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Pamphlets offprin#s
ARTHUR SCHNITZLER.
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artistic temperament. Victor Amadeus philanders with a
countess, and his wife with a prince. Mutual jealousy! Too
civilised, however, to interfere by any display of primitive
emotion with the sacred love of the new modernity, they grant
each other, on general principles, carte blanche. And so, at the
end of Act I., they separate for their mutual holiday; hence¬
forward the husband and wife are to be the most platonic of
comrades. The necessities of their professional engagements
bring about their meeting in their old home. But the affair
with the countess is dead, and the affair with the prince
has apparently not yet matured. Then do Victor Amadens and
Cecilie forget the ultra-modern theories which they are bound in
duty to exemplify, and only realise that they are man and
woman. Bursting with his new humanity, Victor Amadeus
begins in the third act to be quite jealous of the prince. His
astonishment can consequently be imagined when his Serene
Highness presents himself to ask the husband formally for the
hand of the wife. On the situation being explained to him, the
prince gracefully retires, gallant gentleman that he is. But the
reunited pair cannot live happily ever after. Cecilie, it is true,
had been faithful, but faithful, she explains, by the narrowest
of margins. She cannot guarantee the future: and dees not
history repeat itself? True, they had loved cach other, but what
love can be proof against the theories of the newer sexual
If we had only before,' says Cecilie, “shrieked into each
other’s faces our rage, our bitterness, our despair, instead of
posing as superior people who never lost their heads, then we
should have been true to ourselves—and that we never were.?
And so that parting, taking place as it does, when all barriers
but their two selves have disappeared, rings down the curtain on
this most brilliant of satires on the ultra-modern.
On almost as high a level is Der Freiwild, a piece which gains
an added interest from the fact that it has not only been censored
because an army oflicer is given a box on the cars, but that the
actors on one occasion refused to play it till solemnly assured by
the author that the apparent realism of the portrayal of the
procurer-impresario' was after all merely poetic licence. The
play is a vehement satire on the duel. In a scene marvellous in its
ingenious stagecraft and airy atmosphere, we are shown the
picturesque gardens of an Austrian pleasure resort. Close by is
the local theatre where musical comedy is performed for the
entertainment of officers. One of the actresses, however, Anna,
shocks all orthodox traditions by refusing to participate in that
social life which, according to the manager, is the sacred duty
VOL. LXXXVI. N.S.
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