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"Oh, gracious Heaven! extend thy pity to her, 5 let thy rich mercy flow in plenteous streams to 6 chase her fears, and heal her wounded soul.
• Mil. It will not be: your prayers are lost in air, or * else return'd perhaps with double blessings to your bosom; they help not me. 6 Barn. Yet hear
Millwood. Mil. Away, I will not hear thee: [Barnwell seems to pray.] If thou wilt pray, pray for thyself, not me. • How doth his fervent soul mount with his words, and
both ascend to Heaven! that Heaven, whose gates are shut with adamantine bars against my prayers, had I the will to pray. I cannot bear it. Sure 'tis the worst of torments to behold others to enjoy that bliss which we must never taste. • Ofi. The utmost limit of your time's expired.
Mil. Encompassed with horror, whither must I go? I would not livenor die-That I could cease to be
-or ne'er had been ! " Barn. Since peace and comfort are denied her here, may she find mercy where she least expects it, and this be all her hell! From our example may all be taught to fly the first approach of vice: but if o'ertaken
By strong temptation, weakness, or surprize, Lament their guilt, and by repentance rise; " Th' impenitent alone die unforgiven : " To sin's like man, and to forgive like Heaven. I
[They retire up the stage. 6 Enter TRUEMAN. Lucy. Heart-breaking sight!- -Oh, wietched, wretched Millwood! " True. How is she dispos'd to meet her fate? 6 Blunt. Who can describe unutterable woe?
* " Nevertheless when they were sick, I put od sackcloth, and " humbled my soul with fasting: and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom.” Psalm xXXV. 13. + “ Dispatch; the limit of your lives is out."
Richard 111. A. III, S. III,
Pope's Essay on Criticism, Part II.
Lucy. She goes to death encompassed with horror, 6 loathing life, and yet afraid to die. No tongue can tell 6 her anguish and despair.
6 True. Heaven be better to her than her fears. May she prove a warning to others; a monument of mercy
in herself. • Lucy. Oh, sorrow insupportable! Break, break,
heart? True. In vain, With bleeding hearts, and weeping eyes, we show A humane gen'rous sense of others' woe: Unless we mark what drew their ruin on, And, by avoiding that prevent our own.
DO U G L A S:
At the THEATRE ROYAL in EDINBURGII,
In the Year 1756;
AND AT THE
March 14, 1757.
Non ego sum vates, sed prisci conscius ævi.
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.*
JOHN HOME, the author of the Tragedy of Douglas, was a native of Scotland, and was born in the vicinity of Ancrum in Roxburghshire, in the year 1722. In the Rebellion in the year 1745, he served as a volunteer against the Young Pretender. After this he turned his mind to the church, and was inducted into the living of Athelstonford, in Haddingtonshire, or East Lothian, the duties of which he discharged with the greatest propriety
Having a genius for poetry, Mr. Home, in the year 1756, wrote and presented to the managers of the theatre at Edinburgh his Tragedy of Douglas. The Theatre was at that time in a more flourishing condition than it had been for many years before; and vied, as far as circumstances would permit, with the Theatres of the metropolis. The managers saw its merit, and readily accepted it, put it into rehearsal, and prepared for the performance of it in such a manner as might do honour to the author, and bring both credit and emolument to the selves. These transactions coming to the knowledge of the Elders of the Kirk, they remonstrated with the Author on the heinous crime he was committing. The Author, however, not being conscious of any thing wrong in the matter, and thinking that his play would meet with a success from which he would reap both fame and profit, was unwilling to desist, and to pull down with his own hands a fabric which he had been rearing at the expence of so much time and labour. The
* These particulars of the life of Home are taken principally from The Biographia Dramatica, and from The European Magazine, for September, 1808, Vol. 54, p. 240. I have made inquiries after a fuller Memoir of him, but without success.