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earnestly requesting him to haist the end of the hunting, that he might ryde the sooner to Sanet-Johnstoun : So as, at the death of the buck, his Maiestie, not staying vppon the curie of the deit, as his se is, scarcelie took time to alight, awaiting vppon the comming of a fresh horse to ryde on, the greatnesse of the chase having weried his horse. But the said maister Alexander would not suffer the King to stay in the parke, where the buck was killed, whil his fresh horse, which was alredy sent for, was brought out of the equery to him, although it was not two flight shot of bounds betwixt the part, where the buck was killed, and his Maiesties equerie ; but, with verie importunitie, forced his Majestie to leap on againe vpon that same horse, that hee had hunted all the day vppon, his freshe horse beeing made to gallop a myle of the way to ouertake him ; his Maiestie not staying so much as vppon his sword, nor whil the Duke and the Earle of Mar, with diuerse gentlemen in his companie, had changed their horses ; onlie saying vnto them, that hee was to ryde to Sanct-Iohnstoun to speak with the Earle of Gowry, and that hee would bee presently back againe before euen. Whereupon, some of the court galloped backe to Falkland, as fast as they could, to change their horses, and could not ouertake his Majestie, whill he come within four myle of Sanct-lohnstoob. Others raid fordward with their horses, weried as they were, wherof some were compelled to alight by the way; and, if they had not both refreshed their horses, bled them, and giuen them some grasse by the way, they had not carried them to Sanct-Iohnstoun. The cause of bis Maiesties seruands following so fast, vndesired by him, being onlie grounded vpon a suspition they had concealed, that his Maiesties intention of ryding was for the apprehension of the maister of Oliphant, one who had latelie donc a vyle and proud oppression in Angus ; for repairing of the which, they thoght, that his Maiestie had some purpose for his apprehension. But the said maister Alexander, seeing the Duke and the Earle of Mar, with divers other of the court, getting fresh horses for following of bis Maiestie, earnestlie desired him, that hee would publish to his whole traine, that, since he was to returne the same cuening, as is before said, they needed not to follow him; especiallie, that he thought it meesest, that his Majestic should stay the Duke and the Earle of Mar to follow him, and that he should onlie take three or four of his owne meané seruands with him ; affirming, that, if anie noble man foilowed him, hee could not answere for it, but that they would marre that whole purpose. Wherupon his Maiestie
, half angerlie, replied, that he wold not mistrust the Duke, nor the
Earle of Mar, in a greater purpose nor that; and that hee could not vnderstand, what hinder anie man could make in that erand. But these last speeches of M. Alexanders maid the King to begin to suspecte what it could mcane ; wherevppon manie diuerse thoughts begouth to center in the Kings minde. But that his Maiestie could never suspect
anie harme to b- intended against his Hienes, by that young gentleman, with whome his Maic stie had bene so well acquainted, as hee had, not long before, beene in sute to be one of the gentlemen of his chalmer: so as the farthest, that the Kings suspition could reache to, was, that it might bee, that the Earle his brother had handled him so hardlie, that
the young gentleman, being of a hie spirit, had taken such displeasure, as he was become somewhat by himself, which his Maiestie coniectured -aswell by his raised and vncouth stairing, and continuall pensiuenesse, all the time of the hunting, as likewise by such strange sort of vlykelie discourses, as is alreadie mentioned. Wherupon, his Maiestie took occasion to make the Duke of Lennox acquainted with the whol purpose, enquyring of him verie earnestlie, what he knew of that young gentlemans nature, beeing his brother in law? And, if he had euer perceiued him to be subiect to any high apprehension? His Maiestie declaring his suspition plainelie to the said lord duke, that hee thought him not well setled in his wits; alwaits desiring my lord duke not to faile to accompanie him in to that house, where the alledged fellow and treasure was.
The Lord Duke wondered much at that purpose, and though it verie vnlikelie; yet he affirmed, that hee could neuer perceaue any such appearance in that gentlemans inclination. But maister Alexander, perceyuing his Maiesties priuie conference with the duke, and suspecting the purpose, as it appeared, came to the King, requesting his Maiestie verie earnestlie, that he shoulde make none liuing acquainied with that purpose, nor suffer none to go with his Maiestie, where he should conuoy him, but himself onlie, vntill his Maiestie had once seene the fellowe and the treasure: Whereunto his Maiestie, halfe-laughing, gaue answere, that he was no good teller of money, and behooued therefore to haue some to helpe him in that erand. His replye was, that hee woulde suffer none to see it, but his Maiesties selfe, at the first; but, afterward, hee might call in whom hee pleased. These speeches did so encrease his Maiesties suspition, that then he begouth directly to suspect some treasonable devise; yet, manie suspitions and thoughts ouerwhelming euerie one an other in his minde, his Maiestie coulde resolue vpon no certaine thing, but raid further on his iourney, betwixt trust and distrust, beeing ashamed to Seeme to suspect in respect of the cleannesse of his Maiesties owne conscience, except he had founde some greater ground. The said maister Alexander still preasing the King to ride faster, although his owne horse was scarcelie able to keepe companie with the King, for wearinesse, hauing riden with him all the chase before. But, as the King was come two miles from Falkland, the said maister Alexander stayed a little behind the King in the way, and posted away the other seruand, Andrew Ruthven, to the earle his brother, aduertising him, howe farre the King was on his waye to come thither. Then, how soon soeuer the King come within a myle to the toun of Sanct-lohnston, he said 10 his Maiestie, that he would poste in before, to aduertise the carle his brother of his Maiesties comming; who, at his incomming to him, was sitting at the middes of his denner, neuer seeming to take knowledge of the Kings comming, whill his brother told it him, notwithstanding of his two seruands aduertising him thereof before : and, immediatlie vppon his brothers reporte, rysing in haste from the borde, and warning al the seruands and friendes to accompanie him to meete his Maiestie, met him, to the number of three or four score, at the end of the Insh, his Maiesties whole companie and traine not exceeding the bomber of sixteene persons, and al without any kinde of armour, except swords; no, not so much as daggers, or whingears. His Majestie stayed an houre, after his comming to the saide earles lodging, in Sanct-lolinstoun, before his denner come in: the longsomnesse of the prepairing of the same, and badnesse of the cheare, beeing excused, vppon the sodainty of his Maiesties comming vnlooked for there. During the which tyme, his Maiestie enquyred of Maister Alexander, when it was tyme to him to goe to that priuate house, for that erand, whereof he had informed him; Whose answere was, that al was sure enough, but that there was no haste yet, for an hourr, whill his Maiestie had dyned at leisure; praying his Majestie to leaue him, and not to be seen to round with him before his brother, who, hauing missed him that morning, might therupon suspect, what the matter could mcane : therefore his Maiestie addressed him to the earle, and discoursed with him upon sundrie purposes, but could get no direct answere of him, but halfe-wordes, and imperfect sentences, His Maiestie beeing set down to the denner, the said earle stood very pensiue, and with a deiected countenaunce, at the end of his Maiesties table, oft rounding ouer his shoulder, whiles to one of his sèruands, and whiles to another; and oftentims went out and in to the chamber: which forme of behauiour he likewise kept before bis Maiesties sitting downe to denner, but without any welcomming of his Maiestie, or anie other hartlie forme of entertainement; the noblemen and gentlemen of the court, that was with his Maiestie, standing about the table, and not desired to dyne, as vse is, when his Maiestie is once set down, and his first seruice brought up, vntil the Kings Maiestie had almost dyned. At the which time, the earle conuoyed them forth to their dinner, but sate not down with them him selfe, as the common forme is, but come back, and stood silent at the end of the Kings table, as of before; which his Maiestie perceauing did begin to entertaine the earl in an homelie manner, wondering that hee had not remained to dine with his guests, and entertaine them there.
In the meáne tyme, his Maiestie beeing ready to rise from the table, and his wbule seruands beeing in the hal at their dinner, the said Maister Alexander, standing behinde his Maiesties backe, pulled quietlie vppon him, rounding in his Maiesties eaie, that it was tyme to goe, but that hee woulde haue faine bene quite of the earle his brother, wishing the King to send him out to the hall to entertaine his guests : Wherupon the King called for a drinke, and, in a merrie and homelie manner, said to the carte, that, although the earle had seene the fashion of entertainement in other countries, j et hce would teach him the Scottishe fashion, seeing hee was a Scottishe man; and therefore, since hee had forgot to drink to his Maiestie, op to sit with his guests, and entertaine them, his Maiestie would drink to him his owne welcome, desiring him to take it foorth and drinke to the rest of the company, and, in his Maiesties name, to make them welcome. Wherupun, as he went foorth, his Maiestie did rise from the table, and desired M. Alexander to bring Sir Thomas Erskine with him; who, desiring the King to go forward with bim, and promising that he should make anie one or two follow him, that he pleased to cal for, desiring his Maiestie to command publikly, that none should follow him. And thus the King, accompanied onelie with
the said maister Alexander, commes forth of the chamber, passes through the end of the hal, where the noble men and his Maiesties seruants were sitting at their dinner, vp a turne-pyke, and through three or four high chambers, the said Maister Alexander euer lokking behinde him eucry dore as he past, and then, with a inore gmyling countenance nor he had all the day before, euer saying he had him sure and safe enough kept ; until at last, his Majestie passing through three or four sondrie houses, and all the dores lokked behind him, bis Majestie entered into a little studie, where his Maiestie did see standing, with a verie abased countenance, not a bound-man, but a free man, with a 'dagger at his girche. But his Majestic kad no sooner entered into that little studie, and maister Alexader with him, but maister Alexander lokked to the studie dore behind him, and at that instant, changing his countenance, putting his hat on his head, and drawing the dagger from that other mans girdle, held the point of it to the Kings breast, avowing now, that the King behoued to be in bis will, and vsed as he list; swearing manie bloody othes, that, if the king cried one word, or opened a windoe to look out, that dagger should presently go to his hart: affirming, that hee was sure, that now the Kings conscience was burdened for the murthering of his father. His Maiestie, wondering at so suddaine an alteration, and standing baked, without any kynde of armour but his hunting borne, which hee had not gotten leisure to lay from him, betwixt these two traitors, which had conspird his life, the said maister Alexander standing, as saide is, with a drawne dagger in his hand, and his sword at his side, but the other treinbling and quaiking, rather like ane condemned man, then an executioner of such an enterpryse; bis Maiestie begouth then to dilate to the saide maister Alexander, howe horrible a thing it was to him to meddle with his Maiesties innocent blood; assuring him it would not be left vpreuenged, since God had giuen him children and good subiectes ; and, if there were no more, God would raise yp stocks and stones to punish so vyle a deed. Protesting before God, that hee had no burthen in his conscience, for the execution of his father, both in respect that, at the tyme of his fathers execution, his Maiestie was but a minor of age, and guyded at that tyme by a faction, which over-ruled both bis Maiestie, and the rest of the country; as also, that, whatsoeuer was done to his father, it was done by the ordinar course of lawe and iustice, Appealing the saide maister Alexander vppon his conscience, how well he, at al tymes since, had deserued at the hands of al his race; not only hauing restored them to al their landes and dignities, but also in nourishing and vpbringing of two or three of his sisters, as it were, in his owne bosome, by a continual attendance vppon his Maiesties dearest bedfellow in ber priuy chamber, Laying also before him the terrors of his conscience, especially that he made profession, according to his education, of the saine religion which his Majestic has cuer professed : and namelie his Majestie remembred him of that holie man, M. Robert Rollock, whose scholler he was, assuring him, that one day the said M. Roberts soule would accuse him, that hee had neuer learned of him to practise such vnnaturall crueltie, His Majestie
promising to him, in the worde of a prince, that, if hee would spare his life, and suffer him to go out againe, hee should neuer reueele to any fleshe liuing what was betwixt them at that tyme nor neuer suffer him to incur anie harme or punishment for the same. But his Majesties feare was, that hee could hope for no spairing at his hand, hauing such cruelty in his lookes, and standing so irreuerently, couered with his hat on; which forme of rigorous behauiour, could prognosticat no thing to his Maiestie, but present extremitie. But, at his Maiesties perswasiue language, hee appeareth to bee somewhat amased; and, discouering his head againe, swore and protested, that his Maiesties lyfe should be safe, if hee would behaue him selfe quyetlie, without making noyes, or crying; and that he would onlie bring in the earle his brother, to speak with his Maiestie: Wherupon, his Maiestie enquyring, what the carle would do with him, since (if his Majesties life was safe, according to promise) they could gaine little in keeping such a prisoner? His answere onlie was, that hee could tel his Maiestie no more, but that his lyfe would bee safe, in case hee behaued him selfe quietlie; the rest the earle his brother, whome hee was going for, would tel his Maiestie, at his comming. And with that, as hee was going forth for his brother, as hee affirmed, hee turned him about to the other man, saying these wordes vnto him: I make you heere the Kings keeper, untill I come back againe, and look that ye keep him vppon your owne perill: And therewithall says to his Maiestie, Ye must content your selfe to have this man nowe your keeper vntill my back-comming. And with these wordes he passes foorth, lokking the dore behinde him, and leauing his Maiestie with that man he fand there before him. At whome his Maiestie then enquyred, If he was appointed to be the murtherer of him at that tyme and how far he was vppon the counsell of that conspiracie? Whose answere, with a trembling, and astonished voice and behaujour, was: That, as the Lord should judge him, hee was neuer made acquainted with that purpose, but that hee was put in ther perforce, and the dore lokked behinde him, a little space before his Maiesties comming; as indecde, al the tyme of the said Maister Alexanders menassing his Maiestie, he was euer tremblinglie requesting him for Gods sake, and with many other attestations, not to meddle with his Maiestie, or to do him anie harmc.' But, because maister Alexander had, before his forth-going, made the King to sweare, that he should not cry, nor open anie of the windoes, his Majestie commanded the saide fellow to open the windoe with his hand; which he readelie did; so that, although hee was put in there to vse violence ouer the King, yet God so turned his hart at that time, as hee become a slaue to his prisoner. While his Majestie was in this dangerous estate, and none of his owne seruants nor traine knowing in what part of the worlde he was in, as his Maiesties traine was arysing in the bal from their dinner, the earle of Gowry being present with them, one of the earle of Gowries seruants commes hastelie in, assuring the earle bis maister, ihat bis Maiestie was horsed and away through the Inshe; which the earle reporting to the noblemen, and the rest of his Maiesties traine that was there, they al rushe out together at the gate in great haste ; and, some of his Maiesties-seruants enquyring at the porter, when his Malestie went forth? The porter