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Mary had no counsellor-no adviser—no friend. Her very papers to which she might wish to refer had been taken from her; and there was not one to plead her cause, or to defend her innocence. Yet she was not dismayed. She knew that she had a higher judge than Elizabeth ; and that great as was the array of lords and barons that appeared against her, posterity was greater than they, and that to its decision all things would be finally referred. Her bodily infirmities imparted only a greater lustre to her mental pre-eminence; and not in all the fascinating splendor of her youth and beauty--in the morning of her first bridal day, when Paris rang with acclamations in her praise was Mary Stuart so much to be admired, as when, weak and worn out, she stood calmly before the myrmidons of a rival queen to hear and refute their unjust accusations, her eye radiant once more with the brilliancy of earlier years, and the placid benignity of a serene conscience lending to her countenance its undying grace.

Elizabeth's attorney-general opened the pleadings. He began by referring to the act of Parliament in which it was made capital to be the person for whom any design was undertaken against the life of the queen. He then described the late conspiracy, and attempted to establish Mary's connection with it, by producing copies of letters which he alleged she had written to Babington himself and several of his accomplices. To these having added letters from Babington to her, and the declarations and confessions which had been extorted from her secretaries, he asserted that the cause was made out, and wound up his speech with a labored display of legal knowledge and forensic oratory.

Mary was now called on for defence; and she entered on it with composure and dignity. She denounced all connection with Babington's conspiracy, in so far as she entertained any design injurious to Elizabeth's safety or the welfare of her kingdom ; she allowed that the letters which he was said to have addressed to her might be genuine, but it had not been proved that she ever received them ; she maintained that her own letters were all garbled or fabricated ; that as to the confessions of her secretaries, they had been extorted by fear, and were therefore not to be credited; but that if they were in any particulars true, these particulars must have been disclosed at the expense of the oath of fidelity they had come under to her when they entered her service, and that men who would perjure themselves in one instance were not to be trusted in any; she objected besides that they had not been confronted with her according to an express law enacted in the thirteenth year of Elizabeth's reign, “ that no one should be arraigned for intending the destruction of the prince's life, but by the testimony and oath of two lawful witnesses, to be produced face to face before him"; she maintained, that even supposing she were to allow the authenticity of many of the papers adduced against her, they would not prove her guilty of any crime; for she was surely doing no wrong, if, after a calamitous captivity of nineteen years, in which she had lost forever her youth, her health, and her happiness, she made one last effort to regain the liberty of which she had been so unfairly robbed; but as to scheming against the life of the queen her sister, it was an infamy she abhorred; “I would disdain,” she said, “to purchase all that is most valuable on earth by the assassination of the meanest of the human race; and worn out, as I now am, with cares and suffering, the prospect of a crown is not so inviting that I should ruin my soul in order to obtain it. Neither am I a stranger to the feelings of humanity, nor unacquainted with the duties of re. ligion, and it is more in my nature to be more inclined to the devotion of Esther than to the sword of Judith. If ever I have given consent by my words, or even by my thoughts, to any attempt against the life of the Queen of England, far from declining the judgment of men, I shall not even pray for the mercy of God.”

Elizabeth's advocates were not a little surprised at the eloquent and able manner in which Mary conducted her defence. They had expected to have everything their own way, and to gain an easy victory over one unacquainted with the forms of legal procedure, and unable to cope with their own professional talents. But they were disappointed and baffled ; and in order to maintain their ground even plausibly, they were obliged to protract the proceedings for two whole days. Nor after all did the commissioners venture to pronounce judgment, but adjourned the court to the star-chamber at Westminster, where they knew that Mary would not be present, and consequently they would have no opposition to fear.* On the 25th of October, they assembled there, and having again examined the secretaries Nau and Curl, who appear to be persons of little fidelity or constancy, and who confirmed their former declarations, a unanimous judgment was delivered, that

* It deserves notice, that no particulars of the trial at Fotheringay have been recorded, either by Mary herself, or any of her friends, but are all derived from the narrative of two of Elizabeth's notaries. If Mary's triumph was so decided, even by their account, it may easily be conceived that it would have appeared still more complete had it been described by less partial writers.

Mary, commonly called Queen of Scots and dowager of France, was accessory to Babington's conspiracy, and had compassed and imagined divers matters within the realm of England, tending to the hurt, death, and destruction of the royal person of Elizabeth, in opposition to the statute framed for her protection.”

In the meantime messengers had been sent to the Queen of Scots, to report to her the sentence of the commissioners, and to prepare her for the consequences which might be expected to follow. So far from receiving the news with dismay, Mary solemnly raised her hands to heaven, and thanked God that she was so soon to be relieved from her troubles. They were not yet, however, at a close; and even during the short remainder of her life, she was still further insulted. Her keepers, Sir Amias Paulet and Sir Drue Drury, refused to treat her any longer with the reverence and respect due to her rank and sex. The canopy of state, which she had always ordered to be put up in her a partment wherever she went, was taken down, and every badge of royalty removed. It was intimated to her that she was no longer to be regarded as a

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