Sunday, December 5, 2010

Francis II of France

Francis II lived only 16 years, succeeding his father Henry II, dying of illness on December 5, 1560.  He is remembered mainly for being the king-consort to Mary Queen of Scots (from 1548), and her first husband.  Sir Walter Scott includes reference to Francis in the speech of Mary, in "The Abbot", which covers the time after Mary's escape from Lochleven:

"Look--look at him well," said the Queen, "thus has it been with all who loved Mary Stewart!--The royalty of Francis, the wit of Chastelar, the power and gallantry of the gay Gordon, the melody of Rizzio, the portly form and youthful grace of Darnley, the bold address and courtly manners of Bothwell--and now the deep-devoted passion of the noble Douglas--nought could save them!--they looked on the wretched Mary, and to have loved her was crime enough to deserve early death! No sooner had the victim formed a kind thought of me, than the poisoned cup, the axe and block, the dagger, the mine, were ready to punish them for casting away affection on such a wretch as I am!--Importune me not--I will fly no farther--I can die but once, and I will die here."

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