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are of very little consequence, and if just, can be altered in a morning. I find your friend Dr Blair knows of it, and though I have not yet opened my lips to him upon it, I will talk it over with him tomorrow, by ourselves. I have filled my paper, and my heart and mind are full about you. I shall ever love and esteem you, though I were never to see you again; for ' friendship never dies.'—Act 4 Scene 1.
"Ever and most affectionately,
"Pray let me have the fifth act soon, and a complete copy, that 1 may give it another reading. What are your designs about it? Pray tell me, and tell it me in a hand that does not gallop quite so fast as your imagination."
Mr Home's next succeeding performance was the tragedy of Alonzo, brought out at Drury-Lane in 1773. This tragedy, though written at a considerable distance of time, has more both of the style and story of Douglas, than any other of the poet's dramas, but both are much inferior to those of that excellent tragedy. There are a great many passages in AlonKo so closely resembling those of its sisterplay, that the author could hardly have ventured to set them down, if his memory had served him to recal those which he had formerly written. Thus the young Alberto, the unacknowleged son of the heroine Ormisinda, begins the story of his life :—
"Alberto is my name, I drew my breath
"Meanwhile, my bosom beat for nobler game;
And the King's reply is nearly in the words of
"Thou art a prodigy, and fill'st my mind
With thoughts profound, and expectations high."
And in another place, the King, in words exactly like those of Lady Randolph, says,—
To me no thanks are due; a greater king,
Ormisinda's admiration of her son, and comparison of him with his father, are expressed exactly as Lady Randolph expresses the same feelings:—
"Is he not like him? mark his coming forth—
Behold Alonzo in his daring son,
Full of the spirit of his warlike sire;
His birth unknown, he felt his princely mind,
Advanced undaunted on the edge of war,
And claimed the post of danger for his own."
And, in the next act,
"Then tell him of his son to wring his heart!
There is likewise, though the author had long ceased to exercise any of his clerical functions, the same imitation of the Bible.
"Oft," says the stripling Alberto, almost in the very words of David, when speaking of Goliah,—
"Oft have I kill'd
The wolf, the boar, and the wild mountain-bull,
"The God of Battles, whom Abdallah serves,
There is in many passages of this play the same animated poetry which is found in Douglas; but there are many more blemishes in the language to balance these. The following is an image of much grandeur, comparing to a sublime natural phenomenon the mysterious progress of the hero of the piece:
"I judge it is Alonzo.
Shrouded in anger, and in deep disdain,
And in the next scene, the simile, illustrative of a mind uncertain of its future destiny, is natural and beautiful.
"But hope and fear alternate sway my soul,
a as the
It is difficult to conceive the same author, but few pages after, writing such prosaic lines as tl following:—
"There never was,
Nor will there ever, while the world endures,
"His eyes, his ears are shut. Oft have I sent
"A mace he wields,
Whose sway resistless breaks both shield and arm,
"Has this youth no name? Hast thou not heard
"You start and shudder like a man
"He did not deign to look upon the present,
But stretch'd his sun-burnt hands straight out before
Like a blind man, and would have stood so still,
"Why should I fear to see a grave-clad ghost,
"Then forward sprung, and on the mighty shield
"The years, the months, the weeks, the very days,
Are reckon'd, register'd, recorded there.
And of that period I could cite such times,
So^dolorous, distressful, melancholy,
That the bare mention of them would excite
Amazement how I live to tell the tale."
* Our national vanity must confess the same wretched quibble in one of the most interesting scenes of Shakespeare's Hamlet t
Lines which (with reverence to Shakespeare be it said) I think it might be judicious to leave out in the acting.