From: Ulanov, Barry, ed. (1961) Makers of the Modern Theater. New York: McGraw-Hill.

THE BALD SOPRANO antiplay, translated by Donald M. Allen characters MR. SMITH MRS. SMITH MR. MARTIN MRS. MARTIN MARY the maid THE FIRE CHIEF A middle-class English interior, with English armchairs. An English evening. Mr. Smith, an Englishman, seated in his English armchair and wearing English slippers, is smoking his English pipe and reading an English newspaper, near an English fire. He is wearing English spectacles and a small gray English mustache. Beside him, in another English armchair, Mrs. Smith, an Englishwoman, is darning some English socks. A long moment of English silence. The English clock strikes seventeen English strokes. MRS. SMITH There, it's nine o'clock. We've drunk the soup, and eaten the fish and chips, and the English salad. The children have drunk English water. We've eaten well this evening. That's because we live in the suburbs of London and because our name is Smith. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH Potatoes are very good fried in fat; the salad oil was not rancid. The oil from the grocer at the corner is better quality than the oil from the grocer across the street. It is even better than the oil from the grocer at the bottom of the street. However, I prefer not to tell them that their oil is bad. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH However, the oil from the grocer at the corner is still the best. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH Mary did the potatoes very well, this evening. The last time she did not do them well. I do not like them when they are well done. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH The fish was fresh. It made my mouth water. I had two helpings. No, three helpings. That made me go to the w.c. You also had three helpings. However, the third time you took less than the first two times, while as for me, I took a great deal more. I eat better than you this evening. Why is that? Usually, it is you who eats more. It is not appetite you lack.

-605[Mr. Smith clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH But still, the soup was perhaps a little too salt. It was saltier than you. Ha, ha, ha. It also had too many leeks and not enough onions. I regret I didn't advise Mary to add some aniseed stars. The next time I'll know better. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH Our little boy wanted to drink some beer; he's going to love getting tiddly. He's like you. At table did you notice how he stared at the bottle? But I poured some water from the jug into his glass. He was thirsty and he drank it. Helen is like me: she's a good manager, thrifty, plays the piano. She never asks to drink English beer. She's like our little daughter who drinks only milk and eats only porridge. It's obvious that she's only two. She's named Peggy. The quince and bean pie was marvelous. It would have been nice, perhaps, to have had a small glass of Australian Burgundy with the sweet, but I did not bring the bottle to the table because I did not wish to set the children a bad example of gluttony. They must learn to be sober and temperate. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH Mrs. Parker knows a Rumanian grocer by the name of Popesco Rosenfeld, who has just come from Constantinople. He is a great specialist in yogurt. He has a diploma from the school of yogurt-making in Adrianople. Tomorrow I shall buy a large pot of native Rumanian yogurt from him. One doesn't often find such things here in the suburbs of London. [Mr. Smith continues to read, clicks his tongue.] MRS. SMITH Yogurt is excellent for the stomach, the kidneys, the appendicitis, and apotheosis. It was Doctor Mackenzie-King who told me that, he's the one who takes care of the children of our neighbors, the Johns. He's a good doctor. One can trust him. He never prescribes any medicine that he's not tried out on himself first. Before operating on Parker, he had his own liver operated on first, although he was not the least bit ill. MR. SMITH But how does it happen that the doctor pulled through while Parker died? MRS. SMITH Because the operation was successful in the doctor's case and it was not in Parker's. MR. SMITH Then Mackenzie is not a good doctor. The operation should have succeeded with both of them or else both should have died. MRS. SMITH Why? MR. SMITH A conscientious doctor must die with his patient if they can't get well together. The captain of a ship goes down with his ship into the briny deep, he does not survive alone. MRS. SMITH One cannot compare a patient with a ship. MR. SMITH Why not? A ship has its diseases too; moreover, your doctor is as hale as a ship; that's why he should have perished at the same time as his patient, like the captain and his ship.

MRS. SMITH Ah! I hadn't thought of that . . . Perhaps it is true . . . And then, what conclusion do you draw from this? MR. SMITH All doctors are quacks. And all patients too. Only the Royal Navy is honest in England. MRS. SMITH But not sailors. MR. SMITH Naturally. [A pause. Still reading his paper] Here's a thing I don't understand. In the newspaper they always give the age of deceased persons but never the age of the newly born. That doesn't make sense. MRS. SMITH I never thought of that! [Another moment of silence. The clock strikes seven times. Silence. The clock strikes three times. Silence. The clock doesn't strike.] MR. SMITH [still reading his paper] Tsk, it says here that Bobby Watson died. MRS. SMITH My God, the poor man! When did he die? MR. SMITH Why do you pretend to be astonished? You know very well that he's been dead these past two years. Surely you remember that we attended his funeral a year and a half ago. MRS. SMITH Oh yes, of course I do remember. I remembered it right away, but I don't understand why you yourself were so surprised to see it in the paper. MR. SMITH It wasn't in the paper. It's been three years since his death was announced. I remem-606bered it through an association of ideas. MRS. SMITH What a pity! He was so well preserved. MR. SMITH He was the handsomest corpse in Great Britain. He didn't look his age. Poor Bobby, he'd been dead for four years and he was still warm. A veritable living corpse. And how cheerful he was! MRS. SMITH Poor Bobby. MR. SMITH Which poor Bobby do you mean? MRS. SMITH It is his wife that I mean. She is called Bobby too, Bobby Watson. Since they both had the same name, you could never tell one from the other when you saw them together. It was only after his death that you could really tell which was which. And there are still people today who confuse her with the deceased and offer their condolences to him. Do you know her? MR. SMITH I only met her once, by chance, at Bobby's burial.

SMITH Why. the late Bobby Watson's aunt. Her features are not regular but still one can say that she is very pretty. Has she anyone in mind? MR. SMITH Why don't we give them one of the seven silver salvers that were given us for our wedding and which have never been of any use to us? [Silence. old Bobby Watson. MR. could remarry. What are their names? MR. SMITH How sad for her to be left a widow so young. in her turn. MRS.] MRS. a cousin of Bobby Watson's. SMITH We shall have to go to their wedding. Is she pretty? MR. Bobby Watson's uncle. She's a voice teacher. at the latest. MRS. MR. SMITH Who? Bobby Watson? MR. A long silence. SMITH Next spring. SMITH She's still young. SMITH She has regular features and yet one cannot say that she is pretty. MRS. pay for the education of Bobby Watson. MR. SMITH Are you referring to Bobby Watson the commercial traveler? . it's someone else. it's not that one. [The clock strikes five times. is a rich man and very fond of the boy. SMITH Yes. That way Bobby. And Bobby Watson's aunt. She is a little too small and too thin. She is too big and stout. SMITH I've never seen her.MRS. MRS. Bobby Watson's daughter. Bobby Watson. they had no children. the late Bobby Watson's other uncle. He might very well pay for Bobby's education. the son of old Bobby Watson. Bobby Watson's mother. SMITH That was all they needed! Children! Poor woman. It's Bobby Watson. SMITH No. the son of old Bobby Watson. how could she have managed! MR. She might very well remarry.] MRS. old Bobby Watson. SMITH Fortunately. MRS. MRS. SMITH Bobby and Bobby like their parents. She looks so well in mourning. SMITH But who would take care of the children? You know very well that they have a boy and a girl. those two? MR. SMITH Which Bobby Watson do you mean? MRS. SMITH That would be proper. I suppose. SMITH We shall have to give them a wedding present. SMITH And when do they plan to be married. might very well. I wonder what? MRS.

I can't answer all your idiotic questions! MRS. fifty times a day.] What a ridiculous pair of old lovers we are! Come.MR. SMITH Yes. SMITH I don't know everything. MRS. MR. SMITH Men are all alike! You sit there all day long. SMITH On Tuesdays. a cigarette in your mouth. . you know that very well! [She hurls the socks across the stage and shows her teeth. MRS. smoking all day -607long. they do well at it.* She gets up. drinking whisky? MRS. MRS. MARY [entering] I'm the maid. or you powder your nose and rouge your lips.] MR. powdering. After the cinema. I have spent a very pleasant afternoon. Thursdays. that you went to the cinema with a man and that you drank some brandy and milk. SMITH [offended] Oh! Are you trying to humiliate me? MR. he sleeps. and Tuesdays. MR. SMITH All the Bobby Watsons are commercial travelers. SMITH He rests. what a little spitfire you are! You know that I only said it as a joke! [He takes her by the waist and kisses her. . SMITH What a difficult trade! However. MRS. I don't care for that kind of joking. MRS. SMITH [also getting up and going toward his wife. . MRS. SMITH And the newspaper. my little ducky daddles. SMITH Ah! Three days a week? And what does Bobby Watson do on those days? MR. MR. we went to drink some brandy and milk and then read the newspaper. SMITH I hope that you've spent a pleasant afternoon. or else you drink like a fish. SMITH It's nothing to me! But if you're only saying that to annoy me . SMITH But why doesn't he work those three days if there's no competition? MR. SMITH But what would you say if you saw men acting like women do. SMITH [all smiles] You know very well that I'm not. SMITH And when is there no competition? MR. rouging their lips. let's put out the lights and go bye-byes. I've been to the cinema with a man and I've seen a film with some women. tenderly] Oh. when there's no competition.

Mrs. monotonous. MRS. Mary opens the door at the left by which Mr. madam? MRS. nor did she throw the socks very far. MARTIN That is very possible. I left the city of Manchester about five weeks ago. MARTIN Excuse me.*] MR. sir. We will change quickly. MRS. MR. Martin to step in. that's curious! I. and Mrs. yes. Smith did not show her teeth. sir. You should not have gone out! MARY But it was you who gave me permission. They didn't dare come in by themselves. They were supposed to have dinner with you this evening. are at the door. I am originally from the city of Manchester. They smile timidly at each other. we were going to start dinner without them. Martin enter. MARTIN Was it. MR. I took the 8:30 morning train which arrives in London at 4:45. madam. I left the city of Manchester about five weeks ago. too. anyway. without nuances. and wait now that you're here. Since they didn't put in an appearance. We were expecting them. I. SMITH We didn't do it on purpose.] [Mr. MRS. MRS. too. Martin sit facing each other. but it seems to me. very polite. MARTIN I. then she smiles] I bought me a chamber pot. MARTIN That is curious! MR. too. MARTIN That is curious! What a bizarre coincidence! I. It seems to me that I've met you somewhere before. madam! MRS. madam. sir. that I've met you somewhere before. MARTIN Good God. by any chance.MARY Mr. Martin. [She exits. SMITH Oh. please open the door and ask Mr. . SMITH My dear Mary. MARTIN Isn't that curious! Only. Smith exit right. am originally from the city of Manchester.] MARY Why have you come so late! You are not *In Nicolas Bataille's production. And we were hungry. We've had nothing to eat all day. your guests. But I do not have a good memory. [Mr. and Mrs. at Manchester that I caught a glimpse of you. and Mrs. I cannot say whether it was there that I caught a glimpse of you or not! MR. MR. and Mrs. The dialogue which follows must be spoken in voices that are drawling. and Mrs. MARTIN Madam. a little singsong. They were waiting for me. unless I'm mistaken. MARY [bursts into laughter. without speaking. Do you understand? But sit down there. then she bursts into tears. People should be punctual.

MARTIN I traveled second class. MARTIN That is curious! How very bizarre! And what a coincidence! I. There is no second class in England. I too. MARTIN It is indeed possible. 8. compartment 6. I do not remember it either. sir. my dear lady! It is there that we must have seen each other! MRS. not unlikely. 6. this dialogue was spoken in a tone and played in a style sincerely tragic. MARTIN Oh. next to the window. sir! MR. * In Nicolas Bataille's production. MARTIN How curious it is! I had seat No. MARTIN My seat was in coach No. MARTIN How curious that is and what a bizarre coincidence! Perhaps we met in compartment 6. sir. truly. MARTIN How curious that is! Perhaps we did meet in second class. MR. madam. MARTIN Good God. but it is possible that we caught a glimpse of each other there. It is plausible and. MARTIN That is curious! How very bizarre! And what a coincidence! I took the same train. MARTIN How curious that is! My seat was also in coach No. MARTIN It is indeed possible. next to the window. and as I think of it. that is. it was on the train that I saw you? MRS. 3. across from you. my dear lady. my dear lady? MRS. of course. how curious and bizarre! I had seat No. how curious! Perhaps then. it seems to me even very likely. But I do not remember very well. after all. MRS. why not! --But I don't recall it. sir! . madam. MARTIN Good Lord. MARTIN That is certainly possible. my dear lady. my dear sir! MR. MRS. MR. MARTIN Oh! truly. my dear sir! MR. sir! MR. my dear lady. -608MR. MRS. and it is not at all unlikely. my dear sir. I traveled second class. my dear sir! MR. how curious that is and what a coincidence! We were then seated facing each other. MARTIN How curious it is! It is possible. after all! But I do not recall it. my dear lady! MRS. 8.MRS. MARTIN To tell the truth. compartment 6. MRS. but I do not recall it. but I always travel second class. too. good Lord.

dear lady? MRS. what a coincidence! And well. my dear sir! However. MRS. and it is covered with a green eiderdown. 8. sir. MARTIN Dear madam. and the bookcase. well then. too. MR. MRS. how curious it is. were you not the lady who asked me to place her suitcase in the luggage rack and who thanked me and gave me permission to smoke? MRS. well. The clock strikes twice. dear lady! . I have resided in Bromfield Street. MARTIN How curious it is. my dear lady. However.] MR. This room. sir. dear sir! MR. MR. well then. with the bed and the green eiderdown. how curious it is. I have resided in Bromfield Street.MR. my dear sir.c. MARTIN I reside at No. I also reside at No. how bizarre. how curious it is. MARTIN How curious that is. in my bedroom there is a bed. and what a coincidence! You know. how bizarre! And what a coincidence! I too reside on the fifth floor. well then. MARTIN It is true. after all! But I do not recall it. [A moment of silence. MRS. MARTIN To tell the truth. 19. MARTIN Since coming to London. perhaps we have seen each other in Bromfield Street. MARTIN How curious that is. dear sir. my dear lady. my dear sir. MR. MARTIN How curious that is. MARTIN Nor do I. 8. MRS. MRS. in flat No. MARTIN My flat is on the fifth floor. that must have been I. MR. since coming to London. good Lord. well then. well then. I do not believe that I recall it. MR. MARTIN Well then. and what a coincidence! MR. 19. How curious it is. MARTIN But of course. how bizarre! I. MARTIN How curious it is. madam. it is very possible that we saw each other on that occasion. MARTIN How curious it is and what a coincidence! It is indeed possible. MARTIN It is indeed possible but I do not recall it. my dear lady. how bizarre! It is indeed possible. my dear lady. MARTIN How curious that is. No. I do not remember it either. MARTIN [musing] How curious it is. then once. madam? MRS. my dear sir. my dear lady. MR. but I am not at all sure of it. it was perhaps at that moment that we came to know each other. is at the end of the corridor between the w. perhaps we have seen each other in that house.

He believes in vain that she is Elizabeth. . good Lord. very loud. moves toward Mrs. dear lady. I believe that there can be no doubt about it. MARTIN [in the same drawling. on tiptoe. and fall asleep. her name is Alice. unhurriedly. dear sir! MR. The clock strikes once. my little daughter. Mr. too. we have seen each other before and you are my own wife . have a little girl. has also gotten up very quietly. monotonous voice. Martin approaches Mr. too. dear sir. MARTIN What a bizarre coincidence! I. I have found you again! [Mrs. dear lady. Donald's daughter has one white eye and one red eye like Elizabeth's daughter. and the bookcase! MR. Let's not try to know. MARTIN [in the same flat. The clock strikes several more times. But I do not recall it.c. . dear sir. Elizabeth is not Elizabeth. Donald is not Donald. dear sir! -609MR. I can therefore let you in on a secret. has a white eye and a red eye. has a bed with a green eiderdown and is at the end of the corridor. she is very pretty. She is two years old. MARTIN I have a little girl. monotonous voice] How curious it is and what a coincidence! And bizarre! Perhaps they are the same. Donald and Elizabeth. This striking of the clock must be so loud that it makes the audience jump. darling! [They sit together in the same armchair. She is two years old. they are not the same person. between the w. madam. enters quietly and addresses the audience. are not Donald and Elizabeth.] MARY Elizabeth and Donald are now too happy to be able to hear me. too. Elizabeth's child has a red right eye and a white left eye! Thus all of Donald's system of deduction collapses when it comes up against this last obstacle which destroys his whole theory. she's blonde. not being the parents of the same child. she is very pretty. it's you. MRS. MARTIN Donald. Martin after having reflected at length. Whereas Donald's child has a white right eye and a red left eye. It is in vain that he thinks he is Donald. we live in the same room and we sleep in the same bed. their arms around each other. MARTIN How bizarre. It is perhaps there that we have met! MRS. The Martins do not hear it. MARTIN How curious it is! It is indeed possible. dear lady. slightly sing-song] Then. Martin. She believes in vain that he is Donald--they are sadly deceived. Mary.] MR.] MRS. she lives with me. strange! Then. surprised by his solemn air. The clock strikes twenty-nine times. And here is the proof: the child that Donald spoke of is not Elizabeth's daughter. what a coincidence! My bedroom. who. it is in vain that she thinks she is Elizabeth. Let's . dear lady! MRS. and her name is Alice. she has a white eye and a red eye.. [A rather long moment of silence.MRS. They embrace without expression. Martin without haste. Elizabeth. curious. But who is the true Donald? Who is the true Elizabeth? Who has any interest in prolonging this confusion? I don't know. MARTIN What a coincidence. dear lady. and perhaps even last night. gets up slowly and. MARTIN How curious it is and what a coincidence! It is indeed possible that we have met there. In spite of the extraordinary coincidences which seem to be definitive proofs. a finger to her lips.

[Silence. MRS. [Silence. MARTIN Darling.] MRS. you shouldn't.] MRS. hm. [She exits. hm. [Silence. After several seconds. oh dear.] [The clock strikes as much as it likes.] MRS. hm. MARTIN We all have colds. SMITH Hm. darling. The striking of the clock underlines the speeches.] MR. and Mrs. The Martins. fortunately.] MRS. MARTIN Hm. wearing the same clothes. Mr. seem embarrassed and timid.] . Smith sit facing their guests.] MR. Martin.] MR. [Silence. [Silence. according to the case. and Mrs. MARTIN Oh. SMITH Nevertheless. he's wet his pants. For this reason the conversation begins with difficulty and the words are uttered. MARTIN Yes. [She takes several steps toward the door. SMITH No. and. and live as before. A long embarrassed silence at first. [Mr. [Silence. SMITH There's no draft. awkwardly. more or less strongly. SMITH Good evening. [Silence.] MR. at the beginning. MARTIN Don't you feel well? [Silence.] MR. Martin separate and take the chairs they had at the beginning. at your age. it's not chilly. then returns. [Silence. hm.] -610MR. SMITH [furious] We've had nothing to eat all day. oh dear. [Silence. sir. let's forget all that has not passed between us. SMITH Hm. MARTIN Oh no. [Silence. Smith enter from the right. [Silence.] MRS.] MR.] MRS. [Silence. but definitely.] MRS.] MR. dear friends! Please forgive us for having made you wait so long. MARTIN Hm. And we've been waiting four whole hours for you. hm. particularly Mrs. Why have you come so late? [Mr. now that we have found each other again. MARTIN Oh. let's try not to lose each other any more. hm. and Mrs. SMITH Oh dear. We thought that we should extend you the courtesy to which you are entitled and as soon as we learned that you had been kind enough to give us the pleasure of coming to see us without prior notice we hurried to dress for the occasion. then other silences and hesitations follow. MR. To the audience] My real name is Sherlock Holmes.leave things as they are.

SMITH Oh. about fifty years old. MARTIN [to his wife] You will offend them. you're disgusting. SMITH Who. my dear. near a café. [Silence. MARTIN [graciously] Oh well. SMITH You will offend us if you think that. what? MR. MARTIN That's true. today I witnessed something extraordinary.] MRS. my dear. SMITH So they say. MRS. today. MR. SMITH We're not going to question your sincerity! MRS.MR. tell us what you've seen today. MARTIN Well. SMITH You shouldn't interrupt. if you think that .] MR. SMITH The truth lies somewhere between the two. [Silence. MARTIN They also say the opposite. . .] MRS. for no one would believe me. MRS. SMITH At last. it's very rude. MRS. . MARTIN Tell us quickly. MARTIN In the street. who . MR. MARTIN It's scarcely worth the trouble. MARTIN That's true. MRS. you must have many interesting things to tell us. [Silence. this is going to be amusing. . MARTIN [to his wife] My dear. what? MRS.] MR. my dear. SMITH Who. . which are getting to be dearer and dearer .] MR. [Silence. Something really incredible. MR. SMITH The heart is ageless. [Silence. [Silence. or not even that. MR. SMITH Where is it all going to end! MR. MRS. my dear. MRS. MR.] MRS. . when I went shopping to buy some vegetables. MR. . properly dressed. SMITH [to his wife] Don't interrupt. SMITH [to the Martins] Since you travel so much. I saw a man.

MRS. she opens the door and closes it. SMITH Fantastic! MR. .MRS. . . MR. opens the door. MARTIN I'm going to give you another example . SMITH Oh! MRS. it is you who interrupted first. MARTIN Yes. MRS. . today in the Underground I myself saw a man. reading his newspaper. MARTIN Why not? One sees things even more extraordinary every day. SMITH Goodness. I'll go and see.] Nobody. I went near him to see what he was doing . SMITH Goodness. someone is ringing. MRS. MARTIN Yes. someone is ringing. Martin] What was this man doing? MRS. MR. SMITH [to his wife] Hush. MARTIN Oh. MARTIN. MR. [Doorbell rings again. MR. and comes back. MARTIN You were saying that you were going to give us another example. MARTIN He was tying his shoe lace which had come undone.] No one. I'm sure you'll say that I'm making it up--he was down on one knee and he was bent over. . [She goes to see. and comes back. SMITH And? MRS. [She sits down again. MR. when one walks around. SMITH If someone else had told me this. I'll go and see. quietly sitting on a seat. MRS. someone is ringing. yes . [Doorbell rings again. MRS.] MR. MR. [To Mrs. SMITH Not possible.] MR.] MR. SMITH. [She goes to see. MRS. [She sits down again. MARTIN Well. MR. MR. bent over. MRS. .] MR. . SMITH What a character! MR. MARTIN. SMITH My dear. . For instance. bent over. MARTIN [who has forgotten where he was] Uh . SMITH Goodness. SMITH There must be somebody there. . SMITH. MR. you boor. SMITH There must be somebody there.] MR. I'd not believe it. SMITH Perhaps it was the same man! [The doorbell rings.

MARTIN Your wife is right. You've seen that it was useless. MARTIN Oh! You women! You always stand up for each other. You can't say that I am obstinate. MARTIN In most cases. MARTIN What? When one hears the doorbell ring. MRS.] MR. You've just seen. SMITH That is true in theory. MR. SMITH [in a fit of anger] Don't send me to open the door again. MR. There must be someone there. SMITH Well. MRS. there's no one there.] You see. MRS. opens the door and closes it. but you will see that there's no one there! [She goes to look. SMITH Because someone has rung! MRS. I think that everyone does the same thing and that each time there is a ring there must be someone there. You have just seen otherwise.] MRS. SMITH Goodness. [She returns to her seat. no one. MRS. But in reality things happen differently. I'll go and see. MARTIN That's no reason. MR. SMITH Yes. MARTIN That's not entirely accurate. SMITH I'm not going to open the door again. The second time. MARTIN Never. -611MR.MRS. someone is ringing. but there must be someone there! MRS. I ring in order to be admitted. that means someone is at the door ringing to have the door opened. otherwise! MR. when I go to visit someone. MARTIN Not always. MR. MRS. these men who always think they're right and who're always wrong! [The doorbell rings again. SMITH The first time there was no one. . Experience teaches us that when one hears the doorbell ring it is because there is never anyone there. SMITH As for me. yes. MRS. Why do you think that there is someone there now? MR. MARTIN Oh.

MARTIN Yes. In any case you are not going to disturb me again for nothing.] It's the Fire Chief! FIRE CHIEF [he is of course in uniform and is wearing an enormous shining helmet] Good evening. who are all surprise. Martin tosses her head. go and look yourself! MR. MR. MRS. If you wish to know. Smith. He asked me to give him my daughter in marriage if ever I had one. SMITH [opening the door] Oh! how do you do.MR. MARTIN My husband is very obstinate. MARTIN That's not impossible. Fire Chief. ladies and gentlemen. . When one hears the doorbell ring it is because there is someone there. SMITH I tell you no. FIRE CHIEF Well. MRS. MR. . [The Smiths and the Martins are still slightly astonished. what is it all about? MRS. MRS. and does not reply to his greeting. Smith and the Martins. MRS.] Good evening. and Mrs. in a temper. And he died waiting. [He glances at Mrs. SMITH You see it's because my wife is a little chagrined at having been proved wrong. MR. Mrs. His mother courted me. Smith turns her head away. SMITH I'll go. nor yours.] MR. too. MARTIN There's been an argument between Mr. . MR. SMITH No. it was she. Smith shrugs her shoulders. Smith] I beg you not to involve outsiders in our family arguments. SMITH Oh! MR. Mr. SMITH Yes. SMITH In fact it's false. SMITH He won't admit he's wrong. SMITH [to Mr. Mrs. MRS. MR. and I knew his father. this is not so serious. Smith. MARTIN That's neither his fault. SMITH [to her husband] No. SMITH There's someone there. MR. The Fire Chief is an old friend of the family. Martin] This is no business of yours! [To Mr. my dear. MRS. Mrs. [Mrs. MR. You appear to be angry. SMITH My husband was claiming . SMITH Oh. it was you who was claiming. MR.

it was he. SMITH And I was saying that each time the doorbell rings there is never anyone there. Smith. MARTIN Never. MRS. -612MRS. You tell me. MRS. SMITH We were arguing because my husband said that each time the doorbell rings there is always someone there. FIRE CHIEF Well then? MRS. SMITH But it has been proved. MARTIN But just now.MRS. MARTIN When? MR. SMITH [to his wife. MR. I opened the door. MR. And the fourth time does not count. MARTIN You were at the door? And you rang in order to be admitted? FIRE CHIEF I do not deny it. this is how it was. MR. It is only the first three times that count. but it was only when you heard the doorbell ring the fourth time that there was someone there. permit me in my turn to ask you several questions. MR. MRS. MR. since the Fire Chief is here. It is difficult for me to speak openly to you. and there he was. SMITH That's false. it was I. MRS. but a fireman is also a confessor. Mrs. triumphantly] You see? I was right. SMITH Mr. SMITH Yes. He rang the bell. You certainly cannot say that the Fire Chief is not someone. it was really you who had rung the bell? FIRE CHIEF Yes. . but by facts. not by theoretical demonstrations. Fire Chief. FIRE CHIEF Don't get excited. SMITH Well. MR. MARTIN It is plausible. When you hear the doorbell ring. FIRE CHIEF Go right ahead. MARTIN No. MARTIN It might seem strange. that means someone rang it. MRS. MRS. SMITH When I opened the door and saw you.

Mr. MARTIN [to the Fire Chief] But the third time--it was not you who rang? FIRE CHIEF Yes. FIRE CHIEF That was because I had hidden myself--as a joke. SMITH But when the door was opened nobody was in sight. MARTIN Perhaps it was someone else? MR. MRS.MRS. sometimes there is someone. MARTIN In short. MRS. MR. MRS. When the doorbell rings. You both are partly right. MR. was it you? FIRE CHIEF No. we still do not know whether. I was thinking of many things. MR. And there was still no one there. MARTIN And did you hear the bell when it rang the second time? FIRE CHIEF Yes. since the fourth time does not count. MARTIN And when the doorbell rang the first time. SMITH Certainly not. SMITH And you saw no one? FIRE CHIEF No one. This business is too sad. I am sure of that. MR. . [To the Fire Chief] And what were you doing at the door? FIRE CHIEF Nothing. SMITH Never anyone. SMITH Victory! I was right. there is someone there or not! MRS. MRS. MARTIN You see? The doorbell rang and there was no one there. and that wasn't I either. MRS. SMITH Always someone. Fire Chief. MR. SMITH [to his wife] Not so fast. MR. I was just standing there. FIRE CHIEF I am going to reconcile you. SMITH Don't make jokes. MR. SMITH Were you standing at the door for a long time? FIRE CHIEF Three-quarters of an hour. it was not I. I repeat to you that I was speaking of only the first three times. it was I. when the doorbell rings. other times there is no one.

* FIRE CHIEF [aggrieved] None at all? You don't have a little fire in the chimney. There's no smell of anything burning. . . FIRE CHIEF Life is very simple. I am on official business. Mr. MARTIN Say whatever you like. SMITH [sniffing] There can't be one here. SMITH We just kissed each other a little while ago. well--is there a fire here? MRS. [He sits down. . MR. FIRE CHIEF Excuse me. MRS. I promise that I will notify you when we do have something. MR. They have plenty of time. Fire Chief? FIRE CHIEF I must beg you to excuse my indiscretion [terribly embarrassed] . SMITH Why do you ask us that? -613FIRE CHIEF It's because--pardon me--I have orders to extinguish all the fires in the city. I should like to remove my helmet. take off your helmet and sit down for a moment. all. MRS. MARTIN We're old friends. FIRE CHIEF Eh. you don't mind . uhm [pointing a finger at the Martins] . SMITH [confused] I don't know . . please make yourself comfortable. MRS. . I don't think so. in front of them . MARTIN All? FIRE CHIEF Yes. . MRS. . SMITH And what can we do for you. but I haven't time to sit down. Fire Chief. MARTIN This seems logical to me. MRS. MRS. . SMITH Mr. MR. SMITH I am sorry to disappoint you but I do not believe there's anything here at the moment.] I must admit that I have come to see you for another reason. at least? MRS. MRS. MARTIN I think so too. really.MR. MARTIN They'll kiss each other tomorrow. [To the Smiths ] Go on and kiss each other. SMITH Speak. without removing his helmet. . Do you want me to go and look? MR. but I can't stay long. . something burning in the attic or in the cellar? A little fire just starting. They tell us everything. since you have helped us settle this. .

a few trifles--a chimney. FIRE CHIEF No floods either. and use my name? FIRE CHIEF I don't have the right to extinguish clergymen's fires. SMITH Did you go to see the match dealer? FIRE CHIEF There's nothing doing there. MARTIN No wheat. For instance. That's true all over. The Bishop would get angry. There's been almost nothing. He is insured against fires. SMITH But there is some sugar. SMITH That's a promise. no fires. MARTIN [to the Fire Chief] Things aren't going so well just now. Besides they extinguish their fires themselves. MR. MR. MARTIN It's harder in the case of fires. a barn. MRS. but she thought it was her comb. FIRE CHIEF Very poorly. a young woman asphyxiated herself last week--she had left the gas on. the profits on output are very meager. MRS. FIRE CHIEF [to the Martins] And there's nothing burning at your house either? MRS. And since there are no returns. MARTIN Had she forgotten it? FIRE CHIEF No. SMITH Go see the Durands. MR. SMITH Times are bad. MR. SMITH That's because it is imported. Nothing important. MR. or else they have them put out by vestal virgins. nothing is prospering. MARTIN No. unfortunately. MR. it would be a great help. It's the same this year with business and agriculture as it is with fires. The tariffs are too high! FIRE CHIEF All the same.FIRE CHIEF Please don't forget. MRS. there's an occasional asphyxiation by gas. MARTIN Why don't you go see the Vicar of Wakefield. . It doesn't bring in much. MR. SMITH These confusions are always dangerous! MRS. MRS. but that's unusual too.

hurrah! [They applaud. But promise me that you won't listen. MARTIN Yes. but not the right to have them put out if they're burning. FIRE CHIEF He did that all by himself. he is beginning. MRS. MR. SMITH And what is even more interesting is the fact that firemen's stories are all true. MRS. FIRE CHIEF Shall I tell you some stories? MRS. stay a little while longer. nothing but the truth. Martin sniffed too. and they're based on experience. SMITH Nevertheless. when they set fire to it last year. FIRE CHIEF I didn't think of that! MRS. You know that I am shy. Clandestinely. yes. MR.] MR. MRS. SMITH Isn't he charming! [She kisses him. how charming of you. SMITH I told you. he's just a boy. You would be doing us a favor. MRS. MARTIN. since you are not too pressed. MARTIN Be quiet. don't look at me that way. by all means. MARTIN But if we don't listen to you we won't hear you. No fiction. SMITH Oh. Truth. SMITH Oh. some stories.FIRE CHIEF I can't do that either. MR.] MR. Fire Chief.] FIRE CHIEF I'm going to try to begin anyhow. MARTIN Begin! MRS. Truth is never found in books. [She kisses him. FIRE CHIEF [coughs slightly several times] Excuse me. But it's not I who would report him. it was put out just the same. MRS. the sweet child! ____________________ * In Nicolas Bataille's production Mr. You embarrass me. MRS. He's not English. FIRE CHIEF I speak from my own experience. MARTIN. SMITH Neither would I. MR. And naturalized citizens have the right to have houses. He's only been naturalized. SMITH Begin! MR. SMITH Mr. MR. SMITH. and Mrs. . MARTIN That's right. only in life.

MR. a cock wished to play the dog. It brought forth a cow into the world." said the snake. he struck the fox in the middle of his forehead." * . MRS. while he cried: "No! No! Four times no! I'm not your daughter. who. a snake came up to a fox and said: "It seems to me that I know you!" The fox replied to him: "Me too. MARTIN Like tripes. The fox pulled out his knife. SMITH A la mode de Caen. FIRE CHIEF You've heard that one? MRS. Nor could she call him Papa. MR. jumped down into a deep ravine full of strawberries and chicken honey. MARTIN What is the moral? FIRE CHIEF That's for you to find out. the cow could not call him Mamma. SMITH [furious] Tell us another. then! [He coughs again in a voice shaken by emotion. But the snake was there waiting for him with a Mephistophelean laugh. MARTIN It happened not far from our house.] "The Dog and the Cow. The snake was quicker. With a well-chosen blow of his fist. SMITH On the other hand. SMITH It was in all the papers." "A fox doesn't give money. The calf was then obliged to get married and the registry office carried out all the details completely à la mode. "give me some money. But he had no luck." replied the tricky animal. shouting: "I'm going to teach you how to live!" Then he took to flight. MRS." replied the dog. But he had no luck because everyone recognized him right away." Once upon a time. FIRE CHIEF I'll tell you another: "The Cock. MRS. FIRE CHIEF A young calf had eaten too much ground glass." Once upon a time. the dog that wished to play the cock was never recognized. MR. which broke into a thousand pieces. SMITH He's right. because the calf was too little." MRS. However." "Then. Once upon a time another cow asked another dog: "Why have you not swallowed your trunk?""Pardon me. MARTIN Chin up! FIRE CHIEF Well. in order to escape. since the calf was male. As a result. MR." an experimental fable. turning his back. SMITH I'll tell you one: "The Snake and the Fox. it was obliged to give birth. * ] MRS.-614[They kiss him. "it is because I thought that I was an elephant.

. MARTIN It's interesting. MR. Smith. MR. but before she had said "Thanks. "Thanks". She's even more intelligent than 1. I've heard it before. MR. MARTIN [shaking Mr. SMITH Here it is: Once upon a time. and he said. Mr. MRS. FIRE CHIEF [jealous] Not so good." MR. MRS. FIRE CHIEF No. charming! [He either kisses or does not kiss Mrs. anyway. My wife is intelligence personified. MARTIN Tell us one. dear lady. MARTIN You have a wife. Smith's hand] My congratulations. MR." and took them back and went off in all directions. SMITH It's not bad. unfortunately. no. "I take them back. FIRE CHIEF I'm too tired. MR. SMITH My wife has always been romantic. And anyway. MRS." He said. † MRS. they did not kiss the Fire Chief. who said." he. MR. took back the flowers he had given her in order to teach her a good lesson. MARTIN She's a true Englishwoman. Mr. Smith. SMITH It's terribie. SMITH It's true. It's called "The Bouquet. she is much more feminine. MR. In any case. SMITH I only know one. of whom all the world is jealous. everyone says so. SMITH [to the Fire Chief] Let's have another. MARTIN Oh. without saying a single word. I'm going to tell it to you.] MRS. MARTIN I beg you. FIRE CHIEF Oh.MRS. "Goodbye. SMITH But it wasn't even true. MARTIN Yes. MRS. Smith] It's your turn. SMITH Please do us a favor. it's too late. MR. MRS. MR. Fire Chief. MARTIN [to Mrs. ____________________ * In Nicolas Bataille's production. a fiancé gave a bouquet of flowers to his fiancée.

FIRE CHIEF It's not the same one. but who had a second cousin." My brother-in-law had. perhaps. in the hope of making his fortune. a first cousin whose maternal uncle had a father-in-law whose paternal grandfather had married as his second wife a young native whose brother he had met on one of his travels. Had married a glazier who was full of life and who had had. . after having changed his trade several times. MRS. who was himself a fosterbrother of the son of a forester. SMITH [in Mrs. a child who had burned his bridges . MRS. not too badly off. SMITH Like my wife. MR. without making a sound. I was too polite. whose third wife was the daughter of the best midwife in the region and who. Mr. We're sitting on hot coals. and whose brother. MARTIN You have a heart of ice. Martin's ear] He agrees! He's going to bore us again. or else she does not do this] I implore you! FIRE CHIEF Righto. one of the granddaughters of an engineer who died young. . married three times in a row. . himself the grandson of the owner of a vineyard which produced mediocre wine. † These two speeches were repeated three times in the original production. by the daughter of a station master. MRS. a stay-at-home. MRS. himself the natural son of another country doctor. early left a widow . FIRE CHIEF "The Headcold. MR. . . . whose son had married a very pretty young woman. . . whose foster-brother had married the daughter of a former country doctor.* This story was deleted in Nicolas Bataille's production. SMITH [falls on her knees sobbing. MARTIN Shh. if I'm not mistaken. MARTIN I knew that third wife. had managed to bring up one of his daughters so that she could marry a footman who had known Rothschild. natural son of a miller. whose third wife . SMITH No luck. . a divorcée. . whose first husband was the son of a loyal patriot who. MR. . SMITH Shh! FIRE CHIEF As I was saying . married and had a daughter whose stunted great-grandfather wore spectacles which had been given him by a cousin of his. on the paternal side. -615MRS. a girl of whom he was enamored and by whom he had a son who married an intrepid lady pharmacist who was none other than the niece of an unknown fourth-class petty officer of the Royal Navy and whose adopted father had an aunt who spoke Spanish fluently and who was. FIRE CHIEF. She ate chicken sitting on a hornet's nest. the brother-in-law of a man from Portugal. a sergeant-major. Smith went through the gestures only.

SMITH It's a useless precaution. -616MRS. SMITH Since she's blonde. MARTIN A fly by night? FIRE CHIEF. who had taken as his wife a blonde schoolteacher. his bridge game. I don't know whether I'll be able to. FIRE CHIEF Ah. MR. Mr. too. begin again. like everyone else. Almost unbelievable. . you should get yourself a colt. I'm on official business. but absolutely necessary. At the end. . It is contradictory. [Enter Mary. SMITH Oh yes. Had married another blonde schoolteacher. MR. named Marie. sir . MRS. It depends on what time it is. MR. . MRS. caught a cold. FIRE CHIEF. Fire Chief. Mr.] MARY Madam . MR. . . here. Everyone wants to hear. And whose father had been reared in Canada by an old woman who was the niece of a priest whose grandmother. SMITH One always gets mixed up in the hands of a priest.MRS. mayor of a small town. whose cousin. when we got to the grandmother of the priest. MR. whose father had a brother.. whose brother was married to another Marie. FIRE CHIEF And had married an oyster woman. . SMITH His britches? MR. SMITH A curious story. . MRS. FIRE CHIEF But the clock? MR. I got mixed up. . SMITH What do you want? . also a blonde schoolteacher . MRS. MARTIN If you catch a cold. . SMITH We don't have the time. MARTIN No. she must be Marie. . occasionally in the winter. MARTIN Excuse me. Fire Chief. . SMITH It runs badly. a fly fisherman . and always indicates the opposite of what the hour really is. but I did not follow your story very well.

. MRS. . SMITH She's not been properly brought up . .MR. in our home. to tell you a story. . SMITH Even so. . I would like . . . I don't like to see it .] MARY I'm so glad to see you again . FIRE CHIEF Oh! But it is she! Incredible! MR. . MRS. here among us . madam and sir will excuse me . AND MRS. here. MR. . at last! MR. SMITH You know each other? FIRE CHIEF And how! [Mary throws herself on the neck of the Fire Chief. . dear friends . . SMITH This is too much. . FIRE CHIEF Who does she think she is? [He looks at her. honorable . . SMITH This is really uncalled for. . SMITH What does all this mean? MR. you have too many prejudices. these emotions are understandable. SMITH It's not proper! FIRE CHIEF It was she who extinguished my first fires. MARTIN I believe that our friends' maid is going crazy . SMITH Oh! MR. Mary . in the suburbs of London. she wants to tell us a story. . I would like . SMITH And you? MARY Incredible! Here! MRS. MRS. . SMITH Why are you butting in? MR. MARTIN All that is human is honorable. .] Oh! MRS. . too. . myself. MARY I'm your little fire hose. SMITH What have you come in here for? MARY I hope. . . . MRS. MARTIN What is she saying? MR. FIRE CHIEF Oh. . MR. and these ladies and gentlemen too . . . human. . MARTIN If that is the case . .

. . . I could. SMITH. SMITH Go. . . . MR. then. . MRS. that's exactly the word. to define my thought--not understood by foreigners. . MARY Oh yes! MRS. MARTIN You know. . MARY I was going to tell you . MARTIN That's because I wasn't there yet . go quietly to the kitchen and read your poems before the mirror . . yet again. MARTIN Yes. . perhaps. if I may thus express myself . A little too exhibitionistic . my little Mary. MARY I'm going to recite a poem. SMITH Don't tell us anything . MARY Don't be upset! . . . . . even by specialists. MR. MARTIN What I think is that a maid. . . a little . . MARTIN This morning when you looked at yourself in the mirror you didn't see yourself. MARTIN Even if she can sometimes be a rather good detective. of course. even though I'm not a maid. MR.MRS. . MARTIN There is a native British modesty-forgive me for attempting. you are frightfully obstinate. MRS. recite a little poem for you. . . I also read poems before the mirror. but at the same time. . hm . a little . . FIRE CHIEF Let me go. MR. They're not so bad really. MR. SMITH My little Mary. MR. after all--even though it's none of my business-is never anything but a maid . . is that agreed? It is a poem entitled "The Fire" in honor of the Fire Chief: The polypoids were burning in the wood A stone caught fire The castle caught fire The forest caught fire The men caught fire The women caught fire . . . MR. I don't mean to refer to you . SMITH Hm . you two are very touching. MARY All the same. . . MR. thanks to which.

My ideal .] MRS. SMITH She always wears her hair in the same style. . SMITH Well. . all this is very subjective . MRS. . SMITH What will it be? A little chimney fire? FIRE CHIEF Oh. FIRE CHIEF [moving toward the door. MARTIN That sent chills up my spine . My world. . and a good fire! . My dream. . MRS. . . [She recites the poem while the Smiths are pushing her off-stage. . SMITH You have been very entertaining. MR. Since you don't have the time here. MARTIN Thanks to you. embarrassment. MR. . Consequently. I admit . . MR. not even that. FIRE CHIEF Ah! Then goodbye. . MRS. I must tell you that in exactly three-quarters of an hour and sixteen minutes.] MRS. .The birds caught fire The fish caught fire The water caught fire The sky caught fire The ashes caught fire The smoke caught fire The fire caught fire Everything caught fire Caught fire. A straw fire and a little heartburn. . MRS. I must hurry. . we have passed a truly Cartesian quarter of an hour. MARTIN Good luck. Even though it will be quite unimportant. MR. SMITH All the same . then stopping] Speaking of that--the bald soprano? [General silence. And now this reminds me that I must leave. SMITH You're exaggerating . caught fire. we're sorry to see you go. . . I'm having a fire at the other end of the city. -617FIRE CHIEF Just a minute . FIRE CHIEF I thought it was marvelous. MARTIN And yet there's a certain warmth in those lines . but this is my conception of the world. ladies and gentlemen.

MARTIN The ceiling is above. one must look out of the window. For everybody. MARTIN I prefer a bird in the bush to a sparrow in a barrow. MR. I love the solitude and the quiet. MR. MARTIN One can sit down on a chair. SMITH Benjamin Franklin was right. MARTIN To each his own. Friday. . SMITH Monday. SMITH Rather a steak in a chalet than gristle in a castle. but the cat suckles her young when they are small. * MR. MARTIN Nevertheless. All accompany him to the door and then return to their seats. MRS. SMITH One must always think of everything. and his brother William a shopassistant. SMITH An odd family! MRS. but you can't buy Ireland for your grandfather. Thursday. Tuesday. MRS. his sister Nancy is a typist. [Fire Chief exits.* MRS. SMITH A schoolmaster teaches his pupils to read. MRS. it's only a manner of speaking. SMITH One walks on his feet. you are more nervous than he. MR. MR. MARTIN An Englishman's home is truly his castle. SMITH In real life. MRS. MRS. will have an egg tomorrow. MR. and it will turn vicious. MRS. MRS. MR. MR. but one heats with electricity or coal. MARTIN I can buy a pocketknife for my brother. MR. MARTIN What are the seven days of the week? MR.] MRS. Wednesday. it was the cow that gave us tails. caress it. MR. MRS. Saturday. the floor is below. MARTIN He who sells an ox today. SMITH Take a circle. Sunday. MARTIN You are not old enough yet for that. when the chair doesn't have any.FIRE CHIEF Let's hope so. SMITH When I say yes. MARTIN Edward is a clerk. SMITH When I'm in the country.

but with money one can buy any thing. The speeches which follow must be said. The hostility and the nervousness increase.] MR. MARTIN I'll give you my mother-in-law's slippers if you'll give me your husband's coffin. MR. cockatoos. cockatoos. The strokes of the clock are more nervous too. cockatoos. such caca. MRS. We sense that there is a certain nervous irritation. MARTIN One can prove that social progress is definitely better with sugar. cockatoos. MARTIN Charity begins at home. such caca. such caca. MR. SMITH Don't be turkeys. MR. SMITH I don't know enough Spanish to make myself understood. At the end of this scene. Smith. in a glacial. . cockatoos. SMITH Such caca. MRS. MARTIN One doesn't polish spectacles with black wax. such caca. such caca. the cat's for the rat. SMITH The car goes very fast. such caca.MRS. MR. such caca. such caca. SMITH My uncle lives in the country. SMITH I'm waiting for the aqueduct to come and see me at my windmill. MR. SMITH To hell with polishing! [Following this last speech of Mr. and an oak springs from an oak every morning at dawn. hostile tone. rather kiss the conspirator. MR. MR. cockatoos. MARTIN I'd rather kill a rabbit than sing in the garden. but that's none of the midwife's business. MRS. MR. but the cook beats batter better. SMITH I'm looking for a monophysite priest to marry to our maid. MARTIN Bread is a staff. MR. MARTIN Paper is for writing. at first.--Translator's note. ready to throw themselves upon each other. cockatoos. -618others are silent for a moment. Cheese is for scratching. cockatoos. the four characters must be standing very close to each other. whereas bread is also a staff. SMITH Yes. MRS. the ____________________ * In English in the original.* MRS. raising their fists. MRS. cockatoos. screaming their speeches. SMITH Cockatoos. stupefied.

you incask us. such cascades of cacas. MARTIN The goose grooms. such cascades of cacas. . MARTIN I'd rather lay an egg in a box than go and steal an ox. MR. such cascades of cacas. MR. such cascades of cacas. MARTIN Cacao trees on cacao farms don't bear coconuts. MARTIN Such cascades of cacas. MR. MRS. MRS. such cascades of cacas. SMITH Seducer seduced! MRS. SMITH I'm going to live in my cabana among my cacao trees. SMITH Groom the goose. such cascades of cacas. such cascades of cacas. dogs have fleas. MARTIN Don't ruche my brooch! MR. SMITH I've been goosed. MARTIN Groom the bridegroom. MRS. SMITH Crocodile! MR. they yield cocoa! Cacao trees on cacao farms don't bear coconuts. don't goose the groom. MRS. MARTIN Let's go and slap Ulysses. they yield cocoa! Cacao trees on cacao farms don't bear coconuts. SMITH Groom your tooth. SMITH Incasker. MARTIN Scaramouche! MRS. MARTIN Go take a douche. SMITH Dogs have fleas.MR. MRS. MRS. they yield cocoa. MARTIN Sainte-Nitouche stoops to my cartouche. lice haven't mice. groom the bridegroom. MR. coccyx! crocus! cockaded! cockroach! MRS. SMITH Mice have lice. MARTIN [opening her mouth very wide] Ah! oh! ah! oh! Let me gnash my teeth. MR. MR. MARTIN Don't smooch the brooch! MR. MRS. MARTIN Cactus. SMITH Sainte-Nitouche! MR. MRS. MR.

from stage to serge! MRS. MARTIN Silly gobblegobblers. * MRS. MARTIN Bizarre. x. silly gobblegobblers. i. u. p. o. MARTIN B. MARTIN Not! MR. u. SMITH Rudyard. MARTIN That! MRS. choo. v. choo. SMITH. Krishnamurti. r. z! MR. e. elle est brisée. s. o. Krishnamurti! MR." MR. a. f. MARTIN From sage to stooge. choo. spot the pot! MRS. brassieres! MR. SMITH François. The horoscope's bespoke. MARTIN Rudyard Browning. e. i! MRS. c. MR. a. n. SMITH Robert Kipling! MRS. SMITH Krishnamurti. w. SMITH Way! MME SMITH N'y touchez pas. bazooka! MR. g. MR. SMITH [imitating a train] Choo. t. Balzac. M. choo. and I never choose to stoop. . SMITH Browning! MRS. MARTIN. M. choo. SMITH A. MARTIN Robert! MR. . u. MARTIN Bazaar. l. m. choo. MR. SMITH Prudhomme! MME MARTIN. MRS. choo! MR. MARTIN Sully! M. choo. choo. i. MARTIN Kipling. SMITH.MRS. MRS. choo. e. MR. i. o. beaux-arts. SMITH "Who'd stoop to blame? . MARTIN Marietta. MR. MRS. SMITH The pope elopes! The pope's got no horoscope. MARTIN. d. SMITH It's! MRS. .

it's not that way. Moreover. it's over here. it's not that way. The play begins again with the Martins. SMITH Coppée Sully! MME SMITH. while the curtain softly falls. SMITH It's! MRS. ____________________ * Translator's note: in the French text these speeches read as follows: -619MR.] ALL TOGETHER [in the darkness. completely infuriated.] ____________________ * When produced some of the speeches in this last scene were cut or shuffled. who say exactly the same lines as the Smiths in the first scene. still involved the Smiths. it's not that way.MME SMITH. MARTIN Coppée. The light is extinguished. and Mrs. M. it's over here. the lights come on. M. Mr. MARTIN Prudhomme François. -620- . it's over here. MARTIN Ver! MRS. if one can call it that. Again. screaming in each other's ears. the final beginning again. MARTIN O! MR. since the author did not have the inspired idea of substituting the Martins for the Smiths until after the hundredth performance. SMITH Here! [All together. M. it's over here! * [The words cease abruptly. MME MARTIN. Martin are seated like the Smiths at the beginning of the play. in increasingly rapid rhythm] It's not that way.

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