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of the most essential difference between
The king, surprised and delighted, has the coffin lowered down the walls, releases his other prisoners, and hastens below to receive his daughter, and to thank her generous captor. The two princes embrace their martyred kinsman with awe and veneration. The King of Portugal praises Juan's fidelity to the dead, receiv-theless the same, and their resemblances, ing for answer: —
King of Fez, lest thou imagine
K. Alphonso (turning to the corpse). Uncle, grant me Thy dear hand; for, though unknowing All too late I came to save thee,
Yet in death is proof of friendship.
I, to place a trust most sacred
In a stately high cathedral
Thy blest precious relics, hasten.
Then the sad procession forms. young king places himself at its head, after first stipulating for the marriage of the restored princess with the general who had been honoured by the martyr's friendship; the captives carry their dead liberator's coffin forward, and the soldiers follow with arms reversed, and muffled drums sounding.
Thus, like the close of the "Antigone," the conclusion of "The Steadfast Prince" satisfies the claims of poetic justice. The proud oppressor is bowed down to bend low before his victim's bier, and left in humiliation and defeat. But Calderon's justice is here tempered with mercy as that of Sophocles is not. The stroke which abases the pride of the African tyrant is nothing to the series of crushing blows which descend on the Theban ruler. No cheerful note mixes with the hopeless lamentations which resound through the house of Creon; but the Steadfast Prince's funeral march has an undersong of gladness from the captives whom he has rescued, and the faithful pair of lovers whom he has united in his death. And this gleam of light, shot through that gloomy cloud in the one play, which in the other remains unparted to the end, is the symbol
even in minor points most striking. Each concentrates our interest on one noble sufferer, presented to us by no complex delineation full of light and shade, but in grand and simple outline. The protagonists of each are absorbed in one high mission which leaves no room in their hearts for the free play of human affection; for when Antigone first stands before us, she has ceased to have any concern with the gods of the living - Love among the rest: and Ferdinand shows amid Calderon's crowd of amorous cavaliers like a new Sir Galahad, who could say as truly as his prototype
Both, by dying for the highest truth they know, impress on the spectators the ennobling lesson that there are things which are better worth having than life; things losing which a generous mind finds life even intolerable. Each of these two plays is pervaded by the spirit of the second of Goethe's "Three Reverences;" exhibiting as it does to us a weakness which is stronger than mortal strength, a pain which is better than earthly pleasure. Both tragedies witness to man's instinctive anxiety about the fate of the dying mansion of his undying spirit: for Antigone gives her own life to secure funeral honours to her brother; Ferdinand's last desire is for burial in a Christian church. But here we encounter the contrast be
Soph., Ajax, 590.
tween a Pagan's uncertainty and a Chris-matic art. Had he lived longer and girdtian's certainty. Antigone can only hope ed himself to the task, how might his to smooth her brother's passage to the work have illustrated the saying of his land where he can, after all, but "move contemporary Bacon, that "man, when he among shadows a shadow and wail by im- resteth and assureth himself upon divine passable streams." But the Steadfast protection and favour, gathereth a force Prince expects the prayer of the faithful and faith which human nature in itself at the altar to remove the last interposing could not attain"! How might the prinbarriers between himself and the Vision cipal personage of his "act of self-devoof God. Accordingly the one is sad and tion," religious and constant as the Steaddesponding, where the other is hopeful fast Prince, grand and majestic as Antiand exulting. Antigone goes to death gone, have proved to us the truth of that mourningother saying of Bacon's: "A mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good doth avert the dolours of death; but, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is 'Nunc dimittis,' when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations!"
Emptied of all joy,
Leaving the dance and song.
Ferdinand gladly meets a fate from which an ancient hero would have recoiled as from a degradation :
Not with cleaving of shields And their clash in thine ear When the lord of fought fields
Breaketh spear-shaft from spear, Thou art broken, our lord, thou art broken, with travail, and labour, and fear.
Not from his lips comes the cry, so natural to a dying sufferer who only knew one kind of heroism
From The Graphic.
I would that in clamour of battle my hands had laid hold upon death;
A LOVE TALE.
for he well knows that he has fought a harder fight and gained a nobler victory, than those he came to seek. And when all is over, Antigone vanishes into silence we strain eye and ear for a token that her offering has been an acceptable one, and only dim and uncertain indications struggle back to us through the gloom; but we are permitted to follow Ferdinand's noble spirit, freed from the burden of the flesh, into the realms of light, up to his place among those champions of the faith who rest from their labours on the thrones of the Church triumphant.
I AM obliged at this moment to interrupt the history of Innocent's entrance into English life by the intrusion of another event which occurred quite suddenly, and without adequate preparation, a few days after the arrival of the trav eller, and which threw Innocent for the moment altogether into the shade. It was not a deeply premeditated event, as perhaps it ought to have been, aiming as it did at such very important results, and affecting two lives in so momentous a way. On this particular afternoon there had been a flood of visitors at the Elms, such as now and then occurs without rhyme or reason every acquaintance the Eastwoods possessed seeming to be moved by a unanimous impulse. From two o'clock until five the callers kept pouring in. On ordinary occasions one or two a day kept the house lively; this was one of those accidental floods which obey, as philosophers tell us, some fantastic law of their own, like the number of undirected letters put into the postoffice. Two gentlemen arrived among
Thus dramatists exemplify the "irony of fate" in their own persons as well as in those of their tragedies. The almost superhuman genius of Sophocles has less divine materiai laid before it than the more ordinary mind of Calderon, who is permitted to exhibit his characters with a background of infinity which the grander personages of the other lack." And Shakespeare, with more than the genius of Sophocles, with a purer religion than the latest, both of whom had hoped to Calderon, lacks the score of years so lib- find the ladies alone, and who grinned erally bestowed on common men, and and shook hands with each other, and dies at Stratford before he can approach told each other the news with the most the most supreme of the themes of dra-delightful amiability, though their inter
nal emotions were less sweet. They arrived together, and as the room was still tolerably full, they became each other's companions, and stood in a corner talking with the most confidential aspect, after they had shaken hands with Mrs. Eastwood. Nelly was at the other extremity of the room, at the door-window which opened into the conservatory, talking to Sir Alexis Longueville, a man with a rentroll as long as his name, whom both the gentlemen I have mentioned regarded with unfavourable feelings.
Alexis, pointing out to him quite eagerly the different flowers that thrust their pretty heads against the glass, peering into the room. He knew about flowers. This innocent taste reigned strangely in his cynical bosom among many other inclinations much less praiseworthy. He laughed with Nelly over their Latin names, and told her stories about them and about his conservatories at Longueville. Perhaps he was not aware of the reckless way in which he was laying himself open to the remarks of the young men in the room, who did not leave him a shred of reputation to cover him, as they stood behind snarling to each other, and united in a common enmity. He was more amusing than either of them, and though he had no particular designs upon Nelly, he liked her fresh young face, and her interest in all that he said. Perhaps, too, a man who is aware of all the advantages of the youth which he has outlived, has a pleasure in proving himself more entertaining than younger men. He detained Nelly, and Nelly was not unwilling to be detained. She had perceived the entrance of the two at the end of the room, and rather, I fear, enjoyed their gloomy looks; or rather, she thought nothing whatever about Major Railton, but was guiltily glad to see the gloom on the countenance of young Molyneux.
"It will teach him to be full five days without calling," she said to herself. She had not acknowledged even to herself that she was in love with young Molyneux, but she had an inward conviction that he was in love with her, and on the whole liked him for it. Is it not always a sign of good taste at least? Therefore she stood and talked to Sir Alexis, looking up brightly in his face, till he, who had no designs that way, was half subjugated, and asked himself suddenly whether Nelly Eastwood would not do? which was going a very long way. Time, however, and Mrs. Barclay's horses, could not wait for ever, and at last the baronet was borne away.
"What do you suppose people see in that old ass, Molyneux," said Major Railton," that everybody kootoos to him?" "His money," said Molyneux, sententiously; and for ten minutes more these gentlemen crushed Sir Alexis under their heels as it were, and ground him into powder, though no feminine spite could be involved in their proceedings. He was not an old ass. He was a cynical middle-aged man of the world, who, notwithstanding his romantic name, had sustained a great many prosaic batterings and fierce encounters with the world. He had come to his fortune after his youth was over, and after he had learned to think badly enough of most people about him, an opinion which was not altered by the great social success he had when he reappeared as Sir Alexis, after a somewhat obscure and not much respected career as Colonel Longueville. It was now generally understood that this hero, the worse for the wear, was disposed to marry, and indeed was on the outlook for a suitable person to become Lady Longueville; a fact which his kind but vulgar sister Mrs. Barclay, who had married a millionaire, made known wherever she was received. He was "looking for a wife." Major Railton and Mr. Molyneux in their corner were both aware of this fact, and both of them were extremely bitter upon Mrs. Eastwood for allowing him, as she did quite placidly, to stand talking to Nelly "for hours," as Mr. Molyneux expressed it afterwards.
"What a pity that the best of women should be so mercenary!" he said to his companion.
"They will give anything for a handle to their names," said the misanthropical Major, stroking his moustache, with discomfiture in his countenance. He had come with an estimate in his pocket for the work that had to be done at the stables, and had calculated on an hour at least of confidential talk.
And Nelly stood and talked to Sir
"Come to me soon, Nelly, dear, and finish what you have begun," said that lady, whispering, in her ear, as she took leave. Finish what she had begun! Nelly had no idea what she could mean.
By this time most of the visitors were gone, and Nelly, after a few minutes' talk with the pair at the other end of the room, proceeded to execute some business which she had been kept from doing before. "I am sure Major Railton and Mr. Molyneux will excuse me," she said,
"I don't think you will find any," said Mrs. Eastwood, making her a sign to stay. But it was getting dark, and Nelly, who was perverse, pretended not to understand. Any pleasure she might have in the society of one of the two was neutralized by the presence of both, and perhaps there was even a thought in her mind that a young lover might take heart of grace and follow. In the conservatory her white-furred jacket and little flower basket were lying on a chair. Before she could throw on the wrap Molyneux had joined her. "I think Railton has some business to talk about," he said aloud, with a slight nod of concealed triumph to his adversary; "May I come upon the flower-gathering expedition? Gathering flowers by moonlight has quite a poetical
"It is too cold to be poetical," said Nelly. There had been just enough between this girl and boy to give them both a thrill of the heart when they went, out of sight and hearing, into the stillness of the garden, where, indeed, to tell the truth, few primroses were as yet to be found. It was one of those lovely nights of early spring which sometimes succeed a boisterous day. The wind had fallen with the evening. The sky in the west was still full of colour, a pink flush extending far into the blue. The gorgeous sunset clouds had broken up, but this great rose-tinted pavilion still stood, spreading out its film of lovely colour over the house. On the garden side there was a stretch of clear sky, untinged by this dispersing veil of glory; clear, somewhat cold, pale, and luminous, with one star set in the midst of it; and, separated from this blue bit of heaven by billows of fleecy cloud, a soft, clear, young moon in her first quarter. It was cold, but to think of cold was impossible with such a heaven above them impossible, at least, for these two, who were young, and who were together. They went along under the trees for some time without saying anything, except a little exclamation about the beauty of the sky.
"I am tired," said Nelly, at length; "I am so glad it is over. Calls are the stupidest of all things. If people would come in in the evening, as they do abroad -but English people will never understand."
"Your visitors were not all stupid, I think," said Molyneux, warming with the heat of combat.
"Oh no; Sir Alexis, for instance, was very amusing," said Nelly, feeling by instinct what was coming, and defying her fate.
"You seemed to think so," said the young man, with the loftiest tone of disinterested comment.
"And indeed I did think so; he is excellent company," said the girl.
Thus the first parallels of warfare were opened. The pair went on quite beyond the bit of lawn where the primroses grew, and the red in the west stretched out as if to cover them, and the moon in the east looked down as if it were hanging over some battlement of heaven to watch. Nelly's delicate nostrils had dilated a little with a sense of coming battle, and as for Molyneux, he held his head high like a war horse.
"Yes, I am aware that ladies take that view sometimes; he is not popular among men," he said, with lofty calm.
"I suppose men are jealous of him,” said Nelly. "Oh dear, yes, men are very jealous of each other. If you think a girl can have been out two seasons without perceiving that
"I am sorry we should have given you such a bad opinion of us. I am at a loss to understand," said Mr. Molyneux solemnly, "what kind of creature the man could be who would be jealous of an old roué like Longueville. His character is too well known among men, I assure you, Miss Eastwood, to make any such feeling possible."
Nelly coloured with pride and shame. "He ought to have a label on him, then, to warn the ignorant. Not knowing what his crimes are, I cannot judge him; he is very amusing, that is all I know."
"And that, of course, makes up for everything; and when any one ventures to warn you, Miss Eastwood, instead of listening, you turn your displeasure against the unfortunate man who feels it on his conscience
"Mr. Molyneux," cried Nelly, quickly, interrupting him, "I don't know what right one gentleman, whom Mamma knows, has to warn me against another. Mamma is the person to be spoken to if there is really anything to say."
Thus the quarrel flashed and fizzed to the point of explosion; and what would have happened - whether they would have been driven apart in fragments, and their budding romance blown into dust and ruin in the ordinary course of events, had Molyneux responded in the same tone, I cannot say; but there are re
"Miss Eastwood," he said dolefully, "there have been times when I have ventured to think that you would not quite place me on the same level with the last
sources at the command of lovers which | somehow, in spite of her, and was adare not open to the general public. He vancing closer and closer. How unforedid not go on in the same tone. He be- seen and unintended it all was ! Neither came suddenly lachrymose, as young men of them had meant anything half-an-hour in love are permitted to be on occasion. ago of this tremendous character. But Molyneux by this time felt sure that his life depended upon it, and that he had thought of nothing else for ages; and Nelly's heart beat so loud that she thought it must be heard half-a-mile off, and feared it would leap away from her altogether. Their voices grew lower and lower, their shadows more confused in the young moonlight, which made at the most but a faint outline of shadow. There grew to be at last only a murmur under the bare branches, all knotted with the buds of spring, and only one blot of shade upon the path, which was softly whitened by that poetic light. This happened in the Lady's Walk, which was on the other side of the lawn from the elm trees, narrower, and quite arched and overshadowed with branches. The pink had scarcely gone out of the sky overhead, and the one star was still shining serenely in its luminous opening, when the whole business was over. You might have been in the garden without seeing, and, certainly, without hearing; but then matters were delightfully arranged for such interviews in the leafy demesne of the elms.
Oh, no," said Nelly, with compunction, "I beg your pardon, that was not what I meant. We have known you a long time, Mr. Molyneux, and I am sure have always looked upon you as-a friend."
"Well, as - a friend," he said, in the same pathetic tone, "might I not be allowed to say something when I saw that you were being deceived? Dear Miss Eastwood, could I stand by, do you think, knowing all I do of you, and see a man making his way into your esteem under false pretences?"
Making his way into my esteem!" cried Nelly with frank laughter. "Please don't be so solemn. You can't think surely for a moment that I cared for that old Sir Alexis!"
"You are quite sure you don't?" cried the lover brightening up.
"Sure! Now didn't I say it was all jealousy?" cried Nelly, laughing; but when she had said the words she perceived the meaning they might bear, and blushed violently, and stopped short, as people in embarrassing circumstances constantly do.
"You are quite right, as you always are," said Molyneux, stopping too, and putting himself directly in front of her. If it were not that the women who are being proposed to are generally too much agitated to perceive it, a man about to propose has many very funny aspects. Young Molyneux placed himself directly in Nelly's way; he stood over her, making her withdraw a step in self-defence. His face became long, and his eyes large. He put out his hands, to take hers, if he could have got them. "Yes, you are right," he said, more lachrymose than ever; "you are always right. I should be jealous of an angel if he came too near you. I am jealous of everybody. Won't you say something? Won't you give me your hand? I don't care for anything in the world but you, or without you."
"Mr. Molyneux!" cried Nelly, drawing a little back, with her heart beating and her cheeks burning, in the soft, starry twilight. He had got her hands
"Oh, dear! I have forgotten my primroses," said Nelly, "and what will they think of us indoors?"
"Never mind; Railton has been very busy talking to your mother about bricks and slates," said Molyneux, with a laugh of irrepressible triumph. They both laughed, which was mean of Nelly.
Oh, hush! What has poor Major Railton to do with it?" she said. She was leaning against a lime tree, a spot which she always remembered. It was cold, but neither of them felt it. Nelly's little toes were half frozen, and she did not mind.
"Look! all the sunset is dying away," said Molyneux. "It would not go, Nelly, till it knew how things were going to turn out. 'Go not, happy day, from the shining fields
"Don't talk nonsense - you should say, from the sodden lawn," said Nelly. "Let us get the primroses now, or what can I say to Mamma?"
"We shall both have a great deal to say to her. She will never once think of the primroses, Nelly."
"Oh, don't call me some one will hear you.
'Nelly' so loud; Must we go and