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no more than a broad stage, where, when the subject demanded, the audience might see a wide space with several buildings at a time—the peristyle of a palace, the entrance to a temple—different places where the audience might observe every event of the action; while one section should be hidden for the use of the actors. Such was, or might well have been, the stage on which The Eumenides of Æschylus was performed. Shall we ever have anything of the sort on our stage? There we can never show more than one action, while in nature there are many simultaneous actions, which, if performed at the same time, would intensify the whole, and- produce a truly terrible and wondrous effect. … We are waiting for the genius who will combine pantomime with dialogue, mingling dumb-shows with spoken scenes, and render effective the combination; above all, the approach, terrible or comic, to such simultaneous scenes."

Diderot's happy inspiration found a passionate echo in- the Shakespearians of the Sturm und Drang-periode: Gerstenberg, Herder, and the adolescent Goethe.[1]

Louis-Sébastien Mercier, an original man, nour-

  1. Herder, in defending Shakespeare in 1773 and holding him up as the ideal dramatist, showed that his plots were not Greek in spirit, but belonged rather to the Middle Age. He said: "A sea of events, where the moaning waves follow each other; that is Shakespeare. Acts of nature come and go, act and inter-act, no matter how dissimilar they may be; create and re-create, and destroy in turn, in order to realize the ultimate intention of the Creator."