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Trojans guard their talisman. The Greeks came. They laid close siege to Troy, and battle raged constantly between the besiegers and the defenders of the wall, and gallant heroes on both sides lay low in death, but yet Troy fell not, the Palladium was still within the walls. But one night two wily and courageous Greeks—Diomed and Ulysses--crept within the city and, making their way to the temple, stole from above its altar the Palladium. Then Troy, no longer defended by supernatural aid, fell an easy prey to the prowess and stratagem of the Greeks, and the foe, once within the walls, the Trojans fell by thousands upon the destroying blade of the Hellenes, and their temples were polluted and their houses and palaces turned into heaps of ashes, their wives and children carried off into captivity to be the slaves of the conquerors, and the few surviving Trojans wandered forth over the seas fugitives and outcasts.
Now to us the Jury is our Palladium of Liberty. Take it away and what, let me ask, remains in its place? Nothing. And therefore I conjure you resist every effort to deprive you of it. Cheerfully be a part of the jury yourselves when called upon to serve, and regard every man who would advocate the abolition of the jury either as an insidious enemy or as an unwise counsellor. I know that there is a large number of persons who can bring specious objections to the institution, but its imperfections, such as they are, are those to be looked for in any human contrivance, no matter how wise, and we are not so infinitely superior to our forefathers that we can afford to throw away the instrument which in their hands wrought them such signal deliverance, and which has preserved intact the liberties and safeguards which they have transmitted to us. And I trust I shall never see the day when, on going into a court of this Commonwealth, I shall see the jury box empty and void, deserted by its former occupants, as the household gods of the heathen removed when the house was to be left desolate, and counsel trying their questions as well of fact as of law before mere technical judges. Not that I mean to underestimate technicality. As a lawyer, I know how important and how valuable technicality is; but technicality cannot decide matters of fact, or,-for remember upon juries sometimes comes even the awful responsibility of looking into a man's very heart and of discovering what is there, -of intention. There you want, not the technical mind, trained to run in one especial groove, but the united effort of many minds working together, fresh from various departments of life, replete with the varied experience and information acquired in varied occupation. In so trusting, I by no means undervalue either the Bench or the Bar, for I tell you, gentlemen, that the Bar is of more value to you than many of you think, and that a pure, independent Bar is one of the most powerful engines for good that can be well imagined; but I merely wish to see each of the three great parts of the machinery of justice–Bench, Bar and Jury—doing, and thoroughly, manfully doing its own appropriate work, and because you all, gentlemen, have either already, or probably will at some future time, be part of the last grand division, I have spoken to you as I have. I hope I have not wearied you, but if I have unfortunately done so, please say no harder thing of me than that my zeal has. outrun my discretion.
THE CONTRAST OF THE ANCIENT AND MODERN DRAMA AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE PROMETHEUS VINC
TUS AND MACBETH.
(Delivered at St. Mary's Hall, March 26th, 1897.)
I propose, this evening, to say something to you about the contrast between the ancient and modern drama. By the ancient is, of course, meant the Greek drama, and more especially the Greek tragedy, for the Roman was a mere imitation of the Greek, and while we recall the names of Plautus and Terence we can mention no great Roman tragedian. Seneca, if we may believe Polonius, was not great but heavy, as, in his commendation of the players whom he presents to Hamlet, the worthy Lord Chamberlain at the Court of Claudius, King of Denmark, says: “Seneca cannot be too heavy or Plautus too light” for them, and Dr. Anthon, speaking of the plays attributed to Seneca, says: “It is hardly possible to find a good play among them. They are modeled after the Greek tragedies, but are far from being good copies, and are generally fatiguing by reason of the exaggeration and emphatic tone which reigns throughout" —and beside Seneca what Roman tragic writer do either you or I remember at the present day?
Of course, there are many points of contrast which are obvious. You will remember the immense size of the ancient theatres, open to the sky with rows upon rows of seats, rising amphitheatrically and accommodating thousands upon thousands of spectators and auditors, as contrasted with the small and compact character of our modern playhouses. You will remember the augmented size of the ancient actor, brought about by the use of the buskin and head-dress, made necessary by the size of the theatre and to render the hero of heroic size, while with us the character takes the size of the actor. The use of the mask also gave rise to another contrast. This use was due to two causes: First, the size of the theatre, which made it necessary that something should be invented to carry the voice of the performer to the distant parts of the auditorium, and accordingly the mouth of the mask was practically a speaking trumpet; and, second, the feeling of the Athenian audiences, which would not tolerate the appearance of a mean or homely-looking person in the role of a god, demigod or hero, which accordingly compelled the presentation of a form and face which bodied forth the idea of the character. As a result the ancient player had always a fixity of expression instead of appealing to his audience by means of that play of feature which makes up so much of the art of the modern actor.
You will remember all these things and more in which the ancient and modern drama are utterly unlike, but it is not of contrasts of the character suggested, contrasts in the means of dramatic presentation, to which your attention is now invited, but to the contrast between the essence, the controlling spirit of one and that of the other drama.
It is intended, therefore, to speak of the prime characteristic of the two schools of the drama, and we shall find that the characteristic of each is derived from the circumstances under which the school to which it belongs arose.
The tragic drama of the Greeks-I say nothing about their comedy, for it was not truly dramatic, but satyric, and in its later stages resembled the burlesque as we knew it in my boyhood, or, indeed, as the writer of the "Child's History of Greece," Mr. Bonner, well said, "One of our newspaper articles put upon the stage." The tragic drama of the Greeks had not only a religious origin, but was part of a religious ceremonial. In the midst of the orchestra stood an altar, upon which the sacrifices which preceded the play were offered, and which served as the central point to which the movements of the chorus were referred. The Choragus, chorusmaster, was regarded as the religious representative of the whole people, and his person and the ornaments he procured for the occasion were sacred. Naturally, then, we find the Greek religion dominating, or, rather, inspiring, the Greek drama in a peculiar and essential way.
Now over all the Greek religious ideas brooded the overmastering idea of fate. I do not mean the fate of mortals as fixed by the three Parcæ, who spun, measured and cut off the thread of the life of each man, but a fate which compelled even the gods, which had already overwhelmed Uranus and after him Kronos and the Titans and was yet to overwhelm Zeus and the gods of Olympus. Therefore, in the Greek 'drama the supernatural entered into every play, the characters were gods and heroes, and over all hung the idea of an all-controlling, resistless fate, whether manifested in the appearance of the deus ex machina, or in the shape of gods masquerading in human form and bringing things to pass, or, as was more common, in the working out of the decrees of fate in spite of the futile struggle against them of man, vainly imagining himself free, while fate, itself unpersonified, remains in the background, an awful power ever present, although never obtruding itself upon the sight. Yet the Greeks, with all their belief in fate, were brave and honored courage, fixity of purpose, resolution in the face of certain destruction.
Consequently the true hero among the Greeks was the man who, conscious of the omnipotence of fate, nevertheless held on his course, in proud independence, no matter what calamity might be in store for him. As said by Augustus William Schlegel: "Inward liberty and external necessity are the two poles of the tragic world. Each