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John the Baptist: A Play   By: (1857-1928)

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Transcriber's Note: Page Scan Source: http://www.archive.org/details/johnbaptistplay00suderich

JOHN THE BAPTIST

JOHN THE BAPTIST

A PLAY

BY HERMANN SUDERMANN

TRANSLATED BY BEATRICE MARSHALL

LONDON JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD VIGO STREET W. NEW YORK JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMIX

WILLIAM BRENDON AND SON, LTD., PRINTERS, PLYMOUTH

PERSONS IN THE PLAY

Herod Antipas. Tetrarch of Galilee . Herodias. Salome. Her daughter . Vitellius. Legate of Syria . Marcellus. His companion .

Merokles, the rhetorician . \ Gabalos, the Syrian . > At the Court of Herod . Jabad, the Levite . /

John. Called "The Baptist."

Josaphat. \ Matthias. } > His disciples . Amarja. Manassa. /

Jael. Josaphat's wife . Their two Children. Hadidja. Maid in the Palace .

Miriam. \ Abi. > Playfellows of Salome . Maecha. /

Mesulemeth. A beggar woman .

Amasai. \ > Pharisees . Jorab. /

Eliakim. \ Pasur. > Citizens of Jerusalem . Hachmoni. /

Simon. The Galilean . First Galilean. Second Galilean. A Paralytic. First Priest. Second Priest. A Citizen of Jerusalem. The Commander of the Roman Soldiers.

First \ Second > Roman Soldier. Third /

The Captain of the Palace Guard. The Gaoler. Men and Women from Jerusalem, Pilgrims, Roman Legionaries, Men and Maidservants in the Palace.

Time of Action. The Year 29 after Christ .

Scene of Action. During the Prelude a rocky wilderness near Jerusalem .

In the First, Second, and Third Acts. Jerusalem . In the Fourth and Fifth Acts. A town of Galilee .

PRELUDE

PRELUDE

Wild, rocky scenery in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem.... Night The moon shining dimly through jagged clouds.... In the distance is seen the fire of the great sacrificial altar, burning on the horizon.

SCENE I

Dark shadows flit in groups across the background from right to left.

MIRIAM

Hadidja, I am afraid!

HADIDJA

Come!

MIRIAM

I am afraid. Seest thou not those gliding shadows? Their feet scarce touch the stones, and their flesh is like the shadow of the night wind.

HADIDJA

Fool that thou art! Thou art afraid of thy companions in misery and suffering. The same need as thine brings them hither; the same hope leads them on to the heights.

MIRIAM

Do they also wish to go to him?

HADIDJA

Every one wishes to go to him. Is there a light in Israel which doth not irradiate from his hand? Is there water for the thirsty which doth not flow from him? Streams of sweet water gush forth from these dead stones, and his voice is born out of silence.

MIRIAM

But I am afraid of him. Why dwelleth he among the terrors of the desert? Why flieth he from the paths of the joyous, and shunneth the suffering?

HADIDJA

The joyous need him not. The suffering will find their way to him.

MIRIAM

Look, Hadidja! There is the glow of fire yonder above Jerusalem. The Romans are burning down our houses, and yet we tarry here!

HADIDJA

What! Dost thou not know that is the great altar on which, day and night, the priests offer up a tenth part of the sweat of our brows?

MIRIAM

[ In horrified amazement... Continue reading book >>




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