Obrázky stránek

Or looking downward, with your eye-lids Bal. We were embarked for Ireland close,

wretched we! And saying, truly, an't may please your

With awkward winds and by sore tempests honour,

driven, Can get you any favour with great men ; To fall on shore, and here to pine in fear You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute, Of Mortimer and his confederates. And now and then stab, as occasion serves. Edw. Mortimer! who talks of Mortimer?

Who wounds me with the name of Mortimer? The King's party are victorions-the

That bloody man!-good father! on thy lap rebel leaders, except Kent and young 'Lay I this head, laden with meikle care

. Mortimer, who escape to France and

O might I never ope these eyes again! join the Queen there, are executed

Never again lift up this drooping head ! and Edward relapses into his former O'never more ! lift up this dying heart! mode of life. The Queen, Mortimer, Spen. Look up my lord -Baldock, and their party, return with increased

this drowsiness power to England ; and the King's Betides no good; even here we are betrayed!" army being overthrown, he himself be- The Earl of Leicester and Rice-apcomes a houseless fugitive. And now Howel enter, and the King is taken the tragical part of the Drama begins, prisoner. Our readers will pardon us and is sustained throughout with pro- for asking them to reflect a moment digious power. We have seen Edward on the exquisite beauty of this scene. in all the pomp and splendour of his All contempt and dislike of the wretchabused royalty, and now he is brought ed King are gone from our hearts ;before us a miserable spectacle of de- we forget that his own vices and follies gradation and fear, not only shorn of have driven him to such misery, or if his regal beams, but driven down into we faintly remember it, the remem. the most abject helplessness of huma- brance gives a more melancholy, a nity.

more mournful shade to our compas“ Enter Abbot, Monks, Edward, Spenser,

sion ;-we see the purer and brighter and Baldock.

qualities of his human nature expandAb. Have you no doubt, my lord ; have ing themselves in the cold air of sorrow,

once blighted in the sunshine of joy; As silent and as careful we will be,

-it is affecting to hear him at last moTo keep your royal person safe with us, ralizing on the miseries of rule and Free from suspect and fell invasion empiry, who has so thoughtlessly renOf such as have your Majesty in chase, dered himself an example of them ;Yourself, and those your chosen company, we hope that he may at last be sufferAs danger of this stormy time requires. Edw. Father ! thy face should harbour delightful to his soul ;-we share in all

ed to enjoy that quiet so new and so no deceit. O hadst thou ever been a king, thy heart,

his cold trembling starts of fear and Pierced deeply with a sense of my distress, terror,--we gaze with a solemn and forCould not but take compassion on my state. giving pity on his hoary head, bowed Stately and proud in riches and in train down by agony and sleep on the knees Whilom I was ; powerful and full of pomp. of the holy

man ;-we even sympathise But what is he, whom rule and empiry with the superstitious dread of his atHave not in life or death made miserable ?

tendants, who consider his sudden Come, Spenser—come, Baldock_sit down slumber as a forewarning of calamity,

by me Make trial now of that philosophy,

and we feel chilled, as if we ourselves That in our famous nurseries of arts

were struck by the hand of danger, Thou suck’st from Plato and from Aristotle. when he awakes in the grasp of his Father ! this life contemplative is Heaven ! enemies and his murderers. O that I might this life in quiet lead ! Edward is now imprisoned in KilLut we, alas! are chased : and you, mylingworth Castle, and the Bishop of friends,

Winchester enters to receive from him Your lives and my dishonour they pursue. his abdicated crown. What follows Yet, gentle Monks, for treason, gold, or fec, is worthy of Shakspeare. Do you betray us and our company! Monk. Your Grace may sit secure, if none “ Leicester! if gentle words might com

you no fear.

but we wot of your abode. Spen. Not one alive--but shrewdly I sus- Thy speeches long ago had eased my sorrows; pect

For kind and loving hast thou always been. A gloomy fellow in a mead below.

The griefs of private men are soon allayed, He gave a long look after us, my Lord, But not of kings. The forest deer being And all the land i know is up in arms,

struck, Arms that pursue our lives with deadly hate. Runs to an hcrb that closeth up the wounds;

fort me,

But when th' imperial Lion's flesh is gored, They pass not for thy frowns as late they did,
He rends and tears it with his wrathful paw, But seek to make a new elected King,
And highly scorning that the lowly earth Which fills my mind with strange despair-
Should drink his blood, mounts up into the ing thoughts;

Which thoughts are martyred with endless And so it fares with me, whose dauntless

torments, mind

And in this torment comfort find I none, Th’ambitious Mortimer would seek to curb; But that I find the Crown upon my head, And that unnatural Queen, false Isabel, And therefore let me wear it yet awhile. Who thus hath pent and mewed me in a Trusty. My Lord ! the Parliament must prison.

have present news, For such outrageous passions cloy my soul, And therefore saywill you resign or no ? As with the wings of rancour and disdain Edw. I'll not resign—but whilst I live Full oft am I soaring up to high Heaven,

be King To plain me to the Gods against them both. O would I might! but Heaven and Earth But when I call to mind I am a King,

conspire Methinks I should revenge me of the wrongs To make me miserable : here, receive my That Mortimer and Isabel have done.

Crown ! But what are kings when regiment is gone? Receive it-no, these innocent hạnds of mine But perfect shadows in a sunshine day. Shall not be guilty of so foul a crime ! My Nobles rule-I bear the name of King ! He of you all that most desires my blood, I wear the Crown, but am contrould by And will be called the Murtherer of a King, them,

Take it. What are you moved ? pity you By Mortimer, and my unconstant Queen,

me? Who spots my nuptial bed with infamy, Then send for unrelenting Mortimer, While I am lodged within this cave of care, And Isabel, whose eyes being turned to steel, Where sorrow at my elbow still attends Will sooner sparkle fire than shed a tear. To company my heart with sad laments Yet stay--for rather than I will look on That bleeds within me for this shame and

them! change.

-Here! here!--Now sweet God of Heaven! But tell me, must I now resign my Crown Make me despise this transitory pomp, To make usurping Mortimer a King. And sit for ever enthronized in Heaven ! Win. Your Grace mistakes ; it is for Come, Death! and with thy fingers close England's good

my eyes, And princely Edward's right we crave the Or, if I live, let me forget myself, Crown.

Enter Berkely. Edw. No ! 'tis for Mortimer, not Ed- Ber. My Lord ! ward's head;

Edw. Call me not-Lord ! But if proud Mortimer do wear this Crown, Away, out of my sight-ah! pardon me! Heavens turn it to a blaze of quenchless fire! Grief makes me lunatic,” &c. Or like the snaky wreath of T'isiphon, Alas! poor Edward's fit of philosoEngirt the temples of his hateful head,

phy at the monastery was but of short So shall not England's vines be perished, duration ! He has thus gone through But Edward's name survive, tho’Edward dies. the agonies of abdication-but direr Lei. My Lord ! why waste you thus the time away?

agonies await him,-pains more inThey stay your answer; will you yield the tense than can spring from the deCrown?

struction of mere outward possessions, Edw. Here, take my Crown! the life of born in the soul, when pierced even Edward too!

unto its inmost core by the sting of its Two Kings in England cannot reign at once. own shrieking helplessness, and not

But stay awhile, let me be King till night, confined to the soul alone, but sent That I may gaze upon this glittering

Crown; thrilling through the blood, and heapSo shall my eyes receive their last content, My head the latest honour due to it,

ed and weighed down upon the flesh And jointly both yield up their blessed right.

in every possible form of hideousness, Continue ever, thou celestial sun!

--cold, hunger, thirst, and want of Let never silent night possess this clime ! sleep, endured in the darkness of foul Stand still ye watches of the element ! and imprisoned solitude. All times and seasons, rest you at a stay, In the midst of the miseries of the That Edward may be still fair England's King, Marlow has suddenly brought king!

forward the Queen and her Paramour, -But day's bright beam doth vanish fast in all the glory of their high estate.

away, And needs I must resign my wicked Crown. The effect is electrical. The relenta -See, monsters, see ! I'll wear my Crown less Mortimer dooms him to death, again!

but commands his creatures, Gurney What ! fear you not the fury of your King ? and Matrevis, first to bear down his But, hapless Edward, thou art fondy led ! body and soul by famine, and nightly


down ;

travel from place to place. The Queen Immortal Powers ! that know the painful approves of these savage orders, and with a callous hypocrisy, which seems

That wait upon my poor distressed soul ! almost beyond the capabilities of hu- Olevel all your looks upon these daring men,

That wrong their Liege and Sovereign, man wickedness,

England's King “ The She-Wolf of France with unrelent- Gaveston! it is for thee that I am wronged; ing fangs

For me both Thou and both the Spensers That tears the bowels of her mangled mate,” died ! says to the messengers at parting : And for your sakes a thousand wrongs I'll

take. " Whether goes this letter, to my Lord the King ?

The Spenser's ghosts, wherever they remain, Commend me humbly to his Majesty,

Wish well to mine !-then tush ! for them

I die.” And tell him that I labour all in vain, To ease his grief and work his liberty, An assassin is at last sent to murAnd bear him this, as witness of my love." der the King, who thus describes his

Meanwhile the King is in the hands qualifications with manifest satisfacof his tormentors.

tion: “ Enter Matrevis and Gurney, with the

Lightborn. You shall not need to give King.

instructions ; Mat. My Lord, be not pensive, we are

"Tis not the first time I have killed a man. your friends ;

I learned in Naples how to poison flowers; Men are ordained to live in misery,

To strangle with a lawn thrust through the Therefore come,dalliance dangereth ourlives.

throat; Edward. Friends ! whither must unhap- To pierce the windpipe with a needle's point; py Edward go ?

Or, whilst one is asleep, to take a quill Will hateful Mortimer appoint no rest ?

And blow a little powder in his ears ; Must I be vexed like the nightly Bird,

Or open his mouth and pour quicksilver Whose sight is loathsome to all winged fowls? When will the fury of his mind assuage ?

But yet I have a braver than these. When will his heart be satisfied with blood ?

Mort. What's that ? If mine will serve, unbowel straight this

Light. Nay, none shall breast,

know my tricks. And give my heart to Isabel and him,

Mort. I care not how it is, so it be not It is the chiefest mark they level at.

spy'd. Gur. Not so, my Liegel the Queen hath Deliver this to Gurney and Matrevis ; given this charge,

At every ten-mile-end thou hast a horse ; To keep your grace in safety.

Take this-away--and never see me more !" Your passions make your choler to increase.

Gurney and Matrevis are conversing Edw. This usage makes my misery in about the King when the assassin ar

rives with his commission. But can my air of life continue long, Mat. Gurney, I wonder the King dies When all my senses are annoyed with stench?

not, Within a dungeon England's King is kept, Being in a vault up to the knees in water, Where I am starved for want of sustenance. To which the channels of the castle run ; My daily diet is heart-breaking sobs, From whence a damp continually ariseth That almost rend the closet of my heart; That were enough to poison any man, Thus lives old Edward, not relieved of any, Much more a king brought up so tenderly, And so must die, though pitied by many. Gur. And so do I, Matrevis ; yesternight O water! gentle Friends, to cool my thirst, I open'd but the door to throw him meat, And clear my body from foul excrements. And I was almost stifled with the savour. Mat. Here's channel-water, as our charge Mat. He hath a body able to endure is given.

More than we can inflict; and therefore now Sit down;

for we'll be barbers to your Grace. Let us assail his mind another while. Edw. Traitors, away! what, will you Gur. Send for him out thence and I'll

murder me, Or choke your Sovereign with puddle water? Gur. No: but wash your face and shave the dreadful mode of its perpetration ;

The murder is now arranged, and your beard, Lest you be known, and so rescued.

and the assassin is admitted into the Mat. Why strive you thus ? your labour miserable dungeon of his vietim. is in vain.

Edw. Who's there? what light is that? Edw. The Wren may strive against the wherefore comest thou ? Lion's strength,

Light. To comfort you, and bring you But all in vain : so vainly do I strive

joyful news. To seek for mercy at a Tyrant's hand. Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward (They wash him with puddle-water, and in thy looks. slave his beard away.

Villain! I know thou com'st to murder me.


anger him.

my Lord !

Light. To murder you ! my most gra- Now, as I speak, they fall; and yet with fear cious Lord!

Open again !-Oh! wherefore sitt'st thou Far is it from my heart to do you harm.

here? The Queen sent me to see how you were used, Light. If you mistrust me, I'll be gone, For she relents at this your misery; And what eyes can refrain from shedding Edw. No, no; for if thou mean'st to tears

murder me, To see a King in this most piteous state. Thou wilt return again ; and therefore stay. Edw. Weep'st thou already ? list awhile Light. He sleeps ! to me,

Edw. (In sleep.) O let me not die! 0 And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's is, stay! O stay awhile ! Or as Matrevis, hewn from the Caucasus, Light. How now, my Lord ? Yet will it melt ere I have done my tale. Edw. Something still buzzete in mine This dungeon, where they keep me, is the

ears! sink

And tells me, if I sleep, I never wake. Wherein the filth of all the Castle falls. This fear is that which makes me tremble Light. O villains !

thus, Edw. And there in mire and puddle have And therefore tell me, wherefore art thou I stood

come ? This ten days' space; and, lest that I should Light. To rid thee of thy life.” sleep,

He is then murdered in the midst One plays continually upon a drum.

of fearful cries; and the assassin, durThey give me bread and water-being a

ing savage exultation over his crime, King! So that, for want of sleep and sustenance,

is stabbed by Gurney, who rushes in, My mind's distemper'd, and my body's and his carcass cast into the Castle numbed ;

moat. And whether I have limbs or no, I know not. We do not fear to say that this Oh! would my blood drop out from every drama will stand a comparison even vein,

with Shakspeare's Richard II. There As doth this water from my tatter'd robes! undoubtedly are some glorious emanaTell Isabel, the Queen, I look'd not thus,

tions and flashings of Shakspeare's When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,

soul in Richard that could burst from And there unhors'd the Duke of Cleremont. Light. O speak no more, my Lord! this

no other shrine ; but not even Shakbreaks my heart !

speare himself could have drawn a picLie on this bed and rest yourself awhile. ture of more pitiable suffering than Edw. These looks of thine can harbour what Marlow has given us in the connought but death!

cluding scenes of his Edward. I see my tragedy written in thy brows.

has not painted the fallen Monarch Yet stay awhile ; forbear thy bloody hand,

alone, but he has wearied, wasted, And let me see the stroke before it comes,

and withered away the body and the That even then, when I shall lose my life, My mind may be more stedfast on my God!

soul of the Man, by ceaseless, foul, Light. What means your Highness to

and agonizing penance. Having first mistrust me thus ?

reduced the king to the level of the Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble man, he has then reduced the man to with me thus ?

the condition of the brute, and brought Light. These hands were never staind his victim through every imaginable with innocent blood,

agony, down from the glory of the Nor shall they now be tainted with a King's. throne to the filth of the dungeon. Edw. Forgive my thought, for having He seems. unable to satiate his own

such a thought ! One jewel have I left, receive thou this !

spirit with dreams of hideous degradaStill fear I—and I know not what's the cause, tion; and the darkness, and dampBut every joint shakes as I give it thee. ness, and solitude of a cell, is not an Oh! if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart, imprisonment equal to his imaginaLet this gift change thy mind, and save thy tion of cruelty ; but he has thrust the soul !

sufferer into noisome stench and beKnow, that I am a King! oh! at that name griming mire, that he may lose the I feel a hell of grief! where is my crown ?

very form of a human creature, and Gone! gone ! and I remain ! Light. You're overwatch'd, my Lord !

become as it were incorporated with lie down and rest !

the foulness, and loathsomeness, and Edw. But that grief keeps me waking, putridity, of the rotten earth. And I should sleep;

when this tormented skeleton is to For not these ten days have these eye-lids breathe no more, his miseries are terclosed !

minated by a death of unimagined

He tue. *

“ Man

[ocr errors]

horror, so that our last dream of the

ACCOUNT OF THE ATTEMPT OF FRANdungeon is filled with the outcries and

CIS EARL OF BOTHWELL UPON THE shrieks of madness.

PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE, IN Such a catastrophe is too pitiable; 1591. and accordingly Marlow has mitigated its severity by the noble conclusion of

MR EDITOR, the Drama. The young Edward, as Tue following is a contemporary acyet a beardless boy, seems on a sud- count of the desperate attempt of den inspired by a divine impulse to Francis Earl of Bothwell, upon the avenge his Father's murder; the guil- Palace of Holyroodhouse, in the year ty but remorseless Queen is led to

1591, for the purpose of seizing the prison, and Mortimer is beheaded ; person of James the Sixth ; being the and thus the soul turns from the melancholy remembrance of degradation ed in an old hand, “ Letter of News

contents of an Original Letter, indorsand misery to the august spectacle of about the Erl of Bothwell's Plot." righteous retribution and princely vir- It is the fullest Narrative of the

H. M.

event hitherto published, and, inde

pendently of correcting its date, point* We cannot but consider it a flattering which are, perhaps, not susceptible of

edly alludes to some other particulars, distinction, that our account of the “ Tragical History of Dr Faustus” has attracted easy explanation.

J. R. the notice of the eloquent Critic on fred” in the Edinburgh Review ; and that

• Upon mononday, ye 3 of Januar, suld he has thought it incumbent on him to ex

bein ane justing befoir the Quenis Grace in ye

Linkes. The Chancellare* suld bein press his dissent from a supposed opinion of ours, that Lord Byron borrowed the plan extraordinare he banketting in ye Abbay.

the ane partie yairof, for this zuili hes bein and general character of his noble Poem Quhairof ye erll bothwell ande' his comfrom that singular and extraordinary DraNonc can estimate Lord Byron's ori plices being forsein dar not yam selvis in

leich. The day became foul, and swa yat purginality higher than we do, and we think, that if our readers will take the trouble

pose in the first beginning was disapointit.

Ye nixt nicht at evin, he entret in ye Abbay of referring to our paper on “ Faustus,"

be ye duikis stables at fyve houris at evin, they will not agree with une Edinburgh Re

and remanet in ye lang stabill quill neir viewer, in supposing that we accused Byron of plagiarism from Marlow.' We merely stated, that there was a general resemblance sion, we did not allude to Marlow alone, in the subjects, and that, therefore, inde. but to the great body of the old English pendently of its great intrinsic merits, Mar- Dramatists. And though this opinion may low's Tragedy possessed an extraordinary by many be held erroncous, it will not, present interest.

passage of
great force

are sure, be thought absurd by those well and energy we quoted as equal, in our opi- acquainted with the transcendant excellence nion, to any thing of a similar strain in of those immortal Writers. We beg to ad“ Manfred,”-a passage in which the vise our readers, that they cannot better miseries of hell are described as consisting prepare their minds for the study of the old in the tormented consciences of the wicked. English Drama, than by a careful perusal Though we supposed it not improbable that of an Essay in the Edinburgh Review on Lord Byron might have read this passage, “ Ford's Works,”-in which the spirit and we never insinuated that he had imitated, character of the great Writers of the Elizamuch less borrowed it ; but we said that bethan Age are described with all the phithere was in it much of a congenial power, losophical eloquence of a Schlegel, united and no small portion of that terrific gloom with that grace and vivacity peculiar to the in which his Lordship's poetry is so often ingenious Essayist. This, we believe, is majestically shrouded. That “ Faustus" the Essay which roused the blind and blun. is, as a composition, very inferior to Man- dering wrath of Coleridge, and which, after fred, we perfectly agree with the Reviewer; speaking with unqualified contempt of the for the wavering character of the German critical disquisitions in the Review, he ramagician will not bear comparison for a ther unluckily asserts, was borrowed from a moment with that of the Princely Wanderer letter of his to the Editor. It appears, of the Alps : and the mixed, rambling, however, that only two sentences in that faheadlong, and reckless manner of Marlow, mous letter had any reference to that subin that play, must not be put into conipe- ject; and they who know how little Mr tition with the sustained dignity of Byron. Coleridge can expand into 150 pages, will In the concluding sentences of our paper, imagine how much he was likely to compres; where we say that Lord Byron has been into half-a-dozen lines. surpassed both in variety and depth of pas

* Maitland.


« PředchozíPokračovat »