The World's Greatest Books, Vol X

Part 1 out of 6

Produced by John Hagerson, Kevin Handy and PG Distributed Proofreaders



ARTHUR MEE Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge

J.A. HAMMERTON Editor of Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia


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Table of Contents

Deeds and Words

Courtships of Elizabeth
Love Affairs of Mary Queen of Scots

Life of Christopher Columbus
Life of George Washington



Life of Sir Walter Scott
Life of Robert Burns

Table Talk


Life of Byron

Life of St. Bernard

Life of Cobden



Political Testament



SEVIGNE, Mme. de

Life of Nelson

STAAL, Mme. de

Life of Pitt

Life of Thomas Arnold, D.D.

Life of Queen Elizabeth

Journal to Stella

Childhood, Boyhood, Youth
My Confession

Life of Girolamo Savanarola



A Complete Index of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS will be found at the end
of Volume XX.

* * * * *


Acknowledgement and thanks for permitting the use of the
following selections in this volume, viz., "The Courtships of
Queen Elizabeth," and "The Love Affairs of Mary Queen of
Scots," by Major Martin Hume, are herewith tendered to
Everleigh Nash, of London, England.

* * * * *


Deeds and Words

"Deeds and Words" ("Actes et Paroles"), which is dated June,
1875, is the record of Victor Hugo's public life, speeches and
letters, down to the year of his death, which occurred on May
32, 1885; but it is most important as a defence of his
political career from 1848 onwards. It does not, however, tell
us how changeable his opinions had actually been. His
inconstant attachments are thus summed up by Dr. Brandes: "He
warmly supports the candidacy of Louis Napoleon for the post
of President of the Republic ... lends him his support when he
occupies that post, and is even favourable to the idea of an
empire, until the feeling that he is despised as a politician
estranges him from the Prince-President, and resentment at the
coup d'etat drives him into the camp of the extreme
Republicans. His life may be said to mirror the political
movements of France during the first half of the century."

_I.--Right and Law_

All human eloquence, among all peoples and in all times, may be summed
up as the quarrel of Right against Law.

But this quarrel tends ever to decrease, and therein lies the whole of
progress. On the day when it has disappeared, civilisation will have
attained its highest point; that which ought to be will have become one
with that which is; there will be an end of catastrophes, and even, so
to speak, of events; and society will develop majestically according to
nature. There will be no more disputes nor factions; no longer will laws
be made, they will only be discovered. Education will have taken the
place of war, and by means of universal suffrage there will be chosen a
parliament of intellect.

In that serene and glorious age there will be no more warriors, but
workers only; creators in the place of exterminators. The civilisation
of action will have passed away, and that of thought will have
succeeded. The masterpieces of art and of literature will be the great

Frontiers will disappear; and France, which is destined to die as the
gods die, by transfiguration, will become Europe. For the Revolution of
France will be known as the evolution of the peoples. France has
laboured not for herself alone, but has aroused world-wide hopes, and is
herself the representative of all human good-will.

Right and Law are the two great forces whose harmony gives birth to
order, but their antagonism is the source of all catastrophe. Right is
the divine truth, and Law is the earthly reality; liberty is Right and
society is Law. Wherefore there are two tribunes, one of the men of
ideas, the other of the men of facts; and between these two the
consciences of most still vacillate. Not yet is there harmony between
the immutable and the variable power; Right and Law are in ceaseless

To Right belong the inviolability of human life, liberty, peace; and
nothing that is indissoluble, irrevocable, or irreparable. To Law belong
the scaffold, sword, and sceptre; war itself; and every kind of yoke,
from divorceless marriage in the family to the state of siege in the
city. Right is to come and go, buy, sell, exchange; Law has its
frontiers and its custom-houses. Right would have free and compulsory
education, without encroaching on young consciences; that is to say, lay
instruction; Law would have the teaching of ignorant friars. Right
demands liberty of belief, but Law establishes the state religions.
Universal suffrage and universal jury belong to Right, but restricted
franchise and packed juries are creatures of the Law.

What a difference there is! And let it be understood that all social
agitation arises from the persistence of Right against the obstinacy of
Law. The keynote of the present writer's public life has been "_Pro jure
contra legem"_--for the Right which makes men, against the Law which men
have made. He believes that liberty is the highest expression of Right,
and that the republican formula, "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,"
leaves nothing to be added or to be taken away. For Liberty is Right,
Equality is Fact, and Fraternity is Duty. The whole of man is there. We
are brothers in our life, equal in birth and death, free in soul.

_II.--Days of Childhood_

At the beginning of this nineteenth century there was a child who lived
in a great house, surrounded by a large garden, in the most deserted
part of Paris. He lived with his mother, two brothers, and a venerable
and worthy priest, who was his only tutor, and taught him much Latin, a
little Greek, and no history at all. Here, at the time of the First
Empire, the three boys played and worked, watched the clouds and trees
and listened to the birds, under the sweet influence of their mother's

It was the child's misfortune, though no one's fault, that he was taught
by a priest. What can be more terrible than a system of untruth,
sincerely believed? For a priest teaches falsehoods, ignorant of the
truth, and thinks he does well; everything he does for the child is done
against the child, making crooked that which nature has made straight;
his teaching poisons the young mind with aged prejudices, drawing
evening twilight, like a curtain, over the dawn.

That ancient, solitary house and garden, formerly a convent and then the
home of his childhood, is still in his old age a dear and religious
memory, though its site is now profaned by a modern street He sees it in
a romantic atmosphere, in which, amid sunbeams and roses, his spirit
opened into flower. What a stillness was in its vast rooms and
cloisters. Only at long intervals was the silence broken by the return
of a plumed and sabred general, his father, from the wars. That child,
already thoughtful, was myself.

One night--it was some great festival of the empire, and all Paris was
illumined--my mother was walking in the garden with three of my father's
comrades, and I was following them, when we saw a tall figure in the
gloom of the trees. It was the proscribed Victor du Lahorie, my
godfather. He was even then conspiring against Bonaparte in the cause of
liberty, and was shortly after executed. I remember his saying, "If Rome
had kept her kings, she had not been Rome," and then, looking on me,
"Child, put liberty first of all!" That one word outweighed my whole

_III.--Before the Exile_

It was not until the writer saw, in 1848, the triumph of all the enemies
of progress that he knew in the depths of his heart that he belonged,
not to the conquerors, but to the vanquished. The Republic lay
inanimate; but, gazing on her form, he saw that she was liberty, and not
even the sure fore-knowledge of the ruin and exile that must follow
could prevent his espousal with the dead. On June 15 he made his protest
from the tribune, and from that day he fought relentless battle for
liberty and the republic. And on December 2, 1851, he received what he
had expected--twenty years of exile. That is the history of what has
been called his apostasy.

Throughout that strange period before his exile, the frightful phantom
of the past was all-powerful with men. Every kind of question was
debated--national independence, individual liberty, liberty of
conscience, of thought, of speech, and of the Press; questions of
marriage, of education, of the right to work, of the right to one's
fatherland as against exile, of the right to life as against penal law,
of the separation of Church and state, of the federation of Europe, of
frontiers to be wiped out, and of custom-houses to be done away--all
these questions were proposed, debated, and sometimes settled.

In these debates the author of this memoir took his part and did his
duty, and was repaid with insults. He remembers interjecting, when they
were insisting on parental rights, that the children had rights, too. He
astounded the assembly by asserting that it was possible to do away with
misery. On July 17, 1851, he denounced the conspiracy of Louis
Bonaparte, unveiling the project of the president to become emperor. On
another day he pronounced from the tribune a phrase which had never yet
been uttered--"The United States of Europe." Contempt and calumny were
poured upon him, but what of that? They called George Washington a

These men of the old majority, who were doing all the evil that they
could--did they mean to do evil? Not a bit of it. They deceived
themselves, thinking that they had the truth, and they lied in the
service of the truth. Their pity for society was pitiless for the
people, whence arose so many laws, so many actions, that were blindly
ferocious. They were rather a mob than a senate, and were led by the
worst of their number. Let us be indulgent, and let night hide the men
of night.

What do our labours and our troubles and our exiles matter if they have
been for the general good; if the human race be indeed passing from
December to its April; if the winter of tyrannies and of wars indeed be
finished; if superstitions and prejudices no longer fall on our heads
like snow; and if, after so many clouds of empire and of carnage have
rolled away, we at last descry upon the horizon the rosy dawn of
universal peace?

O my brothers, let us be reconciled! Let us set out on the immense
highway of peace. Surely there has been enough of hatred. When will you
understand that we are all together on the same ship, and that the
immense menace of the sea is for all of us together? Our solidarity is
terrible, but brotherhood is sweet.

_IV.--Republican Principles_

The sovereignty of the people, universal suffrage, and the liberty of
the Press are all the same thing under three different names. The three
together constitute the whole of our public right; the first is its
principle, the second its manner, and the third its expression. The
three principles are indissoluble from one another. The sovereignty of
the people is the life-giving soul of the nation, universal suffrage its
government, the Press its illumination; but they are all really one, and
that unity is the republic. It is curious to notice how these principles
appear again in the watchword of the republic; for the sovereignty of
the people creates liberty, universal suffrage creates equality, and the
Press, which enlightens the general mind, creates fraternity.

Wherever these three great principles exist in their powers and
plenitude there is the republic, even though it be known as monarchy.
Wherever, on the other hand, they are betrayed, hindered, or oppressed,
the actual state is a monarchy or an oligarchy, even though it goes
under the name of a republic. In the latter case we see the monstrous
phenomenon of a government betrayed by its proper guardians, and it is
this phenomenon that makes the stoutest hearts begin to be doubtful of
revolutions. For revolutions are vast, ill-guided movements, which bring
forth out of the darkness at one and the same time the greatest of ideas
and the smallest of men; they are movements which we welcome as salutary
when we look at their principles, but which we can only call
catastrophes when he consider the character of their leaders.

Let us never forget that our three first principles live with a common
life, and mutually defend one another. If the Liberty of the Press is in
danger, the suffrages of the people arise and protect it; and, again, if
the franchise is threatened, it is safeguarded by the freedom of the
Press. Any attempt against either of them is a treachery to the
sovereignty of the people.

The movement of this great nineteenth century is the movement not of one
people only, but of all. France leads, and the nations follow. We are
passing from the old world to the new, and our governors attempt in vain
to arrest ideas by laws. There is in France and in Europe a party
inspired by fear, which is not to be accounted the party of order; and
its incessant question is: Who is to blame?

In the crisis through which we are passing, though it is a salutary
crisis which will lead only to good, everyone exclaims at the dreadful
moral disorder and the imminent social danger. Who, then, is guilty of
these ravages? Whom shall we punish? Throughout Europe, the party of
fear answers "France." Throughout France, it answers "Paris." In Paris,
it blames the Press. But every thoughtful man must see that it is none
of these, but is the human spirit.

It is the human spirit that has made the nations what they are. From the
beginning, through infinite debate and contradiction, it has sought,
unresting, to solve the problem eternally placed before the creature by
his Creator. It is the human spirit which takes from age to age the form
of the great revolts of history; it has been in turn, and sometimes
altogether, error, illusion, heresy, schism, protest, and the truth. The
human spirit is ever the great shepherd of the generations, proceeding
always towards the just, the beautiful, and the true, enlightening the
multitude, ennobling souls, directing the mind of man towards God.

Let the party of fear throughout Europe consider the magnitude of the
task which they have undertaken. When they have destroyed the Press,
they have yet to destroy Paris. When Paris is fallen, there remains
France. Let France be annihilated, there still remains the human
spirit--a thing intangible as the light, inaccessible as the sun.

_V.--In Exile_

Nothing is more terrible than exile. I do not say for him who suffers,
but for the tyrant who inflicts it. A solitary figure paces a distant
shore, or rises in the morning to his philosophic labours, or calls on
God among the rocks and trees; his hairs become grey, and then white, in
the slow passing of the years and in his longing for home; his lot is a
sorrowful one; but his innocence is terrible to the crowned miscreant
who sent him there. From 1852 to 1870 I was in exile.

How pleasant are those islands of the Channel, and how like France!
Jersey, perhaps, more charming than Guernsey, prettier if less imposing;
in Jersey the forest has become a garden; the island is like a bouquet
of flowers, of the size of London, a smiling land, an idyll set in the
midst of the sea.

The exile soon learns that, though the tyrant has placed him afar, he
does not release his hold. Many and ingenious are the snares laid for
the banished. A prince calls on you, but though he is of royal blood, he
is also a detective of police. A grave professor stays at your house,
and you surprise him searching your papers. Everything is permitted
against you; you are outside the law, outside of common justice, outside
of respect. They will say that they have your authority to publish your
conversations, and will attribute to you words that you have never
spoken and actions that you have never done. Never write to your
friends--your letters are opened on the way. Beware of all who are
kindly to you in exile; they are ruining you in Paris. You are isolated
as a leper. A mysterious stranger whispers in your ear that he can
procure the assassination of Bonaparte; it is Bonaparte offering to kill
himself. Every day of your life is a new outrage. Only one thing is open
to the exile; it is to turn his thought to other subjects.

He is at least beside the sea; let its infinity bring him wisdom. The
eternal rioting of the surges against the rocks is as the agitation of
impostures against the truth. It is a vain convulsion; the foam gains
nothing by it, the granite loses nothing, and only sparkles the more
bravely in the sun.

But exile has this great advantage--one is free to contemplate, to
think, to suffer. To be alone, and yet to feel that one is with all
humanity; to consolidate oneself as a citizen, and to purify oneself as
a philosopher; to be poor, and begin again to work for one's living, to
meditate on what is good and to contrive for what is better; to be angry
in the public cause, but to crush all personal enmity; to breathe the
vast, living winds of the solitudes; to compose a deeper indignation
with a profounder peace--these are the opportunities of exile. I
accustomed myself to say, "If, after a revolution, Bonaparte should
knock at my door and ask shelter, let never a hair of his head be

Yes, an exile becomes a well-wisher. He loves the roses, and the birds'
nests, and the flitting hither and thither of the butterflies. He
mingles with the sweet joys of the creatures, and learns a changeless
faith in some secret and infinite goodness. The green glades are his
chosen dwelling and his life is April; he reclines amazed at the
mysteries of a tuft of grass; he studies the ant-hills of tiny
republicans; he learns to know the birds by their songs; he watches the
children playing barefoot in the edge of the sea.

Against this dangerous man governments are taking the most strenuous
precautions. Victoria offers to hand over the exiles to Napoleon, and
messages of compliment are passed from one throne to the other. But that
gift did not take place. The English royalist Press applauded, but the
people of London would have none of it. The great city muttered thunder.
Majesty clothed in probity--that is the character of the English nation.
That good and proud people showed their indignation, and Palmerston and
Bonaparte had to be content with the expulsion of the exiles.

During the whole long night of my exile I never lost Paris from my view.
When Europe and even France were in darkness, Paris was never hidden.
That is because Paris is the frontier of the future, the visible
frontier of the unknown. All of to-morrow that can be seen to-day is in
Paris. The eyes that are searching for progress come to rest on Paris,
for Paris is the city of light.

_VI.--After the Exile_

This triology, "Before, During, and After the Exile," is no work of
mine, it is the doing of Napoleon III. He it is who has divided my life
in this way, observing, as one might say, the rules of art. Returning to
my country on September 5, 1870, I found the sky more gloomy and my duty
more clamant than ever.

Though it is sad to leave the fatherland, to return to it is sometimes
sadder still; and there is no Frenchman who would not have preferred a
life-long banishment, to seeing France ground beneath the Prussian heel,
and the loss of Metz and Strasburg. This was an invasion of barbarians;
but there is another menace that is not less formidable. I mean the
invasion of our land by darkness, an invasion of the nineteenth century
by the middle ages. After the emperor, the pope; after Berlin, Rome;
after the triumph of the sword, the triumph of night. For the light of
civilisation may be extinguished in either of two ways, by a military or
by a clerical invasion. The former threatens our mother, France; the
latter our child, the future.

A double inviolability is the most precious possession of a civilised
people--the inviolability of territory and the inviolability of
conscience; and as the soldier violates the first, so does the priest
violate the other. Yet the soldier does but obey his orders and the
priest his dogmas, so that there are only two who are ultimately
culpable--Caesar, who slays, and Peter, who lies. There is no religion
which has not as its aim to seize forcibly the human soul, and it is to
attempts of this kind that France is given up to-day.

One may say, indeed, that in our age there are two schools, and that
these two schools sum up in themselves the two opposed currents which
draw civilisation, the one towards the future and the other towards the
past. One of these schools is called Paris and the other Rome. Each of
them has its book; the one has the "Declaration of the Rights of Man,"
the other has the "Syllabus"; and the first of these books says "Yes" to
progress, but the second of them says "No." Yet progress is the footstep
of God.

Paris means Montaigne, Rabelais, Pascal, Corneille, Moliere,
Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire, Mirabeau, Danton. Rome, on the
other hand, means Innocent III., Pius V., Alexander VI., Urban VIII.,
Arbuez, Cisneros, Lainez, Guillandus, Ignatius.

To educate is nothing less than to govern; and clerical education means
a clerical government, with a despotism as its summit and ignorance as
its foundation.

Rome already holds Belgium, and would now seize Paris. We are witnesses
of a struggle to the death. Against us is all that manifold power which
emerges from the past, the spirit of monarchy, of superstition, of the
barrack and of the convent; we have against us temerity, effrontery,
audacity, and fear. On our side there is nothing but the light. That is
why the victory will be with us. For to enlighten is to deliver. Every
increase in liberty involves increased responsibility. Nothing is graver
than freedom; liberty has burdens of her own, and lays on the conscience
all the chains which she unshackles from the limbs. We find rights
transforming themselves into duties. Let us therefore take heed to what
we are doing; we live in a difficult time and are answerable at once to
the past and to the future. The time has come, in this year 1876, to
replace commotions by concessions. That is how civilisation advances.
For progress is nothing other than revolution effected amicably.

Therefore, legislators and citizens, let us redouble our good-will. Let
all wounds be healed, all animosities extinguished; by overcoming hatred
we shall overcome war; let no disturbance that may come be due to our
fault. Our task of entering into the unknown is difficult enough without
angers and bitterness. I am one of those who hope from that unknown
future, but only on condition that we make use from the first of every
means of pacification that is in our power. Let us act with the virile
kindness of the strong.

Let us then calm the nations by peace, and the hearts of men by
brotherhood, and let us never forget that we are ourselves responsible
for this last half of the nineteenth century, and that we are placed
between a great past, the Revolution of France, and a great future, the
Revolution of Europe.

* * * * *


The Courtships of Elizabeth

Major Martin Andrew Hume, born in London on December 8, 1847,
and educated at Madrid, comes of an English family, the
members of which have resided in Spain for a hundred years. He
began life in the British Army, from which he retired with the
rank of major. Major Hume was appointed editor of the Spanish
state papers published by the Record Office; he is also
lecturer in Spanish History and Literature at Cambridge, and
examiner and lecturer in Spanish at the Birmingham University.
He has written numerous works on the history of Spain; but
perhaps he is best known for his historical studies of the
Tudor period, of which may be mentioned "The Courtships of
Queen Elizabeth," "The Love Affairs of Mary Queen of Scots,"
and "The Wives of Henry VIII." In the first-named work,
published in 1896, Major Hume has presented an exceedingly
interesting human document, and classified a tangled mass of
material. The epitome here presented has been prepared for THE
WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS by the author himself.

_I.--Foreign Philandering_

The greatest diplomatic game ever played on the world's chessboard was
that consummate succession of intrigues which, for nearly half a
century, was carried on by Queen Elizabeth and her ministers with the
object of playing off one great Continental power against another for
the benefit of England and Protestantism, with which the interests of
the queen were inextricably involved. Those in the midst of the strife
worked mostly for immediate aims, and neither saw, nor cared, for the
ultimate results; but we, looking back, see that out of that tangle of
duplicity there emerged a new era of civilisation and a host of vigorous
impulses which move us to this hour.

The victory of England in that struggle meant the dominance of modern
ideas of liberty and of the imperial destiny of our race, and it seems
as if the result could only have been attained in the peculiar
combination of circumstances and persons then existing. Elizabeth
triumphed as much by her weakness as by her strength. Honest Cecil kept
his hand upon the helm so long because the only alternative to him was
the greedy crew of councillors eager for foreign bribes. Without
Leicester as a permanent matrimonial possibility, the queen could never
have held the balance between her foreign suitors; and, but for the
follies of Mary Stuart, the English Catholics would not have been
subjected so easily, whilst the religious dissensions in France and the
character of Philip II. aided Elizabeth's diplomacy. Elizabeth was more
than once betrothed in her childhood to aid her father's policy, but
when Henry died, in 1547, his younger daughter was unbetrothed.

During her residence with the Queen-Dowager, Catharine Parr, who soon
married Thomas, Lord Seymour, the fourteen-year-old girl was exposed to
peril from the designs of the ambitious Seymour. The indecorous romping,
perhaps innocent at first, that took place between her and her married
host provided grave scandal which touched even the honour of the girl,
and her keen wits alone saved her on this occasion from disgrace. Her
crafty reticence served her well, when the intrigues of Wyat, Courtenay,
and the French party threatened Mary's throne; but when Mary was
married, the Spanish party at once became interested in securing
Elizabeth to their side by her marriage. Mary's jealousy, and
Elizabeth's own determination not to be made a tool, frustrated Philip's
attempt to marry the princess to his cousin, the Duke of Savoy; and when
the Protestant Swedes clandestinely offered her the hand of Prince Eric,
her discreet wariness again protected her from the dangerous proposal.

When Mary lay dying, Feria, the Spanish ambassador, hurried to Hatfield
to salute the rising sun, and hinted even thus early that Elizabeth
might marry her powerful Spanish brother-in-law. But she resented his
patronage, and though she coquetted, as usual, with the proposal of
marriage, she took care not to pledge herself or submit England to
foreign dictation. To Spain it was vital that England should be at her
bidding. If the queen could not marry Philip, surely she could only wed
one of his Austrian cousins; or, if not, then England must be conquered
by the sword. All that Elizabeth wanted was time, and tardy Philip
played into her hands. One English noble after the other was taken up
and dropped, in the intervals of foreign philandering. Lord Arundel,
foolish, old, and vain, had high hopes; Sir William Pickering's chances
looked bright, and France and Spain sought to patronise each English
candidate in his turn, especially Lord Robert Dudley, the queen's friend
from childhood, though he was already married to Amy Robsart.

At length, after many days of dallying, great Philip decided to
sacrifice himself for Spain and marry his enigmatical sister-in-law. She
must, of course, renounce Protestantism and all the laws that made her
legally a queen; which was absurd, as Feria soon saw, and frankly told
his master. So then Philip half-heartedly patronised the suit of his
Austrian cousin, the Archduke Charles. If the latter would be an
obedient Spanish instrument he could have Philip's support; but German
Lutherans and English Protestants had also to be considered, and
Elizabeth's court was divided into those who feared any consort not
wholly Protestant and those who were eager for any marriage that
shielded England from Spanish attack.

Elizabeth thought she could avoid the latter danger without marriage at
all, so she dexterously played with all her suitors, English and
foreign, while strengthening her position and gaining popularity.
Sometimes she swore she would never marry, and the next day would grow
sentimental over the archduke, or flirted with Dudley--keeping them all
in suspense and afraid of offending her. The French, having no
marriageable prince of their own, supported Dudley, or any other English
candidate whom they could use against Spain; whilst Dudley himself
pretended to favour the archduke, till matters looked serious, and then
found means of frustrating him, often to Elizabeth's rage, for she
wished to play her own deep game unhampered. She knew she could always
choke off the Austrian when she wished by making fresh religious
demands. The English nobles were furious at Dudley's selfish manoeuvres
to keep the queen unwed till he was free, and they planned to marry the
queen to Arran, the next heir of Scotland. This looked promising for
months, but Dudley and his sister, Lady Sidney, checked the plan.

_II.--The Nine Years' Comedy_

In September, 1559, Dudley and his sister warmly took up the archduke's
cause, and assured Quadra, the Spanish ambassador, that if the suitor
would flatter the queen by coming to England on chance, she would marry
him. But Elizabeth and Cecil, though they hinted much, would not clearly
confirm Dudley's promise, and Philip and the emperor dared not expose
the archduke to the risk of being repulsed. The English nobles, in good
faith, urged the archduke's suit, and said that Dudley was plotting to
kill his wife and marry the queen; but they and the Spanish ambassador
were outwitted at every point by Elizabeth's diplomacy, and through 1559
and 1560 all the rivals were kept between hope and fear.

Then, in September 1560, the long-predicted murder of Amy Robsart set
Dudley free, and made the nobles and Cecil more anxious than ever that
the archduke should be bold, take the risk, and come to England. The
queen, to weaken the new friendship between France and Spain, herself
again pretended eagerness for the Austrian's coming; but the trick was
stale now, and neither Philip nor the emperor believed her. To checkmate
Dudley the Protestants were actively urging the suit of Eric of Sweden,
when, in January 1561, the former made a bold bid for Spanish support.
He was, he said, quite innocent of his wife's death, and he promised
Quadra that if the King of Spain would urge his (Dudley's) suit upon the
queen, England should send envoys to the Council of Trent, receive a
papal legate, and become practically Catholic. He might promise, but
such a thing was impossible, and Cecil, when he learnt of the intrigue,
promptly embroiled matters and spoilt the plan.

Elizabeth, too, saw whither she was drifting, and by pretended levity
turned it into a joke. At one time she invited the old Spanish bishop to
marry her to Dudley, and next day said she would never marry at all. But
she never ceased to flirt with Dudley, who, when his intrigue with Spain
fell through, cynically appealed to the French Protestants for support.
They were in no position to help him, and by January 1562, he was
cringing to Spain, and pretending to be Catholic. But English Catholics
hated him, and he was now no fit instrument for Philip.

In her own court it was firmly believed that Elizabeth was secretly
married to Dudley--it was high time, said the gossips; but in truth the
international importance of her marriage was now (1562-63) partially
obscured by that of the widowed Mary Queen of Scots. Before the latter
were dangled Eric of Sweden, the Archduke Charles, the Earl of Arran,
and Darnley; but the match which Mary most wished for, and the most
threatening to Elizabeth, was that with the vicious young lunatic, Don
Carlos, the heir of Philip of Spain. The match with Darnley, too, as he
was in the English succession, was distasteful to Elizabeth; but in
order to divert the Spanish match--which, really, though she knew it
not, was out of the question--she pretended to favour Darnley's suit at

In order still more to avert the Catholic alliance, Elizabeth sent
active help to the French Huguenots, and drew closer to the Protestants
of Germany and Holland, where distrust of their Spanish sovereign was
already brewing. In these circumstances, Elizabeth for the first time
could defy Spain, and Quadra, accused of conspiring against the queen,
was expelled the country. When the Darnley match for Mary Stuart looked
too serious, Elizabeth diverted it for a time by proposing that
Dudley--now Earl of Leicester--should marry Mary. It was, of course, but
a trick, through which the Scottish queen saw, with the object of
preventing the Darnley marriage and discrediting Mary in the eyes of
foreign princes; but it served its turn for a time.

In July 1564, when the league of France and Spain again menaced her,
Elizabeth set her cap at the boy Don Carlos, and even swore to the
Spanish ambassador that she was really a Catholic.

The further to alienate the Catholic powers from each other, she
simultaneously approached the emperor to revive the proposal of marriage
with the Archduke Charles, and to Catherine de Medici to drop a hint
that she--Elizabeth--might marry the young King of France, Charles IX.,
a youth barely half her age--anything to prevent a combination against
her and the marriage of Don Carlos with Mary Stuart. Catherine de Medici
had her own reasons at the time for smiling upon Elizabeth's suggestion.
She did not wish to be bound too tightly to Spain and the Catholics, for
fear of the Huguenots; and in February 1565, she wrote to Elizabeth,
saying that she would be the happiest of mothers if she could see her
dearly beloved sister of England married to her son, Charles IX.

Elizabeth was full of maidenly hesitation. She was too old for him;
perhaps he would not think her beautiful, and so on; but she took care
to say that there was no one else she could marry, as she would not wed
a subject. The Huguenots actively pushed the proposal, and Leicester
pretended to favour it, though Cecil was against it on many grounds. But
it was never seriously meant. It brought the Huguenots to Catherine's
side on the eve of her voyage to renew the Catholic league with Philip,
and it brought the Archduke Charles once more forward as a suitor for
Elizabeth's hand. When it had thus served its purpose, the idea of the
mature English queen marrying the boy Charles IX. was dropped.

The Austrian's new advances were looked upon somewhat askance by Spain,
until his attitude towards religion was assured, and, to have a second
string, the Spanish ambassador, Guzman, affected to favour Leicester's
suit. Cecil and the conservative nobles were sincere now in their
advocacy of the archduke, and between the two parties Elizabeth steered
coquettishly and diplomatically, modestly urging the archduke's coming,
and yet flirting desperately with Leicester. The breach between the
English nobles was profound, as all but Leicester wished the question of
the queen's marriage and succession to be settled; and Leicester's
chances were stronger than ever when it became clear, late in 1565, that
the archduke would not come to England without a firm pledge. The French
played off Leicester, too, against the archduke; sometimes even again
suggesting their own king when Leicester's star waxed pale.

Later, in 1566, the Lords and Commons urged the queen to marry, even
Leicester joining in the remonstrance. But Elizabeth wished to play the
game in her own way, and soundly scolded them. She did not mean to marry
the archduke, or perhaps anyone, but whilst she kept him dangling, she
knew she need not fear the Catholic combination. Soon all danger from
that quarter disappeared for a time. Philip was in death struggle with
his Protestant subjects in Holland; civil war was again raging in
France, and Mary Stuart was a disgraced prisoner in the hands of her
enemies. In the nine years that Elizabeth had carried on the marriage
comedy she had kept the balance whilst England was growing stronger.
Now, in 1568, she could afford to rest from her labours until danger
from abroad again loomed.

_III.--Catholics and Heretics_

The peace of St. Germain in 1570 ended the long religious war in France,
and the Guises and Catholics there, free from the strife, planned the
rescue of the imprisoned Mary Stuart by force, and her marriage with the
Duke of Anjou, the heir and brother of Charles IX. This was a danger
both to Elizabeth and to the Huguenots, and was at once counteracted by
their bringing forward the suggestion that the Queen of England might
marry Anjou. He was, it is true, a fanatical Catholic, but the Huguenots
thought that with England as a bait, and the powerful mind of Elizabeth
to guide him, the youth might change his views. Leicester offered his
help--for he knew the match was unlikely--and soon Catherine de Medici's
agents were busy by Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth, as usual, was coy and
maidenly. She was too old, she said, the thought of marriage was
shocking to her; but, withal, the courtship went on actively. Anjou's
charms and rumoured gallantries were the staple gossip at her court, and
Elizabeth never tired of hearing praises of her young suitor.

But soon the Guises and the Catholic League took fright, and urged Anjou
not to be drawn into a match with a heretic too old for him. Better,
said they, win England by force and marry Mary. To England the marriage,
or a similar one, seemed really necessary. The Catholics at home and
abroad were busily plotting against Elizabeth. Philip and Alba were
ready to connive at her murder; the Protestants in Holland and France
were powerless, and this match with Anjou seemed the only way to meet
the danger. Anjou, under Catholic influence, was scornful, whilst
Catherine, anxious for the greatness of her favourite son, was in
despair at his "assottedness."

Lord Buckhurst went, as ambassador to Paris, to forward the match in
March 1571; but it soon became evident that Elizabeth could never
concede the terms demanded by the French on religion. For many months
the Huguenots, and Walsingham, as Elizabeth's ambassador, tried to
reconcile the differences; and Catherine's agents in England laboured
hard in the same cause. Elizabeth herself was ambiguous, though loving,
and sometimes even Anjou was almost persuaded by his mother to accept
the English crown matrimonial at the price demanded. For Elizabeth it
was necessary to keep up the pretence at all costs, for the Spaniards
were plotting her murder; and to split the Catholic party whilst
secretly aiding the rebel Netherlanders seemed her only chance of
safety. On one occasion, when Spain and France drew together, Elizabeth
professed to be willing to marry Anjou on his own terms; but the prince
grew ever more opposed to the match, and in January 1572, Catherine
suddenly suggested that, as Anjou was so bigoted on religion, her
youngest son, Alencon, might marry Elizabeth on any conditions she

The lad was but seventeen--a swarthy, pock-marked youth--and Elizabeth
was inclined at first to resent the way in which Anjou had flouted her.
She was thirty-nine, and her vanity was wounded; but yet the friendship
or neutrality of France was vital to her. "How tall is he?" she asked
Cecil. "About as tall as I am," replied the elderly minister. "As tall
as your grandson, you mean!" snapped the queen. But Walsingham, Smith,
and the French envoys plied her busily with descriptions of Alencon's
manly charms, and a treaty between France and England was settled by
which the Huguenots for a time became paramount in France conjointly
with the marriage of the Huguenot Henry of Navarre with Margaret, the
king's sister. Feasts and cordiality were the rules on both sides of the
Channel now, and the Huguenot leaders urged the Alencon match with
Elizabeth with all their force. In reply to all these offers, Elizabeth
replied that, though the discrepancy of age was a great drawback, yet
the pock-marks on the suitor's face were a greater objection still; yet
if he would let her see him, without a pledge, she might like him. She
would never, she said, marry a man she had not seen.

But already Charles IX. and his mother were chafing under the Huguenot
yoke and cooling towards England. They were determined not to be drawn
by their new treaty with England into war with Spain; so, under the
pretence of keeping up the negotiations for the Alencon match, they sent
the youth La Mole to England in the autumn of 1572, really for the
purpose of dissociating France from the Huguenot-English aid to the
Protestant Netherlanders. La Mole was a gallant young lover, with whom
Elizabeth was charmed, and when he played the vicarious wooer for
Alencon, she could not make enough of him. But whilst he was
philandering with her at Kenilworth, and she was losing patience at his
political mission, there fell like a thunderbolt the awful news of the
massacre of St. Bartholomew at Navarre's fatal wedding. At once the
scene changed. La Mole and the French envoy hurried away amidst curses
upon all false Frenchmen. Elizabeth, in a panic, smiled upon Spaniards
again, and, for a time, the project of a French consort for her slept.

But not for long. Alencon had no part in the massacre, and was known to
favour Huguenots. He wrote a fervent love-letter to Elizabeth, and
proposed to escape to England; whilst his agent Maisonfleur joined with
Mauvissiere, the official French ambassador, in wooing Elizabeth anew
for Alencon and for France. Gradually the parties drew together again,
for Catherine was already alarmed at the effect of St. Bartholomew. All
the Protestant world was arming, the English ports were full of
privateers to attack Catholic shipping, and aid in plenty was being sent
from England to the Huguenots of Rochelle and the rebel Dutchmen.

France could therefore not afford to quarrel with England, but Anjou and
Charles IX. took care to hold Alencon tight, that he might not escape
and strengthen the Protestant cause in union with Elizabeth, whilst they
still kept up the appearance of marriage negotiations. Elizabeth was
ever on the alert to serve her cause, and in March 1573, said she would
go no further in the Alencon match unless the Protestants in Rochelle
were allowed fair terms and the siege raised. Anjou, already tired of
the war, consented, and soon afterwards Catherine asked whether
Elizabeth would now proceed with the Alencon plan. The lad had grown
much, she said, and his budding beard covered some of his facial
imperfections. It was settled that the prince should make a flying visit
to Dover, but soon Catherine began to make fresh conditions. It would be
such a shame to them, she said, if her son went and returned unmarried.

_IV.--The Lovelorn Alencon_

In the meanwhile, Alencon's love-letters to his mature flame grew
warmer; but much as Elizabeth liked such attentions, she dreaded to go
too far. Charles IX. was sinking fast, and the next heir was Anjou. With
Alencon for heir-presumptive of France, the position would be changed;
and once more the queen began to get doubtful about those unfortunate
pock-marks on her lover's face. Once Alencon planned with Henry of
Navarre to escape from his mother's custody and make a dash for England
on his own account, but Catherine held him firmly.

Both the Huguenots and the French king wished for the marriage, but each
party frustrated the other because their objects were different. When
the French ambassador, therefore, asked Elizabeth when Alencon might
come to see her, she refused to name a time, because she knew secretly
that a great Huguenot movement in France was pending, and she wished
Alencon to be there as figurehead at the time--the very thing that the
official French Government wished to avoid. The projected movement was
betrayed and suppressed, and Alencon's life was for a time in danger;
but when Henry III. (Anjou) was seated on the throne, Alencon kept
openly a rival court to that of his brother, and the Huguenots around
the prince were at deadly feud with the minions of the king.

At last the crisis came. Alencon escaped from Paris in disguise, pursued
by his mother, and, joining the Huguenots in arms, defied the king and
the Guises. France was not big enough to hold both brothers in peace,
and Catherine told Alencon that as Elizabeth seemed so ready to help him
and his Huguenots, he ought to reopen the marriage negotiations. But
Alencon was useless to England as a counterbalance to Spain unless
France herself could be pledged as well, and Elizabeth considered it
safest for the time, since that could not be done, to feign a new
cordiality with Philip.

The Catholic party in France was again paramount, and by bribery and
Catherine's diplomacy, Alencon and his friends were bought over. For the
next three years the young prince held aloof from affairs, but in 1578
the hollow truce ended; he was suspected and placed under arrest, all
his friends being cast into the Bastille. In February, 1578, Alencon
broke his prison and fled, and all France was plunged into turmoil.
Elizabeth was profoundly moved. The keynote of English policy was the
exclusion of France from Flanders, and if Alencon was secretly supported
in his action by his brother, then Elizabeth must oppose to the death
any interference in Flanders.

And so began the long and clever juggle by which she used Alencon's
ambition to wed her as a means to compass her ends without marrying him.
Huguenots flocked to Alencon's standard, whilst he sent by every post
love-lorn epistles to Elizabeth, praying her to aid him to free Flanders
from the bloodthirsty Spaniards. On July 7, 1578, Alencon entered
Flanders with his army, and Elizabeth, still full of distrust of
Frenchmen, feigned to Spaniards her deep disapproval, whilst she took
care that many English and Germans in her pay slipped into Flanders at
the same time, to prevent any French national domination. Presently,
persuaded that Alencon had no secret pact with his brother, Elizabeth
took Alencon and the Flemish revolt into her own hands, and effusively
welcomed Alencon's envoys who came to promote his love suit.

He chose for his emissary one Jehan Simier, an experienced gallant, who
soon wooed Elizabeth to such good purpose that she fell violently in
love with the messenger, as well as with his absent master. Protestant
England took fright at the pending marriage of the queen with a papist
of half her age. Simier, whom she called her "monkey," had bewitched
her, said the courtiers, and remonstrances from all sides came to the

_V.--The Battle of Wits_

Alencon's demands were high, but Elizabeth seems really for once to have
lost her head, and but for the strong opposition of her Council, might
have been drawn into the marriage. Simier, seeing the deadlock, decided
to bring Alencon over at all risks. Leicester, deadly jealous, tried to
assassinate Simier, who revenged himself by divulging to the queen
Leicester's secret marriage. Elizabeth was beside herself with rage, and
more in love than ever with Alencon and his envoy. At length, in August
1579, the young French prince, in disguise, suddenly appeared at
Greenwich. The queen's vanity was flattered, and though the visit was
supposed to be secret, she hardly left her young lover, whilst he, to
judge by his letters, was as badly smitten as she. But though she
promised him marriage, he had to return with little else, and as soon as
he had gone she found many good reasons for delay and hesitation.

In October 1580, a new Catholic combination forced Elizabeth's hands,
and she promised greater help to Alencon's project, whilst trying to
draw France also into open war with Spain. The combat of wits was keen
and cynical, each party trying to pledge the other and to keep free
himself. A great French embassy came to England in April 1581, to
negotiate an alliance and the queen's marriage with Alencon, who had now
re-entered Flanders and was immersed in the struggle against the
Spaniards. The discussions in England were becoming interminable, for
the French ambassadors asked hard terms, when Alencon, in June 1581,
losing patience, suddenly rushed over to England to plead his own cause
independently of his brother's envoys, whom he distrusted with good
reason. This suited Elizabeth, for it made Alencon more dependent upon
her, and again she sent her lover back full of great promises to help

In August Alencon again entered Flanders, depending entirely upon
Elizabeth for support, and thenceforward he looked alone to his marriage
with her for his salvation. She was sparing, and the poor prince retired
to France in September. In desperation he came to England again to press
for money and marriage in November 1581; and for months the love-making
was fast and furious. Frantic prayers, sighs, and tears on his part were
answered by kisses and promises on hers, but she gave as little money as
would serve to get rid of him. On February 1, 1582, Alencon sailed for
Holland to Elizabeth's professed grief and real joy; and thenceforward
the prince, first in Flanders as sovereign, and afterwards in France a
fugitive, supplicated and threatened his betrothed for money, and ever
more money. But Elizabeth had now taken the Netherlands revolt into her
own hands, and thenceforward her French lover was useless to her there.
So, though she still kept up the pretence of her willingness to marry
him on impossible conditions, and drove the poor creature to love-lorn
despair, Alencon had served his matrimonial purpose before he died, in
1584, and Elizabeth's courtships with a political object came to an end.
She and England were strong enough now to face her possible foes without

* * * * *

The Love Affairs of Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots was one of the most remarkable women who
ever presided over the destinies of a nation. She was born at
Linlithgow on December 8, 1542, a few days before the death of
her father, James V., thus becoming a queen before she was a
week old. Her complex personality and varied accomplishments
have inspired many and various historians, but it has remained
for Major Martin Hume to demonstrate the historical fatality
of Mary's love affairs. In "The Love Affairs of Mary Queen of
Scots," published in 1903, Major Hume gives a convincing and
logical reason for Mary's political failure, inasmuch as it
did not spring from her goodness or badness as a woman, but
from a certain weakness of character. This epitome has been
prepared by Major Hume himself.

_I.--Betrothed in her Cradle_

When in the great hall at Worms, on that ever-memorable April day in
1521, before the panic-stricken princes, Luther insolently flung at the
emperor his defiance of the mediaeval church, the crash, though all
unheard by the ears of men, shook to their base the crumbling
foundations upon which, for hundreds of years, the institutions of
Europe had rested. The sixteenth century thenceforward was a period of
disintegration and reconstruction, in which fresh lines of cleavage
between old political associates were opened, new affinities were
formed, and the international balance re-adjusted.

In the long struggle of the house of Aragon, and its successor, Charles
V., with France for the domination of Italy, the only effectual
guarantee against England's actively aiding its traditional ally, the
ruler of Spain and Flanders, against its traditional enemy, France, was
for the latter country to keep a tight hold of its alliance with
Scotland, by means of which English force might be diverted at any time.
The existence of the Scottish "back door" to England, with the ever
probable enemy behind it, had long been a check upon English power, and
a humiliation to English kings in their efforts to hold the balance
between the Continental rivals. But with the spread of Lutheranism in
Germany and Henry VIII.'s defiance of the Papacy, the Catholic powers,
drawn together in the face of common danger, found a fresh bond of union
in their orthodoxy which partially superseded old rivalries.

In these circumstances the English policy, which had aimed at the
control of Scottish foreign relations to the exclusion of French
influence, became not only desirable as it always had been, but vitally
necessary to preserve England's independence.

Henry VIII.'s policy towards Scotland had been that of _divide et
impera_, and a series of royal minorities and the greed and poverty of
the semi-independent Scottish nobles had aided him. The rout of the
Scots at Solway Moss, and the pathetic passing of the gallant James V.,
leaving his new-born daughter, Mary, as queen (December 1542), seemed at
length to place Scotland in England's power. The murder of Cardinal
Beaton, the bribery of the Douglases, and the marriage of Lennox with
Henry's sister were all subsequent moves in the same game. Mary was
betrothed in her cradle to the heir of England, and France, whose sheet
anchor for centuries had been the "auld alliance" with the Scots,
appeared to be helpless against a coalition of England and the emperor.

Thenceforward, England's main object was to keep a tight grip upon
Scotland by religion or otherwise, while at first France, and
subsequently the Catholic league, strove ceaselessly, with the help of
Mary Stuart, to free Scotland from English influence. The marriage
juggle of Elizabeth was largely inspired by her Scottish aims, and if
the fortuitous adjustment of her qualities kept England Protestant, and
France wavering for all those critical years, if she secured the
inactivity of Spain, the resistance of Protestant Holland, and the
freedom of navigation by her skilful statecraft, her rival Mary Stuart
was a hardly less powerful factor in the final triumph of England by
reason of certain defects in her character, the consequences of which
are dealt with in this book.

Mary possessed a finer and nobler nature than Elizabeth; she was a woman
of higher courage and greater conviction, more generous, magnanimous,
and confiding, and, apart from her incomparably greater beauty and
fascination, she possessed mental endowments fully equal to those of the
English queen. But, whilst caution and love of mastery in Elizabeth
always saved her from her weakness at the critical moment, Mary Stuart
possessed no such safeguards, and was periodically swept along
helplessly by the irresistible rush of her amorous passion.

French intrigue and money, aided by the queen-regent of Scotland, Mary
of Guise, succeeded, after Henry's death and Somerset's invasion of
Scotland, in gaining firm hold upon Scotland, and Mary, as the betrothed
wife of the dauphin Francis, was carried to France in 1548, at the age
of six, to be reared by her cunning kinsmen of Lorraine, and made, as it
was hoped, a future powerful instrument to aid Catholic French objects
against England, and the reformation in France and elsewhere. As she
grew towards womanhood in the bravest and most amorous court in Europe,
the queen-dauphiness became a paragon of beauty, charm, accomplishments,
the theme of poets, the despair of lovers innumerable worshipping her
from afar.

The boy Francis de Valois, to whom she was affianced, was a poor,
bilious, degenerate weakling, stunted in figure, uncomely of face. He
was shy and timid, shunning active exercises, and though at the time of
his marriage (1558) he was too young to have been actively engaged in
the vices of the outwardly devout court, he appears to have been fully
alive to the desirability of his bride. Mary was precocious and
ambitious; she was surrounded by profligates, male and female, and,
though she can hardly have been in love with her young husband, she
appears to have been fully reconciled to the union.

With unsurpassed magnificence the wedding of Mary and Francis took place
in Paris, but it signified to the world much more than the wedding of a
boy and girl. So far as men could see, it meant the triumph of the papal
Guises in France, and a death-blow to Protestant hopes of ranging
Scotland on the side of the reformation.

_II.--Intrigue, Plot, and Intrigue_

Francis died after sixteen months reign, and Mary Stuart and her Guisan
uncles, hated jealously by the queen-mother, Catharine de Medici, and by
the reforming Bourbons, fell, for a time, into the background. Mary can
hardly have loved her puny boy husband, but she nursed him night and day
in his long sickness and his death so affected her that "she would not
receive any consolation, but, brooding over her disasters with constant
tears and passionate, doleful lamentations, she universally inspired
deep pity." She had, indeed, lost much besides her royal husband; and in
a poem written by her afterwards, the waste of her youth in widowhood,
the loss of her great position as Queen of France, and her powerlessness
any longer to enforce her rule in Scotland by French power, are the main
burden of her complaints against Providence, not pity for the husband
she had lost.

The Guises were loath to surrender power without a struggle, and as soon
as Francis died they sought to sell their niece in marriage again. Their
first idea was for her to marry her child-brother-in-law, the new King
Charles IX., but Catharine de Medici at once stopped that plan, though
the boy himself was anxious for it and Mary was not averse. That
failing, Cardinal Lorraine turned to the heir of Spain, Don Carlos, as a
husband for her. This would have been a death-blow to Elizabeth, and
Philip feigned to listen to it; but all the strength and cunning of
Huguenots and Protestants, joined by those of Catharine and Elizabeth,
were brought into play against this threatening move, and Mary went to
Scotland with a sinking, sad, and angry heart in 1561, fearing her
uncouth subjects, foreign to her now, vexed with the Protestant party
for standing in the way of her ambitious marriage, and determined to
oppose Elizabeth to the utmost in her designs against the independence
of Scotland.

With these views, gay and winsome though she was, it was not long before
Mary was at issue with her dour Protestant subjects and their spokesman,
John Knox. It was hoped by her brother, James Stuart (Murray), and
Secretary Lethington that a _modus vivendi_ might be found by persuading
Elizabeth to secure to Mary the English succession in case she herself
died childless, on the undertaking of Mary that her marriage and policy
should be dictated by England; but it was not Elizabeth's plan to pledge
the future of England, and her nimble evasiveness drove the Scottish
statesmen to despair.

Brawls and bitterness grew in Mary's court around the Catholicism of the
queen, and English money and intrigue were freely lavished to set
Scotland by the ears. Half the nobles were disaffected, and Murray and
Lethington, having failed to secure Scottish interests by moderate
counsels and the conciliation of Elizabeth, were forced to take a strong
course. Of foreign suitors Mary had many, some promoted by the
Protestants, some by the Pope and the Guises, while the Catholics of
England were secretly intriguing to force Elizabeth's hand by arranging
Mary's marriage with young Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, eldest son of
Margaret, Countess of Lennox, niece of Henry VIII., who lived at
Elizabeth's court. Cecil's spies were everywhere, and the plot was soon
known and stopped by Elizabeth, violently angry with her kinswoman for
listening to such a scheme.

But Murray and Lethington, in desperation, were aiming at higher game
even than this. They were Protestant, they had tried their best to win
Elizabeth's recognition; but they were Scotsmen first, and if their
country was to be independent it must have a great ally behind it.
France was out of the question while the Guises were in the shade and
Catharine was queen-mother. So the ministers of Mary turned their eyes
to the Protestant heir of the Catholic king. Elizabeth soon heard of
this, too, and suddenly pretended to be in favour of the Darnley match
for Mary, while she developed the most cordial friendship for Mary
herself; for the Guises had again become paramount in France, and
Elizabeth could not afford to flout all the Catholic interests at once.

That danger soon passed, for the Huguenots flew to arms, and Guise was
murdered, Mary losing thus her principal prop abroad. And Lethington now
pushed vigorously what seemed to be Scotland's only chance of
safety--the marriage of Mary with the semi-idiot heir of Spain.

The English Catholics were drawn into the plot. "Only let Mary marry the
heir of Spain, and we will salute her as our leader," said they. But
Elizabeth soon gained wind of it, as usual, and was ready with her
antidote--a most extraordinary one--the proposal that Mary should wed
her own lover, Lord Robert Dudley, with the assurance of the English
succession after Elizabeth's death without issue. It was a mere feint,
of course, but it divided Scotland, and unsettled Mary herself.

Meanwhile, Philip, with his leaden methods, was pondering and seeking
fresh pledges and guarantees from the English Catholics. Before his
temporising answer came Elizabeth had frightened Mary's advisers into
doubt, while she was holding the English Catholics in check by dangling
Darnley and Dudley before Mary's eyes, and swearing deadly vengeance if
she married the Spaniard.

Elizabeth's first aim was to embroil Mary's prospects by discrediting
her in the eyes of foreign powers. To this end was directed the offer
alternately of Dudley and Darnley as a husband, and Elizabeth's pretence
of shocked reprobation of Mary in connection with Chastelard's escapade.
It must be confessed that Mary's imprudence aided Elizabeth's object,
and the sour bigotry of Knox, which looked upon all gaiety as a sin,
served the same purpose. All this drove the unhappy queen more and more
into the arms of the Catholic party as her only means of defence.

_III.--Prudence Overcome by Passion_

The intrigue to wed Mary to the Spanish prince was met by Elizabeth
cordially taking up Lady Lennox, and her son, Darnley, who by many was
now regarded as the intended heir of England, and was held out to Mary
as an ideal husband for her. So long as she had hopes of the Spanish
prince she gave but evasive answers; but late in 1564 the cunning
diplomacy of Catharine and the falseness of Cardinal Lorraine had
diverted that danger; and Philip gave Mary to understand that the match
with his son was impossible, Mary's great hope had been founded upon
this marriage. Unless she could have a foreign Catholic husband strong
enough to defy Elizabeth she knew that she must make terms with
Elizabeth's enemies, the English Catholics, and thus bring pressure to
bear upon her by internal dissensions.

It was a dangerous game to play, for it meant conspiracy; and so long as
the Lennoxes and their effeminate, lanky son were basking in Elizabeth's
favour, the English queen held her trump card. But Lady Lennox was
intriguing and ambitious, the head of English Catholic disaffection, and
could only be held to Elizabeth's side by delusive hopes of the English
succession for her son. Lennox himself, with some misgiving, was allowed
to go to Scotland to claim his forfeited estates, and there, to
Elizabeth's anger, was received with marked respect, which made the
English queen hold Darnley and his mother more firmly than ever, and
again push forward Dudley as a suitor for Mary's hand. Anxious to get
Darnley to Scotland, not necessarily to marry him, but as a useful
instrument, Mary feigned willingness to accept Dudley; and, in face of
this, Elizabeth was induced to allow young Darnley to go to Scotland for
a short time, ostensibly on business of the family estates.

In February 1565, Darnley, aged nineteen, crossed the border, to the
dismay of the English agents in Scotland. It was soon after Mary had
received news that the Spanish match was at an end, and she was ready
for a new plan to circumvent Elizabeth. Darnley as a husband would bring
to her the support of English Catholics, and a new claim to the English
crown. So when her eyes first lit upon the fair stripling at Wemyss
Castle, she looked upon him with favour as "the properest tall man she
ever saw." He was on his best behaviour, and danced delightfully with
the queen. Up to this time Mary had played her game with self-command
and policy, but now for the first time her heart ran away with her, and
she took a false step.

To have married Darnley as part of a transaction with Elizabeth, and
with the approval of her own Protestant subjects, would have been a
master-stroke. But she fell in love with the "long lad," and could not
wait for negotiation; so she at once sent off to pray King Philip to
support her with money and men against England and the Protestants if
she married Darnley and became the tool of Spain. Philip, nothing loth,
consented, and welcomed the coming union as a Catholic alliance and a
powerful weapon against Elizabeth. Mary thus made herself the head of a
vast Catholic conspiracy looking to Spain for support, and Elizabeth was
furious both with Mary and Darnley for having apparently beaten her at
her own cunning game.

How Elizabeth sought a diversion, at first by new matrimonial schemes of
her own, has been told elsewhere, but her more effectual weapon was to
arouse the fears of Scottish Protestants, and breed dissension in Mary's
realm. "The young fool," Darnley, insolent and proud of his new
greatness, offended all the nobles, whilst Mary grew daily more
infatuated with him. They were married in July 1565, and the great
conspiracy against Elizabeth and Protestantism was complete. Already the
Scottish Protestant lords were in a panic, and after an abortive rising,
they fled before Mary's bold attack, taking refuge in England.

The queen herself led her forces, armed and mounted, with her stripling
husband by her side; but she was followed close by the shaggy, stern,
martial figure of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, just returned from
exile to serve her; and upon him she looked with kindling eyes as a
stouter man than the fribble she had wed. Mary had now apparently
triumphed by her Darnley marriage, but the avalanche was gathering to
crush her. She looked mainly to Spain and the Pope for help, and had all
Protestantism against her, led by Elizabeth, whose hate and fury knew no
bounds. It was a duel now of life or death between two systems and two
women, one with a heart and the other without; and, as usual, the
heartless won.

English money and skill honeycombed Scottish loyalty. Darnley, vicious,
vain, and passionate, was an easy prey to intrigue. The tools of England
whispered in his ear that his wife was too intimate with the Italian
secretary Rizzio, who had conducted the correspondence with the Catholic
powers. Darnley, who had earned his wife's contempt already, was beside
himself with jealousy, and himself led the Protestant conspirators and
friends of England, who murdered Rizzio in the queen's presence at
Holyrood (March 1566). From that hour Darnley's doom was sealed.

He had thought to be king indeed now, but Mary outwitted him; for she
recalled her exiled lords, welcomed her brother Murray, and threw
herself into the arms of Darnley's Protestant foes, the very men who had
risen in arms against the marriage. As she fled by night with Darnley
after Rizzio's murder, to betray him, she swore over Rizzio's new-made
grave that a "fatter one" than he should lie there ere long. Whether she
knew of the plot of his foes to murder her husband is not proved, but
she almost certainly did so, and welcomed the deed when it was done. She
made no pretence of love for him after Rizzio's death, and her husband
repaid her coldness by sulky loutishness and bursts of drunken violence.
Mary's conduct toward Bothwell, too, began to arouse scandal. By
November 1566, matters had reached a crisis, and Mary, at Kelso, said
that unless she was freed from Darnley she would put an end to herself.
She spoke not to deaf ears. Morton, and the rest of Rizzio's slayers and
bitter enemies, were pardoned, and the deadly bond was signed.

_IV.--Dire Infatuation_

On February 9, 1567, as the doomed consort lay sick and sorry outside
Edinburgh at the lone house of Kirk o' Field, he was, done to death by
Bothwell and the foes of the Lennoxes; and Mary Stuart's first true love
affair was ended in tragedy. But already the second was in full blast.
Bothwell had recently married; he was disliked by the Scottish nobles,
and the queen's constant association with him had already brought
discredit upon her. There had been a good political excuse for her union
with Darnley, but Bothwell could bring no support to her cause; for his
creed was doubtful, and he had no friends. Nothing, indeed, but the
infatuation of an amorous woman for a brutally strong man could have so
blinded her to her own great aims as to make her take Bothwell, the
prime mover of Darnley's murder, for her husband.

As soon as the crime was known, all fingers were pointed to Bothwell and
the queen as the murderers, and Protestants everywhere hastened to cast
obloquy upon Mary for it. But for the nobles' jealousy of Bothwell, and
the religious animus, probably Darnley's death would soon have been
forgotten or condoned; but as it was, Scotland blazed out in
denunciation of it, and though Bothwell was put upon a mock trial and
acquitted, the hate against him grew, especially when he arranged to
divorce his wife in April 1567, and, ostensibly by force, but clearly by
Mary's connivance, abducted the queen and bore her off to his castle of

On her return to Edinburgh a few weeks later Mary publicly married
Bothwell--she swore afterwards against her will, but, in any case, to
the anger and disgust of her subjects. She found her new husband an
arrogant tyrant rather than her slave, and he watched her closely. The
dire infatuation of the lovelorn woman soon wore off, and again she
sighed to be free; but it was too late, for the Catholic powers stood
aloof from her now that she had married a divorced man, and all her
nobles had abandoned her. So Mary clung to Bothwell still, for he was
strong, and all Scotland cried shame upon her.

In June, Mary and her husband, fearing attack or treachery, fled from
Edinburgh Castle, which at once opened its gates to Morton and the rebel
lords. A parley was sent to Mary offering submission if she would leave
Bothwell to his fate. She indignantly refused, for she feared the lords
and hated Morton. Bothwell was strong, she thought, and he was the
father of her unborn child; be might protect her. So by Bothwell's side
she rode out at the head of the border clansmen, and met the rebel army
at Carberry Hill, hard by Edinburgh.

It was agreed that the dispute should be decided by the single combat
between Bothwell and Lindsay, but before the duel began Mary's bordermen
became disordered, and then she knew that all was lost. Kirkaldy of
Grange came from her opponents to parley with her and offer safety for
her, but not for Bothwell. Whilst they were speaking, Bothwell attempted
to murder Grange; and when Mary forbade such treachery, he lost his
nerve and began to whimper. In a moment the scales fell from Mary's
eyes. This man was but a lath painted like steel. His strength was but a
lie, and he was unworthy of her. She turned from him in contempt, and
surrendered to the lords; while Bothwell fled, and unhappy Mary saw him
no more.

_V.--Langside and After_

Cursed by crowds, who reviled her as a murderess and adulteress, Mary
was led, a captive, to her capital. By night, to save her from the fury
of the mob, she was smuggled out of Edinburgh and lodged, a prisoner, in
the island fortress of Lochleven. During her long incarceration there
the story of her wrongs and sufferings stirred the Catholics at home and
abroad in her favour, and her friends and foes were again sharply
divided according to their religious creeds. The rulers of Scotland,
too, headed by her brother Murray, were far from easy; for the Catholics
were strong, and foreign crowned heads looked black at those who kept a
sovereign in durance. So attempts were made to conciliate her by
proposing marriage with some harmless Scottish noble, conjoined with her
abdication. But her heart was high still, and she would bate no jot of
her queenship; rather would she exercise her glamour upon her gaolers
and escape to power and sovereignty again. Her fascination was
irresistible, and Murray's half-brother, young George Douglas, a mere
lad, fell a victim to her smiles. Once more Mary fell in love, and
proposed to marry the youth who had endeavoured to aid her escape.

Murray was shocked, and had his brother expelled the castle; but in
April 1568 the faithful George planned her evasion of the guard and
joyfully welcomed her on the shore of the lake. To her standard flocked
the Catholic lords, and, safe at Hamilton, Mary, again a queen, swore
vengeance upon her foes. On her way with her army to Dumbarton she met
Murray's force at Langside, near Glasgow. She had been strong at
Carberry Hill with Bothwell at her side. Here she was weak, for no man
of weight or character was with her, and as her men wavered she turned
rein and fled.

For sixty miles on bad roads she struggled on, almost without sleep, and
living on beggar's fare. With no adviser or woman near her, in her panic
and despair she took the fatal resolve and crossed the Solway into
Elizabeth's realm, trusting to the magnanimity of the woman whom she had
tried to ruin and supplant. Again her heart had deceived her. Elizabeth
had no pity for a vanquished foe, and for the rest of her miserable
life, well nigh a score of years, Mary Stuart was a prisoner. But in all
those years she never ceased to plot and plan for the overthrow of
Elizabeth and her own elevation to the Catholic throne of all Britain.

Amidst her many weapons, that of marriage and her personal fascination
were not forgotten. Twice, at least, she tried to make her love affairs
serve her political ambition. Poor, feckless Norfolk was drawn by his
vanity and ambition into her net. Love epistles, breathing eternal
devotion, passed between them, but murder was behind it all--the murder
of Elizabeth, and the subjection of England to Spain to work Mary's
vengeance on her foes, and Norfolk lost his head deservedly.

Again she dreamed of marrying the Christian champion, Don Juan of
Austria, and conquering and ruling over a Catholic England. But this
plot, too, was discovered, and Don Juan, like all the rest of Mary's
lovers, died miserably. Mary thenceforward was the centre of Spain's
great conspiracy against England's queen, but she sought the end no more
by love; for that had failed her every time she tried. She and her cause
were beaten because her heart of fire was pitted against a heart of ice,
and she lost all because she loved too much.

* * * * *


Life of Christopher Columbus

Washington Irving, American historian and essayist, was born
on April 3, 1783, in New York, of a family which came
originally from Scotland. He knew Europe well, and was equally
at home in London, Paris, and Madrid; he held the offices, in
1829, of Secretary to the American Embassy in London, and, in
1842, of American Minister in Spain. He was deeply interested
in Spanish history, and besides the "Life and Voyages of
Christopher Columbus," he wrote "The Voyages of the Companions
of Columbus," "The Conquest of Granada," "The Alhambra," and
"Legends of the Conquest of Spain." He was an industrious man
of letters, having an excellent style, wide knowledge, and
pleasant humour. His chief work was the "Life of George
Washington," of which we give an epitome elsewhere. Other
writings include "A History of New York, by Diedrich
Knickerbocker," the celebrated "Sketch Book," "Bracebridge
Hall," "Tales of a Traveller," and a "Life of Goldsmith."
Irving did not marry, and died on November 28, 1859, in his
home at Sunnyside on the Hudson River, and is buried at
Tarrytown. The "Life of Columbus" was published in 1828 and is
now obtainable in a number of popular editions.

_The Years of Waiting_

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa about 1435, of poor but reputable
parents. He soon evinced a passion for geographical knowledge, and an
irresistible inclination for the sea. We have but shadowy traces of his
life till he took up his abode in Lisbon about 1470. His contemporaries
describe him as tall and muscular; he was moderate and simple in diet
and apparel, eloquent, engaging, and affable. At Lisbon he married a
lady of rank, Dona Felipa. He supported his family by making maps and

Portugal was prosecuting modern discovery with great enthusiasm, seeking
a route to India by the coast of Africa; Columbus's genius conceived the
bold idea of seeking India across the Atlantic. He set it down that the
earth was a terraqueous globe, which might be travelled round. The
circumference he divided into twenty-four hours. Of these he imagined
that fifteen hours had been known to the ancients; the Portguese had
advanced the western frontier one hour more by the discovery of the
Azores and the Cape de Verde Islands; still, about eight hours remained
to be explored. This space he imagined to be occupied in great measure
by the eastern regions of Asia. A navigator, therefore, pursuing a
direct course from east to west, must arrive at Asia or discover
intervening land.

The work of Marco Polo is the key to many of the ideas of Columbus. The
territories of the Great Khan were the object of his search in all his
voyages. Much of the success of his enterprise rested on two happy
errors; the imaginary extent of Asia to the east, and the supposed
smallness of the earth. Without these errors he would hardly have
ventured into the immeasurable waste of waters of the Atlantic.

A deep religious sentiment mingled with his thoughts; he looked upon
himself as chosen from among men, and he read of his discovery as
foretold in Holy Writ. Navigation was still too imperfect for such an
undertaking; mariners rarely ventured far out of sight of land. But
knowledge was advancing, and the astrolabe, which has been modified into
the modern quadrant, was being applied to navigation. This was the one
thing wanting to free the mariner from his long bondage to the land.

Columbus now laid his great project before the King of Portugal, but
without success. Greatly disappointed, he sailed to Spain, hoping to
receive the patronage of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was many months
before he could even obtain a hearing; his means were exhausted, and he
had to contend against ridicule and scorn, but the royal audience was at
length obtained. Ferdinand assembled learned astronomers and
cosmographers to hold a conference with Columbus. They assailed him with
citations from the Bible. One objection advanced was, that should a ship
ever succeed in reaching India, she could never come back, for the
rotundity of the globe would present a mountain, up which it would be
impossible to sail. Finally, after five years, the junta condemned the
scheme as vain and impossible.

Columbus was on the point of leaving Spain, when the real grandeur of
the subject broke at last on Isabella's mind, and she resolved to
undertake the enterprise. Articles of agreement were drawn up and signed
by Ferdinand and Isabella. Columbus and his heirs were to have the
office of High Admiral in all the seas, lands, and continents he might
discover, and he was to be viceroy over the said lands and continents.
He was to have one-tenth of all profits, and contribute an eighth of the
expense of expeditions. Columbus proposed that the profits from his
discoveries should be consecrated to a crusade.

_The First Voyage_

(August, 1492--March, 1493)

Columbus set out joyfully for Palos, where the expedition was to be
fitted out. He had spent eighteen years in hopeless solicitation, amidst
poverty, neglect, and ridicule. When the nature of the expedition was
heard, the boldest seamen shrank from such a chimerical cruise, but at
last every difficulty was vanquished, and the vessels were ready for
sea. Two of them were light, half-decked caravels; the Santa Maria, on
which Columbus hoisted his flag, was completely decked. The whole number
of persons was one hundred and twenty.

Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492, steering for the Canary Islands.
From there they were wafted gently over a tranquil sea by the trade
wind, and for many days did not change a sail. The poor mariners
gradually became uneasy at the length of the voyage. The sight of small
birds, too feeble to fly far, cheered their hearts for a time, but again
their impatience rose to absolute mutiny. Then new hopes diverted them.
There was an appearance of land, and the ships altered their course and
stood all night to the south-west, but the morning light put an end to
their hopes; the fancied land proved to be an evening cloud.

Again the seamen broke forth into loud clamours, and insisted on
abandoning the voyage. Fortunately, the following day a branch with
berries on it floated by; they picked up also a small board and a carved
staff, and all murmuring was now at an end. Not an eye was closed that
night. Columbus took his station on the top of the cabin. Suddenly,
about ten o'clock, he beheld a light. At two in the morning the land was
clearly seen, and they took in sail, waiting for the dawn. The great
mystery of the ocean was revealed.

When the day dawned, Columbus landed, threw himself upon his knees,
kissed the earth, and returned thanks to God. Rising, he drew his sword,
displayed the royal standard, and took possession in the names of the
Castillian sovereigns, naming the island San Salvador. It is one of the
Bahama Islands, and still retains that name, though also called Cat

The natives thought that the ships had descended from above on their
ample wings, and that these marvellous beings were inhabitants of the
skies. They appeared to be simple and artless people, and of gentle and
friendly dispositions. As Columbus supposed that the island was at the
extremity of India, he called them Indians. He understood them to say
that a king of great wealth resided in the south. This, he concluded,
could be no other than Cipango, or Japan. He now beheld a number of
beautiful islands, green, level, and fertile; and supposed them to be
the archipelago described by Marco Polo. He was enchanted by the lovely
scenery, the singing of the birds, and the brilliantly colored fish,
though disappointed in his hopes of finding gold or spice; but the
natives continued to point to the south as the region of wealth, and
spoke of an Island called Cuba.

He set sail in search of it, and was struck with its magnitude, the
grandeur of its mountains, its fertile valleys, sweeping plains, stately
forests, and noble rivers. He explored the coast to the east end of
Cuba, supposing it the extreme point of Asia, and then descried the
mountains of Hayti to the south-east. In coasting along this island,
which he named Hispaniola, his ship was carried by a current on a
sandbank and lost. The admiral and crew took refuge in one of the
caravels. The natives, especially the cacique Guacanagari, offered him
every assistance. The Spanish mariners regarded with a wistful eye the
easy and idle existence of these Indians, who seemed to live in a golden
world without toil, and they entreated permission to remain.

This suggested to Columbus the idea of forming the germ of a future
colony. The cacique was overjoyed, and the natives helped to build a
fort, thus assisting to place on their necks the yoke of slavery. The
fortress and harbour were named La Navidad.

Columbus chose thirty-nine of those who volunteered to remain, charged
them to be circumspect and friendly with the natives, and set sail for
Spain. He encountered violent tempests, his small and crazy vessels were
little fitted for the wild storms of the Atlantic; the oldest mariners
had never known so tempestuous a winter, and their preservation seemed
miraculous. They were forced to run into Tagus for shelter. The King of
Portugal treated Columbus with the most honourable attentions. When the
weather had moderated he put to sea again, and arrived safely at Palos
on March 15, having taken not quite seven months and a half to
accomplish this most momentous of all maritime enterprises.

Columbus landed and walked in procession to the church to return thanks
to God. Bells were rung, the shops shut, and all business suspended. The
sovereigns were dazzled by this easy acquisition of a new empire. They
addressed Columbus as admiral and viceroy, and urged him to repair
immediately to court to concert plans for a second expedition. His
journey to Barcelona was like the progress of a sovereign, and his
entrance into that city has been compared to a Roman triumph. On his
approach the sovereigns rose and ordered him to seat himself in their
presence. When Columbus had given an account of his voyage, the king and
queen sank on their knees, and a _Te Deum_ was chanted by the choir of
the royal chapel. Such was the manner in which the brilliant court of
Spain celebrated this sublime event.

The whole civilised world was filled with wonder and delight, but no one
had an idea of the real importance of the discovery. The opinion of
Columbus was universally adopted that Cuba was the end of Asia; the
islands were named the West Indies, and the vast region was called the
New World.

_The Second Voyage_

(September, 1493--June, 1496)

Extraordinary excitement prevailed about the second expedition, and many
hidalgos of high rank pressed into it. They sailed from Cadiz in
September 1493; all were full of animation, anticipating a triumphant
return. When they reached La Navidad they found the fortress burnt. At
length, from some natives they heard the story of the brawls of the
colonists between themselves, and their surprise and destruction by
unfriendly Indians. Columbus fixed upon a new site for his colony, which
he named Isabella. Two small expeditions were sent inland to explore,
and returned with enthusiastic accounts of the promise of the mountains,
and Columbus sent to Spain a glowing report of the prospects of the

Soon, however, maladies made their appearance, provisions began to fail,
and murmuring prevailed among the colonists. In truth, the fate of many
of the young cavaliers, who had come out deluded by romantic dreams, was
lamentable in the extreme. Columbus arranged for the government of the
island, and set sail to explore the southern coast of Cuba, supposing it
to be the extreme end of Asia. He had to contend with almost incredible
perils, and was obliged to return. Had he continued for two or three
days longer he would have passed round the extremity of Cuba; his
illusion would have been dispelled, and a different course given to his
subsequent discoveries.

During his absence from Isabella the whole island had become a scene of
violence and discord. Margarite, the general left in charge of the
soldiers, and Friar Boyle, the apostolical vicar, formed a cabal of the
discontented, took possession of certain ships, and set sail for Spain,
to represent the disastrous state of the country, and to complain of the
tyranny of Columbus. The soldiers indulged in all kinds of excesses, and
the Indians were converted from gentle hosts into vindictive enemies.

Meanwhile, a commissioner was sent out to inquire into the distress of
the colony and the conduct of Columbus. He collected all complaints, and
returned to Spain, Columbus sailing at the same time. Never did a more
miserable crew return from a land of promise.

The vessels anchored at Cadiz, and a feeble train of wretched men
crawled forth, emaciated by diseases. Contrary to his anticipation,
Columbus was received with distinguished favour. Thus encouraged, he
proposed a further enterprise, and asked for eight ships, which were
readily promised; but it was not until May 1498, that he again set sail.

_The Third Voyage_

(May, 1498--October, 1500)

From the Cape de Verde Islands, Columbus steered to the south-west,
until he arrived at the fifth degree of north latitude. The air was like
a furnace, the mariners lost all strength and spirit, and Columbus was
induced to alter his course to the northwest. After sailing some
distance they reached a genial region with a cooling breeze and serene
and clear sky. They descried three mountains above the horizon; as they
drew nearer, they proved to be united at the base, and Columbus,
therefore, named this island La Trinidad. He coasted round Trinidad, and
landed on the mainland, but mistook it for an island. He was astonished
at the body of fresh water flowing into the Gulf of Paria, and came to
the conclusion that it must be the outpouring of a great unknown
continent stretching to the south, far beyond the equator. His supplies
were now almost exhausted, and he determined to return to Hispaniola.

He found the island in a lamentable situation. A conspiracy had been
formed against his viceroy, and the Indians, perceiving the dissensions
among the Spaniards, threw off their allegiance. After long negotiations
Columbus was forced to sign a humiliating capitulation with the rebels.
Meanwhile, every vessel that returned from the New World came freighted
with complaints against Columbus. The support of the colony was an
incessant drain upon the mother country. Was this compatible, it was
asked, with the pictures he had drawn of the wealth of the island?

Isabella herself at last began to entertain doubts about Columbus, and
the sovereigns decided to send out Don Francisco del Bobadilla to
investigate his conduct. This officer appears to have been needy,
passionate, and ambitious. He acted as if he had been sent out to
degrade the admiral, not to inquire into his conduct. He threw Columbus
into irons, and seized his arms, gold, jewels, books, and most secret
manuscripts. Columbus conducted himself with characteristic magnanimity,
and bore all indignities in silence. Bobadilla collected testimony
sufficient, as he thought, to ensure the condemnation of Columbus, and
sent him a prisoner to Spain.

The arrival of Columbus at Cadiz, in chains, produced almost as great a
sensation as his first triumphant return. A general burst of indignation
arose. The sovereigns sent orders that he should be instantly set at
liberty, and promised that Columbus should be reinstated in all his
dignities. But Ferdinand repented having invested such great powers in
any subject, and especially in a foreigner. Plausible reasons were given
for delaying his reappointment, and meanwhile Don Nicholas de Ovando was
sent out to supersede Bobadilla.

_The Fourth Voyage_

(May, 1502--November, 1504)

Columbus's thoughts were suddenly turned to a new enterprise. Vasco da
Gama had recently reached India round the Cape of Good Hope, and immense
wealth was poured by this route into Portugal. Columbus was persuaded
that the currents of the Caribbean Sea must pass between Cuba and the
land which he had discovered to the south, and that this route to India
would be more easy and direct than that of Vasco da Gama. His plan was
promptly adopted by the sovereigns, and he sailed in May 1502, on his
last and most disastrous voyage. He steered to Hispaniola, but was not
permitted to land, and then coasted along Honduras and down the Mosquito
Coast to Costa Rica. Here he found gold among the natives, and heard
rumours of Mexico. He continued beyond Cape Nombre de Dios in search for
the imaginary strait, and then gave up all attempt to find it.

Possibly he knew that another voyager, coasting from the eastward, had
reached this point. He turned westward to search for the gold-mines of
Veragua, and attempted unsuccessfully to found a settlement there. As
his vessels were no longer capable of standing the sea, he ran them
aground on Jamaica, fastened them together, and put the wreck in a state
of defence. He dispatched canoes to Hispaniola, asking Ovando to send a
ship to relieve him, but many months of suffering and difficulty elapsed
before it came.

Columbus returned to Spain in November 1504. Care and sorrow were
destined to follow him; his finances were exhausted, and he was unable,
from his infirmities, to go to court. The death of Isabella was a fatal
blow to his fortunes. Many months were passed by him in painful and
humiliating solicitation for the restitution of his high offices. At
length he saw that further hope of redress from Ferdinand was vain. His
illness increased, and he expired, with great resignation, on May 20,

Columbus was a man of great and inventive genius, and his ambition was
noble and lofty. Instead of ravaging the newly-found countries, he
sought to found regular and prosperous enterprises. He was naturally
irritable and impetuous, but, though continually outraged in his
dignity, and foiled in his plans by turbulent and worthless men, he
restrained his valiant and indignant spirit, and brought himself to
forbear and reason, and even to supplicate. His piety was genuine and
fervent, and diffused a sober dignity over his whole deportment.

He died in ignorance of the real grandeur of his discovery. What visions
of glory would have broken upon his mind could he have known that he had
indeed discovered a new continent! And how would his spirit have been
consoled, amidst the afflictions of age and the injustice of an
ungrateful king, could he have anticipated the empires which would arise
in the world he had discovered; and the nations, towns, and languages,
which were to revere and bless his name to the latest posterity!

* * * * *

Life of George Washington

This great historical biography was Washington Irving's
principal work. It was founded chiefly upon George
Washington's correspondence, which is preserved in manuscript
in the archives of the United States Government. Irving worked
at it intermittently for many years; and it was published in
successive sections during the last years of his life, 1855 to
1859, while he was living in retirement with his nieces at
Sunnyside, on the Hudson River.

The De Wessyngton family, of the county of Durham, in feudal times,
produced many men of mark in the field and in the cloister, and at a
later period the Washingtons were intrepid supporters of the unfortunate
House of Stuart. Compromised by this allegiance, two brothers, John and
Andrew, uncles of Sir Henry Washington, the gallant defender of
Worcester, emigrated to Virginia in 1657, and purchased lands in
Westmoreland County, by the River Potomac. John, who became military
leader of the Virginians against the Indians, was great-grandfather of
the illustrious George Washington.

George, born February 22, 1732, in a homestead on Bridges Creek, was the
eldest son of Mary Ball, second wife of Augustine Washington. Two
half-brothers, Lawrence and Augustine, survived from the first marriage;
and Mary had three other sons and two daughters. George received his
first education in an "old field school-house," taught by the parish
sexton; but the chief influences of his boyhood were the morality of his
home and the military ardour of the colonists against the Spanish and
the French. Lawrence, his eldest brother, had a captaincy in the
colonial regiment which fought for England in the West Indies, in 1740,
and the boy's whole mind was turned to war.

His father died when he was eleven years old, and George was sent to
live with his married brother Augustine. Here he attended school, was
eager in the acquirement of knowledge, and became expert in all athletic
exercises. He very nearly entered on a naval career, but at his mother's
earnest entreaty renounced the project, and returning to school, studied

Lawrence, his brother, having married into the Fairfax family, George
came under the notice of Lord Fairfax, owner of immense tracts of
country, who was so pleased with the lad's character and accomplishments
that he entrusted him with the task of surveying his possessions. At the
age of sixteen George Washington set out into the wilderness, and
acquitted himself so well that he was appointed public surveyor. He thus
gained an intimate knowledge, and of the ways of the Indians.

The English and French governments were at this time making conflicting
claims to the Ohio valley, and their agents were treating with the
various Indian tribes. At length the French prepared to enforce their
claim by arms, and Washington received, in 1751, a commission as
adjutant-general over a military district of Virginia. In October, 1753,
he was sent by Governor Dinwiddie on a mission to the French commander,
from which he returned in the following January; and his conduct on this
occasion, when he had to traverse great distances of unknown forest at
midwinter, and to cope with the craft of white men and savages alike,
marked him out as a youth fitted for the most important civil and
military trusts.

_Conflicts with the French_

Washington was for the first time under fire in April, 1754, when he had
been sent, as second in command of the colonial forces, to take charge
of a fort on the Ohio. He fell in with a French party of spies, whom his
small force, with Indian assistance, put to flight. His fort, named Fort
Necessity, was defended by three hundred men, but was attacked in July
by a greatly superior force of French and Indians, and Washington had to
capitulate, marching out with the honours of war.

When it was determined, the same autumn, by the Governor and the British
Secretary of State, that the colonial troops should be reduced to
independent companies, so that there should no longer be colonial
officers above the rank of captain, Washington, in accordance with the
dawning republicism of America, resigned his commission, and settling at
Mount Vernon, prepared to devote himself to agriculture. But in 1755,
General Braddock was sent out to undertake energetic operations against
the French, and Washington accepted the General's offer of a position
on his staff.

It was now that the eminent Benjamin Franklin did such great service to
the British arms by organizing transport, and listened with astonishment
to Braddock's anticipations of easy victory. The young aide-de-camp also
warned the English soldier in vain. On July 9 Braddock's force was
utterly routed by the French and Indians, and the general himself was
slain. This reverse did away with all belief, throughout the colonies,
in the power of British arms, and prepared the way for the independence
that was to follow.

On August 14 George Washington was appointed to the supreme command of
the Virginian forces, with his headquarters at Winchester, and was
occupied in the defence of a wide frontier with an insufficient force,
until the expedition against Fort Duquesne in 1758, when he planted the
British flag on its smoking ruins, and put an end to the French
domination of the Ohio.

His marriage to Mrs. Martha Custis, a young and wealthy widow, was
celebrated on January 6, 1759; he took his seat in the House of
Burgesses at Williamsburg, and established himself at Mount Vernon to
develop his estates. A large Virginia estate, in those days, was a
little empire.

_The Dawn of Independence_

The definitive treaty of peace between France and England was signed at
Fontainebleau in 1763; but the tranquility of the colonies was again
broken by an Indian insurrection, known as Pontiac's war. Washington had
no part in its suppression, but he was soon to be called again to the
defence of his country.

He was in his place in the House of Burgesses on May 29, 1765, when the
claims of Britain to tax the colony were first repudiated, and it was
declared that the General Assembly of Virginia had the exclusive right
to tax the inhabitants, and that whoever maintained the contrary should
be deemed an enemy to the colony. These resolutions were the signal for
general applause throughout the continent.

The repeal, in 1766, of the objectionable Stamp Act only postponed the
crisis, which became acute when the port of Boston was closed by
Parliament, because of the resistance of that city to the importation of
East Indian tea. A General Congress of deputies from the several
colonies was convened for September 5, 1773, at Philadelphia, in which
Washington took part, and a Federal Union of the colonies was then
established. The English commander, General Gage, struck the first blow
against popular liberties, in the engagement at Lexington, April 18,
1775, and on June 15 Washington was unanimously elected
commander-in-chief of the American forces.

Two days later was fought, outside Boston, the heroic battle of Bunker's
Hill, and on the 21st Washington set out from Philadelphia to the seat
of war, where he laid a strict siege about Boston, with a view to
forcing the British to come out. An English ship having bombarded the
American port of Falmouth, an act was passed by the General Court of
Massachusetts, encouraging the fitting out of armed vessels to defend
the coast of America, and granting letters of marque and reprisal. In
October a conference of delegates was held, under Washington's
presidency, of which Benjamin Franklin was a member, with regard to a
new organisation of the army; and a new force of twenty-two thousand was
formed, every soldier being enlisted for one year only.

Montreal had been captured by an American expedition, and Washington was
now looking forward to equal success in an expedition against Quebec. He
was further encouraged by the capture, by one of his cruisers, of a
brigantine laden with munitions of war, including a huge brass mortar.
His wife joined the camp before Boston, and the eventful year was closed
with festivities.

But the gallant attempt on Quebec, in which Montgomery fell, was
frustrated, and the siege of Boston dragged on uneventfully, until the
Americans, in March, seized Dorchester Heights, and made the town no
longer tenable. On the 17th there were in Boston Harbor seventy-eight
ships and transports casting loose for sea, and twelve thousand
soldiers, sailors and refugees, hurrying to embark. The flag of thirteen
stripes, the standard of the Union, floated above the Boston forts,
after ten tedious months of siege.

The eminent services of Washington throughout this arduous period, his
admirable management by which, in the course of a few months, an
undisciplined band of husbandmen became soldiers, and were able to expel
a brave army of veterans, commanded by the most experienced generals,
won the enthusiastic applause of the nation. A unanimous vote of thanks
was passed to him in Congress.

_Declaration of Independence_

Despatches from Canada continued to be disastrous, and the evacuation of
that country was determined on in June, 1776. The great aim of the
British was now to get possession of New York and the Hudson, and to
make them the basis of military operations. While danger was gathering
round New York, and its inhabitants were in mute suspense and fearful
anticipations, the General Congress at Philadelphia was discussing with
closed doors the greatest question ever debated in America. A resolution
was passed unanimously, on July 2, "that these United Colonies are, of
right ought to be, free and independent States."

The fourth of July is the day of national rejoicing, for on that day the
"Declaration of Independence," that solemn and sublime document, was
adopted. Tradition gives a dramatic effect to its announcement. It was
known to be under discussion, but the closed doors of Congress excluded
the populace. They awaited, in throngs, an appointed signal. In the
steeple of the state-house was a bell, bearing the portentous text from
Scripture, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the
inhabitants thereof." A joyous peal from that bell gave notice that the
bill had been passed. It was the knell of British domination.

Washington hailed the Declaration with joy. It was but a formal
recognition of a state of things which had long existed, but it put an
end to all those temporizing hopes of reconciliation which had clogged
the military action of the country. On July 9, he caused it to be read
at the head of each brigade of the army. "The general hopes," said he,
"that this important event will serve as a fresh incentive to every
officer and soldier, to act with fidelity and courage, as knowing that
now the peace and safety of his country depend, under God, solely on the
success of our arms; and that he is now in the service of a state
possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to
the highest honours of a free country." and again: "The general hopes
and trusts that every officer and man will endeavour so to live and act
as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and
liberties of his country."

_The Winning of Independence_

But the exultation of the patriots of New York was soon overclouded.
British warships, under Admiral Lord Howe, were in the harbour on July
12, and affairs now approached a crisis. Lord Howe came "as a mediator,
not as a destroyer," and had prepared a declaration inviting communities
as well as individuals to merit and receive pardon by a prompt return to
their duty; it was a matter of sore regret to him that his call to
loyalty had been forestalled by the Declaration of Independence.

The British force in the neighbourhood of New York, under General Howe,
brother of the Admiral, was about thirty thousand men; the Americans
were only about twenty thousand, for the most part raw and
undisciplined, and the sectional jealousies prevalent among them were


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