15 APRIL 1865, Page 20

Edgily and Elgiva. A Tragedy. By Thomas Tilston, B.A. (E.

Moion and Co.)—A five-act tragedy is a thing of terror, but this is pre- luded by so sensible and modest a preface that we heartily wish we could think it worthy of more praise than we do. At all events, we can congratulate Mr. Tilston on being in the right road. He has the courage to say that be has not made Shakespeare his model, but has simply put his characters into suitable relations to each other, and made them speak as like living beings as he could. This is very refreshing, and the result is a play which might probably be more effective on the stage than in the closet. For the character of Dunstan is altogether crude. The conception of an ambitions, unscrupulous priest, who is at the same time a devotee and capable, as his conduct to his supposed daughter shows, of strong natural affection, is not harmonized. He is sometimes the one and sometimes the other, but he ought always to be all at once ; and a great actor might perhaps do for him what Mr. Tilston has not effected. The simpler characters are less open to ob- jection, but they want development—Bertha especially. The promising part of the play, however, is that one finds rather shortcomings than faults, and we think the author has much capacity of growth in him. As to the plot, it is surely a mistake to leave Dunstan in ignorance of the fact that Bertha is not his daughter, but that the wretched WiLfrida was. Poetical justice requires some sot-off against his political success. The magnificence of the binding is, we think, not quite in good taste— the stone is certainly not false, but it is overset.