Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview

MASCARILLE [after having combed himself, and adjusted the rolls of his stockings]. Well, mesdames, and what do you think of Paris?

MADELON. Alas! what can we think of it? It would be the very antipodes of reason not to confess that Paris is the grand emporium of marvels, the center of good taste, wit, and gallantry.

MASCARILLE. As for me, I maintain that, out of Paris, there is no salvation for people of culture.

CATHOS. Most assuredly.

MASCARILLE. Paris is somewhat muddy; but then we have sedan chairs.

MADELON. To be sure; a sedan chair is a wonderful protection against the insults of mud and bad weather.

MASCARILLE. You receive many visits? What great wit belongs to your circle?

MADELON. Alas! we are not yet known, but we are in the way of being so; for a lady of our acquaintance has promised us to bring all the gentlemen who have written for the little magazines.

CATHOS. And certain others, whom, we have been told, are likewise the sovereign arbiters of all that is cultured and refined.

MASCARILLE. I can manage this for you better than any one. They all visit me, and I may say that I never rise without having half-a-dozen wits at my levee.

MADELON. Good Heavens! you will place us under the greatest obligation if you will do us this kindness, for it is certain we must make the acquaintance of all those gentlemen if we wish to belong to the fashion. They are the persons who can make or unmake one's reputation in Paris. You know that there are some, whose mere visits are sufficient to start the report that you are a Connaisseuse, though there should be no other reason for it. As for me, what I value particularly is, that by means of these ingenious visits, we learn a hundred things which we ought necessarily to know, and which are the quintessence of wit. Through them we hear the scandal of the day, or whatever niceties are going on in prose or verse. We know, at the right time, that Monsieur So-and-so has written the finest piece in the world on such a subject; that Madame So-and-so has adapted words to such a tune; that a certain gentleman has written a madrigal upon a favor shown to him; another stanzas upon a fair one who betrayed him; Monsieur Such-a-one wrote a couplet of six lines yesterday evening to Mademoiselle Such-a-one, to which she returned him an answer this morning at eight o'clock; such an author is engaged on such a subject; this writer is busy with the third volume of his novel; that one is putting his works to press. Those things procure you consideration in every society, and if people are ignorant of them, I would not give one pin for all the wit they may have.

CATHOS. Indeed, I think it the height of absurdity for anyone who possesses the slightest claim to be called clever not to know even the

-330-

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PræCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CéLimène, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CéLimène, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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