[Up the slope to the left
at the back come ULFHEIM and MAIA in
hunting costume. After them comes the SERVANT with the leash
of dogs, with which he goes out to the right.
[Catching sight of them.] Ah! There is little Maia, going out with the bear-hunter.
Your lady, yes.
Or the other’s.
[Looks around as she is crossing the upland, sees the two sitting by the brook, and calls out.] Good-night, Professor! Dream of me. Now I am going off on my adventures!
[Calls back to her.] What sort of an adventure is this to be?
[Approaching.] I am going to let life take the place of all the rest.
[Mockingly.] Aha! So you too are going to do that, little Maia?
Yes. And I’ve made a verse about it, and this is how it goes:
I am free! I am free! I am free!
No more life in the prison for me!
I am free as a bird! I am free!
For I believe I have awakened now—at last.
It almost seems so.
[Drawing a deep breath.] Oh—how divinely light one feels on waking!
Good-night, Frau Maia—and good luck to—–
[Calls out, interposing.] Hush, hush!—for the devil’s sake let’s have none of your wizard wishes. Don’t you see that we are going out to shoot—–
What will you bring me home from the hunting, Maia?
You shall have a bird of prey to model. I shall wing one for you.
[Laughs mockingly and bitterly.] Yes, to wing things—without knowing what you are doing—that has long been quite in your way.
[Tossing her head.] Oh, just let me take care of myself for the future, and I wish you then—! [Nods and laughs roguishly.] Good-bye—and a good, peaceful summer night on the upland!