Stuart, 1586-87 to her cousin the duke of Guise
For myself, I am resolute to die for my religion. . . With God's help, I
shall die in the Catholic faith and to maintain it constantly. . .without
doing dishonour to the race of Lorraine, who are accustomed to die the
sustenance of the faith.
Stuart in response to the pre-trial disputation
I am myself a Queen, the daughter of a King, a stranger, and the true
kinswoman of the Queen of England. I came to England on my cousin' promise
of assistance against my enemies and rebel subjects and was at once
imprisoned. . . . As an absolute Queen, I cannot submit to orders, nor can
I submit to the laws of the land without injury to myself, the Kind my son
and all other sovereign princes. . . . For myself I do not recognize the
laws of England nor do I know or understand them as I have often asserted.
I am alone, without counsel, or anyone to speak on my behalf. My papers
and notes have been taken form me, so that I am destitute of all aid,
taken at a disadvantage.
Elizabeth in a letter to
You have planned in divers ways and manners to take my life and to ruin my
kingdom by the shedding of blood. . . .I never proceeded so harshly
against you; on the contrary, I have maintained you and preserved you life
with the same care which I use for myself . . But answer fully and you may
receive greater favor from us.
Mary at her trial
"Ah, here are many counselors, but not one for me."
"I do not deny that I have earnestly wished for liberty and done my
utmost to procure it for myself. In this I acted from a very natural
"Can I be responsible for the criminal projects of a few desperate
men, which they planned without my knowledge or participation? "
"My advancing age and bodily weakness both prevent me from wishing
to resume the reins of government. I have perhaps only two or three
years to live in this world, and I do not aspire to any public position,
especially when I consider the pain and desperance which meet those who
wish to do right, and act with justice and dignity in the midst of so
perverse a generation, and when a whole world is full of crimes and
"I do not desire vengeance. I leave it to Him who is the just
Avenger of the innocent and of those who suffer for His Name under whose
power I will take shelter. I would rather pray with Esther than take the
sword with Judith."
Mary Start on
being show her death warrant
I thank you for such welcome news. You will do me great good in
withdrawing me from this world out of which I am very glad to go.
Well Jane Kennedy. . Did I not tell you this would happen?. . . I knew
they would never allow me to live, I was too great an obstacle to their
It was Mary's triumph that by her
deliberate behavior in the last months of her existence, she managed
to convert a life story which had hitherto shown all the elements of a
Greek tragedy—disaster leading ineluctably to disaster—into something
which ended instead in the classic Christian manner of martyrdom and
triumph through death. This transfiguration in the last months of her
life, which has the effect of altering the whole balance of her story,
was no fortunate accident. The design was her.
Court Theatre Chicago, 16.07.02)