[Exit to the left.]
MARY (after she and ROBERT have been standing in silence facing each other).
Is anything wrong with you, Robert?
With me? No. Perhaps—
You are still angry with your father? And he is so good!
That is just the trouble, that he is so good. Oh, his kindness is almost more difficult to bear than his violent temper! His anger only hurts, his kindness humiliates; over against his anger I set my pride—but what can I set against his kindness?
And you wanted to go away, you wicked Robert, and leave us all!
I wanted to go, but I am still here. Oh! That was a wretched time! I despaired of everything; of you, Mary; of myself; but all that is now past. There must be a little shade, only not too much. Let us go out, Mary. It is so close here in the house. The musicians shall play us the merriest piece they know. [They are about to go.]
The same. Enter the FORESTER, his Wife behind him. As soon as MARY sees the FORESTER, she leaves ROBERT and embraces her father.
Get out, wench! [Tearing himself free.] Is this the sun’s ray after a rainy day, that the gadflies come buzzing about one’s head? Have you filled Robert’s ears with lamentations, you women folks? You silly girl there!
[Pushes MARY from him.]
I have something to say to Robert. I have been
looking for you, Mr.
Mr. Stein? No longer Robert?
Everything has its due season, familiar speech and formal speech. When the women folks are gone—
Don’t worry, we’ll retreat, you old bear. Don’t be afraid to talk.
All right. As soon as you are out.
ROBERT (leads her out).
Don’t be angry, mother dear.
If I were to mind him, I should never cease being angry.
Close the door! Do you hear?
Who is master here? Confound it!
The FORESTER; ROBERT. The FORESTER, when they are alone becomes embarrassed, and walks up and down for some time.
You wished to say—
[Wipes the perspiration from his forehead.]
Well; sit down, Mr. Stein.
[FORESTER points to a chair at the end of the table. ROBERT seats himself.]