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Arms & the Man

Arms & the Man

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  • ACT I
  • ACT II
  • ACT III

Arms

and the Man
by
George Bernard Shaw
An Electronic Classics Series Publication
Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw is a publication of The Electronic Classics Series. This
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Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, The Electronic Classics Series, J im Manis, Editor,
PSU-Hazleton, Hazleton, PA 18202 is a Portable Document File produced as part of an ongoing
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The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
3
Shaw
Arms
and the Man
by
George Bernard Shaw
INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION
To the i rreverent—and whi ch of us wi l l cl ai m en-
ti re exempti on from that comfortabl e cl assi fi ca-
ti on?—there i s somethi ng very amusi ng i n the atti -
tude of the orthodox cri ti ci sm toward Bernard Shaw.
He so obvi ousl y di sregards al l the canons and uni -
ti es and other thi ngs whi ch every wel l -bred drama-
ti st i s bound to respect that hi s work i s real l y un-
worthy of seri ous cri ti ci sm (orthodox). Indeed he
knows no more about the dramati c art than, accord-
i ng to hi s own story i n “ The Man of Desti ny,” Napo-
l eon at Tavazzano knew of the Art of War. But both
men were successes each i n hi s way—the l atter won
vi ctori es and the former gai ned audi ences, i n the
very teeth of the accepted theori es of war and the
theatre. Shaw does not know that i t i s unpardon-
abl e si n to have hi s characters make l ong speeches
at one another, apparentl y thi nki ng that thi s em-
bargo appl i es onl y to l ong speeches whi ch consi st
mai nl y of bombast and rhetori c. There never was
an author who showed l ess predi l ecti on for a spe-
ci fi c medi um by whi ch to accompl i sh hi s resul ts.
He recogni zed, earl y i n hi s days, many thi ngs awry
i n the worl d and he assumed the task of mundane
reformati on wi th a confi dent spi ri t. It seems such a
smal l job at twenty to set the ti mes ari ght. He began
as an Essayi st, but who reads essays now-a-days?—
he then turned novel i st wi th no better success, for
no one woul d read such preposterous stuff as he
chose to emi t. He onl y succeeded i n provi ng that
absol utel y rati onal men and women—al though he
has created few of the l atter—can be most extremel y
4
Arms and the Man
di sagreeabl e to our conventi onal way of thi nki ng.
As a l ast resort, he turned to the stage, not that he
cared for the dramati c art, for no man seems to care
l ess about “Art for Art’s sake,” bei ng i n thi s a perfect
foi l to hi s bri l l i ant compatri ot and contemporary,
Wi l de. He cast hi s theori es i n dramati c forms merel y
because no other course except si l ence or physi cal
revol t was open to hi m. For a l ong ti me i t seemed as
i f thi s resource too was doomed to fai l hi m. But fi -
nal l y he has attai ned a heari ng and now attempts at
suppressi on merel y serve to adverti se thei r vi cti m.
It wi l l repay those who seek anal ogi es i n l i terature
to compare Shaw wi th Cervantes. After a l i fe of he-
roi c endeavor, di sappoi ntment, sl avery, and poverty,
the author of “ Don Qui xote” gave the worl d a seri ous
work whi ch caused to be l aughed off the worl d’s stage
forever the fi nal vesti ges of decadent chi val ry.
The i nsti tuti on had l ong been outgrown, but i ts
vernacul ar conti nued to be the speech and to ex-
press the thought “ of the worl d and among the vul -
gar,” as the quai nt, ol d novel i st puts i t, just as to-
day the novel i ntended for the consumpti on of the
unenl i ghtened must deal wi th peers and mi l l i on-
ai r es an d be dr essed i n sti l ted l an gu age.
Marvel l ousl y he succeeded, but i n a way he l east
i ntended. We have not yet, after so many years, de-
termi ned whether i t i s a work to l augh or cry over.
“ I t i s our joyful l est modern book,” says Carl yl e,
whi l e Landor thi nks that “ readers who see nothi ng
more than a burl esque i n ‘Don Qui xote’ have but
shal l ow appreci ati on of the work.”
Shaw i n l i ke manner comes upon the scene when
many of our soci al usages are outworn. He sees the
fact, announces i t, and we burst i nto guffaws. The
conti nuous l aughter whi ch greets Shaw’s pl ays
ari ses from a real contrast i n the poi nt of vi ew of
the dramati st and hi s audi ences. When Pi nero or
Jones descri bes a whi msi cal si tuati on we never
doubt for a moment that the author’s poi nt of vi ew
i s our own and that the abnormal predi cament of
hi s characters appeal s to hi m i n the same l i ght as to
hi s audi ence. Wi th Shaw thi s sense of communi ty
5
Shaw
of feel i ng i s whol l y l acki ng. He descri bes thi ngs as
he sees them, and the house i s i n a roar. Who i s
ri ght? If we were real l y usi ng our own senses and
not gazi ng through the gl asses of conventi on and
romance and make-bel i eve, shoul d we see thi ngs
as Shaw does?
Must i t not cause Shaw to doubt hi s own or the
publ i c’s sani ty to hear audi ences l aughi ng boi ster-
ousl y over tragi c si tuati ons? And yet, i f they di d
not come to l augh, they woul d not come at al l . Mock-
ery i s the pri ce he must pay for a heari ng. Or has he
cal cul ated to a ni cety the power of reacti on? Does
he seek to dri ve us to aspi rati on by the portrayal of
sordi dness, to di si nterestedness by the pi cture of
sel fi shness, to i l l usi on by di si l l usi onment? It i s i m-
possi bl e to bel i eve that he i s unconsci ous of the
humor of hi s dramati c si tuati ons, yet he stoi cal l y
gi ves no si gn. He even dares the charge, terri bl e i n
proporti on to i ts truth, whi ch the most seri ous of us
shri nks from—the l ack of a sense of humor. Men
woul d rather have thei r i ntegri ty i mpugned.
In “Arms and the Man” the subject whi ch occu-
pi es the dramati st’s attenti on i s that survi val of bar-
bari ty—mi l i tari sm—whi ch rai ses i ts horri d head
from ti me to ti me to cast a doubt on the real i ty of
our ci vi l i zati on. No more hoary supersti ti on survi ves
than that the donni ng of a uni form changes the na-
ture of the wearer. Thi s noti on pervades soci ety to
such an extent that when we fi nd some sol di ers
pl aced upon the stage acti ng rati onal l y, our conven-
ti onal i zed senses are shocked. The onl y men who
have no i l l usi ons about war are those who have re-
centl y been there, and, of course, Mr. Shaw, who
has no i l l usi ons about anythi ng.
It i s hard to speak too hi ghl y of “ Candi da.” No
equal l y subtl e and i nci si ve study of domesti c rel a-
ti ons exi sts i n the Engl i sh drama. One has to turn to
George Meredi th’s “ The Egoi st” to fi nd such char-
acter di ssecti on. The central note of the pl ay i s, that
wi th the true woman, weakness whi ch appeal s to
the maternal i nsti nct i s more powerful than strength
whi ch offers protecti on. Candi da i s qui te unpoeti c,
6
Arms and the Man
as, i ndeed, wi th rare excepti ons, women are prone
to be. They have smal l del i ght i n poetry, but are the
stuff of whi ch poems and dreams are made. The
husband gl oryi ng i n hi s strength but convi cted of
hi s weakness, the poet pi ti ful i n hi s physi cal i mpo-
tence but strong i n hi s percepti on of truth, the hope-
l essl y de-moral i zed manufacturer, the conventi onal
and hence emoti onal typi st make up a group whi ch
the drama of any l anguage may be chal l enged to
ri val .
In “ The Man of Desti ny” the object of the drama-
ti st i s not so much the destructi on as the expl ana-
ti on of the Napol eoni c tradi ti on, whi ch has so pow-
erful l y i nfl uenced generati on after generati on for a
century. However the man may be regarded, he was
a mi racl e. Shaw shows that he achi eved hi s extraor-
di nary career by suspendi ng, for hi msel f, the pres-
sure of the moral and conventi onal atmosphere,
whi l e l eavi ng i t operati ve for others. Those who
study thi s pl ay—extravaganza, that i t i s—wi l l at-
tai n a cl earer comprehensi on of Napol eon than they
can get from al l the bi ographi es.
“ You Never Can Tel l ” offers an amusi ng study of
the pl ay of soci al conventi ons. The “ twi ns” i l l us-
trate the di sconcerti ng effects of that perfect frank-
ness whi ch woul d make l i fe i ntol erabl e. Gl ori a dem-
onstrates the powerl essness of reason to overcome
natural i nsti ncts. The i dea that parental duti es and
functi ons can be ful fi l l ed by the l i ght of such knowl -
edge as man and woman attai n by i ntui ti on i s bri l -
l i antl y l ampooned. Crampton, the father, typi fi es the
common supersti ti on that among the pri vi l eges of
parenthood are i nfl exi bi l i ty, tyranny, and respect,
the l ast enti rel y regardl ess of whether i t has been
deserved.
The wai ter, Wi l l i am, i s the best i l l ustrati on of the
man “ who knows hi s pl ace” that the stage has seen.
He i s the most patheti c fi gure of the pl ay. One touch
of veri si mi l i tude i s l acki ng; none of the guests gi ves
hi m a ti p, yet he mai ntai ns hi s urbani ty. As Mr. Shaw
has not yet vi si ted Ameri ca he may be unaware of
the i mprobabi l i ty of thi s si tuati on.
7
Shaw
To those who regard l i terary men merel y as pur-
veyors of amusement for peopl e who have not wi t
enough to entertai n themsel ves, Ibsen and Shaw,
Maeterl i nck and Gorky must remai n eni gmas. It i s
so much pl easanter to i gnore than to face unpl eas-
ant real i ti es—to take Ri versi de Dri ve and not Mul -
berry Street as the exponent of our l i fe and the ex-
pressi on of our ci vi l i zati on. These men are the
sappers and mi ners of the advanci ng army of jus-
ti ce. The audi ence whi ch demands the truth and
despi ses the contempti bl e conventi ons that domi -
nate al i ke our stage and our l i fe i s dai l y growi ng.
Shaw and men l i ke hi m—i f i ndeed he i s not abso-
l utel y uni que—wi l l not for the future l ack a hear-
i ng.
M.
ARMS AND THE MAN
ACT I
Ni ght Ni ght Ni ght Ni ght Ni ght. A l ady’s bedchamber i n Bul gari a, i n a smal l
town near the Dragoman Pass. It i s l ate i n Novem-
ber i n the year 1885, and through an open wi ndow
wi th a l i ttl e bal cony on the l eft can be seen a peak
of the Bal kans, wonderful l y whi te and beauti ful i n
the starl i t snow. The i nteri or of the room i s not l i ke
anythi ng to be seen i n the east of Europe. It i s hal f
ri ch Bul gari an, hal f cheap Vi ennese. The counter-
pane and hangi ngs of the bed, the wi ndow cur-
tai ns, the l i ttl e carpet, and al l the ornamental tex-
ti l e fabri cs i n the room are ori ental and gorgeous:
the paper on the wal l s i s occi dental and pal try.
Above the head of the bed, whi ch stands agai nst a
l i ttl e wal l cutti ng off the ri ght hand corner of the
room di agonal l y, i s a pai nted wooden shri ne, bl ue
and gol d, wi th an i vory i mage of Chri st, and a l i ght
hangi ng before i t i n a pi erced metal bal l suspended
8
Arms and the Man
by three chai ns. On the l eft, further forward, i s an
ottoman. The washstand, agai nst the wal l on the
l eft, consi sts of an enamel l ed i ron basi n wi th a pai l
beneath i t i n a pai nted metal frame, and a si ngl e
towel on the rai l at the si de. A chai r near i t i s Aus-
tri an bent wood, wi th cane seat. The dressi ng tabl e,
between the bed and the wi ndow, i s an ordi nary
pi ne tabl e, covered wi th a cl oth of many col ors, but
wi th an expensi ve toi l et mi rror on i t. The door i s on
the ri ght; and there i s a chest of drawers between
the door and the bed. Thi s chest of drawers i s al so
covered by a vari egated nati ve cl oth, and on i t there
i s a pi l e of paper backed novel s, a box of chocol ate
creams, and a mi ni ature easel , on whi ch i s a l arge
photograph of an extremel y handsome offi cer,
whose l ofty beari ng and magneti c gl ance can be fel t
even from the portrai t. The room i s l i ghted by a
candl e on the chest of drawers, and another on the
dressi ng tabl e, wi th a box of matches besi de i t.
The wi ndow i s hi nged doorwi se and stands wi de
open, fol di ng back to the l eft. Outsi de a pai r of
wooden shutters, openi ng outwards, al so stand
open. On the bal cony, a young l ady, i ntensel y con-
sci ous of the romanti c beauty of the ni ght, and of
the fact that her own youth and beauty i s a part of
i t, i s on the bal cony, gazi ng at the snowy Bal kans.
She i s covered by a l ong mantl e of furs, worth, on a
moderate esti mate, about three ti mes the furni ture
of her room.
Her reveri e i s i nterrupted by her mother, Catheri ne
Petkoff, a woman over forty, i mperi usl y energeti c,
wi th magni fi cent bl ack hai r and eyes, who mi ght
be a very spl endi d speci men of the wi fe of a moun-
tai n farmer, but i s determi ned to be a Vi ennese l ady,
and to that end wears a fashi onabl e tea gown on al l
occasi ons.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (enteri ng hasti l y, ful l of good news).
Rai na—(she pronounces i t Rah-eena, wi th the stress
on the ee) Rai na—(she goes to the bed, expecti ng to
fi nd Rai na there.) Why, where—(Rai na l ooks i nto
the room.) Heavens! chi l d, are you out i n the ni ght
ai r i nstead of i n your bed? You’l l catch your death.
Louka tol d me you were asl eep.
9
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (comi ng i n). I sent her away. I wanted to be
al one. The stars are so beauti ful ! What i s the mat-
ter?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Such news. There has been a battl e!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (her eyes di l ati ng). Ah! (She throws the cl oak
on the ottoman, and comes eagerl y to Catheri ne i n
her ni ghtgown, a pretty garment, but evi dentl y the
onl y one she has on.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. A great battl e at Sl i vni tza! A vi ctory!
And i t was won by Sergi us.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th a cry of del i ght). Ah! (Rapturousl y.)
Oh, mother! (Then, wi th sudden anxi ety) Is father
safe?
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE. Of course: he sent me the news.
Sergi us i s the hero of the hour, the i dol of the regi -
ment.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Tel l me, tel l me. How was i t! (Ecstati cal l y)
Oh, mother, mother, mother! (Rai na pul l s her mother
down on the ottoman; and they ki ss one another
franti cal l y.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (wi th surgi ng enthusi asm). You can’t
guess how spl endi d i t i s. A caval ry charge—thi nk
of that! He defi ed our Russi an commanders—acted
wi thout orders—l ed a charge on hi s own responsi -
bi l i ty—headed i t hi msel f—was the fi rst man to
sweep through thei r guns. Can’t you see i t, Rai na;
our gal l ant spl endi d Bul gari ans wi th thei r swords
and eyes fl ashi ng, thunderi ng down l i ke an ava-
l anche and scatteri ng the wretched Servi an dandi es
l i ke chaff. And you—you kept Sergi us wai ti ng a year
before you woul d be betrothed to hi m. Oh, i f you
have a drop of Bul gari an bl ood i n your vei ns, you
wi l l worshi p hi m when he comes back.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. What wi l l he care for my poor l i ttl e wor-
shi p after the accl amati ons of a whol e army of he-
roes? But no matter: I am so happy—so proud! (She
ri ses and wal ks about exci tedl y.) It proves that al l
our i deas were real after al l .
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (i ndi gnantl y). Our i deas real ! What do
you mean?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Our i deas of what Sergi us woul d do—our
patri oti sm —our heroi c i deal s. Oh, what fai thl ess
l i ttl e creatures gi rl s are!—I someti mes used to doubt
whether they were anythi ng but dreams. When I
10
Arms and the Man
buckl ed on Sergi us’s sword he l ooked so nobl e: i t
was treason to thi nk of di si l l usi on or humi l i ati on
or fai l ure. And yet—and yet—(Qui ckl y.) Promi se me
you’l l never tel l hi m.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Don’t ask me for promi ses unti l I know
what I am promi si ng.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Wel l , i t came i nto my head just as he was
hol di ng me i n hi s arms and l ooki ng i nto my eyes,
that perhaps we onl y had our heroi c i deas because
we are so fond of readi ng Byron and Pushki n, and
because we were so del i ghted wi th the opera that
season at Bucharest. Real l i fe i s so sel dom l i ke that—
i ndeed never, as far as I knew i t then. (Remorse-
ful l y.) Onl y thi nk, mother, I doubted hi m: I won-
dered whether al l hi s heroi c qual i ti es and hi s
sol di ershi p mi ght not prove mere i magi nati on when
he went i nto a real battl e. I had an uneasy fear that
he mi ght cut a poor fi gure there besi de al l those
cl ever Russi an offi cers.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. A poor fi gure! Shame on you! The
Servi ans have Austri an offi cers who are just as cl ever
as our Russi ans; but we have beaten them i n every
battl e for al l that.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (l aughi ng and si tti ng down agai n). Yes, I was
onl y a prosai c l i ttl e coward. Oh, to thi nk that i t was
al l true—that Sergi us i s just as spl endi d and nobl e
as he l ooks—that the worl d i s real l y a gl ori ous worl d
for women who can see i ts gl ory and men who can
act i ts romance! What happi ness! what unspeak-
abl e ful fi l ment! Ah! (She throws hersel f on her knees
besi de her mother and fl i ngs her arms passi onatel y
round her. They are i nterrupted by the entry of
Louka, a handsome, proud gi rl i n a pretty Bul gari an
peasant’s dress wi th doubl e apron, so defi ant that
her servi l i ty to Rai na i s al most i nsol ent. She i s afrai d
of Catheri ne, but even wi th her goes as far as she
dares. She i s just now exci ted l i ke the others; but
she has no sympathy for Rai na’s raptures and l ooks
contemptuousl y at the ecstasi es of the two before
she addresses them.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. If you pl ease, madam, al l the wi ndows are
to be cl osed and the shutters made fast. They say
there may be shooti ng i n the streets. (Rai na and
Catheri ne ri se together, al armed.) The Servi ans are
bei ng chased ri ght back through the pass; and they
say they may run i nto the town. Our caval ry wi l l be
after them; and our peopl e wi l l be ready for them
you may be sure, now that they are runni ng away.
(She goes out on the bal cony and pul l s the outsi de
11
Shaw
shutters to; then steps back i nto the room.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I wi sh our peopl e were not so cruel . What
gl ory i s there i n ki l l i ng wretched fugi ti ves?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (busi ness-l i ke, her housekeepi ng i n-
sti ncts aroused). I must see that everythi ng i s made
safe downstai rs.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (to Louka). Leave the shutters so that I can
just cl ose them i f I hear any noi se.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (authori tati vel y, turni ng on her way
to the door). Oh, no, dear, you must keep them fas-
tened. You woul d be sure to drop off to sl eep and
l eave them open. Make them fast, Louka.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes, madam. (She fastens them.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Don’t be anxi ous about me. The moment I
hear a shot, I shal l bl ow out the candl es and rol l
mysel f up i n bed wi th my ears wel l covered.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Qui te the wi sest thi ng you can do, my
l ove. Good-ni ght.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Good-ni ght. (They ki ss one another, and
Rai na’s emoti on comes back for a moment.) Wi sh
me joy of the happi est ni ght of my l i fe—i f onl y there
are no fugi ti ves.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Go to bed, dear; and don’t thi nk of
them. (She goes out.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (secretl y, to Rai na). If you woul d l i ke the
shutters open, just gi ve them a push l i ke thi s. (She
pushes them: they open: she pul l s them to agai n.)
One of them ought to be bol ted at the bottom; but
the bol t’s gone.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th di gni ty, reprovi ng her). Thanks, Louka;
but we must do what we are tol d. (Louka makes a
gri mace.) Good-ni ght.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (carel essl y). Good-ni ght. (She goes out,
swaggeri ng.)
(Rai na, l eft al one, goes to the chest of drawers,
and adores the portrai t there wi th feel i ngs that
are beyond al l expressi on. She does not ki ss i t or
press i t to her breast, or shew i t any mark of
bodi l y affecti on; but she takes i t i n her hands
and el evates i t l i ke a pri estess.)
12
Arms and the Man
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (l ooki ng up at the pi cture wi th worshi p.)
Oh, I shal l never be unworthy of you any more, my
hero—never, never, never.
(She repl aces i t reverentl y, and sel ects a novel
from the l i ttl e pi l e of books. She turns over the
l eaves dreami l y; fi nds her page; turns the book
i nsi de out at i t; and then, wi th a happy si gh,
gets i nto bed and prepares to read hersel f to
sl eep. But before abandoni ng hersel f to fi cti on,
she rai ses her eyes once more, thi nki ng of the
bl essed real i ty and murmurs)
My hero! my hero!
(A di stant shot breaks the qui et of the ni ght
outsi de. She starts, l i steni ng; and two more
shots, much nearer, fol l ow, startl i ng her so that
she scrambl es out of bed, and hasti l y bl ows out
the candl e on the chest of drawers. Then, putti ng
her fi ngers i n her ears, she runs to the dressi ng-
tabl e and bl ows out the l i ght there, and hurri e
back to bed. The room i s now i n darkness:
nothi ng i s vi si bl e but the gl i mmer of the l i ght i n
the pi erced bal l before the i mage, and the
starl i ght seen through the sl i ts at the top of the
shutters. The fi ri ng breaks out agai n: there i s a
startl i ng fusi l l ade qui te cl ose at hand. Whi l st i t
i s sti l l echoi ng, the shutters di sappear, pul l ed
open from wi thout, and for an i nstant the
rectangl e of snowy starl i ght fl ashes out wi th the
fi gure of a man i n bl ack upon i t. The shutters
cl ose i mmedi atel y and the room i s dark agai n. But
the si l ence i s now broken by the sound of
panti ng. Then there i s a scrape; and the fl ame of
a match i s seen i n the mi ddl e of the room.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (crouchi ng on the bed). Who’s there? (The
match i s out i nstantl y.) Who’s there? Who i s that?
A MAN’S V A MAN’S V A MAN’S V A MAN’S V A MAN’S VOICE OICE OICE OICE OICE (i n the darkness, subduedl y, but
threateni ngl y). Sh—sh! Don’t cal l out or you’l l be
shot. Be good; and no harm wi l l happen to you. (She
i s heard l eavi ng her bed, and maki ng for the door.)
Take care, there’s no use i n tryi ng to run away. Re-
member, i f you rai se your voi ce my pi stol wi l l go
off. (Commandi ngl y.) Stri ke a l i ght and l et me see
you. Do you hear? (Another moment of si l ence and
darkness. Then she i s heard retreati ng to the dress-
i ng-tabl e. She l i ghts a candl e, and the mystery i s at
an end. A man of about 35, i n a depl orabl e pl i ght,
bespattered wi th mud and bl ood and snow, hi s bel t
and the strap of hi s revol ver case keepi ng together
the torn rui ns of the bl ue coat of a Servi an arti l l ery
13
Shaw
offi cer. As far as the candl el i ght and hi s unwashed,
unkempt condi ti on make i t possi bl e to judge, he i s
a man of mi ddl i ng stature and undi sti ngui shed ap-
pearance, wi th strong neck and shoul ders, a round-
i sh, obsti nate l ooki ng head covered wi th short cri sp
bronze curl s, cl ear qui ck bl ue eyes and good brows
and mouth, a hopel essl y prosai c nose l i ke that of a
strong-mi nded baby, tri m sol di erl i ke carri age and
energeti c manner, and wi th al l hi s wi ts about hi m
i n spi te of hi s desperate predi cament—even wi th a
sense of humor of i t, wi thout, however, the l east
i ntenti on of tri fl i ng wi th i t or throwi ng away a
chance. He reckons up what he can guess about
Rai na—her age, her soci al posi ti on, her character,
the extent to whi ch she i s fri ghtened—at a gl ance,
and conti nues, more pol i tel y but sti l l most deter-
mi nedl y) Excuse my di sturbi ng you; but you
recogni se my uni form—Servi an. If I’m caught I shal l
be ki l l ed. (Determi nedl y.) Do you understand that?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Yes.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Wel l , I don’t i ntend to get ki l l ed i f I can hel p
i t. (Sti l l more determi nedl y.) Do you understand
that? (He l ocks the door wi th a snap.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (di sdai nful l y). I suppose not. (She draws
hersel f up superbl y, and l ooks hi m strai ght i n the
face, sayi ng wi th emphasi s) Some sol di ers, I know,
are afrai d of death.
MAN (wi th gri m goodhumor). Al l of them, dear l ady,
al l of them, bel i eve me. It i s our duty to l i ve as l ong
as we can, and ki l l as many of the enemy as we can.
Now i f you rai se an al arm—
RAINA (cutti ng hi m short). You wi l l shoot me. How
do you know that I am afrai d to di e?
MAN (cunni ngl y). Ah; but suppose I don’t shoot you,
what wi l l happen then? Why, a l ot of your caval ry—
the greatest bl ackguards i n your army—wi l l burst
i nto thi s pretty room of yours and sl aughter me here
l i ke a pi g; for I’l l fi ght l i ke a demon: they shan’t get
me i nto the street to amuse themsel ves wi th: I know
what they are. Are you prepared to recei ve that sort
of company i n your present undress? (Rai na, sud-
denl y consci ous of her ni ghtgown, i nsti ncti vel y
shri nks and gathers i t more cl osel y about her. He
watches her, and adds, pi ti l essl y) It’s rather scanty,
eh? (She turns to the ottoman. He rai ses hi s pi stol
i nstantl y, and cri es) Stop! (She stops.) Where are
you goi ng?
14
Arms and the Man
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th di gni fi ed pati ence). Onl y to get my
cl oak.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (darti ng to the ottoman and snatchi ng the
cl oak). A good i dea. No: I’l l keep the cl oak: and you
wi l l take care that nobody comes i n and sees you
wi thout i t. Thi s i s a better weapon than the pi stol .
(He throws the pi stol down on the ottoman.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (revol ted). It i s not the weapon of a gentl e-
man!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. It’s good enough for a man wi th onl y you to
stand between hi m and death. (As they l ook at one
another for a moment, Rai na hardl y abl e to bel i eve
that even a Servi an offi cer can be so cyni cal l y and
sel fi shl y unchi val rous, they are startl ed by a sharp
fusi l l ade i n the street. The chi l l of i mmi nent death
hushes the man’s voi ce as he adds) Do you hear? If
you are goi ng to bri ng those scoundrel s i n on me
you shal l recei ve them as you are. (Rai na meets hi s
eye wi th unfl i nchi ng scorn. Suddenl y he starts, l i s-
teni ng. There i s a step outsi de. Someone tri es the
door, and then knocks hurri edl y and urgentl y at i t.
Rai na l ooks at the man, breathl ess. He throws up
hi s head wi th the gesture of a man who sees that i t
i s al l over wi th hi m, and, droppi ng the manner
whi ch he has been assumi ng to i nti mi date her, fl i ngs
the cl oak to her, excl ai mi ng, si ncerel y and ki ndl y)
No use: I ’m done for. Qui ck! wrap yoursel f up:
they’re comi ng!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (catchi ng the cl oak eagerl y). Oh, thank you.
(She wraps hersel f up wi th great rel i ef. He draws
hi s sabre and turns to the door, wai ti ng.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (outsi de, knocki ng). My l ady, my l ady! Get
up, qui ck, and open the door.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (anxi ousl y). What wi l l you do?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (gri ml y). Never mi nd. Keep out of the way. It
wi l l not l ast l ong.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i mpul si vel y). I’l l hel p you. Hi de yoursel f,
oh, hi de yoursel f, qui ck, behi nd the curtai n. (She
sei zes hi m by a torn stri p of hi s sl eeve, and pul l s
hi m towards the wi ndow.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (yi el di ng to her). There i s just hal f a chance,
i f you keep your head. Remember: ni ne sol di ers out
of ten are born fool s. (He hi des behi nd the curtai n,
l ooki ng out for a moment to say, fi nal l y) If they fi nd
me, I promi se you a fi ght—a devi l of a fi ght! (He
15
Shaw
di sappears. Rai na takes of the cl oak and throws i t
across the foot of the bed. Then wi th a sl eepy, di s-
turbed ai r, she opens the door. Louka enters exci t-
edl y.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. A man has been seen cl i mbi ng up the wa-
ter-pi pe to your bal cony—a Servi an. The sol di ers
want to search for hi m; and they are so wi l d and
drunk and furi ous. My l ady says you are to dress at
once.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (as i f annoyed at bei ng di sturbed). They shal l
not search here. Why have they been l et i n?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (comi ng i n hasti l y). Rai na, darl i ng, are
you safe? Have you seen anyone or heard anythi ng?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I heard the shooti ng. Surel y the sol di ers wi l l
not dare come i n here?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. I have found a Russi an offi cer, thank
Heaven: he knows Sergi us. (Speaki ng through the
door to someone outsi de.) Si r, wi l l you come i n now!
My daughter i s ready.
(A young Russi an offi cer, i n Bul gari an uni form,
enters, sword i n hand.)
THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER. (wi th soft, fel i ne pol i teness and sti ff
mi l i tary carri age). Good eveni ng, graci ous l ady; I
am sorry to i ntrude, but there i s a fugi ti ve hi di ng on
the bal cony. Wi l l you and the graci ous l ady your
mother pl ease to wi thdraw whi l st we search?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (petul antl y). Nonsense, si r, you can see that
there i s no one on the bal cony. (She throws the shut-
ters wi de open and stands wi th her back to the cur-
tai n where the man i s hi dden, poi nti ng to the moon-
l i t bal cony. A coupl e of shots are fi red ri ght under
the wi ndow, and a bul l et shatters the gl ass opposi te
Rai na, who wi nks and gasps, but stands her ground,
whi l st Catheri ne screams, and the offi cer rushes to
the bal cony.)
THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER. (on the bal cony, shouti ng savagel y
down to the street). Cease fi ri ng there, you fool s: do
you hear? Cease fi ri ng, damn you. (He gl ares down
for a moment; then turns to Rai na, tryi ng to resume
hi s pol i te manner.) Coul d anyone have got i n wi th-
out your knowl edge? Were you asl eep?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. No, I have not been to bed.
THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER THE OFFICER. (i mpati entl y, comi ng back i nto the
room). Your nei ghbours have thei r heads so ful l of
16
Arms and the Man
runaway Servi ans that they see them everywhere.
(Pol i tel y.) Graci ous l ady, a thousand pardons. Good-
ni ght. (Mi l i tary bow, whi ch Rai na returns col dl y.
Another to Catheri ne, who fol l ows hi m out. Rai na
cl oses the shutters. She turns and sees Louka, who
has been watchi ng the scene curi ousl y.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Don’t l eave my mother, Louka, whi l st the
sol di ers are here. (Louka gl ances at Rai na, at the
ottoman, at the curtai n; then purses her l i ps secre-
ti vel y, l aughs to hersel f, and goes out. Rai na fol l ows
her to the door, shuts i t behi nd her wi th a sl am, and
l ocks i t vi ol entl y. The man i mmedi atel y steps out
from behi nd the curtai n, sheathi ng hi s sabre, and
di smi ssi ng the danger from hi s mi nd i n a busi ness-
l i ke way.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. A narrow shave; but a mi ss i s as good as a
mi l e. Dear young l ady, your servant unti l death. I
wi sh for your sake I had joi ned the Bul gari an army
i nstead of the Servi an. I am not a nati ve Servi an.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (haughti l y). No, you are one of the Austri -
ans who set the Servi ans on to rob us of our na-
ti onal l i berty, and who offi cer thei r army for them.
We hate them!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Austri an! not I. Don’t hate me, dear young
l ady. I am onl y a Swi ss, fi ghti ng merel y as a profes-
si onal sol di er. I joi ned Servi a because i t was near-
est to me. Be generous: you’ve beaten us hol l ow.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Have I not been generous?
MAN. Nobl e!—heroi c! But I’m not saved yet. Thi s
parti cul ar rush wi l l soon pass through; but the pur-
sui t wi l l go on al l ni ght by fi ts and starts. I must
take my chance to get off duri ng a qui et i nterval .
You don’t mi nd my wai ti ng just a mi nute or two, do
you?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Oh, no: I am sorry you wi l l have to go i nto
danger agai n. (Moti oni ng towards ottoman.) Won’t
you si t—(She breaks off wi th an i rrepressi bl e cry of
al arm as she catches si ght of the pi stol . The man,
al l nerves, shi es l i ke a fri ghtened horse.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (i rri tabl y). Don’t fri ghten me l i ke that. What
i s i t?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Your pi stol ! It was stari ng that offi cer i n the
face al l the ti me. What an escape!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (vexed at bei ng unnecessari l y terri fi ed). Oh,
17
Shaw
i s that al l ?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (stari ng at hi m rather superci l i ousl y, con-
cei vi ng a poorer and poorer opi ni on of hi m, and
feel i ng proporti onatel y more and more at her ease
wi th hi m). I am sorry I fri ghtened you. (She takes
up the pi stol and hands i t to hi m.) Pray take i t to
protect yoursel f agai nst me.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (gri nni ng weari l y at the sarcasm as he takes
the pi stol ). No use, dear young l ady: there’s noth-
i ng i n i t. It’s not l oaded. (He makes a gri mace at i t,
and drops i t di sparagi ngl y i nto hi s revol ver case.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Load i t by al l means.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I’ve no ammuni ti on. What use are cartri dges
i n battl e? I al ways carry chocol ate i nstead; and I
fi ni shed the l ast cake of that yesterday.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (outraged i n her most cheri shed i deal s of
manhood). Chocol ate! Do you stuff your pockets
wi th sweets—l i ke a school boy—even i n the fi el d?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Yes. Isn’t i t contempti bl e?
(Rai na stares at hi m, unabl e to utter her
feel i ngs. Then she sai l s away scornful l y to the
chest of drawers, and returns wi th the box of
confecti onery i n her hand.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Al l ow me. I am sorry I have eaten them al l
except these. (She offers hi m the box.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (ravenousl y). You’re an angel ! (He gobbl es the
comfi ts.) Creams! Del i ci ous! (He l ooks anxi ousl y to
see whether there are any more. There are none. He
accepts the i nevi tabl e wi th patheti c goodhumor, and
says, wi th grateful emoti on) Bl ess you, dear l ady. You
can al ways tel l an ol d sol di er by the i nsi de of hi s
hol sters and cartri dge boxes. The young ones carry
pi stol s and cartri dges; the ol d ones, grub. Thank you.
(He hands back the box. She snatches i t contemptu-
ousl y from hi m and throws i t away. Thi s i mpati ent
acti on i s so sudden that he shi es agai n.) Ugh! Don’t
do thi ngs so suddenl y, graci ous l ady. Don’t revenge
yoursel f because I fri ghtened you just now.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (superbl y). Fri ghten me! Do you know, si r,
that though I am onl y a woman, I thi nk I am at heart
as brave as you.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I shoul d thi nk so. You haven’t been under
fi re for three days as I have. I can stand two days
18
Arms and the Man
wi thout shewi ng i t much; but no man can stand
three days: I’m as nervous as a mouse. (He si ts down
on the ottoman, and takes hi s head i n hi s hands.)
Woul d you l i ke to see me cry?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (qui ckl y). No.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. If you woul d, al l you have to do i s to scol d me
just as i f I were a l i ttl e boy and you my nurse. If I were
i n camp now they’d pl ay al l sorts of tri cks on me.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (a l i ttl e moved). I’m sorry. I won’t scol d you.
(Touched by the sympathy i n her tone, he rai ses hi s
head and l ooks grateful l y at her: she i mmedi atel y
draws hack and says sti ffl y) You must excuse me:
our sol di ers are not l i ke that. (She moves away from
the ottoman.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Oh, yes, they are. There are onl y two sorts of
sol di ers: ol d ones and young ones. I’ve served four-
teen years: hal f of your fel l ows never smel t powder
before. Why, how i s i t that you’ve just beaten us?
Sheer i gnorance of the art of war, nothi ng el se. (In-
di gnantl y.) I never saw anythi ng so unprofessi onal .
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i roni cal l y). Oh, was i t unprofessi onal to beat
you?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Wel l , come, i s i t professi onal to throw a regi -
ment of caval ry on a battery of machi ne guns, wi th
the dead certai nty that i f the guns go off not a horse
or man wi l l ever get wi thi n fi fty yards of the fi re? I
coul dn’t bel i eve my eyes when I saw i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (eagerl y turni ng to hi m, as al l her enthusi -
asm and her dream of gl ory rush back on her). Di d
you see the great caval ry charge? Oh, tel l me about
i t. Descri be i t to me.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. You never saw a caval ry charge, di d you?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. How coul d I?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Ah, perhaps not—of course. Wel l , i t’s a funny
si ght. It’s l i ke sl i ngi ng a handful of peas agai nst a
wi ndow pane: fi rst one comes; then two or three
cl ose behi nd hi m; and then al l the rest i n a l ump.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (her eyes di l ati ng as she rai ses her cl asped
hands ecstati cal l y). Yes, fi rst One!—the bravest of
the brave!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (prosai cal l y). Hm! you shoul d see the poor
devi l pul l i ng at hi s horse.
19
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Why shoul d he pul l at hi s horse?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (i mpati ent of so stupi d a questi on). It’s run-
ni ng away wi th hi m, of course: do you suppose the
fel l ow wants to get there before the others and be
ki l l ed? Then they al l come. You can tel l the young
ones by thei r wi l dness and thei r sl ashi ng. The ol d
ones come bunched up under the number one guard:
they know that they are mere projecti l es, and that
i t’s no use tryi ng to fi ght. The wounds are mostl y
broken knees, from the horses cannoni ng together.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Ugh! But I don’t bel i eve the fi rst man i s a
coward. I bel i eve he i s a hero!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (goodhumoredl y). That’s what you’d have sai d
i f you’d seen the fi rst man i n the charge to-day.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (breathl ess). Ah, I knew i t! Tel l me—tel l me
about hi m.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. He di d i t l i ke an operati c tenor—a regul ar
handsome fel l ow, wi th fl ashi ng eyes and l ovel y
moustache, shouti ng a war-cry and chargi ng l i ke
Don Qui xote at the wi ndmi l l s. We nearl y burst wi th
l aughter at hi m; but when the sergeant ran up as
whi te as a sheet, and tol d us they’d sent us the wrong
cartri dges, and that we coul dn’t fi re a shot for the
next ten mi nutes, we l aughed at the other si de of
our mouths. I never fel t so si ck i n my l i fe, though
I’ve been i n one or two very ti ght pl aces. And I hadn’t
even a revol ver cartri dge—nothi ng but chocol ate.
We’d no bayonets—nothi ng. Of course, they just cut
us to bi ts. And there was Don Qui xote fl ouri shi ng
l i ke a drum major, thi nki ng he’d done the cl everest
th i n g ev er kn own , wh er eas h e ou gh t to be
courtmarti al l ed for i t. Of al l the fool s ever l et l oose
on a fi el d of battl e, that man must be the very mad-
dest. He and hi s regi ment si mpl y commi tted sui -
ci de—onl y the pi stol mi ssed fi re, that’s al l .
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (deepl y wounded, but steadfastl y l oyal to
her i deal s). Indeed! Woul d you know hi m agai n i f
you saw hi m?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Shal l I ever forget hi m. (She agai n goes to the
chest of drawers. He watches her wi th a vague hope
that she may have somethi ng el se for hi m to eat.
She takes the portrai t from i ts stand and bri ngs i t to
hi m.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. That i s a photograph of the gentl eman—
the patri ot and hero—to whom I am betrothed.
20
Arms and the Man
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (l ooki ng at i t). I’m real l y very sorry. (Looki ng
at her.) Was i t fai r to l ead me on? (He l ooks at the
portrai t agai n.) Yes: that’s hi m: not a doubt of i t. (He
sti fl es a l augh.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (qui ckl y). Why do you l augh?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (shamefacedl y, but sti l l greatl y ti ckl ed). I di dn’t
l augh, I assure you. At l east I di dn’t mean to. But
when I thi nk of hi m chargi ng the wi ndmi l l s and
thi nki ng he was doi ng the fi nest thi ng—(chokes wi th
suppressed l aughter).
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (sternl y). Gi ve me back the portrai t, si r.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (wi th si ncere remorse). Of course. Certai nl y.
I ’m real l y very sorry. (She del i beratel y ki sses i t,
and l ooks hi m strai ght i n the face, before return-
i ng to the chest of drawers to repl ace i t. He fol l ows
her, apol ogi zi ng.) Perhaps I ’m qui te wrong, you
know: no doubt I am. Most l i kel y he had got wi nd
of the cartri dge busi ness somehow, and knew i t
was a safe job.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. That i s to say, he was a pretender and a
coward! You di d not dare say that before.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (wi th a comi c gesture of despai r). It’s no use,
dear l ady: I can’t make you see i t from the profes-
si onal poi nt of vi ew. (As he turns away to get back
to the ottoman, the fi ri ng begi ns agai n i n the di s-
tance.)
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (sternl y, as she sees hi m l i steni ng to the
shots). So much the better for you.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (turni ng). How?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You are my enemy; and you are at my mercy.
What woul d I do i f I were a professi onal sol di er?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Ah, true, dear young l ady: you’re al ways ri ght.
I know how good you have been to me: to my l ast
hour I shal l remember those three chocol ate creams.
It was unsol di erl y; but i t was angel i c.
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (col dl y). Thank you. And now I wi l l do a
sol di erl y thi ng. You cannot stay here after what
you have just sai d about my future husband; but I
wi l l go out on the bal cony and see whether i t i s
safe for you to cl i mb down i nto the street. (She
turns to the wi ndow.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (ch an gi n g cou n ten an ce). Down th at
21
Shaw
waterpi pe! Stop! Wai t! I can’t! I daren’t! The very
thought of i t makes me gi ddy. I came up i t fast
enough wi th death behi nd me. But to face i t now i n
col d bl ood!—(He si nks on the ottoman.) It’s no use:
I gi ve up: I’m beaten. Gi ve the al arm. (He drops hi s
head i n hi s hands i n the deepest dejecti on.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (di sarmed by pi ty). Come, don’t be di sheart-
ened. (She stoops over hi m al most maternal l y: he
shakes hi s head.) Oh, you are a very poor sol di er—
a chocol ate cream sol di er. Come, cheer up: i t takes
l ess courage to cl i mb down than to face capture—
remember that.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (dreami l y, l ul l ed by her voi ce). No, capture
onl y means death; and death i s sl eep—oh, sl eep,
sl eep, sl eep, undi sturbed sl eep! Cl i mbi ng down the
pi pe means doi ng somethi ng—exerti ng mysel f—
thi nki ng! Death ten ti mes over fi rst.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (softl y and wonderi ngl y, catchi ng the rhythm
of hi s weari ness). Are you so sl eepy as that?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I’ve not had two hours’ undi sturbed sl eep
si nce the war began. I’m on the staff: you don’t know
what that means. I haven’t cl osed my eyes for thi rty-
si x hours.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (desperatel y). But what am I to do wi th you.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (staggeri ng up). Of course I must do some-
thi ng. (He shakes hi msel f; pul l s hi msel f together;
and speaks wi th ral l i ed vi gour and courage.) You
see, sl eep or no sl eep, hunger or no hunger, ti red or
not ti red, you can al ways do a thi ng when you know
i t must be done. Wel l , that pi pe must be got down—
(He hi ts hi msel f on the chest, and adds)—Do you
hear that, you chocol ate cream sol di er? (He turns to
the wi ndow.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (anxi ousl y). But i f you fal l ?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I shal l sl eep as i f the stones were a feather
bed. Good-bye. (He makes bol dl y for the wi ndow,
and hi s hand i s on the shutter when there i s a ter-
ri bl e burst of fi ri ng i n the street beneath.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (rushi ng to hi m). Stop! (She catches hi m by
the shoul der, and turns hi m qui te round.) They’l l
ki l l you.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (cool l y, but attenti vel y). Never mi nd: thi s sort
of thi ng i s al l i n my day’s work. I’m bound to take
my chance. (Deci si vel y.) Now do what I tel l you.
Put out the candl es, so that they shan’t see the l i ght
22
Arms and the Man
when I open the shutters. And keep away from the
wi ndow, whatever you do. If they see me, they’re
sure to have a shot at me.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (cl i ngi ng to hi m). They’re sure to see you:
i t’s bri ght moonl i ght. I’l l save you—oh, how can you
be so i ndi fferent? You want me to save you, don’t
you?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I real l y don’t want to be troubl esome. (She
shakes hi m i n her i mpati ence.) I am not i ndi fferent,
dear young l ady, I assure you. But how i s i t to be
done?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Come away from the wi ndow—pl ease. (She
coaxes hi m back to the mi ddl e of the room. He sub-
mi ts humbl y. She rel eases hi m, and addresses hi m
patroni zi ngl y.) Now l i sten. You must trust to our
hospi tal i ty. You do not yet know i n whose house
you are. I am a Petkoff.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. What’s that?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (rather i ndi gnantl y). I mean that I bel ong to
the fami l y of the Petkoffs, the ri chest and best known
i n our country.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Oh, yes, of course. I beg your pardon. The
Petkoffs, to be sure. How stupi d of me!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You know you never heard of them unti l
thi s mi nute. How can you stoop to pretend?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Forgi ve me: I’m too ti red to thi nk; and the
change of subject was too much for me. Don’t scol d
me.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I forgot. It mi ght make you cry. (He nods,
qui te seri ousl y. She pouts and then resumes her
patroni zi ng tone.) I must tel l you that my father
hol ds the hi ghest command of any Bul gari an i n our
army. He i s (proudl y) a Major.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (pretendi ng to be deepl y i mpressed). A Ma-
jor! Bl ess me! Thi nk of that!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You shewed great i gnorance i n thi nki ng that
i t was necessary to cl i mb up to the bal cony, because
ours i s the onl y pri vate house that has two rows of
wi ndows. There i s a fl i ght of stai rs i nsi de to get up
and down by.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Stai rs! How grand! You l i ve i n great l uxury
i ndeed, dear young l ady.
23
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Do you know what a l i brary i s?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. A l i brary? A roomful of books.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Yes, we have one, the onl y one i n Bul gari a.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Actual l y a real l i brary! I shoul d l i ke to see
that.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (affectedl y). I tel l you these thi ngs to shew
you that you are not i n the house of i gnorant coun-
try fol k who woul d ki l l you the moment they saw
your Servi an uni form, but among ci vi l i zed peopl e.
We go to Bucharest every year for the opera season;
and I have spent a whol e month i n Vi enna.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. I saw that, dear young l ady. I saw at once that
you knew the worl d.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Have you ever seen the opera of Ernani ?
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Is that the one wi th the devi l i n i t i n red vel -
vet, and a sol di er’s chorus?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (contemptuousl y). No!
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (sti fl i ng a heavy si gh of weari ness). Then I
don’t know i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I thought you mi ght have remembered the
great scene where Ernani , fl yi ng from hi s foes just
as you are toni ght, takes refuge i n the castl e of hi s
bi tterest enemy, an ol d Casti l i an nobl e. The nobl e
refuses to gi ve hi m up. Hi s guest i s sacred to hi m.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (qui ckl y waki ng up a l i ttl e). Have your peopl e
got that noti on?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th di gni ty). My mother and I can under-
stand that noti on, as you cal l i t. And i f i nstead of
threateni ng me wi th your pi stol as you di d, you had
si mpl y thrown yoursel f as a fugi ti ve on our hospi -
tal i ty, you woul d have been as safe as i n your father’s
house.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Qui te sure?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (turni ng her back on hi m i n di sgust.) Oh, i t
i s usel ess to try and make you understand.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Don’t be angry: you see how awkward i t
woul d be for me i f there was any mi stake. My fa-
ther i s a very hospi tabl e man: he keeps si x hotel s;
but I coul dn’t trust hi m as far as that. What about
your father?
24
Arms and the Man
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. He i s away at Sl i vni tza fi ghti ng for hi s coun-
try. I answer for your safety. There i s my hand i n
pl edge of i t. Wi l l that reassure you? (She offers hi m
her hand.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (l ooki ng dubi ousl y at hi s own hand). Better
not touch my hand, dear young l ady. I must have a
wash fi rst.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (touched). That i s very ni ce of you. I see
that you are a gentl eman.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (puzzl ed). Eh?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You must not thi nk I am surpri sed. Bul gar-
i ans of real l y good standi ng—peopl e i n OUR posi -
ti on—wash thei r hands nearl y every day. But I ap-
preci ate your del i cacy. You may take my hand. (She
offers i t agai n.)
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (ki ssi ng i t wi th hi s hands behi nd hi s back).
Thanks, graci ous young l ady: I feel safe at l ast. And
now woul d you mi nd breaki ng the news to your
mother? I had better not stay here secretl y l onger
than i s necessary.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. If you wi l l be so good as to keep perfectl y
sti l l whi l st I am away.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Certai nl y. (He si ts down on the ottoman.)
(Rai na goes to the bed and wraps hersel f i n the
fur cl oak. Hi s eyes cl ose. She goes to the door,
but on turni ng for a l ast l ook at hi m, sees that
he i s droppi ng of to sl eep.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (at the door). You are not goi ng asl eep, are
you? (He murmurs i narti cul atel y: she runs to hi m
and shakes hi m.) Do you hear? Wake up: you are
fal l i ng asl eep.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Eh? Falling aslee—? Oh, no, not the least in the
world: I was only thinking. It’s all right: I’m wide awake.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (severel y). Wi l l you pl ease stand up whi l e I
am away. (He ri ses rel uctantl y.) Al l the ti me, mi nd.
MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN (standi ng unsteadi l y). Certai nl y—certai nl y:
you may depend on me.
(Rai na l ooks doubtful l y at hi m. He smi l es
fool i shl y. She goes rel uctantl y, turni ng
agai n at the door, and al most catchi ng hi m
i n the act of yawni ng. She goes out.)
25
Shaw
MAN (drowsi l y). Sl eep, sl eep, sl eep, sl eep, sl ee—
(Tbe words trai l of i nto a murmur. He wakes agai n
wi th a shock on the poi nt of fal l i ng.) Where am I?
That’s what I want to know: where am I? Must keep
awake. Nothi ng keeps me awake except danger—
remember that—(i ntentl y) danger, danger, danger,
dan— Where’s danger? Must fi nd i t. (He starts of
vaguel y around the room i n search of i t.) What am I
l ooki ng for? Sl eep—danger—don’t know. (He
stumbl es agai nst the bed.) Ah, yes: now I know. Al l
ri ght now. I’m to go to bed, but not to sl eep—be
sure not to sl eep—because of danger. Not to l i e
down, ei ther, onl y si t down. (He si ts on the bed. A
bl i ssful expressi on comes i nto hi s face.) Ah! (Wi th
a happy si gh he si nks back at ful l l ength; l i fts hi s
boots i nto the bed wi th a fi nal effort; and fal l s fast
asl eep i nstantl y.)
(Catheri ne comes i n, fol l owed by Rai na.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (l ooki ng at the ottoman). He’s gone! I l eft
hi m here.
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERINE, Here! Then he must have cl i mbed
down from the—
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (seei ng hi m). Oh! (She poi nts.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (scandal i zed). Wel l ! (She stri des to the
l eft si de of the bed, Rai na fol l owi ng and standi ng
opposi te her on the ri ght.) He’s fast asl eep. The
brute!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (anxi ousl y). Sh!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (shaki ng hi m). Si r! (Shaki ng hi m agai n,
harder.) Si r!! (Vehementl y shaki ng very bard.) Si r!!!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (catchi ng her arm). Don’t, mamma: the poor
dear i s worn out. Let hi m sl eep.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (l etti ng hi m go and turni ng amazed to
Rai na). The poor dear! Rai na!!! (She l ooks sternl y
at her daughter. The man sl eeps profoundl y.)
26
Arms and the Man
ACT II
The si xth of March, 1886. In the garden of major
Petkoff ’s house. It i s a fi ne spri ng morni ng; and the
garden l ooks fresh and pretty. Beyond the pal i ng
the tops of a coupl e of mi narets can he seen, shewi ng
that there i t a val l ey there, wi th the l i ttl e town i n i t.
A few mi l es further the Bal kan mountai ns ri se and
shut i n the vi ew. Wi thi n the garden the si de of the
house i s seen on the ri ght, wi th a garden door
reached by a l i ttl e fl i ght of steps. On the l eft the
stabl e yard, wi th i ts gateway, encroaches on the gar-
den. There are frui t bushes al ong the pal i ng and
house, covered wi th washi ng hung out to dry. A path
runs by the house, and ri ses by two steps at the cor-
ner where i t turns out of the ri ght al ong the front. In
the mi ddl e a smal l tabl e, wi th two bent wood chai rs
at i t, i s l ai d for breakfast wi th Turki sh coffee pot,
cups, rol l s, etc.; but the cups have been used and
the bread broken. There i s a wooden garden seat
agai nst the wal l on the l eft.
Louka, smoki ng a ci garet, i s standi ng between the
tabl e and the house, turni ng her back wi th angry
di sdai n on a man-servant who i s l ecturi ng her. He
i s a mi ddl e-aged man of cool temperament and l ow
but cl ear and keen i ntel l i gence, wi th the compl a-
cency of the servant who val ues hi msel f on hi s rank
i n servi l i ty, and the i mperturbabi l i ty of the accu-
rate cal cul ator who has no i l l usi ons. He wears a
whi te Bul gari an costume jacket wi th decorated
harder, sash, wi de kni ckerbockers, and decorated
gai ters. Hi s head i s shaved up to the crown, gi vi ng
hi m a hi gh Japanese forehead. Hi s name i s Ni col a.
NI COL NI COL NI COL NI COL NI COLA AA AA. Be warned i n ti me, Louka: mend your
manners. I know the mi stress. She i s so grand that
she never dreams that any servant coul d dare to be
di srespectful to her; but i f she once suspects that
you are defyi ng her, out you go.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I do defy her. I wi l l defy her. What do I
care for her?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. If you quarrel wi th the fami l y, I never can
marry you. It’s the same as i f you quarrel l ed wi th
me!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. You take her part agai nst me, do you?
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (sedatel y). I shal l al ways be dependent on
the good wi l l of the fami l y. When I l eave thei r ser-
vi ce and start a shop i n Sofea, thei r custom wi l l be
hal f my capi tal : thei r bad word woul d rui n me.
27
Shaw
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. You have no spi ri t. I shoul d l i ke to see them
dare say a word agai nst me!
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (pi tyi ngl y). I shoul d have expected more
sense from you, Louka. But you’re young, you’re
young!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes; and you l i ke me the better for i t, don’t
you? But I know some fami l y secrets they woul dn’t
care to have tol d, young as I am. Let them quarrel
wi th me i f they dare!
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (wi th compassi onate superi ori ty). Do you
know what they woul d do i f they heard you tal k
l i ke that?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. What coul d they do?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. Di scharge you for untruthful ness. Who
woul d bel i eve any stori es you tol d after that? Who
woul d gi ve you another si tuati on? Who i n thi s house
woul d dare be seen speaki ng to you ever agai n? How
l ong woul d your father be l eft on hi s l i ttl e farm?
(She i mpati entl y throws away the end of her ci garet,
and stamps on i t.) Chi l d, you don’t know the power
such hi gh peopl e have over the l i ke of you and me
when we try to ri se out of our poverty agai nst them.
(He goes cl ose to her and l owers hi s voi ce.) Look at
me, ten years i n thei r servi ce. Do you thi nk I know
no secrets? I know thi ngs about the mi stress that
she woul dn’t have the master know for a thousand
l evas. I know thi ngs about hi m that she woul dn’t
l et hi m hear the l ast of for si x months i f I bl abbed
them to her. I know thi ngs about Rai na that woul d
break off her match wi th Sergi us i f—
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (turni ng on hi m qui ckl y). How do you
know? I never tol d you!
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (openi ng hi s eyes cunni ngl y). So that’s your
l i ttl e secret, i s i t? I thought i t mi ght be somethi ng
l i ke that. Wel l , you take my advi ce, and be respect-
ful ; and make the mi stress feel that no matter what
you know or don’t know, they can depend on you to
hol d your tongue and serve the fami l y fai thful l y.
That’s what they l i ke; and that’s how you’l l make
most out of them.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (wi th searchi ng scorn). You have the soul
of a servant, Ni col a.
NI COL NI COL NI COL NI COL NI COLA A A A A (compl acentl y). Yes: that’s the secret of
success i n servi ce.
28
Arms and the Man
(A l oud knocki ng wi th a whi p handl e on a wooden
door, outsi de on the l eft, i s heard.)
MALE V MALE V MALE V MALE V MALE VOICE OUTSIDE OICE OUTSIDE OICE OUTSIDE OICE OUTSIDE OICE OUTSIDE. Hol l o! Hol l o there! Ni col a!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Master! back from the war!
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (qui ckl y). My word for i t, Louka, the war’s
over. Off wi th you and get some fresh coffee. (He
runs out i nto the stabl e yard.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (as she puts the coffee pot and the cups
upon the tray, and carri es i t i nto the house). You’l l
never put the soul of a servant i nto me.
(Major Petkoff comes from the stabl e yard,
fol l owed by Ni col a. He i s a cheerful , exci tabl e,
i nsi gni fi cant, unpol i shed man of about 50,
natural l y unambi ti ous except as to hi s i ncome
and hi s i mportance i n l ocal soci ety, but just
now greatl y pl eased wi th the mi l i tary rank
whi ch the war has thrust on hi m as a man of
consequence i n hi s town. The fever of pl ucky
patri oti sm whi ch the Servi an attack roused i n
al l the Bul gari ans has pul l ed hi m through the
war; but he i s obvi ousl y gl ad to be home agai n.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (poi nti ng to the tabl e wi th hi s whi p).
Breakfast out here, eh?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. Yes, si r. The mi stress and Mi ss Rai na have
just gone i n.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (fi tti ng down and taki ng a rol l ). Go i n and
say I’ve come; and get me some fresh coffee.
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. It’s comi ng, si r. (He goes to the house door.
Louka, wi th fresh coffee, a cl ean cup, and a brandy
bottl e on her tray meets hi m.) Have you tol d the
mi stress?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes: she’s comi ng.
(Ni col a goes i nto the house. Louka bri ngs the
coffee to the tabl e.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Wel l , the Servi ans haven’t run away wi th
you, have they?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. No, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. That’s ri ght. Have you brought me some
cognac?
29
Shaw
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (putti ng the bottl e on the tabl e). Here, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. That’s right. (He pours some into his coffee.)
(Catheri ne who has at thi s earl y hour made onl y
a very perfunctory toi l et, and wears a Bul gari an
apron over a once bri l l i ant, but now hal f worn
out red dressi ng gown, and a col ored handker-
chi ef ti ed over her thi ck bl ack hai r, wi th Turk-
i sh sl i ppers on her bare feet, comes from the
house, l ooki ng astoni shi ngl y handsome and
statel y under al l the ci rcumstances. Louka goes
i nto the house.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. My dear Paul , what a surpri se for us.
(She stoops over the back of hi s chai r to ki ss hi m.)
Have they brought you fresh coffee?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Yes, Louka’s been l ooki ng after me. The
war’s over. The treaty was si gned three days ago at
Bucharest; and the decree for our army to demobi -
l i ze was i ssued yesterday.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (spri ngi ng erect, wi th fl ashi ng eyes).
The war over! Paul : have you l et the Austri ans force
you to make peace?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (submi ssi vel y). My dear: they di dn’t con-
sul t me. What coul d I do? (She si ts down and turns
away from hi m.) But of course we saw to i t that the
treaty was an honorabl e one. It decl ares peace—
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (outraged). Peace!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (appeasi ng her).—but not fri endl y rel a-
ti ons: remember that. They wanted to put that i n;
but I i nsi sted on i ts bei ng struck out. What more
coul d I do?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You coul d have annexed Servi a and
made Pri nce Al exander Emperor of the Bal kans.
That’s what I woul d have done.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. I don’t doubt i t i n the l east, my dear. But
I shoul d have had to subdue the whol e Austri an
Empi re fi rst; and that woul d have kept me too l ong
away from you. I mi ssed you greatl y.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (rel enti ng). Ah! (Stretches her hand
affecti onatel y across the tabl e to squeeze hi s.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. And how have you been, my dear?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, my usual sore throats, that’s al l .
30
Arms and the Man
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (wi th convi cti on). That comes from wash-
i ng your neck every day. I’ve often tol d you so.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Nonsense, Paul !
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (over hi s coffee and ci garet). I don’t be-
l i eve i n goi ng too far wi th these modern customs.
Al l thi s washi ng can’t be good for the heal th: i t’s
n ot n atu r al . Th er e was an En gl i sh man at
Phi l l i popol i s who used to wet hi msel f al l over wi th
col d water every morni ng when he got up. Di sgust-
i ng! It al l comes from the Engl i sh: thei r cl i mate
makes them so di rty that they have to be perpetu-
al l y washi ng themsel ves. Look at my father: he never
had a bath i n hi s l i fe; and he l i ved to be ni nety-
ei ght, the heal thi est man i n Bul gari a. I don’t mi nd a
good wash once a week to keep up my posi ti on; but
once a day i s carryi ng the thi ng to a ri di cul ous ex-
treme.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You are a barbari an at heart sti l l , Paul .
I hope you behaved yoursel f before al l those Rus-
si an offi cers.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. I di d my best. I took care to l et them know
that we had a l i brary.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Ah; but you di dn’t tel l them that we
have an el ectri c bel l i n i t? I have had one put up.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. What’s an el ectri c bel l ?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You touch a button; somethi ng ti nkl es
i n the ki tchen; and then Ni col a comes up.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Why not shout for hi m?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Ci vi l i zed peopl e never shout for thei r
servants. I’ve l earnt that whi l e you were away.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Wel l , I’l l tel l you somethi ng I’ve l earnt,
too. Ci vi l i zed peopl e don’t hang out thei r washi ng
to dry where vi si tors can see i t; so you’d better have
al l that (i ndi cati ng the cl othes on the bushes) put
somewhere el se.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, that’s absurd, Paul : I don’t bel i eve
real l y refi ned peopl e noti ce such thi ngs.
(Someone i s heard knocki ng at the stabl e gates.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. There’s Sergi us. (Shouti ng.) Hol l o,
Ni col a!
31
Shaw
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, don’t shout, Paul : i t real l y i sn’t
ni ce.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Bosh! (He shouts l ouder than before.)
Ni col a!
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (appeari ng at the house door). Yes, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. If that i s Major Saranoff, bri ng hi m round
thi s way. (He pronounces the name wi th the stress
on the second syl l abl e—Sarah-noff.)
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. Yes, si r. (He goes i nto the stabl e yard.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. You must tal k to hi m, my dear, unti l Rai na
takes hi m off our hands. He bores my l i fe out about
our not promoti ng hi m—over my head, mi nd you.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. He certai nl y ought to be promoted
when he marri es Rai na. Besi des, the country shoul d
i nsi st on havi ng at l east one nati ve general .
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Yes, so that he coul d throw away whol e
bri gades i nstead of regi ments. It’s no use, my dear:
he has not the sl i ghtest chance of promoti on unti l
we are qui te sure that the peace wi l l be a l asti ng
one.
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (at the gate, announci ng). Major Sergi us
Saranoff! (He goes i nto the house and returns pres-
entl y wi th a thi rd chai r, whi ch be pl aces at the tabl e.
He then wi thdraws.)
(Major Sergi us Saranoff, the ori gi nal of the
portrai t i n Rai na’s room, i s a tal l , romanti cal l y
handsome man, wi th the physi cal hardi hood,
the hi gh spi ri t, and the suscepti bl e i magi nati on
of an untamed mountai neer chi eftai n. But hi s
remarkabl e personal di sti ncti on i s of a charac-
teri sti cal l y ci vi l i zed type. The ri dges of hi s
eyebrows, curvi ng wi th a ram’s-horn twi st
round the marked projecti ons at the outer
corners, hi s jeal ousl y observant eye, hi s nose,
thi n, keen, and apprehensi ve i n spi te of the
pugnaci ous hi gh bri dge and l arge nostri l , hi s
asserti ve chi n, woul d not be out of pl ace i n a
Pari s sal on. In short, the cl ever, i magi nati ve
barbari an has an acute cri ti cal facul ty whi ch
has been thrown i nto i ntense acti vi ty by the
arri val of western ci vi l i zati on i n the Bal kans;
and the resul t i s preci sel y what the advent of
ni neteenth-century thought fi rst produced i n
Engl and: to-wi t, Byroni sm. By hi s broodi ng on
the perpetual fai l ure, not onl y of others, but of
hi msel f, to l i ve up to hi s i magi nati ve i deal s, hi s
32
Arms and the Man
consequent cyni cal scorn for humani ty, the
jejune credul i ty as to the absol ute val i di ty of
hi s i deal s and the unworthi ness of the worl d i n
di sregardi ng them, hi s wi nci ngs and mockeri es
under the sti ng of the petty di si l l usi ons whi ch
every hour spent among men bri ngs to hi s
i nfal l i bl y qui ck observati on, he has acqui red
the hal f tragi c, hal f i roni c ai r, the mysteri ous
moodi ness, the suggesti on of a strange and
terri bl e hi story that has l eft hi m nothi ng but
undyi ng remorse, by whi ch Chi l de Harol d
fasci nated the grandmothers of hi s Engl i sh
contemporari es. Al together i t i s cl ear that here
or nowhere i s Rai na’s i deal hero. Catheri ne i s
hardl y l ess enthusi asti c, and much l ess re-
served i n shewi ng her enthusi asm. As he enters
from the stabl e gate, she ri ses effusi vel y to greet
hi m. Petkoff i s di sti nctl y l ess di sposed to make
a fuss about hi m.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Here al ready, Sergi us. Gl ad to see you!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. My dear Sergi us!(She hol ds out both
her hands.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (ki ssi ng them wi th scrupul ous gal l antry).
My dear mother, i f I may cal l you so.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (dri l y). Mother-i n-l aw, Sergi us; mother-
i n-l aw! Si t down, and have some coffee.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Thank you, none for me. (He gets away
from the tabl e wi th a certai n di staste for Petkoff’s
enjoyment of i t, and posts hi msel f wi th consci ous
grace agai nst the rai l of the steps l eadi ng to the
house.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You l ook superb—spl endi d. The cam-
pai gn has i mproved you. Everybody here i s mad
about you. We were al l wi l d wi th enthusi asm about
that magni fi cent caval ry charge.
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGIUS (wi th grave i rony). Madam: i t was the
cradl e and the grave of my mi l i tary reputati on.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. How so?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. I won the battl e the wrong way when
our worthy Russi an general s were l osi ng i t the ri ght
way. That upset thei r pl ans, and wounded thei r sel f-
esteem. Two of thei r col onel s got thei r regi ments
dri ven back on the correct pri nci pl es of sci enti fi c
warfare. Two major-general s got ki l l ed stri ctl y ac-
cordi ng to mi l i tary eti quette. Those two col onel s are
now major-general s; and I am sti l l a si mpl e major.
33
Shaw
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You shal l not remai n so, Sergi us. The
women are on your si de; and they wi l l see that jus-
ti ce i s done you.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. It i s too l ate. I have onl y wai ted for the
peace to send i n my resi gnati on.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (droppi ng hi s cup i n hi s amazement).
Your resi gnati on!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, you must wi thdraw i t!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th resol ute, measured emphasi s, fol d-
i ng hi s arms). I never wi thdraw!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (vexed). Now who coul d have supposed
you were goi ng to do such a thi ng?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th fi re). Everyone that knew me. But
enough of mysel f and my affai rs. How i s Rai na; and
where i s Rai na?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (suddenl y comi ng round the corner of the
house and standi ng at the top of the steps i n the
path). Rai na i s here. (She makes a charmi ng pi cture
as they al l turn to l ook at her. She wears an
underdress of pal e green si l k, draped wi th an over-
dress of thi n ecru canvas embroi dered wi th gol d.
On her head she wears a pretty Phrygi an cap of gol d
ti nsel . Sergi us, wi th an excl amati on of pl easure, goes
i mpul si vel y to meet her. She stretches out her hand:
he drops chi val rousl y on one knee and ki sses i t.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (asi de to Catheri ne, beami ng wi th paren-
tal pri de). Pretty, i sn’t i t? She al ways appears at the
ri ght moment.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (i mpati entl y). Yes: she l i stens for i t. It
i s an abomi nabl e habi t.
(Sergi us l eads Rai na forward wi th spl endi d
gal l antry, as i f she were a queen. When they
come to the tabl e, she turns to hi m wi th a bend
of the head; he bows; and thus they separate,
he comi ng to hi s pl ace, and she goi ng behi nd
her father’s chai r.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (stoopi ng and ki ssi ng her father). Dear fa-
ther! Wel come home!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (patti ng her cheek). My l i ttl e pet gi rl . (He
ki sses her; she goes to the chai r l eft by Ni col a for
Sergi us, and si ts down.)
34
Arms and the Man
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERINE. And so you’re no l onger a sol di er,
Sergi us.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. I am no l onger a sol di er. Sol di eri ng, my
dear madam, i s the coward’s art of attacki ng merci -
l essl y when you are strong, and keepi ng out of
harm’s way when you are weak. That i s the whol e
secret of successful fi ghti ng. Get your enemy at a
di sadvantage; and never, on any account, fi ght hi m
on equal terms. Eh, Major!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. They woul dn’t l et us make a fai r stand-
up fi ght of i t. However, I suppose sol di eri ng has to
be a trade l i ke any other trade.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Preci sel y. But I have no ambi ti on to suc-
ceed as a tradesman; so I have taken the advi ce of
that bagman of a captai n that settl ed the exchange
of pri soners wi th us at Peerot, and gi ven i t up.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. What, that Swi ss fel l ow? Sergi us: I’ve
often thought of that exchange si nce. He over-
reached us about those horses.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Of course he over-reached us. Hi s father
was a hotel and l i very stabl e keeper; and he owed
hi s fi rst step to hi s knowl edge of horse-deal i ng.
(Wi th mock enthusi asm.) Ah, he was a sol di er—
every i nch a sol di er! If onl y I had bought the horses
for my regi ment i nstead of fool i shl y l eadi ng i t i nto
danger, I shoul d have been a fi el d-marshal now!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. A Swi ss? What was he doi ng i n the
Servi an army?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. A vol unteer of course—keen on pi cki ng
up hi s professi on. (Chuckl i ng.) We shoul dn’t have
been abl e to begi n fi ghti ng i f these forei gners hadn’t
shewn us how to do i t: we knew nothi ng about i t;
and nei ther di d the Servi ans. Egad, there’d have been
no war wi thout them.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Are there many Swi ss offi cers i n the Servi an
Army?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. No—al l Austri ans, just as our offi cers
were al l Russi ans. Thi s was the onl y Swi ss I came
across. I’l l never trust a Swi ss agai n. He cheated us—
humbugged us i nto gi vi ng hi m fi fty abl e bodi ed men
for two hundred confounded worn out chargers.
They weren’t even eatabl e!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. We were two chi l dren i n the hands of
that consummate sol di er, Major: si mpl y two i nno-
35
Shaw
cent l i ttl e chi l dren.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. What was he l i ke?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, Rai na, what a si l l y questi on!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. He was l i ke a commerci al travel l er i n uni -
form. Bourgeoi s to hi s boots.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (gri nni ng). Sergi us: tel l Catheri ne that
queer story hi s fri end tol d us about hi m—how he
escaped after Sl i vni tza. You remember?—about hi s
bei ng hi d by two women.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th bi tter i rony). Oh, yes, qui te a ro-
mance. He was servi ng i n the very battery I so
unprofessi onal l y charged. Bei ng a thorough sol di er,
he ran away l i ke the rest of them, wi th our caval ry
at hi s heel s. To escape thei r attenti ons, he had the
good taste to take refuge i n the chamber of some
patri oti c young Bul gari an l ady. The young l ady was
enchanted by hi s persuasi ve commerci al travel l er’s
manners. She very modestl y entertai ned hi m for an
hour or so and then cal l ed i n her mother l est her
conduct shoul d appear unmai denl y. The ol d l ady
was equal l y fasci nated; and the fugi ti ve was sent
on hi s way i n the morni ng, di sgui sed i n an ol d coat
bel ongi ng to the master of the house, who was away
at the war.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ri si ng wi th marked statel i ness). Your l i fe i n
the camp has made you coarse, Sergi us. I di d not
thi nk you woul d have repeated such a story before
me. (She turns away col dl y.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (al so ri si ng). She i s ri ght, Sergi us. If
such women exi st, we shoul d be spared the knowl -
edge of them.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Pooh! nonsense! what does i t matter?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (ashamed). No, Petkoff: I was wrong. (To
Rai na, wi th earnest humi l i ty.) I beg your pardon. I
have behaved abomi nabl y. Forgi ve me, Rai na. (She
bows reservedl y.) And you, too, madam. (Catheri ne
bows graci ousl y and si ts down. He proceeds sol -
emnl y, agai n addressi ng Rai na.) The gl i mpses I have
had of the seamy si de of l i fe duri ng the l ast few
months have made me cyni cal ; but I shoul d not have
brought my cyni ci sm here—l east of al l i nto your
presence, Rai na. I—(Here, turni ng to the others, he
i s evi dentl y about to begi n a l ong speech when the
Major i nterrupts hi m.)
36
Arms and the Man
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Stuff and nonsense, Sergi us. That’s qui te
enough fuss about nothi ng: a sol di er’s daughter
shoul d be abl e to stand up wi thout fl i nchi ng to a
l i ttl e strong conversati on. (He ri ses.) Come: i t’s ti me
for us to get to busi ness. We have to make up our
mi nds how those three regi ments are to get back to
Phi l l i popol i s:—there’s no forage for them on the
Sophi a route. (He goes towards the house.) Come
al ong. (Sergi us i s about to fol l ow hi m when
Catheri ne ri ses and i ntervenes.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, Paul , can’t you spare Sergi us for
a few moments? Rai na has hardl y seen hi m yet. Per-
haps I can hel p you to settl e about the regi ments.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (protesti ng). My dear madam, i mpossi bl e:
you—
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE (stoppi ng hi m pl ayful l y). You stay
here, my dear Sergi us: there’s no hurry. I have a word
or two to say to Paul . (Sergi us i nstantl y bows and
steps back.) Now, dear (taki ng Petkoff ’s arm), come
and see the el ectri c bel l .
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Oh, very wel l , very wel l . (They go i nto
the house together affecti onatel y. Sergi us, l eft al one
wi th Rai na, l ooks anxi ousl y at her, feari ng that she
may be sti l l offended. She smi l es, and stretches out
her arms to hi m.)
(Exi t R. i nto house, fol l owed by Catheri ne.)
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US (hasteni ng to her, but refrai ni ng from
touchi ng her wi thout express permi ssi on). Am I for-
gi ven?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (pl aci ng her hands on hi s shoul der as she
l ooks up at hi m wi th admi rati on and worshi p). My
hero! My ki ng.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. My queen! (He ki sses her on the fore-
head wi th hol y awe.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. How I have envi ed you, Sergi us! You have
been out i n the worl d, on the fi el d of battl e, abl e to
prove yoursel f there worthy of any woman i n the
worl d; whi l st I have had to si t at home i nacti ve,—
dreami ng—usel ess—doi ng nothi ng that coul d gi ve
me the ri ght to cal l mysel f worthy of any man.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Dearest, al l my deeds have been yours.
You i nspi red me. I have gone through the war l i ke a
kni ght i n a tournament wi th hi s l ady l ooki ng on at
hi m!
37
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. And you have never been absent from my
thoughts for a moment. (Very sol emnl y.) Sergi us: I
thi nk we two have found the hi gher l ove. When I
thi nk of you, I feel that I coul d never do a base deed,
or thi nk an i gnobl e thought.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. My l ady, and my sai nt! (Cl aspi ng her rev-
erentl y.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (returni ng hi s embrace). My l ord and my
g—
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Sh—sh! Let me be the worshi pper, dear.
You l i ttl e know how unworthy even the best man i s
of a gi rl ’s pure passi on!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I trust you. I l ove you. You wi l l never di s-
appoi nt me, Sergi us. (Louka i s heard si ngi ng wi thi n
the house. They qui ckl y rel ease each other.) Hush!
I can’t pretend to tal k i ndi fferentl y before her: my
heart i s too ful l . (Louka comes from the house wi th
her tray. She goes to the tabl e, and begi ns to cl ear i t,
wi th her back turned to them.) I wi l l go and get my
hat; and then we can go out unti l l unch ti me.
Woul dn’t you l i ke that?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Be qui ck. If you are away fi ve mi nutes, i t
wi l l seem fi ve hours. (Rai na runs to the top of the
steps and turns there to exchange a l ook wi th hi m
and wave hi m a ki ss wi th both hands. He l ooks af-
ter her wi th emoti on for a moment, then turns sl owl y
away, hi s face radi ant wi th the exul tati on of the
scene whi ch has just passed. The movement shi fts
hi s fi el d of vi si on, i nto the corner of whi ch there
now comes the tai l of Louka’s doubl e apron. Hi s
eye gl eams at once. He takes a steal thy l ook at her,
and begi ns to twi rl hi s moustache nervousl y, wi th
hi s l eft hand aki mbo on hi s hi p. Fi nal l y, stri ki ng
the ground wi th hi s heel s i n somethi ng of a caval ry
swagger, he strol l s over to the l eft of the tabl e, op-
posi te her, and says) Louka: do you know what the
hi gher l ove i s?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (astoni shed). No, si r.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Very fati gui ng thi ng to keep up for any
l ength of ti me, Louka. One feel s the need of some
rel i ef after i t.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (i nnocentl y). Perhaps you woul d l i ke some
coffee, si r? (She stretches her hand across the tabl e
for the coffee pot.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (taki ng her hand). Thank you, Louka.
38
Arms and the Man
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (pretendi ng to pul l ). Oh, si r, you know I
di dn’t mean that. I’m surpri sed at you!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (comi ng cl ear of the tabl e and drawi ng
her wi th hi m). I am surpri sed at mysel f, Louka. What
woul d Sergi us, the hero of Sl i vni tza, say i f he saw
me now? What woul d Sergi us, the apostl e of the
hi gher l ove, say i f he saw me now? What woul d the
hal f dozen Sergi uses who keep poppi ng i n and out
of thi s handsome fi gure of mi ne say i f they caught
us here? (Letti ng go her hand and sl i ppi ng hi s arm
dexterousl y round her wai st.) Do you consi der my
fi gure handsome, Louka?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Let me go, si r. I shal l be di sgraced. (She
struggl es: he hol ds her i nexorabl y.) Oh, wi l l you l et
go?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (l ooki ng strai ght i nto her eyes). No.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Then stand back where we can’t be seen.
Have you no common sense?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Ah, that’s reasonabl e. (He takes her i nto
the stabl eyard gateway, where they are hi dden from
the house.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (compl ai ni ng). I may have been seen from
the wi ndows: Mi ss Rai na i s sure to be spyi ng about
after you.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (stung—l etti ng her go). Take care, Louka.
I may be worthl ess enough to betray the hi gher l ove;
but do not you i nsul t i t.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (demurel y). Not for the worl d, si r, I’m sure.
May I go on wi th my work pl ease, now?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (agai n putti ng hi s arm round her). You
are a provoki ng l i ttl e wi tch, Louka. If you were i n
l ove wi th me, woul d you spy out of wi ndows on
me?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Wel l , you see, si r, si nce you say you are
hal f a dozen di fferent gentl emen al l at once, I shoul d
have a great deal to l ook after.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (charmed). Wi tty as wel l as pretty. (He
tri es to ki ss her.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (avoi di ng hi m). No, I don’t want your ki sses.
Gentl efol k are al l al i ke—you maki ng l ove to me
behi nd Mi ss Rai na’s back, and she doi ng the same
behi nd yours.
39
Shaw
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (recoi l i ng a step). Louka!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. It shews how l i ttl e you real l y care!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (droppi ng hi s fami l i ari ty and speaki ng
wi th freezi ng pol i teness). If our conversati on i s to
conti nue, Louka, you wi l l pl ease remember that a
gentl eman does not di scuss the conduct of the l ady
he i s engaged to wi th her mai d.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. It’s so hard to know what a gentl eman con-
si ders ri ght. I thought from your tryi ng to ki ss me
that you had gi ven up bei ng so parti cul ar.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (turni ng from her and stri ki ng hi s fore-
head as be comes back i nto the garden from the gate-
way). Devi l ! devi l !
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Ha! ha! I expect one of the si x of you i s
very l i ke me, si r, though I am onl y Mi ss Rai na’s mai d.
(She goes back to her work at the tabl e, taki ng no
further noti ce of hi m.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (speaki ng to hi msel f). Whi ch of the si x i s
the real man?—that’s the questi on that torments me.
One of them i s a hero, another a buffoon, another a
humbug, another perhaps a bi t of a bl ackguard. (He
pauses and l ooks furti vel y at Louka, as he adds wi th
deep bi tterness) And one, at l east, i s a coward—
jeal ous, l i ke al l cowards. (He goes to the tabl e.)
Louka.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Who i s my ri val ?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. You shal l never get that out of me, for l ove
or money.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Why?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Never mi nd why. Besi des, you woul d tel l
that I tol d you; and I shoul d l ose my pl ace.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (hol di ng out hi s ri ght hand i n affi rma-
ti on). No; on the honor of a—(He checks hi msel f,
and hi s hand drops nervel ess as he concl udes, sar-
doni cal l y)—of a man capabl e of behavi ng as I have
been behavi ng for the l ast fi ve mi nutes. Who i s he?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I don’t know. I never saw hi m. I onl y heard
hi s voi ce through the door of her room.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Damnati on! How dare you?
40
Arms and the Man
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (retreati ng). Oh, I mean no harm: you’ve no
ri ght to take up my words l i ke that. The mi stress
knows al l about i t. And I tel l you that i f that gentl e-
man ever comes here agai n, Mi ss Rai na wi l l marry
hi m, whether he l i kes i t or not. I know the di ffer-
ence between the sort of manner you and she put
on before one another and the real manner. (Sergi us
shi vers as i f she had stabbed hi m. Then, setti ng hi s
face l i ke i ron, he stri des gri ml y to her, and gri ps her
above the el bows wi th both bands.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Now l i sten you to me!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (wi nci ng). Not so ti ght: you’re hurti ng me!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. That doesn’t matter. You have stai ned my
honor by maki ng me a party to your eavesdroppi ng.
And you have betrayed your mi stress—
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (wri thi ng). Pl ease—
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. That shews that you are an abomi nabl e
l i ttl e cl od of common cl ay, wi th the soul of a ser-
vant. (He l ets her go as i f she were an uncl ean thi ng,
and turns away, dusti ng hi s hands of her, to the
bench by the wal l , where he si ts down wi th averted
head, medi tati ng gl oomi l y.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (whi mperi ng angri l y wi th her hands up her
sl eeves, feel i ng her brui sed arms). You know how
to hurt wi th your tongue as wel l as wi th your hands.
But I don’t care, now I’ve found out that whatever
cl ay I’m made of, you’re made of the same. As for
her, she’s a l i ar; and her fi ne ai rs are a cheat; and
I’m worth si x of her. (She shakes the pai n off har-
di l y; tosses her head; and sets to work to put the
thi ngs on the tray. He l ooks doubtful l y at her once
or twi ce. She fi ni shes packi ng the tray, and l aps the
cl oth over the edges, so as to carry al l out together.
As she stoops to l i ft i t, he ri ses.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Louka! (She stops and l ooks defi antl y at
hi m wi th the tray i n her hands.) A gentl eman has
no ri ght to hurt a woman under any ci rcumstances.
(Wi th profound humi l i ty, uncoveri ng hi s bead.) I
beg your pardon.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. That sort of apol ogy may sati sfy a l ady. Of
what use i s i t to a servant?
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US (thus rudel y crossed i n hi s chi val ry,
throws i t off wi th a bi tter l augh and says sl i ghti ngl y).
Oh, you wi sh to be pai d for the hurt? (He puts on
hi s shako, and takes some money from hi s pocket.)
41
Shaw
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (her eyes fi l l i ng wi th tears i n spi te of her-
sel f). No, I want my hurt made wel l .
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (sobered by her tone). How?
(She rol l s up her l eft sl eeve; cl asps her arm wi th
the thumb and fi ngers of her ri ght hand; and
l ooks down at the brui se. Then she rai ses her
head and l ooks strai ght at hi m. Fi nal l y, wi th a
superb gesture she presents her arm to be
ki ssed. Amazed, he l ooks at her; at the arm; at
her agai n; hesi tates; and then, wi th shudderi ng
i ntensi ty, excl ai ms)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Never! (and gets away as far as possi bl e
from her.)
(Her arm drops. Wi thout a word, and wi th
unaffected di gni ty, she takes her tray, and i s
approachi ng the house when Rai na returns
weari ng a hat and jacket i n the hei ght of the
Vi enna fashi on of the previ ous year, 1885.
Louka makes way proudl y for her, and then
goes i nto the house.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I’m ready! What’s the matter? (Gai l y.) Have
you been fl i rti ng wi th Louka?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (hasti l y). No, no. How can you thi nk such
a thi ng?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ashamed of hersel f). Forgi ve me, dear: i t was
onl y a jest. I am so happy to-day.
(He goes qui ckl y to her, and ki sses her hand
remorseful l y. Catheri ne comes out and cal l s
to them from the top of the steps.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (comi ng down to them). I am sorry to
di sturb you, chi l dren; but Paul i s di stracted over
those three regi ments. He does not know how to get
them to Phi l l i popol i s; and he objects to every sug-
gesti on of mi ne. You must go and hel p hi m, Sergi us.
He i s i n the l i brary.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (di sappoi nted). But we are just goi ng out for
a wal k.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. I shal l not be l ong. Wai t for me just fi ve
mi nutes. (He runs up the steps to the door.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (fol l owi ng hi m to the foot of the steps and
l ooki ng up at hi m wi th ti mi d coquetry). I shal l go
round and wai t i n ful l vi ew of the l i brary wi ndows.
Be sure you draw father’s attenti on to me. If you are
42
Arms and the Man
a moment l onger than fi ve mi nutes, I shal l go i n
and fetch you, regi ments or no regi ments.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (l aughi ng). Very wel l . (He goes i n. Rai na
watches hi m unti l he i s out of her ri ght. Then, wi th
a percepti bl e rel axati on of manner, she begi ns to
pace up and down about the garden i n a brown
study.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Imagi ne thei r meeti ng that Swi ss and
heari ng the whol e story! The very fi rst thi ng your
father asked for was the ol d coat we sent hi m off i n.
A ni ce mess you have got us i nto!
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (gazi ng thoughtful l y at the gravel as she
wal ks). The l i ttl e beast!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Li ttl e beast! What l i ttl e beast?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. To go and tel l ! Oh, i f I had hi m here, I’d
stuff hi m wi th chocol ate creams ti l l he coul dn’t ever
speak agai n!
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Don’t tal k nonsense. Tel l me the truth,
Rai na. How l ong was he i n your room before you
came to me?
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (whi ski ng round and recommenci ng her
march i n the opposi te di recti on). Oh, I forget.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You cannot forget! Di d he real l y cl i mb
up after the sol di ers were gone, or was he there when
that offi cer searched the room?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. No. Yes, I thi nk he must have been there
then.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. You thi nk! Oh, Rai na, Rai na! Wi l l any-
thi ng ever make you strai ghtforward? If Sergi us fi nds
out, i t i s al l over between you.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th cool i mperti nence). Oh, I know Sergi us
i s your pet. I someti mes wi sh you coul d marry hi m
i nstead of me. You woul d just sui t hi m. You woul d
pet hi m, and spoi l hi m, and mother hi m to perfecti on.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (openi ng her eyes very wi del y i ndeed).
Wel l , upon my word!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (capri ci ousl y—hal f to hersel f). I al ways feel
a l ongi ng to do or say somethi ng dreadful to hi m—
to shock hi s propri ety—to scandal i ze the fi ve senses
out of hi m! (To Catheri ne perversel y.) I don’t care
whether he fi nds out about the chocol ate cream
43
Shaw
sol di er or not. I hal f hope he may. (She agai n turns
fl i ppantl y away and strol l s up the path to the cor-
ner of the house.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. And what shoul d I be abl e to say to
your father, pray?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (over her shoul der, from the top of the two
steps). Oh, poor father! As i f he coul d hel p hi msel f!
(She turns the corner and passes out of si ght.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (l ooki ng after her, her fi ngers i tchi ng).
Oh, i f you were onl y ten years younger! (Louka
comes from the house wi th a sal ver, whi ch she car-
ri es hangi ng down by her si de.) Wel l ?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. There’s a gentl eman just cal l ed, madam—
a Servi an offi cer—
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (fl ami ng). A Servi an! How dare he—
(Checki ng hersel f bi tterl y.) Oh, I forgot. We are at
peace now. I suppose we shal l have them cal l i ng
every day to pay thei r compl i ments. Wel l , i f he i s
an offi cer why don’t you tel l your master? He i s i n
the l i brary wi th Major Saranoff. Why do you come
to me?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. But he asks for you, madam. And I don’t
thi nk he knows who you are: he sai d the l ady of the
house. He gave me thi s l i ttl e ti cket for you. (She
takes a card out of her bosom; puts i t on the sal ver
and offers i t to Catheri ne.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (readi ng). “ Captai n Bl untschl i !” That’s
a German name.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Swi ss, madam, I thi nk.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (wi th a bound that makes Louka jump
back). Swi ss! What i s he l i ke?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (ti mi dl y). He has a bi g carpet bag, madam.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, Heavens, he’s come to return the
coat! Send hi m away—say we’re not at home—ask
hi m to l eave hi s address and I’l l wri te to hi m—Oh,
stop: that wi l l never do. Wai t! (She throws hersel f
i nto a chai r to thi nk i t out. Louka wai ts.) The master
and Major Saranoff are busy i n the l i brary, aren’t they?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes, madam.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (deci si vel y). Bri ng the gentl eman out
here at once. (Imperati vel y.) And be very pol i te to
44
Arms and the Man
hi m. Don’t del ay. Here (i mpati entl y snatchi ng the
sal ver from her): l eave that here; and go strai ght back
to hi m.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes, madam. (Goi ng.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Louka!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (stoppi ng). Yes, madam.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Is the l i brary door shut?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I thi nk so, madam.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. If not, shut i t as you pass through.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes, madam. (Goi ng.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Stop! (Louka stops.) He wi l l have to
go out that way (i ndi cati ng the gate of the stabl e
yard). Tel l Ni col a to bri ng hi s bag here after hi m.
Don’t forget.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (surpri sed). Hi s bag?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Yes, here, as soon as possi bl e. (Vehe-
mentl y.) Be qui ck! (Louka runs i nto the house.
Catheri ne snatches her apron off and throws i t be-
hi nd a bush. She then takes up the sal ver and uses
i t as a mi rror, wi th the resul t that the handkerchi ef
ti ed round her head fol l ows the apron. A touch to
her hai r and a shake to her dressi ng gown makes
her presentabl e.) Oh, how—how—how can a man
be such a fool ! Such a moment to sel ect! (Louka
appears at the door of the house, announci ng “ Cap-
tai n Bl untschl i ;” and standi ng asi de at the top of
the steps to l et hi m pass before she goes i n agai n.
He i s the man of the adventure i n Rai na’s room. He
i s now cl ean, wel l brushed, smartl y uni formed, and
out of troubl e, but sti l l unmi stakabl y the same man.
The moment Louka’s back i s turned, Catheri ne
swoops on hi m wi th hurri ed, urgent, coaxi ng ap-
peal .) Captai n Bl untschl i , I am very gl ad to see you;
but you must l eave thi s house at once. (He rai ses
hi s eyebrows.) My husband has just returned, wi th
my future son-i n-l aw; and they know nothi ng. If they
di d, the consequences woul d be terri bl e. You are a
forei gner: you do not feel our nati onal ani mosi ti es
as we do. We sti l l hate the Servi ans: the onl y effect
of the peace on my husband i s to make hi m feel l i ke
a l i on baul ked of hi s prey. If he di scovered our se-
cret, he woul d never forgi ve me; and my daughter’s
l i fe woul d hardl y be safe. Wi l l you, l i ke the chi val -
rous gentl eman and sol di er you are, l eave at once
45
Shaw
before he fi nds you here?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (di sappoi nted, but phi l osophi cal ). At
once, graci ous l ady. I onl y came to thank you and
return the coat you l ent me. If you wi l l al l ow me to
take i t out of my bag and l eave i t wi th your servant
as I pass out, I need detai n you no further. (He turns
to go i nto the house.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (catchi ng hi m by the sl eeve). Oh, you
must not thi nk of goi ng back that way. (Coaxi ng hi m
across to the stabl e gates.) Thi s i s the shortest way
out. Many thanks. So gl ad to have been of servi ce
to you. Good-bye.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. But my bag?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. It wi l l be sent on. You wi l l l eave me
your address.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. True. Al l ow me. (He takes out hi s
card-case, and stops to wri te hi s address, keepi ng
Catheri ne i n an agony of i mpati ence. As he hands
her the card, Petkoff, hatl ess, rushes from the house
i n a fl uster of hospi tal i ty, fol l owed by Sergi us.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (as he hurri es down the steps). My dear
Captai n Bl untschl i —
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh Heavens! (She si nks on the seat
agai nst the wal l .)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (too preoccupi ed to noti ce her as he
shakes Bl untschl i ’s hand hearti l y). Those stupi d
peopl e of mi ne thought I was out here, i nstead of i n
the—haw!—l i brary. (He cannot menti on the l i brary
wi thout betrayi ng how proud he i s of i t.) I saw you
through the wi ndow. I was wonderi ng why you
di dn’t come i n. Saranoff i s wi th me: you remember
hi m, don’t you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (sal uti ng humorousl y, and then offeri ng
hi s hand wi th great charm of manner). Wel come,
our fri end the enemy!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. No l onger the enemy, happi l y. (Rather
anxi ousl y.) I hope you’ve come as a fri end, and not
on busi ness.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, qui te as a fri end, Paul . I was just
aski ng Captai n Bl untschl i to stay to l unch; but he
decl ares he must go at once.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (sardoni cal l y). Impossi bl e, Bl untschl i . We
46
Arms and the Man
want you here badl y. We have to send on three cav-
al ry regi ments to Phi l l i popol i s; and we don’t i n the
l east know how to do i t.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (suddenl y attenti ve and busi ness-
l i ke). Phi l l i popol i s! The forage i s the troubl e, eh?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (eagerl y). Yes, that’s i t. (To Sergi us.) He
sees the whol e thi ng at once.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I thi nk I can shew you how to man-
age that.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Inval uabl e man! Come al ong! (Toweri ng
over Bl untschl i , he puts hi s hand on hi s shoul der
and takes hi m to the steps, Petkoff fol l owi ng. As
Bl untschl i puts hi s foot on the fi rst step, Rai na comes
out of the house.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (compl etel y l osi ng her presence of mi nd).
Oh, the chocol ate cream sol di er!
(Bl untschl i stands ri gi d. Sergi us, amazed, l ooks
at Rai na, then at Petkoff, who l ooks back at hi m
and then at hi s wi fe.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (wi th commandi ng presence of mi nd).
My dear Rai na, don’t you see that we have a guest
here—Captai n Bl untschl i , one of our new Servi an
fri ends?
(Rai na bows; Bl untschl i bows.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. How si l l y of me! (She comes down i nto the
centre of the group, between Bl untschl i and Petkoff)
I made a beauti ful ornament thi s morni ng for the
i ce puddi ng; and that stupi d Ni col a has just put
down a pi l e of pl ates on i t and spoi l ed i t. (To
Bl untschl i , wi nni ngl y.) I hope you di dn’t thi nk that
you were the chocol ate cream sol di er, Captai n
Bl untschl i .
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (l aughi ng). I assure you I di d. (Steal -
i ng a whi msi cal gl ance at her.) Your expl anati on was
a rel i ef.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (suspi ci ousl y, to Rai na). And si nce when,
pray, have you taken to cooki ng?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, whi l st you were away. It i s her
l atest fancy.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (testi l y). And has Ni col a taken to dri nk-
i ng? He used to be careful enough. Fi rst he shews
47
Shaw
Captai n Bl untschl i out here when he knew qui te
wel l I was i n the—hum! —l i brary; and then he goes
downstai rs and breaks Rai na’s chocol ate sol di er. He
must—(At thi s moment Ni col a appears at the top of
the steps R., wi th a carpet bag. He descends; pl aces
i t respectful l y before Bl untschl i ; and wai ts for fur-
ther orders. General amazement. Ni col a, uncon-
sci ous of the effect he i s produci ng, l ooks perfectl y
sati sfi ed wi th hi msel f. When Petkoff recovers hi s
power of speech, he breaks out at hi m wi th) Are
you mad, Ni col a?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (taken aback). Si r?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. What have you brought that for?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. My l ady’s orders, si r. Louka tol d me that—
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (i nterrupti ng hi m). My orders! Why
shoul d I order you to bri ng Captai n Bl untschl i ’s l ug-
gage out here? What are you thi nki ng of, Ni col a?
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (after a moment’s bewi l derment, pi cki ng
up the bag as he addresses Bl untschl i wi th the very
perfecti on of servi l e di screti on). I beg your pardon,
si r, I am sure. (To Catheri ne.) My faul t, madam! I
hope you’l l overl ook i t! (He bows, and i s goi ng to
the steps wi th the bag, when Petkoff addresses hi m
angri l y.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. You’d better go and sl am that bag, too,
down on Mi ss Rai na’s i ce puddi ng! (Thi s i s too much
for Ni col a. The bag drops from hi s hands on Petkoff’s
corns, el i ci ti ng a roar of angui sh from hi m.) Begone,
you butter-fi ngered donkey.
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (snatchi ng up the bag, and escapi ng i nto
the house). Yes, si r.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Oh, never mi nd, Paul , don’t be angry!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (mutteri ng). Scoundrel . He’s got out of
hand whi l e I was away. I’l l teach hi m. (Recol l ecti ng
hi s guest.) Oh, wel l , never mi nd. Come, Bl untschl i ,
l ets have no more nonsense about you havi ng to go
away. You know very wel l you’re not goi ng back to
Swi tzerl and yet. Unti l you do go back you’l l stay
wi th us.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Oh, do, Captai n Bl untschl i .
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (to Catheri ne). Now, Catheri ne, i t’s of you
that he’s afrai d. Press hi m and he’l l stay.
48
Arms and the Man
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Of course I shal l be onl y too del i ghted
i f (appeal i ngl y) Captai n Bl untschl i real l y wi shes to
stay. He knows my wi shes.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (i n hi s dri est mi l i tary manner). I am
at madame’s orders.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (cordi al l y). That settl es i t!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (hearti l y). Of course!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You see, you must stay!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (smi l i ng). Wel l , If I must, I must! (Ges-
ture of despai r from Catheri ne.)
ACT III
In the l i brary after l unch. It i s not much of a l i -
brary, i ts l i terary equi pment consi sti ng of a si ngl e
fi xed shel f stocked wi th ol d paper-covered novel s,
broken backed, coffee stai ned, torn and thumbed,
and a coupl e of l i ttl e hangi ng shel ves wi th a few
gi ft books on them, the rest of the wal l space bei ng
occupi ed by trophi es of war and the chase. But i t i s
a most comfortabl e si tti ng-room. A row of three l arge
wi ndows i n the front of the house shew a mountai n
panorama, whi ch i s just now seen i n one of i ts soft-
est aspects i n the mel l owi ng afternoon l i ght. In the
l eft hand corner, a square earthenware stove, a per-
fect tower of col ored pottery, ri ses nearl y to the cei l -
i ng and guarantees pl enty of warmth. The ottoman
i n the mi ddl e i s a ci rcul ar bank of decorated cush-
i ons, and the wi ndow seats are wel l uphol stered
di vans. Li ttl e Turki sh tabl es, one of them wi th an
el aborate hookah on i t, and a screen to match them,
compl ete the handsome effect of the furni shi ng.
There i s one object, however, whi ch i s hopel essl y
out of keepi ng wi th i ts surroundi ngs. Thi s i s a smal l
ki tchen tabl e, much the worse for wear, fi tted as a
wri ti ng tabl e wi th an ol d cani ster ful l of pens, an
eggcup fi l l ed wi th i nk, and a depl orabl e scrap of
49
Shaw
severel y used pi nk bl otti ng paper.
At the si de of thi s tabl e, whi ch stands on the ri ght,
Bl untschl i i s hard at work, wi th a coupl e of maps
before hi m, wri ti ng orders. At the head of i t si ts
Sergi us, who i s al so supposed to be at work, but
who i s actual l y gnawi ng the feather of a pen, and
contempl ati ng Bl untschl i ’s qui ck, sure, busi nessl i ke
progress wi th a mi xture of envi ous i rri tati on at hi s
own i ncapaci ty, and awestruck wonder at an abi l -
i ty whi ch seems to hi m al most mi racul ous, though
i ts prosai c character forbi ds hi m to esteem i t. The
major i s comfortabl y establ i shed on the ottoman,
wi th a newspaper i n hi s hand and the tube of the
hookah wi thi n hi s reach. Catheri ne si ts at the stove,
wi th her back to them, embroi deri ng. Rai na, recl i n-
i ng on the di van under the l eft hand wi ndow, i s
gazi ng i n a daydream out at the Bal kan l andscape,
wi th a negl ected novel i n her l ap.
The door i s on the l eft. The button of the el ectri c
bel l i s between the door and the fi repl ace.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (l ooki ng up from hi s paper to watch how
they are getti ng on at the tabl e). Are you sure I can’t
hel p you i n any way, Bl untschl i ?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (wi thout i nterrupti ng hi s wri ti ng or
l ooki ng up). Qui te sure, thank you. Saranoff and I
wi l l manage i t.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (gri ml y). Yes: we’l l manage i t. He fi nds
out what to do; draws up the orders; and I si gn ‘em.
Di vi si on of l abour, Major. (Bl untschl i passes hi m a
paper.) Another one? Thank you. (He pl ants the
papers squarel y before hi m; sets hi s chai r careful l y
paral l el to them; and si gns wi th the ai r of a man
resol utel y performi ng a di ffi cul t and dangerous feat.)
Thi s hand i s more accustomed to the sword than to
the pen.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. It’s very good of you, Bl untschl i , i t i s i n-
deed, to l et yoursel f be put upon i n thi s way. Now
are you qui te sure I can do nothi ng?
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (i n a l ow, warni ng tone). You can stop
i nterrupti ng, Paul .
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (starti ng and l ooki ng round at her). Eh?
Oh! Qui te ri ght, my l ove, qui te ri ght. (He takes hi s
newspaper up, but l ets i t drop agai n.) Ah, you
haven’t been campai gni ng, Catheri ne: you don’t
know how pl easant i t i s for us to si t here, after a
good l unch, wi th nothi ng to do but enjoy oursel ves.
There’s onl y one thi ng I want to make me thoroughl y
comfortabl e.
50
Arms and the Man
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. What i s that?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. My ol d coat. I’m not at home i n thi s one:
I feel as i f I were on parade.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. My dear Paul , how absurd you are
about that ol d coat! It must be hangi ng i n the bl ue
cl oset where you l eft i t.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. My dear Catheri ne, I tel l you I’ve l ooked
there. Am I to bel i ev e my own ey es or not?
(Catheri ne qui etl y ri ses and presses the button of
the el ectri c bel l by the fi repl ace.) What are you
shewi ng off that bel l for? (She l ooks at hi m majesti -
cal l y, and si l entl y resumes her chai r and her needl e-
work.) My dear: i f you thi nk the obsti nacy of your
sex can make a coat out of two ol d dressi ng gowns
of Rai na’s, your waterproof, and my macki ntosh,
you’re mi staken. That’s exactl y what the bl ue cl oset
contai ns at present. (Ni col a presents hi msel f.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (unmoved by Petkoff ’s sal l y). Ni col a:
go to the bl ue cl oset and bri ng your master’s ol d
coat here—the brai ded one he usual l y wears i n the
house.
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. Yes, madam. (Ni col a goes out.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Catheri ne.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Yes, Paul ?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. I bet you any pi ece of jewel l ery you l i ke
to order from Sophi a agai nst a week’s housekeep-
i ng money, that the coat i sn’t there.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Done, Paul .
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (exci ted by the prospect of a gambl e).
Come: here’s an opportuni ty for some sport. Who’l l
bet on i t? Bl untschl i : I’l l gi ve you si x to one.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (i mperturbabl y). It woul d be robbi ng
you, Major. Madame i s sure to be ri ght. (Wi thout l ook-
i ng up, he passes another batch of papers to Sergi us.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (al so exci ted). Bravo, Swi tzerl and! Ma-
jor: I bet my best charger agai nst an Arab mare for
Rai na that Ni col a fi nds the coat i n the bl ue cl oset.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (eagerl y). Your best char—
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERINE (hasti l y i nterrupti ng hi m). Don’t be
fool i sh, Paul . An Arabi an mare wi l l cost you 50,000
l evas.
51
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (suddenly coming out of her picturesque rev-
ery). Really, mother, if you are going to take the jewellery,
I don’t see why you should grudge me my Arab.
(Ni col a comer back wi th the coat and bri ngs i t
to Petkoff, who can hardl y bel i eve hi s eyes.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Where was i t, Ni col a?
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA. Hangi ng i n the bl ue cl oset, madam.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Wel l , I am d—
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (stoppi ng hi m). Paul !
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. I coul d have sworn i t wasn’t there. Age
i s begi nni ng to tel l on me. I’m getti ng hal l uci nati ons.
(To Ni col a.) Here: hel p me to change. Excuse me,
Bl untschl i . (He begi ns changi ng coats, Ni col a act-
i ng as val et.) Remember: I di dn’t take that bet of
yours, Sergi us. You’d better gi ve Rai na that Arab
steed yoursel f, si nce you’ve roused her expectati ons.
Eh, Rai na? (He l ooks round at her; but she i s agai n
rapt i n the l andscape. Wi th a l i ttl e gush of paternal
affecti on and pri de, he poi nts her out to them and
says) She’s dreami ng, as usual .
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Assuredl y she shal l not be the l oser.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. So much the better for her. I shan’t come
off so cheap, I expect. (The change i s now compl ete.
Ni col a goes out wi th the di scarded coat.) Ah, now I
feel at home at l ast. (He si ts down and takes hi s
newspaper wi th a grunt of rel i ef.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (to Sergi us, handi ng a paper). That’s
the l ast order.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (jumpi ng up). What! fi ni shed?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI . Fi ni shed. (Petkoff goes besi de
Sergi us; l ooks curi ousl y over hi s l eft shoul der as he
si gns; and says wi th chi l dl i ke envy) Haven’t you
anythi ng for me to si gn?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Not necessary. Hi s si gnature wi l l do.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Ah, wel l , I thi nk we’ve done a thunder-
i ng good day’s work. (He goes away from the tabl e.)
Can I do anythi ng more?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. You had better both see the fel l ows
that are to take these. (To Sergi us.) Pack them off at
once; and shew them that I’ve marked on the orders
52
Arms and the Man
the ti me they shoul d hand them i n by. Tel l them that
i f they stop to dri nk or tel l stori es—i f they’re fi ve mi n-
utes l ate, they’l l have the ski n taken off thei r backs.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (ri si ng i ndi gnantl y). I’l l say so. And i f one
of them i s man enough to spi t i n my face for i nsul t-
i ng hi m, I’l l buy hi s di scharge and gi ve hi m a pen-
si on. (He stri des out, hi s humani ty deepl y outraged.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (confi denti al l y). Just see that he tal ks
to them properl y, Major, wi l l you?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (offi ci ousl y). Qui te ri ght, Bl untschl i , qui te
ri ght. I’l l see to i t. (He goes to the door i mportantl y,
but hesi tates on the threshol d.) By the by e,
Catheri ne, you may as wel l come, too. They’l l be
far more fri ghtened of you than of me.
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE (putti ng down her embroi dery). I
daresay I had better. You wi l l onl y spl utter at them.
(She goes out, Petkoff hol di ng the door for her and
fol l owi ng her.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. What a country! They make cannons
out of cherry trees; and the offi cers send for thei r
wi ves to keep di sci pl i ne! (He begi ns to fol d and
docket the papers. Rai na, who has ri sen from the
di van, strol l s down the room wi th her hands cl asped
behi nd her, and l ooks mi schi evousl y at hi m.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You l ook ever so much ni cer than when we
l ast met. (He l ooks up, surpri sed.) What have you
done to yoursel f?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Washed; brushed; good ni ght’s sl eep
and breakfast. That’s al l .
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Di d you get back safel y that morni ng?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Qui te, thanks.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Were they angry wi th you for runni ng away
from Sergi us’s charge?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. No, they were gl ad; because they’d
al l just run away themsel ves.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (goi ng to the tabl e, and l eani ng over i t to-
wards hi m). It must have made a l ovel y story for
them—al l that about me and my room.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Capi tal story. But I onl y tol d i t to
one of them—a parti cul ar fri end.
53
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. On whose di screti on you coul d absol utel y
rel y?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Absol utel y.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Hm! He tol d i t al l to my father and Sergi us
the day you exchanged the pri soners. (She turns
away and strol l s carel essl y across to the other si de
of the room.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (deepl y concerned and hal f i ncredu-
l ous). No! you don’t mean that, do you?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (turni ng, wi th sudden earnestness). I do i n-
deed. But they don’t know that i t was i n thi s house
that you hi d. If Sergi us knew, he woul d chal l enge
you and ki l l you i n a duel .
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Bl ess me! then don’t tel l hi m.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ful l of reproach for hi s l evi ty). Can you re-
al i ze what i t i s to me to decei ve hi m? I want to be
qui te perfect wi th Sergi us—no meanness, no smal l -
ness, no decei t. My rel ati on to hi m i s the one real l y
beauti ful and nobl e part of my l i fe. I hope you can
understand that.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (scepti cal l y). You mean that you
woul dn’t l i ke hi m to fi nd out that the story about
the i ce puddi ng was a—a—a—You know.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi nci ng). Ah, don’t tal k of i t i n that fl i p-
pant way. I l i ed: I know i t. But I di d i t to save your
l i fe. He woul d have ki l l ed you. That was the sec-
ond ti me I ever uttered a fal sehood. (Bl untschl i ri ses
qui ckl y and l ooks doubtful l y and somewhat severel y
at her.) Do you remember the fi rst ti me?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I! No. Was I present?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Yes; and I tol d the offi cer who was search-
i ng for you that you were not present.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. True. I shoul d have remembered i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (greatl y encouraged). Ah, i t i s natural that
you shoul d forget i t fi rst. It cost you nothi ng: i t cost
me a l i e!—a l i e!! (She si ts down on the ottoman,
l ooki ng strai ght before her wi th her hands cl asped
on her knee. Bl untschl i , qui te touched, goes to the
ottoman wi th a parti cul arl y reassuri ng and consi d-
erate ai r, and si ts down besi de her.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. My dear young l ady, don’t l et thi s
54
Arms and the Man
worry you. Remember: I’m a sol di er. Now what are
the two thi ngs that happen to a sol di er so often that
he comes to thi nk nothi ng of them? One i s heari ng
peopl e tel l l i es (Rai na recoi l s): the other i s getti ng
hi s l i fe saved i n al l sorts of ways by al l sorts of peopl e.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ri si ng i n i ndi gnant protest). And so he be-
comes a creature i ncapabl e of fai th and of grati tude.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (maki ng a wry face). Do you l i ke grati -
tude? I don’t. If pi ty i s aki n to l ove, grati tude i s aki n
to the other thi ng.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Grati tude! (Turni ng on hi m.) If you are i n-
capabl e of grati tude you are i ncapabl e of any nobl e
senti ment. Even ani mal s are grateful . Oh, I see now
exactl y what you thi nk of me! You were not sur-
pri sed to hear me l i e. To you i t was somethi ng I prob-
abl y di d every day—every hour. That i s how men
thi nk of women. (She wal ks up the room mel odra-
mati cal l y.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (dubi ousl y). There’s reason i n every-
thi ng. You sai d you’d tol d onl y two l i es i n your
whol e l i fe. Dear young l ady: i sn’t that rather a short
al l owance? I’m qui te a strai ghtforward man mysel f;
but i t woul dn’t l ast me a whol e morni ng.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (stari ng haughti l y at hi m). Do you know, si r,
that you are i nsul ti ng me?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I can’t hel p i t. When you get i nto
that nobl e atti tude and speak i n that thri l l i ng voi ce,
I admi re you; but I fi nd i t i mpossi bl e to bel i eve a
si ngl e word you say.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (superbl y). Captai n Bl untschl i !
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (unmoved). Yes?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (comi ng a l i ttl e towards hi m, as i f she coul d
not bel i eve her senses). Do you mean what you sai d
just now? Do you know what you sai d just now?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I do.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (gaspi ng). I! I!!! (She poi nts to hersel f i n-
credul ousl y, meani ng “ I, Rai na Petkoff, tel l l i es!” He
meets her gaze unfl i nchi ngl y. She suddenl y si ts
down besi de hi m, and adds, wi th a compl ete change
of manner from the heroi c to the fami l i ar) How di d
you fi nd me out?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (promptl y). Insti nct, dear young l ady.
Insti nct, and experi ence of the worl d.
55
Shaw
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wonderi ngl y). Do you know, you are the
fi rst man I ever met who di d not take me seri ousl y?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. You mean, don’t you, that I am the
fi rst man that has ever taken you qui te seri ousl y?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Yes, I suppose I do mean that. (Cosi l y, qui te
at her ease wi th hi m.) How strange i t i s to be tal ked
to i n such a way! You know, I’ve al ways gone on
l i ke that—I mean the nobl e atti tude and the thri l l -
i ng voi ce. I di d i t when I was a ti ny chi l d to my
nurse. She bel i eved i n i t. I do i t before my parents.
They bel i eve i n i t. I do i t before Sergi us. He bel i eves
i n i t.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Yes: he’s a l i ttl e i n that l i ne hi msel f,
i sn’t he?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (startl ed). Do you thi nk so?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. You know hi m better than I do.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. I wonder—I wonder is he? If I thought that—!
(Di scouraged.) Ah, wel l , what does i t matter? I sup-
pose, now that you’ve found me out, you despi se
me.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (warml y, ri si ng). No, my dear young
l ady, no, no, no a thousand ti mes. It’s part of your
youth—part of your charm. I’m l i ke al l the rest of
them—the nurse— your parents—Sergi us: I’m your
i nfatuated admi rer.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (pl eased). Real l y?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (sl appi ng hi s breast smartl y wi th hi s
hand, German fashi on). Hand aufs Herz! Real l y and
trul y.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (very happy). But what di d you thi nk of me
for gi vi ng you my portrai t?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (astoni shed). Your portrai t! You never
gave me your portrai t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (quickly). Do you mean to say you never got it?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. No. (He si ts down besi de her, wi th
renewed i nterest, and says, wi th some compl a-
cency.) When di d you send i t to me?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i ndi gnantl y). I di d not send i t to you. (She
turns her head away, and adds, rel uctantl y.) It was
i n the pocket of that coat.
56
Arms and the Man
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (pursi ng hi s l i ps and roundi ng hi s
eyes). Oh-o-oh! I never found i t. It must be there
sti l l .
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (spri ngi ng up). There sti l l !—for my father
to fi nd the fi rst ti me he puts hi s hand i n hi s pocket!
Oh, how coul d you be so stupi d?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (ri si ng al so). It doesn’t matter: i t’s onl y
a photograph: how can he tel l who i t was i ntended
for? Tel l hi m he put i t there hi msel f.
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (i mpati entl y). Yes, that i s so cl ever—so
cl ever! What shal l I do?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Ah, I see. You wrote somethi ng on
i t. That was rash!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (annoyed almost to tears). Oh, to have done such
a thing for you, who care no more—except to laugh at
me—oh! Are you sure nobody has touched it?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Wel l , I can’t be qui te sure. You see I
coul dn’t carry i t about wi th me al l the ti me: one
can’t take much l uggage on acti ve servi ce.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. What di d you do wi th i t?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. When I got through to Peerot I had
to put i t i n safe keepi ng somehow. I thought of the
rai l way cl oak room; but that’s the surest pl ace to
get l ooted i n modern warfare. So I pawned i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Pawned i t!!!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I know i t doesn’t sound ni ce; but i t
was much the safest pl an. I redeemed i t the day
before yesterday. Heaven onl y knows whether the
pawnbroker cl eared out the pockets or not.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (furi ous—throwi ng the words ri ght i nto hi s
face). You have a l ow, shopkeepi ng mi nd. You thi nk
of thi ngs that woul d never come i nto a gentl eman’s
head.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (phl egmati cal l y). That’s the Swi ss
nati onal character, dear l ady.
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA. Oh, I wi sh I had never met you. (She
fl ounces away and si ts at the wi ndow fumi ng.)
(Louka comes i n wi th a heap of l etters and
tel egrams on her sal ver, and crosses, wi th her
bol d, free gai t, to the tabl e. Her l eft sl eeve i s
l ooped up to the shoul der wi th a brooch,
57
Shaw
shewi ng her naked arm, wi th a broad gi l t brace-
l et coveri ng the brui se.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (to Bl untschl i ). For you. (She empti es the
sal ver reckl essl y on the tabl e.) The messenger i s
wai ti ng. (She i s determi ned not to be ci vi l to a
Servi an, even i f she must bri ng hi m hi s l etters.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (to Rai na). Wi l l you excuse me: the
l ast postal del i very that reached me was three weeks
ago. These are the subsequent accumul ati ons. Four
tel egrams—a week ol d. (He opens one.) Oho! Bad
news!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ri si ng and advanci ng a l i ttl e remorseful l y).
Bad news?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. My father’s dead. (He l ooks at the
tel egram wi th hi s l i ps pursed, musi ng on the unex-
pected change i n hi s arrangements.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Oh, how very sad!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Yes: I shal l have to start for home i n
an hour. He has l eft a l ot of bi g hotel s behi nd hi m to
be l ooked after. (Takes up a heavy l etter i n a l ong
bl ue envel ope.) Here’s a whacki ng l etter from the
fami l y sol i ci tor. (He pul l s out the encl osures and
gl ances over them.) Great Heavens! Seventy! Two
hundred! (In a crescendo of di smay.) Four hundred!
Four thousand!! Ni ne thousand si x hundred!!! What
on earth shal l I do wi th them al l ?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ti mi dl y). Ni ne thousand hotel s?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI . Hotel s! Nonsense. I f you onl y
knew!—oh, i t’s too ri di cul ous! Excuse me: I must
gi ve my fel l ow orders about starti ng. (He l eaves the
room hasti l y, wi th the documents i n hi s hand.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (taunti ngl y). He has not much heart, that
Swi ss, though he i s so fond of the Servi ans. He has
not a word of gri ef for hi s poor father.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (bi tterl y). Gri ef!—a man who has been doi ng
nothi ng but ki l l i ng peopl e for years! What does he
care? What does any sol di er care? (She goes to the
door, evi dentl y restrai ni ng her tears wi th di ffi cul ty.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Major Saranoff has been fi ghti ng, too; and
he has pl enty of heart l eft. (Rai na, at the door, l ooks
haughti l y at her and goes out.) Aha! I thought you
woul dn’t get much feel i ng out of your sol di er. (She
i s fol l owi ng Rai na when Ni col a enters wi th an arm-
58
Arms and the Man
ful of l ogs for the fi re.)
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (gri nni ng amorousl y at her). I’ve been try-
i ng al l the afternoon to get a mi nute al one wi th you,
my gi rl . (Hi s countenance changes as he noti ces her
arm.) Why, what fashi on i s that of weari ng your
sl eeve, chi l d?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (proudl y). My own fashi on.
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA. Indeed! If the mi stress catches you, she’l l
tal k to you. (He throws the l ogs down on the otto-
man, and si ts comfortabl y besi de them.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Is that any reason why you shoul d take i t
on yoursel f to tal k to me?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. Come: don’t be so contrary wi th me. I’ve
some good news for you. (He takes out some paper
money. Louka, wi th an eager gl eam i n her eyes,
comes cl ose to l ook at i t.) See, a twenty l eva bi l l !
Sergi us gave me that out of pure swagger. A fool
and hi s money are soon parted. There’s ten l evas
more. The Swi ss gave me that for backi ng up the
mi stress’s and Rai na’s l i es about hi m. He’s no fool ,
he i sn’t. You shoul d have heard ol d Catheri ne down-
stai rs as pol i te as you pl ease to me, tel l i ng me not to
mi nd the Major bei ng a l i ttl e i mpati ent; for they
knew what a good servant I was—after maki ng a
fool and a l i ar of me before them al l ! The twenty
wi l l go to our savi ngs; and you shal l have the ten to
spend i f you’l l onl y tal k to me so as to remi nd me
I’m a human bei ng. I get ti red of bei ng a servant
occasi onal l y.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (scornful l y). Yes: sel l your manhood for
thi rty l evas, and buy me for ten! Keep your money.
You were born to be a servant. I was not. When you
set up your shop you wi l l onl y be everybody’s ser-
vant i nstead of somebody’s servant.
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (pi cki ng up hi s l ogs, and goi ng to the stove).
Ah, wai t ti l l you see. We shal l have our eveni ngs to
oursel ves; and I shal l be master i n my own house, I
promi se you. (He throws the l ogs down and kneel s
at the stove.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. You shal l never be master i n mi ne. (She
si ts down on Sergi us’s chai r.)
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (turni ng, sti l l on hi s knees, and squatti ng
down rather forl ornl y, on hi s cal ves, daunted by her
i mpl acabl e di sdai n). You have a great ambi ti on i n
you, Louka. Remember: i f any l uck comes to you, i t
59
Shaw
was I that made a woman of you.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. You!
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (wi th dogged sel f-asserti on). Yes, me. Who
was i t made you gi ve up weari ng a coupl e of pounds
of fal se bl ack hai r on your head and reddeni ng your
l i ps and cheeks l i ke any other Bul gari an gi rl ? I di d.
Who taught you to tri m your nai l s, and keep your
hands cl ean, and be dai nty about yoursel f, l i ke a
fi ne Russi an l ady? Me! do you hear that? me! (She
tosses her head defi antl y ; and he r i ses, i l l -
humoredl y, addi ng more cool l y) I’ve often thought
that i f Rai na were out of the way, and you just a
l i ttl e l ess of a fool and Sergi us just a l i ttl e more of
one, you mi ght come to be one of my grandest cus-
tomers, i nstead of onl y bei ng my wi fe and costi ng
me money.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I bel i eve you woul d rather be my servant
than my husband. You woul d make more out of me.
Oh, I know that soul of yours.
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (goi ng up cl ose to her for greater empha-
si s). Never you mi nd my soul ; but just l i sten to my
advi ce. I f you want to be a l ady, your present
behavi our to me won’t do at al l , unl ess when we’re
al one. It’s too sharp and i mprudent; and i mpudence
i s a sort of fami l i ari ty: i t shews affecti on for me.
And don’t you try bei ng hi gh and mi ghty wi th me
ei ther. You’re l i ke al l country gi rl s: you thi nk i t’s
genteel to treat a servant the way I treat a stabl e-
boy. That’s onl y your i gnorance; and don’t you for-
get i t. And don’t be so ready to defy everybody. Act
as i f you expected to have your own way, not as i f
you expected to be ordered about. The way to get
on as a l ady i s the same as the way to get on as a
servant: you’ve got to know your pl ace; that’s the
secret of i t. And you may depend on me to know
my pl ace i f you get promoted. Thi nk over i t, my
gi rl . I’l l stand by you: one servant shoul d al ways
stand by another.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (ri si ng i mpati entl y). Oh, I must behave i n
my own way. You take al l the courage out of me
wi th your col d-bl ooded wi sdom. Go and put those
l ogs on the fi re: that’s the sort of thi ng you under-
stand. (Before Ni col a can retort, Sergi us comes i n.
He checks hi msel f a moment on seei ng Louka; then
goes to the stove.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (to Ni col a). I am not i n the way of your
work, I hope.
60
Arms and the Man
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (i n a smooth, el derl y manner). Oh, no, si r,
thank you ki ndl y. I was onl y speaki ng to thi s fool -
i sh gi rl about her habi t of runni ng up here to the
l i brary whenever she gets a chance, to l ook at the
books. That’s the worst of her educati on, si r: i t gi ves
her habi ts above her stati on. (To Louka.) Make that
tabl e ti dy, Louka, for the Major. (He goes out se-
datel y.)
(Louka, wi thout l ooki ng at Sergi us, begi ns to
arrange the papers on the tabl e. He crosses
sl owl y to her, and studi es the arrangement of
her sl eeve refl ecti vel y.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Let me see: i s there a mark there? (He
turns up the bracel et and sees the brui se made by
hi s grasp. She stands moti onl ess, not l ooki ng at hi m:
fasci nated, but on her guard.) Ffff! Does i t hurt?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Yes.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Shal l I cure i t?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (i nstantl y wi thdrawi ng hersel f proudl y, but
sti l l not l ooki ng at hi m). No. You cannot cure i t now.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (masterful l y). Qui te sure? (He makes a
movement as i f to take her i n hi s arms.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Don’t tri fl e wi th me, pl ease. An offi cer
shoul d not tri fl e wi th a servant.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (touchi ng the arm wi th a merci l ess stroke
of hi s forefi nger). That was no tri fl e, Louka.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. No. (Looki ng at hi m for the fi rst ti me.) Are
you sorry?
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US (wi th measured emphasi s, fol di ng hi s
arms). I am never sorry.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (wi stful l y). I wi sh I coul d bel i eve a man
coul d be so unl i ke a woman as that. I wonder are
you real l y a brave man?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (unaffectedl y, rel axi ng hi s atti tude). Yes:
I am a brave man. My heart jumped l i ke a woman’s
at the fi rst shot; but i n the charge I found that I was
brave. Yes: that at l east i s real about me.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Di d you fi nd i n the charge that the men
whose fathers are poor l i ke mi ne were any l ess brave
than the men who are ri ch l i ke you?
61
Shaw
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th bi tter l evi ty.) Not a bi t. They al l
sl ashed and cursed and yel l ed l i ke heroes. Psha! the
courage to rage and ki l l i s cheap. I have an Engl i sh
bul l terri er who has as much of that sort of courage
as the whol e Bul gari an nati on, and the whol e Rus-
si an nati on at i ts back. But he l ets my groom thrash
hi m, al l the same. That’s your sol di er al l over! No,
Louka, your poor men can cut throats; but they are
afrai d of thei r offi cers; they put up wi th i nsul ts and
bl ows; they stand by and see one another puni shed
l i ke chi l dren—aye, and hel p to do i t when they are
ordered. And the offi cers!—wel l (wi th a short, bi t-
ter l augh) I am an offi cer. Oh, (ferventl y) gi ve me
the man who wi l l defy to the death any power on
earth or i n heaven that sets i tsel f up agai nst hi s own
wi l l and consci ence: he al one i s the brave man.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. How easy i t i s to tal k! Men never seem to
me to grow up: they al l have school boy’s i deas. You
don’t know what true courage i s.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (i roni cal l y). Indeed! I am wi l l i ng to be
i nstructed.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Look at me! how much am I al l owed to
have my own wi l l ? I have to get your room ready
for you—to sweep and dust, to fetch and carry. How
coul d that degrade me i f i t di d not degrade you to
have i t done for you? But (wi th subdued passi on) i f
I were Empress of Russi a, above everyone i n the
worl d, then—ah, then, though accordi ng to you I
coul d shew no courage at al l ; you shoul d see, you
shoul d see.
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US. What woul d you do, most nobl e Em-
press?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I woul d marry the man I l oved, whi ch no
other queen i n Europe has the courage to do. If I
l oved you, though you woul d be as far beneath me
as I am beneath you, I woul d dare to be the equal of
my i nferi or. Woul d you dare as much i f you l oved
me? No: i f you fel t the begi nni ngs of l ove for me
you woul d not l et i t grow. You dare not: you woul d
marry a ri ch man’s daughter because you woul d be
afrai d of what other peopl e woul d say of you.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (carri ed away). You l i e: i t i s not so, by al l
the stars! If I l oved you, and I were the Czar hi m-
sel f, I woul d set you on the throne by my si de. You
know that I l ove another woman, a woman as hi gh
above you as heaven i s above earth. And you are
jeal ous of her.
62
Arms and the Man
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I have no reason to be. She wi l l never marry
you now. The man I tol d you of has come back. She
wi l l marry the Swi ss.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (recoi l i ng). The Swi ss!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. A man worth ten of you. Then you can
come to me; and I wi l l refuse you. You are not good
enough for me. (She turns to the door.)
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US (spri ngi ng after her and catchi ng her
fi ercel y i n hi s arms). I wi l l ki l l the Swi ss; and after-
wards I wi l l do as I pl ease wi th you.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (i n hi s arms, passi ve and steadfast). The
Swi ss wi l l ki l l you, perhaps. He has beaten you i n
l ove. He may beat you i n war.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (tormentedl y). Do you thi nk I bel i eve that
she—she! whose worst thoughts are hi gher than
your best ones, i s capabl e of tri fl i ng wi th another
man behi nd my back?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Do you thi nk she woul d bel i eve the Swi ss
i f he tol d her now that I am i n your arms?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (rel easi ng her i n despai r). Damnati on! Oh,
damnati on! Mockery, mockery everywhere: every-
thi ng I thi nk i s mocked by everythi ng I do. (He
stri kes hi msel f franti cal l y on the breast.) Coward,
l i ar, fool ! Shal l I ki l l mysel f l i ke a man, or l i ve and
pretend to l augh at mysel f? (She agai n turns to go.)
Louka! (She stops near the door.) Remember: you
bel ong to me.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (qui etl y). What does that mean—an i nsul t?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (commandi ngl y). It means that you l ove
me, and that I have had you here i n my arms, and
wi l l perhaps have you there agai n. Whether that i s
an i nsul t I nei ther know nor care: take i t as you
pl ease. But (vehementl y) I wi l l not be a coward and
a tri fl er. If I choose to l ove you, I dare marry you, i n
spi te of al l Bul gari a. If these hands ever touch you
agai n, they shal l touch my affi anced bri de.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. We shal l see whether you dare keep your
word. But take care. I wi l l not wai t l ong.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (agai n fol di ng hi s arms and standi ng mo-
ti onl ess i n the mi ddl e of the room). Yes, we shal l
see. And you shal l wai t my pl easure.
(Bl untschl i , much preoccupi ed, wi th hi s papers
63
Shaw
sti l l i n hi s hand, enters, l eavi ng the door open
for Louka to go out. He goes across to the tabl e,
gl anci ng at her as he passes. Sergi us, wi thout
al teri ng hi s resol ute atti tude, watches hi m
steadi l y. Louka goes out, l eavi ng the door
open.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (absentl y, si tti ng at the tabl e as be-
fore, and putti ng down hi s papers). That’s a remark-
abl e l ooki ng young woman.
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US (gravel y, wi thout movi ng). Captai n
Bl untschl i .
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Eh?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. You have decei ved me. You are my ri val .
I brook no ri val s. At si x o’cl ock I shal l be i n the
dri l l i ng-ground on the Kl i ssoura road, al one, on
horseback, wi th my sabre. Do you understand?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (stari ng, but si tti ng qui te at hi s ease).
Oh, thank you: that’s a caval ry man’s proposal . I’m
i n the arti l l ery; and I have the choi ce of weapons. If
I go, I shal l take a machi ne gun. And there shal l be
no mi stake about the cartri dges thi s ti me.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (fl ushi ng, but wi th deadl y col dness). Take
care, si r. It i s not our custom i n Bul gari a to al l ow
i nvi tati ons of that ki nd to be tri fl ed wi th.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (warml y). Pooh! don’t tal k to me
about Bul gari a. You don’t know what fi ghti ng i s. But
have i t your own way. Bri ng your sabre al ong. I’l l
meet you.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (fi ercel y del i ghted to fi nd hi s opponent a
man of spi ri t). Wel l sai d, Swi tzer. Shal l I l end you
my best horse?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. No: damn your horse!—thank you
al l the same, my dear fel l ow. (Rai na comes i n, and
hears the next sentence.) I shal l fi ght you on foot.
Horseback’s too dangerous: I don’t want to ki l l you
i f I can hel p i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (hurryi ng forward anxi ousl y). I have heard
what Captai n Bl untschl i sai d, Sergi us. You are go-
i ng to fi ght. Why? (Sergi us turns away i n si l ence,
and goes to the stove, where he stands watchi ng
her as she conti nues, to Bl untschl i ) What about?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I don’t know: he hasn’t tol d me. Bet-
ter not i nterfere, dear young l ady. No harm wi l l be
64
Arms and the Man
done: I’ve often acted as sword i nstructor. He won’t
be abl e to touch me; and I’l l not hurt hi m. It wi l l
save expl anati ons. I n the morni ng I shal l be off
home; and you’l l never see me or hear of me agai n.
You and he wi l l then make i t up and l i ve happi l y
ever after.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (turni ng away deepl y hurt, al most wi th a
sob i n her voi ce). I never sai d I wanted to see you
agai n.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (stri di ng forward). Ha! That i s a confes-
si on.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (haughti l y). What do you mean?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. You l ove that man!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (scandal i zed). Sergi us!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. You al l ow hi m to make l ove to you be-
hi nd my back, just as you accept me as your affi -
anced husband behi nd hi s. Bl untschl i : you knew
our rel ati ons; and you decei ved me. It i s for that
that I cal l you to account, not for havi ng recei ved
favours that I never enjoyed.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (jumpi ng up i ndi gnantl y). Stuff! Rub-
bi sh! I have recei ved no favours. Why, the young
l ady doesn’t even know whether I’m marri ed or not.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (forgetti ng hersel f). Oh! (Col l apsi ng on the
ottoman.) Are you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. You see the young l ady’s concern, Cap-
tai n Bl untschl i . Deni al i s usel ess. You have enjoyed
the pri vi l ege of bei ng recei ved i n her own room,
l ate at ni ght—
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (i nterrupti ng hi m pepperi l y). Yes; you
bl ockhead! She recei ved me wi th a pi stol at her
head. Your caval ry were at my heel s. I’d have bl own
out her brai ns i f she’d uttered a cry.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (taken aback). Bl untschl i ! Rai na: i s thi s
true?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ri si ng i n wrathful majesty). Oh, how dare
you, how dare you?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Apol ogi ze, man, apol ogi ze! (He re-
sumes hi s seat at the tabl e.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th the ol d measured emphasi s, fol d-
65
Shaw
i ng hi s arms). I never apol ogi ze.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (passi onatel y). Thi s i s the doi ng of that fri end
of yours, Captai n Bl untschl i . It i s he who i s spread-
i ng thi s horri bl e story about me. (She wal ks about
exci tedl y.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. No: he’s dead—burnt al i ve.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (stoppi ng, shocked). Burnt al i ve!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI . Shot i n the hi p i n a wood yard.
Coul dn’t drag hi msel f out. Your fel l ows’ shel l s set
the ti mber on fi re and burnt hi m, wi th hal f a dozen
other poor devi l s i n the same predi cament.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. How horri bl e!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. And how ri di cul ous! Oh, war! war! the
dream of patri ots and heroes! A fraud, Bl untschl i , a
hol l ow sham, l i ke l ove.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (outraged). Li ke l ove! You say that before
me.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Come, Saranoff: that matter i s ex-
pl ai ned.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. A hol l ow sham, I say. Woul d you have
come back here i f nothi ng had passed between you,
except at the muzzl e of your pi stol ? Rai na i s mi s-
taken about our fri end who was burnt. He was not
my i nformant.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Who then? (Suddenl y guessi ng the truth.)
Ah, Louka! my mai d, my servant! You were wi th
her thi s morni ng al l that ti me after—after—Oh, what
sort of god i s thi s I have been worshi ppi ng! (He
meets her gaze wi th sardoni c enjoyment of her di s-
enchantment. Angered al l the more, she goes cl oser
to hi m, and says, i n a l ower, i ntenser tone) Do you
know that I l ooked out of the wi ndow as I went
upstai rs, to have another si ght of my hero; and I
saw somethi ng that I di d not understand then. I
know now that you were maki ng l ove to her.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th gri m humor). You saw that?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Onl y too wel l . (She turns away, and throws
hersel f on the di van under the centre wi ndow, qui te
overcome.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (cyni cal l y). Rai na: our romance i s shat-
tered. Li fe’s a farce.
66
Arms and the Man
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (to Rai na, goodhumoredl y). You see:
he’s found hi msel f out now.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Bl untschl i : I have al l owed you to cal l me
a bl ockhead. You may now cal l me a coward as wel l .
I refuse to fi ght you. Do you know why?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. No; but i t doesn’t matter. I di dn’t ask
the reason when you cri ed on; and I don’t ask the
reason now that you cry off. I’m a professi onal sol -
di er. I fi ght when I have to, and am very gl ad to get
out of i t when I haven’t to. You’re onl y an amateur:
you thi nk fi ghti ng’s an amusement.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. You shal l hear the reason al l the same,
my professi onal . The reason i s that i t takes two
men—real men—men of heart, bl ood and honor—
to make a genui ne combat. I coul d no more fi ght
wi th you than I coul d make l ove to an ugl y woman.
You’ve no magneti sm: you’re not a man, you’re a
machi ne.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (apol ogeti cal l y). Qui te true, qui te
true. I al ways was that sort of chap. I’m very sorry.
But now that you’ve found that l i fe i sn’t a farce, but
somethi ng qui te sensi bl e and seri ous, what further
obstacl e i s there to your happi ness?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (ri l i ng). You are very sol i ci tous about my
happi ness and hi s. Do you forget hi s new l ove—
Louka? It i s not you that he must fi ght now, but hi s
ri val , Ni col a.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Ri val !! (Stri ki ng hi s forehead.)
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Di d you not know that they are engaged?
SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US SERGI US. Ni col a! Are fresh abysses openi ng!
Ni col a!!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (sarcasti cal l y). A shocki ng sacri fi ce, i sn’t i t?
Such beauty, such i ntel l ect, such modesty, wasted
on a mi ddl e-aged servant man! Real l y, Sergi us, you
cannot stand by and al l ow such a thi ng. It woul d be
unworthy of your chi val ry.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (l osi ng al l sel f-control ). Vi per! Vi per! (He
rushes to and fro, ragi ng.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Look here, Saranoff; you’re getti ng
the worst of thi s.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (getti ng angri er). Do you real i ze what he has
done, Captai n Bl untschl i ? He has set thi s gi rl as a spy
on us; and her reward i s that he makes l ove to her.
67
Shaw
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Fal se! Monstrous!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Monstrous! (Confronti ng hi m.) Do you deny
that she tol d you about Captai n Bl untschl i bei ng i n
my room?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. No; but—
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i nterrupti ng). Do you deny that you were
maki ng l ove to her when she tol d you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. No; but I tel l you—
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (cutti ng hi m short contemptuousl y). It i s un-
necessary to tel l us anythi ng more. That i s qui te
enough for us. (She turns her back on hi m and
sweeps majesti cal l y back to the wi ndow.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (qui etl y, as Sergi us, i n an agony of
morti fi cati on, ri nks on the ottoman, cl utchi ng hi s
averted head between hi s fi sts). I tol d you you were
getti ng the worst of i t, Saranoff.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Ti ger cat!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (runni ng exci tedl y to Bl untschl i ). You hear
thi s man cal l i ng me names, Captai n Bl untschl i ?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. What el se can he do, dear l ady? He
must defend hi msel f somehow. Come (very persua-
si vel y), don’t quarrel . What good does i t do? (Rai na,
wi th a gasp, si ts down on the ottoman, and after a
vai n effort to l ook vexedl y at Bl untschl i , she fal l s a
vi cti m to her sense of humor, and i s attacked wi th a
di sposi ti on to l augh.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Engaged to Ni col a! (He ri ses.) Ha! ha!
(Goi ng to the stove and standi ng wi th hi s back to
i t.) Ah, wel l , Bl untschl i , you are ri ght to take thi s
huge i mposture of a worl d cool l y.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (to Bl untschl i wi th an i ntui ti ve guess at hi s
state of mi nd). I daresay you thi nk us a coupl e of
grown up babi es, don’t you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (gri nni ng a l i ttl e). He does, he does. Swi ss
ci vi l i zati on nursetendi ng Bul gari an barbari sm, eh?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (bl ushi ng). Not at al l , I assure you.
I’m onl y very gl ad to get you two qui eted. There
now, l et’s be pl easant and tal k i t over i n a fri endl y
way. Where i s thi s other young l ady?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Li steni ng at the door, probabl y.
68
Arms and the Man
SERGIUS (shi veri ng as i f a bul l et had struck hi m,
and speaki ng wi th qui et but deep i ndi gnati on). I wi l l
prove that that, at l east, i s a cal umny. (He goes wi th
di gni ty to the door and opens i t. A yel l of fury bursts
from hi m as he l ooks out. He darts i nto the passage,
and returns draggi ng i n Louka, whom he fl i ngs
agai nst the tabl e, R., as he cri es) Judge her,
Bl untschl i —you, the moderate, cauti ous man: judge
the eavesdropper.
(Louka stands her ground, proud and si l ent.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (shaki ng hi s head). I mustn’t judge
her. I once l i stened mysel f outsi de a tent when there
was a muti ny brewi ng. It’s al l a questi on of the de-
gree of provocati on. My l i fe was at stake.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. My l ove was at stake. (Sergi us fl i nches,
ashamed of her i n spi te of hi msel f.) I am not
ashamed.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (contemptuousl y). Your l ove! Your curi os-
i ty, you mean.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (faci ng her and retorti ng her contempt wi th
i nterest). My l ove, stronger than anythi ng you can
feel , even for your chocol ate cream sol di er.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th qui ck suspi ci on—to Louka). What
does that mean?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (fi ercel y). It means—
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (i nterrupti ng her sl i ghti ngl y). Oh, I re-
member, the i ce puddi ng. A pal try taunt, gi rl .
(Major Petkoff enters, i n hi s shi rtsl eeves.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Excuse my shi rtsl eeves, gentl emen.
Rai na: somebody has been weari ng that coat of mi ne:
I’l l swear i t—somebody wi th bi gger shoul ders than
mi ne. It’s al l burst open at the back. Your mother i s
mendi ng i t. I wi sh she’d make haste. I shal l catch
col d. (He l ooks more attenti vel y at them.) Is any-
thi ng the matter?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. No. (She si ts down at the stove wi th a tran-
qui l ai r.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Oh, no! (He si ts down at the end of the
tabl e, as at fi rst.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (who i s al ready seated). Nothi ng,
nothi ng.
69
Shaw
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (si tti ng down on the ottoman i n hi s ol d
pl ace). That’s al l ri ght. (He noti ces Louka.) Anythi ng
the matter, Louka?
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. No, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (geni al l y). That’s al l ri ght. (He sneezes.)
Go and ask your mi stress for my coat, l i ke a good
gi rl , wi l l you? (She turns to obey; but Ni col a enters
wi th the coat; and she makes a pretence of havi ng
busi ness i n the room by taki ng the l i ttl e tabl e wi th
the hookah away to the wal l near the wi ndows.)
R RR RRAI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA AI NA (ri si ng qui ckl y, as she sees the coat on
Ni col a’s arm). Here i t i s, papa. Gi ve i t to me, Ni col a;
and do you put some more wood on the fi re. (She
takes the coat, and bri ngs i t to the Major, who stands
up to put i t on. Ni col a attends to the fi re.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (to Rai na, teasi ng her affecti onatel y). Aha!
Goi ng to be very good to poor ol d papa just for one
day after hi s return from the wars, eh?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th sol emn reproach). Ah, how can you
say that to me, father?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Wel l , wel l , onl y a joke, l i ttl e one. Come,
gi ve me a ki ss. (She ki sses hi m.) Now gi ve me the
coat.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Now, I am goi ng to put i t on for you. Turn
your back. (He turns hi s back and feel s behi nd hi m
wi th hi s arms for the sl eeves. She dexterousl y takes
the photograph from the pocket and throws i t on
the tabl e before Bl untschl i , who covers i t wi th a
sheet of paper under the very nose of Sergi us, who
l ooks on amazed, wi th hi s suspi ci ons roused i n the
hi ghest degree. She then hel ps Petkoff on wi th hi s
coat.) There, dear! Now are you comfortabl e?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Qui te, l i ttl e l ove. Thanks. (He si ts down;
and Rai na returns to her seat near the stove.) Oh, by
the bye, I’ve found somethi ng funny. What’s the
meani ng of thi s? (He put hi s hand i nto the pi cked
pocket.) Eh? Hal l o! (He tri es the other pocket.) Wel l ,
I coul d have sworn—(Much puzzl ed, he tri es the
breast pocket.) I wonder—(Tri es the ori gi nal pocket.)
Where can i t—(A l i ght fl ashes on hi m; he ri ses, ex-
cl ai mi ng) Your mother’s taken i t.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (very red). Taken what?
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Your photograph, wi th the i nscri pti on:
“ Rai na, to her Chocol ate Cream Sol di er—a souve-
70
Arms and the Man
ni r.” Now you know there’s somethi ng more i n thi s
than meets the eye; and I’m goi ng to fi nd i t out.
(Shouti ng) Ni col a!
NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA NICOLA (droppi ng a l og, and turni ng). Si r!
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Di d you spoi l any pastry of Mi ss Rai na’s
thi s morni ng?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. You heard Mi ss Rai na say that I di d, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. I know that, you i di ot. Was i t true?
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA AA AA. I am sure Mi ss Rai na i s i ncapabl e of say-
i ng anythi ng that i s not true, si r.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Are you? Then I’m not. (Turni ng to the
others.) Come: do you thi nk I don’t see i t al l ? (Goes
to Sergi us, and sl aps hi m on the shoul der.) Sergi us:
you’re the chocol ate cream sol di er, aren’t you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (starti ng up). I! a chocol ate cream sol di er!
Certai nl y not.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Not! (He l ooks at them. They are al l very
seri ous and very consci ous.) Do you mean to tel l me
that Raina sends photographic souvenirs to other men?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (eni gmati cal l y). The worl d i s not such an
i nnocent pl ace as we used to thi nk, Petkoff.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (ri si ng). It’s al l ri ght, Major. I’m the
chocolate cream soldier. (Petkof and Sergius are equally
astoni shed.) The graci ous young l ady saved my l i fe
by gi vi ng me chocol ate creams when I was starvi ng—
shal l I ever forget thei r fl avour! My l ate fri end Stol z
tol d you the story at Peerot. I was the fugi ti ve.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. You! (He gasps.) Sergi us: do you remem-
ber how those two women went on thi s morni ng
when we menti oned i t? (Sergi us smi l es cyni cal l y.
Petkof confronts Rai na severel y.) You’re a ni ce young
woman, aren’t you?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (bi tterl y). Major Saranoff has changed hi s
mi nd. And when I wrote that on the photograph, I
di d not know that Captai n Bl untschl i was marri ed.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (much startl ed protesti ng vehe-
mentl y). I’m not marri ed.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (wi th deep reproach). You sai d you were.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I di d not. I posi ti vel y di d not. I never
was marri ed i n my l i fe.
71
Shaw
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (exasperated). Rai na: wi l l you ki ndl y i n-
form me, i f I am not aski ng too much, whi ch gentl e-
man you are engaged to?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. To nei ther of them. Thi s young l ady (i ntro-
duci ng Louka, who faces them al l proudl y) i s the
object of Major Saranoff ’s affecti ons at present.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Louka! Are you mad, Sergi us? Why, thi s
gi rl ’s engaged to Ni col a.
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (comi ng forward ). I beg your pardon, si r.
There i s a mi stake. Louka i s not engaged to me.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Not engaged to you, you scoundrel ! Why,
you had twenty-fi ve l evas from me on the day of
your betrothal ; and she had that gi l t bracel et from
Mi ss Rai na.
NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOL NICOLA A A A A (wi th cool uncti on). We gave i t out so, si r.
But i t was onl y to gi ve Louka protecti on. She had a
soul above her stati on; and I have been no more than
her confi denti al servant. I i ntend, as you know, si r,
to set up a shop l ater on i n Sofea; and I l ook forward
to her custom and recommendati on shoul d she marry
i nto the nobi l i ty. (He goes out wi th i mpressi ve di s-
creti on, l eavi ng them al l stari ng after hi m.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (breaki ng the si l ence). Wel l , I am—hm!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Thi s i s ei ther the fi nest heroi sm or the
most crawl i ng baseness. Whi ch i s i t, Bl untschl i ?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Never mi nd whether i t’s heroi sm or
baseness. Ni col a’s the abl est man I’ve met i n Bul -
gari a. I’l l make hi m manager of a hotel i f he can
speak French and German.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (suddenl y breaki ng out at Sergi us). I have
been i nsul ted by everyone here. You set them the
exampl e. You owe me an apol ogy. (Sergi us i mmedi -
atel y, l i ke a repeati ng cl ock of whi ch the spri ng has
been touched, begi ns to fol d hi s arms.)
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (before he can speak). It’s no use. He
never apol ogi zes.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. Not to you, hi s equal and hi s enemy. To me,
hi s poor servant, he wi l l not refuse to apol ogi ze.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (approvi ngl y). You are ri ght. (He bends
hi s knee i n hi s grandest manner.) Forgi ve me!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I forgi ve you. (She ti mi dl y gi ves hi m her
hand, whi ch he ki sses.) That touch makes me your
72
Arms and the Man
affi anced wi fe.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (spri ngi ng up). Ah, I forgot that!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (col dl y). You can wi thdraw i f you l i ke.
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Wi thdraw! Never! You bel ong to me! (He
puts hi s arm about her and draws her to hi m.)
(Catheri ne comes i n and fi nds Louka i n Sergi us’s
arms, and al l the rest gazi ng at them i n bewi l dered
astoni shment.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERI NE THERINE. What does thi s mean? (Sergi us re-
l eases Louka.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Wel l , my dear, i t appears that Sergi us i s
goi ng to marry Louka i nstead of Rai na. (She i s about
to break out i ndi gnantl y at hi m: he stops her by ex-
cl ai mi ng testi l y.) Don’t bl ame me: I’ve nothi ng to do
wi th i t. (He retreats to the stove.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Marry Louka! Sergi us: you are bound
by your word to us!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (fol di ng hi s arms). Nothi ng bi nds me.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (much pl eased by thi s pi ece of com-
mon sense). Saranoff: your hand. My congratul a-
ti ons. These heroi cs of yours have thei r practi cal
si de after al l . (To Louka.) Graci ous young l ady: the
best wi shes of a good Republ i can! (He ki sses her
hand, to Rai na’s great di sgust.)
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (threateni ngl y). Louka: you have been
tel l i ng stori es.
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I have done Rai na no harm.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (haughti l y). Rai na! (Rai na i s equal l y
i ndi gnant at the l i berty.)
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA AA AA. I have a ri ght to cal l her Rai na: she cal l s
me Louka. I tol d Major Saranoff she woul d never
marry hi m i f the Swi ss gentl eman came back.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (surpri sed). Hal l o!
LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUK LOUKA A A A A (turni ng to Rai na). I thought you were fonder
of hi m than of Sergi us. You know best whether I
was ri ght.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. What nonsense! I assure you, my
dear Major, my dear Madame, the graci ous young
l ady si mpl y saved my l i fe, nothi ng el se. She never
73
Shaw
cared two straws for me. Why, bl ess my heart and
soul , l ook at the young l ady and l ook at me. She,
ri ch, young, beauti ful , wi th her i magi nati on ful l of
fai ry pri nces and nobl e natures and caval ry charges
and goodness knows what! And I, a common-pl ace
Swi ss sol di er who hardl y knows what a decent l i fe
i s after fi fteen years of barracks and battl es—a vaga-
bond—a man who has spoi l ed al l hi s chances i n
l i fe through an i ncurabl y romanti c di sposi ti on—a
man—
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (starti ng as i f a needl e had pri cked hi m
and i nterrupti ng Bl untschl i i n i ncredul ous amaze-
ment). Excuse me, Bl untschl i : what di d you say had
spoi l ed your chances i n l i fe?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (promptl y). An i ncurabl y romanti c
di sposi ti on. I ran away from home twi ce when I was
a boy. I went i nto the army i nstead of i nto my father’s
busi ness. I cl i mbed the bal cony of thi s house when
a man of sense woul d have di ved i nto the nearest
cel l ar. I came sneaki ng back here to have another
l ook at the young l ady when any other man of my
age woul d have sent the coat back—
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. My coat!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI.—Yes: that’s the coat I mean—woul d
have sent i t back and gone qui etl y home. Do you
suppose I am the sort of fel l ow a young gi rl fal l s i n
l ove wi th? Why, l ook at our ages! I’m thi rty-four: I
don’t suppose the young l ady i s much over seven-
teen. (Thi s esti mate produces a marked sensati on,
al l the rest turni ng and stari ng at one another. He
proceeds i nnocentl y.) Al l that adventure whi ch was
l i fe or death to me, was onl y a school gi rl ’s game to
her—chocol ate creams and hi de and seek. Here’s
the proof! (He takes the photograph from the tabl e.)
Now, I ask you, woul d a woman who took the affai r
seri ousl y have sent me thi s and wri tten on i t: “ Rai na,
to her chocol ate cream sol di er—a souveni r” ? (He
exhi bi ts the photograph tri umphantl y, as i f i t settl ed
the matter beyond al l possi bi l i ty of refutati on.)
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. That’s what I was l ooki ng for. How the
deuce di d i t get there?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (to Rai na compl acentl y). I have put
everythi ng ri ght, I hope, graci ous young l ady!
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i n uncontrol l abl e vexati on). I qui te agree
wi th your account of yoursel f. You are a romanti c
i di ot. (Bl untschl i i s unspeakabl y taken aback.) Next
ti me I hope you wi l l know the di fference between a
74
Arms and the Man
school gi rl of seventeen and a woman of twenty-
three.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (stupefi ed). Twenty-three! (She snaps
the photograph contemptuousl y from hi s hand; tears
i t across; and throws the pi eces at hi s feet.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS (wi th gri m enjoyment of Bl untschl i ’s di s-
comfi ture). Bl untschl i : my one l ast bel i ef i s gone.
Your sagaci ty i s a fraud, l i ke al l the other thi ngs.
You have l ess sense than even I have.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (ov erwhel med). Twenty-three!
Twenty-three!! (He consi ders.) Hm! (Swi ftl y mak-
i ng up hi s mi nd.) In that case, Major Petkoff, I beg
to propose formal l y to become a sui tor for your
daughter’s hand, i n pl ace of Major Saranoff reti red.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. You dare!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. If you were twenty-three when you
sai d those thi ngs to me thi s afternoon, I shal l take
them seri ousl y.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (l ofti l y pol i te). I doubt, si r, whether
you qui te real i ze ei ther my daughter’s posi ti on or
that of Major Sergi us Saranoff, whose pl ace you pro-
pose to take. The Petkoffs and the Saranoffs are
known as the ri chest and most i mportant fami l i es
i n the country. Our posi ti on i s al most hi stori cal : we
can go back for nearl y twenty years.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Oh, never mi nd that, Catheri ne. (To
Bl untschl i .) We shoul d be most happy, Bl untschl i ,
i f i t were onl y a questi on of your posi ti on; but hang
i t, you know, Rai na i s accustomed to a very com-
fortabl e establ i shment. Sergi us keeps twenty horses.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI . But what on earth i s the use of
twenty horses? Why, i t’s a ci rcus.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE (severel y). My daughter, si r, i s accus-
tomed to a fi rst-rate stabl e.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA. Hush, mother, you’re maki ng me ri di cul ous.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Oh, wel l , i f i t comes to a questi on of
an establ i shment, here goes! (He goes i mpetuousl y
to the tabl e and sei zes the papers i n the bl ue enve-
l ope.) How many horses di d you say?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Twenty, nobl e Swi tzer!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I have two hundred horses. (They
75
Shaw
are amazed.) How many carri ages?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. Three.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I have seventy. Twenty-four of them
wi l l hol d twel ve i nsi de, besi des two on the box,
wi thout counti ng the dri ver and conductor. How
many tabl ecl oths have you?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. How the deuce do I know?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. Have you four thousand?
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. NO.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I have. I have ni ne thousand si x hun-
dred pai rs of sheets and bl ankets, wi th two thou-
sand four hundred ei der-down qui l ts. I have ten
thousand kni ves and forks, and the same quanti ty
of dessert spoons. I have si x hundred servants. I
have si x pal ati al establ i shments, besi des two l i very
stabl es, a tea garden and a pri vate house. I have four
medal s for di sti ngui shed servi ces; I have the rank
of an offi cer and the standi ng of a gentl eman; and I
have three nati ve l anguages. Show me any man i n
Bul gari a that can offer as much.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF (wi th chi l di sh awe). Are you Emperor of
Swi tzerl and?
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. My rank i s the hi ghest known i n
Swi tzerl and: I’m a free ci ti zen.
C CC CCA AA AATHERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE THERINE. Then Captai n Bl untschl i , si nce you
are my daughter’s choi ce, I shal l not stand i n the
way of her happi ness. (Petkoff i s about to speak.)
That i s Major Petkoff ’s feel i ng al so.
PETK PETK PETK PETK PETKOFF OFF OFF OFF OFF. Oh, I shal l be onl y too gl ad. Two hun-
dred horses! Whew!
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. What says the l ady?
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (pretendi ng to sul k). The l ady says that he
can keep hi s tabl ecl oths and hi s omni buses. I am
not here to be sol d to the hi ghest bi dder.
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. I won’t take that answer. I appeal ed
to you as a fugi ti ve, a beggar, and a starvi ng man.
You accepted me. You gave me your hand to ki ss,
your bed to sl eep i n, and your roof to shel ter me—
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (i nterrupti ng hi m). I di d not gi ve them to
the Emperor of Swi tzerl and!
76
Arms and the Man
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI. That’s just what I say. (He catches
her hand qui ckl y and l ooks her strai ght i n the face
as he adds, wi th confi dent mastery) Now tel l us who
you di d gi ve them to.
R RR RRAINA AINA AINA AINA AINA (succumbi ng wi th a shy smi l e). To my choco-
l ate cream sol di er!
BL BL BL BL BLUNTS UNTS UNTS UNTS UNTSCHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI CHLI (wi th a boyi sh l augh of del i ght).
That’l l do. Thank you. (Looks at hi s watch and sud-
denl y becomes busi nessl i ke.) Ti me’s up, Major.
You’ve managed those regi ments so wel l that you
are sure to be asked to get ri d of some of the Infan-
try of the Teemok di vi si on. Send them home by way
of Lom Pal anka. Saranoff: don’t get marri ed unti l I
come back: I shal l be here punctual l y at fi ve i n the
eveni ng on Tuesday fortni ght. Graci ous l adi es—good
eveni ng. (He makes them a mi l i tary bow, and goes.)
SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS SERGIUS. What a man! What a man!

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