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clared himself a member of the church of Seotland, by signing her confession of faith. This, though it did not remove all suspicions, nor silence some zealous preachers, abated, in a great degree, the force of the accusation.

On the other hand, a rumour prevailed that Morton was preparing to seize the king's person, and to carry him into England. Whether despair of maintaining his power by any other means, had driven him to make any overture of that kind to the English court, or whether it was a calumny, invented by his adversaries to render him odious, cannot now be determined with certainty. As he declared at his death, that such a design had never entered into his thoughts, the latter seems to be most probable. It afforded a pretence, however, for reviving the office of lord chamberlain, which had been for some time disused. That honour was conferred on Lennox. Alexander Erskine, Morton's capital enemy, was his deputy; they had under them a band of gentlemen, who were appointed constantly to attend the king, and to guard his person.

Morton was not ignorant of what his enemies intended to insinuate, by such unusual precautions for the king's safety. And as his last resource, applied to Elizabeth, whose protection had often stood him in stead in his greatest difficulties. In consequence of this application, Bowes, her envoy, accused Lennox of practices against the peace of the two kingdoms, and insisted, in her name, that he should instantly be removed from the privy council. Such an unprecedented demand was considered by the counsellors as an affront to the king, and an encroachment on the independency of the kingdom. They affected to call in question the envoy's powers, and upon that pretence refused him farther audience. He retired in disgust, and without taking leave. Sir Alexander Home was sent to expostulate with Elizabeth on the subject. After the treatment which her envoy had received, Elizabeth thought it below her dignity to admit Home into her presence. Burleigh, to whom he was commanded to impart his commission, reproached him with his master's ingratitude towards a benefactress who bad placed the crown on his head, and required him to advise the king to beware of sacrificing the friendship of so necessary an ally to the giddy humours of a young man, without experience, and strongly suspected of principles and attachments incompatible with the happiness of the Scottish nation.

This accusation of Lennox hastened, in all probability, Morton's fall. The act of indemnity, which he had obtained when he resigned the regency, was worded with such scrupulous exactness, as almost screened him from any legal prosecution. The murder of the late king was the only crime which could not, with decency, be inserted in a pardon granted by his son. Here Morton still lay open to the penalties of the law, and captain Stewart, who shunned no action, however desperate, if it led to power or to favour, entered the council-chamber while the king and nobles were assembled, and falling on his knees, accused Morton of being accessory, or, according to the language of the Scottish law, art and part, in the conspiracy against the life of his majesty's father, and offered, under the usual penalties, to verify this charge by legal evidence. Morton, who was present, heard this accusation with firmpess; and replied with a disdainful smile, proceeding either from contempt of the infamous character of his accuser, or from consciousness of his own innocence, “that his known zeal in punishing those who were suspected of that detestable crime,

might well exempt himself from any suspicion of being accessory to it; nevertheless he would cheerfully submit to a trial, either in that place or in any other court ; and doubted not but his own innocence, and the malice of his enemies, would then appear in the clearest light.” Stewart, who was still on his knees, began to inquire how he would reconcile his bestowing so many honours on Archibald Douglas, whom he certainly knew to be one of the murderers, with his pretended zeal against that crime. Morton was ready to answer. But the king commanded both of them to be removed. The earl was confined, first of all, to his own house, and then committed to the castle of Edinburgh, of which Alexander Erskine was governor; and as if it had not been a sufficient indignity to subject him to the power


one of his enemies, he was, soon after, carried to Dunbarton, of which Lennox had the command. A warrant was likewise issued for apprehending Archibald Douglas, but he, having received timely intelligence of the approaching danger, fled into England.

The earl of Angus, who imputed these violent proceedings not to hatred against Morton alone, but to the ancient enmity between the houses of Stewart and of Douglas, and who believed that a conspiracy was now formed for the destruction of the whole name, was ready to take arms in order to rescue his kinsman. But Morton absolutely forbade any such attempt, and declared that he would rather suffer ten thousand deaths, than bring an imputation on his own character by seeming to decline a trial.

Elizabeth did not fail to interpose, with warmth, in behalf of a man who had contributed so much to preserve her influence over Scotland. The late transactions in that kingdom had given her great uneasiness. The power which Lennox had acqui.

red independent of her was dangerous ; the treatment her ambassadors had met with, differed greatly from the respect with which the Scots were in use to receive her ministers ; and the attack now made on Morton, fully convinced her that there was an intention to sow the seeds of discord between the two nations, and to seduce James into a new alliance with France, or into a marriage with some popish princess. Full of these apprehensions, she ordered a considerable body of troops to be assembled on the borders of Scotland, and despatched Randolph as her ambassador into that kingdom. He addressed himself not only to James, and to his council, but to a convention of estates met at. that time. He began with enumerating the extraordinary benefits which Elizabeth had conferred on the Scottish nation; and concluded with stating, that she had observed, of late, an unusual coldness, distrust, and estrangement, in the Scottish council, which she could impute to none but to Lennox, a subject of France, a retainer to the house of Guise, bred up in the errors of popery, and still suspected of favouring that superstition. Not satisfied with having mounted so fast to such an uncommon height of power, which he exercised with all the rashness of youth, and all the ignorance of a stranger; nor thinking it enough to have deprived the earl of Morton of the authority due to his abilities and experience, he had conspired the ruin of that nobleman, who had often exposed his life in the king's cause, who had contributed more than any other subject to place him on the throne, to resist the encroachments of popery, and to preserve the union between the two kingdoms. If any zeal for religion remained among the nobles of Scotland, if they wished for the continuance of amity with England, if they valued the privileges of their own order, he called upon them, in the name of

his mistress, to remove such a pernicious counsellor as Lennox from the presence of the young king, to rescue Morton out of the hands of his avowed enemy, and secure to him the benefit of a fair and impartial trial. And if force were necessary towards accomplishing a design, so salutary to the king and kingdom, he promised them the protection of his mistress in the enterprise, and whatever assistance they should demand either of men or money.

But these extraordinary remonstrances, accompanied with such an unusual appeal from the king to his subjects, were not the only means employed by Elizabeth in favour of Morton, and against Lennox. She persuaded the prince of Orange to send an agent into Scotland, and under colour of complimenting James on account of the valour which many of his subjects had displayed in the service of the states, to enter into a long detail of the restless enterprises of the popish princes against the protestant religion ; to beseech him to adhere inviolably to the alliance with England, the only barrier which secured his kingdom against their dangerous cabals; and above all things, to distrust the insinuations of those who endeavoured to weaken or to dissolve that union between the British nations, which all the protestants in Europe beheld with so much pleasure.

James's counsellors were too intent upon the destruction of their enemy to listen to these remonstrances. The officious interposition of the prince of Orange, the haughty tone of Elizabeth's message, and so avowed an attempt to excite subjects to rebel against their sovereign, were considered as unexampled insults on the majesty and independence of a crowned head. A general and evasive answer was given to Randolph. James prepared to assert his own dignity with spirit. All those suspected of favouring Morton were turned out of

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