do? If I print my plays, the actors take them up, butcher, alter and play them, without giving me so much as a hand in my own damnation. This is something beyond even heavenly rigour; and so I proceed to my own destruction, with the proud consciousness that, at all events, it is my own act. _À propos_, have you ever read the English acting copy of my "Calaynos"? A viler thing was never concocted from like materials.
Whether or not the play, "The Bankrupt," preceded or followed the writing of "Francesca da Rimini" in 1853, we have no way of determining; but it would seem that it progressed no further in its stage career than in manuscript form, it being the only play on a modern theme attempted by Boker. Then, it seems, he was hot on the trail of the Francesca love story told in Dante, and used by so many writers in drama and poetry. It is this play, conceded to be his best, which is included in the present collection, and which calls for analysis and history by itself.