You shall remain, father. And if you go, I go with you.
The way I have to go one goes alone. Go, Mary.
Go to bed, Mary.
Good-night. And now it’s enough. You know I cannot bear lamentations.
You are not going without me, father. You cannot live without me, father. Father, I now feel that in my heart.
Yes, I can. What doesn’t such a greenhorn feel!
You turn away, father, so that I should not see you crying. Father, pretend you are ferocious, as much as you like—
FORESTER (wants to disengage himself).
Silly thing there—
I am going with you. You insist upon your right, and I upon mine, and that is, that I must not leave you. Father, I feel now for the first time that I love no one in the world as much as you. Tomorrow we go together—if you must go. I am going to put on William’s clothes. There are still green forests in the world. And surely you shall not hear me complaining. Don’t be afraid of that. Why, I can cry during the nights, when you don’t see it. But then you will see it by my eyes in the daytime. Why, I must not cry at all! I will only laugh and skip along before you and sing—the beautiful hunting songs.—You see, father, this is the last tear for Robert! And it is already dried, do you see? I am sure that we shall still find happiness in this world—if you must go, father. And if it is not to be, we will thank God and pray, if He only keeps us honest. Then we will think: It is asking too much, if we also wish to be happy. Have I not you? Have not you your good conscience and your Mary? What more do we need?
[Hanging on his neck.]
FORESTER (who has been warding her off constantly, almost furious, because he can scarcely control his emotion).
Indeed, indeed! Stupid thing!
And a “table—spread—thyself,” a “gold—mule—stretch-thyself,” and the fairy-story is complete. Now go to bed, Mary.
Do you hear?
MARY (at the door of her room she looks around, and runs again to him; embracing him, beside herself).
[She hurries to her room; SOPHY follows.]
FORESTER (looking after her).
My girl, my poor girl! It must not be here that I make an end of myself!—Confound it. Shame on you, old—
WEILER; The FORESTER.
WEILER (greets him with a silent nod; he is very much excited; hangs the rifle on the rack and busies himself with the hunting utensils).