Socrates was first once asked by a good pupil, this question: “What kind of people shall we be whenever we reach Elysium?”
And the answer was this kind of: “We shall be the same kind of people that we were here.”
If there is a life following this, we are preparing for it now, simply as I am today preparing for my life tomorrow.
What kind of a guy shall I be tomorrow? Oh, a comparable kind of a man that I am today. The kind of a guy that I shall be next month depends upon the kind of a man that I have already been this month.
EASILY am miserable today, it isn’t within the circular of probabilities that I will be supremely happy tomorrow. Heaven is a behavior. And if we are going to Heaven we’d better be getting used to it.
Life is a preparation for the future; and the very best preparation for the future is certainly to live as though there were none.
We are preparing all the time for old age. The two things that make later years beautiful are resignation and a just consideration for the rights of others.
In the enjoy of Ivan the Terrible, the interest centers around one guy, the Czar Ivan. If anybody but Richard Mansfield enjoyed the part, there will be nothing in it. We merely get a glimpse in to the lifestyle of a tyrant who has run the entire gamut of goosedom, grumpiness, selfishness and grouch. Incidentally this man had the power to put other men to loss of life, and this he does and has done as his whim and temper might dictate. He possesses been vindictive, cruel, quarrelsome, tyrannical and awful. Now that he feels the way of death, he would help to make his peace with God. But he provides delayed that subject too long. He didn’t understand in youth and middle existence that he was in that case preparing for old age.
Man is the result of cause and effect, and the complexities are to a level in our hands. Existence is a fluid, and well offers it been referred to as the blast of life we ‘re going, flowing somewhere. Strip Ivan of his robes and crown, and he could be a vintage farmer and are in Ebenezer. Every community and village has its Ivan. To become an Ivan, just convert your temper loose and practise cruelty on any person or thing within your reach, and the effect will be a sure planning for a querulous, quarrelsome, pickety, snipity, fussy and foolish later years, accented with various outbursts of wrath that are terrible in their futility and ineffectiveness.
Babyhood has no monopoly on the tantrum. The heroes of King Lear and Ivan the Terrible possess much in common. One might almost believe that the author of Ivan had sensed the incompleteness of Lear, and had viewed the absurdity of earning a melodramatic bid for sympathy in behalf of the old person thrust out by his daughters.
Lear, the troublesome, Lear to whose limber tongue there is constantly leaping terms unprintable and labels of tar, deserves zero soft pity at our hands. All his lifestyle he previously been training his three daughters for accurately the procedure he was to receive. All his existence Lear had been lubricating the chute that was to provide him a quick drive out into that black midnight storm.
“Oh, how sharper when compared to a serpent’s tooth it really is to have a thankless child,” he cries.
There is something quite as awful as a thankless child, and that is a thankless parent an irate, irascible parent who possesses an underground vocabulary and a disposition to use it.
The false note in Lear is based on giving to him a daughter like Cordelia. Tolstoy and Mansfield ring true, and Ivan the Terrible is what he is without apology, excuse or description. Take it or keep it if you do not like plays of the kind, go to see Vaudeville.
Mansfield’s Ivan is terrible. The Czar is not old in years certainly not over seventy but you can see that Death is sniffing close upon his track. Ivan has misplaced the power of repose. He cannot listen closely, weigh and determine he does not have any thought or account for just about any man or thing this is his habit of lifestyle. His bony hands are never still the fingers open and shut, and pick at issues eternally. He fumbles the cross on his breasts, adjusts his jewels, scratches his cosmos, has the devil’s tattoo, gets up nervously and looks behind the throne, retains his breath to pay attention. When persons address him, he damns them savagely if they kneel, and if they stand upright he accuses them of insufficient respect. He asks that he get relieved from the cares of status, and trembles for dread his people will need him at his term. When asked to remain ruler of Russia he proceeds to curse his councilors and accuses them of loading him with burdens that they themselves wouldn’t normally endeavor to bear.
He is a victim of amor senilis, and the following if Mansfield took one stage more his realism would be appalling, but he stops in time and suggests what he dares not exhibit. This tottering, doddering, slobbering, sniffling old person is in love he’s about to wed a young, beautiful lady. He selects jewels on her behalf he makes remarks about what would become her charm, jeers and laughs in cracked falsetto. In the animality of youth there can be something pleasing it is natural but the vices of an old man, when they have grown to be only mental, are most revolting.
The people about Ivan are in mortal terror of him, for he is still the absolute monarch he has the capacity to promote or disgrace, to take their lives or allow them go free of charge. They laugh when he laughs, cry when he does indeed, and watch his fleeting moods with thumping hearts.
He is intensely religious and impacts the robe and cowl of a priest. Around his throat hangs the crucifix. His dread is that he’ll die with no chance of confession and absolution. He prays to High Heaven every instant, kisses the cross, and his toothless old mouth interjects prayers to God and curses on gentleman in the same breath.
If any one is speaking with him he looks the other way, slips down until his shoulders occupy the throne, scrapes his leg, and keeps up a running comment of insult “Aye,” “Oh,” “Of training course,” “Certainly,” “Ugh,” “Pay attention to him nowadays!” There is a comedy area to all or any this which relieves the tragedy and keeps the play from becoming disgusting.
Glimpses of Ivan’s past are given in his jerky confessions he is the most miserable and unhappy of males, and you behold that he is reaping as he has sown.
All his life he has been preparing for this. Each day has been a preparation for another. Ivan dies in a fit in of wrath, hurling curses on his relatives and court dies in a in shape of wrath into which he possesses been purposely taunted by a guy who recognizes that the outburst is certain to kill the weakened monarch.
Where does Ivan the Terrible go when Death closes his eyes?
I know certainly not. But this I believe: No confessional can absolve him no priest gain him no God forgive him. He has damned himself, and he commenced the work in youth. He was planning all his life for this old age, which old age was getting ready for the fifth act.
The playwright will not say so, Mansfield does not say so, but here is the lesson: Hate is a poison wrath is a toxin sensuality brings about death clutching selfishness is a lighting of the fires of hell. It is all a planning cause and effect.
In case you are ever absolved, you must absolve yourself, for no one else may. And the earlier you start out, the better.
We quite often hear of the beauties of old age, but the only later years that is beautiful is the one the guy has long been preparing for by living a lovely life. All of us are at the moment preparing for old age.
There may be an alternative somewhere on earth once and for all Nature, but I really do certainly not know where it might be found.
The secret of salvation is this: Keep Sweet.
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