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B O o k in that species of eloquence which is calculated v VI. to rouse and to inflame.b His maxims, howU72. ever, were often too severe, and the impetuosity of his temper excessive. Rigid and uncomplying himself, he shewed no indulgence to the infirmities of others. Regardless of the distinctions of rank and character, he uttered his admonitions with an acrimony and vehemence, more apt to irritate than to reclaim. This often betrayed him into indecent and undutiful expressions with respect to the Queen's person and conduct. Those very qualities, however, which now render his characterless amiable, fitted him to be Book the instrument of Providence for advancing the VL Reformation among a fierce people, and enabling 1J72. him to face dangers, and to surmount opposition, from which a person of a more gentle spirit would have been apt to shrink back. By an unwearied application to study and to business, as well as by the frequency and fervour of his public discourses, he had worn out a constitution naturally robust. During a lingering illness he discovered the utmost fortitude; and met the approaches of death with a magnanimity inseparable from his character. He was constantly employed in acts of devotion, and comforted himself with those prospects of immortality which not only preserve good men from desponding, but fill them with exultation in their last moments. The Earl of Morton, who was present at his funeral, pronounced his eulogium in a few words, the more honourable for Knox, as they came from one whom he had often censured with peculiar severity: "There lies He, who never feared the face of man."b
b A striking description of that species of eloquence for which Knox was distinguished, is given by one of his contemporaries, Mr. James Melville, minister of Anstruther; "But of all the benefits I had that year , was the coming of that most notable Prophet and Apostle of our nation, Mr. John Knox, to St. Andrew's, who, by the faction of the Queen occupying the castle and town of Edinburgh, was compelled to remove therefra with a number of the best, and chused to come to St. Andrew's. I heard him teach there the prophecies of Daniel that summer and the winter following. I had my pen and little buike, and took away sic things as I could comprehend. In the opening of his text, he was moderate the space of half an hour; but when he entered to application, he made me so to grtte [thrill] and tremble that I could not hald the pen to write. .He was very weak. I saw him every day of his doctrine go hidie [slowly] and fair, with a furring of marticks about his neck, a staff" in the one hand, and good godlie Richart Ballenden holding him up by the oxter [under the arm], from the abbey to the parish kirk; and he the said Richart and another servant lifted him up to. the pulpit, were he behoved to lean at his first entrie; but e're he was done with his sermon, he was so active and vigorous, that he was like to ding the pulpit in Mads [beat the pulpit to pieces], and fly out of it." MS. Life of Mr. James Melville, communicated to me by Mr. Faton of the Customhouse, Edinburgh, p. 14.21.
Though Morton did not desire peace from 157-. such generous motives as the former Regent, he gCnCt trgats laboured, however, in good earnest, to establish TMith th,c it. The public confusions and calamities, to party, which he owed his power and importance when he was only the second person in the nation, were extremely detrimental to him now that he was raised to be the first. While so many of the nobles continued in arms against him, his au
b Spotsw. 266. Cald. ii. 273.
book thority as Regent was partial, feeble, and pre. , VL , carious. Elizabeth was no less desirous of extin. 1573. guishing the flame which she had kindled and kept so long alive in Scotland.c She had discovered the alliance with France, from which she had expected such advantages, to be no foundation of security. Though appearances of friendship still subsisted between her and that court, and Charles daily renewed his protestations of inviolable adherence to the treaty, she was convinced, by a fatal example, how little she ought to rely on the promises or oaths of that perfidious monarch. Her ambassador warned her that the French held secret correspondence with Mary's adherents in Scotland, and encouraged them in their obstinacy.d The Duke of Alva carried on his intrigues in that kingdom with less disguise. She was persuaded that they would embrace the first serene interval, which the commotions in France and in the Netherlands would allow them, and openly attempt to land a body of men in Scotland. She resolved, therefore, to prevent their getting any footing in the island, and to cut off all their hopes of finding any assistance there, by uniting the two parties.
The situation of Mary's adherents enabled the Regent to carry on his negotiations with them to great advantage. They were now divided into two factions. At the head of the one were Cha. telherault and Huntly. Maitland and Kirkaldy were the leaders of the other. Their high rank, their extensive property, and the numbers of their followers, rendered the former considerable. The Book latter were indebted for their importance to VI. their personal abilities, and to the strength of 1573. the castle of Edinburgh, which was in their possession. The Regent had no intention to comprehend both in the same treaty; but as he dreaded that the Queen's party, if it remained entire, would be able to thwart and embarrass his administration, he resolved to divide and weaken it, by a separate negotiation. He made the first overture to Kirkaldy and his associates, and endeavoured to renew the negotiation with them, which, during the life of his predecessor, had been broken off by his own artifices. But Kirkaldy knew Morton's views, and. system of government, to be very different from those of the former Regent. Maitland considered him as a personal and implacable enemy. They received repeated assurances of protection from France; and though the siege of Rochelle employed the French arms at that time, the same hopes, which had so often deceived the party, still amused them, and they expected that the obstinacy of the Hugonots would soon be subdued, and that Charles would then be at liberty to act with vigour in Scotland. Meanwhile a supply of money was sent, and if the castle could be held out till Whitsunday, effectual aid was promised." Maitland's genius delighted in forming schemes that were dangerous; and Kirkaldy possessed the intrepidity necessary for putting them in execution. The castle, they
His overtures rejected by Maitland and kirkaldy.
d Id. 296. 312.
Book knew, was so situated, that it might defy all the t VI; Regent's power. Elizabeth, they hoped, would 1573. not violate the treaty with France, by sending forces to his assistance; and if the French should be able to land any considerable body of men, it might be possible to deliver the Queen from captivity, or, at least, to balance the influence of France and England in such a manner, as to rescue Scotland from the dishonourable dependence upon the latter, under which it had fallen. This splendid but chimerical project they preferred to the friendship of Morton. They encouraged the negotiation, however, because it served to gain time; they proposed, for the same purpose, that the whole of the Queen's party should be comprehended in it, and that Kirk. aldy should retain the command of the castle six months after the treaty was signed. His interest prompted the Regent to reject the former; his penetration discovered the danger of complying with the latter; and all hopes of accommodation vanished/
As soon as the truce expired, Kirkaldy began
to fire on the city of Edinburgh, which by the
return of the inhabitants whom he had expelled,
was devoted as zealously as ever to the King's
cause. But, as the Regent had now set on foot
a treaty with Chatelherault and Huntly, the
cessation of arms still continued with them.
Accepted They were less scrupulous than the other party,
herauitjmd and listened eagerly to his overtures. The Duke
Huntly. was naturally unsteady, and the approach of old
f Melv. 235, &c.