Story of the English - Helene Guerber
When Mary reached Scotland, she was disgusted at the rude manners of the Scotchmen. She was beautiful and charming, loved dancing and music, dressed elegantly, and wished to have a gay court, such as she had seen in France. But the Scotch had become so strict that they looked upon dancing as a crime, and fancied that such a queen must be very wicked.
The Scotch Protestants tried to make Mary change her religion, and Knox fiercely reproved her for her gaiety; but she would not listen to him, and went on hearing mass, saying that her people might worship as they chose, provided they let her do the same. As Mary had no children, the Scotchmen soon urged her to marry again; and she, hoping to make Elizabeth her friend, begged the Queen of England to find her a suitable husband.
Elizabeth, who was jealous of Mary because the latter was younger and prettier than she, now proposed several husbands whom she knew Mary would not accept. Among these was her favourite Leicester, who, despairing of ever winning her, was willing to marry Mary.
But she would not accept him, and finally chose her cousin, Lord Darnley, a Roman Catholic and the next heir to the thrones both of England and of Scotland.
MARY STUART AND RIZZIO.
This marriage displeased the Protestants and Elizabeth, and Darnley proved so fickle and bad-tempered that Mary soon ceased to find pleasure in his company. To amuse herself she used to spend hours in her own room, with her ladies and her secretary Rizzio, a gallant young musician who pleased her by accompanying her gay French songs on his lute.
Before very long Darnley became so jealous of Rizzio that he burst into his wife's rooms one day, accompanied by several nobles. There Rizzio was murdered, in spite of all her entreaties. This crime so angered Mary that we are told she soon dried her eyes, muttering, "No more tears; let's think of revenge."
But although she now hated Darnley, she pretended to be on good terms with him; and once, when he was ill with smallpox, and could not stay in Holyrood Palace lest he should give the disease to their little son James, she went to nurse him in a cottage. One day, when he was nearly well, the queen went back to the palace, to see the wedding of one of her servants. That same night, while Mary slept at Holyrood, the Edinburgh people were awakened by a terrific explosion. They ran outdoors, and soon found out that Darnley's cottage had been blown up with gunpowder, and that he and his servant were dead.
It was, of course, perfectly clear that Darnley had been murdered, and the people began to mutter that the crime had been committed by the Earl of Bothwell. As he had been a favourite of the queen, some of them added that Mary had had a share in contriving the murder.
But when the case was tried, a few days later, and Bothwell came riding into the city with a large bodyguard of hired soldiers, no one dared accuse him openly, and he was acquitted. Shortly after, he suddenly appeared with a thousand men and carried off the queen to the Castle of Dunbar. There he kept her a prisoner until she consented to marry him, three months later.