Nothing of the kind.
We’ll see about that. And now the forest shall be cleared.
It shall not.
It’s all right! It’s all right!
FORESTER (very calmly).
As it is.
Not another word—
And not a tree—
No contradiction and no sarcasm! That I request. That I insist upon. I am the master of Duesterwalde.
And I am the forester of Duesterwalde.
[STEIN is getting more and more excited. He shows plainly that the presence of other persons increases his sensitiveness, and he makes an evident effort to control his temper. The FORESTER treats the matter lightly, as an every-day affair. SOPHY with increasing anxiety looks from one to the other. WILKENS does not move a muscle of his face. MOeLLER exhibits his sympathy by accompanying his master’s words with appropriate gestures. The entire pantomimic by-play is very rapid.]
You are my servant, and I command: The forest shall be cleared. If not, you are no longer my servant. The forest shall be cleared.
Either you obey, or you are no longer forester.
Stuff and nonsense!
And I shall put Godfrey in your place.
Quite right. Congratulations.
STEIN (buttons his coat).
The forest shall be cleared.
The forest shall not be cleared.
SOPHY (stepping between the two).
I regret this exceedingly.—Mr. Moeller!—I bid everybody good-day.
Bravo! At last he has spoken his mind in a manner
worthy of Stein and
Son. Yours truly.
[He looks up while shuffling the cards.]
But—well, let him go. If he can’t sit for an hour without exploding, the old powder-bag—
The FORESTER remains seated imperturbably. SOPHY stands beside his chair. WILKENS steps up to the FORESTER.
But what in the world is going to come of this?
He should have gone after him.
FORESTER. The old hot-head!
I am absolutely dumbfounded. On the very day of betrothal!