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You charge not in your spleen a noble person,

And spoil your nobler soul. I say, take heed! The insensibility of brutal apathy, or demoniac determination of evil, could alone have remained unalarmed and unchanged before the still, but tremendous force of her voice and eye, as she uttered these lines.*

“ In the trial scene, the same exquisite truth of elocution marked the sorrowful, affectionate, and dignified address to her husband. But we dwell with the strongest admiration upon the extraordinary sublimity of her feelings and expressions, when Wolsey opposes her request of delay until she may have the advice of her friends in Spain. Vexed to the uttermost by the artifices with which her ruin is prosecuted, and touched with indignation at the meanness and injustice of the proceedings, she interrupts Campeius with the intention of accusing Wolsey of personal enmity towards her, and of refusing him for her judge, and calls, in a resistless tone of command, “ Lord Cardinal!" Campeius, who has been urging immediate trial, imagines it addressed to him, and comes forward as if to

Here Mrs. Siddons exhibited one of those unequalled pieces of acting, by which she assists the barrenness of the text, and fills up the meaning of the scene. Those who have seen it will never forget it : but to those who have not, we feel it impossible to describe the majestic self-correction of the petulance and vexation which, in her perturbed state of mind, she feels at the misapprehension of Campeius, and the intelligent expression of countenance and gracious dignity of gesture with which she intimates to him his mistake, and dismisses him again to his seat. And no language can possibly convey a picture of her immediate re-assumption of the fulness of majesty, glowing with scorn, contempt, anger, and the terrific pride of innocence, when she turns round to Wolsey, and exclaims, “ To you I speak!” Her form seems to expand,

, answer.

* I was at Edinburgh one year when she was electrifying the Northern metropolis with many characters, and with none more than this. One of her fellow-performers, Mr. Russell, told me an instance of her power in the part. A poor fellow who played the Surveyor, in “ Henry VIII." was met by Mr. Russell coming off the stage, having just received the Queen Katharine's (Siddons's) rebuke, “ You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office on the complaint o' the tenants." The mimetic and unjust steward was perspiring with agitation. “ What is the matter with you ?" said Mr. Russell. * The matter !" quoth the other, “that woman plays as if the thing were in earnest. She looked me so through and through with her black eyes, that I would not for the world meet her on the stage again."

and her eye to burn with a fire beyond human. Wolsey obeys the summons, and requests to know her pleasure : she proceeds to make her charge and her refusal. And we cannot refrain from quoting the following passages, for the purpose of remarking that the mingled feelings of which they are composed, their natural gradations, their quick and violent transitions, are all unfolded and expressed with such matchless perfection of ease and truth, and in colours so far exceeding in force and brilliancy those of every other performer, that the learned and unlearned, the vulgar and the refined, feel alike the instantaneous conviction of their superiority, and the impossibility of adapting praise expressive of their own conceptions, and adequate to her deserts.

Wolsey.
• Your pleasure, madam!'

Queen.

Sir!
I am about to weep: but thinking that
We are a queen, or long have dream'd so, -certain
The daughter of a king,—my drops of tears

I'll turn to sparks of fire !' “ There were none who did not feel the agonies of sympathy when they saw her efforts to suppress the grief to which her woman's nature was yielding,—who did not acknowledge, in her manner, the truth of her assertion of royalty, and who did not experience a portion of that awe which Wolsey might be supposed to feel when her sparks of fire' darted through her drops of tears.

“ Every line of the subsequent reply to Wolsey, who entreats her to be patient,' exhibited the perfection of appropriate expression :

"I will, when you are humble,-nay, before ;
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge: for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me,
Which heaven's dew quench! Therefore, I say again,
I utterly abhor,-yea, from my soul,
Refuse you for my judge! whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not

At all a friend to truth!' 6. The withering poignancy of her scorn, and the deep solemnity of her reproach, made awful by the agitations of her subject; and his adroitness I can readily recognise. But, with regard to his boldness, we may rest assured that he inserted not one word in the drama which would hazard, much less desy Queen Elizabeth's displeasure: and his address seems to have consisted principally in flattering his royal mistress upon no points where the public opinion could not palpably go with him, and where his plain dealing was not a better compliment to her shrewd mind than the subtlest perversion of facts would have been. For instance, the nation perfectly well knew that Henry's only motive for divorcing Katharine was his love of Anna Boleyn ; and Shakspeare makes one of his characters jocosely tell us so. If the poet had hypocritically created Hal's scruples with respect, Elizabeth would have chidden him for absurd adulation. But Shakspeare keeps Henry VIII. and her mother not only in a true light, but in that exact degree of exposure to the true light which was most favourable to Elizabeth's popularity. Her father is libelled on the stage. What with a remnant of regard that he shows to Kate, the queen of queens, and his old English bluntness, not unmixed with a certain portion of jocularity, we cannot be said to hate him thoroughly, however secretly we may condemn him; at least, our dislike of him is kept at a moderate temperature. Shakspeare is equally dexterous, in making Anna Boleyn gentle and compassionate towards Queen Katharine ; and I think he plays the courtier a little in contriving to exculpate Anna at the expense of Wolsey.

But it may be asked if it was not weakening our interest in Elizabeth's mother to make us weep over the heart-broken death of Katharine ? I answer, No! for Anna Boleyn's execution was still more fresh in the public recollection than Queen Katharine's death : and the unmerited sufferings of the former could only tend to strengthen in the public breast their conviction of Anna Boleyn having died undeservedly. It is true, Henry VIII. is not libelled in Shakspeare's drama, yet his fickleness is so fully exposed as to make us say to ourselves, 'if the tyrant could thus atrociously use the noble Katharine, can we harbour the slightest doubts of Anna Boleyn's innocence ? Elizabeth, therefore, witnessed in this play scenes that indirectly, but powerfully vindicated her own mother; and, on the day that she saw it represented, there was not in the whole house a more politic player than the royal spectatress.

Here Mrs. Siddons found a part in which she could promise herself continued popularity, even under increasing years. I cannot say, from my own observation, whether she improved or not in her performance of Queen Katharine, but she used to pride herself in having done so in all her great characters; and I cannot suppose ler to have been self-deceived.

I should say something of my remembrance of her Queen Katharine, if I had not beside me some remarks that will be incomparably more than a substitute for any that I could offer. They were printed by my friend James Ballantyne, of Edinburgh, and, I have reason to believe, were written by the actor Terry. They have to me the apparent stamp of a stage artist.

Katharine of Arragon, the wife and the daughter of a king ;-majestic alike in her birth, her demeanour, her virtues, and her understanding ; the ready defender of the oppressed, and the steadfast enemy of the oppressor ;-the dignified assertor of her own honour, and the strict and affectionate guardian of that of others entrusted to her care ;-the kind and benevolent friend of the humble, and the self-corrected, patient, and religious supporter of worldly sufferings and persecutions : such is Katharine, as drawn by Shakspeare, and exhibited to the life by Mrs. Siddons.

“In the chamber-council, met for the examination of the Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, she is first introduced to us as the humane petitioner, on the part of the people, against the ambitious and extortionate rapacity of Wolsey, of whose selfish politics she throughout shows herself the undaunted opposer ; and as the advocate of Buckingham, against the insidiousness of his persecutor, and the treachery of his surveyor. This is a quiet scene, affording no opportunities for energetic exertions or flashes of effect, but displaying those excellences which Mrs. Siddons alone possesses,--that quiet majesty of deportment, arising from the natural majesty of her form and mind, which imposes reverence and commands subjection ; and that clear and intelligent harmony of unlaboured elocution, which unravels all the intricacies of language, illuminates obscurity, and points and unfolds the precise truth of meaning to every apprehension. This unrivalled excellence was illustrated in every speech of the scene. But we feel a pleasure in recalling particular remembrance to the awful and impressive dig. nity of appeal,—to the searching solemnity of her tone and manner, when she interrupts the wretched instrument of Wolsey, in his tutored charge against his master, Buckingham:

• If I know you well,
You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office
On the complaint o' the tenants. Take good heed

Р

You charge not in your spleen a noble person,

And spoil your nobler soul. I say, take heed !' The insensibility of brutal apathy, or demoniac determination of evil, could alone have remained unalarmed and unchanged before the still, but tremendous force of her voice and eye, as she uttered these lines.*

“ In the trial scene, the same exquisite truth of elocution marked the sorrowful, affectionate, and dignified address to her husband. But we dwell with the strongest admiration upon the extraordinary sublimity of her feelings and expressions, when Wolsey opposes her request of delay until she may have the advice of her friends in Spain. Vexed to the uttermost by the artifices with which her ruin is prosecuted, and touched with indignation at the meanness and injustice of the proceedings, she interrupts Campeius with the intention of accusing Wolsey of personal enmity towards her, and of refusing him for her judge, and calls, in a resistless tone of command, “ Lord Cardinal!" Campeius, who has been urging immediate trial, imagines it addressed to him, and comes forward as if 10

Here Mrs. Siddons exhibited one of those unequalled pieces of acting, by which she assists the barrenness of the text, and fills up the meaning of the scene. Those who have seen it will never forget it : but to those who have not, we feel it impossible to describe the majestic self-correction of the petulance and vexation which, in her perturbed state of mind, she feels at the misapprehension of Campeius, and the intelligent expression of countenance and gracious dignity of gesture with which she intimates to him his mistake, and dismisses him again to his seat. And no language can possibly convey a picture of her immediate re-assumption of the fulness of majesty, glowing with scorn, contempt, anger, and the terrific pride of innocence, when she turns round to Wolsey, and exclaims, “ To you I speak!" Her form seems to expand,

answer.

* I was at Edinburgh one year when she was electrifying the Northern metropolis with many characters, and with none more than this. One of her fellow-performers, Mr. Russell, told me an instance of her power in the part. A poor fellow who played the Surveyor, in “ Henry VIII." was met by Mr. Russell coming off the stage, having just received the Queen Katharine's (Siddons's) rebuke, “ You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office on the complaint o' the tenants.The mimetic and unjust steward was perspiring with agitation. “ What is the matter with you ?” said Mr. Russell. * The matter !" quoth the other, “that woman plays as if the thing were in earnest. She looked me so through and through with her black eyes, that I would not for the world meet her on the stage again.”

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