The Purgatory of St. Patrick HTML version
THE PURGATORY OF ST. PATRICK.
NOW FIRST TRANSLATED FULLY FROM THE SPANISH IN THE METRE
OF THE ORIGINAL.
DENIS FLORENCE MAC-CARTHY.
LONDON: HENRY S. KING & CO.,
65 CORNHILL, AND 12, PATERNOSTER ROW.
Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of
all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been
translated into many languages and performed with success on almost
every stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of
1866-7, in a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great
theatre of Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal
proof of the reality of its title, and that Life was indeed a Dream,
the Queen of Sweden expired in the theatre of Stockholm during the
performance of "La Vida es Sueno". In England the play has been much
studied for its literary value and the exceeding beauty and lyrical
sweetness of some passages; but with the exception of a version by
John Oxenford published in "The Monthly Magazine" for 1842, which
being in blank verse does not represent the form of the original, no
complete translation into English has been attempted. Some scenes
translated with considerable elegance in the metre of the original
were published by Archbishop Trench in 1856; but these comprised only
a portion of the graver division of the drama. The present version
of the entire play has been made with the advantages which the
author's long experience in the study and interpretation of Calderon
has enabled him to apply to this master-piece of the great Spanish
poet. All the forms of verse have been preserved; while the