S. (Reflectively.) I think I’ve heard that before somewhere.
Wirthin. (Aside.) Why, the very cats in Germany know it!
 [Explanatory.] I regard the idea of this play as a valuable invention. I call it the Patent Universally-Applicable Automatically Adjustable Language Drama. This indicates that it is adjustable to any tongue, and performable in any tongue. The English portions of the play are to remain just as they are, permanently; but you change the foreign portions to any language you please, at will. Do you see? You at once have the same old play in a new tongue. And you can keep changing it from language to language, until your private theatrical pupils have become glib and at home in the speech of all nations. Zum Beispiel, suppose we wish to adjust the play to the French tongue. First, we give Mrs. Blumenthal and Gretchen French names. Next, we knock the German Meisterschaft sentences out of the first scene, and replace them with sentences from the French Meisterschaft—like this, for instance: ’Je voudrais faire des emplettes ce matin; voulez-vous avoir l’obligeance de venir avec moi chez le tailleur francais?’ And so on. Wherever you find German, replace it with French, leaving the English parts undisturbed. When you come to the long conversation in the second act, turn to any pamphlet of your French Meisterschaft, and shovel in as much French talk on any subject as will fill up the gaps left by the expunged German. Example—page 423, French Meisterschaft: On dirait qu’il va faire chaud. J’ai chaud. J’ai extremement chaud. Ah! qu’il fait chaud! Il fait une chaleur etouffante! L’air est brulant. Je meurs de chaleur. Il est presque impossible de supporter la chaleur. Cela vous fait transpirer. Mettons-nous a l’ombre. Il fait du vent. Il fait un vent froid. Il fait un tres agreable pour se promener aujourd’hui. And so on, all the way through. It is very easy to adjust the play to any desired language. Anybody can do it.
The dreams of my boyhood? No, they have not been realised. For all who are old, there is something infinitely pathetic about the subject which you have chosen, for in no greyhead’s case can it suggest any but one thing—disappointment. Disappointment is its own reason for its pain: the quality or dignity of the hope that failed is a matter aside. The dreamer’s valuation of the thing lost—not another man’s—is the only standard to measure it by, and his grief for it makes it large and great and fine, and is worthy of our reverence in all cases. We should carefully remember that. There are sixteen hundred million people in the world. Of these there is but a trifling number—in fact, only thirty-eight millions—who can understand why a person should have an ambition to belong to the French army; and why, belonging to it, he should be proud of that;