What on earth do you mean?
I won’t be your heir!
Wh—what? Good heavens! Are you mad?
I hope so. Yes, I hope that from your point of view I am quite mad. You won’t understand me, because you don’t understand what I most love and what I most hate. Oh you self-made Americans! When I really needed your helping hand you didn’t think of me. You had the American idea that every tub must stand on its own bottom, that every young fellow must make good—that is, make money. You buy “art” at a certain stage in your development just as you buy motor cars, and you think you can buy artists the same way. You don’t know that to buy dead art is to starve live artists.
Well, I made good. I can stand alone. Are you offering me money now to help me in my work? Not a bit! Rich men haven’t changed since the first tribal chief ordered his bow and arrows, his wives and servants, to be buried with him.
You conceited young rascal! I needn’t leave you a cent!
I haven’t asked you to. I never thought about your money. I can get along very well without it. But can you take it with you?
Of course not! But I can leave it to whom I please.
Why don’t you leave it to Joseph?
To Joseph—my coachman? Are you joking?
Not at all. Didn’t he save your life in the Civil War? And what have I ever done for you?
I have remembered Joseph very handsomely, but to make him my heir—why, that isn’t the same thing at all!
Well, to a university then?
A cat hospital?
Damn cats! There’s been enough of them sick in my own house!
Well, I give it up.