MARG.—(Fery muck ercited; puts her hat on tigktly.)
CLEM.—Isn't it a pity, though, that the models are so rarely
Everything can be as it was. You’ve said it. It needn't bethe
consulted: But I must say, if I were a woman, I’d think
Isar—well, I'm ready.
twice before l’d let such people know anything— (Sharply.)
In decent society, sir, that’s the same as compromising a
GIL.—Sheer madness! Cut it—what’s the meaning of this?
Didn't you yourself say a minute ago that he'd find me
GIL.—I don't know whether it belongs to decent society or
anywhere. If you're with me, he'll have no difficulty in finding
not, but, in my humble opinion, it’s the same as ennobling a
you, too. Wouldn't it be better if each—
MARG.—Wretch! Now you want to leave me in a lurch!
Why, only a few minutes ago you were on your knees before
GIL.—The essential thing is, does it really hit the mark?
me. Have you no conscience?
In a higher sense, what does it matter if the public does know
GIL.—What’s the use? I am a sick, nervous man, suffering
that a woman was happy in this bed or that?
from hypochondria. (Margaret at the window utters a chy.)
CLEM.—Mr. Gilbert, allow me to remind you that you are
GIL.—-What’s up? What will the general’s widow think?
speaking in the presence of a lady.
MARG.—It’s he. He’s coming back.
GIL.—I am speaking in the presence of a comrade, Baron,
who, perhaps, shares my views in these matters.
MARG.—What? You intend to go?
MARG.—Clement! (Throzs herself at his feet.) Clement!
GIL.—I didn't come here to pay the baron a visit.
MARG.—He'll encounter you on the stairs. That would be
MARG.—Your forgiveness, Clement!
worse. Stay. I refuse to be sacrificed alone.
CLEM.—But, Margaret. (To Gilbert.) It’s very painkul to
GIL.—Now. don't lose your senses. Why do you tremble
me, Mr. Gilbert. Now, get up, Margaret. Get up, every¬
like that? It’s quite absurd to belicve that he’s already gone
thing’s all right; everything’s arranged. Nes, yes. You have
through both novels. Calm yourself. Remove your hat. Off
but to call up Künigel. I have already arranged everything
with your cloak. (sriste her.) If he catches you in this
with him. We are going to distribute it. Is that suitable to
frame of mind he can't help but suspect.
MARG.—It’s all the same to me. Better now than later.
GIL.—What are you going to distribute, if I may be so bold
I can't bear waiting and waiting for the horrible event. I’'m
as to ask? The novel madame has written?
going to tell him everything right away.
CLEM.—Ah, so you know already. At all events, Mr. Gil¬
bert, it seems that your camaraderie is not required any fur¬
MARG.—Yes. And while you are still here. If I make a
clean breast of everything now maybe he'll forgive me.
GIL.—Yes. There’s really nothing left for me but to beg
GIL.—And me—what about me? Ihave a higher mission in
to be excused. I’m sorry.
the world, I think, than to suffer myself to be shot down like
CLEM.—I very much regret, Mr. Gilbert, that you had to
a mad dog by a jealous baron. (The bell rings.)
witness a scene which might almost be called domestic.
MARG.—It’s hei It’s he.
GIL.—Oh, I do not wish to intrude any further.
GIL.—Understand, you're not to breathe a word.
GIL.—Madame—Baron, may I offer you a copy of my book
MARG.—I’ve made up my mind.
as a token that all ill-feeling between us has vanished? As a
GIL.—Indeed, have a care. For, if you do, I shall sell my
feeble sign of my sympathy, Baron?
hide at a good price.
CLEM.—You're very good, Mr. Gilbert. I must, however,
MARG.—I shall hurl such naked truths at him that he'll
tell you that this is going to be the last, or the one before the
swear no baron heard the like of them.
last, that I ever intend to read.
CLEM.—(Entering, somewhat surprised, but quite cool and
GIL.—The one before the last?
courteous.) Oh, Mr. Gilbert! Am I right?
GIL.—The very same, Baron. I’m traveling south, and I
MARG—And what’s the last going to be?
couldn't repress the desire to pay my respects to madame.
CLEM.—Vours, my love. (Drawos an advanced copy from
CLEM.—Ah, indeed. (Pause.) Pardon me, it seems I’ve
his bocket.) I wheedled an advance copy from Künigel to
interrupted your conversation. Pray, don't let me disturb you.
bring to you, or, rather, to both of us. (Morgaret and Gilbert
GIL.—What were we talking about just now?
erchange scared glances.)
CLEM.—Perhaps I can assist your memory. In Munich, it
MARG.—How good of you! (Taking the book.) Yes, it’s
I recall correctly, you always talked about your books.
GIL.—Quite so. As a matter of fact, I was speaking about
CLEM.—We will read it together.
my new novel.
MARG.—No, Clement, no. I cannot accept so much kind¬
CLEM.—Pray, continue. Nowadays, I find that I, too, can
ness. (She throzos the book into the streplace.) I don't want
talk literature. Eh, Margaret? Is it naturalistic? Symbolic?
to hear of this sort of thing any more.
Autobiographical? Oh—let me see—is it distilled?
GIL.—(Fery soyful.) But, dear madame——
GIL.—Oh, in a certain sense we all write about our life¬
CLEM.—(Going toward the fireplace.) Margaret, what
have you done?
CLEM.—H'm That’s good to know.
MARG.—(In front of the fireplace, throwing her arms about
GIL.—Yes, if you're painting the character of Nero, in my
Clement.) Now, do you believe that I love you!
opinion it’s absolutely necessary that you should have mentally
CIL.—(Most gleeful.) It appears that l'm entirely de trop
set fire to Rome—
here. Dear Madame—Baron— (To himself.) Pity, though,
I can't stay for the last chapter. (Goes ouf.)
GIL.—From what source should a writer derive his inspira¬
tion if not from himself? Where should he go for his models
if not to the life which is nearest to him? (Margaret becomes
möre and more uneusy.)