And Mr. Wilkens need not be ashamed, I believe, of
the firm of Stein and
By no means.
MOeLLER (with great enthusiasm).
Sir! The firm of Stein and Son! I have served
the firm twenty years.
That is my honor and my pride. For me the firm is wife and child!
I do not doubt it.
The foremost houses of Germany would consider it an honor to ally themselves in marriage with Stein and Son.
WILKENS. I am sure of it.
[Turns to the bridal couple.]
MOeLLER (angrily to himself).
And that fellow parades his peasant’s pride, as if Stein and Son ought to esteem it a high honor to ally themselves with that forester’s goose. His forty-five will be divided into three parts, and only after his death. The only daughter of Loehlein & Co. with her eighty! That were quite a different capital for our business; and cash down today! This mesalliance is unpardonable. But what can one do? One must [A waltz is heard without] dance off one’s vexation. May I have the honor, madam [to SOPHY] on the lawn?
[Bows with an old bachelor’s jauntiness.]
I wonder whether I’ll get decent cards!
I guess we’ll have time for that?
Old Wilkens is not yet going to sit in a corner.
[Fumbles in his pocket.]
Wilkens must also contribute his dollar for the benefit of the musicians. I hope I have your permission, Mr. Bridegroom?
[MOeLLER leads out SOPHY; WILKENS leads MARY; ROBERT follows.]
STEIN; the FORESTER.
STEIN (throwing down his cards).
Have I a single trump?
Twenty in spades.
STEIN (taking up his cards again; impatiently).
Why not forty? Talking about spades reminds me—have you considered that matter about the clearing?
FORESTER. That fellow is a—
[They continue to play.]
The fellow who hatched that scheme.
Do you mean me?
Your Godfrey there—
STEIN (getting excited: with emphasis).
FORESTER (growing more and more calm and cheerful).
Well, for all I care, mine, then.
Why do you always drag him in?
Never mind him, then.
As if I—it is you—whenever an opportunity offers, you, you drag him in. You can’t get rid of him. Like dough he sticks to your teeth.