16.3. Die letzten sken
this, of course, is a ghastly basis for a play. We learn
the nature of his wish from the fact that in a very strained
scene he rehearses with Florian Schubart bis proposed specch.
Weibgart arrives; he behaves amiably, though in manner (and
this is a question of stage direction or acting) he is objectionably
fatuous and patronising. The audience expects the explosion,
none happens. There are long silences, and the scene ends with
Weihgart going in peace, whilst the play closes with the death of
Rademacher. What is exactly the explanation of the dying
journalist’s conduct one can only guess, aided by a last word or
two. Even now I am doubtful whether he was silent because of
the kind speeches of his former friend or because some moral
change caused by his illness drove away his evil wish. In some
respects the play is powerful, but it points towards a goal that is
never reached. There are nice reticences and agreeable hints and
suggestions of character, but the audience is too puzzled for deep
feeling. What a pity that one cannot build big things with
negatives! Still, the work heldthe house very well. This toa
great extent was due to the admirable acting of Mr. J. D.
Beveridge in the character of the dying man. Mr. George
Trollope's work was skilful as the consumptive patient, and Miss
Isabel Grey showed some cleverness as a nurse.
The programnne ended with a joke by Mr. Bernard Shaw,
entitled“ How He Liedto Her Husband,“ a droll piece with onc
excellent comic idea, but some humours that refused to keep
within bounds. For the general public can hardly be expected to
have a sufficient acquaintance with“ Candida to enjoy one or
two of the points. It opened a little tamely. There is a young
poet and the wife of a rich man in the City, who arc as lover-like
as actual chastity will permit. She was in a state of great anziety
because some poems of his written to her as Aurora had got into
the hands of her sister-in-law and were very compromising, and
she was fearful of a row. He, with high-sounding speeches,
suggested that they would simply tell the truth and go away and
live together. She tock another view and persuaded him to
promise to behave“ like a gentleman and a man: of honour, and
deny that the poems were written to her. The husband came
on. The lover lied, the husband disbelieved him, the lover
persisted; and as the lover embellished his lies by assertions that
he did not admire the lady, the husband grew madiy wrathful at the
slight upon her charms. Here was a really comic idea, capitally
carried out—extravagant, no doubt, but that does not matter.
The husband’s wrath at the insult to Aurora’s charms reached
such a pitch that therc was a scuffle, a touch of needless physical
violence. The wife came in, and, guessing the absurd truth, made
the men shake hands; then the lover admitted his guilt, the
husband apologised, and asked permission to publish the poetry,
and so the joke ended—a capital joke, a trifle small, a little too
#much in a groove. Fortunately Miss Certrude Kingston acted
perlectly ás the wife. Mr.Granville Barker mimicked very
cleverlv his performance in“ Candida, and the husband’s part
E. F. S.
was admirably played by Mr. Poulton.
The“ Academy of Dramatic Art“' which Mr. Tree has estab¬
lished made its first public appearance yesterday afternoon, and at
the fall of the curtain for the last time Mr. Tree announced that
there would be another performance this season. Thus will
instruction be leavened by practical experience; and the experi¬
ence gained on so large a stage and in so large a house will
undoubtedly give this Academy a considerable advantage over the
other similar institutions of which less has been heard. The venture
has been discussed from all points of view, and I imagine nobody
pretends that it will produce genius; but when genius comes
af gettine
box 22/2
How He Lied to Her Husband.“ &c.
Just as certain epicures prefer a
savory above a sweet at the end of their
repast, sothe“ G.B.S.“ burlesque is re¬
served as a bonne bouche in the triple
bill presented yesterday at the new series
1of Vedrenne-Barker matinees at the Court
Theatre. Thougli the last is not the least,
nor the greatest, yet shall it be considered
first here—to tempt the reader into going
to see it. Were it not written by Mr.
Shaw, it should have been written by
Georgina. Who is she? A nasty.
vulgar-minded cat,“ says her sister-in¬
law, Aurora. But we—and Mr. Shaw—
know better. Georgina is just “a dear“
—virtuous, and nothing if not proper.
What is she to do, then, when she finds
a bundle of passionate poems addressed
to Aurora—and in manuscript, too? They
were written by young Apjohn, Auroras
lover and are of a kind that only a
married woman should read. Georgina
does her dutv, and hands them to her
brother, Mr. Edward Bumpus, Aurora's
Here, then, the comedy begins, though
it had a prelude when Apjohn and Aurora
saw Candida.“ The virus of that“ im¬
moral“ play has worked in them, and
Henry-Eugene proposes to Aurora-Can¬
dida that they should go to Mr. Bumpus,
tell him they love each other, and honor¬
ably leave his house hand-in-hand for a
new one of their own. But Aurora says
that her husband is not like that silly.
half-baked clergyman“ in Candida —
and she hates scandal. So she weeps a
little and appeals to Henry. And at last
the stricken youth promises to act
honorably like a gentleman and lie for
her through thick and thin. That, of
course, is G. B. S.“ all over, but there is
more. For Bumpus, that commercial¬
minded man, is a perverse person, whio
will not swallow Apjohn's lies and loves
his wife to be admired. What! Cold
and indifferent to my wife!“ he exclaims
to the poet. Yon insolent puppy.“
the lover’s lying is all to no purpose, and
rumpus ensues. Bumpus, as Aurora
explains, is a handy name for poetic pur¬
poses; it rhymes with“ rumpus.“
when Apjohn tells the truth can husband
and lover forgive each other and be re¬
That is the plot. How is it treated, &c.?
What does it man? Is the author mock¬
ing Candida, poking fun at his own
work? Those who think so, and accord¬
ingly rejoice in the signs of returning
“sanity“ in Mr. Shaw are, we think, re¬
joicing prematurelv. Imagine dear, vir¬
tuous, Philistine Georgina endowed with
G.B.S.'s’ wit, imagine her condemning
Candida“ as immoral; imagine her en¬
gaging in polemics with the author. And,
if she cast her retort into dramatie form,
here is her reply. So far Georgina—but
towards the end Mr. Shaw steps in
again; and with impish quip and
prankish paradox, freakish jest, aye, and
###nockahant farce, brings-poor Georgina's
house of illusions about her éars. He
does it so funnily that in the fun some
may miss the moral—an inverted argu¬
ment in favor of“ Candida“ and its truth,
and a delicious satire on the highly moral
code of honorable lying.
In quite another genre is In the Hos¬
pital,“ from the German of Arthur
Schnitzler, aterrible but memorable piece
of dramatic art. Gruesome it may be,
and its minute realism of detail may les¬
sen its artistic value, but the stabbing
truth of its characterisation, the poignant
misery of its theme, the clear-eyed vision
lova override it8