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at court, he had been often entertained in her husband's house, and without regarding the laws of hospitality or of gratitude, carried on a criminal intrigue with the wife of his benefactor, a woman young and beautiful, but, according to the description of a cotemporary historian, “ intolerable in all the imperfections incident to her sex.” Impatient of any restraint upon their mutual desires, they with equal ardour wished to avow their union publicly, and to legitimate by a marriage the offspring of their unlawful passion. The countess petitioned to be divorced from her husband, for a reason which no modest woman will ever plead. The judges, overawed by Arran, passed sentence without delay. And this infamous scene was concluded by a marriage, solemnized with great pomp, and beheld by all ranks of men with the utmost horror.
A parliament was held this year, at the opening of which some disputes arose between Arran and the earl now created duke of Lennox. Arran, haughty by nature, and pushed on by his wife's ambition, began to affect an equality with the duke, under whose protection he had hitherto been contented to place himself. After various attempts to form a party in the council against Lennox, he found him fixed so firmly in the king's affections, that it was impossible to shake him ; and rather ihan lose all interest at court, from which he was banished, he made the most humble submissions to the favourite, and again recovered his former credit. This rupture contributed, however, to render the duke still more odious to the nation. During the continuance of it, Arran affected to court the clergy, pretended an extraordinary zeal for the protestant religion, and laboured to confirm the suspicions which were entertained of his rival, as an emissary of the house of Guise, and a favourer ef
popery. As he was supposed to be acquainted with the duke's most secret designs, his calumnies were listened to with more credit than was due to his character. To the same cause we must ascribe several acts of parliament uncommonly favourable to the church, particularly one which abolished the practice introduced by Morton, of appointing but one minister to several parishes.
The two favourites, by their ascendant over the king, possessed uncontrolled power in the kingdom, and exercised it with the utmost wantonness. James usually resided at Dalkeith or Kinneil, the seats of Lennox and of Arran, and was attended by such company, and employed in such amusements, as did not suit his dignity. The services of those who had contributed most to place the crown on his head were but little remembered. Many who had opposed him with the greatest virulence enjoyed the rewards and honours to which the others were entitled. Exalted notions of regal prerogative, utterly inconsistent with the constitution of Scotland, being instilled by them into the mind of the young monarch, unfortunately made at that early age a deep impression there, and became the source of almost all his future errors in the government of both kingdoms.
All these circumstances irritated the impatient spirit of the Scottish nobles, who resolved to tolerate no longer the insolence of the two minions, or to stand by while their presumption and inexperience ruined both the king and kingdom. Elizabeth, who during the administration of the four regents had the entire direction of the affairs of Scotland, felt herself deprived of all influence in that kingdom ever since the death of Morton, and was ready to countenance any attempt to rescue the king out of the hands of favourites, who were leading him into measures so repugnant to all
her views. The earls of Mar and Glencairn, lord Ruthven, lately created earl of Gowrie, lord Lindsay, lord Boyd, the tutor of Glamis, the master of Oliphant, with several barons and gentlemen of distinction, entered into a combination for that purpose! And as changes in administration, which among polished nations are brought about slowly and silently, by artifice and intrigue, were in that rude age effected suddenly and by violence, the king's situation, and the security of the favourites, encouraged the conspirators to have immediate recourse to force.
James, after having resided for some time in Athol, where he enjoyed his favourite amusement of hunting, was now returning towards Edinburgh with a small train. He was invited to Ruthven castle, which lay in his way; and as he suspected no danger, he went thither in hopes of farther sport. The multitude of strangers whom he found there gave him some uneasiness; and as those who were in the secret arrived every moment from different parts, the appearance of so many new faces increased his fears. He dissembled, however, and next morning made ready for the field, expecting to find there some opportunity of making his escape. But the nobles entering his bedchamber, presented a memorial against the illegal and oppressive actions of his two favourites, whom they represented as most dangerous enemies to the religion and liberties of the nation. James, though he received this remonstrance with the complaisance which was necessary in his present situation, was extremely impatient to be gone; but as he approached the door of the apartment, the tutor of Glamis rudely stopped him. The king complained, expostulated, threatened, and finding all these without effect, burst into tears. matter," said Glamis fiercely, “better children
weep than bearded men.' These words med a deep impression on the king's mind, and never forgotten. The conspirators, without garding his tears or indignation, dismissed su: his followers as they suspected allowed none their own party to have access to him, and the they treated him with great respect, guarded his person with the utmost care. This enterprise is usually called by our historians The Raid of Ruthven.
Lennox and Arran were astonished to the last degree at an event so unexpected, and so fatal to their power. The former endeavoured, but without success, to excite the inhabitants of Edinburgh to take arms in order to rescue their sovereign from captivity. The latter, with his usual impetuosity, mounted on horseback the moment he heard what had befallen the king, and with a few followers rode towards Ruthven castle ; and as a considerable body of the conspirators, under the command of the earl of Mar, lay in his way ready to oppose him, he separated himself from his companions, and with two attendants arrived at the gate of the castle. At the sight of a man so odious to his country, the indignation of the conspirators rose, and instant death must have been the punishinent of his rashness, if the friendship of Gowrie, or some other cause not explained by our historians, had not saved a life so pernicious to the kingdom. He was confined, however, to the castle of Stirling, without being admitted into the king's presence.
The king, though really the prisoner of his own subjects, with whose conduct he could not help discovering many symptoms of disgust, was obliged to publish a proclamation, signifying his approbation of their enterprise, declaring that he himself was at full liberty, without any restraint or
violence offered to his person ; and forbidding any attempt against those concerned in the Raid of Ruthven, under pretence of rescuing him out of their hands. At the same time he commanded Lennox to leave Scotland before the 20th of September.
Lennox, whose amiable and gentle qualities had procured him many friends, and who received private assurances that the king's favour towards him was in no degree abated, seemed resolved at first to pay no regard to a command extorted by violence, and no less disagreeable to James than it was rigorous with regard to himself. But the power of his enemies, who were masters of the king's person, who were secretly supported by Elizabeth, and openly applauded by the clergy, deterred him from an enterprise, the success of which was dubious, and the danger certain both to himself and to his sovereign. He put off the time of his departure by various artifices, in expectation either that James might make his escape from the conspirators, or that fortune might present some more favourable opportunity of taking arms for his relief.
After eluding many commands to depart out of the kingdom, he was at last, however, obliged to begin his journey. He lingered, however, for some time in the ncighbourhood of Edinburgh, as if he had still intended to make one effort towards restoring the king to liberty. But either from the gentleness of his own disposition, averse to bloodshed and the disorders of civil war, or from some other cause unknown to us, he abandoned the design, and set out for France by the way of England. The king issued the order for hi departure with no less reluctance than the duke obeyed it; and both mourned a separation which neither of them had power to prevent. Soon after