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rich and the poor, for these hundred years past; and will never cease having power over the hearts of an audience, whilst an actress can be found to represent her, and her sorrows, with apparent truth.
Of the other characters of this tragedy, little can be said in praise, except of Alicia—and it is curious to observe, how widely two learned critics have differed in their opinion respecting the merit of this part.—Dr. Johnson says, "Alicia is a character of empty noise, with no resemblance to real sorrow, or natural madness."
Whilst Dr. Warton has said, "The interview between Jane Shore and Alicia, in the fifth act, is very affecting, where the madness of Alicia is well painted."
To reconcile these two opposite criticisms, it may be supposed—that those great critics spoke as spectators, not as readers: and the one had seen a good, and the other a bad actress, perform the part.
Alicia can surely be rendered as pathetic as Jane Shore, provided the character is acted with equal skill: for, though Jane has the advantage of her friend, in being the personage whom the auditors have come purposely to see, and of whom they have heard speak from their childhood, yet Alicia's calamities are far more heavy than those of the famished Shore.—The former is tortured by the most poignant remorse that human nature can sustain—her conscience is loaded with a fellow-creature's death—nor has she the enjoyment of malice, to diminish her sense of guilt; as she became a murderer through the wild extravagance of love, not hate.
The parting scene between her and the condemned Hastings, where he forgives her as the cause of his immediate execution, has something more affecting, than the last scene of the drama, where Shore forgives his dying wife. The husband's pardon comes, after time has softened, and penitence mitigated, his wrongs— the lover forgives a more fatal injury, and its consequences that moment impending.
Duke or Gloster
Sir Richard Ratcliff
Sir William Catesby
Captain Of The Guard
Mr. Kemble. Mr. C. Kemble. Mr. Davenport. Mr. Klanert. Mr. Creswell. Mr. Cooke. Mr. Claremont. Mr. Lee. Mr. Field. Mr. Atkins.
Mrs. Litchfield. Mrs. Siddons.
ACT THE FIRST.
Enter the Duke or Gloster, Sir Richard
Glo. Thus far success attends upon our councils,
Rat. Then take them to you, And wear them long and worthily. You are The last remaining male of princely York, (For Edward's boys, the state esteems not of them,) And therefore on your sov'reignty and rule,
The commonweal does her dependence make,
Cat. And yet to-morrow does the council meet,
Glo. That can I.
Cat. Yet there is one,
Glo. I guess the man, at whom your words wou'd point:
Cat. The same.
Glo. He bears me great good will.
Glo. And yet this tough impracticable heart