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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.
The court of a castle, surrounded with woods.
Lady R. Ye woods and wilds, whose melancholy
Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth
The voice of sorrow from my bursting heart,
Farewell a while : I will not leave you long ;
For in your shades I deem some spirit dwells,
Who, from the chiding stream, or groaning oak,
Still hears and answers to Matilda's moan.
Oh, Douglas ! Douglas ! if departed ghosts
Are e'er permitted to review this world,
Within the circle of that wood thou art,
And with the passion of immortals hear’st
My lamentation; hear'st thy wretched wife
Weep for her husband slain, her infant lost.
My brother's timeless death I seem to mourn,
Who perished with thee on this fatal day.
Oh, disregard me not ; though I am call'd
now, my heart is wholly thine ;
Incapable of change, affection lies
Buried, my Douglas, in thy bloody grave.
But Randolph comes, whom fate has made my lord,
To chide my anguish, and defraud the dead.
Enter LORD KANDOLPH.
Lord R. Again these weeds of woe! say, dost thou
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
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
Implacable resentment was their crime,
And grievous has the expiation been.
Lord R. Thy griefs wrests to its purposes my
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
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.
Lady 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,
Where every warrior on tip-toe stands
Of expectation, and impatient asks
Each who arrives, if he is come to tell,
The Danes are landed,
Far from the coast of Scotland drive their fleet!
And every soldier of both hosts return
In peace and safety to his pleasant home!
Lord R. Thou speak’st a woman's, hear a warrior's
Right from their native land, the stormy north,
May the wind blow, till every keel is fix'd
Immoveable in Caledonia's strand !
Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion,
And roving armies shun the fatal shore.
Lady, farewell : I leave thee not alone;
Yonder comes one, whose love makes duty light.
Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love :
Urged by affection, I have thus presumed
To interrupt your solitary thoughts;
And warn you of the hours that you neglect,
And lose in sadness.
Lady R. So to lose my
hours Is all the use I wish to make of time. Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my
But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man,
Never did sister thus a brother mourn.
What had your sorrows been, if you had lost,
In early youth, the husband of
heart? Lady R. Oh!
Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious love,
And ill-timed mention of your brother's fate?
Forgive me, lady: humble though I am,
The mind I bear partakes not of my