Imágenes de página

nest man:


“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 "Tis fraught with death."

poison, when happily she was roused And in this striking manner we are by the king kissing her cheek. A few apprised that her Majesty has been natural enough reflections are made afflicted with a most awful and omin, by both their Majesties on the omen, ous dream, of which, when she had and the first act is terminated by the somewhat come to herself, she gives lord chamberlain knocking for adthe following impressive description:- mission to assist his majesty to dress, “Methought we sat within an ancient hall, while six mute ladies come in with a Our nobles there, and all the peeresses Garb'd as befits the feast you hold to day. round the Queen, and lead her off into

robe de chambre, which they throw But as I look'd, a change came in my her dressing-room.

dream, And suddenly that old and stately hall,

The second act opens in the street, Whose gnarled joists and rafters, richly with a conversation between the friar carved,

who had bought the poison from the Were drap'd and tasselled by the weaving gypsey woman, and the King's princispider,

pal secretary of state for the home Melted away, and I beheld myself department: In a lone churchyard, sitting on a tree, 66 Sec. My I.ord Archbishop is an ho. And a fell band of corse-devouring gowles, Both male and female, gather'd round a Much do I owe him ; for by his good fa

grave. King. What did they there?

I was promoted to the trusts I hold. Queen. With eager hands they dug, Friar. I do not call his honesty in quesFiercely as hungry Alpine wolves they dug, tion, Into the hallow'd chamber of the dead,

But knowing what I know, if you will And, like those robbers whom pale science promise bribes

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

traitor. They drew the sheeted body.

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

nious. Queen.

They did

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 Queen. I tremble to disclose

bottle; King. I pray you, tell-dearest Splen- For whom, assassin, didst thou buy the dora, tell.

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

Sec. No: begone and leave me, 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, town,

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

Are far less dangerous than such as thou ; King. 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." Smelt 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 cretary of state that he had given the

is just on the point of telling the seagain ? Queen. Soon without knives the canni. poison to the Archbishop, and if the bals began

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

Her majesty then continues to re vents himself from hearing the suspia late, that another change came over cious circumstance of the Archbishop the spirit of her dream, and the gowles having secretly provided a bottle of having vanished, she found herself in poison, and quits the scene, vehement


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]



ly expressing his abhorrence of all Count. I'll hear no more thou speak'st 1 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, rude,

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,


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, that a natural enough feeling in a clergy he's prepared to sin ? man,-justly indignant at the imputa Friar. I said not 80,-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 so exit, into this noble soliloquy:

alarm'd ? Oh that the gods, when they did fashion Or thine to him—that thou shouldst quail

What signifies the prelate's sin to thee,

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 dexter Had bless'd me with that noble creature's

hand feet, I would have torn the saucy dotard's throat. I did not charge you with dishonesty,

So on the cut steel of that glittering hilt ? Me, murderer ! what, I that came to speak I spoke but of his grace-look to’t, my My strong suspicion of the plotting prelate, lord : To have my words of truth with rage re Your threat'ning gestures volumes tell to pellid,

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

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

prelate. blood !"

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

few paces with his sword drawen, but mood, Count Butero enters, and a long suddenly checks himself, and returning and highly poetical dialogue takes shcathes it. ) place, in the course of which the friar Count. Back to thy home, my bright is led to suspect that his lordship has and trusty blade; some secret understanding with the I'll not commission thee for aught so mean. 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 detect « Count. But tell me, monk, where lies Our schemed intent to make the coronation 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 the father,

scene changes to a hall in the palace, Can that which nothing is, be guilt, that is where the Queen, in her robes of state, A thing most heinousboth in earth and is addressed by the old gypsey. heaven?

Gyp. Stop, lady fair, with jewelled 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 Qucen. Alas, poor soul ! take that small forever

change, and go That winged thing that is more truly thee, I have no time to list my fortune's spaeing. 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 land, 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 flame;

[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 Arch. she 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 a 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'a it not

ensigns, Away, poor wretch, I'll send for thee again!" Will soon be here to hear 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, action never flags for a moment, but

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


The drama is very properly divided dismayed to the coronation. The next scene represents an apart

into only three acts or parts, the begin. ment 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

“ the operation,” and of royalty are seen on a table, and preparation,"

as 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 muce 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 & solemn use ?

brute like you should ha'e been born baith Off. 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 harn. Some 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.] 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.



Rrlar. How he docelved 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 !

I 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 and 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!

scene, handled this with a free and 1 Fem. Cit. See ye that poor doited monk? delicate pencil, happily representing he's been mumbling to himsel, and never Carlo Aurenzebe, in the very high and looking at the show.

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 un1 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 thecrown—Oh me! what sively illustrative of the blindness of a grand like thing it is.

mankind to impending misfortunes. C'it. 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 new tax on kail poetry or the drama before. The action, pots and amries. As the prime minister passes, the mob all citous in this scene. Nothing can be

too, of the spectators, is singularly felihiss and howl.] 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 cha1 Fem. Cit. Ah, me! what a lovely love- racter and office of the monarch, is finely gown the Queen's got on.

ly displayed in the burst of indignaCit. Now, three cheers for the King. (The King and Queen enter under a cloth

tion with which the populace seize the of state, supported by Bashaws, and the sybil, and drag her to immediate puPeople sing a verse of God save the nishment. They do not, however, put King,at the end of which the Gypscy 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

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

of all the dramatis persone at the caThat 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 cereino

The second scene presents the inteAnd I would fain, till some more happy omen,

ny of the coronation going forwarıl. Defer the coronation.

The archbishop prepares to anoint, and Queen.

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, observes Be consecrated with the holy unction. his agitation, and also the interest and


I am not 80 smlt with antiquarian from the face of the earth itself, every mania, as to imagine, or to atteinpt to intimation, every record of antiquity; persuade others to imagine, that a and thus I would train up a young, 66 Ruin" is preferable, as an object of and a bustling, and a trifling generapleasurable contemplation, to an entire tion, to consider pleasure and pudding and a sublime edifice; but I assured- as all in all ! ly think, that when these floating My reflections have assumed this wrecks on the ocean of time are asso cast, in consequence of a visit, or pleaciated not only with the mere display sure excursion rather, which, a few of architectural design and execution, days ago, I was induced to make, in but with the ancient spirit and moral company with a highly respectable energies of our country, with much and intelligent friend, to the ruins of that it has now lost, but which once Falkland Palace. Understanding that rendered it dignified in its internal the present proprietor of these “Royal character, and imposing in its external Ruins," and of the extensive grounds relations, our patriotism must be of a around them, (J. Bruce, Esq.) had, very suspicious description indeed, if it with a great deal of good sense and is not awakened and strengthened by proper feeling, ordered the Palace to be the contemplation of them. There is enclosed by a sufficient wall, and thus nothing, in my opinion, which is more protected from that dilapidation untruly salutary to our national health der which, in the course of ages, it had and prosperity, than this reverence for, suffered so mu and by means of and frequent conversation with, the which (if permitted to be proceeded “Mighty Past.” And, should the time in) not a vestige would in a few years ever arrive when a Scotsman can tra- remain, I was anxious, ere the inclovel over the land of his fathers, hal- sure should be completed, and the forlowed as it is in almost


direction mer aspect of the ruins, by the openwith reminiscences of their public cha- ing up of some new views,* in some racter or domestic life, without taking measure altered, to saunter over, unany interest in such recollections, he der the conduct of a well-informed will then be ripe for a state of rebel- and intelligent guide, the venerable, lion or of vassalage. He will either and time-hallowed precincts. It was have actually forfeited his claims to in a June day, and worthy of Juno herdependence, or be prepared to do so. self. The wind, which had long resistWere I desirous of reducing our na- ed every southern tendency, and which tional character, whether considered in had regularly at night-fall checked reference to loyalty or to patriotism, to round in sullen obstinacy to the east, all that binds our hearts to the throne, had at last yielded up or that attaches us to our national con- and came over our faces, as we advanced stitution and privileges; from the ple- upon our expedition, in all the blannitude of authority, or rather from the dishment and softness of an Italian atinsidious covert of design, I would mosphere. The sun, which had obissue forth my mandate, that all the tained sufficient elevation to overshoot monuments of our ancient history the highest parts of the Lomond hills, should be erased—that with the ruins yet not to irradiate the northern asof the cathedral, as well as with the pect, flooded down his beams upon us, tomb-stones of the martyrs, men should over a dark and still sunless backbuild offices, and constructfences—and ground, through which trees, and turthat the fast mouldering palaces of the rets, and cottage-smoke were beginrace of Stuart should yield up their ning to penetrate into light. There last foundation-stone to grace the lin- was a freshness and a hilarity over the tels of some modern villa, or figure whole face of nature, according well from the snug parlour chimney of some with that lightness of heart, and

buoyburgh magistrate. I would become a ancy of spirit, which generally accomsecond Edward, and efface not only panies, as well as suggests, such carefrom

paper and parchment, but even less, and, as the busy world deem it,

« the point,

* The alterations here alluded to, are towards the north side of the Palace, by means of which the northern aspect, which was formerly concealed by trees and some rising grounds, will be opened up, and travellers upon the Cupar and Perth roads, by Auchtermuchty, will have an excellent view of the ruins.

« AnteriorContinuar »