box 36/4
Panphlets offprin
much by quality as by quantity. One man can traverse more life
in a few seconds than another in whole years. It is typical.
however, of Schnitzler’s method that he essays not mercly to
lead up to a violent elimax by artifices of calevlated stage-craft,
but to set the vivid hour in a harmonious and poetic frame. The
most striking of the series is the extraordinary fantasia, The
Woman with the Dagger.
Leonhardt, a seriously romantic youth, in apparently the fuil
flush of his first grand passion, meets by assignation the wife ofa
dramatie author in the Renaissance saloon of a picture gallery.
Pre-eminent among the pictures on the wall is that of à woman
robed in white holding a dagger in her uplifted hand, and gazing
atthe floor as if there lay there someone whom she had murdered.
It is then in this atmosphere that our gallant urges his suit to
the unresponsive Pauline, who coolly informs him that she has
confessed to her husband that she is in danger, and that they are
travelling away to-morrow. And then, as she is on the point of
saying farewell, she stands before the picture.
Pavzise (ooking closer). Who lies there in the shadow?
Lroynakpr. Where?
Pavzigz. Do von not sec?
Lzognanbr. I see nothing.
Pacnigz. It is you.
LEoNHAkDr. I?—Pauline, what an extraordinary jest!
And then, as they look and look, they fall into an hypnotic
trance and the clock of the world goes back some five hundred
vears. Pauline has become Paola, and Lconhardt, Lionardo, while
the racy Viennese idiom is turned to classical blank verse. It
is carly dawn in the studio of the Master Remigio and Remigio
is away on his travels. Lionardo arrogates the claims of love
on the strength of the favours which he has just enjoved. Paola
spurns him as the mere mechanical toy of her passion. She
loves, and has always loved her husband. That this is no mere
pose is apparent from the fact that on the sudden entrance of the
husband she immediately elucidates the situation. Remigio,
however, with a sublime tolerance, perhaps more typical of the
husband in Mr. Shaw’s Trrational Knot than of a hot-blooded
Italian, pardons Paola on the general principles of twentieth¬
century philosophy. Lionardo, however, piqued and insulted at
being regarded as
The glass, the poor mean glass
From which a child drank a forbidden draught,
The merest pitiful tool of chance and fate,
vows vengeance on Remigio. Paola anticipates this vengeance by
killing Lionardo on the spot with a dagger, thus exemplifying the