It reveals to us whether the marriage would have been successful or a failure. It is necessary to convince us that the hero is a perfect gentleman: the author gives him a gold cigarette case. A well-known dramatist has left it on record that comedy cannot exist nowadays, for the simple reason that gentlemen have given up taking snuff and wearing swords.
There is a scanty public in England for tragedy or for comedy: the characters and situations handled by the sentimentalist might perchance furnish comedy with a theme; but he stilts them for a tragic performance, and they tumble into watery bathos, where a numerous public awaits them.
As for myself, I was wellnigh strangled by a cough which just then seized me, and obliged to retreat, for I never was much of an actor, and the comedy of that first interview was overpowering. As I passed the dining-room door, Dolly, who was behind it, gave my arm a fearful pinch, that answered, I supposed, in the place of a scream, as a safety-valve for her hysterical emotions.
It's all more or less of a joke." "Why don't the mayor and aldermen of this city attend to duty instead of jokes?" "Oh, this city is run so smooth that there's nothing to do in the summer except stage a little farce comedy at City Hall." "Let me tell you that there's something to be investigated in this city that isn't a joke," raged Farr, his bitter ponderings blossoming into speech.
I considered that I was present at a kind of comedy, and not a gesture, not a word, not a laugh did I allow to escape me. "He may be merely a rich and feather-brained young officer," I said to myself, "who treats everything in this farcical manner. He won't be the first of the species I have seen.
"The more the reason why I should not read it! A German comedy! That must be fine stuff for the German theatre, the most miserable of all. In Germany, Melpomene has untutored admirers, some walking on stilts, others crawling in the mire, from the altars of the goddess. The Germans will ever be repulsed, as they are rebels to her laws, and understand not the art to move and interest the heart."
Lyon gave her a quick second glance, and his manner was instantly that of deference, or at least attention, which he had shown to no other lady in the room. It is so easy to turn life into a comedy!
The "daughter of debate" had at last brought herself, it was supposed, within the letter of the law, and now began those odious scenes of hypocrisy on the part of Elizabeth, that frightful comedy more melancholy even than the solemn tragedy which it preceded and followed which must ever remain the darkest passage in the history of the Queen.
Important questions are discussed in them: Whether comedy can be written in verse; whether tragedy does not go outside its limits by taking its subject from modern history; whether the heroes ought to be virtuous; what kinds of villains it allows; up to what point horrors are permissible in it; that the details should verge towards a single end; that the interest should increase; that the conclusion should harmonise with the opening these were unquestionable propositions.
Ah! my sweetheart, how one craves for a real friend! How precious to me are the love and devotion of Felipe, and how my heart goes out to you! Joyfully indeed are we preparing for our move to Chantepleurs, where we can rest from the comedy of the Rue de Bac and of the Paris drawing-rooms.