1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Warner

Hartley Coleridge, in "William Mason" Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire (1836) 451.



Besides "Elfrida" and "Caractacus," Mason produced two dramatic performances, of which the world and the critics have taken little notice, and which we can only slightly mention. The first, "Argentile and Curan," a legendary drama, taken from a story in Warner's "Albion's England," to be found in Percy's Relics, and in Campbell's Selections. It is truly a Yorkshire tragedy, the scene being "in and about the castle of Whitby, afterwards in the valley of Hakeness." In this, Mason has relinquished his allegiance to the Greeks and French, and imitated pretty closely the Elizabethan writers. Of the irregularity of the composition he seems to have been fully aware by his motto, from the prologue to Beaumont and Fletcher's "Captain:" — "This is nor comedy, nor tragedy, nor history." No matter what it be if it be good of its kind, and that we really think it is.