“Ivy and violet, what do ye here
With blossom and shoot in the warm spring-weather,
Hiding the arms of Monchenci and Vere?”
NO ONE LOVES AND HONORS BARRY CORNWALL MORE THAN DOES
WHO, HAVING NOTHING BETTER THAN THIS PLAY
TO GIVE HIM IN PROOF OF IT, MUSY SAY SO.
Browning was stimulated by the enthusiastic reception of A Blot in the ‘Scutcheon to write another play for the stage, but for some reason it was not performed for ten years or so. It was printed in 1844 as No. VI. of Bells and Pomegranates. Mr. Gosse in his Personalia says: —
“I have before me at the present moment a copy of the first edition, marked for acting by the author, who has written: ‘I made the alterations in this copy to suit some — I forget what — projected stage representation; not that of Miss Faucit, which was carried into effect long afterward.’ The stage directions are numerous and minute, showing the science which the dramatist had gained since he first essayed to put his creations on the boards.
“Some of the suggestions are characteristic enough. For instance: ‘Unless a very good Valence is found, this extremely fine speech, [in Act IV. where Valence describes Berthold to Colombe], perhaps the jewel of the play, is to be left out.’ In the present editions the verses run otherwise.”
The play has recently  been rearranged in three acts and brought again on the stage.
Colombe of Ravestein, Duchess of Juliers and Cleves.
Sabyne, Adolf, her Attendants.
Guibert, Gaucelme, Maufroy, Clugnet, Courtiers.
Valence, Advocate of Cleves.
Prince Berthold, Claimant of the Duchy.
Melchior, his Confidant.
Place, The Palace at Juliers.
Time, 16 — .
Morning. Scene. A corridor leading to the Audience-chamber.
Gaucelme, Clugnet, Maufroy and other Courtiers, round Guibert who is silently reading a paper: as he drops it at the end —