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GREEK PLAYS AT THE ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Extraordinary interest appears to be shown in the coming performances of Aristophanes' "Birds" in the original Greek at Cambridge University next week. The play is to be performed nearly every night up to and including Friday, and so great has been the demand for seats that the authorities have had to arrange for an extra morning performance on Wednesday, in addition to the one previously announced for Saturday. Special trains are to be run to accommodate the crowds of visitors, and Cambridge is expected to present as lively a scene as is witnessed there at the annual commencement. Indeed, the interest excited by the promised representation of the "Birds" seems greatly to exceed that manifested when Sophocles' "Ajax" was played last year. Not that all the audience will be able to appreciate the wit and satire of Aristophanes' comedy, though the ladies and the unlearned will be provided with a convenient English translation of the play, by Dr. Kennedy, the professor of Greek, together with the graceful version of the late John Hookham Frere, It must not, however, be taken for granted that none of the lady spectators will be able to follow the text in the original. Classical literature is being very extensively cultivated just now among our female students, not a few of whom have shown themselves as learned as Lady Jane Grey herself. At Girton College, established at Cambridge, like Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford, for the training of girls in the learning of the universities, there is also to be a performance of a Greek play. It is understood that the "Electra" of Sophocles has been selected for the occasion. Not only will women alone take part in it, but as at present arranged ladies only will be admitted as spectators. A daughter of the premier, Miss Helen Gladstone, the vice-principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, will probably have a voice in the arrangements. It may perhaps be considered apropos to this topic if I mention here that the subject of the new opera by Mr. W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan will turn on the "girl graduate" question. Mr. Gilbert has already dealt with it in his humorous poetical drama founded on Tennyson's "Princess," and in the new piece at the Savoy the idea is to be further developed. The scene of the opera will be laid at a girl's university, and the charming young ladies always introduced into the Gilbert-Sullivan opera will no doubt look as charming as ever in their academical caps and gowns. I fancy this performance will prove somewhat more attractive than that of the "Electra" by the Girton girls. [Ex.

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