Queen of Scots;
Printed for the , 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.
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,
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,
London, New-Bond-Street, No. 7, 1792-10-02October 2, 1792.
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.
Murray, Regent of Scotland.
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.
Elizabeth, Queen of England.
Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Ladies, attendant on the Queen of Scots.
- Her Grace the Duchess of Rutland.
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- A Gentleman
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- Lady Hay
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- Mr. Jones, Groſvenor-ſtreet, London
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- Rev. — Keyfall, May-Fair, London
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- — Richmond, M. D. ditto
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U, and V.
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- Rev. T. Vincent, Archdeacon of Cardigan
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- 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.
Mary, Queen of Scots.
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?
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
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?
Truly ſo. Therefore, by dire neceſsityCompell’d, 003 B2r 
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.
Stay, Herries, ſtay;
We’ll haſte together, and work ev’ry nerveB2 To 004 B2v 
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.
Scene II.Sterling Caſtle, Diſcovers the Confederate Peers, Argyle, Morton, Lennox, Murray, Athol, Kirkaldy, Lindsay, Maitland, and Glencairn. (Chiefly Proteſtants.)
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.
True, my Lord;The 005 B3r 
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!
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.
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 anEmbattled 006 B3v 
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.
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?
I readily enliſt
Murray, Glencairn, &c. &c.
And all, all—
Our vows are ſeal’d in Heav’n.
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 
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——
Stop, my lord, nor ſeek
T’excuſe thoſe crimes which earth nor heav’n can pardon.
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 
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?
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 
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?
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
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 aſsaſinatedC Rizzio 010 C1v 
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.
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 III.Lochlevin Caſtle. The Queen of Scots Priſoner, very meanly dreſsed; and Murray 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.
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?
You’ve twice dethron’d yourſelf by ſep’rate acts,
Thoſe papers moſt clearly evince.
They were extorted by cruel tyranny!
Elſe I’d ne’er yielded to my rebellious
Subjects dictates. All counſellors and friendsC2 Forbade 012 C2v 
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.
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.
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 promiſeOf 013 C3r 
Of loyalty as their lawful Sov’reign.
What! James ſeize his mother’s crown?—a ſuckling!
Impoſsible!—and thou, thou Scotland’s 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.
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.
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.
To Murray?—Matchleſs effrontery!—To thee!Who 014 C3v 
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!
Too much to hear
From her who could abet aſsaſsin’s deeds,
Then wed her huſband’s deſp’rate murderer!
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.
Your boaſted friendſhip,
And your regal blaze, are irkſome tales!—ſo trite,They 015 C4r 
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!
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 
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 inſultsAs 017 D1r 
As ſharpen now my pangs, and tear my lovely
Bloſsom from the tree that bore him!
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!
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.
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 ſuchD Contrition, 018 D1v 
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.
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 markHaughty 019 D2r 
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!
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.
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.
My Noble Lords, what news abroad? Something
Important your looks preſage. If aught to me,
Pray impart it ſoon.
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 
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.
Is the Queen at Weſt Lothain now?
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.
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 
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
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.
Ha! is it ſo indeed?
Moſt true, my Lord.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 mutinyMade 025 E1r 
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?
Oh! moſt aſsuredly.
But, royal Madam, ſaid you to England?
I did. Why aſk you?
Doth not Elizabeth
Yes. What then?
My thoughts I’d fain conceal.
Speak all without reſerve.
May I aſk, is Elizabeth your friend?
She is my cousſin, ſiſter, near in blood,
And in alliance with my crown; as ſuch
I deem her friend.
England’s Queen, I’ve heard, hathProfound 027 E2r 
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
’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!
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.
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 
Vanilla and Aretta, come with me.
Oh!I am ſick at heart!
Heav’n grant Sleep’s opiate dews may chace her ſorrows off!
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.
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’reignAn 031 E4r 
An eſcort from the Gallic coaſt, to mount
Her native throne.
A requeſt no ſtranger would vainly ſue.
More:—Elizabeth, for certain, ſent ſhips
T’intercept Mary’s voyage, and bind her
To th’ Engliſh fleet, like t’a conquer’d victim.
Could Mary then ſcape?
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.
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!
We hope your Majeſty
Hath found ſweet repoſe.
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
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 thyFriendly 033 F1r 
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.
Say why, My Lord?
Oh! for an hoſt of reaſons.
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.
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.
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 
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.
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.
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.
Great Queen, they were, and ſtampt you vaſt importanceF2 In 036 F2v 
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.
Cruel deſtiny! that e’er gave one to me,
Or any title but of innocence!——
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.
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 
And make me ev’ry, ev’ry recompence.
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.
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.
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 
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.
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!
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.
My elder ſiſter
Now can dread in me no rival; a wretchForlorn 039 F4r 
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.
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.
I’m reſolv’d: write this moment as I command.
Reluctant I obey.
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.
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!
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.
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!
End of the Second Act
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.
Are not theſe high expectations ſomewhat
Abſurd from a depos’d Sov’reign to England?
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.
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 
Well, bright Queen! I know your eye’s on glory fix’d,
And high renown.
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.
My royal Miſtreſs had better incur,
Than weaken England’s cauſe. I apprehend
Self-preſervation ſhould be your guiding ſtar.
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.
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
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.
Can’t fix the royal captive in your palace,
Whoſe youth, beauty, bland addreſs, and sufferings,
E’en now faſcinates all ſtrangers.
Allow her a court elſewhere, to fill with
Bigoted Papiſts, who would elbow me
From my throne?
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.
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 
Elizabeth’s ſtrong pow’rs ſhall humble this
Scottiſh rival.—Siſter, no more, unleſs in form.
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.
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.
This artful evaſion gives tacit proof
Your Grace hath ſeen the fugitive Mary:
Is ſhe pleas’d with her Engliſh reſidence?
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!
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.
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.
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 heartH That 050 G1v 
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.
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.
In love to the degenerate Mary.
Go, vain man! go and ſoothe her to thy ruin!
Or learn more loyalty to thy Sov’reign.
Scene III.Bolton Caſtle. Diſcovers Queen Mary reading.
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.
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 ſageH2 Wholly 052 H2v 
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.
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.
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!
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 
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!
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.
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’ antipodesTo 054 H3v 
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.
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.
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.
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
Thou glorious ſon
Of innate worth! ariſe inſtantly, and now,
And ever fly my cauſe and me.
Annihilated firſt muſt all my ſenſes lie.
Oh! noble Howard! ne’er think that Hymen’s torch
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 
Nor ſhalt thou ſhare the hapleſs Mary’s fate;
Or leap from life, when thou mayſt live to glory.
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.
On woe refine not.
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’ryI Pulſe 058 I1v 
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.
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.
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――
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 moreMore 061 I3r 
More rigorous than e’er juſt Heav’n inflicted;
Since life without thee is protracted miſery.
End of the Third Act
Scene I.Whitehall. Queen Elizabeth, Cecil, and Walsingham, Privy-Counſellors.
Ambassadors from Philip, King of Spain,
And Henry of France, crave, in their maſters name,
Speedy admiſsion to your Majeſty.
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 
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.
Conſummate wiſdom dictates the reſolve,
Which well befits your Majeſty.
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.
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
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.
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 
Many Engliſh Peers are ripe for a revolt,
And turn their eyes to Norfolk, for a leader.
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!
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.
How—deeply contriv’d?—Solve thy myſtic hints.
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, NorfolkHolds 065 K1r 
Holds cloſe conference with that fiery Prelate,
Roſs, agent of intrigues, num’rous as hail-ſtones
In the fierceſt ſtorm, and dark as Erebus.
Haſt thou ſtrong proof, Walſingham, for this black
Liſt of crimes ’gainſt Norfolk?
Yes, Royal Madam:
Indubitable proof. But ſee, the Duke is here.
Scene IIIII.Enter Duke of Norfolk.
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 grovesK Sequeſter’d 066 K1v 
Sequeſter’d tenants, as well as the fields
Nobler quadrupedes, all drop into your toils.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ſomeK2 Fatal 068 K2v 
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?
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.
No more: this is ſomewhat haſty.—
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 
And muſt obey her, though very painful
Our commiſsion here!
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.
Scene III.Diſcovers Queen Mary, and attendant Women, in a cloſe Priſon.
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
I’ve ſuch a direful heavineſs on my ſoul,
I can’t work now. Come, play that tune, ſet to
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 
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 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 
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――
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.
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 
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
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
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.
That reflection is balm
To my wounded ſoul, ſince here mine honour,
Like a ſhooting ſtar, hath long ſince kiſs’d the ground.
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
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 
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!
Scene V.Enter Guard and Officers.
What, who are ye? Stand off, ye ruffians!
Nor dare aſsault Scotland’s ſacred Majeſty!
We won’t. But in the name of our Sovereign
Lady Elizabeth, and by her moſtSpecial 080 L4v 
Special mandate, we arreſt you, John Leſsey,
Archbiſhop of Roſs.
It can’t be Roſs: impoſsible t’arreſt
The Ambaſsador of Heav’n ’s vicegerent!
The right of nations guards me; beſides my
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.
Scene VI.Queen Elizabeth and Sir Francis Walsingham.
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.
Your Majeſty well knows his Holineſs’s
Curſes are mere vapours! Yet his influence
Is mighty, tremendous, and extenſive!
I’ve long known Mary combines with the Pope,
And her fertile brain is ever plotting
Miſchief’gainſt myſelf and ſtate.
Yes, mighty Queen,M Such 082 M1v 
Such diabolical machinations
As almoſt rivet me to th’ earth with horror,
E’en to think on’t.
Proclaim ’em inſtantly.
Treaſon, moſt complicated and enormous!
Stagnates my blood t’ announce—your Majeſty.
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.
Two I’ve ſecur’d, who confeſs’d twelve others;Bold 083 M2r 
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.
Pius, indeed! Lucifer, I call him.
Proceed you with the tale.
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
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 
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.
End of Act the Fourth.
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  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 independentSov’reign 087 M4r 
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,
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 vileBabington’s 088 M4v 
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
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.
Evaſion, Madam! not refuting high
Impeachments. The ſtatute made to preſerve
Our Sov’reign’s pers’nal ſafety, anſwer to.
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!
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 
And the wrangling chicanery of law.
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?
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’ExchequerHath 091 N2r 
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
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.
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 noN2 Wonder 092 N2v 
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.
Prompt you to inflame Catholic boſoms
Againſt our Sov’reign, and invade her realm?
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 
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?
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!
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 
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.
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’dOn 096 N4v 
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 III.Enter Davison and Sir Christopher Hatton.
Daviſon, Mary ſtood her trial with
Never woman with
Greater. In obedience to your Majeſty,
I’ve written to Pawlet and Drury, your
Pris’ner’s warders. This their anſwer.
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 WingfieldO Knows 098 O1v 
Knows my ſecret wiſh, he’ll fly t’execute it,
Then may you never will a deed
So dire! Forbear, great Queen, forbear!
That’s to me.
What’s thy embaſsy?
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.
Give it to me:—Ah! to ſtamp my ſignature on’t,
Is—what? awful! More! ’twill be amply reveng’d.But 099 O2r 
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.
Muſt I then exile all ſweet reflections,
Complacency of ſoul, and tender feelings,
For my people’s ſafety?
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.
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.
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
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 
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!
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.
I’m very ill, and unfit truly to receive
Male viſitants! Howe’er, uſher ’em in.
Majeſty, alas how ſunk!
My Lords, your buſiness?
’Tis an expreſs order
for your execution to-morrow morn.
Have ye a warrant (juſt, I’m ſure you can’t have)
For this ſudden work?
Beal, read the Warrant.
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 QueenTo 104 O4v 
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.
Your oath’s invalid
On a Popiſh Bible.
My Lord, I think
That verſion of the Scriptures beſt
You’d beſt renounce its errors, and liſten
To ſound Proteſtant divines in your laſt hours.
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!
Obſtinate criminal! I ſee your ife
Would be our pure religion’s death; your death
Its life. Adieu then till to-morrow.
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 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 
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.
Oh! heart-rending embaſsy! t’execute
Moſt painful! yet all I can, I’ll truly do.
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
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!
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.
Scene VVI.Burgoyne and Melvil.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Madam, forgive us, but we muſt awake you.
For lo! yon ſun hath lumin’d half the globe.
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!
Benign Sov’reign, pray cheer our hearts by the
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 preſentedAll my pray’rs and tears, where my groans were heard, Q My 114 Q1v  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.
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.
Madam, the day wears faſt; your laſt hour is expir’d.
I’m glad ’tis, being long more than ready.And 115 Q2r 
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.
Our order permits it not; howe’er, Madam,
Your women may diſrobe you. More I can’t ſay.
For this, and former courteſies, my Lord,Accept 116 Q2v 
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.
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.
Lately written and publiſhed, by the ſame Author,
A Volume of Sermons. Third Edition, Octavo, Price Five Shillings.
Miscellanies, In Prose and Verse: Moſtly written in the Epiſtolary Style, chiefly upon Moral Subjects, and particularly calculated for the Improvement of Younger Minds. Second Edition, in Two Volumes 12 mo, Price Five Shillings.
Theodora and Didymus, Or, the Exemplification of Pure Love and Vital Religion. An Heroic Poem, in Three Cantos. With an appendix, conſiſting of a Pindaric ode, for the Queen’s Birth-day; and Poetical Epistles, on various subjects; The ſecond Edition, Price Five Shillings.
By Mrs. Mary Deverell, Gloucestershire.