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so has Schnitzler in his Anatol, Marionetten, and Lebendigen
Stunden given us symmetrical one-act sequences.
Let us deal first with the Anatol-Cyclus, a series of one-acters
portraying the amoristic vicissitudes of a sin de siecle senti¬
mentalist, flitting prettily from heart to heart, till he is eventually
encompassed by the matrimonial net. Little action weighs down
these delicate pieces. Anatol and the flame of the moment par¬
ticipate in a dialogue, or Anatol appeals to the worldly wisdom
of his friend Max to rescue him from some dilemma in which
he has been landed by his own weakness or his own folly. That
is all. Yet each piece sheds a little more light upon the holy of
holies of Anatol’s heart, and illumines with equal clarity and
colour the charm and individuality of each successive priestess of
the temple. Though no doubt the chief effect of the cyele lies
in its accumulative force, some idea of the general airiness and
brilliance may perhaps be obtained by a short sketch of two of
the most striking. In The Question to Fate Anatol confides to
Max his anxiety. Does the flame of the moment burn true, and
for him alone? By hypnotism he proposes to extract from bis
unconscious love that answer which will make him either the
happiest or most miserable of mankind. Cora enters, and is duly
soothed into a hypnotic trance. Anatol, however, insists on being
left alone with her at this critical moment of his fate, so Max
retires into the adjoining room. And now, when the helpless
girl is ready to answer every question, and, what is more, to
answer it with automatic accuracy, and the book of truth lies
ready in his trembling hand, the secker of knowledge has not the
courage to know. Waking her up with a kiss, he expresses com¬
plete reassurance to the re-entering Max. Cora, however, mani¬
fests a perhaps intelligible anziety as to the nature of her answers.
In The Farewell Supper, the scene of which is laid in the cabinet
particulier of a Viennese restaurant, Anatol describes to Max the
ineffable woes of being on with the new love before he is off with
the old. What a strain it is, moreover, to be compelled to eat two
suppers every night?'! However, he and Anna (the old love) hadat
the initiation of their romance arranged to confide to each otherthe
first symptom of approaching ennui. To-night at this supper he will
tactfully intimate that she is no longer indispensable to his soul's
happiness. He implores Max to stay as the helpful buffer in an
inevitable scene. Enter Anna, fresh from the stage and hungry
for the ovsters. The pangs of starvation temporarily appeased,
Anna announces that she has something important to communi¬
cate. She has grown tired of Anatol and fallen in love with
another. She hopes he will not mind, but better she should tell
him now than when it was too late. Collapse of Max into