I can’t help the obstinate old fellow; this time he must knuckle under. I cannot go back on my word; that he must see himself. And by this time he also may have come to his senses. But in order that he may see that I am ready to do whatever I can toward a reconciliation, without losing my dignity—how would it be, parson, if you went to see him? His post, I dare say, he must resign for the time being; but his present salary he may—yes, he shall draw twice the amount. He may regard it as a pension, until further notice. I should think—after all, his is the chief fault in this business—in this way he is let off easily enough for his share.
I am going at once.
And I shall accompany you part of the way. I ought not to walk all alone.
[Exeunt to the left.]
MOeLLER alone; later, GODFREY.
Even if the marriage with Miss Loehlein should not come to pass, at least Stein and Son have asserted themselves. It used to turn my stomach to see how he always was the first to make up. This time I am satisfied with my chief, and will not mind his rebuke. But who is making that noise out there? [At the door.] It is lucky that they went through the rooms. It is Godfrey. And in what condition! What sort of man do you call that? [Leads in GODFREY, who is intoxicated.]
GODFREY (while still behind the scenes).
Where is Stein? Hey there, fellow! Stein, I say! Is that you, Moeller?
MOeLLER (with a patronizing air).
There can be no doubt that it is you. What do you want here?
GODFREY (while MOeLLER pushes him down on a chair).
Thank him, why, I must thank him. Fetch Stein. Thank him, for that’s the fashion.
In this condition?
GODFREY (while MOeLLER is obliged to hold him forcibly down on the chair).
Condition? What’s my condition to you? That I want to express my thanks is condition enough. Let me alone with my condition. Is he in? Hey?
Nobody is in there. Be glad that nobody is in. You are past all help. You have made up your mind not to get along. Those who have your interest at heart can never do anything for your advantage without your doing something that counteracts their efforts a hundredfold, so that everything is spoiled. My master already repents having given you the post, and now you at once give him an opportunity—