List Of Contents | Contents of Mary Stuart, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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it is as a spy, if the ease with which you enter my room without
being asked did not make me believe it is as a gaoler.  Have the
goodness, then, to inform me by which of these two names I must call

"Neither by one nor the other, madam; for I am simply your fellow-
traveller, chef of the escort which is to take you to Lochleven
Castle, your future residence.  And yet, scarcely have I arrived
there than I shall be obliged to leave you to go and assist the
Confederate lords choose a regent for the kingdom."

"So," said Mary, "it was as prisoner and not as queen that I
surrendered to Lord Kirkcaldy.  It seems to me that things were
agreed upon otherwise; but I am glad to see how much time Scotch
noblemen need to betray their sworn undertakings".

"Your Grace forgets that these engagements were made on one
condition," Lindsay answered.

"On which?" Mary asked.

"That you should separate for ever from your husband's murderer; and
there is the proof," he added, showing the letter, "that you had
forgotten your promise before we thought of revoking ours."

"And at what o'clock is my departure fixed?" said Mary, whom this
discussion was beginning to fatigue.

"At eleven o'clock, madam."

"It is well, my lord; as I have no desire to make your lordship wait,
you will have the goodness, in withdrawing, to send me someone to
help me dress, unless I am reduced to wait upon myself."

And, in pronouncing these words, Mary made a gesture so imperious,
that whatever may have been Lindsay's wish to reply, he bowed and
went out.  Behind him entered Mary Seyton.


At the time appointed the queen was ready: she had suffered so much
at Edinburgh that she left it without any regret.  Besides, whether
to spare her the humiliations of the day before, or to conceal her
departure from any partisans who might remain to her, a litter had
been made ready.  Mary got into it without any resistance, and after
two hours' journey she reached Duddington; there a little vessel was
waiting for her, which set sail directly she was on board, and next
day at dawn she disembarked on the other side of the Firth of Forth
in the county of Fife.

Mary halted at Rosythe Castle only just long enough to breakfast, and
immediately recommenced her journey; for Lord Lindsay had declared
that he wished to reach his destination that same evening.  Indeed,
as the sun was setting, Mary perceived gilded with his last rays the
high towers of Lochleven Castle, situated on an islet in the midst of
the lake of the same name.

No doubt the royal prisoner was already expected at Lochleven Castle,
for, on reaching the lake side, Lord Lindsay's equerry unfurled his
banner, which till then had remained in its case, and waved it from
right to left, while his master blew a little hunting bugle which he
wore hanging from his neck.  A boat immediately put off from the
island and came towards the arrivals, set in motion by four vigorous
oarsmen, who had soon propelled it across the space which separated
it from the bank.  Mary silently got into it, and sat down at the
stern, while Lord Lindsay and his equerry stood up before her; and as
her guide did not seem any more inclined to speak than she was
herself to respond, she had plenty of time to examine her future

The castle, or rather the fortress of Lochleven, already somewhat
gloomy in its situation and architecture, borrowed fresh mournfulness
still from the hour at which it appeared to the queen's gaze.  It
was, so far as she could judge amid the mists rising from the lake,
one of those massive structures of the twelfth century which seem, so
fast shut up are they, the stone armour of a giant.  As she drew
near, Mary began to make out the contours of two great round towers,
which flanked the corners and gave it the severe character of a state
prison.  A clump of ancient trees enclosed by a high wall, or rather
by a rampart, rose at its north front, and seemed vegetation in
stone, and completed the general effect of this gloomy abode, while,
on the contrary, the eye wandering from it and passing from islands
to islands, lost itself in the west, in the north, and in the south,
in the vast plain of Kinross, or stopped southwards at the jagged
summits of Ben Lomond, whose farthest slopes died down on the shores
of the lake.

Three persons awaited Mary at the castle door: Lady Douglas, William
Douglas her son, and a child of twelve who was called Little Douglas,
and who was neither a son nor a brother of the inhabitants of the
castle, but merely a distant relative.  As one can imagine, there
were few compliments between Mary and her hosts; and the queen,
conducted to her apartment, which was on the first floor, and of
which the windows overlooked the lake, was soon left with Mary
Seyton, the only one of the four Marys who had been allowed to
accompany her.

However, rapid as the interview had been, and short and measured the
words exchanged between the prisoner and her gaolers, Mary had had
time, together with what she knew of them beforehand, to construct
for herself a fairly accurate idea of the new personages who had just
mingled in her history.

Lady Lochleven, wife of Lord William Douglas, of whom we have already
said a few words at the beginning of this history, was a woman of
from fifty-five to sixty years of age, who had been handsome enough
in her youth to fix upon herself the glances of King James V, and who
had had a son by him, who was this same Murray whom we have already
seen figuring so often in Mary's history, and who, although his birth
was illegitimate, had always been treated as a brother by the queen.

Lady Lochleven had had a momentary hope, so great was the king's love
for her, of becoming his wife, which upon the whole was possible, the
family of Mar, from which she was descended, being the equal of the
most ancient and the noblest families in Scotland.  But, unluckily,
perhaps slanderously, certain talk which was circulating among the
young noblemen of the time came to James's ears; it was said that
together with her royal lover the beautiful favourite had another,
whom she had chosen, no doubt from curiosity, from the very lowest
class.  It was added that this Porterfeld, or Porterfield, was the
real father of the child who had already received the name of James
Stuart, and whom the king was educating as his son at the monastery
of St.  Andrews.  These rumours, well founded or not, had therefore
stopped James V at the moment when, in gratitude to her who had given
him a son, he was on the point of raising her to the rank of queen;
so that, instead of marrying her himself, he had invited her to
choose among the nobles at court; and as she was very handsome, and
the king's favour went with the marriage, this choice, which fell on
Lord William Douglas of Lochleven, did not meet with any resistance
on his part.  However, in spite of this direct protection, that James
V preserved for her all his life, Lady Douglas could never forget
that she had fingered higher fortune; moreover, she had a hatred for
the one who, according to herself, had usurped her place, and poor
Mary had naturally inherited the profound animosity that Lady Douglas
bore to her mother, which had already come to light in the few words
that the two women had exchanged.  Besides, in ageing, whether from
repentance for her errors or from hypocrisy, Lady Douglas had become
a prude and a puritan; so that at this time she united with the
natural acrimony of her character all the stiffness of the new
religion she had adopted.

William Douglas, who was the eldest son of Lord Lochleven, on his
mother's side half-brother of Murray, was a man of from thirty-five
to thirty-six years of age, athletic, with hard and strongly
pronounced features, red-haired like all the younger branch, and who
had inherited that paternal hatred that for a century the Douglases
cherished against the Stuarts, and which was shown by so many plots,
rebellions, and assassinations.  According as fortune had favoured or
deserted Murray, William Douglas had seen the rays of the fraternal
star draw near or away from him; he had then felt that he was living
in another's life, and was devoted, body and soul, to him who was his
cause of greatness or of abasement.  Mary's fall, which must
necessarily raise Murray, was thus a source of joy for him, and the
Confederate lords could not have chosen better than in confiding the
safe-keeping of their prisoner to the instinctive spite of Lady
Douglas and to the intelligent hatred of her son.

As to Little Douglas, he was, as we have said, a child of twelve, for
some months an orphan, whom the Lochlevens had taken charge of, and
whom they made buy the bread they gave him by all sorts of harshness.
The result was that the child, proud and spiteful as a Douglas, and
knowing, although his fortune was inferior, that his birth was equal
to his proud relatives, had little by little changed his early
gratitude into lasting and profound hatred: for one used to say that
among the Douglases there was an age for loving, but that there was
none for hating.  It results that, feeling his weakness and
isolation, the child was self-contained with strength beyond his
years, and, humble and submissive in appearance, only awaited the
moment when, a grown-up young man, he could leave Lochleven, and
perhaps avenge himself for the proud protection of those who dwelt
there.  But the feelings that we have just expressed did not extend
to all the members of the family: as much as from the bottom of his
heart the little Douglas detested William and his mother, so much he
loved George, the second of Lady Lochleven's sons, of whom we have
not yet spoken, because, being away from the castle when the queen
arrived, we have not yet found an opportunity to present him to our

George, who at this time might have been about twenty-five or twenty-
six years old, was the second son of Lord Lochleven; but by a
singular chance, that his mother's adventurous youth had caused Sir
William to interpret amiss, this second son had none of the

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