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daughter is drawn with firm, lifelike, and natural linéaments. The portrait of James, though unquestionably graphic enough, is overcharged. The colouring of falsehood, meanness, treachery, and cowardice, is laid on too thickly. We wonder that Mr White did not perceive, that the character is in itself so essentially repulsive, that its traits required rather to be softened and shaded away than brought forward into prominent relief. These ungainly outlines would have answered admirably had Mr White's object been to produce à Comedy, or to connect the Scottish monarch with a charm of ludicrous distresses and equivokes, as Sir Walter Scott has done in the Fortunes of Nigel; but in a Drama dealing with conspiracy and death, the too elaborate exhibition of pure meannesses of character, unredeemed even by any of the more imposing vices, becomes simply wearisome and revolting.

The best drama character of the play, however, is the old Countess of Gowrie. There is something really grand and impressive in this picture of the gloomy lady, brooding over a murdered husband, and a banished family, amidst the solitudes of Athol; breeding up her son to vengeance on his royal oppressor; on the eve, as she thinks, by means of a fortunate chance, of obtaining her long-cherished revenge, but doomed to see that hope blasted through an idle scruple of honour on the part of her son, and compelled to stand by, a helpless and horror-struck spectator, while her ancient house is involved in the whirlwind of a mysterious and sweeping ruin.

The following passage from a scene between Beatrix Ruthven, the sister of Gowrie, and Catherine Logan, the object of his attachment, will prove that if Mr White does not generally indulge in the vein of contemplative and descriptive poetry, it is not from any incapacity to deal with such themes. Catherine is describing to her friend her solitary life in her father's rocky fastness at Fast Castle:


Ah! Beatrix, though from my window latticé,
I see the great broad sun sink every night
Beneath the sea, and follow him in thought
To the far climes to which he turns his face,

And shakes the glory of his golden hair

On the other side of the world, where morning light
Pours in hot streams o'er plains of yellow sand,
And brightens into life the countless miles

Of old primeval forests, fill'd with birds

Bright pinion'd, and wild lions, and strange sounds;
Still-tis a weary work to sit and weave
Fair pictures on the tapestry of our thoughts,

And see no real, breathing, moving life,
With all its joys-ay, and its gentle sorrows-
Come round us for whole years.


Ah! Catherine,

You are a dreamy girl! 'Twill do you good
To mix in our harsh earthly businesses,
In this loud, noisy, bustling, riotous world.


But if
you knew how happy we were all
Since your two brothers came to stay with us!


Indeed? What did you do the livelong day?


We walk'd beside the sea; we clomb the hill;

We sat at night upon the bartizan,

And watch'd the twinkling stars above our heads,

And listen'd to John's voice-I mean Lord Gowrie's

That fell so musical beneath the sky,

It seem'd as if it were strange melody

Drawn from the golden spheres.. Ah me! 'twas sweet.
To hear him tell of sweet Italian girls

Leaning o'er marble balconies at night,
And watching in the moonlight for the step
Of them they loved. I wept for one of them,
Till I could weep no more for any thing.
'Twas a young maid that met, in glittering halls,
A youth she ought not to have loved, for he
Had a death feud with all her father's house.
A gallant youth, and yet they loved the more,
That there was hatred 'twixt their families.
They met by night, and the night air (made rich
With all sweet plants, and many-colour'd flowers,
And murmuring fountains, and melodious songs
Of tranced nightingales in the orange shades)
Grew richer with their sighs. The maiden's name
Was Juliet ; and because she could not be
His bride in peace, she drank a mystic draught
To make her sleep, and look as if she died.
They buried her, though still upon her cheek
Lived the pale reflex of a damask ruse,
For life was at her heart. At dead of night
Came down her lover to the tomb; Ah, me!
He saw but the cold features of his love,
And thought that she was dead; and so he drew

His sword, and-oh! I cannot tell the rest!
He stabb'd himself and died by Juliet's side.
Then she awoke from out her charmed trance,
And, oh! alas! 'tis a sad story, love;
I can't help weeping;-both the lovers died.


And did you weep when Gowrie told the tale?


Oh! sweetly; for, dear friend, the tears we shed
O'er the sad fate of trusting lovers, when
We know that their deep sorrows are all hush'd
Within the grave, are not such bitter tears
As present sorrow summons to the eyes.
And then the telling was so beautiful!

Oh! it was worth all tears that I could shed,
To hear that voice, and linked sweet discourse
That bore the tale upon its trembling words,
Like a rich boat, filled with sad melodies,
Upon the silver current of a river!


Sweet Kate! I love you like a sister.'

Our next extract is in a different strain; and will exhibit in a favourable light the variety of Mr White's powers, and the vigorous dramatic diction which he can employ. James, in search of the hoped for treasure, ventured into Gowrie's house. He has seated himself on a bench in the hall, and is already in imagination gloating over the promised gold.

"(The great door of the hall is opened; armed men enter and arrange themselves on each side.)

[Enter COUNTess Gowrie.

JAMES (alarmed and trying to conceal his fear.)

Cousin, we are your loving guest to-day,

And give you here our royal hand to kiss.

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Once more, and all these fleshless arms shall rise

To hold the dagger to your heart. Sir! know you Who stands before you? Name that name no more. It once was mine, e'er sorrow and deep wrong Unwoman'd me, and made me what I am.


Fair cousin, pray you harbour not such thoughts. I'm your true loving kinsman; your kind king.


You are a kinsman, but no loving one;
You are a king, but not a kind one. What!
You call you kind and loving when your hand
Is crimson'd with my widowhood of blood.


It was the law, fair cousin; 'twas the law;
I could not help it.-Zooks! I could not help it.
I wish he were alive-I do indeed-

He would not look so: he would talk more kindly,-
Indeed he would.-

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And ope your lips, damp from your crimson grave, And give him fitter welcome to your hall

Than my poor voice can utter !


Pray you, madam,

Look not so wildly; there is nothing there;
Think of me not so harshly. Let me go;
I'm rested now. I pray you let me go.

COUNTESS. (To the Guard.)
Keep double watch upon the door. Your lives
Shall answer for his going! Oh! not yet;
Not yet we part after such years of absence.
I have not thank'd you for the sweet reply
You gave to my entreaties for my child!
It was a spurn, I think, from the arm'd heel
Of him you follow'd then, the upstart Arran.
What can you look upon this heaving breast,

Nor feel a blush upon your craven cheek? 'Twas here his heel was planted.


Heaven forfend

That such a deed was mine! Arran is dead,
Or I would hang him high as Haman's gallows.
I always liked you, cousin, and your sons,
Both buirdly gallants. John's a famous scholar;
I like him. He's an excellent Latinist.

I pray you let me go to Restalrig,

He'll think I'm long of coming.


Let him think.

You go not hence. Twill be my life-long joy
To tend you. You shall leave my side no more.

Ha! no, it cannot be.

To keep me 'gainst my


You think not, madam,



Your mother, sir,

Found careful nurse in stout old Margaret Douglas,
In Leven. I am warm'd with Douglas' blood,,
And will be 'tendant on your majesty.


I thought not this. I came but as a friend


It was not you that came, 'twas Heaven that sent you,'Twas Scotland's guardian angel moved you here;

For from these rugged walls-or ruggeder—

You budge not;-Oh! your time were wondrous short In prison bonds, if I had power as will!


For heaven's sake! madam. Oh! for mercy's sake,
Let me not think you serious in your talk-

It was a jest-Oh! tell me 'twas a jest!

You mean not to detain me.


I have told you,

If I might shape my actions to my wish,
You should be free as air, ere sets the sun,

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