Page:Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day.djvu/107

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55
Charles Reade.
Dramas in order of production.
The Ladies' Battle Translation.
The Village Tale Three-act drama.
The Lost Husband Four-act drama.
Masks and Faces[1] Two-act comedy.
Gold Drama, five acts.
Two Loves and a Life[1] Drama, four acts.
The King's Rival[1] Comedy, five acts.
The First Printer[1] Drama, three acts.
The Courier of Lyons Drama, three acts.
Honour before Titles Drama, three acts.
It is Never too Late to Mend Drama, five acts.
Griffith Gaunt Drama, five acts.
Foul Play Drama, five acts.
Dora Pastoral drama, three acts.
The Double Marriage Drama, five acts.
Put Yourself in his Place Drama, five acts.
The Robust Invalid Comedy, three acts.
Shilly Shally[2] Comedy, three acts.

This list shows that Charles Reade is the author, or joint-author—in four plays and one novel—of nineteen different stories, ranging in length from one-third of a volume to four volumes: and of eighteen dramatic works.

Now it certainly argues some want of real knowledge or study in the critics of the day, that they cannot assign his place, whatever that may be, to this writer. They can place inferior authors, but they really and honestly have no notion where this man stands, either as a novelist, or dramatist, or both. Perhaps it may tend to clear this absolute fog enveloping the judgment of the critics, if we descend from the indefinite to the definite, and compare him with a writer of acknowledged excellence. We are so fortunate as to possess in this country a novelist who, if contemporary criticism were to be trusted, is the greatest writer of fiction the world ever saw. With regard to Shakspeare, contemporary criticism has left but two remarks in print, both of them unfavourable. Corneille was so often lashed, and so little praised, that he has left a line behind him to celebrate the fact:

'J'ai peu des voix pour moi, mais je les ai sans brigue.'
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 With Tom Taylor
  2. Founded on Trollope's novel.