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poet has signalized—Balarmo and the Grampian Hills. The passions of grief, joy, fear, and bitter woe, which this tragedy pourtrayed, found instant accesss to every heart, from the aged to the youthful, either by the avenue of parental or of filial love. Although Douglas be one of those plays worthy of a reader's, as well as of a spectator's literary hours, yet, perhaps, few classical plays have been more indebted for admirers to the art of acting. Lady Randolph has been distinguished by most eminent representatives. Mrs. Crawford (the once famed Mrs. Bary) displayed, in this part, dramatic powers, which, at times, electrified her audience. Of this effect was her simple interrogation, consisting of three words,“Was he alive?” | But to Mrs. Siddons it is given to unite the same bursts of pathetic tenderness, so wonderful in her predecessor, to that matronal beauty of person, and - dignity of action, wherein it was denied Mrs. Crawford, to paint this exquisite drawing, by Home, in faithful colours. To the reader, who is not in the habit of attending theatres, and of estimating the effects of theatric genius, it may not be unnecessary to say,+that the short and seemingly inferior part of Glenalvon may be rendered a conspicuous character upon the stage by the actor's skill, though Cooke, in Glenalvon, is the
* See page 25, a.
sole evidence that can be adduced to substantiate this . fact. The fairies, who preside over the Norval of young Betty, protect him from rational criticism, till time shall have chased away all tiny agency, and have left him to engage on equal ground with his giant competitors. This tragedy of Douglas, extolled by Gray as a work, that had “ retrieved the true language of the stage, lost for three hundred years,”—this play, written with the minutest attention to morality in fable, incident, and dialogue, drew upon its meritorious author (who was a minister of the church of Scotland) anathemas from the elders of the Kirk, and bitterest persecution from all the laity of that christian sect. It may be supposed that the church of Scotland would have been less severe on a less moral production; but, for a dramatist to encroach on their exclusive prerogative of teaching virtue, was not to be forgiven. Stripped of his benefices, and wholly repudiated for this enormous presumption, Home took shelter in England. His present Majesty, then Prince of Wales—and not less compassionate for being strictly religious, moved by the author's misfortunes, and impressed by his genius, bestowed on him a pension, which to this day he enjoys.
Douglas Master Betty. LoRD RANDolph Mr. Murray. GLENALvoN Mr. Cooke. NorvaL Mr. Hargrave, STRANGER Mr. Truman. LADY RANDolph Mrs. Litchfield. ANNA Mrs. Humphries,
ACT THE FIRST.
The court of a castle, surrounded with woods.
Enter LADY RANDolph.
Lady R. Ye woods and wilds, whose melancholy gloom
Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth
Incapable of change, affection lies
Enter LoRD RANDolph.
Lord R. Again these weeds of woe say, dost thou well, To feed a passion, which consumes thy life? The living claim some duty; vainly thou Bestow'st thy cares upon the silent dead. Lady R. Silent, alas ! is he, for whom I mourn: Childless, without memorial of his name, He only now in my remembrance lives. Lord R. Time, that wears out the trace of deepest anguish, Has pass'd o'er thee in vain. Sure thou art not the daughter of Sir Malcolm : Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment: For, when thy brother fell, he smiled to hear, That Douglas' son in the same field was slain. Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my fathers: Implacable resentment was their crime, And grievous has the expiation been. Lord R. Thy griefs wrests to its purposes my words. I never ask'd of thee that ardent love, Which in the breasts of fancy's children burns. Decent affection, and complacent kindness, Were all I wish'd for : but I wish'd in vain. Hence with the less regret my eyes behold The storm of war that gathers o'er this land : If I should perish by the Danish sword, Matilda would not shed one tear the more. Ilady R. Thou dost not think so : woeful as I am, I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues. But whither go'st thou now : Lord R. Straight to the camp,