Gerhart Hauptmann.

And Pippa dances. (a mystical tale of the glass-works, in four acts) online

. (page 5 of 13)
Online LibraryGerhart HauptmannAnd Pippa dances. (a mystical tale of the glass-works, in four acts) → online text (page 5 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Wann. — Sleep well! Good night! And far away on the Adriatic
dreams a house that waits for new and youthful guests.

{Jonathan stands in the door with a light. Hellriegel tears himself away
and disappears with him in the hallway. Wann looks at Pippa for awhile
gravely and thoughtfully; then he says):
Wann. —

Into my winter cabin, magic forced his way.
My wisdom's wall of ice, he broke through robber-like.
By gold enticed. A shelter safe I furnished him
From out my soul paternal, with old malice full.
Who is the fop that he should wish to make his own
This child divine who makes my vessels sail tor me —
They creak and crack and swing so gently to and fro.
The old dry hulls archaeologically hung! —


Why then do I put liini, this Michael, in m\ ship,
Instead of saihng forth myself, triuniphantlv,
Forth in my galleon, commanding my whole fleet,
To subjugate abandoned heayens once again.
O, ice on my old forehead, ice in my old blood!
You tha\y before a sudden breath of happiness.
Thou holy breath, O, kindle not in my old breast
Consuming Hres of greed, of avarice and wild lusts,
Till I must swallow mine own children, Saturn-like.
Sleep! Oyer your sleep I watch, for you I guard
What fleets away. As pictured forms ye float by me,
So long as my own soul remains a picture still,
Not Being, — not clear, viewless element alone.
Moulder, ye hulls! for journeys new I have no thirst.
(Hf has raised the sleeping girl, supported her and led her slowly and
with fatherly solicitude into the chatnber to the right. After he and Pippa
have disappeared, Huhn conies out from behind the stove and stands in the
middle of the room, his gaze fixed on the chamber door. JVann comes out of
the chamber backward, pulls the door shut after him, and speaks without
noticing Huhn. He turns toward the models of the ships and in so doing
sees Huhn. At first, doubting the reality of the vision, he holds his hands
above his eyes to investigate; when he lets it drop, his every muscle tightens
and both men measure each other with eyes filled with hatred.)

fVann {slowly, quivering with rage). — No — road — passes — through
— here! —

Huhn {in the same manner). — No — word — passes — muster —
here! —

Wann. — Come on!

{Huhn pushes forward and they stand opposite each other in wrestlers*

Huhn. — This is all mine! — all mine, all mine, all mine!
Wann. —

You black, bloodthirsty bundle! Night-born lump of greed,
You yet gasp forth some sounds that seem like words!
{Old Huhn attacks him and they wrestle; suddenly old Huhn utters
a frightful shriek and immediately afterward hangs defenceless in fVanns
arms. Wann lets the gasping old man sink gently to the floor.)
Wann. —

Thus must it come to pass, giant uncouth! O thou
Sick, wild, strong animal! — Break open stables then!


Here is no provender for prowling beasts of prey —
Here in this snowbound house of God!


(This act immediately follows the third act, in the same room. Old
Huhn lies on the bench by the stove, the sound of the death-rattle in his throat
is loud and horrible. His chest is bare, his long rust-red hair falls to the
ground. Old fVann stands by him, upright, his left hand laid on Huhns

Pippa, shy and trembling, an expression of great fear on her face, comes
out of the door to the right.)

Wann. — Come in, you little trembling flame, you, come right in!
There is now no further danger for you, if you are a little cautious!

Pippa. — I knew it! O, I knew and felt it, signore! Hold him down!
Bind him fast!

Wann. — So far as he can be bound, I can bind him.

Pippa. — Is it old Huhn, or isn't it ?

Wann. — The torture disfigures his face. But if you look at him more
closely —

Pippa. — Then he looks almost like yourself!

Wann. — I am a human being and he wants to be: how did you happen
to notice it ?

Pippa. — I do not know, signore!

(Hellriegel appears in the hall door, frightened.)

Hellriegel. — Where is Pippa ? I had a foreboding that the lousy
idiot would be at our heels! Pippa! God be thanked that you are again
under my protection!

Wann. — Nobody touched a hair of her head even when you were not

Hellriegel. — It is better, however, for me to be here!

Wann. — May it please Heaven! Fetch me in a bucket full of snow!
Bring snow! We will lay snow on his heart, so that the poor, captive beast,
beating its wings in his breast, may be calmed!

Hellriegel. — Is he hurt ?

Wann. — It may well be!

Hellriegel. — What do we gain by it if he recovers his strength ? He
will strike around him with his fists and beat us all three into mincemeat!

Wann. — Not me! and not anyone else, if you are sensible!

Pippa. — It is he, I am sure of it! It is the old glass-blower, Huhn!



ff'arin. — Do you recognize him, now: the guest who came so late, to
await here a higher than he ? Come close to him, little one, don't be afraid,
\our pursuer is now himself the pursued! {HcUnegel brings in a bucket
full of snow.) What did you see out there, Michael ? You are as white
as a sheet!

H flirt egd. — I did not know what it was! {IVhile the ice is being laid
on Huhns breast.) It isn't the old mountain with the forest of hair that
danced and jumped around with you in the tavern and from whom fortu-
nately I carried you off; it isn't he at all.

Pippa. — Look at him more closely, I am sure it is he!

JVann. — But he has become our brother!

Pippa. — Was it the matter with you, Michael ? How you do look!

JVann. — What did you see outside there that made you as white as
a sheet ?

Hellriegel. — Well, for all I care: I saw pretty little things! It was,
so to speak, like a wall of snapping, fishmouthed women's visages, pretty
terrifying, pretty dreadful! I wouldn't like to have them here in the room.
That's the way, when you go from a bright light into the dark! —

fVann. — You will yet learn shivering!

Hellriegel. — At all events, it is no pleasure to be outside there. Ap-
parently the ladies have sore throats — you see it in their swollen, twitching,
violet-black throats! And for what other reason were their necks wound
round with a thick neckerchief of long, slavering worms!

fVann. — Pshaw, Michael, you are looking around for protection!

Hellriegel. — If only those tricksy little angels don't squeeze through
the wall!

JVann. — Michael, couldn't you go out of doors once more, and call
into the dark in a loud voice, that he is to come .?

Hellriegel. — No! That's going too far for me, I won't do that!

JVann. — You are afraid of the lightning that is to save ? Then prepare
yourself to hear God's praise howled in a manner to freeze the marrow in
your bones, since not otherwise is the invasion of the pack to be prevented!

(Such a shriek of pain comes from old Huhn that Pippa and Hellriegel
break into a sympathetic weeping and, carried away by their sympathy, they
impulsively hasten to him to bring him help.)

JVann. — No hurry! It is useless! Here is no pity! Here the poi-
sonous tooth and the white-hot wind rage, so long as he rages! Here
typhonic powers press out the piercing scream of torture, the torture of
frantic recognition of God. Blind, without compassion, they stamp it
out of the soul howling, yet speechless with horror.


Hellnegel. — Can't you relieve him, then, old man ?

Wann. — Not without him whom you do not choose to call.

Pip pa {trembling). — Why is he so stretched on the rack? I have
feared him, and have hated him, but why is he pursued with such wrath
and merciless hatred ? — I do not ask it!

Huhn. — What do you want? Let go! Let go! Don't strike your
fangs into my neck! Let go! Let go! Don't tear the bones from out my
loins! Don't tear my body open! Don't rend me, don't rend my soul in

Hellnegel. — Great heavens! What if this should be a trial of strength;
if the great fish-blooded one thinks to impress anyone with this — at all
events, he doesn't impress me! or at most only with his force! Has he no
more respect for his creation, or can't he help striking something low and
small every moment ? And in such a peculiar way, which it is to be hoped
is not the only fun there is for him in the matter.

Wann. — The principal thing now is really, Michael, that one of us
should go and find out where he, whom we await so longingly, is staying.
Your talking, you know, brings us no further.

Hellriegel. — You go out! I shall stay here.

Wann. — Good! {To Pippa.) But don't dance with him!

Hellriegel. — O Heavens! When anyone can make jests in such a
critical situation, what is one to say to such a disaster ?

Wann. — Take care whom you trust! At all events, give heed to the
child! {Wann goes out through the hall.)

Pippa. — Oh, if we were only away from here, Michael!

Hellriegel. — I have wished that too! God be thanked, that at all
events we are now at the top! Tomorrow, at daybreak, we can rush down
the southern slope — for all I care, we can go on sleds, that would be fine!
Then we shall be out of this region of foreigners and assassins and grunting
baboons, forever!

Pippa. — Oh, if he only wouldn't scream again!

Hellriegel. — Let him scream! V.ven if he does, it is still better inside
here: the silence outside screams more horribly.

Huhn {with heavy tongue). — Murder! Murder!

Pippa. — He has spoken again! 1 believe the old toy-dealer has injured
him in some way!

Hellriegel. — Cling to me! Press close to my heart.

Pippa. - O Michael, you pretend to be so calm, and your heart beats
so fiirioiislv!

Hellriegel. — Like your own!


Pippa. — And his! I hear his beating, too! How hard it labors!
It seems strained to the utmost!

Hfllncgel. — Is it that ? Is it really a heart that pounds like that ?

Pippa. — What else can it be ? Just listen, what else can be pounding
like that ? I don't know why, but I feel it all through me, so painfully —
it hurts me clear down to the tips of my toes — at every stroke, it seems as
it I must help it.

Hellriegel. — Look, a chest like a cannibal's! Doesn't it look like
a bellows all covered with matted red hair ? And as if it ought always to be
blowing something like a small forge fire.

Pippa. — O, how the poor little captive bird keeps jumping against
his ribs in its fright! Shall I lay my hand on him for a minute, Michael .?

Hellriegel. — You have my permission! There can be nothing in all
the world which would be so miraculously effectual 1

Pippa (laying her hand on Huhns heart). — I hadn't the least idea
that under all his rags, old Huhn was as white as a young girl! —

Hellriegel. — There you see it does work! He is quieter already!
And now we will give him a little wine besides, so that he may meet death
sleeping peacefully.

(^He goes to the table to pour out some wine. Pippa allows her hand to
remain on Huhn's breast.)

Huhn. — Who lays her little hand on my breast .'' I sat within my
house — in the darkness — we sat in the darkness! The world was cold!
Daylight came no more, the morning never came! We sat there round
a cold glass furnace! And the people came there, yoop, yoop — They
came there from far away, creeping across the snow! They came from far
awav because they were hungry: they wanted to have a little bit of light
on their tongues, they wanted to absorb a little bit of warmth into their
benumbed bones! It is true! And they lay around the glass-works all
night! I heard them groan; I heard them moan. And then I rose and
poked around in the ash pits — all at once there arose a single little spark —
a tiny spark arose out of the ashes! O Jesus, what shall I do with the
little spark that has all at once risen again out of the ashes .'' Shall I make
you a servant, little spark, shall I capture you ^ Shall I strike at you,
little spark t Shall I dance with you, tiny little spark }

Hellriegel. — Say yes, say yes, don't oppose him! But tell us, you,
the rest of your story! Here, first take a swallow, old Mr. What's-your-
name! Today, you — tomorrow, me! We will hold together, because in
my inmost heart, I too am something of a snowbound, ghostly glass-maker.

Huhn {after he has drunken). — Blood! Black blood tastes good!


But, what the^wise man^'makes, I make too! I too make glass! Oh dear,
yes, what is there that I haven't brought out of the glass furnaces! Beads!
Precious stones! Magnificent goblets! Ever in with the blowpipe and
one blast into it! Enough of that! I will dance with you, little spark!
Wait a moment: I'll start up my furnace again! How the white heat
breaks from the doors! No one ever comes up to old Huhn! Did you see
her dancing round in the air over the fire ?

Hellriegel. — Whom do you mean ?

Huhn. — Whom ? W^ho would it be ? He doesn't know, he doesn't,
that the girl springs from the glass furnaces!

Hellriegel {chuckling). — Just listen, Pippa, you spring from the glass
furnaces !

Pippa. — Oh, Michael, I feel like weeping.

Huhn. — Dance, dance! that it may grow a little lighter! Go here,
go there, that the people may get light! Kindle the fire, kindle the fire!
We will go to work!

Hellriegel. — Just listen! When such an opportunity offers, I would
really like to join vou! The devil take me, if I wouldn't, and not with
just a journeyman's piece of work —

Huhn. — We stood around our glass furnaces and around about us out
of the starless night crept fear! {He gasps harder.) Mice, dogs, beasts
and birds crept into the fire. It grew smaller and smaller and was going
out! We said to each other and said constantly — O Jesus, the terror
of it — into the little fire! Then it fell apart! Then we screamed! A
little blue light came again! Then we screamed again! And then it was
out! I sat in mv house, over my cold fire! I saw nothing! I poked around
in the ashes! All at once a little spark flew up, a single little spark flew
up in front of me. Shall we dance again, little spark ?

Pippa {fleeing to Michael). — Michael, are you still there?

Hellriegel. — Yes, of course! Do you think that Michael is inclined
to be a shirker .'* This old man, however, is something more than a dis-
charged glass-blower, God knows! Just see, what a bloody, agonizing
spasm is shown in his face!

Pippa. — And how his heart wrestles, and how it pounds!

Hellriegel. — Like an eternal forge-dance with the forge-hammer.

Pippa. — And at every stroke, I feel my own breast t(nn and burned!

Hellriegel. — I do too! I feel it tremendously through all my bones,
and it tugs at me until it seems I must work and pound with it!

Pippa. — Listen, Michael, it seems exactly as if the same stroke struck
deep down and knocked on the earth.


HtUriegel. — You are right, the same terrihle blow of the forge-hammer
strikes deep down!

Huhn. — Sliall I dance with you, httle spirit ?

{UndcrgroumL thunderous rutnblings.)

Pippa. — Michael, did you hear that rumbling underground ?

Htllrifgcl. — No! Come! ^ ou had better take your hand away from
his heart. If everything is going to rock, and the earth is going to tremble
and we are going to shoot out like an involuntary meteor, who knows
whither into space, then it is certainly better for us to clamp ourselves
together, shortly, into an indissoluble knot. I am only joking!

Pippa. — Oh, Michael, don't joke now!

HeUricgel. — Tomorrow, we will both joke about this!

Pippa. — Do you know, I feel almost as if I were only a single spark
and as if I hovered around, lost and quite alone, in endless space!

Hellriegel. — A dancing star in the heavens, Pippa! and why not .f*

Pippa (whispering). — Michael, Michael, dance with me! Hold me
fast, Michael, I don't want to dance! Michael, Michael, dance with me!

Hellriegel. — I will do it, so help me God, as soon as we are out of this
scrape! Think of something beautiful! As soon as this night is over,
I have promised mvself: that from then on, you shall walk only on roses
and tapestries. And we shall laugh, as soon as we are down there, in the
little water-palace — we shall go there, I assure you— and then I shall lay
you in your little silken bed ■ — and then I shall bring you sweetmeats all
the time — and then I shall cover you up and tell you creepy stories —
and then you will burst out laughing, so sweetly, that the delicious sound
will be pain to me. And then you will sleep, and I shall play all night long,
softly, softly, on a glass harp.

P//)/)fl.— Michael!

Hellriegel. — Yes, Pippa!

Pippa. — Where are you r

Hellriegel. — Here beside you! I hold you tightly clasped!

Huhn. — Shall we dance again, little spirit .?

Pippa. — Hold me, Michael — don't let me go! He drags me to
him! — I am being dragged! If you let me go I must dance! I must
dance! — or else I shall die! Let me go!

Hellriegel. — Really .? Well, I think it will be well, in the midst of all
these, in a way really nightmarish things, to bethink myself of my brave
old Swabian blood! If all your limbs twitch to do it, why shouldn't you
dance this last dance with a poor wretch who attaches so much value to
your doing it ! In my opinion there can't be anything so bad in that. Not


for nothing, have there been jolly fellows who have conjured away Satan's
hell-fire from under his tail and lighted their pipes with it. Why shouldn't
one strike up a tune for him to dance ? {He takes out his ocarina.) Rum-
pum-pum, rum-pum-pum! How does the time go? Very well, for all I
care, get ready to dance, sweet Pippa. If it must be — we dare not be
particular about the place and the hour in this world! {Trills and runs
on the ocarina.) Dance away, and dance till you are tired! It is far
from being the worst thing you can do : to be joyous with one who is mortally

[To the tones of the ocarina, which Michael plays, Pippa makes some
slow, painful dance movements, that have something convulsive about them.
Little by little the dance grows wilder and more bacchanalian. A rhythmic
trembli ng stirs the body of old Huhn. In addition to this, he drums frantically
with his fists, keeping time with Pippa's dance rhythm. At the same time
he seems to be shaken by a terrible chill, like some one coming out of a cutting
wind into the warmth. From the depths of the earth muffled sounds force
their way up: rumblings of thunder, triangles, cymbals and kettle-drums.
Finally Wann enters through the hall door.)

Huhn. — I am making a little glass! I am making it. {Fastening
a look of hate on fVann.) I shall make it and knock it to pieces again!
Come — with — we — into — the dark — little spark. {He crushes the
drinking glass which he still holds in his hand, and the pieces clatter to the

{Pippa shivers and then grows suddenly rigid.)

Pippa. — Michael!

{She reels and Wann catches her in his arms. She is dead.)

Wann. — Have you achieved your purpose in spite of me, old corybant .?

Hellriegel (stops playing on his ocarina for a few seconds). — Good!
Stop a moment to get your breath, Pippa!

Huhn {with an effort, looks Wann full in the eyes, triumphantly. Then
there comes from his lips with difficulty, but powerfully, the call) — Jumalai ! ! !
{Immediately after it he sinks back and dies.)

Hellriegel {is about to begin playing on his ocarina again). — What
was that.? I have it! I heard that cry, yesterday morning! What do
you say to that, old wizard ? But anyhow, it is well that you have come,
for otherwise we would have galloped away, over knives and pieces of
broken glass into the unknown, on and on, who knows where! Have you
found him at last .?

Wann. — Most certainly!

Hellriegel {after a trill). — Well, where did you find him .?


Wann. — I found him behind a snovv-driFt. He was tired. He said
his load of work was too enormous. I had to persuade him a long while.
(Looking down oti Pippa.) And now it seems that he misunderstood me.

Ht'llriegel [after a trill). — But at least he is coming now.''

If'ann. — Didn't vou see him ? He came in just before me!

Ht'llriegel. — I didn't see anything, to be sure, but I felt something
when the old man yelled out his silly foreign word, something that still
hums in my bones.

fVann. — Do you hear the echo still making a hubbub outside .''

Hellriegel {goes up close to Huhn, curiously). — Truly! The old cloven
hoof will stamp no more. I must say, a weight has fallen from my soul!
I hope that at last the old hippopotamus is in a safe place. Tell me, you
probably injured his backbone for him, didn't you ? But perhaps that
wasn't really necessary, although it is possible that it may have saved us.

fVann. — Yes, Michael, if you are saved, it would certainly have been
difficult to accomplish it in any other way.

Hellriegel. — Yes, thank God, I feel that we are over the worst of it.
For that reason I won't mope any longer because the old man — he is
really past the time for boyish tricks! — because the old man has died
of his love affair, and can not have what I possess. Every man for himself
and God for us all! In what way does the affair concern me after all!
Pippa! ! How does it happen that you have two lights to the right and left
of you, one on each shoulder }

fVann {with Pippa in his arms). — Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens
dominabitur mihi! [Behold a god stronger than /, who when he comes
will have dominion over me!)

Hellriegel. — I don't understand that! {With his head bent forward
he gazes searchingly for a few seconds at Pippa as she lies in Wanns arms.)
Oh, now something tugs so as my breast again, now I am again shaken
with impatience, so painfully sweet that it seems as if I must be at the
same time here on this spot and millions of years away. Everything is
rosy-red round about me! {He plays, then interrupts himself and says)
Dance, child! Rejoice! Rejoice, for with the help of the never-ceasing
light in my breast, we have found the way through the gloomy labyrinth,
and when you have tired of leaping and feel calm in the certainty of happi-
ness, then we will immediately {to fVann) with your permission, glide
down over the clear snow, at if we went by post, into spring's ravine, down

Wann. — Yes, if you see spring's ravine down there, good Michael,


Hellrtegel {with the motions of a blind man who sees only what is within
himself; standing at the pitch-dark luindow). — Ho, I see it well, spring's
ravine! I am not blind! A child can see it! From your cabin, you ancient
inn-keeper, you can overlook the whole land — for a distance of fifty miles.
I absolutely will not sit here any longer, like the spirit in the glass bottle,
lying corked at the bottom of the sea. Once upon a time — just give us
the golden key and let us go away!

PFann. — When the sun shines forth suddenly in winter, it is apt to
make people blind!

Hellriegel. — Or give them the all-seeing eye! I could almost believe
myself in a dream: so mysteriously am I charmed by the mountains, white
in the light of the morning's flaming splendor, and by the enchanting haze
over the peninsulas, inlets and gardens of the ravine, and really, it seems
as if I were on another star!

fVann. — That's the way it always is when the mountains are bathed
in the light of the great Pan's games with the fires of St. Elmo.

Hellriegel. — Pippa!

fVann. — She is even now, again, far from us on her own pilgrimage!
And he, the restless barbarous old giant is again pursuing her. {He lays
Pippa down on the bench. Afterward he calls.) Jonathan! Again the
invisible hand that reaches through walls and roofs has frustrated my
schemes and made them his booty. Jonathan! He is even now cold!
The glowing crater is extinguished. What does the hunter hunt .? It is
not the animal that he slays! What does the hunter hunt .? Who can answer
me }

Hellriegel (at the black window). — Pippa, just look down there, the
tongues of land are covered with golden cupolas — and do you see: there
is our water-palace — and the golden steps that lead up to it!

fVann. — Then rejoice! Rejoice over what you see, Michael, and over
what is hidden from you!

Hellriegel. — The sea! Oh, there is another, upper sea forming: this
other sea gives back to the lower sea millions of twinkling stars! O Pippa —
and look, still a third sea forms! There is an infinite mirroring and immer-

1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Online LibraryGerhart HauptmannAnd Pippa dances. (a mystical tale of the glass-works, in four acts) → online text (page 5 of 13)