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Tell 'em with this I murder'd her I lov'd; Rev'rence this hero, and conduct him safe.
Ner. Direct me, great inspirer of the soul!
Η Ο Μ Ε. Jonn HOME, a native of Scotland, born in the vicinity of Ancrum, in Roxburgshire, in 1724, after the usual course of education for the church, was ordained and inducted to the living of Athelstaneford, and was the successor of the Rev. Mr. Elair, quthor of The Grave. In the rebellion of 1745 he took up arms in defence of the existing gesernment, He was present at the battle of Falkirk; where he was taken prisoner, and, with five or six other gentlemen, escaped from the castle of Down, After the rebellion he resumed the duties of his profession. Having a balural inclination for the Belles Lettres, which he had cultivated with some care; he wrote his tragedy of Douglas, and presented it to the managers of the Edinburgh Theatre. !ts reception will be easily imagined from the following anecdole. During the representation a young and sanguine Scoichman, in the pil, transported with des light and enthusiasm, cried oat on a sudden with an air of triumph,“ Weel lods ; hwar's yeer Wolly Shokspeer 90a!" (where is your William Shakspeare now). The author being a 'clergyman, the resentment of the elders of the Litt, and many other zealous members of that sect was inflamed, not only against him, but the performers also; on whom, together with him, they freely. denounced their anathemas in pamphlets and pablic papers. The latter indeed it was out of their power greatly to injure ; but their rod was near falling very heavy on the author, whom the assembly repudiated, and cut off from his preferments. In England, however, he had the good fortune to meet with friends, and being through the interest of the Earl of Bule and some other persons of distinction, recommended to the notice of his present majesty, then Prince of Wales, his Royal Highness was pleased to bestow a pension on him; thus, sheltering him under his own patronage, he put it out of the power of either bigotry, envy, or malevolence to bles his laurels. Mr. Home afterwards pursued his poetical efforts, and produced more dramatic pieces, which were brought on the stage in London; but Douglas must always stand as his master-piece in dramatic writing. He never alors wards resumed his clerical profession, which he had abandoned in 1757 ; but enjoyed a place under
gorerament ia Scotland. Mr. Home, always the friend and patron of merit, as far as his circumstances would admit
, was the means of bringing the celebrated poems of Ossian to light. While Macpherson was schoolmaster of Ruthven in Badenoch, be*: occupied his leisure hours in collecting, from the native, but illiterate bards of the mountains of Scotland, fragments of these inimitable poems; a few of them he translated, and inserted in a weekly Miscellany, then publishing at Edinburgh. The beauty of these pieces soon attracted the notice of Mr. Home, Dr. Robertson and Dr. Blair; and they resolved to sent Macpherson on a journey all over the Highlands, at their expence, tu collect the originals of that it poems, which have since been a subject of so much controversy. Mr. Home died at Manchester-house near Edis burgh, Sept. the 4th 18c8.
DOUGLAS. This piece was first produced at Edinburgh, 1756; and the success it met with, induced our author to offer items the London managers; where, notwithstanding all the influence exerted in its favour, it was refused by Garrick. Mr Rich, however,
accepted it, and it was acted the first time at Covent-garden, March the 14th 1757; where its real word soon placed it out of the reach of critical censure. The plot was suggested by the pathetical old scotch ballad of G (or Child) Morrice, reprinted in the third volume of Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, and it is founded on the quarrels of the families of Douglas and other of the Scots clans. This tragedy has a great deal of pathos in il, som of the narratives are pleasingly affecting, and the descriptions poetically beauúfal. On its first appearance Hume get his opinion, that is was one of the most interesting and pathetic pirces ever exhibited in any theatre.
He declared that the author possessed the true thcatric genius of Shakspeare and Olway; but we must remember, that the sache was a Scotehman, consequently such extravagant praise requires no comment. Gray however had so high an opinie of this first drama of Mr. Home, that in a letter to a friend in 1757, he says, “I am greatly struck with the traged of Douglas, though it has infinite faults: the author seems to have relieved the true langnage of the Stage, which has been lost for these hundred years; and there is one scene (between Matilda and the Old Peasant) so masterly, that strikes me blind to all the defects in the world." To this opinion every reader of taste will readily subscribe. Joha son blames Mr. Gray for concluding his celebrated ode with suicide ; a circumstance borrowed perhaps from Dongla in which lady Randolph, otherwise a blamcless character, precipitates herself, like the Bard, from a cliff, into eternity
Still hears and answers to Matilda's moan. Scene l— The Court of a Castle, surrounded Are e'er permitted to review this world,
Oh, Douglas! Douglas! if departed ghosts
Within the circle of that wood thou art,
And with the passion of immortals hear'st Lady R. Ye woods and wilds, whose me- My lamentation: hear'st thy wretched wife lancholy gloom
Weep for her husband slain, her infant lo: Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth My brother's timeless death I seem to mouro The voice of sorrow from my bursting heart, Who perish'd with thee on this fatal day. Farewell awhile: I will not leave you long; But Randolph comes, whom fate has ma For in your shades I deem some spirit dwells, Who from the chiding stream, or groaning oak, |To chide my anguish, and defraud the dead
Enter LORD RANDOLPH.
Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious Lord R. Again these weeds of woe! say,
And ill-tim'd mention of your brother's fate?
Lady R. What power directed thy un-
But since my words have made my mistress
tremble, Sure thou art not the daughter of sir Malcolm: I will speak so no more; but silent mix Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment: My tears with hers. For wben thy brother fell, he smild to hear Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. That Douglas' son in the same field was slain. I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my Henceforth the instructed partner of my woes fathers :
But what avails it? Can thy feeble pity Implacable resentment was their crime, Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time? And grierous has the expiation been. Compel the earth and ocean to give up Lord R. Thy grief wrests to its purposes Their dead alive?
Anna. What means my noble mistress? I orter ask'd of thee that ardent love
Lady R. Didst thou not ask, what had my
My child and his-
The tale wrapt up in your amazing words
Deign to unfold.
Lady R. Alas! an ancient feud,
Hereditary evil, was the source
That my brave brother should in battle save
The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship. Lady R. O, may adverse winds,
To see the vaunted sister of his friend, Far from the coast of Scotland 'drive their Impatient, Douglas to Balarmo came, fleet!
Under a borrow'd name.-My heart he gain'd;
NO did I long refuse the hand he begg'd:
, hear a Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings warrior's wish:
of down, Right from their native land, the stormy north, Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was by the wind blow, till every keel is lix'd
To fight his father's battles; and with him,
. Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword,
And question'd me. Alone, forsaken, faint, Enler Anna.
Kneeling beneath his sword, falt'ring, I took Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would lore;
Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity! tyd by affection, I have thus presum'd Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave
sterrupt your solitary thoughts; Thy onward path! although the earth should 42 warn you of the hours that you neglect,
gape, al lose in sadness.
And from the gulf of hell destruction cry, Lady R. So to lose my hours
To take dissimulation's winding way. all the use I wish to make of time,
Anna. Alas! how few of women's fearful Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with
kind my state:
Durst own a truth so hardy! le fare l am, since death first prey'd on man,
Lady R. The first truth bene did sister tbus a brother mourn.
Is easiest to avow. This moral learn, but had your sorrows been if you had lost, This precious moral
, from my tragic tale.buls youth the husband of your heart ? In a few days the dreadful tidings came Lesy R. Ob!
That Douglas and my brother both were slain.
lord! my husband!-mighty God! Glen, What dost thon - doubt of? Wha What had I done to merit such affliction?
hast thou to do Anna. My dearest lady, many a tale of tears With subjects intricate? Thy youth, th I've listen'd to; but never did I hear
beauty, A tale so sad as this.
Cannot be question'd: think of these goo Ludy R. In the first days
gifts; Of my distracting grief, I found myself- And then thy contemplations will be pleasing As women wish to be who love their lords. Anna. Let women view yon monument But who durst tell my father? the good priest
woe, Who join'd our bands, my brother's ancient Then boast of beauty: who so fair as she? tutor,
But I must follow ; this revolving day With his lov'd Malcolm, in the battle fell: Awakes the memory of her ancient woes. They two alone were privy to the marriage. On silence and concealment I resolvid, Glen. So!—Lady Randolph shuns me; by Till time should make my father's fortune mine.
and-by That very night on whích my son was born, I'll woo her as the lion wooes his brides. My nurse, the only confidant I had,
The deed's a doing now, that makes me lor Set out with him to reach her sister's house: Of these rich valleys, and a chief of pow'r. But nurse, nor infant have I ever seen, The season is most apt; my sounding steps Or heard of, Anna, since that fatal hour. Will not be heard amidst the din of arms. Anna. Not seen nor heard of! then perhaps Randolph has livid too long; his better fate he lives.
Had the ascendant once, and kept me down Lady R. No. It was dark December; wind When I had seiz’d the dame, by chance ! and rain
came, Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay. Rescu'd, and had the lady for his labour: The destin'd road, and in its swelling flood I 'scap'd unknown; a slender consolation! My faithful servant perish'd with my child. Heav'n is my witness that I do not love Oh! had I died when my lor'd husband fell! To sow in peril, and let others reap Had some good angel op'd to me the book The jocund harvest. Yet I am not safe; Of Providence, and let me read my life, By love, or something like it, stung, inflam' My heart had broke, when I beheld the sum Madly I blabbd my passion to his wife
, of ills, which one by one I have endur'd. And she has threatend to acquaint him of Anna. That God, whose ministers good The way of woman's will I do not know: angels are,
But well I know the baron's wrath is dead! Hath shut the book, in mercy to mankind. I will not live in fear; the man I dread But we must leave this theme: Glenalvon Is as a Dane to me; ay, and the man comes;
Who stands betwixt me and my chief desire I saw him bend on you his thoughtful eyes, No bar but he; she has no kinsman near ; And bitherwards he slowly stalks his way: No brother in his sister's quarrel bold; Lady R. I will avoid him. An ungracious And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cau: person
I know no chief that will defy Glenalvor. Is doubly irksome in an hour like this. Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Ran
ACT II. dolph's heir?
Scene I.-A Court, etc. Lady R. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's virtues.
Enter Servants and a Stranger at one Doo Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind
and Lady RANDOLPH and ANNA at another An artificial image of himself:
Lady R. What means this clamour? Stra Yet is he brave and politic in war,
ger, speak secure; And stands aloft in these unruly times. Hast thou been wrong'd? have these rude mi Why I describe him thus I'll tell hereafter.
presum'd Stay, and detain him till I reach the castle. To rex the weary, traveller on his way?
1 Serv. By us no stranger Anna. Oh happiness! where art thou to be
This man with outcry wild has call'd us fort! I see thou dwellest not with birth and beauty, So, sore afraid he cannot speak bis sears. Though grac'd with grandeur, and in wealth array’d;
Enter Lord Randolph and Nortal, mi Nor dost thou, it would
their Swords drawn and bloody. with virtue
Lady R. Not vain the stranger's fears! ho Else had this gentle lady miss'd thee not.
fares my lord ?
Lord R. That it fares well, thanks to th Enter GLENALVON.
gallant youth, Glen. What dost thou muse on, meditating As down the winding dale I walk'd alone
Whose valour sard me from a wretched deal maid? Like some entranc'd and visionary seer,
At the cross way four armed men altack'd 1 On earth thou stand’st, thy thoughts ascend 10 Who would have quickly laid lord Randol
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp: heaven.
low, Anna. Would that I were, e'en as thou Had not this brare and
say'st, a seer, To have iny doubts by heavenly vision clear'd. And mocking danger, made my foes his own
Like my good angel
, in the hour of fate,
generous stranger com
They lurn'd upon bim, but his active arm And, heaven directed, came this day to do Struck to the ground, from whence they rose The happy deed that gilds my humble name. no more,
Lord R. He is as wise as brave.. Was The fiercest two; the others fled amain,
ever tale And left him master of the bloody field. With such a gallant modesty rebears'a ? Speak, lady Randolph, upon beauty's tongue My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now Dwell accents pleasing to the brave and bold; A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight Speak, noble dame, and thank bim for thy lord. Contend with princes for the prize of fame. "Lady R. My lord, I cannot speak' what I will present thee to our Scottish king, now I feel;
Whose valiant spirit ever valour lov'd. My heart o'erflows with gratitude to heaven, Ah! my Matilda, wherefore starts that tear? And to this noble youth, who, all unknown Lady R. I cannot say; for various affecTo you and yours, deliberated not,
tions, Nor pausd at peril
, but, bumanely brave, And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell; Fought on your side against such fearful odds. Yet each of them may well command a tear, Have you not learnd of him whom we should I joy that thou art sase; and I admire thank ?
flim and his forlunes, who hath wrought thy Whom call the saviour of lord Randolph's life?
safety; Lord R. I ask'd that question, and he an- Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own. swer'd not;
Obscure and friendless be the army sought, But I must know who my deliverer is. Bent upon peril, in the range of death
[To Norval. Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword Nor. A low-born man, of parentage obs-To gain distinction which his birth denied. cure,
In this attempt, unknown he might have peWho nought can boast, but his desire to be
rish'd, A soldier, and to gain a name in arms. And gain'd with all his valour, but oblivion. Lord R. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is Now grac'd by thee, his virtues serve no more ennoblid
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope, By the great King of kings: thou art ordaind He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown. And stamp'd a hero, by the sovereign hand Are brought within the compass of his sword. Of nature! Blush not, flower of modesty On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke, As well as valour, to declare thy birth. And bless'd the wonder-working Lord of heaven. Nor. My name is Norval: on the Gram- Lord R, Pious and grateful ever are thy pian bills
thoughts! My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain, My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the Whose constant cares were to increase his
Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon, And keep bis only son, myself, at home. In honour and command shall Norval be. For I bad heard of battles, and I long'd Nor. I know not how to thank you. Rude To follow to the field some warlike lord:
I am And heav'n soon granted what my sire denied. In speech and manners: never till this hour This moon which rose last night, round as Stood I in such a presence: yet, my lord, my shield,
There's something in my breast, which makes had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her light, A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills, To
that Norval ne'er will shame thy faRash'd like a torrent down upon the vale, Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shep- Lady R. I will be sworn thou wilt nol. herds fled
Thou shalt be For safety and for succour. I alone, My knight; and ever, as thou didst to-day, With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows, VÝith happy valour guard the life of Randolph. Hoter'd about the enemy, and mark'd
Lord R: 'Well hast thou spoke.
Let me The road he took; then hasted to my friends,
forbid reply ; [To Norval. Whom, with a troop of fifty.chosen men, We are thy debtors still. Thy high desert I met advancing. The pursuit I led, O’ertops our gratitude. I must proceed, Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe. As was at first intended, to the camp. We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was Some of my train I see are speeding hither, drawn,
Impatient doubtless of their lord's delay. An arrow from my bow bad pierc'd their Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall chief,
The chosen warriors of thy native land, Who wore that day the arms which now I Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandish'd swords. Keturning home in triumph, I disdain'd Nor. Let us be gone, my lord. The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard Lord R. [To Lady R.) About the tim That our good king had summon'd his bold
that the declining sun peers
Shall his broad orbit o'er
hill suspend, To lead their warriors to the Carron side, Expect us to return. This night once more I left
my father's house, and took with me Witbin these walls I rest; my tent I pitch A chosen servant to conduct my steps; To-morrow in the field. Prepare the feast: Yon trembling coward, who forsook his mas- Free is his heart who for his country fights: ter.
He in the eve of battle may resign barneying with this intent, I pass'd these Himself to social pleasure : sweetest then, towers,
When danger to a soldier's soul endears
The human joy that never may return. I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. (Exeunt Lord Randolph and Noroal.
[Erit Anna. Lady R. His parting words have struck a Glen. To him your counsels always are fatal truth.
commands. Oh, Douglas! Douglas! tender was the time Lady R. I have not found so; tbou art When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!
known to me. How many years of anguish and despair Glen. Known! Has heaven annex'd to those swift passing bours Lady R. And most certain is my cause of Of love and fondness.
knowledge. Welch that I am! Alas! why am I so? Glen. What do you know? By the most At every happy parent I repine. How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval! You much amaze me.
No created being, She for a living husband bore her pains, Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon. And heard him bless her when a man was born: Lady R. Is guilt so bold? and dost thou She nurs'd her smiling infant on her breast;
make a merit Tended the child, and reard the pleasing boy; of thy pretended meekness ? this to me, She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth Who, with a gentleness which duty blames
, In grace and comeliness surpass
Have hitherto conceald, what, if indulg'd, Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son, Would make thee nothing ! or what's worse And to the roaring waters gave my child.
than that, Anna. Alas! alas! why will you thus resume An outcast beggar, and unpitied too! Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth For mortals shudder at a crime like thine. Would for awhile have won you from your woe. Glen. Thy virtue awes me.
First of woOn him intent you gazed, with a look
mankind! Much more delighted, than your pensive eye Permit me yet to say, that the fond man Has deigo'd on other objects to bestow. Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's Lady R. Delighted, say'st thou? Oh! even
bounds, 'there mine eye
If he is brought by love to misery, Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow; In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn, I thought, that had the son of Douglas liv'd, Uopitied cannot be. Pity's the alms He might have been like this young gallant Which on sich beggars freely is bestow'd; stranger,
For mortals know that love is still their lord, And pair'd with him in features and in shape, And o'er their vain resolves advances still: In all endowments, as in years, I deem, As fire, when kindled by our shepherds, mores My boy witte blooming Norval might bave Through the dry heath before the fanning wind. number'd.
Lady R. Reserve these accents for some Whilst thus I mus'd, a spark from fancy fell On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness To love's apology I listen not. For this young stranger, wand'ring from his Mark thou my words: for it is meet thou home,
shouldst. And like an orphan cast upon my care. His brave deliverer, Randolph here retains. I will protect thee, said I to myself, Perhaps his presence may not please thee well: With all my power, and grace with all my But, at thy peril, practise ought against him: savour.
Let not thy jealousy attempt îo shake Anna. Sure, heaven will bless so gen'rous And loosen the good root he has in Randolph, a resolve.
Whose favourites I know thou hast supplanted. You must, my noble dame, exert your power: Thou look'st at me, as if thou wouldse pry You must awake; devices will be fram'd, Into my heart. 'Tis open as my speech. And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval. I give this early caution, and put on Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head The curb, before thy temper breaks away: will work
The friendless stranger my protection claims ; Against a rival in his kinsman's love, His friend I am, and be noi thou his foe. If I deter him not; I only can. Bold as he is, Glenalvon will beware
Glen. Child that I was to start at my own How he pulls down the fabric that I raise.
shadow, I'll be the artist of young Norval's fortune. And be the shallow fool of coward conscience!
I am not what I have been; what I should be. Enter GlenALVON.
The darls of destiny bave almost pierc'd Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith Randolph ?
In holy legends and religious tales, Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, I should conclude there was an arın aborc of the base
That fought against me, and malignant turn'd, Glen. I have; and that the villains may not To catch myself, the subtle snare I sel. 'scape,
Why, rape and murder are not simple means With a strong band I have begirt the wood. The imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken, And the intended murder iniroduc'd And torture force from them the important A favourite to hide the sun from me; secret,
And worst of all, a rival. Burning hell! Whether some foe of Randolph's hir'd their This were thy centre, if I though she lor? swords,
him! Or if
'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, command Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love.