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Introduction and translation by William Archer
INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................3 CHARACTERS. .........................................................................................................5 ACT FIRST.................................................................................................................6 ACT SECOND..........................................................................................................46 ACT THIRD. ............................................................................................................86
From Pillars of Society to John Gabriel Borkman, Ibsen’s plays had followed each other at regular intervals of two years, save when his indignation over the abuse heaped upon Ghosts reduced to a single year the interval between that play and An Enemy of the People. John Gabriel Borkman having appeared in 1896, its successor was expected in 1898; but Christmas came and brought no rumour of a new play. In a man now over seventy, this breach of a longestablished habit seemed ominous. The new National Theatre in Christiania was opened in September of the following year; and when I then met Ibsen (for the last time) he told me that he was actually at work on a new play, which he thought of calling a "Dramatic Epilogue." "He wrote When We Dead Awaken," says Dr. Elias, "with such labour and such passionate agitation, so spasmodically and so feverishly, that those around him were almost alarmed. He must get on with it, he must get on! He seemed to hear the beating of dark pinions over his head. He seemed to feel the grim Visitant, who had accompanied Alfred Allmers on the mountain paths, already standing behind him with uplifted hand. His relatives are firmly convinced that he knew quite clearly that this would be his last play, that he was to write no more. And soon the blow fell." When We Dead Awaken was published very shortly before Christmas 1899. He had still a year of comparative health before him. We find him in March 1900, writing to Count Prozor: "I cannot say yet whether or not I shall write another drama; but if I continue to retain the vigour of body and mind which I at present enjoy, I do not imagine that I shall be able to keep permanently away from the old battlefields. However, if I were to make my appearance again, it would be with new weapons and in new armour." Was he hinting at the desire, which he had long ago confessed to Professor Herford, that his last work should be a drama in verse? Whatever his dream, it was not to be realised. His last letter (defending his attitude of philosophic impartiality with regard to the South African war) is dated December 9, 1900. With the dawn of the new century, the curtain descended upon the mind of the great dramatic poet of the age which had passed away. When We Dead Awaken was acted during 1900 at most of the leading theatres in Scandinavia and Germany. In some German cities (notably in Frankfort on Main) it even attained a considerable number of representatives. I cannot learn, however, that it has anywhere held the stage. It was produced in London, by the State Society, at the Imperial Theatre, on January 25 and 26, 1903. Mr. G. S. Titheradge played Rubek, Miss Henrietta Watson Irene, Miss Mabel Hackney Maia, and Mr. Laurence Irving Ulfheim. I find no record of any American performance. In the abovementioned letter to Count Prozor, Ibsen confirmed that critic's conjecture that "the series which ends with the Epilogue really began with The Master Builder." As the last confession, so to speak, of a great artist, the Epilogue will always be read with interest. It contains, moreover, many flashes of the old genius, many strokes of the old incommunicable magic. One may say with perfect sincerity that there is more fascination in the dregs of Ibsen's mind than in the "first sprightly running" of more commonplace
because it is purely pathological. on the other hand. a series of echoes from all the earlier plays. Ibsen did exactly what he had hitherto. an exaggeration of manner to the pitch of mannerism. To deny this is. plumed himself upon never doing: he sacrificed the surface reality to the underlying meaning. In actual sculpture this development is a grotesque impossibility. and plunging into some fourth dimension where the properties of matter are other than those we know. Moreover. and subordinate to the truth and consistency of his picture of life. Take. not to overstep decisively the boundaries of the natural. in his treatment of his symbolic motives. To pretend to rank it with his masterpieces is to show a very imperfect sense of the nature of their mastery. Even when he dallied with the supernatural. the history of Rubek's statue and its development into a group. Here. For When We Dead Awaken is very like the sort of play that haunted the "anti Ibsenite" imagination in the year 1893 or thereabouts. in my opinion. Certainly it is one of the premonitions of the coming end. without any suggestion of the supernatural. as I have tried to show. It is Ibsen's Count Robert of Paris. unvarying practice of his better years! So great is the chasm between John Gabriel Borkman and When We Dead Awaken that one could almost suppose his mental breakdown to have preceded instead of followed the writing of the latter play. as in The Master Builder and Little Eyolf. for instance. It is a piece of selfcaricature. that any symbolism his work might be found to contain was entirely incidental. . In conceiving it we are deserting the domain of reality. we are confronted with the wholly impossible.talents. But to his sane admirers the interest of the play must always be melancholy. the inconceivable. How remote is this alike from his principles of art and from the consistent. to cast a slur over all the poet's previous work. he was always careful. with perfect justice. This is an abandonment of the fundamental principle which Ibsen over and over again emphatically expressednamely. and in great measure to justify the criticisms of his most violent detractors.
The First Act passes at a bathing establishment on the coast; the Second and Third Acts in the neighbourhood of a health resort. a sculptor. MRS. THE INSPECTOR at the Baths. . a landed proprietor.CHARACTERS. high in the mountains. ULFHEIM. A STRANGER LADY. PROFESSOR ARNOLD RUBEK. his wife. Visitors to the Baths. Servants. A SISTER OF MERCY. MAIA RUBEK. and Children.
Maia? What is the matter with you? MAIA. [Outside the Bath Hotel. with headlands and small islands in the distance. yet with a suggestion of fatigue. A table and chair outside it. Just listen how silent it is here. having just breakfasted. . [Smiles indulgently. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. a little pavilion almost covered with ivy and Virginia creeper. To the left. [Sits for some time as though waiting for the PROFESSOR to say something. then lets her paper drop with a deep sigh. [PROFESSOR RUBEK and MRS. and each has a newspaper.] Oh dear. warm and sunny summer morning. and otherwise in light summer attire. It is a calm. The silence? MAIA. wearing a black velvet jacket. She wears an elegant travelling dress. and shrubbery. They have champagne and seltzer water on the table. A portion of the main building can be seen to the right. MAIA is quite young. right out to sea. mocking eyes. An open. [Looks up from his paper. groups of fine old trees. dear. What? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK is an elderly man of distinguished appearance. At the back a view over the fjord. parklike place with a fountain. with a vivacious expression and lively. MAIA RUBEK are sitting in basket chairs beside a covered table on the lawn outside the hotel.] Well.] And you can hear that? MAIA.ACT FIRST. dear! PROFESSOR RUBEK.
Are you entirely happy. [Looks at him. [With animation. Maia? MAIA. indeed I can. perhaps you are right. Here at the Baths. Noto be quite candidperhaps not entirely happy MAIA. you mean? MAIA. you see! Didn't I know it! . Heaven knows you canwhen it's so absolutely overpowering as it is here PROFESSOR RUBEK. Of course there was noise and bustle enough in the town. [With a searching glance. But I don't know how it iseven the noise and bustle seemed to have something dead about it.] I? MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. it seems to me. Well. much further away than I. Yes. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Wherever you go at home here. you. [Evasively. _mein Kind_.] There.] Are you glad? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] You don't seem particularly glad to be at home again. who have been so much.Yes. One can really hear the silence. now that you are at home again? PROFESSOR RUBEK.
Yes. MAIA. [Eagerly. MAIA. I think so. in our lovely new house PROFESSOR RUBEK. Am I so strange? PROFESSOR RUBEK. But why not nowat once? Only think how cozy and comfortable we could be down there. But why. [Smiles indulgently. [His eyes dwelling on her. you see. I have drifted quite away from all this this home life. drawing her chair nearer him.] You are really a strange little person.PROFESSOR RUBEK. that is what we intend to do. MAIA. MAIA. I have been too long abroad. [Somewhat impatiently. You know that. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] There. [Shortly. Rubek! We had much better get away again! As quickly as ever we can.] I prefer to say houselet us keep to that. well. pray? Perhaps because I'm not desperately in love with mooning about up here ? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Well.] We ought by rights to say: our lovely new home. PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. . my dear Maia.
] Ah. Maia. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Remember. nothere's certainly no lack of houseroom. too. who could have dreamt that everything would have altered so terribly at home here? And in so short a time. at any rate. too.Which of us was it that was absolutely bent on our coming north this summer? MAIA. But good heavens. MAIA. I admit. And spacious too. Since you were married. [Lightly. MAIA. [Looking at him. just at the point that has become most fashionable. yes. too! Why. [Continuing. and found yourself mistress of a charming homeI beg your pardona very handsome house. We need not always be getting in each other's way MAIA. it was I. and that sort of thing PROFESSOR RUBEK. And a villa on the Lake of Taunitz. It was certainly not I.] since you became the Frau Professor. so you think it is _I_ that have changed? PROFESSOR RUBEK. that you have been living in altogether more spacious and distinguished surroundingsin more polished society than you were accustomed to at home. . there's no denying that. Married? What has that to do with the matter? PROFESSOR RUBEK. no. I ought to say.] No. In fact it is all very handsome and distinguished. MAIA. it is only just four years since I went away PROFESSOR RUBEK.
It makes me think of that night we spent in the train. I should think you must admit it. I alone? Not the people here? PROFESSOR RUBEK. For the train stopped at all the little stationsalthough there was nothing doing at all. they tooa little. I noticed how silent it became at all the little roadside stations. when we were coming up here MAIA. No. Why. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Changing the subject. Oh yes.like me. That I readily admit.] Do you know how it affects me when I look at the life of the people around us here? MAIA. yes.Indeed I do. Maia. H'm. indeed. perhaps. . I heard the silencelike you. Not quite. you were sound asleep all the time. Maia MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. Tell me. and that assured me that we had crossed the frontierthat we were really at home. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And not at all in the direction of amiability.
well. [Shortly and snappishly. but then you will see nothing of the countryand of the people.] I have seen more than enough. MAIA.MAIA. if only it is the right thing for you PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. and toneless. For me? The right thing? There is nothing in the world the matter with me. endless time. And that was what you particularly wanted. of nothing.] But just wait till tomorrow. Do you think a sea voyage will be better for you? PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. [Changing to a livelier tone. No one got out or in; but all the same the train stopped a long. Yes. MAIA. And at every station I could make out that there were two railway men walking up and down the platformone with a lantern in his handand they said things to each other in the night. It is always a change. Then we shall have the great luxurious steamer lying in the harbour. Can't say. We'll go on board her. There are always two men walking up and down. PROFESSOR RUBEK. low. . and talking PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes. Well. and meaningless. that is quite true. and sail all round the coastnorthward ho!right to the polar sea. Then why did it stopthough there was nothing to be done? PROFESSOR RUBEK.
You cannot rest anywhereneither at home nor abroad. No one that knows you can help noticing it. [Rises and goes to him. [Nods thoughtfully. [Behind him. And then it seems to me so sad that you have lost all pleasure in your work. You have begun to wander about without a moment's peace. You that used to be so indefatigableworking from morning to night! PROFESSOR RUBEK.] "The Resurrection Day" MAIA.] That you must tell me.] Used to be. [Gloomily.] Dear mehave you noticed that? MAIA. But ever since you got your great masterpiece out of hand PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Yes. You have become quite misanthropic of late. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With a touch of sarcasm. Why my dearest Maiawhat should be amiss with me? MAIA. I am sure you must feel it yourself. bending over the back of his chair. That too. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek. yes MAIA. there is. eh? MAIA.MAIA. . PROFESSOR RUBEK.
When I had finished this masterpiece of mine[Makes a passionate movement with his hand]for "The Resurrection Day" is a masterpiece! Or was one in the beginning. Rubekall the world knows that. [Short.] Why. must be a masterpiece! MAIA. to do nothing at all but portraitbust now and then? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia.] What is the good of working oneself to death for the mob and the massesfor "all the world"! MAIA. No. that they can all go into ecstasies over! [Growling to himself. Ah yes. Something that isn't there at all. thendo you think it is worthy of you. yes. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Well.] They are not exactly portraitbusts that I turn out. It must. [With a sly smile. [Looks at him in astonishment. Maia. How so? PROFESSOR RUBEK. repellently. Do you think it is better. Perhaps that is just the misfortune. . it is one still.] All the world knows nothing! Understands nothing! MAIA. at any rate it can divine something PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA.the masterpiece that has gone round the whole world. must. Something that never was in my mind. and made you so famous PROFESSOR RUBEK.
Indeed? PROFESSOR RUBEK. indeed they arefor the last two or three yearsever since you finished your great group and got it out of the house PROFESSOR RUBEK. they are no mere portraitbusts. and fatted swinesnoutsand sometimes dull. lowbrowed dogskulls. All the same. that they all stand and gape at in astonishment[Lowers his voice]but at bottom they are all respectable. something cryptic. [Empties his champagne glass and laughs. What are they. in fact. and selfopinionated donkeymuzzles. I assure you. that the people themselves cannot see MAIA." as they call it. as the saying goes. lurking in and behind these bustsa secret something.] All the dear domestic animals. Simply the dear domestic animals. [Decisively. PROFESSOR RUBEK. There is something equivocal. Maia. and lopeared.On the surface I give them the "striking likeness. pompous horse faces. then? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Come. brutal bullfronts as well MAIA. MAIA. All the animals which men have bedevilled in their own imageand which have bedevilled men in return. And pay for in all good faithand in good round figures too almost their weight in gold.] I alone can see it. [Fills his glass. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Indifferently. And it amuses me unspeakably.] And it is these doublefaced works of art that our excellent plutocrats come and order of me. . Rubek! Drink and be happy. MAIA.Yes.
[Indifferently. and live there for good and alland enjoy myself. [With a slight start.] No.] But do you remember what you promised me the day we came to an understanding onon that troublesome point PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia? MAIA. Do you not agree with me.] I am happy. Oh yes. Really happyin a way. what did I promise? MAIA. And all that glory should be mine. It was no easy matter for you. Well. I agree. [Looking at him. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia. no.] No. pray? PROFESSOR RUBEK. All that is well enough in its way. . MAIA. you said. [Shaking his head. Maia. [Continuing unruffled.] on the subject of our marriage. too? MAIA.] and agreed that I was to go abroad with you. I can't say that I do. You said you would take me up to a high mountain and show me all the glory of the world. you did. [Nods. Me too? Who else. that is to say.] For after all there is a certain happiness in feeling oneself free and independent on every handin having at ones command everything one can possibly wish forall outward things. yes. I only meant did I promise to show you? MAIA. all the glory of the world? Yes.[Passes his hand several times across his forehead and leans back in his chair. [Short silence.] Did I promise you that.Do you remember what you promised me that day? PROFESSOR RUBEK.
[Looking hard at him. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia? MAIA. let me tell you something: you are not really born to be a mountainclimber. MAIA. [With irritation.] Perhaps you only wanted to lure me out to play. a schoolboy phrasethe sort of thing I used to say when I wanted to lure the neighbours' children out to play with me. has it not been a tolerable amusing game.] all the glory of the world? No.] I did not go with you only to play.] Well. little Maia. Yes. MAIA. as well? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia. I daresay not. [Trying to control herself. MAIA. For.] Yet at one time you seemed to think I was. [Stretching himself in his chair. yes. [Passing it off as a jest. Four or five years ago. Only a figure of speech? PROFESSOR RUBEK. I did not. . That is sort of figure of speech that I was in the habit of using once upon a time. long time. MAIA.PROFESSOR RUBEK. in the woods and on the mountains. [Coldly. or showed me PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And you never took me up with you to any high mountain. No.] Four or five yearsit's a long. no.
Professor Rubek. [Yawning. [Advancing to PROFESSOR RUBEK's table and politely taking off his hat. [Leaning on his elbows across the table. [Visitors to the baths. Silence on both sides. [Waiters bring refreshments from the hotel. Good morning.] Has the time seemed so very long to you. MAIA. and begins turning over the leaves. through the park from the right. I am beginning now to find it a trifle long. bows politely. meets visitors. [Returning to her place.] Now and then.] I shall not bore you any longer. [The INSPECTOR. takes up the newspaper. Mrs. PROFESSOR RUBEK. and out to the left. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] No. wearing gloves and carrying a stick. not at all.] I have the honour to wish you good morning.] Is the Frau Professor offended? MAIA. good morning Inspector. [She resumes her seat. without looking up. you know. Rubek. begin to pass.Good morning. comes from his rounds in the park. . [Looking at him with a bitter expression. and looking at her teasingly. and go off behind the pavilion. singly and in groups.MAIA. [Coldly. most of them ladies. and exchanges a few words with some of them. THE INSPECTOR.
But after a few weeks' stay at the Baths you will quite get over that. RUBEK. Inspectorare any of your patients in the habit of taking baths during the night? THE INSPECTOR. Have you not? THE INSPECTOR. I always sleep like a stone. thank you; excellentlyfor my part.] Ohthat is a pity. I have never heard of such a thing. I don't know of any one so ill as to require such treatment. [Looking up at him.And the Professor? PROFESSOR RUBEK.THE INSPECTOR. THE INSPECTOR. THE INSPECTOR.] During the night? No.] No. The first night in a strange place is often rather trying. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes. at any rate there is some one who is in the habit of walking about the park by night? THE INSPECTOR. [Astonished. . Professorthat would be against the rules. No. [Smiling and shaking his head. Oh. [With a show of sympathy. my night's rest is never much to boast ofespecially of late. [Addressing himself to MRS.] May I venture to ask if you have slept well? MAIA. I am delighted to hear it. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Well. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Tell me.
I got up last nightI couldn't sleepand I wanted to see what sort of night it was THE INSPECTOR. THE INSPECTOR. Rubek. Most remarkable.MAIA. I told you so this morningyou must have dreamt it. THE INSPECTOR. . [Starting.] The fact is.] Good Heavens. Was it a gentleman or a lady? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] To be sureand then? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Indeed? Must I? Thank you! [Turning to the INSPECTOR. perhaps? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] And the Professor declares that the figure was dressed in a bathing costume PROFESSOR RUBEK. I should almost have said so. [Impatiently. But then after it came another figure. But I am sure it was something white. [Smiling to the INSPECTOR. Couldn't distinguish very clearly. And that one was quite darklike a shadow. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes. or something like it. I said. MAIA. [Drily. [Attentively. I could almost have sworn it was a lady. I looked out at the windowand caught sight of a white figure in there among the trees.] A dark one? Quite black.
[A slender lady. and cast curious glances at the strangers. Over her head. Professor. and its lines seem to have stiffened; the eyelids are drooped and the eyes appear as though they saw nothing. creamwhite cashmere. Well. with napkins on their arms. breast. neck. [A light breaking in upon him. comes forward from behind the hotel and crosses the park towards the pavilion in front on the left. WAITERS. what was it then? MAIA.] Was the professor really not dreaming? THE INSPECTOR. and she has the air of a servant. She keeps her arms crossed upon her breast. and. [Suddenly whispering. Yesat a little distance THE INSPECTOR. who take no notice of anything.] Hush. . She carries her body immovably. PROFESSOR RUBEK. with a silver cross hanging by a chain on her breast. come forward in the hotel doorway. Her dress comes down to her feet and clings to the body in perpendicular folds. The SISTER's bearing is also measured. as he directs their attention towards the background on the right. shoulders and arms she wears a large shawl of white crape.] And behind the white figure? Following close upon her ? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. and her steps are stiff and measured. if you please! Look theredon't speak loud for a moment. Her face is pale. She keeps her brown piercing eyes incessantly fixed upon the lady. and followed by a SISTER OF MERCY in black. enter the pavilion. Aha! Then I think I can explain the mystery. dressed in fine. without looking round. [Simultaneously.THE INSPECTOR.
with companion. No doubt it must have been. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Reflecting. PROFESSOR RUBEK." We know nothing more. She is a stranger who has rented the little pavilion there. I thought so from the first.] It was she I saw in the park last night. A foreigner? THE INSPECTOR.Satow? It sounds Russianor in all events Slavonic.] No.] Who was that lady? THE INSPECTOR.[Has risen slowly and involuntarily. .] Do you know any one of that name. [To the INSPECTOR. Rubek? Eh? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Shaking his head. Inspector? THE INSPECTOR. Presumably. What is this lady's name. [Decidedly; looking at him. THE INSPECTOR.] What language does she speak? THE INSPECTOR. no one. She has registered herself as "Madame de Satow. They have never been here before. [Laughing mockingly. At any rate they both came from abroadabout a week ago. and stands staring at the closed door of the pavilion. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Satow? Satow? MAIA.
however; she is far from communicative. [Exclaims with a start. [With a provoking smile. PROFESSOR RUBEK. But PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks at him with eager interest. how could I be mistaken in that? PROFESSOR RUBEK. But at other times she speaks Norwegian like a native. of course. Thoroughly good Norwegianperhaps with a little northcountry accent.When the two ladies talk to each other. it is in a language I cannot make out at all.] Norwegian? You are sure you are not mistaken? THE INSPECTOR.] That too? MAIA. But Norwegian it was? THE INSPECTOR. [A little hurt and jarred. You are said to have had innumerable modelslong ago. . No.Only a few words. [Gazing straight before him in amazement. Yes. Rubek? Search your memory. [Looks cuttingly at her.] In your younger days.] My models? MAIA. whispers. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Perhaps this lady has been one of your models. I myself have spoken to herseveral times. I mean.] You have heard her yourself? THE INSPECTOR. PROFESSOR RUBEK.
No. Ulfheim. Is he on your list of patientsat last? THE INSPECTOR. It is a certain Mr. I think I will take my leave. as they call him PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Who has turned away and stands looking out to the left.Excuse me for the moment [Makes a movement to go into the hotel.] If you'll excuse me. [In the same tone. Mr. [Looking in the same direction. little Frau Maia.PROFESSOR RUBEK. Very slightly. I have in reality had only one single model. however. I see some one coming whom it is not particularly agreeable to meet. strangely enoughnot as yet. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Especially in the presence of ladies. He comes here only once a yearon his way up to his huntinggrounds.] Oh no. . THE INSPECTOR. Who does not know him? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] That sportsman there? Who is it? THE INSPECTOR. Oh. the bearkiller. from PROFESSOR RUBEK. Ulfheim THE INSPECTOR. I know him. One and only onefor everything I have done. THE INSPECTOR.
] Has Mr.] Haven't had the honour of seeing any steamer. Lars. In among all the halfdead flies and people? No. Ulfheim arrived by the steamer? ULFHEIM. but he is no longer young. all the same.] Don't you know that I sail my own cutter? [To the SERVANT. [Pounces upon the INSPECTOR. without answering him. with matted hair and beard. THE INSPECTOR. He is a long. can't you stop? Why do you always scuttle away from me? THE INSPECTOR. hey? You scamper away with your tail between your legsas if you had the devil at your heels.] Now then. [Stops. man! Devil take it all. . behind the corner of the hotel. go to hell with you! [The SERVANT goes out with the dogs.ULFHEIM's VOICE. Ulfheim like to go into the diningroom in the meantime? ULFHEIM. But take care you keep them ravenous. [ULFHEIM enters from the left followed by a servant with a couple of sporting dogs in leash. Inspector. His appearance gives no precise clue to his age.] Is this a way to receive strangers. and bloody. [Aiming a kick at him. Mr. Fresh meatbones but not too much meat on them. thank you a thousand times.] THE INSPECTOR. ULFHEIM is in shooting costume. and a loud voice. Mr.] ULFHEIM. with high boots and a felt hat with a feather in it. [Growls. Would not Mr. lank.] Look well after your fellow creatures. do you hear? And be sure it's reeking raw. Ulfheim.] Stop a moment. [Calmly.] I am not scuttling at all. And get something in your own belly while you're about it. [With his arms akimbo. [Heard outside. sinewy personage.
] Can I give the waiter any orders.] Why. as you please.] What do you mean by that. [Interrupting. blast me if here isn't a country tyke that has strayed into regular tiptop society. . [Looking up.] We know your ways of old. Ulfheim? ULFHEIM. Nor for me.] I remember meeting you once or twicethe autumn when I was last at home. MAIA. Mr.THE INSPECTOR. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [More quietly and politely. No thank you; nothing for me. But get the housekeeper to prepare a hamper for me as usual. ULFHEIM. ULFHEIM. Rubek anything? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] I believe I have the honour of addressing no less a person than the great Sculptor Rubek. Well. [Turning. well. Professor? Can I send Mrs. There must be plenty of provender in itand lots of brandy! You can tell her that I or Lars will come and play Old Harry with her if she doesn't THE INSPECTOR. [Nods. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [The INSPECTOR goes into the hotel. ULFHEIM. [Stares at them for a moment; then lifts his hat.
That's many years ago, now. And then you weren't so illustrious as I hear you've since become. At that time even a dirty bearhunter might venture to come near you. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Smiling.] I don't bite even now. MAIA. [Looks with interest at ULFHEIM.] Are you really and truly a bearhunter? ULFHEIM. [Seating himself at the next table, nearer the hotel.] A bearhunter when I have the chance, madam. But I make the best of any sort of game that comes in my wayeagles, and wolves, and women, and elks, and reindeerif only it's fresh and juicy and has plenty of blood in it. [Drinks from his pocketflask. MAIA. [Regarding him fixedly.] But you like bearhunting best? ULFHEIM. I like it best, yes. For then one can have the knife handy at a pinch. [With a slight smile.] We both work in a hard material, madamboth your husband and I. He struggles with his marble blocks, I daresay; and I struggle with tense and quivering bearsinews. And we both of us win the fight in the endsubdue and master our material. We never rest till we've got the upper hand of it, though it fight never so hard. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Deep in thought.] There's a great deal of truth in what you say. ULFHEIM. Yes, for I take it the stone has something to fight for too. It is dead, and determined by no manner of means to let itself be hammered into life. Just like the bear when you come and prod him up in his lair. MAIA. Are you going up into the forests now to hunt?
ULFHEIM. I am going right up into the high mountain.I suppose you have never been in the high mountain, madam? MAIA. No, never. ULFHEIM. Confound it all then, you must be sure and come up there this very summer! I'll take you with meboth you and the Professor, with pleasure. MAIA. Thanks. But Rubek is thinking of taking a sea trip this summer. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Round the coastthrough the island channels. ULFHEIM. Ughwhat the devil would you do in those damnable sickly guttersfloundering about in the brackish ditchwater? Dishwater I should rather call it. MAIA. There, you hear, Rubek! ULFHEIM. No, much better come up with me to the mountainaway, clean away, from the trail and taint of men. You cant' think what that means for me. But such a little lady [He stops. [The SISTER OF MERCY comes out of the pavilion and goes into the hotel. ULFHEIM. [Following her with his eyes.] Just look at her, do! That nightcrow there!Who is it that's to be buried?
PROFESSOR RUBEK. I have not heard of any one ULFHEIM. Well, there's some one on the point of giving up the ghost, thenin on corner or another. People that are sickly and rickety should have the goodness to see about getting themselves buriedthe sooner the better. MAIA. Have you ever been ill yourself, Mr. Ulfheim. ULFHEIM. Never. If I had, I shouldn't be here.But my nearest friendsthey have been ill, poor things. MAIA. And what did you do for your nearest friends? ULFHEIM. Shot them, of course. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looking at him.] Shot them? MAIA. [Moving her chair back.] Shot them dead? ULFHEIM. [Nods.] I never miss, madam. MAIA. But how can you possibly shoot people! ULFHEIM. I am not speaking of people
You said your nearest friends ULFHEIM. She places it on the table outside the pavilion. very much. clammy bread. [The LADY raises her glass of milk and is about to drink. I have none nearer.MAIA. ULFHEIM. which she enters. absolutely loyal comrades. Are your dogs your nearest friends? ULFHEIM.] That stuff thereis that what you call food for human beings! Milk and water and soft.] Yes. When one of them turns sick and miserablebang!and there's my friend sent packingto the other world. but stops and looks across at RUBEK with vacant. we can talk over this trip to the mountains [He goes out by the corner of the hotel. MAIA following him. Oh. My honest. you should see my comrades feeding. [Also rising. [Laughs scornfully. [Almost at the same moment the STRANGE LADY comes out of the pavilion and seats herself at the table.] Spoken like a woman of spirit. then! They swallow whole great thumping meatbonesgulp them up and then gulp them down again. trusty. [The SISTER OF MERCY comes out of the hotel with a tray on which is bread and milk. [Smiling across to the PROFESSOR and rising. madam! Come with me. it's a regular treat to see them. expressionless . Ah. who should they be but my dogs? MAIA. Well. Should you like to see it? MAIA. Come along and I'll show youand while we're about it. ULFHEIM.
eyes. .] I know you quite well. That is well. With me?How so? THE LADY.] And you recognise me. you are still alive. PROFESSOR RUBEK. then. Oh. who does not concern me PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Remains sitting at his table and gazes fixedly and earnestly at her. THE LADY. stops. [In a toneless voice.] You can guess who I am. PROFESSOR RUBEK. With you it is quite another matter.] She? That was mymy wife.] Indeed. PROFESSOR RUBEK. too. Arnold. [A little reluctantly. Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Not understanding. [Without answering. setting down her glass. [After a short pause. THE LADY. Irene. Some one. THE LADY. [Nods slowly. goes some steps towards her.] Alive? THE LADY. I see.] Who was the other? The woman you had with youthere at the table? PROFESSOR RUBEK. and says in a low voice. At last he rises.
yes. Irene.] And the child? I hear the child is prospering too.] Our child? Yes. Irene? IRENE.I can assure you "our child" has become famous all the wide world over. In my lifetime. [Lost in thought for a moment. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] After your? What do you mean by that. we called it sothen. of course not THE LADY.] Yes. everything. [Nods. Our child survives meand has come to honour and glory.] If I had then done what I had a right to do. Arnold PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Ireneand I thank you. [Without answering. [More softly. I suppose you have read about it. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] It is to you I owe everything. [Smiles as at a faroff recollection.[Nods. [Suddenly looking hard at her. Well? What then? . PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE.] No.] And has made its father famous too. [Trying to take a lighter tone.That was your dream. with emotion. one whom you have taken to you after my lifetime. IRENE.
[Shaking her head slowly.IRENE. [Goes close up to the table and asks softly. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. . PROFESSOR RUBEK.] You would never have been able to. [Whispering. Was there some one else whom you had come to love? IRENE. No. you say? IRENE. Killed it in hatredand in revengeand in anguish. You had not the heart to do it. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Since then I have killed it innumerable times.] Oh Arnoldwhy should I tell you that nowfrom the world beyond the grave. Crushed itcrushed it to dust. By daylight and in the dark. But since then? Afterwards? IRENE. Irene. in those days I had not that sort of heart. I should have killed that child.] Irenetell me now at lastafter all these yearswhy did you go away from me? You disappeared so utterlyleft not a trace behind IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Killed itbefore I went away from you. [Shakes his head reproachfully. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Killed it.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes. Arnold. Posed as a naked statue in living pictures. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene? IRENE. [Turning her eyes upon him. now I have it. .] And then you have married. Where have you been. I have posed on the turntable in varietyshows.] Wait a moment; let me see. was more than I could do with you.] And what have you found to do.] H'mdon't let us talk any more of the past IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. That too. too? IRENE. No. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Travelled in many lands.There was one who had no longer any use for my loveany use for my life. Raked in heaps of money. IRENE. That was more than I could do with you; for you had none. Irene? All my inquiries were fruitlessyou seemed to have vanished away. [Changing the subject. I went into the darknesswhen the child stood transfigured in the light. [Looks compassionately at her. Yes. Have you travelled much about the world? IRENE. You kept yourself better in hand. noby all means let us not talk of what is beyond the gravewhat is now beyond the grave for me. And then I turned the heads of all sorts of men. [Hastening to pass the subject by.
[Looks straight in front of her with a stony smile. I can tell youwhile it was in the doing. I could have laughed within me all the timeif I had anything within me. Do you not lament his loss. Who is your husband? IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes.It was great sport. He was a South American. His name was not Satow. he was good enough to take that off my hands. . in a churchyard somewhere or other. PROFESSOR RUBEK. With a fine handsome monument over him. Did he kill himself? IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And where is he now? IRENE. A distinguished diplomatist. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Oh. IRENE. Irene? IRENE. Why.Yes; I married one of them. of course. the loss of Herr von Satow.] Him I managed to drive quite out of his mind; madincurably mad; inexorably mad. And with a bullet rattling in his skull.] Lament? What loss? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Not understanding.
Was it not? IRENE.] I don't believe you. [Start. . Killed him with a fine sharp dagger which I always have with me in bed PROFESSOR RUBEK. Among all his goldmines.] Lives? Lives? In reality I have killed him PROFESSOR RUBEK. My second husband is called Satow.] Have you never had a child? IRENE. He is a Russian PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With a gentle smile. Far away in the Ural Mountains. [Shrugs her shoulders. [Vehemently. Arnold. Irene! IRENE.] Killed! IRENE. So he lives there? IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks compassionately at her.] Indeed you may believe it. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And where is he? IRENE.PROFESSOR RUBEK.
.Yes. One after the other. [Severely. I killed them. PROFESSOR RUBEK. I tell youmurdered them pitilessly. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE.] There is something hidden behind everything you say. long before. [Gently. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. long.] Some of the strings of your nature have broken. PROFESSOR RUBEK. As soon as ever they came into the world. I have killed them. IRENE. And where are your children now? IRENE. Oh. I believe I am the only one that can divine your meaning. Surely you ought to be the only one. I have had many children. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Sadly and earnestly.] Does not that always happen when a young warmblooded woman dies? PROFESSOR RUBEK. How can I help that? Every word I say is whispered into my ear. [Rests his hands on the table and looks intently at her.] Now you are telling me lies again! IRENE.
Yes. IRENE.] Why don't you sit down. [Moves a chair and seats himself at her table.Oh Irene.] There. in a way. Irene. Now we two are sitting together as in the old days. IRENE. [After a pause. Guilty of thatyour death. [She seats herself again. have done with these wild imaginings! You are living! Livingliving! IRENE. with iron bars before the loophole. PROFESSOR RUBEK. quivering. A little way apart from each otheralso as in the old days. [Changing her tone to one of indifference. They came and bound melaced my arms together behind my back. I don't think I am quite turned to ice yet. Guilty of the fact that I had to die. Yes.] In all this.] I was dead for many years. And with padded wallsso that no one on the earth above could hear the graveshrieks. But now I am beginning. . Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. as you call it. to rise from the dead. do you hold me guilty? IRENE.] PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Rises slowly from her chair and says. Then they lowered me into a gravevault. May I? IRENE.You need not be afraid of being frozen.
[Decisively.] There had to be a distance between us IRENE. I served you! PROFESSOR RUBEK. then.] Do you remember what you answered when I asked if you would go with me out into the wide world? IRENE. .] That you have every right to say. Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Nodding. Yes. [Continuing. utter nakedness PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. As the model for my art IRENE. Was it absolutely necessary. in frank. And that I would serve you in all things PROFESSOR RUBEK. Ireneso bravelyso gladly and ungrudgingly.PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With emotion.] It had to be so.] And you did serve me. [Moving nearer. Had it? PROFESSOR RUBEK. with a look of gratitude. IRENE. with all the pulsing blood of my youth. I held up three fingers in the air and swore that I would go with you to the world's end and to the end of life.
I think I should have killed you on the spot. [Defensively.] I! IRENE. Irene. . you did! You did wrong to my innermost. Yes.] I never did you any wrong! Never. That is just it. you! I exposed myself wholly and unreservedly to your gaze[More softly. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene.] That is just it. IRENE. I fell down at your feet and served you. inborn nature PROFESSOR RUBEK.IRENE.] But after allafter allthat you could PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes.] But you. For I had a sharp needle always upon mehidden in my hair [Strokes her forehead meditatively. [Continuing undisturbed.] And never once did you touch me. [Darkly. Irene! IRENE. Arnold! [Holding her clenched hand towards him. [Starting back. PROFESSOR RUBEK.you! PROFESSOR RUBEK.] I was an artist.] And yetif you had touched me. you. did you not understand that many a time I was almost beside myself under the spell of all your loveliness? IRENE. [Looks impressively at her.
Thanks and praise be to you. Then I found you.An artist first of all. You must judge me as you will; but at that time I was utterly dominated by my great task and exultantly happy in it. I wanted to embody the pure woman as I saw her awakening on the Resurrection Day. To go with you meant for me the resurrection of my childhood. IRENE. You were what I required in every respect. That was just why I found in you all that I requiredin you and in no one else. the woman of earth in the higher. dreamless . PROFESSOR RUBEK. And I was sick with the desire to achieve the great work of my life. if I desired you with my senses. Arnold. You renounced home and kindredand went with me. yes PROFESSOR RUBEK. I came to look on you as a thing hallowed.] It was to be called "The Resurrection Day"figured in the likeness of a young woman. IRENE. [Nods with a touch of scorn.And I still think there was some truth in that. my soul would be profaned. And the superstition took hold of me that if I touched you. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene.] The work of art firstthen the human being. most ideal woman the world ever saw. [Continuing. purest. Our child. IRENE.] It was to be the awakening of the noblest. awakening from the sleep of death IRENE. so that I should be unable to accomplish what I was striving for. Not marvelling at anything new and unknown and undivined; but filled with a sacred joy at finding herself unchanged she. happier regionafter the long. And you consented so willinglyso gladly. In those days I was still young. [Losing himself in recollection. not to be touched save in adoring thoughts. freer. I achieved my great task. And you achieved your great task.
] Thus did I fashion her. IRENE. Since the day I left you. I found none. Irene. Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] What poems have you made since? In marble I mean. [More softly. IRENE. and began to look about you for other ideals PROFESSOR RUBEK. And no other models.] And then you were done with me PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Irene! IRENE. [Reproachfully. You were no model to me. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. [Is silent for a short time.I fashioned her in your image. You were the fountainhead of my achievement.sleep of death. [Laying her hands flat upon the table and leaning against the back of her chair. How can you say that! IRENE. IRENE. . none after you. I have made no poems since that dayonly frittered away my life in modelling. You had no longer any use for me PROFESSOR RUBEK.
IRENE. I suppose. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Have you the courage to meet me once again? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Oh. without looking around. and whispers. Higher.] Do not speak of her now! It makes me tingle with shame. on a tedious coastingvoyage to the North. come.] If we couldoh.] You should rather go high up into the mountains. I beg your pardonI see you have made an acquaintance. but[Stops.] MAIA. As high as ever you can. . IRENE. smiles almost imperceptibly. [Interrupting vehemently.] Are you going up there? IRENE. and goes quickly up to the table where they were previously sitting.always higher.] Come. whom you are now living with? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold! Oh. glowing with pleasure. [Still at the corner of the hotel. [Looks at him. [With eager expectation. uncertainly. [Struggling with himself. if only we could! IRENE. come up to me! [MAIA enters. Where are you thinking of going with her? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Slack and weary. higher. Rubek. Arnold.] Oh.And that woman. Why can we not do what we will? [Looks at him and whispers beseechingly with folded hands. you may say what you please. from behind the hotel. as she catches sight of IRENE]Oh.
I shall be so good. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Oh you cannot conceive all the marvelous things he has to tell about the mountains. no. you needn't do that! Not on my account! PROFESSOR RUBEK. but _I_ am not going with you on that disgusting steamboat. repulsive. Why not? MAIA. And about life up there! They're ugly. Oh.] Renewed an acquaintance.] What was it you wanted with me? MAIA.PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. I have made up my mind to go. Rubek? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Who is it that has put these ideas into your head? MAIA. no. MAIA. Because I want to go up on the mountains and into the foreststhat's what I want. Why hethat horrid bearkiller. [Quickly. . [Curtly.] No. won't you let me go with him? Only to see if what he says is true. [Coaxingly. [Rises. Off you go to the mountainsas far and as long as you please. so good afterwards! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek. I shall perhaps be going the same way myself. I have not the slightest objection. I want to go to the mountains. I only wanted to say this: you may do whatever you please. Yes. horrid. May I.] Oh. you must let me do it. most of the yarns he spins for I almost believe he's lyingbut wonderfully alluring all the same. you understand.
] Yes. how dear and good you are today. thanks! [Is about to take his hand; he repels the movement. Rubek! [She runs into the hotel. [Rising slowly. more than that I gave youspendthrift as I then was. Something one ought never to part with.] Oh. When did you begin to seek for me.] From the moment I realised that I had given away to you something rather indispensable.I have sought for you so long. intently on the watch. thanks! May I tell the bearkiller at once? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Decidedly.] Yes. Irene? IRENE. that is bitterly true. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold. Oh thanks. The SISTER OF MERCY stands in the opening. PROFESSOR RUBEK. No one sees her. Irene. Tell the bearkiller whatever you please. [With a touch of jesting bitterness. More. turning to IRENE. thanks. you were prodigal. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. You gave me all your naked loveliness . we shall certainly meet. You gave me three or four years of your youth.] Shall we meet up there then? IRENE.Oh thanks. [At the same time the door of the pavilion is softly and noiselessly set ajar. [Bowing his head. Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK.
Yes. IRENE. [Looking at him with a fixed stare. to gaze upon PROFESSOR RUBEK. I gave you my young. PROFESSOR RUBEK. The most precious? What gift was that? IRENE. for your own glorification. and to glorify IRENE. And that gift left me empty within soulless. PROFESSOR RUBEK. living soul. And yours too.And the child's. She goes into the pavilion. PROFESSOR RUBEK. But you have forgotten the most precious gift. Irene.IRENE. Arnold. [The SISTER OF MERCY opens the door wide and makes room for her. [Stands and looks after her; then whispers.] Irene! .] It was that I died of.
] Hallo! [She advances over the upland.ACT SECOND. Their happy laughter is heard. dancing. in the form of an immense treeless upland. [Panting. . a troop of children is singing. how I have been rushing around looking for you. Some are dressed in peasant costume. well back. a short skirt. MAIA. stout laceboots. Rubek. [PROFESSOR RUBEK is sitting on the bench. on the other side of the brook. with the aid of her alpenstock.] Oh. [At some distance over the upland. MAIA comes forward from among some bushes on the upland to the left. She wears a flat tourist cap. The landscape stretches. jumps over the brook. and climbs up the hillock. [Nods indifferently and asks. She has in her hand a long alpenstock. that was the last place I triedthat flytrap. softened by distance. with a stone bench on the top of it. during the following. MAIA. and high. towards sunset. plants. PROFESSOR RUBEK. kilted up. and stones along the course of the brook. [Near a mountain resort. It is a summer afternoon. Yes. and looking down at the children's play. and scans the prospect with her hand shading her eyes. In the foreground on the left a purling brook falls in severed streamlets down a steep wall of rock. and playing. with a plaid over his shoulders. Beyond the lake rises a range of peaks with bluewhite snow in the clefts.] Have you just come from the hotel? MAIA. and thence flows smoothly over the upland until it disappears to the right. [At last catches sight of RUBEK and calls. others in townmade clothes. [Presently. towards a long mountain lake. Dwarf trees. reaching only midway between ankle and knee. In the foreground on the right a hillock.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. No.] I noticed that you were not at the dinnertable.] You don't suppose that bears are to be found in the naked mountains. Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yes. do you? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Why. PROFESSOR RUBEK. "We two"? What two? MAIA. Oh. After bears? MAIA. I and that horrid bearkiller. Off to kill a brownboy. we had our dinner in the open air. we two. Have you found the tracks of any? MAIA. then? . MAIA. [Looking at her for moment. he.PROFESSOR RUBEK. Where. MAIA. of course. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With superiority. And first thing tomorrow morning we are going off again.
[Quickly.MAIA. [Yawning. I can see that you are tired.] Just so. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Drowsily. Places your ordinary townfolk could never get through PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Throwing herself down among the heather. And you two are going down there tomorrow? MAIA. I feel no curiosity as to the movements of Mr. I'm lying so delightfully in the soft heather.] Would you not rather sit properly on the seat? MAIA. Or perhaps we may start this evening.] No. I? Far be it from me to MAIA. You don't notice it till afterwardswhen the excitement is over MAIA.] Yes. that's to say? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. .] I almost think I'm beginning to feel tired. I will lie and close my eyes. Lars and his dogs. thank you.] Of course Lars goes with uswith the dogs. so we have arranged. [Changing the subject. On the lower slopes; in the thickest parts of the forest. MAIA. [In a drowsy tone. Far beneath. PROFESSOR RUBEK.If you have no objection.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA.] Ugh. [Again in a sleepy tone. hethe other one.[A short pause. Rubekhow can you endure to sit there listening to these children's screams! And to watch all the capers they are cutting. PROFESSOR RUBEK. .] There's not a bit of the artist about him. [With a somewhat scornful laugh. PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. [With attention.] No. [Smiling. [With sudden impatience. Yes. of course. There's not a bit of the artist about himnot the least little bit. now and then; amid all the clumsiness. too! PROFESSOR RUBEK. And it amuses me to sit and watch for these isolated moments when they come. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And I propose to remain one. so that her back is turned to him. MAIA. I believe there's no doubt about that. [Lying on her side.] Why. always an artist. There is something harmoniousalmost like musicin their movements.] Who is it that's not an artist? MAIA. The bearhunter.] Yes. you mean? MAIA. you are always.
of utter weariness. [Vehemently. . One doesn't grow younger. [Shrugging his shoulders. Have you only just discovered it? MAIA. It's not that sort of ugliness that I mean at all. [Turning towards him. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Curtly. Is that why you are so ready to set off with himout into the wilds? MAIA. Rubek. without moving.] I don't know. to cast a glance at me. Frau Maia. It seems almost as though you were nursing some dark plot against me. once in a while. PROFESSOR RUBEK. too. Indeed? [In a friendly but earnest tone. No.] Come here and sit beside me. But there has come to be such an expression of fatigue.] Little by little this evil look has come into your eyes. PROFESSOR RUBEK. in your eyes when you deign. so ugly! Isch! PROFESSOR RUBEK.] You are ugly. [Nods. MAIA.] And so ugly as he is! [Plucks up a tuft of heather and throws it away. I have seen it for long.] One doesn't grow younger.] So ugly.MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Have you noticed that? MAIA. Maia; and let us talk a little.
thank you; in that case I'd rather lie here. [Half rising.] What do you think was my real reason for agreeing to make this tour? MAIA. No. I can hear you quite well here. you mustn'tpeople can see us from the hotel.] But you can sit here on the benchat my side. [Moves a little. But? MAIA. Butbut PROFESSOR RUBEK. Then what is your theory about it now? MAIA. where I am. WellI remember you declared. [Looks inquiringly at him. PROFESSOR RUBEK. But now I don't believe the least little bit that that was the reason PROFESSOR RUBEK. among other things. that it was going to do me such a tremendous lot of good. I think now that it was on account of that pale lady.] Well. .MAIA. [Begins slowly. No. what is it you want to say to me? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Then will you let me sit upon your knee? As I used to in the early days? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Madame von Satow! MAIA. MAIA.
MAIA. But what in all the world! MAIA.Yes. And had forgotten her. Rubek? PROFESSOR RUBEK. you might have seen her name in a Visitor's Listin one of the newspapers. very easily indeed.] Yes. toolong before I knew you.] And thenmay I venture to askhow was I to guess that she was in this country? MAIA. When I have no more use for her MAIA. Even a woman who has been a model to you? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Yesterday evening she made her appearance up here too. I know you knew her very well indeedlong before you knew me. [Curtly. That means nothingnothing for us artists. . MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] When I want to forget. One who has stood to you undressed? PROFESSOR RUBEK. she who is always hanging at our heels. Oh.] Can you forget so easily. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Oh. [Adds harshly. [Sitting upright. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With a change of tone.
how solemn you look! PROFESSOR RUBEK. [In a fit of suppressed laughter. [Suspiciously scrutinising her. Maiait was for another reason. MAIA. A quite different reason. And that is what we must sooner or later have a clear explanation about. How so? PROFESSOR RUBEK. perhaps a little more solemn than necessary.You said that day down at the Baths that it seemed to you I had become very nervous of late . Good. Only curious? Not a little bit uneasy. [Shaking her head. MAIA.] Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK.But I had no idea of the name she now goes by. MAIA. I suppose it must have been for some other reason that you were so set upon this journey. MAIA.] Not in the least.] Yes. You begin to make me feel curious. And that is a very good thing for us both. I had never heard of any Herr von Satow. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek. Then listen. [Seriously.] Oh well then.] Heavens. [Affecting weariness. MAIA.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. Daily companionship. . they are trifles. and scarcely have an hour away from each other. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Oh. and you really have. perhaps; but at any rate the time passes for us in that way as well as another. [With interest. PROFESSOR RUBEK. I know nothing about art and that sort of thing [With an impatient gesture. and chat about your affairs. And what do you think can be the reason of that? MAIA. well; and that's why we generally sit by the fireside. And of course I can't talk properly to you about your affairs. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] And care very little either. MAIA.] Perhaps you have grown weary of this constant companionship with me.MAIA. Constant? Why not say "everlasting"? MAIA.We two all by ourselves.] Well? And then? MAIA. How can I tell? [Quickly. [A little oppressed. for that matter! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia. Here have we two solitary people lived down there for four or five mortal years. Yes. Well. good graciousI have no affairs to chat about. You like to keep to yourself and think your own thoughts.] You are not a particularly sociable man. Well. then. Rubek.
PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Do you intend that as a threat.] No. you are right. I confess you are right there.] You and I cannot possibly go on living together like this MAIA.MAIA. Well? And then? PROFESSOR RUBEK. if you want to have done with me. I shall soon not be able to endure this pitiful life any longer. Yes. Why will you use such phrases? Get rid of you? MAIA.] No. [Adds after a pause. And I suppose it is really that that makes you so uneasy PROFESSOR RUBEK. And I will go that instant. [With emphasis on his words. please say so right out. Yes.] Because we two cannot go on living together aloneit does not necessarily follow that we must part. PROFESSOR RUBEK. It is passing away from you. Maia? MAIA. [Nods vehemently. . Time passes. Rubek. [Rises and stands for a moment looking at him. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With an almost imperceptible smile.] And so restless! [Writhing in his seat. [Rising.] If you want to get rid of me. There can be no threat for you in what I said. MAIA. There is no "then" about it. you have only to say so.
MAIA. [Smiles scornfully.] Don't I do that. [Shakes his head. MAIA. [With an outburst.] What I now feel so keenlyand so painfullythat I require.And it was with no idea of finding any such help in my lifework that I married you. . Well then? Come out with what you want to do with me. Maia. [With some hesitation. they are not at all in your line. I know that very well. [Interrupts him anxiously.] Even that is not necessary. is to have some one about me who really and truly stands close to me MAIA.] Only draw away from each other a little.MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. you mean? PROFESSOR RUBEK. complete mesupply what is wanting in mebe one with me in all my striving.] And heaven knows I don't want them to be. [Slowly.] Not in that sense. MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Oh no. MAIA. What I need is the companionship of another person who can. [Waving her aside. as it were.] It's true that things like that are a great deal too hard for me. either! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek? PROFESSOR RUBEK.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. I can. You are thinking of thatthat model you once used for [Suddenly letting slip the train of thought. of her. she went away from mevanished without a word MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Indeed? I have never noticed before that you were a thoughtreader. I suppose? . Oh. PROFESSOR RUBEK. so well. I know you so well. the people down at the hotel think she's mad.When I had no more use for herand when.[Observing him closely. Yes.] Do you know. But you can see that. indeed I can. can you? MAIA. besides.] I can see in your face that you are thinking of some one else.] Precisely. Well? Have the goodness to? MAIA. That has nothing to do with the matter. Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek. Then you accepted me as a sort of makeshift.] But it was this pale lady you were thinking of. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Continuing the former train of thought. Indeed? And pray what do the people down at the hotel think of you and the bearkiller? MAIA. Then perhaps you can also see who it is I am thinking of? MAIA. [Calmly.
] To order. you understand.] Something of the sort.] You. Then what would you put in its place? PROFESSOR RUBEK. to tell the truth. What. it occurred to you to make portraitbusts of gentlemen and ladies. [Smiling. to my work. Those I threw in gratis into the bargain.] But I no longer loved my own work. till I could have rushed away in despair and hidden myself in the depths of the woods.PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. With animals' faces behind the masks. and had put the last touchthe very last touch. that all the talk about the artist's vocation and the artist's mission. began to strike me as being very empty. who are a thoughtreader can you guess what then occurred to me? MAIA.] It was this. . Men's laurels and incense nauseated me. PROFESSOR RUBEK. then? PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. Life? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia. [Nods. yes. "The Resurrection Day" went out over the world and brought me fameand everything else that heart could desire. and meaningless at bottom.] Yes. [Looking at her. For a year or a year and a half I had lived there lonely and brooding. Life.] But that was not precisely what I had in my mind. [Again serious. [Lightly. little Maia. [With greater warmth. and hollow. [More unfeelingly. MAIA. and so forth.
[With quiet defiance. I have always thought so. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [With a laugh of irritation.Yes. certainly. I was able to build myself the villa on the Lake of Taunitz.! Absolutely insatiable! [With a vehement outburst. And then I had become rich enough to live in luxury and in indolent.] You have perhaps taken me up with you to a high enough mountain. . is not life in sunshine and in beauty a hundred times better worth while than to hang about to the end of your days in a raw. [Taking up his tone. you could afford to treat yourself to me. and all the rest of it. [With a gentle expression. I suppose it is that you have gone and tied yourself to me for life. I would not have expressed myself so heartlessly. Maia. and the palazzo in the capital. Rubekbut you have not shown me all the glory of the world. MAIA. MAIA.] And last but not least. PROFESSOR RUBEK. quivering sunshine. And you gave me leave to share in all your treasures. and wear yourself out in a perpetual struggle with lumps of clay and blocks of stone? MAIA. so as to turn the conversation.] Yes.] Did I not promise to take you up to a high enough mountain and show you all the glory of the world? MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] But do you know what is the most hopeless thing of all. too. [Jesting. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Maia? Can you guess that? MAIA. [With a little sigh.] How insatiable you are.] Yes. damp hole.
We live so. who have once more undergone a revolution[Half to himself]and awakening to my real life. I. [Shrugging her shoulders. we artists. [Involuntarily folding her hands. in plain language. I have come to realise that I am not at all adapted for seeking happiness in indolent enjoyment. ugly words I am using. You have no clear idea of the inner workings of an artist's nature. then PROFESSOR RUBEK. that is what it means! I have grown tiredintolerably tired and fretted and unstrungin this life with you! Now you know it. Life does not shape itself that way for me and those like me. [Bursts forth.] These are hard. I know that very well.] Why in all the world should we not part then? PROFESSOR RUBEK. It is simply and solely I myself. [Smiling and shaking her head. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Continuing undisturbed. Maia. [Quietly. have lived through a whole lifetime in the few years we two have known each other.] Good heavens. I must go on workingproducing one work after anotherright up to my dying day. And you are not at all to blame in this matter;that I willingly admit. Maianot with you alone. MAIA.] Does that mean. MAIA. [Forcing himself to continue. I haven't even a clear idea of the inner workings of my own nature.But you would have meant it just as heartlessly. [Looks at her in astonishment.] I live at such high speed.] Should you be willing to? MAIA. . MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. that you have grown tired of me? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] That is why I cannot get on with you any longer. for my part. [Controlling himself.] Oh yesif there's nothing else for it.] Yes.
little Maia. And she had the keyand she took it away with her. you seein here I have a little bramahlocked casket. [Holding up her forefinger. I have not said a single word to her on this subject! MAIA.[Eagerly.] Now you are thinking of the pale lady again! PROFESSOR RUBEK. [A step nearer her. And in that casket all my sculptor's visions are stored up.] Then get her to open the casket for you again PROFESSOR RUBEK. Well? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] For now I will tell you a secret. And the years pass! And I have no means of getting at the treasure. [Touching his own breast.] Maia? MAIA. you see. you had no key; so all that the casket contains must lie unused. Ever since I met her again. I cannot help constantly thinking of her. the lock of the casket snapped to. to tell the truth. .] My dear Rubekis it worth while to make all this fuss and commotion about so simple a matter? PROFESSOR RUBEK. MAIA. [Not understanding. [Trying to repress a subtle smile. There is an alternative MAIA.You.] But there is something else for it. And no doubt it's on account of this casket that she has come. Maia. But when she disappeared and left no trace.] In here. MAIA. for here she is. Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks innocently at him.
be room enough for three. Do you attach yourself to whoever you most require. Yes.] Very well. Out on the plain. Professor Rubek! [Suddenly points off to the right. [Unconcerned. But it won't be; for in townin all that great house of oursthere must surely. PROFESSOR RUBEK. certainly I think so. with a little good will. . [Untroubled. it won't.] And do you think that would work in the long run? MAIA. It is no good talking about it.] Where? MAIA. [Nods to him. Where do you mean? MAIA.] Look there! There we have her. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [In a light tone. if it should be necessary.] WellI need only take myself off to the villa.Do you think this matter is so absolutely simple? MAIA. evasively. Something free! Free! Free!No need to be anxious about that. [Uncertainly. somewhere in the world. And what shall we do then. Stridinglike a marble stature. [Turning. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] I shall always manage to find a place for myself. I shall always find something new for myself.] Then we two will simply get out of each other's waypart entirely. thenif it won't work. She is coming this way. Maiaif it does not work? MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK.
] And her I could displaceand move into the shade! Remodel her. by aid of her alpenstock. And where will you go in the meantime? MAIA. Fool that I was! MAIA. What do you mean by that? PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE.] Go down and speak to her alone. half way to the back. The children at their play have already caught sight of her and run to meet her. [Putting the question aside. [She descends form the hillock and leaps over the brook. What does he want? MAIA. [In a low voice. MAIA. madam. IRENE goes up to the wall of rock. She talks low to them and indicates that they are to go down to the hotel; she herself will rest a little beside the brook. . cooling them. waiting for you. MAIA. Nothing that you would understand.] Henceforth I shall go my own ways. others uneasy and timid.] Does not she look like the Resurrection incarnate? [To himself. and lets the rillets of the cascade flow over her hands.] Nothing. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Rubek. She is now surrounded by them; some appear confident and at ease. [Looking significantly at him. Professor Rubek is up there.[Stands gazing with his hand over his eyes. [IRENE advances from the right over the upland. The children run down over the slope to the left. She stops beside IRENE.
IRENE. deep sleep still in my eyes. Irene! IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. I could not come to you. dreamful sleep. [In a little while PROFESSOR RUBEK comes down to IRENE. you really must. But now you have awakened. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Can I help him in that? MAIA. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. sleeping the long. I was lying down there. IRENE.He wants you to help him to open a casket that has snapped to. deep.] Shethe other onesaid that you had been waiting for me. but stops with the brook between them. Yes.] I have the heavy. [After a short pause. MAIA. He says you are the only person that can. IRENE. Arnold. [Shakes her head. Then I must try. madam. [She goes down by the path to the hotel. . I have waited for you year after yearwithout myself knowing it.
Arnold. [Urgently. Can she? . Where have you been all day. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Far. Not transfigured.] I do believe it! And I know it! Now that I have found you again IRENE. none the less. Only risen.] You have not youryour friend with you today. Do not believe that. [He crosses over to her by means of steppingstones below the cascade. far over there. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Risen from the grave.You shall see that day will dawn and lighten for us both. I see. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Pointing. IRENE. Irene? IRENE. on the great dead waste PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Turning the conversation.] My friend is keeping a close watch on me. [Smiling. Transfigured! IRENE.
. PROFESSOR RUBEK. She stands behind him. With the utmost delightif only I could manage it.] I dare notI dare not look at you. [Trying to calm her. I shall kill her. yes. [Softly. IRENE.] Why do you sit there turning your eyes away from me? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Sadly. [After a pause. I understand. shaking his head.] Well. [He seats himself on a stone beside the brook. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Glancing furtively around. well. [With an outburst. Would you do that? IRENE. Arnoldshe has changed herself into my shadow.IRENE. Irene. [Mysteriously. wella shadow we must all have. one fine sunny morning. IRENE.] Do you not understand that! PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. Why do you want to? IRENE.] Until.] Yes. leaning against the wall of rock.] Only think.] You may be sure she canwherever I may go. I am my own shadow. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Because she deals in witchcraft. She never loses sight of me [Whispering.
Why dare you not look at me any more? PROFESSOR RUBEK. . still. as though relieved of a burden. Arnold.] There! Now they let me go. For this time. truly. You have a shadow that tortures me. [He sits down again. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [After a short interval of silence.] Now I have come back to you from the uttermost regions. Oh. [Springs up. where you were sitting. close to him. And I have the crushing weight of my conscience.] Irenewhat is it! IRENE. [Motioning him off.] At last! PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. Aye. [With a glad cry of deliverance. IRENE. from an endless journey. if only we could talk as we used to. Sit there. IRENE.Now we can sit down and talk as we used towhen I was alive. Come home to my lord and master PROFESSOR RUBEK. She seats herself on another stone. IRENE.] Keep still. PROFESSOR RUBEK. I will sit here beside you. still! [Draws a deep breath and says.
To our home;to our own home, Irene. IRENE. Have you looked for my coming every single day? PROFESSOR RUBEK. How dared I look for you? IRENE. [With a sidelong glance.] No, I suppose you dared not. For you understood nothing. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Was it really not for the sake of some one else that you all of a sudden disappeared from me in that way? IRENE. Might it not quite well be for your sake, Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks doubtfully at her.] I don't understand you? IRENE. When I had served you with my soul and with my bodywhen the statue stood there finishedour child as you called itthen I laid at your feet the most precious sacrifice of allby effacing myself for all time. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Bows his head.] And laying my life waste. IRENE. [Suddenly firing up.] It was just that I wanted! Never, never should you create anything againafter you had created that only child of ours. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Was it jealously that moved you, then?
IRENE. [Coldly.] I think it was rather hatred. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Hatred? Hatred for me? IRENE. [Again vehemently.] Yes, for youfor the artist who had so lightly and carelessly taken a warmblooded body, a young human life, and worn the soul out of itbecause you needed it for a work of art. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And you can say thatyou who threw yourself into my work with such saintlike passion and such ardent joy?that work for which we two met together every morning, as for an act of worship. IRENE. [Coldly, as before.] I will tell you one thing, Arnold. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Well? IRENE. I never loved your art, before I met you.Nor after either. PROFESSOR RUBEK. But the artist, Irene? IRENE. The artist I hate. PROFESSOR RUBEK. The artist in me too? IRENE.
In you most of all. When I unclothed myself and stood for you, then I hated you, Arnold PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Warmly.] That you did not, Irene! That is not true! IRENE. I hated you, because you could stand there so unmoved PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Laughs.] Unmoved? Do you think so? IRENE. at any rate so intolerably selfcontrolled. And because you were an artist and an artist onlynot a man! [Changing to a tone full of warmth and feeling.] But that statue in the wet, living clay, that I lovedas it rose up, a vital human creature, out of those raw, shapeless massesfor that was our creation, our child. Mine and yours. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Sadly.] It was so in spirit and in truth. IRENE. Let me tell you, Arnoldit is for the sake of this child of ours that I have undertaken this long pilgrimage. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Suddenly alert.] For the statue's? IRENE. Call it what you will. I call it our child. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And now you want to see it? Finished? In marble, which you always thought so cold? [Eagerly.] You do not know, perhaps, that it is installed in a great museum somewhere far out in the world?
] Arnoldhave you done any evil to our child? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. I have heard a sort of legend about it. It was completed. Irene! I implore you! Never. IRENE. And museums were always a horror to you. I will make a pilgrimage to the place where my soul and my child's soul lie buried. PROFESSOR RUBEK.IRENE. never see it again! IRENE. [Evasively. rocking his head from side to side.But how could I ever imagine that you would fix your mind so immovably on that statue? You. You called them gravevaults IRENE. [Uneasy and alarmed. halfunsheathes a narrowbladed sharp knife which she carried in her breast.] You must never see that statue again! Do you hear. with his hands before his eyes. [Clenching his hands together. [Sits with his elbows upon his knees.] Oh. [Quietly but quick as lightning. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. and asks in a hoarse whisper. I don't know what I think.] It was not what it afterwards became. That was why I could go away from youand leave you alone. who went away from mebefore it was completed.] Any evil?How can I be sure what you would call it? . Perhaps you think it would mean death to me a second time? PROFESSOR RUBEK.
IRENE. . [Quickly.] Not absolutely and entirely so.Now tell me. [Hesitating. "The Resurrection Day" you called your lifework. [Interrupting.] I will sit here. behind you. IRENE. I knew at once how I should make use of you for my lifework. [Moves to a stone behind his back. IRENE." PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. I thought. I was young thenwith no knowledge of life. would be most beautifully and exquisitely figured as a young unsullied womanwith none of our earthlife's experiencesawakening to light and glory without having to put away from her anything ugly and impure.] Tell me at once: what have you done to the child? PROFESSOR RUBEK. I will tell you. [Hides the knife. PROFESSOR RUBEK.I call it "our child. in our work? PROFESSOR RUBEK. The Resurrection. IRENE.] I will listen as quietly as a mother can when she PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Yesand so I stand there now. [Takes his hands from before his eyes and gazes straight in front of him. Irene.IRENE. When I had found you.] And you must not look at me while I am telling you. if you will sit and listen quietly to what I say. [Breathless.
For the sake of the general effect. [Evasively. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And up from the fissures of the soil there now swarm men and women with dimlysuggested animalfaces.] Not absolutely? Do I not stand as I always stood for you? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Not quite in the middle. [In breathless suspense. [Without answering. "The Resurrection Day" became in my mind's eye something more and somethingsomething more complex. it does. you understand.[In rising excitement. IRENE. And on it I placed a segment of the curving. Irene. . bursting earth. I had unfortunately to move that figure a little back. Irene. A little subdued perhapsas my altered idea required.] What imagery did you add then? Tell me! PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Rising noiselessly. Irenein a way. I expanded the plinth made it wide and spacious. Women and menas I knew them in real life. I had to include itI could not help it. IRENE. IRENE.] I learned worldly wisdom in the years that followed. Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold. but desists. Yes. The little round plinth on which your figure stood erect and solitaryit no longer afforded room for all the imagery I now wanted to add IRENE. But the joy in the light still transfigures my face? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Otherwise it would have dominated the whole too much. [Groped for her knife.] That design expresses the life you now see.] But in the middle of the rout there stands the young woman radiant with the joy of light?Do I not stand so. I imagined that which I saw with my eyes around me in the world.
who cannot quite free himself from the earth crust. And in that design you have shifted me back. beside a fountainas it were heresits a man weighed down with guilt. Not a backgroundfigure. a figure not quite in the foregroundor something of that sort.Yes. taking off his hat and drying the drops of sweat upon his brow. Let us say.] Doom? IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. In front. at most.] There you uttered your own doom.] Poet! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Never in all eternity will he attain to freedom and the new life. but let me tell you. Why poet? . a little toned downto serve as a backgroundfigurein a group. I call him remorse for a forfeited life. IRENE. [Hastily hides the knife. we and our child were in that solitary figure. never will he succeed. we. [Turns and looks up at her. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Hardly and coldly.] Yes. [She draws the knife. and says as though choked with agony. [Eagerly. [Whispers hoarsely. I suppose it does. IRENE.] My whole soulyou and Iwe. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. how I have placed myself in the group. too. He will remain for ever prisoned in his hell. [On the point of striking. He sits there and dips his fingers in the purling streamto wash them cleanand he is gnawed and tortured by the thought that never.
. as though in absence of mind.] But I was a human beingthen! And I. and penance[Smiling. look you. plucks some flowers form the shrubs around them. great. [With apparent selfcontrol.Oh. do what I may. you see.] and with that you think your account is cleared. Irene. it was selfmurdera deadly sin against myself! [Half whispering. Something that suggests forgiveness of sinsand spreads a cloak over all frailty. and says gently and softly. and. too. And all that. [Looks at him with a lurking evil smile. [With a sudden change of tone. though unnoticed. [Softly strokes his hair. [With malign eyes.] I am an artist. [Annoyed. You have killed my soul so you model yourself in remorse.] Because there is something apologetic in the word. Because you are nerveless and sluggish and full of forgiveness for all the sins of your life.] Why do you keep on calling me a poet? IRENE. Arnold. PROFESSOR RUBEK.IRENE. my friend. middleaged child. I let slipgave it all up in order to make myself your bondwoman. in thought and in act. and a human destiny to fulfil. [Defiantly. That was my vocation. And I take no shame to myself for the frailties that perhaps cling to me. And. I shall never be anything else. I ought never to have served youpoet. keeps close. had a life to live. IRENE. and selfaccusation.] I should have borne children in the worldmany children real childrennot such children as are hidden away in gravevaults. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] And that sin I can never expiate! [She seats herself near him beside the brook.is it possible that you cannot see that! PROFESSOR RUBEK.] You are a poet. IRENE.] You dear. For I was born to be an artist. watch upon him.
[Looking at him with a soft expression. You took both my hands and pressed them warmly. And then you said: "So now. which you still remember? IRENE. wellafter all.[Lost in recollection. Not at the present moment. You said "episode. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene. [Shaking his head.] At that word I left you. . Yes. [With assumed cheerfulness.] Can you remember a little word that you said when you had finishedfinished with me and with our child? [Nods to him. you did. Irene." PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks inquiringly at her. IRENE. at any rate. IRENE.] Can you remember that little word. IRENE." you said.] No. "has been a priceless episode for me. it was in reality an episode. This. And I stood there in breathless expectation.] Yet those were beautiful days.] Did I say a little word then. Can you not recall it? PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Curtly.] Well." PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Looks doubtfully at her.] Did I say "episode"? It is not a word I am in the habit of using. Arnold? PROFESSOR RUBEK. I can't say that I do. Marvellously beautiful days as I now look back upon them IRENE. I thank you from my heart.
Flamingoes do not swim. PROFESSOR RUBEK. They are seagulls. yes. But there must be no harpoonmen on board. [Smiles to her.] On Saturday evenings. PROFESSOR RUBEK. What birds are they? IRENE. Can you not see? Of course they are flamingoes. IRENE. Are they not rosered? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold.] Can you remember the summer when we used to sit like this outside the little peasant hut on the Lake of Taunitz? IRENE. Irene. They may be seagulls with red bills. And taken the train out to the laketo stay there over Sunday . Let us shake off all the hard things that go to the heart.when we had finished our week's work PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Drawing her hand over her forehead. They only wade. There are our birds swimming. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Plucks broad green leaves and throws them into the brook.] Perhaps you are right. yes. Then they are not flamingoes. IRENE. No. there shall be no harpoonmen. IRENE. [Nods. [Plucks off the leaves of a mountain rose and strews them on the brook.] Look there.] Now I send out my ships after them.You take everything so painfully to heart.
You said I was the swan that drew your boat. They were white swans. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Every single Saturday. PROFESSOR RUBEK. . I believe. [As if not hearing. I daresay I did. And I remember that I fastened a great furry leaf to one of the swans. you used to set birds swimming in the brook. IRENE.] It was an episode. IRENE. Irene. [Absorbed in the game. Arnold. Did I say so? Yes.all the summer through.] Then. [With an evil gleam of hatred in her eyes. It looked like a burdockleaf IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And then it turned into Lohengrin's boatwith the swan yoked to it. We played it over and over again. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Laughing.] And all your ships have run ashore. I meant swans. too.] Just see how the seagulls are swimming down the stream! IRENE. How fond you were of that game. They were waterlilies which you IRENE.IRENE. yes.
[With a sidelong look at him. Have you bought it? You often said you would. and says after a pause. PROFESSOR RUBEK.I have bought the little peasant hut beside the Lake of Taunitz.] Then do you live out there nowin our old house? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene IRENE. IRENE. [As though looking back into himself. IRENE. comfortable villa on the sitewith a park around it. I have had it pulled down long ago.] I have ships enough in reserve.] Yes. It is there that we [Stops and corrects himself.] Irene. [With a touch of defiance.] So you andand the other one live out there now? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Life was beautiful.] And yet.] there that I usually live during the summer. The day came when I could afford it easily enough; and so I bought it. [Looking far before her. . And I have built myself a great. [Throwing more leaves into the brook. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK.PROFESSOR RUBEK. if you could afford it. beautiful by the Lake of Taunitz. [Mastering herself. IRENE. throws more into the brook. [Completing his thought.] yet we two let slip all that life and its beauty. [Follows the leaves with his eyes. handsome. No. When my wife and I are not travellingas we are this year.
Or a sunrise? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold. IRENE. I did as you told mewent with you up to the heights. but sits silent for a moment; then she points over the upland. [Does not answer. PROFESSOR RUBEK. A sunrise I don't think I have ever seen.] I once saw a marvellously lovely sunrise. now? IRENE.now the sun is going down behind the peaks. [Smiles as though lost in recollection. High. And there I fell upon my knees and worshipped you. IRENE. and served you. [Softly. [Is silent for a moment; then says softly. PROFESSOR RUBEK. high up on a dizzy mountaintop.PROFESSOR RUBEK. Did you? Where was that? IRENE. . See what a red glow the level rays cast over all the heathery knolls out yonder.] Look there. PROFESSOR RUBEK.You beguiled me up there by promising that I should see all the glory of the world if only I [She stops suddenly. If only you? Well? IRENE.] Does repentance come too late.] It is long since I have seen a sunset in the mountains. [Looks where she is pointing. urgently.] Then I saw the sunrise.
] Help methat I may be able to live my life over again! IRENE. playingonly playing! [They sit and strew leaves and petals over the brook. You could open all that is locked up in me.] Then let us go on playing. playing. You have the key! You and you alone possess it! [Beseechingly. For the life you and I led there is no resurrection. IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK.PROFESSOR RUBEK. Can you not find it in your heart. [Curtly. Irene? IRENE. After them comes the SERVANT with the leash of dogs. Arnold. yes. breaking off. [Turning at him with a scornful smile. [Up the slope to the left at the back come ULFHEIM and MAIA in hunting costume.] I have no longer the key to you. where they float and sail away. [Urgently. [Shaking her head.] With youand the other woman? PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. going out with the bearhunter. IRENE. [Immovable as before.] Ah! There is little Maia. Your lady. .] With meas in our days of creation. Yes. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Empty dreams! Idledead dreams. with which he goes out to the right. [Catching sight of them.
] Goodnight. . MAIA. and this is how it goes: [Sings triumphantly.] Aha! So you too are going to do that.] What sort of an adventure is this to be? MAIA. It almost seems so. sees the two sitting by the brook. And I've made a verse about it. [Looks around as she is crossing the upland. [Mockingly.] Ohhow divinely light one feels on waking! PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK. and calls out.] I am going to let life take the place of all the rest. Or the other's. Goodnight.] I am free! I am free! I am free! No more life in the prison for me! I am free as a bird! I am free! For I believe I have awakened nowat last. little Maia? MAIA. Frau Maiaand good luck to ULFHEIM. MAIA. Now I am going off on my adventures! PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Approaching. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Professor! Dream of me. [Calls back to her.PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Drawing a deep breath. Yes.
just let me take care of myself for the future. interposing. PROFESSOR RUBEK. and go out through the bushes to the right. and I wish you then! [Nods and laughs roguishly.] There now. with a wild expression in her eyes. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Roaring with laughter. thanks.] Hush. Professor! [They have both crossed the visible portion of the upland. thanks. Don't you see that we are going out to shoot PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Oh. that is a wish worth having! MAIA. You shall have a bird of prey to model.[Calls out. to wing thingswithout knowing what you are doingthat has long been quite in your way. I shall wing one for you. [Suddenly. [After a short pause. MAIA. hush!for the devil's sake let's have none of your wizard wishes.] Yes. What will you bring me home from the hunting. Maia? MAIA. peaceful summer night on the upland! PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Laughs mockingly and bitterly. [Jestingly. [Tossing her head.] Will you spend a summer night on the uplandwith me? .] Goodbyeand a good. [Laughing.] Thanks. that would have been life! IRENE.] A summer night on the upland! Yes.] Thanks! And all the illluck in the world over you and your hunting! ULFHEIM.
smiling and groping in her breast. [Turns involuntarily.] Hush!do not look round. you must remain sitting. [Stretching his arms wide.] What is it? IRENE. IRENE.come! IRENE. [Hoarsely. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Rises and says softly. PROFESSOR RUBEK. No.] We must part then. Arnold! PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Ah! [The SISTER OF MERCY's head is partly visible among the bushes beside the descent to the left. Do you hear? You must not go with me. [Bends over him and whispers. Her eyes are immovably fixed on IRENE.] Where! [With a start.] Till we meet againtonight on the upland. Irene! IRENE. Oh. yes.] It will be only an episode [Quickly. And you will come. Irene? IRENE. . [Also in a low voice.] Yes. A face that is staring at me.PROFESSOR RUBEK. My adored lord and master! PROFESSOR RUBEK. whispering.
IRENE. [Looks inquiringly at her. With you. [Shakes his head mournfully. [His eyes meet hers.Yes. MAIA. [Repeats dreamily. surely I will come. Wait for me here. With you.] When? IRENE. Irenethat might have been our life.And that we have forfeitedwe two. PROFESSOR RUBEK. [The SISTER OF MERCY makes way for her and follows her. When we dead awaken. [Is heard singing triumphantly among the hills.] Summer night on the upland.] I am free! I am free! I am free! No more life in the prison for me! I am free as a bird! I am free! . PROFESSOR RUBEK remains sitting motionless beside the brook. We see that we have never lived. We see the irretrievable only when [Breaks off.] What do we really see then? IRENE. [She goes towards the slope and descends.] Oh. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK.
It's a dizzy drop. Snowclad peaks rise to the right. Jump over the precipice if you want to. confound me if I will! MAIA. on the wild mountainside? MAIA. To the left. half angry. [Striking him over the hand. Do you hear?not a single step! ULFHEIM. half laughing. It is early morning. . stands an old. flushed and irritated. MAIA. [A wild riven mountainside. The sun has not yet risen.] As you please. Come. if need be ULFHEIM. No. I tell you? And be quiet! ULFHEIM. MAIA. Come! are you going to bite now? You're as snappish as a wolf. and that's almost impassable. here. [MAIA comes.] Let me. There's only one narrow footpath down it. Dawn is breaking. holding her fast by the sleeve. I will jump over the precipice yonder. halfruined hut. Ho. ho! How can you get away from me.ACT THIRD. ULFHEIM follows. Then I will not go another step with you. down over the stonescree on the left. on a stonescree. with sheer precipices at the back. And mangle and mash yourself up into dogs'meat! A juicy morsel! [Lets go his hold. I say! ULFHEIM. [Trying to tear herself loose. and lose themselves in drifting mists.] Let me go! Let me go.
He was to run after them and bring them in again. Say rather. do you? ULFHEIM. Oh. why did I let them go then? Let us hear.] Well. I venture to take that liberty.] So that they too might do a little hunting on their own account. [Still smiling. MAIA. There's not a word of truth in that! It wasn't for the dogs' sake that you let them go. MAIA. You let them go because you wanted to get rid of Lars. you said. ULFHEIM.] Why did you let the dogs loose up there? ULFHEIM. sporting. MAIA. [Blinking his eyes and smiling.MAIA. it was a pretty way to behave! ULFHEIM. In the meantime? .] WellI must say! [After a pause; looks searchingly at him.] Well. you are a nice one to go hunting with! ULFHEIM. and looks at him with angry eyes. [Dusts her skirt with her hand. Oh! So you call this sport. [Tossing her head. Yes. don't you see? MAIA. And in the meanttime. It is the sort of sport I like best of all.
there you're exactly right. MAIA. You may safely swear to that. [In a confidential tone. [Curtly breaking off. precisely; a faun. Yes. Yes. Mr. [Catching at her arm.] No matter! ULFHEIM. [Looking angrily at him. MAIA. Yes. Yes. ULFHEIM. A thing with a goat's beard and goatlegs. as you might call it? MAIA. I should think I'm probably most like myself. ULFHEIM. He won't come with them before the time's up.] Lars won't find them.] For Larshe knows mymy methods of sport. you see. Ulfheim? ULFHEIM. and measures him with a glance. For you're the living image of a faun.] No. just the sort of creature you are. and the faun has horns too! . A faun? MAIA. A faun! Isn't that a sort of monster? Or a kind of a wood demon. ULFHEIM.MAIA.] Do you know what you look like. MAIA. [Eludes him. I daresay not.
[Breaking off. If I am a demon.ULFHEIM. ULFHEIM. [Points with a flourish to the hut. before your very eyes. [Taking the dogs' leash out of his pocket. [Soothingly.] That old pigstye! ULFHEIM. there.] There.] But what has become of that huntingcastle of yours. Have you gone quite mad? Would you tie me? ULFHEIM. Mr. . let me be a demon! So that's the way of it! You can see the horns.] There you have it. can you? MAIA. Can you see the poor little horns _I_ have? MAIA. Ulfheim. I seem to see them quite plainly. [Looks at him. so!has he horns too? MAIA. MAIA. yes. just like yours. So. ULFHEIM. that you boasted so much of? You said it lay somewhere hereabouts.] Then I had better see about tying you. ULFHEIM. Yes. MAIA. A pair of ugly horns. there! Now try to behave nicely.
Was it there that that horrid man you told me about came to the king's daughter in the form of a bear? ULFHEIM. Oh. Isch! If ever I set foot in it! Isch! ULFHEIM.[Laughing in his beard. There. With a little goodwill ULFHEIM. ULFHEIM. How do you propose to get down from here? MAIA. [Pointing towards the back. if it comes to that! MAIA. you see. That's your affair. I suppose. certainly! There is a sort of wayright down the face of the precipice yonder MAIA.] It has harboured more than one king's daughter. [With a gesture of invitation. [Impatiently. Now I am going down to the hotelbefore people awaken down there. Yes. two people can doze away a summer night in there comfortably enough.] If you would deign to enter MAIA. . Thanks! One would need to have a pretty strong taste for that kind of thing. Or a whole summer.] Oh. I can tell you.] But now I am tired both of you and the hunting expedition. my fair companion of the chasethis is the scene. There must be a way down somewhere or other. MAIA. ULFHEIM.
And yet you took her up and carried her next your heart? ULFHEIM. For her shoes were worn very thin when I found her MAIA. Never in this worldif you don't let me help you. [With a growling laugh.] And do you know what I got for my reward? . Now do stop talking that rubbish! ULFHEIM.] I once took a young girllifted her up from the mire of the streets and carried her in my arms. then come and help me! What else are you here for? ULFHEIM.but just you try if you dare go that way. MAIA. Took her up out of the gutter and carried her as high and as carefully as I could. So I would have borne her all through lifelest haply she should dash her foot against a stone.] Why. [Uneasily. or carry you in my arms? MAIA. Would you rather I should take you on my back? MAIA.] Do you think I can't? ULFHEIM. [With suppressed exasperation. [Doubtfully. MAIA. Next my heart I carried her. Nonsense! ULFHEIM.
for she was stupid.] I got the horns! The horns that you can see so plainly. who had both a father and a mother but a rather povertystricken home. What did you get? ULFHEIM. no. Then there came a high and mighty seigneur into the midst of all this poverty. And he. Was she so anxious to be with him? MAIA. he wasn't so superlatively beautiful either. There was once a stupid girl. Yes. Is not that a comical story. Oh yes. ULFHEIM. madam bearmurderess? MAIA. was he. ULFHEIM. Oh. was a brilliant and beautiful personage? MAIA. This is how it goes. ULFHEIM. where there were light and sunshine without end. And he took the girl in his armsas you didand travelled far. that man? . No. no doubt. far away with her ULFHEIM. you see. [Looks at her. smiles and nods. comical enough! But I know another story that is still more comical.MAIA. But he pretended that he would take her with him to the top of the highest of mountains. How does that story go? MAIA. So he was a mountaineer.
what it is now? ULFHEIM. [With a toss of the head.MAIA. clammy cage. indeed he is. he wasin his way. my good companion of the chase MAIA. but don't you think it's quite a comical story. ULFHEIM. And then he took the girl up with him? MAIA. ULFHEIM. Well. Yes. Should not we two tack our poor shreds of life together? MAIA. Yes.] Took her up with him finely. whereas it seemed to herthere was neither sunlight nor fresh air. you may be sure! Oh no! he beguiled her into a cold. Devil take me. [Looks at her moment. but it served her right! MAIA. Might not we two try to draw the rags together here and thereso as to make some sort of a human life out of them? MAIA. Yes. but only gilding and great petrified ghosts of people all around the walls. .] Now listen to me. Is his worship inclined to set up as a patchingtailor? ULFHEIM. all the same? ULFHEIM.
] You with your goatlegs yes! ULFHEIM. Then we'll take a polite leave of each other. ULFHEIM. Down to the hotel. Can we part. Yes. Well. you didn't manage to tie me up.And when the poor tatters were quite worn outwhat then? ULFHEIM. of course. free and sereneas the man and woman we really are! MAIA. MAIA. Yes. Stop! Whither away. And afterward? MAIA. comrade? MAIA. ULFHEIM. ULFHEIM. you know. [Laughing. And you with your. [With a large gesture. ULFHEIM. we two? Do you think we can? MAIA. I have a castle to offer you .] Then there we shall stand. let that pass. with thanks for pleasant company. comelet us passon.
And all the glory of the world. Are there works of art too in this castle? ULFHEIM.] Ah! that's one good thing. MAIA. thenas far and as long as I want you? MAIA. [Relieved. [Slowly. ULFHEIM. at any rate! ULFHEIM. There is a tame bird of prey keeping watch upon me. It has not fallen to ruin yet.] Well. with splendid huntinggrounds stretching for miles around it. A castle. . ULFHEIM. noit's true there are no works of art; but MAIA. perhaps? ULFHEIM. Will you go with me. [Pointing to the hut.] A fellow to that one? ULFHEIM. I tell you MAIA.MAIA. Thanks! I have had enough of castles. MAIA.
] What? Does it make you a little giddy? MAIA. that too. but starts quickly back. MAIA.] Yes. [She shakes him off. laughing. The mountain is more dangerous still.] Come then.[Wildly. MAIA. ULFHEIM. and carry me down into the depths. And there's no other way down. [Goes towards her. and says resolutely. Can't we get past themwithout their seeing us? ULFHEIM. Impossible! The path is far too narrow. Is the way down terribly dangerous? ULFHEIM. [Goes and bends over the edge of the precipice. [Looks at him a moment. Maia! MAIA. coming up ULFHEIM. Those two. [Faintly. .] It's only your bird of preyand his strange lady.] We'll put a bullet in his wing. But go and look over. goes to the edge of the precipice and looks over.] It is high time! The mist is upon us! MAIA. ULFHEIM. [Puts his arm round her waist.
[Coldly to MAIA. Spoken like a true bearkiller. [Still only half visible above the edge. PROFESSOR RUBEK. And the strange lady too? PROFESSOR RUBEK.] Well.] What.] At your service. ULFHEIM. of course. [Pointing downward.[Nerving herself.] Henceforth the strange lady and I do not intend our ways to part.] So you. and a swansdown hood over her head. [With a glance at MAIA. Won't you come up? [PROFESSOR RUBEK climbs right up and holds out his hand to IRENE. ULFHEIM. You gave me permission. As you saw. He has his plaid over his shoulders; she has a fur cloak thrown loosely over her white dress. . Yes. [With assumed coolness. welllet us face them here. have been all night on the mountain. PROFESSOR RUBEK.as we have? MAIA. comrade! [PROFESSOR RUBEK and IRENE appear over the edge of the precipice at the back.] Have you come up that path there? PROFESSOR RUBEK. then! ULFHEIM. too. I have been huntingyes. who also comes right to the top. you know. Maia! So we two meet once again? MAIA.
[Listening.ULFHEIM.] They sound like the prelude to the Resurrection Day. [With a start and shiver. Mr.] I know that sheet! MAIA. No. Then I shall send people up to fetch the two of you away.] Let us make haste and get down. ULFHEIM. [Smiles and looks at him. Ulfheim? ULFHEIM. Professor! Mountainfast. Don't you know. But presently you may come to a tight place where you can neither get forward nor back. pointing up towards the heights. We thought we would try it. as we hunters call it. ULFHEIM. . at first nothing seems hard. Take refuge in the hut in the meantimewhile the storm lasts. then. man! Just look how the clouds are rolling and sinkingsoon they'll be all around us like a winding sheet! IRENE. [Drawing ULFHEIM away. For it did not seem particularly hard at first. [To PROFESSOR RUBEK. ULFHEIM. nevertheless. They are stormblasts form the peaks. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] I cannot help more than one.] But don't you see that the storm is upon us? Don't you hear the blasts of wind? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Lord preserve me from playing the oracle! [Urgently.] Am I to take these as oracular utterances. that it is a deadly dangerous way you have come? PROFESSOR RUBEK. And then you stick fast.
the woman in blackshe will come too. till the men come with ropes.] And she. [ULFHEIM. [Looks for some time at PROFESSOR RUBEK with terrorstricken eyes. thenand don't fear to trust yourself in your comrade's hands.] Did you hear that. you know it. IRENE. if I get down with a whole skin! ULFHEIM. Arnold! And put me in the strait waistcoat.IRENE. .] Oh noI myself have a resource against that. Not a soul shall be suffered to touch you. she has it with her. [Clinging to him. MAIA. Do not be alarmed. then. [Begins the descent and calls to the others. I have seen it with my own eyes PROFESSOR RUBEK. [In growing terror.] To fetch us away! No.] Come. Oh. Irene! IRENE. no! ULFHEIM. and fetch you away. For she must have missed me long ago.] Oh.] To take you by force if necessaryfor it's a matter of life and death here. [With a wild smile. IRENE. [Harshly. And then she will seize me. Arnold?men are coming up to fetch me away! Many men will come up here PROFESSOR RUBEK. clambers rapidly but warily down the precipice. in the hut. with MAIA in his arms. how I shall rejoice and sing. [In terror. Now.] You'll wait. [To MAIA. in her box.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. [Concealing it. Always. Arnold. As we were sitting by the Lake of Taunitz last evening PROFESSOR RUBEK. . Give me that knife.] It was intended for you. [Tries to seize it. What resource do you mean? IRENE.] Have you a knife? IRENE. I may very likely find a use for it myself. What use can you have for it.PROFESSOR RUBEK.] You shall not have it. [Drawing out the knife. [Looks fixedly at him. here? IRENE. By the Lake of IRENE. For me! IRENE.] This! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene! IRENE. PROFESSOR RUBEK. alwaysboth day and nightin bed as well! PROFESSOR RUBEK.
IRENE. not I.outside the peasant's hutand playing with swans and waterlilies PROFESSOR RUBEK. What thenwhat then? IRENE. Dead? IRENE. I do not call that being dead. and when I heard you say with such deathly. [Continuing. [Darkly. I wanted to stab you in the back with it. we two claycold bodiesand played with each other. IRENE. But you do not understand me. PROFESSOR RUBEK. Then where is the burning desire for me that you fought and battled against when I stood freely forth before you as the woman arisen from the dead? . Irene. PROFESSOR RUBEK. It was you that said that. icy coldnessthat I was nothing but an episode in your life PROFESSOR RUBEK. Dead. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] then I had my knife out. Because it flashed upon me with a sudden horror that you were dead alreadylong ago. Dead.] And why did you hold your hand? IRENE. We sat there by the Lake of Taunitz. you as well as I.
PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE. Be who or what you please. PROFESSOR RUBEK. . IRENE. [With head erect. miraculous earthlifethe inscrutable earthlifethat is dead in both of us. Our love is assuredly not dead.] Too latetoo late! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Irene.] Nor in my own! PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE.] And do you know that just that loveit is burning and seething in me as hotly as ever before? IRENE. [Passionately. for aught I care! For me. PROFESSOR RUBEK. you are the woman I see in my dreams of you. It was I that drove you to the turntableblind as I then wasI. IRENE. And I? Have you forgotten who I now am? PROFESSOR RUBEK. Not by a hairsbreadth has all that has passed in the interval lowered you in my eyes. who placed the dead clay image above the happiness of lifeof love. [Looking down. I have stood on the turntablenakedand made a show of myself to many hundreds of menafter you. The love that belongs to the life of earththe beautiful.
[Throwing his arms violently around her. [Proudly.] The young woman of your Resurrection Day can see all life lying on its bier. noup in the light.] Arnold! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Ireneoh. And I look for you. There we will hold our marriagefeast. how utterly you are astray! Both in us and around us life is fermenting and throbbing as fiercely as ever! IRENE. Oh. my beloved! IRENE.] No.] Then let two of the deadus twofor once live life to its uttermostbefore we go down to our graves again! IRENE. [Smiling and shaking her head. Now I have arisen. PROFESSOR RUBEK. IRENE.And then I see that you and life lie deadas I have lain. [With a shriek. And I find you.] The sun may freely look on us. [Carried away by passion.Well. Arnold. PROFESSOR RUBEK. PROFESSOR RUBEK.] The desire for life is dead in me. and in all the glittering glory! Up to the Peak of Promise! PROFESSOR RUBEK. Arnold. . [Looks sadly at him. what then! Then we are freeand there is still time for us to live our life. Irene. But not here in the half darkness! Not here with this hideous dank shroud flapping around us IRENE.
freely and gladly.] We must first pass through the mists.] Will you then follow me. [Seizes her hand. [Drawing her along with him. oh my gracegiven bride? IRENE. Keen stormgusts hurtle and whistle through the air. . She stops and looks around silently and searchingly. [Gives a shriek. then makes the sign of the cross before her in the air. through all the mists. [The mistclouds close in over the scenePROFESSOR RUBEK and IRENE. and then IRENE. my lord and master! PROFESSOR RUBEK. which glides and whirls downwards with headlong speed. hand in hand. [As though transfigured. [The SISTER OF MERCY appears upon the stonescree to the left. MAIA. Yes. and says. climb up over the snowfield to the right and soon disappear among the lower clouds.] I follow you.All the powers of light may freely look on usand all the powers of darkness too. THE SISTER OF MERCY. Irene. I am free! I am free! I am free! No more life in the prison for me! I am free as a bird! I am free! [Suddenly a sound like thunder is heard from high up on the snow field. and then right up to the summit of the tower that shines in the sunrise. PROFESSOR RUBEK and IRENE can be dimly discerned as they are whirled along with the masses of snow and buried in them. Pax vobiscum! [MAIA's triumphant song sounds from still farther down below.] Irene! [Stands silent a moment. stretches out her arms towards them and cries.
THE END .
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