The Deserted Wife by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens
'Like ivy, woman's love will cling
Too often round a worthless thing.'
Immediately after the horrid murder of young Darnley,
Mary of Scotland removed from the scene of his
death to Sterling, ostensibly on a visit to her infant son.
Thither she was followed by all the gay members of
her court, among whom were the Earl of Bothwell and
Balfour, the suspected murderers. A short time previous
to this journey Mary had received a letter from
one of her subjects in the north, strenuously recommending
a young and interesting female to her protection,
who, as the letter stated, had especial reasons for
sojourning awhile in the neighborhood of the court.
Mary with her usual benevolence kindly received the
lovely stranger, and was so won by her grace and
melancholy beauty, that with the thoughtlessness of her
impulsive character, she installed her in the royal
household and admitted her to the closest intimacy of
mistress and servant. Her affections daily increased
for one of whom she knew nothing, except that she
was reported to have sprung from a noble but impoverished
family, and had been drawn to court by her interest
in a dear relation, or perhaps lover. The queen
did not trouble herself to inquire into particulars, at a
time when her own affairs not only engrossed her
thoughts, but the attention of all Europe. Certain it
was, that whatever had drawn Ellen Craigh to the Scottish
court, it was no desire to partake of its pleasures.
Though she occasionally mingled with the ladies of
Mary's household, and even listened with silent interest
to the scandal which recent events had given rise to, she
sedulously secluded herself from the gallants of the
court, and on no occasion had been known to leave the
immediate apartment of the queen, except for a short
space each day, when the relative who had drawn her
from home might be supposed to occupy her attention.
On the day our story commences, Throgmorton, the
English ambassador, had arrived at Sterling with despatches,
which had been forwarded from London after
the first news of young Darnley's death reached the
court of St. James. Mary, eager to conciliate the imperious
Elizabeth, had ordered an entertainment to be
made in honor of her ambassador, and yielding to his
first request, or rather demand for an audience, had
been more than an hour closetted with him, in the little
oratory which communicated alike with her audience-room
and sleeping chamber.
The hour for robing had long passed, and Ellen
Craigh was alone in the royal bed-chamber, waiting
the appearance of her mistress. She might have been
taken for a sorrowing angel, as she sat in the embrasure
of a window, with the mellow-tinted light streaming
through the stained glass over her tresses of waving
gold, and flooding her small and exquisite figure with
a brilliancy almost too gorgeous to harmonize with the
delicate cheek and sorrowful blue eyes, which, at the
moment, wore an expression of suffering which nothing
on earth can represent, so patient and holy was it.
She continued in one position, listlessly swaying the
cord of twisted gold, which looped back the curtain
falling in magnificent volumes over the upper part of
the window, or pulling the threads from a massive
tassel and scattering them one by one at her feet, till
the carpet around looked as if embroidered over and
over with the glittering fragments. The indistinct
voices which came from the oratory, where the queen
and the ambassador were seated, fell unheeded upon
her senses, till a tone was mingled with theirs which
started her to sudden life. She leaped up with an
energy that sent the mutilated tassel with a crash
against the window, and flinging back the tapestry
which concealed the door of the oratory, bent her eye
to a crevice in the ill-fitted pannel. The beating of
her heart was almost audible, and the thin slender hand
which held back the tapestry quivered like a newly
prisoned bird, as she gazed with intense eagerness into
the apartment. The queen sat directly opposite the
door. At her right hand was placed a dark handsome
man, of about thirty, with a haughty and almost fierce
array of countenance, dressed in a style of careless
magnificence, which bespoke a love of display rather
than true elegance in his choice of attire. A subdued
smile lurked about his lips, and he seemed intently
occupied in counting the links of a massive gold
chain, which fell over his doublet of three-piled velvet,
studded and gorgeously wrought with jewels and embroidery.
Now and then he would drop his hand
carelessly over the queen's chair-arm, and fix his black
eyes with a bold and admiring gaze on her features, with
a freedom which bespoke more of audacious love, than
of respect for the royal beauty. She not only submitted
to his free glance, but more than once returned it
with one of those looks which had scattered sorrow
through many a Scottish bosom.
Throgmorton sat little apart. He had been speaking
in a strain of calm expostulation; but marking the interchange
of glances between the queen and her haughty
favorite, he became indignant, and addressed Bothwell
with a degree of cutting contempt, which turned
the lurking smile on the nobleman's lip to a curl of
bitter defiance. Heedless of the royal presence, he
stood up, and rudely pushing the council-table from
before him, half drew his sword, as if to punish the
offender upon the spot. Throgmorton endured the
blaze of his large fierce eyes with calm composure,
and deliberately measuring his person from head to
foot with a contemptuous glance, was about to resume
his discourse; but the queen rose from her seat, and
placing her white and jewelled hand persuasively on
Bothwell's arm, she fixed her beautiful eyes full on
his, and uttered a few low words of entreaty; then
turning to the envoy, her exquisite face flushed with anger
and her eyes flashing like diamonds, she exclaimed,
"Leave our presence, sir ambassador, and thank
our moderation that thou art permitted to depart in
safety, after this insult to our most trusty and faithful
follower! Nay, my lord of Bothwell, put thy hand
from that sword-hilt—this matter rests with us—doubt
not, thy honor as well as that of thy mistress shall be
The frowning nobleman pushed back his blade with
a clang, and turned moodily away.
The queen looked on him gravely for a moment, and
then turning to the Englishman proceeded with less of
vehemence than had accompanied her last command.
"The message of our loving cousin has given us a
surfeit of advice. To-morrow we will resume the
subject," she said, forcing one of the resistless smiles,
which she could call up at will, to brighten her lips;
and with a graceful wave of the hand, she motioned
him to withdraw.
The envoy bowed low and left the room without
further speech. But the door was scarcely closed,
when, with sudden self-abandonment, the queen threw
herself into her chair, and burst into a passion of tears.
Bothwell, who was angrily pacing the room, approached,
and sinking to one knee took her hand tenderly in his.
She looked at him a moment through her tears, murmured
a few broken words, and dropping her face to
his shoulder, wept bitterly.
Poor Ellen Craigh witnessed the whole scene. She
heard Bothwell's expressions of soothing endearment,
and saw the beautiful head, with its garniture of brown
tresses, fall with such helpless dependence on his shoulder.
A moment, and the queen drew the snowy
hand, sparkling with tears and jewels, from her eyes,
and sat upright. With a choking sensation the poor
girl gazed on that face, in its transcendent loveliness,
till a mist gathered before her eyes, and the words of
Bothwell came broken and confusedly to her ear.
When they left the oratory a few moments after, her
hand fell nerveless to her side, the tapestry swept over
the door with a rustling sound, and staggering a few
paces into the chamber, she fell her whole length upon
the carpet, her golden hair sweeping back from her
bloodless forehead, her pale lips trembling and her
slight limbs as strengthless as an infant's. Thus she
lay for a time, and then tears gushed profusely from
her shut eyes. After which she arose to a sitting
posture, with her feeble hands twisted the scattered
ringlets round her head, and arose; but so pale, so
wo-begone, her very heart seemed crushed forever.
Dragging herself to her favorite seat in the embrasure
of a window, she leaned her temple against the stained
glass, and murmured—
"Enough!—oh, enough!—I must go home now."
But while the words of misery trembled on her lips, the
door was flung open, and Mary Stewart entered the
apartment. The room was misty with the purple
glow of sunset, and the queen passed her shrinking
attendant without observing her. Hastily advancing to
a table, she took up a golden bird-call, and blew a peremptory
summons; then throwing herself into a chair
which stood opposite a small table, on which glittered the
splendid paraphernalia of a French toilette, she waited
the appearance of her attendants. Ellen Craigh made a
strong effort and arose.
"Ha, art thou there, my mountain-daisy?" said the
queen, looking kindly upon her,—"order lights, and
send back the flock of tire-women my silly whistle
has brought trooping hitherward—no hands but thine
shall robe me to night."
Ellen obeyed, and after a few moments the light
from two large candles of perfumed wax broke over
the little mirror, with its framework of filigree silver,
and flashed upon the golden essence-bottles and scattered
jewels which covered the dressing-table. The
poor waiting-maid drew back from the brilliant glare
with the shudder of a sick heart. The queen looked
on her earnestly for a moment, and then putting the
golden locks back from her temple, as she would have
caressed a child, she said—
"What!—cheeks like new-fallen snow!—lips trembling
like the aspen!—and eye-lashes heavy with
tears!—how is this, child?—but we bethink us;—was
it not some untoward affair of the heart which brought
thee to our court? We have been too negligent;—tell
us thy grief, and on the honor of a queen, if there
be wrong we will have thee bravely righted—so speak
"Oh, no, no!—not here!—never to you."
Here poor Ellen broke off and stood before the
queen, her hands clasped, her lips trembling and her
large supplicating eyes fixed imploringly on her face.
"Well, well," said the queen soothingly, "at some
other time be it—but remember that in Mary Stewart
her attendant may find a safe friend as well as an
indulgent mistress," and shaking her magnificent tresses
over her shoulders, the royal beauty composed herself
for the operations of the toilette.
Ellen gathered up the glossy volumes of hair and
commenced her task. Her limbs shook, a cold moisture
crept over her forehead, and her quivering hands
wandered with melancholy listlessness, through the
mass of shining ringlets it was her duty to arrange.
As she stooped forward in her task, one of her own
fair curls fell down and mingled, like a flash of spun
gold, with those of her mistress. As if there had been
contagion in the touch, she flung it back with a smile
of strange, cold bitterness, the first and last that ever
wreathed her pure lips; for hers was a heart to suffer
and endure, but never to hate; it might break, but no
wrong could harden it.
While her toilette was in progress, Mary became
nervous and restless, now pushing the velvet cushions
from her feet, and then moving the lights about the
dressing-table, as if dissatisfied with the arrangement of
every thing about her. At length she fell back in her
chair, buried her face in her hands, and fairly burst
into tears. Ellen grasped the back of her chair, and
bending her pale face to the queen's ear, murmured—
"Tears are for the deserted—why does the queen
Mary was too deeply engrossed with her own feelings
to mark the exact words, or the tremulous voice
of her attendant. She threw the damp hair back from
her face, and dashing the tears from her eyes exclaimed—
"No, no! it is nothing—proceed—there! let that
ringlet fall thus upon the neck—now our robe, quickly—we
shall be waited for at the banquet."
Ellen brought forth the usual mourning robe of black
velvet, laden with bugles; but a flush of anger, or perhaps
of shame, overspread the queen's face, and with
an impatient gesture she exclaimed—
"Not that, girl—not that—I will mock my heart no
longer!—away with it, and bring a more seemly garment!—the
proud Englishman shall not scoff at our
widow's weeds again."
Ellen obeyed, and the queen was soon robed as she
had desired. Few objects could have been more beautiful
than this dangerous woman, when she arose from
her toilette—the perfect, yet almost voluptuous proportion
of her form betrayed by the snowy robe, her tapering
arms banded with jewels, and her superb waist
bound with a string of immense pearls, clasped in front
by a single diamond, and terminating where the broidery
of her robe commenced, in tassels of threaded
pearls. A tiara of small Scottish thistles, crowded amethysts
and rough emeralds, burned with a purple light
among her curls, and the face beneath seemed scarcely
human, so radiant was its expression, and so beautiful
the perfect harmony of its features. Throwing a
careless glance at the mirror—for Mary was too confident
of her attraction to be fastidious—she took up
her perfumed handkerchief and left the room.
Ellen Craigh gazed after her sovereign till the last
graceful wave of her drapery disappeared; then drawing
a deep breath, as if her heart had thrown off an
oppression quite insupportable, she cast a glance almost
of loathing around the sumptuous apartment, and
entered the oratory. Dropping on her knees by the
chair which Bothwell had occupied, she laid her cheek
on the cushion and wept long and freely, as if the contact
with something he had touched had a softening influence
on her heart. As she arose, the gleam of a
handkerchief lying on the floor attracted her attention.
She snatched it up with a faint cry of joy, for on one
corner she found embroidered an earl's coronet and
the crest of Bothwell. Eagerly thrusting the prize into
her bosom, she left the oratory and passed into the
It was midnight when Mary Stewart returned to her
chamber. The lights were burning dimly on the table,
and an air of gloomy grandeur filled the apartment.
The queen was evidently much distressed; a
deep glow was burning on her cheek, and her usually
smiling eyes were full of a strange excitement. She
snatched up the little golden call as if to give a summons,
and then flung it down again, exclaiming—
"No, no—I could not brook their searching eyes,"
and with a still more disturbed air she paced the chamber,
now and then stopping to divest herself of the ornaments
she had worn at the ambassador's festival.
Perhaps for the first time in her life the agitated
woman unrobed herself, and flinging back the crimson
drapery which fell in heavy masses from the large
square bedstead, threw herself upon the gorgeous
counterpane and buried herself in the folds, as if they
could shut out the evil thoughts that burned in her
heart; but it was in vain that she strove for rest—that
she gathered the rich drapery over her head and
pressed her burning cheek to the pillow; her thoughts
were all alive and astray.
It was a mournful sight—that beautiful and brilliant
woman yielding herself to the thraldom of a wicked
man, and rushing heedlessly to that which was to
throw a stain upon her memory, enduring as history
itself. Sin is hideous in every form—but when it
darkens the bright and beautiful of earth, like a cloud
over the sun, we reproach it for its own blackness, and
doubly for the brightness it conceals.
As the misguided woman lay, with a hand pressed
over her eyes, and one arm, but half divested of its
jewels, flung out with a kind of desperate carelessness
upon the counterpane, the murmur of an infant voice
reached her from a neighboring apartment. She started
up and tears gathered in her eyes.
"Woe is me!" she exclaimed, "this mad passion
makes me forgetful alike of prayer and child."
Folding a dressing-gown about her, she entered the
room whence the sound had come, and reappeared
with an infant boy pressed to her bosom. After kissing
him again and again with a sort of despairing fondness,
she bore him to a recess where a small lamp of
chased silver burned before a crucifix of the same metal,
and an embroidered hassock was placed as if for
devotion. Had she been left alone in the holy stillness
of the night, with her lovely babe upon her bosom,
and the touching symbol of our Saviour's death
before her, the evil influence which was hurrying her
on to ruin might have been counterbalanced; but as
she knelt with the smiling babe lying on the hassock,
her eyes fixed on the crucifix, and the guilty glow ebbing
from her cheeks, the door softly opened, and
the Earl of Bothwell stole into the chamber. Mary
sprang to her feet as if to reprove the insolent intruder,
but a sense of modesty, which in all her follies seemed
never to have left her, succeeded to her indignation, if
indeed she felt any. She glanced at her dishabille
with a painful flush, and hastily seating herself, drew
her uncovered feet, which had been hastily thrust into
a pair of furred slippers, under the folds of her dressing
gown, and then requested him to withdraw, in a
voice which betrayed as much of encouragement as
Without even noticing her request, Bothwell lifted
the boy from the hassock, and seating himself, addressed
her in a low and gentle tone, which he knew well
how to assume. The erring woman listened to the
witchery of his voice, till the unnatural glow again
, and she sat with her eyes fixed on his, as a
beautiful bird yielding to the fascination of a serpent.
"But thy wife," she said in a low irresolute tone,
when Bothwell pressed for a reply to what he had been
urging, "much as Mary may love—much as she may
sacrifice, she cannot thrust a young and loving woman
from a heart she loves and puts her faith in."
"Young and loving!" repeated Bothwell, with a
sneer curling his haughty lip, "young and loving!—truly
your grace must have been strangely misinformed;—she
who styles herself Countess of Bothwell
nearly doubles the age of her unfortunate husband; and
as for love, if she knows any, it is for the broad acres
which own him as their master."
A scarcely perceptible smile dimpled the queen's
mouth, as she heard this account of her rival, but she
made no reply, and Bothwell resumed his tone of earnest
entreaty. As he proceeded, his voice and manner
became more energetic.
"Say that you consent," he said, "say but a word,
and the breath of evil shall never reach you;—say but
your hand is mine as a token of assent, and Bothwell
will worship you like a very slave."
The queen raised her hand, and though it trembled
like an aspen, she placed it in his.
"It is thy queen who is the slave," she murmured
in a broken voice, as Bothwell raised the beautiful
hand to his lips, and covered it with rapturous kisses.
As he relinquished her hand, it came in contact with
that of the child. As if an adder had stung her, she
drew it back, and then with a sudden gush of feeling
snatched the boy to her bosom and covered it with tears
and kisses. Bothwell dreaded the influence of the pure
maternal feeling thus expressed. Gently forcing the
young prince from her embrace, he whispered—
"Trust him to me, dearest—trust him to one who
would spill his heart's blood, rather than give pain to
mother or child," and pressing her hand again to his
lips, the arch-hypocrite left the room with the same
cautious tread he had entered it with.
In a few moments after, he placed the young prince
in charge with a creature in his confidence, saying—
"See to it, that none of the Darnley faction get possession
of the brat,—keep him safe, or strangle him at
On the next day the Earl of Bothwell left Sterling,
and it was whispered that he had been banished from
court through the influence of the English ambassador;
but conjecture was lost in astonishment, and when, two
days after, the court at Sterling was broken up, and
the queen, while on her way to Edinburgh, was met
by Bothwell, with a force of eight hundred men, and
conveyed to Dunbar by seeming violence, men stood
aghast at the news; but those who had marked their
queen closely during the few preceding days, concurred
in the belief that she privately sanctioned the disgraceful
It was a gloomy and ancient pile—that in which
Bothwell had left his deserted wife. In one of its
apartments, beside a huge fire-place, in which a few
embers smouldered in a sea of ashes, sat an old and
wrinkled woman, spreading her withered palms for
warmth, and occasionally turning a wistful look to the
narrow windows, against which the rain and sleet were
beating with real violence. As she listened, the tramp
of approaching horses was heard in the court below,
and before she had time to reach the door, it was flung
open, and the Countess of Bothwell, dripping with wet
and tottering with fatigue, flung herself into the arms
of her old nurse.
"Sorrow on me," exclaimed the good woman, striving
to speak cheerful, "how the child clings to my
neck!—look up, lady-bird, and do not sob so—I know
but too well how thy journey has speeded—may the
curses of an old woman rest——"
"Oh, Mabel, Mabel, do not curse him—do not—we
cannot love as we will," exclaimed the poor countess,
clinging to the bosom of the old woman, as if to bribe
her from finishing the anathema.
"Hush, darling, hush," replied old Mabel, pressing
her withered lips fondly to the pure forehead of her
foster-child—"he who could help loving thee——but
hist, what is all this tramping in the court?—sit down,
and I will soon learn."
The old woman divested the trembling young creature
of her wet cloak and proceeded to the hall. After
a few minutes absence she returned dreadfully agitated;
her sunken eyes glowed like live coals, and her
bony fingers were clenched together as a bird clutches
"My own darling," she said in a voice which she
vainly strove to render steady, "I had thought not to
have given his cruel message, but——"
"Speak on," said the poor young creature, raising
her large eyes with the expression of a scared antelope,
"I can bear any thing now."
But she broke off with a sudden and joyful cry, for
the door had been cautiously opened, and her long
absent husband stood before her. Forgetful of his
estrangement—of his unkindness—of every thing but
his early love—she sprang eagerly to his bosom and
kissed him again and again, with the abandonment of
a joyful child. It must have been a heart of stone
which could have resisted such unbounded tenderness.
For one moment, and but for one, she was pressed to
her husband's heart, and then he put her coldly away.
"How is it that I find your lady here, after my
express command to the contrary?" he said, sternly
addressing the old nurse, while he forced the clinging
arms of the countess from his neck.
The poor young creature shrunk from his look, like
a flower touched by a sudden frost. Mabel threw her
arm around her, and forced her to confront her angry
"Why is she here!" shouted the old woman fiercely,
"why is she here, in her own home!—because I
could not, would not kill her with her base lord's message!—What!
break her heart, and then thrust her
forth to die?—Villain!—double-dyed and cowardly
villain!—may the curses of a——"
Before the old woman could finish her anathema,
the enraged Earl had stricken her grey head to the
floor. The frightened countess fell on her knees beside
her; but, with a terrible imprecation, Bothwell commanded
his attendants to bear his victim from the room,
and sternly ordered his trembling wife to remain.
"As you are here," he said, "it is not essential that
we meet again; your signature is necessary to this
paper; please to affix it without useless delay."
The countess took the paper, which was a petition
to the Commissariot-Court for a divorce from her husband.
Before she had read the first line, every drop
of blood ebbed from her face. She did not faint, but
with a degree of energy foreign to her character,
she grasped the paper in her hands, as if about to tear
it. The Earl seized her wrist, and fiercely demanded
"Never—never!" exclaimed the poor wife, struggling
in his grasp—"Oh, Bothwell, you cannot wish
it—you that so loved me—you that promised to love
me forever and ever—no, no! you do not mean it—you
cannot put your poor wife away thus!—I know
that the little beauty you once prized is gone, but tears
and sorrow have dimmed it;—bear with me but a little
longer—say that you love me yet, and my bloom will
come again;—look at me, Bothwell, husband, dear
husband! and say that you did not mean it—that you
gave me that horrid paper to frighten me—say but
that, and your poor Ellen will worship you forever!"
This energetic appeal had its effect, even in the hard
hearted Earl. He endured, and even partially returned
the passionate caress with which she had accompanied
her words; and when she fell back exhausted
in his arms, he bore her to a seat and placed himself
"Ellen," he said, "I will deal candidly with you—I
do love you, and have, even while in pursuit of another;
but you have yet to learn that there is a stronger
passion than love—ambition!"
"You do love me—bless you, bless you! Bothwell,
for saying so much," she eagerly exclaimed, the affectionate
young creature snatching his hand between both
hers, and covering it with joyful kisses.
But her joy was of short duration. As the serpent
uncoils its glittering folds, so did Bothwell lay bare the
depravity and ambition of his heart. Artifice, persuasion
and threats were used, and at length he prevailed.
The petition for a divorce was signed; but the heart of
the poor countess was broken by the effort.
It is almost useless to tell the reader, that the queen
of Scots had consented to accompany Bothwell to his
castle, but with the appearance of compulsion, on the
night of his intrusion into her chamber. It was to prepare
for the disgraceful visit, that he had sent orders
for the expulsion of his unfortunate wife—orders which
old Mabel had never delivered; and now that he had
gained his object, in obtaining her signature to the petition,
he proceeded to give directions for the castle to
be put in order, for the reception of the royal guest.
These arrangements occupied him during most of the
night. At length, weary with exertion, he fell asleep
in his chair. It was morning when he awoke. The
light came softly through a neighboring window, and
there, at his feet, with her head resting on his knees,
and her thin, pale face turned toward him, lay his wife,
asleep. Rest had quieted his ambitious thoughts. He
was alone, in the stillness of a new day, with the gentle
victim of his aspiring passions lying at his feet,
grieved and heart-broken, her eyelids heavy with weeping,
and every limb betraying the sorrow which preyed
upon her. For a moment his heart relented, and a hot
tear fell among her golden curls. Gently, as a mother
would remove a sleeping infant, he raised her head,
laid it on the cushion of his chair, and left her to her
On the next day the Countess of Bothwell left the
castle with her nurse, and not three hours after, Mary
Stewart entered it in company with its wicked lord.
On the fourth day of Mary's sojourn at Dunbar, she,
with the ladies of her train, joined in a stag hunt, which
the Earl had ordered for their entertainment. The
excitement of the chase had drawn Bothwell, for a
moment, from her bridal rein, when an old woman
came from a neighboring hut, and in a few ungracious
words, invited the queen to rest a while. Mary gracefully
accepted the offered courtesy, and some of her
attendants would have followed her to the hut; but the
old woman motioned them back with a haughty wave
of her hand, and conducted the queen alone. There
was no vestige of furniture in the room, except two
small stools and a narrow bed, on which the outlines
of a human form were visible. Grasping the queen's
hand firmly in her own, the old woman drew her to the
bed, and throwing back a sheet, pointed with her long
fleshless finger to the form of a shrouded female.
"Look!" she sternly exclaimed, fixing her keen eyes
on the face of the queen.
Mary looked with painful interest on the thin face,
as white and cold as alabaster, with the golden hair
parted from the pure forehead, and a holy quiet settled
on every beautiful feature. White roses were scattered
over the pillow, and the repose of the dead was
heavenly. Mary bent over the corpse, and her tears
fell fast and thick among the fresh flowers.
"Alas, my poor Ellen!" she said, turning to the
woman, who stood like a statue pointing sternly to the
body, "of what did she die?"
"Of a broken heart!" replied the nurse coldly, and
with the same icy composure which had marked her
conduct, she led her royal visitor to the door, without
speaking another word.
Had she explained that Ellen Craigh and the Countess
of Bothwell were the same person, regret for the
evil she had wrought might have checked Mary in her
career of folly. But the death of the deserted wife
was kept a secret among the few faithful followers who
had accompanied her in her wild expedition to Mary's
court, and the nurse, on whose bosom she had yielded
up her life. While the courts of Scotland were agitated
with the divorce of Bothwell, the haughty man
little knew that his gentle wife had ceased to feel his