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DRAMA (literally "action," from Gr. S...

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 507 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DRAMA (literally "action," from Gr. Snail, act or do), the term applied to those productions of Art which imitate or, to use a more modern term, " represent " action by introducing the personages taking part in them as real, and as employed in the action itself. There are numerous varieties of the drama., differing more or less widely from one another, both as to the objects imitated and as to the means used in the process. But they all agree in the method or manner which is essential to the drama and to dramatic art, namely, imitation in the way of action. The function of all Art being to give pleasure by representation (see FINE ARTS), it is clear that what is distinctive of any one branch or form must be the manner in which this function is performed by it. In the epos, for instance, the method or manner is narrative, and even when Odysseus tells of his action, he is not acting. I. THEORY OF THE DRAMA, AND DRAMATIC ART The first step towards the drama is the assumption of character, whether real or fictitious. It is caused by the desire, inseparable odR9a of from human nature, to give expression to feelings and the drama. ideas. These man 'expresses not only by sound and gesture, like other animals, and by speech significant by its delivery as well as. by its purport, but also by imitation superadded to these. To imitate, says Aristotle, is instinctive in man from his infancy, and no pleasure is more universal than that which is given by imitation. Inasmuch as the aid of some sort of dress or decoration is usually at hand, while the accompaniment of dance or song, or other music, naturally suggests itself, especially on joyous or solemn occasions, we find that this preliminary step is taken among all peoples, however primitive or remote. But it does not follow, as is often assumed, that they possess a drama in germ. Boys playing at soldiers, or men walking in a pageant—a shoemaker's holiday in ribbons and flowers, or a Shetland sword-dance—none of these is in itself a drama. This is not reached till the imitation or representation extends to action. An action which is to present itself as such to human minds must enable them to recognize in it a procedure from cause to Dramatic effect. This of course means, neither that the cause action. suggested must be the final cause, nor that the result shown forth need pretend to be the ultimate result. We look upon an action as ended when the purpose with which it began is shown to have been gained or frustrated; and we trace the beginning of an action back to the human will that set it on foot—though this will may be in bondage to a higher or stronger will, or to fate, in any or all of its purposes. Without an action in the sense stated—without a plot,,in a word—there can be no drama. But the very simplest action will satisfy the dramatic test; a mystery representing the story of Cain and Abel without a deviation from the simple biblical narrative, a farce exhibiting the stalest trick played by designing sobriety upon oblivious drunkenness, may each of them be a complete drama. But even to this point, the imitation of action by action in however crude a form, not all peoples have advanced. But after this second step has been taken, it only remains for the drama to assume a form regulated by certain literary laws, in order that it may become a branch of dramatic literature. Such a literature, needless to say, only a limited number of nations has come to possess; and, while some are to be found that have, or have had, a drama with-out a dramatic literature, it is quite conceivable that a nation should continue in possession of the former after having ceased to cultivate the latter. It is self-evident that no drama which forms part of a dramatic literature can ignore the use of speech; and however closely music, dancing and decoration may associate themselves with particular forms or phases of the drama, their aid cannot be more than adventitious. As a matter of fact, the beginnings of dramatic composition are, in the history of such literatures as are well known to us, preceded by the earlier stages in the growth of the lyric and epic forms of poetry, or by one of these at all events; .and it is in the continuation of both that the drama in its literary form takes its origin in those instances which lie open to our study. While the aid of all other arts—even, strictly speaking, the aide of the literary art—is merely an accident, the co-operation of the art of acting is indispensable to that of the drama. The dra-The dramatic writer may have reasons for preferring to matic and leave the imagination of his reader to supply the the his-absence of this co-operation; but, though the term trioah: " literary drama " is freely used of works kept away from the stage, it is in truth either a misnomer or a self-condemnation. It is true that the actor only temporarily interprets, and sometimes misinterprets, the dramatist, while occasionally he reveals dramatic possibilities in a character or situation which remained hidden from their literary inventor. But this only shows that the courses of the dramatic and the histrionic arts do not run parallel; it does not contradict the fact that their conjunction is, on the one side as well as on the other, indispensable. No drama is more than potentially such till it is acted. To essay, whether in a brief summary or in more or less elaborate detail, a statement of the main laws of the drama, has often been regarded as a superfluous, not to say, futile effort. But the laws of which it is proposed to give Laws and of of some indication here are not so much those which any the drama particular literature or period has chosen to set up and follow, as those abstracted by criticism, in pursuit of its own free comparative method, from the process that repeats itself in every drama adequately meeting the demands upon it. Aristotle, whom we still justly revere as the originator of the theory of the drama, and thus its great vop.oOEr,7s, was, no doubt, in his practical knowledge of it, confined to its Greek examples, yet his object was not to produce another generation of great Attic tragedians, but rather to show how it was by following the necessary laws of their art that the great masters, true to them-selves and to their artistic ends, had achieved what they had achieved. Still more distinctly was such the aim of the greatest modern critical writer on the drama, Leasing, whose chief design was to combat false dramatic theories and to overthrow laws demonstrated by him to be artificial inventions, unreal figments. He proved, what before him had only been suspected, that Shakespeare, though in hopeless conflict with certain rules dating from the siecle de Louis XI V, was not in conflict with those laws of the drama which are of its very essence, and that, accordingly, if Shakespeare and the rules in question could not be harmonized, it was only so much the worse for the rules. To illustrate from great works, and expound with their aid, the organic processes of the art to which they belong, is not only amcng the highest, it is also one of the most useful functions of literary and artistic criticism. Nor is there, in one sense at least, any finality about it. Neither the great authorities on dramatic theory nor the resolute and acute apologists of more or less transitory phases of the drama —Corneille, Dryden and many later successors—have exhausted the statement of the means which the drama has proved, or may prove, capable of employing. The multitude of technical terms and formulae which has gathered round the practice of the most living and the most Protean of arts has at no time seriously interfered with the operation of creative power. On theotherhand, no dramaturgic theory has (though the attempt has been often enough made) ever succeeded in giving rise to a single dramatic work of enduring value, unless the creative force was there to animate the form. It is therefore the operation of this creative force which we are chiefly interested in noting; and its task begins with the beginning of the dramatist's labours. He must of choice of course start with the choice of a subject; yet it is subject. obvious that the subject is merely the dead material out of which is formed that living something, the action of a play; and it is only in rare instances—far rarer than might at first sight appear—that the subject is as it were self-moulded as a dramatic action. The less experienced a playwright, the more readily will he, as the phrase is, rush at his subject, more especially if it seems to him to possess prima facie dramatic capabilities; and the consequence will be that which usually attends upon a precipitate start. On the other hand, while the quickness of a great dramatist's apprehension is apt to suggest Dramatic literature. to him an infinite number of subjects,.and insight and experience may lead him half instinctively in the direction of suitable themes, it will often be long before in his mind the subject converts itself into the initial conception of the action of a play. To mould a subject—be it a Greek legend, or a portion of a Tudor chronicle, or one out of a hundred Italian tales, or a true story of modern life—into the action or fable of a play, is the primary task of the dramatist, and with this all-important process the creative part of his work really begins. Although his conception may expand or modify itself as he executes it, yet upon the conception the execution must largely depend. The range of subjects open to a dramatist may be as wide as the world itself, or it may be restricted by an endless variety of causes, conven- tions and considerations; and it is quite true that even the greatest dramatists have not always found time for contemplating each subject that occurs to them till the ray is caught which proclaims it a dramatic diamond. What they had time for, and what only the playwright who entirely misunderstands his art ignores the necessity of finding time for, is the transformation of the dead material of the subject into the living action of a drama. What is it, then, that makes an action dramatic, and without which no action, whatever maybe its nature—serious or ludicrous, stately or trivial, impetuous as a flame of fire, or light Unity of as a western breeze—can be so described? The answer action. to this question can only suggest itself from an attempt to ascertain the laws which determine the nature of all actions corresponding to this description. The first of the laws in question is in so far the most noteworthy among them that it has been the most amply discussed and the most pertinaciously misunderstood. This is the law which requires that a dramatic action should be one—that it should possess unity. What in the subject of a drama is merely an approximate or supposititious, must in its action be an actual unity; and it is indeed this requirement which constitutes the most arduous part of the task of transforming subject into action. There is of course no actual unity in any group of events in human life which we may choose to call by a single collective name—a war, a revolution, a conspiracy, an intrigue, an imbroglio. The events of real life, the facts of history, even the imitative incidents of narrative fiction, are like the waves of a ceaseless flood; that which binds a group or body of them into a single action is the bond of the dramatic idea; and this it is incumbent upon the dramatist to supply. Within the limits of a dramatic action all its parts should (as in real life or in history they so persistently refuse to do) flow into its current like tributaries to a single stream; or, to vary the figure, everything in a drama should form a link in a single chain of cause and effect. This law is incumbent upon every kind of drama—alike upon the tragedy which sets itself to solve one of the problems of a life, and upon the farce which sums up the follies of an afternoon. Such is not, however, the case with certain more or less arbitrary rules which have at different times been set up for this or that kind of drama. The supposed necessity that an action should consist of one event is an erroneous interpretation of the law that it should be, as an action, one. For an event is but an element in an action, though it may be an element of decisive moment. The assassination of Caesar is not the action of a Caesar tragedy; the loss of his treasure is not the action of The Miser. Again, unity of action, while excluding those unconnected episodes which Aristotle so severely condemns, does not prohibit the introduction of one or even more subsidiary actions as contributing to the progress of the main action. The sole indispensable law is that these should always be treated as what they are—subsidiary only; and herein lies the difficulty, which Shakespeare so successfully overcame, of fusing a combination of subjects taken from various sources into the idea of a single action; herein also lies the danger in the use of that favourite device of the Spanish. and other modern dramas—" by-plots " or ., under-plots." On the other hand, the modern French drama has largely employed another device—quite legitimate in itself—for increasing the interest of an action without destroying its unity. This may be called the dramatic use of backgrounds, the depiction of surroundings on which the action or its chief characters seem sympathetically to reflect themselves, back-biting " good villagers " or academicians who inspire one,another —with tedium. But a really double or multiple action, logically carried out as such, is inconceivable in a single drama, though many a play is palpably only two plays knotted into one. It was therefore not all pedantry which protested against the multiplicity of action which had itself formed part of the revolt against the too narrow interpretation of unity adopted by the French classical drama. Thirdly, unity of action need not imply unity of hero—for hero (or heroine) is merely a conventional term signifying the principal personage of the action. It is only when the change in the degree of interest excited by different characters in a play results from a change in the conception of the action itself, that the consequent duality (or multiplicity) of heroes recalls a faulty uncertainty in the conception of the action they carry on. Such an objection, while it may hold in the case of Schiller's Don Carlos, would therefore be erroneously urged against Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Lastly, as to the theory which made the so-called unities of time and place constitute, together with that of action, the Three Unities indispensable to the (tragic) drama, the following note must suffice. Aristotle's supposed exaction of all the Three Unities, having been expanded by Chapelain and approved by Richelieu, was stereotyped by Corneille, though he had (as one might say) got on very well without them, and was finally set forth in Horatian verse by Boileau. Thus it came to be overlooked that there is nothing in Aristotle's statement to show that in his judgment unity of time and place are, like unity of action, absolute dramatic laws. Their object is by representing an action as visibly continuous to render its unity more distinctly or easily perceptible. But the imagination is capable of constructing for itself the bridges required for preserving to an action, conceived of as such, its character of continuousness. In another sense these rules were convenient usages conducing to a concise and clear treatment of a limited kind of themes; for they were a Greek invention, and the repeated resort tq the same group of myths made it expedient for a Greek poet to seek the subject of a single tragedy in a part only of one of the myths at his disposal. The observance of unity of place, moreover, was suggested to the Greeks by certain outward conditions of their stage—as assuredly as it was adopted by the French in accordance with the construction and usages of theirs, and as the neglect of it by the Elizabethans was in their case encouraged by the established form of the English scene. The palpable artificiality of these laws needs no demonstration, so long as the true meaning of the term " action " be kept in view. Of the action of Othello part takes place at Venice and part at Cyprus, and yet the whole is one in itself; while the limits of time over which an action—Hamlet's progress to resolve, for instance—extends cannot be restricted by a revolution of the earth round the sun or of the moon round the earth. In a drama which presents its action as one, this action must be complete in itself. This Aristotelian law, like the other, distinguishes the dramatic action from its subject. The former may be said to have a real artistic, while the Complete' latter has only an imaginary real, completeness. The ness or action. historian, for instance, is aware that the complete ex- position of a body of events and transactions at which he aims can never be more than partially accomplished, since he may present only what he knows, and all human knowledge is imperfect. But Art is limited by no such uncertainty. The dramatist, in treating an action as one, comprehends the whole of it in the form of his work, since, to him who has conceived it, all its parts, from cause to effect, are equally clear. It is his fault if in the action of his drama anything is left unaccounted for—not motive; though a dramatic motif might not always prove to be a sufficient explanation in real life. Accordingly, every drama should represent in organic sequence the several stages of which a complete action consists, and which are essential to it. This law of completeness, therefore, lies at the foundation of all systems of dramatic " construction." Every action, if conceived, of as complete, has its causes, growth, height, consequences and close. There is no binding systems of law to prescribe the relative length or proportion at constr., which these several stages in the action should be lion based treated in a drama; or to regulate the treatment of on this law such subsidiary actions as may be introduced in aid o/c-tun- of the main plot, or of such more or less directly conpleteness. nected " episodes " as may at the same time advance and relieve its progress. But experience has necessarily from time to time established certain rules of practice, and from the adoption of particular systems of division for particular species of the drama—such as that into five acts for a regular tragedy or comedy, which Roman example has caused to be so largely followed—has naturally resulted a certain uniformity of relation between the conduct of an action and the outward sections of a play. Essentially, however, there is no difference between the laws regulating the construction of a Sophoclean or Shakespearian tragedy, a comedy of Moliere or Congreve, and a well-built modern farce, because all exhibit an action complete in itself. The " introduction " or " exposition " forms an integral part of the action, and is therefore to be distinguished from the prologues " prologue " in the more ordinary sense of the term, and which like the epilogue (and the Greek 7rap(i$ao s) epilogues stands outside the action, and is a mere address to the outside the public from author, rpresenter or actor occasioned action. ' by the play. Prologue and epilogue are mere external, though at times effective, adjuncts, and have, properly speaking, as little to do with the construction of a play as the bill which announces it or the musical prelude which disposes the mind for its reception. A special kind of preface or argument is the " dumb-show," which in some old plays briefly rehearses in pantomime the action that is to follow. The introduction or pens of exposition belongs to the action itself; it is, as the the action. Hindu critics called it, the seed or circumstance from introduc- which the business arises. Clearness being its primary tton or ex- requisite, many expedients have been at various times position. adopted to secure this feature. Thus the Euripidean prologue, though spoken by one of the characters of the play, took a narrative form, more acceptable to the audience than to the critics, and placed itself half without, half within, the action. The same purpose is served by the separate " inductions " in many of the old English plays, and by the preludes or prologues, or whatever name they may assume, in numberless modern dramas of all kinds—from Faust down to the favourites of the Ambigu and the Adelphi. More facile is the orientation supplied in French tragedy by the opening scenes between hero and confidant, and in French comedy and its derivatives by those between observant valet and knowing lady's-maid. But all such expedients may be rendered unnecessary by the art of the dramatist, who is able outwardly also to present the introduction of his action as an organic part of that action itself; who seems to take the spectators in medias res, while he is really building the foundations of his plot; who touches in the opening of his action the chord which is to vibrate throughout its course—" Down with the Capulets ! down with the Montagues !"—" With the Moor, sayest thou ? ' The exposition, which may be short or long, but which should always prepare and may even seem to necessitate the action, ends openiagof when the movement of the action itself begins. This movement. transition may occasionally be marked with the utmost distinctness (as in the actual meeting between the hero and the Ghost in Hamlet), while in other instances sub- sidiary action or episode may judiciously intervene (as in King Lear, where the subsidiary action of Gloster and his sons oppor- tunely prevents too abrupt a sequence of cause and effect). Growth. From this point the second stage of the action—its " growth "—progresses to that third stage which is called its " height " or " climax." All that has preceded the attainment of this constitutes that half of the drama—usually its much larger half—which Aristotle terms the divas, or tying of the knot. The varieties in the treatment of the growth or second stage of the action are infinite; it is here that the greatest freedom is manifestly permissible; that in the Indian drama the personages make long journeys across the stage; and that, with the help of their under-plots, the masters of the modern tragic and the comic drama—notably those unequalled weavers of intrigues, the Spaniards—are able most fully to exercise their inventive faculties. If the growth is too rapid, the climax will fail of its effect; if it is too slow, the interest will be exhausted before the greatest demand upon it has been made—a fault to which comedy is specially liable; if it is involved or inverted, a vague uncertainty will take the place of an eager or agreeable suspense, the action will seem to halt, or a fall will begin pre-maturely. In the contrivance of the " climax " itself lies one of the chief tests of the dramatist's art; for while the transactions of real life often fail to reach any hclimaxeight or . climax at all, that of a dramatic action should present itself as self-evident. In the middle of everything, says the Greek poet, lies the strength; and this strongest or highest point it is the task of the dramatist to make manifest. Much here depends upon the niceties of constructive instinct; much (as in all parts of the action) upon a thorough dramatic transformation of the subject. The historical drama at this point presents peculiar difficulties, of which the example of Henry VIII. may be cited as an illustration. From the climax, or height, the action proceeds through its " fall " to its " close," which in a drama with an unhappy ending we still call its " catastrophe," while to termina- Fall tions in general we apply the term denouement. This latter name would, however, more properly be applied in the sense in which Aristotle employs its Greek equivalent Xboasthe untying of the knot—to the whole of the second part of the action, from the climax downwards. In the management of the climax, everything depends upon producing the effect; in the fall, everything depends upon not marring it. This may be ensured by a rapid advance to the close; but neither does every action admit of such treatment, nor is it in accordance with the character of those which are of a more subtle or complicated kind. With the latter, therefore, the " fall " is often a revolution or " return," i.e. in Aristotle's phrase a change into the reverse of what is expected from the circumstances Return. of the action (ireporereta)—as in Coriolanus, where the Roman story lends itself so admirably to dramatic demands. In any case, the art of the dramatist is in this part of his work called upon for the surest exercise of its tact and skill. The effect of the climax was to concentrate the interest; the fall must therefore, above all, avoid dissipating it. The use of episodes is not even now excluded; but, even where serving the purpose of relief, they must now be such as help to keep alive the interest, previously raised to its highest pitch. This may be effected by the raising of obstacles between the height of the action and its expected consequences; in tragedy by the suggestion of a seemingly possible recovery or escape from them (as in the wonderfully powerful construction of the latter part of Macbeth) ; in comedy, or wherever the interest of the action is less intense, by the gradual removal of incidental difficulties. In all kinds of the drama " discovery " will remain, as it was in the judgment of Aristotle, a most effective expedient; but it should be a discovery prepared by that method of treatment which in its consummate master, Sophocles, has been termed his " irony." Nowhere should the close or catastrophe be other than a consequence of the action itself. Sudden revulsions from the conditions of the action—such as are supplied with the aid of the deus ex machina, or the revising officer of the emperor of China,or the nabob returned from India, or a virulent malaria—condemn themselves as unsatisfactory makeshifts. However sudden, and even in manner of accomplishment surprising, may be the catastrophe, it should, like every other part of the action, be in organic connexion with the whole preceding action. The sudden suicides which terminate so many tragedies, and the unmerited paternal blessings which close an equal number of comedies, should be something more than a " way out of it," or a signal for the fall of the curtain. A catastrophe may conveniently, and even (as in Close or catastrophe. Faust) with powerful effect, be left to the imagination; but to substitute for it a deliberate blank is to leave the action incomplete, and the drama a fragment ending with a—possibly interesting—confession of incompetence. The action of a drama, besides being one and complete in itself, ought likewise to be probable. The probability or necessity (in the Aristotelian sense of the terms) required of a drama Prof'- is not that of actual or historical experience—it is a ability of action. conditional probability, or in other words an internal consistency between the course of the action and the conditions under which the dramatist has chosen to carry it on. As to the former, he is fettered by no restrictions save those which he imposes upon himself, whether or not in deference to the usages of certain accepted species of dramatic composition. Ghosts seldom appear in real life or in dramas of real life; but, the introduction of supernatural agency is neither enjoined nor prohibited by any general dramatic law. The use of such expedients is as open to the dramatic as to any other poet; the judiciousness of his use of them depends upon the effect which, consistently with the general conduct of his action, they will exercise upon the spectator, whom other circumstances may or may not predispose to their acceptance. The Ghost in Hamlet belongs to the action of the play; the Ghost in the Persae is not intrinsically less probable, but seems a less immediate product of the surrounding' atmosphere. Dramatic probability has, how-ever, a far deeper meaning than this. The Eumenides is probable, with all its mysterious commingling of cults, and so is Macbeth, with all its barbarous witchcraft. The proceedings of the feathered builders of Cloudcuckootown in the Birds of Aristophanes are as true to dramatic probability as are the pranks of Oberon's fairies in Midsummer Night's Dream. In other words, it is in the harmony between the action and the characters, and in the consistency of the characters with themselves, in the appropriateness of both to the atmosphere in which they have their being, that this dramatic probability lies. The dramatist has to represent characters affected by the progress of an action in a particular way, and contributing to it in a particular way, because, if consistent with themselves, they must be so affected, and must so act. Upon the invention and conduct of his characters the dramatist must therefore expend a great proportion—even a preponderance —of his labour. His treatment of them will, in at least as high character. a degree as his choice of subject, conception of action, ization: and method of construction, determine the effect which his work produces. And while there are aspects of the dramatic art under which its earlier phases already ekhibit an unsurpassed degree of perfection, there is none under which its Advance of advance is more notable than this. Many causes have the drama contributed to this result; the chief is to be sought in -n this the multiplication of the opportunities for mankind's. respect: study of man. The theories of the Indian critics on the subject of dramatic character are little more than an elaborate scaffolding. Aristotle's remarks on the subject are scanty; nor indeed is the strength of the dramatic literature from whose examples he abstracted his maxims to be sought in the fulness or variety of its characterization. This relative deficiency was beyond doubt largely caused by the outward conditions of the Greek theatre—the remoteness of actor from spectator, and the consequent necessity for the use of masks, and for the raising, and consequent conventionalizing, of the tones of the voice. Later Greek and Roman comedy, unable or unwilling to resist the force of habit, limited their range of characters to an accepted gallery of types. Nor is it easy to ignore the fact that the influence of these classical examples, combined with that of national tendencies of mind and temperament, have all along inclined the dramatists of the Romance nations to attach less importance to characterization of a closer and more varied kind than to interest of action and effectiveness of construction. The Italian and the Spanish drama more especially, and the French during a great part of its history, have in general shown a disposition to present their characters, as it were, ready made—whether in the case of tragic heroes and heroines, or in that of comic types, often moulded, as in the commedia dell' arte " and beyond," according to a Tong-lived system of local or national selection. These types, expanded, heightened and modified, are recognizable in some of the triumphs of comic characterization achieved by the Germanic drama, and by its master, Shakespeare, above all; but this fact must not obscure one of more importance than itself. In the matter of comic as well as of serious characterization—in the individualizing of characters and in evolving them as it were out of the progress of the action—the modern drama has not only advanced, but in a sense revolutionized, the dramatic art, as inherited from its ancient masters. Yet, however the method and scope of characterization may vary under the influence of different historical epochs and different tendencies or tastes of races or nations, the laws of this branch of the dramatic art remain based on orq"isltes the same essential requirements. What interests us in character. a man or woman in real life, or in the impressions we form of historical personages, is that which seems to us to give them individuality. A dramatic character must therefore, whatever its part in the action, be sufficiently marked by features of its own to interest the imagination; with these features its subsequent conduct must be consistent, and to them its participation in the action must correspond. In order to achieve such a result, the dramatist must have, in the first instance, distinctly conceived the character, however it may have been suggested to him. His task is, not to paint a copy of some contemporary or " historical " personage, but to conceive a particular kind of man, acting under the operation of particular circumstances. This conception, growing and modifying itself with the progress of the action, also invented by the dramatist, will determine the totality of the character which he creates. The likeness which the result bears to an actual or historical personage may very probably, from secondary points of view, affect the immediate stage success of the creation; upon its dramatic result this likeness can have no influence whatever. In a wider sense than that in which Shakespeare denied the charge that Falstaff was Oldcastle, it should be possible to say of every dramatic character which it is sought to identify with an actual personage, " This is not the man." The mirror of the drama is not a photographic apparatus; and not even the most conscientious combination of science and art can bring back even a " phase " of the real Napoleon. Distinctiveness, as the primary requisite in dramatic characterization, is to be demanded in the case of all personages introduced into a dramatic action, but not in all cases in an equal degree. Schiller, in adding to the dramatis Uiveaessistinctpersonae of his Fiesco superscriptions of their chief characteristics, labels Sacco as " an ordinary person," and this, no doubt, suffices for Sacco. But with the great masters of characterization a few touches, of which the true actor's art knows how to avail itself, distinguish even their lesser characters from one another; and every man is in his humour down to the " third citizen." Elaboration is necessarily reserved for characters who are the more important contributors to the action, and the fulness of elaboration for its heroes. Many expedients may lend their aid to the higher degrees of distinctiveness. Much is gained by a significant introduction of hero or heroine—thus Antigone is dragged in by the watchman, Gloucester enters alone upon the scene, Volpone is discovered in adoration of his golden saint. Nothing marks character more clearly than the use of contrast—as of Othello with lago, of Ottavio with Max Piccolomini, of Joseph with Charles Surface. Nor is direct antithesis the only effective kind of contrast; Cassius is a foil to Brutus, and Leonora to her namesake the Princess. But, besides impressing the imagination as a conception distinct in itself, each character must maintain a consistency between its conduct in the action and the features it has established as its own. Self-con- shrtency. This consistency does not imply uniformity; for, as Aristotle observes, there are characters which, to be represented with uniformity, must be presented as uniformly un-uniform. Of such consistently complex characters the great critic cites no instances, nor indeed are they of frequent occurrence in Greek tragedy; in the modern drama Hamlet is their unrivalled exemplar; and Weislingen in Goethe's Gote, and Alceste in the Misanthrope, may be mentioned as other illustrations in dramas differing widely from one another. The list might be enlarged almost indefinitely from the gallery of female characters, in view of the greater pliability and more habitual dependence of the nature of women. It should be added that those dramatic literatures which freely admit of a mixture of the serious with the comic element thereby enormously increase the opportunities of varied characterization. The difficulty of the task at the same time enhances the effect resulting from its satisfactory accomplishment; and, if the conception of a character is found to meet a variety of tests resembling that which Iife has at hand for every man, its naturalness, as we term it, becomes more obvious to the imagination. " Naturalness " is only another word for what Aristotle terms " propriety "; the artificial rules by which usage has at times sought to define particular species of character are in their origin only a convenience of the theatre, though they have largely helped to conventionalize dramatic characterization. Lastly, a character should be directly effective with regard Effective- to the dramatic action-in which it takes part—that is to Effec say, the influence it exerts upon the progress of the ness. action should correspond to its distinctive features; the conduct of the play should seem to spring from the nature of its characters. In other words, no characterization can be effective which is not what may be called economical, i.e. which does not strictly limit itself to suiting the purposes of the action. Even the minor characters should not idly intervene; while the chief characters should predominate over, or determine, the course of the action, its entire conception should harmonize with their distinctive features. It is only a Prometheus whom the gods bind fast to a rock, only a Juliet who will venture into a living death for her Romeo. Thus, in a sense, chance is excluded from dramatic action, or rather, like every other element in it, bends to the dramatic idea. In view of this predominance of character over action, we may appropriately use such expressions as a tragedy of love or jealousy or ambition, or a comedy of character. For such collocations merely indicate that plays so described have proved (or were intended to prove) specially impressive by the conception or execution of their chief character or characters. The term " manners " (as employed in a narrower sense than the Aristotelian ijOq) applies to that which colours both action and characters, but does not determine the essence of Manners. either. As exhibiting human agents under certain con- ditions of time and place, and of the various relations of life, the action of a drama, together with the characters engaged in it, and the incidents and circumstances belonging to it, must more or less adapt itself to the external conditions assumed. From the assumption of some such conditions not even those dramatic species which indulge in the most sovereign licence, such as Old Attic comedy, or burlesque in general, can wholly emancipate themselves; and even supernatural or fantastic characters and actions must suit themselves to some sort of antecedents. But it depends altogether on the measure in which the nature of an action and the development of its characters are effected by considerations of time and place, or of temporary social systems and the transitory distinctions incidental to them, whether the imitation of a particular kind of manners becomes a significant element in a particular play. The Hindu caste-system is an antecedent of every Hindu drama, and the peculiar organization of Chinese society of nearly every Chinese play with which we are acquainted. Greek tragedy itself, though treating subjects derived from no historic age, had established a standard of manners from which in its decline it did not depart with impunity. Again, the imitation of manners of a particular age or country may or may not be of moment in a play. In some dramas, and in some species of drama, time and place are so purely imaginary and so much a matter of in- difference that the adoption of a purely conventional standard of manners, or at least the exclusion of any definitely fixed standard, is here desirable. The ducal reign of Theseus at Athens (if its period be ascertainable) does not date A Midsummer Night's Dream; nor do the coasts of Bohemia in The Winter's Tale localize the manners of the customers of Autolycus. Where, on the other hand, as more especially in the historic drama, or in that kind of comedy which directs its shafts against the ridiculous vices of a particular age or country, significance attaches to the degree in which the manners represented resemble what is more or less known, the dramatist will do well to be careful in his colouring. How admirably is the French court specialized in Henry V.; how- completely are we transplanted among the burghers of Brussels in the opening scenes of Egmont; what a portraiture of a clique we have in the Precieuses ridicules of Moliere; what a reproduction of a class in the pot-house politicians of Holberg ! And how minutely have modern dramatists found it necessary to study the more fascinating aspects of la vie parisienne, in order to convey to the curious at home and abroad a conviction of the verisimilitude of their pictures ! Yet, even in such instances, the dramatist will only use what suits his dramatic purpose; he will select, not transfer in mass, historic features, and discriminate in his use of modern instances. The details of historic fidelity, and the lesser shades distinguishing the varieties of social usage, will be introduced by him at his choice, or left to be supplied by the actor. Where the reproduction of manners becomes the primary purpose of a play, its effect can only be of an inferior kind; and a drama purely of manners is a contradiction in terms. No complete system of dramatic species can be abstracted from any one dramatic literature. They are often the result of particular antecedents, and their growth is often species of affected by peculiar conditions. Different nations or the drama. ages use the same names and may preserve some of the same rules for species which in other respects their usage may have materially modified from that of their neighbours or predecessors. The very question of the use of measured or pedestrian speech as fit for different kinds of drama, and therefore distinctive of them, cannot be profitably discussed except in reference to particular literatures. In the Chinese drama the most solemn themes are treated in the same form—an admixture of verse and prose—which not so very long since was characteristic of that airiest of Western dramatic species, the French vaudeville. Who would undertake to define, except in the applications which have been given to the words in successive generations, such terms as " tragi-comedy," or indeed as "drama" (drame) itself ? Yet this uncertainty does not imply that all is confusion in the terminology as to the species of the drama. In so far as they are distinguishable according to the effects which their actions, or those which the preponderating parts of their actions, produce, these species may primarily be ranged in accordance with the broad difference established by Aristotle between tragedy and comedy. " Tragic " and " comic " effects differ in regard to the emotions of the mind which they excite; and a drama is tragic or comic according as such effects Tragic and are produced by it. The strong or serious emotions are comic alone capable of exercising upon us that influence which, employing a bold but marvellously happy figure, Aristotle termed purification, and which a Greek comedian, after a more matter-of-fact fashion, thus expressed: " For whensoe'er a man observes his fellow Bear wrongs more grievous than himself has known, More easily he bears his own misfortunes." That is to say, the petty troubles of self which disturb without elevating the mind are driven out by the sympathetic participation in greater griefs, which raises while it excites the mind employed upon contemplating them. It is to these emotions—which are and can be no others than pity and terror—that actions which we call tragic appeal. Nail as we may think Aristotle in desiderating for such actions a complicated rather than a simple plot, he obviously means that in form as well as in design they should reveal their relative importance. Those actions which we term comic address themselves to the sense of the ridiculous, and their themes are those vices and moral infirmities the representation of which is capable of touching the springs of laughter. Where, accordingly, a drama confines itself to effects of the Their relative significance. former class, it may be called a pure " tragedy "; when to those of the latter, a pure " comedy." In dramas where the effects are mixed the nature of the main action and of the main characters (as determined by their distinctive features) alone enables us to classify such plays as serious or humorous dramas—or as " tragic " or " comic," if we choose to preserve the terms. But the classification admits of a variety of transitions, from " pure " tragedy to " mixed, " from " mixed tragedy " to " mixed comedy," and thence to " pure comedy," with the more freely licensed " farce " and " burlesque," the time-honoured inversion of the relations of dramatic method and purpose. This system of distinction has no concern with the mere question of the termination of the play, according to which Philostratus and other authorities have sought to distinguish tragic from comic dramas. The serious drama which ends happily (the German Schauspiel) is not a species co-ordinate with tragedy and comedy, but at the most a subordinate variety of the former. Other distinctions may be almost infinitely multiplied, according to the point of view adopted for the classification. The historical sketch of the drama attempted in the following pages will best serve to indicate the successive growth of national dramatic species, many of which, by asserting their influence in other countries and ages than those which gave birth to them, have acquired a more than national vitality. The art of acting, whose history forms an organic though a distinct part of that of the drama, necessarily possesses a theory and a technical system of its own. But into these it is Mead of impossible here to enter. One claim, hOwever, should acting. be vindicated for the art of acting, viz. that, though it is a dependent art, and most signally so in its highest forms, yet its true exercise implies (however much the term may have been abused) a creative process. The conception of a character is determined by antecedents not of the actor's own making; and the term originality can be applied to it only in a relative sense. Study and reflection enable him, with the aid of experience and of the intuition which genius bestows, but which experience may in a high degree supply, to interpret, to combine, and to supplement given materials. But in the transformation of the conception into the represented character the actor's functions are really creative; for here he becomes the character by means which belong to his art alone. The distinctiveness which he gives to the character by making the principal features recognized by him in it its groundwork—the consistency which he maintains in it between groundwork and details—the appropriateness which he preserves in it to the course of the action and the part borne in it by the character—all these are of his own making, though Its means. suggested by the conception derived by him from his materials. As to the means at his disposal, they are essentially of two kinds only; but not all forms of the drama have admitted of the use of both, or of both in the same completeness. All acting includes the use of gesture, or, as it has been Gesture. more comprehensively termed, of bodily eloquence. From various points of view its laws regulate the actor's bearing, walk and movements of face and limbs. They teach what is aesthetically permitted and what is aesthetically pleasing. They deduce from observation what is appropriate to the expression of particular affections of the mind and of their combinations, of emotions and passions, of physical and mental conditions —joy and grief, health and sickness, waking, sleeping and dreaming, madness, collapse and death—of particular ages of life and temperaments, as well as of the distinctive characteristics of Speech. race, nationality or class. While under certain con- ditions—as in the masked drama—the use of bodily movement as one of the means of expression has at times been partially restricted, there have been, or are, forms of the drama which have altogether excluded the use of speech (such as pantomime), or have restricted the manner of its employment (such as opera). In the spoken drama the laws of rhetoric regulate the actor's use of speech, but under conditions of a special nature. Like the orator, he has to follow the laws of pronunciation, modulation, accent and rhythm (the last in certain kinds of prose as well as in such forms of verse as he maybe called upon to reproduce). But he has also to give his attention to the special laws of dramatic delivery, which vary in soliloquy and dialogue, and in such narrative or lyrical passages as may occur in his part. The totality of the effect produced by the actor will in some degree depend upon other aids, among which those of a purely external kind are unlikely to be lost sight of. But the Costume. significance of costume (q.v.) in the actor, like that of decoration and scenery (see THEATRE) in an action, is a wholly relative one, and is to a large measure determined by the claims which custom enables the theatre to make, or forbids its making, upon the imagination of the spectators. The actor's real achievement lies in the transformation which the artist himself effects; nor is there any art more sovereign in the use it can make of its means, or so happy in the directness of the results it can accomplish by them. 2. INDIAN DRAMA The origin of the Indian drama may unhesitatingly be de-scribed as purely native. The Mahommedans, when they overran India, brought no drama with them; the Persians, the Arabs and the Egyptians were without a national theatre. It would be absurd to suppose the Indian drama to have owed anything to the Chinese or its offshoots. On the other hand, there is no real evidence for assuming any. influence of Greek examples upon the Indian drama at any stage of its progress. Finally, it had passed into its decline before the dramatic literature of modern Europe had sprung into being. The Hindu writers ascribe the invention of dramatic entertainments to an inspired sage Bharata, or to the communications made to him by the god Brahma himself concerning an art gathered from the Vedas. As the word Bharata signifies an actor, we have clearly here a mere personification of the invention of the drama. Three kinds of entertainments, of which the ndtya (defined as a dance combined with gesticulation and speech) comes nearest to the drama, were said to have been exhibited before the gods by the spirits and nymphs of Indra's heaven, and to these the god Siva added two new styles of dancing. The origin of the Indian drama was thus unmistakably religious. Dramatic elements first showed themselves in certain of the hymns of the Rig Veda, which took the form of dialogues between divine personages, and in one of which is to be found the germ of Kalidasa's famous Vikrama and Urvdsi. These hymns were combined with the dances in the festivals of the gods, which soon assumed a more or less conventional form. Thus, from the union of dance and song, to which were afterwards added narrative recitation, and first sung, then spoken, dialogue, was gradually evolved the acted drama. Such scenes and stories from the mythology of Vishnu are still occasionally enacted by pantomime or spoken dialogue in India (jatras of the Bengalis; rdsas of the Western Provinces); and the most ancient Indian play was said to have treated an episode from the history of that deity—the choice of him as a consort by Laxmi—a favourite kind of subject in the Indian drama. The tradition connecting its earliest themes with the native mythology of Vishnu agrees with that ascribing the origin of a particular kind of dramatic performance—the sangita—to Krishna and the shepherdesses. The author's later poem, the Gitagovinda, has been conjectured to be suggestive of the earliest species of Hindu dramas. But, while the epic poetry of the Hindus gradually approached the dramatic in the way of dialogue, their drama developed itself independently out of the union of the lyric and the epic forms. Their dramatic poetry arose later than their epos, whose great works, the Mandbadrata and the Ramayana, had themselves been long preceded by the hymnody of the Vedas—just as the Greek drama followed upon the Homeric poems and these had been preceded by the early hymns. There seems, indeed, no reason for dating the beginnings of the regular Indian drama farther back than the 5th century A.D., though it is probable that the earliest extant Sanskrit play, the delightful, and in some respects incomparable, Mrichchhakatikd Origin. (The Toy Cart), was considerably earlier in date than the works of Kalidasa. Indeed, of his predecessors in dramatic composition very little is known, and even the contemporaries who competed with him as dramatists are mere names. Thus, by the time the Indian drama produced almost the earliest specimens with which we are acquainted, it had already reached its zenith; and it was therefore looked upon as having sprung into being as a perfect art. We know it only in its glory, in its decline, and in its decay. The history of Indian dramatic literature may be roughly divided into the following periods. I. To the 11th Century A.D.—This period virtually belongs to the pre-Mahommedan age of Indian history; but already to that second division of it in which Buddhism had become First a powerful factor in the social as well as in the moral period (classical). and intellectual life of the land. It is the classical period of the Hindu drama, and includes the works of its two indisputably greatest masters. The earliest extant Sanskrit play is the pathetic Mrichchhakatik¢ (The Toy Cart), which has been dated back as far as the close of the 2nd century A.D. It is attributed (as is not uncommon with Indian plays) to a royal author, named Sudraka; but it was more probably written by his court poet, whose name has been concluded to have been Dandin. It may be described as a comedy of middle-class life, treating of the courtship and marriage of a ruined Brahman and a wealthy and large-hearted courtesan. Kalidasa, the brightest of the " nine gems " of genius in whom the Indian drama gloried, lived at the court of Ujjain, though whether in the earlier half of the 6th century A.D., or in the 3rd century, or at a yet earlier date, remains an unsettled question. He is the author of Sakuntala—the work which, in the translation by Sir William Jones (1789), first revealed to the Western world of letters the existence of an Indian drama, since reproduced in innumerable versions in many tongues. This heroic comedy, in seven acts, takes its plot from the first book of the Mahabharata. It is a dramatic love-idyll of surpassing beauty, and one of the masterpieces of the poetic literature of the world. Another drama by Kalidasa, Vikrama and Urvasi (The Hero and the Nymph), though unequal as a whole to Sakuntala, contains one act of incomparable loveliness; and its enduring effect upon Indian dramatic literature is shown by the imitations of it in later plays. (It was translated into English in 1827 by H. H. Wilson.) To Kalidasa has likewise been attributed a third play, Malavika and Agnimitra; but it is possible that this conventional comedy, though held to be of ancient date, was composed by a different poet of the same name. To Harsadeva, king of northern India, are ascribed three extant plays, which were more probably composed by some poet in his pay. One of these, Nagananda (Joy of the Serpents), which begins as an erotic play, but passes into a most impressive exemplification of the supreme virtue of self-sacrifice, is notable as the only Buddhist drama which has been preserved, though others are known to have existed and to have been represented. The palm of pre-eminence is disputed with Kalidasa by the great dramatic poet Babhavuti (called Crikanfha, or he in whose throat is fortune), who flourished in the earlier part of the 8th century. While he is considered more artificial in language than his rival, and in general more bound by rules, he can hardly be deemed his inferior in dramatic genius. Of his three extant plays, Mahavara-Charitra and Uttara-Rama-Charitra are heroic dramas concerned with the adventures of Rama (the seventh incarnation of Vishnu); the third, the powerful melodrama, in ten acts, of Malati and Madhava, has love for its theme, and has been called (perhaps with more aptitude than usually belongs to such comparisons) the Romeo and Juliet of the Hindus. It is considered by their critical authorities the best example of the prakarana, or drama of domestic life. Babhavuti's plays, as is indicated by the fact that no jester appears in them, are devoid of the element of humour. The plays of Rajasekhara, who lived about the end of the 9th century, deal, like those of Harsadeva, with harem and court life. One of them, Karpura Manjuri (Camphor Cluster), vm i6is stated .to be the only example of the saltaka or minor heroic comedy, written entirely in Prakrit. In this period may probably also be included Vi§akhadatta's interesting drama of political intrigue, Mudra-Rakshasa (The Signet of the Minister), in which Chandragupta (Sandracottus) appears as the founder of a dynasty. In subject, therefore, this production, which is one of the few known Indian historical dramas, goes back to the period following on the invasion of India by Alexander the Great; but the date of composition is probably at least as late as A.D. 1000. The plot of the play turns on the gaining-over of the prime minister of the ancien regime. Among the remaining chief works of this period is the Veni-Samhara (Binding of the Braid) by Narayana Bhatta. Though described as a play in which both pathos and horror are exaggerated—its subject is an outrage resembling that which Dunstan is said to have inflicted on Elgiva—it is stated to have been always a favourite, as written in exact accordance with dramatic rules. Perhaps the Candakaneika by Ksemisvara should also be included, which deals with the working of a curse pronounced by an aged priest upon a king who had innocently offended him. II. The Period of Decline.—This may be reckoned from about the 1th to about the 14th century of the Christian era, the beginning roughly coinciding with that of a continuous series of Mahommedan invasions of India. Hanuman- second Nalaka, or " the great Nataka " (for this irregular decline). play,, the work of several hands, surpasses all other Indian dramas in length, extending over no fewer than fourteen acts), dates from the loth or 11th century. Its story is taken from the Rama-cycle, and a prominent character in it is the mythical monkey-chief King Hanuman, to whom, indeed, tradition ascribed the original authorship of the play. Ktishfiamicra's " theosophic mystery," as it has been called,—though it rather resembles some of the moralities,—Prabodha-Chandrodaya (The Rise of the Moon of Insight, i.e. the victory of true doctrine over error), is ascribed by one authority to the middle of the 11th century, by another to about the end of the 12th. The famous Ratnavali (The Necklace), a court-comedy of love and intrigue, with a half-Terentian plot, seems also to date from the earlier half of the period. The remaining plays of which it has been possible to conjecture the dates range in the time of their composition from the end of the 11th to the 14th century. Of this period, as compared with the first, the general characteristics seem to be an undue preponderance of narrative and description, and an affected and over-elaborated style. As a striking instance of this class is mentioned a play on the adventures of Rama, the Anargha-Raghava, which in spite, or by reason, of the commonplace character of its sentiments, the extravagance of its diction, and the obscurity of its mythology, is stated to enjoy a higher reputation with the pundits of the present age than the masterpieces of Kalidasa and Babhavuti. To the close of this period, the 14th century, has likewise (but without any pretension to certainty) been ascribed the only Tamil drama of which we possess an English version. Arichandra (The Martyr of Truth) exemplifies—with a strange likeness in the contrivance of its plot to the Book of Job and Faust—by the trials of a heroically enduring king the force of the maxim " Better die than lie." regarded as a mere aftergrowth, and exhibit the Indian Third period drama in its decay. Indeed, the latest of them, (decay). Chiira-Yajna, which was composed about the beginning of the 19th century, and still serves as a model for Bengali dramatic performances, is imperfect in its dialogue, which (after the fashion of Italian improvised comedy) it is left to the actors to supplement. Besides these there are farces or farcical entertainments, more or less indelicate, of uncertain dates. The number of plays which have descended to us from so vast an expanse of time is still comparatively small. But though, in 1827, Wilson doubted whether all the plays to be found, and Ir those mentioned by Hindu writers on the drama, amounted to many more than sixty, M. Schuyler's bibliography (1906) enumerates over five hundred Sanskrit plays. To these have to be added the plays in Tamil, stated to be about a hundred in number, and to have been composed by poets who enjoyed the patronage of the Pandian kings of Madura, and some in other vernaculars. There certainly is among the Hindus no dearth of dramatic theory. The sage Bharata, the reputed inventor of dramatic critical entertainments, was likewise revered as the father of literature. dramatic criticism—a combination of functions to which the latter days of the English theatre might perhaps furnish an occasional parallel. The commentators (possibly under the influence of inspiration rather than as a strict matter of memory) constantly cite his sutras, or aphorisms. (From sintra, thread, was named the sutra-dhara, thread-holder, carpenter, a term applied to the architect and general manager of sacrificial solemnities, then to the director of theatrical performances.) By the rrth century, when the drama was already approaching its decline, dramatic criticism had reached an advanced point; and the Dasa-Rupaka (of which the text belongs to that age) distinctly defines the ten several kinds of dramatic composition. Other critical works followed at later dates, exhibiting a rage for subdivision unsurpassed by the efforts of Western theorists, ancient or modern; the misfortune is that there should not be examples remaining (if they ever existed) to illustrate all the branches of so elaborate a dramatic system.. " What," inquires the manager of an actor in the induction to one of the most famous of Indian plays, " are those qualities exclusive- which the virtuous, the wise, the venerable, the learned ness aline and the Brahmans require in a drama? " " Profound Indian exposition of the various passions," is the reply, drama. " pleasing interchange of mutual affection, loftiness of character, delicate expression of desire, a surprising story and elegant language." " Then," says the manager (for the Indian dramatists, though not, like Ben Jonson, wont to " rail " the public " into approbation," are unaffected by mauvaise honte), " I recollect one." And he proceeds to state that " Babhavuti has given us a drama composed by him, replete with all qualities, to which indeed this sentence is applicable: ` How little do they know who speak of us with censure! This entertainment is not for them. Possibly some one exists, or will exist, of similar tastes with myself; for time is boundless, and the world is wide ! ' " This disregard of popularity, springing from a consciousness of lofty aims, accounts for much that is characteristic of the higher class of Indian plays. It explains both their relative paucity and their extraordinary length, renders intelligible the chief peculiarity in their diction, and furnishes the key to their most striking ethical as well as literary qualities. Connected in their origin with religious worship, they were only performed on solemn occasions, chiefly of a public nature, and more especially at seasons sacred to some divinity. Thus, though they might in some instances be reproduced, they were always written with a view to one particular solemn representation. Again, the greater part of every one of the plays of Northern India is written in Sanskrit, which ceased to be a popular language by 300 B.C., but continued the classical and learned, and at the same time the sacred and court form of speech of the Brahmans. Sanskrit is spoken by the heroes and principal personages of the plays, while the female and inferior characters use varieties, more or less refined, of the Prakrit languages (as a rule not more than three, that which is employed in the songs of the women being the poetic dialect of the most common Prakrit language, the Sauraseni). Hence, part at least of each play cannot have been understood by the large majority of the audience, except in so far as their general acquaintance with the legends or stories treated enabled them to follow the course of the action. Every audience thus contained an inner audience, which could alone feel the full effect of the drama. It is, then, easy to see why the Hindu critics should make demands upon the art, into which only highly-trained and refined intellects were capable of entering, or called upon to enter. The general public could not be expected to appreciate the sentiments expressed in a drama, and thus (according to the process prescribed by Hindu theory) to receive instruction by means of amusement. These sentiments are termed rasas (tastes or flavours), and said to spring from the bhavas (conditions of mind and body). A variety of subdivisions is added; but the santa rasa is logically enough excluded from dramatic composition, inasmuch as it implies absolute quiescence. The Hindu critics know of no distinction directly corresponding to that between tragedy and comedy, still less of any determined by the nature of the close of a play. For, in accordance species of with the child-like element of their character, the dramas. Hindus dislike an unhappy ending to any story, and a positive rule accordingly prohibits a fatal conclusion in their dramas. The general term for all dramatic compositions is rupaka (from rupa, form), those of an inferior class being distinguished as uparupakas. Of the various subdivisions of the rupaka, in a more limited sense, the nataka, or play proper, represents the most perfect kind. Its subject should always be celebrated and important—it is virtually either heroism or love, and most frequently the latter—and the hero should be a demigod or divinity (such as Rama in Babhavuti's heroic plays) or a king (such as the hero of Sakuntala). But although the earlier dramatists took their plots from the sacred writings or Puranas, they held themselves at liberty to vary the incidents-a licence from which the later poets abstained. Thus, in accordance, perhaps, with the respective developments in the religious life of the two peoples, the Hindu drama in this respect reversed the progressive practice of the Greek. The prakaranas agree in all essentials with the natdkas except that they are less elevated; their stories are mere fictions, taken from actual life in a respect-able class of society). Among the species of the uparupaka may be mentioned the trotaka, in which the personages are partly human, partly divine, and of which a famous example remains.2 Of the bha4a, a monologue in one act, one literary example is extant—a curious picture of manners in which the speaker describes the different persons he meets at a spring festival in the streets of Kolahalapur.3 The satire of the farcical prahasanas is usually directed against the hypocrisy of ascetics and Brahmans, and the sensuality of the wealthy and powerful. These trifles represent the lower extreme of the dramatic scale, to which, of course, the principles that follow only partially apply. Unity of action is strictly enjoined by Hindu theory, though not invariably observed in practice. Episodical or prolix interruptions are forbidden; but, in order to facilitate Tne the connexion, the story of the play is sometimes " unities." carried on by narratives spoken by actors or "interpreters," something after the fashion of the Chorus in Henry V., or of Gower in Pericles. " Unity of time " is liberally, if rather arbitrarily, understood by the later critical authorities as limiting the duration of the action to a single year; but even this is exceeded in more than one classical play.4 The single acts are to confine the events occurring in them to "one course of the sun," and usually do so. " Unity of place " is unknown to the Hindu drama, by reason of the absence of scenery; for the plays were performed in the open courts of palaces, perhaps at times in large halls set apart for public entertainments, or in the open air. Hence change of scene is usually indicated in the texts; and we fiid 5 the characters making long journeys on the stage, under the eyes of spectators not trained to demand " real " mileage. With the solemn character of the higher kind of dramatic performances accord the rules and prohibitions defining what may be called the proprieties of the Indian drama. It has been already seen that all plays must have a happy prie pro ties. ending. Furthermore, not only should death never be inflicted coram populo, but the various operations of biting, scratching, kissing, eating, sleeping, the bath, and the marriage ceremony should never take place on the stage. Yet such rules are made to be occasionally broken. It is true that the mild humour of the vidushaka is restricted to his " gesticulating i e.g. Mrichchhakatika; Malati and Madhava. 2 Vikrama and Urvasi. 3 Starada-Tilaka. 4 Sdkuntala Uttara-Rama-Charitra. 5 Arichandra, act iv. eating " instead of perpetrating the obnoxious act.' The charming love-scene in the Sakuntala (at least in the earlier recension of the play) breaks off just as the hero is about to act the part of the bee to the honey of the heroine's lips? But later writers are . less squeamish, or less refined. In two dramas' the heroine is dragged on the stage by her braid of hair; and this outrage is in both instances the motive of the action. In a third,4 sleeping and the marriage ceremony occur in the course of the representation. The dramatic construction of the Indian plays presents no very striking peculiarities. They open with a benediction (nandi), spoken by the manager (supposed to be a { oonstruc- highly accomplished person), and followed by " some account" of the author, and an introductory scene between the manager and one of the actors, which is more or less skilfully connected by the introduction of one of the characters with the opening of the play itself. This is divided into acts (ankas) and scenes; of the former a nataka should have not fewer than 5, or more than to; 7 appears a common number; " the great nataka " reaches 14. Thus the length of the higher class of Indian plays is considerable—about that of an Aeschylean trilogy; but not more than a single play was ever performed on the same occasion. Comic plays are restricted to two acts (here called sandhis). In theory the scheme of an Indian drama corresponds very closely to the general outline of dramatic construction given above; it is a characteristic merit that the business is rarely concluded before the last act. The scenes and piece closes, as it began, with a benediction or prayer. situations. Within this framework room is found for situations as ingeniously devised and highly wrought as those in any modern Western play. What could be more pitiful than the scene in Sakuntala, where the true wife appears before her husband, whose remembrance of her is fatally overclouded by a charm; what more terrific than that in Malati and Madhava, where the lover rescues his beloved from the horrors of the charnel field? Recognition—especially between parents and children—frequently gives rise to scenes of a pathos which Euripides has not surpassed.' The ingenious device of a " play within the play " (so familiar to the English drama) is employed with the utmost success by Babhavuti.6 On the other hand, miraculous meta-morphosis' and, in a later play,' vulgar magic lend their aid to the progress of the action. With scenes of strong effectiveness contrast others of the most delicate poetic grace—such as the indescribably lovely little episode of the two damsels of the god of love helping one another to pluck the red and green bud from the mango tree; or of gentle domestic pathos—such as that of the courtesan listening to the prattle of her lover's child, one of the prettiest scenes of a kind rarely kept free from affectation in the modern drama. For the denouement in the narrower sense of the term the Indian dramatists largely resort to the expedient of the deus ex machina, often in a sufficiently literal sense.' Every species of drama having its appropriate kind of hero or heroine, theory here again amuses itself with an infinitude of characters, subdivisions. Among the heroines, of whom not less than three hundred and eighty-four types are said to be distinguished, are to be noticed the courtesans, whose social position to some extent resembles that of the Greek hetaerae, and association with whom does not seem in practice, however it may be in theory, to be regarded as a disgrace even to Brahmans.1' In general, the Indian drama indicates relations between the sexes subject to peculiar restraints of usage, but freer than those which Mahommedan example seems to have introduced into higher Indian society. The male characters are frequently drawn with skill, and sometimes with genuine force. Prince Samsthanaka" is a type of selfishness born in the purple worthy to rank beside figures of the modern drama, of which ' Nagananda, act i. 2 Act iii. ; cf. Nagananda, act iii. ' Veni-Samhara; Prachanda-Pafiddva. 4 Viddha-Salabhanjika. Sakuntala; Uttara-Rama-Charitra. &Ib. act vii. 7 Vikrama and Urvasi, act iv.. Ratnavali. Vikrama and Urvasi: Arichandra; Nagananda. w Mrichchhakatka. 11 Miichchhakatka.this has at times naturally been a favourite class of character, elsewhere,'" the intrigues of ministers are not more fully exposed than their characters and, principles of action are judiciously discriminated. Among the lesser personages common in the Indian drama, two are worth noticing, as corresponding, though by no means precisely, to familiar types of other dramatic literatures. These are the vita, the accomplished but dependent companion (both of men and women), and the vidushaka, the humble associate (not servant) of the prince, and the buffoon of the action." Strangely enough, he is always a Brahman, or the pupil of a Brahman—perhaps a survival from a purely popular phase of the drama. His humour is to be ever intent on the pleasures of a quiet life, and on that of eating in particular; his jokes are generally devoid of both harm and point. Thus, clothing itself in a diction always ornate and tropical, in which (as Ruckert has happily expressed it) the prose is the warp and the verse the weft, where (as Goethe says) Diction. words become allusions, allusions similes, and similes metaphors, the Indian drama essentially depended upon its literary qualities, and upon the familiar sanctity of its favourite themes for such effects as it was able to produce. Of scenic apparatus it knew but little. The plays were usually performed in the hall of a palace; the simple devices by which exits and entrances were facilitated it is unnecessary to describe, and on the contrivances employed for securing such " properties " as were required (above all, the cars of the gods and of their emissaries)," it is useless to speculate. Propriety of costume, on the other hand, seems always to have been observed, agreeably both to the peculiarities of the Indian drama and to the habits of the Indian people. The ministers of an art practised under such conditions could not but be regarded with respect, and spared the contempt or worse, which, except among one other great civilized Actors. people, the Greeks, has everywhere, at one period or another, been the actor's lot. Companies of actors seem to have been common in India at an early date, and the inductions show the players to have been regarded as respectable members of society. In later, if not in earlier, times individual actors enjoyed a widespread reputation—" all the world " is acquainted with the talents of Kalaha-Kandala.7' The managers or directors, as already stated, were usually gifted and highly-cultured Brahmans. Female parts were in general, though not invariably, represented by females. One would like to know whether such was the case in a piece1e where—after the fashion of more than one Western play—a crafty minister passes off his daughter as a boy, on which assumption she is all but married to a person of her own sex. The Indian drama would, if only for purposes of comparison, be invaluable to the student of this branch of literature. But from the point of view of purely literary excellence it holds its Summary own against all except the very foremost dramas of the world. It is, indeed, a mere phrase to call Kalidasa the Indian Shakespeare—a title which, moreover, if intended as anything more than a synonym for poetic pre-eminence, might fairly be disputed in favour of Babhavuti; while it would be absolutely misleading to place a dramatic literature, which, like the Indian, is the mere quintessence of the culture of a caste, by the side of one which represents the fullest development of the artistic consciousness of such a people as the Hellenes. The Indian drama cannot be described as national in the broadest and highest sense of the word; it is, in short, the drama of a literary class, though as such it exhibits many of the noblest and most refined, as well as of the most characteristic, features of Hindu religion and civilization. The ethics of the Indian drama are of a lofty character, but they are those of a scholastic system of religious philosophy, self-conscious of its completeness. To the power of Fate is occasionally ascribed a supremacy, to which gods as well as mortals must bow;" but, if man's present life is merely a Mudra-Rakshasa. 1a Sakuntala; Nagananda. 14 Sakuntala, acts vi. and vii ; Malat and Madhava, act v. 16 Induction to Anargha-Raghava. 1E. Viddha-Salabhanjika. 17 Vikrama and Urvasi. Scenery and costume. phase' in the cycle of his destinies, the highest of moral efforts at the same time points to the summit of possibilities, and self-sacrifice is the supreme condition both of individual perfection and of the progress of the world. Such conceptions as these. seem at once to enfold and to overshadow the moral life of the Indian drama. The affections and passions forming part of self it delineates with a fidelity to nature which no art can afford to neglect; on the other hand, the freedom of the picture is restricted by conditions which to us are unfamiliar and at times seem intolerable, but which it was impossible for the Indian poet's imagination to ignore. The sheer self-absorption of ambition or love appears inconceivable by the minds of any of these poets; and their social philosophy is always based on the system of caste. On the other hand, they are masters of many of the truest forms of pathos, above all of that which blends with resignation. In humour of a delicate kind they are by no means deficient; to its lower forms they are generally strangers, even in productions of a professedly comic intention. Of wit, Indian dramatic literature-though a play on words is as the breath of its nostrils—furnishes hardly any examples intelligible to Western minds. The distinctive excellence of the Indian drama is to be sought in the poetic robe which envelops it as flowers overspread the bosom of the earth in the season of spring. In its nobler productions, at least, it is never untrue to its half religious, half rural origin; it weaves the wreaths of idyllic fancies in an unbroken chain, adding to its favourite and familiar blossoms ever fresh beauties from an inexhaustible garden. Nor is it unequal to depicting the grander aspects of nature in her mighty forests and on the shores of the ocean; A close familiarity with its native literature can here alone follow its diction through a ceaseless flow of phrase and figure, listen with understanding to the hum of the bee as it hangs over the lotus, and contemplate with Sakuntala's pious sympathy the creeper as it winds round the mango tree. But the poetic beauty of the Indian drama reveals itself in the mysterious charm of its outline, if not in its full glow, even to the untrained; nor should the study of it—for which the materials seem continually on the increase—be left aside by any lover of literature. 3. CHINESE DRAMA Like the Indian drama, the Chinese arose from the union of the arts of dance and song. To the ballets and pantomimes out of which it developed itself, and which have continued to flourish by the side of its more advanced forms, the Chinese ascribe a primitive antiquity of origin; many of them originally had a symbolical reference to such subjects as the harvest, and war and peace. A very ancient pantomime is said to have symbolized the conquest of China by Wu-Wang; others were of a humbler, and often of a very obscure, character. To their music the Chinese likewise attribute a great antiquity of origin. There are traditions which carry back the characters of the Chinese drama to the 18th century before the Christian era. Others declare the Emperor Wan-Te (fl. about A.D. 580) to have invented the drama; but this honour is more usually given to the emperor Yuen-Tsung (A.D. 720), who is likewise remembered as a radical musical reformer. Pantomimes henceforth fell into disrepute; and the history of the Chinese drama from this date is divided, with an accuracy we cannot profess to control, into four distinct periods. Each of these periods, we are told, has a style, and each style a name of its own; but these names, such as " Diversions of the Woods in Flower," have little or no meaning for us; and it would therefore be useless to cite them. The first period is that of the dramas composed under the rang dynasty, from A.D. 720 to 907. These pieces, called Tchhouen-Khi, were limited to the representation of extra-ordinary events, and were therefore, in design at least, a species of heroic drama. The ensuing times of civil war interrupted the " pleasures of peace and prosperity " (a Chinese phrase for dramatic performances)—which, however, revived. The second period is that of the Tsung Dynasty, .from 96o to1119. The plays of this period are called Hi-Khio, and presented what became a standing peculiarity of the Chinese classical drama, viz. that in them figures a principal personage age. who sings. The third and best-known age of the Chinese drama was under the Kin and Yuen dynasties, from 1125 to 1367. The plays of this period are called Yuen-Pen and Tsa-Ki; the latter seem to have resembled the Hi-Khio, and to have treated very various subjects. The Yuen-Pen are the plays from which our literary knowledge of the Chinese drama is mainly derived; the short pieces called Yen-Kia were in the same style, but briefer. The list of dramatic authors under the Yuen dynasty, the most important period in Chinese literary annals, which covered the years 126o to 1368, is tolerably extensive, comprising 85, among whom four are designated as courtesans; the number of plays composed by these and by anonymous authors is reckoned at not less than 564. In 1735 the Jesuit missionary Joseph Henry Premare first revealed to Europe the existence of the tragedy Tchao-Chi-Cu-Eul (The Little Orphan of the House of Tchao), which was founded upon an earlier piece treating of the fortunes of an heir to the imperial throne, who was preserved in a mysterious box like another Cypselus or Moses. Voltaire seized the theme of the earlier play for a rhetorical tragedy, L'Orphelin de la Chine, in which he coolly professes it was his intention " to paint the manners of the Chinese and the Tartars." The later play, which is something less elevated in the rank of its characters, and very decidedly less refined in treatment, was afterwards retranslated by Stanislas Julien; and to the labours of this scholar, of Sir J. F. Davis (1795–1890) and of Antoine Bazin (1799–1863), we owe a series of translated Chinese dramas, among which there can be no hesitation whatever in designating the master-piece. The justly famous Pi-Pa-Ki (The Story of the Lute) belongs to a period rather later than that of the Yuen plays, having been composed towards the close of the 14th century by Kao-Tong-Kia, and reproduced in 1404, under the Ming PI-Pa-iCL dynasty, with the alterations of Mao-Tseu, a commentator of learning and taste. Pi-Pa-Ki, which as a domestic drama of sentiment possesses very high merit, long enjoyed a quite exceptional popularity in China; it was repeatedly republished with laudatory prefaces, and so late as the 18th century was regarded as a monument of morality, and as the master-piece of the Chinese theatre. It would seem to have remained without any worthy competitors; for, although it had been originally designed to produce a reaction against the immorality of the drama then in fashion, especially of Wang-Chi-Fou's celebrated Si-Siang-Ki (The Story of the Western Pavilion), yet the fourth period of the Chinese drama, under the Ming dynasty, from 1368 to. 1644, exhibited no improvement. " What " (says the preface to the 1704 edition of Pi-Pa-Ki) Decline sad decay " do you find there ? Farcical dialogue, a mass of scenes in which one fancies one hears the hubbub of the streets or the ignoble language of the highways, the extravagances of demons and spirits, in addition to love-intrigues repugnant to delicacy of manners." Nor would it appear that the Chinese theatre has ever recovered from its decay. In theory, no drama could be more consistently elevated in purpose and in tone than the Chinese. Every play, we learn, should have both a moral and a meaning. A virtuous Theoretiaim is imposed upon Chinese dramatists by an article cal alms. of the penal code of the empire; and those who write immoral plays are to expect after death a purgatory which will last so long as these plays continue to be performed. In practice, however, the Chinese drama falls far short of its ideal; indeed, according to the native critic already cited, among ten thousand playwrights not one is to be found intent upon perfecting the education of mankind by means of precepts and examples. The Chinese are, like the Hindus, unacquainted with the distinction between tragedy and comedy; they classify their plays according to subjects in twelve categories. It may be doubted whether what seems the highest of these isdrama. Religious actually such; for the religious element in the Chinese drama is often sheer buffoonery. Moreover, Chinese religious Poetry of the Indian drama. life, as reflected in the drama, seems one in which creed elbows creed, and superstitions are welcome whatever their origin. Of all religious traditions and doctrines, however, those of Buddhism (which had reached China long before the known beginnings of its drama) are the most prominent; thus, the theme of absolute self-sacrifice is treated in one play," that of entire absorption in the religious life in another.2 The historical drama is not unknown to the Chinese; and although Histortcai a law prohibits the bringing on the stage of " emperors, empresses, and the famous princes, ministers, and generals of former ages," no such restriction is observed in practice. In Han-Kong-Tseu (The Sorrows of Han), for instance, which treats a national historic legend strangely recalling in parts the story of Esther and the myth of the daughter of Erechtheus, the Domestic emperor Yuen-Ti (the representative, to be sure, of a fallen dynasty) plays a part, and a sufficiently sorry one. By far the greater number, however, of the Chinese plays accessible in translations belong to the domestic species, and to that subspecies which may be called the criminal drama. Their favourite virtue is piety, of a formal' or a practical' kind to parents or parents-in-law; their favourite interest lies in the discovery of long-hidden guilt, and in the vindication of per- secuted innocence.' In the choice and elaboration of such subjects they leave little to be desired by the most ardent devotees of the literature of agony. Besides this description of plays, we have at least one love-comedy pure and simple—a piece of a nature not " tolerably mild," but ineffably harmless.' Free in its choice of themes, the Chinese drama is likewise remarkably unrestricted in its range of characters. Chinese society, it is well known, is not based, like Indian, Rangy of characters. upon the principle of caste; rank is in China deter-mined by office, and this again depends on the results of examination. These familiar facts are constantly brought home to the reader of Chinese plays. The Tchoang-Yuen, or senior Glassman on the list of licentiates, is the flower of Chinese society, and the hero of many a drama;" and it is a proud boast that for years " one's ancestors have held high posts, which they owed to their literary successes." 8 On the other hand, a person who has failed in his military examination, becomes, as if by a natural transition, a man-eating monster.9 But of mere class the Chinese drama is no respecter, painting with noteworthy freedom the virtues and the vices of nearly every phase of society. The same liberty is taken with regard to the female sex; it is clear that in earlier times there were few vexatious restrictions in Chinese life upon the social intercourse between men and women. The variety of female characters in the Chinese drama is great, ranging from the heroine who sacrifices herself for the sake of an empire10 to the well-brought-up young lady who avers that " woman came into the world to be obedient, to unravel skeins of silk, and to work with her needle "—from the chamber-maid who contrives the most gently sentimental of rendezvous,'2 to the reckless courtesan who, like another Millwood, upbraids the partner of her guilt on his suing for mercy, and bids him die with her in hopes of a reunion after death.° In marriage the first or legitimate wife is distinguished from the second, who is at times a ci-devant courtesan, and towards whom the feelings of the former vary between bitter jealousy 1' and sisterly kindness 15 The conduct of the plays exhibits much ingenuity, and an aversion from restrictions of time and place; in fact, the nature of the plot constantly covers a long series of years, and spans wide intervals of local distance. The plays are divided into acts and scenes—the former being usually four in number, at times ' The Self-Sacrifice of Tchao-Li. 2 Lai-Seng-Tchai (The Debt to be Paid in the Next World). ' Lao-Seng-Eul. ' Pi-Pa-Ki. 6 The Circle of Chalk (Hoei-Lan-Ki) ; The Tunic Matched ; The Revenge of Teou-Ngo. 6 Tchao-Mei-Hiang (The Intrigues of a Chambermaid). Tchao-Mei-Hiang; Ho-Han-Chan; Pi-Pa-Ki. 8 Hoei-Lan-Ki, Prol. sc. i. 9 Tchao-Li. w Han-Kong-Tseu. 11 Pi-Pa-Ki, sc. 2. 12 Tchao-Mei-Hiang. "g He-Lang-Tan, act iv.; cf. Hoei-Lan-Ki, act iv. '4 Hoei-Lan-Ki. 15 Pi-Pa-Ki.with an induction or narrative prologue spoken by some of the characters (Sie-Tsen). Favourite plays were, however, allowed to extend to great length; the Pi-Pa-Ki is divided construe-into 24 sections, and in another recension apparently tion and comprised 42. " I do not wish," says the manager conduct of in the prologue, " that this performance should last too long; finish it to-day, but cut out nothing "—whence it appears that the performance of some plays occupied more than a single day. The rule was always observed that a separate act should be given up to the denouement; while, according to a theory of which it is not always easy to trace the operation, the perfection of construction was sought in the dualism or contrast of scene and scene, just as the perfection of diction was placed in the parallelism or antithesis of phrase and phrase. Being subject to no restrictions as to what might, or might not, be represented on the stage, the conduct of the plots allowed of the introduction of almost every variety of incidents. Death takes place, in sight of the audience, by starvation,'6 by drowning," by poison,18 by execution;19 flogging and torture are inflicted on the stage; 2° wonders are wrought; 21 and magic is brought into play; 22 the ghost of an innocently-executed daughter calls upon her father to revenge her foul murder, and assists in person at the t,ubsequent judicial enquiry.23 Certain peculiarities in the conduct of the business are due to the usages of society rather than to dramaturgic laws. Marriages are generally managed—at least in the higher spheres of society—by ladies professionally employed as matrimonial agents 2" The happy resolution of the rwdus of the action is usually brought about by the direct inter-position of superior official authority"—a tribute to the paternal system of government, which is the characteristic Chinese variety of the deus ex machina. This naturally tends to the favourite close of a glorification of the emperor,26 resembling that of Louis XIV. at the end of Tartufe, or in spirit, at all events, those of the virgin queen in more than one Elizabethan play. It should be added that the characters save the necessity for a bill of the play by persistently announcing and re-announcing their names and genealogies, and the necessity for a book by frequently recapitulating the previous course of the plot. One peculiarity of the Chinese drama remains to be noticed. The chief character of a play represents the author as well as the personage; he or she is hero or heroine and chorus in The prim. one. This is brought about by the hero's (or heroine's) cipaipersinging the poetical passages, or those containing sonage maxims of wisdom and morality, or reminiscences and who sings. examples drawn from legend or history. Arising out of the dialogue, these passages at the same time diversify it, and give to it such elevation and brilliancy as it can boast. The singing character must be the principal personage in the action, but may be taken from any class of society. If this personage dies in the course of the play, another sings in his place. From the mention of this distinctive feature of the Chinese drama Poetic it will be obvious how unfair it would be to judge of diction. any of its productions, without a due appreciation of the lyric passages, which do not appear to be altogether restricted to the singing of the principal personage, for other characters frequently " recite verses." In these lyrical or didactic passages are to be sought those flowers of diction which, as Julien has shown, consist partly in the use of a metaphorical phraseology of infinite nicety in its variations—such as a long series of phrases compounded with the word signifying jet and expressing severally the ideas of rarity, distinction, beauty, &c., or as others derived from the names of colours, birds, beasts, precious metals, elements, constellations, &c., or alluding to favourite legends or anecdotes. These features constitute the literary element par excellence of Chinese dramatic composition. At the same time, though it is impossible for the untrained reader to be alive to 16 Pi-Pa-Ki, sc. rg. " Ho-Han-Chan, act ii. 1s Hoei-Lan-Ki, act i. " Teou-Ngo- Yuen, act iii. 2° Hoei-Lan-Ki, act ii. 21 Teou-Ngo- Yuen, act iii. 22 Pi-Pa-Ki, sc. 18. 23 Teou-Ngo- Yuen, act. iv. 24 Tchao-Mei-Hiang; Pi-Pa-Ki. 26 Hoei-Lan-Ki. 26 Ho-Han-Chan. the charms of so unfamiliar a phraseology, it may be questioned whether even in its diction the Chinese drama can claim to be regarded as really poetic. It may abound in poetic ornament; it is not, like the Indian, bathed in poetry. On the other hand, the merits of this dramatic literature are by no means restricted to ingenuity of construction and variety Merits of of character—merits, in themselves important, which the no candid criticism will deny to it. Its master-piece Chinese is not only truly pathetic in the conception and the drama. main situations. of its action, but includes scenes of singular grace and delicacy of treatment—such as that where the remarried husband of the deserted heroine in vain essays in the presence of his second wife to sing to his new lute, now that he has cast aside the old.' In the last act of a tragedy appealing at once to patriotism and to pity; there is true imaginative power in the picture of the emperor, when aware of the departure, but not of the death, of his beloved, sitting in solitude broken only by the ominous shriek of the wild-fowl .2 Nor is the Chinese drama devoid of humour. The lively abigail who has to persuade her mistress into confessing herself in love by arguing (almost like Beatrice) that " humanity bids us love men ";a the corrupt judge (a common type in the Chinese plays) who falls on his knees before the prosecuting parties to a suit as before " the father and mother who give him sustenance," may serve as examples; and in Pi-Pa-Ki there is a scene of admirable burlesque on the still more characteristic theme of the humours of a competitive examination.5 If such illustrations could not easily be multiplied, they are at least worth citing in order to deprecate a perfunctory criticism on the qualities of a dramatic literature as to which our materials for judgment are still scanty. While in the north of China houses are temporarily set apart for dramatic performances, in the south these are usually con-scenery fined to theatres erected in the streets (Hi-Thai). and Thus scenic decorations of any importance must always' costume. have been out of question in the Chinese theatre. The costumes, on the other hand, are described as magnificent; they are traditionally those worn before the 17th century, in accordance with the historical colouring of most of the plays. Actors. The actor's profession is not a respectable one in China, the managers being in the habit of buying children of slaves and bringing them up as slaves of their own. Women may not appear on the stage, since the emperor K`ien-Lung admitted an actress among his concubines; female parts are therefore played by lads, occasionally by eunuchs. 4. JAPANESE DRAMA The Japanese drama, as all evidence seems to agree in showing, still remains what in substance it has always been—an amusement passionately loved by the lower orders, but hardly dignified by literature deserving the name. Apart from its native elements of music, dance and song, and legendary or historical narrative and pantomime, it is clearly to be regarded as a Chinese importation; nor has it in its more advanced forms apparently even attempted to emancipate itself from the reproduction of the conventional Chinese types. As early as the close of the 6th century Hada Kawatsu, a man of Chinese extraction, but born in japan, is said to have been ordered to arrange entertainments for the benefit of the country, and to have written as many as thirty-three plays. The Japanese, however, ascribe the origin of their drama to the introduction of the dance called Sambas() as a charm against a volcanic depression of the earth which occurred in 8o5; and this dance appears still to be used as a prelude to theatrical exhibitions. In 1 ro8 lived a woman called Iso no Zenji, who is looked upon as " the mother of the Japanese drama." But her performances seem to have been confined to dancing or posturing in male attire (otokomai); and the intro- 1 Pi-Pa-Ki, sc. 14. 2 Han-Kong-Tseu. Tchao-Mei-Hiang, act ii. Teou-Ngo-Yuen, act ii.; cf. Hoed-Lan-Ki. Pi-Pa-Ki, sc. 5.duotion of the drama proper is universally attributed to Sarnwaka Kanzaburo, who in 1624 opened the first theatre (sibaia) at Yeddo. Not long afterwards (1651) the playhouses were re-moved to their present site in the capital; and both here and in the provincial towns, especially of the north, the drama has since continued to flourish. Persons of rank were formerly never seen at these theatres; but actors were occasionally engaged to play in private at the houses of the nobles, who appear themselves to have taken part in performances of a species of opera affected by them, always treating patriotic legends and called no. The mikado has a court theatre. The subjects of the serious popular plays are mainly mythological—the acts of the great spirit Day-Sin, the incarnation of Brahma, and similar themes—or historical, treating of the doings of the early dynasties. In these the thsub 01, e pplasys. the . names of the personages are changed. An example of the latter class is to be found in the joruri, or musical romance, in which the universally popular tale of Chiushingura (The Loyal League) has been amplified and adapted for theatrical representation. This famous narrative of the feudal fidelity of the forty-seven ronins, who about the year 1699 revenged their chief's judicial suicide upon the arrogant official to whom it was due, is stirring rather than touching in its incidents, and contains much bloodshed, together with a tea-house scene which suffices as a specimen of the Japanese comedy of manners. One of the books of this dramatic romance consists of a metrical description, mainly in dialogue, of a journey which (after the fashion of Indian plays) has to be carried out on the stage. The performance of one of these quasi-historical dramas sometimes lasts over several day's; they are produced with much pomp of costume; but the acting is very realistic, and hari-kari is performed, almost " to the life." Besides these tragic plays (in which, however, comic intermezzos are often inserted) the Japanese have middle-class domestic dramas of a very realistic kind. The language of these, unlike that of Chinese comedy, is often gross and scurrilous, but intrigues against married women are rigidly excluded. Fairy and demon operas and ballets, and farces and intermezzos, form an easy transition to the interludes of tumblers and jugglers. As a specimen of nearly every class of play is required to make up a Japanese theatrical entertainment, which lasts from sunrise to sunset, and as the lower houses appropriate and mutilate the plays of the higher, it is clear that the status of the Japanese theatre cannot be regarded as at all high. In respect, however; of its movable scenery and properties, it is in advance of its Chinese prototype. The performers are, except in the ballet, males only; and the comic acting is said to be excellent of its kind. Though the leading actors enjoy great popularity and very respectable salaries, the class is held in contempt, and the companies were formerly recruited from the lowest sources. The disabilities under which they lay have, however, been removed; a Dramatic Reform Association has been organized by a number of noblemen and scholars, and a theatre on European lines built (see JAPAN). 5. PERSIAN AND OTHER ASIATIC, POLYNESIAN AND PERUVIAN DRAMA Such dramatic examples of the drama as may be discoverable in Siam will probably have to be regarded as belonging to a branch of the Indian drama. The drama of the Malay Siam. populations of Java and the neighbouring island of Sumatra also resembles the Indian, to which it may have owed what development it has reached. The Javanese, as we learn, distinguish among the lyrics sung on occasions of popular significance the pant on, a short simile or fable, and the tcharita, a more advanced species, taking the form of dialogue and sung or recited by actors proper. From the tcharita the Javanese drama, which in its higher forms treats the stories of gods and kings, appears to have been derived. As in the Indian drama, the functions of the director or manager are of great importance; as in the Greek, the performers wear masks, here made of wood. The comic drama is often represented in both Java and Sumatra by parties of strollers consisting of Java, Sumatra, ctc. two men and a woman—a troop sufficient for a wide variety of plot. Among other more highly civilized Asiatic peoples, the traces of the dramatic art are either few or late. The originally Aryan Perstam Persians exhibit no trace of the drama in their ample earlier literature. But in its later national development the two species, widely different from one another, of the religious drama or mystery and of the popular comedy or farce have made their appearance—the former in a growth of singular interest. Of the Persian teazies (lamentations or complaints) the subjects are invariably derived from religious history, and more or less The directly connected with the " martyrdoms " of the tcastes. house of Ali. The performance of these episodes or scenes takes place during the first ten days of the month of Muharram, when the adherents of the great Shiite sect all over Persia and Mahommedan India commemorate the deaths of the Prophet and his daughter Fatima, the mother of Ali, the martyrdoms of Ali himself, shamefully murdered in the sanctuary, and of his unoffending son Hasan, done to death by hi= miserable guilty Deianira of a wife, and lastly the never-to-be-forgotten sacrifice of Hasan's brother, the heroic Hosain, on the bloody field of Kerbela (A.D. 68o). With the establishment in Persia, early in the 16th century, of the Safawid (Sufi) dynasty by the Shiites, the cult of the martyrs Hasan and Hosain secured the official sanction which it has since retained. Thus the performance of these teazies, and the defraying of the equipment of them, are regarded as religious, and in a theological sense meritorious, acts; and the plays are frequently provided by the court or by other wealthy persons, by way of pleasing the people or securing divine favour. The plays are performed, usually by natives of Isfahan, in courtyards of mosques, palaces, inns, &c., and in the country in temporary structures erected for the purpose. It would seem that, no farther back than the beginning of the 19th century, the teazies were still only songs or elegies in honour of the martyrs, occasionally chanted by persons actually representing them. Just, however, as Greek tragedy was formed by a gradual detachment of the dialogue from the choric song of which it was originally only a secondary outgrowth, and by its gradually becoming the substance of the drama, so the Miracle Play of Hasan and Hosain, as we may call it, has now come to be a continuous succession of dramatic scenes. Of these fifty-two have, thanks to the labours of Alexander Chodzko and Sir Lewis Pelly, been actually taken down in writing, and thirty-seven published in translations; and it is clear that there is no limit to the extension of the treatment, as is shown by such a teazie as the Marriage of Kassem, dealing with the unfortunate Hosain's unfortunate son.' The performance is usually opened by a prologue delivered by the rouzekhan, a personage of semi-priestly character claiming descent from the Prophet, who edifies and excites the audience by a pathetic recitation of legends and vehement admonitions in prose or verse concerning the subject of the action. But the custom seems to have arisen of specially prefacing the drama proper by a kind of induction which illustrates the cause or effect of the sacred story—as for instance that of Amir Timur (Tamerlane), who appears as lamenting and avenging the death of Hosain; or the episode of Joseph's betrayal by his brethren, as prefiguring the cruelty shown to All and his sons. At the climax of the action proper Hosain prays to be granted at the day of judgment the key of the treasure of intercession; and the final scene shows the fulfilment of his prayer, which opens paradise to those who have helped the holy martyr, or who have so much as shed a single tear for him. It will thus be seen that not only is this complex and elaborate production unapproached in its length and in its patient development of a long sequence of momentous events by any chronicle history or religious drama, but that it embodies together with the passionately cherished traditions of a great religious community the expression of a long-lived resentment of foreign invasion—and is thus a kind of Oberammergau play and complaint of the Nibelungs in one. ' Translated by Comte de Gobineau, in his Religions et philosophies dans l'Asie centrale (Paris, 1865). The other kind of Persian drama is the temacha (=spectacle), a kind of comedy or farce, sometimes called teglid (disguising), performed by wandering minstrels or joculatores called Tho loutys, who travel about accompanied by their baya- t~mschas. deres, and amuse such spectators as they find by their improvised entertainments, which seem to be on much the same level as English " interludes." A favourite and ancient variety of the species is the karaguez or puppet-play, of which the protagonist is called ketchel pehlevan (the bald hero). The modern Persian drama seems to have admitted Western influences, as in the case of such comedies as The Pleaders of the Court, and, avowedly, Monsieur Jourdan and Musla'li Shah, of whom the former steals away the wits of young Persia by his pictures of the delights of Paris. There is no necessity for any reference here to the civilization or to the literature of the Hebrews, or to those of other Semitic peoples, with whom the drama is either entirely wanting, or only appears as a quite occasional and Itte Hebreratuw% exotic growth. Dramatic elements are apparent in two of the books of the Hebrew scripture—the Book of Ruth and the Book of Job, of which latter the author of Everyman, and Goethe in his Faust, made so impressive a use. From Polynesia and aboriginal America we also have isolated traces of drama. Among these are the performances, accompanied by dancing and intermixed with recitation and singing, of the South Sea Islanders, first described by Captain Cook, and reintroduced to the notice of students of comparative mythology by W. Wyatt Gill. Of the so-called Inca drama of the Peruvians, the unique relic, Apu 011antay, said to have been written down in the Quichua tongue from native dictation by Spanish priests shortly after the conquest of Peru, has been partly translated by Sir Clements Markham, and has been rendered into German verse. It appears to be an historic play of the heroic type, combining stirring incidents with a pathos finding expression in at least one lyric of some sweetness —the lament of the lost Collyar. With it may be contrasted the ferocious Aztek dramatic ballet, Rabinal-Achi (translated by Brasseur de Bourbourg), of which the text seems rather a succession of warlike harangues than an attempt at dramatic treatment of character. But these are mere isolated curiosities. 6. DRAMATIC ELEMENTS IN EGYPTIAN CULTURE The civilization and religious ideas of the Egyptians so vitally influenced the people of whose drama we are about to speak that a reference to them cannot be altogether omitted. The influence of Egyptian upon Greek civilization has probably been over-estimated by Herodotus; but while it will never be clearly known how much the Greeks owed to the Egyptians in divers branches of knowledge, it is certain that the former confessed themselves the scholars of Egypt in the cardinal doctrine of its natural theology. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul there found its most solemn expression in mysterious recitations connected with the rites of sepulture, and treating of the migration of the soul from its earthly to its eternal abode. These solemnities, whose transition into the Hellenic mysteries has usually been attributed to the agency of the Thracian worship of Dionysus, undoubtedly contained a dramatic element, upon the extent of which it is, however, useless to speculate. The ideas to which they sought to give utterance centred in that of Osiris, the vivifying power or universal soul of nature, whom Herodotus simply identifies with the Dionysus of the Greeks. The same deity was likewise honoured by processions among the rural Egyptian population, which, according to the same authority, in nearly all respects except the absence of choruses resembled the Greek phallic processions in honour of the wine-god. That the Egyptians looked upon music as an important science seems fully established; it was diligently studied by their priests, though not, as among the Greeks, forming a part. of general education, and in the sacred rites of their gods they as a rule permitted the use of flute and harp, as well as of vocal music. Dancing was as an art confined to prof essionalpersons;but though• the higher orders abstained from its practice, the lower indulged South Seas; 'Peru. 488 in it on festive occasions, when a tendency to pantomime naturally asserted itself, and licence and wanton buffoonery prevailed, as in the early rustic festivals of the Greek and Italian peoples. Of a dance of armed men, on the other hand, there seems no satisfactory trace in the representations of the Egyptian monuments. 7. GREEK DRAMA Whatever elements the Greek drama may, in the sources from which it sprang, have owed to Egyptian, or Phrygian, or other Asiatic influences, its development was independent Religious and self-sustained. Not only in its beginnings, but origin. so long as the stage existed in Greece, the drama was in intimate connexion with the national religion. This is the most signal feature of its history, and one which cannot in the same degree or to the same extent be ascribed to the drama of any other people, ancient or modern. Not only did both the great branches of the Greek drama alike originate in the usages of religious worship, but they never lost their formal union with it, though one of them (comedy) in its later growth abandoned all direct reference to its origin. Hellenic polytheism was at once so active and so fluid or flexible in its anthropomorphic formations, that no other religious system has ever with the same conquering force assimilated to itself foreign elements, or with equal vivacity and variety developed its own. Thus, the worship of Dionysus, introduced into Greece by the Phoenicians as that of the tauriform sun-god whom his worshippers adored with loud cries (whence Bacchus or Iacchus), and the god of generation (whence his phallic emblem) and production, was brought into connexion with the Dorian religion of the sun-god Apollo. Apollo and his sister, again, corresponded to the Pelasgian and Achaean divinities of sun and moon, whom the Phoenician Dionysus and Demeter superseded, or with whose worship theirs was blended. Dionysus, whose rites were specifically conducted with reference to his attributes as the wine-god, was attended by deified representations of his original worshippers, who wore the skin of the goat sacrificed to him. These were the satyrs. Out of the connected worships of Dionysus, Bacchus, Apollo and Demeter sprang the beginnings of the Greek drama. "Both tragedy and comedy," says Aristotle, "originated in a rude and unpremeditated manner—the first from the leaders of the dithyramb, and the second from those who led off the phallic songs." This diversity of origin, and the distinction jealously maintained down to the latest times between the two branches of the dramatic art, even where they might seem to come into actual contact with one another, necessitate a separate statement as to the origin and history of either. The custom of offering thanks to the gods by hymns and dances in the places of public resort was first practised by the Greeks in the Dorian states, whose whole system of life was organized on a military basis. Hence the dances of the Dorians originally taught or imitated the movements of soldiers, and their hymns were warlike chants. Such were the beginnings of the chorus, and of its songs (called paeans, from an epithet of Apollo), accompanied first by the phorminx and then by the flute. A step in advance was taken when the poet with his trained singers and dancers, like the Indian sutra-dhara, performed these religious functions as the representative of the population. From the Doric paean at a very early period several styles of choral dancing formed themselves, to which the three styles of dance in scenic productions—the tragic, the comic and the satyric—are stated afterwards to have corresponded. But none of these could have led to a literary growth. This was due to the introduction among the Dorians The dltly- of the dithyramb (from b7os, descended from Zeus, and ramb. Opiaµ(os, the Latin triumphus), originally a song of revellers, probably led by a flute-player and accompanied by the music of other Eastern instruments, in which it was customary in Crete to celebrate the birth of Bacchus (the doubly-born) and possibly also his later adventures. The leader of the band (coryphaeus) may be supposed to have at times assumed the character of the wine-god, whose worshippers[GREEK bore aloft the vineclad thyrsus. The dithyramb was reduced to a definite form by the Lesbian Arion (fl. 61o), who composed regular poems, turned the moving band of worshippers into a standing or " cyclic " chorus of attendants on Dionysus—a chorus of satyrs, a tragic or goat chorus—invented a style of music adapted to the character of the chorus, and called these songs " tragedies " or " goat-songs. " Arion, whose goat-chorus may perhaps have some connexion with an early Arcadian worship of Pan, associated it permanently with Dionysus, and thus became the inventor of " lyrical tragedy "—a transition stage between the dithyramb and the regular drama. His invention, or the chorus with which it dealt, was established according to fixed rules by his contemporary Stesichorus. About the time when Arion introduced these improvements into the Dorian city of Corinth, the (likewise Dorian) 'families at Sicyon honoured the hero-king Adrastus by tragic choruses. Hence the invention of tragedy was ascribed by the Sicyonians to their poet Epigenes; but this step, significant for the future history of the Greek drama, of employing the Bacchic chorus for the celebration of other than Bacchic themes, was soon annulled by the tyrant Cleisthenes. The element which transformed lyrical tragedy into the tragic drama was added by the Ionians. The custom of the recitation of poetry by, wandering minstrels, called rhapsodes (from pa/3bos, staff, or from barrrenv to piece BodesThe r. hap-together), first sprang up in the Ionia beyond the sea; to such minstrels was due the spread of the Homeric poems and of subsequent epic cycles. These recitations, with or without musical accompaniment, soon included gnomic or didactic, as well as epic, verse; if Homer was a rhapsode, so was the sententious or " moral " Hesiod. The popular effect of these recitations was enormously increased by the metrical innovations of Archilochus (from 708), who invented the trochee and the iambus, the latter the arrowy metre which is the native form of satirical invective—the species of composition in which Archilochus excelled—though it was soon used for other purposes also. The recitation of these iambics may already have nearly approached to theatrical declamation. The rhapsodes were welcome guests at popular festivals, where they exercised their art in mutual emulation, or ultimately recited parts, perhaps the whole, of longer poems. The recitation of a long epic may thus have resembled theatrical dialogue; even more so must the alternation of iambic poems, the form being frequently an address in the second person. The rhapsode was in some sense an actor; and when these recitations reached Attica, they thus brought with them the germs of theatrical dialogue. The rhapsodes were actually introduced into Attica at a very early period; the Iliad, we know, was chanted at the Brauronia, a rural festival of Bacchus, whose worship had early entered Attica, and was cherished among its rustic population. Meanwhile the cyclic chorus of the Dorians had found its way into Attica and Athens, ever since the Athenians had recognized the authority of the great centre of the Apolline religion at Delphi. From the second half of the 6th century onwards the chorus of satyrs formed a leading feature of the great festival of Dionysus at Athens. It therefore only remained for the rhapsodic and the cyclic—in other words, for the epic and the choral—elements to coalesce; and this must have been brought about by a union of the two accompaniments of religious worship in the festive rites of Bacchus, and by the domestication of these rites in the ruling city. This occurred in the time of Peisistratus, perhaps after his restoration in 554. To Thespis (534), said to have been a contemporary of the tyrant and a native of an Attic deme (Icaria), the invention of tragedy is accordingly ascribed. Whether his name be that of an actual person or not, his claim to be regarded as the inventor of tragedy is founded on the statement that he introduced an actor (uIroKpLTic, originally, " answerer "), doubtless, at first, generally the poet himself, who, instead of merely alternating his recitations with the songs of the chorus, addressed his speech to its leader—the coryphaeus—with whom he thus carried on it Origin of tragedy. Lyrical tragedy. Invention of the tragic drama. GREEK] species of " dialogue." Or, in other words, the leader of the chorus (coryphaeus), instead of addressing himself to the chorus, held converse with the actor. The chorus stood round its leader in front of the Bacchic altar (Ihymele); the actor stood with the coryphaeus, who had occupied a more elevated position in order to be visible above his fellows, on a rude table, or possibly on a cart, though the wagon of Thespis may be a fiction, due to a confusion between his table and the wagon of Susarion. In any case, we have here, with the beginnings of dialogue, the beginning of the stage. It is a significant minor invention ascribed to Thespis, that he disguised the actor's face first by means of a pigment, afterwards by a mask. In the dialogue was treated some myth relating to Bacchus, or to some other deity or hero. Whether or not Thespis actually wrote tragedies (and there seems no reason to doubt it), Phrynichus and one or two other poets are mentioned as having carried on choral tragedy as set on foot by him, and as having introduced improvements into its still predominating lyrical element. The step which made dramatic action possible, and with which the Greek drama thus really began, was, as is distinctly stated by Aristotle, taken by Aeschylus. He added a second actor; and, by reducing the functions of the chorus, he further established the dialogue as the principal part of tragedy. Sophocles afterwards added a third actor, by which change the preponderance of the dialogue was made complete. If the origin of Greek comedy is simpler in its nature than that of Greek tragedy, the beginnings of its progress are involved in more obscurity. Its association with religious worship was not initial; its foundations lay in popular mirth, though religious festivals, and those of the vintage god in particular, must from the first have been the most obvious occasions for its exhibition. It is said to have been " invented " by Susarion, a native of Doric Megaris, whose in-habitants were famed for their coarse humour, which they communicated to their own and other Dorian colonies in Sicily, to this day the home of vivacious mimic dialogue. In the rural Bacchic vintage festivals bands of jolly companions (ui.4tos, properly a revel continued after supper) went about in carts or afoot, carrying the phallic emblem, and indulging in the ribald licence of wanton mirth. From the song sung in these processions or at the Bacchic feasts, which combined the praise of the god with gross personal ridicule, and was called comus in a secondary sense, the Bacchic reveller taking part in it was called a comussinger or comoedus. These phallic processions, which were after-wards held in most Greek cities, and in Athens seem to have early included a " topical " speech as well as a choral song, determined the character of Old Attic comedy, whose most prominent feature was an absolute licence of personal vilification. Thus independent of one another in their origin, Greek tragedy and comedy never actually coalesced. The "satyr-drama," though in some sense it partook of the nature of both, The satyr- was in its origin as in its history story connected with tragedy alone, whose origin it directly recalled. Pratinas of Philus, a contemporary of Aeschylus in his earlier days, is said to have restored the tragic chorus to the satyrs; i.e. he first produced dramas in which, though they were the same in form and theme as the tragedies, the choric dances were, different and entirely carried on by satyrs. The tragic poets, while never writing comedies, henceforth also composed satyr-dramas; but neither tragedies nor satyr-dramas were ever written by the. comic poets, and it was in conjunction with tragedies only that the satyr-dramas were performed. The theory of the Platonic Socrates, that the same man ought to be the best tragic and the best comic poet, was among the Greeks never exemplified in practice. The so-called " hilaro-~~ ay. tragedy " or " tragi-comedy " of later writers, perhaps in some of its features in a measure anticipated by Euripides,' in form nowise differed from tragedy; it merely contained a comic element in its characters, and invariably had a happy ending. It is an instructive fact that the serious and sentimental element in the comedy of Menander and his con- ' Alcestis; Orestes. 489 temporaries did far more to destroy the essential difference between the two great branches of the Greek dramatic art. Periods of Greek Tragedy.—The history of Greek—which to all intents and purposes remained Attic—tragedy divides itself into three periods. I. The Period before Aeschylus (535-499) From this we have but a few names of authors and plays—those of the former being (besides Thespis) Choerilus, Phrynichus and Pratinas, all of whom lived to contend with Aeschylus for the tragic prize. To each of them certain innovations are ascribed—for instance the introduction of female characters to Phrynichus. He is best re-membered by the overpowering effect said to have been created by his Capture of Miletus, in which the chorus consisted of the wives of the Phoenician sailors in the service of the Great King. II. The Classical Period of Attic Tragedy—that of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and their contemporaries (499-405). To this belong all the really important phases in the progress of Greek tragedy, which severally connect themselves with the names of its three great masters. They may be regarded as the representatives of successive generations of Attic history and life, though of course in these, as in the progress of their art itself, there is an unbroken continuity. Aeschylus (525-456) had not only fought both at Marathon and at Salamis against those Persians whose rout he celebrated with patriotic price, 2 but he had been trained in the Aeschylus. Eleusinian mysteries, and strenuously asserted the value of the institution most intimately associated with the primitive political traditions of the past—the Areopagus.3 He had been born in the generation after Solon, to whose maxims he fondly clung; and it was the Dorian development of Hellenic life and the philosophical system based upon it with which his religious and moral convictions were imbued. Thus even upon the generation which succeeded him, and to which the powerful simplicity of his dramatic and poetic diction seemed strange, the ethical loftiness of his conceptions and the sublimity of his dramatic imagination fell like the note of a mightier age. To us nothing is more striking than the conciliatory tendencies of his conservative mind, and the progressive nature of what may have seemed to his later contemporaries antiquated ideals. Sophocles (495-405) was the associate of Pericles, and an upholder of his authority, rather than a consistent pupil of his political principles; but his manhood, and perhaps Sophocles. the maturity of his genius, coincided with the great days when he could stand, like his mighty friend and the community they both so gloriously represented, on the sunny heights of achievement. Serenely pious as well as nobly patriotic, he nevertheless treats the myths of the national religion in the spirit of a conscious artist, contrasting with lofty irony the struggles of humanity with the irresistible march of its destinies. Perhaps he, too, was one of the initiated; and the note of personal responsibility which is the mystic's inner religion is recognizable in his view of life.' The art of Sophocles may in its perfection be said to typify the greatest epoch in the life of Athens—an epoch conscious of unequalled achievements, but neither wholly unconscious of the brief endurance which was its destiny. Euripides (480-406), as is the fate of genius of a more complex kind, has been more variously and antithetically judged than either of his great fellow-tragedians. His art has Euripides. been described as devoid of the idealism of theirs, his genius as rhetorical rather than poetical, his morality as that of a sophistical wit. On the other hand, he has been recognized not only as the most tragic of the Attic tragedians and the most pathetic of ancient poets, but also as the most humane in his social philosophy and the most various in his psychological insight. At least, though far removed from the more naif age of the national life, he is, both in patriotic spirit and in his choice of themes, genuinely Attic; and if he was " haunted on the stage by the daemon of Socrates," he was, like Socrates himself, the representative of an age which was a seed-time as well as a season of decay. His technical innovations 2 Persae. 3 Eumenides. 4 Antigone ; Oedipus Rex. Origin of comedy. corresponded to his literary characteristics; but neither in the treatment of the chorus, nor in his management of the beginning and the ending of a tragedy, did he introduce any radical change. To Euripides the general progress of dramatic literature nevertheless owes more than to any other ancient poet. Tragedy followed in his footsteps in Greece and at Rome. Comedy owed him something in the later phases of the very Aristophanes who mocked him, and more in the human philosophy expressed in the sentiments. of Menander; and, when the modern drama came to engraft the ancient upon its own crude growth, his was directly or indirectly the most powerful influence in the establishment of a living connexion between them. The incontestable pre-eminence of the three great tragic poets was in • course of time acknowledged at Athens by the The great usage allowing no tragedies but theirs to be performed tragic more than once, and by the prescription that one masters play of theirs should be performed at each Dionysia, and their as well as by the law of Lycurgus (c. 33o) which contem- obliged the actors to use, in the case of works of the poraries. great masters, authentic copies preserved in the public archives. Yet it is possible that the exclusiveness of these tributes is not entirely justifiable; and not all the tragic poets contemporary with the great writers were among the myriad of younglings derided by Aristophanes. Of those who attained to celebrity Ion of Chios (d. before 419) seems to have followed earlier traditions of style than Euripides; Agathon, who survived the latter, on the other hand, introduced certain innovations of a transnormal kind both into the substance and the form of dramatic composition.' Soon after the death of Alexander theatres are found spread over the whole Hellenic world of Europe and Asia—a result to The Alex- which the practice of the conqueror and his father anddaas. of celebrating their victories by scenic performances had doubtless contributed. Alexandria having now become a literary centre with which even Athens was in some respects unable to compete, while the latter still remained the home of comedy, the tragic poets flocked to the capital of the Ptolemies; and here, in the canon of Greek poets drawn up by command of Ptolemy Philadelphus (283-247), Alexander the Aetolian undertook the list of tragedies, while Lycophron was charged with the comedies. But Lycophron himself was in- duded in all the versions of the list of the seven tragic poets famed as the " Pleias " who still wrote in the style of the Attic masters and followed the rules observed by them. Tragedy and the dramatic art continued to be favoured by the later Ptolemies; and about roo B.C. we meet with the curious phenomenon of a Jewish poet, Ezechiel, composing Greek tragedies, of one of which (the Exodus from Egypt) fragments have come down to us. Tragedy, with the satyr-drama and comedy, survived in Alexandria beyond the days of Cicero and ' Anthos. Varro; nor was their doom finally sealed till the emperor Caracalla abolished theatrical performances in the Egyptian capital in A.D. 217. Thus Greek tragedy is virtually only another name for Attic; nor was any departure from the lines laid down The by, its three great masters made in most respects by tragedy of the Roman imitators of these poets and of their suc- the great cessors. masters. Tragedy was defined by Plato as an imitation of the noblest life. Its proper themes—the deeds and sufferings of heroes—were familiar to audiences intimately acquainted with the mythology of the national religion. To such SubJects themes Greek tragedy almost wholly confined itself ; y and in later days there were numerous books which discussed these myths of the tragedians. They only very exceptionally treated historic themes, though one great national calamity,' and a yet greater national victory,' and in later times a few other historical subjects,' were brought upon the stage. Such veiled historical allusions as critical ingenuity has sought not only in passages but in the entire themes of other Attic tragedies' cannot, of course, even if accepted as such, stamp the plays in which they occur as historic dramas. No doubt Attic tragedy, though after a different and more decorous fashion, shared the tendency of her comic sister to introduce allusions to contemporary events and persons; and the indulgence of this tendency was facilitated by the revision (&ao,eui) to which the works of the great poets were subjected by them, or by those who produced their works after them.' So far as we know, the subjects of the tragedies before Aeschylus were derived from the epos; and it was a famous saying of this poet that his dramas were " but dry scraps from the great banquets of Homer "—an expression which may be understood as including the poems which belong to the so-called Homeric cycles. Sophocles, Euripides and their successors likewise resorted to the Trojan, and also to the Heraclean and the Thesean myths, and to Attic legend in general, as well as to Theban, to which already Aeschylus had had recourse, and to the side or subsidiary myths connected with these several groups. These substantially remained to the last the themes of Greek tragedy, the Trojan myths always retaining so prominent a place that Lucian could jest on the universality of their dominion. Purely invented subjects were occasionally treated by the later tragedians; of this innovation Agathon was the originator.' Thespis is said to have introduced the use of a " prologue " and a "rhesis" (speech)—the former being probably the opening speech recited by the coryphaeus, the latter the dialogue between him and the actor. It was a natural result coseruc- tion. of the introduction of the second actor that a second thesis should likewise be added; and this tripartite division would be the earliest form of the trilogy,—three sections of the same myth forming the beginning, middle and end of a single drama, marked off from one another by the choral The songs. From this Aeschylus proceeded to the treat- Aeschyment of these several portions of a myth in three lean separate plays, connected together by their subject trii°gy• and by being performed in sequence on a single occasion. This is the Aeschylean trilogy, of which we have only one extant example, the Oresteia—as to which critics may differ whether Aeschylus adhered in it to his principle that the strength should s Phrynichus, Capture of Miletus. Id., Phoenissae; Aeschylus, Persae (Persae-trilogy ?). Moschion, Themistocles; Theodectes, Mausolus; Lycophron, Marathonii; Cassandrei; Socii; Philiscus, Themistocles. Aeschylus, Septem c. Thebas; Prometheus Vinctus; Danaistrilo ; Sophocles, Antigone; Oedipus Coloneus; Euripides, Medea. 6 Quite distinct from this revision was the practice against which the law of Lycurgus was directed, of " cobbling and heeling " the dramas of the great masters by alterations of a kind familiar enough to the students of Shakespeare as improved by Colley Cibber and other experts. The later tragedians also appear tp have occasionally transposed long speeches or episodes from one tragedy into another —a device largely followed by the Roman dramatists, and called contamination by Latin writers. Anthos (The Flower). nected in subject with the trilogy, which thus became a tetralogy, though this term, unlike the other, seems to be a purely technical expression invented by the learned.' Sophocles, a more conscious and probably a more self-critical artist than Aeschylus, may be assumed from the first to have elaborated his tragedies with greater care; and to this, as well as to his innovation of the third actor, which materially added to the fulness of the action, we may -attribute his introduction of the custom of contending for the prize with single plays. It does not follow that he never produced connected trilogies, though we have no example of such by him or any later author; on the other hand, there is no proof that either he or any of his successors ever departed from the Aeschylean rule of producing three tragedies, followed by a satyr-drama, on the same day. This remained the third and last stage in the history of the con- struction of Attic tragedy. The tendency of its action towards complication was a natural progress, and is emphatically approved by Aristotle. This complication, in which Euripides excelled, led to his use of prologues, in which one of the characters opens the play by an exposition of- the circumstances under which its action begins. This practice, though ridiculed by Aristophanes, was too convenient not to be adopted by the successors of Euripides, and Menander transferred it to comedy. As the dialogue in-creased in importance, so the dramatic significance of the chorus diminished. While in Aeschylus it mostly, and in Sophocles occasionally, takes part in the action, its songs could not but more and more approach the character of lyrical intermezzos; and this they openly assumed when Agathon began the practice of inserting choral songs (embolima) which had nothing to do with the action of the play. In the general contrivance of their actions it was only natural that, as compared with Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides should exhibit an advance in both freedom and ingenuity; but the palm, due to a treatment at once piously adhering to the substance of the ancient legends and original in an effective dramatic treatment of them, must be given to Sophocles. Euripides was, moreover, less skilful in untying complicated actions than in weaving them; hence his frequent resort 2 to the expedient of the dens ex machina, which Sophocles employs only in his latest play .3 The other distinctions to be drawn between the dramatic qualities of the three great tragic masters must be mainly based upon a critical estimate of the individual genius of and Sophocles avoided those lapses of dignity with which from one point of view Euripides has been charged by Aristophanes and other critics, but which, from another, connect themselves with his humanity. If his men and women are less heroic and statuesque, they are more like men and women. Aristotle objected to the later tragedians that, compared with the great masters, they were deficient in the drawing of character —by which he meant the lofty drawing of lofty character. In Diction. diction, the transition is even more manifest from the "helmeted phrases" of Aeschylus, who had Milton's love of long words and sonorous proper names, to the play of Euripides' " smooth and diligent tongue "; but to a sustained style even he remained essentially true, and it was reserved for his successors to introduce into tragedy the " low speech "—i.e. the conversational language—of comedy. Upon the whole, however, the Euripidean diction seems to have remained the standard of later tragedy, the flowery style of speech introduced by Agathon finding no permanent favour. One satyr-drama only is preserved to us, the Cyclops of Euripides, a dramatic version of the Homeric tale of the visit of Odysseus to Polyphemus. Lycophron, by using the satyr-drama (in his Menedemus) as a vehicle of personal ridicule applied it to a purpose resembling that of Old Attic Comedy. 2 Ion; Supplices; Iphigenia in Tauris; Electra; Helena; Hippolytus; Andromache. 6 Philoctetes. Finally,- Aeschylus is said to have made certain reforms, in tragic costume of which the object is self-evident—to have improved the mask, and to have invented the cot hurnus Improve-or buskin, upon which the actor was raised to loftier meats in stature. Euripides was not afraid of rags and tatters; costume, but the sarcasms of Aristophanes on this head seem &c' feeble to those who are aware that they would apply to King Lear as well as to Telephus. Periods of Greek Comedy.—The history of Greek comedy is likewise that of an essentially Attic growth, although Sicilian comedy was earlier in date than her Attic sister or descendant. The former is represented by Epicharmus (fl. 500), and by the names of one or two other poets. It probably had a chorus, and, dealing as it did in a mixture of philosophical discourse, antithetical rhetoric and wild buffoonery, necessarily varied in style. His comedies were the earliest examples of the class distinguished as motoriae from the statariae and the mixtae by their greater freedom and turbulence of movement. Though in some respects Sicilian comedy seems to have resembled the Middle rathet than the Old Attic comedy, its subjects sometimes, like those of the latter, coincided with the myths of tragedy, of which they were doubtless parodies. The so-called " mimes " of Sophron (fl. 430) were dramatic scenes from Sicilian everyday life, in-tended, not for the stage, but for recitation, and classed as " male " and female " according to the sex of the characters. Attic comedy is usually divided into three periods or species. I. Old comedy, which dated from the complete establishment of democracy by Pericles, though a comedy directed against Themistocles is mentioned. The Megarean farcical The old entertainments had long spread in the rural districts comedy. of Attica, and were now introduced into the city,where from about 460 onwards the " comus " became a matter of public concern. Cratinus (c. 450-422) and Crates (c. 449-425) first moulded these beginnings into the forms of Attic art. The final victory of Pericles and the democratic party may be reckoned from the ostracism of Thucydides (444) ; and so eagerly was the season of freedom employed by the comic poets that already four years afterwards a law—which, however, remained only a short time in force—limited their licence. Cratinus,4 an exceedingly bold and broad satirist, apparently of conservative tendencies, was followed by Eupolis (446-after 415), every one of whose plays appears to have attacked some individual,' by Phrynichus, Plato and others; but the representative of old comedy in its fullest development is Aristophanes (c. 444-c. 380), a comic poet of unique and unsurpassed genius. Dignified by the acquisition of a chorus (more numerous—twenty-four to twelve or afterwards fifteen—though. of a less costly kind than the tragic) of masked actors, and of scenery and machinery, as well as by a corresponding literary elaboration and elegance of style, Old Attic comedy nevertheless remained true both to its origin and to the purposes of its introduction into the free imperial city. Its special season was at the festival of the Lenaea, when the Athenians could enjoy the fun against one another without espying strangers; but it was also performed at the Great Dionysia. It borrowed much from tragedy, but it retained the phallic abandonment of the old rural festivals, the licence of word and gesture, and the audacious directness of personal invective. These characteristics are not features peculiar to Aristophanes. He was twitted by some of the older comic poets with having degenerated from the full freedom of the art by a tendency to refinement, and he took credit to himself for having superseded the time-honoured cancan and the stale practical joking of his predecessors by a nobler kind of mirth. But in daring, as he likewise boasted, he had no peer; and the shafts of his wit, though dipped in wine-lees and at times feathered from very obscene fowl, flew at high game.6 He has been accused of seeking to degrade what he ought to have recognized as good 7; and it has been shown with complete success that he is not to be taken as an impartial or accurate 4 Archilochi; Pytine (The Bottle). 6 Maricas (Cleon) ; Baptae (Alcibiades) ; Lacones (Cimon) 6 Knights. 7 Clouds. lie in the middle—in other words, that the interest should centre in the second play. In any .case, the symmetry of the trilogy The tetra- was destroyed by the practice of performing after it a logy satyr-drama, probably as a rule, if not always, con- Complicated actions. tern Charms each. In the characters of their tragedies, Aeschylus tern. Aristophones. authority on Athenian history. But partisan as he was, he was also a genuine patriot; and his very political sympathies—which were conservative, like those of the comic poets in general, not only because it was the old families upon whom the expense of the choregia in the main devolved—were such as have often stimulated the most effective political satire. Of the conservative quality of reverence he was, however, altogether devoid; and his love for Athens was that of the most free-spoken of sons. Flexible even in his religious notions, he was, in this as in other respects, ready to be educated by his times; and, like a true comic poet, he could be witty at the expense even of his friends, and, it might almost be said, of himself. In wealth of fancy 1 and in beauty of lyric melody, he has few peers among the great poets of all times. The distinctive feature of Old, as compared with Middle comedy, is the parabasis, the speech in which the chorus, moving towards and facing the audience, addressed it in the name of the poet, often abandoning all reference to the action of the play. The loss of the parabasis was involved in the loss of the chorus, of which comedy was deprived in consequence of the general reduction of expenditure upon the comic drama, culminating in the law of the personally aggrieved dithyrambic poet Cinesias (396).2 But with the downfall of the independence of Athenian public life, the ground had been cut from under the feet of its most characteristic representative. Already in 414, in the anxious time after the sailing of the Sicilian expedition, the law of Syracosius had prohibited the comic poets from making direct reference to current events; but the Birds had taken their flight above the range of all regulations. The catastrophe of the city (405) was preceded by the temporary overthrow of the democracy (411), and was followed by the establishment of an oligarchical " tyranny " under Spartan protection; and, when liberty was restored (404), the citizens for a time addressed themselves to their new life in a soberer spirit, and continued (or passed) the law prohibiting the introduction by name of any individual as one of the personages of a play. The change to which comedy had to accommodate itself was one which cannot be defined by precise dates, yet it was not the less inevitable in its progress and results. Comedy, in her struggle for existence, now chiefly devoted herself to literary and social themes, such as the criticism of tragic poets,3 and the literary craze of women's rights,¢ and the transition to Middle comedy accomplished itself. Of the later plays of Aristophanes, three 6 are without a parabasis, and in the last of those preserved to us which properly belongs to Middle comedy 6 the chorus is quite insignificant. II. Middle comedy, whose period extends over the remaining years of Athenian freedom (from about 400 to 338), thus differed in substance as well as in form from its predecessor. It is represented by the names of thirty-seven writers (more than double the number of poets attributed to Old comedy), among whom Eubulus, Antiphanes and Alexis are stated to have been pre-eminently fertile and successful. It was a comedy of manners as well as character, although its ridicule of particular classes of men tended to the creation of standing types, such as soldiers, parasites, courtesans, revellers, and—a favourite figure already drawn by Aristophanes 7 —the self-conceited cook. In style it necessarily inclined to become more easy and conversational and to substitute insinuation for invective; while in that branch which was devoted to the parodying of tragic myths its purpose may have been to criticize, but its effect must have been to degrade. This species of the comic art had found favour at Athens already before the close of the great civil war; its inventor was the Thasian Hegemon, whose Gigantomachia was amusing the Athenians on the day when the news arrived of the Sicilian disaster. 1 Birds. 2 Strattis, The Choricide (against Cinesias). a Aristophanes, Frogs; Phrynichus, Musae; Tragoedi. ' Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae. 6 Lysistrata; Thesmophoriazusae; Plutus II. 6 Plutus. 7 Aeolosicon. moa Plautus and Terence. As comedians of character, enden they were limited by a range of types which left little room for originality of treatment; in the construction of their plots they were skilful rather than varied. In style, as well as to some extent in construction, Menander seems to have taken Euripides as his model, infusing into his comedy an element of moral and sentimental reflection, which refined if it did not enliven it. New comedy, and with it Greek comedy proper, is regarded as having come to an end with Posidippus (fl. c. 280). Other comic writers of a later date are, however, mentioned, Decay of among them Rhinthon of Tarentum (fl. c. 3oo), whose comedy. mixed compositions have been called by various names, among them by that of " phlyacographies " (from phlyax, idle chatter). He was succeeded by Sopater, Sotades and others; but the dramatic element in these often obscene, but not perhaps altogether frivolous, travesties is not always clearly ascertainable. It is certain that Greek comedy gradually ceased to be productive; and though even in its original form it long continued to be acted in imperial Rome, these are phases of its history which may here be passed by. The religious origin of the Attic drama impresses itself upon all its most peculiar features. Theatrical performances were held at Athens only at fixed seasons in the early part of the year—at the Bacchic festivals of the country Dionysia (vintage), the Lenaea (wine-press), probably at the Anthesteria, and above all, at the Great Dionysia, or the Dionysia par excellence, at the end of March and beginning of April, when in her most glorious age Athens was crowded with visitors from the islands and cities of her federal empire. As a part of religious worship, the performances took place in a sacred locality—the Lenaeum on the south-eastern declivity of the Acropolis; where the first wine-press (lenos) was said to have been set up, and where now an altar of Bacchus (thymic) formed the centre of the theatre. For the same reason the exhibitions claimed the attendance of the whole population, and room was therefore provided on a grand scale—according to the Platonic Socrates, for " more than 30,000 " spectators (see THEATRE). The performances lasted all day, or were at least, in accordance with their festive character, extended to as great a length as possible. To their religious origin is likewise to be attributed the fact that they were treated as a matter of state concern. The expenses of the chorus, which in theory represented the people at large, were defrayed on behalf of the state by the liturgies (public services) of wealthy citizens, chosen in turn by the tribes to be choragi (leaders, i.e. providers of the chorus), the duty of training being, of course, deputed by them to professional persons (chorodidascali). Publicly appointed and sworn judges decided between the merits of the dramas produced in competition with one another; the successful poet, performers and choragus were crowned with ivy, and the last-named was allowed at his own expense to consecrate a tripod in memory of his victory in the neighbourhood of the sacred Bacchic enclosure. Such a monument—one of the most graceful relics of ancient Athens—still stands in the place where it was erected, and recalls to posterity the victory of Lysicrates, achieved in the same year as that of Alexander on the Granicus. The dramatic exhibitions being a matter of religion and state, the entrance money (theoricum), which had been introduced to The parabasis. The Middle comedy. Results of religious origin of Attic drama. prevent overcrowding, was from the time of Pericles provided out of the public treasury. The whole population had a right to its Bacchic holiday; neither women, nor boys, nor slaves were excluded from theatrical spectacles at Athens. The religious character of dramatic performances at Athens, and the circumstances under which they accordingly took place, likewise determined their externals of costume and scenery. The actor's dress was originally the festive Dionysian attire, of which it always retained the gay and variegated hues. The use of the mask, surmounted, high over the forehead, by an ample wig, was due to the actor's ,appearing in the open air and at a distance from most of the spectators; the several species of mask were elaborated with great care, and adapted to the different types of theatrical character. The cothurnus, or thick-soled boot, which further raised the height of the tragic actor (while the comedian wore a thin-soled boot), was likewise a relic of Bacchic costume. The scenery was, in the simplicity of its original conception, suited to open-air performances; but in course of time the art of scene-painting came to be highly cultivated, and movable scenes were contrived, together with machinery of the ambitious kind required by the Attic drama, whether for bringing gods down from heaven, or for raising mortals aloft. On a stage and among surroundings thus conventional, it might seem as if little scope could have been left for the actor's Actors. art. But, though the demands made upon the Attic actor differed in kind even from those made upon his Roman successor, and still more from those which the histrionic art has to meet in modern times, they were not the less rigorous. Mask and buskin might increase his stature, and the former might at once lend the appropriate expression to his appearance and the necessary resonance to his voice. But in declamation, dialogue and lyric passage, in gesticulation and movement, he had to avoid the least violation of the general harmony of the performance. Yet it is clear that the refinements of by-play must, from the nature of the case, have been impossible on the Attic stage; the gesticulation must have been broad and massive; the movement slow, and the grouping hard, in tragedy; and the weighty sameness of the recitation must have had an effect even more solemn and less varied than' the half-chant which still lingers on the modern stage. Not more than three actors, as has been seen, appeared in any Attic tragedy. The actors were provided by the poet; perhaps the performer of the first parts (protagonist) was paid by the state. It was again a result of the religious origin of Attic dramatic performances and of the public importance attached to them, that the actor's profession was held in high esteem. These artists were as a matter of course free Athenian citizens, often the dramatists themselves, and at times were employed in other branches of the public service. In later days, when tragedy had migrated to Alexandria, and when theatrical entertainments hadspread over all the Hellenic world, the art of acting seems to have reached an unprecedented height, and to have taken an extraordinary hold of the public mind. Synods, or companies, of Dionysian artists abounded, who were in possession of various privileges, and in one instance at least (at Pergamum) of rich endowments. The most important of these was the Ionic company, established first in Teos, and afterwards in Lebedos, near Colophon, which is said to have lasted longer than many a famous state. We like-wise hear of strolling companies performing in partibus. Thus it came to pass that the vitality of some of the masterpieces of the Greek drama is without a parallel in theatrical history; while Greek actors were undoubtedly among the principal and most effective agents of the spread of literary culture through a great part of the known world. The theory and technical system of the drama exercised the critical powers both of dramatists, such as Sophocles, and of the writers on greatest among Greek philosophers. If Plato touched the theory the subject incidentally, Aristotle has in his Poetics of the (after 334) included an exposition of it, which, mutilated drama. as it is, has formed the basis of all later systematic inquiries. The specialities of Greek tragic dramaturgy refer above all to the chorus; its general laws are those of the regular drama of all times. The theories of Aristotle and other earlier writers were elaborated by the Alexandrians, many of whom doubtless combined example with precept; they also devoted themselves to commentaries on the old masters, such as those in which Didymus (c. 30 B.c.) abundantly excelled, and collected a vast amount of learning on dramatic composition in general, which was doomed to perish, with so many other treasures, in the flames kindled by religious fanaticism. 8. ROMAN DRAMA In its most productive age, as well as in the times of its declin t and decay, the Roman drama exhibits the continued coexistence of native forms by the side of those imported from Greece—either kind being necessarily often subject to the influence of the other. Italy (with Sicily) has ever been the native land of acting and of scenic representation; and, though Roman dramatic literature at its height is but a faint reflex of Greek examples, there is perhaps no branch of Roman literary art more congenial than this to the soil whence it sprang. Quick observation and apt improvisation have always been distinctive features in the Italian character. Thus in the rural festivities of Italy there developed from a very early period in lively intermixture the elements of the dance, of jocular and abusive succession of song, speech and dialogue, and of an assumption of character such as may be witnessed in any ordinary dialogue carried on by southern Italians at the present day. Not less indigenous was the invariable accompaniment of the music of the flute (tibia). The occasions of these half obligatory, half impromptu festivities were religious celebrations, public or private—among the latter more especially weddings, which have in all ages been provocative of demonstrative mirth. The so-called Fescennine verses (from Fescennium in southern Etruria, and very possibly connected with fascinum=phallos), which were afterwards con-fined to weddings, and ultimately suggested an elaborate species of artistic poetry, never merged into actual dramatic performances. In the saturae, on the other hand—a name saturae. originally suggested by the goatskins of the shepherds, but from primitive times connected with the " fulness " of both performers and performance—there seems from the first to have been a dramatic element; they were probably comic songs or stories recited with gesticulation and the invariable flute accompaniment. Introduced into the city, these entertainments received a new impulse from the performances of the Etruscan players (ludiones) who had been brought into Rome when scenic games (ludi scenici) were introduced there in 364 B.C. for purposes of religious propitiation. These (h)istriones, as they istrioaes. were called at Rome (istri had been their native name), who have had the privilege of transmitting their appellation to the entire histrionic art and its professors, were at first only dancers and pantomimists in a city where their speech was exotic. But their performances encouraged and developed those of other players and mountebanks, so that after the establishment of the regular drama at Rome on the Greek model, the saturae came to be performed as farcical after-pieces (exodia), until they gave way to other species. Among these the mimi were at Rome probably coeval in their beginnings with the stage Mimi itself, where those who performed them were after- wards known under the same name, possibly in the place of an older appellation (planipedes, bare-footed, representatives of slaves and humble folk). These loose farces, after being probably at first performed independently, were then played as after-pieces, till in the imperial period, when they reasserted their predominance, they were again produced independently. At the close of the republican period the mimus found its way into literature, through D. Laberius, C. Matins and Publilius Syrus, and was assimilated in both form and subjects to other varieties of the comic drama—preserving, however, as its distinctive feature, a preponderance of the mimic or gesticulatory element. Together with the pantomimus (see below) the mimus continued to prevail in the days of the Empire, having transferred its Costume and scenery. Origin of its native forms. original grossness to its treatment of mythological subjects, with which it dealt in accordance with the demands of a" lubrique and adulterate age." As a matter of course, the mimus freely borrowed from other species, among which, so far as they were Afellanae. of native Italian origin, the Atellane fables (from Atella in Campania) call for special mention. Very probably of Oscan origin, they began with delineations of the life of small towns, in which dramatic and other satire has never ceased to find a favourite subject. The principal personages in these living sketches gradually assumed a fixed and conventional character, which they retained even when, after the final overthrow of Campanian independence (210), the Atellanae had been trans-planted to Rome. Here the heavy father or husband (pappus), the ass-eared glutton (maccus), the full-cheeked, voracious chatterbox (bucco), and the wily sharper (dorsenus) became accepted comic types, and, with others of a smiliar kind, were handed down, to reappear in the modern Italian drama. In these characters lay the essence of the Atellanae: their plots were extremely simple; the dialogue (perhaps interspersed with songs in the Saturnian metre) was left to the performers to improvise. In course of time these plays assumed a literary form, being elaborated as after-pieces by Lucius Pomponius of Bononia, Novius and other authors; but under the Empire they were gradually absorbed in the pantomimes. The regular, as distinct from the popular, Roman drama, on the other hand, was of foreign (i.e. Greek) origin; and its origin of early history, at all events, attaches itself to more or the regular less fixed dates. It begins with the year 240 B.C., Roman when at the ludi Romani, held with unusual splendour drama after the first Punic War, its victorious conclusion was, in accordance with Macedonian precedent, celebrated by the first production of a tragedy and a comedy on the Roman stage. The author of both, who appeared in person as an actor, was Livius Andronicus (b. 278 or earlier), a native of the Greek city of Tarentum, where the Dionysiac festivals enjoyed high popularity. His models were, in tragedy, the later Greek tragedians and their revisions of the three great Attic masters; in comedy, we may feel sure, Menander and his school. Greek examples continued to dominate the regular Roman drama during the whole of its course, e.ren when it resorted to native themes. The main features of Roman tragedy admit of no doubt, although our conclusions respecting its earlier progress are only derived from analogy, from scattered notices, especially History of of the titles of plays, and from such fragments—mostly Roman tragedy, very brief—as have come down to us. Of the known titles of the tragedies of Livius Andronicus, six belong to the Trojan cycle, and this preference consistently maintained itself among the tragedians of the " Trojugenae "; next in popularity seem to have been the myths of the house of Tantalus, of the Pelopidae and of the Argonauts. The distinctions drawn by later Roman writers between the styles of the tragic poets of the republican period must in general be taken on trust. The Campanian Cn. Naevius (fl. from 236) wrote comedies as well as tragedies, so that the rigorous separation observed among the Greeks in the cultivation of the two dramatic species was at first neglected at Rome. His realistic tendency, displayed in that fondness for political allusions which brought upon him the vengeance of a noble family (the Metelli) incapable of under- standing a joke of this description, might perhaps under more favourable circumstances have led him more fully to develop a:, new tragic species invented by him. But the Tabula praetexta or praetextata (from the purple-bordered robe worn by higher magistrates) was not destined to become the means of emancipating the Roman serious drama from the control of Greek examples. In design, it was national tragedy on historic subjects of patriotic interest—which the Greeks had treated only in isolated instances; and one might at first sight marvel why, after Naevius and his successors had produced skilful examples of the species: it should have failed to over- shadow and outlast in popularity a tragedy telling the oft-told foreign tales of Thebes and Mycenae, or even the pseudo-ancestral story of Troy. But it should not be forgotten to how great an extent so-called early Roman history consisted of the traditions of the gentes, and how little the party-life of later republican Rome lent itself to a dramatic treatment likely to be acceptable both to the nobility and to the multitude. As for the emperors, the last licence they would have permitted to the theatre was a free popular treatment of the national history; if Augustus prohibited the publication of a tragedy by his adoptive father on the subject of Oedipus, it was improbable that he or his successors should have sanctioned the performance of plays dealing with the earthly fortunes of Divus Julius himself, or with the story of Marius, or that of the Gracchi, or any of the other tragic themes of later republican or imperial history. The historic drama at Rome thus had no opportunity for a vigorous life, even could tragedy have severed its main course from the Greek literature of which it has been well called a " free-hand copy." The praetextae of which we know chiefly treat—possibly here and there helped to form 1—legends of a hoary antiquity, or celebrate battles chronicled in family or public records 2; and in the end the species died a natural death.3 Q. Ennius (239-168), the favourite poet of the great families, was qualified by his Tarentine education, which taught the Oscan youth the Greek as well as the Latin tongue (so that he boasted " three souls "), to become the literary and his exponent of the Hellenizing tendencies of his age of successors. Roman society. Nearly half of the extant names of his tragedies belong to the Trojan cycle; and Euripides was clearly his favourite source and model. M. Pacuvius (b. c. 229), like Ennius subject from his youth up to the influences of Greek civilization, and the first Roman dramatist who devoted himself exclusively to the tragic drama, was the least fertile of the chief Roman tragedians, but was regarded by the ancients as indisputably superior to Ennius. He again was generally (though not uniformly) held to have been surpassed by L. Accius (b. 170), a learned scholar and prolific dramatist, of whose plays 50 titles and a very large number of fragments have been preserved. The plays of the last-named three poets maintained themselves on the stage till the close of the republic; and Accius was quoted by the emperor Tiberius.' Of the other tragic writers of the republic several ' were dilettanti—such as the great orator and eminent politician C. Julius Strabo; the cultivated officer Q. Tullius Cicero, who made an attempt, disapproved by his illustrious brother, to introduce the satyr-drama into the Roman theatre; L. Cornelius Balbus, a Caesarean partisan; and finally C. Julius Caesar himself. Tragedy continued to be cultivated under the earlier emperors; and one author, the famous and ill-fated L. Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.—A.D. 65), left behind him a series of works Senec% which were to exercise a paramount influence upon the beginnings of modern tragedy. In accordance with the character of their author's prose-work, they exhibit a strong predominance of the rhetorical element, and an artificiality of style far removed from that of the poets Sophocles and Euripides, from whom Seneca derived his themes. Yet he is interesting, not only by these devices and by a " sensational " choice of themes, but also by a quickness of treatment which we may call " modern," a quality not easily resisted in a dramatist. The metrification of his plays is very strict, and they were doubtless intended for recitation, whether or not also designed for the stage. A few tragic poets are mentioned after Seneca, till about the reign of Domitian (81-96) the list comes to an end. The close of Roman tragic literature is obscurer than its beginning; and, while there are traces of tragic performances at Rome as late as even the 6th century, we are ignorant how long the works of the old 1 Naevius, Lupus (The Wolf) ; Romulus.; Ennius, Sabinae (The Sabine Women) ; Accius, Brutus. 2 Naevius, Clastidium (Marcellus?); Ennius, Ambracia; Pacuvius, Paulus; Accius, Aeneadae (Decius?). Balbus's Iter (The Mission), an isolated play on an episode of the Pharsalian campaign, seems to have been composed for the mere private delectation of its author and hero. Octavia, a late praetexta ascribed to Seneca, was certainly not written by him. 4 " Oderint dum metuant " (Atreus). Praetexta. masters of Roman tragedy maintained themselves on the stage. It would obviously be an error to draw from the plays of Seneca conclusions as to the method and style of the earlier character- writers. In general, however, no important changes tsttcs of seem to have occurred in the progress of Roman tragic Roman composition. The later Greek plays remained, so far tragedy. as can be gathered, the models in treatment; and, inasmuch as at Rome the several plays were performed singly, there was every inducement to make their action as full and complicated as possible. The dialogue-scenes (diverbia) appear to have been largely interspersed with musical passages (cantica) ; but the effect of the latter must have suffered from the barbarous custom of having the songs sung by a boy, placed in front of the flute-player (cantor), while the actor accompanied them with gesticulations. The chorus (unlike the Greek) stood on the stage itself and seems occasionally at least to have taken part in the action. But the whole of the musical element can hardly have attained to so full a development as among the Greeks. The divisions of the action appear at first to have been three; from the addition of prologue and epilogue may have arisen the invention (probably due in tragedy to Varro) of the fixed number of five acts. In style, such influence as the genius of Roman literature could exercise must have been in the direction of the rhetorical and the pathetic; a superfluity of energy on the one hand, and a defect of poetic richness on the other, can hardly have failed to characterize these, as they did all the other productions of early Roman poetry. In Roman comedy two different kinds—respectively called palliata and togata from well-known names of dress—were dis- tinguished,—the former treating Greek subjects and Iilstory of imitating Greek originals, the latter professing a native Roman comedy. character. The palliata sought its originals especially in New Attic comedy; and its authors, as they advanced in refinement of style, became more and more de- pendent upon their models, and unwilling to gratify the coarser Pa/Bata. tastes of the public by local allusions or gross season- ings. But that kind of comedy which shrinks from the rude breath of popular applause usually has in the end to give way to less squeamish rivals; and thus, after the species had been cultivated for about a century (c. 250–15o B.C.), palliatae ceased to be composed except for the amusement of select circles, though the works of the most successful authors, Plautus and Terence, kept the stage even after the establishment of the empire. Among the earlier writers of palliatae were the tragic poets Andronicus, Naevius and Ennius, but they were alike Plautus. surpassed by T. Maccius Plautus (254–184), nearly all of whose comedies esteemed genuine by Varro—not less than 20 in number—have been preserved', though twelve of them were not known to the modern world before 1429. He was exclusively a comic poet, and, though he borrowed his plots from the Greeks—from Diphilus and Philemon apparently in preference to the more refined Menander—there was in him a genuinely national as well as a genuinely popular element. Of the extent of his originality it is impossible to judge; probably it lies in his elaboration of types of character and the comic turns of his dialogue rather than in his plots. Modern comedy is indebted to him in all these points; and, in consequence of this fact, as well as of the attention his text has for linguistic reasons received from scholarship both ancient and modern, his merits have met with quite their full share of recognition. Caecilius Statius (an Insubrian brought to Rome as a captive c. 200) stands midway between Plautus and Terence, but no plays of his remain. P. Terentius Afer (c. 185—159) was, as his cognomen implies, a native of Carthage, of whose conqueror he enjoyed the patronage. His six extant comedies. seem to be tolerably close renderings of their Greek originals, nearly all of which were plays of Menander. It was the good fortune of the works of Terence to be preserved in an exceptionally large number of MSS. in the monastic libraries of the middle ages, and thus (as will be seen) to become a main link between the ancient and the Christian drama. As a. dramatist he is distinguished by correctness of style rather than by variety in his plots or vivacity in his characters; his chief merit-and at the same time the quality which has rendered him so suitable for modern imitation—is to be sought in the polite ease of his dialogue. In general, the main features of the palliatae, which were divided into five acts, are those of the New Comedy of Athens, like which they had no chorus; for purposes of explanation from author to audience the prologue sufficed; the Roman versions were probably terser than their originals, which they often altered by the process called contamination. The togatae, in the wider sense of the term, included all Roman plays of native origin—among the rest, the praetextae, in contradistinction to which and to the transient Togatae. species of the trabeatae (from the dress of. the knights) the comedies dealing with the life of the lower classes were afterwards called tabernariae (from taberna, a shop), a name suited by some of their extant titles,' while others point to the treatment of provincial scenes .2 The togata, which was necessarily more realistic than the palliata, and doubtless fresher as well as coarser in tone, flourished in Roman literature between 170 and 8o B.C. In this species Titinius, all whose plays bear Latin titles and were tabernariae, was succeeded by the more refined L. Afranius, who, though still choosing natural subjects, seems to have treated them in the spirit of Menander. His plays continued to be performed under the empire, though with an admixture of elements derived from that lower species, the pantomime, to which they also were in the end to succumb. The Romans likewise adopted the burlesque kind of comedy called from its inventor Rhinthonica, and by other names (see above). But with them, the general course of the drama, which with the Greeks lost itself in the sand, could not fail to be merged into the flood. The end of Roman dramatic literature was dilettantism and criticism; the end of the Roman drama was spectacle and show, buffoonery and sensual allurement. It was for this that the theatre had passed through all its early troubles, when the political puritanism of the old school had upheld the martial games of the circus against the enervating influence of the stage. In those days the guardians of Roman virtue had sought to diminish the attractions of the theatre by insisting upon its remaining as uncomfortable as possible; but as was usual at Rome, the privileges of the upper orders were at last extended to the population at large, though a separation of classes continued to be characteristic of a Roman audience. The first permanent theatre erected at Rome was that of Cn. Pompeius (55 B.C.), which contained nearly 18,000 seats; but even of this the portion allotted to the performers (scaena) was of wood; nor was it till the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 22) that, after being burnt down, the edifice was rebuilt in stone. Though a species of amateur literary censorship, introduced by Pompeius, became customary in the Augustan age, in general the drama's laws at Rome were given by the drama's Actors. patrons—in other words, the production of plays was a matter of private speculation. The exhibitions were contracted for with the officials charged with the superintendence of public amusements (curatores ludorum); the actors were slaves trained for the art, mostly natives of southern Italy or Greece. Many of them rose to reputation and wealth, purchased their freedom, and themselves became directors of companies; but, though Sulla might make a knight of Roscius, and Caesar and his friends defy ancient prejudice, the stigma of civil disability (infamia) was not removed from the profession, which in the great days of the Attic drama had been held in honour at Athens. But, on the whole, the social treatment of actors was easy in the days of the early empire; senators and knights actually appeared on the stage; Nero sang on it; and a pantomimus was made praefectus urbi by Elagabalus. The actor's art was carried on at Rome under conditions differing in other respects from those of the Greek theatre. ' Augur; Cinerarius (The Crimper) Fullonia (The Fuller's Trade) ; Libertus (The Freedman); Tibicina (The Flute-Girl). 2 Brundisinae; Ferentinatis; Setina. Terence. The Roman theatre. The Romans loved a full stage, and from the later period of the republic liked to see it crowded with supernumeraries. This accorded with their military instincts, and with the general grossness of their tastes, which led them in the theatre as well as in the circus to delight in spectacle and tumult, and to applaud Pompeius when he furnished forth the return of Agamemnon in the Clytaemnestra with a grand total of 60o heavily-laden mules. On the other hand, the actors stood nearer to the spectators in the Roman theatre than in the Greek, the stage (pulpitum) not being separated from the first rows of the audience by an orchestra occupied by the chorus; and this led in earlier times to the absence of masks, diversely coloured wigs serving to distinguish the age of the characters. Roscius, however, is said (because of an obliquity of vision which disfigured his countenance) to have introduced the use of masks; and the retrograde innovation, though disapproved of, maintained itself. The tragic actors wore the crepida, corresponding to the cothurnus, and a heavy toga, which in the praetexta had the purple border giving its name to the species. The conventional costumes of the various kinds of comedy are likewise indicated by their names. The comparative nearness of the actors to the spectators encouraged the growth. of that close criticism of acting which has always been dear to an Italian public, and which in ancient days manifested itself at Rome in all the ways familiar to modern audiences. Where there is criticism, devices are apt to spring up for anticipating or directing it; and the evil institution of the claque is modelled on Roman precedent, typified by the standing conclusion " plaudite! " in the epilogues of the palliatae. In fine, though the art of acting at Rome must have originally formed itself on Greek example and precept, it was doubtless elaborated with a care unknown to the greatest Attic artists. Its most famous representatives were Gallus, called after his emancipation Q. Roscius Gallus (d. c. 62 B.c.), who, like the great " English Roscius," excelled equally in tragedy and comedy, and his younger con-temporary Clodius Aesopus, a Greek by birth, likewise eminent in both branches of his art, though in tragedy more particularly. Both these great actors are said to have been constant hearers of the great orator Hortensius; and Roscius wrote a treatise on the relations between oratory and acting. In the influence of oratory upon the drama are perhaps to be sought the chief among the nobler features of Roman tragedy to which a native origin may be fairly ascribed. 9. DOWNFALL OF THE CLASSICAL DRAMA The ignoble end of the Roman—and with it of the ancient classical—drama has been already foreshadowed. The elements of dance and song, never integrally united with the dialogue in Roman tragedy, were now altogether separated from it. While it became customary simply to recite tragedies to the small audiences who continued (or, as a matter of courtesy, affected) to appreciate them, the pantomimus commended itself to the heterogeneous multitudes of the Roman theatre and to an effete upper class by confining the performance of the actor to Panto- gesticulation and dancing, a chorus singing the accom- panying text. The species was developed with extra-ordinary success already under Augustus by Pylades and Bathyllus; and so popular were these entertainments that even eminent poets, such as Lucan (d. A.U. 65), wrote the librettos for these fabulae salticae (ballets), of which the subjects were generally mythological, only now and then historical, and chiefly of an amorous kind. A single masked performer was able to enchant admiring crowds by the art of gesticulation and movement only. In what direction this art tended, when suiting itself to the most abnormal demands of a recklessly sensual age, may be gathered from the remark of one of the last pagan historians of the empire, that the introduction of pantomimes was a sign of the general moral decay of the world which began with the menus. beginning of the monarchy. Comedy more easily lost itself in the cognate form of the mimes, which sur- vived all other kinds of comic entertainments because of its more audacious immorality and open obscenity. Women took part in these performapces, by means of which, as late as the 6th century, a mima acquired a celebrity which ultimately raised her .to the imperial throne, and perhaps occasioned the removal of a disability which would have renderee. her marriage with Justinian impossible. Meanwhile, the regular drama had lingered on, enjoying in all its forms imperial patronage in the days of the literary revival under Hadrian (117–138); but the perennial The drama taste for the spectacles of the amphitheatre, which and the was as strong at Byzantium as it was at Rome, and Christian which reached its climax in the days of Constantine church. the Great (306–337), under whom the reaction set in, determined the downfall of the dramatic art. It was not absolutely extinguished even by the irruptions of the northern barbarians; but a bitter adversary had by this time risen into power. The whole authority of the Christian Church had, without usually caring to distinguish between the nobler and the looser elements in the drama, involved all its manifestations in a consistent condemnation (as in Tertullian's De spectaculis, 200 c.), comprehended them all in an uncompromising anathema. When the faith of that Church was acknowledged as the religion of the Roman empire, the doom of the theatre was sealed. It died hard, however, both in the capitals and in many of the provincial centres of East and West alike. At Rome the last mention of spectacula as still in existence seems to date from the sway of the East-Goths under Theodoric and his successor, in the earlier half of the 6th century. In the capital and provinces of the Eastern empire the decline and fall of the stage cannot be similarly traced; but its end is authoritatively assigned to the period of Saracen invasions which began with the Omayyad dynasty in the 7th century. It cannot be pretended that the doom which thus slowly and gradually overtook the Roman theatre was undeserved. The remnants of the literary drama had long been overshadowed by entertainments such as both earlier and later Roman emperors—Domitian and Trajan as well as Galerius and Constantine—had found themselves constrained to prohibit in the interests of public morality and order, by the bloody spectacles of the amphitheatre and by the maddening excitement of the circus. The art of acting had sunk into pandering to the lewd or frivolous itch of eye and ear; its professors had, in the words of a most judicious modern historian, become " a danger to the peace of house-holders, as well as to the peace of the streets "; and the theatre had contributed its utmost to the demoralization of a world. The attitude taken up by the Christian Church towards the stage was in general as unavoidable as its particular expressions were at times heated by fanaticism or distorted by ignorance. Had she not visited with her condemnation a wilderness of decay, she could not herself have become—what she little dreamt of becoming—the nursing mother of the new birth of an art which seemed incapable of regeneration. Though already in the 4th century scenici had been excluded from the benefit of Christian sacraments, and excommunication had been extended to those who visited theatres instead of churches on Sundays and holidays, while the clergy survival were absolutely prohibited from entering a theatre, mimes. and though similar enactments had followed at later dates—yet the entertainments of the condemned profession had never been entirely suppressed, and had even occasionally received imperial patronage. The legislation on the subject in the Codex Theodosianus (accepted by both empires in the earlier part of the 5th century) shows a measure of tolerance indicating a conviction that the theatrical profession could not be suppressed. Gradually, however, as they lost all footing in the centres of civic life, the mimes and their fellows became a wandering fraternity, who doubtless appeared at festivals when their services were required, and vanished again .into the depths of the obscurity which has ever covered that mysterious existence—the strollers' life. It was thus that these strange intermediaries of civilization carried down such traditions as survived of the acting drama of pagan antiquity into the succeeding ages. Roscius and . Aesopus. I0. MEDIEVAL DRAMA While the scattered and persecuted strollers thus kept alive something of the popularity, if not of the loftier traditions, of 1 ¢leslas. their art, neither, on the other hand, was there an ticaland utter absence of written compositions to bridge the monastic gap between ancient and modern dramatic literature. literary In the midst of the condemnation with which the drama. Christian Church visited the stage, its professors and votaries, we find individual ecclesiastics resorting in their writings to both the tragic and the comic form of the ancient drama. These isolated productions, which include the Xpcvrbr iravxcov (Passion of Christ) formerly attributed to St Gregory Nazianzen, and the Querolus, long fathered upon Plautus himself, were doubtless mostly written for educational purposes—whether Euripides and Lycophron, or Menander, Plautus and Terence, served as the outward models. The same was probably Hrosvitha. the design of the famous " comedies " of Hrosvitha, the Benedictine nun of Gandersheim, in Eastphalian Saxony, which associate themselves in the history of Christian literature with the spiritual revival of the loth century in the days of Otto the Great. While avowedly imitated in form from the comedies of Terence, these religious exercises derive their themes—martyrdoms,) and miraculous or otherwise startling conversions2—from the legends of Christian saints. Thus, from perhaps the 9th to the 12th centuries, Germany and France, and through the latter, by means of the Norman Conquest, England, became acquainted with what maybe called the literary monastic drama. It was no doubt occasionally performed by the children under the care of monks or nuns, or by the religious themselves; an exhibition of the former kind was that of the Play of St Katharine, acted at Dunstable about the year 11 Io in " copes " by the scholars of the Norman Geoffrey, afterwards abbot of St Albans. Nothing is known concerning it except the fact of its performance, which was certainly not regarded as a novelty. These efforts of the cloister came in time to blend themselves with more popular forms of the early medieval drama. The Thelon,. natural agents in the transmission of these popular latores, forms were thosemimes,whom, while the representa tives Jongleurs, of more elaborate developments, the " pantomimes " minstrels. in particular, had inevitably succumbed, the Roman drama had left surviving it, unextinguished and unextinguishable. Above all, it is necessary to point out how in the long interval now in question—the " dark ages," which may, from the present point of view, be reckoned from about the 6th to the Iith century —the Latin and the Teutonic elements of what may be broadly designated as medieval " minstrelsy," more or less imperceptibly, coalesced. The traditions of the disestablished and disendowed mimus combined with the " occupation " of the Teutonic stop, who as a professional personage does not occur in the earliest Teutonic poetry, but on the other hand is very distinctly traceable under this name or that of the " gleeman," in Anglo-Saxon literature, before it fell under the control of the Christian Church. Her influence and that of docile rulers, both in England and in the far wider area of the Frank empire, gradually prevailed even over the inherited goodwill which neither Alfred nor even Charles the Great had denied to the composite growth in which mimus and sap alike had a share. How far the joculatores—which in the early middle ages came to be the name most widely given to these irresponsible transmitters of a great artistic trust—kept alive the usage of entertainments more essentially dramatic than the minor varieties of their performances, we cannot say. In different countries these entertainers suited themselves to different tastes, and with the rise of native literatures to different literary tendencies. The literature of the troubadours of Provence, which communicated itself to Spain and Italy, came only into isolated contact with the beginnings of the religious drama; in northern France the jongleurs, as the joculatores were now called, were confounded 1 Gallicanus, part ii. ; Sapientia. 2 Gallicanus, part i. ; Calimachus; Abraham ; Paphnutius. with the trouveres, who, to the accompaniment of vielle or harp, sang the chansons de geste commemorative of deeds of war. As appointed servants of particular households they were here, and afterwards in England, called menestrels (from ministeriales) or minstrels. Such a histrio or mimus (as he is called) was Taillefer, who rode first into the fight at Hastings, singing his songs of Roland and Charlemagne, and tossing his sword in the air and catching it again. In England such accomplished minstrels easily outshone the less versatile gleemen of pre-Norman times, and one or two of them appeared as landholders in Domesday Book, and many enjoyed the favour of the Norman, Angevin and Plantagenet kings. But here, as elsewhere, the humbler members of the craft spent their lives in strolling from castle to convent, from village-green to city-street, and there exhibiting their skill as dancers, tumblers, jugglers proper, and as masquers and conductors of bears and other dumb contributors to popular wonder and merriment. Their only chance of survival finally came to lie in organization under the protection of powerful nobles; but when, in the 15th century in England, companies of players issued forth from towns and villages, the profession, in so far as its members had not secured preference, saw itself threatened with ruin. In any attempt to explain the transmission of dramatic elements from pagan to Christian times, and the influence exercised by this transmission upon the beginnings of survivals the medieval drama, account should finally be taken and adapt-of the pertinacious survival of popular festive rites and attoan ns of ceremonies. From the days of Gregory the Great, i.e. fag , festive from the end of the 6th century onwards, the Western ceremonies Church tolerated and even attracted to her own and festivals popular customs, significant of rejoicing, usages. which were in truth relics of heathen ritual. Such were the Mithraic feast of the z5th of December, or the egg of Eostre-tide, and a multitude of Celtic or Teutonic agricultural ceremonies. These rites, originally symbolical of propitiation or of weather-magic, were of a semi-dramatic nature—such as the dipping of the neck of corn in water, sprinkling holy drops upon persons or animals, processions of beasts or men in beast-masks, dressing trees with flowers, and the like, but above all ceremonial dances, often in disguise. The sword-dance, recorded by Tacitus, of which an important feature was the symbolic threat of death to a victim, endured (though it is rarely mentioned) to the later middle ages. By this time it had attracted to itself a variety of additional features, and of characters familiar as pace-eggers, mummers, morris-dancers (probably of distinct origin), who continually enlarged the scope of their performances, especially as regarded their comic element. The dramatic " expulsion of death," or winter, by the destruction of a lay-figure—common through western Europe about the 8th century—seems connected with a more elaborate rite, in which a disguised performer (who perhaps originally represented summer) was slain and afterwards revived (the Pfingstl, Jack in the Green, or Green Knight). This representation, after acquiring a comic complexion, was annexed by the character dancers, who about the 15th century took to adding still livelier incidents from songs treating of popular heroes, such as St George and Robin Hood; which latter found a place in the festivities of May Day with their central figure, the May Queen. The earliest ceremonial observances of this sort were clearly connected with pastoral and agricultural life; but the inhabitants of the towns also came to have a share in them; and so, as will be seen later, did the clergy. They were in particular responsible for the buffooneries of the feast of fools (or asses), which enjoyed the greatest popularity in France (though protests against it are on record from the r rth century onwards to the 17th), but was well known from London to Constantinople. This riotous New Year's celebration was probably derived from the ancient Kalend feasts, which may have bequeathed to it both the hobby-horse and the lord, or bishop, of misrule. In the 16th century the feast of fools was combined with the elaborate festivities of courts and cities during the twelve Christmasfeast-days—the season when through-out the previous two centuries the " mummers " especially flourished, who in their disguisings and " viseres " began as dancers gesticulating in dumb-show, but ultimately developed into actors proper. Thus the literary and the professional element; as well as that of popular festive usages, had survived to become tributaries to the main stream of the early Christian drama, The liturgy which had its direct source in the liturgy of the Church the main itself. The service of the Mass contains in itself source of the dramatic elements, and combines with the reading medieval out of portions of Scripture by the priest its "epical " las a am part—a " lyrical " part in the anthems and responses of the congregation. At a very early period—certainly already in the 5th century—it was usual on special occasions to increase the attractions of public worship by living pictures, illustrating the Gospel narrative and accompanied by songs; and thus a certain amount of action gradually introduced itself into the service. The insertion, before or after sung portions Tropes. of the service, of tropes, originally one or more verses of texts, usually serving as introits and in connexion with the gospel of the day, and recited by the two halves of the choir, naturally led to dialogue chanting; and this was frequently accompanied by illustrative fragments of action, such as drawing down the veil from before the altar. This practice of interpolations in the offices of the church, which is attested by texts from the 9th century onwards (the so-called " Winchester tropes " belong to the loth The and rrth), progressed, till on the great festivals of the liturgical mystery. church the epical part of the liturgy was systematically connected with spectacular and in some measure mimical adjuncts, the lyrical accompaniment being of course retained. Thus the liturgical mystery—the earliest form of the Christian drama—was gradually called into existence. This had certainly been accomplished as early as the loth century, when on great ecclesiastical festivals it was customary for the priests to perform in the churches these offices (as they were called). The whole Easter story, from the burial to Emmaus, was thus presented, the Maries and the angel adding their lyrical planctus; while the surroundings of the' Nativity—the Shepherds, the Innocents, &c.—were linked with the Shepherds of Epiphany by a recitation of " Prophets," including Vergil and the Sibyl. Before long, from the nth century onwards, mysteries, as they were called, were produced in France on scriptural subjects unconnected with the great Church festivals—such as the Wise and Foolish Virgins, Adam (with the fall of Lucifer), Daniel, Lazarus, &c. Compositions on the last-named two themes remain from the hand of one of the very earliest of medieval play-writers, Hilarius, who may have been an Englishman, and who certainly studied under Abelard. He also wrote a " miracle " of St Nicholas, one of the most widely popular of medieval saints. Into the pieces founded on the Scripture narrative outside characters and incidents were occasionally introduced, by way of diverting the audience. These mysteries and miracles being as yet represented by the clergy only, the language in which they were usually written is Latin—in many varieties of verse with occasional these were not kept distinctly apart from the miracle-plays, or miracles, which are strictly speaking concerned with the legends of the saints of the church; and in England the name mysteries was not in use. Of these species the miracles must more especially have been fed from the resources of the monastic literary drama: Thirdly, the moralities, or moral-plays, teach and illustrate the same truths—not, however, by direct representation of scriptural or legendary events and personages, but allegoric-ally, their characters being personified virtues or qualities. Of the moralities the Norman trouveres had been the inventors; and doubtless this innovation connects itself with the endeavour, which in France had almost proved victorious by the end of the 13th century, to emancipate dramatic performances from the control of the church. The attitude of the clergy towards the dramatic performances which had arisen out of the elaboration of the services of the church, but soon admitted elements from other sources, The clergy was not, and could not be, uniform. As the plays grew and the longer, their paraphernalia more extensive, and their religious spectators more numerous, they began to be repre- drama. sented outside as well as inside the churches, at first in the churchyards, and the use of the vulgar tongue came to be gradually preferred. A Beverley Resurrection play (1220c.) and some others are bilingual. Miracles were less dependent on this connexion with the church services than mysteries proper; and lay associations, gilds, and schools in particular, soon began to act plays in honour. of their patron saints in or hear their own halls. Lastly, as scenes and characters of a more or less trivial description were admitted even into the plays acted or super-intended by the clergy, as some of these characters came to be depended on by the audiences for conventional extravagance or fun, every new Herod seeking to out-Herod his predecessor, and the ;devils and their chief asserting themselves as indispensable favourites, the comic element in the religious drama increased; and that drama itself, even where it remained associated with the church, grew more and more profane. The endeavour to sanctify the popular tastes to religious uses, which connects itself with the institution of the great festival of Corpus Christi (1264, confirmed 1311), when the symbol of the mystery of the Incarnation was borne in solemn procession, led to the closer union of the dramatic exhibitions (hence often called processes) with this and other, religious feasts; but it neither limited their range nor controlled their development. It is impossible to condense into a few sentences the extremely varied history of the processes of transformation undergone by the medieval drama in Europe during the two centuries progress —from about 1200 to about 1400—in which it ran of the a course of its own, and during the succeeding period, medieval in which it was only partially affected by the influence drama in of the Renaissance. A few typical phenomena may, Europe. however, be noted in the case of the drama of each of the several chief countries of the West; . where the vernacular successfully supplanted Latin as the ordinary medium of dramatic speech, where song was effectually ousted by recitation and dialogue, and where finally, though the emancipation was on this head nowhere absolute, the religious drama gave place to the secular. In France, where dramatic performances had never fallen entirely into the hands of the clergy, the progress was speediest and most decided towards forms approaching those France. of the modern drama. The earliest play in the French tongue, however, the 12th-century Adam, supposed to have been written by a Norman in England (as is a fragmentary Resurrection of much the same date), still reveals its connexion with the liturgical drama. Jean Bodel of Arras' miracle-play of St Nicolas (before 1205) is already the production of a secular author, probably designed for the edification of some civic con-fraternity to which he belonged, and has some realistic features. On the other hand, the Theophilus of Rutebeuf (d. c. 1280) treats its Faust-like theme, with which we meet again in Low-German dramatic literature two centuries. later, in a rather lifeless form but in a highly religious spirit, and belongs to the cycle of miracles of the Virgin of which example:? abound throughou(. The prose; but already in the firth century the further collective mystery. step was taken of composing these texts in the ver- nacular—the earliest example being the mystery. of the Resurrection. In time a whole series of mysteries was joined together; a process which was at first roughly and then, more elaborately pursued in France and elsewhere, and finally resulted in the collective mystery—merely, a scholars' term of course, but one to which the principal examples of the English mystery-drama correspond. The productions of the medieval religious drama it is usual technically to divide into three classes. The mysteries proPer Mysteries, deal with scriptural events only, their purpose being miracles, to set forth, with the aid of the prophetic or preparatory and morals history of the Old Testament, and more especially of distill- the fulfilling events of the New, the central mystery subbed. of the Redemption of the world, as accomplished by the Nativity, the Passion and the Resurrection. But in fact this period. Easter or Passion plays were fully established in popular acceptance in Paris as well as in other towns of France by the end of the 14th century; and in 1402 the Confrerie de la Passion, who at first devoted themselves exclusively to the performance of this species, obtained a royal privilege for the purpose. These series of religious plays were both extensive and elaborate; perhaps the most notable series (c. 1450) is that by Arnoul Greban, who died as a canon of Le Mans, his native town. Its revision, by Jean Michel, containing much illustrative detail (first performed at Angers in 1486), was very popular. Still more elaborate is the Rouen Christmas mystery of 1474, and the celebrated Mystere, du vieil testament, produced at Abbeville in 1458, and performed at Paris in 1500. Most of the Provencal Christmas and Passion plays date from the 14th century, as well as a miracle of St Agnes. The miracles of saints were popular in all parts of France, and the diversity of local colouring naturally imparted to these productions contributed materially to the growth of the early French drama. The miracles of Ste Genevieve and St Denis came directly home to the inhabitants of Paris, as that of St Martin to the citizens of Tours; while the early victories of St Louis over the English might claim a national significance for the dramatic celebration of his deeds. The local saints of Provence were in their turn honoured by miracles dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. It is less easy to trace the origins of the comic medieval drama in France, connected as they are with an extraordinary variety of associations for professional, pious and pleasurable purposes. The ludi inhonesti in which the students of a Paris college (Navarre) were in 1315 debarred from engaging cannot be proved to have been dramatic performances; the earliest known secular plays presented by university students in France were moralities, performed in 1426 and 1431. These plays, depicting conflicts between opposing influences—and at bottom the struggle between good and evil in the human soul—become more frequent from about this time onwards. Now it is (at Rennes in 1439) the contention between Bien-avis€ and Mal-avise (who at the close find themselves respectively in charge of Bonne-fin and Male-fin); now, one between l'homme juste and l'homme mondain; now, the contrasted story of Les Enfants de Maintenant, who, however, is no abstraction, but an honest baker with a wife called Mignotte. Political and social problems are likewise treated; and the Mystere du Concile de Bale—an historical morality—dates back to 1432. But thought is taken even more largely of the sufferings of the people than of the controversies of the Church; and in 1507 we even meet with a hygienic or abstinence morality (by N. de la Chesnaye) in which " Banquet " enters into a conspiracy with " Apoplexy," " Epilepsy " and the whole regiment of diseases. Long before this development of an 'artificial species had been consummated--from the beginning of the 14th century onwards —the famous fraternity or professional union of the Basoche (clerks of the Parlement and the Ch3,telet) had been entrusted with the conduct of popular festivals at Paris, in which, as of right, they took a prominent personal share; and from a date unknown they had performed plays. But after the Confrerie de la Passion had been allowed to monopolize the religious drama, the basochiens had confined themselves to the presentment of moralities and of farces (from Italian farsd, Latin farcifa), in which political satire had as a matter of course when possible found a . place. A third association, calling themselves the Enfens sans souci, had, apparently also early in the 15th century, acquired celebrity by their performances of short comic plays called soties—in which, as it would seem, at first allegorical figures ironically " played the fool," but which were probably before long not very carefully kept distinct from the farces of the Basoche, and were like these on occasion made to serve the purposes of State or of Church. Other confraternities and associations readily took a leaf out of the book of these devil-may-care good-fellows, and interwove their religious and moral plays with comic scenes and characters from actual life, thus becoming more and more free and secular in their dramatic methods, and unconsciously preparing the transition to the regular drama. The earliest example of a serious secular play known to have been written in the French tongue is the Estoire de Griseldis (1393), which is in the style of the miracles of the Virgin, but is largely indebted to Petrarch. The Mystere du siege d'Orleans, on the other hand, written about half a century later, in the epic tediousness of its manner comes near to a chronicle history, and interests us chiefly as the earliest of many efforts to bring Joan of Arc on the stage. Jacques Milet's celebrated mystery of the Destruction de Troye la grant (1452) seems to have been addressed to readers and not to hearers only. The beginnings of the French regular comic drama are again more difficult to extract from the copious literature of farces and soties, which, after mingling actual types with abstract and allegorical figures, gradually came to exclude all but the concrete personages; moreover, the large majority of these productions in their extant form belong to a later period than that now under consideration. But there is ample evidence that the most famous of all medieval farces, the immortal Maistre Pierre Pathelin (other-wise L'Avocat Pathelin), was written before 1470 and acted by the basochiens; and we may conclude that this delightful story of the biter bit, and the profession outwitted, typifies a multitude of similar comic episodes of real life, dramatized for the delectation of clerks, lawyers and students, and of all lovers of laughter. In the neighbouring Netherlands many Easter and Christmas mysteries are noted from the middle of the 15th century, attesting the enduring popularity of these religious plays; and with them the celebrated series of the Seven Joys of Nether. Maria—of which the first is the Annunciation and the lands. seventh the Ascension. To about the same date belongs the small group of the so-called abele spelen (as who should say plays easily managed), chiefly on chivalrous themes. Though allegorical figures are already to be found in the Netherlands miracles of Mary, the species of the moralities was specially cultivated during the great Burgundian period of this century by the chambers or lodges of the Rederijkers (rhetoricians)—the well-known civic associations which devoted themselves to the cultivation of learned poetry and took an active share in the festivals that formed one of the most characteristic features of the life of the Low Countries. Among these moralities was that of Elckerlijk (printed 1495 and presumably by Peter Dorlandus), which there is good reason for regarding as the original of one of the finest of English moralities, Everyman. In Italy the liturgical drama must have run its course as elsewhere; but the traces of it are few, and confined to the north-east. The collective mystery, so common in Italy. other Western countries, is in Italian literature represented by a single example only—a Passione di Gesis Cristo, performed at Revello in Saluzzo in the 15th century; though there are some traces of other cyclic dramas of the kind. The Italian religious plays, called figure when on Old, vangeli when on New, Testament subjects, and differing from those of northern Europe chiefly by the less degree of coarseness in their comic characters, seem largely to have sprung out of the development of the processional element in the festivals of the Church. Besides such processions as that of the Three Kings at Epiphany in Milan, there were the penitential processions and songs (laude), which at Assisi, Perugia and elsewhere already contained a dramatic element; and at Siena, Florence and other centres these again developed into the so-called (sacre) rappresentazioni, which became the most usual name for this kind of entertainment. Such a piece was the San Giovanni e San Paolo (1489), by Lorenzo the Magnificent—the prince who afterwards sought to reform the Italian stage by paganizing it; another was the Santa Teodora, by Luigi Pulci (d. 1487); San Giovanni Gualberto (of Florence) treats the religious experience of a latter-day saint; Rosana e Ulimento is a love-story with a Christian moral. Passion plays were performed at Rome in the Coliseum by the Compagnia del Gonfalon; but there is no evidence on this head before the end of the 15th century. In general, the spectacular magnificence of Italian theatrical displays accorded with the growing pomp of the processions both ecclesiastical and lay—called trionfi already in the days of Dante; while the religious drama gradually acquired an artificial character and elaboration of form assimilating it to the classical attempts, to be noted below, which gave rise to the regular Italian drama. The poetry of the Troubadours, which had come from Provence into Italy, here frequently took a dramatic form, and may have suggested some of his earlier poetic experiments to Petrarch. It was a matter of course that remnants of the ancient popular dramatic entertainments should have survived in particular abundance on Italian soil. They were to be recognized in the improvised farces performed at the courts, in the churches (farce spirituali), and among the people; the Roman carnival had preserved its wagon-plays, and various links remained to connect the modern comic drama of the Italians with the Atellanes and mimes of their ancestors. But the more notable later comic developments, which belong to the 16th century, will be more appropriately noticed below. Moralities proper had not flourished in Italy, where the love of the concrete has always been dominant in popular taste; more numerous are examples of scenes, largely mythological, in which the influence of the Renaissance is already perceptible, of eclogues, and of allegorical festival-plays of various sorts. In Spain hardly a monument of the medieval religious drama has been preserved. There is manuscript evidence of the 11th Spain. century attesting the early addition of dramatic elements to the Easter office; and a Spanish fragment of the Three Kings Epiphany play, dating from the 12th century, is, like the French Adam, one of the very earliest examples of the medieval drama in the vernacular. But that religious plays were performed in Spain is clear from the permission granted by Alphonso X. of Castile (d. 1284) to the clergy to represent them, while prohibiting the performance by them of juegos de escarnio (mocking plays). The earliest Spanish plays which we possess belong to the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century, and already show humanistic influence. In 1472 the couplets of Mingo Revulgo (i.e. Domingo Vulgus, the common people), and about the same time another dialogue by the same author, offer examples of a sort resembling the Italian contrasti (see below). The German religious plays in the vernacular, the earliest of which date from the 14th and 15th centuries, and were produced Germany. at Trier, Wolfenbtittel, Innsbruck, Vienna, Berlin, &c., were of a simple kind; but in some of them, though they were written by clerks, there are traces of the minstrels' hands. The earliest complete Christmas play in German, contained in a 14th-century St Gallen MS., has nothing in it to suggest a Latin original. On the other hand, the play of The Wise and the Foolish Virgins, in a Thuringian MS. thought to be as early as 1328, a piece of remarkable dignity, was evidently based on a Latin play. Other festivals besides Christmas were celebrated by plays; but down to the Reformation Easter enjoyed a preference. In the same century miracle-plays began to be performed, in honour of St Catherine, St Dorothea and other saints. But all these productions seem to belong to a period when the drama was still under ecclesiastical control. Gradually, as the liturgical drama returned to the simpler forms from which it had so surprisingly expanded, and ultimately died out, the religious plays performed outside the churches expanded more freely; and the type of mystery associated with the name of the Frankfort canon Baldemar von Peterweil communicated itself, with other examples, to the receptive region of the south- west. The Corpus Christi plays, or (as they were here called) Frohnleichnamsspiele, are notable, since that of Innsbruck (1391) is probably the earliest extant example of its class. The number of non-scriptural religious plays in Germany was much smaller than that in France; but it may be noted that (in accordance with a long-enduring popular notion) the theme of the last judgment was common in Germany in the latter part of the middle ages. Of this theme Antichrist may be regarded as an episode, though in 1469 an Antichrist appears to have occupied at Frankfort four days in its performance. The earlier (12th century) Antichrist is a production quite unique of its kind; this political protest breathes the Ghibelline spirit of the reign (Frederick Barbarossa's) in which it was composed. Though many of the early German plays contain an element of the moralities, there were few representative German examples of the species. The academical instinct, or some other influence, kept the more elaborate productions on the whole apart from the drolleries of the professional strollers (fahrende Leute), whose Shrove-Tuesday plays (Fastnachtsspiele) and cognate productions reproduced the practical fun of common life. Occasionally, no doubt, as in the Lubeck Fastnachtsspiel of the Five Virtues, the two species may have more or less closely approached to one another. When, in the course of the 15th century, Hans Rosen-pia, called Schnepperer—or Hans Schnepperer, called Rosenplitt —the predecessor of Hans Sachs, first gave a more enduring form to the popular Shrove-Tuesday plays, a connexion was already establishing itself between the dramatic amusements of the people and the literary efforts of the " master-singers " of the towns. But, while the main productivity of the writers of moralities and cognate productions—a species particularly suited to German latitudes—falls into the periods of Renaissance and Reformation, the religious drama proper survived far beyond either in Catholic Germany, and, in fact, was not suppressed in Bavaria and Tirol till the end of the 18th century .l It may be added that the performance of miracle-plays is traceable in Sweden in the latter half of the 14th century; and that the German clerks and laymen who immigrated Sweden, into the Carpathian lands,and into Galicia inparticular, Gar-in the later middle ages, brought with them their pathsan religious plays together with other elements of culture. lands, &c. This fact is the more striking, inasmuch as, though Czech Easter plays were performed about the end of the 14th century, we hear of none among the Magyars, or among their neighbours of the Eastern empire. Coming now to the English religious drama, we find that from its extant literature a fair general idea may be derived of the character of these medieval productions. The miracle-plays, miracles or plays (these being the terms used in Retsgsous England) of which we hear in London in the 12th dramas: Bng/and century were probably written in Latin and acted by ecclesiastics; but already in the following century mention is made—in the way of prohibition—of plays acted by professional players. (Isolated moralities of the 12th century are not to be regarded as popular productions.) In England as elsewhere, the clergy either sought to retain their control over the religious plays, which continued to be occasionally acted in churches even after the Reformation, or else reprobated them with or without qualifications. In Cornwall miracles in the native Cymric dialect were performed at an early date; mlrac Cornishlebut those which have been preserved are apparently play& copies of English (with the occasional use of French) originals; they were represented, unlike the English plays, in the open country, in extensive amphitheatres constructed for the purpose—one of which, at St Just near Penzance, has recently been restored. The flourishing period of English miracle-plays begins with the practice of their performance by trading-companies in the towns, though these bodies were by no means possessed of Localities any special privileges for the purpose. Of this practice of the Chester is said to have set the example (1268-1276); perform-it was followed in the course of the 13th and 14th ance of centuries by many other towns, while in yet others miracle-traces of such performances are not to be found till the ply' 15th, or even the 16th. These towns with their neighbourhoods include, starting from East Anglia, where the religious drama was particularly at home, Wymondham, Norwich, Sleaford, Lincoln, Leeds, Wakefield, Beverley, York, Newcastle-on-Tyne, with a deviation across the border to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. In the north-west they are found at Kendal, Lancaster, Preston, 1 The passion-play of Oberammergau, familiar in its present artistic form to so many visitors, was instituted under special circumstances in the days of the Thirty Years' War (1634). Various reasons account for its having been allowed to survive. Chester; whence they may be supposed to have migrated to Dublin. In the west they are noticeable at Shrewsbury, Worcester and Tewkesbury; , in the Midlands at Coventry and Leicester; in the east at Cambridge and Bassingbourne, Hey-bridge and Manningtree; to which places have to be added Reading, Winchester, Canterbury, Bethesda and London, in which last the performers were the parish-clerks. Four collections, in addition to some single examples of such plays, have come down to us, the York plays, the so-called Towneley plays, which were probably acted at the fairs of Widkirk, near Wakefield, and those bearing the names of Chester and of Coventry. Their dates, in the forms in which they have come down to us, are more or less uncertain; that of the York may on the whole be concluded to be earlier than that of the Towneley, which were probably put together about the middle of the 14th century ; the Chester may be ascribed to the close of the 14th or the earlier part of the 15th; the body of the Coventry probably belongs to the 15th or 16th. Many of the individual plays in these collections were doubtless founded on French originals; others are taken direct from Scripture, from the apocryphal gospels, or from the legends of the saints. Their characteristic feature is the combination of a whole series of plays into one collective whole, exhibiting the entire course of Bible history from the creation to the day of judgment. For this combination it is unnecessary to suppose that they were generally indebted to foreign examples, though there are several remarkable coincidences between the Chester plays and the French Mystere du vieil testament. Indeed, the oldest of the series—the York plays—exhibits a fairly close parallel to the scheme of the Cursor mundi, an epic poem of Northumbrian origin, which early in the 14th century had set an example of treatment that unmistakably influenced the collective mysteries as a whole. Among the isolated plays of the same type which have come down to us may be mentioned The Harrowing of Hell (the Saviour's descent into hell), an East-Midland production which professes to tell of " a strif of Jesu and of Satan " and is probably the earliest dramatic, or all but dramatic, work in English that has been preserved; and several belonging to a series known as the Digby Mysteries, including Parfre's Candlemas Day (the massacre of the Innocents), and the very interesting miracle of Mary Magdalene. Of the so-called " Paternoster " and " Creed " plays (which exhibit the miraculous powers of portions of the Church service) no example remains, though of some we have an account; the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, the MS. of which is preserved at Dublin, and which seems to date from the latter half of the 15th century, exhibits the triumph of the holy wafer over wicked Jewish wiles. To return to the collective mysteries, as they present them- selves to us in the chief extant series. " The manner of these plays," we read in a description of those at Chester, action, though we find horsemen riding up to the scaffold, and Herod instructed to " rage in the pagond and in the strete also." There is no probability that the stage was, as in France, divided into three platforms with a dark cavern at the side of the lowest, appropriated respectively to the Heavenly Father and his angels, to saints and glorified men, to mere men, and to souls in hell. But the last-named locality was frequently displayed in the English miracles, with or without fire in its mouth. The costumes were in part conventional,—divine and saintly person-ages being distinguished by gilt hair and beards, Herod being clad as a Saracen, the demons wearing hideous heads, the souls black and white coats according to their kind, and the angels gold skins and wings. Doubtless these performances abounded in what seem to us ludicrous features; and, though their main purpose was serious, they were not in England at least intended to be devoid of fun. But many of the features in question are in truth only homely and na' f, and the simplicity of feeling which they exhibit is at times pathetic rather than laughable. The occasional grossness is due to an absence of refinement of taste rather than to an obliquity of moral sentiment. These features the four series have more or less in common, still there are certain obvious distinctions between them. The York plays (48), which were performed at Corpus Christi, are comparatively free from the tendency to jocularity and vulgarity observable in the Towneley; several of the plays concerned with the New Testament and early Christian story are, however, in substance common to both series. The Towneley Plays or Wakefield Mysteries (32) were undoubtedly composed by the friars of Widkirk or Nostel; but they are of a popular character; and, while somewhat over-free in tone, are superior in vivacity and humour to both the later collections. The Chester Plays (25) were undoubtedly indebted both to the Mystere du vieil testament and to earlier French mysteries; they are less popular in character than the earlier two cycles, and on the whole undistinguished by original power of pathos or humour. There is, on the other hand, a notable inner completeness in this series, which includes a play of Antichrist, devoid of course of any modern application. While these plays were performed at Whitsuntide, the Coventry Plays (42) were Corpus Christi performances. Though there is no proof that the extant series were composed by the Grey Friars, they reveal a considerable knowledge of ecclesiastical literature. For the rest, they are far more effectively written than the Chester Plays, and occasionally rise to real dramatic force. In the Coventry series there is already to be observed an element of abstract figures, which connects them with a different species of the medieval drama. The moralities corresponded to the love for allegory which manifests itself in so many periods of English literature, and which,while dominating the whole field of medieval Moralities. literature, was nowhere more assiduously and effectively cultivated than in England. It is necessary to bear this in mind, in order to understand what to us seems so strange, the popularity of the moral-plays, which indeed never equalled that of the miracles, but sufficed to maintain the former species till it received a fresh impulse from the connexion established between it and the " new learning," together with the new political and religious ideas and questions, of the Reformation age. Moreover, a specially popular element was supplied to these plays, which in manner of representation differed in no essential point from the miracles, in a character borrowed from the latter, and, in the moralities, usually provided with a companion whose task it was to lighten the weight of such abstractions as Sapience and Justice. These were the Devil and his attendant the Vice, of whom the latter seems to The the Uevil have been of native origin, and, as he was usually dressed vice. in a fool's habit, was probably suggested by the familiar custom of keeping an attendant fool at court or in great houses. The Vice had many aliases (Shift, Ambidexter, Sin, Fraud, Iniquity, &c.), but his usual duty is to torment and tease the Devil his master for the edification and diversion of the audience. The York, Towneley, Chester and Coventry plays. ouective dating from the close of the 16th century, " were :—mysteries. Every company had his pageant, which pageants were a high scaffold with two rooms, a higher and a lower, upon four wheels. In the lower they apparelled themselves, and in the higher room they played, being all open at the top, that all beholders might hear and see them. The places where they played them was in every street. They began first at the abbey gates, and when the first pageant was played, it was wheeled to the high cross before the mayor, and so to every street, and so every street had a pageant playing before them at one time till all the pageants appointed for the day were played; and when one pageant was near ended, word was brought from street to street, that so they might come in place thereof, exceedingly orderly, and all the streets have their pageants afore them all at one time playing together; to see which plays was great resort, and also scaffolds and stages made in the streets in those places where they determined to play their pageants." Each play, then, was performed by the representative of a particular trade or company, after whom it was called the fishers', glovers', &c., pageant; while a general prologue was spoken by a herald. As a rule the movable stage sufficed for the Character of the plays. He was gradually blended with the domestic fool, who survived in the regular drama. There are other concrete elements in the moralities; for typical figures are often fitted with concrete names, and thus all but converted into concrete human personages. The earlier English moralities '—from the reign of Henry VI. to that of Henry VII.—usually allegorize the conflict between good and evil in the mind and life of man, without any coups of side-intention of theological controversy. Such also moralities. is still essentially the purpose of the extant morality by Henry VIII.'s poet, the witty Skelton? Everyman (pr. C. 1529), perhaps the most perfect example of its class, with which the present generation has fortunately become familiar, contains passages certainly designed to enforce the specific teaching of Rome. But its Dutch original was written at least a generation earlier, and could have no controversial intention. On the other hand, R. Wever's Lusty Juventus breathes the spirit of the dogmatic reformation of the reign of Edward VI. Theological controversy largely occupies. the moralities of the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign,' and connects itself with political feeling in a famous morality, Sir David Lyndsay's Satire of the Three Estaitis, written and acted (at Cupar, in 1539) on the other side of the border, where such efforts as the religious drama proper had made had been extinguished by the Reformation. Only a single English political morality proper remains to us, which belongs to the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth.' Another series connects itself with the ideas of the Renaissance rather than the Reformation, treating of intellectual progress rather than of moral conduct;' this extends from the reign of Henry VIII. to that of his younger daughter. Besides these, there remain some Elizabethan moralities which have no special theological or scientific purpose, and which are none the less lively in consequence.6 The transition from the morality to the regular drama in England was effected, on the one hand; by the intermixture of historical personages with abstractions—as in Bishop Transition Bale's Kyng Johan (c. 1548)—which easily led over to from the morality the chronicle history; on the other, by the introduction to the of types of real life by the side of abstract figures. regular This latter tendency, of which instances occur in earlier drama. plays, is observable in several of the 16th-century moralities ;' but before most of these were written, a further step in advance had been taken by a man of genius, John Heywood (b. c. 1500, d. between 1577 and 1587), Hte udess whose " interludes "0 were short farces in the French manner. The term " interludes " was by no means new, but had been applied by friend and foe to religious plays, and plays (including moralities) in general, already in the 14th century. But it conveniently serves to designate a species which marks a distinct stage in the history of the modern drama. Heywood's interludes dealt entirely with real—very real—men and women. Orthodox and conservative, he had at the same time a keen eye for the vices as well as the follies of his age, and not the least for those of the clerical profession. Other writers, such as T. Ingeland,9 took the same direction; and the allegory of abstractions was thus undermined on the stage, very much as in didactic literature the ground had been cut from under its feet by the Ship of Fooles. Thus the interludes facilitated the advent of comedy, without having superseded the earlier form. Both moralities and miracle-plays survived into the Elizabethan age after the regular drama had already begun its course. To the earliest group belong The Castle of Perseverance; Wisdom who is Christ; Mankind; to the second, or early Tudor group, Medwell, Nature; The World and the Child; Hycke-Scorner, &c. Such, in barest outline, was the progress of dramatic entertainments in the principal countries of Europe, before the revival of classical studies brought about a return to the examples pageants of the classical drama, or before this return had distinctly asserted itself. It must not, however, be forgotten that from an early period in England as elsewhere had flourished a species of entertainments, not properly speaking dramatic, but largely contributing to form and foster a taste for dramatic spectacles. The pageants—as they were called in England—were the successors of those ridings from which, when they gladdened " Chepe," Chaucer's idle apprentice would not keep away; but they had advanced in splendour and ingenuity of device under the influence of Flemish and other foreign examples. Costumed figures represented before gaping citizens the heroes of mythology and history, and the abstractions of moral, patriotic, or municipal allegory; and the city of London clung with special fervour to these exhibitions, which the Elizabethan drama was neither able nor—as represented by most of its poets who composed devices and short texts for these and similar shows —willing to oust from pcpular favour. Some of the greatest and some of the least of English dramatists were the ministers of pageantry; and perhaps it would have been an advantage for the future of the theatre if the legitimate drama and the Triumphs of Old Drapery had been more jealously kept apart. With the reign of Henry VIII. there also set in a varied succession of entertainments at court and in the houses of the great nobles, which may be said to have lasted through the Tudor and early Stuart periods; but it would be an endless task to attempt to discriminate the dramatic elements contained in these productions. . The " mask," stated to have been introduced from Italy into England as a new diversion in 1512-1513, at first merely added a fresh element of " disguising " to those already in use; as a quasi-dramatic species (" mask " or " masque ") capable of a great literary development it hardly asserted itself till quite the end of the 16th century. II. THE MODERN NATIONAL DRAMA The literary influence which finally transformed the growths noticed above into the national dramas of the several countries of Europe, was that of the Renaissance. Among the Influence remains of classical antiquity which were studied, of the translated and imitated, those of the drama necessarily Rennie-held a prominent place. Never altogether lost sight of, sauce. they now became subjects of devoted research and models for more or less exact imitation, first in Greek or Latin, then in modern tongues; and these essentially literary endeavours came into more or less direct contact with, and acquired more or less control over, dramatic performances and entertainments already in existence. This process it will be most convenient to pursue seriatim, in connexion with the rise and progress of the several dramatic literatures of the West. For no sooner had the stream of the modern drama, whose source and contributories have been described, been brought back into the ancient bed, than its flow diverged into a number of national currents, unequal in impetus and strength, and varying in accordance with their manifold surroundings. And even of these it is only possible to survey the most productive or important. (a) Italy. The priority in this as in most of the other aspects of the Renaissance belongs to Italy. In ultimate achievement the Italian drama fell short of the fulness of the results The obtained elsewhere—a surprising fact when it is modern considered, not only that the Italian language had the Italian vantage-ground of closest relationship to the Latin, drama. but that the genius of the Italian people has at all times led it to love the drama. The cause is doubtless to be sought in the lack, noticeable in Italian national life during a long period, and more especially during the troubled days of division and strife coinciding with the rise and earlier promise of Italian dramatic literature, of those loftiest and most potent impulses of popular feeling to. which a national drama owes so much of its strength. This deficiency; was. due partly to the peculiarities of the Italian 2 Magnyfycence. ' New Custome; N. Woodes, The Conflict of Conscience, &c. ' Albyon Knight. ' Rastell, Nature of the Four Elements; Redford; Wit and Science; The Trial of Treasure; The Marriage of Wit and Science. e The Marriage of Wit and .Wisdom; The Contention between Liberality and Prodigality. ' Jack Juggler; Tom Tiler and his Wife, &c. e The Four P's, &c. 0 The Disobedient Child (c. 1560).' character, partly to the political and ecclesiastical experiences which Italy was fated to undergo. The Italians were alike strangers to the enthusiasm of patriotism, which was as the breath in the nostrils of the English Elizabethan age, and to the religious devotion which identified Spain with the spirit of the Catholic revival. The clear-sightedness of the Italians had something to do with this, for they were too intelligent to believe in their tyrants, and too free from illusions to deliver up their minds to their priests. Finally, the chilling and enervating effects of a pressure of foreign domination, such as no Western people with a history and a civilization like those of Italy has ever experienced, contributed to paralyse for many generations the higher efforts of the dramatic art. No basis was permanently found for a really national tragedy; while literary comedy, after turning from the direct imitation of Latin models to a more popular form, lost itself in an abandoned immorality of tone and in reckless insolence of invective against particular classes of society. Though its productivity long continued, the poetic drama more and more concentrated its efforts upon subordinate or subsidiary species, artificial in origin and decorative in purpose, and surrendered its substance to the overpowering aids of music, dancing and spectacle. Only a single form of the Italian drama, improvised comedy, remained truly national; and this was of its nature dissociated from higher literary effort. The revival of Italian tragedy in later times is due partly to the imitation of French models, partly to the endeavour of a brilliant genius to infuse into his art the historical and political spirit. Comedy likewise attained to new growths of considerable significance, when it was sought to accommodate its popular forms to the representation of real life in a wider range, and again to render it more poetical in accordance with the tendencies of modern romanticism. The regular Italian drama, in both its tragic and its comic branches, began with a reproduction, in the Latin language, of classical models—the first step, as it was to prove, towards the transformation of the medieval into the modern drama, and the birth of modern dramatic literature. But the process was both tentative and tedious, and must have died away but for the pomp and circumstance with which some of the patrons of the Renaissance at Florence, Rome and elsewhere surrounded these manifestations of a fashionable taste, and for the patriotic inspiration which from the first induced Italian writers to dramatize themes of national historic interest. Greek tragedy had been long forgotten, and one or two indications in the earlier part of the 16th century of Italian interest in the Greek drama, chiefly due to the printing presses, may be passed by.s To the later middle ages classical tragedy meant Seneca, and even his plays remained unremembered till the study of them was revived by the Paduan judge Lovato de' Lovati (Lupatus, d. 1309). Of the comedies of Plautus three-fifths were not rediscovered till 1429; and though Terence was much read in the schools, he found no dramatic imitators, pour le bon motif or otherwise, since Hrosvitha. Thus the first medieval follower of Seneca, Albertino Mussato (1261-1330) may in a sense be called the father of modern dramatic literature. Born at Padua, to which city all his services were given, he in 1315 brought out his Eccerinis, a Latin tragedy very near to the confines of epic poetry, intended to warn the Paduans against the designs of Can Grande della Scala by the example of the tyrant Ezzelino. Other tragedies of much the same type followed during the ensuing century; such as L. da Fabiano's De casu Caesenae (1377) a sort of chronicle history in Latin prose on Cardinal Albornoz' capture of Caesena.2 Purely The Xgiav'a aavxwv, an artificial Byzantine product, probably of the 11th century, glorifying the Virgin in Euripidean verse, was not known to the Western world till 1542. 2 Of G. Manzini della Motta's Latin tragedy on the fall of Antonio della Scala only a chorus remains. He died after 1389. Probably to the earlier half of the century belongs the Latin prose drama Columpnarium, the story of which, though it ends happily, resembles that of The Cenci. Later plays in Latin of the historic type are the extant Landivio de' Nobili's De captivitate Ducis Jacobi (the condottiere Jacopo Piccinino, d. 1464); C. Verardi's Historia Baeticaclassical themes were treated in the Achilleis of A. de' Loschi of Vicenza (d. 1441), formerly attributed to Mussato, several passages of which are taken verbally from Seneca; in the celebrated Progne of the Venetian Gregorio Cornaro, which is dated 1428-1429, and in later Latin productions included among the translations and imitations of Greek and Latin tragedies and comedies by Bishop Martirano (d. 1557), the friend of Pope Leo X.,3 and the efforts of Pomponius Laetus and his followers, who, with the aid of Cardinal Raffaele Riario (1451-1521), sought to revive the ancient theatre, with all its classical associations, at Rome. In this general movement Latin comedy had quickly followed suit, and, as just indicated, it is almost impossible, when we reach the height of the Italian Renaissance under the Medici at Florence and at Rome in particular, to review the progress of either species apart from that of the other. If we possessed the lost Philologia of Petrarch, of which, as of a juvenile work, he declared himself ashamed, this would be the earliest of extant humanistic comedies. As it is, this position is held by Paulus, a Latin comedy of life on the classic model, by the orthodox P. P. Vergerio (137o-1444); which was followed by many others.' Early in the 16th century, tragedy began to be written in the native tongue; but it retained from the first, and never wholly lost, the impress of its origin. Whatever the source Malian of its subjects—which, though mostly of classical tragedy In origin, were occasionally derived from native romance, the 16th or even due to invention—they were all treated with century. a predilection for the horrible, inspired by the example of Seneca, though no doubt encouraged by a perennial national taste. The chorus, stationary on the stage as in old Roman tragedy, was not reduced to a merely occasional appearance between the acts till the beginning of the 17th century, or ousted altogether from the tragic drama till the earlier half of the 18th. Thus the changes undergone by Italian tragedy were for a long series of generations chiefly confined to the form of versification and the choice of themes; nor was it, at all events till the last century of the course which it has hitherto run, more than the aftergrowth of an aftergrowth. The honour of having been the earliest tragedy in Italian seems to belong to A. da Pistoia's Pamfila (1499), of which the subject was taken from Boccaccio, introduced by the ghost of Seneca, and marred in the taking. Carretto's Sofonisba, which hardly rises above the art of a chronicle history, though provided with a chorus, followed in 1502. But the play usually associated with the beginning of Italian tragedy—that with which " th' Italian scene first learned to glow "—was another Sofonisba., acted before Leo X. in 1515, and written in blank hendecasyllables instead of the ottava and terza rima of the earlier tragedians (retaining, however, the lyric measures of the chorus), by G. G. Trissino, who was employed as nuncio by that pope. Other tragedies of the former half of the 16th century, largely inspired by Trissino's example, were the Rosmunda of Rucellai, a nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent •(1516); Martelli's Tullia, Alamanni's Antigone (1532); the Canace of Sperone Speroni, the envious Mopsus of Tasso, who, like Guarini, took Sperone's elaborate style for his model; the (the expulsion of the Moors from Granada) (1492), and the same author's Ferdinandus (of Aragon) Servatus, which is called a tragicomedy because it is neither tragic nor comic. The Florentine L. Dali's Hiempsal (1441–1442) remains in MS. A few tragedies on sacred subjects were produced in Italy during the last quarter of the 15th century, and a little later. Such were the religious dramas written for his pupils by P. Domizio, on which Politian cast contempt ; and the tragedies, following ancient models, of T. da Prato of Treviso, B. Campagna of Verona, De passione Redemptoris; and G. F. Conti, author of Theandrothanatos and numerous vanished plays. 3 Imber aureus (Dance), &c. 4 L. Bruni's Poliscena (c. 1395) ; Sicco Polentone's (1370–1463) jovial Lusus ebriorum s. De lege bibia; the papal secretary P. Candido Decembrio's (1399–1477) non-extant Aphrodisia; L. B. Alberti's Philodoxios (1424) ; Ugolino Pisani of Parma's (d. before 1462) Philogenie and Confutatio coquinaria (a merry students' play) ; the Fraudiphila of A. Tridentine, also of Parma, who died after 1470 and perhaps served Pius II.; Eneo Silvio de' Piccolomini's own verse comedy, Chrisis, likewise in MS., written in 1444; P. Domizio's Lucinia, acted in the palace of Lorenzo de' Medici in 1478, &c. Orazia, the earliest dramatic treatment of this famous subject by the notorious Aretino (1549); and the nine tragedies of G. B. Giraldi (Cinthio) of Ferrara, among which L'Orbecche (1541) is accounted the best and the bloodiest. Cinthio, the author of those Hecatommithi to which Shakespeare was indebted for so many of his subjects, was (supposing him to have invented these) the first Italian who was the author of the fables of his own dramas; he introduced some novelties into dramatic construction, separating the prologue and probably also the epilogue from the action, and has by some been regarded as the inventor of the pastoral drama. But his style was arid. In the latter half of the 16th century may be mentioned the Didone and the Marianna of L. Dolce, the translator of Euripides and Seneca (1565); A. Leonico's Il Soldato (155o); the Adriana (acted before 1561 or 1586) of L. Groto, which treats the story of Romeo and Juliet; Tasso's Torrismondo (1587); the Tancredi of Asinari (1588) ; and the Merope of Torelli (1593), the last who employed the stationary chorus (coro fisso) on the Italian stage. Leonico's Soldato is noticeable as supposed to have given. rise to the tragedia cittadina, or domestic tragedy, of which there are few examples in the Italian drama, and De Velo's Tamar (1586) as written in prose. Subjects of modern historical interest were in this period treated only in isolated instances. The tragedians of the 17th century continued to pursue the beaten track, marked out already in the 16th by rigid prescrip- Italian tion. In course of time, however, they sought by the tragedy introduction of musical airs to compromise with the in the 17th danger with which their art was threatened of being and 18th (in Voltaire's phrase) extinguished by the beautiful centuries. monster, the opera, now rapidly gaining ground in the country of its origin. (See OPERA.) To Count P. Bonarelli (1589-1659), the author of Solimano, is on the other hand ascribed the first disuse of the chorus in Italian tragedy. The innovation of the use of rhyme attempted in the learned Pallavicino's Erminigildo (1655), and defended by him in a discourse prefixed to the play, was unable to achieve a permanent success in Italy any more than in England; its chief representative was afterwards Martelli (d. 1727), whose rhymed Alexandrian verse (Martelliano), though on one occasion used in comedy by Goldoni, failed to commend itself to the popular taste. By the end of the 17th century Italian tragedy seemed destined to expire, and the great tragic actor Cotta had withdrawn in disgust at the apathy of the public towards the higher forms of the drama. The 18th century was, however, to witness a change, the beginnings of which are attributed to the institution of the Academy of the Arcadians at Rome (169o). The principal efforts of the new school of writers and critics were directed to the abolition of the chorus, and to 'a general increase of freedom in treatment. Maffei Before long the marquis S. Maffei with his Merope (first printed 1713) achieved one of the most brilliant successes recorded in the history of dramatic literature. This play, which is devoid of any love-story, long continued to be considered the masterpiece of Italian tragedy; Voltaire, who declared it " worthy of the most glorious days of Athens," adapted it for the French stage, and it inspired a celebrated production of the English drama? It was followed by a tragedy full of horrors,' noticeable as having given rise to the first Italian dramatic parody; and by the highly esteemed productions of Meta- Granelli (d.1769) and his contemporaryBettinelli. P.T. Mask.. Metastasio (1698-1782) ,who had early begun his career as a dramatist by a strict adherence to the precepts of Aristotle, gained celebrity by his contributions to the operatic drama at Naples, Venice and Vienna (where he held office as poeta cesareo, whose function was to arrange the court entertain- ments). But his libretti have a poetic value of their own;4 and Voltaire pronounced much of him worthy of Corneille and of Racine, when at their best. The influence of Voltaire had now come to predominate over the Italian drama; and, in accordance ' Mondella, Isifile (1582); Fuligni, Bragadino (1589). z Home, Douglas. 3 Lazzaroni, Ulisse it giovane (1719). Didone abbandonata, Siroe, Semiramide, Artaserse, Demetris, &c.with the spirit of the times, greater freedom prevailed in the choice of tragic themes. Thus the greatest of Italian tragic poets, Count V. Alfieri (1749-1803), found his path prepared for him. Alfieri's grand and impassioned treatment of Alflerl his subjects caused his faultiness of form, which he never altogether overcame, to be forgotten. His themes were partly classical;' but the spirit of a love of freedom which his creations 6 breathe was the herald of the national ideas of the future. Spurning the usages of French tragedy, his plays, which abound in soliloquies, owe•part of their effect to an impassioned force of declamation, part to those " points " by-which Italian acting seems pre-eminently capable of thrilling an audience. He has much besides the subjects of two of his dramas' in common with Schiller, but his amazon-muse (as Schlegel called her) was not schooled into serenity, like the muse of the German poet. Among his numerous plays (21), Merope and Saul, and perhaps Mirra, are accounted his masterpieces. The political colouring given by Alfieri to Italian tragedy reappears in the plays of U. Foscolo and A. Manzoni, both of whom are under the influence of the romantic school rra d-of modern literature; and to these names must be lan tnce added those of S. Pellico and G. B. Niccolini (1785- AWert. 1861), Paolo Giacometti (b. 1816) and others, whose dramas" treat largely national themes familiar to all students of modern history and literature. In their hands Italian tragedy upon the whole adhered to its love of strong situations and passionate declamation. Since the successful efforts of G. Modena (1804-1861) renovated the tragic stage in Italy, the art of tragic acting long stood at a higher level in this than in almost any other European country; in Adelaide Ristori (Marchesa del Grillo) the tragic stage lost one of the greatest of modern actresses; and Ernesto Rossi (1827-1896) and Tommaso Salvini long remained rivals in the noblest forms of tragedy. In comedy, the efforts of the scholars of the Italian Renaissance for a time went side by side with the progress of the popular entertainments noticed above. While the contrasti of Italian the close of the 15th and of the 16th century were comedy; disputations between pairs of abstract or allegorical Popular figures, in the frottola human types take the place of forms• abstractions, and more than two characters appear. The farsa (a name used of a wide variety of entertainments) was still under medieval influences, and in this popular form Alione of Asti (soon after 1500) was specially productive. To these popular diversions a new literary as well as social significance was given by the Neapolitan court-poet Sani.azaro (c. 1492); about the same time a capitano valoroso, Venturii.o of Pesara, first brought on the modern stage the capitano glorioso or spavente, the military braggart, who owed his origin both to Plautus9 and to the Spanish officers who abounded in the Italy of those days. The popular character-comedy, a relic of the ancient Atellanae, likewise took a new lease of life—and this in a double form. The improvised comedy (commedia a soggetto) was now as a rule performed by professional actors, members of a craft, and was thence called the commedia dell' arte, which is said to commedl have been invented by Francesco (called Terenziano) dell' arse. Cherea, the favourite player of Leo X. Its scenes, still unwritten except in skeleton (scenario), were connected together by the ligatures or links (lazzi) of the arlecchino, the descendant of the ancient Roman sannio (whence our zany). Harlequin's summit of glory was probably reached early in the 17th century, when he was ennobled in the person of Cecchino by the emperor Matthias; of Cecchino's successors, Zaccagnino and Truffaldino, we read that " they shut the door in Italy to good hark- Masked quins." Distinct from this growth is that of the masked comedy. comedy, the action of which was chiefly carried on by certain Cleopatra, Antigone, Octavia, Mirope, &c. 6 e.g. Bruto I. and II. Filippo; Maria Stuarda. 6 Pellico, Francesca da Rimini; Niccolim, Giovanni da Procida; Beatrice Cenci; Giacometti, Cola di Rienzi (Giacometti's master-piece was La Marte civile). 9 Pyrogopolinices in the Miles Gloriosus typical figures in masks, speaking in local dialects,l but which was not improvised, and indeed from the nature of the case hardly could have been. Its inventor was A. Beolco of Padua, who called himself Ruzzante (joker), and is memorable under that name as the first actor-playwright—a combination of extreme significance for the history of the modern stage. He published six comedies in various dialects, including the Greek of the day (1530). This was the masked comedy to which the Italians so tenaciously clung, and in which, as all their own and imitable by no other nation, they took so great a pride that even Goldoni was unable to overthrow it. Improvisation and burlesque, alike abominable to comedy proper, were inseparable from the species. Meanwhile, the Latin imitations of Roman, varied by occasional translations of Greek, comedies early led to the production Early of Italian translations, several of which were performed Italian at Ferrara in the last quarter of the 15th century, regular whence they spread to Milan, Pavia and other towns comedy. of the north. Contemporaneously, imitations of Latin comedy made their appearance, for the most part in rhymed verse; most of them applying classical treatment to subjects derived from Boccaccio's and other novelle, some still mere adaptations of ancient models. In these circumstances it is all but idle to assign the honour of having been " the first Italian comedy "—and thus the first comedy in modern dramatic literature—to any particular play. Boiardo's Timone (before 1494), for which this distinction was frequently claimed, is to a large extent founded on a dialogue of Lucian's; and, since some of its personages are abstractions, and Olympus is domesticated on an upper stage, it cannot be regarded as more than a transition from the moralities. A. Ricci's I Tre Tiranni (before 1530) seems still to belong to the same transitional species. Among the earlier imitators of Latin comedy in the vernacular may be noted G. Visconti, one of the poets patronized by Ludovico it Moro at Milan; 2 the Florentines G. B. Araldo, J. Nardi, the historian,3 and D. Gianotti.4 The step—very important had it been adopted consistently or with a view to consistency—of substituting prose for verse as the diction of comedy, is some-times attributed to Ariosto; but, though his first two comedies were originally written in prose, the experiment was not new, nor did he persist in its adoption. Caretto's I Sei Contenti dates from the end of the 15th century, and Publio Filippo's Formicone, taken from Apuleius, followed quite early in the 16th. Machiavelli, as will be seen, wrote comedies both in prose and in verse. But, whoever wrote the first Italian comedy, Ludovico Ariosto was the first master of the species. All but the first two of his comedies, belonging as they do to the field of commedia erudita, or scholarly comedy, are in blank verse, to which he gave a singular mobility by the dactylic ending of the line (sdrucciolo). Ariosto's models were the masterpieces of the palliata, and his morals those of his age, which emulated those of the worst days of ancient Rome or Byzantium in looseness, and surpassed them in effrontery. He chose his subjects accordingly; but his dramatic genius displayed itself in the effective drawing of character,5 and more especially in the skilful management of complicated intrigues.6 Such, with an additional brilliancy of wit and lasciviousness of tone, are likewise the characteristics of Machiavelli's famous prose comedy, the Mandragola (The The masked characters, each of which spoke the dialect of the place he represented, were (according to Baretti) Pantalone, a Venetian merchant; Dottore, a Bolognese physician; Spaviento, a Neapolitan braggadocio; Pullicinella, a wag of Apulia; Giangurgulo and Coviello, clowns of Calabria; Gelfomino, a Roman beau; Brighella, a Ferrarese pimp; and Arlecchino, a blundering servant of Bergamo. Besides these and a few other such personages (of whom four at least appeared in each play), there were the Amorosos or Innamoratos, men or women (the latter not before 1560, up to which time actresses were unknown in Italy) with serious parts, and Smeraldina, Colombina, Spilletta, and other servettas or waiting-maids. All these spoke Tuscan or Roman, and wore no masks. 2 Pasitea. 3 Amicizia. ' Milesia. 8 La Lena ; Il Negromante. 8 La Cassaria; I Suppositi.Magic Draught) ;7 and at the height of their success, of the plays of P. Aretino,8 especially the prose Marescalco (1526-1527) whose name, it has been said, ought to be written in asterisks. It may be added that the plays of Ariosto and his followers were represented with magnificent scenery and settings. Other dramatists of the 16th century were B. Accolti, whose Virginia (prob. before 1513) treats the story from Boccaccio which reappears in All's Well that Ends Well ; G. Cecchi, F. d'Ambra, A. F. Grazzini, N. Secco or Secchi and L. Dolce—all writers of romantic comedy of intrigue in verse or prose. During the same century the " pastoral drama " flourished in Italy. The origin of this peculiar species—which was the bucolic idyll in a dramatic form, and which freely lent itself to the introduction of both mythological and allegorical elements—was purely literary, and arose directly out of the classical studies and tastes of the Renaissance. It was very far removed from the genuine peasant plays which flourished in Venetia and Tuscany early in the 16th century. The earliest example of the artificial, but in some of its productions exquisite, growth in question was the renowned scholar A. Politian's Orfeo (1472), which begins like an idyll and ends like a tragedy. Intended to be performed with music—for the pastoral drama is the parent of the opera—this beautiful work tells its story simply. N. da Correggio's (1450-15o8) Cefalo, or Aurora, and others followed, before in 1554 A. Beccari produced, as totally new of its kind, his Arcadian pastoral drama Il Sagrifizio, in which the comic element predominates. But an epoch in the history of the species is marked by the Aminta of Tasso (1593), in whose Arcadia is allegorically mirrored the Ferrara court. Adorned by choral lyrics of great beauty, it presents an allegorical treatment of a social and moral problem; and since the conception of the characters, all of whom think and speak of nothing but love, is artificial, the charm of the poem lies not in the interest of its action, but in the passion and sweetness of its sentiment. This work was the model of many others, and the pastoral drama reached its height of popularity in the famous Pastor fido (written before 1590) of G. B. Guarini, which, while founded on a tragic love-story, introduces into its complicated plot a comic element, partly with a satirical intention. It is one of those exceptional works which, by circumstance as well as by merit, have become the property of the world's literature at large. Thus, both in Italian and in other literatures, the pastoral drama became a distinct species, characterized, like the great body of modern pastoral poetry in general, by a tendency either towards the artificial or towards the burlesque. Its artificiality affected the entire growth of Italian comedy, including the commedia dell' arte, and impressed itself in an intensified form upon the opera. The foremost Italian masters of the last-named species, so far as it can claim to be included in the poetic drama, were A. Zeno (1668-175o) and P. Metastasio. The comic dramatists of the 17th century are grouped as followers of the classical and of the romantic school, G. B. della Porto, (q.v.) and G. A. Cicognini (whom Goldoni Comedy In describes as full of whining pathos and commonplace the 17th drollery, but as still possessing a great power to and 18th interest) being regarded as the leading representatives centuries. of the former. But neither of these largely intermixed groups of writers could, with all its fertility, prevail against the com petition, on the one hand of the musical drama, and on the other of the popular farcical entertainments and those introduced in imitation of Spanish examples. Italian comedy had fallen into decay, when its reform was undertaken by the wonderful theatrical genius of C. Goldoni. One of the most Goldoni. fertile and rapid of playwrights (of his 15o comedies 16 were written and acted in a single year), he at the same time pursued definite aims as a dramatist. Disgusted with the conventional buffoonery, and ashamed of the rampant 7 Of Machiavelli's other comedies, two are prose adaptations from Plautus and Terence, La Clizia (Casina) and Andria; of the two others, simply called Commedie, and in verse, his authorship seems doubtful. 3 La Cortigiana, La Talanta, Il Ipocrito, Il Filosofo. The pastoral drama. 5 o 6 immorality of the Italian comic stage, he drew his characters from real life, whether of his native city (Venice)' or of society at large, and sought to enforce virtuous and pathetic sentiments without neglecting the essential objects of his art. Happy and various in his choice of themes, and dipping deep into a popular life with which he had a genuine sympathy, he produced, besides comedies of general human character,2 plays on subjects drawn from literary biography 3 or from fiction.' Goldoni, whose style was considered defective by the purists whom Italy has at no time lacked, met with a severe critic and a temporarily successful Gozzl rival in Count C. Gozzi (1722-1806), who sought to rescue the comic drama from its association with the actual life of the middle classes, and to infuse a new spirit into the figures of the old masked comedy by the invention of a new species. His themes were taken from Neapolitan' and Oriental 6 fairy tales, to which he accommodated some of the standing figures upon which Goldoni had made war. This attempt at mingling fancy and humour---occasionally of a directly satirical turn 7—was in harmony with the tendencies of the modern romantic school; and Gozzi's efforts, which though successful found hardly any imitators in Italy, have a family resemblance to those of Tieck and of some more recent writers whose art wings its flight, through the windows, " over the hills and far away." During the latter part of the 18th and the early years of the 19th century comedy continued to follow the course marked out by its acknowledged master Goldoni, under the comedians influence of the sentimental drama of France and other after Gol- don+. countries. Abati Andrea Villi, the marquis Albergati Capacelli, Antonio Simone Sografi (176o-1825), Federici, and Pietro Napoli Signorelli (1731-1815), the historian of the drama, are mentioned among the writers of this school ; to the 19th century belong Count Giraud, Marchisio (who took his subjects especially from commercial life), and Nota, a fertile writer, among whose plays are three treating the lives of poets. Of still more recent date are L. B. Bon and A. Brofferio. At the same time, the comedy of dialect to which the example of Goldoni had given sanction in Venice, flourished there as well as in the mutually remote spheres of Piedmont and Naples. Quite modern developments must remain unnoticed here; but the fact cannot be ignored that they signally illustrate the perennial vitality of the modern drama in the home of its beginnings. A new realistic style set fully in about the middle of the 18th century with P. Ferrari and A. Torelli; and though an historical reaction towards classical and medieval themes is associated with the names of P. Cossa and G. Giacosa, modernism reasserted itself through P. Bracco and other dramatists. It should be noted that the influence of great actors, more especially Ermete Novelli and Eleanora Duse, must be credited with a large share of the success with which the Italian stage has held its own even against the foreign influences to which it gave room. And it would seem as if even the paradoxical endeavour of the poet Gabrielle d' Annunzio to lyricize the drama by ignoring action as its essence were a problem for the solution of which the stage can furnish unexpected conditions of its own. In any event, both Italian tragedy and Italian comedy have survived periods of a seemingly hopeless decline; and the fear has vanished that either the opera or the ballet might succeed in ousting from the national stage the legitimate forms of the national drama. ' Momolo Cortesan (Jerome the Accomplished Man) ; La Bottega del caffe, &c. 2 La Vedova scaltra (The Cunning Widow) ; .La Putta onorata (The Respectable Girl); La Buona Figlia; La B. Sposa; La B. Famiglia; La B. Madre (the last of which was unsuccessful; " goodness," says Goldoni, " never displeases, but the public weary of every thing "), &c.; and Il Burbero benefico, called in its original French version Le Bourru bienfaisant. 3 Moliere; Terenzio; Tasso. 9 Pamela; Pamela Maritata; Il Filosofo Inglese (Mr Spectator). 6 L' Amore delle tre melarancie (The Three Lemons) ; Il Corvo. 8 Turandot ; Zobezde. 7 L' Amore delle tre m. (against Goldoni) ; L' Angellino Belverde (The Small Green Bird), (against Helvetius, Rousseau and Voltaire).[MODERN GREEK: SPANISH (b) Greece. The dramatic literature of the later Hellenes is a creation of the literary movement which preceded their noble struggle for independence, or which may be said to form part Modern of that struggle. After beginning with dramatic Greek and dialogues of a patriotic tendency, it took a step in Dalmatian advance with the tragedies of J. R. Nerulos 8 (1778— drama. 185o), whose name belongs to the political as well as to the literary history of his country. His comedies—especially one directed against the excesses of journalism 9—largely contributed to open a literary life for the modern Greek tongue. Among the earlier patriotic Greek dramatists of the 19th century are T. Alkaeos, J. Zampelios (whose tragic style was influenced by that of Alfieri),1° S. K. Karydis and A. Valaoritis. A. Zoiros" is noteworthy as having introduced the use of prose into Greek tragedy, while preserving to it that association with sentiments and aspirations which will probably long continue to pervade the chief productions of modern Greek literature. The love of the theatre is ineradicable from Attic as it is from Italian soil; and the tendencies of the young dramatic literature of Hellas which is not wholly absorbed in the effort to keep abreast of recent modern developments, seem to justify the hope that a worthy future awaits it. Under Italian influence an interesting dramatic growth attained to some vitality in the Dalmatian lands about the beginning of the 16th century, where the religious drama, whose days were passing away in Italy, found favour with a people with a scant popular literature of its own. At Ragusa Italian literary influence had been spread by the followers of Petrarch from the later years of the 15th century; here several Servo-Croatian writers produced religious plays in the manner of the Italian rappresentazioni; and a gifted poet, Martin Drzic, composed, besides religious plays and farces, a species of pastoral which enjoyed much favour. (c) Spain. Spain is the only country of modern Europe which shares with England the honour of having achieved, at a relatively early date, the creation of a genuinely national form of the regular drama. So proper to Spain was the form of the drama which she produced and perfected, that to it the term romantic has been specifically applied, though so restricted a use of the epithet is clearly unjustifiable. The influences which from the Romance peoples—in whom Christian and Germanic elements mingled with the legacy of Roman law, learning and culture—spread to the Germanic nations were represented with the most signal force and fulness in the institutions of chivalry,—to which, in the words of Scott, " it was peculiar to blend military valour with the strongest passions which actuate the human mind, the feelings of devotion and those of love." These feelings, in their combined operation upon the national character, and in their reflection in the national literature, were not confined to Spain; but nowhere did they so long or so late continue to animate the moral life of a nation. Outward causes contributed to this result. For centuries after the crusades had become a Nere memory, Spain was a battle-ground between the Cross and the Crescent. And it was just at the time when the Renaissance was establishing new starting-points for the literary progress of Europe, that Christian Spain rose to the height of Catholic as well as national self-consciousness by the expulsion of the Moors and the conquest of the New World. From their rulers or rivals of so many centuries the Spaniards derived that rich, if not very varied, glow of colour which became permanently distinctive of their national life, and more especially of its literary and artistic 3 Aspasia; Polyxena. 9 Ephemeridophobos. to Timoleon; Konstantinos Palaeologos; Rhigas of Pherae. " The Three Hundred, or The Character of the Ancient Hellene (Leonidas) ; The Death of the Orator (Demosthenes) ; A Scion of Timoleon, &c.
End of Article: DRAMA (literally "action," from Gr. Snail, act or do)
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