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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 205 ter of Martia, in Crisp's tragedy of Virginia ;l and, before the end of the season, she performed, with applause, the difficult part of Jane Shore, with Mr. Garrick, Mrs. Cibber, and Mr. Mossop in the other principal characters. From this period Mrs. Yates continued to rise in public estimation, taking her place in the " shining constellation " which then " illuminated the dramatic hemisphere ;" and one of the highest gratifications arising from her success was the means which it afforded her of effectually administering to the wants of her unfortunate father, for whom she made ample provision, and kindly cherished him in his declining years. Her talents were not less versatile than they were uncommon. Limited to no particular line of acting, she appeared with approbation in above ninety characters, many of them the very opposite af each other. In the sublime of tragedy, in elegant or simple comedy, she was equally meritorious and true to nature. '' Great in all," is the words of a contemporaneous notice, " we have seen her, with the same unerring pencil, delineate the haughty, injured, vindictive Margaret of Anjou ; and the patient, uncomplaining, penitent, suffering Shore : the cruel, ambitious, murderous Lady Macbeth, exciting her husband to crimes at which humanity shudders; and the generous, exalted, patriotic Louisa, mildly persuasive-the wife, the mother, and the queen-urging her irresolute Eraganza to mount, by the paths of rectitude and honour, the hereditary throne, of which his ancestors had been unjustly deprived, and defying, in the hour of danger, the swora of the assassin, with that steady heroism which is the companion of conscious virtue ; the tenderly maternal Andromache, Mandone, Zapphira, Thanyris, Lady Randolph : the raving Constance, in the delirium of affliction, lamenting her pretty A~thu;r a nd the despairing Horatia, uttering pretended execrations of her country ; and provoking, with dissembled fury, the dagger of her triumphant brother ; have seen her paint, in the same vivid colours, the lofty Medea-the sublime, wildly-impassioned, commanding daughter of the Sun-and the gentle, artless, bashful Viola, Eut let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, Feed on her damask cheek.' " ' Who never told her love, In comedy she played a variety of characters. Her Lady Townly was peculiarly admirable, having no equal in this character save Mrs. Woffington-an actress of similar beauty, figure, and accomplishments. The private character of Mrs. Yates is said to have been virtuous and exemplary. Mr. Yates, to whom she was married, was an actor of some eminence in Drury Lane when they became acquainted. Their summer residence was for many years at Mortlake, on the Thames. Here the poor experienced the generosity of her disposition to an extent which long endeared her memory. Though accustomed to the highest circles, possessed of a fortune realised by her own 1 This Tragedy, from the pen of Fbbert Jephson, Esq., M.P. f d the borough of Old Leighlin in the Irish Parliament, a dramatic author of the last century, was, on its original appearance, very successful, but fell into neglect after the first season. Jephsoo waa a vigorous and spirited writer, and his dramas are in general well constructed. He died May 31, 1803. It was printed in 8vo. 1775.
Volume 9 Page 275
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