II, Theaterstücke 9, (Der grüne Kakadu. Drei Einakter, 2), Die Gefährtin. Schauspiel in einem Akt (Der Wittwer), Seite 12

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9.2. Die esuaatsen
OLEA —Am 1 not giving you back your freedomi by doing
ROB:—And you scrupled to tell me—us—one word of it?
sof For years and years you suffered at the hands of uns
woman plunging from one delusion to another, so thaf you
ALF:—There were several things to be taken inte con¬
might continue loving her and consequently suffering more.
sideration. Chiefly her family. But #c were decided all
And now, when all is over, you wish to torture yourself still
along. I might almost say that from the first moment we
further for the sake of a alamity which is parely chimerical,
have been plighted in cur affections.
over which this woman was incapable of suffering. Why:
ROB:—Two years?
Because her outlook on life was so lghtheaded. Oh, youce¬
scarcely understand.
ROB:—As long as that!
ROB:—And to think I should only realize it today! Now!
Why didn't you, a witness of the whole affair, rouse me ###
of my ridiculous shortsighredness? Wh. dien't I know it a
ALF:— (Quite mechanically) :—And che?
year ago! Io, three days ago?
ROB:—And that other—that other.
ALF:—Whom do you mean!
OLGA:—I trembled at your awakening, as you yourseli
ROB (Grasping his shoulder and pointing up ihe street) ——
would have done in m# pince. It was well that you remained
ignorant of the whole affair until today.
(Alfred casts a glance at Olga.)
ROB:—Does it make any difference because she is dead!
ROB:—To wkat end did she gerve?
OLGA:—No difference; but it is clear as it could never
Alf (After a pause, Jupporting himself) :—Why have yon
have been as long as she was alive. For her very existence,
been playing with me all this while? If yeu knew why did
her very smile would have leut importance to this mere
vou sontinue to treat me as a friend? If you knew—the law
trumpery escapade. Von could never have felt what you
was in your hands. You could have done with me as yon
must feel today—rage, for the simple reason that she is be¬
chose—anything. But one thing you had no right to do, and
yond your rage. And it is freedom that rendi the veil from
that was to play with me.
your eyes. How removed, how infinitely removed from you,
ROB:—I did not play with you. If I had found you broken
this woman lived her life who, as chance would have it,
and disconsolate I should have lifted you from the depths of
breathed her last in this house. (She goes.)
sorrow and despair; yes, I should even have visited her grave
(Robert is silent for a space, then locks the escritoire,
with you if 1 knew vour love lay there. But you degraded
rises, goes to the door and calls.)
her into an instrument of your lust and you have besmirched
with foulness and lies the sanctity of this house. That is
FRANZ:—Yes, sir!
what is so repulsive, and that is why I'm going to kick yon
ROB:—I leave tomorrow. Get my things ready and order
carriage for seven o’clock.
ALF:—Calm yourself; I may be able to explain.
FRANZ:—Very good, sir.
ROB:—Clear out! Clear out! Clear out! (Alfred goes.)
ROB (After a brief hause) :—I'II give you further instruc¬
ROB:—You wanted to sj#re me this. Now I understand.
tions tomorrow. Vou may go to bed. (As Fraus lingers):
It was well for her that she lied without an inkling—of what
Never mind; I’lI lock the room up myself. It is to stay shut
she really meant to him.
until I return.
OLGA (Turning to hin —Without an inkling?
FRANZ:—Very well, sir.
ROB:—What do you „ in?
ROB.—Good night.
neut) :—She—knew all.
OLGA (Reflecting am
FRANZ:—Good night, sir.
ROB:—What! What She—
(Robert locks the door at once, then goes toward the bal¬
OLGA:—Knew whate was to him. Don't pou grasp it
conp. As he is about to lock ub he sdies the wreath. He
yet? He neither betrayed nor degraded her, and she was
takes it and returns to the room with it and places it an the
resigned to his marrying long ago as a matter of course.
escritoire. Then, witk the light in his hand, he goes to the
When he wrote her the news she wept as little over his loss—
door, ieft. Ou the threshold he pauses and turns, taking in
as he over hers. They would never have come to you for
the zohole room witk his eyes. He breathes deedly, as if re¬
their freedom because the freedom they coveted they pos¬
lieved from a burden, then goes out. The dark voom vemains
sessed in full.
empty for a zohile, then
ROB:—She knew it? And you, you who are anxious to
conceal the contents of those letters, answer—
By Margaret Widdemer.
Fair was the third one, fairer than the sun,
□EARLS for a necklace, pearls from out the sea,
Fairer than an empress could seem and not be won:
1 This was the guerdon that the first gave me:
He clasped my knees and pleaded that love was sweet
Pearls that were worth a sultan’s ransoming,
And his red lips burned upon my naked feet.
Slaves and temples and the cities of a king.
Naught have you given me, nothing have you said,
Singing at my window, singing while I slept,
You have not beauty and you have not gold.
Long was the vigil that the second kept,
Yet my heart shall love you till the world is old!
Of my eyes like morning and my hair like night
Who shall tell the way the heart is led?
And my arms for a girdle of the heart’s delight.