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LORD LYTTQN'S UNPRODUCED TRAGEDY 185
Pleasure arising from Vicissitudes/' the "Hymn to Adversity," and the " Ode to Spring " say more to me than the celebrated lines written in a country church-yard. The fragment of his tragedy, " Agrip-pina,'1 has such a splendid ring of tragic poetry and dramatic feeling that it inspires regret that he did not finish it The language is so noble and full of telling effects that it always filled me with a wish to act it.
41 (Jive us a new play!" u Why not do something modern?'1 had been the cries that met me on all sides from my earliest, years upon the stage. I spoke to the late Lord Lytton on the subject during my first; season in London, saying that I would be willing to moot these demands if provided with a tragedy from his pen. His extensive acquaintance \vith the theatres of Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, his intuitive knowledge of and sympathy with human passions and suffering, his comprehension how these could be most efficaciously used for dramatic effect, and his mastery of the English language were rare implements in his hands wherewith to make a fine play. After much discussion he decided to dramatize u La Juivo." In due time he handed me one of the strongest pieces I had read for years, possessing the rare