Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/638

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ISABELLA II.

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the performance, but it is now generally admitted that by his rendering of this and other Shak- eperian parts Mr. Irving has placed himself at the head of English tragedians. He appeared in " Mac- beth " Sept. 25, 1875, in " Othello " in 1876, and next as Philip in Mr. Tennyson's drama of "Queen Mary." Afterwards Mr. Irving played his Shaksperian parts in the provinces, in Scotland, and in Ireland. At Dublin his reception was most flat- tering, and on the last night of his engagement there, when he played "Hamlet" in compliance with a command from Trinity College, the Duke of Connaught and the Lord Lieutenant, surrounded by a bril- liant company, were among the audience, while the body of the theatre was filled with graduates and undergraduates. In Jan., 1877, Mr. Irving added to his Shak- sperian repertory by playing "Eichard III." at the Lyceum. In May of the same year he under- took the dual chantcters of Lesur- ques and Dubosc in "The Lyons Mail," and more recently (June 8, 1878) he played the titie rtle in " Yanderdecken," a poetical drama by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald and Mr. W. G. Wills. The withdrawal of Mrs. Bateman from the Lyceum gave Mr. Irving supreme control over the theatre, of which he had long been the mainstay. It opened under his management on Dec. 30, 1878, when he played the part of " Hamlet." Since then Mr. Irving has appeared in various other pieces, the principal female characters in which were impersonated by Miss Ellen Terry. Among these plays were " Othello " (in which he alter- nated the characters of Othello and lago with Mr. Booth, the cele- brated American actor), the " Cor- sican Brothers," "The Cup," and the " Belle's Stratagem." A public banquet was given to Mr. Irving at St. James's Hall, on July 4, 1883, shortly before his departure, with the Lyceum company, for a thea-

trical tour in the United States. Lord ColeridgCr the Lord Chief Justice of England, occupied the chair on this memorable occasion.

ISABELLA II. (Masia Isabella Louisa), ez-Queen of Spain, was bom at Madrid, Oct. 30, 1830. Her father, Ferdinand YII., had been induced, by the influence of his wife, to issue the Pragmatic Decree, revoking the Salic law ; and at his death, Sept. 29, 1833, his^ eldest daughter, then a child, was pro- claimed Queen, under the regency of her mother, Maria-Christina. This event proved the signal for civil warfare, as the claims of the late king's brother were warmly supported by certain classes of the people. The war of succession lasted seven years, and the country was desolated by the struggle between the contending Carli^ and Chris- tina parties, until the Cortes con- firmed the daims of Isabella by pronouncing sentence of exile on Don Carlos and his adherents. In 1840, the Queen-regnant, finding it impossible to carry on the government without making con- cessions to public feeling, for which she was indisposed, retired to France, resigning her power into the hands of Espartero, whom she had been previously compelled to summon to the head of affairs. For the following three years, whilst that constitutional leader was able in great measure to direct her edu- cation and training, the young Queen was subjected to purer and better influences than she had before experienced. She was de- clared by a decree of the Cortes to have attained her majority, Oct. 15, 1843, and took her place among the reigning sovereigns of Europe. Maria-Christina returned to Madrid in 1846, and her restoration to influence was marked by the mar- riage of Isabella II. to her cousin, Don Francisco d'Assisi, the elder son of her maternal uncle, Don Francisco de Paula, which took place Oct. 10, 1846. Sacriflced to