Note some of the works already achieved by the sympathetic printer in his old brew-house. First, there is the Stratford Town Shakespeare," in ten volumes super-royal octavo, a set which (said the Spectator) is for beauty and dignity unique among editions, one to ennoble any library. Indeed, it is not a set of volumes merely, or a parcel of plays it is a library, a region, a literature in itself. Take again its companion volumes, the two series of the" Elizabethan Playhouse of Mr. W. J. Lawrence; or Gabriel Harvey's Marginalia," or this miniature edition of Shakespeare's Songs. These books are in their own way, as Scotsmen would say, "sib to the Lyrics from Elizabethan Dramatists" and Lyrics from Elizabethan Song-books," in which we first made Mr. Bullen's acquaintance long ago. For, in poetry and in prose alike, he is one of the great Recoverers of Literature, and to him the reed is as the oak," when it is a question of excellence, super-excellence in kind. He will print you old carols, or a Ballad of the Nut Brown Maid or a sixth treatise of Plotinus-" On the Beautiful or an Anacreon or a Catullus. And he does not disdain a new poet, who is of the right genre and has the right music. His collected edition of the works of W. B. Yeats is like to be a bibliophile's prize and a delight to poetry-lovers, in time to come; because of that poet's plaguy way of altering his poems year by year, often for the worse. From Harvey's Commonplace Book in the volume of his Marginalia," another choice product of the press, let me quote three pithy sayings (1) poore Gentlemen must be fayne to putt ye Servants' wages in ye Masters Breeches (2) Moony, and sowldiours, are ye sinews and marrow of warr ye veri strength of strength (3) The cunning Draper will provide to have his light cumme in at a dim window. When I was in Stratford-upon-Avon at the May Festival, the sheets of Shakespeare in Italy a book by Lacy Collison-Morley, were being printed off. This original study should prove a valuable pendent to M. Jusserand's delightful volume, Shakespeare in France." It would be premature to quote from its pages here; but I may steal a paragraph from Mr. Lawrence's Elizabethan Playhouse and other Studies "-first series-as to the effect on the English drama of the introduction of scenery, whose over-development in our day has become a menace to the real art of the stage. The writer shows the use of the proscenium doors through which stage exits were usually made,. He says For long the technique of dramatic construc- tion was not materially altered by the introduction of scenery. The Restoration dramatist wrote as if he still had the old platform stage in his mind's eye, and, regardless of the worries of stage mechan- ists and managers, continued to shift his scene with almost breathless rapidity. The consequence was that, to admit of ready handling, the scenery had to be of the lightest framework. With a rapidly changing stage elaborate built-up backgrounds were wholly out of the question. Under these conditions the presence of the proscenium doors and their attendant balconies proved extremely grateful. They made possible the realising of many situations and incidents that otherwise could not have been dealt with. All the action that usually took place above on the platform stage was transferred to the proscenium balconies. Hence the persistence of the old stage direction. One great advantage of the two sets of doors and balconies was that they could be used either singly or in combination. To the variety of situation thus admitted of was largely due the vogue at the Restoration period of the comedy of intrigue, and drama of the cape and sword order. Serenade scenes abounded, and plays seem almost to have been written to exploit the possibilities of the doors and balconies. Once more the physical conditions of the theatre were exercising a potent influence upon dramaturgy." In the second series of his Elizabethan Play- house" papers, the same writer tells us of the Irish Players who were at Oxford in 1677. They came from the Dublin Drury Lane," in other words from that Theatre Royal, Smock Alley, Joseph Ashbury was their leader his person, figure and manner in Don Quixote were admirable," and he had a full and meaning eye, and a sweet-sounding manly voice, which even in his old age won like a charm upon the undergraduate and other Oxford playgoers. Such books as these are eloquent witnesses; and the other day an appeal, signed by many of the ripest scholars and foremost writers of our time, was issued, which spoke of the invaluable service to be rendered by such a press to the nation and to the republic of letters throughout the world and asked for a relief expedition in the shape of a generous supporter, or supporters, who would establish a trust for continuing its work. Mr. A. H. Bullen has been in some sense another Caxton, it said, and to carry out his brave purposes and continue his work, would be an honour to Shakespeare's and Caxton s country. Nor," ends the argument, small as is the sum required for these purposes, do we feel that they are so much apart, after all, from the great
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