the liveliest interest in what I told him of the “Tragedies.”
’ Finally he says, two days later, ‘Bandmann writes me a nice letter about the “Tragedies,” but says they are not adapted to the stage.
So we will say no more about that, for the present.’1
‘Christus: A Mystery’ appeared as a whole in 1872, for the first time bringing together the three parts (I. ‘The Divine Tragedy;’ II. ‘The Golden Legend,’ and III. ‘The New England
Tragedies’). ‘The Divine Tragedy,’ which now formed the first part, was not only in some degree criticised as forming an anti-climax in being placed before the lighter portions of the great drama, but proved unacceptable among his friends, and was often subjected to the charge of being unimpressive and even uninteresting.
On the other hand, we have the fact that it absorbed him more utterly than any other portion of the book.
He writes in his diary on January 6, 1871, ‘The subject of “The Divine Tragedy” has taken entire possession of me, so that I can think of nothing else.
All day pondering upon and arranging it.’
And he adds next day, ‘I find all hospitalities and social gatherings just now great interruptions.’
Yet he has to spend one morning that week in Boston
at a meeting of stockholders; on another day Agassiz