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THE HERMIT OF DROONINGGARDE.
land, cut off from all she valued on earth, every day must have witnessed her sadness, and every night her tears.—With her last prop gone, and her last hope taken from her, she must have had a heart of stone to have outlived her misfortunes.
Their voyage had every prospect of success; their vessel was in its gayest trim; not a cloud threatened from their summer sky; loaded with all the rich stores of life, and love guiding at the helm with all its skill and watchfulness, yet some how, it never reached its destined haven-it went down and was lost, when all seemed peace and tranquility.
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.
There is a natural disposition of the heart, to meditate on the fallen fortunes of man, and to trace the intermediate steps between happiness and sorrow. Each particular event in the lives of distinguished persons has its record, and its commentary; and by such are discovered, when passion and prejudice have taken flight with time, the characters of those of other days, who have been their glory, or their shame.' Like a picture of an ancient master, from the very effect of time, they seem to acquire a softness and mellow tint, on which we love to dwell; spreading a charm over the defects themselves.
There is not an incident in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, but which calls forth the sympathies of our nature; and even in this age of calculators, few are so cold to misfortune, or so dead to feeling, as not to pity the embittering sorrows of her early days.
The tide served, and the wind was fair for Scotland, when the young widow of Francis Second
stepped on board her galley, and bade adieu to France. The convoy of armed vessels which had taken their sailing distances around her, at a given signal, weighed anchor together, and all at once bore away.
In the splendid escort of the Queen mother, who had attended her from Paris to the very beach of Calais, there was something very flattering to the young heart of Mary, although she divined the motive from which it was accorded.
The most distinguished of the French court crowded near her, to pay her their last homage, and her dames d'honneur, whose happiness it had been to anticipate every wish of their mistress, were sad and disconsolate, as they exchanged the last farewell. Indeed, when the procession returned to the town, on their way back to Paris, its general gloom was observed by the most inattentive spectators. But the most unhappy person of all was Mary herself.
A daughter of the house of Guise, she was sent by her mother at an early age to be educated among her relations in France, and there she received a very superior education. Rejecting the offers of Henry the Eighth, for his son the young prince
Edward, she became the wife of Francis Second, and the pride of the French nation.
The court then presented a scene of uninterrupted gaiety, and she was the life of all around her. Her manners, beauty, and youth, gained her universal popularity, and France looked forward to happy days, when it saw her influence hush to silence the voice of clamor and contention. The first year of her reign, in which the most fanciful wishes of her heart had only been made known to be gratified, had not yet passed, when the unexpected death of her husband left her suddenly without authority. In a moment she felt the greatness of her fall, and experienced the fickleness of fortune. Through the means of Catharine De Medicis, she was subjected to so many mortifications, that in her indignation and grief, she retired to Rheims. Yet, even now, she did not lose the most valuable of her friends. For what generous heart could be insensible to the sorrows of a female of eighteen, who, with a romance peculiar to her own life, retired to a distant province, to lament the loss of her husband and her crown. She seemed to have had a spirit beyond her sex and years, and replied to the mercenary offers made her by Elizabeth, with a proper and becoming dignity. At
Rheims, however, she was not always to remain. A deputation arrived from Scotland, imploring her to return, and take upon her the government of her native land. Sensibly touched, as she was, by this proof of their affection, yet she could not but look upon the request with horror. Accustomed to the attentions of a polished people, she was unhappy at the idea of subjecting herself to the rough greetings of her Scottish subjects. Every scene of her past life-every remembrance of former happiness, made her unwilling to depart. The French officers, who had been serving under her mother against the English, brought back the most frightful description of the wild habits of the highlanders. A religious ferocity prevailed among them, and their voices were lifted up against the worship of the Romish churches, in every part of Scotland.
With all this hatred, however, to book and bell’—with all this contempt for outward ceremonies, they had not yet forgotten their duty, or allegiance.
The Queen Regent was dead, after having maintained herself to the last, by a mixture of boldness and artifice, that had no equal among her enemies. The distresses of civil war had made a frightful change in domestic life. Clansmen, whose fidelity