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BETWEEN the twelfth and the six-
teenth century nearly every country
in Europe possessed some sort of a
religious drama, which in many cases
has lingered on, nearly or quite, to
the present day. Even in England—
in Yorkshire, in Dorset and Sussex,
and perhaps in other counties—the
old Christmas play of St. George and
the Dragon is not quite extinct,
though in its latter days its action
has been rendered chaotic by the
introduction of King George III.,
Admiral Nelson, and other national
heroes, whose relation to either the
Knight or the Dragon is a little
difficult to follow. The stage directions, which are fairly numerous
in most of the old plays which have been preserved, enable us to
picture to ourselves the successive stages of their development with
considerable minuteness. In some churches the ‘sepulchre’ is still
preserved to which, in the earliest liturgical dramas, the choristers
advanced, in the guise of the three Maries, to act over again the scene
on the first Easter-day; while of that other scene, when at Christmas the
shepherds brought their simple offerings, a cap, a nutting stick, or a
bob of cherries, to the Holy Child, a trace still exists in the representa-
tion, either by a transparency or a model, of the manger of Bethlehem,
still common in Roman Catholic churches, and not unknown in some
English ones. When the scene of the plays was removed from the

THROUGH the green boughs, I hardly saw thy face
They twined so close ; the sun was in mine eyes ;
And now the sullen trees in sombre lace,
Stand bare beneath the sinister, sad skies.

            O sun and summer ! Say, in what far night,
            The gold and green, the glory of thine head,
            Of bough and branch have fallen ? O, the white,
            Gaunt ghosts that flutter where thy feet have sped,

MLA citation:

Dowson, Ernest. “Saint-Germain-En-Laye 1887-1895.” The Savoy, vol. 2 April 1896, pp. 173-183. Savoy Digital Edition, edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.