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THE

DRAMATIC WORKS

SIR EDWARD LYTTON BULWER, Bart.

DRAMATIC WORKS

OF

SIR EDWARD LYTTON BUL WER, BART.

NOW FIRST COLLECTED.

TO WHICR ARE ADDED,

THREE ODES

ON

THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH;

CROMWELL;

AND

THE DEATH OF NELSON.

LONDON:
SAUNDERS AND OTLEY, CONDUIT STREET.

1841.

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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

To

THIS COLLECTION.

The three Plays of ‘Richelieu," "The Duchess de la Vallière,' and "The Lady of Lyons, which form the greater portion of this volume, are illustrative of three periods, perhaps the most remarkable in the history of France, and may be said to constitute a dramatic series. In the time of Richelieu, the French monarchy was consolidated on the ruins of a haughty and independent noblesse ;-in that of Louis XIV. the policy was consummated, and the seigneur was humbled to the coartier ;--in the time which Claude Melnotte illustrates, the picture is completed ; seigneur and courtier are alike merged in that aboriginal character from which they both proceed—the enthusiastic and successful soldier. In the time of Richelieu the People, in its own person, awed and sullen, recedes from the stage, as the Minister and the Noble play their desperate game for power : in that of Louis XIV., effeminate and corrupted, the People stands, not invisible indeed, but in silence and shadow, behind the gorgeous throne which the victorious minister bequeathed to the successor of the monarch he ruled and humbled. In the time of the French Republic, noble and king, coronet and crown, are alike gone; and the People—emerging from the ghastly and Medea caldron, into which its limbs and heart, long feeble and decrepit, had been cast, rent and bleeding-reappears for a brief time in the character of a second youth, impetuous and ardent, capable of daring all things for glory, unwise to accomplish anything for self-government, resisting a world for the defence of

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