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This highly gifted lady, whose works have been chiefly appreciated by the select few, was born in Glasgow, and was the daughter of Dr. Baillie, Professor of Divinity in the University of that city; her chief residence, however, from an early period of life, has been London, or its neighbourhood. Her principal work is a Series of Plays, each of which is confined to the illustration of a single passion; and they appeared in three volumes, published at intervals between 1798 and 1812; but on account of the artificial nature of such a plan, although they have charmed in the closet, they have never been produced on the stage. Miss Baillie is also the author of several miscellaneous Dramas, and minor Poems, and a collection of Metrical Legends of Eminent Characters, published in 1823.
Rosinberg. What does this shouting mean? Voltomer. O! I have seen a sight, a glorious sight! Thou would'st have smiled to see it.
Rosin. How smile! methinks thine eyes are wet with
Volt. (Passing the back of his hand across his eyes) Faith, so they are; well, well, but I smiled too: You heard the shouting?
Rosin. and Fred. Yes.
Volt. O! had you seen it!
Drawn out in goodly ranks, there stood our troops;
In the green honours of its youthful prime.
O! I cannot tell thee!
At first he bore it up with cheerful looks,
The general paused, the soldiers shouted loud;
Then hastily he brush'd the drops away,
And waved his hand, and clear'd his tear-choked voice,
As though he would some grateful answer make;
From Count Basil, a Tragedy.
A LOVER'S WISH.
O! were I conscious that within her breast
Where through my grate I yet might sometimes see
Though placed by fate where some obstructing bound,
And I might yet, from some high towering cliff,
Or mark its blue smoke rising eve and morn;
From Count Basil, a Tragedy.
DESCRIPTION OF A LADY.
Page. Madam, there is a Lady in your hall, Who begs to be admitted to your presence.
Lady. Is it not one of our invited friends?
Page. So queenly, so commanding, and so noble,
Methought I could have compass'd sea and land
Is she young or old?
Page. Neither, if right I guess, but she is fair;
The foolish stripling!
She hath bewitch'd thee. Is she large in stature?
I thought at first her stature was gigantic;
But on a near approach I found, in truth,
Page. I cannot well describe the fashion of it,
Thine eyes deceive thee, boy;
It is an apparition thou hast seen.
From De Montfort, a Tragedy.
SCENE FROM CONSTANTINE PALEOLOGUS.
Enter RODRIGO, with ELLA hanging fondly upon him, and continuing their way as if intending to pass, when a trumpet sounds without, and they stop short.
Rodrig. It is the sound that summons us to meet; There is no farther grace: therefore, sweet Ella,
My pretty Ella, my good loving Ella,
My gentle little one that hang'st upon me
With such fond hold, in good sooth we must part.
Ella. Must it be so? I will bid Heaven bless thee, And all good saints watch o'er thy precious life;
And they will bless and guard thee in the hour
Ella. It is a blessed one: I would believe it.
With prayers and wishes striving powerfully.
Thou lov'st a brave man: be thou valiant then,
Ella. O no! I've fondly fix'd myself upon thee,
Like a poor weed on some proud turret's brow,
wave, and nod, and kiss the air around thee,
But cannot be like thee.
Rodrig. Heaven bless thee, little flower! I prize thee
Than all the pride of female stateliness.
Ella. Dost thou? then I am happy: I am proud:
I will not wish me other than I am.
Rodrig. Ah, if we part not instantly, my Ella,
I feel, in faith, rude as my nature is,
I soon shall be like thee!-My friends approach:
THE AFRICAN PRINCE.
Enter the Keeper of the Prison.
Keeper (to Ohio). Thou canker-worm! thou black
Art thou a playing thy malicious tricks?
Hardibrand. What black thing is it? it appears,
Not worth thine anger.
Keeper. That man, may't please you, sir, was born a prince.
Hardibrand. I do not catch thy jest.
Keeper. I do not jest, I speak in sober earnest; He is an Afric prince of royal line.
Hardibrand. What say'st thou! that poor wretch who sneaketh yonder
Upon those two black shanks?
Yes, even he:
When but a youth, stolen from his noble parents,
By sea and land hath pass'd.
Hardibrand. And now to be the base thing that he is! Well, well, proceed.
Keeper. At last a surly master brought him here, Who, thinking him unfit for further service,
As then a fest'ring wound wore hard upon him,
With but a scanty sum to bury him
Left him with me. He ne'ertheless recover'd;
And though full proud and sullen at the first,
Tamed by the love of wine which strongly tempts him, He by degrees forgot his princely pride,
And has been long establish'd in these walls
To carry liquor for the prisoners:
But such a cursed, spite-envenom'd toad!—
Hardibrand. Out on't! thou'st told a tale that wrings my heart.
Of royal line; born to command, and dignified
From Rayner, a Tragedy.