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THE MURDER OF THE KING OF SCOTS.
The catastrophe of Henry Stewart, lord Darnley, the unfortunate husband of Mary 2 of Scots, is the jubject of this ; ballad. It is bere related in that partial imperfect manner,
in which such an event would naturally strike ibe subjects of another kingdom; of which he was a native. Henry appears to have been a vain capricious worthless young man, of weak understanding, and dissolute morals. But the beauty of his person, and the inexperience of his youth, would dispose mankind to treat him with an indulgence, which the cruelty of his murder would afterwards convert into the most tender pity and regret : and then imagination would not fail to adorn his memory with all those virtues, he ought to have pofeled. This will account for the extravagant elogium beHowed upon him in the firi ianza, &c.
Henry lord Darnley, was eldest son of the earl of Lennox, by the lady Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII, and daughter of Margaret queen of Scotland by the earl of Angus, whom that princejs married after the death of James IV.-Darnley, who had been born and educated in Fngland, was but in his 21A year, when he was married Feb. 9, 1567-8. This crime was perpetrated by the E. of Bothwell, not out of respect to the memory of David Riccio, but in order to pave the way for his own marriage with the queen.
This ballad (printed from the Editor's folio MS.) Soems to have been written foon after Mary's escape into England in 1568, fee v. 65. It will be remembered at v. s. that this princess was 2. dowager of France, having been forf married to Francis II, who died Dec. 4. 1560...
O E worth, woe worth thee, false Scotlànde!
For thou hast
You hanged under a cloud by night.
of France a letter wrote, And sealed it with harte and ringe ; And bade him come Scotland within,
And shee wold marry and crowne him kinge.
To be a king is a pleasant thing,
To be a prince unto a peere : But
you have heard, and foe have I, A man may well buy gold too deare.'
There was an Italyan in that place,
Was as well beloved as ever was hee, And David Riccio was his name,
Chamberlaine to the queene was hee.
If the king had risen forth of his place,
Hee wold have fate him downe i'th' chaire, Although it beseemed him not so well,
And though the kinge were present there.
Some lords in Scotlande waxed wroth,
And quarrelled with him for the nonce ; And I shall tell how it befell,
Twelve daggers were in him att once.
When the queene shee saw her chamberlaine slaine
For him her faire cheeks shee did weete, And made a vowe for a yeare and a day
The king and shee wold not come in one sheete.
Then some of the lords they waxed wroth,
And made their vow all vehementlye ; That for the death of the chamberlaine,
How hee, the king himselfe sholde dye.
With gun-powder they ftrewed his roome,
And layd greene rushes in his waye; For the traitors thought that very night
This worthye king for to betraye.
To bedd the king he made him bownes
To take his reft was his desire; He was noe fooner cast on sleepe,
But his chamber was on a blafing fire.
Up he lope, and the window brake,
And hee had thirtye foote to fall; Lord Bodwell kept a privy watch,
All underneath the castle wall.
Who have we here ? lord Bodwell sayd :
Who have we here ? lord Bodwell fayd,
Now answer me when I doe speake. “ Ah, lord Bodwell, I know thee well;
Some pitty on me I pray thee take."
Ile pitty thee as much, hee fayd,
And as much favour show to thee;
That day thou deemedft him to dye,
Through halls and towers the king they ledd,
Through towers and castles that were nye, Through an arbor into an orchard,
There on a peare-tree hangd him hye.
When the governor of Scotland heard,
How that the worthye king was slaine ; He persued the queen so bitterlye,
That in Scotland shee dare not remaine,
But she is fledd into merry England,
And here her refidence hath tane ;
In England now thee doth remaine.
A SONNET BY Q. ELIZABETH.
The following lines, if they display no rich vein of poetry, are yet so strongly chara&teristic of their great and spirited authorefs, that the infertion of them will be pardoned. They are preserved in Puttenham's Arte of Eng. Poesie; a book in which are many ly addresses to the queen's foible of shining as a poetess. The extraordinary manner in which these verses are introduced, soews what kind of homage was exacted from the courtly writers of those times, viz.
I find, says this antiquated critic, none example in Eng“ lisa metre, so well maintaining this figure [Exargafia, or “ the Gorgeous, Lat. Expolitio)
majefties “ owne making, pasing sweete and harmonicall; which figure
beyng as his very originall name purporteth the most bew"tifull and gorgious of all others, it asketh in reason to be « reserved for a laft complement, and desciphred by a ladies
penne, herselfe beyng the most bewtifull, or rather bertie s of queenes*. And this was the occasion : our soveraigne " lady perceiving how the Scottish queenes residence within “ this realme at so great libertie and ease ( as were skarce
meete for so great and dangerous a prysoner) bred jecret “ factions among her people, and made many of the nobilitie " incline to favour her partie : Some of them desirous of in“ novation in the state
: others aspiring to greater fortunes by her libertie and life. The queene our Joveraigne ladie “ to declare that she was nothing ignorant of those secret " practices, though the bad long with great wisdome and
• Sbe was at this time near threescore,