π1r

Mary,
Queen of Scots;


an
Historical Tragedy,


or,
Dramatic Poem.

by Mrs. M. Deverell,
Gloucestershire.

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

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


Entered at Stationers Hall.
π1v A1r


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


madam,
your much obliged
and most obedient servant,

Mary Deverell.

A1v A2r

To the
Candid Reader.

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

“Of all those various subjects which have
engaged the Tragic Muse, none are of equal
force and dignity to historical ones. From a
multiplicity of great and interesting events,
they rouse and command more passions than
any other:—of this, Skhakespeare was a most
competent judge, and happily availed himself.
When, in a political sense, he did honour to
his country, by delivering faithfully many A2 memorable 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. A3r [v]
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 A3v [vi]
on the stage. Fine morals attend them; though
their respective heroes were not perfect characters:
nor is the Queen of Scots, though one
that much more deserves compassion than reprobation.
Martyrs glory in their crown! suffice
to add, as one Mary dies happy.

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


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

Mary Deverell.

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

Pro-. A4r

Prologue.

To combat prejudices, our sires supported,

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

Calumniate her, who, forty years and four,

Defied each foreign threat, each soothing lore;

Who gen’rous, open, hearty and sincere,

Eat good old English beef, and drank strong beer?

Elza blame!—who, high in estimation,

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

Say, who shall dare?—An inconsiderate elf

Follows superior wits—ergo, Myself:

A bold assertion—from a female too—

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

The time has been, and may perhaps agen,

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

A truce to trifling.――When female woes

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

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

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

Faulty although in some degree she prove,

Yet Pity prompts commiserating Love;

Let Mercy, darling attribute of Heav’n,

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

Ye Fair, forget her errors—drop a tear;

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

Dramatis. A4v

Dramatis Personæ.

Men.

Murray, Regent of Scotland.

Argyle,

Morton,

Lennox,

Athol,

Kirkaldry,

Maitland,

Glencairn,

Lindsay,

Duke of. Norfolk, in love with Queen Mary.

Bishop of. Ross, her Ambassador.

Lord Herries, her Friend.

Sir Andrew Melvil, Master of her Household.

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

Sir Christopher Hatton.

Davison, her Secretary.

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

Women.

Elizabeth, Queen of England.

Mary, Queen of Scotland.

Ladies, attendant on the
Queen of Scots.

Argyle,

Herries,

Melvil.

Women, ditto.

Vanilla,

Aretta.

a1r

Subscribers Names.

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Errata.

  • Page31, last line, for in, read within.
  • — 56, line 6, deledelete e’er, read poor Mary’s.
  • — 57, line 16, for summit of bliss, read blissful summit.
  • — 70, line 6, for under, read beneath.

  • line 9, for lamentation, read woe-fraught heart.

  • line 10, for state, read calamity.
  • — 74, line 21, for could prove, read durst arraign, or.
  • — 77, line 16, for sanctified hearts, read in hearts so sanctified.

  • 989, line 15, for such a sin calls loud, read such a sin would
    surely call loud.
The Author presents her respectful Compliments to the
Public, and hopes to experience their lenity for inaccuracies in
this her new mode of publication.
Mistakes happening relative to the delivery of the Books shall
immediately be rectified, by addressing a line to Mrs. M.
Deverell, No 7, New Bond-street, London, saying to whom
the Subscription was given.
N. B. The delay of this Publication has been occasioned by a
sad succession of accidents and disappointments, very painful to
the Author
.
B1r

Mary,
Queen of Scots.

Act I.

Scene I.

Discovers Lord Athol walking the Stage, much
agitated.

Athol[Speaker label not present in original source]

What deep distress attends on regal state

Great Emperors have felt, and Rome’s delight

Well knew. Ah! sure mark for cruel archers!

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

Unless in sculpture carv’d. There the head achs

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

My good Lord Herries, tell me what tidings?

B Herries. B1v [2]

Herries.

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

And saw—there saw the confederate troops

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

Posted advantageously on rising ground,

The Ambassador of France strove there with

Friendship’s zealous rhet’ric to urge a peace

For th’ unhappy Queen. Vain effort! The Nobles

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

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

At their resolute approach, shrinking with fear

From th’ engagement, gave them a bloodless victory,

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

Her chiefs with cowardice. Fruitless attempt

To reanimate the spirits of her

Drooping generals:—they fled—vile Bothwell

With them! leaving their royal Mistress grief’s

Abject prey!

Athol.

Sad news, indeed! sway’d by tender

Friendship, her woe I deeply commiserate;

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

Defeat make our disconsolate poor Queen

Incapable of resolution?

Herries.

Truly so. Therefore, by dire necessity

Compell’d, B2r [3]

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

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

But ne’er was beauteous youth treated with

Such indignity as Scotland’s Majesty,

By the insulting rabble and vulgar

Soldiery! who pour’d in her ears volleys

Of such opprobrious names as quite o’ercame her.

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

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

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

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

Long she lay, O most horrid to relate!

A spectacle to glut her subjects cruelty!

At length some nobles, tinctur’d with humanity,

Led her into a cot, unworthy to

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

“Pray give me a little water now, for

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

Liberty, to the racking wheel I’d give it

To liberate the Queen; who is now strongly

Guarded, remov’d to Lochlevin Castle.

These, these are the sad tidings of the day!

And I defeat’s herald.

Going.

Athol.

Stay, Herries, stay;

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

B2 To B2v [4]

To soften this unexampled rigour

To her who left the Gallic shore, escorted

By six royal Princes; with Nobles an

Illustrious train.—That scene of greatness past,

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

Whom now her Peers have so ignobly treated

That future calendars will blush to mention.

Exeunt Lords.

Scene II.

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

Lindsay.

My Lord and Barons, here assembled

To advise in council, and henceforth determine

On the late conduct of our sinking Queen;

To quell commotions which have shook the realm

Almost to anarchy, requires deep thought

And speedy resolution.

Argyle.

True, my Lord;

The B3r [5]

The brilliant splendor of our northern star

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

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

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

We instantly must steer the royal vessel.

What! shall freeborn subjects, noble and brave,

Supinely see a fell ambitious traitor,

With ev’ry horrid mark of murder on him,

Wading his way through blood to Darnley’s seat?

Gaze on him, loaded with favours which only

Royalty may claim, and rest as statues!

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

Who most impartially should hold the beam

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

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

Lennox.

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

While nature’s dictates are predominant,

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

Reluctant came I here, where duty only

Brought me. Permit me to retire, and let my

Feelings speak. I can no more.

Morton.

Enough, my Lord—

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

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

That should persuasions fail, we’ll arm like an

Embattled B3v [6]

Embattled phalanx, our hostile troops, to

Right the people: else our illustrious sires,

Pale shades, once valiant Scots, would here arise,

And chide their coward sons.

Lindsay.

Since ’tis agreed

Not to lose time in this just act; let us

Unanimous in council, Lords and Barons,

Seek and punish the late daring regicides,

And zealously protect, with ev’ry care,

Henry’s lawful heir, the princely infant James,

Scotland calls forth intrepid youths to arm

As vet’rans in her cause: all who refuse

Shall hence be branded with a traitor’s name!

How say ye, Lords?

Morton.

I readily enlist

Murray, Glencairn, &c. &c.

And all, all—

Lindsay.

Our vows are seal’d in Heav’n.

Maitland.

Most noble Lords, let not a court of justice

Banish mercy, an attribute divine!

Which ne’er could tarnish souls of bravest lustre.

Let B4r [7]

Let us all look on Mary as she was

Now with feeling compassion as what she is;

When on the Gallic, or the Scottish throne,

Pitying mildness ever rul’d her soul,

And none e’er sued her clemency in vain.

She may perhaps have foibles; casual

Eclipses of the mind. What of those?

A Queen is but a mortal! Who’ll asert

A mortal is without ’em? If ye will

Judge so harshly, question you own breasts,

Make conscience umpire, and let that plead her cause.

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

As royal Mary, lavishing her soul

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

A most perfidious——

Lindsay.

Stop, my lord, nor seek

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

Kirkaldy.

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

But could they, we, her subjects only, can

Ne’er have legal power to sit her judges.

She stands accus’d of hatred to Darnley,

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

A match B4v [8]

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

Adopt the sage advice: let conscience speak:

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

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

Would ye not quickly throw the serpent out?

Maitland.

Certainly. Thanks, my worthy Lord, for pleading

Thus the royal sufferer’s cause, whose virtues

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

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

Morton and Glencairn, with patience favour me:—

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

Whom, view mentally as the Gallic Queen,

Whose copious mind art after art well stor’d;

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

In the full reign of beauty, youth and splendor!

Tho’ Francis shone not brightest among Kings,

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

Was all the tender, all the loyal wife;

And when he early paid Nature’s great debt,

His relict, like the widow’d turtle, most

Piteous moan’d his loss! The brilliancy

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

Beholders hearts, converting awe to love.

Such her certificates of innate goodness,

And trust of power ne’er violated,

When C1r [9]

When courted to resume her native throne,

Here she reigned her people’s idol; applauded,

Blest, wherever seen! Could this sov’reign Lady

At once degenerate;—fall from a planet

To a mere meteor!—a star of glory,

To a noxious vapour?

Kirkaldy.

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

Eloquence might charm the angelic choir,

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

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

The arrogated pow’r which ye, my Lords,

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

I beseech you, exert as men, not tyrants:

Drive her not to acts of desperation.

Surely My Lord of Athol joins this wish

Athol.

Most fervently. In a princess so young,

Could we expect Solon’s steady wisdom,

Blended with Dian’s purity?—vain hope!

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

Pernicious scenes of gallantry and revenge

Are light offences, and by their holy fount’s

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

Where Mary was sorely urg’d to retaliate

On Darnley: he that in cool blood assasinated

C Rizzio C1v [10]

Rizzio, harmonious Rizzio, before her!

Each blow the pregnant Queen internal felt

So strong, as nearly shook her embryo babe

From his affrighted mother! Thus terrified,

Bothwell protected the sacred person

From her savage Lord. Hence his vile ambition

Sprung, hence Mary’s misery! Therefore pity

Calls us to guard her realm; but let us dread

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

Exeunt Lords. Manet Argyle.

Argyle[Speaker label not present in original source]

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 C2r [11]

Scene III.

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

Regent.

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

I’ll not repeat; the papers he presented

Being signed with your hand, which stamps me—
Regent

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

Queen.

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

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

One article e’er broke her coronation oath?

Regent.

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

Those papers most clearly evince.

Queen.

They were extorted by cruel tyranny!

Else I’d ne’er yielded to my rebellious

Subjects dictates. All counsellors and friends

C2 Forbade C2v [12]

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

Ambassadors; surrounded by troops, each way,

Of female fears and enemies; accompanied

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

Read it necessity, not will, that stamp’d

Those papers:—Lindsay, horrid Lindsay forc’d

My signature—this sordid garb also!

But calmer thoughts firmly convince me,

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

Nature and justice must absolve the act.

Regent.

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

Consequences: in numerous Scottish Lords’

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

And now all state business, public writs, and

Forms of government, are only valid

In the name of James.

Queen.

Presumptuous man!

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

When first my subjects raised themselves against me,

On certain terms of peace, I yielded to Kirkaldy;

When he and Morton solemnly assured me,

In all confederates names, they would restore

Me to my realm and throne. I now claim promise

Of C3r [13]

Of loyalty as their lawful Sov’reign.

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

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

Regent.

Yes, captive Queen: I send Ambassadors

Hence; nor are its Peers confederates,

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

Whence learn now most justly you’re deposed.

Queen.

Say, Murray, of the infernal Council;

Since such high, vile, complicated treason

Demand one secret. No open Council

Durst abet such traitorous deeds, such adroit

Villainy! and such, such insulting baseness

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

Would dare to proceed thus against a Sov’reign,

Sprung from a lineal race of Scottish Kings.

Inaugurated six trebled centuries.

Regent.

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

And degrade you to the low vulgar: else to

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

Queen.

To Murray?—Matchless effrontery!—To thee!

Who C3v [14]

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

Outlaw’d, cringing for safety and power

In a distant realm, till there my pardon

Reach’d thee? Are these clement acts razed from

Thy memory? If so, ’tis treacherous

As thy enormous baseness!

Regent.

Too much to hear

From her who could abet assassin’s deeds,

Then wed her husband’s desp’rate murderer!

Queen.

Too much to hear and bear, indeed, from thy

O’erflowing gall, who hast stolen those subjects
allegiance

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

What name befits thee! usurper of legal rights!

Thou arch-fiend!—thou Scottish Cinna!

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

And thought till now my subject, yet treated

As my friend and brother.

Regent.

Your boasted friendship,

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

They C4r [15]

They grate upon the ear. I scorn all honour

Mary can confer, who threw away her own;

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

Trampling on Chastity, her sex’s diadem,

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

Maternal kindness due to her infant son,

To be a licentious villain’s paramour!

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

Thus to listen unto the guileful serpent!—

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

Curs’d infatuation! If Rome’s proud Prelate

Grants absolution to crimes of your deep die,

Protestants are not so charitable.

Ne’er more will Modesty, for example,

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

Professing virtue, will turn from Mary,

Who, in some short months, will only be remembered

As a ghost! creating astonishment!

And horror!

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

Queen.

Astonishment had so

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

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

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

Thy C4v [16]

Thy charges false, and will reveal the junto

Of Darnley’s horrid murder! thy agency

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

Will blow thy massy accusation; since

Criminals, midst death’s poignant tortures,

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

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

Fully refuted ’em, as ye can’t produce

Originals; nor e’er name the mother,

Whose anxious heart felt more for her child,

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

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

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

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

Usurper; e’er yet his infancy hath

Seen one circling year! Now playful as the

Tender fawn, when the fell huntsmen, with chace

Impetuous, drive the sad parent from its

Harmless side: though savagely I’m deny’d

To clasp my child, and smother him with kisses!

Yet hear, thou virgin mother of purity Queen kneels.

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

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

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

And ne’er meet such opprobrious insults

As D1r [17]

As sharpen now my pangs, and tear my lovely

Blossom from the tree that bore him!

Regent.

’Tis firm

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

’Tis she implants those thorns you seem to feel

For Darnley’s death, and base temerity!

Queen.

Look down, down, all-gracious Power,

With beams of mercy, on the poor suffering wretch,

Who finds none here! My pungent griefs and tears,

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

Name the crimes that penitence and prayer

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

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

Inexorable! Man alone forgets ’tis

Slippery ground he treads here, and perchance

He may strain a muscle, where his brother fell.

Regent.

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

Will ne’er expiate such complex sins as yours.

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

D Contrition, D1v [18]

Contrition, hypocrisy; its worst climax.

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

Than thus to deprecate his vengeful ire

By seeming penitence.

Queen.

Goodness infinite,

Malice cannot limit. Ah, mercy! mercy!

Though I feel it dead on earth, I know it

Lives above; where wearied spirits rest

On downy pillows. Thy longer visit,

Murray, I wish not, while unconscious

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

Who’ve sworn my reprobation. Thy cruel

Share in all, now riveted on my soul!

Most amply she forgives. But as thou’rt young

In thine high office, deign t’accept advice

From the first victim of thy lawless pow’r.

Never insult the wretched; ’tis cowardice;

More inhumanity! reflect, my combin’d wrongs

Have rais’d thee to that pinnacle of greatness,

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

Remember; which to gain, thou hast depos’d

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

Merely form the rabble; whose veering tongues

To day extol, to-morrow execrate!

On such reeds never lean. Thence timely mark

Haughty D2r [19]

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

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

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

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

As thou dost arrogate my sceptre, Oh! be

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

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

Dependance upon proud England’s power.

Pity th’ unfortunate, and think of her,

Who henceforth only reigns the Queen of Sorrows!

Exit Queen. Manet Regent.

Murray[Speaker label not present in original source]

Think of thy unconquer’d spirit, Mary;

Undoubtedly I shall. Each day’s

Transactions as Viceroy here, will force more

Remembrance of thee than I wish

End of the First Act.

D2 Act D2v [20]

Act II.

Scene I.

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

Regent.

My Noble Lords, what news abroad? Something

Important your looks presage. If aught to me,

Pray impart it soon.

Lyndsay.

It much concerns your Grace,

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

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

Of youthful Douglas; who, won by high promises,

Freed D3r [21]

Freed her person; whilst her warder and guards

Took thoughtless their nocturnal meal: mean while

Douglas stole the keys; the strong wards yielded

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

To waft her, and one poor trusty female,

To the desir’d haven; where Lord Seaton,

Sir James Hamilton, with numbers more,

Receiv’d Mary with rapid joy; who mounted

a steed, instantly high-spirited as

His rider, to th’ eye outstripping the wind.

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

Regent.

Is the Queen at West Lothain now?

Morton.

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

And though night had drawn her sable curtain,

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

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

At dawning morn.

Regent.

Never, never more, my Lords,

Let us admit female timidity

A bar to any hazardous enterprize.

Woman, however weak, her will assisting,

She’d D3v [22]

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

T’accomplish it. Yet this fugitive Fair

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

Say, my Lords, what detains this Amazon

At Hamilton?

Glencairn.

Your Grace must know, the Queen

There holds her court, raising a potent army;

Now more than six thousand strong; formidable

Associations plan’d beside, to defend

Her person and authority: to which

Nine Bishops, nine Earls, eighteen Lords, and brave

Gentlemen by the score, have now subscrib’d.

Regent.

Ha! is it so indeed?

Morton.

Most true, my Lord.

Regent.

Then ’tis no time to loiter. We must repel

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

Th’ expence of blood and treasure to the realm.

Lyndsay. D4r [23]

Lyndsay.

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

Try their metal, though the Queen’s cavalry

Nearly twice numbers ours; and she hourly

Expects t’augment it by Huntly, Ogilvie,

And the northern clans—beside her certain

Aid from France—perchance from England.

Argyle.

O miserable Scotland! widow’d country!

How art thou environ’d! Must brother against

Brother unnat’ral raise his sword; and the

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

Shall mourn her laws enactors; their murderers;

Thus the feat of civil war and ruthless

Desolation!

Regent.

Away, away with women’s

Fruitless plaints! they must give place to action:

Let rank contend with rank, and clashing spears

Create a mighty din. To arms, to arms!

War shall arbitrate.

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

Scene II.

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

Queen.

Surely th’ ireful Fates conspire against me!

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

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

And dreadful looks the future! Where can I fly?

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

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

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

To seek refuge from mine own subjects. Ah!

What horrid vicissitudes hath mutiny

Made E1r [25]

Made mine. When Scotland stamp’d me with her

Diadem, ’twas civil Discord’s rough sea!

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

Tell me, if ye think Heaven has reserv’d

One gracious drop of comfort for your

Wretched mistress! if ye hope but one drop,

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

Was ever woman so involv’d in woe?

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

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

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

Or by rapacious furies so beset?

In each relation struck beyond relief;

Enforc’d to fly from the last fatal battle,

Sixty long miles expos’d to warring elements,

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

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

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

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

Ladies, will ye attend me?

To the Ladies.

Lady Argyle.

Oh! most assuredly.

But, royal Madam, said you to England?

Queen.

I did. Why ask you?

E Argyle. E1v [26]

Argyle.

Doth not Elizabeth

Reign there?

Queen.

Yes. What then?

Argyle.

My thoughts I’d fain conceal.

Queen.

Speak all without reserve.

Argyle.

Sov’reign Lady,

May I ask, is Elizabeth your friend?

Queen.

She is my coussin, sister, near in blood,

And in alliance with my crown; as such

I deem her friend.

Argyle.

England’s Queen, I’ve heard, hath

Profound E2r [27]

Profound judgment, nervous sense; but more than
proud,

She is imperious, and brooks no rival.

O’er all the mighty Potentates in Europe

She holds herself the greatest; nor is her

Jealousy confin’d to regal power,

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

Queen.

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

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

Mine eyes, whatever lustre they might boast,

Now are as dim as yon expiring lamps:

The rosy bloom hastes to forsake my cheek,

And cheerless sorrow steals my ev’ry charm.

Argyle.

The world will ne’er suppose that rapid wane.

Elizabeth not only envies your

Superior charms, but e’en your joy maternal.

For when each foreign Court sent gratulations

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

At your parental honours inly pin’d!

Herself comparing “to a barren stock;”

And you unto a fruitful tree, extending

Royal branches o’er the world.

E2 Queen. E2v [28]

Queen.

These sentiments

Are somewhat capricious from my fair sister,

Who offer’d and stood first sponsor to my

Hapless babe! Much I wish’d her marriage,

Whose suitors have been many: Sweden’s King,

Arran, heir of great Chateerhault; and a

Numerous train of other Princes, who

Laid their sceptres at her feet.

Argyle.

Ah! Madam,

I’m well inform’d these princely suitors were

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

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

At length discarded, but from private views?

Queen.

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

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

Her aim, conquests more renowned than those of
hearts:

While Fame’s loud trump resounds through distant
climes,

The matchless glory of the virgin Queen!

Argyle. E3r [29]

Argyle.

The reasons are, this Queen, like Eastern Monarchs,

Jealous of prerogative, would let no Prince

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

Queen.

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

That anointed me the Queen of Scots; and snakes,

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

I’d been far happier a village maid,

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

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

Globe or septre. All insignias, garish

Flags of royalty, are now to me as

Mere regalias of th’illustrious dead!

Whose gaudy banners stream high, announcing

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

What am I now?—I know not, except a

Limed wounded bird, from th’invidious net

Hardly escaped! while falcons and vultures,

Hov’ring o’er its devoted head, proclaim

Destruction! I’ll try now to forget

The painful thought by an interval of rest:

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

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

Vanilla E3v [30]

Vanilla and Aretta, come with me.

Oh! I am sick at heart!

Exit Queen.

Scene III.

Lady Melvil.

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

Lady Herries.

Somnus waves his peaceful wand

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

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

She dreams of England as a recipe;

But much I dread, that foggy air will more

Obnoxious prove than Scotland’s keener breath.

Numberless reasons Mary might advert to,

Which ’gainst this expedition strongly militate.

Melvil.

True: since her unsuspecting soul is blind to

Dangers that await her from Elizabeth,

Her pow’rful, envious rival! Cool reason

Can’t comprehend that meteor of caprice,

Who haughtily denied our Sov’reign

An E4r [31]

An escort from the Gallic coast, to mount

Her native throne.

Herries.

Unprecedented refusal!

A request no stranger would vainly sue.

Melvil.

More:—Elizabeth, for certain, sent ships

T’intercept Mary’s voyage, and bind her

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

Herries.

Could Mary then scape?

Melvil.

Neptune, far kinder

Than Elizabeth, well knowing his ward,

Crush’d her intent; and pale Cynthia, instant

Hung out a sable robe, beneath whose misty

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

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

Argyle.

Elaborate duplicity! Oh! much

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

In her sister’s realm.

Herries. E4v [32]

Herries.

Soon I expect my Lord,

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

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

Lo! here she comes!

Enter Queen.

Argyle.

We hope your Majesty

Hath found sweet repose.

Queen.

No, Ladies: I’m grief’s

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

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

Approaching serpent.

Scene IV.

Lord Herries entering.

Mary[Speaker label not present in original source]

Lord Herries, thrice welcome!

’Tis kind, ’tis very kind thus to visit

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

While it longs t’ unload her weight unto thy

Friendly F1r [33]

Friendly ear. But matters so numerous

And cogent, crowd on my poor brain! struggling

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

Though time forbids my speaking aught distinct,

But that I’ll strait for England.

Lord Herries.

Heav’n forbid!

Queen.

Say why, My Lord?

Lord Herries.

Oh! for an host of reasons.

Queen.

Where else can I fly? Think not my spirit

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

A fugitive! since, in that lap of blessing,

I spent my halcyon days, and left all

My glory! England now’s my only fort,

Where my good sister courts me to her arms;

Will in her royal person meet, and in

Her court benignly welcome and protect me:

There I shall regain life; seem like a being

From another world; emerg’d from Chaos.

F Lord F1v [34]

Lord Herries.

It pains me much to tell your Majesty,

Vehement warmth, and a too credulous ear,

Oft ushers arrow’d pain to guileless hearts.

Think how conspicuous England’s Queen hath shown

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

You, her presumptive heir, if she dies childless,

Excites her cruel jealousy! whose legal

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

Protestants and all European Princes,

Who can’t allow her father’s marriage null

With living, loyal Catherine; when Boleyne

Took her bed, and gave your rival blotted birth!

Which made her, like Bolingbroke, guard royal

Prerogative with more than dragon’s watch

And eyes of Argus. Hence sprang Elizabeth’s

Rooted resentment to you for assuming

Th’ English arms and title.

Queen.

Alas! to woe

I’m a true heiress! Not nine dawning morns

Mine eyes were ope’d on this pernicious world,

Ere my father left it. His crown devolv’d

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

For pious Edward’s future bride——

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

Reasons, Henry would fain have ta’en me,

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

But F2r [35]

But on such terms, my guardian peers forbade.

Hence England’s sordid views quite defeated;

Fresh wars commenc’d betwixt our neighb’ring realms

I, an innocent actress in all these scenes;

Howe’er, the Gallic Monarch from England

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

Lord Herries.

Oh! was the courteous Francis living,

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

His manners mild as the morn that ushers

In Day’s radiant King.

Queen.

E’en so:—All deeds

Preliminary fix’d by my husband’s fire,

And my maternal uncles, Lorrain’s Cardinal,

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

Their joint counsel I observ’d, as ancients

Those of Delphos. There, in conjunct opinion

Of Elizabeth’s illegitimacy,

Henry of France, enjoin’d his son and me

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

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

Lord Herries.

Great Queen, they were, and stampt you vast importance

F2 In F2v [36]

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

By your proud sister, then mounting her throne;

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

With prompt zeal met her wishes in weakening

Your regal pow’r, and aggrandizing hers

By treaty, wherein he stipulated

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

Queen.

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

Or any title but of innocence!——

Lord Herries.

I beg your Majesty, shun what yet you may;

Doubt is oft’times wisdom’s friendly beacon.

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

Whose many indignant flights and subtle wiles,

Should be full warning, not to rely on her,

Who hath so oft deceiv’d you.

Queen.

No more, no more:

I’ll relinquish royal claims for peace; kingdoms

For liberty and safety, which this realm

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

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

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

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

Will defend its sacred rights, cancel wrongs,

And F3r [37]

And make me ev’ry, ev’ry recompence.

Lord Herries.

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

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

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

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

Hamilton, Murray, with other malcontents,

Under her auspices, when your known rebels.

Though conscious of the treacherous part,

Elizabeth deny’d all to France and Spain’s

Remonstrances. Hence I aver, Mary’s

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

Sister is dissimulation’s.

Queen.

Fie, Herries, fie!

You draw my sister in too black a shade!

She ne’er could do all this; national honour

And faith of Kings forbid it.

Lord Herries.

Benign Sov’reign!

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

Evasions, and responses to plain queries,

Will fully refute. Think how this potent Queen

Repuls’d your princely suitors; feigning many

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

Came F3v [38]

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

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

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

Next a mere man of wax, Darnley, this snare

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

While, like enamel’d meads carpeted o’er

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

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

Too weak to bear transplanting in a royal soil.

Queen.

O Darnley! Oh, it harrows up my soul,

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

Are lodg’d in me by him: from remembrance

Fain, fain I’d chace him!

Lord Herries.

I’d not have nam’d him,

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

No limpid stream runs clearer than my conscience,

Thus warning my Queen against the possible,

If not probable future troubles from her

Jealous elder sister.

Queen.

My elder sister

Now can dread in me no rival; a wretch

Forlorn F4r [39]

Forlorn—a poor beggar in her kingdom!

As such, to reject her offer’d friendship,

Were to incense my regal patroness,

And refuse th’ only safe asylum from my foes.

Here ye have new laws—unprecedented laws!

Scotland is govern’d by aristocracy;

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

—Avaunt cruel suggestions against

Elizabeth, whose breath will blast rebellion;

Bright Seraphs, waft me to her kindred arms,

Who longs to soothe and mitigate my woes!

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

Herries, write instantly to Louther, Carlisle’s

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

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

Lord Herries.

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

That glowing brand of enmity, England’s Queen,

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

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

That sanguine hopes may ne’er your Majesty

Delude, to hazard that dangerous shore.

Queen

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

Lord F4v [40]

Lord Herries.

Reluctant I obey.

Lord Herries retires to write.

Queen.

My good Ladies,

In sympathy comment not on what you’ve heard;

Nor cowardly muse o’er it in silence,

I charge ye, on my love.

Lady Melvil.

Could tearful pray’rs

Invoke stern, awful fate! the briny showers

Bedewing now our cheeks; we would unite

With manly Herries t’intreat our Sov’reign,

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

Mazes of expectations flow’ry land,

You find a fork-tongu’d viper lurking to

Bite you deadly!

Lord Herries entering gives the
Queenhis Letter.

Lord Herries.

Would I’d been fix’d in my

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

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

Infatuated Queen!

Aside. Exit Lord Herries. Queen G1r [41]

Queen.

Ladies, be cheerful.

In spite of all sage Herries can divine,

My sister England will be my pole star;

And ye shall find me more your friend than mistresss.

Though here I’m native, Scotland inhumes my

Happiness, and e’en merits not my bones.

Vile, vile nursery of infernal foes,

And complicated treason; black as the

Stygian lake! Such thy enormous deeds

Might make e’en the centre move with earthquakes!

And the land dissolve in air; blowing her

Treacherous sons to savage regions;

There with their kindred brutes to herd! but yet,

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

If possible, Scotland’s perfidious cruelty

I’ll steep in Lethe: farewell—farewell!

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

End of the Second Act

G Act G1v [42]

Act III.

Scene I.

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

Queen Elizabeth, with a Letter.

This letter much disturbs my thoughts: to thee

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

How to steer in this Sicilian strait.

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

There the Scottish Queen rests: this informs me,

Expecting I’ll personally meet and

Here escort her, paying her regal honours

As to a Monarch; more, espouse her cause,

And instantly join my force ’gainst the fierce Scots.

Cecil.

Are not these high expectations somewhat

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

Queen G2r [43]

Queen Elizabeth.

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

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

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

Nor honour, can bend thus to a fugitive,

Under imputed crimes too enormous

E’er for Elizabeth’s throne to shelter.

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

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

I feel. Subjects have no right to trample

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

Was ne’er amenable. Thou, my warder

Of political secrets, now advise

What reception ’tis best to give Mary,

My late dreaded, but now humbled rival.

Cecil.

Most wise and mighty Princess, you well know

Your royal sister’s aspiring spirit.

Whom should you embrace at Whitehall, raise troops

To reinstate, and fix on her native throne;

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

By your counsel. Your deep penetration

Clearly views th’importance of the moment,

With all its attendant consequences.

’Tis far beyond my futile reach of thought

So to advise in aiding, or rejecting

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

G2 Well, G2v [44]

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

And high renown.

Queen Elizabeth.

In this exigence, how,

How can I pursue glory’s radiant track?

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

Each claiming audience. By piteous moans

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

I presented her as my love’s token

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

Therefore should my offer’d protection cool.

’Twill be resounded through each distant clime——

From all bring me reproach.

Cecil.

Foreign censure,

My royal Mistress had better incur,

Than weaken England’s cause. I apprehend

Self-preservation should be your guiding star.

Queen Elizabeth.

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

Aid, or dismiss her my realm with disdain?

Who long hath artful woo’d my diadem,

And gave me much disquiet.

Cecil. G3r [45]

Cecil.

Should my Sov’reign

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

Would abet her cause, and Spain support it;

Where Mary’s late lover, Don Carlos, might

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

And join your rival in the Papal pow’r;

Which must distress your Majesty, and aid

Your foes.

Queen Elizabeth.

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

Claim’d friendship from me. Now her petition

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

Since, after vows of amity, eternal

Gratitude, and soforth, credulous Mary,

Fully relying on me in her cause,

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

Yet ne’er fold the plaintiff to my bosom,

Until her character, bleach’d in the sun,

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

’Twill take some time to whiten. Aside.

Mean while Mary’s lofty spirit must and shall

Bow to Elizabeth’s supremacy.

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

Is the grand question.

Cecil. G3v [46]

Cecil.

Your Majesty

Can’t fix the royal captive in your palace,

Whose youth, beauty, bland address, and sufferings,

E’en now fascinates all strangers.

Queen Elizabeth.

What then?

Allow her a court elsewhere, to fill with

Bigoted Papists, who would elbow me

From my throne?

Cecil.

No, mighty Princess, never.

Sooner confine the suppliant t’ a castle,

Whence o’er the world Mary can spread no more

Delusions, nor, with a wand’ring fire,

Inflame enemies to that religion

Which supports Great England’s crown.

Queen Elizabeth.

Good Cecil,

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

So Bolton shall be Mary’s park, Lord Scroop

Her warder. Give instant orders this captive’s

Guarded there; her indulgencies but small,

Attendants few. Fly swift to Bolton, with her:

Elizabeth’s G4r [47]

Elizabeth’s strong pow’rs shall humble this

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

Exit Cecil.

Scene III.

Duke of Norfolk entering.

Elizabeth[Speaker label not present in original source]

My Lord of Norfolk, I joy to see you:

’Tis a pleasure superlative indeed,

To have my Court honour’d with your presence!

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

Methinks you look chagrin’d.

Norfolk.

Sov’reign Lady,

Such various affairs have detain’d and

Lately engag’d me, they would be tedious

T’enumerate; and great impertinence

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

Queen Elizabeth.

This artful evasion gives tacit proof

Your Grace hath seen the fugitive Mary:

Is she pleas’d with her English residence?

Norfolk. G4v [48]

Norfolk.

I frankly own, Imperial mistress,

I’ve lately visited Scotland’s Majesty,

Who, with pious rhetoric in her eye,

Was intensely mourning for your displeasure!

Source of more poignant grief than all she felt

From usurpation of her realm and crown.

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

Once to see the disconsolate stranger,

And soothe her anxious soul!—Whate’ers the

Real or suppos’d crimes clouding her fame;

Comfort from you will spread new glories round

England’s gracious Queen!

Queen Elizabeth.

What mean’st thou, Norfolk?

Has Mary sent thee here to plead her cause?

Art thou her champion? Ta’en captive by

The syren? Listed amongst her suitors,

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

Ye all shall find my sceptre faction’s scourge,

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

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

Of silken dalliance with my proud rival!

Lest, when entranc’d in golden slumbers, I

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

Norfolk. H1r [49]

Norfolk.

Dread Sov’reign! Mary’s thoughts seem congenial

With her thrice-humbled state! When the meanest
peasant

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

Pardon me then, most sage and potent Queen,

If I dare, urg’d by humanity alone,

Now ope my lips for injur’d royalty,

To a sister’s feelings: since your bright throne

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

Most gladly throng.

Queen Elizabeth.

Arise, Norfolk! this exile

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

More than me; torn with conflicting passions!

True, I’ve sought peace, sanctimonious peace,

Throughout my realm, at vast expence! thwarted oft

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

Sole arbitress in the quarrel ’twixt her

And th’ invidious Scots! therefore at York,

Soon, thou, Norfolk, my faithful delegate,

Shalt sit supreme, to hear and judge what the

Warm Caledonians bring ’gainst their

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

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

Mary in a soul’s embrace! cheering my heart

H That G1v [50]

That secretly yearns to soothe and heal her grief,

With sisterly affection. But till then

My rectitude, and regal dignity,

Admit no interview with the sweet mourner.

Howe’er, thou mayst console the fugitive,

With full assurance of my tender love.

Norfolk.

Bless’d Queen of mercy! whose inspiring strains

This moment makes Elysium round me!

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

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

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

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

Might join for this most grateful embassy!

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

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

Exit Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth.

Apt Duke,

In love to the degenerate Mary.

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

Or learn more loyalty to thy Sov’reign.

Exit Queen
Elizabeth
.
Scene H2r [51]

Scene III.

Bolton Castle. Discovers Queen Mary reading.

Queen Mary.

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

For science, and pious meditation!

Howe’er delighted with youthful gaieties,

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

Nor could the syren pleasure drive ’em from me:

In this drear prison they’re my only comforts;

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

Now adversity, torrent-like, pours on me

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

Stripping hope’s tree of her sweet foliage,

Till it is leafless.

Enter Duke of Norfolk.

Duke of. Norfolk[Speaker label not present in original source]

Since an age of absence,

Forgive, bright Queen! if duty thus obtrudes

On sacred ardor. In contemplation wrapt,

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

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

H2 Wholly H2v [52]

Wholly engross your pious mind. But turn

Your thoughts to joys more lively than this writer

Inculcates; who treats of bliss remoter far,

Than that I woo thee t’embrace.

Queen Mary.

Devout authors

Are best adapted to my state and mind.

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

Wish direct to Heaven; there my joys center.

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

Norfolk.

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

Prove not inflexible; since by gales of joy,

From England’s Queen I come: joy she permits

T’ impart to my soul’s sweet empress!

Queen Mary.

Extinct

My hopes from her, who monarchises here

With iron sceptre! and, from power of

Referee ’twixt my revolting subjects

And self, usurps despotic tyranny

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

Deny’d H3r [53]

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

On these barb’rous wrongs I’ve expostulated—

Warmly expostulated oft times

With her, and foreign Princes, alas in vain!

Elizabeth sways all; and binds me here

In chains of adamant, while she holds converse

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

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

Fire to ancient feuds, as if determin’d

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

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

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

Norfolk.

Rejoice! these pungent griefs will soon subside;

Since the virgin Queen seems penetrated

With your woes, and anxious to redress ’em.

By me she bids you hope for peace and comfort.

Queen Mary.

What-new blown bubble! all, all delusion!

And cruel irony! Her cruelty

Will never, never remit my tortures:

Since deeds, her heart’s oracle, speak Elizabeth

As opposite to peace, as th’ antipodes

To H3v [54]

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

Duplicity hath been systematical

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

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

Suspect a quicksand of deceit! Hence, my foes

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

Though great Fergus was my sire’s progenitor:

While maternally York and Lancaster

Cements our blood by beauteous Margaret.

The kind Ocean too, as if emulous of peace,

Join’d our dominions in one island:

Ah! were its Sovereigns so united,

Each India might humbly bow to us,

And our regal power outweigh Europe’s:

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

Intreating peace by salutary offers;

Though none she’ll take, while jealousy, maniac

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

Shall its cruel power fetter my soul,

Though it inthralls my person.

Norfolk.

Imperial Queen!

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

The Regent, with your Scottish Peers, will aid me

To reinstate their Sov’reign in her realm.

Queen H4r [55]

Queen Mary.

Past events forbid my credence. Murray,

I durst not hope! Murray, ambitious, cruel,

Ever aspiring to my state and crown,

Will ne’er resign it to the rightful owner.

While o’er the blackest falsehoods he daring throws

Religion’s sacred mantle! His conduct

Ever wrapt in mystery to me, alas!

In England’s Court was better known.

Norfolk.

In York’s

August conference, my pow’r with Murray

Quash’d that tyrannic commission. All future

Insult your Scottish friends request, you’d take

Safe refuge from in a faithful husband’s arms!

Pious Ross, Maitland, the Regent likewise,

All announce Norfolk for the happy man!

Besides, this to your Majesty, English Peers,

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

Who will inform his Queen on’t, imploring

My soul’s treasure may crown its ardent love

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

Are all the diadems I wish For her alone

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

Peruvian mines!

Queen H4v [56]

Queen Mary.

Thou glorious son

Of innate worth! arise instantly, and now,

And ever fly my cause and me.

Norfolk.

Annihilated first must all my senses lie.

Queen Mary.

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

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

Forcibly wedded t’ indissoluble grief;

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

Now its puissant wretch! building my bliss

On stairs of sand.

Thy gen’rous friendship I gratefully accept:

Fetter it not with pleas of love; lest it

Steals credence from me, and that kind return

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

I’m now in expectation poorer far

Than she who roams for food from door to door.

Would England’s richest Peer wed such a mendicant?

All my dow’r, the fullest cup of direful

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

I will not plunge thee in the deep abyss,

Nor I1r [57]

Nor shalt thou share the hapless Mary’s fate;

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

Norfolk.

This transcendent care will ever bind me

To the great soul of my inimitable Queen!

Who wilely treated, must not let her princely

Spirit think aught less of prerogative,

Merit, or rank, than if you still had kingdoms

In possession, and legions at your nod.

A love like mine, sighs not for dominions;

But pants with finer feelings! The glory

To soothe and relieve opprest innocence!

T’adore such excellence in ev’ry state,

Desire was planted in the heart of man,

And here becomes a duty.

Queen Mary.

On woe refine not.

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

Now in misery chain’d, each state I retrospect

This sad seminary elevates my mind,

And teaches, not to contend with Omnipotence;

But suffer as becomes royal innocence.

Here former vanities are physick’d well; and

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

She has abdicated the world; and ev’ry

I Pulse I1v [58]

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

What though I’m made afflictions direful mark!

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

Poignancy; as erst, when they assail’d me

In possession of all weak mortals calls great.

Then my spirits danc’d high to sublunary bliss,

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

Glides through these mazy veins more soft and

Tranquil; altering nature in her course

To fourscore years, by storms of fate! that drive

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

Norfolk.

Since those tremendous storms ne’er impair’d your

Peerless beauty, why will Scotland’s Majesty

Waste her blooming days in cheerless solitude?

When love inthrones you in my heart, flying

On eagle wings to lay crowns at your feet.

Queen Mary.

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

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

In the sound! Howe’er secret faithful instinct

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

The virgin Queen’s award, without it bodes

Ten thousand horrors! Death the least――

Norfolk. I2r [59]

Norfolk.

What, oh! what doth the royal Mary utter?

The most despotic tyrant that e’er disgrac’d

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

Cruelty, controul his subjects passions.

In love the simplest hind claims Nature’s right

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

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

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

Should your jealous sister reject my suit.

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

With all Rome’s see, gladly would unite force

To restore Scotland’s Queen to her undoubted right.

Queen Mary.

I beseech your Grace, let not such cruel—

Such treasonable thoughts, enter the confines

Of your heart. To hear one syllable

On such a subject, is rack and torture!

Whate’er I suffer, vengeance is not mine;

Nor mortals to retaliate. My Lord,

Rest firmly assur’d, in no shape will I

E’er sanction such ideas; and dreading

To hear aught that might lessen gallant Norfolk

In my esteem, I must prohibit your

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

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

Queen Mary going. I2 Norfolk. I2v [60]

Norfolk.

Is’t possible your Majesty can be

Thus cruel; colder than Thracian snows

Or Greenland ice! Stay, sweet enchantress, stay;

I conjure thee, stay! let me regale my soul

By one kind look!

Queen Mary.

I dare not; though, could angels mourn,

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

Call I leave thee. May benign blest spirits

Guard thy couch—soothe thy conflicting soul!

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

I go t’implore ’em for thee.

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

Norfolk.

Angels are deaf,

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

Prove more destructive than the flaming one,

That drave our fire from blissful Eden! Th’ incensed

Angel left him his Eve; sweet solace in distress!

To go without mine, is a fate far more

More I3r [61]

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

Since life without thee is protracted misery.

End of the Third Act

Act IV.

Scene I.

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

Enter. Messenger.

Ambassadors from Philip, King of Spain,

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

Speedy admission to your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth.

Unwelcome visitants they are: my throne

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

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

Go: I3v [62]

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

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

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

Was the royal doe once liberated,

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

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

Scot on my throne? All European Princes,

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

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

My crown and life would soon be sacrific’d

To this insulting captive! whom to set free,

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

Cecil.

Potent Queen,

Consummate wisdom dictates the resolve,

Which well befits your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth.

But how,

Consistent with my regal dignity,

And rights of nations, can I shun these bold

Remonstrating daring Ambassadors?

Honour compels t’ admit ’em to my presence,

And return responses to their queries,

However vexing. I dare not violate

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

Aside. Cecil. I4r [63]

Cecil.

Permit me, royal Madam, with courtesy,

Gladly to receive these foreign obtruders;

Telling ’em my Sov’reign is suddenly

Ta’en dreadfully ill! alarming complaints,

Presageing danger and long confinement,

Which make th’Esculapian tribe strictly

Prohibit all but pers’nal attendants,

To the chamber, where your precious life

Depends on rest, from all bus’ness national

Or domestic.

Queen Elizabeth.

Well, go summon thy rhet’ric

To justify thy much-embarrass’d mistress!

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

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

While Mary’s in’t.

Exit Cecil.

Walsingham.

I’m afraid your Majesty

Hath too much reason for this malady:

Since duty bids me say, there’s amazing work

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

Is bound to land ten thousand men near London.

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

Many I4v [64]

Many English Peers are ripe for a revolt,

And turn their eyes to Norfolk, for a leader.

Queen Elizabeth.

To Norfolk! unparalleled ingratitude!

Where can I expect loyalty, or sweetly

Rely on a subject, if Norfolk’s false?

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

Averring firm allegiance to me,

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

That deluding traitoress!

Walsingham.

Most gracious Queen,

I know it: yet still Norfolk is Mary’s

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

Supplies her; bears an embosom’d treason,

Mountainous high, against your Majesty,

Deeply contriv’d, and as deeply digested.

Queen Elizabeth.

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

Walsingham.

I mean, by advising and abetting

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

Spain, France, and other avow’d enemies

To your sacred Majesty. Besides, Norfolk

Holds K1r [65]

Holds close conference with that fiery Prelate,

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

In the fiercest storm, and dark as Erebus.

Queen Elizabeth.

Hast thou strong proof, Walsingham, for this black

List of crimes ’gainst Norfolk?

Walsingham.

Yes, Royal Madam:

Indubitable proof. But see, the Duke is here.

Scene IIIII.

Enter Duke of Norfolk.

Queen Elizabeth.

My Lord Duke, what, once more at Whitehall!

I thought your Grace was better entertain’d,

Than to tread my antique Court’s dull circle.

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

Enjoyed all rural sports, since last I saw you:

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

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

K Sequester’d K1v [66]

Sequester’d tenants, as well as the fields

Nobler quadrupedes, all drop into your toils.

Norfolk.

Your Majesty is pleasant, but I fear

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

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

To molest ’em. Literary amusements,

And convivial society, chiefly

Engage me in rural shades.

Queen Elizabeth.

Right; yet Norfolk’s

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

Languid meditation! It soars higher.—

The timid deer, perchance, too low pursuit

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

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

But know, thou daring rebel! Elizabeth

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

And ne’er will yield either to that adroit

Sorceress Mary, who mounts thy wishes

Higher than thyself, or all Scotland’s worth.

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

Presumption! crush thy lofty crest, and hers too,

Who maddens thee to treason.

Norfolk. K2r [67]

Norfolk.

Awful Queen!

Since all my treason lies in humanity,

Let me implore that mercy ever quick

In your royal breast, and is the brightest gem

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

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

Sweet pattern of suffering excellence!

Your noble sister. Yet heav’n can witness

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

Give me but liberty, and Mary Stuart;

’Tis all the treasure I desire on earth.

Queen Elizabeth.

This amorous parley to thy Sov’reign!

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

Sweet excellence;—what else?—intoxicated fool!

Justice awaits thee: thy peers shall try thee,

And full monarchial vengeance thou shalt feel.

Exit Queen Eliz. and Walsingham. Manet Norfolk.

Duke of. Norfolk[Speaker label not present in original source]

There went the malignant Queen of Furies;

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

Tossing head and fiery eyes, I dread some

K2 Fatal K2v [68]

Fatal storm gathers in her venom’d heart!

In last night’s slumbers, methought Elizabeth’s

Stern form stood by me, denouncing dreadful ire

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

Banish’d with thee to some remote desart,

Where human foot ne’er trod, would to Norfolk

Be consecrated! and pleasanter far,

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

Could my life appease my vengeful Sov’reign!

And restore Mary to her regal rights,

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

Enter Guard and Officers.

Ist. Officer.

Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, in the name

Of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth,

We arrest you of high treason against her

And the State of England.

Norfolk.

No more: this is somewhat hasty.—

Ah me!

2d. Officer.

No more; but to attend your Grace

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

We are servants t’England’s despotic Queen;

And K3r [69]

And must obey her, though very painful

Our commission here!

Shewing the Warrant.

Norfolk.

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

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

And fear none human, since Death breaks my mooring;

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

So adieu to all life’s pompous nothings that

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

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

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

To die in honour’s cause, plaudit of men

And angels, with personal and mental strength,

Than calmly to yield up a worn-out life,

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

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

Avaunt, then, dastard fear! I cheerfully

Go with ye.

Exeunt omnes, Norfolk guarded.
Scene I3v [70]

Scene III.

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

Queen Mary.

Vanilla, bring me that embroider’d vest

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

And contemplate the Prince I wish to wear it,

May e’en give a momentary turn to

Melancholy thought— —Ah! ’twill not do!

Queen tries to work a flower,
and lays it down

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

I’ve such a direful heaviness on my soul,

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

My Lamentation—both are well suited

To my state.

The Lamentation played.

Queen Mary’s Lamentation.
Song.

I sigh and lament me in vain;

These walls can but echo my moan:

Alas! they increase but my pain,

When I think of the days that are gone.

Through. I4r [71]

Through the grate of my prison I see

The birds as they wanton in air;

My heart how it pants to be free!

My looks they are wild with despair!

Above, though opprest by my fate,

I burn with contempt for my foes:

Though fortune has alter’d my state,

She ne’er can subdue me to those.

False woman! in ages to come,

Thy malice detested shall be;

And, when I am cold in the tomb,

Some heart still shall sorrow for me.

Ye roofs, where cold damps and dismay,

With silence and solitude dwell,

How comfortless passes the day!

How sad tolls the evening bell!

The owls from the battlements cry,

Hollow winds seen to murmur around;

O! Mary, prepare thee to die!

My blood it runs cold at the sound!

Mary[Speaker label not present in original source]

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 I4v [72]

Have ye not heard the bats and croaking ravens,

With ill-boding notes, flapping their heavy wings

Against these grated windows? I hear ’em still.

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

Would like a sudden surge drive me on an

Unknown coast Therefore I’ve besought my uncle

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

Knowing to my relentless foe, my groans

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

Will be rich nectar.

Aretta.

Then in her breast a wolf’s

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

Nor strike a heart glowing with ev’ry virtue!

Your sleepless warders seem also savages,

Who treat your Majesty with such vile insult,

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

Queen Mary.

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

While outrages to me secures their office,

I, vassal to their merciless commands,

Must obey them. Hereafter, when my wrongs

Are fully konwn, the brave, and tender fair,

At Mary’s sufferings, will stand aghast!

But I’ll no more wound your sympathetic hearts

With moaning iteration.

Vanilla. L1r [73]

Vanilla.

Sov’reign Lady,

If your vengeful foe’s invet’rate malice

Can only be satiated in your death,

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

Your woes period will be hers æra,

Who inflicts ’em: her name stigmatiz’d,

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

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

No real mourner follow her corse: but your son,

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

And in him Mary live ideal, t’ enjoy

Her envy’d rights; while you, invested with

A starry tiara, will look down with

Smiling contempt on all earthly crowns.

Queen Mary.

Thy last prediction speaks consummate bliss!

May gracious Heaven realize it!

Scene IV.

Enter Archbishop of Ross.

Bishop of. Ross[Speaker label not present in original source]

Reverend Father, I scarcely thought earth

Left me so great a joy as seeing Ross

My warm and steady friend!

L Ross. L1v [74]

Ross.

Angelic suff’rer!

I deeply mourn my friendship’s sad events.

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

Where your innocence would have shone as the sun,

In mid-day glory, had not each proof been

Precluded by artful villainy of

Stygean depth! such your specious sister!

Instigated to send home base Murray!

With those spurious accumulated

Forgeries, that refuting each other,

Dreaded the glance of Truth’s discerning eye,

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

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

For striving to support your sacred cause;

Her fury inly raging, like those fierce flames

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

Bow to the axe some few days since.

Queen Mary.

Alas!

That fatal news I’ve heard, and ever must

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

Even infernal influence could e’er prove,

If swear high treason ’gainst his Grace. Then tell

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

Was sacrific’d?

Ross. L2r [75]

Ross.

Norfolk’s Secretary

Betray’d his benign Master by tenfold

Perfidious ingratitude! producing

Letters giv’n him to decypher, then burn,

That pass’d betwixt the noble Duke and you.

Perjur’d Hickford exhibited these in court,

Sad vouchers of Norfolk’s love to my Queen!

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

Duplicity! Here lay his Grace’s high treason

’Gainst his Sov’reign.

Queen Mary.

Surely no former annals

Can unfold so rigorous a fate as mine!

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

But all flatt’ring prospects totally eclips’d.

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

Delays to close my sorrows with mine eyes:

What a hecatomb of friends in my cause

Have been immolated! Not one adopted

But suffers for me—I for them: sad chain

Of deaths! horrid Aceldama! each drop

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

O’erflowing with bitter poison to my peace!

L2 All, L2v [76]

All, all the manes of warm advocates

Stand in dire array before me! Norfolk,

Best, last added to the dreadful number!

Whose headless trunk “lies fest’ring in his shroud.”

Yet if thy gentle spirit hovers in air,

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

Meets thine, t’ascend the blissful skies together:

There, only there shall I find rest――

Ross.

That bliss, bright saint, awaits trials of great

Magnitude well borne here. Though persecutions

Are Humanity’s reproach, yet from them

Spring Confessors and Martyrs, Religion’s glory!

Hence oft times too heroes and heroines

Celebrity, which still the world illumes.

Therefore, if possible, let meditation,

Solitude’s sweet child, waft all your wishes

To that temple, where spirits unimbody’d

Will be incapable of wound or pain.

Queen Mary.

Fain, fain would I, since thoughts of things terrene

Would certainly destroy my brain, were it

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

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

Not L3r [77]

Not kneel to fortune: or heavy rains have

Wash’d away the soft consecrating oil

Whereby I was anointed, and crown’d with

Double glory. Now only supreme in

Poignant misery! In darker times, augury

Presag’d what bleeding Julius felt.

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

Others comet-like, in dire conjunct of

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

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

On me?

Ross.

No victim of divine wrath rises like you,

Refin’d from affliction’s furnace, whence the

Drossy part left, the soul is corrected,

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

Who bears no rival in sanctify’d hearts;

But deadens ardent love to mundane objects;

Or in mercy takes ’em from prosperity’s

Baneful state! Here, alas! with grief we see

Inexorable foes exaggerate frail youth’s

Inexperience, and giddy passions

To wilful crimes; then record ’em heinous sins

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

There th’ accuser and accused stand at one bar,

Omniscience th’ judge.

Queen. L3v [78]

Queen Mary.

That reflection is balm

To my wounded soul, since here mine honour,

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

Ross

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

Since t’will mount assuredly in future fame,

When your oppressors sink. Mary’s strong castle

Is higher built than all her northern ones

Lately usurp’d.

Queen Mary.

Enough of them, since those

Usurpations are whiten’d into law:

I’ll no longer cherish delusive hope;

Each glimpse being vilely wrapt in covert guile,

Or prohibited. Fond letters to James

All intercepted! He Elizabeth’s

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

And mine, by ev’ry mode of obsecration!

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

Have been as poignant as when I gave him birth!

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

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

Eminently with the stork’s filial love:

Else he might secure her an asylum,

Whose L4r [79]

Whose crown wrested from me he hath long worn:

While, like the desart pelican, mine offspring

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

Hath broken nature’s bands! all mine allies

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

Elizabeth hath many tedious years

Amus’d the Gallic Court by nuptial

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

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

Heaven defend us, here’s a rude approach!

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

The Queen screams and faints.

Scene V.

Enter Guard and Officers.

Ross.

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

Nor dare assault Scotland’s sacred Majesty!

First. Officer.

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

Lady Elizabeth, and by her most

Special L4v [80]

Special mandate, we arrest you, John Lessey,

Archbishop of Ross.

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

Ross.

It can’t be Ross: impossible t’arrest

The Ambassador of Heav’n s vicegerent!

The right of nations guards me; besides my

Sacred function!

Second Officer.

The Tow’r best answers that.

There our royal warrant strait takes you. Know,

Pertinacious priest, an Ambassador’s

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

Nor will the mitre, or pontiff robe, here

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

Vain your struggles.

Exeunt omnes—Ross guarded.
Scene M1r [81]

Scene VI.

Queen Elizabeth and Sir Francis Walsingham.

Queen Elizabeth.

Walsingham, do not these anathemas

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

London House? though excommunication

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

Nor Pope to hold the keys of Heav’n.

Walsingham.

Your Majesty well knows his Holiness’s

Curses are mere vapours! Yet his influence

Is mighty, tremendous, and extensive!

Queen Elizabeth.

I’ve long known Mary combines with the Pope,

And her fertile brain is ever plotting

Mischief’gainst myself and state.

Walsingham.

Yes, mighty Queen,

M Such M1v [82]

Such diabolical machinations

As almost rivet me to th’ earth with horror,

E’en to think on’t.

Queen Elizabeth.

Proclaim ’em instantly.

Walsingham.

Treason, most complicated and enormous!

Murder, regicide!

Queen Elizabeth.

Of whom?

Walsingham.

It almost

Stagnates my blood t’ announce—your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth.

Easy to guess its arch directoress.

But how could Mary project so dire a deed!

Being lately never seen but in her

Warders presence? Tell this strange viper’s brood.

Walsingham.

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

Bold M2r [83]

Bold young men of parts, fortune, and ancestry;

Warm Papists; who deem it highest glory

To kill an excommunicated heretic

(Such they impiously term England’s Queen)

In conformity to the bull of Pius.

Queen Elizabeth

Pius, indeed! Lucifer, I call him.

Proceed you with the tale.

Walsingham.

These vile comrades

Have solemnly vow’d to perform assign’d

Parts in this sacrilegious, horrid plot!

Six of these nominated assassins,

Regicides! are portraited in one piece;

Babington, their chief, conspicious in the midst

Queen Elizabeth.

Horror! this pyramidical treason

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

’Twill fall. Walsingham, Thy vigilant care

Shall be royally rewarded; this vile crew

Put under strong arrest in the Tower,

Confin’d apart, and strictly examin’d

Instantly. I must prove fiercer than the pard,

M2 Or M2v [84]

Or Hyrcanian tyger, to protect

Myself and crown. Hence, my faithful Council

I’ll summon, and rouze their souls by unfolding

This execrable scene! Th’ instigator,

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

I’ll pulverize this Scotch puissant dame,

And whirl a vortex of destruction round her!

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

So, like a weight long suspended, her fall

Comes forcible. Whose too warm summer, alas!

Bred those caterpillars, that prey’d on the fair

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

Will early winter all the proscrib’d Queen’s

Presumptive hopes. I attend the Senate.

Exeunt omnes.

End of Act the Fourth.

Act M3r [85]

Act V.

Scene I.

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

Lord Chancellor Bromley[Speaker label not present in original source]

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

Mary, Queen of Scots,

in defence.

My Lords and Judges;

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

Is by that tyrannic force I can’t repress—

But note it well, I stand not here to degrade

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

By owning your authority o’er me.

’Gainst all my heart is tenfold girt by justice;

Since ’tis impossible all th’ earth’s Princes

Can e’er invest you with legal power

To try Mary Stuart, an independent

Sov’reign M4r [87]

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

Amenable to foreign jurisdiction.

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

Much less my Judges.—Insulting mockery

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

Examine close your respective consciences,

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

’Tis unjust, cruel, and wildly absurd,

Thus to expose yourselves and mistress

To heart-felt detestation, upon the

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

Ministers, will be the actors; if ye thus

Proceed against a Queen, reverse to law,

Precedent, or humanity; whilst this

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

My throne is that of Kings, for many, many

Centuries past; and if I must be tried,

Kings only should sit my judges. If such,

Your claim produce, your regal descent,

Or authority.

Lord Burleigh.

England’s Sov’reign seals

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

E’en royalty, a subterfuge from law,

Or scrutinizing crimes like yours. Her life

Hung by a thread seemingly, by that vile

Babington’s M4v [88]

Babington’s dire conspiracy! you its

Directoress, his dying words affirm’d.

So less artful evasion, and more true

Substance, Madam, to defend your treason,

Would prove more pertinent to this process

Of English laws that have protected, now

Arraigns you.

Queen Mary.

Surmises all! High treason ’tis,

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

Which ye recite from sleeping proofs alone.

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

That just protection I ne’er yet found;

And all I’ve ever known of English laws

Is cruelty extreme! Whate’er the real

Or imputed crimes of crown’d heads, trial

From an impartial tribunal, they must

Only hope for in posterity.

Burleigh.

Still, still,

Evasion, Madam! not refuting high

Impeachments. The statute made to preserve

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

Queen N1r [89]

Queen Mary.

Ah! that recent statute is a most sharp

Babylonish decree, study’d to throw me

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

Beyond e’en blest humanity’s kind reach!

Since from this dark domain, e’en foreign Princes

Want the perilous courage to pluck me!

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

Subject to laws for private persons form’d;

Whilst my royalty and avow’d innocence

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

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

Sanguinary views mock ev’ry other.

What, dare embrue my hands in kindred gore!—

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

Such a sin calls loud for sacred vengeance;

Nature stands agonizing at the charge!

But must I be the sin-offering for

Such desp’rate ruffians! regicides!

Of whose crimes, in God’s omniscient presence,

Now solemnly I swear, I am in thought,

Word and deed, most truly innocent. Nay,

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

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

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

My regal honour! my father’s bequest:

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

Howe’er expos’d to subtle antagonists,

N And N1v [90]

And the wrangling chicanery of law.

Walsingham.

This is mere invective declamation,

And idle jargon of royal privilege!

Not exculpating accusations ’gainst you.

While, Madam, explicit confession

Would much avail your cause. What defence, pray,

To your treasonable letters, by Nawe

And Curle copy’d, your late Secretaries?

Queen Mary.

I aver, they’re complicated forgeries,

And frontless perjury! Bring me, Sir Francis,

One proof from all your subterraneous ducts,

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

Letters? I challenge it. If Nawe and Curle

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

Not here to give personal evidence?

These writings that, with collective assurance,

Ye produce t’ evince treason, you announce

Copies only; but ’tis originals,

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

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

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

Very base credit! for wisdom to intrust

On important bus’ness. Alas! th’Exchequer

Hath N2r [91]

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

Perchance in this; while interspers’d promises

Or threats might shake strangers integrity.

Elizabeth’s Thirteenth Act expressly says,

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

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

Face to face, before the pris’ner.” Therefore

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

Vile absent testimony! is not your laws

Tenor perverted in this very instance

Of highest import?—just enquiry’s freedom

Shackled, truth veil’d, and falsehood fabricated?

I lodge th’appeal in each impartial breast

Burleigh.

Madam, your Exchequer hint reflects on me,

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

Sunk that Treasury I’m responsible for—

You for Babington’s Plot.

Queen Mary.

Might I have met

Those execrable villains! ere justice did,

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

Blasted! ere those sons of Acheron had

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

In their intended regicide. Though no

N2 Wonder N2v [92]

Wonder such miscreants, as combin’d to

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

Scrupled not to stab another’s honour;

One long since Barbarity’s victim.

But, my Lords, would it depose strict justice,

Had she retarded their execution

’Till I’d confronted the base wretches here,

And confuted their forg’d deposition?

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

When they’d attainted me! lest they should shrink

At my presence, and faulter in pronouncing

My imputed guilt of assassinating

A sister Queen! to whom sacred conscience

Binds me above all human ties.

Burleigh.

Did conscience

Prompt you to inflame Catholic bosoms

Against our Sov’reign, and invade her realm?

Queen Mary.

In friendly dread I oft’times caution’d her

’Gainst lighting up malignant flames ’mongst us,

By Protestant example; while I check’d

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

Yet one drop of a persecutor’s blood,

I’d N3r [93]

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

Or crown. The diadem I seek ne’er circled

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

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

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

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

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

Others to liberate me from cruel pow’r!

These foreign Princes,

Feeling humanity’s bright glow, their ire

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

She ingulph’d in misery! Rightful freedom

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

Noisome prisons, full eighteen wintry years!

No invasion of my sister’s realm,

Nor treason t’ effect In my religion

And title of succession t’ England’s crown,

Lies all my treason to Elizabeth.

Will such crimes authorize the seizure of my cash,

Cabinets, and my domestics imprisonment?

Wallsingham.

We can’t now lose time,

In replication to queries foreign

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

You’re contumeliously free!

Queen N3v [94]

Queen Mary.

Justly so,

Sir Francis. The cause preceded th’effect;

A cause I’ve every right to insist

May be truly investigated before

A full and free Parliament, where rigour

Supplants not law, nor my sworn enemies

Sit my accusers and judges: a Queen’s

Regal honour demands that pers’nal audit.

—I a weak defenceless woman, my Lords,

Can ne’er combat the battery of fork-

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

Presence of friends, papers, commentaries,

Privileges the meanest criminals have

All, all forbidden me! such my treatment.

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

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

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

Floating atom! a wild of nought! Such progress

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

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

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

But on the Tribunal you’ve erected,

To dethrone Justice and Mercy; which I

Await at a higher, where all deponents

And commissioners here will be conven’d;

New N4r [95]

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

At that bar ye all must stand the award

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

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

Next morn unbars her gates, to answer for.

My Lords, and Judges, work your thoughts deeply;

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

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

Shall conquer my just spirit. I’ll live and

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

And my head hoisted on a pole. These feeble

Limbs can’t longer support my sinking frame.

My Lords, I must retire.

Exit Queen Mary. The Court adjourns.

Scene II.

Queen Elizabeth sola.

Elizabeth[Speaker label not present in original source]

Now is the crisis of my future fame

Being embark’d on a tremendous ocean,

Where ev’ry surge drowns my former glory.

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

As rapture to her love?” ’Tis Mary taxes,

Turn’d my thoughts askance! The public homage

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

On N4v [96]

On mine ear—she heiress to my crown, whose

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

Darted their strongest lustre! gradually

Sinking it t’inveterate hatred! Thus malignant

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

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

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

In that infernal magazine of traitors!

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

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

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

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

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

What reprisals awaits me from a sov’reign

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

Iron cages! and so treated as mem’ry

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

E’en now in bonds I hourly dread invasion

By European Princes; war threaten’d me

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

Not all proud Augusta’s flowing rivers

Would wash away the stain of bringing a

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

I must bring there, or forfeit mine.

Scene O1r [97]

Scene III.

Enter Davison and Sir Christopher Hatton.

Elizabeth[Speaker label not present in original source]

I hear,

Davison, Mary stood her trial with

Amazing courage!

Davison.

Never woman with

Greater. In obedience to your Majesty,

I’ve written to Pawlet and Drury, your

Pris’ner’s warders. This their answer.

Presenting a letter. The Queen reads, musing.

Queen Elizabeth.

They long have known my will, yet disobey it.

“Fine dainty precise fellows!” who’ll plunge their

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

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

By infusing an argent powder, which

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

Arrogant, shallow men! thus to balance

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

O Knows O1v [98]

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

Sans remorse.

Davison.

Then may you never will a deed

So dire! Forbear, great Queen, forbear!

Queen Elizabeth.

That’s to me.

What’s thy embassy?

Davison.

By me Lord Burleigh,

And Sir Francis Walsingham, send their fix’d

Opinion, England’s Sov’reign should proceed

To save herself and state, ere ambassadors

Arrive to shake her wise resolves. Both Houses

Affirm th’ arret against the prisoner

Mosst justly founded; therefore entreat the

Sentence may be executed speedily.

The Warrant drawn for that purpose, I’ve brought

By your Majesty’s special command.

Queen Elizabeth.

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

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

But O2r [99]

But alas! Elizabeth, and the Protestant

Religion, must fall, if Mary lives.

Sir Christ. Hatton.

Then England would for ever, ever mourn!

Great parent! summon your wonted courage,

God-like justice, to this important act!

’Twill bring more than Roman renown, glory;

Which erst immortaliz’d women as heroes,

Who magnanimously renounc’d timid fears

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

Will stamp your apotheosis.

Queen Elizabeth.

Must I then exile all sweet reflections,

Complacency of soul, and tender feelings,

For my people’s safety?

Hatton.

Hath not my Sov’reign

Oft declar’d, “To her affectionate,

And faithful subjects her troth is plighted,

As in nuptial bands?” All these, bright Queen,

Urge your wedded parental love’s grand criterion,

May be ratified in sealing this Deed.

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

Queen Elizabeth.

There—tell Walsingham ’tis done. “Prepare him

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

Avert each importunity to mine eye

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

Be auditress. Mourning must now engage me.

Exit Davison, with the death warrant. Enter Messenger.

Messenger.

Ambassadors of very noble mien,

From Henry, King of France, Philip of Spain,

Frederic of Denmark, and James of Scotland,

With ev’ry look impatience, demand instant

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

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

Almost breathless with haste. The Scottish Envoy

Sprang from his foaming steed, into the palace;

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

Presence.

Queen Elizabeth.

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

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

Conscience, thou ever busy meddling thing,

I beg O3r [101]

I beg thee to lay by thy scorpion scourge!

Vain are thy cutting remonstrances now.

Yet what, who, whom, should Elizabeth fear?

Though I’d rather meet my ancestors haggard ghosts,

Than these vengeful representatives of mighty pow’rs!

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

Since the interview I cannot avoid.

Oh! what sharp agonizing pangs I feel,

At their approach, writhe round my trembling heart!

Exit Queen Elizabeth, and
Sir Christ. Hatton.

Scene IIIIV.

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

Servant[Speaker label not present in original source]

Madam, the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby,

And Pembroke, with the county’s High Sheriff,

Having urgent business with you, brooks no delay.

Queen O3v [102]

Queen Mary.

I’m very ill, and unfit truly to receive

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

Majesty, alas how sunk!

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

Queen Mary.

My Lords, your business?

Kent.

’Tis an express order

for your execution to-morrow morn.

Queen Mary.

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

For this sudden work?

Kent.

Beal, read the Warrant.

Beal reads. To O4r [103] “‘To the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Derby,
and Pembroke.
Whereas Mary Stuart, commonly called Queen of
Scots, and Dowager of France, is and standeth convicted,
attainted, and condemned of treason and other
high crimes against our sovereign Lady Elizabeth; and
sentence was pronounced against her by the High Court
of Justice, and both Houses of Parliament: of which
sentence execution remaineth to be done. These are therefore
to will and require you to see the said sentence executed
in your presence, in the great Hall at Fotheringay
Castle
, to-morrow, at eight of the clock in the morning,
being the --02-08eighth day of February, with full effect: and
for so doing this shall be your sufficient Warrant.
Elizabeth.’”
Queen Mary attends to the reading of the
Warrant, with a careless air, as if her
thoughts were otherwise engaged.

Queen Mary.

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

Howe’er unjust and unexpected, that

My great sister England should set the first

Example of bringing a regal Queen

To O4v [104]

To the block. Enfeebled as I am by

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

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

Natural life would exceed hers, if spar’d

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

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

Slander’d honour esteems death its faithful friend;

While, by that sweet foretaste of celestial bliss,

I feel and hope through mercy fully to enjoy!

Mark!—Most solemnly again I swear, and call

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

Or consented to Elizabeth’s death,

In any shape whate’er.

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

Kent.

Your oath’s invalid

On a Popish Bible.

Queen Mary.

My Lord, I think

That version of the Scriptures best

Kent.

You’d best renounce its errors, and listen

To sound Protestant divines in your last hours.

Queen P1r [105]

Queen Mary.

Good persons, of ev’ry creed, will be

Cautious in disturbing a settled conscience:

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

And only wish spiritual assistance

From mine own Confessor, whom I earnestly

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

I hope my sister, for charity’s sake,

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

Kent.

Obstinate criminal! I see your ife

Would be our pure religion’s death; your death

Its life. Adieu then till to-morrow.

Exeunt Lords.

Scene IVV.

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

Queen Mary.

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

A serene converse with ye. Mourn not my

Corporal sufferance! Tho’ edg’d with death,

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

I’ll now forget my Queenship and its treason,

And resign’d meet the welcome keen embrace!

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

This stroke is mercy, compar’d with suborning

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

Daringly to swear away my life and honour:

Men strangely tampered with by Walsingham:

So were other conspirators, high at

His table fed, this tragic act to finish!

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

Like recorded?—or e’er barbarians,

Or savage Scythians, parallel’d the deed?

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

Pretext to close my life, and give a passport

To those heav’nly mansions, where th’united

Host will plead my cause, and th’empyrean court

Pronounce me innocent.

Burgoyne.

Doubtless, sov’reign

Excellence! but where, where are all the mighty

Potentates Ambassadors, with whom you’ve

Long liv’d in princely amity? All such

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

Queen P2r [107]

Queen Mary.

Wonder not, the herd all fly the wounded deer!

In summer days, ev’ry ally was zealous

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

More painful thought, James too forgets he hath

A dying mother! whose crown he long hath worn.

Melvil.

Sweet suffering saint! rest assur’d these Monarchs

Have here come forward warmly defending

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

And the most cogent pleas to save your life:

All unavailing! since Elizabeth

And her Council, like hungry cannibals,

In your death will glut their savage appetite!

My brother, Sir Robert, came with rapid speed

From his master; offering six principal

Scottish Nobles, and the King, bound in person,

For your ransom.

Queen Mary.

Then the last wave of my

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

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

Ne’er cloud the sunshine of his future days!

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

And ne’er embroil his happiness! to whom,

By thee, Melvil, I bequeath my blessing,

P2 And P2v [108]

And this casket of family jewels;

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

May its flowers prove emblems of that bliss

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

With his honour and hereditary rights,

Through ev’ry tiresome stage of my distress!

Oh! entreat thy Sov’reign still to consult

His subjects felicity; but ne’er entrust

The sacred charge to th’insidious pow’r

Of another Prince.—One request more:

Give this ring to my cousin Hamilton,

A family deposit. Oh! Melvil!

Breathe not a sigh, nor dare to meet my eyes

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

Kind maidens, thus with tears to wound my soul!

Who on thee must anchor now; and their weakness

Thy manly mind should strengthen. In this scene,

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

If thou wilt, reserve those briny showers

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

There my fidelity to my friends, and faith,

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

Report by truth’s tablet! no better eulogium.

Melvil.

Oh! heart-rending embassy! t’execute

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

Queen P3r [109]

Queen Mary.

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

In this vesper of eternity; as to-morrow

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

Worthy Burgoyne, when this body no more

Craves thy skilful aid, take charge of my mind.

In trust I give thee this letter and testament,

Written by me, to mine uncle Duke of Guise;

He my executor.—This to my brother,

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

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

At Rheims. To this last prayer no answer.

Here join me in thanks devout. A heavenly

Day is dawning on me, with healing wings:

A few moments will annihilate all

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

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

And warm gratitude, for all your vigilant

Tenderness to a sad wretched mistress!

My busy thoughts can’t speak your praises now:

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

And forgot reciprocal duty to

My commiserating, faithful servants,

Let the ill-treated forgive, and speak my

Absolution!

Melvil. P3v [110]

Melvil.

No, gracious Sov’reign—no—

I speak for all: your whole conduct to us,

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

We humbly beg, in this last sad vigil,

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

And the most gentle mistress!

Queen Mary.

I’ve nought to

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

Bring me some wine:—I drink your healths;

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

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

Extatic sound! Rejoice—’tis very near.

Retire, and in your orisons pray that

Undaunted courage and a holy calm

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

Ere the sky’s pale empress resigns her charge,

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

’Tis your last service.

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

Scene VVI.

Burgoyne and Melvil.

Burgoyne.

May the royal martyr’s temporary rest

Prove sweet prelude to immortal! But ah!

How deeply hath the resign’d sufferer

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

Shall we live o’er to-morrow?

Melvil.

If possible,

We must summon more than manly fortitude,

To copy dying Mary’s bright example;

Still admiration’s garland! Patience,

Ne’er known a solitary virtue, through

Her martyrdom shines with supreme lustre!

Her mind ingrafted with all Socrates

And Phocion’s precepts;—the tree now laden

With its precious fruit! Yet with thee I dread

The glimpse of morn. Surely Sol’s golden car

Will stand arrested; and nature too eclips’d!

Nor should succeeding years e’er own the day,

But blot it from revolving time.

Burgoyne. P4v [112]

Burgoyne.

Distress

How exquisite! Such an immolation,

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

Of such relentless hatred, unmans me!

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

Victim, ’till her blest spirit finds that rest

It never could, united with her body.

Melvil.

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

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

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

To think o’er her superlative endowments,

And catalogue of sacrilegious wrongs,

With th’ execrable perfidy she falls by,

Distracts me! One minute like Ætna’s top

I’m flaming; the next my blood seems freezing

Through my veins with horror! Then to be this

Catastrophe’s herald, from realm to realm!

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

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

First Woman.

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

These sweet oblivious dews! To rouze her soul

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

Else the marble-hearted regicides,

Waiting for her life, will kill her sleeping.

Second Woman.

Madam, forgive us, but we must awake you.

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

Queen waking.

Mary[Speaker label not present in original source]

He brightly hath illumin’d all with me.

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

Rapture! Elysium, far, far beyond

What poets can describe, or mortals think!

Come, dress me quick in bridal garb; mean while

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

Another, I’d give ten thousand lives for!

First Woman.

Benign Sov’reign, pray cheer our hearts by the

Recital.

Queen Mary.

Methought Death’s harbingers arrested me;

When lo! Raphael, with flowing azure robe

And wings extended, flew to comfort me:

Saying, “At Mercy’s throne he presented

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

Then pointing to th’ abode of Saints and Martyrs,

Th’ Angel bade me follow. Joyful I did,

Through trackless regions of unclouded air:

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

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

Innumerable hosts, who hail’d my entrance,

As one ascended from tribulations great!

To join their glorious number. All ear

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

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

Proceed a progeny of godlike kings,

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

Now leave me to my God.

Exeunt Women.

Scene the Last.

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

Sheriff.

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

Queen Mary.

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

And Q2r [115]

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

With the trumpets sound!—Paulet and Drury;

Death breaks my prison doors;—your triple bolts,

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

Through christal ones. ’Tis my nuptial day!

Ye the bridemen, conduct me to th’ altar;

As erst two Monarchs led me blushing to

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

Were then their princely beauteous daughters.

Now a higher train awaits me, to strew the

Path with flowers, and hail my espousal with

Their heavenly King! whom I ken yonder,

Beck’ning me to him. Though the strait road

Displays solemn pomp of sadness, and in

My way I mount a tremendous scaffold!

Yet its apparatus splendidly shines

With amethysts, onyx, and brilliant gems.

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

My Lords; ’tis, that my faithful women may

Attend me there; and when this body is

A headless trunk, shroud my poor limbs from sight.

Surely your Sov’reign, a bright virgin Queen,

In point of decency must grant this boon.

Shrewsbury.

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

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

Queen Mary.

For this, and former courtesies, my Lord,

Accept Q2v [116]

Accept my fervent thanks.—Melvil, rejoice!

Mary Stuart’s woes will this morn end! Again

I charge thee, warmly commend me to my son;

Assuage his griefs: may they all sink with me!

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

Free amnesty: praying Christ may seal it.

Long may Elizabeth possess her throne

In peace and glory, after Death’s Rubicon

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

And yon Seraphic host, now sing a requiem

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

The Curtain drops with soft Music.

The End.


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

Epilogue.

Now Mary’s sufferings end—the silent tomb

Consigns her sorrows to sepulchral gloom;

Pale are those cheeks where emanation glow’d;

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

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

Mingling in dust, amongst forgotten dead.

Mary forgot?—Ah no! her Sister Queen

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

Thus I might iterate, in mournful verse,

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

Depict the Royal Victim’s smiles in death;

Melt female tenderness—to want of breath!

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

New to the world two centuries ago.

Why now should Britons wisht’ assimilate

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

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

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

Let Mary and Eliza rest in peace,

And henceforth ev’ry jarring int’rest cease;

May discord vanish—joyous voices ring,

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

R

Lately written and published, by the same Author,

By Mrs. Mary Deverell,
Gloucestershire.