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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

A negociation was set on foot with a view to this alliance


justify;">Elizabeth was mistress

of her State, as well in its religious as its political constitution. She had revived the obedience once paid to her father; and remodelled the Church in the decidedly Protestant spirit which corresponded to her personal position; at first every man submitted to the new order of things, though many looked on its growth only with aversion. Mary on the contrary had to accommodate herself to a form of Church, and even of State, government, which was founded in opposition to the right of her predecessors, and above all to her own views. If she ever thought of making her own religion predominant, or of oppressing that which was newly established, open resistance was announced to her in threatening terms by its leader John Knox. However much this reaction against her religious belief straitened her on the one side, yet on another side it opened out to her a wider prospect. She already had numerous personally devoted partisans in Great Britain, both in Scotland where she could yet once more call them together, and in England where she was secretly regarded by not a few as the lawful Queen; but, besides this, she had many in Catholic Europe, which had become reunited during these years (the times when the Council of Trent was drawing to a close) around the Papal authority, and was preparing to bring back those who had fallen away. This great confederacy gave Mary a position which made her capable of confronting a neighbour in herself so much more powerful.

Elizabeth

once touched on the old claims of England to supremacy over Scotland: the ambition of all the Scotch kings, to prove to the English that they were independent of them, still lived in Mary: when queen was set over against queen, it took a more sharply-expressed shape; any whisper of subjection seemed to her an outrage.

For the moment Mary had, as before mentioned, given up the title of 'Queen of England': but all her thoughts were directed towards the point of getting her presumptive hereditary right to that kingdom recognised, and of preparing for its realisation at a later time.

But now there were two ways by which she might gain her end. She might either get her claim to the English throne recognised by an agreement with its present possessor, which did not appear so unattainable, as Elizabeth was unmarried, and such a settlement would have been legally valid in England; or she might enter into a dynastic alliance with a neighbouring great power, so as to be enabled to carry her claims into effect one day through its military strength.[206]

With this last view negociations were during several years carried on for a marriage with Don Carlos the son of the Spanish King. For in the same proportion that the union of Scotch and French interests dissolved, did the opposite alliance between Spain and England become looser. The most varied reasons made Philip II wish to enter into direct and close relations with Scotland. Immediately after the death of Francis II, a negociation was set on foot with a view to this alliance, on Mary's giving an audience to the Spanish ambassador, to the vexation of Queen Catharine of France, who wished to see this richest of princes, and the one who seemed destined to the greatest power, reserved for her own youngest daughter. After Mary returned to Scotland similar rumours were renewed, and from time to time we meet with a negociation for this object. When her minister Lethington was in London in the spring of 1563, he agreed with the Spanish ambassador that this marriage was the only desirable one: it was longed for by all Scotch and English Catholics. Soon afterwards the ambassador sent a young member of the embassy to Scotland, in the deepest secrecy, by a long circuit through Ireland; not without difficulty he obtained an interview with Mary Stuart, in which he assured himself of her inclination for the marriage. In the autumn of 1563 Catharine Medici showed herself well informed about this negociation and much disquieted by it.[207] It appeared to depend only on Philip's decision whether the marriage was concluded or not.[208] After some time the Scotch Privy Council sent the bishop of Ross to Spain, to bring the matter about. The Queen herself corresponded on it with Cardinal Granvella and the Duchess of Arschot.


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