THE COLLEGE DRAMA
TWO lines of development in the drama of the Elizabethan age have already been suggested and defined. Upon these lines were evolved two kinds of drama. One was vernacular, vulgar, bustling, and realistic, but vitalized with the breath of the people; temporary as to those outward qualities that spring from momentary taste or passing fashion; immortal at times by reason of the preservative power of its artistry and enduring poetry, and because of the breadth of its appeal to the universal elements of human nature. The other was the academic drama, the creation of the school, the court, and the universities. Its foundations were learning and precedent, its superstructure culture and good form. It delighted in nicety of expression and in polish of detail. Althought it never rose to the conception of art as its own end and fulfillment, but kept its nine muses ever in the antechamber of royalty, the waiting-ladies of fashion, it had yet its ideals or at least its theories. Nor was the college drama without its successes, of which more anon. Yet before we proceed to the well-defined group before us, let the reader be once more advised of the purely provisional nature of all classifications; and let him remember, as to the distinction just drawn, that not only were popular plays of the London stage again and again performed at court and at the universities, but that
Academic versus popular drama.