You had no longer any use for me—–
How can you say that!
—and began to look about you for other ideals—–
I found none, none after you.
And no other models, Arnold?
You were no model to me. You were the fountainhead of my achievement.
[Is silent for a short time.] What poems have you made since? In marble I mean. Since the day I left you.
I have made no poems since that day—only frittered away my life in modelling.
And that woman, whom you are now living with—–?
[Interrupting vehemently.] Do not speak of her now! It makes me tingle with shame.
Where are you thinking of going with her?
[Slack and weary.] Oh, on a tedious coasting-voyage to the North, I suppose.
[Looks at him, smiles almost imperceptibly, and whispers.] You should rather go high up into the mountains. As high as ever you can. Higher, higher,—always higher, Arnold.
[With eager expectation.] Are you going up there?
Have you the courage to meet me once again?
[Struggling with himself, uncertainly.] If we could—oh, if only we could—–!
Why can we not do what we will? [Looks at him and whispers beseechingly with folded hands.] Come, come, Arnold! Oh, come up to me—–!
[MAIA enters, glowing with
pleasure, from behind the hotel,
and goes quickly up to the table where they were previously
[Still at the corner of the hotel, without looking around.] Oh, you may say what you please, Rubek, but—[Stops, as she catches sight of IRENE]—Oh, I beg your pardon—I see you have made an acquaintance.