Don Carlos, Infante of Spain: A Drama in Five Acts

Don Carlos, Infante of Spain: A Drama in Five Acts

Don Carlos, Infante of Spain: A Drama in Five Acts

Don Carlos, Infante of Spain: A Drama in Five Acts

Excerpt

On January 18, 1568 King Philip II of Spain, the most powerful of reigning monarchs in western Europe, attended Mass in the company of his only son and heir, Crown Prince Charles (Don Carlos). Apparent friendliness marked their meeting, though it was common knowledge that mutual and profound distrust had long prevailed between them. Shortly before midnight of the same day the King, attended by several of the highest noblemen of his court, presented himself suddenly and unexpectedly in his son's bedchamber and solemnly announced that as of that moment the bedchamber was to be his son's prison. The windows were nailed shut, all papers belonging to the Prince were confiscated, and guards were stationed at the door. A week later the prisoner was transferred to quarters still more secure, where orders still more stern were issued as precautions against his escape. Six months later, shortly after midnight of July 24, 1568, word was brought to the King that his son had died in his prison room. The age of the deceased was twenty-three years and sixteen days.

The six months of prison regime had been necessarily distressful, but neither physical comforts nor the consolations of religion had been denied. Under no circumstances had the Prince been allowed to leave confinement. A single high window afforded no view of the outside world. All . . .

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