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love, in Alexander, “with such godlike ardour, that spectators could scarcely once doubt of his immediate descent from Jupiter.” Nor was this Performer's warmth of passion confined to his fictitious characters; he possessed it as a quality of his own, and was the man who beguiled poor Nell Gwyn from selling oranges at the playhouse door, and instructed her to become an actress. But soon she forsook the counterfeit King of Macedon for the real King of England,-and became mother of the • Duke of St. Albans. The dreadful calamity which befel Lee, soon after the writing of this tragedy, is well known; yet no particular cause has been assigned for the affliction with which he was visited . Having progressively fallen into a state of insanity, he was confined in Bedlam for four years. In his lucid intervals he had industry; and followed his wonted occupation of writing plays; and his description of a madman in
one of those productions, is surely, considering his
own situation at the time, the most curious and interesting passage he ever wrote.
Description of a Madman, by LEE.
“ To my charm'd ears no more of woman tell:
“ Name not a woman, and I shall be well.
“He reasons well—his eyes their wildness lose,
“He vows the keepers his wrong'd sense abuse.
“But if you hint the cause that hurt his brain,
“Then his teeth gnash, he foams, he shakes his chain,
“His eyeballs roll, and he is mad again.”
Lee was, happily, restored to society from his miserable confinement, though he did not long enjoy his liberty.
He died suddenly in the streets, at the age of thirty-four.
The severe indisposition to which he was subject, may possibly have had influence in guiding his pen to some of those flights of imagination, called by the sober critic—phrenzy. But thus the great Dryden speaks of those flights, and of those critics who censure them.
“Despise those drones, who praise, while they accuse,
“The too much vigour of your youthful muse.
* ACT THE FIRST.
Alexander's Camp before Babylon.
Enter HEPHESTION and Lysimachus, fighting; CLYTUs parting them.
Clyt. What! are ye madmen This a time for quarrel ? Put up, I say—or, by the gods that formed me, He, who refuses, makes a foe of Clytus. Lys. I have his sword. Clyt. But must not have his life. Lys. Must not, old Clytus ! Clyt. Hair-brained boy, you must not. Heph. Lend me thy sword, thou father of the war, Thou far-famed guard of Alexander's life: Curse on this weak, unexecuting arm' Lend it, old Clytus, to redeem my fame; Lysimachus is brave, and else will scorn me. Lys. There, take thy sword; and, since thou’rs bent on death, Know, 'tis thy glory, that thou diest by me. Clut. Stay thee, Lysimachus; Hephestion, hold
I bar you both. My body interposed,