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platform, and is so bruised that he cannot execute his office-this gives time for a messenger to arrive with Count Zaterloo's dying confession, in which he acknowledges that he had committed the murderthe play ends happily-Count Zaterloo, in the attack on Hubert and his followers, had received a dangerous wound-he conceals himself in a cottage --he requests a courtezan, who seemed to have much regard for him, to come to him—she deserts him-his mother attends him-the Count dies soon after he has made his confession- -some improbabilities occur in the conduct of the plot-but on the whole this is an interesting play-Miss Baillie has again been guilty of a most flagrant violation of the laws of the Drama-in the 4th act, Countess Zaterloo makes her exit into an inner chamber of the cottage--and instantly re-enters in her own house, which is at the distance of some miles-Miss Baillie is the more inexcusable, as after the publication of her two former volumes, the absurdity of her conduct in this respect must have been pointed out to her.
9. Country Inn-this is a poor C. with very little plot or incident-Miss Baillie, in her advertisement to the 2d edition, acknowledges that it had been generally disliked-in the 1st scene of the 3d act, Lady Goodbody and her nieces are discovered in an inner room-Sir John Hazelwood and Worshipton, who are in an outer room, overhear their conversationit would be difficult to find, in any play, a scene so badly managed as this is.
10. Constantine Paleologus, or the Last of the Cæsars-the scene lies in Constantinople, and in the Camp of Mahomet - the play begins about 20 hours
before the taking of the City-Constantine's principal friends are Rodrigo and Justiniani of Genoa-and Othus, a learned Greek, who in the extremity of the danger takes up arms - Mahomet, the Turkish Sultan, is a part of importance in the 3d act, Othoric, a Hungarian, makes an unsuccessful attempt to stab Mahomet-he is of course condemned to death, but by a stratagem he escapes a death with torture, and dies laughing-in the 5th act, Constantine fights with great bravery, and is killed his widow, Valeria, stabs herself this is on the whole a good T.-it is considerably too long-and might have been improved by the total omission of the character of the Fortune-teller, and by the shortening of some of the scenes-particularly of those which occur after the death of Constantine-when the main incident of a play is over, the remainder of it can hardly fail of being, more or less, flat for the history on which this T. is founded see the 68th chapter of Gibbon's Roman Empire.
In this volume, which was published in 1812, Miss Baillie resumes her series of plays on the Passions-all the plays, except the Siege, are supposed to take place in the 14th Century Miss Baillie in her address to the reader observes, that the enormous size of the theatres is obviously a great disadvantage to natural and genuine acting, and that the stage boxes ought to be removed—whereas, at present, an unnatural mixture of audience and actors,
of house and stage, takes place near the front of the stage, which destroys the general effect in a great degree.
11. Orra-Orra is a rich heiress, and the ward of the Count of Aldenburg-the Count wants her to marry his son, Glottenbal, who is a foolish young man-she falls in love with Theobald, a Nobleman of reduced fortune-Rudigere is a villain, a bastard of the house of Aldenberg, and in love with Orrashe detests him-Rudigere persuades the Count to confine Orra in his ancient castle in the Suabian forest, till she will consent to marry Glottenbal— between the 2d and 3d acts, she is conveyed by Rudigere from Switzerland to the old castle-she is told that one of the ancestors of herself and the Count had murdered a knight who hunted in the forest, and that on St. Michael's eve, the spectre of the knight was accustomed to enter the castle, and call on some descendant of his murderer, to bury his body in hallowed earth-she is dreadfully afraid of seeing the ghost of the knight-Theobald, in order to rescue Orra from her confinement, enters the castle by a secret passage, dressed as the knight— Orra faints, and is carried off in that situation-on recovering from her fit, she becomes mad-Theobald had taken the precaution to apprize her by letter of his design-Rudigere had attempted to snatch the letter from her, and she had thrown it into the fire without being able to read it-Rudigere's villany is discovered-he stabs himself, and wounds Glottenbal with a poisoned dagger-this is a very interesting play -the catastrophe is pefectly natural, but it would have been more pleasing, if some intimation
had been given that Orra might in time probably recover her senses-Miss Baillie says-"the principal "character of this Tragedy is a woman under the "dominion of Superstitious Fear, and that particular "species of it, the fear of ghosts, or the returning “dead—those, I believe, who possess strong imagi"nation, quick fancy, and keen feeling, are most easily affected by this species of fear I have,
therefore, made Orra a lively and cheerful cha"racter, when not immediately under its influence "the catastrophe is such as Fear, I understand, "does more commonly produce than any other passion."
12. Dream-this T. is written in prose-it consists of 3 acts only--the scene lies chiefly in the Monastery of St. Maurice in Switzerland-two of the Monks are so much terrified by a Dream, which each of them had seen, that they reveal it to the Prior-Osterloo, an Imperial General, passes by the Monastery at the head of his troops-the Prior conjures him to halt, and says that the safety of all the Monks depends on their choosing by lot, from the officers or soldiers, a man who shall spend the night within the walls of the Monastery, and there undergo certain penances for the expiation of long-concealed guilt - Osterloo, with some reluctance, consentsthe lot falls on him-in compliance with the injunctions of the vision, a grave is dug in the burying place for strangers-a coffin is found and forced open-a corpse appears without the right handOsterloo confesses that he had murdered the person whose bones had been discovered-the Prior condemns him to death-Osterloo finds himself in a
situation so entirely new to him, that his fortitude fails him-in the last scene he is brought to the block
-one of the executioners directs him to give a sign, when he is ready-this however he does not doanother executioner is preparing to strike, when the Imperial Ambassador enters, and rescues Osterloo from the power of the Prior-Osterloo is found dead -the Ambassador at first scouts the thought that a man of such uncommon courage in the field, should have died of mere Fear on the scaffold-this however appears to be the fact this play has great merit-the character of Osterloo is drawn in a masterly manner-Miss Baillie says-" the fear of death " is here exhibited in a brave character, placed under "such new and appalling circumstances as might, I "supposed, overcome the most courageous
"it is not want of fortitude to bear bodily sufferings, "or even deliberately inflicted death, under the cir"cumstances commonly attending it, that the cha"racter of Osterloo exhibits-it is the horror he "conceives on being suddenly awakened to the imagination of the awful retributions of another world, "from having the firm belief of them forced at once upon his mind by extraordinary circumstances, "which so miserably quells an otherwise undaunted "spirit it will probably be supposed that I "have carried the consequences of his passion too "far in the catastrophe to be considered as natural; "but the only circumstance in the piece that is not "entirely invention, is the catastrophe."
13. Siege the scene in this C. lies in a castle on the French confines of Germany-the object of it is to represent the effects of Fear-Count Valde