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THE FATAL UNCTION. A Coronation Tragedy-By LAELIUS **, M.D, We have great pleasure in doing our Do wreak their wrath upon the stedfase utinost to bring this singularly beau

hills." tiful production into notice. It has After some further conversation of redeemed, in our opinion, the literary this kind, the archbishop sayscharacter of the age from the impu- “ But why, my good Lord Count, are tation of the players, to whom we may

you thus shaken? now confidently assert a true dramatic The spark of life in Carlo Aurenzebe genius does exist in English literature.

Is surely not eterne. He is a man: in, Not only is the subject

of this tragedy At any time, my lord, at any time,

The posset or the peniard may suffice, chosen in an original spirit, and the fable constructed with the greatest

To give him his quietus.”

Peace, fool, peace," is the abrupt skill, but the versification and dialogue are equally entitled to unqualified

and impassioned reply of Count Butero

to the archbishop, and then the folpraise. The plot is founded on the unhappy

lowing animated colloquy ensues :

Archb. I am no fool, you niisapply coronation of Carlo Aurenzebe, King

the term ; of Sicily, a prince of the Austrian dy, I ne'er was such, nor such will ever be. nasty, who was put to death during Oh, if your Lordship would but give me the solemn ceremony of the anoint

hearing, ment, by the conspirators substituting I would a scheme unfold to take him off, a corrosive oil, of the most direful na, That ne'er conspirator devised before. ture, instead of the consecrated oint, Count Butero. Thy hand and pardon. ment; and the medical author, with a

"Tis my nature's weakness rare felicity, has accordingly called

To be thus petulant; ah, well you know, his tragedy" The Fatal Unction.” As

My Lord Archbishop, for I oft have told

you, the story is well known, we think it

Told in confession how my too quick ire unnecessary to say more respecting it, Betrays me into sin. But thou didst speak than that the Doctor, with a judicious Of taking off, hinting at Aurenzebe fidelity to historical truth, has stuck What was't thou wouldst unfold ? close to all the leadingincidents, as they Archb.

To-morrow, Countare narrated in Ugo Foscolo's classic hiss Look round. tory, in three volumes quarto, a tran

Count Butero. There's no one near. slation of which, with ingenious anno

Archb. Heard ye not that ? tations, may speedily, we understand,

Count Butero. "Twas but the mountain be expected from the animated

pen
of

belching-out upon't.
Sir Robert Wilson, the enterprizing Rumble his bellyful, nor thus disturb

Pray thee proceed, and let the choleric hill member for Southwark. The play opens with a grand scene

The wary utterance of thy deep intents.

What would you say ? in a hilly country, in which Mount

Archb. To-morrow, my dear Count, Ætna is discovered in the back ground. The Carlo Aurenzebe, your sworn foe, Butero, who had a chief hand in the And our fair Sicily's detested tyrant, plot, enters at midnight, followed by the Holds in Palermo, with all antique rites, Archbishop of Palermo, whom he ads His royal coronation. dresses in the following spirited lines,

Count Butero. I know that his right hand stretched towards the Archố. And 'tis your part, an old time

honour'd right, burning mountain. “ There, spitting fires in heaven's endur. To place the diadem upon his brow ing face,

Count Butero. Proceed-go on. Behold where Ætna stands sublime, nor

Archb. And 'tis my duteous service dreads

To touch and smea him with the sacred oil. The vengeance of the foe he so insults

Count Butero. I am all ear-what then ? For what to him avails the thunderbolt ?

Archb. What then, my lord ? what It cannot harm his adamantine head,

might not you and I Nor lavish showers of rain his burning To free the world of one so tyrannous"

In that solemnity perform on him, quench :The vonted arms vith which the warring

The traitorarchbishop then proceeds skies

to develope the treason which he had

course

hatched, and proposes, instead of the some political reflections, rather of a consecrated oil, to anoint the King with radical nature, are made on the Sicia deadly venom, of which he had pro- lian government and road trustees. In vided himself with a phial. Occasional the end, however, as the poor woman borrowed expressions may be here and is quite bankrupt, by the sinking of there detected in the dialogue ; but, in her quadruped Argusey, Gaffer Curioso general, they only serve to shew the persuades her to go to the city, where variety of the Doctor's reading; we fear, she may perhaps gather as much mohowever, that the following account ney by begging in the crowd assembled of the preparation, which the arch- to see the coronation, as will enable bishop had procured, must be consi- her to set up again with another ass dered as a palpable imitation of the and baskets. The whole of this scene history of Othello's handkerchief ; at is managed with great skill, and the the same time, it certainly possesses breaksandsparklings of natural pathos, much of an original freshness, and of here and there elicited, are exceedingthe energy that belongs to a new con- ly beautiful. The little incongruity of eeption.

making the Sicilians converse in our “ The stuff in this { shewing the bottle] be deemed a blemish; but when it is

doric dialect, may, perhaps, by some, a gypsey did prepare From a decoction made of adders' hearts, considered, that the different high And the fell hemlock, whose mysterious characters in the piece speak in Engjuice

lish, the propriety of making those of Doth into mortal curd knead the brisk the lower order talk in Scotch, we are blood,

convinced, must, upon serious reflecWherein the circling life doth hold its tion, appear judicious and beautiful.

When the peasants, with the gypsey, A friar saw ber sitting by a well,

havequitted the stage, the scene is again Tasting the water with her tawny palm,

shifted, and we are introduced to Carlo And bought the deadly stuff.”

Aurenzebe, the King and the beautiful The count and archbishop, having Splendora, his royal consort, in their agreed to infect with death” their bed-chamber. His majesty has been lawful and legitimate monarch, while he is undergoing the fatigues of his up some time, walking about the room,

anxious for the coming of his Lord inauguration, then go to the palace on purpose to confer with certain others cording to ancient custom, in such a

Chamberlain, whose duty it was, ac-' of the rebellious nobles; and the scene changes to a narrow valley, and pea- still presses her pillow asleep; in this

moruing, to dress him; but the Queen sants are seen descending from the situation, the King happens to cast his hills, singing “God save the King," being then on their way towards Pa- his own anxious cares about the im

eye towards the bed, and forgetting lermo to see the coronation.

Having descended on the stage, and pending ceremony of the day, address finished their loyal song, one of them,

es her in the following tender and

touching verses :Gaffer Curioso, sees an old gypsey wo- " How like a rose her blooming beauty man, the same who sold the poison to

presses the friar, standing in a disconsolate The smooth plump pillow, and the dent it posture, and going towards her, he makes gives her a hearty slap on the back, Is as a dimple in the guileless cheek and says, in a jocund humour,- Of some sweet babe, whose chubby inno

“ What's making you hing your gruntle, lucky, on sic a day as this ?

Smiles to provoke caresses. O, my love Gyp. Och hon! och hon !

But let her sleep-100 soon, alas ! too soon Gaffer Curi. What are ye och-honing She must be roused, to bear her heavy part for ?

In the great business of the coronation.” Gyp. Do ye see that bell in the dub there? His majesty then, in the most afGaffer Curi. Weel, what o't? fectionate manner, steps towards the

Gyp. It's a'that's left me for an ass and bed, and stoops twa crecls."

" to taste her cheek, The carlin having thus explained the That, like a full-ripe peach, lures the fond cause of her grief, namely, the loss of lip.” her ass and paniers in the mire, a con- In the attempt he awakens her, and versation arises respecting the bad and she leaps out of bed, startled and alarmneglected state of the roads, in which ed, exclaiminga

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nest man:

vour

* 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." And in this striking manner we are by the king kissing her cheek. A few

poison, when happily she was roused 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, 5. Sec. My Lord Archbishop is an ho. And a fell band of corse-devouring gowles, Both male and female, gather'd round & Much do I owe him ; for by his good fa

grave. King. What did they there?

I was promoted to the trusts I hold. Qacen. With eager hands they dug, Friar. I do not call his honesty in ques. Fiercely 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.

Scc. Go to, go to, thou grow'st calumKing. Heavens !

nious. Qaeen.

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, telldearest Splen. For whom, assassin, didst thou buy the dora, tel.

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 is just on the point of telling the seagain ?

cretary of state that he had given the 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 suspilate, 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

venom,

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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

Friar.

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,

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, that a 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 ariglit. out, after that minister has made his But why, my lord, should you look 80 exit, into this noble soliloquy:

alarm'd ?

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 ineftectual hands, Why do you start, and lay your dexter Had bless'd me with that noble creature's

hand feet,

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, 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, 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 folloros him a While the friar is in this resentful

few paces with his sword drawn, but mood, Count Butero enters, and a long suddenly checks himself, and returning and highly poetical dialogue takes sheathos 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 Yet he suspects, and may to others tell

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

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, scene changes to a hall in the palace,

The Count then retires, and the father, Can that which nothing is, be guilt, that is where the Queen, in her robes of state, A thing most heinous-both in earth and is addressed by the old gypsey. heaven?

Gyp. Stop, lady fair, with jewell'd 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 small forever

change, and goThat 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 likc, soar onward to the skies. Swords have points, and lamps have flame;

me,

sence.

Bottles cork'd we may defy,

Still

, when 'tis needed, is the pigeon full.But doctors' drugs are jeopardy. But go and bring a cloth to wipe that upQiseen. This is inost mystical-what doth [Erit the Officer ; in his absence the Archa she mean?

bishoptakes a phiul out of his pocket, and, Gop. I heard a tale, I may not tell, unscrezoing the head of the dove, empties I saw a sight, I saw it well;

the poison into the hollow which held the la priesty garb the vision sped,

oil, suying, 1. 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 O, thou Queen of high degree,

Archi.

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

ensigas, Away, poor wretch, I'll send for thee again!” Will soon be here to hear them to the pres

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

scene falls.]of our nature," in such circumstances,

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

rapidity. disinayed to the coronation.

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

into only three acts or parts, the begina 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 of royalty are seen on a table, and preparation," " the nperation," and

" the consummation;" and the third among them an ivory pigeon, with a golden collar round its neck. The arch- Palermitans assembled to see the coro

and last opens with the peasants and Bishop 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 mucí « 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 scals of ming noo ! state,

[ The Procession enters with solcmn music; Did catch her with the crown upon her lap, the crored 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 Of: "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 Bat '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 1,21

the headHe's speaking to himsel I'll Yea emptied on a Hundred royal heads, hearken to what he's saying. Vol. X.

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