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same opinion. * An excellent authority for the papal religion !

Even the death of this princess was connected with her love of knowledge; she contracted a mortal disease, by exposing herself to the night-air, in observing a comet.†

Her virtues were not inherited by the first wife of Henry iv. who bore the same name and title; but the second Margaret

* The whole passage is curious. “Le grand Sultan Soliman en disoit de mesme : laquelle (la reformée) combien qu'elle renversa pluseiurs points de la religion Chrestienne et du Pape, il ne la pouvoit aymer; d'autant, disoit-il, que les religieux d'icelle n'estoient que brouillons et séditieux, et ne se pouvoient tonir en repos, qu'ils ne remuassent tousjours. Voila pourquoi le roi François, sage prince s'il en fust oncques, en prevoyant les miseres qui en sont venues en plusieurs parts de la Chrestienté, les haïssoit, et fut un peu rigoureux à faire brusler vifs les heretiques de son temps. Si ne laissa-t-il pourtant à favoriser les princes protestants d'Allemagne contre l'Empereur. Ainsi ces grands rois se gouvernent comme il leur plaist.

Brantome, tom. ii. p. 281, 2. + Ib, tom. ii. p. 289.

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seems to have possessed, with the spirit of gallantry, some degree of the ļove of letters, which distinguished her grandfather Francis 1. It is sufficiently clear, from many scattered anecdotes in Brantome, and other writers of that time, that during the brilliant period of her youth, her manners were calculated to encourage the class of authors which I have been describing; but it must be owned, that she concluded like many other lively characters, by shewing as much fervour in devotion, as she had formerly displayed in libertinism.

Among those fascinating women, who united the attractions of taste and knowledge to those of elegance and beauty, it would be unjust to forget the unfortunate MARY STUART. Brantome, an eye-witness of the early part of her life, informs us that she was much attached to literature, and that she patronized Ronsard and Du Bellay. Her dirge on the death of Francis 11. which Brantome has preserved, contains some touches of true feeling amidst its conceits.

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The affair of ChasteLARD, of which the same writer gives us an account, shews her affability to men of genius; though it must be confessed, that she exhibited at last, a degree of prudery, perhaps too austere.

Chastelard was a young man of family and talents, who had embarked in the suite of Mary, when she returned from France, to take possession of a disgusting sovereignty. He paid his court to the queen by composing several pieces of poetry, during the voyage, and one among the rest, which I have been tempted to imitate from Brantome's sketch of it. 66 Et entre autres il en fit une d'elle sur un traduction en Italien; car il le parloit et l'entendoit bien, qui commence; Che giova posseder citta e regni, &c. Qui est un sonnet très-bien fait, dont la substance est telle; De quoi sert posseder tant de royaumes, citez, villes, provinces; commander a tant de peuples; se faire respecter, craindre et admirer, et voir d'un chacun ; et dormir vefue, seule, et froide comme glace ?"

What boots it to possess a royal state,
To view fair subject-towns from princely tow'rs,
With mask and song to sport in frolic bow'rs,
Or watch with prudence o'er a nation's fate,
If the heart throb not to a tender mate;
If doom'd, when feasts are o'er, and midnight

lours,
Still to lie lonely in a widow'd bed,
And waste in chill regret the secret hours ?
Happier the lowly maid, by fondness led
To meet the transports of some humble swain,
Than she, the object of her people's care,
Rever'd' by all, who finds no heart to share,
And pines, too great for love, in splendid pain.

Mary sought relief from the tiresome uniformity of the voyage, in attending to the productions of the young Frenchman; she even deigned to reply to them, and amused herself frequently with his conversation. This dangerous familiarity overpowered the heart of poor Chastelard. He conceived a hopeless and unconquerable passion, and found himself, almost at the same moment, obliged to quit the presence of its object, and to return to his native country.

Soon afterwards, the civil wars began in France; and Chastelard, who was a protestant, eagerly sought a pretence for revisiting Scotland, in his aversion to take arms against the royal party. Mary received him with goodness, but she soon repented her condescension. His passion no longer knew any bounds, and he was found one evening, by her women, concealed under her bed, just before she retired to rest. She consulted equally her dignity and her natural mildness, by pardoning this sally of youthful frenzy, and commanding the affair to be suppressed. But Chastelard was incorrigible : he repeated his offence, and the queen delivered him

up

to her courts of justice, by which he was sentenced to be beheaded.

His conduct, at the time of his death, was romantic in the extreme.

He would accept no spiritual assistance, but read, with great devotion, Ronsard's Hymn on Death. He then turned towards the Queen's apartments, and exclaimed, Farewell the fairest, and most cruel princess in the world ; after

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