1. This model of Oliver Messel's Act I setting for Christopher Fry's The Dark Is Light Enough shows the interior of countess Rosmarin Ostenburg's Austrian country house near the Hungarian border. The time is the winter of 1848-1849, and the Hungarians are in revolt against the Austrian government. During this act the countess, who had mysteriously disappeared on the evening of her regular Thursday salon, arrives with Richard Gettner, her daughter's former husband, who has deserted from the Hungarian army. When the Hungarian leader, Colonel Janik, and his men come to take Gettner, the Countess refuses to give him up, and in his stead, they take as hostage Count Peter Zichy, her daughter's present husband and an official in the Austrian government.
2. In Act II Colonel Janic and his men have turned the house into barracks, forcing the countess, her family and friends into the stable. Here Gelda, the Countess' daughter, and Richard find themselves alone and discuss Richard's disillusioned state, and the reasons for shielding him and the failure of their marriage.
Is there another
Word in the language so unnecessary
As "fail" or "failure"?
No one has ever failed to fail in the end:
And for the very evident reason
That we're made in no fit proportion
To the universal occasion; which, as all
Children, poets, and myth-makers know,
Was made to be inhabited
By giants, fiends, and angels of such size
The whole volume of human generations
Could be cupped in their hands;
And very ludicrous it is to see us,
With no more than enough spirit to pray with,
If as much, swarming under gigantic
Stars and spaces . . . .
(Tyrone Power, Marian Winters)