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EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
JOHN E. MATZKE, PH. D.
LATE PROFESSOR OF ROMANIC LANGUAGES, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
D. C. HEATH & CO., PUBLISHERS
HORACE was the second of the great plays of Corneille, following the Cid after an interval of some three years. The first representation occurred early in the year 1640, presumably at the Hôtel de Bourgogne. This date is established through a letter of Chapelain, the author of the Academy's Sentiments sur le Cid to Balzac, written on the ninth of March of that year, in which he says: « Pour le combat des Horaces, ce ne sera pas sitôt que vous le verrez, pour ce qu'il n'a encore été représenté qu'une fois devant son Eminence, et que, devant que d'être publié, il faut qu'il serve six mois de gagne-pain aux comédiens.»1
The causes for this long silence were varied. Foremost among them was without doubt the discouragement consequent upon the Quarrel of the Cid. In the beginning Corneille's pride was wounded, and he threatened that he would give cause for further discussion in the near future. This attitude of defiance, however, soon changed into complete apathy, which still oppressed the poet in
1 The seeming slur contained in this phrase disappears when it is understood that copyrights did not exist in the XVII. century, and that a play when published became common property, and could be represented by any troupe of actors, that might wish to do so.
It is to remarks of this nature that must be referred the following sentence from the Lettre du désintéressé au Sieur