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Friedrich Schiller: Maria Stuart

About Elizabeth, and in her own words

  Christopher Ashton, conspirator. 1555
. . for I tell you true, that the Lady Elizabeth is a jolly liberal dame, and nothing so unthankful as her sister is; and she taketh this liberality of her mother, who was one of the beautifullest women in her time or since; and then shall men of good service and gentlemen be esteemed.

Feria, servant of Philip II
There is not a heretic or traitor in all the kingdom, who has not joyfully raised himself from the grave in order to come to her [Elizabeth's] side . . . .[but] she is determined to be governed by not one.

King Henri IV, formerly Henri of Navarre
She is a knight, because of her gay and indomitable spirit. She hath defended herself against two of the greatest kings (of France and Spain) in the world.

Elizabeth to Burghley
With your head and my purse, I could do anything.

Hubert Languet writing to Augustus, Duke of Saxony, 15 June, 1561
The English leaders had made it plain to her that her too great familiarity with my Lord Robert Dudley displease them and that they would by no means allow him to we her. . .The Queen replied. . . that she have never thought of contracting a marriage with my Lord Robert; but she was more attached to him than to any of the others because when she was deserted by everybody in the reign of her sister not only did he never lessen in any degree his kindness and humble attention to her, but he even sold his possessions that he might assist her with money, and therefore she thought it just that she should make some return for his good faith and constancy.

Queen Elizabeth, 5 November 1566
I say again, I will marry as soon as I can conveniently, if God take not him away with who I mind to marry, or myself, or else some other great let happen. I can say no more, except the party were present. And I hope to have children, otherwise I would never marry.
A strange order of petitioners, that will make a request and cannot be otherwise ascertained by their Prince's word, and yet will not believe it when it is spoken! Buy they, I think, that moveth the same will be ready to mislike him with whom I shall marry as they are not to move it. . .
Your petition is to deal in the limitation of the succession. At this present it is not convenient; nor never shall be without some peril unto you and certain danger to me. But were it not for your peril, at this time I would give place, notwithstanding my danger. Your perils are a sundry way; for some may be touched, who rest no in such terms with us as is not meet to be disclosed, either in the Commons house or in the Upper House. But as soon as there may be a convenient time, and that it may be done with least peril unto you—although never without great danger unto me—I will deal therein for your safety.

Queen Elizabeth, 1599
In the end, this shall be fore me sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare that a queen, having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin.

Mary Stuart in Paris, 1599
The Queen of England is about to marry her horsemaster [Dudley].

Robert Dudley
I have known her, from her eighth year, better than any man upon earth. From that date she has invariably declared that she would remain unmarried.

Antonia Frasier

It was Mary the prisoner at Fotheringhay who was calm and tranquil, who wrote her letters, considered how she could best dispose her affairs for her servants, contemplated her crucifix, and showed herself more joyous than she had been for years. It was Elizabeth the jailer, in London, muttering to herself aut fer aut feri, in feriare, fre – suffer or strike, strike or be struck – who suffered the torments of indecision.

(zit. n. Court Theatre Chicago, 16.07.02))


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