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Speech and Drama
GA 282

XII. The Artistic Quality in Drama. Stylisation of Moods

16 September 1924, Dornach

My dear Friends,

today we will begin with the recitation of a scene where we can trace the workings of a conscious endeavour on the part of the dramatist to bring style into drama. I will say only a few words in preparation, for you will find that the scene itself will show you how a real poet—in the best sense of the word—relates himself to this question of style, how he deals with it in practice.

Schiller's early plays were, as we know, not characterised by style. Die Räuber certainly not, but neither can Fiesko nor Kabale—no, nor even Don Carlos, be said to have attained to style. Then, for a while, Schiller's creative powers in that direction were exhausted, and he had to devote himself to other activities; and it was during this time that his relations with Goethe underwent a change. It is not too much to say that, having seen what Goethe's genius could create, Schiller took this work of Goethe's as the foundation for a further development of his own artistic ideal. Goethe's dramas became for him a kind of school at which he studied and prepared himself for new activity in the same field. We can follow the process step by step in the interchange of letters between the two poets, and in the records of their conversations. Nor need we be surprised that Schiller, who saw in Goethe the artist par excellence, should take him for his pattern, the Goethe who had created an Iphigenie and a Tasso, dramas where the language reaches a high level of style. Not that Schiller had any thought of letting drama develop exclusively in the 'direction of style in speech, he was naturally concerned for the totality of dramatic art; but from this time on, he devoted his best effort to the attainment of style. We can see it already in Wallenstein; and in the later dramas, in Maria Stuart, in Die Braut von Messina, in Die Jungfrau von Orleans, we find him concentrating more and more on the development of style in some aspect or another.

In Maria Stuart, from which our scene is taken, we have an attempt to develop a style that is different from that of Die Braut von Messin—a style, namely, in the treatment of mood. For what is so striking in this play is the successive moods that pervade the different scenes. The moods are of course evoked by the characters, especially by the prominent part taken in the play by two such antagonistic characters as Mary, Queen of Scots herself, and Queen Elizabeth; but altogether the drama runs its course, fundamentally speaking, in moods; we can even say that the characters live out their parts in moods. You need only study a few of these individually to see how they pass through mood after mood, as the situation changes. Take the momentous scene that Frau Dr. -Steiner will presently read to us, a scene that is outstandingly characteristic of the whole play. You have here an excellent example of stylised mood. There is, to begin with, the mood that can be observed in Mary herself, and that plays no small part also in the drama as a whole, the mood that arises from the fact that Mary is at first committed to the charge of a kindly inclined gaoler but comes later into the custody of one who is rigid in the discharge of his duties; and then we have all that happens as a result of the change. The mood is still at work in this remarkable scene that is so teeming with interest and incident, and we shall be able to watch how the characters of Mary and Elizabeth unfold under its influence—the characters also of others who are present.

I draw your attention to this because I want you to see how earnest Schiller is in his striving for style. After Wallenstein he sets out, in fact, to give each play style in a different way. Of the significance of this for the actor I will speak later, after you have listened to the scene. Let it suffice now to point out that in Maria Stuart it is moods that are stylised, whereas in Die Jungfrau von Orleans it is events: the successive events come before us there in truly grand manner. And then in Wilhelm Tell we have a stylising of character; Schiller attains in this play to what may verily be called a painting of the human soul. In Die Braut von Messina we find him endeavouring to follow Goethe as closely as possible by developing style in the inner form and picture of the stage. Lastly, he sets out with the intention of giving style to the whole interworking of men and events. That was in his Demetrius, which he did not live to finish.

So now we will ask you to listen to the scene in Schiller's Maria Stuart that portrays the development of the situation to which I have alluded.

(Frau Dr. Steiner):

Gegend in einem Park. Vorn mit Bäumen besetzt, hinten eine weite Aussicht.

Erster Auftritt.

(MARIA tritt in schnellem Lauf hinter Bäumen hervor. HANNA KENNEDY folgt langsam.)

KENNEDY

Ihr eilet ja, als wenn Ihr Hügel hättet,
So kann ich Euch nicht folgen, wartet doch!

MARIA

Lass mich der neuen Freiheit geniessen,
Lass mich ein Kind sein, sei es mit!
Und auf dem grünen Teppich der Wiesen
Prüfen den leichten, geflügelten Schritt.
Bin ich dem finstern Gefängnis entstiegen?
Hält sie mich nicht mehr, die traurige Gruft?
Lass mich in vollen, in durstigen Zügen
Trinken die freie, die himmlische Luft.

KENNEDY

O meine teure Lady! Euer Kerker
Ist nur um ein klein weniges erweitert.
Ihr seht nur nicht die Mauer, die uns einschliesst,
Weil sie der Bäume dicht Gesträuch versteckt.

MARIA

O Dank, Dank diesen freundlich grünen Bäumen,
Die meines Kerkers Mauern mir verstecken!
Ich will mich frei und glücklich träumen,
Warum aus meinem süssen Wahn mich wecken?
Umfängt mich nicht der weite Himmelsschoss?
Die Blicke, frei und fessellos,
Ergehen sich in ungemessnen Räumen.
Dort, wo die grauen Nebelberge ragen,
Fängt meines Reiches Grenze an,
Und diese Wolken, die nach Mittag jagen,
Sie suchen Frankreichs fernen Ozean.
Eilende Wolken! Segler der Lüfte!
Wer mit euch wanderte, mit euch schiffte!
Grüsset mir freundlich mein Jugendland!
Ich bin gefangen, ich bin in Banden,
Ach, ich hab keinen andern Gesandten!
Frei in Lüften ist eure Bahn,
Ihr seid nicht dieser Königin untertan.

KENNEDY

Ach, teure Lady! Ihr seid ausser Euch,
Die langentbehrte Freiheit macht Euch schwärmen.

MARIA

Dort legt ein Fischer den Nachen an!
Dieses elende Werkzeug könnte mich retten,
Brächte mich schnell zu befreundeten Städten.
Spärlich nährt es den dürftigen Mann.
Beladen wollt ich ihn reich mit Schätzen,
Einen Zug sollt er tun, wie er keinen getan,
Das Glück sollt er finden in seinen Netzen,
Nähm er mich ein in den rettenden Kahn.

KENNEDY

Verlorne Wünsche! Seht Ihr nicht, dass uns
Von ferne dort die Spähertritte folgen?
Ein finster grausames Verbot scheucht jedes
Mitleidige Geschöpf aus unserm Wege.

MARIA

Nein, gute Hanna. Glaub mir, nicht umsonst
Ist meines Kerkers Tor geöffnet worden.
Die kleine Gunst ist mir des grössem
Glücks Verkünderin. Ich irre nicht. Es ist
Der Liebe tätge Hand, der ich sie danke;
Lord Lesters mächtgen. Arm erkenn ich drin.
Allmählich will man mein Gefängnis weiten,
Durch Kleineres zum Grössern mich gewöhnen,
Bis ich das Antlitz dessen endlich schaue,
Der mir die Bande löst auf immerdar.

KENNEDY

Ach, ich kann diesen Widerspruch nicht reimen!
Noch gestern kündigt man den Tod Euch an,
Und heute wird Euch plötzlich solche Freiheit.
Auch denen, hört ich sagen, wird die Kette
Gelöst, auf die die ewge Freiheit wartet.

MARIA

Hörst du das Hifthorn? Hörst du's klingen,
Mächtigen Rufes, durch Feld und Hain?
Ach, auf das mutige Ross mich zu schwingen,
An den fröhlichen Zug mich zu reihe!
Noch mehr! 0 die bekannte Stimme,
Schmerzlich süsser Erinnerung voll.
Oft vernahm sie mein Ohr mit Freuden
Auf des Hochlands bergichten Heiden,
Wenn die tobende Jagd erscholl.

Zweiter Auftritt.
(PAULET. Die Vorigen.)

PAULET

Nun! Hab ich's endlich recht gemacht, Mylady?
Verdien ich einmal Euern Dank?

MARIA

Wie, Ritter? Seid Ihr's, der diese Gunst mir ausgewirkt?
Ihr seid's?

PAULET

Warum soll ich's nicht sein? Ich war
Am Hof, ich überbrachte Euer Schreiben—

MARIA

Ihr übergabt es? Wirklich, tatet Ihr's?
Und diese Freiheit, die ich jetzt geniesse,
Ist eine Frucht des Briefs—

PAULET (mit Bedeutung)

Und nicht die einzge!
Macht Euch auf eine grössre noch gefasst!

MARIA

Auf eine grössre, Sir? Was meint Ihr damit?

PAULET

Ihr hörtet doch die Hörner—

MARIA (zurückfahrend, mit Ahnung)
Ihr erschreckt mich!

PAULET

Die Königin jagt in dieser Gegend.

MARIA

Was?

PAULET

In wenig Augenblicken steht sie vor Euch.

KENNEDY

(auf MARIA zueilend, welche zittert und hinzusinken droht)
Wie wird Euch, teure Lady! Ihr verblasst.

PAULET

Nun! ist's nun nicht recht? War's nicht Eure Bitte?
Sie wird Euch früher gewährt, als Ihr gedacht.
Ihr wart sonst immer so geschwinder Zunge,
Jetzt bringet Eure Worte an, jetzt ist
Der Augenblick zu reden!

MARIA

Oh, warum hat man mich nicht vorbereitet!
Jetzt bin ich nicht darauf gefasst, jetzt nicht.
Was ich mir als die höchste Gunst erbeten,
Dünkt mir jetzt schrecklich, fürchterlich.—Komm, Hanna,
Führ mich ins Haus, dass ich mich fasse, mich
Erhole—

PAULET

Bleibt! Ihr müsst sie hier erwarten.
Wohl, wohl mag's Euch beängstigen, ich glaub's,
Vor Euerm Richter zu erscheinen.

Dritter Auftritt.
(GRAF SHREWSBURY zu den Vorigen.)

MARIA

Es ist nicht darum! Gott, mir ist ganz anders
Zumut.—Ach, edler Shrewsbury! Ihr kommt,
Vom Himmel mir. ein Engel zugesendet!
—Ich kann sie nicht sehn! Rettet, rettet mich
Von dem verhassten Anblick—

SHREWSBURY

Kommt zu Euch, Königin! Fasst Euern Mut
Zusammen! Das ist die entscheidungsvolle Stunde.

MARIA

Ich habe drauf geharret—Jahrelang
Mich drauf bereitet, alles hab ich mir
Gesagt und ins Gedächtnis eingeschrieben,
Wie ich sie rühren wollte und bewegen!
Vergessen plötzlich, ausgelöscht ist alles,
Nichts lebt in mir in diesem Augenblick,
Als meiner Leiden brennendes Gefühl.
In Blutgen Hass gewendet wider sie
Ist mir das Herz, es fliehen alle guten
Gedanken, und die Schlangenhaare schüttelnd
Umstehen mich die finstern Höllengeister.

SHREWSBURY

Gebietet Euerm wild empörten Blut,
Bezwingt des Herzens Bitterkeit! Es bringt
Nicht gute Frucht, wenn Hass dem Hass begegnet.
Wie sehr auch Euer Innres widerstrebe,
Gehorcht der Zeit und dem Gesetz der Stunde!
Sie ist die Mächtige.—Demütigt Euch!

MARIA

Vor ihr! Ich kann es nimmermehr.

SHREWSBURY

Tut's dennoch!
Sprecht ehrerbietig, mit Gelassenheit!
Ruft ihre Grossmut an, trotzt nicht, jetzt nicht
Auf Euer Recht, jetzo ist nicht die Stunde!

MARIA

Ach, mein Verderben ha`, ich mir erfleht,
Und mir zum Fluche wird mein Flehn erhört!
Nie hätten wir uns sehen sollen, niemals!
Daraus kann nimmer, nimmer Gutes kommen!
Eh mögen Feur und Wasser sich in Liebe
Begegnen, und das Lamm den Tiger küssen.—
Ich bin zu schwer verletzt—sie hat zu schwer
Beleidigt.—Nie ist zwischen uns Versöhnung!

SHREWSBURY

Seht sie nur erst von Angesicht!
Ich sah es ja, wie sie von Euerm Brief
Erschüttert war, ihr Auge schwamm in Tränen.
Nein, sie ist nicht gefühllos, hegt Ihr selbst
Nur besseres Vertrauen!—Darum eben
Bin ich vorausgeeilt, damit ich Euch
In Fassung setzen und ermahnen möchte.

MARIA (seine Hand ergreifend)

Ach, Talbot! Ihr wart stets mein Freund.—Dass ich
In Eurer milden Haft geblieben wäre!
Es ward mir hart begegnet, Shrewsbury!

SHREWSBURY

Vergesst jetzt alles! Darauf denkt allein,
Wie Ihr sie unterwürfig wollt empfangen.

MARIA

Ist Burleigh auch mit ihr, mein böser Engel?

SHREWSBURY

Niemand begleitet sie, als Graf von Lester.

MARIA

Lord Lester!

SHREWSBURY

Fürchtet nichts von ihm! Nicht er
Will Euern Untergang.—Sein Werk ist es,
Dass Euch die Königin die Zusammenkunft
Bewilligt.

MARIA

Ach! Ich wusst es wohl!

SHREWSBURY

Was sagt Ihr?

PAULET

Die Königin kommt!

(Alles weicht auf die Seite; nur MARIA bleibt, auf die KENNEDY gelehnt.)

Vierter Auftritt.
(Die Vorigen. ELISABETH. GRAF LEICESTER. Gefolge.)

ELISABETH (zu LEICESTER)

Wie heisst der Landsitz?

LEICESTER

Fotheringhayschloss.

ELISABETH (zu SHREWSBURY)

Schickt unser Jagdgefolg voraus nach London!
Das Volk drängt allzu heftig in den Strassen,
Wir suchen Schutz in diesem stillen Park.
(Talbot entfernt das Gefolge. Sie fixiert mit den Augen die MARIA, indem sie zu FAULET weiter spricht.)
Mein gutes Volk liebt mich zu sehr. Unmässig,
Abgöttisch sind die Zeichen seiner Freude,
So ehrt man einen Gott, nicht einen Menschen.

MARIA

(welche diese Zeit über halb ohnmächtig auf die Amme gelehnt war, erhebt sich jetzt, und ihr Auge begegnet dem gespannten Blick der ELISABETH. Sie schaudert zusammen und wirft sich wieder an der Amme Brust)
O Gott, aus diesen Zügen spricht kein Herz!

ELISABETH

Wer ist die Lady?
(Ein allgemeines Schweigen.)

LEICESTER

Du bist zu Fotheringhay, Königin.

ELISABETH

(stellt sich überrascht und erstaunt, einen finstern Blick auf LEICESTER richtend)
Wer hat mir das getan? Lord Lester!

LEICESTER

Es ist geschehen, Königin—und nun
Der Himmel deinen Schritt hieher gelenkt,
So lass die Grossmut und das Mitleid siegen!

SHREWSBURY

Lass dich erbitten, königliche Frau,
Dein Aug auf die Unglückliche zu richten,
Die hier vergeht vor deinem Anblick.

(MARIA rafft sich zusammen und will auf die ELISABETH zugehen, steht aber auf halbem Wege schaudernd still, ihre Gebärden drücken den heftigsten Kampf aus.)

ELISABETH

Wie, My lords?
Wer war es denn, der eine Tiefgebeugte
Mir angekündigt? Eine Stolze find ich,
Vom Unglück keineswegs geschmeidigt.

MARIA

Sei's!
Ich will mich auch noch diesem unterwerfen.
Fahr hin, ohnmächtger Stolz der edeln Seele!
Ich will vergessen, wer ich bin und was
Ich litt; ich will vor ihr mich niederwerfen,
Die mich in diese Schmach herunterstiess.
(Sie wendet sich gegen die Königin.)
Der Himmel hat für Euch entschieden, Schwester!
Gekrönt vom Sieg ist Euer glücklich Haupt;
Die Gottheit bet ich an, die Euch erhöhte!
(Sie fällt vor ihr nieder.)
Doch seid auch Ihr nun edelmütig, Schwester!
Lasst mich nicht schmachvoll liegen! Eure Hand
Streckt aus, reicht mir die königliche Rechte,
Mich zu erheben von dem tiefen Fall!

ELISABETH (zurücktretend)

Ihr seid an Euerm Platz, Lady Maria!
Und dankend preis ich meines Gottes Gnade,
Der nicht gewollt, dass ich zu Euern Füssen
So liegen sollte, wie Ihr jetzt zu meinen.

MARIA (mit steigendem Affekt)

Denkt an den Wechsel alles Menschlichen!
Es leben Götter, die den Hochmut rächen!
Verehret, fürchtet sie, die schrecklichen,
Die mich zu Euern Füssen niederstürzen!—
Um dieser fremden Zeugen willen, ehrt
In mir Euch selbst! entweihet, schändet nicht
Das Blut der Tudor, das in meinen Adern
Wie in den Euern fliesst!-O Gott im Himmel!
Steht nicht da, schroff und unzugänglich wie
Die Felsenklippe, die der Strandende
Vergeblich ringend zu erfassen strebt.
Mein alles hängt, mein Leben, mein Geschick,
An meiner Worte, meiner Tränen Kraft;
Löst mir das Herz, dass ich das Eure rühre!
Wenn Ihr mich anschaut mit dem Eisesblick,
Schliesst sich das Herz mir schaudernd zu, der Strom
Der Tränen stockt, und kaltes Grausen fesselt
Die Flehensworte mir im Busen an.

ELISABETH (kalt und streng)

Was habt Ihr mir zu sagen, Lady Stuart?
Ihr habt mich sprechen wollen. Ich vergesse
Die Königin, die schwer beleidigte,
Die fromme Pflicht der Schwester zu erfüllen,
Und meines Anblicks Trost gewähr ich Euch.
Dem Trieb der Grossmut folg ich, setze mich
Gerechtem Tadel aus, dass ich so weit
Heruntersteige—denn Ihr wisst,
Dass Ihr mich habt ermorden lassen wollen.

MARIA

Womit soll ich den Anfang machen, wie
Die Worte klüglich stellen, dass sie Euch
Das Herz ergreifen, aber nicht verletzen!
O Gott, gib meiner Rede Kraft und nimm
Ihr jeden Stachel, der verwunden könnte!
Kann ich doch für mich selbst nicht sprechen, ohne Euch
Schwer zu verklagen, und das will ich nicht.
—Ihr habt an mir gehandelt, wie nicht recht ist,
Denn ich bin eine Königin wie Ihr,
Und Ihr habt als Gefangne mich gehalten.
Ich kam zu Euch als eine Bittende,
Und Ihr, des Gastrechts heilige Gesetze,
Der Völker heilig Recht in mir verhöhnend,
Schlosst mich in Kerkermauern ein; die Freunde,
Die Diener werden grausam mir entrissen,
Unwürdgem Mangd werd ich preisgegeben,
Man stellt mich vor einschimpfliches Gericht—
Nichts mehr davon! Ein ewiges Vergessen
Bedecke, was ich Grausames erlitt.
—Seht! Ich will alles eine Schickung nennen;
Ihr seid nicht schuldig, ich bin auch nicht schuldig;
Ein böser Geist stieg aus dem Abgrund auf,
Den Hass in unsern Herzen zu entzünden,
Der unsre zarte Jugend schon entzweit.
Er wuchs mit uns, und böse Menschen fachten
Der unglückselgen Flamme Atem zu.
Wahnsinnge Eiferer bewaffneten
Mit Schwert und Dolch die unberufne Hand—
Das ist das Fluchgeschick der Könige,
Dass sie, entzweit, die Welt in Hass zerreissen
Und jeder Zwietracht Furien entfesseln.
—Jetzt ist kein fremder Mund mehr zwischen uns—
(nähert sich ihr zutraulich und mit schmeichelndem Ton)
Wir stehe einander selbst nun gegenüber.
Jetzt, Schwester, redet! Nennt mir meine Schuld;
Ich will Euch völliges Genügen leisten.
Ach, dass Ihr damals mir Gehör geschenkt,
Als ich so dringend Euer Auge suchte!
Es wäre nie so weit gekommen, nicht
An diesem traurgen Ort geschähe jetzt
Die unglückselig traurige Begegnung.

ELISABETH

Mein guter Stern bewahrte mich davor,
Die Natter an den Busen mir zu legen.
—Nicht die Geschicke, Euer schwarzes Herz
Klagt an, die wilde Ehrsucht Eures Hauses.
Nichts Feindliches war zwischen uns geschehn
Da kündigte mir Euer Ohm, der stolze,
Herrschwütge Priester, der die freche Hand
Nach allen Kronen streckt, die Fehde an,
Betörte Euch, mein Wappen anzunehmen,
Euch meine Königstitel zuzueignen,
Auf Tod und Leben in den Kampf mit mir
Zu gehn.—Wen rief er gegen mich nicht auf?
Der Priester Zungen und der Völker Schwert,
Des frommen Wahnsinns fürchterliche Waffen;
Hier selbst, im Friedenssitze meines Reichs,
Blies er mir der Empörung Flammen an
Doch Gott ist mit mir—und der stolze Priester
Behält das Feld nicht.—Meinem Haupte war
Der Streich gedrohet, und das Eure fällt!

MARIA

Ich steh in Gottes Hand. Ihr werdet Euch
So blutig Eurer Macht nicht überheben—

ELISABETH

Wer soll mich hindern? Euer Oheim gab
Das Beispiel allen Königen der Welt,
Wie man mit seinen Feinden Frieden macht.
Die Sankt Barthelemi sei meine Schule!
Was ist mir Blutsverwandtschaft, Völkerrecht?
Die Kirche trennet aller Pflichten Band,
Den Treubruch heiligt sie, den Königsmord;
Ich übe nur, was Eure Priester lehren.
Sagt! Welches Pfand gewährte mir für Euch,
Wenn ich grossmütig Eure Bande löste?
Mit welchem Schloss verwahr ich Eure Treue,
Das nicht Sankt Peters Schlüssel öffnen kann?
Gewalt nur ist die einzge Sicherheit;
Kein Bündnis ist mit dem Gezücht der Schlangen.

MARIA

Oh, das ist Euer traurig finstrer Argwohn!
Ihr habt mich stets als eine Feindin nur
Und Fremdlingin betrachtet. Hättet Ihr
Zu Eurer Erbin mich erklärt, wie mir
Gebührt, so hätten Dankbarkeit und Liebe
Euch eine treue Freundin und Verwandte
In mir erhalten.

ELISABETH

Draussen, Lady Stuart,
Ist Eure Freundschaft, Euer Haus das Papsttum,
Der Mönch ist Euer Bruder—Euch zur Erbin
Erklären! Der verräterische Fallstrick!
Dass Ihr bei meinem Leben noch mein Volk
Verführet, eine listige, Armida,
Die edle Jugend meines Königreichs
In Eurem Buhlemetze schlau verstricktet—
Dass alles sich der neu aufgehnden Sonne
Zuwendete, und ich—

MARIA

Regiert in Frieden!
Jedwedem Anspruch auf dies Reich entsag ich.
Ach, meines Geistes Schwingen sind gelähmt;
Nicht Grösse lockt mich mehr—Ihr habt's erreicht,
Ich bin nur noch der Schatten der Maria.
Gebrochen ist in langer Kerkerschmach
Der edle Mut—Ihr habt das Äusserste an mir
Getan, habt mich zerstört in meiner Blüte!
—Jetzt macht ein Ende, Schwester! Sprecht es aus,
Das Wort, um dessentwillen Ihr gekommen,
Denn nimmer will ich glauben, dass Ihr kamt,
Um. Euer Opfer Grausam zu verhöhnen.
Sprecht dieses Wort aus! sagt mir: ' Ihr seid frei,
Maria! Meine Macht habt Ihr gefühlt,
Jetzt lernet meinen Edelmut verehren! '
Sagt's, und ich will mein Leben, meine Freiheit
Als ein Geschenk aus Eurer Hand empfangen.
—Ein Wort macht alles ungeschehn. Ich warte
Darauf. Oh, lasst mich's nicht zu lang erharren!
Weh Euch, wenn Ihr mit diesem Wort nicht endet!
Denn wenn Ihr jetzt nicht segenbringend, herrlich,
Wie eine Gottheit von mir scheidet—Schwester!
Nicht um dies ganze reiche Eiland, nicht
Um alle Länder, die das Meer umfasst,
Möcht ich vor Euch so stehn wie Ihr vor mir!

ELISABETH

Bekennt Ihr endlich Euch für überwunden?
Ist's aus mit Euren Ränken? Ist kein Mörder
Mehr unterweges? Will kein Abenteurer
Für Euch die traurge Ritterschaft mehr wagen?
—Ja, es ist aus, Lady Maria. Ihr verführt
Mir keinen mehr. Die Welt hat andre Sorgen.
Es lüstet keinen, Euer—vierter Mann
Zu werden, denn Ihr tötet Eure Freier
Wie Eure Männer!

MARIA (auffahrend)

Schwester! Schwester!
O Gott! Gott! Gib mir Mässigung!

ELISABETH

(sieht sie lange mit einem Blick stolzer Verachtung an)
Das also sind die Reizungen, Lord Lester,
Die ungestraft kein Mann erblickt, daneben
Kein andres Weib sich wagen darf zu stellen!
Fürwahr! Der Ruhm war wohlfeil zu erlangen,
Es kostet nichts, die allgemeine Schönheit
Zu sein, als die gemeine sein für alle!

MARIA

Das ist zuviel!

ELISABETH (höhnisch lachend)

Jetzt zeigt Ihr Euer wahres
Gesicht, bis jetzt war's nur die Larve.

MARIA

(von Zorn glühend, doch mit einer edeln Würde)
Ich habe menschlich, jugendlich gefehlt
Die Macht verführte mich, ich hab es nicht
Verheimlicht und verborgen, falschen Schein
Hab ich verschmäht mit königlichem Freimut.
Das Ärgste weiss die Welt von mir, und ich
Kann sagen, ich bin besser als mein Ruf.
Weh Euch, wenn sie von Euern Taten einst
Den Ehrenmantel zieht, womit Ihr gleissend
Die wilde Glut yerstohlner Lüste deckt.
Nicht Ehrbarkeit habt Ihr von Eurer Mutter
Geerbt; man weiss, um welcher Tugend willen
Anna von Boleyn das Schafott bestiegen.

SHREWSBURY

(tritt zwischen beide Koniginnen)
O Gott des Himmels! Muss es dahin kommen!
Ist das die Mässigung, die Unterwerfung,
Lady Maria?

MARIA

Mässigung! Ich habe
Ertragen, was ein Mensch ertragen kann.
Fahr hin, lammherzige Gelassenheit!
Zum Himmel fliehe, leidende Geduld!
Spreng endlich deine Bande, tritt hervor
Aus deiner Höhle, langverhaltner Groll!—
Und du, der dem gereizten Basilisk
Den Mordblick gab, leg auf die Zunge mir
Den giftgen Pfeil—

SHREWSBURY

Oh, sie ist ausser sich!
Verzeih der Rasenden, der schwer Gereizten!
(ELISABETH, vor Zorn sprachlos, schiesst wütende Blicke auf MARIEN.)

LEICESTER

(in der heftigsten Unruhe, sucht die Elisabeth hinwegzuführen)
Höre
Die Wütende nicht an! Hinweg, hinweg
Von diesem unglückselgen Ort!

MARIA

Der Thron von England ist durch einen Bastard
Entweiht, der Briten edelherzig Volk
Durch eine listge Gauklerin betrogen.
—Regierte Recht, so läget Ihr vor mir
Im Staube jetzt, denn ich bin Euer König.
(ELISABETH geht schnell ab, die Lords folgen ihr in der höchsten Bestürzung.)


MARY STUART
by Schiller
Act III, Scene 1

In a Park. In the foreground Trees; in the background a distant Prospect.

(MARY advances, running from behind the trees: HANNAH KENNEDY follows slowly.)

KENNEDY

You hasten an as if endow'd with wings—
I cannot follow you so swiftly—wait.

MARY

Freedom returns! O let me enjoy it—
Let me be childish—be childish with me!
Freedom invites me! O let me employ it,
Skimming with winged step light o'er the lea;
Have I escaped from this mansion of mourning?
Holds me no more the sad dungeon of care?
Let me, with joy and with eagerness burning,
Drink in the free, the celestial air!

KENNEDY

O, my dear Lady! but a very little
Is your sad gaol extended; you behold not
The wall that shuts us in; these plaited tufts
Of trees hide from your sight the hated object.

MARY

Thanks to these friendly trees, that hide from me
My prison walls, and flatter my illusion!
Happy I now may dream myself, and free;
Why wake me from my dream's so sweet confusion?
The extended vault of heaven around me lies,
Free and unfetter'd range my wandering eyes
O'er space's vast immeasurable sea!
From where yon misty mountains rise on high,
I can my empire's boundaries explore;
And those light clouds which, steering southwards, fly,
Seek the mild clime of France's genial shore.
Fast fleeting clouds! ye meteors that fly;
Could I but with you sail through the sky!
Tenderly greet the dear fand of my youth!
Here I am captive! oppress'd by my foes,
No other than you may carry my woes,
Free thro' the ether your pathway is seen,
Ye own not the power of this tyrant Queen.

KENNEDY

Alas! dear Lady! You're beside yourself,
This long-lost, long-sought freedom makes you rave.

MARY

Yonder's a fisher returning to home;—
Poor though it be, would he lend me his wherry,
Quick to congenial shores would I ferry.
Spare is his trade, and labour's his doom—
Rich would I freight his vessel with treasure,
Such a draught should be his as he never had seen,
Wealth should he find in his nets without measure,
Would he but rescue a poor captive Queen.

KENNEDY

Fond, fruitless wishes! See you not from far,
How we are follow'd by observing spies?—
A dismal, barb'rous prohibition scares
Each sympathetic being from our path.

MARY

No, gentle Hannah! Trust me, not in vain
My prison gates are open'd. This small grace
Is harbinger of greater happiness.
No! I mistake not—'tis the active hand
Of love to which I owe this kind indulgence.
I recognise in this the mighty arm
Of Leicester. They will by degrees expand
My prison; will accustom me, through small,
To greater liberty, until at last
I shall behold the face of hüll whose hand
Will dash my fetters off, and that for ever.

KENNEDY

O, my dear Queen! I cannot reconcile
These contradictions. 'Twas but yesterday
That they announc'd your death, and all at once,
today, you have such liberty. Their chains
Are also loos'd, as I have oft been told,
Whom everlasting liberty awaits.
(Hunting horns at a distance.)

MARY

Hear'st thou the bugle, so blithely resounding?
Hear'st thou its echoes through wood and through plain?
Oh, might I now, on my nimble steed bounding,
Join with the jocund, the frolicsome train!
(Hunting horns heard again.)
Again! O this sad and this pleasing remembrance!
These are the sounds, which, so sprightly and clear,
Oft, when with music the hounds and the Korn,
So cheerfully welcom'd the break of the morn,
On the heaths of the Highlands delighted my ear.

Scene II.
(Enter PAULET.)

PAULET

Well! have I acted right at last, my Lady?
Do I for once, at least, deserve your thanks?

MARY

How! Do I owe this favour, Sir, to you?

PAULET

Why not to me? I visited the Court,
And gave the Queen your Letter.

MARY

Did you give it?
In very truth did you deliver it?
And is this freedom which I now enjoy,
The happy consequence?

PAULET

(significantly)

Nor that alone;
Prepare yourself to see a,greater still.

MARY

A greater still! What do you mean by that?

PAULET

You heard the bugle-horns?

MARY

(starting back with foreboding apprehension)
You frighten me—

PAULET

The Queen is hunting in the neighbourhood—

MARY

What!

PAULET

In a few moments she'll appear before you.

KENNEDY

(hastening towards MARY, about to fall)
How fare you, dearest Lady?—you grow pale.

PAULET

How? Is't not well? Was it not then your pray'r?
'Tis granted now, before it was expected;
You who had ever such a ready Speech,
Now summon all your powers of eloquente,
The important time to use them now is come.

MARY

O, why was I not told of this before?
Now I am not prepar'd for it—not now—
What, as the greatest favour, I besought,
Seems to me now most fearful:—Hannah, come,
Lead me into the house, till I collect
My spirits.

PAULET

Stay;—you must await her fiere.
Yes!—I believe you may be well alarm'd
To stand before your judge.

Scene III.
(Enter the EARL OF SHREWSBURY.)

MARY

'Tis not for that,
O God! Far other thoughts possess me now.
O, worthy Shrewsbury! You come, as though
ou were an angel sent to me from heav'n.
I cannot, will not see her. Save me, save me
From the detested sight!

SHREWSBURY

Your Majesty,
Comraand yourself, and summon all your courage;
'Tis the decisive moment of your fate.

MARY

For years I've waited, and prepared myself.
For this I've studied, weigh'd, and written down
Each ward within the tablet of my mem'ry,
That was to touch, and move her to compassion.
Forgotten suddenly, effac'd is all.
And nothing lives within me at this moment,
But the fierte, burning feeling of my wrongs.
My heart is turn'd to direst hate against her;
All gentle thoughts, all sweet forgiving words
Are gone, and round me stand with grisly mien,
The fiends of hell, and shake their snaky locks!

SHREWSBURY

Command your wild, rebellious blood;—constrain
The bittemess which fills your heart. No good
Ensures, when hatred is oppos'd to hate.
How muck soe'er the inward struggle tost,
You must submit to stern necessity,
The pow'r is in her hand, be therefore humble.

MARY

To her? I never can.

SHREWSBURY

But pray, submit.
Speak with respect, with calmness!
Strive to move Her magnanimity; insist not, now,
Upon your rights, not not the season.

MARY

Ah! woe is me! I've pray'd for my destruction,
And, as a curse to me, my prayer is heard.
We never should have seen each other—never!
O, this can never, never come to good.
Rather in love could fixe and water meet,
The timid lamb embrace the roaring tiger!—
I have been hurt too grievously; she hath
Too grievously oppress'd me;—no atonement
Can make us friends!

SHREWSBURY

First see her, face to face:
Did I not see how she was mov'd at reading
Your letter? How her eyes were drown'd in tears?
No—she is not unfeeling; only place
More confidence in her. It was for this
That I came on before her, to entreat you,
To be collected—to admonish you—

MARY

(seizing his hand)

Oh, Talbot! you have ever been my friend,
Had I but stay'd beneath your kindly care!
They have, indeed, misused me, Shrewsbury.

SHREWSBURY

Let all be now forgot, and only think
How to receive her with submissiveness.

MARY

Is Burleigh with her too, my evil genius?

SHREWSBURY

No one attends her but the Earl of Leicester.

MARY

Lord Leicester?

SHREWSBURY

Fear not him; it is not he
Who wishes your destruction,—'twas his work,
That here the Queen hath granted you this meeting.

MARY

Ah! well I knew it.

SHREWSBURY

What?

PAULET

The Queen approaches. (They all draw aride;

MARY

alone remains, leaning on KENNEDY.)

Scene IV. (Enter ELIZABETH, EARL OF LEICESTER, and Retinue.)

ELIZABETH (to LEICESTER)

What seat is that, my Lord?

LEICESTER

'Tis Fotheringay.

ELIZABETH (to SHREWSBURY)

My Lord, send back our retinue to London;
The people crowd too eager in the roads,
We'll seek a refuge in this quiet park.
(TALBOT sends the train away. She looks steadfastly at MARY, as she speaks further with PAULET.)
My honest people love me overmuch.
These signs of joy are quite idolatrous.
Thus should a God be honour'd, not a mortal.

MARY

(who the whole time had leaned, almost fainting, on KENNEDY, rises now, and her eyes meet the steady piercing look of ELIZABETH; she shudders and throws herself again upon KENNEDYS bosom)
O God! from out these features speaks no heart.

ELIZABETH

What lady's that?—
(A general, embarrassed silence.)

LEICESTER

You are at Fotheringay,
My Liege!

ELIZABETH

(as if surprised, casting an angry look at LEICESTER)
Who hath done this, my Lord of Leicester?

LEICESTER

'Tis past, my Queen;—and now that heav'n hath led
Your footsteps hither, be magnanimous;
And let sweet pity be triumphant now.

SHRBWSBURY

O royal mistress! yield to our entreaties;
O cast your eyes on this unhappy one,
Who stands dissolved in anguish.
(MARY collects herself, and begins to advance towards ELIZABETH, stops shuddering at half-way:—her action expresses the most violent internal struggle.)

ELIZABETH

How, my Lords!
Which of you then announc'd to me a prisoner
Bow'd down by woe? I see a haughty one,
By no means humbled by calamity.

MARY

Well be it so :—to this will I submit.
Farewell high thought, and pride of noble mied!
I will forget my dignity, and all
My sufferings; 1 will fall before her feet,
Who hath reduced me to this wretchedness.
(She turn towards the QUEEN.)
The voice of Heav'n decides for you, my sister,
Your happy brows are now with triumph crown'd,
I bless the Power Divine, which thus hath rais'd you.
(She kneels.)
But in your turn be merciful, my sister:
Let me not lie before you thus disgraced;
Stretch forth your hand, your royal hand, to raise
Your sister from the depths of her distress.

ELIZABETH (stepping back)

You are rohere it becomes you, Lady Stuart;
And thankfully I prize my God's protection,
Who hath not suffer'd me to kneel a suppliant
Thus at your feet, as you now kneel at mine.

MARY

(with increasing energy of feeling)
Think on all earthly things, vicissitudes.
Oh! there are gods who punish haughty pride:
Respect them, honour them, the dreadful ones
Who thus before thy feet have humbled me!
Before these strangers' eyes, dishonour not
Yourself in me: profane not, nor disgrace
The royal blood of Tudor. In my veins
It flows as pure a stream, as in your own.
O! for God's pity, stand not so estranged
And inaccessible, like some tall cliff,
Which the poor shipwreck'd mariner in vain
Struggles to seize, and labours to embrace.
My all, my life, my fortune now depends
Upon the influence of my words and tears;
That I may touch your heart, O! set inne free.
If you regard me with those icy looks,
My shudd'ring heart contracts itself, the stream
Of tears is dried, and frigid horror chains
The words of supplication in my bosom!

ELIZABETH (cold and severe)

What would you say to me, my Lady Stuart?
You wish'd to speak with me; and I, forgetting
The Queen, and all the wrongs I have sustain'd,
Fulfil the pious duty of the sister,
And graut the boon you wished for of my presence.
Yet 1, in yielding to the gen'rous feelings
Of magnanimity, expose myself
To rightful censure, that 1 stoop so low.
For well you know, you would have had me murder'd.

MARY

O! how shall I begin? O, how shall I
So artfully arrange my cautious words,
That they may touch, yet not offend your heart?—
Strengthen my words, O Heav'n! and take from them
Whate'er might wound. Alas! I cannot speak
In my own cause, without impeaching you,
And that most heavily. I wish not so;
You have not, as you ought, behav'd to me;
I am a Queen, like you, yet you have held me
Confin'd in prison. As a suppliant
I came to you, yet you in me insulted
The pious use of hospitality;
Slighting in me the holy law of nations,
Immur'd me in a dungeon—tore from me
My friends and servants; to unseemly want
I was exposed, and hurried to the bar
Of a disgraceful, insolent tribunal.
No more of this ;—in everlasting silence
Be buried all the cruelties I suffer'd!
See—I will throw the blame for all an fate,
'Twas not your fault, no more than it was raine.
An evil spirit rose from the abyss,
To kindle in our hearts the flames of hate,
By which our tender youth had been divided.
It grew with us, and bad designing men
Fann.'d with their ready breath the fatal fixe:
Frantics, enthusiasts, with sword and dagger
Arm'd the uncall'd-for hand! , This is the curse
Of kings, that they, divided, tear the world
In pieces with their hatred, and let loose
The raging furies of all hellish strife!
No foreign tongue is now between us, sister,
(approaching her confidently, and with aflattering tone)
Now stand we face to face; now, sister, speak;
Name but my crime, fully satisfy you,—
Alas! had you vouchsaf'd to hear me then,
When I so earnest sought to meet your eye,
It never would have come to this, nor would,
Here in this mournful place, have happen'd now
This so distressful, this so mournful meeting.

ELIZABETH

My better stars preserv'd me. I was warn'd,
And laid not to my breast the pois'nous adder!
Accuse not fate! your own deceitful heart
It was, the wild ambition of your house:
As yet no enmities had pass'd between us,
When your imperious linde, the proud priest,
Whose shameless hand grasps at all crowns, attack'd me
With unprovok'd hostility, and taught
You, but too docile, to assume my arms,
To vest yourself with my imperial title,
And meet me in the lists in mortal strife:
What arms employed he not to storm my throne?
The curses of the priests, the people's sword,
The dreadful weapons of religious frenzy,—
Ev'n here in my own kingdom's peaceful haunts,
He fann'd the flames of civil insurrection;—
But God is with me, and the haughty priest
Has not maintain'd the field. The blow was aim'd
Full at my head, but yours it is which falls!

MARY

I'm in the hand of Heav'n. You never will
Exert so cruelly the pow'r it gives you.

ELIZABETH

Who shall prevent me? Say, did not your uncle
Set all the kings of Europe the example,
How to conclude a peace with those they hate?
Be mine the school of Saint Bartholomew;
What's kindred then to me, or nations' laws?
The church can Break the Bands of ev'ry duty;
It consecrates the regicide, the traitor;
I only practise what your priests have taught!
Say then, what surety can be offer'd me,
Should I magnanimously loose your Bonds?
Say, with what lock can I secure your faith,
Which by St. Peter's keys cannot be open'd?
Force is my only surety; no alliance
Can be concluded with a rate of vipers.

MARY

O! this is but your wretched, dark suspicion!
For you have constantly regarded me
But as a stranger, and an enemy.
Had you declar'd me heir to your dorainions,
As is my right, then gratitude and love
In me had fix'd, for you, a faithful friend
And kinswoman.

ELIZABETH

Your friendship is abroad,
Your house is Papacy, the monk your brother.
Name you my successor! The treach'rous snare!
That in my life you might seduce my people;
And, like a sly Armida, in your net
Entangle all our noble English youth;
That all might turn to the new rising sun,
And I—

MARY

O sister, rule your realm in peace:
I give up ev'ry claim to these domains—
Alas! the pinions of my soul are lam'd;
Greatness entices me no more: your point
Is gain'd; I am but Mary's shadow now—
My noble spirit is at last broke down
By long captivity:—you've done your worst
On me; you have destroy'd me in my bloom!
Now, end your work, my sister:—speak at length
The word, which to pronounce has brought you hither;
For I will ne'er believe that you are come
To mock unfeelingly your hapless victim.
Pronounce this word;—say, Mary, you are free:
You have already felt my pow'r,—learn now
To honour too my generosity.'
Say this, and I will take my life, will take
My freedom, as a present from your hands.
One word makes all undone;—I wait for it ;—
O let it not be needlessly delay'd.
Wde to you, if you end not with this word!
For should you not, like some divinity,
Dispensing noble blessing, quit me now,
Then, sister, not for all this island's wealth,
For all the realms encircled by the deep,
Would I exchange my present Lot for yours.

ELIZABETH

And you confess at last, that you are conquer'd:
Are all your schemes run out? No more assassins
Now an the road? Will no adventurer
Attempt again, for you, the sad achievement?
Yes, madam, it is over:—You'll seduce
No mortal more. The world has other cares;—
None is ambitious of the dang'rous honour
Of being your fourth husband :—
You destroy Your wooers like your husbands.

MARY

(starting angrily)

Sister, sister!—
Grant me forbearance, all ye powr's of heav'n!

ELIZABETH

(regards her long, with a Look of proud contempt)
Those then, my Lord of Leicester, are the charms
Which no man with impunity can view,
Near which no woman Bare attempt to stand?
In sooth, this honour has been cheaply gain'd;
She who to all is common, may with ease
Become the common object of applause.

MARY

This is too much!

ELIZABETH (laughing insultingly)

You show us now, indeed,
Your real face; till now 'twas but the mask.

MARY

(burning with rage, yet dignified and noble)
My sins were human, and the faults of youth;
Superior force misled me. I have neuer
Denied or sought to hide it: I despis'd
All false appearance as became a Queen.
The worst of me is known, and I can say,
That I am better than the fame I bear.
Woe to you! when, in time to come, the world
Shall draw the rohe of honour from your deeds,
With which your arch-hypocrisy has veil'd
The raging flames of lawless secret Lust.
Virtue was not your portion from your mother;
Well know we what it was which brought the head
Of Anna Boleyn to the fatal block.

SHREWSBURY

(stepping between both Queens)
O! Heav'n! Alas, and must it come to this!
Is this the moderation, the submission,
My Lady?—

MARY

Moderation! I've supported
What human nature can support: farewell,
Lamb-hearted resignation, passive patience,
Fly to thy native heaven; hurst at length
Thy Bonds, come forward from thy dreary cave,
In all thy fury, long-suppressed rancour!
And thou, who to the anger'd basilisk
Impart'st the murd'rous glance, O, arm my tongue
With poison'd darts!

SHREWSBURY

She is beside herself!
Exasperated, mad! My Liege, forgive her.
(ELIZABETH, speechless with anger, casts enraged Looks at MARY.)

LEICESTER

(in the most violent agitation; he seeks to lead ELIZABETH away)
Attend not to her rage! Away, away,
From this disastrous place!

MARY

(raising her voice)

A Bastard soils,
Profanes the English throne! The gen'rous Britons
Are cheated by a juggler (whose whole figure
Is false and painted, heart as well as face!).
If right prevail'd, you now would in the dust
Before me lie, for I'm your rightful monarch!

(ELIZABETH hastily quits the stage; the Lords follow her in the greatest consternation)

(From the translation by Joseph Mellish.)

(Dr. Steiner): And now, my dear friends, if we take such a work as Maria Stuart, and consider it as an example of a drama that owes its creation to a definite artistic resolve, the question may well present itself: How is the actor to find his right relation to a play of this kind? This we have now to consider, and we shall expect to find here again specific laws upon which the actor can base his endeavours.

In some dramas we can see quite clearly, when we look into the question of their origin, that it is the theme, the plot with its characters, that has inspired the dramatist to write bis drama. This was true more or less of Schiller when, as a young man, he set himself to compose Die Räuber. All through the play we can see that what interests him is the subject-matter in the widest sense of the word. He is attracted by the event and the characters that take part in it; he wants to make poetry of them. The same can be said even of Goethe in one period of his life. At the time when he was beginning to compose Faust and was writing also Götz von Berlichingen, his main interest was in the plot and the characters. Faust is a character that interests him intensely. And then, what a Faust can experience—that too has a great attraction for him. And in Götz von Berlichingen it is in the first place the Nero himself, and then the time in which he lived; these two themes were of lively interest to Goethe.

But now look at Schiller embarking upon his Maria Stuart. We have here quite another situation. Maria Stuart is the result of a conscious endeavour on Schiller's part to be an artist in the realm of drama. His whole desire is to compose plays that shall be artistic; and he looks round for material to serve bis purpose. He looks for a material that will lend itself to the style he wants to develop. His starting-point was by no means the story of Mary, Queen of Scots; he sets out in search of a theme upon which he can successfully create a drama where it shall be the moods that give style to the piece.

Now the initial purpose of the dramatist is of no little significance for the actor; and if we are making plan for a school of dramatic art, we ought certainly to arrange that both kinds of drama are studied. The students should practise with dramas where the poet's interest lies mainly in the plot,—such a drama, for instance, as Götz von Berlichingen, or Die Räuber; and they should work also with dramas like Maria Stuart, Die Jungfrau von Orleans, Die Braut von Messina, or Wilhelm Tell. And while the students are studying in this way the different dramatic styles, that will also be the moment for them to pass from a study that concerns itself purely with acting to a study that, instead of merely asking all the time: How are we to do this?—How are we to do that?, takes rather for its theme the entire play itself as a work of art. I will give you an example.

Wilhelm Tell is a play that provides excellent opportunity for an actor to develop style in his work by studying the style of the piece. But it should be made clear to the student that in this play Schiller's style comes to grief in many places. The fact will be forcibly brought home to you if you should ever happen to hear some orthodox professor of literature interpreting one of the scenes in a way that may possibly accord with the illusions of a professor who has more credulity than discernment, but does not at all accord with real life. What a wonderful scene that is,' you might hear him say to his pupils, where Tell declines to attend the meetings the others are holding, declaring that he is a man of deeds and not of words, and that he will leave it to them to do the talking, and hold himself ready to be called on when the moment for action has come.' I did once hear a credulous professor speak in this way to a still more credulous audience of both young and old! And then all too easily such a view becomes the accepted interpretation and is handed down and repeated as if it were an indisputable truth. And we can see it spreading like a disease through the schools, and indeed wherever it has a chance to push its way in. No one stops to ask : But is it possible that Teil should speak like that? For it certainly is not possible! True, Tell had the character that Schiller means to give him. He was not a man of many words ; you would not find him taking a front seat in the meetings and making grandiloquent Speeches. But he would be there. He would be sitting at the back and listening. Tell was not the kind of man to boast that he let the others do the talking and wanted only to be called on when it was time for action,—which would give the impression that he had himself no idea as to what ought to be done! It is simply not true, the way Schiller makes Tell speak in that passage, and the student has here a good opportunity of learning to judge for himself without bias,—and that is supremely important where art is concerned. What Schiller has done in this passage is to push the stylisation too far. Then it can become routine,—which it must never do, it must always have life.

And now let us suppose, die actor—or the student—takes a drama of the one or the other kind as subject for his study. How will he proceed with a drama like Die Räuber or Don Carlos? or, on the other hand, with a drama like Maria Stuart or Die Braut von Messina? For a drama of the first kind, the right course will be to work only for a shorter time at the development of mime and gesture whilst another does the reciting, and to lead over quite soon to simultaneous speaking and acting. There must of course always be first the practice in gesture to the accompaniment of a reciter, but in this case not for long; the student should as soon as possible unite the gesturing with the spoken word.

With a drama of the second kind, the actor or student will require to practise the silent gesture and mime with a reciter speaking the words for him, for a much longer period. He should indeed defer till as late as possible the union in his own person of gesture and word. By following this method he will attain a result which there is no need to attain in the former type of drama and which could even perhaps be detrimental there to the performance of his part. I mean the following. The gesture, having through long practice come to rest, as it were, in die actor, continues to be present there in him and co-operates in the forming of the word,—the actor of course meanwhile quite unconscious of the process ; it happens instinctively as far as he is concerned. And if we want to stage a drama that is first and foremost, in its whole intention, a work of art, dien we have to make .sure that all through our study of it we succeed in uniting the art of the acting with the art, the poetry, that is in the play itself. Only then will the art of the acting make its right contact with the audience; and upon that, after all, everything depends.

The audience will not easily be brought into a mood that grips them in their very soul, if we put before them a realistic scene which is, in addition, realistically acted. It is quite possible to fascinate people with a realistic scene, so that for the moment they give their whole attention; but if we sincerely want to reach our audience, there can be no better way than by lifting them right out of naturalistic experience, and taking them up to the level of art.

Let us take now the scene that has been read to us and imagine we have to consult together how we shall proceed to stage it. Giving our attention first to the question of scenic effect, how shall we create the right environment for die words that are spoken in this scene?

To build up a décor from a naturalistic point of view, to paint, let us say, a forest as naturalistically as possible, would most certainly not achieve our object. For could anyone imagine that such a scene as this (the scene ends, you will remember, in a manner that is directly contrary to the will of everyone present, takes them one and all by surprise),—could anyone imagine that the motif of the scene could be rendered with style if we set out to surround it with the mood of a forest? The one and only thing to do is let the surroundings of the scene present, by your artistic treatment of them, the mood that belongs to this juncture in the play.

I must here allude to a request that has been handed me in writing, asking if I would add a little more to what I said the other day about the painting of stage scenery. But, my dear friends, so far as my memory goes, I have not spoken at all on this subject. What I said then was in reference to landscape painting. 1See Lecture 10. We were considering the character of art in general, and took landscape painting for our example. I do not like to be misunderstood in this way. I have up to now said nothing whatever about painting for the stage. As a matter of fact, the very first thing you must realise in this connection is that for stage d&or, painting as an art does not come into question. We have to rely on our equipment for stage lighting, etc., to do the painting for us.

To return to the scene from Maria Stuart, our main concern should be that the speakers have around them the mood of the scene with all the successive changes it undergoes.

Now on the matter of moods there is bound to be always some difference of opinion, but 1 think no one will find it seriously discordant if we propose to arrange for the whole stage to be suffused during this scene with a reddish lighting. The colour will naturally have to change a lade as the scene goes on, but can always keep a fundamental reddish tone. At the end of the scene, where Mary speaks so sharply, the reddish tone can, as it were, pierce inwards into itself and become dazzling yellow. There will also be not a few other modifications here and there. For example, right at the beginning of the scene, where Mary is in a thoroughly sentimental wein, you can introduce into the general reddish mood a bluish-violet mood. That then will be your first question settled.

And now, how are you going to see that your wings and back-drop make their right contribution to the mood of the scene? Impossible to have there a realistically painted picture of a bit of forest. Trees, however, you must have; and what about their colour? The scene demands that the colouring of the trees shall harmonise with the mood of the lighting. You cannot paint into a red mood trees that are absolutely green; you will have to introduce a touch of red into their colour. And in order to provide something on which the eye can rest when Mary grows sarcastic, you can take yellow also on to your palette,—I should rather say, on to your brush; for one should never paint from a palette, but always with water colours. Then the actors will have around them a true picture of the mood of the scene.

And it will be the same with all your arrangements for the staging of the play. When you come to the question of costume, you must realise that it is of no use to set about inventing all manner of fancy dresses which only make the wearers look queer and awkward. That is not the way to attain style. Costumes should be cut to suit the wearers; it is in the colour that you will have to let style come in,—in the choice of colour, in the harmony of the colours worn by different parts. And here one will not be so childish as to snatch at the first idea that offers, which would naturally mean in this rase that Mary should wear black. Black should appear on the stage only in the rare cases where it is justified from an artistic point of view. As a matter of fact, on the stage black obliterates itself, makes a void. Devils, or beings of such ilk, we can allow to appear in black, but we ought never to think of using black for any other purpose. Mary will have to be dressed in dark violet. Her colour should be chosen first. (For the achievement of style, it is always important to know where to begin.) Then, with Mary in violet, you cannot do otherwise than choose for Elizabeth a dress of reddish-yellowish colour; and the colours of the other characters will be gradually shaded as taste requires.

Working in this way, you will get your picture. And you will see, your audience will understand it. Provided it has been faithfully built up on these lines the picture will make its appeal.

For how is it that the actor of today finds it so difficult to carry bis audience with him? Simply because we are not sufficiently in earnest about this question of style. We want to attain style, but we do not set about it seriously enough. We ought not really to complain so muck of the audience; it is never die audience who are to blame. It is the art itself that is wanting! But, my dear friends, how can we expect to achieve art if, behind the founding of our theatres, lie impulses and motives such as are disclosed in the following well-authenticated incident?

A big theatre was once started in a town by a journalist who was also a playwright, and who took on himself the direction of the theatre. It was named after a distinguished classical author. Externally, you see, the founder was trying to do die thing in style. ‚Arrangements were also made for a speech to be given at the opening ceremony, in which very fine things were said about this author, and about the splendid future that the theatre would have if it followed in his footsteps; for he had himself been eminent in the art of the stage and had laid down many golden rules for its practice.

If now a true devotion to art in the highest sense had begun to manifest in the work of that theatre—naturally, fare of a lighter kind being offered also now and again in deference to public taste—it might have been in quite good style to open the theatre with a Speech of this kind. But style has to be something inward; it has to be livingly experienced. And I would ask you now to judge for your-selves whether there really was style in the enterprise, when I tell you what took place immediately after the official opening,—despite the high-sounding words that had been spoken by the director. There had of course been other Speeches too, including one by the chairman of the theatre committee, who spoke in becoming terms of the director, and so on, and so on. Yes, there was style in the opening ceremony; but of what kind? There was no life in it!—as all too quickly became apparent! For what happened when the function was over and the audience had dispersed? Among the people around such a director there will generally be some who are sincere idealists. Not many; but there will be a few. One such—or perhaps only a semi-idealist—went up to the director and said: ‘I wish you all success! Running your theatre in the way you have described, you will be helping to revive and restore art.’ To which the director replied: But it's the profits I'm after!'

Yes, you see how it is! The style of which the opening ceremony gave promise has all crumbled to dust. It was not in the man's heart, not in his inner being. Style has, in fact, become in our day something which people no longer feel in life, they are insensitive to it; and that is why I find it so important to impress upon you that he alone can hope to achieve style in art who sets out in all seriousness to live in it.