Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/74

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
62
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

of the plot may be found. The Stranger was long popular, and, as Mr. Herzfeld remarks, was seen by the youthful Pendennis, who may well have been present in person at Drury Lane on 3rd November 1828.[1] In 1798 again Mrs. Inchbald turned Kotzebue's Natural Son into A Lover's Vows, a play which, as it may be remembered, greatly shocked Miss Fanny Price when a performance was suggested by her cousins at Mansfield Park. Poor old Cumberland, ' Sir Fretful Plagiary,' had to lay hands upon Kotzebue (in his Joanna of Montfaucon in 1800), and explains that, although he had always regarded the German drama as a profanation of the English stage, he had 'strong reasons'—of a pecuniary nature, apparently—for bowing to the evil principle. Three out of six volumes of plays from the German plays collected in 1806 are occupied by Kotzebue's works, others of which had been turned to account by Holcroft, a contemporary playwright. The same collection, which shows the contemporary taste, includes a couple of Lessing's plays (Minna von Bernhelm and Emilia Galloti, which had been acted

1

  1. From some MSS. of Thackeray recently sold, it appears that he had amused himself by translating something of Kotzebue's when at Weimar.