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Gilbert Murray in the English lines [and, of course, “the onlie begetter” that follow :
of the present commentary) has been Back streams the wave on the ever-running
the popular triumph of Miss Marriver:
garet Anglin's productions, in CarLife, life is changed and the laws of negie Hall, of the Electra of Sophoo'ertrod.
cles and the Medea of Euripides. Man shall be the slave, the affrighted, the
This triumph has been truly popular. low-liver ! Man hath forgotten God.
There are more than three thousand And woman, yea, woman, shall be terrible seats in Carnegie Hall; and every in story:
seat has been filled at each of the five · The tales, too, meseemeth, shall be other
or six repetitions of these ancient than of yore. For a fear there is that cometh out of
tragedies. The commercial problem Woman and a glory,
—from the moment when the project And the hard hating voices shall encom was initially announced—was not pass her no more!
how to attract the public, but how The old bards shall cease, and their memory to provide accommodation for the that lingers
people who besieged the box-office, Of frail brides and faithless, shall be
in long lines, with money in their shrivelled as with fire.
hands. For they loved us not, nor knew us: and our lips were dumb, our fingers
Between fifteen and twenty thouCould wake not the secret of the lyre. sand people attended in New York, Else, else, O God the Singer, I had sung within the compass of a single amid their rages
month, Miss Anglin's reproductions A long tale of Man and his deeds for
of these two Athenian tragedies. It good and ill. But the Old World knoweth—'tis the speech is not, by any means, to be inferred of all his ages
that this enormous audience was Man's wrong and ours: he knoweth and
made up mainly of people who had is still.
previously read the writings of EuDid Ibsen of Norway say any more
ripides and Sophocles. It is safe to
assume that these high and far-off upon this modern subject, in the
names meant next to nothing to the year A.D. 1878, than Euripides of Greece had already said and sung, in majority of those attracted to the
undertaking by the reputation of the year B.C. 431,—the first year of the eighty-seventh Olympiad, her justly popular collaborator, Mr.
Miss Anglin or by the reputation of when he submitted his Medea and
Walter Damrosch. But Miss Anwon only a third prize in competition glin soon convinced the many-headed with Euphorion, the son of Æschy; public that the great Greek poets [to lus, who carried off the palm, and with Sophocles, who took the second express the matter in a phrase re
membered from the Bible] are "not prize? ... Or am I right in
dead but living,” and that their mesthinking that Euripides was inspired
sage to mankind is instant and imwith a prescience that may reason- mediate, because it is eternal. ably be regarded as prophetical ?
Why is it that any so-called "modThe outstanding event of the cur- ern” play which is “revived” after rent theatre-season in New York an interval of only twenty or thirty
years seems always irretrievably
ade By virtue of the managerial incen quate production of a play origi- tive of Miss Anglin, our theatre-gonally written in the age of Pericles ing public has lately been convinced appears always—in the phrase of that Sophocles and Euripides are Robert Browning—“strange and more alive to-day than Mr. George new."
Broadhurst and Mr. George V. HoThis question is not difficult to bart. Miss Anglin is greatly to be answer. The Greeks—in contem- praised for this achievement in the plating any subject for a work of education of the populace. She has art-sought only and sought always done what hundreds and hundreds of for inklings of eternity. By imagi- scholarly professors have failed to nation they removed their topics do :she has sent thousands of un"out of space, out of time,” and re scholarly and normal people back to garded them from the point of view their libraries, to read [or to reof an absolute and undisrupted lei- read] the tragic dramatists of ansure. They sought, in any subject, cient Athens and to experience an not for transitory hintings of the unexpected joy. here and now, but always and only The plays of these great dramafor indications of the absolute and tists are so effective that all that is undeniable. By deliberate inten necessary, in the modern theatre, is tion, they wrote “not of an age but to leave them alone and to act them for all time.”
as they are: yet this very simple Another point to be recalled is point is usually missed by those who that the tragic dramatists of ancient approach the ancient drama from Athens were never tempted to pursue the point of view of archæology. the ignis fatuus of novelty. No Sophocles and Euripides have been playwright—in those high and far damned for generations by pedaoff days—was ever expected, or per gogues who have insisted on counting mitted, to invent a story.
The the quantitative value of every sylAthenian dramatists dealt only with lable of every line; and, even in the tales that had already been familiar theatre, these immortal plays might to the public for a thousand years. almost be reduced to the realm of Their function was—as artists—to the utter anæsthetic by an allextract a new and unexpected truth too-sedulous adherence to the forefrom the elucidation of an ancient gone conventions of the ancient fable, and not to catch the light at stage. tention of the public by the sudden Miss Anglin's very first producflaunting of some flag of novelty. tions of these plays were disclosed, The augustness of Greek criticism in the summer of 1915, in the Greek may be measured by the fact that Theatre at
at Berkeley, California. the Medea of Euripides took only a This was an open-air auditorium, third prize in Athens in the year 431 constructed in imitation of the anB. C. It was probably too “modern" cient theatre of Dionysus in Athens, or too "revolutionary” to satisfy the and ample for the seating of twenty honourable judges who accorded the thousand people. Assured, in adfirst prize to Euphorion, the son of vance, of the patronage of an enorÆschylus.
mous audience, Miss Anglin must
have been tempted to turn "schol- ting for the Electra of Sophocles arly,” and to project these ancient was simple, yet magnificent, in archidramatists as men long dead, instead tecture. Tall pylons soared beyond of men forever living. This tempta- the sight; and, before great doortation she resisted, because she is an
ways, many stairs spilled down in artist. She discarded the masque cataracts that seemed to gather into and the cothurnus: she removed the an eternal tide. Mr. Fred Ericchorus from the orchestra to the who depicted the part of Orestes in stage; and, in many other ways, she this play-reported his impression recomposed these ancient fables ac of this setting in some such words as cording to the more familiar pattern follow: “When I enter, up or down of the theatre of to-day.
those stairs, I have to act much In California, Miss Anglin showed better than I have ever acted at any her common sense [a most uncom
time before. The whole play is mon quality, as the great Descartes plotted out on different levels, which has told us] by refusing to produce indicate different degrees of domithese ancient plays by sunlight, de nance. Whenever I stand firmly spite the precedent that has been footed on those stairs and read a handed down from ancient history. speech, I feel at ease: I do not need A modern spectator of a Greek play to strive: the architect has solved delivered out of doors is greatly the problem for the actor.” bothered by the modern look of the On the other hand, the present people in the audience; and the only writer is required to record a disway to obviate this interruption is agreement with the decorative projto drench and drown the audience in ect conceived by Mr. Platt for his darkness, while an artificial light is setting of the Medea of Euripides. focussed on the actors on the stage. The high point in this play is that This subterfuge necessitates a night moment when the Chorus of Corinperformance; and, for this reason, thian Women swarm up many steps Miss Anglin, in her experimental and impotently push against the renderings of the Pericleian drama door that impedes them from pretists in California, decided wisely to . venting the insatiate, insane Medea eschew the ancient custom of appear from murdering her children. The ing under the indirigible light of day. cry of these agonised and helpless
children is answered only by the VII
feeble fluttering of thirty helpless
hands. The exigencies of this situaCarnegie Hall is an empty and in tion demand-obviously—that the hospitable auditorium, resembling door to Medea's house should be cyneither the Athenian theatre of Dio clopean in ponderosity. After Jason nysus nor any modern theatre of has accomplished his delayed re-enBroadway; and Miss Anglin's artis trance, he is required [according to tic director, Mr. Livingston Platt, the lines to order his underlings to was called upon to decorate the break through this mighty door with stage in a mood that should be suited crow-bars. Yet—in the setting deamply to the height of the occasion. signed by Mr. Platt—this all-imporIn this endeavour, Mr. Platt suc tant gateway to disaster is repreceeded almost perfectly. His set sented merely by an open grill-work
that looks incapable of resisting the that can be suggested by the setting determined push of fifteen women to the eye; and Mr. Livingston Platt The effect of the Medea on the stage has weakened the climax of the play - like the effect of The Death of by designing a central door for the Tintagiles, in which M. Maeterlinck Medea that looks as if it might be was not ashamed to follow in the pushed open without effort by any footsteps of Euripides—depends ardent crowd composed of fifteen largely upon the adamantine solidity women.
BY A. CARTER GOODLOE
When from its niche the importunate bell calls clear,
The miracle is wrought without delay.
Swift, unseen shuttles through aerial way
Strange, tenuous messengers of joy, dismay,
Love, when thy summons comes, quick, I obey !
Vibrates thy voice across the trembling wires
Space is annihilate—far though thou art,
And hope, grown cold, enkindles with new fires !
THE FOOD CRUSADE*
BY THOMAS H. DICKINSON
NEVER in human memory have men aside from its present stores the susbeen so conscious of their dinners as tenance instinct tells it will be they are to-day. They prepare for greatly in demand. But the obthem with forethought and they server would be badly deceived in eat them with conscientious care. thus explaining by reference to a Scruples sit at their elbows and duty primitive instinct a programme watches Argus-eyed at every helping. which is in fact derived from other
What is the meaning of this uni- and higher forces in human nature. versal concern with food? A few Twenty years ago Bloch wrote years ago we were willing to admit that the future of war lay not in that under certain circumstances fighting but in famine. In laying food could be an art. Then we dis- down this dictum he had in mind covered that it is a science. And primarily the dislocation of the facnow the World War has made it into tors of production, the violation of a Crusade. Discussions of the food the machinery
the machinery of exchange, the problem occupy in newspapers and breaking of morale through hunger, magazines space commensurate with and the possibility that considerable that given to engagements on the numbers of people might be reduced battle-field and the wordy battles to inefficiency through the lowering preliminary to an international un- of food supplies below the line of derstanding Admonitory fingers vital support. In its general feapoint from every sign-board. Whole tures much that Bloch outlined has departments in magazines are de- been seen to come to pass. With alvoted to the various interests of most uncanny precision the war is cookery and conservation.
following the programme he outOne looking in on the busy world lined, with one important exception. of war from some other and quieter And this exception promises to be zone might suppose that humanity the vital factor in the case. had suddenly turned squirrel, that For Bloch saw only the negative with consciousness of coming dan and destructive side. But war has gers and short supplies it was setting its constructive features no less than * The World's Food. Edited by Clyde
has peace. Bloch failed to see that L. King, being the November, 1917, number the very forces he was outlining were of the Annals of the American Academy of developing a new set of social virtues, Political and Social Science. Philadelphia. in which co-operation, imagination,
The Food Problem. By Vernon Kellogg and Alonzo E. Taylor, with a Preface
the ability to visualise the other by Herbert Hoover. New York: The Mac- man's case, to put into effective millan Company.
practice a plan based upon an ideal Food in Wartime. By Graham Lusk. theory, are the fundamental feaW. B. Saunders. Philadelphia.
tures. The result of the war will Food Preparedness for the United States. By Charles O'Brien. Boston: Little
, Brown be spelled in terms of victory for the and Company.
party that is able to develop out of