What are you a snob about

THE SNOB

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Der Snob, by Carl Sternheim This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org/license Title: Der Snob Author: Carl Sternheim Release Date: August 11, 2019 [EBook # 60089] Language: German Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DER SNOB *** Produced by Peter Becker and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http: //www.pgdp. net (This transcription was produced from images generously made available by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek / Bavarian State Library.)

Comedy in three acts

of

Carl Sternheim


Leipzig
at Insel-Verlag
1914

PEOPLE:

THEOBALD MASK

LUISE MASKE, his wife

CHRISTIAN MASKE, his son

Count ALOYSIUS PALEN

MARIANNE PALEN, his daughter

SYBIL HULL

A maid

A servant


THE FIRST ELEVATOR

[S. 9]

Furnished room Christian Maskes.

FIRST APPEARANCE

Christian vomits a letter:

This is grotesque!

On a door:

Come out, Sybil.

SYBIL occurs:

What's important?

CHRISTIAN:

My father in his sixtieth year made himself a bastard. In a tight spot he asks me to "defer the obligations owed to him through obstetric practices". What are you saying?

SYBIL:

Nothing but that through you I would like to be in the same position as that woman through your father.

CHRISTIAN:

Leave the foolishness. It is screaming and will have an unexpected counterplay for me. Furthermore - I have to talk seriously to you too.

SYBIL:

I have to go home.

CHRISTIAN:

Yesterday was a chapter in my life. Four years that you lived with me, you saw me getting closer to my goal from day to day.

SYBIL:

You worked like a negro.

[S. 10]

CHRISTIAN:

The African mines that I founded are prospering, there is no doubt that the proposal made yesterday at the meeting of the Supervisory Board to appoint me as General Manager of the company has been accepted by the shareholders.

SYBIL:

What a success!

CHRISTIAN:

I secretly own a fifth of the stocks I bought when no one liked them. What I, now in the saddle, foresee in terms of wealth and social position is brilliant.

SYBIL:

Who first pointed out your commercial talents and put an end to the sad study of philology?

CHRISTIAN:

You lifted me out of the deepest misery, taught me to wear clothes properly, gave me, as far as it was in your power, manners.

SYBIL:

What kind of apparition you were in too shorts and frayed sleeves!

CHRISTIAN:

Gave yourself and money from time to time.

SYBIL:

The last thing that matters - myself. A matter of life.

[S. 11]

CHRISTIAN:

I would like to make it very clear to both of us how deeply I am indebted to you; look back on such a crucial day ...

SYBIL:

Leave it.

CHRISTIAN:

Full of gratitude to then compare myself and forget it forever.

SYBIL:

That would be convenient.

CHRISTIAN:

I will not step into a new quarter of my life without paying the debt from the previous one. In this book I have recorded to the best of my knowledge and belief what expenses you have done for me. In addition, I paid five percent interest on the sum.

SYBIL:

Christian!

CHRISTIAN:

Opportunities which you missed by dealing with me are envisaged, and I came up with a sum of twenty-four thousand marks which I owe you and which you will receive today.

SYBIL after a break:

To come with sensitivities ...

CHRISTIAN:

Which you yourself pulled away from me in decisive matters, swept out of me with an iron broom. Today [p. 12] is billing. No errors in the addition and in the calculation! Our relationships in the past are explained by my economic ties in their long character. For the future, I would no longer have such a justification in front of myself. In order to have the necessary faith in the reality of my new position, everything around me must change accordingly. Either you draw this conclusion of reason ...

SYBIL:

His name is?

CHRISTIAN:

How do i say it? Simply more distance in the future. The sum mentioned and a monthly allowance between us will take care of that.

SYBIL:

I am torn apart in sensations.

CHRISTIAN:

You know I am right by your tenets. It just hurts to see it applied to you. I enter public life. Nowhere an error in the calculation.

SYBIL:

The world allows you a paid ...

CHRISTIAN covers her mouth:

And so on.

SYBIL:

Am I the only point in your life that was worrying about the future? Is there nothing that could disturb you more decisively in your drive to gain civil status than I in my previous position towards you?

[S. 13]

CHRISTIAN:

You know it.

SYBIL:

Do you want to act logically ...

CHRISTIAN:

I make no secret of it. What I am myself, appearance and world of thoughts, I vouch for the world. But my parents, as you know, are people from the people.

SYBIL:

So do you dive into the world now ...

CHRISTIAN:

Let me think my thoughts for myself. You know I can. People from the people. My good mother especially.

SYBIL:

They couldn't teach you the most socially primitive things.

CHRISTIAN:

The path I take is a particularly unusual one because of my birth. It is obvious that it would be wrong to clearly maintain the abyss between tradition and an established position by dragging the producers out. It would be more than foolish and tasteless.

SYBIL:

And since today you only worship good taste ...

CHRISTIAN:

Ironies on the guilty conscience of your own past don't work. What does anyone know? 14] of yours Parents? You simply suppressed them, murdered them quietly. Maybe your father was in prison? Was he really called Hull?

He laughs:

You would have the charm that makes you live. In any case he had qualities, since the splendor of such a daughter emanated from him.

You interrupted me with your interlude. The difference between origin and today is explained. But there is also: the consciousness to owe at all, be it life, is a weak point in my armor. How everything in my world arose from me, how I only refer to myself, how I hope and fear for myself, I must be free from consideration for anyone in order to march. And so I fear father and mother.

SYBIL:

What you wanna do? Offer them a sum to stay away?

CHRISTIAN:

My father is not shy; here he demands it himself.

SYBIL:

You learned how to handle money.

CHRISTIAN:

I've learned a lot.

SYBIL:

And since you are consistent, those who love you have to agree with a heavy heart.

[S. 15]

CHRISTIAN:

I hope that my parents will give the same insight. Are we united?

SYBIL:

I'm experiencing the change right now: looking at you from a distance with a trace of submissiveness.

CHRISTIAN:

Things do not gain truth when they are spoken; if you do it.

SYBIL:

But in terms of clarity.

CHRISTIAN:

Smart mind.

SYBIL:

I love you christian You're the flaw in the reckoning of my life I would give the twenty-four thousand for your property now.

CHRISTIAN:

This is how you deserve to die in need and misery. Take a kiss for free - You moved my tie.

SYBIL:

She was already infamous before.

CHRISTIAN:

As much as I learned from you, I couldn't grasp that alone: ​​the perfect fit of a tie. Show me for the hundredth time.

SYBIL ties the tie around the neck of a large vase:

First, simply loop the knot. Second, under [S. 16] put one end as a stitch. Pulling through the other third.

CHRISTIAN:

Stands out a little on the right.

SYBIL:

You cut it away with scissors.

CHRISTIAN:

Each tie costs a tie.

SYBIL:

And brings in: the recognition of those who understand.

CHRISTIAN:

What matters in all things.

SYBIL, deep curtsey:

Devoted servant, General Manager.

CHRISTIAN:

No kidding.

SYBIL:

I fully understood.

Sybil exit.

SECOND APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN:

Pleasant person all in all.

At the desk:

But now put your mind together.

He writes:

[S. 17]

“Dear Count Palen, the invitation to the 26. d. Month I accept with sincere thanks. «Suffering thanks? Want to see. "Recommendations to the Countess." Too familiar. Partly surrendered, part too familiar. Above all, he mustn't notice how much I like to come. The paper is wrong. Better arch with company head: Secretariat of the Monambominen. "Dear Count of Palen". Like the inserted »of" distant! As the first written statement on my part in this group, the matter must be perfectly correct and yet somehow significant. How does he write himself?

“Dear Herr Maske, would you like to have dinner with us on the 26th, tout en petit comité? Yours. ”On cheap, plain paper. That has the tone of amicable, superficial familiarity. »dinner«Is heavenly! Let's stay a bit more formal, but in such a way that at least - I would like to throw in a Latin word that makes the tenor masculine.

How do you become important for a moment with four five syllables of such brains? It's a question of price, but it has to be resolved. A five-syllable with lots of vowels and rolling time to start with.

He walks across the room:

Dúm da da dúm da. Unsolicited. The second syllable is longer than the first to my ear. Wrong tact. - Pränumerándo - that's it in the tone, but of course it doesn't make any sense. Dúm da da dúm da. I have to find it.

THIRD APPEARANCE

THEOBALD MASK occurs:

There I am. Mother is waiting downstairs.

[S. 18]

CHRISTIAN:

Father!

THEOBALD:

The mishap happened against my will. I hate bang effects. But always the same in the case of women. Now we should face the matter.

CHRISTIAN:

You've given a surprise every year since you retired.

THEOBALD:

I shouldn't have got off my track. You made me do nothing too soon. The forces are not lame and diverge into the manifold in all directions. I have to find a mode with her first.

CHRISTIAN:

Above all I call mother up.

THEOBALD:

We have our business first.

CHRISTIAN:

We arrange them with everything else without anyone else understanding.

THEOBALD:

How?

CHRISTIAN:

A sum will be mentioned in our discussions.

THEOBALD:

In what way? What's up?

[S. 19]

CHRISTIAN:

I say a sum, a multiple of thousands. You may, if we both agree during the argument, tacitly add a thousand marks for your embarrassment.

THEOBALD:

Do you have conditions?

CHRISTIAN:

I set conditions.

THEOBALD:

I'm curious about that.

CHRISTIAN at the window:

There she is.

He waves:

She saw coming. - But the impossible costume! At the beginning you said a word that struck me.

THEOBALD:

In which context?

CHRISTIAN:

It had a different rhythm; but it did ring out. Remind me later, in a moment ...

THEOBALD:

A thousand marks?

CHRISTIAN:

If we can otherwise come to terms.

Exit.

THEOBALD:

I will stay excited.

[S. 20]

FOURTH APPEARANCE

Enter Christian and Luise Maske.

THEOBALD:

Straighten your hat, Luise. He stands in your forehead like a student striker. We want to move here to the big city, I'll get involved with it in some way and keep myself alive inside.

LUISE:

It's such an idea from father.

CHRISTIAN:

At a time when my intense attention is focused on the goal I have in mind, I could not find a spare moment for you.

LUISE:

Then of course - I thought so.

THEOBALD:

We are used to lately, you care little about us. What kind of goal is that?

CHRISTIAN:

I have the prospect of becoming General Manager of the company I work for.

LUISE:

General!

THEOBALD reigns at her:

Director!

CHRISTIAN:

If I am to achieve something extraordinary, you have to show consideration, and this consideration requires above all ...

[S. 21]

THEOBALD:

Allow ... We bent over backwards for twenty years, gave you an education that is impressive. Often there was no Sunday roast. Because we loved you like a monkey.

LUISE quietly to himself:

General Director.

CHRISTIAN:

Dúm there there ...

THEOBALD:

We ducked so you could come to a better world. We have come to years on that, and today it is like this: if we want to have something from you, we have to hurry.

CHRISTIAN:

I want to eliminate a gross mistake immediately: since I was sixteen, I have not known a single victim on your part for me.

THEOBALD:

That's strong!

LUISE:

Father!

CHRISTIAN:

I have always remembered how you took four fifths of the space in the house, every thought revolved around you. Even at high school, I kept myself up by giving lessons, and I paid for my studies and further life myself.

Anyone who forced a seventeen-year-old son to eat lunch standing in the presence of his father ...

[S. 22]

THEOBALD:

I loved you like a monkey. You were a delicious little guy. Is it true, mother?

LUISE shows:

So small.

CHRISTIAN:

Always preoccupied with yourself, you have not looked at my life to this day. Lately you may have noticed a very noticeable change, my broader lifestyle.

THEOBALD:

This is boring. In short - what should be?

CHRISTIAN:

You will meet me on a day when I am taking stock of my past life. I'm not taking on the wrong post.

LUISE:

What does he mean?

THEOBALD:

Will you hear.

CHRISTIAN:

As far as I can remember, I have recorded in this book what expenditure has actually been made for me. In addition, five percent interest was paid on the sum.

THEOBALD:

Do you want a settlement?

CHRISTIAN:

Yes.

[S. 23]

THEOBALD sits down:

Let me see.

He puts on glasses.

LUISE:

What do you think?

CHRISTIAN:

It's coming, mother.

THEOBALD read:

Maintenance from the first to the sixteenth year - six hundred marks per annum. Six hundred marks including the doctor and pharmacist is a bit meager.

CHRISTIAN:

I wasn't sick.

THEOBALD:

Measles and common cold come to mind. I see your eternal snot nose in front of me. We used chamomile rinses.

LUISE:

One morning you had a fever of 40 degrees, I couldn't feel my heart anymore.

CHRISTIAN:

The sum used is sufficient.

LUISE:

Circular red spots all over the bodice.

THEOBALD:

Sixteen times six hundred is nine thousand six hundred marks. Look at it. "One-off benefits." How do you want to get all benefits through [p. 24] remember sixteen years? They are legion. The post is dubious from the start.

CHRISTIAN:

On my part, you will not find anything that has been given in the last few days.

THEOBALD:

That would be even better.

CHRISTIAN to himself:

I would give something for the word.

He stares at the letter on the desk.

LUISE shy to him:

And once the ulcer on the neck.

CHRISTIAN:

Right, mother.

THEOBALD:

Half a dozen shirt-cloth shirts and collars, two pairs of boots when I went to university - fifty marks. A gold ring - that's where everything ends! The woman put the ring on the boy after all. And then I returned the bottom line to find him again.

CHRISTIAN:

It was mother's property and her companion in life.

THEOBALD:

He is paid for with a hundred marks.

LUISE:

Are you still wearing it?

[S. 25]

CHRISTIAN shows him on the finger:

Although it is getting closer to me every day.

THEOBALD:

After all, a great affair and really Luise. Grand total around eleven thousand. Eleven thousand eight hundred marks including interest.

CHRISTIAN with emphasis:

Eleven thousand eight hundred.

Clears his throat.

THEOBALD:

Understand; you want to pay me

CHRISTIAN:

I owe you

THEOBALD:

Do you want to get rid of this guilt?

CHRISTIAN:

I will pay.

LUISE his hand in hands:

You can go on with it.

THEOBALD:

Take a look! That's what I call noble, my dear good boy. Apart from how you treat the story.

He hugs him:

There is some research in it, and we really appreciate it. So one would be united in the most perfect way.

CHRISTIAN:

You have expressed your intention to relocate here. I dont want that.

[S. 26]

THEOBALD:

Are you dictating to me

CHRISTIAN:

I am doing you one favor by paying out the money and expecting a different one from you.

THEOBALD:

I had it in my head.

LUISE:

The boy must have reasons.

THEOBALD:

The woman drives me crazy! No sensible word is possible in their presence.

CHRISTIAN leads Luise to the door:

Do you want to see how I usually live and sleep, mother?

LUISE quietly:

Just keep calm. Everything happens as you want.

Exit.

CHRISTIAN:

As I said, your being here would break forces that I need overall.

THEOBALD:

Is it the condition for the eleven thousand eight hundred and so on?

CHRISTIAN:

Requirement.

THEOBALD:

It is simply a question of thinking: where is our advantage after all? Because ape love aside, one must in [p. 27] secured districts live. What does the sum raise for a pension?

CHRISTIAN:

Six hundred marks in industrial papers.

THEOBALD:

Are you forsaken by God! The savings bank gets my money.

CHRISTIAN:

Around five hundred.

THEOBALD:

It's not lush. Eleven thousand starts up. Five hundred is for the cat, and for that I should give up my freedom, the humble man's only good? You have to think about it calmly, consider reasons and counter-reasons. No - I really promise you in man's word, we'll stay where we are ...

CHRISTIAN:

I dont want that.

THEOBALD:

You do not want that; not this and not that? In the world what is going on here?

CHRISTIAN:

Your attack today proves that I would not be safe from your visits in the future either.

THEOBALD:

Assault - that is yes!

CHRISTIAN:

Meant in the sense discussed. My life is about to take a complete turn. I have to, for the next [p. 28] Above all, time to be free from relational considerations.

THEOBALD:

That is unprecedented in world history! And we, who saved the butter off our bread because of you, piled sacrifice upon sacrifice in spite of your objection? Can you imagine parents without sacrifice? Doesn't every breath of such a small range mean a diminution of some enjoyment of the ancients? Doesn't it bother you in your sleep, at lunch, in any comfort? It always has a defect that has to be repaired with trouble and expense. Sometimes it blows in front, sometimes not in the back. Plus a series of silly celebrations to incommodate around.

Loud to Christian, who is sitting in an armchair in silence:

Beautiful filial love that!

Strikes a table with a clenched fist:

Beautiful filial love!

LUISE sticks his head through the door and makes reassuring signs to Christian, unseen by Theobald:

I do care.

THEOBALD:

How?

Since Christian remains silent, he throws himself into a chair away from him and says calmly:

If I had known, you would have drowned in your first bath.

Break.

THEOBALD:

And yet they are more than a hundred kilometers away from you. That is the much-vaunted filial love. Yes / Yes.

[S. 29]

He laughs:

Ha!

And practical? How do you see the matter practically? If we can get by with my pension and the five hundred in a pinch, no one will expect us to accept the inconveniences of moving and the difficulties of establishing a new residence without an equivalent.

CHRISTIAN:

Nobody will expect you to do that.

THEOBALD:

Without a significant equivalent. Who will do it?

CHRISTIAN:

Maybe me.

THEOBALD:

Look at it.

CHRISTIAN:

We also have a whole range of cities in Europe that are distinguished by scenic attractions and economic advantages, if you do not prefer America from the outset.

THEOBALD:

What?!

CHRISTIAN:

Good Good.

He picked up a large atlas and a baedeker:

Brussels, for example, could be an option.

[S. 30]

Reads from the book:

Brussels, the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium, with eight hundred thousand inhabitants. The city is located in a fertile area on the banks of the Senne, a tributary of the Scheldt. The upper town with the state buildings is the seat of the aristocracy and noble society.

THEOBALD, who sits comfortably and listens reverently:

Not bad, show the book.

He reads aloud:

“And the high society. French language and customs. 'And you think a German out of grit and grain lets himself be induced to adopt which customs? Basta!

CHRISTIAN:

Where I thought first and foremost is Zurich. A completely ideal stay, a little paradise in every way. And the language is German.

THEOBALD:

Let me hear about it.

CHRISTIAN reads from another volume:

With almost two hundred thousand inhabitants, Zurich is the most important city in Switzerland on Lake Zurich and the evergreen Limmat.

THEOBALD:

Usually they say evergreen of the fir tree.

CHRISTIAN:

The Sihl, which rushes in spring, flows on the west side.

[S. 31]

THEOBALD:

That is already superfluous, it would be enough water. It's a shame I can't swim.

Christian read:

The location of the city is wonderful on the crystal clear lake, the gently sloping banks of which are dotted with tall houses, orchards and vineyards.

THEOBALD:

Cute.

CHRISTIAN read:

In the background the snow-capped Alps, on the far left the mighty ridge of the Glärnisch greets you.

He shows in the atlas:

Here the white!

THEOBALD:

Devil!

CHRISTIAN read:

The kitchen is good. The population coarse and honest.

THEOBALD:

So to speak.

CHRISTIAN:

In addition, excursions into the gorgeous surroundings.

THEOBALD:

The pure Canaan.

CHRISTIAN:

Lucerne and Interlaken, yes, the entire Alpine region is directly accessible to you, in a sense your property. Do you have any idea what an alpenglow means?

[S. 32]

THEOBALD:

What next?

CHRISTIAN:

A natural spectacle of brilliant magnificence, a nonpareille. In Zurich I could, on condition that you leave me to myself for the next few years, round up your earnings to a sufficient pension.

THEOBALD after a break:

I have purely human concerns.

CHRISTIAN:

Refrain from any comments.

THEOBALD:

One should speak out.

CHRISTIAN:

The life of someone like me is made up of facts. You stop me by talking. Another important thing is waiting behind this one.

THEOBALD:

I am sixty years today, your mother almost as old. We haven't had a lot of good things in life, and we won't be with you in this world for much longer.

CHRISTIAN:

Don't you feel that this tone is unimpressive to more powerful things? The hour will come when we can talk about the individual items comfortably. Now it's blow by blow. Two thousand four hundred francs come from me annually to your income. You will be relocated in three weeks. Quickly, [p. 33] Father, my bowels are on fire. The struggle for the visible place in life is tremendous, and there are innumerable people. Where I skip an inch, a legion pushes in the crotch.

THEOBALD:

I'm really puffed up. Never seen a creature like this. How am I supposed to come to terms with all these novelties, when to see where for me the higher meaning shows itself in them?

CHRISTIAN:

Here now. I'll give you five minutes.

THEOBALD:

So I'll follow you undecided and will be like a drowsy and half-drowned man.

CHRISTIAN:

Trust!

THEOBALD:

Where should the higher meaning be for me?

CHRISTIAN:

Later. Deal, father?

THEOBALD:

Donner and Doria! My whole world is messed up.

CHRISTIAN:

Two thousand four hundred, that's nineteen hundred marks.

THEOBALD:

And five hundred - makes nearly five thousand six hundred with mine.

[S. 34]

CHRISTIAN:

Seven thousand francs.

At the door: Mother!

THEOBALD:

On the Limmat? I am rigid.

CHRISTIAN hands him atlas and travel books:

Inform you.

LUISE Enter, quietly to Christian:

I'll see to it that everything happens. That cloth on your bedside table, such linen, lace and batiste - oh Christel, be careful with the women. Seduction to enjoyment, I know it happens to everyone. But then you have children and become general manager and can proudly say before God: my mother was flawless!

THEOBALD stunned:

Among Tyroleans!

LUISE:

That is also something. A wonderful reward.

CHRISTIAN:

Certainly, mother.

Hug her.

LUISE in going out:

My Christel.

Luise, Theobald, Christian exeunt.

FIFTH APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN comes back quickly:

I almost had the word once.

[S. 35]

He looks in the letter:

He said it in connection with his early retirement, and that his strength was now wandering - where - where? In - manifold! That's it!

He writes:

"The diversity of business, dear Count Palen, unfortunately prevents me from accepting your gracious invitation." So it turned out to be a refusal, but who knows what it's good for.

It rang. Exit.

SIXTH APPEARANCE

Christian and Count Palen appear immediately afterwards.

COUNT:

I come to go over the question of your appointment with you personally. Before it validly offers them to the shareholders, the supervisory board must know exactly what the company has to expect from you. As an enemy of business disputes, I asked Baron Rohrschach to take over the visit, but it was considered more appropriate for me to sort things out, since my relations with you are more intimate.

CHRISTIAN:

Thank you, Count.

COUNT:

The Monambominen are the endeavors of a small group of people who share the same convictions. Now also have shops and [S. 36] social outlook does not necessarily have a connection, but it is understandable that one wants a man at the head of his business who, according to his whole view of life, belongs to us.

Christian bows.

COUNT:

We now believe that we have found in you someone who skillfully combines the even rarer gift of having a feeling for the values ​​of refined taste achieved through cult, which is particularly appropriate where the brutal truth of numbers is an important counterbalance calls.

Christian bows.

COUNT:

You have often expressed yourself to me on questions of life in a sense which agrees entirely with the opinion of our circles, almost surpasses it in sharpness. Using the vocabulary of the Liberal Party, I would describe him as aristocratically reactionary,

he laughs.

and what touched me the most, the urgency of your lecture seemed to indicate a matter of the heart. Sorry?

CHRISTIAN:

It is so.

COUNT:

Strange. Gives cause for reflection. I am penetrated. You come from an excellent house. Your upbringing is even complete in the sense that you recognized on the basis of certain self-evident [p. Of the special features that we have achieved, the inconspicuous uniform is the right thing to do. You can see it in gestures, but also in the seat of a tie. In short, what we are still missing is some kind of assurance you have given, the setting down in a binding sentence that we can present to those involved as your commitment.

CHRISTIAN:

I understand.

COUNT:

In the case of Rohrschach, the predicate "baron" means nothing more than this sentence, provided that the man is not a declassed man. Certain guarantees in certain directions. In the case of commoners, striking deeds by ancestors can provide conditional guarantees.

CHRISTIAN:

Which is out of the question in my case.

COUNT:

Which judgment by no means includes any rebuke. Even families who have achieved too high a civil reputation are content with this good, which includes all members. It is enough for you to find the gripping word from the social superiority stored up in you by your forefathers. I do not have the pleasure of meeting your father, your parents, in short ...

CHRISTIAN:

Dead. Everything dead.

COUNT:

And I am pleased to say that you are sufficient for me as a representative. I see you moved

[S. 38]

CHRISTIAN:

It's me, Count, at the moment when I am allowed to say what has moved my heart since my youth, when I am supposed to say it: I have never had any other longing than to be like those who are externally visible in a nobility diploma Nobility of the deeds of their ancestors carry, at their side, accepted by them as helpers, to be allowed to enforce the principles of which they are historical representatives. It is not my place to list the sacrifices I have already made to this goal, but I am ready to swear into your hand that my earthly life is dedicated to him.

COUNT:

You're a great guy, all of a piece. At that moment you convinced me. I thank. Believe you can vouch for your appointment. Am I allowed to smoke? Will you accept my invitation to Friday?

CHRISTIAN:

This means ...

COUNT:

How come?

CHRISTIAN:

So then - in spite of that Manifold my business.

COUNT:

Believe you are working. In my daughter Marianne you will find someone who takes a liking to a character like this.

[S. 39]

CHRISTIAN:

I heard talk of the important gifts of the countess on several occasions.

COUNT:

Enchanté, dear mask.

CHRISTIAN:

Take my thanks, Herr Graf.

COUNT:

Mr Graf? So also sense of the nuance.

CHRISTIAN:

On the ground of the requirement of other uniformity.

COUNT:

Ingenious and very charming, dear friend.

Exit.

CHRISTIAN, who accompanies him to the door, returns, glances in the mirror and then begins to tie a tie on a vase:

First, simple knot. Underlay one end as a stitch. Pulling through the other. And now the scissors.

He cuts:

What annoys you - your left eye, throw it away from you. This tie fits perfectly. That is achieved!


THE SECOND ELEVATOR

[S. 43]

Salon at Christian Maske.

FIRST APPEARANCE

COUNT:

According to the servant, he must be back immediately.

MARIANNE:

We arrived ten minutes before the appointed time. - There is the corot.

COUNT:

That gives the pretext for our visit.

MARIANNE:

A nice picture. Lucky to be able to live with things like that.

COUNT:

It can be you.

MARIANNE:

As his wife? Are you serious father

COUNT:

Ernst, Marianne. Haven't we both been occupied with the idea for weeks without discussing it? The man's appearance was so urgent lately ...

MARIANNE:

Does he love me?

COUNT:

Don't we want to ask differently? Would you take it too, if it did not have the riches that save us from a series of difficult circumstances?

MARIANNE:

I cannot answer that question. When you brought him for the first time, I hardly knew who he was; [p. 44] nothing of his situation. My feeling decided freely. I feel how every thing on which he throws his will must finally surrender with the happiness out of which one bows to a force of nature.

COUNT:

Tiens!

MARIANNE:

Yes, father, this is the decision for Marianne.

COUNT:

I assumed you would have to overcome resistance within yourself.

MARIANNE:

They are all still undefeated. We did not get close, our conversation never left the convention, but I felt that he stepped up to me and my person stood up, attacked, at how he, just he, could throw me down completely.

COUNT:

I care about him.

MARIANNE:

Why? Do you know of a move he made that was incorrect?

COUNT:

No.

MARIANNE:

Does he live by our laws?

COUNT:

Absolutely. But it is precisely against this that my mind is ultimately reluctant. I've been watching him for two years [p. 45] and what touched me at first almost horrifies me now. Does this commoner really follow his nature, does he live our life, how do we differ from him? You know, I consider nobility to be a product of breeding with regard to values ​​that have their essence in time, that is, cannot be achieved in a generation. As the Duke of Devonshire, envied by a newcomer for the splendor of the lawns in his gardens, and when asked for advice on the care, replied that in order to preserve it one must do nothing but the lawn for a few centuries early in the morning brush hard for a long time. Voilà.I have never tried anything unusual in my life, I was just a nobleman with the awareness of innate peculiarities. If this man reveals that there is no need for ancestors to possess certain priceless goods, my importance to myself is denied.

MARIANNE:

Can an extraordinary understanding not grasp the sum of what is peculiar to us, with the urgency of working on oneself, not catching up with slow refinement through generations?

COUNT:

Property of whatever kind is acquired. If it lacks this characteristic, it is borrowed, and the moment comes when unfavorable lighting, some mishap, reveals the pretense. I expect the moment from this man.

MARIANNE:

So you too are caught up in his life.

[S. 46]

COUNT:

But not to let him defeat me, but to discover the gaping wound on him that throws him down. Yes, even to teach him on occasion.

MARIANNE:

So it could be fate, I stand against you.

COUNT:

God forbid!

MARIANNE:

You forbid it. From this man I receive the first full sensation of my life. It is still raving about unexplained, and defense is mixed with luck. A blissful secret that of course wants to be discovered, but refuses to be guided.

COUNT:

But is he exposing himself before our eyes?

MARIANNE:

On the contrary, it will come to us more and more impenetrable and surprising. The few signs that I have of his person give me the certainty that he is extraordinary and above our foresight.

COUNT:

Marianne!

MARIANNE:

So believe, that's how I feel, father. But whatever may come, you made me live a wonderful youth. I have had twenty-five happy years because of your kindness.

[S. 47]

COUNT:

I was too indulgent.

MARIANNE:

And it will be further on.

COUNT:

Only to the limit of what is possible.

MARIANNE urgent:

Love is the limit.

SECOND APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN occurs quickly in riding suit:

Most gracious countess. Count. At least I can apologize that the Colonial Minister stopped me and wanted my advice.

COUNT:

He is full of praise for you and will soon present you to our most gracious majesty.

CHRISTIAN:

It would have taken geniuses to decide his question, which I do not have. In matters that concern the welfare of the state, the immense responsibility breaks the power of every opinion that is not conscious of God.

COUNT:

Magnifique! What did you ride today?

CHRISTIAN:

A chamant shoot from Miss Gorse. - Do you like the picture, Countess?

[S. 48]

MARIANNE:

I do not have enough judgment on such matters. But it takes hold of me.

CHRISTIAN:

It is not a Corot masterpiece; Values ​​and tonality, however, are strange.

COUNT:

Can you determine something like that?

CHRISTIAN:

In my life I have seen two to three hundred pictures by the painter.

COUNT:

Where do you get the time from?

CHRISTIAN:

I hardly take them. Little more than a flash of lightning came to me from the first canvas. But it lit, and I was alive for the rest of it.

To Marianne:

So it goes with all things.

COUNT:

We have to go.

To Marianne:

For half past eleven you've announced yourself to Friesens.

CHRISTIAN to the count:

Are you going with the countess or may I ask you for a few minutes?

COUNT to Marianne:

Do you need me?

[S. 49]

MARIANNE:

Stay

CHRISTIAN to Marianne:

I'll take you to the car.

Marianne and Christian exeunt.

THIRD APPEARANCE

Graf takes a book from a table:

Gotha Almanac. Count's paperback. He taught himself.

He turns the pages and reads:

Palen. Westphalian nobility, which first appeared in a document with Rütger Palen in 1220. Augustus Aloysius with Elisabeth Countess von Fürstenbusch, died on Ernegg on July 16, 1901. My dear Lisbeth. Children: Friedrich Mathias, the last offspring of our family, and Marianne Josefa, who is now marrying a Herr Maske.

FOURTH APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN occurs:

The countess hopes to be able to pick you up here around twelve o'clock.

Count Augustus von Palen, I ask for the hand of your daughter Marianne.

COUNT:

Since you are making the proposal so succinctly, you have carefully considered it in every direction.

[S. 50]

CHRISTIAN:

As mature as you and your daughter give the answer.

COUNT:

Oh no. I don't necessarily know the countess's decision.

CHRISTIAN:

What is it conditional? Sorry, your own opinion first.

COUNT:

I myself am against the connection. But my view is only heard and has no decisive influence. Did you expect my approval?

CHRISTIAN:

I felt your strong resistance.

COUNT:

Admiring you, I had to keep distancing myself from you. The countess, on the other hand, seems, to be honest, to some extent rounded up by you.

CHRISTIAN:

Should I take a closer look at my external circumstances?

COUNT:

I know your career from my own experience, all surprising financial and social successes. I am absolutely convinced of your great future.

CHRISTIAN:

Was there any concern about my character?

[S. 51]

COUNT:

There was no target.

CHRISTIAN:

May I ask?

COUNT:

Quite frankly: class prejudices.

CHRISTIAN:

Thanks. That has to be. It is precisely this inner seclusion that is a characteristic of your circles that I adore. Only directed against myself, it would have touched me more.

COUNT:

But you cannot be both admirer of a principle and attacker of it at the same time.

CHRISTIAN:

I love your daughter.

COUNT:

They married her too, wouldn't she be Countess Palen?

CHRISTIAN:

I do not know that; as a stimulus it is indivisible.

COUNT:

With the prerequisite that the Countess would accept your proposal.

CHRISTIAN makes an involuntary movement that betrays its shock.

COUNT:

Up until now I thought I knew you. Now that the possibility arises of finding you attached to us more closely, I can see how strange you still remained.

[S. 52]

CHRISTIAN:

One does not have the means to one of us to learn from a book about the stable from which he comes. Tap against a dark cause.

COUNT:

Indeed, with few exceptions, the real name leaves its bearer anonymous. He is unnoticed and unattended in his actions. We, who are recorded in this book, negotiate life under the eyes of our clans, and renouncing the lusts of a free life in nameless numbers gives us the right to see our merits noticed and rewarded.

CHRISTIAN:

Without question. But for the man who has the will not to be bowed to bear the consequences of such views, entry into the community should be free.

COUNT:

Only the time of the sexes proves rigidity.

CHRISTIAN:

The disposition can also be recognized from civil ancestors.

COUNT:

Your parents, forefathers?

CHRISTIAN:

Officer. Prepared by the awareness of serving the state. Little officials only - my father ...

[S. 53]

COUNT:

The simple descent reveals personal merit all the more significantly, as the Most High Lord recently taught us again. The case of our post office minister, who comes from a background similar to yours, is the most plausible one.

CHRISTIAN laughing out loud:

In general, the poor but neatly dressed parents begin to come up all over the place.

COUNT:

As a matter of fact. We now know our views. The decision doesn't depend on us - let's wait. I must add, however, that my daughter does not bring a dowry into the marriage. They got rich, we lost all of our wealth and we limit ourselves to giving my son the allowance the regiment demands.

CHRISTIAN bows:

There is not a word to be said about it.

THE SERVANT occurs:

The countess's carriage.

COUNT exit:

I will convey the decision to you.

FIFTH APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN:

Now I could have said it: you live in Zurich. Prepared and through the confession of his means [p. 54] embarrassed had he swallowed it and they were officially presented. Now it is time to watch the new opportunity; but I feel she is completely in my power.

Then why wait? They have to come here. Right away! And the moment has come - introduce you personally. Mediam in figuram everyone. I want to see!

How happy the elderly will be!

He writes and reads:

Comes on the next train. Expect the happiest surprises here.

He rings the bell:

From the car I use to fetch her at the train station to the bathroom in her room, everything must be astonishing to them.

SERVANT occurs.

CHRISTIAN:

Abort the telegram immediately.

SERVANT exit.

CHRISTIAN:

Mother should also have her slumber role in bed. When she thinks about what she and I have dreamed of my future before going to sleep, and how things have turned out much better, she must feel a fulfilled life. They will adapt quickly. The worst bad habits are soon abandoned, and the tailor and cleaner do the last.

[S. 55]

SIXTH APPEARANCE

Enter SYBIL

CHRISTIAN:

Child i'm happy Do you know who is coming?

SYBIL:

The parents.

CHRISTIAN:

Who is telling you

SYBIL:

Need. Two years since they said goodbye, you've been wriggling on the hook of your longing. I knew who you were thinking of when you fell asleep. Why, when you talked about big wins, your eye flicked up. Due to the spatial separation, in your own way you completely got lost in the two old people. In the end you didn’t say anything without mentioning one of them in parable.

CHRISTIAN:

I missed them badly.

SYBIL:

In the end, you taught yourself to believe.

CHRISTIAN:

Mother and I have always been one soul. She didn't even know each other except me. I stood by her like a little king. She affirmed my great future in advance. We just had to look at each other in the thought and laugh. Father was like the accompanist in the double bass.

[S. 56]

SYBIL:

Didn't you necessarily find the same trust in me?

CHRISTIAN:

But you wanted thanks. Here, however, a person was always ungrateful, always happy because of me.

SYBIL:

For this, your father behaved shamelessly against you during this time. Convinced that he could shock you by his appearance, he extorted the sums of money he needed from you over and over again.

CHRISTIAN:

Not much more than a few thousand in total.

SYBIL:

If he had an idea of ​​your changed lifestyle, he would have gone different. If he saw reality, he would be amicable.

CHRISTIAN:

He should. I don't want anything else. That is the demonic thing about these sexes, whose roots still run on the ground, the whole does not feel uniform, does not breathe and does not move with one jolt from a center. One loves where the other is starving. But if the thought is alive, sprouted from a trunk, still connected to it by the finest veins, if our well-being is dependent on its health, then we rejoice in every happiness that meets it in any branch.

[S. 57]

SYBIL:

The thought is terribly ancient, not out of our time.

CHRISTIAN:

Can you say that, girl? Do you know more of the tremors of the era than I do? Because you get drunk on the phrases of the Social Democrats, which fill your ears with the law that the most miserable people still have.

SYBIL:

I see reality. Millions, who have to satisfy hunger through the one who blocks the way to bread.

CHRISTIAN:

Fight for existence. I also went through them and in doing so, quite differently from myriads, tore up the soil in me; bursting with urges, I flew through the pulp of the comfortable, because I knew that life only begins beyond. You saw how I arrived, tore the rags from my body and tied the flapping ribbon around my neck to a tight tie. Gradually raised me to the form that the higher man needs in coexistence.

SYBIL:

The struggle never rests. At every next level, at the highest, there is the stronger, the mortal enemy whom you defeat, or he destroys you.

CHRISTIAN:

That is intended in a proletarian way. Generations still have to run until you know the truth.

SYBIL:

And it was I who taught him ...

[S. 58]

CHRISTIAN:

Not to eat the fish with a knife that I didn't poke my teeth! You couldn't get over all the outside stuff. Your suit is the suit of the woman of the world. But in what inner necessity have you come closer to it in the meantime?

SYBIL:

That wasn't my goal.

CHRISTIAN:

Resentment.

SYBIL:

And you, because you made up your mind to bring your parents back ...

CHRISTIAN:

I love

SYBIL:

Because suddenly there are examples of simple producers in the world.

CHRISTIAN:

Adore!

SYBIL laughs:

Because it's going to be chic. A loving son would never tolerate ...

CHRISTIAN:

No more word!

SYBIL:

That your new circles get intoxicated on your mother's famous straw hood, on your father's greasy boots. Your first act, protecting her from degradation and you from humiliation, was the most tender consideration for her and wise to how your success teaches.

[S. 59]

CHRISTIAN:

I made money and no longer have to flee from life's hardships. I am finally allowed to linger and contemplate the earthly goods. The first luxury that the rich man indulges in is his family.

SYBIL:

Your father and mother are not luxury items. Do you really love her, cultivate your closet. But do not sacrifice it to vanity that with you everything must be as good manners dictate. You want to marry the countess. Do it. But don't give her a parable with your parents from which she can judge you. Remain strange and mysterious to her. You have so much that no one else has, you don't have to have parents too.

CHRISTIAN:

I'm foolish with the thought. I use all my numerical power, all influence, to the utmost, to assert my father. No objections! I will! These are things for which there is no prerequisite in you, since everything was chance in you from the time you were born.

SYBIL:

You want to open a gap between us.

CHRISTIAN:

It's been around for a long time. In acting and thinking. We are strangers. Go

SYBIL:

Really that strange, boy? You were the one who took twenty marks from me?

[S. 60]

CHRISTIAN:

You are dreaming. I am the one who paid you and who is rewarding you right now. Save all the words.

SYBIL:

A single one - my life for it - that marked you and expressed how low I feel you.

CHRISTIAN:

Find it at home. If you distort me with suspicions like those just expressed in front of yourself, you destroy the memory of your great passion. But that's your business. If you dare to do it in front of others, you will be relentlessly threatened by the courts.

Sybil stands across from him, stares at him, and rushes out.

SEVENTH APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN:

At last. This bridge broken off to banks that could no longer be seen. In an embryo of humanity, try to abhor you with idioms from your nature and necessary conclusions.

He has picked up a foil and is doing fencing exercises:

But since you know exactly what your temperament is, don't turn pale in front of yourself, make a picture, make yourself a juicy figure and don't think about the signature given by the audience.

Since the bell rang repeatedly, he opened it:

Who is this?

After a moment you can hear his scream outside:

Mother!

[S. 61]

EIGHTH APPEARANCE

Step on Theobald mask in mourning and Christian.

THEOBALD after a pause, while Christian, leaning against the door, stands sobbing:

There is no indication of fate. Now we should face the matter. If it hadn't come like lightning, I would have prepared you. But she was always in favor of the surprising, and she kept it that way with death.

CHRISTIAN:

We must convict them and here with due pomp ...

THEOBALD:

That too was over since yesterday.

CHRISTIAN:

You didn't even call me to do this!

THEOBALD:

Why should I trouble you And on top of that, I didn't know if it suited you here. Funeral is an official matter after all. The second in which during the whole windy catastrophe she wondered what it was about for her, she also breathed: That only Christian would not find out about it. So in your own way. Are you freezing

Christian exit.

THEOBALD:

It made a strong impression on him. Look at it.

[S. 62]

CHRISTIAN comes back with a black suit over his arm. During the following, he changed his clothes, partly behind a screen:

You can report now.

THEOBALD:

That’s done in a minute. She sat on her bench, drank coffee the way she did, always with the lump of sugar on her tongue. She was hot, she says, and sank down.

CHRISTIAN sobs in control:

No illness before, no suffering?

THEOBALD:

Nothing.

CHRISTIAN:

How did she live the last few days? Was she happy?

THEOBALD:

One always had the same impression: it's Luise.

CHRISTIAN:

How did you feel about her after that mishap?

THEOBALD:

I've never exaggerated; everything, managed with rarity and regularity, remained hidden from her.

CHRISTIAN:

You didn't break with that woman then?

THEOBALD:

She was too fantastic for me. I'd better put it on the back burner. So it remained, not exaggerated, completely unimportant and ran into the balance of things. Thanks to me, your mother recently had pleasant, quiet days.

[S. 63]

CHRISTIAN:

I will immediately get in touch with the architect, a sculptor, about the worthy tomb. I cannot confide in anyone how much I clung to her. Perhaps the artist will find the expression for it.

THEOBALD:

Maybe.

Pause, while Christian gives signs of his pain and completes his mourning dress.

CHRISTIAN:

What a bleak concatenation of circumstances. Today you would have found the telegram at your home that called you to the happiest openings.

THEOBALD:

You telegraphed us?

CHRISTIAN:

I was waiting for you with impatience.

THEOBALD:

What has happened here important?

CHRISTIAN:

If you came a few hours later, you would have found your son engaged.

THEOBALD:

Look! Is the girl pretty?

CHRISTIAN:

It is - Countess.

THEOBALD:

Christian! Where did you get the courage from?

[S. 64]

CHRISTIAN:

Does it take courage?

THEOBALD:

Each from his own skin; But I think you're a little stuck in mine - you made a great sentence.

CHRISTIAN:

Away above us, father.

THEOBALD:

It's scary. And those?

CHRISTIAN:

Is that all you tell me about it?

THEOBALD:

From my nature it's like a bang!

CHRISTIAN:

A logical consequence in a completely natural development.

THEOBALD:

A subordinate official me, your mother's tailor's daughter - there is something of an act of violence about it. And the Graf father, the whole family - boy, you are crazy!

CHRISTIAN:

What does the nonsense mean?

THEOBALD:

That's better than any comedy in the world. You're making one look ridiculous. Do you no longer have any considerations? I have never seen a count in the body. Can't one come to you without turning down the bottom? I say so! A retired sub-senior.

[S. 65]

CHRISTIAN:

This is Larifari.

THEOBALD:

It is a misfortune! How dare you do this to me? People have to point their fingers at me.

CHRISTIAN to enter:

But ...

THEOBALD:

The Seyfferts! Even your mother was an over-the-top person. I get mad. I wasn't like that when you made the bargains with us back then, I wasn't so upset about the death of my wife.

CHRISTIAN:

But father ...

THEOBALD more and more excited:

You want to couple the mouse with the giraffe, do tightrope walker pieces, you step into the anomalous! Your mother dies at sixty, I'm used to her, it was a blow to me, but in the end you take refuge in the nature of things. Maskes, however, here this certain Theobald, who is well known everywhere, and a whole family of counts! It's about to lose your mind.

Christian took the foil in resignation.

THEOBALD completely beside himself:

Do you want to kill me Better to remain a normal official here on the square than to fall victim to general amusement. Don't you have any memories from your youth? To our little room and the canary; not how we shuffled across the ditch, and you at our side Mr. Chancellery [p. 66] had to greet you in awe? But what can a chancellery against a count?

CHRISTIAN scared:

Listen to me ...

THEOBALD:

And who are we first on the step ladder? Don't get mad!

CHRISTIAN:

I do not understand your terrible excitement.

THEOBALD:

And the consequences? Didn't you think of any immediate, disastrous consequences that every child sees? When you sent both of us old people abroad, I was furious; but gradually, with Luisen's help, I saw a cruel reason in it, the higher sense of trade for you, if not for me. And since you didn't want anything else, let the other part live, I came to rest.

He jumps up:

And now you dare such ...

CHRISTIAN:

I interrupt you. Even before I even thought about this marriage, I was overwhelmed by a desire that grew stronger in me from the moment we separated. From now on I thought with you that it was decided otherwise to live very closely together with you. I wanted to ask you to move your residence here in the first place.

THEOBALD falls into a chair:

That's classic!

[S. 67]

CHRISTIAN:

You ...

THEOBALD:

Really?

CHRISTIAN:

Completely. I couldn't foresee this level of dislike on your part.

THEOBALD:

Are you serious?!

CHRISTIAN:

I don't understand.

THEOBALD towards him:

How?

CHRISTIAN involuntarily withdraws:

Do not understand ...

THEOBALD:

Still not?

CHRISTIAN:

That is, understand what you mean. But think your concern is exaggerated ... partially.

THEOBALD:

Exaggerated?

CHRISTIAN:

On the other hand ...

THEOBALD:

Exaggerated ?!

CHRISTIAN intimidated:

Of course, on the other hand - if really - of course. My God, one would have to give up one's favorite wish - with a heavy heart. I insist on your participation in the wedding under all circumstances.

[S. 68]

THEOBALD:

Then the answer: Either you put up with this suggestion, then I notice: To want to see your father as a clown contribute to this joke is immorality. Running the gauntlet through the church with a countess on her arm in my get-up, later sitting at the table as a ridiculous man from the people ...

CHRISTIAN:

Father!

THEOBALD:

Thanks. Or you want to take base revenge on me for letting you feel my fatherly authority in your youth by now humiliating my self-esteem before the whole world; but perhaps this invitation should even be a plaster for mother's death. No, Christian, for God's sake not! Do for me what you have done so far, and I am satisfied, and if you want more, think twice about what you are going to do. In any case, however, you must set me as a certain factor in your life plan: someone who has nothing to do with such things, but does not molest you under any circumstances, not in the least. That's why I came up the back stairs earlier.

And now I just want to buy some wardrobe.

CHRISTIAN:

My tailor, my suppliers, of course ...

THEOBALD:

They are not set up on ours. I have other sources. And in the evening I travel home.

He takes hat and stick.

[S. 69]

CHRISTIAN scared:

You should at least stay a few days.

THEOBALD:

I should not! Leave the frippery. Why don't you speak to me in the old sensible tone at all? I disappear unseen on the way I came, need not bring me. I eat something in the next best pub. And if you come by to see her grave, I should be happy. Apart from this nonsense, you are otherwise a good fellow; lets you live.

NINTH APPEARANCE

SERVANT occurs:

Count Palen!

COUNT follows immediately:

Marianne wanted to tell you first, following a nice urge - she was very happy - deeply delighted -

Theobald made an attempt to disappear.

COUNT:

Please introduce myself.

CHRISTIAN in utter confusion:

My father ... please.

COUNT:

Tiens. Ah that -! No that - but very pleasant. Count Palen. Very pleased!

Gives Theobald both hands:

[S. 70]

And I always thought - how did I come up with it? Saw our friend an orphan -

He laughs:

Truly! But all the more pleasant. Charming.

CHRISTIAN:

My father, coming from Zurich, where he lives, announces the death of my mother. This is how I win Marianne at the right moment.

He sinks to the count's chest.

COUNT:

My sincere participation.

To Theobald:

You too, sir.

THEOBALD bows:

Thank you, Count.

COUNT:

I can't advise better: hurry to your bride. Meanwhile the old gentlemen stay together.

To Theobald:

Did you have breakfast? No? So on! I will not replace the wife, a bride, but what a decent meal can do ...

CHRISTIAN:

My father wanted to go right back.

COUNT:

But we don't expect him to do that.

THEOBALD:

You should definitely have breakfast.

[S. 71]

COUNT:

This is my honorary position now. We spend the shortest possible time with condolences and congratulations. Your son kept you locked up long enough; You can sniff yourself over a bottle of Rotspon.

THEOBALD:

Sniffed - is good.

COUNT:

Isn't that what you say?

THEOBALD laughs:

I would say sniffed, Herr Graf.

CHRISTIAN at Theobald, hisses:

Count!

To the count:

My father really wants to take the midday train home.

COUNT energetic:

But leave it at last! Above all, the old gentleman has to have a good breakfast. And everything else will be found later. Come!

Graf and Theobald exeunt.

TENTH APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN:

What kind of tone was that suddenly from him? Did I do something wrong?

At the window:

He lets him get into the car in front of him? What a cumbersome courtesy. - I have a mistake [p. 72] made! He noticed my helplessness, my embarrassment for him. Am i red, pale?

He runs to the mirror:

I'm shaking like a leaf!

He jumps on a chair by the window:

He offers him a cigar. Both laugh all over their faces. About what? About me? Lord God, I made a terrible mistake! Didn't I want to show off, didn't I swear here five minutes ago that I would boast and boast about him? I had the only right instinct.

And now it will be Marianne, will applaud the whole family, I wanted to deny my father. Can't he say I pronounced him dead earlier? But I brusquely deny that to his face.

Countermeasures! Fast! What?

He rings the bell. Enter servant

Get the guest rooms ready. My father arrived. The most dedicated service to the old gentleman.

Servant exit.

CHRISTIAN after him to the door:

Stop! Wouldn't it be better to wait and see what comes next? Perhaps he could be got away without too much fuss. No, no and finally no! As I knew it in myself this morning, as it has already proven: with the greatest gesture I have to present it as something extraordinary.

Put it in the limelight immediately! Prepare from afar! And it should include the whole family.

If it's not already a disaster.

He walks around the room:

[S. 73]

What are they going to do at the wine table?

What will he get out of the old one? When he, when the other is drunk?

Why am I not part of the party ?!

Frantic:

For God's sake! Yes for God's sake!

He howls:

Instead of following my simple child instinct. I could slap myself!

THE THIRD ELEVATOR

[S. 77]

Salon of a hotel, richly decorated with flowers. A wide curtain in the background.

FIRST APPEARANCE

Enter Christian in tails and medals under the coat, Marianne in her wedding dress under the throw.

CHRISTIAN:

Finally air, calm.

MARIANNE:

These flowers.

With a bouquet:

Father's.

She takes a card and reads:

For my lost angel Marianne. And here here - what heavenly orchids!

Read:

From a stranger.

CHRISTIAN:

So? Sentiment. - What did he keep talking to my old gentleman at the table? Did you hear the two

MARIANNE:

Who is that?

CHRISTIAN:

Didn't you notice? Nobody was available for his table lady. The fat countess ...

MARIANNE:

Aunt Ursula is almost deaf and in the end had half her meal on the napkin.

CHRISTIAN:

Who was the Johanniter two places to her right?

[S. 78]

MARIANNE:

Mother's cousin Albert Thüngen.

CHRISTIAN:

The villain kept staring at me like an apparition and did not eat at it.

MARIANNE:

He has a real frog tail; is therefore called frog.

CHRISTIAN:

Rare decorations were on the table. Are you as intimate with the princess as she treated you?

MARIANNE:

We were raised together for seven years.

CHRISTIAN:

Seven years. You are on your terms

MARIANNE:

Are related to each other through our great-grandmother.

CHRISTIAN:

The Archduchess?

YOUNG occurs:

Don't you want to change, most gracious countess?

MARIANNE:

I have now become a madam, Anna.

YOUNG:

Well, my gracious countess.

MARIANNE:

Over with the countess and foolishness. I demand respect!

[S. 79]

YOUNG sobs:

Yes Ma'am.

MARIANNE:

What's up?

YOUNG bent on Marianne's hand:

It's all so touching; Madam, we no longer belong to us.

MARIANNE:

Not to myself anymore. Girlless. Yours too.

Both through the curtain.

SECOND APPEARANCE

CHRISTIAN jumps to the curtain and listens behind:

This Anna, the real gallows face. What such domestics baggage behind keyholes catches and passes on ...

THE YOUNG VOICE:

... looked unearthly. The pastor was crying ...

MARIANNE'S VOICE:

... old Jansen ... nonsense!

THE YOUNG VOICE:

... real Brussels lace ... no, Brussels ones in wide flounces ... rosebud ...

MARIANNE'S VOICE:

... Ilse Zeitlow light blue atlas for blond hair ...

THE YOUNG VOICE:

... you saw it

[S. 80]

quieter:

her bosom on purpose.

MARIANNE'S VOICE:

For God's sake!

Giggles, then whispers.

CHRISTIAN leaning closer:

Ah! Whispers as always and everywhere. Wherever I go, the word kills it. Whisper and look to the ground.

Laughter in paragraphs.

THE YOUNG VOICE:

... mustache tips.

CHRISTIAN:

This is me! That day was my Waterloo.

THE YOUNG VOICE:

... a little ridiculous.

MARIANNE'S VOICE:

Quiet!

CHRISTIAN:

Canaille! Heard it, Marianne. But this evening I will penetrate the temple of your heart and find out what you know.

New laughter.

CHRISTIAN:

Just laughed. Malicious joy out! Open all the valves in your blood vessels, Viper. Because afterwards I'll rinse my wife of your poison down to the last molecule.

THE YOUNG VOICE:

It was too weird.

[S. 81]

CHRISTIAN:

Not in the way you think, monkey, and it's not all evening yet. My counter mines are loaded. Shot off, they thunder over everything that was loud before.

It has become very quiet in the back.

Quiet? What do you have now?

He kneels on the ground and tries to see through under the curtain:

Laundry, meat and gestures. But a word is needed here, the confession of how much the world smacks you, from father to this louse. I've made such an important plan to lure it out of you that it will be difficult for you to keep a shirt to yourself. You do not step over the threshold of my name, woman, unless it is felt in awe and touched by you.

THE YOUNG occurs:

May I go to the lady's suitcase?

She takes an object from it and disappears through the curtain.

CHRISTIAN:

I was not allowed to approach you sooner as one hid oneself. But today you're at my mercy for my exam. With finesse I want to discover where in your family my fiercest enemy is. He has to come to light with all his harassment, and should I spread your conscience to the breaking point.

He stares into the suitcase:

What did they put in your pocket? What are the books in the suitcase? Diatribes?

[S. 82]

He pulls a book out of the suitcase:

The new Testament. What may be heaped deeper in the bowels against me? We want to expose that to the kidneys when the opportunity arises.

THIRD APPEARANCE

Theobald in tails sticks his head through the door:

CHRISTIAN:

That is unheard of!

THEOBALD:

Just a moment.

CHRISTIAN:

What else is there?

THEOBALD:

Tenderness.

CHRISTIAN:

You're drunk.

THEOBALD:

Partially. But I am also affectionate. I wanted to give you a kiss all evening, but I didn't get you. Don't argue, brat. You are a jack-of-all-trades and I am proud of you through and through. You tore all reservations from my soul like paper shirts. As a winner, you ignored my opinions and principles. I've always lived by proverbs: cobbler, stick to your last and so on. But you quite simply from yourself. How you dealt with these people today, not like with your own kind, but almost from above; how they amazed you with bottomless respect, and how you [p. 83] to put such a noble chicken in bed for you, it made my bourgeois blood riot. You softened me there; I sink to your chest.

Hug him.

CHRISTIAN:

Quiet, she's there. Ain't you drunk

THEOBALD:

Partially. But what I say applies to full. At the table, when everything was emblazoned in medals, it was your proud little head ...

CHRISTIAN:

Father!

THEOBALD:

Proud head, my beloved boy, as I say. Our mother should have been there. Dawn, dawn was my feeling, should one believe it possible!

CHRISTIAN:

Is it true?

THEOBALD:

In you, everything Maskesche is strapped a few holes further. I can see how it slides up the hinges. You have me completely in you; Shut up. Be quiet. Now comes the confession, a venerable thing. Usually a father does not say that to a son: I am superfluous, disappear into oblivion. My relationship to the world, the higher meaning of me - is you. You wanted to chase me away. You had it in your consciousness earlier, but it seemed to me to be a matter of violence with hostility. Today it's a pleasantly smooth thing: mutual unlimited satisfaction. Johanna goes, and never [p. 84] she returns. Happy to Zurich, Grosse Hauptgasse No. 16. Mask lives there as a chancellery a. D. and stares enthusiastically at his son.

CHRISTIAN:

One comes!

THEOBALD:

Let her. We are one and the same thing now. Keep it up and make no mistake ... You have distrust, disgust, hatred and so on; but they have bottomless respect for lack of understanding.

CHRISTIAN:

You say?

THEOBALD:

On the basis of a general great drunkenness, I snuck into their trust. Since the ribbon of the Hohenzollern Eagle was believed to be the Iron Cross, it opened right into the bowels.

CHRISTIAN:

And the old man? The lapse of that fatal day?

THEOBALD:

He probably suspected that, and he may have lived on in him. But since the round table today: when finally I lit myself brightly on you, the flame also seized him. In addition, the touching pigeon in there had already worn down the father's heart. It completely surrendered.

CHRISTIAN:

So done with them?

THEOBALD:

You are gone. And now grab more firmly. Not after [p. 85] let. In my own way, I have always believed in the importance of our tribe. But she could only communicate it to the very closest.

CHRISTIAN:

Me!

THEOBALD:

And you keep pushing us.

CHRISTIAN:

I drew the bow. The tendon tinkles in my fists.

THEOBALD:

Her the first arrow. Hit deep.

CHRISTIAN:

We get tight.

THEOBALD:

Into the tissue.

CHRISTIAN:

I set up the trump card. The trump card!

THEOBALD peeks through the curtain:

Respect!

CHRISTIAN:

Hey?

THEOBALD:

Hehe!

They both giggle and hug.

CHRISTIAN:

Mask for ever!

THEOBALD:

I understand, or something like that. Blood thing!

He hops to the exit door, throws kissing hands. Exit.

[S. 86]

CHRISTIAN:

Here life was at the height of a drama. A goal was crowned. Contrition of the enemy, bowing to the victor. Departure through the middle. But there is even more important: a test for the example of how far the immediate surroundings really sank; and then the woman who matters most should celebrate boundless awe on this solemn evening. That must be a smooth slap in front of me.

FOURTH APPEARANCE

MARIANNE occurs in a negligee:

Do you like me

CHRISTIAN to himself:

Nothing matters now.

MARIANNE:

The tips have a tender story. Mother wore them on that particular evening of her life.

CHRISTIAN:

Nothing corresponds.

MARIANNE:

I - none from your past? Tell me everything. You shouldn't keep a secret from me. How many am I, and which one was special? Is one thought, a hint of another still with you?

CHRISTIAN:

What language! How do I come to my senses?

MARIANNE arms around his neck:

Once I liked an ensign; I'm only sixteen. 87] He white and pink with blond hair on his lip; I knew nothing more about him.

CHRISTIAN:

What do you know about me

MARIANNE:

I close my eyes: you are tall and dark, have broad limbs and teeter when you walk.

CHRISTIAN:

Is that true?

He goes in front of the mirror and takes a few steps.

At most one could speak of a swaying gait. Rhythm is in motion.

MARIANNE laughs brightly:

And how do I march?

Lift your skirt and trip.

CHRISTIAN:

What else? What am I doing?

MARIANNE:

Shops.

CHRISTIAN:

Which type?

MARIANNE:

Bank. Does it matter?

CHRISTIAN:

At thirty-six I am General Manager of our largest economic group. Control a fifth part of the national wealth.

MARIANNE:

Tiens!

[S. 88]

CHRISTIAN:

The word belongs to your father. Did he talk to you about my affairs?

MARIANNE:

So there.

CHRISTIAN:

So there. Everything is in that.

MARIANNE:

I am tired.

CHRISTIAN for themselves:

Invitation to dance.

According to:

Too early. Am I not a complete stranger to you, since your father did not speak seriously about me - really never, think! Didn't he come home one day in a feverish state? Remember!

MARIANNE:

I never saw him feverishly excited.

CHRISTIAN:

So really not!

In short, it is merit if a man so young is in such a position. As if someone at thirty-six was a general.

MARIANNE:

At most a prince can do that.

She is sitting on his lap.

CHRISTIAN:

Or?

[S. 89]

MARIANNE:

Who?

CHRISTIAN:

Think about it.

MARIANNE:

I do not know.