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PREFACE In 1869, having read the Antigone with a pupil who at the time had a passion for the stage, I was led to attempt a metrical version of the Antigone, and, by and by, of the Electra and Trachiniae. I had the satisfaction of seeing this last very beautifully produced by an amateur company in Scotland in 1877; when Mrs. Fleeming Jenkin may be said to have ‘created’ the part of Dêanira. Thus encouraged, I completed the... more...

INTRODUCTION. Euripides, son of Mnesarchus, was born in the island of Salamis, on the day of the celebrated victory (B.C. 480). His mother, Clito, had been sent thither in company with the other Athenian women, when Attica was given up, and the ships became at once the refuge of the male population, and the national defense. Mr. Donaldson well remarks, that the patronymic form of his name, derived from the Euripus, which was the scene of the... more...

The Spectacle here presented in the likeness of a Drama is concerned with the Great Historical Calamity, or Clash of Peoples, artificially brought about some hundred years ago. The choice of such a subject was mainly due to three accidents of locality. It chanced that the writer was familiar with a part of England that lay within hail of the watering-place in which King George the Third had his favourite summer residence during the war with the... more...

ACT THE FIRST. SCENE I. A Grove before the Temple of Diana. IPHIGENIA. Beneath your leafy gloom, ye waving boughsOf this old, shady, consecrated grove,As in the goddess' silent sanctuary,With the same shudd'ring feeling forth I step,As when I trod it first, nor ever hereDoth my unquiet spirit feel at home.Long as the mighty will, to which I bow,Hath kept me here conceal'd, still, as at first,I feel myself a stranger. For the seaDoth sever me,... more...

The twelfth of May, 1796, in north Italy, at Tavazzano, on the road from Lodi to Milan. The afternoon sun is blazing serenely over the plains of Lombardy, treating the Alps with respect and the anthills with indulgence, not incommoded by the basking of the swine and oxen in the villages nor hurt by its cool reception in the churches, but fiercely disdainful of two hordes of mischievous insects which are the French and Austrian armies. Two days... more...


HUGH HENRY BRACKENRIDGE (1748-1816) The battle of Bunker's Hill was an event which stirred whatever dramatic activity there was in America at the time of the Revolution. Therefore, a play written on the subject should not be omitted from a collection supposed to be representative of the different periods in American history and in American thought. The reader has an interesting comparison to make in Hugh Henry Brackenridge's play, which the... more...

SCENE I. A common apartment in the Castle of Fotheringay.HANNAH KENNEDY, contending violently with PAULET, who is aboutto break open a closet; DRURY with an iron crown.KENNEDY.How now, sir? what fresh outrage have we here?Back from that cabinet!PAULET.Whence came the jewel?I know 'twas from an upper chamber thrown;And you would bribe the gardener with your trinkets.A curse on woman's wiles! In spite of allMy strict precaution and my active... more...

Plays on the subject of Caius Julius are so numerous that some difficulty arises in properly distinguishing the titles. In the case of the piece here reprinted the first title, which is also the head title, suggests a play of Chapman’s, while the running title is the traditional property of William Shakespeare. It seems, therefore, best that it should become known by the name which appears second on the title-page. And, indeed, there is... more...

Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been translated into many languages and performed with success on almost every stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of 1866-7, in a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great theatre of Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal proof of the reality of its title, and that... more...

INTRODUCTION Note. In citations from Shakespeare's plays and nondramatic poems the numbering has reference to the Globe edition, except in the case of this play, where the reference is to this edition.   I. SOURCES No event in the history of the world has made a more profound impression upon the popular imagination than the assassination of Julius Cæsar. Apart from its overwhelming interest as a personal catastrophe, it was... more...