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the King and me it did, upon the one sidetrayed by him || Had I been him, not
youth and health and on the other age len
not seen the King before the night the
marriage was ; nor shall I ever forget the I denying it or been obstirrely silent till
tempest of my soul that then occurf'd.
carried smiles upon my face, but in my
heart—reluctance—hate—antipathy | No wonder is it then that they who thus are joined prove faithless to their marriagevows. ...There's nothing to be conceived that's like the shuddering disgust a woman feels when married to a man for whom she has no love. Nor's there a woman living placed in circumstances similar to mine but would have done as I have 7– De L. Did he abet the murder Queen. He did, He instigated me to it. Poor coward | But let it pass—I've done the murder, and am prepared to hear my doom, prepared to meet a speedy death ! But let him live my lords, beseech you. ... Take not his worthless life. but let him linger thro’ the world contemned, despised l)e L. No-the law will not admit of it. He is as deep as thou art within the mire of guilt, and must likewise suffer for the crime;—must likewise on the scaf fold be exposed to gibes, contempt and ignominious death ! Ubaldo—
Ubalbo and two guards) Queen. Then lead me back to my dungeon. I desire to never see the face of my betrayer again, never again hear his treacherous voice. My memory calls to mind how I have been deceived by him, and makes me wish that we had never met or else that we had never been born —Adultery ar.d murder— both for him, and this is my reward | Night after night I stole into his arms, with tremulous and guilty fear ) ow.), but love surmounted every fear, and to his amorous vows of faith I sacrificed my honor, placed my reputation at his disposal and now l find myself a murderess — little thought at first how serious the crime or what would be the consequence! De L. Crime progresses by slow and sure degrees. Queen. But then to think of his in. gratitude! to think that after all I am be.
gines, wheels or racks of any kind, should ever have wrung the secret from my . lips or scarcely wrenched from me a cry of pain s—what, frightened at the sight of a dagger!—I would have travely died
death !—no dagger should have alarmed me —(with a sneer of contempt.) De L. Here comes thy accessory. (the Queen is going,) Nay stay where thou art, unhappy Queen. I am not harsh but positive and bid thee stay.
(re-enter Ubaldo and the two guards, with Lothaire angrily clenching his chains—he does not perceive the Queen, but boldly walks into the middle of the court and commences speaking.)
Lot. Why—why am I brought again within this court 1 for what is it! is it to triumph in my fall ! to see the wreck ambition has wrought ! and bear the clank of these ignoble chains 2--1s it for that; or is it to gratify a paltry | ride, and ver the fallen fortunes boast of , i.e whose favour oft ye’ve sought when days more prospel ous were mine. I ask again, why am I brought into the court 1
De L. We have brought thee here to pass the solemn sentence of the law upon the crime thou'rt guilty of. Think not that we exult in it—oh no! we pity thee. See there too—(pointiug to the Queen) what thou hast done.
my fate—it tells me of approaching death'
De L. It does—it warns ye both; and may Heaven have mercy upon your souls.
Queen. Mercy! talk not of that—the sound is mockery I have no hopes of it and it but tortures me to think of it. There stands my ruin—there !—(pointing to Lothatre.) He cowers beneath my gaze— he shrinks from me—(the bell tolls) has that dismal bell again! (starts uttering a
iercing shriek) see there—the King—
just rising from the tomb—he beckons
Scenr 2. An antechamber in the convent. Enter
two Monks. 1st M. All's prepared. The tomb is opened: the tapers are lighted and the altar is dressed. 2nd M. 'Tis nearly sunset now. The corpse will soon be here—I expect the
train is now upon its way. Here comes
our brother from the city. (enter a 3rd
Monk.) How now, Antoine ! what ti-
and it was proved that he was an accestary. , - .
1st M. When are they to be executed! 3rd M. To-morrow at noon—but come let us go into the chapel. The funeral train is coming and near at hand. Come" [exeunt together.
Scrwe 3. . The chapel in the convent, represent. ing the altar with a painting of the crucifixion, tapers burning &c. &c. preparatory to the burial of the King—an organ is played, and the funeral procession begins to enter; Officers. guards, no. blemen, ladies, soldiers, monks, nuns, the abbot, De Lara, Bonaventure, mourners, relatives, pill bearers with the corpse of the King, banners, symbols, devices &c. &c., with all the possible grandeur and pageantry of the Gothic ages. The corpse is set down in the centre. The abbot of ficiates at the altar. A funeral dirge is sung by all the characters, at the conclusion of which the pall bearers take up the corpse, aud the cur. tain descends,
Scror 1. fr. the prison—a lamp hanging from the ceiling. A sentinel picing before the door. Ubaldo enters, and motions to the sentinel, who bows and exits . The Queen enters through a small door it one side.
Queen. Ubaldo—I wish to speak with thee. Thou art captain of the guard, and ready at thy will are all prison keys. I have a strong desire to see Lothairewish to speak with him before we die; and ask, tho’ I’ve been used to bid, that thou'lt permit an interview 1
Ubal. Willingly would I oblige thee, madam, but can't. I am strickly charged to keep you apart, by those that tried the crime and sentenced ye, and therefore dare not grant an interview.
Queen. Nay—a few words only shal pass between us, we'll then farewell for ever bid, and part. The judges will not know of it;-and thou canst surely gram so trifling a request.
Ubal. I dare not.
Queen, Yes—yes! I know thy hear is of the gentler kind that nature sormsit is not naturally hard; it is not like to hearts of those that sentenced me. Think of thyself if thou wert placed like no Suppose that thou didst wish to meet with one thou loved'st upon the eve of death and think how hard 'twould seem to be refused. If thou wert doomed to die, to
first desire would be to see thy wife a
children, and think how it would rend thy anxious heart to be denied the sight of them at that late hour. Would it not Ubal. It would. (with feeling.) Queen. Then think of it, and grant the last request of one who was a queen, but now imprisoned and doomed to die ere sets to-morrow’s sun Ubal. I would indeed, but dare not for my life. Queen. I tell thee tho’ they will not know of it. They’ve put us in thy charge, nor is it likely they mistrust thee. Then think of it;-be kind to those who have been kind to thee, and bring him here to take a last farewell of one who loves him still, tho' he betrayed and brought us both to ruin! Ubal. 'Twere certain death were I to grant what thou dost wish, and it should be discovered. My wife and little ones would then have not the means whereby to live, would stand in bitter need of my support, and die perhaps of want. Queen. Nay, plead not as an excuse that which is scarcely possible. No—but bring him here without delay, that I may take my leave of him, my last adieu! Go; for pity's sake, go bring him. Go, go, and let me be obliged to thee. (Ubaldo unable to resist her persuasions, erits. After he has gone the Queen draws from her bosom, with a peculiar smile of satisfaction a smallphial.) This drug that in my b, som I have kept, shall poison the contents of yonder bowls, (pointing to a couple of wine goblets upon a table in the centre of the a'artment.)—and by the subtle draught of one of them my soul shall wing its ev. erlasting flight. The public shame, that they who tried the crime have sentenced me to undergo, I never can submit to, and self-destruction is the only means by which I can avoid it. I've sent for him, ostensibly to bid farewell and shake the hand of friendship eler we part, but in reality that he may see me die!—Before his sight I'll drink the poison, and thus prevent the shame that they have doom'd me to. And he—if in his breast a spark of manhood yet remains—will drink the wine within the other bowl, and unreluctantly die with
in e (Sheoretires, and the scene closes.)
Scene 2. Another apartment in the prison, lamp hanging, &c. &c. Lothaire deciphering the names
traced upon the walls. o
Lot. How dismal, gloomv, desolate— how like the feelings of my soul! And here upon the walls, by the dim light the lamp affords, l indistinctly read the names
of those that have been here before me,
and from the prison to the scaffold pass'd, as I shall. Fool that I was! If my ambition had not made me mad, instead of being doomed to feel the axe's edge, I might have lived in peace till aged grown, and well-beloved descended to the grave. But repentance comes too late. (enter Ubaldo, carrying a torch). How now why com'st thou with a lighted torch why fling its glaring light on these bare walls? Uba'. I've come at the risk of my life to oblige the Queen. She wishes to speak with thee. Lot. To speak with me? Ubal, Yes—wilt come Lot. I will, since she desires it. I little expected this request from her—but—lead the way; I'll follow thee. (ereunt.)
Scexe 3rd. In the prison the same as the scene I The Queen seated at the table in a reveric of thought —hcr elbow resting on the table and her hand against her forehead. Her musings arc interrupted by the entrance of Ubaldo and Lothaire. (Exit Ubaldo.) The Queen rises and approaches Lothaire.
Queen. I have sent for thee, Lothaire, tho' once resolved to never see thee again. I could not conquer my desire to speak with thee, and on the captain of the guard prevailed to grant this stolen interview. What I have said was said in haste, for I am one whose passion and feelings are of the warmest kind, and in one moment I may do that I shall be sorry for the next. Forgive me then.
Lot. Nay—rather let me forgiveness ask for being so false to thee. The unexpected sight of that polluted blade, so suddenly produced within the court—produced when I supposed it in the earth where I had buried it—entirely unnerved me with the shock, and I, not knowing what I did, confessed our crime –our crime, of which too late the error we perceive for irretrievably we're lost!
Queep. What's done cannot be helped.
Over the past’tis useless to segret,and recol. lection can't repair the deed. (the bell tolls) | Hark! hear'st thou the tolling of that mus. fled bell ? How sad it sounds amidst the silence of the night ! It toils for us;–i: bids us be prepared:—a few short hours is all the time we have left to live. Be. hol I—(pointing to the goblets upon th tuble)—yon sliver obsets that thou sees are fied with wine--and here's a poisonous drug, wihin this little vill, which shall attaint the liquor there ; and which when drank or even fasted of, shall thro' the veins instil the blight of death. See— emptying the contents of the vial into each of the bowls)—here in the wine I pour the fatal drug and mingle them. Lot. But, for what purpose is this Queen. For self-destruction Lot. Is it possible 3 Queen. Why wonder at it ! Am I not doomed to walk barefooted thro’ the streets”—chained too ! a public spectacle ! Yes—such is my sentence, and rother than endure it I have resolved to swallow poison . The reason that I sent for thee, was not to bid farewell only, but to let thee see me die, and, take my example. Behold !
(takes one of the goblets from the table and is in the act of raising it to her lips but is prevented by Lothaire laying his hand upon her arm.)
Lot. Nay, , put down the treacherous bowl. Thou surely canst not mean to drink the poison?
Queen. I do and will
Lot. Nay, nay-attempt it not. At this date hour when another death than suicide is near, drink not the poison, I charge thee. Our fatal doom is near enough--and why accelerate the dreadful honr 7
Queen. Along the streets with shouts, ‘huzzas and public clamorings, I'll not parade 1–No—and here's the only way to escape---by poisoned wine, and death that's premature. (raises the cup).
Lot. Nay—dash at once the goblet down—commit not suicide, but think of this no more. The hour of death will soon be here, and where will be thy sense of shame when on thy neck the sharp edge of the axe decends? 'Twill sever head and body at one blow, and we shall scarcely feel the change from life to death.
Queen. "Tis not the stroke of death
that I am fearful of but the degradation, scorn, contempt and disgrace attending it. What, be a public sight--exposed—dis. graced —no, no! the poison first! (rus. sing the bowl.) Lot. Nay—nay-raise not the sala goblet to thy lips. For locaven's sake, hold ! (attempting to take it from her), Nay, thou shalt not—let go of it. (she succeeds in swallowing a portion of it just is
Queen. oo late—'tis done! I've drank of it—and all with me will soon be at peace' (shudders; her face becoming very pale.) I feel the poison in my veins—t freezes me-- cold—cold—shivering— (sinks back insensibly into the arms of Lothaire, who appears very much alarmed and agitated), ,
Lot. Oh, fatal deed! she is dying!— What ho, there—Ubaldo —But see, she revives—the blood is rushing to her cheeks again.
Queen. (starting up) And—now—he poison burns within me! it mounts into my brain like AEtna's fire! my very heart. strings seem to crack and kindle with the blaze 'tis all on fire—it rages—flames' ha (a reaction takes place; she becomes ghostly Pok and her voice weak)
All is cold again—my chattering teeth resemble icicles;–and in my rastling throat, with hollow voice, as if the sound did issue from a tomb, death bids me come (sinks exhausted into the arms of Lothaire again. Lot. Alas, she raves | Is there no help at hand 1 does no one come! What ho Ubaldo 1 Ubaldo – Queen. (wildly, and with vehement go tures) See there—see there—the Kingsee where he stalks—clothed in a blood shroud Behold and in his outstretched hands he grasps the sheets on which!" died 1 See—see—he calls me to him!" bids me come and points to hell! mero mercy mercy! (her voice fails and she staggers with weakness. Lo. thaire springs forward, and prevents her from sal":
as she expires. Deeply agitated, he calls the cap." of the guard by name, several times and very loudly.)
late to do so, or I would.
Ubal. Thy voice, when calling for me, has roused the guards—they are coming. Quick Lay down the corpse and hurry back with me to thy cell, or I shall be discovered. Lot. (laying down the corpse.) It is too They are in the passage.—But here's a private corrider—fly thou thro' it—fly, for thy life depends upon it—and leave me to my fate Away at once or thou'lt be seen—stand not hesitating—thy only hope remains in flight! Ubal. But my wife and little children— what will become of them Lot. Heaven will protect them. Fly thou—preserve thy life—it is thy duty. Awhile in distant lands exile thyself, and after years have rolled around thou cans return to them ; but as it is, if thou dost stay tho'rt sure to perish. Ubal. Farewell– lot. Forever ! (they shahe hands.) Ubal. Not forever I hope. Perhaps we may meet again.
(shallo hurries off by a privvie passag.) |al they’re at the door! I have no hope for mercy at their hands, and will defend myself till overpowered. obody of gusrds burst into the room. His efforts to *ond himsel are useless, for he is immediately vauThished by numbers, and dragged off.]
Some 4. An apartment in the palace. [Enter De Lara and Bonaventure, accompanied by several guards,
De L. What means this stir what can have happened? Go one of you and bring me word. (exit a guard.) Here comes
our aged friend, in haste—from him we'll learn the tidings. (enter Montalt) How now, Montalt 1 what means this clamour * what has happened Mon. As hear as I could learn, the captain of the guard permitted an interview between the Queen and Lothaire. She took poison and died upon the spot—the captain fled, and the guards who discovered it succeeded in capturing Lothaire. De L. Come then—orders shall be given for the execution immediately. He shall not live another hour. Go, ring the bell,— loudly—and awake the sleeping citizens that they may witness it. Go. (exit another guard) Come, friends; we'll go ourselves, and see that Jostice has her due. [Exeuilt. Scrx; 5. The place of exccution. An elevated seas. sold with steps leading up to the platform. The executioner standing by the block with the axe in his hand. The beli tolling and citizens one after another enter from all sides—Enter in regular file, guards, officers, noblemen, torchbearers, De Lara, Bonaventure, Montalt, St. Pierre guards, and Lothaire chained. The others range on ither side of the stage, leaving the prisoner in the centre. St. Pierre advances to him. He kneel-, takes the crucifix, kisses it, returns it to the abbot, and ascends the scaffold. Upon the platform he shakes hands with executioner as an acknowirdgement of no existing enmity between them—afterwardslays his head upon the block and is decapitated by a single stroke of the axe. The execctione, holding up the bleeding head exclaims, “So perish the enes mics of France "
De L. Justice is satisfied ?