Elizabeth Of Austria

, daughter of the emperor Maximilian II. and wife of Charles IX. king of France, was married at Mezieres, Nov. 26, 1570. She was one of the most beautiful persons of her time, and her virtue is said to have surpassed her beauty. The deplorable and fatal night of St Bartholomew afflicted her extremely; on hearing the news of what had past, when she rose in the morning, bathed in tears, she threw herself at the foot of her crucifix to: ask mercy of God on the perpetrators of so atrocious a deed, which she detested with horror. Elizabeth had but very little share in what passed in France under the tumultuous reign of Charles IX. She attended to | pothing but her domestic concerns, and conducted her fat-­niily by the principles of prudence and honour for which she xvas highly remarkable. Sensible to the irregularities of, her husband, whom she loved and honoured extremely, she never let him perceive those jealous disquietudes which often augment and seldom remedy the evil. She was mild and patient Charles was lively and impetuous; the ardour of the king was moderated by the serenity of Elizabeth accordingly she never lost his affection and his esteem, and he recommended her, when dying, to Henry IV. then king of Navarre, with the utmost tenderness: “Take cart? of my daughter and my wife,” said he; “my brother, take care of them; I recommend them to the generosity of your heart.” During his illness, Elizabeth spent all the time when she was not attending upon him, in prayers for his recovery. When she went to see him, she did not place herself by his bedside, as she had a right to do; but kept at a little distance, and by her modest silence, by her tender and respectful looks, she seemed to cover him in her heart with the love she bore him “then,” adds Brantome, “she was- seen to shed tears so tender and so secret, that a common spectator would have known nothing of it; and wiping her watery eyes, excited the liveliest emotions of pity in all that were present: for,” continues he, “I was a witness to it.” She stifled her grief; she dared not let her tenderness appear, fearing lest the king should perceive it. The prince could not avoid saying, when speaking of her, that he might boast of having an amiable wife, the most discreet and the most virtuous woman, not in all France, not in all Europe, but in the whole world. He was nevertheless as reserved with her as the queen mother, who, apprehending that she might have some power over the king, doubtless employed her influence in preventing that prince from reposing in her confidence, which would have disconcerted her schemes. "While she was at the court of France, she honoured with a tender affection Margaret queen of Navarre, her sisterin-law, though of a conduct so totally opposite to hers; and, after her return to Germany, Elizabeth always kept up an epistolary correspondence with her. She even sent her, as a pledge of her friendship, two books of her own composing: the one, on the word of God; the other, on the most considerable events that had happened in France in her time. Tins virtuous princess, after the death of | the king her husband, retired to Vienna, where she died in 1592, aged only thirty-eight, in a convent of her own foundation. 1