Don’t you dare to—
Let me go, mother, before I lay hands on that fellow there—
[Exit in violent anger.]
Never mind. Never mind! Keep quiet, woman.
Good-day, Mr. Moeller. You have left some money behind you, sir. Better take it, or I’ll throw it after you.
[Steps to the window and whistles.]
You see, madam, it gives me pain to discharge my duty.
I am going to
FORESTER (without turning toward him).
Good luck on the way!
The FORESTER is standing at the window whistling. WILKENS is looking for his cane and hat. SOPHY in perplexity looks from one to the other. As he is about to leave, MOeLLER encounters ROBERT and ANDREW, who come rushing in. MARY is clinging to the arm of ROBERT whom she tries to calm.
ROBERT (entering angrily).
He shall give in. He shall not spoil the beautiful day.
Go to your father. He commenced this quarrel.
It is lucky that I meet you, Mr. Stein. I am commissioned to beg you to come home at once.
Ulrich, you yield; you must yield.
FORESTER (turning away from the window).
You, Mr. Stein? What do you want from me? Mary, you go out there! What do you want from the man whom your father intends to dismiss?
But why will you not consent?
Because he wishes to remain an honest man, and will not suffer himself to be made a scoundrel by you. [The FORESTER makes a sign to him to be silent.]
I am not talking to you now, Andrew.
You are here with your father’s consent, Mr. Stein? Moreover—sir, and if your father had the power to take from me my position and my honor—the fact that I have an irreproachable child, that is something he cannot take from me. And any one else—hey? Young man, on this point I am touchy. Do you understand?
But will you fall out even with your last friend?
Mary’s reputation is at stake. If he is a friend, he knows without my telling him what he has to do.
I know what I have to do; but you do not. Otherwise you would not risk your children’s happiness for a whim—for—
Ho! ho! Tell that to your father, young man!
For your obstinacy. I have your word, and Mary has mine; I am a man, and will be no scoundrel.