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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

VII. The Restoration Drama

§ 13. Characteristics of his Plays

Lee’s plays are not without a certain imposing picturesqueness and broad effectiveness; but he entirely lacked the sense of measure and proportion, with that of humour. Neither delicacy of perception, nor the power of characterisation—in short, none of the finer qualities of the dramatist—are to be found in him. His personages talk at the top of their voices on all occasions—happy or the reverse—while rant and confusion, blood and dust, ghosts and portents and hysterics, effectually conceal from all but the most persevering student the occasional nobler features of Lee’s imagination. It is hardly fair, perhaps, to judge his plays by reading them in cold blood. They were intended for acting; and, as acting plays, they have abundantly justified themselves.