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'Steer to that shore !'-they sail. 'Do this !'-'tis done.
And all obey, and few inquire his will.
The power of Thought, the magic of the Mind!
1 Curious to say, this name or title of Bothwell was spelled in documents of the time in twenty-four different ways.
"Alphonse de Lamartine, in his "Marie Stuart," or Regina," says that Byron predicated his poem, "The Corsair," on the maritime career of Bothwell, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, with whose wife, Lady Jane Gordon (divorced to enable the Earl to marry Mary Stuart), the poet was indirectly connected through his mother's ancestry. See letters of Sir Gilbert Elliot (first Earl of Minto, 1, 2, note and 24, note), said to be kin, by some line of descent, with John Elliot, of the
THERE are few facts in history which are so startling as the general ignorance of the reading classes as to the real portraiture of some of the most remarkable characters who in so many cases have influenced nations, and in a few instances the world. These few resemble mountains like Ararat, which until within a few years have scarcely been explored at all, and have only been ascended by a small group of daring men. There are others, again, like Mount St. Elias, that loom up through centuries as that volcano is visible for an immense distance, yet has neither been climbed nor examined. In many respects the greatest man in history, with the exception of St. Paul, was Hannibal, and yet how very, very little is known of him except through his enemies, whose instincts and interests compelled a misrepresentation of him. It is true that in his case his own language, not only as a living and a dead one,―i.e., in speech and writing, and every exemplar of the Punic records, has perished from the face of the earth. He wrote his name, however, in blood and desolation so indelibly that his victories and his stratagems are "Household Words." The proverb "Hannibal ad portas" still signifies the presence of a terror imminent and dreadful. His wisdom, his virtues, how few are aware of them! And yet in both he was as pre-eminent as in valor and victory. He was a victim of the "Irony of Fate" and of the vices and virulence of political faction. He was greatest when no longer victorious, and the expression "Hannibal's Ring" signifies at once the refuge of despair and the ever-ready resource by which escape is only possible from the meanness and malice of triumphant enmity. Like the greatest Carthaginian, the greatest German, Frederick the Nonpareil, carried ever with him poison in a ring, determined not to survive the last humiliation. Hannibal was compelled to use it, Frederick was not. GOD willed it to be so. That is the only possible explanation.
Another of the same unhappy class is Richard III. of England. His character is the synonym for all that is bad except cowardice. Is this the true verdict?
"No! by St. Bride of Bothwell! No!"
The exact reverse is most probably the fact. Whence, then, is the popular and erroneous opinion derived? From Shakspeare's tragedy.
Park, the celebrated Borderer or Outlaw, who claimed to be, if not the head of his name, at least the chief of a powerful branch of the Elliots, and by hereditary right Captain of Hermitage Castle, and who was killed in a personal encounter with Bothwell near Hermitage Castle, in Liddelsdale.
This way of judging Bothwell from the nineteenth century standpoint of morality is ridiculous. He must be judged or gauged by his times. Some of the worthies of England were pirates, as he is falsely charged to have been, or, worse, abettors of piracy, sharing proceeds but not dangers. Hawkins, a great English admiral, was a kidnapper of negroes and father of the English-African slave-trade.
Was Shakspeare honest in his convictions? There are many reasons to believe he was not. He was a courtier. His success depended on the favor of a circle of influential men, who themselves were neither more nor less than sycophants of a Queen whose favorite food was fulsome flattery. No extreme of that cloying sweetness was unpalatable. Richard III. was the head of the House of York, Elizabeth's grandfather of the House of Lancaster. Richard had been one of the most potent factors in the Wars of the Roses, which for twenty-four years drove forth the Lancasterian Line and occupied their throne. If Richard was the rightful monarch, Henry VII. was a rebel and a usurper, and Elizabeth, branded with bastardy by a party at home and a creed everywhere, was likewise not the legitimate tenant of her royal seat. Shakspeare did not dare to do Richard justice, and his genius, perverted in this instance to a cruel crime, painted his historical picture to please the woman who wielded the sceptre with more than ordinary masculine force. The great Marlborough stated that all that he knew of English history was derived from Shakspeare's plays. How many who would not admit this truth are nevertheless under the same mesmeric influence? Physically Richard was not the deformity of popular conception. In many respects he was handsome. His mental gifts have never been denied. His intelligence was very extraordinary. In every kind of courage he was a hero. What remains to be examined? His morals. By what rule are they to be judged? His own dark era, or by the present of electric lights? The writer has examined several works which completely clear Richard from the crimes imputed to him. As was said of Louis Philippe, years after he was driven forth, "France will yet inscribe him among her good kings." Had Richard conquered at Bosworth Field, there is little question but that instead of being condemned he would have been "crowned"-to use the word in the French sense in regard to a successful competitor in art, science, or general literature-by posterity. These preliminary remarks must serve as a preface to the subject of this article, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. The intention has been to lead up, step by step, the reader's attention to the consideration that follows. The Battle of Bosworth was fought 22d August, 1485. Just eighty-two years afterwards an engagement occurred in Scotland, at Carberry Hill, 15th June, 1567, which was equally decisive of the ascendency of two men, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, and James Stuart, Earl of Murray. The former, the most manly, like Richard III., lost his cause, and, like the Yorkist scion also, has been handed down to posterity blackened and blasted by a fury of obloquy as entirely false as utterly undeserved in many respects. The latter, like Henry VII., was as cunning as a fox, ever "looking through his fingers" at evil deeds by which he expected to profit without exposing his fingers to the heat by which the chestnuts for his eating were being roasted. It