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OF

ROBERT BROWNING,

M.A.,

HONORARY FELLOW OF BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

VOL. III.

KING VICTOR AND KING CHARLES-

DRAMATIC LYRICS-
THE RETURN OF THE DRUSES.

LONDON:
SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE.

1879.

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KING VICTOR & KING CHARLES.

A TRAGEDY.

So far as I know, this Tragedy is the first artistic consequence of what Voltaire termed “ a terrible event without consequences ;” and although it professes to be historical, I have taken more pains to arrive at the history than most readers would thank me for particularizing : since acquainted, as I will hope them to be, with the chief circumstances of Victor's remarkable European career nor quite ignorant of the sad and surprising facts I am about to reproduce (a tolerable account of which is to be found, for instance, in Abbé Roman’s Récit, or even the fifth of Lord Orrery's Letters from Italy)—I cannot expect them to be versed, nor desirous of becoming so, in all the detail of the memoirs, correspondence, and relations of the time. From these only may be obtained a knowledge of the fiery and audacious temper, unscrupulous selfishness, profound dissimulation, and singular fertility in resources, of Victor -the extreme and painful sensibility, prolonged immaturity of powers, earnest good purpose and vacillating will of Charles—the noble and right woman's manliness of his wife--and the ill-considered rascality and subsequent better-advised rectitude of D'Ormea. When I say, therefore, that I cannot but believe my statement (combining as it does what appears correct in Voltaire and plausible in Condorcet) more true to person and thing than any it has hitherto been my fortune to meet with, no doubt my word will be taken, and my evidence spared as readily.-R. B.

London, 1842.

VOL. III.

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