(6) Though I have not had an opportunity to confirm this, I would not be too surprised to learn, therefore, that the text of Craig's marked-up copy of A Blot in the 'Scutcheon
was also excised from this edition of Browning's collected works.
Elia likens a poor relation to "a haunting conscience,--a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noontide of your prosperity,...--a rebuke to your rising,--a stain in your blood,--a blot on your scutcheon
,--a rent in your garment, a death's head at your banquet,...--a frog in your chamber,...--the hail in harvest,--the ounce of sour in a pound of sweet" (2.157-58).
Lindley complained of "the slaughter of some 300 Taipings who made no reply whatever to the dastardly fire of men, who upon that day inflicted an indelible stain upon their nation's scutcheon
." To provide themselves with clear fields of fire, the British and French set fire to the Chinese suburbs, leaving thousands homeless.
Madeline's sleep, the glow of the `shielded scutcheon
26 Most puzzling among these is a notice from The Kingdom's Intelligencer, 20 April 1663, whereby Zachariah Watkins offers a reward for the return of a 'Theorbo-Lute, (in a Case lined with green bays) small rib'd, purfled, flat backt, with three Roses on the belly, and upon the head a Scutcheon
markt with HL, and newly strung'.
Pippa Passes, Luria, and A Soul's Tragedy are included; Strafford, King Victor and King Charles, The Return of the Druses, A Blot in the 'Scutcheon
, and Colombe's Birthday are not.
The action takes place before any words are spoken: Enter hieronimo with a Drum, three Knights, each his scutcheon
: then he fetches three Kings, they take their crowns and them captive' (1.4.137 sd).
Such service, Durward says, "would be a blot on my father's scutcheon
for ever" (48).