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gically, the other successfully; " and it is not in the " least unlikely,” (says the author of that article in the Biogr. Dram. Edn. 1812. Vol. III. p. 379) “ that these 6 different acts might at different times be performed to " the play, to suit the various tastes of the audience ;
as we find to have been expressly the practice with re“gard to Romeo and Juliet, as altered by Mr. James " Iloward; which see under our account of that play." Same Vol. p. 222. See Aglaura, Vol. II. p. 9.
This alteration of Douglas was performed at Lady De Crespigny's Private Theatre, April 4, 1789, not in the year 1790, as I have before stated. The Prologue spoken on the occasion is printed in the European Magazine for June 1789, Vol. XV. p. 492. Her Ladyship speaks of her work in these unassuming terms :
16 In the following alterations I have endeavoured to
preserve such. parts of each speech as tended to affect « the passions, which I think are more agreeably in“ terested when joined to a ray of hope, than when 6 united to despair.
“ I am conscious of my great inability to keep up to “ the spirit of the author, but hope that the gratification
arising to our feelings from this more pleasing, and I “ think more just, conclusion of the drama will com
pensate for all deficiencies.
“ Being now, so many years after, called upon for “ the alterations, I must observe, that however reluctant “ I might have felt, or whatever objections there were “ to my taking the liberty of altering a work of so “justly-celebrated an author as Mr Home, there was
one circumstance which obliged me to conquer that " reluctance, and to set aside any objections to my do
ing so, which was the being to perform the part of “ Lady Randolph with my own son as Douglas. I felt e certain that I could not have gone through the part in “ its usual form. I had neither abilities strong enough “k to encounter such difficult scenes, nor feelings-languid enough not to be overcome by them from maternal sen
sations; and however deficient my other arguments “ might be in favour of the alterations, my own feelings
must, in the above case, have excited attention, and “will, I hope, plead my excuse for the liberty I
The same apology was made in the concluding lines of the PROLOGUE mentioned before, written by Mr. Fitz
6 If in our Play some alter'd Scenes you find,
They owe their merit to a Female Mind, 66 Whose tender bosom, e'en in fictious grief, “ Shrunk from the woe that can't admit relief; 66 And felt the DRAMA went beyond its art, " Rending the chords that nerve a Mother's heart! “ Such motives might the sternest censure bend, “ And change the Critic to th' approving Friend !"
I have made some few alterations from the original maFuscript with Lady De Crespigny's assent.
DOUGLAS, Act V. page 315.
Enter DOUGLAS with a sword in each hand..
Doug. My mother's voice!
Lady Rand. He lives, he lives :
Doug. It was Glenaloon.
safe, my son, Fills with such boundless joy this grateful heart, That I can scarce give utterance to my transports.
Enter OLD NORVAL. 0. Nordal. Fly, Douglas, fly! Forgive me, noble
Lady Rand. Full well I know he is no welcome guest On these his own domains.-Alas, my child !
Doug. Must I then perish by a villain's hand!
-Oh! might I die, as my brave father fell,
Lady Rund. Olinger not, my son.—To Douglas' tent
Remain till dawn shall favour thy escape
Oh! [Faints in the arms of Douglas, who throws away
his sword to assist her.] Doug. Oh, Heav'n! she dies! she dies ! Help, help! for mercy's sake! To yonder cot
[Speaking to 0. Norval, who goes out
Lady Rand. [recovering] Save him, O save him!
Doug. Compose yourself-behold him-He is safe.
Lady Rand. And art thou safe, my child? Still, Still I fear. [While Lady R. is leaning on Douglas, Lord Rax.
DOLPH enters with his sword drawn.
[He attempts to stub Douglas, but Lady R. seizes
Lady Rand. Stop, vile assassin! pierce this woe-word
But spare, O spare my SON!
Lord Rand. [drops his sword.] Thy son ! Amazement!
him to me!
Lord Rand. Thy son! It cannot be—but rise, unfold This dark, mysterious tale.
Lady Rand. The vile Glenalvon, That harden'd villain, first discover'd him, And urg'd thee 'gainst thy nature to destroy My long-lost child.-Yet I preserv'd that wretch, That treacherous kinsman, from a husband's wrath, Nor let thee know his villainous attempts Against the sacred honour of thy wife. And he repaid me, like the wretch he was, He sought to stain thy soul with Douglas' blood! Lord Rand. With Douglas' blood! Thy words are
full of wonder.
Lady Rand. Ha! knew you not he was ?
Lady Rand. My tragic tale,
Enter an OFFICER.