box 36/4
P#phlets, offprints
pose of the picture. Remigio rises to the occasion and seizes on
this splendidly tragic attitude to complete an unfinished portrait
of this lovalest of wives.
And then they awaken from their trance. But the magnet of
destiny draws them inexorably. Pauline grants the assignation,
with an air, however, of mystic fatality, which shows only too
well with what precision the present must once again mirror the
Perhaps, however, the most sustained and elaborated specimen
of our author’s method is the ironic tragedy of the French
Revolution, The Green Cockatoo. The“ Green Cockatoo'’ is a
house where brilliant, if disreputable, actors give, forthe edifica¬
tion of their aristocratie audiences, impromptu representations of
crime and vice. At the beginning of the play, Henri, the star¬
man, rushes on to the stage shouting out that he has found his
wife, Leocadia, with her lover and killed her. Such a calamity
being not apparently primd facie improbable, even the manager
is almost as alarmed as the audience, till he realises that the
whole thing is but a histrionic tour de force. And then, as the
play progresses, the atmosphere becomes more and more lurid
with impending gloom. Jest and reality intermingle in the
subtlest of ironies. It is part of the entertainment that the raga¬
muffins should lavish on their patrons the freest of insults. But
is there not a paradox within the paradox, when one remembers
that the Bastille has fallen that very day? The various types,
moreover, of an aristocracy exhibiting the“levity of people who
are shortly going to be hanged?’ are delightfully portrayed—the
rireur, for whom every day is lost in which he has not captured
a woman or killed a man,?’ the pretty boy, just up from the
provinces, and the lascivions grande dame, who, in spite of her
husband’s anxiety, is very far from shocked at these spectacular
novelties. And then Henri rushes on the stage to give yet an¬
other representation of the avenging husband—and this time he
surpasses himself, for he is but acting the truth.
Though it is somewhat-outside the sphere of this appreciation,
it is impossible to conclude without some reference to Schnitzler’s
short stories and to Schnitzler’s novels, which stand on practically
as high a level as his plays. Like De Maupassant, Schnitzler has
only one real motif. Unlike De Maupassant, however, it is the
psychological complications in which he is chiefly interested.
In further contrast, his stories lack that inevitable precision of
climax which is the chief mark of the French author. Tet.
perhaps, it is for this very rcason that, with their picturesque
atmosphere and pathetic simplicity, they obtain an added reality.
In thealmost elinical minuteness of his psychology, explicable from