Author Topic: Interesting facts about Marie Stuart  (Read 41066 times)

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Offline Martyn

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2005, 06:04:39 AM »
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Did Mary have many jewels and did any survive?


Bb, Antonia Fraser's biography of Mary discusses her jewels and their subsequent fate.  I don't have it to hand, so can't quote it but I am sure that only a tiny fraction of her jewellery survives.
As the Dauphine of France, Mary had some splendid pieces of jewellery, befitting a future Queen of France.  Amongst these were some ropes of the finest pearls that were given to her by her mother-in-law Catherine de Medici, and which had been part of the latter's dowry.
Mary returned to Scotland with the majority of the jewels that she had acquired in France, the pearls amongst them.  
After her army had suffered defeat at the battle of Carberry Hill in 1567, Mary was incarcerated in Lochleven Castle and her jewels were left behind when she escaped from the castle in the loch.  Her half brother, the Regent Earl of Moray subsequently seized and sold her jewels, the pearls being offered for sale to Elizabeth, who having an inordiante fondness for this particular jewel, snapped them up, much to the chagrin of Catherine de Medici, who had desperately wanted to regain them.
Apparently some of the pearls remain amongst the British Crown jewels, set in the top of the Imperial State Crown, although I'm not sure that this can be substantiated.  Mary quite naturally was deeply upset at the loss of her jewels and even more upset to think of her wondrous pearls gracing the neck of her jailer.  
During her nineteen years of captivity, there were small means and little opportunity to replenish her collection; at her death she possessed mainly devotional jewellery, miniatures and some rings.  Her silver rosary, that she wore to her execution,  survives in the collection of an aristocratic English family.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Finally
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2005, 01:56:53 PM »
Helen and Silja

Don't you think it possible that Mary was a victim of propaganda?    As a young, immature Roman Catholic ruler of a country in the midst of an anti Roman Catholic Revolution, she was hounded by the Reformists who were influenced by the mysoginist John Knox, and painted as a scarlet woman.   Mary was prepared to compromise - to live and let live.    What she wanted was the freedom to worship in her own way, but this was denied her.      

Not so many years ago within sectarian schools in Scotland, these prejudices were still evident.   A child attending a State (establishment or Church of Scotland) school would have received a very different version of this period of Scottish history to that of a child educated in a Roman Catholic school.  

Within the 'establishment' schools, John Knox was portrayed as a great reformer who swept away the 'corruptions' of Rome - this included the Roman Catholic monarch, Marie Stuart.

Meanwhile, children in Roman Catholic schools were taught that John Knox an evil troublemaker - a former priest who married a 13 year old girl - was largely responsible for the reformation which swept Scotland with the destruction of the monasteries, the burning of magnificent cathedrals and churches and the murder of bishops and priests.

This is a very simplistic version, but I believe  Mary was the victim of negative propaganda, not just from within Scotland but from its larger, more powerful neighbour, England, where many landowners and citizens, secretly, still wished to cling to the 'old religion' (Roman Catholicism).    This was the major reason behind Elizabeth's vulnerability.  

Intellectually Mary was, at least, Elizabeth's equal.   There were two fundamental, subsequently  fatal, differences.   Only too easily, Mary allowed her heart to influence her, while, not surprisingly - given what happened to her mother - determinedly, Elizabeth was ruled by her head.

Another area of major importance was the ability to choose and to rely upon trustworthy, loyal advisers.   In this Elizabeth was not just successful, but lucky, for she had a choice while Mary had few to choose from.   Both women employed her sexuality, but each in a very different way.  

Elizabeth I was, without a doubt, one of the greatest rulers Europe has known.

But spare a few thoughts for her cousin Mary.   Aged four  she was evacuated to France and brought up in a Court where pleasure was not regarded a sin.   A child bride, and child widow, of a young man whom she truly loved (her mother died six months before her husband).  

Former Queen of France and  Queen Regnant of Scotland, she returned to rule in what to her was a foreign land with a foreign language to live within a hostile court.   And, of course there was also her generally chronic ill health.   She had not yet reached twenty years of age.


Wherever I may be
In the woods or in the fields,
Whatever the hour of day
Be it dawn or the eventide
My heart still feels it yet
The eternal regret.........
As I sink into my sleep
The absent one is near
Alone upon my couch
In work ir in repose
We are forever close....

(Written in French by Marie Stuart on the death of her
 husband, Francis.   Translated by her into English

bluetoria

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2005, 02:17:21 PM »
Tsaria, what do you make of the murder of Lord Darnley? Did Mary know the plan in advance or was she again an innocent victim? (Incidentally he was born at Temple Newsam House which is about 5 minutes walk from where I live....it's supposed to be haunted) And was she 'raped' by Bothwell or was she quite willing?

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Finally
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2005, 02:42:52 PM »
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Helen and Silja

Don't you think it possible that Mary was a victim of propaganda?    
Yes, it is possible and I am sure that to certain extent it was propaganda. But Mary still made certain choices that hurt her in the public eyes, while Elizabeth made certain choices that were very intelligent, and that helped her reign, these facts are hard to deny. Elizabeth could have fallen victim to propaganda too, had she chosen  to act on impulse, but she played her cards right and did not follow her impulses like Mary often seemed to do.
Let me give an example. Elizabeth was obviously in love with Robert Dudley, and when his wife died under "mysterious" circumstances, everyone thought she would marry him. She wanted to, I am pretty sure, yet she knew if she did, this would make it look like she was involved in his wife's death somehow and consequently not make her very popular. So she resisted this impulse and acted very prudently, she chose her position as queen over her personal happiness. Mary, on the other hand seems to have done the opposite, she went ahead and married the man who was involved in her husband's murder, the Earl of Bothwell, and this played a major part in her unpopularity with the public and subsequent deposition. I am not saying I don't understand Mary's motives, but I am saying that when you look at it somewhat objectively, Mary could have and should have done things differently being in the position that she was. So yes, partially this could have been propaganda, but theoretically she should have known better than to provide an excellent opportunity for such propaganda, like Elizabeth did....  Yes, like you said, Tsaria, the major difference between the two women was that Mary was ruled by her heart/emotions and Elizabeth by her head/reason. Either one is ok for regular people, but if you are a ruler of a country, that's a whole different ball game. This is why Elizabeth made an effective ruler and Mary did not...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Silja

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2005, 02:48:32 PM »
I do quite understand Mary's delicate position and I am well aware of the difficulties she faced as the catholic queen of a protestant country.
But she made so many mistakes, which are simply disastrous in a queen. You cannot follow your heart alone without considering the consequences. She was rather naive at times.
The marriage to Lord Darnley was a mistake in the first place. But to marry the man who murdered him was simply idiotic.  Moreover, fleeing to England was such a stupid thing to do. Even if Elizabeth had offered her support before, this didn't mean the English queen had wanted her to come to England. How could Mary expect Elizabeth to receive her well when Mary was still insisting on her claim to the English throne? Mary knew what a threat she posed to Elizabeth.  

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2005, 02:54:05 PM »
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And was she 'raped' by Bothwell or was she quite willing?
Considering she later ended up marrying him, maybe she wasn't that unwilling. Or maybe she felt she had no choice. It's really difficult to tell with Mary because her behavior was always so consistently erratic. We'll never really know the answer to this.

Offline Silja

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Re: Finally
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2005, 02:56:07 PM »
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Yes, like you said, Tsaria, the major difference between the two women was that Mary was ruled by her heart/emotions and Elizabeth by her head/reason. Either one is ok for regular people, but if you are a ruler of a country, that's a whole different ball game. This is why Elizabeth made an effective ruler and Mary did not...


Just my point  :)

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2005, 06:45:36 AM »
A piece of synchronicity -

(Today in the Sunday Times - Ecosse Section: p.6 by Book Winner John Guy an extract from his book:
'My Heart is My Own:  The Life of Mary Queen of Scots'
published by HarperCollins at £8.99)

I will copy the piece in its entirety - lengthy but relevant to the above -

'It may sound surprising for someone who has just won the Whitbread biography award for a life of Mary Queen of Scots, but I never intended to write a book about her.   My fascination always lay with Elizabeth, her cousin and rival for the English throne.   I wanted to examine a woman ruler's dealings with her male advisers, to see how the male-dominated system coped.   Only later did I see Mary and Scotland as the heart and soul of the story.

Working from the original documents, the deeper I dug, the more I realised William Cecil, Elizabeth's chief minister for almost 40 years, spent more time worrying about Mary than about his own queen.

Mary was Cecil's obsession and religion was the reason.   Mary had the best claim to the English throne if you were a Catholic, Elizabeth if your were a Protestant.   Cecil was a messianic Protestant.  He agreed with John Knox, the doyen of the Scottish Calvanists, that a Catholic woman monarch was 'a monster in nature' and 'unfit to rule'.

Both men yearned for a united Protestant Britain, fearing Mary less for what she did than for her mere existence.   Her affability compounded their disdain.   Mary was intelligent, vivacious, kind, loyal to her supporters and friends and devoted to her family.   She used charm as others used a sword.

Far from matching Knox's stereotype, she was successful for much of her reign, relishing power and holding together a country deeply divided over religion.   She could be just as shrewd and masterful as her English cousin, whose misjudgements are too readily glossed over.

Mary's failings were reassuringly human.  She was too generous to her enemies, too trusting of her friends.   Her worst mistake was to allow herself, a queen, to fall in love.

How was I to get inside Mary's head?   First, I tried to root everything I said about her in the original documents, notably her  hundreds of letters.   Next I'd try my arguments on women historians, including my girlfriend Julia Fox who endured many a late-night discussion on how Mary must have felt and thought..

At first I believed Elizabeth was successful where Mary failed.   Now I think the gregarious, accessisble Mary, with her courage, verve, wit and appreciation of life, is far more compelling.   Mary wanted to heal the wounds of civil and rebellious strife in Scotland:  she had a policy of national reconciliation.   Elizabeth's aims were narrower.   For all her vaunted rhetoric, she was remote, caring little for her people.   Tougher, grittier, more impervious to the ties of kinship or friendship, she succeeded because she lacked ideals.

When my book was first reviewed, some critics insinuated that I'd fallen in love with my subject.   While I freely concede that I set out to tell Mary's story, that doesn't mean I accept her version of events uncritically.   I tried to be as objective as I could.   I quoted her extensively because it isn't just what she says, but the way she says it that defines her character.   Her choice of language reflects her values.

I was also amazed to discover resonances of Blairite Britain in my documents.   When Mary fled to England, she was denounced by Cecil as a threat to national security.   He had her imprisoned without legal recourse as a viper at the heart of an international conspiracy.   He talked relentlessly of Elizabeth's 'safety' and the 'preservation of the state'.

When, despite all his efforts, Elizabeth took Mary's side, proposing to restore her as queen in Scotland, insisting that the principles of monarchy overrode those of Protestantism, Cecil turned to spin.   He colluded with Mary's rebels whom he encouraged to send a sexed-up dossier to London, then organised a tribunal of inquiry that he intended to fix.   Yet Elizabeth, unconvinced by spin, insisted that the inquiry and the dossier be kept secret.

Cecil finally got his way and Mary was executed, but Elizabeth made him wait 19 years.   Even then, she countenanced Mary's death only after Cecil had falsely reported that the Spanish Armada had landed in Wales.   Elizabeth was put in fear of her life, and by then Mary was desperate for freedom and involved in a genuine conspiracy to win it.

Mary's story is also theatrical, its no surprise that Hollywood hopes to capitalise on it.   Warner has said it will make a film, written by Jimmy McGovern of Cracker fame, with the American actress Bryce Dallas Howard playing Mary.   It sounds like a dream team, but Mary's story is fiendishly complicated and audiences will need to keep their historical wits about them.

The film rights to my book have been sold to David Rose, a British independent film producer willing to mount a David and Goliath fight with Warner and combine good drama with good history.

Whatever happens, you'll be hearing an awful lot more about Mary.'
John Guy

(tsaria)

bluetoria

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2005, 08:45:18 AM »
There is a beautiful book of poetry by Mary called 'Bitter Sweet Within My heart'...it was published by Pavilion Books UK 1992. Also I have a copy of a prayer which she wrote which, I think, shows her character:
"Keep me. O God, from all pettiness,
Let me be large in thought, in word and in deed,
Let me be done with fault-finding
and leave off all self-seeking.
May I put away all pretence
and meet others face to face
without self-pity and without prejudice.
May I never be hasty in judgement
and always generous.
Let me take time for all things,
make me grow calm, serene and gentle.
Teach me to put into action
my better impulses,
straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that I may realize
that it is the little things of life
that create differences,
that in the big things of life,
we are one.
And, O Lord God,
let me not forget to be kind."

That last line is particularly lovely, I think.

Offline Alexandra

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2005, 09:33:04 PM »
Bob - you were asking about Mary's jewels. Yes, she did have a particularly famous rope of black pearls, the gift of her first mother-in-law, Catherine de'Medici, when the latter was Queen of France to Henri II, and Mary wed their son, the Dauphin Francois. These pearls, as I understand, passed to Elizabeth, and may be seen in her later portraits. Did they possibly pass into the Youssoupov hoard? [there is a strand about this topic elsewhere, I believe].
MQOS is also said to have inherited a ruby [red spinel? garnet?] 'jewel,' called the Great Harry, from her Tudor grandmother, Margaret. It appears to have been one of the monogram pieces popular in the early sixteenth century. I don't know what became of it. She does not seem to have favored rings, and in later life and captivity, her Rosaries and Crucifixes appear to have been passed to those of her loyal household who remained with her.
The Honours of Scotland [the name given to its Crown Regalia], the oldest in Europe, can still be seen in Edinburgh. It was either James IV or V [grandfather and father, respectively, to MQOS] who had  them crafted, setting them in  the heyday of Renaissance design. The English regalia, of course, was broken up under the Commonwelath period.
If I find anything else, I shall surely let you know.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alexandra »

Offline Martyn

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2005, 06:02:56 AM »
Alexandra, where did you get the idea that the pearls were black?  I have never read that they were anything other than white, and indeed the speculation that they were in fact the same ones as the Yussupov pearls is not substantiated (I think)  Can you tell me in whcih portraits Elizabeth is depicted wearing them?
Bluetoria, I love Temple Newsam House, it really is the most romantic house despite its proximity to Leeds.  Although substantially altered over the centuries, it has retained its sixteenth century feel, and one can very much feel the age in which the Lennox's lived when one visits the house.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2005, 05:56:31 PM »
From childhood Mary displayed a passionate interest in clothes.  

When she returned to Scotland from France she was still in full mourning for Francis.   A year after his death she, and her court moved into half-mourning.   She did not remove her widows weeds for four years - until she married Darnley.   There were those who thought Mary knew what a fine contrast black was for her red-gold hair, creamy skin and amber eyes.

From black she moved into white, probably for much the same reason - she knew how well it set off her remarkable colouring.

The list of articles delivered monthly to Mary's wardrobe at Holyrood from September 1561 until she lost her power in June 1567, was kept perfectly annotated.  

Antonia Fraser provides us with a vivid and colourful account of the queen's wardrobe:-

'Ordinarily she wore dresses of camlet (a sort of mohair), damask or serge stiffened in the neck with buckram and mounted with lace and ribbons;  the queen was fond of loose dresses ('a l'Espagnole');  her riding skirts and cloaks were of Florentine serge, often edged with black velvet or fur.   Beneath her gowns were 'vasquines', stiffened petticoats or farthingales to hold out her skirts, expanded with hoops of whale bone to give a crinoline effect.  Her underwear included silk doublets, and there is mention of 'brassieres' of both black and white silk.   Her 'woven hose' often were made of gold and silver, and it is specifically mentioned that they were of silk.   Her hats and caps were of black velvet and taffetas - her veils of white.

On state and ceremonial occasions, the queen's clothes were universally glittering.   The inventory of the queen's dresses made at Holyrood in February 1562 lists 131 entries, including sixty gowns, of cloth of gold, cloth of silver, velvet, satin and silk.   There are fourteen cloaks, five of which are in the Spanish fashion, and two royal mantles, one purple velvet and the other furred in ermine.   There are thirty-four vasquines and sixteen devants or fronts (stomachers) mainly of cloth of gold, silver and satin.   The dresses themselves ranged from the favourite white - often with silver fringes and embroidery - and preponderant black, to crimson velvet, orange damask embroidered in silver;  the embroidery was so rich and detailed, that it was often passed from dress to dress, and listed separately among the jewellery.'

I will look into her jewellery separately.   I hope the above is of interest.

tsaria

Offline Martyn

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2005, 07:25:05 AM »
Vastly interesting Tsaria, and you beat me to it!  Mary's wardrobe is sumptuous, and a taste for finery was something that the two royal cousins shared.  Interestingly, they both favoured the same colours for their wardrobes as they possessed similar natural colouring.
Mary is accredited with having a natural beauty that probably outstripped Elizabeth's attractions, which existed largely in her own mind and that of her ambitious male courtiers and court painters.
Interestingly, Antonia Fraser contrasts the elaborate care that Mary took with her apparel for her wedding to Darnley with the rather limited effort that she made for that to Bothwell; the implication being perhaps that she was not entirely enthralled with the concept of marrying him and that haste and necesity were the governing factors in this arrangements.  Fraser also implies that Mary may have been obliged to marry Bothwell because he had taken her against her will......
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2005, 12:31:59 PM »
Dear Martyn

Fascinating - digging into the old memory banks and trying to find books of years ago.   The sumptuousness of the Mary/Darnley wedding as opposed to the Mary/Bothwell wedding I think is worth pondering and probably is an indication of the prenuptial relationships.

My interest in Mary goes back to my childhood.   I lived on the shore of the Lake of Menteith (the only 'lake' in Scotland, where we have 'lochs').   My father was the minister of the Parish of Port of Menteith, on the border of Perthshire and Stirlingshire.    In the middle of this small lake, is the Island of Inchmahome.    Every day I looked out on this island.   Centuries before a young girl had stayed on this island - Marie Stuart, Queen of the Scots.

When she was four years old, shortly before her removal to France, she was taken, for safety,  to the island.    Here she was cared for by the monks of the monastery of Inchmahome.   Mary only stayed there three weeks at this 13th century Augustinian monastery, but today this island is imbued with her short stay.

Antonia Fraser describes Inchmahome eloquently -

'Inchmahome seen from the shore low-lying on the horizon of the lake, with its religious buildings, its sedge, its views of mountains and water, makes an ideal focus for romance.   It is therefore not surprising that a number of charming legends have grown up around Mary Stuart's visit to it.   Queen Mary's Garden, Queen Mary's Bower and Queen Mary's tree all honour the memory of the child.......'

Today the Monastery is in ruins.   The island is magical.   It is possible to visit the island (when I was young, it was either a rowing boat in summer, or on ice skates in winter).   From spring until autumn a small, open ferry boat carries visitors on the five minute journey.   I would recommend spring when the island is golden with a host of daffodils.

Fate can serve some strange coincidences.    Twenty years later, my father ministered to another parish which contained a loch, in the middle of which stood an island.   Again our house stood virtually on the shore of the loch.

This was Lochleven.   After her surrender at Carberry Hill Mary was taken in the first instance to the Palace of Holyrood House where she was re-united with two of her Maries.   Hardly had they begun supper when an order came to leave her meal and make ready to ride on horseback.   Although terrified, she had a moment of optimism for she thought she was being taken to Stirling Castle to be re-united with her son.   She could not have been more mistaken.   She was not allowed to take her ladies and forbidden to take any clothes - not even her nightclothes.

In the twilight of a summer evening, driven on by her escorts, she rode at breakneck speed fifty miles north.   Exhausted, each time she tried to slow down, her escorts whipped on her horse.   It was night and very dark when Mary dismounted on the shore of Lochleven.   The terrified woman was rowed across the water to the castle on the island.

She was taken to. the Laird's Room.   Nothing had been prepared for her.   There was no furniture - not even a bed.   Mary collapsed.  She remained semi-conscious for two weeks.   She refused to speak, eat or drink.   It seemed she would die.  Eventually she accepted her situation and slowly showed signs of improvement.   She steadfastly refused to discuss divorcing Bothwell - for she had a secret.   She was pregnant.    This is why when the nobles told her if she divorced Bothwell, she would be set free, she had refused.

She had written Throckmorton one of her supporters - '...that taking herself to be seven weeks gone with child, by renouncing him, she should acknowledge herself to be with child of a bastard and forfeit her honour.'

Under her circumstances, it is not surprising she miscarried, twins.   The babies were of twelve weeks gestation.   She had married Bothwell eight weeks previously.  

Therefore Mary was pregnant when she married Bothwell and she most probably knew when she married him, in haste, in  May.   (This explains her lack of attention to her wedding attire).

It seems likely the twins were conceived at Dunbar, but this does not answer the question was this the result of a voluntary union or the result of rape?

Mary was kept prisoner on the island in Loch Leven for almost a year, before, in disguise and with the help of faithful friends, she managed to escape her island prison in a rowing boat.

tsaria

 
 



Offline Martyn

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Re: Finally!
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2005, 12:44:25 PM »
How fascinating Tsaria.  I can well understand your connection with Mary, considering your history with Inchmahome and Lochleven.
I don't really know what to make of Mary's involvement with Bothwell; do you think that Fraser suggests that Bothwell took her against her will?
It is very difficult to imagine Mary's distress after Carberry Hill; she had lost everything, including her liberty and she wqas probably well aware that the fate that had befallen Darnley could well be hers.  Plus the pregnancy ending so tragically must have been an additional tragedy for her to bear.
Small wonder that many consider her to be a tragic figure; in her lifetime she had more sorrows to bear than most people ever experience........
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV