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MR. EDITOR, EVER since I bave been able to compare the strength of opposing evidence, and to enter into the probable motives of human actions, I have believed Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, to be entirely innocent of the atrocious guilt of which she has been accused-adultery and murder. I have also believed, that the rancour of political zeal and religious bigotry in the Scotch Reformers, that the ambition of James Murray, her illegitimate brother, who hated Mary because she possessed over him the advantage of legitimate birth, and the envy and jealous fears of our Queen Elizabeth, were the causes of those calumnies and persecutions to which the Queen of Scotland ultimately fell a victim.
As I have a right to assume that the evidence and the reasoning, which have convinced me, are likely to convince others, I beg leave to refer your readers to "Tytler's Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Letters and Sonnets said to have been written by Mary to Bothwell," to "Whitaker's Vindication of Mary," and to the "Life of Mary Queen of Scots" by Mr. George Chalmers, F.R.S., the able living defender of that amiable and much injured woman, and who has also in a short work edited by him, Churchyard's Chips," brought forward the evidences of her innocence in the most convincing manner.
Supposed to be addressed by Mary, Queen of Seots, to her Uncles® the Duke de Guise and the Cardinal of Lorrain, and written soon after her arrival in Scotland.
Holyrood House, 1561,
FROM gloomy Holyrood's majestic towers,
Where lone dominion claims my joyless hours,
To you, my kinsmen, and my earliest friends,
This faithful breast a thousand greetings sends!
And fancy flies, from empire's heartless show,
To all thy pleasures, matchless Fontainbleau.
Can I forget the sad, unwelcome day,
Which bore me far from all I lov'd away,
When, anguish painted in my long last glance,
I left thy shore" dear pleasant land of France."t
What though my galley rose in royal pride
O'er the green bosom of the swelling tide,
While on the deck a downy couch was plac'd,
By art's gay hand with splendid colours grac'd,
Whose crimson canopy above my
On my pale cheek a borrow'd beauty shed;
What though, while gazing on that less'ning shore,
Which something whispered I should see no more,
I heard attendant minstrels wake the lay
To sooth my sorrow's unresisted sway.
Still, splendour, music, flattery, all were vain
To wake my pride and mitigate my pain;
Can pride affection's bleeding bosom heal?
Can conscious grief the power of flattery feel?
It is well known that Mary was in constant corrrespondense with her Uncles
Mary's own words,
In vain my Courtiers prais'd the smiling scene,
And dar'd resemble me to Egypt's Queen,
When her gilt vessel down the Cydnus mov'd,
And bore the Syren to the arms she lov'd;
Could I, in Mary, Cleopatra view?
My thoughts to meet no waiting lover flew :
She onward glided all she priz'd to find,
But Mary left whate'er she lov'd behind;
Living or dead, whate'er this heart adores
I left, for ever left on Gallia's shores.
And heard you not, to check my pride of state,
What fearful omens told my future fate?
Lo! scarce for sailing is the signal given,
When cross our track a sinking vessel's driven.
"Destruction seems, I cried, to mark its prey!
Death leads my van, death marshals me my way!"
While, dreadful thought! 'twas mine the pang to feel,
Of viewing misery which I could not heal;
To hear the loud, but hopeless cry for aid;
To see despair in all its shapes display'd;
And, while in air the signals vainly stream'd,
While struggling still the sinking sailors scream'd,
'Twas mine to watch with short suspended breath
The last dread wave that brought resistless death.
And was not I advancing on to brave
A fate destructive as that whelming wave?
Yes, rebel hands the flag of greeting bore,
And secret traitors welcom'd me to shore !
While boding fancy mark'd, tho' flatterers smil'd,
The mother's fate preparing for her child.
In vain with shouts my subjects hail'd their Queen,
No answering smiles on Mary's face were seen;
In vain the little Court, that with me sail'd,
With wondering eyes surrounding objects hail'd;
The verdant mountains towering to the sight,
The castle rising o'er the rocky height,
The tall grey city spreading far before,
Behind, the ocean and its sparkling shore.
"Mark! in this scene (they cried) what charms combine,
And joy to know so bright a realm is thine;
Rejoice so fair a kingdom to command,
And hail with grateful joy thy native land!”
But nought could rapture's glow to me impart,
The daughter's sorrows chill'd the sovereign's heart;
I only saw 'midst art's and nature's pride
The spot, lov'd kinsmen, where my mother died!
Where Scotland's Regent, less a Queen than slave,
In that proud castle found a welcome grave.
Oh! wretched lot! o'er this ferocious land
To wave the ensign of supreme command;
And cold, yet frantic heretics to sway,
Who to their God a heartless worship pay.
• Alluding to the fate of her mother Mary of Guise, who died in the Castle of Edinburg
What daring outrage mark'd the last dread night!
Scarce had our Priests begun their sacred rites,
When lawless heretics, with impious rage,
Dar'd with my people rebel war to wage;
Dar'd with bold feet profane that holy dome
Where true religion finds her only home.
How dull, how meagre is the unholy rite
In which these Northern heretics delight!
Within their temples, gloomy as their minds,
Nor art, nor ornament an entrance finds;
No radiant lamps upon their altars shine,
No sparkling gems a martyr'd God enshrine,
No magic colours, on the canvass spread,
Enchant the living while they paint the dead!
No Saviour there, to death for us resign'd,
To grateful love awakes the adorer's mind;
Nor dying martyrs their tormentors brave,
While o'er their heads admiring angels wave;
No costly robes their sombre Priests enfold,
No splended chalice in their hands they hold,
Whence votive incense gracefully they pour,
Whose circling clouds in fragrant columns tower.
For them no organ sweetly pealing swells,
On the rapt ear no lengthen'd chorus dwells;
No glowing Priest the Sacred Host uprears,
While to faith's eye a present God appears,
And thro' the frame awe's chilly tremors creep,
Till downcast eyes in holy rapture weep;
But in one tuneless, tasteless, tedious chant
Their long, unblest, unholy prayers they rant.
Scorning all fuel to Devotion's flame,
Our splendid rites Idolatry they name;"
And, while their Queen Idolater they call,
Their words offend me and their looks appal:
Those looks foretell to Mary's marking eye
That insult, danger, death itself is nigh.
I see fanatic hands the dirk unsheath,
And give my youthful brow the martyr's wreath;
Nor think the woman's petty fears have part
In the dark whispers of the Sovereign's heart;
Think not I wish the glorious fate to fly:
In such a cause who would not joy to die?
But, (gentle friends, the seeming boast forgive,)
Methinks for such a cause 'tis mine to livě,
Ordain'd the true religion to restore,
In mitred majesty, to Scotland's shore.
Meanwhile, conceal'd within this throbbing breast
My secret hopes shall on your counsels rest;
Still shall those counsels Mary's conduct sway,
Still shall her yielding youth your voice obey.
"Go, teach thy lips (ye cried) its sweetest smiles,
Exert the magic power of woman's wiles;
On thy faith's friends with prudent coldness frown,
But to its foes, be winning favour shown.
All historians agree, that this was Mary's first object and highest ambition; and this it was that made her so odious to the Reformers.
Then, while suspicious fears are laid aside,
And secret agents spread thy empire wide,
Throw off the mask, thy soul abhors to wear,
And as thy church's open friend appear,
By arts, by arms, its injuries redress,
Till mitred Priests a kneeling nation bless."
Yes, I will teach this faded lip to smile,
And treacherous hearts with lawful art beguile
Prepar'd against that secret hate to fight,
Which vainly tries to shun my searching sight,
Which now in Morton's artful smile appears,
Now Ruthven's fierce and ruffian features wears;
Now haughty, frowning Lindsay's semblance takes,
And now in Knox's form the pulpit shakes;
That fierce fanatic whom, worst foe of all,
My smiles can't soften nor my frown appal;
Methinks I see him yet, while, breathing blood,
Before my throne the frowning sectary stood,
And, weakly fancying violence was truth,
Denounc'd heaven's vengeance on my trembling youth.
Then, while my eyes with tears of anguish stream'd,
In his, ferocious triumph proudly beam'd.
But he shall live to rue that daring hour,
When his proud soul withstood the frown of power;
Shall live to see my star triumphant shine,
And all his glory set immerg'd in mine.
Meanwhile I strive my sense of wrongs to cheat,
And friends and foes with festive welcomes meet;
That gloomy gallery, where the royal line
Of Scotland's Kings in dark succession shine,
Now echos blythely to the minstrel's lays,
Who sweetly sings the songs of other days,
And, wond'ring, finds its ancient walls repeat
The sprightly sound of many twinkling feet;
There my lov'd friends and kinsmen, sons of France,
Raise the gay chorus, weave the graceful dance,
And kindly stay to cheer my mournful doom;
Like flowers, that lingering blow 'midst winter's gloom;
Or, like a rainbow thrown across the skies,
When all around in deepest darkness lies;
While stern Reformers gaze with envious glare,
And hate the gaiety they scorn to share.
But how I dread the time when this dear band,
Which kindly follow'd me to Scotland's land,
Will thence remove to hail a happier scené,
And leave to heartless state her drooping Queen.
What joy on her can lonely pomp bestow,
Who thinks all bliss must from the affections flow?
No light of love illumes my life's dark tide,
And I the lustre scorn that's given by pride.
My smiles will sun-beams be that play on snow,
The winter's brightness, not the summer's glow;
My mirth, a lamp that lights a darksome tomb;
Or paper rose, that lives not tho' it bloom.
Lo! where yon mountain, in its barren height,
In lonely grandeur meets my tearful sight,
And o'er surrounding objects proudly towers,
By trees unshelter'd, and undeck'd by flowers!
While from the wintry winds that round it blow
No friendly skreen protects its stately brow-
Exalted thus, too soon will Mary be!
Lone mountain!-soon shall I resemble thee!
But, while I gaze on thee with anxious breast,
This thought bids hope awake, and sorrow rest;
That as the sun, while vapours chill thy brow,
Bids the cold clouds with crimson radiance glow,
Till all the misty darkness dies away
Before the dazzling beams of rising day;
So, while in chilling grandeur Mary towers,
Perhaps the smile of heaven may cheer her hours,
And, while the reins of empire fill my hand,
Bid the true faith arise o'er Scotland's land,
Bid error's mists before its light retire,
And holy altars blaze with holy fire.
LINES ADDRESSED TO CLARA,
L'objet enchanteur, dont je n'ose.
Tracer le portrait qu'en tremblant,
Est une jeune et Fraîche rose
Au milieu du lis le plus blanc,"
I thought, my Clara, that the hand of Fate
Had render'd me for ever desolate;
The brightest hues of pleasure's rainbow fled,
My joys had vanish'd, and my hopes were dead:
The forms my heart long cherish'd in its youth,
With all the ardency of infant truth,
Had then departed like a cloud of night,
And left my mind in sorrow and in blight.
Where'er I turn'd, I saw some broken tie,
And as I gaz'd, haye almost wish'd to die!
Forgive the wish for then my bosom knew
Nor hope, nor happiness, nor love, nor you!
Long had I been a wand'rer from the isle,
Which first receiv'd my Clara's op'ning smile;
I sought its shores, and Friendship took my hand,
And gave me welcome to my native land:
And O! I gaz'd on each remember'd place,
As a fond father on his infant's face.
I left my country with a heart of grief,
When winter's snows hung on the aloe's leaf;
I sought my country in her loveliness,
When flow'rets bloom'd in summer's soft caress:
And there was one sweet flow'r, which seem'd to spring (As all unconscious of its blossoming,)
As fair a rose as ever blush'd between
The earth and the high heaven-and yet serene
As the reflection of the pale moon's beam,
When it lies smiling on some noiseless stream,
Oh! I will act the tender guardian's part,.
And that lov'd flower shall be within my heart
Deeply enshrin'd; and, till its pulses sever,
There sweetly bloom for ever and for ever.