[Enter Man and his Wife. He has, a beautiful proud head, bright eyes, a high forehead, dark eyebrows parting at the root of the nose like two bold wrings, and wavy black hair carelessly tossed back. A low, white, turndown collar reveals a well-formed neck and part of his chest. He is light and quick in his movements, like a young animal.
Nothing again. I’ll lie down and remain in bed the whole day. Anyone wanting me will have to come here. I can’t go to him. I’ll stay in bed the whole of to-morrow too.
Are you tired?
Yes, I’m tired and hungry. I could eat a whole ox, like the Homeric hero, but I shall have to content myself with a piece of hard bread. Don’t you know that a man can’t live all the time on bread alone? I want to tear, bite, chew!
I’m sorry for you, dear.
I’m sorry for myself, but that doesn’t satisfy my hunger. I stood a whole hour in front of a restaurant to-day, looking at the chickens, pastry, and sausages, as people look at works of art. And then the signs. They describe ham so well that you could eat sign and all.
I like ham too.
Who doesn’t like ham? How about lobster? Do you like lobster?
You should have seen the lobster I saw. It was a painted one, but it was even more beautiful than a live one. Red like a cardinal, majestic, stern. You could kneel down and do homage to it. I think I could eat two such cardinals and a priest of a carp besides.
You didn’t see my flowers, did you?
Flowers? You can’t eat flowers, can you?
You don’t love me.
MAN (kisses her)
Excuse me, but really I’m so hungry. Look,
my hands are trembling and
I haven’t even the strength to throw a stone at a dog.
WIFE (kisses his hand)
My poor husband!
Where do those leaves, on the floor come from? They smell so good. Is that your work too?
No, the neighbors must have done it.