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where he had done his wife to death. years, and, unless the railway comes, it Even within recent years uncanny noises seems doubtful whether any house ever have been heard in the wood hard by, again will be. The smoke curls upward and “something black having the appear against the background of wooded hill, ance of a hearse drawn by four horses the housewife stands gossiping at her is seen by the affrighted wayfarer.
door, the children play at mysterious Stowey itself consists of one long games in the kennel just as they did a street with another forking from it. At century ago. Nor does Quantock alter, the top of the principal thoroughfare is a though less quiet than of yore, for, of lofty mound once surmounted by a keep, late ycars, it has become a hunting of which only some foundations are ground, and the combes that our poet traceable, while the lower portions of the loved for their quietude echo in March building have vanished altogether. This and September with the music of that castle formed part of the domains of that historic pack, the Devon and Somerset Lord Audley who headed the western staghounds, rousing from his lair the wild insurrection against Henry the Seventh, red deer that, save here and on adjacent and lost his head after the defeat at Exmoor, exists no more in merry England. Blackheath. From the castle mound, as Yet, in spite of the windings of Antony's it is called to-day, you can look over the horn, the baying of hounds and the whole town, and from some such point as clatter of the gay cavalcade sweeping this Coleridge on his descent from Danes- down the stony bottom of Adder's Combe borough may have exclaimed
or over the heather bell and whortleberry
of Hareknaps, the beauty of Quantock “And now, beloved Stowey, I behold Thy church-tower, and methinks the four remains, and the scene is, for eleven huge elms
months out of the twelve, as peaceful as Clustering, which mark the mansion of my in the far away time when Coleridge and friend ;
his friends roved And close beside them, hidden from my view, Is my own lonely cottage, where my babe
“On seaward Quantock's heathy hills,” And my babe's mother dwell in peace !” and when the only interruption came from The “mansion, of course that of
some leafy glen “ Tom" Poole, is still in existence, but “Where quiet sounds from hidden rills the elms are no more. But with these
Float here and there like things astray." exceptions, with the removal perhaps of We may still agree with the opinion a little thatch and the substitution of tile uttered by him in Holford Glen, “ This is or slate, Stowey to-day is much the same a place to reconcile one to all the jarrings as it was in the days when Coleridge and conflicts of the wide world,” and still walked its quiet streets. No house, we
with Thelwall's reply “Nay-to are told, has been erected there for fifty make one forget them altogether."
By J. CUTHBERT HADDEN.
With Illustrations by GEORGE REID, R.S.A.
STRANGE fascina- that have helped to lift her name into the
It was an unfortunate dynasty that Mary Stuart. The sadly Stuart represented. With the single exromantic story which ception of her father, who died of a broken had its end with the heart after the defeat of his army at the executioner's axe on Solway Moss, not one of the Jameses had that fateful day at been privileged to end his life in bed.
Fotheringay in the The first James, after spending many of February of 1587, has kept the Scottish his best years in prison, fell a victim to the Queen on the borders of a living land dagger of an assassin in the old priory of through three centuries of time, and given the Dominicans at Perth ; the second her a place in the hearts of all those who James was killed by the bursting of a can pity misfortune even if they cannot cannon at the siege of Roxburgh Castle ; look upon it as altogether undeserved. the third James was slain at Bannockburn As Mr. Swinburne has put it, there beats during a revolt of his subjects; and the no heart in English-speaking lands that fourth James, after leading his country to does not keep her memory aglow as a defeat and disgrace, died, with most of the warder keeps his beacon fire. Nor is it a Scottish nobility, on the fieid of Flodden. case of memory only. A widow at nine- Nor, if we pursue the Stuart dynasty on teen, one of the most beautiful women of to the time when it fell for ever in the her time and country, the pliant tool of defeat of the brave and heroic darling of gross and dissolute self-seekers, carrying the Jacobites on Culloden Moor, shall we in her person a grace and an affability find much mitigation of the adverse cirthat strangely unfitted her for the rough cumstances that thus surrounded its turbulent life into which she was cast- earlier history. The first Charles, like who would not spare a sigh for the wrongs Mary herself, ended his life on the and the wretchedness of Mary Stuart, not- scaffold, the second Charles passed most withstanding that the faint suspicion of a of his years in flight or in exile ; the crimson stain may lie dimly on her historic seventh James abandoned the throne fame? Away back in 1563 Thomas which no eighth James ever occupied ; Randolph declared her to be " the fynneste and Charles Edward passed the last of his she that ever was," and the world has in dreary days in obscurity and dissipation, the main agreed with him, inclining to an exile in a foreign country, and all believe that such errors as the Queen of but forgotten by those he had hoped to Scots may have committed were more of govern. the heart than of the head, and that the In the very centre of this galaxy of woe catastrophe which closed her career was as stands the unhappy Queen of Scots, who evidently unmerited as the vicissitudes was born at Linlithgow Palace on the
eighth of December, 1542, while her to have been a royal residence, but it is father lay dying at Falkland. To this not until its rebuilding and extension by same palace of Linlithgow James V. had Edward I. in the year 1300 that it begins several years before brought his bride, to stand out prominently on the historian's Mary of Lorraine, now the mother of her canvas. The second Edward spent a whose name was to be for ever associated whole winter of tranquillity in it, but when with it while stone remained above stone. he fled thither after the defeat of Bannock
burn, thinking to find in his old palace a safe retreat from the pursuing victors, he had the mortification to discover that Robert the Bruce had already far demolished it as to render it defenceless, and he was obliged to quit as precipitately as he had
Again the work of reconstruction began, and the completed palace became the residence of David II. In 1414 it was accidentally burnt, but it rose
more, and this time with far greater splendour than ever under the guiding hand of the Stuarts. The fourth and fifth Jameses founded its most magnificent portions, including the Chapel and the Parliament Hall ;
and the latter James is supposed to have
erected the inIn the first days of her wedded joy she had teresting, richly carved but now very much said of the already historic structure that weather-worn fountain in the centre of it was the “most princely" place her eyes the courtyard. James IV. was living at had ever beheld, and Sir Walter Scott, Linlithgow when his Flodden invasion after the lapse of three centuries, echoed was taking shape in his brain, and it was to her words :
the old Church of St. Michael, just outside • Of all the palaces so fair,
the palace gate, that he went to seek Built for the royal dwelling
Divine guidance in his enterprise, with In Scotland, far beyond compare
what result every reader of Marmion Linlithgow is excelling."
knows. During the period of the Stuarts
the Scots Parliament often met in the As early as the twelfth century it seems Great Hall of the palace. The last sitting
was in 1646, and in connection therewith themselves for their ignominious defeat at the following curious entry appears in the Falkirk by setting fire to its timbers. Town Council minutes :
And yet it is withal a magnificent ruin. “The Counsall, upon the coming of the
Standing on an eminence whose base is Comitie of Estattis, to sitt within this borough, kissed by the waters of a beautiful lake, fering that sundrie in the inhabitants, takens
the ideal home of the curlew, its deserted advantage of the thrang that will be by haime, halls and gaping portals, enclosed by will extort the leadges resorting heirto for their weather-stained walls, stretching up here chambers and bedes ; thairfor they have sett
and there a gaunt arm to the skies, still doune thir pryses following-viz., the pryse of a nobleman's chamber, cole and candle, with twa
show something of the fine taste and bedes, for 24 pounds 20 shillings; and of the
architectural beauty which characterise gentlemen and commissioners of burrowes, the all the Scottish palaces erected by the pryse 13 pounds 4 shillings ; and the pryse of Stuarts. The building is nearly square
the rest of the leadges resorting to the said in plan, and measures about 150 feet on borough for cole, candle, and bede, 24 pounds each of its four sides. The principal 6 shillings and 8 pence; and the groomes and
rooms are on the second floor, and include footmen are to pay for their bedes three
the Parliament Hall, a large banqueting shillings."
hall, a chapel, and the room in which In the interests of the summer tourist, Mary Stuart was born. On the ground it might very well be wished that the floor there is a labyrinth of vaults; and Scottish Town Councils of to-day were few of the features which go to make old equally considerate with this old burgh ! buildings interesting with suggestions of
When Scotland gave up her sceptre to old-world life are wanting. Unfortunately England no one seems to have thought the remains are in a somewhat critical of any further use for the ancient royal state, and very little that is effectual is dwelling at Linlithgow, and it was left to being done to prevent their further internal care for itself. As it stands to-day it is decay through exposure to the elements. but a mere fragment of its old-time glory ; In Scotland there is a general opinion for besides the moulding of its masonry that ever since the Union it has been the by the rude hand of Time, it carries traces policy of the Government to allow public of the memorable days of '45, when buildings and royal palaces in the northern General Hawley and his troops revenged kingdom to go to ruin, with the view of VI.,
getting quickly rid of the burden of
the person of the royal infant, conceived keeping them up. Whether this notion it to be to his interest to circulate a is well founded or not, it is certain that report that Mary was “sickly, and not the £ 500 voted last year for repairs at like to live." The calumny stung the Linlithgow is quite insufficient for any- queen-mother to the quick, and she lost thing more than a temporary restoration no time in getting from Sir Ralph Sadler, of the palace. The opinion of experienced the emissary of Henry VIII., the oft architects is, that there is only one quoted certificate, “It is as goodly a child possible way by which the ruins can be as I have ever seen at her age, and as preserved from ultimate destruction, and likely to live with the blessing of God.” this is by roofing them. As the Govern- No doubt this account of the infant Mary ment decline to go so far in the way of would not be altogether to the mind of the
truculent and unscrupu-
The Castle of Stirling, with its memories of Wallace and Bruce and Bannockburn, had already
been closely associated restoration, it is more than probable that with the fortunes of the Stuart dynthe birth-place of Scotland's unfortunate asty. Within its walls the second queen will, in the course of a few years, James first saw the light; the third become nothing more than a heap of James met his death in its immediate stones-a result which would assuredly be neighbourhood; the fifth James, who widely deplored.
was born and crowned under its roof, According to the contemporary records, chose it his refuge when seekMary was “the prettiest babe of royal ing to free himself of the Douglas blood in Europe." We may perhaps faction; and now his daughter found allow for some exaggeration here; but at in it a safe retreat from the intriguing any rate, the infant queen was not many lords who would fain have sought their days old when she became the most own interests at the expense of hers. important figure on the whole chess- The castle bears a striking resemblance board of her country's politics. The to that of Edinburgh in aspect and Scottish nobles fought for the custody of natural situation; and historically, too, her person as for a kingdom, and their the one is certainly quite as interesting schemes were frustrated only by the ever- as the other. Though the precipitous watchful anxiety of mother and nurse. rock at Stirling does not appear to The Earl of Arran, whose claim upon the have been crowned by artificial masonry throne made him specially interested in at so remote a period as that of the