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article with some criticism on the character of the power displayed in its creation.
The three chief characters are the Queen Mother, Gonzales her confessor, and the Duke de Bourbon. The Queen Mother having conceived a violent passion for the Duke, had persuaded her son that the Constable's power was "growing strongly in the Milanese;" and the King, at her instigation, had recalled him from the government, that his high ambition might be checked, "beneath the shadow of the throne."
The second scene of the first act is
in the Queen Mother's apartment and that imperious personage precipitately appears before us, soliloquizing on the passion that fevers her
"Queen. So I am glad Gonzalès is not
I would not even he should see me thus.
With repetition of the hero's name,
who's dearer far to me than life or fame."
From Gonzales' soliloquy, we gather that he is not what he seems, a mere priest, but an emissary from the Emperor, for the purpose of political intrigues at the court of his great rival. He is, in truth, a Spanish warrior of noble birth, and distinguished reputation, Don Garcia; and had been instigated to assume the part he plays, by desire to revenge the dishonour of his sister, who had been shamefully seduced by the father (now dead) of
Now out upon this beating heart, these Laval, a young Frenchman, who
That throb and burn so; and this crimson
That rushes o'er my brow: now, by this light,
Mother of France, and wellnigh Queen of it,
As I have borne my pow'r :-the time is near,
I am ashamed of this ill timed relapse,―
Gonzales enters, and seeing the paleness of her cheek, and the quivering of her lip, asks, "Is your highness ill?" a question to which she is too much absorbed to replybut says
"Queen. Hush! 'twas a trumpet, was it
Surely it is the tramp of horses' hoofs
I pray thee, father, throw the casement
The air is stifling."
She then boldly and energetically avows her passion to the astonished Monk-and leaves him to ruminate on the strange confession, exclaiming as she goes
must pay the penalty of his parent's crime.
he real cause of his recall, his fiery spirit is burning with indignation on his disgrace, and cannot control its wrath, even in the apartment of the Princess Margaret, his lady-love. Ere she, the sister of the King, had again seen her lover's face, she had been told of his return by Triboulet (the court fool,) and had given vent to her emotions, in these beautiful. lines
“He is return'd! he will be there! and yet Though meeting, after long eventful ab
We shall not in our meeting be half blest: A dizzy, whirling throng will be around us, 'Mid whose loud jar the still small voice of love,
Whose accents breathe their soft enchant
perfect light, she throws off her veil (the veil of widowhood,) and to the young hero, who had flung himself at her feet, exclaiming,
"Madam, in pity speak but one word more, Who is that woman ?"— she passionately cries, "I AM THAT WOMAN ?"
The feelings of the old, or at least elderly lady (somewhere, we believe, about forty-five) may be more easily imagined than described, on hearing on the deafest side of her head the Constable's more than uncourteous acknowledgment of the honour! "Bour. (starting up). You, by the holy mass! I scorn your proffers ;
Is there no crimson blush to tell of fame
In whisper'd sighs, or but half-whisper'd And shrinking womanhood! Oh shame!
Will die unheard. Oh that we thus should
But, then, there is love's eye to flash his thought
Into a language, whose rich eloquence Beggars all voice; our eyes at least may meet, And change, like messengers, the loving freight
That either heart sends forth."
(The QUEEN remains clasping her hands to her temples, while DE BOURBON walks hastily up and down: after a long pause the QUEEN speaks.) Queen. What ho! Marlon! St Evreux! Enter two Gentlemen. Summon my confessor! (Exeunt.)—And now, my lord,
I know not how your memory serves you;
No matter we will speak of that anon.
Sir, we have business with this holy father;
The Colloquy between the lovers at their first interview is very characteristic and it requires all the mild persuasion and dignified composure of the Princess to calm the storm of rage in De Bourbon's bosom, as it is ready to burst forth the Queen. She succeeds in doing so, by a mixture of seriousness, fondness, and playful raillery, very skilfully combined; and the lovers part thus
"Bour. I'faith I must; the storm is over now;
And having burst, why, I shall be the calmer. Farewell, sweet monitress! I'll not forget. Marg. Oh, but I fear
Bour. Fear not-she is thy mother!"
De Bourbon is then ushered by Gonzales into the presence of the Queen-Mother, who has resolved
"To try the mettle of his soul, And tempt him with the glitter of a
She plays her part with very great address, and having at length, as she imagines, let the Duke into the secret of her passion, and found him, though rather perplexed, eager for
Queen. Are we obeyed?
Bour. (aside). Oh Margaret!for thee! for thy dear sake!
[Rushes out. The QUEEN sinks into` a chair.
Queen. Refus'd and scorn'd! Infamy!-the word chokes me !
How now! why stand'st thou gazing at me thus ?"
Gonzales answers-coolly and cuttingly-" I wait your highness' pleasure!" What that pleasure must now be, the simplest may conjecture aright-" Oh! sweet revenge!" It is, we believe, a general law of nature, that proffered love, in all such cases, is soured suddenly, as by à flash of lightning, into hate. So is it now with Louisa of Savoy. She is savage as an old tigress-not robbed of her whelps-but of a young tiger beautifully striped, who had shewn himself with a bland pur for a mo
ment at the mouth of her cave, as if ready for dalliance, and then with an angry growl all at once had leapt away into a wood. She resolves to ruin De Bourbon, and hints, if we mistake not, at depriving him of his vast possessions by forgery. Gonzales, who is delighted to know that her suit has been rejected, (for, had it been accepted, his master, Charles, would have suffered from the genius of the Duke made king, and he himself probably been baffled in his schemes for revenge,) expresses his willingness to aid her in all her designs" it rests but with your grace to point the means." The infuriated Queen-Mother has a great command of speech.
"Not dearer to my heart will be the day When first the crown of France deck'd my son's forehead, Dow
Than that when I can compass thy perdi
When I can strip the halo of thy fame IT From off thy brow, seize on the wide do
mains, 371⁄2d I brs drop silly That make thy hated house akin to empire, And give thy name to deathless infamy.bu But a woman of her great talents could control the expression of her rage; and she enters with dignity the council-chamber thronged with the nobility, and, led by her son the King, takes her seat on the throne. Bourbon is there, and ere she deals him the blow, the Queen-Mother
taunts him with cutting sarcasms in an under-tone, which the courtiers, if they chanced to overhear it, must have thought the sweetest royal condescension. Francis declares Count Lautrec Governor of Milan-and, as he is about hand to buck with our own royal on the sword," the Queen interposés haughtily, and
Queen (rising). What ho! a guard within there! Charles of Bourbon,
I do arrest thee, traitor to the crown! nosibe Enter Guard.
Away with yonder widemouth'd thunderer!
cannot) 10 nei soglaci We'll try if gyves and strait confinement
Check this high eloquence, and cool the brain tuoia med
Which harbours such unmanner'd hopes." Jovis god 3 [Bourbon is forced out. De Bourbon is imprisoned, and, as his offence is nothing short of high treason, his doom is to be death. But the passion of the Queen, who, as Priory of Charles Vth, was Robertson well says in his amorous as she was vindictive," again burns like a furnace to the wind, and she sends Gonzales to him in his dungeon to offer him pardon and liberty, on condition of his yet ascending her bed. With joy he goes on the mission-but to inflame the fury of Bourbon, and cunningly to instigate him to forsake France, and join his master, who will be happy to appoint him, if not generalissimo of his armies, commander, with equal power with Lannoy and Pescara me
Meanwhile, and ere Gonzales reaches the prison, the Princess Margaret is comforting Bourbon-or ras ther striving to soothe him into submission that may save his beloved life. But he is stern almost savage of mood-and remains obdurate to the gentle but high-souled lady's
And parted, knowing we should meet again; Therefore, come when he may, we've look'd are upon
Each other far too narrowly, for me
With the pale scarecrow
--Death! Gonz, (aside.) Ah, think'st thou so? And thou didst never lie wrapp'd round so long
With death's cold arms, upon the gory field, As I have lain. (Aloud)--Hear me, thou hard of heart! 20 who
They go forth to battle are led on With sprightly trumpets and shrill clamorous clarions;
The drum doth roll its double notes along, Echoing the horses' tramp; and the sweet fife
Runs through the yielding air in dulcet
'Stead of the war-cry, and wild battle-roar
I'the dead noon o' night, when they would
Rather than watch: but, father, I care not, E'en if the ugliest sound I e'er did hearThy raven voice-croak curses o'er my grave. Gonz. What! death and shame! alike you heed them not!
Then, Mercy, use thy soft, persuasive arts, And melt this stubborn spirit! Be it known To you, my lord, the Queen hath sent me hither.
Bour. Then get thee hence again, foul,
pandering priest !
By heaven! I knew that cowl did cover o'er
That from the evil harvest which they yield,
Gonz. Hold, madman! hear me ! If for thy fame, if for thy warm heart's blood. Thou wilt not hear me, listen in the name Of France thy country.-
Bour. Tempter, get thee gone!
I have no land, I have no home,-no country,
I am a traitor, cast from out the arms
Of my ungrateful country! I disown it!
May it become the slave of foreign power! May foreign princes grind its thankless children!
And make all those, who are such fools, as yet To spill their blood for it, or for its cause, Dig it like dogs! and when they die, like dogs, Rot on its surface, and make fat the soil, Whose produce shall be seized by foreign hands!
Gonz. (aside.) Now, then, to burst the last frail thread that checks His headlong course,-another step, and then He topples o'er the brink!-he's won-he's
(Aloud)-You beat the air with idle words;
Doth know how deep his country's love lies grain'd
In his heart's core, until the hour of trial!
Fierce though you hurl your curse upon the land,
Whose monarchs cast ye from its bosom; yet,
And its far flash shall lighten o'er the land,