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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

His nephew the Archduke Charles of Austria


Don

Carlos was too weak, too morbidly excited, to be married when young. King Philip, who did not wish to feed his ambition, at last gave the plan up, and recommended, instead of his son, his nephew the Archduke Charles of Austria.

But the one was as disagreeable to the English court as the other. Elizabeth had announced eternal enmity to Queen Mary if she married a prince of the house of Austria. Besides, the Spanish influence in England troubled her: she now saw herself already under the necessity of demanding and enforcing the recall of the Spanish ambassador, because he drew the Catholic party round him and incited them to oppose the laws of England. What might have come of it, if a prince of this house should now obtain rule over a part of the island itself?

But while Mary through these secret negociations tried to obtain the support of a great Catholic house for her claims, she neglected nothing that could contribute at the same time to make a good and friendly understanding with Queen Elizabeth possible, and to bring it about. In the company of her half-brother Murray, who held the reins of government with a firm hand, supported by his religious and political friends, she undertook a campaign into the Northern counties (which inclined to Catholicism), to make them submit to the universal law of the land. Only one priest was allowed at court, from whom she heard mass; some of those who read the mass elsewhere

were occasionally punished for it; clergymen who complained of the hardship they experienced were referred to Murray. This proceeding too was only temporary, it was intended to incline the Queen of England to her wishes. All quarrel was carefully avoided: on solemn festivals she drank to the English ambassador, to the health of his mistress. Besides, there were negociations for a meeting of the two Queens in person at York, where Mary hoped to be solemnly recognised as presumptive heiress of England.[209] However much it otherwise lies beyond the mental horizon of this epoch of firm and mutually opposed convictions, Mary was then thought capable of willingly adopting the forms of the English Church; to this even the Cardinal of Lorraine had assented. She herself unceasingly declared that she wished to honour Elizabeth as a mother, as an elder sister. But the Queen of England, after all sorts of promises, preparations, and delays, declined the interview. She would hear absolutely nothing of any recognition of the claim of inheritance. With naive plainness she inferred that such a declaration would not lead 'to concord with her sister, the Queen of Scotland,' since naturally a sovereign does not love his heir;--how indeed could that be possible, since every one is wont to make the heir the object of his aim and hopes;--she might increase Mary's importance by the recognition, but at the same time she would undermine her own;--whether Mary had a right to the English throne, she did not know and did not even wish to know: for she was (and as she said this, she pointed to the ring on her finger in proof) married to the people of England; if the Queen of Scotland had a right to the English throne, that should be left to her unimpaired.


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