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Ira Aldridge, A Great American Negro Actor of the Past Century
116               THE A. M. E. REVIEW.

theatre, and followed the drama as if it had been a real trans-
    "The scene in the third act, when the sentiment of jeal-
ousy is roused in the ferocious Moor, is the triumph of Ald-
ridge. At the first word of the wily insinuation you see his eye
kindle; you feel the tears in his voice when he questions lago,'
then the deep sobs which stifle it; and finally, when he is per-
suaded that his wretchedness is complete, a cry of rage, or
rather a roar like that of a wild beast, starts from his abdo-
men.  I still seem to hear that cry; it chilled us with fear and
made every spectator shudder.  Tears wet his cheeks: his
mouth foamed and his eyes flashed fire. I have never seen an
artist identify himself so perfectly with the character which
he represents.  An actor told me he saw him sob some mo-
ments after his exit from the scene."
    A correspondent of the New York Herald, writing of the
same performance, says: "An American  Negro, named Ira
Aldridge, has been performing at the Imperial Theatre in sev-
eral of Shakespeare's pieces and has met with great applause.
His principal character, of course, is 'Othello;' and he portrays
the jealous African with such truth and energy that even those
amateurs who recollect our great Russian tragedian. Karatu-
gin, acknowledge the superiority of his sable successor."
    Mr. Aldridge married a Swedish lady of noble birth, tal-
ented in music; and from this union there were born one son
Ira F. Aldridge, and two daughters, Amanda Ira Aldridge and
Luranah Aldridge. The father died in the midst of an illus-
trious career in Lodez, Poland, in 1867; and the son did  not
long survive him.  The mother and two daughters are living
quietly in London supporting themselves by their music. It
was in their home that I received the inspiration and the facts
necessary to write this article.
    The eldest daughter, Miss Amanda Ira Aldridge, is a com-
poser of some note and a teacher of music, bearing the follow-
ing most interesting certificate:

      "Moreton Garden, South Kensington, June 25, 1887.
    "I hereby certify that Miss Amanda Ira Aldridge, having
been elected to a scholarship at the Royal College of Music at


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 29, Num. 2

Ira Aldridge, A Great American Negro Actor of the Past Century


Volume:  29
Issue Number:  02
Page Number:  113
Date:  10/1912


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