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Dorian Gray



Miss Julie and otkr plays

Soldiers Three

Treasure Islund

A Doll's House, Etc.

Hedda Gabler, Etc.

The Red Lily

The Crime of Sylvestre


Mademoiselle Fin, Etc.

Poor People

A Miracle of St Antony,


Studies in Pessimism

The Way of All Flesh

Diana of the Crossways

An Unsocial Socialist

Confessions of a Youfcg


Mayor of Casterb ridge

Best Russian Stories

Beyond Good and Brll

Thus Spake Zaratbustra

Fathers and Boos


A Hazard of NaW Fortunes

The Mikado and others

Other Titles


Madame Bovary

Mary, Mary

Rothschild's Fiddle, Etc.

Anatol and other plays

Bertha Garlan

Dame Care

A Dreamer's Tales

The Book of Wonder

The Man Who Was


The War in the Air

Ann Veronica

Evolution in Modern


Complete Poems

Art of Rodin

Art of Aubrey Beardsley

Short Stories

Love's Coming of Age

The Seven that Were


Creatures that Oace Were


Zuleika Dobson

The EKO and His Own

Private Papers of Hery



Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
in Preparation

Many volume 5 contain introdnctiont by well-known modern Attor
written specially for the Modern LiWary.

Miss Julie and Other Plays







Miss JULIE 3

THE CREDITOR . . . . 5 1

MOTHERLY LOVE . * . . .119
PARIA . . . . - *39


Miss JULIE, aged twenty-five.
JOHN, a servant, aged thirty.
CHRISTINE, a cook, aged thirty-five.


The action of the play takes place on Midsummer
Night, in the Count's kitchen.

CHRISTINE stands on the left, by the hearth, and fries'
something in a pan. She has on a light blouse and a
kitchen apron. JOHN comes in through the glass door in
livery. He holds in his hand a pair of big riding boots
with spurs, which he places on the noor at the back, in a
visible position.

John. Miss Julie is mad again to-night absolutely

Christine. Oh ! And so you're here, are you ?

John. I accompanied the Count to the station, and
when I passed the barn on my way back I went in to
have a dance. At that time Miss Julie was dancing with
that man Forster. When she noticed me, she made
straight for me and asked me to be her partner in the
waltz, and from that moment she danced in a way such
as I've never seen anything of the kind before. She is
simply crazy.

Christine. She's always been that, but never as much
as in the last fortnight, since the engagement was broken

John. Yes ; what an affair that was, to be sure. The
man was certainly a fine fellow, even though he didn't
have much cash. Well, to be sure, they have so many
whims and fancies. [He sits down at the right by the
table.] In any case, it's strange that the young lady
should prefer to stay at home with the servants rather
than to accompany her father to her relations', isn't it?



Christine. Yes. The odds are that she feels herself a
little embarrassed after the affair with her young man.

John. Maybe; but at any rate he was a good chap.
Do you know, Christine, how it came about? I saw the
whole show, though I didn't let them see that I noticed

Christine. What ! You saw it ?

John. Yes, that I did. They were one evening down
there in the stable, and the young lady was "training"
him, as she called it. What do you think she was doing?
She made him jump over the riding whip like a dog
which one is teaching to hop. He jumped over twice,
and each time he got a cut, but the third time he snatched
her riding whip out of her hand, smashed it into smith-
ereens and cleared out.

Christine. Was that it? No, you can't mean it?

John. Yes, that was how it happened. Can't you give
me something nice to eat, now, Christine?

Christine. [Takes up the {ran and puts it before
JOHN.] Well, there's only a little bit of liver, which I've
cut off the joint.

John. [Sniffs the food.} Ah, very nice, that's my
special dish. [He feels the plate.] But you might have
warmed up the plate.

Christine. Why, you're even more particular than the
Count himself, once you get going. [She draws her
fingers caressingly through his hair.]

John.. [Wickedly.] Ugh, you mustn't excite me like
that, you know jolly well how sensitive I am.

Christine. There, there now, it was only because I
love you.

John. [Eats. CHRISTINE gets out a bottle of beer.]
Beer on Midsummer's Night! Not for me, thank you.
I can go one better than that myself. [He opens the side-
board and takes out a bottle of red wine with a yellow
label.] Yellow label, do you see, dear? Just give me a


glass. A wineglass, of course, when a fellow's going
to drink neat wine.

Christine. [Turns again toward the fireplace and puts
a small saucepan on.] God pity the woman who ever
gets you for a husband, a growler like you !

John. Oh, don't jaw! You'd be only too pleased if
you only got a fellow like me, and I don't think for a
minute that you're in any way put out by my being
called your best boy. [Tastes the wine.] Ah! very nice,
very nice. Not quite mellowed enough though, that's the
only thing. [He warms the glass with his hand.] We
bought this at Dijon. It came to four francs the liter,
without the glass, and then there was the duty as well.
What are you cooking there now? It makes the most
infernal stink?

Christine. Oh, that's just some assafoetida, which Miss
Julie wants to have for Diana.

John. You ought to express yourself a little more
prettily, Christine. Why have you got to get up on a
holiday evening and cook for the brute? Is it ill, eh?

Christine. Yes, it is. It slunk out to the dog in the
courtyard, and there it played the fool, and the young
lady doesn't want to know anything about it, do you see ?

John. Yes, in one respect the young lady is too proud,
and in another not proud enough. Just like the Countess
was when she was alive. She felt most at home in the
kitchen, and in the stable, but she would never ride a
horse; she'd go about with dirty cuffs, but insisted on
having the Count's coronet on the buttons. The young
lady, so far now as she is. concerned, doesn't take enough
trouble about either herself or her person ; in a manner
of speaking she is not refined. Why, only just now,
when she was dancing in the barn, she snatched Forster
away from Anna, and asked him to dance with herself.
We wouldn't behave like that ; but that's what happens
when the gentry make themselves cheap. Then they are


cheap, and no mistake about it. But she is real stately!
Superb ! Whew ! What shoulders, what a bust and

Christine. Ye-e-s ; but she makes up a good bit, too.
I know what Clara says, who helps her to dress.

John. Oh, Clara! You women are always envious of
each other. I've been out with her and seen her ride,
and then how she dances !

Christine. I say, John, won't you dance with me when
I'm ready?

John. Of course I will.

Christine. Promise me?

John. Promise? If I say I'll do a thing, then I al-
ways do it. Anyway, thanks very much for the food,
it was damned good. [He puts the cork back into' the
bottle. The young lady, at the glass door, speaks to
people outside.] I'll be back in a minute. [He conceals
the bottle of wine in a napkin, and stands up respectfully.]

Julie. [Enters and goes to CHRISTINE by the fire-
place.} Well, is it ready?

Christine. [Intimates to her by signs that JOHN is

John. [Gallantly.] Do the ladies want to talk secrets ?

Julie. [Strikes hint in the face with her handker-
chief.] Is he inquisitive?

John. Ah! what a nice smell of violets.

Julie. [Coquettishly.] Impudent person! Is the fel-
low then an expert in perfumes? [She goes behind the

John. [With gentle affectation.] Have you ladies
then been brewing a magic potion this Midsummer Night ?
Something so as to be able to read one's fortunes in the
stars, so that you get a sight of the future ?

Julie. [Sharply.] Yes, if he manages to see that, he
must have very good eyes. [To CHRISTINE.] Pour it
into a half bottle and cork it securely. Let the man come


now and dance the schottische with me. John? [She
lets her handkerchief fall an the tafrle.]

John. [Hesitating.] I don't want to be disobliging
to anybody, but I promised Christine this dance.

Jidie. Oh, well, she can get somebody else. [She goes
to CHRISTINE.] What do you- say, Christine? Won't
you lend me John?

Christine. I haven't got any say in the matter. If you
are so condescending, Miss, it wouldn't at all do for him
to refuse. You just go and be grateful for such an

John. Speaking frankly, and without meaning any
offence, do you think it's quite wise, Miss Julie, to dance
twice in succession with the same gentleman, particularly
as the people here are only too ready to draw all kinds
of conclusions ?

Julie. [Explodes.] What da you mean? What con-
clusion? What does the man mean?

John.. [Evasively.] As you won't understand me,
Miss, I must express myself more clearly. It doesn't
look well to prefer one of your inferiors to others who
expect the same exceptional honor.

Julie. Prefer? What idea is the man getting into his
head? I am absolutely astonished. I, the mistress of
the house, honor my servants' dance with my presence,
and if I actually want to dance I want to do it with a
man who can steer, so that I haven't got the bore of
being laughed at.

John. I await your orders, miss ; I am at your service.

Julie. [Softly.] Don't talk now of orders ; this even-
ing we're simply merry men and women at a revel, and
we lay aside all rank. Give me your arm ; don't be un-
easy, Christine, I'm not going to entice your treasure
away from you.

[JOHN offers her his arm and leads her through the
glass door. CHRISTINE alone. Faint violin music at some


distance to schottische time. CHRISTINE keeps time with
the music, clears the table where JOHN had been eating,
washes the plate at the side-table, dries it and puts it
in the cupboard. She then takes off her kitchen apron,
takes a small mirror out of the table drawer, puts it oppo-
site the basket of lilacs, lights a taper, heats a hairpin,
with which she curls her front hair; then she goes to the
glass door and washes, comes back to the table, finds the
young lady's handkerchief, which she has forgotten, takes
it and smells it; she then pensively spreads it out, stretches
it fiat' and folds it in four. JOHN comes back alone
through the glass door.]

John. Yes, she is mad, to dance like that ; and every-
body stands by the door and grins at her. What do you
say about it, Christine ?

Christine. Ah, it's just her time, and then she always
takes on so strange. But won't you come now and dance
with me?

John. .You aren't offended with me that I cut your
last dance?

Christine. No, not the least bit ; you know that well
enough, and I know my place besides.

John. [Puts his hand, round her waist.] You're a
sensible girl, Christine, and you'd make an excellent

Julie. [Comes in through the glass door. She is dis-
agreeably surprised. W'ith forced humor.'] Charming
cavalier you are, to be sure, to run away from your

John. On the contrary, Miss Julie, I've been hurrying
all I know, as you see, to find the girl I left behind me.

Julie. Do you know, none of the others dance like
you do. But why do you go about in livery on a holiday
evening? Take it off at once.

John. In that case, miss, I must ask you to leave me
for a moment, because my black coat hangs up here. [He


goes with a corresponding gesture toward the right.}

Jidie. Is he bashful on my account? Just about
changing" a coat ! Is he going into his room and coming
back again? So far as I am concerned he can stay
here ; I'll turn round.

John. By your leave, miss. [He goes to the left, his
arm is visible when he changes his coat.}

Julie. [To CHRISTINE.] I say, Christine, is John your
sweetheart, that he's so thick with you ?

Christine. [Going, t'oward the fireplace.} My sweet-
heart? Yes, if you like. We call it that.

Jidie. Call it?

Christine. Well, you yourself, Miss, had a sweetheart

Julie. Yes, we were properly engaged.

Christine. But nothing at all came of it. [She sits
down- and gradually goes to sleep.}

John. [In a black coat and with a black hat.}

Julie. Tres gentil, Monsieur Jean ; tres gentil !

John. Vous voulez plaisanter, madame!

Julie. Et vous voulez parler f rangais ? And where did
you pick that up?

John. In Switzerland, when I was a waiter in one of
the best hotels in Lucerne.

Julie. But you look quite like a gentleman in that
coat. Charming. [She sits down on the right, by the

John. Ah ! you're flattering me.

Julie. [O if ended.] Flatter? You?

John. My natural modesty won't allow me to imagine
that you're paying true compliments to a man like me,
so I took the liberty of supposing that you're exagger-
ating or, in a manner of speaking, flattering.

Julie. Where did you learn to string your words to-
gether like that? You must have been to the theater
a great deal?


John. Quite right. I've been to no end of places.

Julie. But you were born here in this neighborhood.

John. My father was odd man to the State attorney
of this parish, and I saw you, Miss, when you were a
child, although you didn't notice me.

Julie. Really ?

John. Yes, and I remember one incident in particular.
Um, yes I mustn't speak about that.

Julie. Oh, yes you tell me. What? Just to please

John. No, really I can't now. Perhaps some other

Julie. Some other time means never. Come, is it
then so dangerous to tell me now?

John. It's not dangerous, but it's much best to leave
it alone. Just look at her over there. [He points to
CHRISTINE, who has gone to sleep in a chair by the fire-
place.] %

Julie. She'll make a cheerful wife. Perhaps she
snores as well.

John. She doesn't do that she speaks in her sleep.

Julie. How do you know that she speaks in her sleep?

John. I've heard it. [Pause in which they look at
each other.]

Julie. Why don't you sit down ?

John. I shouldn't take such a liberty in your presence.

Julie. And if I ofder you to

John. Then I obey.

Julie. Sit down ; but, wait a- moment, can't you give
me something to drink?

John. I don't know what's in the refrigerator. I
don't think there's anything except beer.

Julie. That's not to be sniffed at. Personally I'm so
simple in my tastes that I prefer it to wine.

John. [Takes a bottle out of the refrigerator and
draws the cork; he looks in the cupboard for a glass and


plate, on which he serves the beer.] May I offer you

Julie. Thanks. Won't you have some as well?

John. I'm not what you might call keen on beer, but
if you order me, Miss

Julie. Order? It seems to me that as a courteous
cavalier you might keep your partner company.

John. A very sound observation. [He opens another
bottle and takes a glass.]

Julie. Drink my health ! [ JOHN hesitates.] I believe
the old duffer is bashful.

John. [On his knees, mock heroically, lifts up his
glass.] The health of my mistress!

Julie. Bravo! Now, as a finishing touch, you must
kiss my shoe. [JOHN hesitates, then catches sharply hold
of her foot and kisses it lightly.] First rate! You
should have gone on the stage.

John. [Gets up.] This kind of thing mustn't go any
further, Miss. Anybody might come in and see us.

Julie. What would it matter?

John. People would talk, and make no bones about
what they said either, and if you knew, Miss, how their
tongues have already been wagging, then

Julie. What did they say then ? Tell me, but sit down.

John. [Sits down.] I don't want to hurt you, but
you made use of expressions which pointed to innu-
endoes of such a kind yes, you'll understand this per-
fectly well yourself. You're not a child any more, and,
if a lady is seen to drink alone with a man even if it's
only a servant, tete-a-tete at night then

Julie. What then? And, besides, we're not alone:
Christine is here.

John. Yes, asleep.

Julie. Then I'll wake her up. [She gets up.] Christ
tine, are you asleep?

Christine. [In her sleep.] Bla bla bla bla.


Julie. Christine! The woman can go on sleeping.

Christine. [In her sleep.} The Count's boots are al-
ready done put the coffee out at once, at once, at once
oh, oh ah !

Julie. [Takes hold of her by the nose.] Wake up,
will you?

John. [Harshly.] You mustn't disturb a person
who's asleep.

Julie. [Sharply.] What?

John. A person who's been on her legs all day by the
fireplace will naturally be tired when night comes; and
sleep should be respected.

Julie. [In another tone.] That's a pretty thought.
and does you credit thank you. [She holds her hand
out to JOHN.] Come out now and pick some clover for
me. [During the subsequent dialogue CHRISTINE wakes
up, and exit in a dosed condition to the right, to go to

John. With you, Miss?

Julie. With me?

John. It's impossible, absolutely impossible.

Julie. I don't understand what you mean. Can it be
possible that you imagine such a thing for a single

John. Me no, but the people yes.

Julie. What! That I should be in love with a ser-

John. I'm not by any means an educated man, but
there have been cases, and nothing is sacred to the

Julie. I do believe the man is an aristocrat.

John. Yes; that I am.

Julie. And I'm on the down path.

John. Don't go down, Miss. Take my advice, nobody
will believe that you went down of your own free will.
People will always say you fell.


Julie. I have a better opinion of people than you have.
Come and try. Come. [She challenges him with her

John. You are strange, you know.

Julie. Perhaps I am, but so are you. Besides, every-
thing is strange. Life, men, the whole thing is simply
an iceberg which is driven out on the water until it sinks
sinks. I have a dream which comes up now and again,
and now it haunts me. I am sitting on the top of a
high pillar and can't see any possibility of getting down ;
I feel dizzy when I look down, but I have to get down
all the same. I haven't got the pluck to throw myself
off. I can't keep my balance and I want to fall over,
but I don't fall. And I don't get a moment's peace
until I'm down below. No rest until I've got to the
ground, and when I've got down to the ground I want
to get right into the earth. Have you ever felt any-
thing like that?

John. No; I usually dream I'm lying under a high
tree in a gloomy forest. I want to get up right to the
top and look round at the light landscape where the sun
shines, and plunder the birds' nests where the golden eggs
lie, and I climb and climb, but the trunk is so thick
and so smooth, and it's such a long way to the first
branch ; but I know, if only I can get to the first branch,
I can climb to the top, as though it were a ladder. I
haven't got there yet, but I must get there, even though
it were only in my dreams.

Julie. And here I am now standing chattering to you.
Come along now, just out into the park. [She offers
him her arm and they go.]

John. We must sleep to-night on nine Midsummer
Night herbs, then our dreams will come true. [Both
turn round in the doorway. JOHN holds his hand be-
fore one of his eyes.]

Julie. Let me see what's got Into your eye.


John. Oh, nothing, only a bit of dust it'll be all
right in a minute.

Julie. It was the sleeve of my dress that grazed you.
Just sit down and I'll help you get it out. [She takes
him by the arm and makes him sit down on the table.
She then takes his head and presses it down, and tries to
get the dust out with the corner of her handkerchief.]
Be quite still, quite still ! [She strikes him on the hand.]
There! Will he be obedient now? I do believe the
great strong man's trembling. [She feels his arm.] With
arms like that!

John. [Warningly.] Miss Julie

Julie. Yes, Monsieur Jean.

John. Attention! Je ne suis qu'un homme!

Julie. Won't he sit still? See! It's out now! Let
him kiss my hand and thank me.

John. [Stands up.] Miss Julie, listen to me. Chris-
tine has cleared out and gone to bed. Won't you listen
to me?

Julie. Kiss my hand first.

John. Listen to me.

Julie. Kiss my hand first.

John. All right, but you must be responsible for the

Julie. What consequences?

John. What consequences ? Don't you know it's dan-
gerous to play with fire?

Julie. Not for me. I am insured!

John. [Sharply.] No, you're not! And even if you
were there's inflammable material pretty close.

Julie. Do you mean yourself?

John. Yes. Not that I'm particularly dangerous, but
I'm just a young man !

Julie. With an excellent appearance what incredible
vanity ! Don Juan, I suppose, or a Joseph. I believe, on
my honor, the man's a Joseph !


John. Do you believe that?

Julie. I almost fear it. [JOHN goes brutally toward
and tries to embrace her, so as to kiss her. JULIE boxes
his ears.] Hands off.

John. Are you serious or joking?

Julie. Serious.

John. In that case, what took place before was also
serious. You're taking the game much too seriously, and
and that's dangerous. But I'm tired of the game now,
so would you please excuse me so that I can go back
to my work ? [He goes to the back of the stage, to the
boots.] The Count must have his boots early, and mid-
night is long past. [He takes up the boots.]

Julie. Leave the boots alone.

John. No. It's my duty, and I'm bound to do it, but
I didn't take on the job of being your playmate. Be-
sides, the thing is out of the question, as I consider
myself much too good for that kind of thing.

Julie. You're proud.

John. In some cases, not in others.

Julie. Have you ever loved?

John. We people don't use that word. But I've liked
many girls, and once it made me quite ill not to be able
to get the girl I wanted, as ill, mind you, as the princes
in "The Arabian Nights," who are unable to eat or drink
out of pure love. [He takes up the boots again.]

Julie. Who was it? [JOHN is silent.]

John. You can't compel me to tell you.

Julie. If I ask you as an equal, as a friend? Who
was it?

John. You !

Julie. [Sits down.] How funny!

John. And if you want to hear the story, here goes !
It was humorous. This is the tale, mind you, which I
would not tell you before, but I'll tell you right enough
now. Do you know how the world looks from down
below ? No, of course you don't. Like hawks and eagles,


whose backs a man can scarcely ever see because they're
always flying in the air. I grew up in my father's hovel
along with seven sisters and a pig out there on the
bare gray field, where there wasn't a single tree grow-
ing, and I could look out from the window on to the
walls of the Count's parks, with its apple-trees. That
was my Garden of Eden, and many angels stood there
with a flaming sword and guarded it, but all the same
I, and other boys, found my way to the Tree of Life
do you despise me?

Julie. Oh, well stealing apples? All boys do that.

John. That's what you say, but you despise me all the
same. Well, what's the odds! Once I went with my
mother inside the garden, to weed out the onion bed.
Close by the garden wall there stood a Turkish pavilion,
shaded by jasmine and surrounded by wild roses. I had
no idea what it was used for, but I'd never seen so
fine a building. People went in and out, and one day
the door stood open. I sneaked in, and saw the walls
covered with pictures of queens and emperors, and red
curtains with fringes were in front of the windows

now you know what I mean. I [He takes a lilac

branch and holds it under the young lady's nose.} I'd
never been in the Abbey, and I'd never seen anything else
but the church but this was much finer, and wherever
my thoughts roamed they always came back again to it,
and then little by little the desire sprang up in me to

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Online LibraryAugust StrindbergMiss Julie and other plays → online text (page 1 of 11)