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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


1 MARRIAGE OF MARY AND BOTHWELL. 71 dragged through the bed-room to the door of the presence-chamber, where the conspirators gathered . about him and completed the bloody outrage. So eager were all to take part in the murder that they frequently wounded each other, eliciting greater curses and yells ; and the body of Rizzio, gashed by fifty-six wounds, was left in a pool of blood, with the king?s dagger driven to the hilt in it, in token that he had sanctioned the murder. After a time the corpse was flung down-stairs, stripped naked, dragged to the porter?s lodge, and treated with every indignity. Darnley and the queen were meanwhile alone together in the cabinet, into which a lady rushed to announce that Rizzio was dead, as she had seen the body. ?Is it so?? said the weeping queen ; ? then I will study revenge ! ? Then she swooned, but was roused by the entrance of Ruthven, who, reeking with blood; staggered into a chair and called for wine. After receiving much coarse and unseemly insolence, the queen exclaimed, ??I trust that God, who beholdeth all this from the high heavens, will avenge my wrohgs, and move that which shall be born of me to root out you and your treacherous posterity ! ? -a denunciation terribly fulfillkd by the total destruction of the house of Ruthven in the reign of her son, James VI. In the middle of a passage leading from the quadrangle to the ,chapel is shown a flat square stone, which is said to mark the grave of Rizzio ; but it is older than his day, and has probably served for the tomb of some one else. The floor at the outer door of Mary?s apartments presents to this day a dark irregular stain, called Rizzio?s blood, tlius exciting the ridicule of those who do not consider the matter. The floor is of great antiquity here-manifestly alder than that of the adjacent gallery, laid in the time of Charles I. ?We know,? says Robert Chambers,in his ?Book of Days,? ? that the stain has been shown there since a time long antecedent to that extreme modern curiosity regarding historical matters which might have induced an imposture, for it is alluded to by the son of Evelyn as being .shown in I 7 a a.? Joseph Rizzio, who arrived in Scotland soon after his brother?s murder, was promoted to his vacant office by the queen, and was publicly named as one of the abettors of Morton and Bothwell in the murder of Darnley-in which, with true Italian instinct, he might readily have had a hand. After the tragedy at the Kirk of Field in 1567, the body of Dmley was brought to Holyrood, where Michael Picauet, the queen?s apothecary, embalmed it, by her order; the treasurer?s accounts, dated Feb. Izth, contain entries for ? drogges, spices-colis, tabbis, hardis, barrelis,? and other matters tiecessary ? for bowalling of King?s Grace,? who was interred in the chapel royal at night, in presence of only the Lord Justice Clerk Bellenden, Sir James Tracquair, and others. After Bothwell?s seizure of Mary?s person, at the head of I,OOO horse, and his production of the famous bond, signed by the most powerful nobles in Scotland, recommending him as the most fitting husband for her-a transaction in which her enemies affirm she was a willing actor-their marriage ceremony took place in the great hall of the palace on the 15th of May, 1567, at four o?clock in the morning, a singular hour, for which it is difficult to account, unless it be, that Mary had yielded in despair at last. There it was performed by the reformed prelate Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, together with Knox?s coadjutor, Craig, according to the Protestant form, and on the same day:in private, according to the Catholic ritual. To the Latter, perhaps, Birrel refers when he says they were married in the chapel royal. Only five of the nobles were present, and there were no rejoicings in Edinburgh, where the people looked on with grief and gloom j and on the following morning there was fouiid affixed to the palace gate the ominous line from Ovid?s Fasti, book v. : ?Mense malus Maio nubere vuZgus aif.? The revolt of the nobles, the flight oT Bothwell, and the surrender of Mary at Carberry to avoid bloodshed, quickly followed, and the last visit she paid to her palace of Holyrood was when, under a strong guard, she was brought thither a prisoner from the Black Turnpike, on the 18th of June and ere the citizens could rescue her ; as a preliminary step to still more violent proceedings, she was secretly taken from Holyrood at ten at night, without having even a change of raiment, mounted on a miserable hack, and compelled to ride at th;rty miles an hour, escorted by the murderers Ruthven and Lindsay, who consigned her a prisoner to the lonely castle of Lochleven, where she signed the enforced abdication which placed her son upon. the throne. Holyrood was one of the favourite residences of the latter, and the scene of many a treaty and council during his reign in Scotland, In the great hall there, on Sunday, the 23rd of October, he created a great number of earls with much splendour of ceremony, with a corresponding number of knights. Another Earl of Bothwell, the horror of James VI., now figures in history, eldest son of the
Volume 3 Page 71
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