페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

called Pierrot, who were objects of great suspicion and jealousy, respecting her jewels. The desire of the king that his consort should make a will was most likely because such document would have been accompanied by schedules of her jewels, which remained at the mercy of these persons. The archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London had previously taken upon themselves to hint at the propriety of her majesty making a will, by exhorting her on the uncertainty of human life, and the necessity for every sick person to set their affairs in order. The queen, however, would not take any hint that she was near death, and observed, "that they spoke thus because their visit happened to be on Candlemas, (February 2,) which," she added, "the English usually called the dismal day.'"1

Like many persons who have declined long, she was carried off suddenly, at last. Notwithstanding all the jealousies regarding her attachment to the catholic church, she died in edifying communion with the church of England, as distinctly specified by an eye-witness.2

"She was reasonably well recovered to the eyes of all that saw her, and came to her withdrawing-chamber, (drawing-room,) and to her gallery, every day almost, yet still so weak of her legs, that she could hardly stand; neither had she any stomach for her meat, for six weeks before she died. But this was only known to your countryman, Pira (Pierre), and the Dutch (Danish) woman that serves her in her chamber." This was Danish Anna, of whom mention has been made at her Scotch coronation. "They kept all close from the physicians, and everybody else; none saw her eat but these two. Meanwhile, she was making preparation for a visit from the king of Denmark, whom she expected to receive at her house at Oatlands, when a cough, that often troubled her, suddenly took the form of a consumptive cough, in February, while she was still at Hampton Court. She took to her bed, but

first had the bed she 'luved best set up.'

The queen's physicians were Dr. Mayerne, Dr. Atkins, and Dr. Turner; and it is a very curious circumstance that they had all been recommended to her "by sir Walter Raleigh, because they knew his secrets and medicaments of physics."3

The queen became worse after taking possession of her favourite bed, and desired her son to be sent for, and he came to her directly, but the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London preceded him, coming to wait on her accidentally; when she heard they were desirous of seeing her, she requested their presence, and they came in, and knelt by her bedside.

"Madam," said one of them, "we hope that as your majesty's strength fails outwardly, the better part grows stronger." They said a prayer, and, word by word, she followed them. Then the archbishop said, "Madam, we hope your majesty doth not trust to your own merits, nor to the merits of saints, but only to the blood and merits of our

'Chamberlayne's letter to sir Dudley Carlton.

"Abstracted from a letter to a French lady, from one of the queen's attendants, printed in the Miscellany of the Abbotsford Club, pp. 81-83.

3 Letter of Gerard Herbert to Dr. Ward. Court of James, by bishop Goodman, vol. ii., p. 187.

Saviour." "I do," she answered, and withal she said, "I renounce the mediation of saints and my own merits, and only rely on my Saviour Christ, who has redeemed my soul by his blood." Which declaration gave great satisfaction to the prelates and those who heard her.

66

Charles, prince of Wales, her son, then arrived; he was conducted to her, and she welcomed him, and asked him, "How he did?" He answered, "At her service," and a few trifling questions passed cheerfully. The queen, who seems to have dreaded the presence of the great crowds, which, in those days, ever surrounded the death-beds of royal persons, implored him to go home. "No," replied Charles, “I will stay to wait upon your majesty." "I am a pretty piece to wait upon, servant," replied the dying queen, calling her son by a pet name, derived from the code of chivalry, she ever used in their affectionate intercourse.' She then implored him to go to his own chamber, and she would send for him soon. He obeyed her unwillingly. The archbishop then said to her, "Madam, all I have to say to your majesty isyour heart upon God, and remember your poor servants." She knew he meant to urge her to make a will-a measure, it seems, that the two domestics, to whom she utterly consigned herself in private, were most unwilling she should take, lest they should be forced to account for treasures in their rapacious hands. "I pray you," replied the queen, "to go home now, and I will see you on Wednesday." This was Monday afternoon, and all about plainly discerned, that, by the time she named, she would be with the dead. The archbishop left the royal chamber, but the bishop of London, "a very good man," still lingered, as loth to depart.

set

"Madame,"

heart on God."

he said, "heed not the transitory things, but set your

"I do," she answered, yet still bade him, “Go home, and come again on Wednesday night."

"No," he answered, "I will stay and wait upon your majesty this night."

Her desire to have them gone, she said, was because she knew there was no proper lodgings for them prepared; and she felt no symptoms of dissolution.

The prince retired to his chamber, the archbishop returned home, but the bishop of London remained at Hampton Court. The lords in attendance went to supper, and all the queen's ladies, among whom, the principal in waiting were, the countesses of Arundel and Bedford, and lady Carey. The countess of Derby arrived, that afternoon, and earnestly entreated to see the queen, who declined the interview, yet, on lady Derby's extreme importunity, admitted her, and after asking her two or

1It was etiquette for Anne of Denmark's correspondents to style themselves her servants, not her subjects. Lord Carlisle said, that at her first coming to England, a courtier had termed himself her subject at the end of a letter, on which king James either put himself into a great passion, or affected to be in one, and vowed "he would hang the writer." The circumstance seems to have passed into a household jest in the royal family; indeed, a great many stories of James I., gravely told by historians as portentous truths, indicative of cruelty and tyranny, were merely dry gibes of the royal humorist.

three merry (cheerful) questions, begged her to go to her supper. After supper-time, prince Charles entered her chamber, and spoke to her, but, at her earnest entreaty, retired soon.

All her attendants were most desirous for her to make her will, but she prayed them to let her alone till the morrow, when she would. She was cold and pale, but her voice was strong; none durst come into her chamber, for fear of offending her, it being against her will; yet all stayed in the ante-chamber, till she sent a positive command for it to be cleared, and all to go to bed, forbidding any watch to be held. Her physicians came to her, at twelve o'clock; when they were gone, she called to her maid, Danish Anna, that sat by her bed, and bade her fill some drink to wash her mouth; she brought her a glass of Rhenish wine. The queen drank it all out, and said to her woman, "Now have I deceived the physicians." She bade Danish Anna lock the door, and keep all out that were out.' "Now," she said, "lay down by me, and sleep, for in seeing you repose, I shall feel disposed to sleep." Scarcely a quarter of an hour had passed, when she roused her woman, and bade her bring some water to wash her eyes; with the water, Danish Anna brought a candle, but the darkness of death had invaded the eyes of the queen, and she saw not the light, but still bade a candle be brought. 66 Madame," ," said Danish Anna," there is one here-do you not see it?" "No," said the queen. Then her confidential attendant, finding that death was on her royal mistress, was terrified lest she should die locked up alone with her. She unlocked the doors, and called the physicians, they gave the queen a cordial, and sent for the prince, and the lords and ladies of the household. The clock then struck one. The queen's hand was then placed on prince Charles's head, and she distinctly gave him her blessing. The lords presented a paper to her, which she signed as she could. It was her will, in which she left her property to her son, likewise rewards to her servants. The bishop of London made a prayer, and her son, and all about her bed, prayed. Her speech was gone, but the bishop said, "Madame, make a sign, that your majesty is one with your God, and long to be with him." She then held up her hands, and when one hand failed, held up the other, till both failed. In the sight of all, her heart, her eyes, her tongue, was fixed on God; while she had strength, and when sight and speech failed, her hands were raised to him in supplication. And, when all failed, the bishop made another prayer; and she laid so pleasantly in her bed, smiling as if she had no pain, only at the last, she gave five or six little moans, and had the happiest going out of the world, that any one ever had. Two days after, her corpse looked better than she had done at any time within this two years. "Her loss was almost absorbed by dread of a greater loss, the king was extremely ill, and never king bewailed more than he; but, praise be to God, on Good-Friday he began to recover and now, thank God, is past fear !" 3

[blocks in formation]

2 Letter in the collection of the Abbotsford Club, dated March 27, 1619.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The queen's body was brought by water-procession from Hampton Court to Somerset House, where it laid in state till the 13th of May, the day of burial. The royal corpse was attended to the grave by most of the nobility then sojourning in London; yet an eye-witness observed, that it was but a drawling, tedious sight, and though the number of the lords and ladies was very great, yet they made but a poor show, being all apparelled alike in black; and they came lagging, tired with the length of the way, (from Somerset House to Westminster Abbey,) and the weight of their mourning, every private lady having twelve yards of broadcloth about her, and the countesses had sixteen yards of the same, a great weight to carry at a walking funeral in May. The countess of Arundel was chief lady-mourner, being supported by the duke of Lenox and the marquis of Hamilton, (both relatives of the royal family of Stuart;) the other ladies who followed, had some one to lean on, or they could not have borne up, on account of the weight of their garments. Charles, prince of Wales, came after the archbishop of Canterbury, who was to preach the funeral sermon, and went before the corpse, which was drawn by six horses. The queen's palfrey was led by her master of horse, sir Thomas Somerset. The banners of the Goths and Vandals were carried by the heralds, at this funeral, among the banners of Anne of Denmark's German and northern alliances. Her corpse was carried to the grave by sir Edward Bushel, and nine other knights of her household.'

The queen had never visited Scotland since she left it; but her death was duly commemorated there, when the tidings of it arrived. Lord Binning wrote to king James, "that when the sorrowful news of his blessed queen's death came to Edinburgh, he had sent to the magistrates, and to Mr. Patrick Galloway, and the other ministers, that honourable remembrance might be made, in their sermons, of her majesty's virtuous life, and Christian death." "

The poets in England offered many tributes to her memory. Camden has preserved two elegiac epitaphs, which possess some elegance of thought:

ÉPITAPH OF ANNE OF DENMARK.3

"March, with his winds, hath struck a cedar tall,·
And weeping April mourns that cedar's fall;
And May intends no flowers her month shall bring,
Since she must lose the flower of all the spring:
Thus March's winds hath caused April's showers,
And yet sad May must lose her flower of flowers."

'Camden's MS. in Harl. MSS., 5176. A tragic accident happened to a spectator of the queen's funeral, who lost his life in a strange manner. He was standing on a scaffold, raised underneath Northumberland House, in the Strand, when some persons, leaning over the leads to get a better view of the procession, knocked a gigantic letter from an inscription, which then went round the structure. It fell on the gentleman below, and gave him a mortal blow on the head. He was carried into St. Martin's churchyard, and presently expired, surrounded by a crowd of persons. A scrivener's wife, who witnessed the dreadful occurrence, was literally terrified to death, for she died directly she returned home. (Nichols' Progresses.) Camden's Remains, 397.

"Melross Papers, p. iii.

Another, in which is an allusion to the comet, supposed to forebode

her death:

"Thee to invite, the great God sent a star;

His nearest friend and kin good princes are,
Who, though they run their race of man and die,
Death serves but to refine their majesty;

So did our queen her court from hence remove,

And left this earth, to be enthroned above;

Then she is changed, not dead,-no good prince dies,
But, like the sun, doth only set to rise."

The king arrived at Greenwich a few days after his queen's funeral. "All her coffers and cabinets were brought from Somerset House, in four carts, and delivered, by inventory, to his majesty, by sir Edward Coke and the queen's auditor. The king examined all. He found that the queen had received from Herrick, her jeweller,' thirty-six thousand pounds' worth of jewels, of which no vestige appeared. The jeweller produced the models, and swore to the delivery of the property. Pierrot, the queen's French attendant, and her favourite maid, Danish Anna, were suspected of the embezzlement of these jewels, and of a vast mass of ready money, which their royal mistress was supposed to have hoarded. Both were examined, and afterwards committed to the custody of justice Doubleday, to be privately imprisoned in his house. But it does not appear that any trace was ever gained of the missing treasure." 2

Anne of Denmark's hearse remained standing over the place of her interment, at Westminster Abbey, the whole of the reign of James I. It was destroyed during the civil wars, with many a funeral memento of more durable materials. She had no other monument. Her death occurred in the forty-sixth year of her age. She left but two living children, Charles, prince of Wales, afterwards Charles I., and Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, both of them singularly unfortunate. James I. survived his consort seven years; he never encouraged the idea of a second marriage; but the manners of his court became extremely gross and unrefined, for ladies no longer came there, after the death of Anne of Denmark.

1 Father to the elegant poet, Robert Herrick, one of the ornaments of that brilliant literary era.

2 Birch's MSS. Brit. Museum.

END OF VOL. VII.

« 이전계속 »