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himself, a week earlier, put the matter before Calvin in his own way.
Even Lord James, he says to Calvin, though the Abdiel of godliness, "is
afraid to overthrow that idol by violence" - idolum illud missalicum.
{202}

Knox's letter to Calvin represents the Queen as alleging that he has
already answered the question, declaring that Knox's party has no right
to interfere with the Royal mass. This rumour Knox disbelieves. He adds
that Arran would have written, but was absent.

Apparently Arran did write to Calvin, anonymously, and dating from
London, November 18, 1561. The letter, really from Scotland, is in
French. The writer acknowledges the receipt, about August 20, of an
encouraging epistle from Calvin. He repeats Knox's statements, in the
main, and presses for a speedy reply. He says that he goes seldom to
Court, both on account of "that idol," and because "sobriety and virtue"
have been exiled. {203a} As Arran himself "is known to have had company
of a good handsome wench, a merchant's daughter," which led to a riot
with Bothwell, described by Randolph (December 27, 1561), his own "virtue
and sobriety" are not conspicuous. {203b} He was in Edinburgh on
November 15-19, and the London date of his anonymous letter is a blind.
{203c}

It does not appear that Calvin replied to Knox, and to the anonymous
correspondent, in whom I venture to detect Arran; or, if he answered, his
letter was probably unfavourable to Knox, as we shall argue when the
subject later presents itself.

Finally - "the votes of the Lords prevailed against the ministers"; the
Queen was allowed her Mass, but Lethington, a minister of the Queen, did
not consult a foreigner as to the rights of her subjects against her
creed.

The lenity of Lord James was of sudden growth. At Stirling he and Argyll
had gallantly caused the priests to leave the choir "with broken heads
and bloody ears," the Queen weeping. So Randolph reported to Cecil
(September 24).

Why her brother, foremost to insult Mary and her faith, unless Randolph
errs, in September, took her part in a few weeks, we do not know. At
Perth, Mary was again offended, and suffered in health by reason of the
pageants; "they did too plainly condemn the errors of the world. . . . I
hear she is troubled with such sudden passions after any great unkindness
or grief of mind," says Randolph. She was seldom free from such godly
chastisements. At Perth, however, some one gave her a cross of five
diamonds with pendant pearls.

Meanwhile the statesmen did not obey the Ministers as men ought to obey
God: a claim not easily granted by carnal politicians.




CHAPTER XV: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued), 1561-1564


Had Mary been a mere high-tempered and high-spirited girl, easily harmed
in health by insults to herself and her creed, she might now have turned
for support to Huntly, Cassilis, Montrose, and the other Earls who were
Catholic or "unpersuaded." Her great-grandson, Charles II., when as
young as she now was, did make the "Start" - the schoolboy attempt to run
away from the Presbyterians to the loyalists of the North. But Mary had
more self-control.

The artful Randolph found himself as hardly put to it now, in diplomacy,
as the Cardinal's murderers had done, in war, when they met the
scientific soldier, Strozzi. "The trade is now clean cut off from me,"
wrote Randolph (October 27); "I have to traffic now with other merchants
than before. They know the value of their wares, and in all places how
the market goeth. . . . Whatsoever policy is in all the chief and best
practised heads of France; whatsoever craft, falsehood, or deceit is in
all the subtle brains of Scotland," said the unscrupulous agent, "is
either fresh in this woman's memory, or she can bring it out with a wet
finger." {205}

Mary, in fact, was in the hands of Lethington (a pensioner of Elizabeth)
and of Lord James: "subtle brains" enough. _She_ was the "merchandise,"
and Lethington and Lord James wished to make Elizabeth acknowledge the
Scottish Queen as her successor, the alternative being to seek her price
as a wife for an European prince. An "union of hearts" with England
might conceivably mean Mary's acceptance of the Anglican faith. It is
not a kind thing to say about Mary, but I suspect that, if assured of the
English succession, she might have gone over to the Prayer Book. In the
first months of her English captivity (July 1568) Mary again dallied with
the idea of conversion, for the sake of freedom. She told the Spanish
Ambassador that "she would sooner be murdered," but if she could have
struck her bargain with Elizabeth, I doubt that she would have chosen the
Prayer Book rather than the dagger or the bowl. {206a} Her conversion
would have been bitterness as of wormwood to Knox. In his eyes
Anglicanism was "a bastard religion," "a mingle-mangle now commanded in
your kirks." "Peculiar services appointed for Saints' days, diverse
Collects as they falsely call them in remembrance of this or that Saint .
. . are in my conscience no small portion of papistical superstition."
{206b} "Crossing in Baptism is a diabolical invention; kneeling at the
Lord's table, mummelling," (uttering the responses, apparently), "or
singing of the Litany." All these practices are "diabolical inventions,"
in Knox's candid opinion, "with Mr. Parson's pattering of his constrained
prayers, and with the mass-munging of Mr. Vicar, and of his wicked
companions . . ." (A blank in the MS.) "Your Ministers, before for the
most part, were none of Christ's ministers, but mass-mumming priests." He
appears to speak of the Anglican Church as it was under Edward VI. (To
Mrs. Locke, Dieppe, April 6, 1559.) {207a} As Elizabeth brought in
"cross and candle," her Church must have been odious to our Reformer.
Calvin had regarded the "silly things" in our Prayer Book as "endurable,"
not so Knox. Before he came back to Scotland, the Reformers were content
with the English Prayer Book. By rejecting it, Knox and his allies
disunited Scotland and England.

Knox's friend Arran was threatening to stir up the Congregation for the
purpose of securing him in the revenues of three abbeys, including St.
Andrews, of which Lord James was Prior. The extremists raised the
question, "whether the Queen, being an idolater, may be obeyed in all
civil and political actions." {207b}

Knox later made Chatelherault promise this obedience; what his views were
in November 1561 we know not. Lord James was already distrusted by his
old godly friends; it was thought he would receive what he had long
desired, the Earldom of Moray (November 11, 1561), and the precise
professors meditated a fresh revolution. "It must yet come to a new
day," they said. {207c} Those about Arran were discontented, and nobody
was more in his confidence than Knox, but at this time Arran was absent
from Edinburgh; was at St. Andrews.

Meanwhile, at Court, "the ladies are merry, dancing, lusty, and fair,"
wrote Randolph, who flirted with Mary Beaton (November 18); and long
afterwards, in 1578, when she was Lady Boyne, spoke of her as "a very
dear friend." Knox complains that the girls danced when they "got the
house alone"; not a public offence! He had his intelligencers in the
palace.

There was, on November 16, a panic in the unguarded palace: {208a} "the
poor damsels were left alone," while men hid in fear of nobody knew what,
except a rumour that Arran was coming, with his congregational friends,
"to take away the Queen." The story was perhaps a fable, but Arran had
been uttering threats. Mary, however, expected to be secured by an
alliance with Elizabeth. "The accord between the two Queens will quite
overthrow them" (the Bishops), "and they say plainly that she cannot
return a true Christian woman," writes Randolph. {208b}

Lethington and Randolph both suspected that if Mary abandoned idolatry,
it would be after conference with Elizabeth, and rather as being
converted by that fair theologian than as compelled by her subjects.
Unhappily Elizabeth never would meet Mary, who, for all that we know,
might at this hour have adopted the Anglican via media, despite her
protests to Knox and to the Pope of her fidelity to Rome. Like Henri
IV., she may at this time have been capable of preferring a crown - that
of England - to a dogma. Her Mass, Randolph wrote, "is rather for despite
than devotion, for those that use it care not a straw for it, and jest
sometimes against it." {208c}

Randolph, at this juncture, reminded Mary that advisers of the Catholic
party had prevented James V. from meeting Henry VIII. She answered,
"Something is reserved for us that was not then," possibly hinting at her
conversion. Lord James shared the hopes of Lethington and Randolph. "The
Papists storm, thinking the meeting of the queens will overthrow Mass and
all."

The Ministers of Mary, les politiques, indulged in dreams equally
distasteful to the Catholics and to the more precise of the godly; dreams
that came through the Ivory Gate; with pictures of the island united, and
free from the despotism of Giant Pope and Giant Presbyter. {209} A
schism between the brethren and their old leaders and advisers, Lord
James and Lethington, was the result. At the General Assembly of
December 1561, the split was manifest. The parties exchanged
recriminations, and there was even question of the legality of such
conventions as the General Assembly. Lethington asked whether the Queen
"allowed" the gathering. Knox (apparently) replied, "Take from us the
freedom of Assemblies, and take from us the Evangel . . ." He defended
them as necessary for order among the preachers; but the objection, of
course, was to their political interferences. The question was to be
settled for Cromwell in his usual way, with a handful of hussars. It was
now determined that the Queen might send Commissioners to the Assembly to
represent her interests.

The plea of the godly that Mary should ratify the Book of Discipline was
countered by the scoffs of Lethington. He and his brothers ever
tormented Knox by persiflage. Still the preachers must be supported, and
to that end, by a singular compromise, the Crown assumed dominion over
the property of the old Church, a proceeding which Mary, if a good
Catholic, could not have sanctioned. The higher clergy retained
two-thirds of their benefices, and the other third was to be divided
between the preachers and the Queen. Vested rights, those of the
prelates, and the interests of the nobles to whom, in the troubles, they
had feued parts of their property, were thus secured; while the preachers
were put off with a humble portion. Among the abbeys, that of St.
Andrews, held by the good Lord James, was one of the richest. He appears
to have retained all the wealth, for, as Bishop Keith says, "the grand
gulf that swallowed up the whole extent of the thirds were pensions given
gratis by the Queen to those about the Court . . . of which last the Earl
of Moray was always sure to obtain the thirds of his priories of St.
Andrews and Pittenweem." In all, the whole reformed clergy received
annually (but not in 1565-66) 24,231 pounds, 17s. 7d. Scots, while Knox
and four superintendents got a few chalders of wheat and "bear." In
1568, when Mary had fallen, a gift of 333 pounds, 6s. 8d. was made to
Knox from the fund, about a seventh of the money revenue of the Abbey of
St. Andrews. {210} Nobody can accuse Knox of enriching himself by the
Revolution. "In the stool of Edinburgh," he declared that two parts were
being given to the devil, "and the third must be divided between God and
the devil," between the preachers and the Queen, and the Earl of Moray,
among others. The eminently godly Laird of Pitarro had the office of
paying the preachers, in which he was so niggardly that the proverb ran,
"The good Laird of Pitarro was an earnest professor of Christ, but the
great devil receive the Comptroller."

It was argued that "many Lords have not so much to spend" as the
preachers; and this was not denied (if the preachers were paid), but it
was said the Lords had other industries whereby they might eke out their
revenues. Many preachers, then or later, were driven also to other
industries, such as keeping public-houses. {211a} Knox, at this period,
gracefully writes of Mary, "we call her not a hoore." When she scattered
his party after Riccio's murder, he went the full length of the
expression, in his "History."

"Simplicity," says Thucydides, "is no small part of a noble nature," and
Knox was now to show simplicity in conduct, and in his narrative of a
very curious adventure.

The Hamiltons had taken little but loss by joining the Congregation.
Arran could not recover his claims, on whatever they were founded, over
the wealth of St. Andrews and Dunfermline. Chatelherault feared that
Mary would deprive him of his place of refuge, the castle of Dumbarton,
to which he confessed that his right was "none," beyond a verbal promise
of a nineteen years "farm" (when given we know not), from Mary of Guise.
{211b} Randolph began to believe that Arran really had contemplated a
raid on Mary at Holyrood, where she had no guards. {211c} "Why," asked
Arran, "was it not as easy to take her out of the Abbey, as once it had
been intended to do with her mother?"

Here were elements of trouble, and Knox adds that, according to the
servants of Chatelherault, Huntly and the Hamiltons devised to slay Lord
James, who in January received the Earldom of Moray, but bore the title
of Earl of Mar, which earldom he held for a brief space. {212a} Huntly
had claims on Moray, and hence hated Lord James. Arran was openly
sending messengers to France; "his councils are too patent." Randolph at
the same time found Knox and the preachers "as wilfull as learned, which
heartily I lament" (January 30). The rumour that Mary had been persuaded
by the Cardinal to turn Anglican "makes them run almost wild" (February
12). {212b} If the Queen were an Anglican the new Kirk would be in an
ill way. Arran still sent retainers to France, and was reported to speak
ill of Mary (February 21), but the Duke tried to win Randolph to a
marriage between Arran and the Queen. The intended bridegroom lay abed
for a week, "tormented by imaginations," but was contented, not to be
reconciled with Bothwell, but to pass his misdeeds in "oblivion," {212c}
as he declared to the Privy Council (February 20).

In these threatening circumstances Bothwell made Knox's friend, Barron, a
rich burgess who "financed" the Earl, introduce him to our Reformer. The
Earl explained that his feud with Arran was very expensive; he had for
his safety to keep "a number of wicked and unprofitable men about
him" - his "Lambs," the Ormistouns, {213} young Hay of Tala, probably, and
the rest. He therefore repented, and wished to be reconciled to Arran.
Knox, pleased at being a reconciler where nobler men had failed, and
moved, after long refusal, by the entreaties of the godly, as he tells
Mrs. Locke, advised Bothwell first to be reconciled to God. So Bothwell
presently was, going to sermon for that very purpose. Knox promised to
approach Arran, and Bothwell, with his usual impudence, chose that moment
to seize an old pupil of Knox's, the young Laird of Ormiston (Cockburn).
The young laird, to be sure, had fired a pistol at his enemy. However,
Bothwell repented of this lapse, and at the Hamilton's great house of
Kirk-of-Field, Knox made him and Arran friends. Next day they went to
sermon together; on the following day they visited Chatelherault at
Kinneil, some twelve miles from Edinburgh. But on the ensuing day (March
26) came the wild end of the reconciliation.

Knox had delivered his daily sermon, and was engaged with his vast
correspondence, when Arran was announced, with an advocate and the town
clerk. Arran began a conference with tears, said that he was betrayed,
and told his tale. Bothwell had informed him that he would seize the
Queen, put her in Dumbarton, kill her misguiders, the "Earl of Moray"
(Mar, Lord James), Lethington, and others, "and so shall he and I rule
all."

But Arran believed Bothwell really intended to accuse him of treason, or
knowledge of treason, so he meant to write to Mary and Mar. Knox asked
whether he had assented to the plot, and advised him to be silent.
Probably he saw that Arran was distraught, and did not credit his story.
But Arran said that Bothwell (as he had once done before, in 1559) would
challenge him to a judicial combat - such challenges were still common,
but never led to a fight. He then walked off with his legal advisers,
and wrote to Mary at Falkland. {214a} If Arran went mad, he went mad
"with advice of counsel." There had come the chance of "a new day,"
which the extremists desired, but its dawn was inauspicious.

Arran rode to his father's house of Kinneil, where, either because he was
insane, or because there really was a Bothwell-Hamilton plot, he was
locked up in a room high above the ground. He let himself down from the
window, reached Halyards (a place of Kirkcaldy of Grange), and was thence
taken by Mar (whom Knox appears to have warned) to the Queen at Falkland.
Bothwell and Gawain Hamilton were also put in ward there. Randolph gives
(March 31) a similar account, but believed that there really was a plot,
which Arran denied even before he arrived at Falkland. Bothwell came to
purge himself, but "was found guilty on his own confession on some
points." {214b}

The Queen now went to St. Andrews, where the suspects were placed in the
Castle. Arran wavered, accusing Mar's mother of witchcraft. Mary was
"not a little offended with Bothwell to whom she has been so good."
Randolph (April 7) continued to think that Arran should be decapitated.
He and Bothwell were kept in ward, and his father, the Duke, was advised
to give up Dumbarton to the Crown, which he did. {215a} This was about
April 23. Knox makes a grievance of the surrender; the Castle, he says,
was by treaty to be in the Duke's hands till the Queen had lawful issue.
{215b} Chatelherault himself, as we said, told Randolph that he had no
right in the place, beyond a verbal and undated promise of the late
Regent.

Knox now again illustrates his own historical methods. Mary, riding
between Falkland and Lochleven, fell, was hurt, and when Randolph wrote
from Edinburgh on May 11, was not expected there for two or three days.
But Knox reports that, on her return from Fife to Edinburgh, she danced
excessively till after midnight, because she had received letters "that
persecution was begun again in France," by the Guises. {215c} Now as,
according to Knox elsewhere, "Satan stirreth his terrible tail," so did
one of Mary's uncles, the Duc de Guise, "stir his tail" against one of
the towns appointed to pay Mary's jointure, namely Vassy, in Champagne.
Here, on March 1, 1562, a massacre of Huguenots, by the Guise's
retainers, began the war of religion afresh. {215d}

Now, in the first place, this could not be joyful news to set Mary
dancing; as it was apt to prevent what she had most at heart, her
personal interview with Elizabeth. She understood this perfectly well,
and, in conversation with Randolph, after her return to Edinburgh,
lamented the deeds of her uncles, as calculated "to bring them in hate
and disdain of many princes," and also to chill Elizabeth's amity for
herself - on which her whole policy now depended (May 29). {216a} She
wept when Randolph said that, in the state of France, Elizabeth was not
likely to move far from London for their interview. In this mood how
could Mary give a dance to celebrate an event which threatened ruin to
her hopes?

Moreover, if Knox, when he speaks of "persecution begun again," refers to
the slaughter of Huguenots by Guise's retinue, at Vassy, that untoward
event occurred on March 1, and Mary cannot have been celebrating it by a
ball at Holyrood as late as May 14, at earliest. {216b} Knox, however,
preached against her dancing, if she danced "for pleasure at the
displeasure of God's people"; so he states the case. Her reward, in that
case, would he "drink in hell." In his "History" he declares that Mary
did dance for the evil reason attributed to her, a reason which must have
been mere matter of inference on his part, and that inference wrong,
judging by dates, if the reference is to the affair of Vassy. In April
both French parties were committing brutalities, but these were all
contrary to Mary's policy and hopes.

If Knox heard a rumour against any one, his business, according to the
"Book of Discipline," was not to go and preach against that person, even
by way of insinuation. {216c} Mary's offence, if any existed, was not
"public," and was based on mere suspicion, or on tattle. Dr. M'Crie,
indeed, says that on hearing of the affair of Vassy, the Queen
"immediately after gave a splendid ball to her foreign servants." Ten
weeks after the Vassy affair is not "immediately"; and Knox mentions
neither foreign servants nor Vassy. {216d}

The Queen sent for Knox, and made "a long harangue," of which he does not
report one word. He gives his own oration. Mary then said that she
could not expect him to like her uncles, as they differed in religion.
But if he heard anything of herself that he disapproved of, "come to
myself and tell me, and I shall hear you." He answered that he was not
bound to come "to every man in particular," but she _could_ come to his
sermons! If she would name a day and hour, he would give her a doctrinal
lecture. At this very moment he "was absent from his book"; his studies
were interrupted.

"You will not always be at your book," she said, and turned her back. To
some papists in the antechamber he remarked, "Why should the pleasing
face of a gentlewoman affray me? I have looked in the faces of many
angry men, and yet have not been afraid above measure."

He was later to flee before that pleasing face.

Mary can hardly be said to have had the worse, as far as manners and
logic went, of this encounter, at which Morton, Mar, and Lethington were
present, and seem to have been silent. {217a}

Meanwhile, Randolph dates this affair, the dancing, the sermon, the
interview, not in May, but about December 13-15, 1562, {217b} and
connects the dancing with no event in France, {217c} nor can I find any
such event in late November which might make Mary glad at heart. Knox,
Randolph writes, mistrusts all that the Queen does or says, "as if he
were of God's Privy Council, that knew how he had determined of her in
the beginning, or that he knew the secrets of her heart so well that she
neither did nor could have one good thought of God or of his true
religion." His doings could not increase her respect for his religion.

The affair of Arran had been a sensible sorrow to Knox. "God hath
further humbled me since that day which men call Good Friday," he wrote
to Mrs. Locke (May 6), "than ever I have been in my life. . . ." He had
rejoiced in his task of peace-making, in which the Privy Council had
practically failed, and had shown great naivete in trusting Bothwell. The
best he could say to Mrs. Locke was that he felt no certainty about the
fact that Bothwell had tempted Arran to conspire. {218}

The probability is that the reckless and impoverished Bothwell did intend
to bring in the desirable "new day," and to make the Hamiltons his tools.
Meanwhile he was kept out of mischief and behind stone walls for a
season. Knox had another source of annoyance which was put down with a
high hand.

The dominie of the school at Linlithgow, Ninian Winzet by name, had lost
his place for being an idolater. In February he had brought to the
notice of our Reformer and of the Queen the question, "Is John Knox a
lawful minister?" If he was called by God, where were his miracles? If
by men, by what manner of men? On March 3, Winzet asked Knox for "your
answer in writing." He kept launching letters at Knox in March; on March
24 he addressed the general public; and, on March 31, issued an appeal to
the magistrates, who appear to have been molesting people who kept
Easter. The practice was forbidden in a proclamation by the Queen on May
31. {219a} "The pain is death," writes Randolph. {219b} If Mary was
ready to die for her faith, as she informed a nuncio who now secretly
visited her, she seems to have been equally resolved that her subjects
should not live in it.

Receiving no satisfactory _written_ answer from Knox, Winzet began to
print his tract, and then he got his reply from "soldiers and the
magistrates," for the book was seized, and he himself narrowly escaped to


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