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immediately gathered round her. She told them that she had made her will, and requested that they would see it safely deposited in the hands of her executors. She likewise besought them not to separate until they had carried her body to France; and she placed a sum of money in the hands of her physician to defray the expenses of the journey. Her earnest desire was to be buried either in the church of St. Denis, in Paris, beside her first husband, Francis, or at Rheims, in the tomb which contained the remains of her mother. She expressed a wish, too, that besides her friends and servants, a number of poor people and children from the different hospitals should be present at her funeral, clothed in mourning at her expense, and each, according to the Catholic custom, carrying in his hand a lighted taper.

She now renewed her devotions, and was in the midst of them, when a messenger from the commissioners knocked at the door, to announce that all was ready. She requested a little longer time to finish her prayers, which was granted. As soon as she desired the door to be opened, the sheriff, carrying in his hand the white wand of office, entered to conduct her to the place of execution. Her servants crowded round her, and insisted on being allowed to accompany her to the scaffold. But a contrary order having been given by Elizabeth, they were told that she must proceed alone. Against such a piece of arbitrary cruelty they remonstrated loudly, but in vain ; for as soon as Mary passed into the gallery, the door was closed, and believing that they were separated from her forever, the shrieks of the women and the scarcely less audible lamentations of the men were heard in distant parts of the castle.

At the foot of the staircase leading down to the hall below, Mary was met by the Earls of Kent and Shrewsbury; and she was allowed to stop to take farewell of Sir Anthony Melvil, the master of her household, whom her keeper had not allowed to come into her presence for some time before. With tears in his eyes Melvil knelt before her, kissed her hand, and declared that it was the heaviest hour of his life. Mary assured him that it was not so with her. “I now feel, my good Melvil,” she said, “ that this world is vanity. When you speak of me hereafter, mention that I died firm in my faith, willing to forgive my enemies, conscious that I had never disgraced Scotland, my native country, and rejoicing in the thought that I had been true to France, the land of my happiest years. Tell my son,” she added, and when she named her only child, of whom she had been so proud in his infancy, but

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in whom all her hopes had been so fatally blasted, her feelings for the first time overpowered her, and a flood of tears flowed from her eyes,—“tell my son that I thought of him in my last moments, and that I have never yielded, either by word or deed, to aught that might lead to his prejudice; desire him to preserve the memory of his unfortunate parent, and may he be a thousand times more happy and more prosperous than she has been.”

Before taking leave of Melvil, Mary turned to the commissioners, and told them that her three last requests were, that her secretary Curl, whom she blamed less for his treachery than Nau, should not be punished; that her servants should have free permission to depart for France; and that some of them should be allowed to come down from the apartments above to see her die. The earls answered, that they believed the two former of these requests would be granted ; but that they could not concede the last, alleging, as their excuse, that the affliction of her attendants would only add to the severity of her suffering. But Mary was resolved that some of her own people should witness her last moments. “I will not submit to the indignity,” she said, “ of permitting my body to fall into the hands of strangers. You are the servants of a maiden queen, and she herself, were she here, would yield to the dictates of humanity, and permit some of those who have been so long faithful to me, to assist me at my death. Remember, too, that I am cousin to your mistress, and the descendant of Henry VII.; I am the dowager of France, and the anointed queen of Scotland.” Ashamed of any further opposition, the earls allowed her to name four male and two female attendants, whom they sent for, and permitted to remain beside her for the short time she had yet to live.

The same hall in which the trial had taken place was prepared for the execution. At the upper end was the scaffold, covered with black cloth, and elevated about two feet from the floor. A chair was placed on it for the Queen of Scots. On one side of the block stood two executioners, and on the other the Earls of Kent and Shrewsbury; Beal and the sheriff were immediately behind. The scaffold was railed off from the rest of the hall, in which Sir Amias Paulet with a bodyguard, the other commissioners, and some gentlemen of the neighborhood, amounting altogether to about two hundred persons, were assembled. Mary entered, leaning on the arm of her physician, while Sir Andrew Melvil carried the train of her robe. She was in full dress, and looked as if she were about to hold a drawing-room, not to lay her head beneath the axe. She wore a gown of black silk, bordered with crimson velvet, over which was a satin mantle; a long veil of white crape, stiffened with wire, and edged with rich lace, hung down almost to the ground; round her neck was suspended an ivory crucifix, and the beads which Catholics use in their prayers were fastened to her girdle. The symmetry of her fine figure had long been destroyed by her sedentary life; and years of care had left many a trace on her beautiful features. But the dignity of the queen was still apparent; and the calm grace of mental serenity imparted to her countenance at least some share of its former loveliness. With a composed and steady step she passed through the hall, and ascended the scaffold-and as she listened unmoved while Beal read aloud the warrant for her death, even the myrmidons of Elizabeth looked upon her with admiration.

Beal having finished, the Dean of Peterborough presented himself at the foot of the scaffold, and with more zeal than humanity addressed Mary on the subject of her religion. She mildly told him that she was resolved to die a Catholic, and requested that he would not annoy her any longer with useless reasonings. But finding that he would

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