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excited by every pretty face.
Severine. What did I come here for, then?
RoLLiN. Tell me, at any rate, that you love me.
Severine {with a peculiar look). You have a short memory.
Etienne. Well, where do vou think we have come from?
Francois. Listen, Marquis; they're a couple of quite witty

youths.
Maurice. A wedding.

Vol. XX— 21



322 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Etienne. One has got to dress up a bit in places like this.

Otherwise one of those damned secret police gets on

one's track at once.
ScAEvoLA. At any rate, have you made a good haul?
Host. Let's have a look.
Maurice (drawing watches out of his waistcoat). What'U

you give me for this ?
Host. For that there? A louis.
Maurice. Indeed?
ScAEVOLA. It is not worth more.

MicHETTE. That is a lady 's watch. Give it to me, Maurice.
Maurice. What will you give me for 't I
MicHETTE. Look at me — isn't that enough?
Flipotte. No, give it to me; look at me —
Maurice. My dear children, I can have that without risk-
ing my head.
MiCHETTE. You are a conceited ape.
Severine. I swear that's no acting.
RoLLiN. Of course not ; there is a flash of reality running

through the whole thing. That is the chief charm.
ScAEVOLA. What wedding was it, then?
Maurice. The wedding of Mademoiselle de la Tremouille;

she was married to the Comte de Banville.
Albin, Do you hear that, Francois? I assure you they

are real knaves.
Franqois. Calm yourself, Albin. I know the two. I have

seen them play a dozen times already. Their specialty

is the portrayal of pickpockets.

[Maurice draws some purses out of his waistcoat.']
ScAEVOLA. Well, you can do the handsome tonight.
Etienne. It was a very magnificent wedding. All the

nobility of France was there. Even the King was

represented.
Albin {excited). All that is true.



THE GREEN COCKATOO 323

Maurice {rolls some money over the table). That is for

you, my friends, so that you can see that we all stick

to one another.
FRANgois. Properties, dear Albin. {He stands up and

takes a few coins.) We, too, you see, come in for a

share.
Host. You take it — you have never earned anything so

honestly in your life.
Maurice {Jiolds in the air a garter set ivith diamonds).

And to whom shall I give this? (Georgette, Michette,

and Flipotte make a rush after it.) Patience, you

sweet pusses. We will speak about that later on. I

will give it to the one who devises a new caress.
Severine {to Rollin).. Would you not like to let me join

in the competition!
Rollin. I protest you will drive me mad, Severine,
Marquis. Severine, had we not better be going now? I

think —
Severine. Oh, no. I am enjoying myself excellently.

{To Rollin.) Ah well, my mood is getting so —
Michette. How did you get hold of the garter?
Maurice. There was such a crush in the church — and

when a lady thinks one is courting her — {All laugh.)

[Grain has stolen Francois's purse.']
FRANgois {shotving the money to Albin). Mere counters.

Are you satic^ed now? [Grain wants to get away.']
Host {going after him softly). Give me the purse at once

which you took from this gentleman.
Grain. I —

Host. Straightaway ... or it will be the worse for you.
Grain. You need not be churlish. {Gives it to him.)
Host. And stay here. I have no time to search you now.

Who knows what else you have pouched. Go back to

your place.
Flipotte. I shall win the garter.



324



THE GERMAN CLASSICS



Host ( throwing the purse to FRANgois) . Here 's your purse.
You lost it out of your pocket.

FRANgois. I thank you, Prosper. {To Albin.) You see,
we are in reality in the company of most respectable
people.

[Henri, who has already/ been present for some
time and has sat behind, suddenly stands up.l

RoLLiN. Henri — there is Henri.

Seveeine. Is he the one you told me so much about?

Marquis. Assuredly. The man one really comes here
to see.

[Henri comes to the front of the stage, very theat-
rically; is silent. Ji

The Actors. Henri, what ails you?

Rollin. Observe the look. A world of passion. You see,
he is playing the man who commits a crime of passion.

Severine. I prize that highly.

Albin. But why does he not speak?

RoLLiN. He is beside himself. Just watch. Pay atten-
tion. . . . He has wrought a fearful deed somewhere.

Francois. He is somewhat theatrical. It looks as though
he were going to get ready for a monologue.

Host. Henri, Henri, where do you come from?

Henri. I have murdered.

RoLLiN. What did I say?

Scaevola. Whom ?

Henri. The lover of my wife.

[Prosper looks at him; at this moment he obviously
has the feeling that it might be true.']

Henri {looks up). Well, yes, I've done it. What are you
looking at me like that for? That's how the matter
stands. Is it, then, so wonderful after all? You all
know what kind of a creature my wife is ; it was bound
to end like that.

Host. And she — where is she?

Franqois. See, the host takes it seriously. You notice
how realistic that makes the thing.

[Noise outside — not too loud.l



THE GREEN COCKATOO 325

Jules. What noise is that outside?

Marquis. Do you hear, Severine?

RoLLiN. It sounds as though troops were marching by.

FRANgois. Oh, no; it is our dear people of Paris. Just
listen how they bawl. (Uneasiness in the cellar; it
grows quiet outside.) Go on, Henri — go on.

Host. Yes, do tell us, Henri — where is your wife? Where
have you left her ?

Henei. Oh, I have no qualms about her. She will not die
of it. Whether it is this man or that man, what do the
women care? There are still a thousand other hand-
some men running about Paris — whether it is this
man or that man —

Balthasar. May it fare thus with all who take our wives
from us.

ScAEvoLA. All who take from us what belongs to us.

CoMMissAiRE (to Host). Thcsc are seditious speeches.

Albin. It is dreadful . . . the people mean it seriously.

ScAEVoLA. Down with the usurers of France ! We would
fain wager that the fellow whom he caught with his
wife was another again of those accursed hounds who
rob us of our bread as well.

Albin. I propose we go.

Severine. Henri ! — Henri !

Marquis. But, Marquise —

Severine. Please, dear Marquis, ask the man how he caught
his wife — or I will ask him myself.

Marquis (after resisting). Tell us, Henri, how did you
manage to catch the pair?

Henri (who has been for a long while sunk in reverie).
Know you my wife, then? She is the fairest and vilest
creature under the sun. And I loved her! We have
known one another for seven years — but it is only
yesterday that she became my wife. In those seven
years there was not one day, nay, not one day, in which
she did not lie to me, for everything about her is a lie —
her eyes and her lips, her kisses and her smiles.

Francois. He rants a little.



326 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Henbi, Every boy and every old man, every one who ex-
cited her and every one who paid her — every one, I
think, wdio wanted her — has possessed her, and I have
known it!

Seveeine. Not every one can boast as much.

Henri. And all the same she loved me, my friends. Can
any one of you understand that? She always came
back to me again — from all quarters back again to me

— from the handsome and from the ugly, from the
shrewd and from the foolish, from ragamuffins and
from courtiers — always came back to me.

Seveeijste {to Eollin). Now, if only you had an inkling
that it is just this coming back which is really love.

Henri. What I suffered . . . tortures, tortures !

RoLLiN. It is harrowing.

Henri. And yesterday I married her. We had a dream —
nay, I had a dream. I wanted to get away with her
from here. Into solitude, into the country, into the
great peace. We wished to live like other happy
married couples — we dreamt also of having a child- —

RoLLiN (softly). Severine.

Severine. Very good!

Albin. FranQois, that man is speaking the truth.

FEANgois. Quite so; the love-story is true, but the real
pith is the murder-story.

Henri. I was just one day too late. . . . There was just
one man whom she had forgotten, otherwise — I believe

— she wouldn't have w^anted any one else. . . . But
I caught them together . . . it is all over with him.

Actors. Who? — who? How did it happen? Where does
he lie? Are you pursued? How did it happen? Where
is she?

'H.Y.is^i {with growing excitement). I escorted her ... to
the theatre . . . today was to be the last time. . . .
I kissed her ... at the door . . . and she went to
her dressing-room . . . and I went off like a man
who has nothing to fear. But when I had gone a hun-



THE GREEN COCKATOO 327

dred yards, I began ... to have . . . within me —
do you understand ? . . . a terrible unrest . . . and
it was as though something forced me to turn round
. . . and I turned round and went back. But once
there I felt ashamed and went away again . . . and
again I walked a hundred yards away from the theatre
. . . and then something gripped me . . . again I
went back. Her scene was at an end — she hasn't got
much to do, she just stands awhile on the stage half
naked — and then she has finished. I stood in front
of her dressing-room, put my ear to the door, and heard
whispers. I could not make out a word . . . the
whispering ceased ... I pushed open the door . . .
{he roars like a lion) it was the Due de Cadignan, and
I murdered him.

Host {who now at last takes it for the truth). Madman!

[Henri looks up, gazes fixedly at Host.]

Seveeine. Bravo ! — bravo !

RoLLiN. What are you doing. Marquise? The moment
you call out '' bravo! " you make it all acting again —
and the pleasant shudder is past.

Marquis. I do not find the shudder so pleasant. Let us
applaud, my friends ; that is the only way we can throw
off the spell.

[A gentle bravo, groiving continually louder; all
aicplatid.']

Host {to Henri, during the noise). Save yourself' — flee,
Henri.

Henri. What ! — what !

Host. Let this be enough, and see that you get away.

Francois. Hush! . . . Let us hear what the host says.

Host {after a short reflection). I am telling him that he
ought to get away before the watch at the city gates are
informed. The handsome Duke was a favorite of the
King — they will break you on the wheel. Far better
had it been had you stabbed that scum, your wife.

FRANgois. What playing up to each other! . . . Splendid!



328 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Henri. Prosper, which of us is mad, you or I! {He

stands there and tries to read in Prosper 's eyes.)
RoLLiN. It is wonderful ; we all know that he is acting, and

yet if the Due de Cadignan were to enter now, it would

be like a ghost appearing.

[Noise outside — growing stronger and stronger.
People come in; shrieks are heard. Right at their
head Grasset. Others, among them Lebret, force
their ivay over the steps. Cries of *' Liberty!
Liberty! " are heard.']
Grasset. Here we are, my boys — in here !
Albin. What is that? Is that part of the performance?
Franqois. No.
Marquis. What means it?
Severine. What people are those?
Grasset. In here ! I tell you, my friend Prosper has still

got a barrel of wine left, and we have earned it.

{Noise from the streets.) Friend ! Brother ! We have

them! — we have them!
Shouts {from outside). Liberty! Liberty!
Severine. What has happened?
Marquis. Let us get away — let us get away; the mob

approaches.
RoLLiN. How do you propose to get away?
Grasset. It has fallen; the Bastille has fallen!
Host. What sa,y you ? Speaks he the truth ?
Grasset. Hear you not?

[Albin wants to draw his sword.]
Francois. Stop that at once, or we are all lost.
Grasset {reeling in down the stairs). And if you hasten,

you will still be in time to see quite a merry sight . . .

the head of our dear Delaunay stuck on a very high

pole.
Marquis. Is the fellow mad?
Shouts. Liberty ! Liberty !

Grasset. We have cut off a dozen heads ; the Bastille be-
longs to us ; the prisoners are free ! Paris belongs to

the people !



THE GREEN COCKATOO 329

Host. Hear you? — hear you? Paris belongs to us!

Grasset. See you how he gains courage now. Yes, shout
away, Prosper; naught more can happen to you now.

Host {to the nobles). What say you to it, you rabble? The
joke is at an end.

Albin. Said I not so ?

Host. The people of Paris have conquered.

CoMMissAiRE. Silence! (They laugh.) Silence! I forbid
the continuance of the performance !

Grasset. Who is that nincompoop?

CoMMissAiRE. Prosper, I regard you as responsible for all
these seditious speeches.

Grasset. Is the fellow mad?

Host. The joke is at an end. Don't you understand?
Henri, do tell them — now you can tell them. We
will protect you — the people of Paris will protect you.

Grasset. Yea, the people of Paris.

[Henri stands there ivith a fixed stare.']

Host. Henri has really murdered the Due de Cadignan.

Albin, Franqois, and Marquis. What says he?

Albin and others. What means all this, Henri?

Francois. Henri, pray speak.

Host. He found him with his wife and he has killed him.

Henri. 'Tis not true !

Host. You need fear naught more now ; now you can shout
it to all the world. I could have told you an hour past
that sue was the Duke's mistress. By God, I was nigh
telling you — is't not true, you. Shrieking Pumice-
stone ? — did we not know it ?

Henri. Who has seen her? Where has she been seen?

Host. What matters that to you now? The man's mad
. . . you have killed him; of a truth you cannot do
more.

Franqois. In heaven's name, is't really true or not?

Host. Ay, it is true.

Grasset. Henri, from henceforth you must be my friend.
Vive la Liberte ! — Vive la Liberte !



330 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Francois. Henri, speak, man !

Henri. She was his mistress? She was the mistress of
the Duke ? I knew it not ... he lives ... he lives
. . . {Tremendous sensation.)

Seveeine {to the others). Well, where 's the truth now?

Albin. My God!

[The Duke forces his ivay through the crowd on the
steps.']

Severine {ivho sees him first). The Duke!

Some Voices. The Duke.

Duke. Well, well, what is it?

Host. Is it a ghost?

Duke. Not that I know of. Let me through!

RoLLiN. What won't we wager that it is all arranged!
The fellows yonder belong to Prosper 's troupe. Bravo,
Prosper! This is a real success.

Duke. What is it? Is the playing still going on here,
while outside . . . but don't you know what manner
of things are taking place outside? I have seen Delau-
nay's head carried past on a pole. Nay, why do you
look at me like that? {Steps doiun.) Henri —

FRANgois. Guard yourself from Henri.

[Henri rushes like a madman on the Duke and
plunges a dagger into his neck.]

CoMMissAiRE {stands up). This goes too far!

All. He bleeds.

RoLLiN. A murder has been done here.

Severine. The Duke is dying.

Marquis. I am distracted, dear Severine, to think that
today of all days I should have brought you to this
place.

Severine. Why not? {In a strained tone.) It is a won-
derful success. One does not see a real duke really
murdered every day.

RoLLiN. I cannot grasp it yet.

CoMMissAiRE. Silence ! Let no one leave the place !

Grasset. What does he want?




Permission Albert Langen, Munich



Uju^ ^^^'u^kt ■■




From Olaf Gulbransson's "Famous Contemporaries"



THE GEEEN COCKATOO 331

CoMMissAiKE. I arrest this man in the name of the law.

Gkasset (laughs). It is we who make the laws, you block-
heads ! Out with the rabble ! He who kills a duke is
a friend of the people. Vive la Liberte !

Albin (draws his sword). Make way! Follow me, my
friends! [Leocadie rushes in over the steps.]

Voices. His wife !

Leocadie. Let me in here. I want my husband! (She
comes to the front, sees, and shrieks out.) Who has
done this? Henri! [Henri looks at her.]

Leocadie. Why have you done this?

Henki. Why?

Leocadie. I know why. Because of me. Nay, nay, say
not 'twas because of me. Never in all my life have I
been worth that.

Grasset (begins a speech). Citizens of Paris, we will cele-
brate our victory. Chance has led us on our way
through the streets of Paris to this amiable host. It
could not have fitted in more prettily. Nowhere can
the cry "Vive la Liberte!" ring sweeter than over
the corpse of a duke.

Voices. Vive la Liberte ! Vive la Liberte !

Francois. I think we might go. The people have gone
mad. Let us go.

Albin. Shall we leave the corpse here?

Severine. Vive la Liberte ! Vive la Liberte !

Marquis. \re you mad?

Citizens and Actors. Vive la Liberte! Vive la Liberte!

Severine (leading the nobles to the exit). Rollin, wait you
tonight outside my window. I will throw the key down
like t'other night. We will pass a pretty hour — I feel
quite pleasurably excited.

Shouts. Vive la Liberte! Vive Henri! Vive Henri!

Lebret. Look at the fellows — they are running away
from us.

Grasset. Let them for tonight — let them; they will not
escape us.



LITERATURE

A Comedy iisr One Act



CHARACTERS

Maegaeet
Clement

GiLBEBT



[332]



LITERATURE (1902)

By Arthur SchnitzijEr

translated by a. i. du p. coleman, a.m.

Professor of English Literature, College of the City of New York

Scene, a decently hut not richly furnished room, belonging to MARGARET.
Table, small writing-desk, chairs, a cupboard, two windows up stage,
doors right and left. At rise of curtain, Clement is discovered leaning
against mantelpiece, in a very elegant dark gray morning suit, smoking
a cigarette and reading a neivspaper. Margaret stands by window,
then walks up and down, finally comes behind Clement and runs her
hands through his hair. She seems rather restless. Clement goes on
reading, then seizes her hand and kisses it.

?.^?-€".?" J LiEMENT. Horner is sure of his game — or
^^^^^^^fi rather my game. Waterloo five to one,

flf( © J p Barometer twenty to one, Busserl seven

s^^^^^^ to one, Attila sixteen to one.

1 CglHgetcg I '

Margaret. Sixteen to one!

Clement. Lord Byron six to four — that's us, darling!

Margaret. I know.

Clement. Besides, it's still six weeks to the race.

Margaret. Apparently he thinks it's a dead certainty.

Clement. The way she knows all the terms . . . !

Margaret. I've known these terms longer than I have you.
And is it quite settled that you'll ride Lord Byron
yourself ?

Clement. How can you ask? The Ladies' Plate! Whom
else should I put up? If Horner didn't know I was
going to ride him myself, he wouldn't be standing at
six to four, you may be sure of that.

Margaret. I believe you. You're so handsome on horse-
back—simply fit to take one's breath away! I shall
never forget how you looked at Munich, the day I got
to know you . . .

[333]



334 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

Clement. Don't remind me of it! I had awful luck that

day. Windisch would never have won the race if he

hadn 't got ten lengths start. But this time — ah . . . !

And the next day w^e go aw^ay.
Maegaret. In the evening.
Clement. Yes . . . But why?
Margaeet. Because in the morning we shall be getting

married, I suppose.
Clement. Yes, yes, darling.
Margaret. I'm so happy! (Embraces him.) And where

shall we go?
Clement. I thought we'd agreed about that — to my place

in the country.
Margaret. Yes, later. But can't we have a little while

on the Riviera first?
Clement. That'll depend on the Ladies' Plate; if I win

it . . .
Margaret. Dead certainty!
Clement. And anyhow, in April the Riviera really isn't

the thing any more.
Margaret. Oh, that's it, is it?
Clement. Of course that's it, child. You've retained

from your old life certain conceptions of what's the

thing which are — you'll forgive me for saying it —

just a little like those of the comic papers.
Margaret. Really, Clement . . .
Clement. Oh well, we'll see. (Goes on reading.) Bade-

gast fifteen to one . . .
Margaret. Badegast? He won't be in it.
Clement. How do you know that?
Margaret. Szigrati himself told me.
Clement. How was that? "V^Hiere?
Margaret. Why, yesterday up at the Freudenau, while

you were talking to Milner.
Clement. To my way of thinking, Szigrati isn't the right

sort of company for you.
Margaret. Jealous 1



LITERATURE 335

Clement. Nonsense! Anyhow, after this I shall intro-
duce you everywhere as my fiancee. {She kisses him.)
Well, what did Szigrati tell you?

Maegaeet. That he w^asn't going to enter Badegast for
the Ladies' Plate.

Clement. Oh, you mustn't believe everything Szigrati
tells you. He's spreading the report that Badegast
won't run just in order that the odds may be longer.

Maegaeet. Why, that's just like speculation.

Clement. Well, don't you suppose we've got any specu-
lators among us? For many men the whole thing is
a business. Do you suppose a man like Szigrati has
the slightest feeling for sport? He might just as well
be on the stock exchange. But for the matter of that,
as far as Badegast is concerned, people might well
lay a hundred to one against him.

Maegaeet. Oh ? I thought he looked splendid this morning.

Clement. Oh, she's seen Badegast too!

Maegaeet. To be sure — didn't Butters give him a gallop
this morning after Busserl?

Clement. But Butters doesn't ride for Szigrati. That
must have been a stable-boy. Well, anyhow, Badegast
may look as splendid as you like, it makes no difference
— he 's no good. Ah, Margaret, with your brains you '11
soon learn to distinguish real greatness from false.
It's really incredible, the quickness wdth which you've
alread^^ — what shall I say? — initiated yourself into
all these things — it surpasses my boldest expectations.

Maegaeet (annoyed). Why does it surpass your expecta-
tions? You know very well that all these things are
not so new to me. Some very good people used to
visit my parents' house — Count Libowski and various
others; and also at my husband's . . .

Clement. Oh, of course — I know ... At bottom I've
really got nothing against the cotton business.

Maegaeet. What has it to do with my personal views that
my husband had a cotton factory? I always continued
my education in my own fashion. But let's not talk



336 THE GERMAN CLASSICS

any further about those days — they're far enough
away, thank God!

Clement. But there are others that are nearer.

Margaret. To be sure. But what does that mean!

Clement. Oh, I only mean that in your Munich surround-
ings you can't have heard much of sporting matters,
as far as I am able to judge.

Margaret. I wish you'd stop reproaching me with the
surroundings in w^hieh you learned to know me.

Clement. Reproaching you? There can't be any ques-
tion of that. But it has always been and still is in-
comprehensible to me how you got in with those people.

Margaret. You talk exactly as if they had been a gang of
criminals !

Clement, Child, I give you my word, there were some of
them that looked exactly like highway-robbers. What
I can't understand is how you, with your well-devel-
oped sense of . . . Well, I won't say anything more
than your taste for . . . cleanliness and nice per-
fumes . . . could bear living among those people,
sitting down at the table with them.

Margaret {smiling). Didn't you do it too?

Clement. I sat down near them — not with them. And
you know it was for your sake, exclusively for your
sake, that I did it. I won't deny that some of them
improved on closer acquaintance; there were some
really interesting people among them. And you
mustn't get the idea, darling, that when I'm among
ill-dressed people I have a feeling of conscious superi-
ority. It's not that — but there's something in their
whole bearing, in their very nature, that makes one
nervous.

Margaret. Oh, I think that's rather a sweeping statement.

Clement. Now don 't get offended with me, darling. I 've
just said there were some very interesting people
among them. But how a ladi/ can feel at home with
them for any length of time, I shall never be able to
understand.



LITERATURE 337

Margaket. You forget one thing, my dear Clement — that
in a certain sense I belong to their circle, or did belong
to it.

Clement. You — I beg your pardon!

Margaret. They were artists.

Clement. Ah good — we're back on that subject again!

Margaret. Yes — and that's the thing that always hurts
me, that you can't feel with me there.

Clement. ' ' Can 't feel with you " . . .1 like that ! I
can feel with you all right — but you know what it was
J always disliked about your scribbling, and you know
that it's a very personal thing.

Margaret. Well, there are women who in my situation
at that time would have done worse things than write
poetry.

Clement. But such poetry! {He picks up a little hook
on the mantelpiece.) That's the whole question. I



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