A KINGDOM for a stage!" cried Shakespeare, but he could only dream and meanwhile curse the "unworthy scaffold" he must needs make do with. The stage, when Romeo and Juliet was first presented, was little more than a gangway shunted shoulder-high through a roaring mob.*Down these bare boards an actor strode, and with a wave of the arm required his hearers to believe they were "in fair Verona, where we lay our scene." In later centuries, notably toward the end of the 19th, productions of Shakespeare became almost as richly furnished as they were badly played; but not until some 335...

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