Page images

actions, rather

S converse

nest man

making the


on serious s and beart

“ Arrest that traitor's arm, dash down the the midst of traitors, one of whom bowl

tried to force her to drink a bowl of made on the x 'Tis fraught with death.”

poison, when happily she was roused ad road tuss And in this striking manner we are by the king kissing her cheek. A few as the per re apprised that her Majesty has been natural enough reflections are made by the situaticted with a most awful and omin- by both their Majesties on the omen, msey, Gafials ous dream, of which, when she had and the first act is terminated by the to the city

, t somewhat come to herself, she gives lord chamberlain knocking for aduther as mate the following impressive description:- mission to assist his majesty to dress, e crowd an " Methought we sat within an ancient hall, while six mute ladies come in with a on, as wila Our nobles there, and all the peeresses with anste Garb'd as befits the feast you hold to-day. round the Queen, and lead her off into

robe de chambre, which they throw whole of this But as I look'd, a change came in my her dressing-room. zat skil, a And suddenly that , dream,

in , Whose guaried polises and relatelyhaichly with

a conversation between the

Friar ed, ence carved,

who had bought the poison from the tle inconşts were drap'd and tasselled by the weaving gypsey

woman, and the King's princispider,

pal secretary of state for the home Derhaps, bye Melted away, and I beheld myself department: ; but what In a lone churchyard, sitting on a tree, 5. Sec. My Lord Archbishop is an ho. é different : And a fell band of corse-devouring gowles, ce speak ni Both male and female, gather'd round á Much do I owe him ; for by his good fa

En Scotch.
King. What did they there?

I was promoted to the trusts I hold.
Queer. With eager hands they dug, Friär. I do not call his honesty in ques-
Fiercely as hungry Alpine wolves they dug, tion,

Into the hallow'd chamber of the dead,
with the ya And, like those robbers whom pale science

But knowing what I know, if you will

promise the scene ic bribes

To let me have the vacant see, I'll prove Eroduced i To bring fit subjects for her college class, This same proud prelate a most plotting and the bears With hideous resurrection, from its cell

traitor. consort , in: They drew the sheeted body.

Sec. Go to, go to, thou grow'st calum. Heavens !

nious. They

Friar. I had a bottle once of deadly
And on the churchyard grass I saw it lie,

Ghastly and horrible, beneath the moon, Sec. Why had you that ? O thou most
That paled her light, seeing a thing so grim. danined villain,
King. Then what ensued ?

Say, wherefore kept you poison in that ; but the Queen. I tremble to disclose

bottle ; asleep ; wa King

. I pray you, telldearest Splen- For whom, assassin, didst thou huy the dora, tell.

draught ? , and formato Queen. It is a tale will harrow up your Friar. Will you not listen ?

Sec. No: begone and leave me, che day, and They tore the cerements, and laid out to I sin in holding converse with thy kind; view

And in my office do I much offend
The fatted paunch of one who erst had been

In suffering such a man to roam at large-
The honour'd magistrate .of some famed The cruel'st beast that in the forest dens,

The tawny lion, and the grumbling bear,
Or parson capon-fed.

Are far less dangerous than such as thou i
Tremendous Powers !

They keep no murd'rous phials in their
Queen. Then stooping down, a beaute- pockets,
ous gowle

Nor secrete steel to do their guilty deeds." Sanelt the wide nostril, and on looking up, This scene is conceived with great The moonlight brightening on her fore. art; for the friar, as the reader sees,

head, smiled. King. O who will beauty ever love is just on the point of telling the seagain?

cretary of state that he had given the Qucen. Soon without knives the canni. poison to the Archbishop, and if the

secretary would only have listened to To relish their foul meal_ I saw a mother him, the plot, in all human probabiliGrire to her child, that fondled at her side, ty, would have been discovered. But Dear to mumble with its boneless gums. the secretary, by his rashness, pre

Her majesty then continues to re- vents himself from hearing the suspilate

, that another change came over cious circumstance of the Archbishop okens be the spirit of her dream, and the gowles having secretly provided a bottle of

kaving vanished, she found herself in roison, and quits the scene, vehement

najesty haix King. ; about them, Queen


ing of hiss


duty it wa

Istom, in s

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ppens to me


s about this

ing tende.

: blooming home


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]






[ocr errors]

ly expressing his abhorrence of all Count. I'll hear no more thou speak'st murderers

but priestly prate, " Whether their hests they do with pill And the archbishop has a better knowledge or poniard,

Of what 'tis fit we should believe.

The ambush'd pistol, or the bludgeon

My Lord,

If that his grace my Lord Butero, hear That strews the road with brains” pretty plainly insinuating that he con- Nor turn your back so, with a mouth of siders the friar as one of those bad characters,

I say, my lord, if the archbishop holds “ Who make no pause in their fell pur

Such shocking doctrines, and retains his poses.” The friar, who is a very honest man, But one that's school'd and fashion d' for

I doubt, I doubt, he is no honest man, though longing a little for promotion

much sin. in the church, - which, by the way, is Count B. How know you, knave, thata natural enough feeling in a clergy- he's prepared to sin ? man,-justly indignant at the imputa- Friar. I said not so, you have not tion of the secretary of state, breaks heard aright. out, after that minister has made his But why, my lord, should you look 80 exit, into this noble soliloquy:


What signifies the prelate's sin to thee,
" Oh that the gods, when they did fashion Or thine to him—that thou shouldst quail

to hear ?
Into this poor degraded thing of man, I did but say, he was no honest man.
Had but endow'd me with the tiger's form, Ah, Count Butero, you do know he is not
And for these weak and ineffectual hands, Why do you start, and lay your deste
Had bless'd me with that noble creature's


So on the cut steel of that glittering hilt? I would have torn the saucy dotard's throat. I did not charge you with dishonesty, Me, murderer ! what, I that came to speak I spoke but of his grace look to’t, mi My strong suspicion of the plotting prelate,

lord : To have my words of truth with rage re- Your threat'ning gestures volumes tell t pellid,

me, And the warm milk of human kindness in Of something dreadful in the womb of tim me,

Hatching between you and that wicke Tax'd with the thickness of a felon's

prelate. blood !”

(Exit the Friar; the Count follows him While the friar is in this resentful

few paces with his sword drawn, bu mood, Count Butero enters, and a long suddenly checks himself, and returnin and highly poetical dialogue takes sheathes it.] place, in the course of which the friar Count. Back to thy home, my brig! is led to suspect that his lordship has and trusty blade; some secret understanding with the I'll not commission thee for aught so mea archbishop, and that between them Thy prey is royalty--a jibing priest something of a very dreadful nature

Would but impair the lustre of the steel has been concerted.

Yet he suspects, and may to others tell

His shrewd conjectures, and a search dete Count. But tell me, monk, where lies Our schemed intent to make the coronati the guilt of it.

Administer to bold ambition's purpose.'
To die is to be not-and what is slain
Is therefore nothing. How then, tell me,

The Count then retires, and tl father,

scene changes to a hall in the palac Can that which nothing is, be guilt, that is where the Queen, in her robes of stat A thing most heinous-both in earth and is addressed by the old

gypsey. heaven ?

" Gyp. Stop, lady fair, with jewel Friar. There's atheism in such subtlety. hair, I pray thee, son, to change these desperate And something gie, to hear frae me, thoughts ;

That kens what is, and what shall be. They smack of sin, and may draw down Queen. Alas, poor soul! take that sm forever

change, and go That winged thing that is more truly thee, I have no time to list my fortune's spaeil Than is the clothes of flesh and bone thou This is the coronation-day, and I, wear'st,

That am the queen of this resplendent lar Loading its pinions, that would else ex. Have a great part in that solemnity. pand,

Gyp. Pause and ponder, noble dame. And eagle like, soar onward to the skies. Swords have points, and lamps have flam

[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]

Bottles cork'd we may defy,

Still, when 'tis needed, is the pigeon full But doctors' drugs are jeopardy.


go and bring a cloth to wipe that up.-Queen. This is most mystical what doth [Exit the Officer ; in his absence the Archshe mean?

bishop takes a phial out of his pocket, and, Gyp. I heard a tale, I may not tell, unscrewing the head of the dove, empties I saw à sight, I saw it well ;

the poison into the hollow which held the In priestly garb the vision sped,

oil, saying, ] And then a body without head;

Now this will do--for who shall dare to A traitor died, a hangman stood,

question He held it up-red stream'd the blood ; The miracle that doth replenish still The people shouted one and all,

This legendary bauble ? As people should when traitors fall ;

(Re-enter Officer with a towel.) But 0, thou Queen of high degree,


Officer, What 'vails the gladsome shout to thee. Be ye in readiness ; the charter'd nobles, Queen. This is mere rave-I understand Appointed to bring forth these hallow'd it not

ensigns, Away, poor wretch, I'll send for thee again!” Will soon be here to bear them to the pre

The gypsey is accordingly dismissed with the small change” which her (Exit the Archbishop ; and the Officer is majesty had bestowed; for" it is a law

seen wiping up the holy oil as the drop of our nature,” in such circumstances,

scene falls.]”

The whole of this act is perfect, the to deride admonition, and the author evinces his profound knowledge of man, dialogue rich and appropriate, and the in thus representing the Queen, reckless alike of her prophetic

dream, and proceeds with an awful and appalling the gypsey's prediction, still going un

rapidity: dismayed to the coronation.

The drama is very properly divided The next scene represents an apart

into only three acts or parts, the beginment where the regalia of Sicily is ning, the middle, and the end, which kept. The crown and the other ensigns

the author tastefully denominates “the of royalty are seen on a table, and

preparation, “ the operation,” and

“ the consummation;" and the third among them an ivory pigeon, with a golden collar round its neck. The arch- and last opens with the peasants and

Palermitans assembled to see the corobishop enters with an officer, the keep- nation procession, and all talking Scotch er of the regalia, and the following in the most natural manner. brief, but striking conversation, ensues.

Gaffer Curioso. Hoots, ye stupit muca Archb. Are all things now prepared ? kle stot ; what gart you tread on my taes, Off . They are, my lord.

ye sumph that ye are ? Arch. Clean'd and made ready for their Cit. Taes ! ha'e ye taes ? I'm sure a solemn use?

brute like you should ha'e been born baith Of. They have been all done newly up,

wi' horns and clutes. your grace,

Gaffer Curioso. I'll tell you what it is, For, in the time of old Queen Magdalen, gin ye speak in that gait to me, deevil do Whose sordid nature history well records, me gude o' you, but I'll split your harnSome of the gems and precious stones were pan. stolen.

1 Fem. Cit. Black and sour, honest folk, Archb. So I have read, and that one day for gudesake dinna fight. the lord,

2 Fem. Cit. Wheesht, wheesht, it's coWho then with justice held the seals of ming noo ! state,

[The Procession enters with solemn music; Did catch her with the crown upon her lap, the crowd increases, and the Friar comes Digging the jewels with her scissars out, in at one side, and the old Gypsey woman To sell them to a Jew.

at the other. 1 But how is this

Gyp. Wo. That's the friar who bought Where is the golden spoon I must employ the venom frae me at the well—I'll watch To pour

the sacred oil on royalty ? him-For what, I wonder, did he buy the Off. 'Tis here beside the dove.

venom ? Archb. Give me the dove.

Friar. As the Archbishop passes to the Off. 'Tis full, your grace.

church Archb. Ye gods, what have I done! I'll mark him well-for, in my heart, I fear The sacred oil I have spilt on the floor He meant no virtue, when he me entreated But 'tis no matter, still the dove is full. To give the deadly ointment to his care. Yes, though from age to age it hath been Gyp. Wo. The friar's surely no right in pour'd,

the head-He's speaking to himsel - I'll Yea emptied on a hundred royal heads, hearken to what he's saying. Vol. X.


[ocr errors]


Irlar. How he deceived me! no prefer- King. Alas, my heart misgives !-An ment yet

unaccustom'd load Has recompensed me for the fatal phial. Doth hang on my stuff'd stomach, and

Gyp. Wo. Fatal phial !-He's talking forbids about my wee bottle.

All cheer to enter with my boding fancies... Friar. The fell Archbishop, and the Would that most ominous wretch were well Count Butero,

away ;With others of the baronage, have long Avaunt! thou raving Pythia_hie thee Been justly deem'd much discontented hence !

| Fem. Cit. Eh me! how the spae-wife Gyp. Wo. That's nae lie ; for wha's no has terrified the King ! discontented noo a-days?

Cit. Down wi' the auld radical jaud, Friar. The two have plotted ;-strata- she's no canny. gems and spoil

[The mob seize the Gypsey Woman und Were in the gesture of the choleric count, carry her off, and then the second verse What time we spoke together, and his look of God save the King" is sung, and the Told me the prelate was with him con- Procession passes.]

cern'd To work some dire and woeful overthrow; . It is a law of our nature" to have Would that I ne'er had parted with that oppressive presentiments on those ocphial

casions when we have prepared ourTo the proud metropolitan.

selves to enjoy the greatest pleasure ; Gyp. Wo. Eh, megsty! he's gi'en the and our author has, in the foregoing bottle to the Archbishop! 1 Fem. Cit. See ye that poor doited monk? delicate pencil, happily representing

scene, handled this with a free and he's been mumbling to himsel, and never looking at the show.

Carlo Aurenzebe, in the very high and Fem. Cit. And the tinkler wife has been palmy state of his coronation, afflicted harkening to every word he said. with thick coming fancies. The un

1 Fem. Cit. But look, oh, there's the daunted confidence of the Queen, and Archbishop carrying the holy doo-and see her contempt of the omens, is impresCount Butero with the crown-Ohme! what sively illustrative of the blindness of a grand like thing it is.

mankind to impending misfortunes. Cit. Noo, lads, be ready-the King's We do not recollect that “this law of minister's coming.Tune your pipes for a our nature" has ever been illustrated in gude hiss to him for the tax on kail

poetry or the drama before. The action, pots and amries. (As the prime minister passes, the mob all too, of the spectators, is singularly felihiss and howl.]

citous in this scene. Nothing can be Friar. The prelate look'd at me as he more natural, than that in a crowd pass’d by,

people should tread on one another's And there was meaning in his scowling toes; and the various shades of popuglance.

lar feeling are exhibited with great Gyp. Wo. I'll gie the King warning o' address. The first lord of the treasury the plot, and may be he'll help me to ano. is hissed for having levied a new tax; ther ass and creels.

but the universal respect for the chao? 1 Fem. Cit. Ah, me! what a lovely love. racter and office of the monarch, is fine * ly gown the Queen's got on.

ly displayed in the burst of indignaCit. Now, three cheers for the King.

tion with which the populace seize the (The King and Queen enter under a cloth

of state, supported by Bashaws, and the sybil, and drag her to immediate pu-
People sing a verse of God save the nishment. They do not, however, put
King,at the end of which the Gypsey her to death, as might be supposed
Woman rushes forward.]

from what takes place, and by which Gyp. Halt, King, and list-beware, be- the interest of the plot, now hastening ware,

rapidly to an issue, is so much aug. For traitors' hands have laid a snare. mented, for she is afterwards seen Queesi. Come in, my liege, 'tis but & dripping wet in the grand assemblage crazy hag,

of all the dramatis persone at the ca. That makes her living by predicting woe. King. Her voice is most portentous, it tion implies, been pumped upon.

tastrophe, having only, as her condihath cow'd The manhood of my bosom, dearest chuck; rior of the cathedral, and the ceremo

The second scene presents the inte. And I would fain, till some more happy omen,

ny of the coronation going forward Defer the coronation.

The archbishop prepares to anoint, ani
Heed her not,

he looks pale and agitated. The friar But let us in, and on the seat of power

who had followed him closely, observe Be consecrated with the holy unction. his agitation, and also the interest ani

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ed tongue

nor pen

anxiety with which Count Butero My tongue tear hence, and Aing it to the watches the action.

dogs ;
" Friar. Why should his hand so shake? Yea, all extremities of torture try,
_that iv'ry dove,

I can endure them all! fius Framed guileless from the Afric beast's huge

Archb. "Tis a vain bragtooth,

But let me speak no more, lest my unguardCan have no harm in it. He takes the spoon

Betray some secret that may fatal prove. What spell of witchery is in that spoon, [Enter Friar, followed by the Gypsey WoSpiele Tomake his hand so palsied as with dread?-- man, dripping wet.]

He pours the oil into its golden mouth ; Friar. O horror, horror! never tongue in" And now he sets the pigeon on the altar,

And 'gins to drop the unction on the head. Hath told what now hath chanced. The mai Ye gods, why should his majesty so start,

frantic King,
online As if the ointment were the oil of vitriol ? Rushing distracted, in the public eye,

King. Hold, my Lord Archbishop, I Began to reel and stagger in his woe,
pray thee hold,

And presently his head did smoke ; anon
Thou droppest fire upon me. Treason, ho! The bursting fires shot wildly from his
I burn, i burn !-O for some quenching eyes,

And like a lighted torch he burning stood, To lave my kindled head_0! water, wa

Nosuccour offer'd--allthetrembling throng, ter!

Transfix'd, look’d on, incapable to aid." My love, Splendora, I am scorch'd with

Here properly the drama should something

have ended, but the author, conscious Hotter than fire ! —Do'st see if my head of his strength, changes the scene, and flames ?

introduces the Queen again, but in a (4 great commotion takes place the church ; the Queen faints as Carlo Au- mad state, followed by her ladies,wringrenzebe rushes distracted off the stage.] ing their hands. Archb. He's mad !--the man is cursed

* Queen. I had a lover once where is he by heaven with craze,

now? Diss And fate has will'd Butero for our king.

Oft in his vows he spoke of dartsand flames; Priar. "Twas you that did it !- thou Alas ! I heeded not that too fond tale, wicked prelate !

But I have liv'd to see him burn indeed ; 23 Noble Sicilians, draw your swords, and Oye cool fountains and ye flowing springs, seize

Where were your waters in that fatal hour? This holy traitor.--Here I do accuse him

Could I have wept like you, my copious Of highest treason, blood, and sacrilege; And Count Butera art and part with him, Had been sufficient to have quench'd the

fire. In the dread action that appals you all.. Ladies, look to the Queen.

Ha! thou foreboding owl, thou gypsey hag, Secretary. Alas! good priest,

Why didst thou warn me of this woeful Now do I rue how I rejected thee,

chance, --* And scom'd the warning that thou would'st And charm me to despise the admonition ?" have given.

“ The law of our nature," which Friar. Ah, wise too late 1-But where's thus induces her majesty at once to his Majesty?

acknowledge the truth of the gypsey's Fled in distraction let us see to him. (Exit Friar, and the Secretary of State predictions, and to accuse the old wom The Ladies carry off the Queen, and the

man of having rendered her increduNobles seize the Archbishop and Count lous, every man who has had any exButero.]

perience of himself must have felt, and Archb. I'll speak no more, from this cannot but be alive to the simplicity accursed hour.

and beauty of Splendora's address to 0, Count Butero, partner of my crime, the Doctor's Cassandra. But we must My lips are seal'd in adamantine silence; come to a conclusion; the extracts which Yon marble statue of departed worth, we have so largely given, will enable le not more silent on its pedestal,

the public to appreciate the merits of Than from this time am I.

this extraordinary performance, and Count B. Take me away ; Since I have miss'd the guerdon of my pur

we trust and hope the sale will be such

as to induce the author to favour the pose, I am grown reckless of all penalties.

world soon again with some new effort Hew me in pieces, lop my limbs away,

of his impressive talent. Whether “The With pincers rive my quivering flesh, and Fatal Unction” is calculated to succeed pluck

in representation, we cannot undertake These visionary orbs from out their sockets; to determine ; but we do not think that


« PreviousContinue »