The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 505 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09.

LEONARD.

What are you talking about?

SECRETARY.

One of us two must die!  Die!  And immediately!

LEONARD.

Die?

SECRETARY.

You know why!

LEONARD.

By God, no!

SECRETARY.

No matter—­it will occur to you all right when you are dying!

LEONARD.

I have no idea—­

SECRETARY.

Bethink yourself!  Otherwise I might take you for a mad dog that has unwittingly bitten the one I love most on earth, and shoot you down as such!  But for half an hour more I must let you pass as my equal!

LEONARD.

But don’t talk so loud!  If anybody should hear you—­

SECRETARY.

If anybody could hear me you would have called him long ago!  Well?

LEONARD.

If it is about the girl—­I can marry her, you know!  I had, in fact, half made up my mind to do it, when she herself was here!

SECRETARY.

She was here!  And has gone away again without having seen you contrite and repentant at her feet?  Come!  Come!

LEONARD.

I beg of you!  You see before you a man who is ready to do anything that you dictate.  This very evening I will betroth myself to her.

SECRETARY.

That I shall do, no one else.  If the world itself hung on it you should not even touch the hem of her dress again!  Come!  Into the woods with me!  But mark this!  I shall take you by the arm, and if on the way you emit a single cry—­[He holds up a pistol.] I trust you believe me!  Nevertheless, that you may not feel tempted, we will take the road through the garden behind the house!

LEONARD.

One of them is for me—­give it to me!

SECRETARY.

So that you can throw it away and compel me to murder you or let you escape!  Is that why you want it?  Be patient, until we are on the spot!  Then I shall divide with you honestly!

LEONARD (goes, and accidentally knocks his drinking-glass from the table).

Shall I never take another drink?

SECRETARY.

Courage, my lad!  Perhaps it will go well with you!  God and the devil seem to be forever fighting for the world!  Who knows which is master just now?

[Seizes him by the arm; exeunt both.]

SCENE VII

A Room in the Joiner’s House; enter CARL.

CARL.

Nobody at home!  Had I not known about the rat-hole under the threshold where they always hide the key when they all go out, I could not have got in!  Well, that would not have made any difference!  I could run around the city twenty times now and imagine to myself that there was no greater pleasure in the world than that of using one’s legs!  Let’s have a light!

[He strikes a light.]

I’ll bet the tinder-box is in the same old place, for we have twice ten commandments in this house!  The hat belongs on the third nail, not on the fourth!  At half past nine one has to be tired!  Before Martinmas one must not shiver; after Martinmas one must not sweat!  That stands on a line with:  Thou shalt love and fear God!  I am thirsty!

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Project Gutenberg
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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