No one that knows you can help noticing it. And then it seems to me so sad that you have lost all pleasure in your work.
That too, eh?
You that used to be so indefatigable—working from morning to night!
[Gloomily.] Used to be, yes—–
But ever since you got your great masterpiece out of hand—–
[Nods thoughtfully.] “The Resurrection Day”—–
—the masterpiece that has gone round the whole world, and made you so famous—–
Perhaps that is just the misfortune, Maia.
When I had finished this masterpiece of mine—[Makes a passionate movement with his hand]—for “The Resurrection Day” is a masterpiece! Or was one in the beginning. No, it is one still. It must, must, must be a masterpiece!
[Looks at him in astonishment.] Why, Rubek—all the world knows that.
[Short, repellently.] All the world knows nothing! Understands nothing!
Well, at any rate it can divine something—–
Something that isn’t there at all, yes. Something that never was in my mind. Ah yes, that they can all go into ecstasies over! [Growling to himself.] What is the good of working oneself to death for the mob and the masses—for “all the world”!
Do you think it is better, then—do you think it is worthy of you, to do nothing at all but portrait-bust now and then?
[With a sly smile.] They are not exactly portrait-busts that I turn out, Maia.
Yes, indeed they are—for the last two or three years—ever since you finished your great group and got it out of the house—–
All the same, they are no mere portrait-busts, I assure you.