Full closes and repeated sentences no longer confuse the issue, but in their absence we begin to notice the incessant squareness of the ostensibly free rhythms. The immense amount of pageantry, though (as in Tannhauser) good in dramatic motive and executed with splendid stage-craft, goes far to stultify Wagner's already vigorous attitude of protest against grand-opera methods; by way of preparation for the ethereally poetic end he gives us a disinfected present from Meyerbeer at the beginning of the last scene, where mounted trumpeters career round the stage in full blast for three long minutes; and the prelude to the third act is an outburst of sheer gratuitous vulgarity.
Thus the plan of the Ring was sketched in reverse order; and it has been remarked that Gotterdammerung shows traces of the fact that Wagner had begun his scheme in the days when French grand opera, with its ballets and pageantry, still influenced him.
Passages in his poem attest his familiarity with the pomp and luxury of city life, with the attractions of the public games and with the pageantry of great military spectacles.
"We can trace the pedigree of princes," he reflects, "fill up the catalogue of towns besieged and provinces desolated, describe even the whole pageantry of coronations and festivals, but we cannot recover the genuine history of mankind."
For all kinds of ceremonial he has all a lawyer's respect, and his pages are often adorned and encumbered with the pageantry and material garniture of the story.
Even in the way of pageantry and martial exercise it did not long survive the middle ages.
How faithless and insincere was Henrys policy maybe gauged from the fact that in 1520, after all the pageantry of the Field of the Cloth of Gold and his vows of undying friendship for Francis, he met Charles a few weeks later at Gravelines, and concluded with him a treaty which pledge~i England to a defensive alliance against the kings good brother of France.