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decrease, and to be sensible of the infirmities of old age. Having removed on a very stormy day from Westminster to Richmond, whither she was impatient to retire, her complaints increased. She had no formed fever ; her pulse was good; but she ate little, and could not sleep. Her distemper seemed to proceed from a deep melancholy, which appeared both in her countenance and behaviour. She delighted in solitude; she sat constantly in the dark; and was often drowned in tears.
No sooner was the queen's indisposition known, than persons of all ranks, and of all different sects and parties, redoubled their applications to the king of Scots, and vied with each other in professions of attachment to his person, and in promises of submission to his government. Even some of her own servants, weary of the length of her reign, fond of novelty, impatient to get rid of the burden of gratitude for past benefits, and expecting to share in the liberality of a new prince, began to desert her. And crowds of people hurried towards Scotland, eager to pre-occupy the favour of the successor, or afraid of being too late in paying homage to him.
Meanwhile, the queen's disease increased, and her melancholy appeared to be settled and incurable. Various conjectures were formed concerning the causes of a disorder, from which she seemed to be exempted by the natural cheerfulness of her temper. Some imputed it to her being forced, contrary to her inclioation, to pardon the earl of Tyronne, whose rebellion had for many years created her much trouble. Others imagined that it arose from observing the ingratitude of her courtiers, and the levity of her people, who beheld her health declining with most indecent indifference, and looked forward to the accession of the Scottish king, with an impatience, which they could not conceal. The most common opinion, at that time, and perhaps the most probable, was, that it flowed from grief for the earl of Essex. She retained an extraordinary regard for the mepory of that unfortunate nobleman; and though she often complained of his obstinacy, seldom mentioned his name without tears. An accident happened soon after lier retiring to Richmond, which revived her affection with new tenderness, and imbittered her sorrows. The countess of Nottingham, being on ber death bed, desired to see the queen, in order to reveal something to her, without discovering which, she could not die in peace. When the queen came into her chamber, she told her, that while Essex lay under sentence of death, he was desirous of imploring pardon in the manner which the queen herself had prescribed, by returning a ring, which during the height of his favour she liad given him, with a promise that if, in any future distress, he sent that back to her as a token, it should entitle him to her protection; that lady Scroop was the person he intended to employ in order to present it; that, by a mistake, it was put into her hands instead of lady Scroop's; and that she having communicated the matter to her husband, one of Essex's most implacable enemies, he had forbid her either to carry the ring to the queen, or to return it to the earl. The countess, having
thus disclosed her secret, begged the queen’s forgiveness; but Elizabeth, wlio now saw both the nialice of the earl's enemies, and how unjustly she had suspected him of inflexible obstinacy, replied, • God may forgive you, but I never can;' and left the room in great emotion. From that moment, her spirit sunk entirely; she could scarcely taste food; she refused all the medicines prescribed by her physicians, declaring, that she wished to die, and would live no longer. No entreaty could prevail on her to go to bed; she sat on cushions, during ten days and nights, pensive, and silent, holding her finger almost continually in her mouth, with her eyes open, and fixed on the ground. The only thing to which she seemed to give any attention, were the acts of devotion, performed in her apartment by the archbishop of Canterbury; and in these she joined with great appearance of fervour. Wasted, at last, as well by anguish of mind, as by long abstinence, she expired without a struggle, on Thursday the 24th day of March, in the seventieth year of her age, and in the fortyfifth of her reign.
ASSASSINATION OF DAVID RIZIO. The low birth and indigent condition of this man placed him in a station in which he ought naturally to have remained unknown to posterity. But what fortune called him to act and to suffer in Scotland, obliges history to descend from its dignity, and to record his adventures. He was the son of a musician in Turin; and having accompa
nied the Piedmontese ambassador into Scotland, gained admission into the queen's family by his skill in music. As his servile condition had taught drim supleness of spirit, and insinuating manners, he qnickly crept into the queen's favour; and her French secretary happening to return at that time into his own country, was preferred by her to that office. He now began to make a figure in court, and to appear as a man of weight and consequence. The whole train of suitors and expectants, who have an extreme sagacity in discovering the paths which lead most directly to success, applied to him. His recommendations were observed to have great influence over the queen, and he grew to be considered not only as a favourite but as a minister. Nor was Rizio careful to abate that envy which always attends such an extraordinary and rapid change of fortune. He studied, on the contrary, to display the whole extent of his favour. He af. fected to talk often and familiarly with the queen in public. He equalled the greatest and most opulent subjects in richness of dress and in the number of his attendants. He discovered in all his behaviour that assuming insolence, with which unmerited prosperity inspires an ignoble mind. It was with the utmost indignation that the nobles beheld the power, it was with the utmost difficulty that they tolerated the arrogance, of this unworthy minion. Even in the queen's presence they could not forbear treating him with marks of contempt. Nor was it his exorbitant power alone which exasperated the Scots. They considered him, and not without reason, as a dangerous enemy to the protestant religion, and suspected that he held, for this purpose, a secret correspondence with the court of Rome.
Iu consequence of such a conduct, the king and nobles mutually conspired to take away his life. Nothing now remained but to concert the plan of operation, to choose the actors, and to assign them their parts in perpetrating this detestable crime. Every circumstance here paints and characterises the manners and men of that age, and fills us with horrour at both. The place chosen for committing such a deed was the queen's bed-chamber. Though Mary was now in the sixth month of her pregnancy, and though Rizio might have been seized elsewhere without any difficulty, the king pitched upon this place, that he night enjoy the malicious pleasure of reproaching Rizio with his crimes before the queen's face. The earl of Morton, the lord high chancellor of the kingdom, undertook to direct an enterprise, carried on in defiance of all the laws, of which he was bound to be the guardian. The lord Ruthven, who had been confine to his bed for three months by a very dangerous distemper, and who was still so feeble that he could scarcely walk, or bear the weight of his own armour, was intrusted with the executive part; and while he himself needed to be supported by two men, he came abroad to commit a murder in the presence of his sovereign.
On the 9th of March, Morton entered the court of the palace with an hundred and sixty men; and without noise, or meeting with any resistance, seized all the gates. While the queen was at supper with the countess of Argyle, Rizio, and a few