ACT I, Scene 1
INTERIOR: DR. RAYMOND’s laboratory.
CLARKE is standing in DR. RAYMOND’s surgical room, anxiously looking out the window. DR. RAYMOND walks into the lab to greet CLARKE. He is excited to see CLARKE, and to tell him exciting news.
Very glad you came, my lad! Very glad, indeed!
I was not sure if you could spare the time.
A pleasure, my dear Dr. Raymond! Things are not as hectic as they’ve been,
so I made arrangements for several days’ time,...
DR. RAYMOND & CLARKE
...for several days’ time.
That would be quite the wise decision, since you may just need that time
to wrap your mind around what I’m about to show you.
Have you done it? Is it absolutely safe?
Is it safe?! Of course it’s safe! I have never been so absolutely
certain of this simple operation.
And no danger whatsoever?
You were always such a wallflower, Clarke.
Such curiosity, but no conviction.
But I, I know devotion.
For the last twenty years, I gave my life to transcendental medicine.
My payment? All the jeers and sneers and snares that one could throw:
Impostor, charlatan, fraud and quack!
All of it has fueled the fire, and its consumption shall finally conclude tonight.
I would love to believe it all, but Doctor,
what’s to prove to me your theory’s not a phantasmagoria?
Look beyond you, Clarke:
Mountain on mountain, hill follow hill, wave on wave, and wood for wood,
meadows reaching reed beds by the river.
See me standing here beside you?
Hear the sureness in my voice?
*From the stars out in the azure to the ground beneath our feet,
they are merely glamoured shadows, measly lies.
Chases in Arras, dreams in a career,
the real world lies beyond that umbral veil.
You may think it strange, you may think it nonsense,
but the ancients knew how to lift the veil.
The ancients knew how to lift the veil!
It’s called “seeing the Great God Pan”!
The Great God Pan?
If this is true, then we are on the brink of a strange new...
Ha! Not so new!
I suppose the knife is needed?
Yes, a slight laceration...
...a microscopical alteration...
...a cellular rearrangement in the brain.
Ha! What did they know?
After the toil and trembling, and groping in the dark,
after the cold, a sudden burst of joy had reached my soul.
The truth came upon me, the stretch dimmed before,
and beyond the chasm stood a bridge of light between the worlds
of matter and spirit.
With a touch, I will bring them into play.
With the knife, I will effect the wall of sense.
And who will be...?
Mary?! Surely you can’t!
Mary will see the Great God Pan!
If you fail, surely you would be miserable!
You would never forgive yourself!
On the contrary. As you know, I had rescued Mary from the gutter.
Such a simple child, such a simple, simple child.
Yes, her life is mine to use as I see fit.
I shall fetch Mary. Make yourself comfortable.
DR. RAYMOND leaves as CLARKE sits down and falls asleep to dream about the other world.
Come to the wood! Give us the sacrifice of your body!
Let us go hence!
CLARKE wakes up suddenly as DR. RAYMOND enters the room with MARY in tow.
Are you sleeping, Clarke?
(Shaken) Seems so. What strange, disturbing fancies!
DR. RAYMOND prepares for the procedure as CLARKE wakes from his groggy sleep. CLARKE sees that MARY has arrived, and greets her with a kiss to her hand.
Monsieur. Pleased to meet your acquaintance.
DR. RAYMOND shows a bit of jealousy towards CALRKE’s introduction. He hurries his preparations and leads MARY over to the surgical chair.
Mary, my love, the time has come.
Will you entirely put your trust in me?
Yes, my dear. Just a kiss before we begin.
DR. RAYMOND kisses MARY very coldly. It is obvious that he feels little toward MARY in the romantic sense. He takes her hands in his.
Close your eyes.
Close my eyes.
You’re a vision dressed in white, my surgeon’s bride.
A surgeon’s bride!
Maybe after this is over.
Shall we go through what I taught you? Visualize.
As DR. RAYMOND leads MARY through the exercise, he proceeds to grab a cloth to pour ether on as an anesthetic.
The sun upon your/my face, the warmest scent of summer,
the odor of the woods and the mingled scent of flowers.
The depths of green drawn out by the summer heat,
the scent of earth, strong and overpowering.
A holy silence falls over every living thing.
MARY’s note is cut short by DR. RAYMOND as he slips the ether-soaked cloth over her mouth and nose. He lowers MARY down onto the surgical chair.
Go to sleep, fast and deep, so you may go on your journey.
Don’t forget a thing, my virgin Mary.
DR. RAYMOND goes to his cart and checks his instruments. He grabs the scalpel and walks over to MARY. And before he cuts, he looks to CLARKE and says...
In every grain of wheat, there lies hidden the soul of a star.
DR. RAYMOND begins to cut. CLARKE was not as prepared for this as he thought. He begins to get queasy and sits down before he passes out, CLARKE again begins to dream about the other world. He wakes in a panic.
Doctor Raymond! How is Mary? Is she well?
MARY is sitting up in her chair, staring into space. She is chanting endlessly in a strange tongue.
Silet per diem universus, nec sine horrore secretus est;
lucet nocturnis ignibus, chorus AEgipanum undique personatur;
audiuntur et cantus tibiarum, cymbalorum per oram maritimam.
(The universe is silent throughout the day, and not without dread
has it been sundered; it shines with nightly fires,
and resounds on all sides from the choruses of the Aegripans:
both the playing of reed-pipes and the ringing of cymbals
are heard throughout the ocean shore.)
(With indifference) ‘Tis a pity. She has become nothing but a hopeless idiot.
(Excitedly, without concern for Mary.) She has seen the Great God Pan!
MARY sees something that no one else can see. In a fit of absolute terror, she panics and starts to scream as the lights go down.
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