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1.Panchlets Offorints
36
ARTHUR SCHNITZLER
absclute frankness. When their son is five years old a prince begins to pay
attentions to Cecilia and Adams falls in love with a frivolous countess.
They tell each other all the details and resolve to live on together as friends
and colleagucs. Adams continues his flirtation for a short time, but is
soon sobered. Cecilia goes to Berlin, where she is feted by the prince, and
makes new conquests. When she returns from this engagement, Adams
falls in love with her again and insists upon his rights. Heat once decides
that he must fight a duel with the prince, but learns that Cecilia has tol¬
erated the prince’s attentions for the sole purpose of winning back Adams.
The events, however, have so disturbed Cacilia’s peace of mind that she
cannot proceed to live with Adams until she has gained further clarity in
regard to their whole relationship. She realizes that what they had taken
for truthfulness has been alie. Had we at that time cried out our anger,
bitterness, and despair, instead of acting composed and serene, we should
have been truthful — Amadeus — and we were not.'
As a physician Schnitzler had witnessed the tenacity with which per¬
sons cling to mere life. In The Call of Life' (°06) this impulse is pre¬
sented as the key to the actions of a number of characters. Moser, an
officer, at the critical moment before the battle, thinks of the possibilities
of the life whlich he is about to sacrifice. His cowardice unsettles the whole
battalion and is responsible for its defeat. He is dismissed in disgrace and
proceeds to seck his happiness. His wife and later his daughter are sub¬
jected to cruelty and abuse. To this abuse the mother finally succumbs
and the daughter assumes full responsibility for the invalid father. His
selfishness makes him morbidly suspicious. He fears that the daughter
will desert him and imposes the greatest hardships upon her. Schnitzler,
the physician, is so thoroughly exasperated at his conduct that he leaves
a rather strong sleeping potion for the old martinet. The love of life also
asserts itself in Marie, the daughter. The devoted love of Schnitzier evokes
no response in her, but she becomes infatuated with Max, an officer of her
fathers old company. This company has decided to go to certain death
on the next day in order to wipe out the disgrace of its former retreat.
When Marie hears that Max expects her for a last farewell, she administers
the sleeping potion to her father and hurries to the barracks. Here she
conceals herself and thus learns more of Max’s affairs. Max has had a
love affair with the wife of his major, and she comes to implore him to flee
with her. While she is here the major enters and promptly kills her. He
demands that Max should keep the affair secret until the following morning
and stand for the deed if necessary. Marie comes from her hiding place
and implores Max to flee with her. When he refuses to do this, she im¬
plores him to die with her, but he kills himself at the side of the wife whom
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