with collective aſsurance,

Ye produce t’ evince treaſon, you announce

Copies only; but ’tis originals,

Or my hand’s ſignature and ſeal, proves guilt.

Theſe perjur’d men, howe’er, muſt be traitors

To me their Sov’reign, to gain credence with yours.

Very baſe credit! for wiſdom to intruſt

On important bus’neſs. Alas! th’Exchequer

Hath 091 N2r [91]

Hath been free in other wrongs t’aid my foes,

Perchance in this; while interſpers’d promiſes

Or threats might ſhake ſtrangers integrity.

Elizabeth’s Thirteenth Act expreſsly ſays,

No one ſhall be arraign’d to deſtroy his Prince,

But by truth’s oath prov’d by two witneſses,

Face to face, before the pris’ner. Therefore

If a Queen’s impeach’d honour reſts on ſuch

Vile abſent teſtimony! is not your laws

Tenor perverted in this very inſtance

Of higheſt import?—juſt enquiry’s freedom

Shackled, truth veil’d, and falſehood fabricated?

I lodge th’appeal in each impartial breaſt

Burleigh.

Madam, your Exchequer hint reflects on me,

Who ne’er laviſh’d my Sov’reign’s bounty, nor

Sunk that Treaſury I’m reſponſible for—

You for Babington’s Plot.

Queen Mary.

Might I have met

Thoſe execrable villains! ere juſtice did,

Surely they’d been ſtruck dumb, or by fierce lightning

Blaſted! ere thoſe ſons of Acheron had

Pow’r to ſay Scotland’s Queen had art or part

In their intended regicide. Though no

N2 Wonder 092 N2v [92]

Wonder ſuch miſcreants, as combin’d to

Murder one reigning Sov’reign, to ſcreen their guilt,

Scrupled not to ſtab another’s honour;

One long ſince Barbarity’s victim.

But, my Lords, would it depoſe ſtrict juſtice,

Had ſhe retarded their execution

’Till I’d confronted the baſe wretches here,

And confuted their forg’d depoſition?

Ah! ye haſted death’s ſeal on their quiv’ring lips,

When they’d attainted me! leſt they ſhould ſhrink

At my preſence, and faulter in pronouncing

My imputed guilt of aſsaſsinating

A ſiſter Queen! to whom ſacred conſcience

Binds me above all human ties.

Burleigh.

Did conſcience

Prompt you to inflame Catholic boſoms

Againſt our Sov’reign, and invade her realm?

Queen Mary.

In friendly dread I oft’times caution’d her

’Gainſt lighting up malignant flames ’mongſt us,

By Proteſtant example; while I check’d

My friends warmth, e’en when their groans pierc’d my ſoul.

Yet one drop of a perſecutor’s blood,

I’d 093 N3r [93]

I’d not ſhed, to gain a world! much leſs kingdom

Or crown. The diadem I ſeek ne’er circled

Human brow, nor won’t be wreſted from me:

It drops immortal gems! True, my oppreſsed people’s

Safety I’ve ſought by Eſther’s fervent pray’rs,

Not Judith’s ſword: but when for them, nor me,

Pray’rs gain’d nought from your Sov’reign, I implor’d

Others to liberate me from cruel pow’r!

Theſe foreign Princes,

Feeling humanity’s bright glow, their ire

Was rous’d ’gainſt your Queen’s conduct t’an equal

She ingulph’d in miſery! Rightful freedom

’Twas natural for me to ſeek, pent in dank,

Noiſome priſons, full eighteen wintry years!

No invaſion of my ſiſter’s realm,

Nor treaſon t’ effect In my religion

And title of ſucceſsion t’ England’s crown,

Lies all my treaſon to Elizabeth.

Will ſuch crimes authorize the ſeizure of my caſh,

Cabinets, and my domeſtics impriſonment?

Wallsingham.

We can’t now loſe time,

In replication to queries foreign

To our Queen’s charge, with whom and her Miniſters

You’re contumeliouſly free!

Queen 094 N3v [94]

Queen Mary.

Juſtly ſo,

Sir Francis. The cauſe preceded th’effect;

A cauſe I’ve every right to inſiſt

May be truly inveſtigated before

A full and free Parliament, where rigour

Supplants not law, nor my ſworn enemies

Sit my accuſers and judges: a Queen’s

Regal honour demands that pers’nal audit.

—I a weak defenceleſs woman, my Lords,

Can ne’er combat the battery of fork-

Tongu’d malice, with force of words; while deny’d

Preſence of friends, papers, commentaries,

Privileges the meaneſt criminals have

All, all forbidden me! ſuch my treatment.

Were I a subject, I’d challenge law t’aid me:

But though a King’s daughter, wife, and mother,

I’m nothing here, but what ye pleaſe—a mere

Floating atom! a wild of nought! Such progreſs

Proves ’tis not the law’s hoarſe raven ſeeks my blood,

But ye augur my doom, by nice preciſion mark’d!

Yet th’ ignominy reſts not on Scotland’s Queen,

But on the Tribunal you’ve erected,

To dethrone Juſtice and Mercy; which I

Await at a higher, where all deponents

And commiſsioners here will be conven’d;

New 095 N4r [95]

New ſtatutes made, and this day’s work recorded.

At that bar ye all muſt ſtand the award

Of preſent acts—no truth ſuppreſs’d which, ’mongſt

Other things now, ye may be ſummon’d, ere

Next morn unbars her gates, to anſwer for.

My Lords, and Judges, work your thoughts deeply;

Ponder on’t, with this firm reſolve annex’d:—

Though I’m a vanquiſh’d Sov’reign, th’axe only

Shall conquer my juſt ſpirit. I’ll live and

Die a Queen, though ſure to be cauteriz’d,

And my head hoiſted on a pole. Theſe feeble

Limbs can’t longer ſupport my ſinking frame.

My Lords, I muſt retire.

Exit Queen Mary. The Court adjourns.

Scene II.

Queen Elizabeth ſola.

Now is the criſis of my future fame

Being embark’d on a tremendous ocean,

Where ev’ry ſurge drowns my former glory.

Ah! why is vengeance ſweet to woman’s pride,

As rapture to her love? ’Tis Mary taxes,

Turn’d my thoughts aſkance! The public homage

Paid her riſing ſun, I ne’er could bear blazon’d

On 096 N4v [96]

On mine ear—ſhe heireſs to my crown, whoſe

Rival pow’rs and pers’nal charms, through my ſoul

Darted their ſtrongeſt luſtre! gradually

Sinking it t’inveterate hatred! Thus malignant

Spirits work’d her Scottiſh foes—vile confed’rates

In Darnley’s death, alas! I know too well.

O Morton, Douglas, Murray, Lettrington, leagu’d

In that infernal magazine of traitors!

Dire plot! why was I e’er your friend? Would I’d

Been hapleſs Mary’s, when ſhe ſought ſhelter here!

Or when, like a cours’d hare, ſhe panted

For her native realm, why, why, did I refuſe?

Would ſhe were now at Holywood! But, if free,

What repriſals awaits me from a ſov’reign

Whom ſix long treble ſummers I’ve coop’d in

Iron cages! and ſo treated as mem’ry

Would ſtill record, was ſhe in royal pow’r.

E’en now in bonds I hourly dread invaſion

By European Princes; war threaten’d me

From all, for Mary’s paſt wrongs. Should I proceed,

Not all proud Auguſta’s flowing rivers

Would waſh away the ſtain of bringing a

Crown’d head to the block. Yet the Queen of Scots

I muſt bring there, or forfeit mine.

Scene 097 O1r [97]

Scene III.

Enter Davison and Sir Christopher Hatton.

I hear,

Daviſon, Mary ſtood her trial with

Amazing courage!

Davison.

Never woman with

Greater. In obedience to your Majeſty,

I’ve written to Pawlet and Drury, your

Pris’ner’s warders. This their anſwer.

Presenting a letter. The Queen reads, muſing.

Queen Elizabeth.

They long have known my will, yet diſobey it.

Fine dainty preciſe fellows! who’ll plunge their

Sov’reign in a ſea of gore! e’er ſoil a hand

To ſave her. Nay, they won’t e’en a finger,

By infuſing an argent powder, which

At once might eaſe their charge, and my fears too.

Arrogant, ſhallow men! thus to balance

Their honour ’gainſt mine! Howe’er, when Wingfield

O Knows 098 O1v [98]

Knows my ſecret wiſh, he’ll fly t’execute it,

Sans remorſe.

Davison.

Then may you never will a deed

So dire! Forbear, great Queen, forbear!

Queen Elizabeth.

That’s to me.

What’s thy embaſsy?

Davison.

By me Lord Burleigh,

And Sir Francis Walſingham, ſend their fix’d

Opinion, England’s Sov’reign ſhould proceed

To ſave herſelf and ſtate, ere ambaſsadors

Arrive to ſhake her wiſe reſolves. Both Houſes

Affirm th’ arret againſt the priſoner

Mosſt juſtly founded; therefore entreat the

Sentence may be executed ſpeedily.

The Warrant drawn for that purpoſe, I’ve brought

By your Majeſty’s ſpecial command.

Queen Elizabeth.

Give it to me:—Ah! to ſtamp my ſignature on’t,

Is—what? awful! More! ’twill be amply reveng’d.

But 099 O2r [99]

But alas! Elizabeth, and the Proteſtant

Religion, muſt fall, if Mary lives.

Sir Christ. Hatton.

Then England would for ever, ever mourn!

Great parent! ſummon your wonted courage,

God-like juſtice, to this important act!

’Twill bring more than Roman renown, glory;

Which erſt immortaliz’d women as heroes,

Who magnanimouſly renounc’d timid fears

For their country’s weal. This mandate once ſign’d,

Will ſtamp your apotheoſis.

Queen Elizabeth.

Muſt I then exile all ſweet reflections,

Complacency of ſoul, and tender feelings,

For my people’s ſafety?

Hatton.

Hath not my Sov’reign

Oft declar’d, To her affectionate,

And faithful ſubjects her troth is plighted,

As in nuptial bands? All theſe, bright Queen,

Urge your wedded parental love’s grand criterion,

May be ratified in ſealing this Deed.

After a pauſe, Elizabeth ſigns the Warrant, and gives it to Davison. O2 Queen 100 O2v [100]

Queen Elizabeth.

There—tell Walſingham ’tis done. Prepare him

Cordials, leſt grief kills him, hearing this dreaded news.

Avert each importunity to mine eye

Or ear on this affair; to which I’ll ne’er more

Be auditreſs. Mourning muſt now engage me.

Exit Davison, with the death warrant. Enter Messenger.

Messenger.

Ambaſsadors of very noble mien,

From Henry, King of France, Philip of Spain,

Frederic of Denmark, and James of Scotland,

With ev’ry look impatience, demand inſtant

Acceſs t’your Majeſty, in their maſter’s names.

They arriv’d from each port, on fleet courſers,

Almoſt breathleſs with haſte. The Scottiſh Envoy

Sprang from his foaming ſteed, into the palace;

Nay, fain would he have ruſh’d into the royal

Preſence.

Queen Elizabeth.

I can’t admit them till I take my throne;

Then ſay I’ll ſee ’em. Ah! my throbbing heart! Exit Mes.

Conſcience, thou ever buſy meddling thing,

I beg 101 O3r [101]

I beg thee to lay by thy ſcorpion ſcourge!

Vain are thy cutting remonſtrances now.

Yet what, who, whom, ſhould Elizabeth fear?

Though I’d rather meet my anceſtors haggard ghoſts,

Than theſe vengeful repreſentatives of mighty pow’rs!

I’ll retire, and think how to receive ’em,

Since the interview I cannot avoid.

Oh! what ſharp agonizing pangs I feel,

At their approach, writhe round my trembling heart!

Exit Queen Elizabeth, and Sir Christ. Hatton.

Scene IIIIV.

Fotheringay Caſtle. Diſcovers Queen Mary reclined on a Couch. Enter Servant.

Madam, the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby,

And Pembroke, with the county’s High Sheriff,

Having urgent buſineſs with you, brooks no delay.

Queen 102 O3v [102]

Queen Mary.

I’m very ill, and unfit truly to receive

Male viſitants! Howe’er, uſher ’em in.

Majeſty, alas how ſunk!

Exit Serv. Enter the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby, Pembroke, with the High Sheriff, and Beale, one of the Privy-Council’s Clerks, conducted by Sir Amias Paulet and Sir Drue Drury, Queen Mary’s Keepers.

Queen Mary.

My Lords, your buſiness?

Kent.

’Tis an expreſs order

for your execution to-morrow morn.

Queen Mary.

Have ye a warrant (juſt, I’m ſure you can’t have)

For this ſudden work?

Kent.

Beal, read the Warrant.

Beal reads. To 103 O4r [103] To the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby, and Pembroke. Whereas Mary Stuart, commonly called Queen of Scots, and Dowager of France, is and ſtandeth convicted, attainted, and condemned of treaſon and other high crimes againſt our ſovereign Lady Elizabeth; and ſentence was pronounced againſt her by the High Court of Juſtice, and both Houſes of Parliament: of which ſentence execution remaineth to be done. Theſe are therefore to will and require you to ſee the ſaid ſentence executed in your preſence, in the great Hall at Fotheringay Caſtle, to-morrow, at eight of the clock in the morning, being the eighth day of February, with full effect: and for ſo doing this ſhall be your ſufficient Warrant. Elizabeth. Queen Mary attends to the reading of the Warrant, with a careleſs air, as if her thoughts were otherwiſe engaged.

Queen Mary.

All’s for the beſt! ’Tis very welcome news!

Howe’er unjuſt and unexpected, that

My great ſiſter England ſhould ſet the firſt

Example of bringing a regal Queen

To 104 O4v [104]

To the block. Enfeebled as I am by

Dire diſeaſe, and fell oppreſsion’s gripe!—ſick as

Ye ſee me, your Sov’reign need not dread my

Natural life would exceed hers, if ſpar’d

This violent blow!—yet ’tis a blow my ſoul

Rejoices in, as ’twill ſep’rate the body from it.

Slander’d honour eſteems death its faithful friend;

While, by that ſweet foretaſte of celeſtial bliſs,

I feel and hope through mercy fully to enjoy!

Mark!—Moſt ſolemnly again I ſwear, and call

My God to witneſs, I ne’er devis’d, purſued,

Or conſented to Elizabeth’s death,

In any ſhape whate’er.

Queen Mary, laying her hand on a Bible near her.

Kent.

Your oath’s invalid

On a Popiſh Bible.

Queen Mary.

My Lord, I think

That verſion of the Scriptures beſt

Kent.

You’d beſt renounce its errors, and liſten

To ſound Proteſtant divines in your laſt hours.

Queen 105 P1r [105]

Queen Mary.

Good perſons, of ev’ry creed, will be

Cautious in diſturbing a ſettled conſcience:

I ne’er did, nor will apoſtatize my faith:

And only wiſh ſpiritual aſsiſtance

From mine own Confeſsor, whom I earneſtly

Have, and now intreat your Queen, may attend me.

I hope my ſiſter, for charity’s ſake,

Won’t deny me one helping hand to Heav’n!

Kent.

Obſtinate criminal! I ſee your ife

Would be our pure religion’s death; your death

Its life. Adieu then till to-morrow.

Exeunt Lords.

Scene IVV.

Queen Mary’s Domeſtics inſtantly ruſh into her Preſence; Burgoyne, her Phyſician; the Apothecary, The Surgeon; and Sir Andrew Melvil, Maſter of her Houſehold; with attendant Women bathed in tears, wringing their hands in deep lamentation! P Queen 106 P1v [106]

Queen Mary.

Come near, my friends—ſit down by me: I want

A ſerene converſe with ye. Mourn not my

Corporal ſufferance! Tho’ edg’d with death,

The axe’s kiſs is ſomewhat rude for a Queen’s neck!

I’ll now forget my Queenſhip and its treaſon,

And reſign’d meet the welcome keen embrace!

Which, like fierce lightning, ’twill deſtroy when felt.

This ſtroke is mercy, compar’d with ſuborning

Nawe and Curle, invention’s monſters! vile recreants!

Daringly to ſwear away my life and honour:

Men ſtrangely tampered with by Walſingham:

So were other conſpirators, high at

His table fed, this tragic act to finiſh!

Doſt think, Burgoyne, braſs, ſtone, or canvaſs, the

Like recorded?—or e’er barbarians,

Or ſavage Scythians, parallel’d the deed?

Yet for it I thank ’em, as tis the only

Pretext to cloſe my life, and give a paſsport

To thoſe heav’nly manſions, where th’united

Hoſt will plead my cauſe, and th’empyrean court

Pronounce me innocent.

Burgoyne.

Doubtleſs, ſov’reign

Excellence! but where, where are all the mighty

Potentates Ambaſsadors, with whom you’ve

Long liv’d in princely amity? All ſuch

Should now appear, t’ aſsert royalty’s common rights.

Queen 107 P2r [107]

Queen Mary.

Wonder not, the herd all fly the wounded deer!

In ſummer days, ev’ry ally was zealous

In my cauſe. Now one winter’s bruſh ſweeps all away.

More painful thought, James too forgets he hath

A dying mother! whoſe crown he long hath worn.

Melvil.

Sweet ſuffering ſaint! reſt aſsur’d theſe Monarchs

Have here come forward warmly defending

Your honour, with thund’ring ire for paſt wrongs,

And the moſt cogent pleas to ſave your life:

All unavailing! ſince Elizabeth

And her Council, like hungry cannibals,

In your death will glut their ſavage appetite!

My brother, Sir Robert, came with rapid ſpeed

From his maſter ; offering ſix principal

Scottiſh Nobles, and the King, bound in perſon,

For your ranſom.

Queen Mary.

Then the laſt wave of my

Affliction’s gone! Since James is juſt, I die

In peace. Oh, may his hapleſs mother’s fate,

Ne’er cloud the ſunſhine of his future days!

Let his reſentment’s be inurn’d with me,

And ne’er embroil his happineſs! to whom,

By thee, Melvil, I bequeath my bleſsing,

P2 And 108 P2v [108]

And this caſket of family jewels;

A veſt, alſo, the laſt work wrought of my hand:

May its flowers prove emblems of that bliſs

I wiſh my ſon, whoſe peace I’ve ſtrove to preſerve

With his honour and hereditary rights,

Through ev’ry tireſome ſtage of my diſtreſs!

Oh! entreat thy Sov’reign ſtill to conſult

His ſubjects felicity; but ne’er entruſt

The ſacred charge to th’inſidious pow’r

Of another Prince.—One requeſt more:

Give this ring to my couſin Hamilton,

A family depoſit. Oh! Melvil!

Breathe not a ſigh, nor dare to meet my eyes

With thine impearl’d: too much e’en from my gentle

Kind maidens, thus with tears to wound my ſoul!

Who on thee muſt anchor now; and their weakneſs

Thy manly mind ſhould ſtrengthen. In this ſcene,

Surely I’m the chief actreſs; yet I weep not.

If thou wilt, reſerve thoſe briny ſhowers

T’embalm my mem’ry in France and Scotland:

There my fidelity to my friends, and faith,

Fate’s rougheſt ſtorms ne’er ſhook. My conduct here,

Report by truth’s tablet! no better eulogium.

Melvil.

Oh! heart-rending embaſsy! t’execute

Moſt painful! yet all I can, I’ll truly do.

Queen 109 P3r [109]

Queen Mary.

Some things more, fain I’d impreſs your minds with

In this veſper of eternity; as to-morrow

Brings a work I muſt not be diſturb’d in.

Worthy Burgoyne, when this body no more

Craves thy skilful aid, take charge of my mind.

In truſt I give thee this letter and teſtament,

Written by me, to mine uncle Duke of Guiſe;

He my executor.—This to my brother,

King of France, where I’ve implor’d Elizabeth

My corſe may be inhum’d, near my bleſsed mother’s,

At Rheims. To this laſt prayer no anſwer.

Here join me in thanks devout. A heavenly

Day is dawning on me, with healing wings:

A few moments will annihilate all

Sorrows paſt, and uſher me to reſt’s bleſt Sabbath!

Accept ye, ſome ſmall tokens of my love The Queen gives to each a ſmall purſe, beginning with Melvil.

And warm gratitude, for all your vigilant

Tenderneſs to a ſad wretched miſtress!

My buſy thoughts can’t ſpeak your praiſes now:

But if, hard girt with woe, I’ve been impatient,

And forgot reciprocal duty to

My commiſerating, faithful ſervants,

Let the ill-treated forgive, and ſpeak my

Abſolution!

Melvil. 110 P3v [110]

Melvil.

No, gracious Sov’reign—no—

I ſpeak for all: your whole conduct to us,

Howe’er diſtreſs’d, hath been exuberant goodneſs!

We humbly beg, in this laſt ſad vigil,

You’ll pardon all offences ’gainſt our beſt friend,

And the moſt gentle miſtreſs!

Queen Mary.

I’ve nought to

Charge ye with; nor aſk, but to part cheerful.

Bring me ſome wine:—I drink your healths;

Entreating all ye to pledge me; and leave Servants pledge Mary, kneeling.

Your lees of ſorrow in the bowl. To-morrow,

Extatic ſound! Rejoice—’tis very near.

Retire, and in your oriſons pray that

Undaunted courage and a holy calm

May my laſt moments bleſs. Good night, good night!

Ere the ſky’s pale empreſs reſigns her charge,

I muſt be up: fail not of being with me;

’Tis your laſt ſervice.

Here the Queen kiſses her Women, and gives her hand to the Men. Exit Queen and Women.
Scene 111 P4r [111]

Scene VVI.

Burgoyne and Melvil.

Burgoyne.

May the royal martyr’s temporary reſt

Prove ſweet prelude to immortal! But ah!

How deeply hath the reſign’d ſufferer

O’ercharg’d our ſouls with grief! How, how, Melvil,

Shall we live o’er to-morrow?

Melvil.

If poſsible,

We muſt ſummon more than manly fortitude,

To copy dying Mary’s bright example;

Still admiration’s garland! Patience,

Ne’er known a ſolitary virtue, through

Her martyrdom ſhines with ſupreme luſtre!

Her mind ingrafted with all Socrates

And Phocion’s precepts;—the tree now laden

With its precious fruit! Yet with thee I dread

The glimpſe of morn. Surely Sol’s golden car

Will ſtand arreſted; and nature too eclips’d!

Nor ſhould ſucceeding years e’er own the day,

But blot it from revolving time.

Burgoyne. 112 P4v [112]

Burgoyne.

Diſtreſs

How exquiſite! Such an immolation,

The Sun ne’er ſaw! To be a cool ſpectator

Of ſuch relentleſs hatred, unmans me!

Yet, if I can, I’ll attend th’ Imperial

Victim, ’till her bleſt ſpirit finds that reſt

It never could, united with her body.

Melvil.

Never indeed! Mary’s griefs ne’er ſlept. Still ſhe

Sat inthron’d in woes auguſt! whoſe mind contain’d

An univerſe, and ſeem’d for all things form’d.

To think o’er her ſuperlative endowments,

And catalogue of ſacrilegious wrongs,

With th’ execrable perfidy ſhe falls by,

Diſtracts me! One minute like Ætna’s top

I’m flaming; the next my blood ſeems freezing

Through my veins with horror! Then to be this

Cataſtrophe’s herald, from realm to realm!

My heart bleeds within me, e’en to think on’t!

Exit. Scene draws, and ſhews the Queen ſmiling in a ſweet ſleep, and attendant Women by her. Firſt. 113 Q1r [113]

Firſt Woman.

What a ſin ’tis to wake her from this ſlumber,

Theſe ſweet oblivious dews! To rouze her ſoul

To its laſt direful ſcene! Yet, yet we muſt;

Elſe the marble-hearted regicides,

Waiting for her life, will kill her ſleeping.

Second Woman.

Madam, forgive us, but we muſt awake you.

For lo! yon ſun hath lumin’d half the globe.

Queen waking.

He brightly hath illumin’d all with me.

Oh! ye have wak’d my ſoul from an extatic

Rapture! Elyſium, far, far beyond

What poets can deſcribe, or mortals think!

Come, dreſs me quick in bridal garb; mean while

I’ll tell my viſion; if I can : ſince ſuch

Another, I’d give ten thouſand lives for!

Firſt Woman.

Benign Sov’reign, pray cheer our hearts by the

Recital.

Queen Mary.

Methought Death’s harbingers arreſted me;

When lo! Raphael, with flowing azure robe

And wings extended, flew to comfort me:

Saying, At Mercy’s throne he preſented

All my pray’rs and tears, where my groans were heard, Q My 114 Q1v [114] My ſuff’rings known, frailties abſolv’d; and bliſs Eternal would recompence all, through the Spotleſs Lamb’s divine interceſsion!

Then pointing to th’ abode of Saints and Martyrs,

Th’ Angel bade me follow. Joyful I did,

Through trackleſs regions of unclouded air:

Paſsing the cleaving ſpheres, Heav’n came in view;

The pearly portals open’d wide, grac’d with

Innumerable hoſts, who hail’d my entrance,

As one aſcended from tribulations great!

To join their glorious number. All ear

Was I; when, further bleſsing me, they ſaid,

My ſon ſhould fill th’ Engliſh throne, and from him

Proceed a progeny of godlike kings,

Num’rous as ſtars, to ſway the Britiſh ſceptre.

Now leave me to my God.

Exeunt Women.

Scene the Last.

Enter the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby, and Pembroke, with the High Sheriff, and Paulet and Drury, who ſees the Queen kneeling at her Oratory, with her hands joined and eyes erected.

Sheriff.

Madam, the day wears faſt; your laſt hour is expir’d.

Queen Mary.

I’m glad ’tis, being long more than ready.

And 115 Q2r [115]

And now methinks I hear th’ Almighty’s fiat,

With the trumpets ſound!—Paulet and Drury;

Death breaks my priſon doors;—your triple bolts,

And thick-barr’d windows too: E’en now I look

Through chriſtal ones. ’Tis my nuptial day!

Ye the bridemen, conduct me to th’ altar;

As erſt two Monarchs led me bluſhing to

The heir of France; the nymphs, proud t’attend me,

Were then their princely beauteous daughters.

Now a higher train awaits me, to ſtrew the

Path with flowers, and hail my eſpouſal with

Their heavenly King! whom I ken yonder,

Beck’ning me to him. Though the ſtrait road

Diſplays ſolemn pomp of ſadneſs, and in

My way I mount a tremendous ſcaffold!

Yet its apparatus ſplendidly ſhines

With amethyſts, onyx, and brilliant gems.

Now, now I’ll tread it, with one requeſt to ye,

My Lords; ’tis, that my faithful women may

Attend me there; and when this body is

A headleſs trunk, ſhroud my poor limbs from ſight.

Surely your Sov’reign, a bright virgin Queen,

In point of decency muſt grant this boon.

Shrewsbury.

Our order permits it not; howe’er, Madam,

Your women may diſrobe you. More I can’t ſay.

Queen Mary.

For this, and former courteſies, my Lord,

Accept 116 Q2v [116]

Accept my fervent thanks.—Melvil, rejoice!

Mary Stuart’s woes will this morn end! Again

I charge thee, warmly commend me to my ſon;

Aſsuage his griefs: may they all ſink with me!

To each perſon concern’d in this dire act, I give

Free amneſty: praying Chriſt may ſeal it.

Long may Elizabeth poſseſs her throne

In peace and glory, after Death’s Rubicon

I’ve paſs’d! Inſtantly lead to it, my friends;

And yon Seraphic hoſt, now ſing a requiem

To my mounting ſoul, which ye may join on earth.

The Curtain drops with ſoft Muſic.

The End.

N.B. Hiſtory informs us, Mary Queen of Scots was led to execution betwixt Paulet and Drury, her warders; Melvil ſupporting her train. Her dreſs—black ſpotted ſattin gown, laced up the back; the petticoat bordered with crimſon velvet, ſhaded with acornjets, adorned with pearls; long crimſon ſleeves to the gown, ſhort ditto purple velvet: a lawn veil pinned to her head-dreſs on the cawl, bowed out with wire, and edged with bone lace; the veil almoſt cloſe to her waiſt at the elbows, ſhading the ſleeves, and reaching the ground: an Agnus Dei hanging by a pomander chain at her neck; her beads at her girdle, and in her hands a crucifix of ivory.
117 R1r

Epilogue.

Now Mary’s ſufferings end—the ſilent tomb

Conſigns her ſorrows to ſepulchral gloom;

Pale are thoſe cheeks where emanation glow’d;

Sunk is that form, whoſe ev’ry grace beſtow’d

Perfection’s excellence. Beauty’s ſelf is fled,

Mingling in duſt, amongſt forgotten dead.

Mary forgot?—Ah no! her Siſter Queen

Long wiſh’d, in vain, that Mary ſtill had been.

Thus I might iterate, in mournful verſe,

Murray’s dark wiles, and Burleigh’s arts rehearſe;

Depict the Royal Victim’s ſmiles in death;

Melt female tenderneſs—to want of breath!

But I’ll retreat from theſe dire ſcenes of woe,

New to the world two centuries ago.

Why now ſhould Britons wiſht’ aſsimilate

Facts that are plac’d beyond the reach of Fate?

Let us be cheerful, loyal, juſt, and brave,

At once our King and Country’s weal to ſave.

Let Mary and Eliza reſt in peace,

And henceforth ev’ry jarring int’reſt ceaſe;

May diſcord vaniſh—joyous voices ring,

Through Britain’s realm, God ſave great George our King.

R 118

Lately written and publiſhed, by the ſame Author,

By Mrs. Mary Deverell, Gloucestershire.