Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant - Vol. 1

Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant - Vol. 1

Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In a wood near Lucca, three centuries ago, there lived a holy man, whose life diffused an odor of sanctity. He had withdrawn from the world because he feared that its contamination would prejudice his chances of salvation. To him came many penitents, to be shriven, and, after the manner of penitents, they told him stories of other people's transgressions, and these stories were adorned with even a greater wealth of circumstantial detail than the recitals of their own offences.

The holy man was filled with righteous indignation and resolved to go forth and denounce a sinful generation. He went to Lucca, and in his unworldliness did not content himself with denunciation of abstract wickedness. He called Giacomo and Giovanni by name, and told on the highways and byways the grisly rosary of their sins.

The sense of humor of these Middle Age Tuscans was rudimentary. They believed in their sins and doubtless enjoyed them. They sinned out of a superabundant vitality, not, as in later days, to mitigate the ennui of a crushing satiety. They paid to the efficacy of the holy man's exhortations the tribute of stoning him to death, thereby crowning his career with the halo of unmistakable martyrdom. Had he lived in a later day he might have chosen the drama as the vehicle of his denunciation and have been overwhelmed with royalties instead of stones.

Bernard Shaw has done his best to provoke the martyr's euthanasia so far with no result but to attract a large measure of attention and little comprehension. Socialist, humanitarian, and radical, he has run the gamut of what . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.