I can go without eating for a long time and not feel it, but he can’t. He has a large body which demands food, and when he’s gone a long time without it, he gets pale, sick, and excited. He scolds me and then begs me not to be angry at him. I never am angry at him, because I love him dearly. It only makes me feel so sad.
My husband is a very talented architect. I even think he’s a genius. He was left an orphan when a mere boy, and after his parents’ death his relatives supported him for some time; but as he was always of an independent nature, sharp in his talk and prone to make unpleasant remarks, and as he showed them no gratitude, they dropped him. He continued to study, nevertheless, supporting himself by giving lessons, and so made his way through college. He often went hungry, my poor husband. Now he is art architect and draws plans of beautiful buildings, but no one wants to buy them, and many stupid persons make fun of them even. To make one’s way in the world one must have either patrons or luck. He has neither. So he goes about looking for a chance, and maybe with his eyes on the ground looking for money like me. He is still very young and simple. Of course, some day fortune will come to us, too. But when will it be? In the meantime it’s very hard to live. When we were married we had a little property, but we soon spent it. We went to the theatre and ate candy. He still has hopes, but I sometimes lose all hope and cry to myself. My heart breaks when I think he’ll be here soon and I have nothing to give him again except my poor kisses.
O God, be a kind, merciful Father to us. You have so much of everything, bread and work and money. Your earth is so rich. She grows corn and fruit in her fields, covers the meadows with flowers, and yields gold and beautiful precious stones from her bowels. And your sun has so much warmth, and your pensive stars have so much quiet joy. Give us, I pray you, a little from your abundance, just a little, as much as you give your birds. A little bread, so that my dear good husband may not be hungry; a little warmth, so that he may not be cold; and a little work, so that he may carry his beautiful head erect. And please do not be angry with my husband because he swears so and laughs, and even sings and makes me dance. He is so young and not a bit staid or serious.
Now, after I have prayed, I feel relieved and hopeful again. Why, indeed, should God not grant one’s request when one asks Him for it so earnestly? I’ll go and hunt a little to see if somebody hasn’t dropped a purse or a diamond. (Exit)
SOMEONE IN GRAY
She knows not that her wish has already been fulfilled. She knows not that this morning two men in a rich house were bending eagerly over a sketch by Man and were delighted with it. They searched for Man the whole day; wealth was looking for him as he was looking for wealth. And to-morrow morning, after the neighbors have gone to work, an automobile will stop in front of this house, and two men bending low will enter the poor room and bring wealth and fame. But neither he nor she knows it. Thus fortune will come to Man, and thus also it will go.