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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. Wharton 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.
I)RURY LANE. COVENT GARI) EN.
DUKE of GLosTER Mr. Cooper, Mr. Egerton.
ALICIA Mrs. Egerton, Mrs. Bunn.
ACT THE FIRST.
Enter the DUKE of GLosTER, SIR RICHARD
Glo. Thus far success attends upon our councils, And each event has answer'd to my wish; The queen and all her upstart race are quell'd ; Dorset is banish'd, and her brother Rivers, Ere this, lies shorter by the head at Pomfret. The nobles have, with joint concurrence, named me Protector of the realm. My brother's children, Young Edward and the little York, are lodged Here, safe within the Tower.—How say you, sirs, Does not this business wear a lucky face 2
. The sceptre and the golden wreath of royalty
Seem hung within my reach.
The commonweal does her dependence make,