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Enter CHARLES, the French king; CATHERINE, the Queen

Mother; the KING OF NAVARRE; MARGARET, Queen of Navarre; the PRINCE OF CONDÉ; the LORD HIGH ADMIRAL; the OLD QUEEN OF NAVARRE; with others.

Char. Prince of Navarre, my honourable brother,
Prince Condé, and my good Lord Admiral,
I wish this union and religious league,
Knit in these hands, thus joined in nuptial rites,
May not dissolve till death dissolve our lives;
And that the native sparks of princely love,
That kindled first this motion in our hearts,
May still be fuelled in our progeny.

Nav. The many favours which your grace hath shown,
From time to time, but specially in this,
Shall bind me ever to your highness' will,
In what Queen-Mother or your grace commands.

IO 20

i In the old copy there is no division into scenes. Scene : an apartment in the Louvre,

Cath. Thanks, son Navarre. You see we love you

That link you in marriage with our daughter here;
And, as you know, our difference in religion
Might be a means to cross you in your love,-

Char. Well, madam, let that rest. —
And now, my lords, the marriage rites performed,
We think it good to go and consummate
The rest with hearing of a holy mass. —
Sister, I think yourself will bear us company.

Mar. I will, my good lord.

Char. The rest that will not go, my lords, may stay.Come, mother, Let us go to honour this solemnity. Cath. Which I'll dissolve with blood and cruelty.

[Aside. [Exeunt all except the KING OF NAVARRE,

Nav. Prince Condé, and my good Lord Admiral,
Now Guise may storm, but do us little hurt,
Having the king, Queen-Mother on our sides,
To stop the malice of his envious heart,

30 That seeks to murder all the Protestants. Have you not heard of late how he decreed (If that the king had given consent thereto) That all the Protestants that are in Paris Should have been murdered the other night?

Adm. My lord, I marvel that th' aspiring Guise Dares once adventure, without the king's consent, To meddle or attempt such dangerous things.


Con. My lord, you need not marvel at the Guise,
For what he doth, the Pope will ratify,
In murder, mischief, or in tyranny.

Nav. But he that sits and rules above the clouds
Doth hear and see the prayers of the just,
And will revenge the blood of innocents,
That Guise hath slain by treason of his heart,
And brought by murder to their timeless ends.

Adm. My lord, but did you mark the Cardinal,
The Guise's brother, and the Duke Dumaine,
How they did storm at these your nuptial rites,
Because the house of Bourbon now comes in,

50 And joins your lineage to the crown of France ?

Nav. And that's the cause that Guise so frowns at us, And beats his brains to catch us in his trap, Which he hath pitched within his deadly toil. Come, my lords, let's go to the church, and pray That God may still defend the right of France, And make his Gospel flourish in this land. [Exeunt.


Enter Guise.

Guise. If ever Hymen lour'd at marriage rites,
And had his altars decked with dusky lights;
If ever sun stained heaven with bloody clouds,
And made it look with terror on the world ;

i Untimely.

Scene: an apartment in a house near the Louvre. VOL. II.


If ever day were turned to ugly night,
And night made semblance of the hue of hell;
This day, this hour, this fatal night,
Shall fully show the fury of them all. -

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Enter Apothecary. Apoth. My lord ?

Guise. Now shall I prove, and guerdon to the full, The love thou bear'st unto the house of Guise. Where are those perfumed gloves which [late] I sent To be poisoned ? hast thou done them ? speak; Will every savour breed a pang of death? Apoth. See where they be, my good lord ; and he that

smells But to them, dies.

Guise. Then thou remainest resolute ?

Apoth. I am, my lord, in what your grace commands, Till death.

Guise. Thanks, my good friend: I will requite thy love. Go, then, present them to the Queen Navarre ; For she is that huge blemish in our eye, That makes these upstart heresies in France : Be gone, my friend, present them to her straight.

[Exit Apothecary. Soldier !


Enter a Soldier.

Sold. My lord?
Guise. Now come thou forth and play thy tragic part:
Stand in some window, opening near the street,
And when thou see'st the Admiral ride by,
Discharge thy musket, and perform his death;
And then I'll guerdon thee with store of crowns. 30
Sold. I will, my lord.

[Exit. Guise. Now, Guise, begin those deep-engendered

To burst abroad those never-dying flames
Which cannot be extinguished but by blood.
Oft have I levelled, and at last have learn'd
That peril is the cheapest way to happiness,
And resolution honour's fairest aim.
What glory is there in a common good,
That hangs for every peasant to achieve?
That like I best that flies beyond my reach.
Set me to scale the high Pyramides,
And thereon set the diadem of France ;
I'll either rend it with my nails to naught,
Or mount the top with my aspiring wings,
Although my downfall be the deepest hell.
For this I wake, when others think I sleep;


1 “About noone, when he [the Admiral] was in returning home from the Counsell, with a greate companie of noblemen and gentlemen, beholde a harquebuzier out of a window of a house neere adjoyning shot the Admiral with two bullets of lead through both the arms. ... The name of him that shot was very diligently kept secret. Some saye it was Manrevet, which in the third Civill War traitorously slew his Captaine, Monsieur de Mony, a most valiant and noble gentleman, and straightway fled into the enemie's campe. Some say it was Bondot, one of the archers of the king's guard.”The Three Partes of Commentaries containing the whole and perfect discourse of the Civill Wars of France, &c. 1574 (Book x.).

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