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TO THE READER.
It is altogether needless, the Editor conceives, to enter into an elaborate disquisition of the superlative beauty and fascinating accomplishments of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, who was (from every account that has been transmitted to us by historians of her own period) so irresistibly seductive, as to inspire with love every object that came within the vortex of her transcendent charms. *
Of the numerous individuals that were sacrificed at the shrine of Mary's beauty, none is more calculated to excite our sympathetic commiseration, than the ill-fated youth, a detail of whose sufferings
* Nothing can possibly convey to us a better idea of the loveliness of Mary, that the exquisite picture of her now preserved, in the possession of the Duke of Dorset, at his mansion at Knowle, in Kent.
form the ground-plan of the present work ; under this impression, the Editor has been induced to give the following pages to the world, fully conscious that he could not have a more weighty plea for the success of the work than his appeal to the commiseration of a British public.
· If, therefore, in perusing this translation of the woes of CHATELAR, the reader should be prompted to drop the tributary tear, and partake with the sufferer in those painful and conflicting agonies which form the basis of his pathetic appeal, the labour which the Editor has bestowed on this work will be amply compensated, as the Effusions of the love-sick Chatelar are only addressed to such as can shed the tear of tender sympathy, to the memory of the child of accumulated misfortune, unconquerable but hopeless love, and an untimely grave!
Ir is well known that the Scotch College, at Paris, contains a vast collection of manuscripts relative to the house of Stuart, which would greatly tend to illustrate many very momentous periods of the English history, and in particular the lives of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scotland, and her unfortunate grandson, Charles the First, of martyred memory.
The Editor of the ensuing pages being well aware of this fact, and having for a series of years been a resident at Paris, endeavoured for a conside. rable time to gain permission, in order to inspect these invaluable documents ; but the very
unsettled state of political affairs in that capital, and the jarring factions which almost hourly succeeded each other in Paris for the space of five years, wholly prevented the execution of the Editor's plan, which he, however, found means to effect, through the
medium of Monsieur de M- who was then high in power, but who has since shared the fate of so many of his revolutionary friends-upon a public scaffold.
It might naturally be conjectured, that the then posture of affairs in Paris did not leave the reigning factions much leisure time to think of ma. nuscripts appertaining to the house of Stuart, and such was indeed the Editor's opinion on procuring the permission to inspect them; but in this conjecture he found himself altogether mistaken, his conduct being observed with the utmost scrutiny, by which means he was scarcely permitted to make a single extract, till his frequent attendances at the Scotch College at length wearied his conductor ; added to which, the more weighty persuasion of British gold, which the Editor threw into the scale, gained him the preponderance in the conductor's good graces ; and by this means he was at full liberty to make such transcripts as appeared to him of an interesting nature or a novel cast.
The manuscripts in question contain abundance of political information, and much private anecdote, particularly in those letters which passed
between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Catharine de Medicis; there are also poetical effusions of the Scottish queen, written in French and Italian, which the Editor intends presenting to the world on a future occasion, should this volume meet the approbation of the public.
The account of the sufferings of CHATELAR are written by himself in the form of fragments, inscribed to Mary, Queen of Scotland, and were, it is said, sent to her by the unfortunate youth during the short confinement which preceded his exe. cution, as appears by one of his effusions at the end of this work.
The original manuscript and poems are written throughout in the Gallic language, which the Editor has endeavoured to put into a modern English dress, as the idiom of the French is so much altered, that a native of France, in the present day, would find it rather difficult to comprehend the meaning of many parts of the diary of Chatelar, as written by himself.
Should the Editor have succeeded in his attempt, so far as to extend to his countrymen a portion of that melancholy pleasure he experienced on the