As a rule novelists have not been very successful in their delineation of mad people. They usually overdo it; their maniacs are too maniacal, and their melancholics too melancholy. Even when descriptions of milder cases of mental disorder have been attempted, as in those of Miss Flite in Bleak House, or Mr. F's aunt in Little Dorrit, they have not been altogether satisfactory. Neither have the dramatists been more fortunate. One of the first plays that I ever saw on a London stage was a dramatised version of Jane Eyre, and the character of Bertha, the mad woman, as featured by the actress, was a very terrible exhibition. It is only fair to say, however, that in several modern French plays, where a person of unsound mind has been included in the dramatis personæ, the character has been a fairly natural study of the disease.
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