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This inconvenient monitor is silenced by quietly putting him to death, as Nero had made his mother Agrippina and his first wife, Octavia, disappear. But now the people themselves press forward and demand to know who was the instigator of the conflagration. Thereupon a most dramatic and thrilling scene begins, in which Nero throws the blame upon the new sect of Nazarenes, called Christians, whom he orders to be persecuted and put to death. In vain, that Nero's most faithful slave, a German, throws himself at his master's feet, imploring him to take back his sentence, because the Christian's highest law was, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." They could not possibly have been guilty of so barbarous and cruel an act as to set the city on fire. The slave thereby betrays his allegiance to the new religion and falls as the first sacrifice, stabbed by the prefect, Tigellinus. Writhing in agony, he curses the emptiness and vanity of Rome's wealth and power. He expires with the following words on his lips: "I shall be revenged! I feel Divine presentiment! Arise, arise, ye sun of Germania ! "

At these words the scenery in the background changes, and the destroyed city of Rome is seen, over the ruins of which, German warriors make their triumphal entrance.

This second historic picture surpassed the first in splendor, though it satisfied the heart less than the former. It was played beautifully, especially the young men who acted the roles of Nero, Seneca, and the slave deserved the spirited applause of the thousands of cultured people in the audience.

The third picture (Act IV.) is the most interesting of the three. It is grand and worthy of a stage such as is prepared by the Order of Cincinnatus in Cincinnati, on which great spectacular plays like the "Fall of Babylon" are played, a stage four hundred feet wide. The epoch represented in Act IV. is that of the overthrow of Moorish rule in Spain. Time: The year 1492; place: the city of Granada, the capital of the Moorish empire. Muhamed Abdallah has lost all his land to the united armies of Ferdinand and Isabella. Granada is the last city held by him; even this can be held only a few days longer against the attacking forces of the Christians. The simple pastoral people who had, many centuries ago, issued from Arabia to spread the Islam, had not only lighted the fire of faith in Spain, but had been the guardians and promoters of science saved from the ruins of Greece, while elsewhere in Europe barbarism and ignorance had held sway during the time popularly styled "the dark ages."

A noble empire, built upon the strength of a fanatical, and therefore morbid faith, crumbles to pieces. A faith like the Islam could and can never create anything lasting, one-sided as it is, and appealing as it does, to the baser motives of man. The last stronghold and refuge of the Moors is to be stormed on the morrow, and the warriors declare themselves willing to fight till death, but the discreet ruler, knowing Allah's decision, and not willing to sacrifice the last remnants of his nation for a lost cause, accepts the proposition of the Christians to surrender the city and leave the country. Once more, however, the marvellous splendor of the Moorish empire is to pass before his eyes in the halls of the Alhambra.

Muhamed Abdallah seats himself on his throne surrounded by the grandees of his former realm; gentle evening red spreads lustre over the scene. Music is heard, at first sad funeral music, then dreamlike, harmonious strains. The "Lion-Court" of the Alhambra, this unique, and perhaps most wonderful architectural structure in the world, is filled with dancers who perform a ballet of great beauty. The music and the dancers' movements become more spirited. It is a scene which reflects the great pomp of former times. At last the dancers express their last farewell to Abdallah. Then martial strains are heard and a splendid picture is seen. It represents the Moorish army in all its picturesque equipment. The light changes to blood-red.

At last the king breaks the dream-like spell with which he had gazed at the glorious scenes before him, and in the saddest tones and expressions of hopelessness takes leave from his people and his incomparable palace. The conversation between him and the grandees of his doomed empire is most touching. The latter implore him in passionate terms to resist the advances of the unbelievers, but he refuses to sacrifice the remnants of his army and people, believing that it is Allah's will that Moorish rule in Spain should cease. Blessing the people he steps toward the gate, but there his strength and composure forsake him, and covering his face with his hands, he rushes away. The people are overpowered by their evil misfortune.

At this moment a scene-curtain falls while the music continues in exquisite, gentle strains. When the curtain rises again a gloomy forest-landscape is seen, from which Abdallah issues walking slowly and with broken steps. Suddenly the moon breaks

through the clouds, illumines the scenery and shows in the background the fairy-like view of the Alhambra. The rocky walls around it are as though crowned by the silvery light of the moon. Abdallah stands suddenly as though rooted to the spot at this last greeting, then spreading his arms longingly toward his famous castle he sinks to the ground overpowered by painful emotions.


The scenery used in this act surpassed all stage scenery that had ever been produced in Duesseldorf, and all I had ever seen. had been painted by the artists of the "Malkasten" with singular fidelity to the conceptions of the poet, who expressed his joy in glowing terms. There was less acting and more scenic effect in this act, but the actors played remarkably well, if we consider that the Moorish costumes are not worn with ease and elegance by boys who are apt to despise finery of that sort.

Ths Epilogue (Act V.) is equally well conceived by the poet. Germania awakes under the same broken oak seen in the first act. She is reminded at sight of the ruins surrounding her, that she is not called upon to dream but to act. Again, the six genii appear and offer their services, each one praising his power and accomplishments. But Germania has now read on the pages of history and recognizes the fact that Art and Liberty, Power and Wealth, Faith and Science cannot help her separately to raise her nation to lasting greatness, but that their combined efforts alone will do it. She enlists them all, saying: "Only where Liberty is paired with Power, one complementing the other; where Art and Science with their pure light will ennoble the senses in the service of beauty and truth and fill the mind with creative power; where Wealth springs forth from the diligent hands of honest labor; where gentle Faith that tolerates the opinions of others will steel the souls against the storms of passion-only there true happiness will rule. My nation shall be powerful and free, a mine of science and a sanctuary of art: it shall be rich by the labor of its hands in all domains of activity, and at its hearths faith shall dwell blessing all its efforts."

Such a time comes. Germania, who now appears in her most gorgeous splendor, sees her prophecies verified. Under the rule of the Hohenzollern dynasty, she sees her wishes fulfilled. In exquisite verses she gives an epitome of the last two centuries of Prussian and German history, mentions the great deeds of Frederick William, the great Elector, of Frederick the Great and his


till one

successors, and ends with these words: comes the happiest of all to whom it is reserved, like Siegfried, to lift the sunken Nibelungen treasure of Germany's lost grandeur and rescue it from the grasp of the dark powers; one who marches at the head of his incomparable army into the heart of the hostile country, protected by heroes and advised by the wisest of men, aided by the faithful grandees of the realm and by representatives of all German tribes that are at last united never to fall asunder again; one who places the imperial crown upon his head in pious humility and is loved by his people as never mortal man and ruler was loved, yet whose brow is adorned with the wreath of simple civil virtues more lovely than by his jewelled crown or the laurel of military success."

And now in quick succession are seen a number of historic places that represent the development of the Prussian-German dynasty up to the rejuvenation of the empire. We see the castles. of Hohenzollern, Nuremberg, Sanssoucy, Babelsberg, and at last the Koenigsplatz in Berlin, with the famous "Column of Victory.” Here on the open space is gathered a flowing crowd of people representing all the tribes of Germany in their peculiar national costumes. The orchestra plays the national hymn in which the audience joins, while in the background the colossal bust of Emperor Wilhelm I. is unveiled surrounded by the allegorical figures of Liberty, Art, Power, Wealth, Science, and Faith. Over the entire group stands Germania blessing the people.

The applause of the enraptured audience knew no bounds. Six times the curtain had to be raised to exhibit the magnificent scene. At last the poet was called, and he received an ovation which inspired him to a beautiful poem addressed to the actors who in rendering his dramatic effort had surpassed even the wildest flights of his imagination.

In all my life I had not seen an enthusiasm like this; yet I have lived to see six presidential elections in America. Never had I seen scenic effects like those that embellished the play of "Germania," and I certainly have witnessed splendid spectacles on the stage, both in America and Europe. Nor did I ever see spirited playing like that of these boys, the youngest of which was fourteen, the oldest twenty-two. The young lady who represented Germania was beautiful beyond description, and her elocution so charming that she moved many persons in the audience to tears.

She was dressed like the stately statue of Germania on the "Niederwald," opposite Bingen on the Rhine, perhaps the grandest and most perfect statue in existence. Since I had witnessed that statue only a few days before, I was the more struck with the appropriateness of Germania's stage dress.

Shall I say anything of the deep impression such a play must make upon the students of the school? I hope it is unnecessary. The reader who has patiently followed me will see the deep design of the poet without further explanation. I concluded that a synopsis of the play, though in humble prose, might inspire some of my readers to imitate it, or, if not that, take a lesson from these thoughtful Germans of how patriotism may be fostered.






HIS Eclogue, unlike the remaining nine, has little in common. with the pastorals of Theocritus, except, perhaps, some casual references to a few rural scenes. In this respect, Virgil has departed from his master and has adopted a style peculiarly his own" transcending bucolic limits," as it seems to the writer.

For glow of imagery and exaggerated effusion, it stands alone. Between the human and the divine there is more of the latter than of the former. It is a remarkable production-abounding in passages of striking resemblance to many of the Messianic prophecies. There is just enough of the maze about it to confuse the reader and make it doubtful as to the poet's real meaning. Shakespeare did not err when he said:

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"The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling

Doth glower from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shape and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."

1 Copyright, 1888, by Eastern Educational Bureau.

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