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• Very soon after the death of the Queen Regent,
Commissioners arrived both from France and England, with full powers to conclude a treaty of peace between the three countries. By the loss of their sister, the Princes of Lorraine had been deprived of their chief support in Scotland, and, being actively engaged in schemes of ambition nearer home, they found it necessary to conciliate, as they best could, the predominating party there. The important treaty of Edinburgh, which will be mentioned frequently hereafter, was concluded on the 14th of June 1560. It was signed on the part of France by the two plenipotentiaries, Monluc, Bishop of Valence, and the Sieur Derandon, reckoned two of the best diplomatists of the day ; and, on the part of England, by Wotton, Dean of Canterbury, and Elizabeth's prime minister, Ceci), one of the ablest men of that or any age. The interests of the Congregation were intrusted principally to the Lord James. In consequence of this treaty, the French troops were immediately withdrawn. The fortifications of Leith and Dunbar were destroyed, and a Parliament was held, whose acts were to be considered as valid as if it had been called by the express commands of the Queen. In that Parliament, the adherents of the Congregation were found greatly to out-number their adversaries. An act of oblivion and indemnity was passed for all that had taken place within the two preceding years; and, for the first time, the Catholics, awed into silence, submitted to every thing which the Reformers proposed. A new Confession of
remarks, it was not by this spirit that the Apostles convert. ed the world.-Keith, p. 129.
Faith was sanctioned ; the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts was abolished; and the exercise of worship, according to the rites of the Romish Church, was prohibited under severe penalties—a third act of disobedience being declared capital.
Thus, the Reformation finally triumphed in Scotland. Though as yet only in its infancy, and still exposed to many perils, it was nevertheless established on a comparatively firm and constitutional basis. The Catholics, it is true, aware of the school in which Mary had been educated, were far from having given up all hope of retrieving their circumstances ; and they waited for her return with the utmost impatience and anxiety. But they ought to have known, that whatever might have been Mary's wishes, their reign was over in Scotland. A Sovereign may coerce the bodies, but he can never possess a despotic sway over the minds of bis subjects. The people had now begun to think for themselves ; and a belief in the mere mummeries of a fantastic system of Christianity, and of the efficacy of miracles performed by blocks of wood and stone, was never again to form a portion of their faith. A brief account of one of the last, and not least ludicrous attempts which the Popish clergy made to support their sinking cause, will form a not improper conclusion to this chapter.
There was a chapel in the neighbourhood of Musselburgh, dedicated to the Lady of Loretto, which, from the character of superior sanctity it had acquired, had long been the favourite resort of religious devotees. In this chapel, a body of the Catholic priests undertook to put their religion to the test, by performing a miracle. They fixed upon a young man, who was well known as a common blind beggar, in the streets of Edinburgh, and engaged to restore to him, in the presence of the assembled people, the perfect use of his eyesight. A day was named, on which they calculated they might depend on this wonderful interposition of divine power in their behalf. From motives of curiosity, a great crowd was attracted at the appointed time to the chapel. The blind man made bis appearance on a scaffold, erected for the occasion. The priests approached the altar, and, after praying very devoutly, and performing other religious ceremonies, he who had previously been stone blind, opened his eyes, and declared he saw all things plainly. Having humbly and gratefully thanked bis benefactors, the priests, he was permitted to mingle among the astonished people, and receive their charity.
Unfortunately, however, for the success of this deception, a gentleman from Fife, of the name of Colville, determined to penetrate, if possible, à little further into the mystery. He prevailed upon the subject of the recent experiment to accompany bim to his lodgings in Edinburgh. As soon as they were alone, he locked the chamber-door, and either by bribes or threats, contrived to win from him the whole secret. It turned out, that in his boybood, this tool, in the hands of the designing, had been employed as a herd by the nuns of the Convent of Sciennes, then in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. It was remarked by the sisterhood, that he had an extraordinary facility in “ flyping up the lid of his eyes, and casting up the white.” Some of the neighbouring priests, bearing accidentally of this talent, imagined that it might be applied to good account. They accordingly took him from Sciennes to the monastery near Musselburgh, where they kept him till be had made himself an adept in this mode of counterfeiting blindness, and till his personal appearance was so much changed, that the few who had been acquainted with him before, would not be able to recognise him. They then sent him into Edinburgh to beg publicly, and make himself familiarly known to the inhabitants, as a common blind mendicant. So far every thing had gone smoothly, and the scene at the Chapel of Loretto might have had effect on the minds of the vulgar, had Colville's activity not discovered the gross imposture. Colville, who belonged to the Congregation, instantly took the most effectual means to make known the deceit. He insisted upon the blind man's appearing with him next day, at the Cross of Edinburgh, where the latter repeated all he had previously told Colville, and confessed the iniquity of his own conduct, as well as that of the priests. To shelter him from their revenge, Colville immediately afterwards carried him off to Fife ; and the story, with all its details, being speedily disseminated, exposed the Catholic clergy to more contempt than ever. *
MARY'S BIRTH, AND SUBSEQUENT RESIDENCE
Mary STUART, Queen of Scots, was the third. child of James V. and his wife, Mary of Guise. That lady had born him previously two sons, both of whom died in infancy. Mary came into the world on the 7th of December 1542, in the Palace of Linlithgow. * She was only seven days old when she lost her father, who at the time of her birth lay sick in the Palace of Falkland. James died, as he had lived, with a kingly and gallant spirit. In the language of Pitscottie, .be turned him upon his back, and looked and beheld all his nobles and lords about him, and, gir. ing a little smile of laughter, kissed his hand, and offered it to them. When they had pressed it to their lips for the last time, he tossed up his arms, and yielded his spirit to God. James was considered one of the most handsome men of
• By the kindness of Mr Brown of Glasgow, the ingenious delineator of the Royal Palaces of Scotland, we are enabled to give, as the vignette to the present Volume, a view of this Palace, exhibiting the window of the very room where Mary was born, which is the large window on the first floor, immediately under the flight of birds.