CHAPTER XVII. ELIZABETH (ii), 1561-68 - QUEENS AND SUITORS
For some months, the question of Elizabeth's marriage was allowed to fall into abeyance; but the effect of the murder was in some degree counteracted by the imprisonment of Mary in Lochleven the appeal to chivalry of a deserted, helpless, and lovely woman, and the very unattractive character of most of the men now at the head of the Scottish Government. The Stewart cause seemed to be in some danger of reviving, and once again the English Council began to urge the marriage with the Archduke Charles. Elizabeth pretended concurrence, but when she refused to promise that Charles should be allowed the free exercise of his own religion in England, it was no longer possible to doubt that she was merely playing with the idea; while there were certainly a great many of her subjects who entirely sympathised with the ostensible grounds on which the negotiation was broken off. The prospect of a closer union with the House of Habsburg was dispelled, almost at the moment when the Scots Queen fell into Elizabeth's hands, and the standard of revolt against the Spanish system was being raised in the Netherlands.