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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...

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...

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...

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...

THE MAN IN THE STALLS The sitting-room of a little flat in Shaftesbury Avenue. At back is a door leading to the dining-room—it is open, and the dinner-table is in full view of the audience. To the extreme right is another door, leading to the hall. The place is pleasantly and prettily, though quite inexpensively, furnished. To the left, at angles with the distempered wall, is a baby-grand piano; the fireplace, in which a fire is burning... 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...

ACT I [Roadside with big stones, etc., on the right; low loose wall at back with gap near centre; at left, ruined doorway of church with bushes beside it. Martin Doul and Mary Doul grope in on left and pass over to stones on right, where they sit.] MARY DOUL. What place are we now, Martin Doul? MARTIN DOUL. Passing the gap. MARY DOUL — [raising her head.] — The length of that! Well, the sun's getting warm this day if it's late... more...

PREFACE About seven years ago I began to dictate the first of these Plays to Lady Gregory. My eyesight had become so bad that I feared I could henceforth write nothing with my own hands but verses, which, as Theophile Gautier has said, can be written with a burnt match. Our Irish Dramatic movement was just passing out of the hands of English Actors, hired because we knew of no Irish ones, and our little troop of Irish amateurs—as they were... more...