It was noticed of King Charles the First, and long before the catastrophe in which he perished it was mentioned, that there was in his countenance an expression that seemed to presage a calamitous death. There are faces in which the doom of a sorrowful destiny is dimly prefigured, if it is not clearly revealed. Such a face, radiant yet mournful, was that of the actress, Adelaide Neilson, whose image now rises in my remembrance as one of the brightest and saddest visions of the stage life of the last fifty years. Her story, so much of it as concerns the student of dramatic achievement, can be briefly told.
Adelaide Neilson was the child of a strolling actress, named Browne, and was born, out of wedlock, in, or near, the city of Leeds, England, about 1847. Her birthday was March 3. In childhood she bore the name of Elizabeth Bland,