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The Queen of Hungary.
IN FIVE ACTS.
BY GEORGE STEPHENS,
AUTHOR OF "THE MANUSCRIPTS OP ERDELY," "THE VOICE OF THE PUIPIT,
“ The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination
C. MITCHELL, RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET.
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
LONDON: WILLIAM STEVENS, PRINTER, BELL YARD,
A DEEPLY BELOVED PARENT,
AND MOST ESTIMABLE CHARACTER,
JUST BROUGHT TO A CONCLUSION AT HIS LAMENTED DEATH,
IS REVERENTLY INSCRIBED.
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
Previous to my publication of the present Tragedy, I was hardly aware how great an ignorance of the laws and nature of dramatic composition prevailed in this country, even amongst the self constituted censors of whatever has passed the press. And yet I ought not to have been taken by surprise. In the editorial preface to certain volumes, entitled “ The British Drama,” which take their due station on my own shelves, there occurs the following most asinine remark.
“ As each play has been chronologically arranged,., the reflecting mind will be able to see the progressive changes in dramatic composition, and mark the distinct æra of improvement.”
Will it be believed that the collection sets out with some of the choicest specimens of the genius of Beaumont and Fletcher, and Massinger, in the “æra” of Ben Jonson, Ford, Webster, Decker, Marston, Brome, and Shirley ... in the era of Shakspeare, and that the concluding ones were produced by Murphy, Hartson, and Franklin, in their own "æra”? Such a flagrant display of incapacity on the part of a dramatic editor might perhaps- have opened my eyes to the defective state of the public knowledge in respect to this branch of the belles lettres, had it not been for the high and deserved reputation achieved by Joanna Baillie, Barry Cornwall, and Sheridan Knowles. I may have moreover conceived a too favourable opinion