box 22/4
16.4. Literatur
ters to arrange at Munich, and spend the time with me. Mar¬
MARG.—I know. But, you see, I had the habit of always
garet, you are so lovely! We shall be happy again as then.
making a rough draft.
Do you remember (zerp near her) Abandoned on thy breast
GIL.—A rough draft?
MARG.—(Retreating brusquely from him.) Go, go away.
GIL.—A rough draft! Those letters which seemed to have
No, no. Please go away. I don't love you any more.
been dashed off in such tremendous haste. Just one word,
GIL.—Oh, h’m—indeed! Oh, in that case I beg your pardon.
dearest, before I go to bed! My eyelids are heavy—’ and
(Pasge.) Adieu, Margaret.
when your eyelids were closed you wrote the whole thing
over again.
CIL.—Won't von present me with a copy of your novel as a
MARG.—Are you piqued about it?
parting gift, as I have done?
GIL.—I might have expected as much. I ought to be glad,
MARG.—It hasn't come out yet. It won't be on sale before
however, that they weren't bought from a professional love¬
next week.
letter writer. Oh, how everything begins to crumble! The
whole past is nothing but a heap of ruins. She made a rough
GIL.—Pardon my inquisitiveness, what kind of a story is it?
draft of her letters!
MARG.—The story of my life. So veiled, to be sure, that I
am in no danger of being recognized.
MARG.—Be content. Maybe my letters will be all that will
remain immortal of your memory.
GIL.—I see. How did you manage to do it?
GIL.—And along with them will remain the fatal stry.
MARG.—Very simple. For one thing, the heroine is not a
writer but a painter.
GIL.—Very clever.
GIL.—(Indicating his book.) Because they also appear in
my book.
MARG.—Her first husband is not a cotton manufacturer,
MARG.—In zohere?
but a big financier, and, of course, it wouldn't do to deceive
him with a tenor——
GIL.—In my novel.
GIL—Hal Hal
GIL.—Dur letters—yours and mine.
MARG.—What strikes you so funny!
MARG.—Where did you get your own? I’ve got them in
GIL.—So you deceived him with a tenor? I didn't know
my possession. Ah, so you, too, made a rough draft?
MARG.—Whoever said so?
GIL.—Nothing of the kind! I only copied them before
GIL.—Why, you yourself, just now.
mailing. I didn't want to lose them. There are some in
MARG.—How so? I say the heroine of the book deceives
my book which you didn't even get. They were, in my opin¬
her hsuband with a baritone.
ion, too beautiful for you. You wouldn't have understood
them at all.
GIL.—Bass would have been more sublime, mezzo-soprano
more piquant.
MARG—Merciful heavens! If this is so—(turning the
leares of Gilbert's book). Ves, yes, it is so. Why, it’s just
MARG.—Then she doesn't go to Munich, but to Dresden;
and there, has an affair with a sculptor.
like telling the world that we two—Merciful heavens! (Fever¬
GIL.—That’s me—veiled.
ishlp turning ihe leaves.) Is the letter you sent me on the
morning after the first night also—
MARG.—Very much veiled, I rather fear. The sculpfor, as
GIL.—Surely. That one was dazzling.
it happens, is young, handsome and a genius. In spite of that
she leaves him.
MARG.—This is horrible. Why, this is going to create a
European sensation. And Clement—My God; I’m beginning
to hope that he will not come back. I am ruined! And yon
GIL.—A jockey, I fancy.
along with me. Wherever you are, he'll be sure to find yon
and blow your brains out like a mad dog.
GIL.—A count, a prince of the empire?
GIL.—(Pocketing his book.) Insipid comparison!
MARG.—Wrong. An archduke.
MARG.—How did you hit upon such an insane idea? To
GIL.—I must say you have spared no costs.
publish the correspondence of a woman whom, in all sin¬
cerity, you professed to have loved! Oh, you're no gentle¬
MARG.—Yes, an archduke, who gave up the court for her
sake, married her and emigrated with her to the Canary
GIL.—Quite charming. Haven't you done the same?
MARG.—I'm a woman.
GIL.—The Canary Islands! Splendid! And then——
MARG.—With the disembarkation—
GIL.—Do von take refuge in that now?
GIL.—In Canaryland.
MARG.—Oh. it’s true, I have nothing to reproach you with.
MARG.—The story ends.
We were made for one another. Yes, Clement was right.
GIL.—Good. I'm very much interested, especially in the
We’re worse than those women who appear in flesh-colored
tights. Our most sacred feelings, our pangs—everything—we
make copy of everything. Pfui! Pfui. It’s sickening. We
MARG.—Nou yourself wouldr't recognize me were it not
two belong to one ancther. Clement would only be doing
what is right if he drove me away. (Juddenly.) Come,
MARG.—The third chapter from the end, where our cor¬
respondence is published entire.
GIL.—What is it?
MARG.—I accept vour proposal.
GIL.—What proposal?
MARG.—Yes, all the letters you sent me and those I sent
you are included in the novel.
MARG.—I'm going to cut it with you. (Looks for her hat
GIL.—I see, but may I ask where you got those you sent
and cloak.)
me? I thought I had them.
GIL.—Eh? What do you mean?