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FIRST ACT SCENE The octagon room at Sir Robert Chiltern’s house in Grosvenor Square. [The room is brilliantly lighted and full of guests.  At the top of the staircase stands lady chiltern, a woman of grave Greek beauty, about twenty-seven years of age.  She receives the guests as they come up.  Over the well of the staircase hangs a great chandelier with wax lights, which illumine a large eighteenth-century French... more...

As will be seen later on, Pygmalion needs, not a preface, but a sequel, which I have supplied in its due place. The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners:... more...

ACT  IV SCENE  I.  London.  Before the Tower [Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS of YORK, and MARQUIS of DORSET; on the other, ANNE DUCHESS of GLOSTER, leading LADY MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE's young daughter.] DUCHESSWho meets us here?—my niece Plantagenet,Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster?Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,On pure heart's love, to greet the tender... more...

Actus primus. Scena prima. Enter Uncle and Merchant. Merc. When saw you Valentine? Uncle. Not since the Horse-race, he's taken up with those that woo the Widow. Mer. How can he live by snatches from such people? he bore a worthy mind. Uncle. Alas, he's sunk, his means are gone, he wants, and which is worse,Takes a delight in doing so. Mer. That's strange. Unc. Runs Lunatick, if you but talk of states, he cannot be brought (now he has... more...

ACT I The MARCH'S dining-room opens through French windows on one of thosegardens which seem infinite, till they are seen to be coterminouswith the side walls of the house, and finite at the far end, becauseonly the thick screen of acacias and sumachs prevents another housefrom being seen. The French and other windows form practically allthe outer wall of that dining-room, and between them and the screenof trees lies the difference between the... more...


INTRODUCTION The greatest of English dramatists except Shakespeare, the first literary dictator and poet-laureate, a writer of verse, prose, satire, and criticism who most potently of all the men of his time affected the subsequent course of English letters: such was Ben Jonson, and as such his strong personality assumes an interest to us almost unparalleled, at least in his age. Ben Jonson came of the stock that was centuries after to give to... more...

PROLOGUE. Scene.—A Russian Inn. Large door opening on snowy landscape at back of stage. Peter Sabouroff and Michael. Peter (warming his hands at a stove). Has Vera not come back yet, Michael? Mich. No, Father Peter, not yet; 'tis a good three miles to the post office, and she has to milk the cows besides, and that dun one is a rare plaguey creature for a wench to handle. Peter. Why didn't you go with her, you young fool? she'll... more...

PREFACE A nice phrase: "A People's Theatre." But what about it? There's no such thing in existence as a People's Theatre: or even on the way to existence, as far as we can tell. The name is chosen, the baby isn't even begotten: nay, the would-be parents aren't married, nor yet courting. A People's Theatre. Note the indefinite article. It isn't The People's Theatre, but A People's Theatre. Not the theatre of Plebs, the proletariat, but the... more...

PREFACE. The main rules which we proposed to ourselves in undertaking this Edition are as follows: 1. To base the text on a thorough collation of the four Folios and of all the Quarto editions of the separate plays, and of subsequent editions and commentaries. 2. To give all the results of this collation in notes at the foot of the page, and to add to these conjectural emendations collected and suggested by ourselves, or furnished to us by our... more...

INTRODUCTION TO SARDANAPALUS Byron's passion or infatuation for the regular drama lasted a little over a year. Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, and the Two Foscari, were the fruits of his "self-denying ordinance to dramatize, like the Greeks ... striking passages of history" (letter to Murray, July 14, 1821, Letters, 1901, v. 323). The mood was destined to pass, but for a while the neophyte was spell-bound. Sardanapalus, a Tragedy, the second and,... more...