THE DRAMA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
THE dawn of the nineteenth century was illumined by the last flickers of the red torch of the French Revolution; and its earlier years were filled with the reverberating cannonade of the Napoleonic conquests. It was not until after Waterloo that the battle-field of Europe became only a parade-ground; and this is perhaps one reason why there was a dearth of dramatic literature in the first quarter of the century and why no dramatist of prominence flourished, -- excepting only the gentle Grillparzer far away in Vienna. In war-time the theaters are filled often enough, but the entertainment they proffer then is rarely worthy of the hour. Altho the drama must deal directly with a contest of human souls, it does not flourish while there is actual fighting absorbing the attention of the multitude; but when great captains and their drums depart, then are the stronger spirits again attracted to the stage.