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HEROIsM. Oh, what is this corruption which my fingers have met and still clings to them ?

The MUsE and the AoEs-To-CoME have retreated to the sides of the stage, SATAN to the rear. HEROIsM remains alone in the middle of the stage, near DEATH, who has collapsed once more; and HEROIsM holds out at arm’s length his own soiled right hand.

HEROIsM. Where is the Death I loved and followed so faithfully—the true, pure, lovely Death ? Oh, horror, horror, horror!

THE MUsE. Horror? Surely that was the name which Satan called his Ballet Master in our talk. . . . And what is all this about a “true, pure, lovely Death?” Ah! I remember! I now understand it all.

HEROIsM (turning on BALLET MAsTER DEATH, who now cowers, prone, in his tattered evening clothes). And who art thou, usurping Death’s sacred name, thou Skeleton Pollution ?

HEROIsM seizes BALLET MAsTER DEATH and flings him, rattling like a broken puppet, against the footlights. HEROIsM then returns to the middle of the stage and stands, sobbing like a man awakened from a nightmare, and forcing open the lids o;‘ his blind eyes.

HEROIsM. Oh, for some kindly surgeon to cut away at last this veil of blindness from my eyes!

SATAN (stooping over BALLET MAsTER DEATH and shaking his broken limbs). Damaged, but not quite done for! A democratic wig, a complete suit of newest idealistic cut, may make him still pass muster for a while.

BALLET MAsTER DEATH wheezes responsively like a broken bellows.

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SATAN. But the most needed of all will be a brand-new set of manners: peaceful, fraternal, full of thought for the future! (Shakes him once more.) You vile, old-fashioned scarecrow, do you now understand that Heroism has almost found you out for the preposterous, indecent anachronism that you are ? And if, by any chance, that Blind Boy should really be surgeoned into seeing _ . . why, then, this will have been the last of our Ballets of the Nations!

NOTES TO THE PROLOGUE

I

To THE MEMORY
or

MARIO CALDERoNI 06. DEcEMBER, I914

AND ALsO oF
CLEMENT MILEs,

0b. FEBRUARY, 1918

both of them my juniors by a generation, but to whose conversation I owe so much of what is written in these notes.

Autumn, I9I9.

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