Page images
PDF
EPUB

Alas! this was for some time perfectly impossible ! Off went pistols, and down went helmets ! One hero got his foot out of his own stirrup, whilst that of a neighbour's intruded into it; some strayed to the vicinity of their horses' necks, and not a few wandered to the less honourable neighbourhood of the tail ! But at last all was right, and then they enjoyed the shouting, and helped to shout too, but whether from having enjoyed the spectacle, or from being rejoiced at its conclusion, seemed a little uncertain. Then, the ladies swung their handkerchiefs, which were as white as those articles generally are on public occasions. The soldiers bowed and looked pleased, for they had done their duty, and were his Majesty's soldiers; and they were sound in « lith and limb;" and their swords were in their scabbards (rattling like knives in a knife-box); and they were going to have a good dinner, and hear long speeches after it.

So I came bome, and I thought their not having injured themselves was one good thing, but their not having injured any one else was a better. And every body who had seen them thought so too!

M. J. J.

THE SANCTUARY.

A Dramatic Sketch.

BY THE REV. W. LISLE BOWLES. .

in this wise the Duke of Glocester took upon himself the order and go

vernance of the young King, whom with much honour and humble reverence he conveyed towards London. But and the tidings of this matter came hastily to the Queen, a little before the midnight following, and that, in the secret-wise, her son was taken, her brother, her son, and other friends, arrested, and sent no man wist whither, to be done with God wot what. With which tidings the Queen, with great heaviness, bewailed her child's reign, her friends' mischance, and her own misfortune; damning the time that ever she dissuaded the gathering of powers about the King, got herself, in all haste possible, with her young son and her daughter, out of the Palace of Westminster, in which they then lay, into the Sanctuary, lodging herself and company there in the Abbot's place.

Speed's History of England, Book ix.

SCENE 1.

ELIZABETH, widow of EDWARD IV., in the Palace at

Westminster, watching her younger son, Richard sleeping.

Eliz. The minster-clock tolls midnight-I have

watched Night after night, and heard the same sad sound

Knolling the same sad sound, night after night;
As ifsamid the world's deep silence, Time,
Pausing a moment in his onward Aight,
From yonder solitary, moon-lit pile,
More awful spoke, as with a voice from heaven,
Of days and bours departed, and of those
That “ are not,” till, like dreams of yesterday,
The very echo dies.

Oh! my poor child,
Thou hast been long asleep-by the pale lamp
I sit and watch thy slumbers-thy calm lids
Are closed; thy lips just parted; one hand lies
Upon thy breast, that scarce is seen to heave
Beneath it; and thy breath so still is drawn,
Save to a sleepless mother's listeping ear,
It were inaudible ;-—and see, a smile
Seems even now lighting on thy lip, dear boy,
As thou wert dreaming of delightful things
In some celestial region of sweet sounds,
Or summer-fields, and skies without a cloud-
(Ah! how unlike this dark and troubled world.)
Let not one kiss awaken thee-one kiss,
Mingled with tears and prayer to God in heaven.
So dream-and never, never may those eyes
Awake suffused with tears, as mine are now,
To think that life's best hopes are such a dream!
Now sleeps the city through its vast extent,
That, restless as the ocean-waves, at morn,

With its ten thousand voices shall awake,
Lifting the murmur of its multitude
To heaven's still gate!-Now all is hushed as death-
None are awake, save those who wake to weep
Like me : save those who meditate revenge,
Or beckon muttering Murder.—God of heaven!
From the Hyæna, panting for their blood,
Oh! save my youthful EDWARD—and, poor child,
Preserve thy innocence to happier hours :
Hark! -There is knocking at the western gate.

[A messenger enters, and announces to her that

her brother had been arrested on the road,

by the Duke of GLOSTER. Eliz. Oh! my poor child; thou sleepest now in peace! Wilt thou sleep thus, another year? Shall I Hang o'er thee with a mother's look of love? Thus bend beside thy bed ? thus part the hair Upon thy forehead? and thus kiss thy cheek? Richard, awake! the tiger is abroad! We must to Sanctuary instantly.

(RICHARD awaking.) . Rich. Oh! I have had the sweetest dreams, dear

mother; Methought my brother Edward and myself, And

Eliz. Come, these are no times to talk of dreams, We must to Sanctuary, my poor boy

We'll talk of dreams hereafter-kneel with me.

[Takes him from his couch and kisses him. Rich. Mother, why do you weep and tremble so ?

Eliz. I have a pain at heart !-Come, stir thee, boy, Lift up thy innocent hands to heaven, here kneel And pray with me before this crucifix.

[Her daughters enter, and they all

kneel together.

SCENE II.

In Sanctuary at Westminster.

Rich. Oh! my dear mother, why do we sit here,
Amid these dusky walls and arches dim,
When it is summer in the fields without,
And sunshine ? Say, is not my brother King ?
Why will he not come here to play with me?
Shall I not see my brother?
Eliz.

My own child,-
Oh ! let me hide these tears upon thy head !
Thy brother! shalt thou see him ? yes, I hope-
Come, I will tell a tale. There was a boy,
Who had a cruel uncle-
Rich.

I have heard
My uncle Gloster was a cruel man-
But he was always kind to me, and said,
That I should be a king, if Edward died;

« PreviousContinue »