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Pamphlets Offorints
31
PAUL H GRUMMANN
living, — he who has inwardly prided himself that he has fathomed this
woman at every step.
The third play takes place on the night of the storming of the Bastille.
Prospere, the director of a theater, has hit upon the unique plan of operating
something like a theater in a tavern. He buys the Green Cockatoo
Tavern,' retains his actors and has them relate all kinds of supposed ex¬
periences in the guise of truth. The fact that some of their stories are half
true throws a peculiar illusion of reality over the performance. The pro¬
fligate aristocracy of Paris find that this type of entertainment produces the
desired creeps. They flock to the tavern and mingle with the players.
Thus it turns out that at these gatherings many play the part of criminals
without being criminals, others recite their crimes without being taken seri¬
ously — some believe themselves to be criminals without proper justification
— others again are criminals without becoming conscious of the fact. The
illusions of these men and women are so hopelessly tangled that their life
resolves itself into a Chinese puzzle. The most serious criticism that was
leveled at this play was that the author allowed his cleverness to tempt
him into a plot that is so complex that it resembles trickery rather than
art. It can not be denied, however, that he succeeded in producing the
illusion that he desired to create.
Bologna in the days of Casar Borgia furnished the background for an
historical drama, The Veil of Beatrice' (°00). Nardi, an old engraver of
Bologna has lost his reason because his wife has become untrue to him.
Her lapses threaten to demoralize the whole family. The oldest child,
Rosena, is completely corrupted. Francesco, the son, enters military
service because he is disgusted with his home. He determines, moreover,
to protect his sister Beatrice, a beautiful girl of sixteen, from the dangers
that threaten her. The poet Loschi has sung many love songs to Teresina,
the sister of Count Andrea Fantuzzi. At a time when he is crazed by her
coldness, he meets Beatrice, and falls in love with her. Bologna is in
danger of falling into the hands of Borgia, and Loschi decides to flee from
the city with Beatrice. When all is in readiness, she relates her strange
dream of the previous night. She has dreamed that Duke Lionardo
Bentivoglio, the master of Bologna, had made her his bride, and that all
of Bologna, including Loschi, had bowed before her throne. Loschi looks
upon this dream as evidence of spiritual infidelity, breaks with Beatrice,
and sends her home. Her brother, Francesco, ignorant of all this, fears,
nevertheless, for the future of his sister and determines to marry her to an
unassuming young craftsman, the apprentice of his father. Beatrice
consents, but just as they depart for the priest Lionardo intercepts them.
Lionardo expects defeat on the next day and has resolved to spend his last
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