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The Book of Beanty.
ON THE PORTRAIT
HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA.
BY H. F. CHORLEY.
'Tis a mad masque of Kings! Some driven a-field,
Into lone corners wan and beggared steal ;
Some robed in tinsel to their subjects kneel, Who smite them down while piteously they yield. But thou, Our Queen! behind thine ample shield
Of British arms that dare and hearts that feel,
Shalt sit unmoved, though the Earth round thee reel, And the old depths of Chaos are unsealed.
True wife, fond mother, hold secure thine own,
Thou hast as warders of thine island-throne
To whom the place divine of every star is known.
This thought is Mr. Carlyle's.
ISABELLA OF ANGOULEME,
QUEEN OF JOHN OF ENGLAND.
BY HENRY CURLING,
AUTHOR OF "SHAKSPEARE: THE LOVER, THE POET, TIIE ACTOR, THE MAN."
Few things can be more melancholy to contemplate than the spectacle of a lovely and high-born woman wedded to a mean, selfish, and unworthy husband. It is, indeed, sufficiently disagreeable to picture such a circumstance even in our own dull, calculating, and money-getting age, but when we look backward “into the abysm of time," and during the bright era of chivalrous deeds, and, even in such a period, behold a high-born lady wedded to misery in such a form — to see her “perked up in a glistering grief, and wearing a golden sorrow," the spectacle is doubly melancholy.
Isabella of Angoulême is, for the most part, known to the historian only as the consort of our English John, one of the meanest, most cruel, and evil-disposed monarchs that ever wore the circlet of royalty upon his brow.
That most facetious of volumes, humorously called the “ History of England” (as Fielding describes it), has in its pages the following passage relating to this lady:“ John, when secure, as he imagined, on the side of France, indulged his passion for Isabella, the daughter and heir of Aymer Tailleffer, count of Angoulême, a lady with whom he had become much enamoured.” This is å somewhat brief notice of this beautiful and high-born female,- albeit,