[Enter Relatives, six in number. An elderly woman, uncommonly stout, with a double chin and small, proud eyes and an air of extreme haughtiness and self-importance. An elderly man, her husband, very tall and uncommonly thin, so that his coat hangs loosely on his body; a short goatee, long, smooth hair, as if wet, reaching to his shoulders; eye-glasses; has a frightened; yet pedantic expression; a low black silk hat in his hand. A young girl, their daughter, with naively upturned nose, blinking eyes, and open mouth. A weazened woman, with contracted features and a sour expression, in her hand a handkerchief, with which she frequently wipes her mouth; Two young men, looking absolutely alike, with extremely high collars that stretch their necks; glossy hair; a hesitating, embarrassed expression. The characteristics of each of the Relatives is exaggerated in the extreme.
Let me congratulate you on the birth of your son, dear brother. (Kisses him)
My dear brother, I heartily congratulate you on the birth of your son, to which you have been looking forward so long. (Kisses him)
We congratulate you, dear uncle, on the birth of your son.
[They kiss him. Exit the Doctor.
MAN’S FATHER (greatly moved)
Thank you! Thank you! You are all very good, very nice, dear people, and I love you very much. I had my doubts beforehand thought that you, dear sister, were a little too much rapt up in yourself and your own worth and importance; and that you, dear brother, were somewhat too pedantic. The rest of you I thought were too cold to me, and came here only for the sake of the dinners. Now I see I was mistaken. I’m very happy. I get a son who resembles me, and then all at once I see myself surrounded by so many good people who love me. (They kiss)
Uncle dear, what are you going to call your son? I hope you’ll give him a lovely, poetic name. So much depends on a man’s name.
I should advise a simple, solid name. Men with nice names are usually frivolous and rarely successful.
It seems to me, brother, you should name your son after some older relative. Keeping the same names in the family tends to preserve and strengthen the line.
Yes, my wife and I have already discussed the subject, but have not been able to reach a decision. You see, there are so many new things to think of when a child comes, so many new problems to solve which never arose before.