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were a little toplofty with that nice young wearied critic, the fashionably dressed man.
For his own good we said a great men and women who sometimes (not deal about the need of ignoring the audi- often) talk too loud, and thereby betray ence, and so forth. When he is a little a lack of breeding and intelligence. There older he will understand that to try to are always splendid souls out there. But please the audience is to trifle with it, if most of all he will love the boys and girls, not actually to insult it. He will instinc- the men and women, who sit in the cheaptively turn for judgment to the far less est seats, in the very last row of the top lenient critic within himself. But I wish gallery. They have given more than they we had told him he must go on the stage
can afford to come. In the most selfwith love in his heart-always. He must effacing spirit of fellowship they are lislove his fellows back of the curtain. He tening to catch every word, watching to must love even the 'my-part' actor, though miss no slightest gesture or expression. he die in the attempt. He must love the To save his life the actor cannot help feelpeople who in his subconsciousness he ing these nearest and dearest. He cannot knows are ‘out there. He must love them help wishing to do his best for them. He all, the dull, tired business man, the cannot help loving them best of all.”
(The topic of the next article will be “Mrs, Fiske Designs a National Theater.”—THE EDITOR.)
The Blundering in Greece
By T. LOTHROP STODDARD
Author of “Rome Rampant," " The Economic Heresy of the Allies,” etc.
T long since became a truism that in most filial veneration. Prime sponsors at
the present war the Balkan Peninsula the Greek birth and indulgent watchers has been the graveyard of Allied diplo- over the rather trying crises of Hellenic matic and military reputations. From the adolescence, England and France had ever hour when the Goeben and the Breslau posed as Greece's best friends, and this dropped anchor in the Golden Horn down traditional Philhellenism the Greeks reto the latest disasters on the Rumanian quited by a warm affection for the great plains, the Entente powers have marched powers of the West. Lord Byron was one with uncanny regularity from disaster to of Greece's national heroes, while French disaster. Yet nowhere has this Balkan culture and French ideals were vital facfatality wrought a more pathetic tragedy tors in Greek intellectual and social life. than in Greece. The result of Entente Toward Russia, it is true, Greek feeling ineptitude has here been the temporary was by no means so cordial, and this for ruin of one of the most promising of Eu- many excellent reasons. Nevertheless, this ropean races, with no commensurate gain coolness toward Russia was of slight moto the Allies themselves. How this came ment beside Hellenic sympathy for the to pass will appear from the melancholy Western powers. story.
But Anglo-French sympathies were not When the Great War broke out in the the only bonds which drew Hellas toward summer of 1914, the Allies, so far as the Allies. The whole Balkan political Greece was concerned, held all the cards. situation as it then stood tended to range For two of the Entente powers, France Greece on the Entente side. The upshot and England, the Greek people felt an al- of the recent Balkan wars had been an
means, and relying on that memory, need not himself feel so keenly. The greater the artist, the less keenly need he feel. The actor with no science must keep lashing his own emotions to get the effect a master technician would know how to express with his thoughts at the other end of the world. I suppose Paderewski does play a little better with his mind on the composition before him, but so skilled a virtuoso can afford to spare his own feelings."
"And you?" I suggested.
"Oh, I have found the tragic rôles wearing beyond my strength. Hannele, Rebecca West, Tess-such racking parts as these I shall never play again. Hereafter you will see me only in comedy. For, let me tell you something,"-and her voice dropped to a whisper,-"I have retired from the stage.'
As I knew perfectly well that she was at that very time embarking lightly on something like an eighty-weeks' tour of the country, I suppose I looked incredulous.
"That 's because no one ever withdrew so modestly. Usually, when an actor retires, the world knows it. I have retired, but nobody knows it. I am a little tired, and I must husband my strength. So from now on for me only 'play' in the theater. But this question of 'to feel or not to feel' which actors solemnly discuss until they are black in the face, it is all set forth here by a man who was not an actor at all."
seem scarcely worth being said, and yet
She extracted then from under my hat on the chair beside me a little green volume which I had just been rereading. Obviously she approved. It was George Henry Lewes's "On Actors and the Art of Acting." Indeed, it must have been some chance reference to this that started the whole conversation.
"Here we have the soundest and most discerning treatise on the subject I have ever read, the only good one in any language. Every actor would agree with it, but few could have made so searching an analysis, and fewer still could have expressed it in such telling, clarifying phrases. Some of it is so obvious as to
"A change seems coming over the state of the stage, and there are signs of a revival of the once splendid art of the actor. To effect this revival there must be not only accomplished artists and an eager public; there must be a more enlightened public. The critical pit, filled with players who were familiar with fine acting and had trained judgments, has disappeared. In its place there is a mass of amusement seekers, not without a nucleus of intelligent spectators, but of this nucleus only a small minority has very accurate ideas of what constitutes good art.”
"Dear man," said Mrs. Fiske as we gathered up our things to depart, "that might have been written yesterday or a hundred years ago. In fact, I imagine it was. Of course it was. I have never known a time when a writer of the stage was not either deploring the 'degradation of the drama,' as Mr. Lewes does here a little later, or else descrying on the horizon the promise of a wonderful revival. Do you know that they were uttering this same lament in accents of peculiar melancholy at a time when Fielding managed one theater, when Sheridan was writing, and when you had only to go around the corner to see Kemble or Garrick or Mrs. Siddons?"
As we strolled up through Washington Square Mrs. Fiske became a little troubled about her admonitions to the imaginary would-be actor.
"Of course," she confided to me, "we
wearied critic, the fashionably dressed men and women who sometimes (not often) talk too loud, and thereby betray a lack of breeding and intelligence. There are always splendid souls 'out there.' But most of all he will love the boys and girls, the men and women, who sit in the cheapest seats, in the very last row of the top gallery. They have given more than they can afford to come. In the most selfeffacing spirit of fellowship they are listening to catch every word, watching to miss no slightest gesture or expression. To save his life the actor cannot help feeling these nearest and dearest. He cannot help wishing to do his best for them. He cannot help loving them best of all." (The topic of the next article will be "Mrs, Fiske Designs a National Theater."-THE EDITOR.)
were a little toplofty with that nice young
The Blundering in Greece
By T. LOTHROP STODDARD
Author of "Rome Rampant," "The Economic Heresy of the Allies," etc.
ske as w art, "the rday or 1 imagine it
egradation oes here:
the hor ul revival
tering th iar mela manage writing
around the kor M
Vashing little the in
T long since became a truism that in the present war the Balkan Peninsula has been the graveyard of Allied diplomatic and military reputations. From the hour when the Goeben and the Breslau dropped anchor in the Golden Horn down to the latest disasters on the Rumanian plains, the Entente powers have marched with uncanny regularity from disaster to disaster. Yet nowhere has this Balkan fatality wrought a more pathetic tragedy than in Greece. The result of Entente ineptitude has here been the temporary ruin of one of the most promising of European races, with no commensurate gain to the Allies themselves. How this came to pass will appear from the melancholy story.
When the Great War broke out in the summer of 1914, the Allies, so far as Greece was concerned, held all the cards. For two of the Entente powers, France and England, the Greek people felt an al
most filial veneration. Prime sponsors at the Greek birth and indulgent watchers. over the rather trying crises of Hellenic adolescence, England and France had ever posed as Greece's best friends, and this traditional Philhellenism the Greeks requited by a warm affection for the great powers of the West. Lord Byron was one of Greece's national heroes, while French culture and French ideals were vital factors in Greek intellectual and social life. Toward Russia, it is true, Greek feeling was by no means so cordial, and this for many excellent reasons. Nevertheless, this coolness toward Russia was of slight moment beside Hellenic sympathy for the Western powers.
But Anglo-French sympathies were not the only bonds which drew Hellas toward the Allies. The whole Balkan political situation as it then stood tended to range Greece on the Entente side. The upshot of the recent Balkan wars had been an
THE CENTURY MAGAZINE
many, it is true, Greece had no ill feeling. Germany had never shown herself hostile to Greece. On the contrary, only the year before, the German kaiser had proved a valuable friend in the Balkan peace negotiations at Bucharest. Again, for a genera
sessions against Bulgarian attack. But all this patently tended to draw Greece into the Entente camp. For Serbia was already fighting the Entente's battles, while Rumania's strong French sympathies and intense hatred of Austria-Hungary foreshadowed her ultimate adhesion to the Entente cause.
LONGITUDE LAGT FROM GREENWICH
Even this was not all. If Greek sympathies were predominantly on the Allied side, Greek antipathies wrought no less powerfully to the same end. For Ger
tion or more German ideas and methods had been steadily permeating Greece. Much German capital had been invested in the country, many Greek officers had sought their military education at Berlin, while in Hellenic university circles German intellectualism was fast breaking down the former cultural monopoly of France.
However, this growing sympathy for the chief Teutonic power was far outweighed by burning antipathies toward
Germany's actual or potential partners. incompetence regarding the near East. For Austria-Hungary there was felt both Had the great Allied armada struck at the aversion and fear. From the days of Met- very beginning of the war it might have ternich down, Austria had shown Hellas succeeded, since the Turkish defenses were scant good-will, and for many decades the at that time in by no means the best of goal of Austria's Balkan ambitions was shape. But six months' intensive work by obviously Salonica, the apple of the Greek skilled German engineers wrought a compeople's eye. With regard to Germany's plete transformation, and in February the probable Balkan allies, Turkey and Bul- forcing of the strait by a mere fleet action garia, things were even worse.
To the had become impossible. Still, there was Greeks, heirs of the Byzantine Empire and just a chance if the feet was backed by a the Orthodox "elect," as they consider land army. Yet no such army was at themselves, the Turk was not merely the hand, and no preparations had even been hated conqueror of the Hellenic home-land, made for its sending. but also the infidel usurper of Constanti- As soon as the full strength of the Darnople and Asia Minor, both claimed by the danelles became apparent, the Allies Greeks as integral parts of their “Great turned to Greece. She was to furnish the Idea,” a revived Byzantine Empire des- army which the Entente powers had failed tined to win back the whole near East to to provide. The Allied diplomats found Hellenism. As for the Bulgarians, the Premier Venizelos in a thoroughly recepferocious exterminations of 1913 were tive mood, but their hopes were quickly only the modern echo of medieval wars dashed by the opposition of the Greek gensuch as had given one Byzantine basileus eral staff. On March 4, King Constanhis proud title of “Bulgar-Slayer" nearly tine called a royal council, where the mata thousand years before.
ter was thoroughly threshed out; yet For all these reasons it is not surprising despite all the prestige and eloquence of that the outbreak of the European War Venizelos, the majority of Greece's solevoked a wave of pro-Ally feeling through- diers and statesmen declared the sending out Greece. From the first day of hostili- of a Greek expedition to the Dardanelles ties it became evident that the hearts of a practical impossibility. The king acthe overwhelming majority of the Greek cepted this majority finding, and so inpeople were with the Allies, and this feel- formed the Entente powers. His reply ing was patently shared by the Greek pre- ran substantially as follows: mier, Eleutherios Venizelos, a statesman whose recent triumphs had profoundly en
We are willing to join you on principle, deared him to his fellow-citizens.
but the circumstances make it impossible.
Our general staff has long ago worked out The opening months of the European
this problem. Here are its plans. Look at cataclysm had little direct effect on them. You will see that the strait cannot Greece. Despite Turkey's adhesion to the
be taken except by the immediate despatch Teutonic side in November, 1914, the
of a great army.
And such an army we Balkan Peninsula was relatively untroub- cannot give. We have just come out of two led. Serbia showed herself well able to
We are much exhausted. We need repel all Austrian attacks, and since Bul- virtually every soldier to guard against an garia remained quiescent, Greece could
implacable Bulgaria ready to strike us down view the situation with reasonable equa
at the first sign of weakness. We must nimity.
protect our lives and homes first of all. It was with the Anglo-French naval bombardment of the Dardanelles at the This Greek refusal reveals clearly the end of February, 1915, that the woes of basic factor in the Hellenic attitude toGreece began. It was this same event ward the present war. Greece has often which also first clearly revealed Allied been pictured as a nation spurred by