Faksimile

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2. Guttings
72
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box 37/4
CURRENT LITERATURE „
#nohno,l bod¬
s of history soon
the past, where the
begin to dim into fable. Such works are the
poctic play that most eritics consider his lit¬
erary masterpiece,The Veil of Beatrice,?'
'The Green Cockatoo“ (familiar to the Amer¬
ican public through Mrs. Fiske’s recent pro¬
duction) and his latest drama, The Young
Medardus.“
The last named secmns at üirst sighit a com¬
plete departure from Schnitzler’s other work,
for instead of short plays condensed to the
burning point lie gives us five acts with a
prolog, using nearly sixty speaking parts and
taking five hours to produce. It would have
taken seven but that the author worked a year
to shorten it. Vet it has the same complex
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psychology,the same power of evcking the
past, and Medardus is another Ptwilight soul,
very different from his historical prototype,
who was executed at Schönbrunn in 1800 for
refusing to give up his attempts to kill Napo¬
leon. The play is laid in Vienna just before
Wagram. There is a certain Duc de Valois—
not historic—who is represented as the legiti¬
mate sticcessor tothe Freuch throne, but able
to win to his side only a few Viennese con¬
spirators. Even his son takes his possible
throne so little seriously as to fall in love with
a working girl, Agatha Klahr, and, on the
refusal of his parents to sanction a marriage,
to drown himself with her. The bodies are
washed to the feet of Agatha’s brother, Me¬
dardus, who is drilling to resist the advance
of Napoleon, on whom he has vowed to
Nou heturns
avenge the death of bis father
tothe punishment of the Valois family for
the death of his sister, and plans to h#miliate
the sister, Helene, whose lover he comes to be.
But he has over-estimated both his haseness
and his powers of resistance. He falls des¬
perately in love with Helene, and when he
learns that she is in favor with Napolcon he
stabs her from purely personal reasens.
Meantime Helene is found to have been cul¬
tivating the usurper’s favor for homicidal pur¬
poses: Medardus finds that he has unwittingly
saved the life of his enemy. He is commended
and released, but disclaims all intention of
TIIE STORAI CENTER OF INTERNATIONAL
protecting the Emperor, avows eternal enmity,
DRAMATIC CRITICISA
and is consequently shot.
Mme. Simone, the gifted and beautiful Gallic actress,
Schnitzler’s greatest play, it is generally
responsible for a heated controversy between the
crities of Paris and New Vork as to her merits.
agreed, has not get been written. He i still
in the prime of yvears and his mental power
a decade already old-fashioned. That twi¬
shows no sign of waning. No other dramatist,
lght-time was the only one in which Schnitz¬
the London Quarterly Reziczo remarks of him,
ler’s moderns could feel at home; and so he
has written tragedy with so light a hand or
lenves the sharp light of to-day to find in his
comedy with so ironically pathetic à smile.
latest works a more congenial atmosphere in