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The Lonely Way—Intermezzo—Countess Mizzie - Three Plays
by Arthur Schnitzler
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(They begin to ascend the steps to the terrace)

JULIAN

All that may be true, Sala. But this much you have to grant me. If there be anybody in the world who has no right to make us pay for the mistakes of our lives, it is a person who has us to thank for his own life.

SALA

There is no question of payment in this. Your son has a mind for essentials, Julian. You have said so yourself. And he feels that to have done nothing for a man but to put him into the world, is to have done very little indeed.

JULIAN

Then, at least, everything must become as it was before he knew anything at all. Once more I shall become to him a human being like anybody else. Then he will not dare to leave me.... I cannot bear it. How have I deserved that he should run away from me?... And even if all that I have held for good and true within myself—even if, in the end, my very fondness for this young man, who is my son—should prove nothing but self-delusion—yet I love him now.... Do you understand me, Sala? I love him, and all I ask is that he may believe it before I must lose him forever....

[It grows dark. The two men pass across the terrace and enter the drawing-room. The stage stands empty a little while. In the meantime the wind has risen somewhat. Johanna enters by the avenue of trees from the right and goes past the pool toward the terrace. The windows of the drawing-room are illumined. Sala has seated himself at a table. The valet enters the room and serves him a glass of wine. Johanna stops. She is apparently much excited. Then she ascends two of the steps to the terrace. Sala seems to hear a noise and turns his head slightly. When she sees this, Johanna hurries down again and stops beside the pool. There she stands looking down into the water.

CURTAIN



THE FIFTH ACT

The garden at the Wegrats'.

REUMANN (sits at a small table and writes something in his notebook)

JULIAN (enters quickly by way of the veranda)

Is it true, Doctor?

REUMANN (rising)

Yes, it's true.

JULIAN

She has disappeared?

REUMANN

Yes, she has disappeared. She has been gone since yesterday afternoon. She has left no word behind, and she has taken nothing at all with her—she has simply gone away and never returned.

JULIAN

But what can have happened to her?

REUMANN

We have not been able to guess even. Perhaps she has lost her way and will come back. Or she has suddenly made up her mind—if we only knew to what!

JULIAN

Where are the others?

REUMANN

We agreed to meet here again at ten. I visited the various hospitals and other places where it might be possible to find some trace.... I suppose the professor has made a report to the police by this time.

FELIX (enters quickly)

Nothing new?

REUMANN

Nothing.

JULIAN (shakes hands with Felix)

REUMANN

From where do you come?

FELIX

I went to see Mr. von Sala.

REUMANN

Why?

FELIX

I thought it rather possible that he might have a suspicion, or be able to give us some kind of direction. But he knows nothing at all. That was perfectly clear. And if he had known anything—had known anything definite—he would have told me. I am sure of that. He was still in bed when I called on him. I suppose he thought I had come about my own matter. When he heard that Johanna had disappeared, he turned very pale.... But he doesn't know anything.

WEGRAT (enters)

Anything?

[All the others shake their heads. Julian presses his hand.

WEGRAT (sitting down)

They asked me to give more details, something more tangible to go by. But what is there to give?... I have nothing.... The whole thing is a riddle to me. (Turning to Julian) In the afternoon she went out for a short walk as usual.... (To Felix) Was there anything about her that attracted attention?... It seems quite impossible to me that she could have had anything in mind when she left the house—that she could know already—that she was going away forever.

FELIX

Perhaps though....

WEGRAT

Of course, she was very reserved—especially of late, since the death of her mother.... I wonder if it could be that?... Would you think that possible, Doctor?

REUMANN (shrugs his shoulders)

FELIX

Did any one of us really know her? And who takes a real interest in another person anyhow?

REUMANN

It is apparently fortunate that such is the case. Otherwise we should all go mad from pity or loathing or anxiety. (Pause) Now I must get around to my patients. There are a few calls that cannot be postponed. I shall be back by dinner-time. Good-by for a while. (He goes out)

WEGRAT

To think that you can watch a young creature like her grow up—can see the child turn into girl, and then into a young lady—can speak hundreds of thousands of words to her.... And one day she rises from the table, puts on hat and coat, and goes ... and you have no idea as to whether she has slipped away—if into nothingness or into a new life.

FELIX

But whatever may have happened, father—she wanted to get away from us. And in that fact, I think, we should find a certain consolation.

WEGRAT (shakes his head in perplexity)

Everything is fluttering away—willingly or unwillingly—but away it goes.

FELIX

Father, we can't tell what may have happened. It's conceivable, at least, that Johanna may have formed some decision which she does not carry out. Perhaps she will come back in a few hours, or days.

WEGRAT

You believe ... you think it possible, do you?

FELIX

Possible—yes. But if she shouldn't come—of course, father, I shall give up the plan of which I told you yesterday. Under circumstances like these I couldn't think of going so far away from you for such a long time.

WEGRAT (to Julian)

And now he's going to sacrifice himself for my sake!

FELIX

Perhaps I could arrange to have myself transferred here.

WEGRAT

No, Felix, you know very well that I couldn't accept such a thing.

FELIX

But it's no sacrifice. I assure you, father, that I stay with you only because I can't go away from you now.

WEGRAT

Oh, yes, Felix, you can—you will be able. And you are not to stay here for my sake—you mustn't. I could never be sure that it would prove of any help to me to have you give up a plan which you have taken hold of with such enthusiasm. I think it would be inexcusable of you to draw back, and wicked of me to permit it. You must be happy at having found a way at last, by which you may reach all you have longed for. It makes me happy, too, Felix. If you missed this opportunity, you would regret it all your life.

FELIX

But so much may have changed since yesterday—such a tremendous lot—for you and for me.

WEGRAT

For me, perhaps.... But never mind. I won't stand it—I will not accept such a sacrifice. Of course, I might accept it, if I could find it of any special advantage to myself. But I shouldn't have you any more than if you were gone away ... less ... not at all. This fate that has descended on us must not add to its inherent power what is still worse—that it makes us do in our confusion what is against our own natures. Sometime we always get over every disaster, no matter how frightful it be. But whatever we do in violation of our innermost selves can never be undone. (Turning to Julian) Isn't that true, Julian?

JULIAN

You are absolutely right.

FELIX

Thanks, father. I feel grateful that you make it so easy for me to agree with you.

WEGRAT

That's good, Felix.... During the weeks you will remain in Europe we shall be able to talk over a lot of things—more perhaps than in the years gone by. Indeed, how little people know about each other!... But I am getting tired. We stayed awake all night.

FELIX

Won't you rest a while, father?

WEGRAT

Rest.... You'll stay at home, Felix, won't you?

FELIX

Yes, I shall wait right here. What else is there to do?

WEGRAT

I'm racking my brain until it's near bursting.... Why didn't she say anything to me? Why have I known so little about her? Why have I kept so far away from her? (He goes out)

FELIX

How that man has been belied—all his life long—by all of us.

JULIAN

There is in this world no sin, no crime, no deception, that cannot be atoned. Only for what has happened here, there should be no expiation and no forgetfulness, you think?

FELIX

Can it be possible that you don't understand?... Here a lie has been eternalized. There is no getting away from it. And she who did it was my mother—and it was you who made her do it—and the lie am I, and such I must remain as long as I am passing for that which I am not.

JULIAN

Let us proclaim the truth then, Felix.—I shall face any judge that you may choose, and submit to any verdict passed on me.—Must I alone remain condemned forever? Should I alone, among all that have erred, never dare to say: "It is atoned"?

FELIX

It is too late. Guilt can be wiped out by confession only while the guilty one is still able to make restitution. You ought to know yourself, that this respite expired long ago.

SALA (enters)

FELIX

Mr. von Sala!—Have you anything to tell us?

SALA

Yes.—Good morning, Julian.—No, stay, Julian. I am glad to have a witness. (To Felix) Are you determined to join the expedition?

FELIX

I am.

SALA

So am I. But it is possible that one of us must change his mind.

FELIX

Mr. von Sala...?

SALA

It would be a bad thing to risk finding out that you have started on a journey of such scope with one whom you would prefer to shoot dead if you knew him completely.

FELIX

Where is my sister, Mr. von Sala?

SALA

I don't know. Where she is at this moment, I don't know. But last evening, just before you arrived, she had left me for the last time.

FELIX

Mr. von Sala....

SALA

Her farewell words to me were: Until to-morrow. You can see that I had every reason to be surprised this morning, when you appeared at my house. Permit me furthermore to tell you, that yesterday, of all days, I asked Johanna to become my wife—which seemed to agitate her very much. In telling you this, I have by no means the intention of smoothing over things. For my question implied no desire on my part to make good any wrong I might have done. It was apparently nothing but a whim—like so much else. There is here no question of anything but to let you know the truth. This means that I am at your disposal in any manner you may choose.—I thought it absolutely necessary to say all this before we were brought to the point of having to descend into the depths of the earth together, or, perhaps, to sleep in the same tent.

FELIX (after a long pause)

Mr. von Sala ... we shall not have to sleep in the same tent.

SALA

Why not?

FELIX

Your journey will not last that long.

[A very long pause ensues.

SALA

Oh ... I understand. And are you sure of that?

FELIX

Perfectly. (Pause}

SALA

And did Johanna know it?

FELIX

Yes.

SALA

I thank you.—Oh, you can safely take my hand. The matter has been settled in the most chivalrous manner possible.—Well?... It is not customary to refuse one's hand to him who is already down.

FELIX (gives his hand to Sala; then he says)

And where can she be?

SALA

I don't know.

FELIX

Didn't she give you any hint at all?

SALA

None whatever.

FELIX

But have you no conjecture? Has she perhaps established any connections—abroad? Had she any friends at all, of which I don't know?

SALA

Not to my knowledge.

FELIX

Do you think that she is still alive?

SALA

I can't tell.

FELIX

Are you not willing to say anything more, Mr. von Sala?

SALA

I am not able to say anything more. I have nothing left to say. Farewell, and good luck on your trip. Give my regards to Count Ronsky.

FELIX

But we are not seeing each other for the last time?

SALA

Who can tell?

FELIX (holding out his hand to Sala)

I must hurry to my father. I think it my duty to let him know what I have just learned from you.

SALA (nods)

FELIX (to Julian)

Good-by. (He goes out)

[Julian and Sala start to leave together.

JULIAN (as Sala suddenly stops)

Why do you tarry? Let's get away.

SALA

It is a strange thing to know. A veil seems to spread in front of everything.... "Away with you!"—But I don't care to submit to it as long as I am still here—if it be only for another hour....

JULIAN

Do you believe it then?

SALA (looking long at Julian)

Do I believe it...? He behaved rather nicely, that son of yours.... "We shall not have to sleep in the same tent."... Not bad! I might have said it myself....

JULIAN

But why don't you come? Have you perhaps something more to tell after all?

SALA

That's the question I must put to you, Julian.

JULIAN

Sala?

SALA

Because I didn't say anything about a peculiar hallucination I experienced just before coming here. I imagine it was....

JULIAN

Please, speak out!

SALA

What do you think of it? Before I left my house—just after Felix had gone—I went down into my garden—that is to say, I ran through it—in a remarkable state of excitement, as you may understand. And as I passed by the pool, it was exactly as if I had seen on the bottom of it....

JULIAN

Sala!

SALA

There is a blue-greenish glitter on the water, and besides, the shadow of the beech tree falls right across it early in the morning. And by a strange coincidence Johanna said yesterday: "The water can no more hold my image...." That was, in a way, like challenging fate.... And as I passed by the pool, it was as if ... the water had retained her image just the same.

JULIAN

Is that true?

SALA

True ... or untrue ... what is that to me? It could be of interest to me only if I were to remain in this world another year—or another hour at least.

JULIAN

You mean to...?

SALA

Of course, I do. Would you expect me to wait for it? That would be rather painful, I think. (To Julian, with a smile) From whom are you now going to get your cues, my dear friend? Yes, it's all over now.... And what has become of it?... Where are the thermae of Caracalla? Where is the park at Lugano?... Where is my nice little house?... No nearer to me, and no farther away, than those marble steps leading down to mysterious depths.... Veils in front of everything.... Perhaps your son will discover if the three-hundred and twelfth be the last one—and if not, it won't give him much concern anyhow.... Don't you think he has been acting rather nicely?... I have somehow the impression that a better generation is growing up—with more poise and less brilliancy.—Send your regards to heaven, Julian.

JULIAN (makes a movement to accompany him)

SALA (gently but firmly)

You stay here, Julian. This is the end of our dialogue. Farewell. (He goes out quickly)

FELIX (entering rapidly)

Is Mr. von Sala gone? My father wanted to talk to him.—And you are still here?... Why did Mr. von Sala go? What did he tell you?—Johanna...! Johanna...?

JULIAN

She is dead ... she has drowned herself in the pool.

FELIX (with a cry of dismay)

Where did he go?

JULIAN

I don't think you can find him.

FELIX

What is he doing?

JULIAN

He is paying ... while it's time....

WEGRAT (enters from the veranda)

FELIX (runs to meet him)

Father....

WEGRAT

Felix! What has happened?

FELIX

We must go to Sala's house, father.

WEGRAT

Dead...?

FELIX

Father! (He takes hold of Wegrat's hand and kisses it) My father!

JULIAN (has left the room slowly in the meantime)

WEGRAT

Must things of this kind happen to make that word sound as if I had heard it for the first time...?

CURTAIN



INTERMEZZO

(Zwischenspiel)

A COMEDY IN THREE ACTS

1904



PERSONS

AMADEUS ADAMS } A musical conductor

CECILIA ADAMS-ORTENBURG } His wife, an opera singer

PETER } Their child, five years old

ALBERT RHON

MARIE } His wife

SIGISMUND, PRINCE MARADAS-LOHSENSTEIN

COUNTESS FREDERIQUE MOOSHEIM } An opera singer

GOVERNESS } } At the Adamses COUNT ARPAD PAZMANDY }

The scene is laid in Vienna at the present day.



INTERMEZZO

THE FIRST ACT

The study of Amadeus. The walls are painted in dark gray, with a very simple frieze. A door in the background leads to a veranda. On either side of this door is a window. Through the door one sees the garden, to which three steps lead down from the veranda. A cabinet stands between the door and the window at the right; a music-stand holds a corresponding position to the left of the door. Antique bas-reliefs are hung above the cabinet as well as the stand. The main entrance is on the right side in the foreground. Farther back at the right is a door leading to Cecilia's room. A door finished like the rest of the wall leads to the room of Amadeus at the left. A tall book case, with a bust of Verrochio on top of it, stands against the right wall. In the corner back of it are several columns with tall vases full of flowers. A fireplace occupies the foreground at the left. Above it is a large mirror. On the mantelshelf stands a French clock of simple design. A table surrounded by chairs is placed in front of the fireplace. Farther back along the same wall are shelves piled with sheet music, and above them engravings of Schumann, Brahms, Mozart, and other composers. A bust of Beethoven occupies the farthermost corner at the left. Halfway down the stage, nearer the left wall, stands a piano with a piano stool in front of it. An armchair has been moved up close to the piano on the side toward the public. A writing desk holds a similar position at the right. Back of it are an easy-chair and a couch, the latter having been moved close to the table.

AMADEUS (thirty years old, slender, with dark, smooth hair; his movements are quick, with a suggestion of restlessness; he wears a gray business suit of elegant cut, but not well cared for; he has a trick of taking hold of the lapel of his sack coat with his left hand and turning it back; he is seated at the piano, accompanying Frederique)

FREDERIQUE (twenty-eight, is dressed in a bright gray tailor-made suit and a red satin waist; wears a broad-brimmed straw hat, very fashionable; her hair is blonde, of a reddish tint; her whole appearance is very dainty; she is singing an aria from the opera "Mignon") "Ha-ha-ha! Is 't true, really true?" (While singing she is all the time making a motion as if she were beating the dust out of her riding suit with a crop)

AMADEUS (accompanying himself as he gives her the cue) "Yes, you may laugh. I am a fool to ruin my horse ..."

FREDERIQUE

"Maybe you would like ..."

AMADEUS (nervously)

Oh, wait!... You don't know yet why I have ruined my horse.... "To ruin my horse for a quicker sight of you ..."

FREDERIQUE (with the same gesture as before)

"Maybe you would like me to weep?"

AMADEUS

"Oh, I regret already that I came."

FREDERIQUE (as before)

"Well, why...."

AMADEUS

G sharp!

FREDERIQUE (as before)

"Well, why don't you go back? Soon enough I shall see you again."

AMADEUS

You should say that ironically, not tenderly. "Soon enough I shall see you again...."

FREDERIQUE (as before)

"Soon enough I shall see you again...."

AMADEUS

Not angrily, Countess, but ironically.

FREDERIQUE

Call me Frederique, and not Countess, when you are working with me.

AMADEUS

Now, that's the tone Philine should use. Hold on to it.... And that's the right look, too.... If you could do that on the stage, you might almost be an artist.

FREDERIQUE

Oh, mercy, I have sung Philine more than twenty times already.

AMADEUS

But not here, Freder ... Countess. And not when Mrs. Adams-Ortenburg was singing the part of Mignon. (He leans forward so that he can look out into the garden)

FREDERIQUE

No, she isn't coming yet. (With a smile) Perhaps the rehearsal isn't over.

AMADEUS (rising)

Perhaps not.

FREDERIQUE

Is it true that Mrs. Adams-Ortenburg has been requested to sing in Berlin next Fall?

AMADEUS

Nothing has been settled yet. (He goes to the window at the right) If you'll permit.... (Opens the window)

FREDERIQUE

What a splendid day! And how fragrant the roses are. It is almost like....

AMADEUS

Almost like Tremezzo—yes, I know.

FREDERIQUE

How can you—as you have never been there?

AMADEUS

But you have told me enough about it. A villa standing at the edge of the water—radiantly white—with marble steps leading straight down to the blue sea.

FREDERIQUE

Yes. And sometimes, on very hot nights, I sleep in the park, right on the sward, under a plane tree.

AMADEUS

That plane tree is famous.—But time is flying. It would be better to go on with the singing. (He seats himself at the piano again) The polonaise—if you please, Countess. (He begins the accompaniment)

FREDERIQUE (singing)

"Titania, airiest queen of fairies, Has descended from her blue cloud throne, And her way across the world is wending More quickly than the bird or lightning flash..."

AMADEUS (interrupts his playing and lets his head sink forward) No, no—it's no use!... Please tell the director that he will have to look after your part himself. As for me, I have certain regards even for people who go to the opera in Summer. They should not be forced to accept anything. Tell the director, please, that I send him my regards and that—there are more important things to occupy my time. (He closes the score)

FREDERIQUE (quite amicably)

I believe it. How's your opera getting along?

AMADEUS

For the Lord's sake, please don't pretend to be interested in things of that kind! Why, nobody expects it of you.

FREDERIQUE

Will it soon be finished?

AMADEUS

Finished...? How could it be, do you think? I have to conduct two nights a week at least, and there are rehearsals in the morning, not to mention singers that have to be coached.... Do you think a man can sit down after an hour like this and invite his muse?

FREDERIQUE

After an hour like this...? I don't think you feel quite at your ease with me, Amadeus.

AMADEUS

Not at my ease? I? With you?—I don't think you have imagined in your most reckless moments, Countess, that my wife might have anything to fear from you.

FREDERIQUE

You are determined to misunderstand me. (She has gone to the fireplace and turns now to face Amadeus) You know perfectly well why you pretend to be cross with me. Because you are in love with me.

AMADEUS (looks straight ahead and goes on playing)

FREDERIQUE

And that chord proves nothing to the contrary.

AMADEUS

That chord.... Tell me rather what kind of chord it is. (He repeats it in a fury)

FREDERIQUE

A flat major.

AMADEUS (in a tone of boredom)

G major—of course.

FREDERIQUE (close by him, with a smile)

Don't let that semi-tone spoil our happiness.

AMADEUS (rises, goes toward the background and looks out into the garden)

FREDERIQUE

Is it your wife?

AMADEUS

No, my little boy is playing out there. (He stands at the window, waving his hand at somebody outside; pause)

FREDERIQUE

You take life too hard, Amadeus.

AMADEUS (still at the window, but turning toward Frederique) I can't lie—and I don't want to. Which is not the same as taking life hard.

FREDERIQUE

Can't lie...? And yet you have been away from your wife for months at a time—haven't you? And your wife came here while you were still conducting somewhere abroad, didn't she?... So that....

AMADEUS

Those are matters which you don't quite comprehend, Countess. (He looks again toward the main entrance)

FREDERIQUE

No, your wife can't be here yet. She won't give up her walk on a wonderful day like this.

AMADEUS

What you have in mind now is pretty mean, Frederique.

FREDERIQUE

Why so? Of course, I know she takes a walk with you, too, now and then.

AMADEUS

Yes, when my time permits. And often she goes out with Sigismund. To-day she's probably with him—and that's what you wanted to bring home to me, of course.

FREDERIQUE

Why should I? You know it, don't you? And I assure you, it has never occurred to me to see anything wrong in it. He's a friend of yours.

AMADEUS

More than that—or less. He used to be my pupil.

FREDERIQUE

I didn't know that.

AMADEUS

Ten years ago, while still a mere youngster, I used to live in his father's palace. It's hard to tell where I might have been to-day, had it not been for old Prince Lohsenstein. You see, we men have generally another kind of youth to look back at than you ...

FREDERIQUE

... women artists.

AMADEUS

No, countesses, I meant to say. For three years I spent every summer in the palace at Krumau.[1] And there—for the first time in my life—I could work in peace, all by myself, with nothing more to do than to instruct Sigismund.

[1] A small Bohemian city near the border of Upper Austria. On a high rock, with a wonderful view along the river Moldau, stands the Schwarzenberg castle, which the author seems to have had in mind.

FREDERIQUE

Did he want to become a pianist?

AMADEUS

Not exactly. He wanted to join some monastic order.

FREDERIQUE

No? Is that really true?—Oh, it's queer how people change!

AMADEUS

They don't as much as you think. He has remained a man of serious mind.

FREDERIQUE

And yet he plays dance music so charmingly...?

AMADEUS

Why shouldn't he? A good waltz and a good hymn are just as acceptable to the powers above.

FREDERIQUE

How delightful those evenings in your house used to be! No farther back than last winter.... The Count and I frequently talk of them.—Have you ceased to invite Prince Sigismund, as you have me?

AMADEUS

He was here only a fortnight ago, my dear Countess—and spent the whole evening with us. We had supper in the summer-house, and then we came in here and sat chatting for a long while, and finally he improvised some variations on the Cagliostro Waltzes before he left.—And what my wife and he say to each other during their walk, when I am not with them, will no more be hidden from me than I would hide from her what you and I have been talking of here. That's how my wife and I feel toward each other—if you'll please understand, Frederique!

FREDERIQUE

But there are things one simply can't say to each other.

AMADEUS

There can be no secrets between people like my wife and myself.

FREDERIQUE

Oh, of course ... but then ... what you have been saying to me will be only a small part of what you must tell your wife to-day, Amadeus. Good-by.... (She holds out her hand to him)

AMADEUS

What's in your mind now, Frederique?

FREDERIQUE

Why resist your fate? Is it so very repulsive after all? What you are to me, nobody else has ever been!

AMADEUS

And you want me to believe that?

FREDERIQUE

I shall not insist on it. But it is true nevertheless. Good-by now. Until to-morrow, Amadeus. Life is really much easier than you think.... It might be so very pleasant—and so it shall be! (She goes out)

AMADEUS (seats himself at the piano again and strikes a few notes) It is getting serious ... or amusing perhaps...? (He shakes his head)

ALBERT RHON (enters; he is of medium height; his black hair, slightly streaked with gray, is worn long; he is rather carelessly dressed)

AMADEUS

Oh, is that you, Albert? How are you?

ALBERT

I have come to ask how you are getting along with our opera, Amadeus. Have you done anything?

AMADEUS

No.

ALBERT

Again nothing?

AMADEUS

I doubt whether I can get a chance here. We'll have to wait until the season is over. I have too much to do. We are now putting on "Mignon" with new people in some of the parts....

ALBERT

If I'm not very much mistaken, I saw Philine float by—with a rather intoxicated look in her eyes.... Oh, have I put my foot into it again? I beg your pardon!

AMADEUS (turning away from him)

That's right. She was here. Oh, that damned business of private rehearsals! But I hope it won't last much longer. The coming Winter is going to decide my future once for all. I have already got my leave of absence.

ALBERT

So you have made up your mind about that tour?

AMADEUS

Yes, I shall be gone for two months this time.

ALBERT

Within Germany only?

AMADEUS

I'll probably take in a few Italian cities also. Yes, my dear fellow, they know more about me abroad than here. I shall conduct my Third Symphony, and perhaps also my Fourth.

ALBERT

Have you got that far already?

AMADEUS

No. But I have hopes of the Summer. Once more I mean to do some real work.

ALBERT

Well, it's about time.—I have made out the schedule for our walking tour, by the by. And I brought along the map. Look here. We start from Niederdorf, and then by way of Plaetzwiesen to Schluderbach; then to Cortina; then through the Giau Pass to Caprile; then by way of the Fedaja[2]....

[2] The names used in this passage occur a number of times in the various plays, indicating that their author probably has been drawing on experiences obtained during his own walking tours through the Dolomites. As far as Cortina, the route is identical with the one mentioned by Wegrath in "The Lonely Way." The Giau Pass is a little known footpath across Monte Giau, showing that the intention of Albert is to avoid the routes frequented by tourists.

AMADEUS

I leave all that to you. I rely entirely on you.

ALBERT

Then it's settled that we'll don knapsack and alpenstock once more, to wander through the country as we used to do when we were young...?

AMADEUS

Yes, and I am looking forward to it with a great deal of pleasure.

ALBERT

You need simply to pull yourself together—a few weeks of mountain air and quiet will get you out of this.

AMADEUS

Oh, I haven't got into anything in particular. I am a little nervous. That's all.

ALBERT

Can't you see, Amadeus, how you have to force yourself in order to use this evasion toward me, who, of course, has no right whatever to demand any frankness? Can't you see how you are wasting a part of your mental energy, so to speak, on this slight disingenuousness? No, dissimulation is utterly foreign to your nature, as I have always told you. If you should ever get to the point where you had to deceive one who was near and dear to you, that would be the end of you.

AMADEUS

Your worry is quite superfluous! Haven't you known us long enough—me and Cecilia—to know that our marriage is based, above all else, on absolute frankness?

ALBERT

Many have good intentions, but their courage often deserts them at the critical moment.

AMADEUS

We have never yet kept anything hidden from each other.

ALBERT

Because so far you have had nothing to confess.

AMADEUS

Oh, a great deal, perhaps, which other people keep to themselves. Our common life has not been without its complications. We have had to be parted from each other for months at a time. I have had to rehearse in private with other singers than Philine, and (with an air of superiority) other men than Prince Sigismund must have discovered that Cecilia is pretty.

ALBERT

I haven't said a word about Cecilia.

AMADEUS

And besides, it would be quite hopeless for Cecilia or me to keep any secrets. We know each other too well—I don't think two people ever existed who understood each other so completely as we do.

ALBERT

I can imagine a point where the understanding would have to end, and everything else with it.

AMADEUS

Everything else maybe—but not the understanding.

ALBERT

Oh, well! If nothing is left but the understanding, that means the beginning of the end.

AMADEUS

Those are—chances that every human being must resign himself to take.

ALBERT

You don't talk like one who has resigned himself, however, but like one who has made up his mind.

AMADEUS

Who can be perfectly sure of himself or of anybody else? We two, at any rate, are not challenging fate by feeling too secure.

ALBERT

Oh, when it comes to that, my dear fellow—fate always regards itself challenged—by doubt no less than by confidence.

AMADEUS

To be safe against any surprise brings a certain sense of tranquillity anyhow.

ALBERT

A little more tranquillity would produce a decision to avoid anything that might endanger an assured happiness.

AMADEUS

Do you think anything is to be won by that kind of avoidance? Don't you feel rather, that the worst and most dangerous of all falsehoods is to resist temptation with a soul full of longing for it? And that it is easier to go unscathed through adventures than through desires?

ALBERT

Adventures...! Is it actually necessary, then, to live through them? A painter who has risen above pot-boiling, and who has left the follies of youth behind him, can be satisfied with a single model for all the figures that are created out of his dreams—and one who knows how to live may have all the adventures he could ever desire within the peaceful precincts of his own home. He can experience them just as fully as anybody else, but without waste of time, without unpleasantness, without danger. And if he only possess a little imagination, his wife may bear him nothing but illegitimate children without being at all aware of it.

AMADEUS

It's an open question whether you have the right to force such a part on anybody whom you respect.

ALBERT

It is not wise to let people know what they mean to you. I have put this thought into an aphorism:

If you grasp me, you rasp me; If I know you, I own you.

MARIE (entering from the garden with little Peter)

Peter wants me absolutely to come in. I wanted to wait for Cecilia in the garden.

AMADEUS

How are you, Marie?

MARIE

I'm not disturbing you, I hope?

GOVERNESS (comes from the garden with the intention of taking the boy away) Peter!

PETER

No, I want to stay with the grown-ups.

AMADEUS

Yes, let him be with us for a while.

GOVERNESS (returns to the veranda, where she remains visible)

MARIE

Well, have you been working a lot?

AMADEUS

Oh, we have just been talking.

ALBERT

Do you know why she asks? Because she is in love with Mr. von Rabagas.

AMADEUS

With whom?

ALBERT

Don't you remember him? He's that interesting young chap who appears in the first act as one of the King's attendants. She used, at least, to fall in love only with the heroes of my plays, but nowadays she can't even resist the subordinate characters.

AMADEUS

That should make you proud.

ALBERT

Proud, you say? But at times you can't help regretting that you must put all the beauties and virtues of the world into the figures you create, so that you have nothing but your wee bit of talent left to get along with personally.

CECILIA (enters from the right)

PETER

There's mamma!

CECILIA

Good afternoon. (She shakes hands with everybody) How are you, Marie? This is awfully nice. If I had only known.... I went for a short walk. It's such a wonderful day.—Well, Peter (kissing him), have you had your meal yet?

PETER

Yes.

GOVERNESS (entering from the veranda)

Good afternoon, Madame. Peter hasn't had his nap yet.

MARIE

Does he still have to sleep in the daytime? Our two children have quit entirely.

ALBERT

Instead they play a most exciting game every afternoon—one invented by themselves. They call it "drums and bugles."

MARIE

You must come and see us soon, Peter, so that you can learn to play that game.

PETER

I've got a music-box, and I'll take it along so we can make more noise.

CECILIA

Now you have to go. But first you must say good-by nicely.

PETER

I'll say "adieu." Good-by is so common.

[Everybody laughs. Peter goes out with the Governess. Marie and Cecilia move slowly toward the fireplace and sit down in front of it.

MARIE

Of course, I have come to ask for something.

CECILIA

Well, go on.

MARIE

There's to be a concert at which they want you to assist.

CECILIA

This season?

MARIE

Yes. But it will be in the country, not in the city ... for a charitable purpose, of course. The committee would be so happy if you would sing two or three songs.

CECILIA

I think I can.

MARIE

And I shall feel very grateful, too.

CECILIA

Don't you find undertakings of that kind a lot of trouble?

MARIE

Well, you must have something to do. If I had any gifts like the rest of you, I am sure I should never bother with "people's kitchens" or "charitable teas"—and then, I suppose, I should feel more indifferent about people, too.

CECILIA (with a smile)

About people, too?

MARIE

Oh, I didn't mean it that way.

ALBERT

You see, Marie, there is something like the charm of meadows and fields in your sweet prattle, and you should never desert it for the thickets of psychological speculations.—Come on, child. These people want their dinner.

CECILIA

No, we won't eat for an hour yet.

AMADEUS

We generally work a little before we eat. To-day we might run through the songs for that concert, for instance.

CECILIA

That would suit me perfectly.

MARIE

Oh, I feel so thankful to you, Cecilia!

CECILIA

And when shall we see each other again?

ALBERT

Oh, that reminds me! We have just been talking about the Summer. Amadeus and I mean to go on a walking tour. How would it be if you two were to go somewhere with the children—some place in the Tirol, say—and wait for us there?

MARIE

Oh, that would be fine!

CECILIA

Did you hear that, Amadeus?

AMADEUS (who has been standing a little way off)

Certainly. It would be very nice.... You can wait for us in the Tirol.

CECILIA

Could you come and see me to-morrow afternoon, Marie? Then we might settle the matter.

MARIE

Yes, indeed. I am always glad when you can spare me a little of your time.—Until to-morrow, then!

ALBERT

Good-by. (He and Marie go out)

AMADEUS (is walking to and fro)

CECILIA (who is sitting on the couch, follows him with her eyes)

AMADEUS (after a turn to the window and back, speaking in a peculiarly dry tone) Well, how did it go? Have you got the finale into shape at last?

CECILIA

Oh, in a manner.

AMADEUS

The day before yesterday it had not yet been brought up to the proper level. I find, for one thing, that they don't let you assert yourself sufficiently. Your voice should be floating above the rest, instead of being submerged in the crowd.

CECILIA

Won't you come to the rehearsal to-morrow—just once more—if you can spare the time?

AMADEUS

Would it please you...?

CECILIA

I always feel more certain of myself when you are within reach. You know that, don't you?

AMADEUS

Yes—I'll come. I'll call off my appointments with Neumann and the Countess.

CECILIA

If it isn't too great a sacrifice....

AMADEUS (with assumed brusqueness)

Oh, I can make her come in the afternoon.

CECILIA

But then there will be no time left for your own work. No, better let it be.

AMADEUS

What had we better let be?

CECILIA

Don't come to the rehearsal to-morrow.

AMADEUS

Just as you say, Cecilia. I won't intrude, of course. But a moment ago you said that you felt more certain of yourself when I was within reach. And as far as my work is concerned, I don't think—Albert and I were just talking of it—nothing will come of it until the season is over.

CECILIA

That's what I suspected.

AMADEUS

But during the summer I'll complete my Fourth. I must have something new to conduct this year. And it's only a question of the final passages, for that matter. All the rest is as good as finished—in my mind at least.

CECILIA

It's a long time since you let me hear anything of it.

AMADEUS

It hasn't quite reached the point where it can be played. But, of course, you know the principal themes ... the Allegro ... and then the Intermezzo.... (He goes to the piano and strikes a few notes)

CECILIA

So you are going next November?

AMADEUS

Yes, for three months.

CECILIA

And during October I shall be in Berlin.

AMADEUS

Oh ... is there any news in that matter?

CECILIA

Yes, I have practically closed. Reichenbach came to see me at the opera-house. I'm to appear in three parts. As Carmen under all circumstances. The other two are left to my own choice.

AMADEUS

And what do you...?

CECILIA

Tatyana,[3] I suppose. I have heard that they have such a splendid Onyegin.

[3] Tatyana and Onyegin are characters in the opera "Eugene Onyegin," by Tschaikovsky, which is founded on Pushkin's famous poem of the same name.

AMADEUS

Yes, Wedius. I know him. He was in Dresden when I was there.—Carmen, then, and Tatyana, and...?

CECILIA

I am still considering.... Perhaps we might talk it over?

AMADEUS

Of course. (Pause)

CECILIA

It's going to be a busy Winter.

AMADEUS

Rather. We won't see much of each other.

CECILIA

We'll have to correspond.

AMADEUS

As we have done before.

CECILIA

We're used to it.

AMADEUS

Yes. (Pause) Tell me by the way: do you actually want to assist at that charity concert?

CECILIA

Why not? I couldn't say no to Marie. Have you any objection?

AMADEUS

No—why should I? But we might use the half hour that's left to go over something. (He goes to the music-stand) What do you want to sing?

CECILIA

Oh, something of yours, for one thing ...

AMADEUS

Oh, no, no.

CECILIA

Why not?

AMADEUS

There's nothing within yourself that prompts you to sing it anyhow.

CECILIA

Just as you say, Amadeus.—I don't want to intrude either.

AMADEUS (bending forward and searching among the music) How would Schumann be—"The Snow-drop?" Or ... "Old Melodies" ... and "Love Betrayed"....

CECILIA

Yes. And perhaps von Wolf's "Concealment," and something by Brahms. "No more to meet you, was my firm decision...."

AMADEUS

Yes, I was just holding it in my hand. (As if casually, and very dryly) So you went for a walk with Sigismund after all?

CECILIA

Yes. He sent his regards to you.

AMADEUS (smiling)

Did he? (As he brings the music sheets to the piano) Why doesn't he come here instead?

CECILIA

One of the things I like about him is that he won't.

AMADEUS

Is that so?—Oh, well!—I'll send him my regards, too. But it's really too bad that he won't come here any more. It was very nice to hear him play his waltzes—those evenings were really very pleasant.... I just happened to mention them to the Countess this afternoon.

CECELIA

Oh, you did?—And I have just seen her picture.

AMADEUS

Her picture?

CECILIA

I went with Sigismund to the Art Gallery.

AMADEUS

Oh.—They tell me it's a great success.

CECILIA

It would be a wonder if it were not. The artist spent six months on it, they say....

AMADEUS

Is that too much for a good picture?

CECELIA

No, but for the Countess.—She will probably sing Philine pretty well, by the way.

AMADEUS

You think so? I fear you are mistaken.... (Pause) Well, Cecilia, what were you talking of to-day—you and Sigismund?

CECILIA

What were we talking of...? (Pause) It's so hard to recall the words.... (As she goes slowly to the fireplace) And they have such a different sound when recalled in that way.

AMADEUS

True indeed. (Coming nearer to her) And I don't suppose it's the words that matter.... Well, Cecilia, can it be possible that you have nothing more to tell me?

CECILIA

Nothing more...? (Hesitatingly) Don't you think, Amadeus, that many things actually change character when you try to put them into words?

AMADEUS

Not for people like us.

CECILIA

That may have been true once. But ... you know as well as I do ... that things are no longer as they used to be.

AMADEUS

Not quite, perhaps. I know. But this shouldn't be a reason for either one of us to refuse telling the other one. Scruples of that kind would be unworthy of ourselves. This is we, Cecilia—you and me! So you may tell me fearlessly what you have to tell.

CECILIA (rising)

Don't try to encourage me, Amadeus.

AMADEUS

Well...?

CECILIA (remains silent)

AMADEUS

Do you love him?

CECILIA

Do I love him...?

AMADEUS (urgently)

Cecilia...!

CECILIA

Am I to tell you more than I think is true? Wouldn't that be a lie, too—as good or as bad as any other one?... No, I don't think I love him. It is nothing like it was when I became acquainted with you, Amadeus.

AMADEUS

That time is long past.—And you have probably forgotten what it was like. On the whole, it must be the same thing, I suppose. Only you have grown a little older since then, and you have been living with me for seven years.... No matter how far apart we may have been, you have been living with me—and we have a child....

CECILIA

Well, perhaps that's what makes the difference—but there is a difference.

AMADEUS

What really matters is nothing new, however. You feel attracted to him, don't you?

CECILIA (speaking with genuine feeling and almost tenderly)

But perhaps there is still something that holds back—that could hold me back, if it only wanted.

AMADEUS (after a pause, brusquely)

But it doesn't want to ... it doesn't dare to want it. What sense could there be in it? Perhaps I might prove the stronger to-day—and the next time, perhaps—but sooner or later the day must come nevertheless, when I should suffer defeat.

CECILIA

Why?... It ought not to be necessary!

AMADEUS

And then, even if I remained victorious every time—could that be called happiness for which I must fight repeatedly and tremble all the time? Could that be called happiness in our case, who have known what is so much better?... No, Cecilia, our love should not be permitted to end in mutual distrust. I don't hold you, Cecilia, if you are attracted elsewhere—and you have known all the time that I would never hold you.

CECILIA

Maybe you are right, Amadeus. But is it pride alone that makes you let me slip away so easily?

AMADEUS

Is it love alone that brings you back when almost gone? (Pause; he goes to the window)

CECILIA

Why should we spoil these hours with bitterness, Amadeus? After all, we have nothing to reproach each other for. We have promised to be honest with each other, and my word has been kept so far.

AMADEUS

And so has mine. If you want it, I can tell you exactly what I and the Countess talked of to-day, as I have always done. And for me, Cecilia, it will even be possible to recall the very words.

CECILIA (looking long at him)

I know enough. (Pause)

AMADEUS (walking to and fro until he stops some distance away from her) And what next?

CECILIA

What next...? Perhaps it's just as well that our vacations are soon to begin. Then we may consider in peace, each one by himself, what is to come next.

AMADEUS

It seems almost as if both of us should have expected this very thing. We have made no common plans for the summer, although we have always done so before.

CECILIA

The best thing for me is probably to go with the boy to some quiet place in the Tirol ... as you and Albert suggested.

AMADEUS

Yes.

CECILIA

And you...?

AMADEUS

I...? I shall make that walking tour with Albert. I want to be scrambling about in the mountains once more.

CECILIA

And finally descend into some beautiful valley—is that what you mean?

AMADEUS

That—might happen.

CECILIA (dryly)

But first—we should have to bid each other definite good-by, as there is no return from that place.

AMADEUS

Of course, there isn't! No more than from your place.

CECILIA

From mine...?

AMADEUS

Oh, it might happen that you felt inclined to ... change your plans ... and instead of staying with Marie ... prefer the undisturbed ...

CECILIA

I won't change my plans. And you had better not change yours.

AMADEUS

If that be your wish....

CECILIA

It is my wish. (Pause)

AMADEUS

Can it be possible that now, all at once, the moment should have come?

CECILIA

What moment?

AMADEUS

Well—the one we used to foresee in our happiest days even—the one we have expected as something almost inevitable.

CECILIA

Yes, it has come. We know now that everything is over.

AMADEUS

Over...?

CECILIA

That's what we have been talking of all the time, I suppose.

AMADEUS

Yes, you are right. At bottom it is better that we put it into plain words at last. Our moods have been rather too precarious lately.

CECILIA

Everything will be improved now.

AMADEUS

Improved...? Why?... Oh, of course ... perhaps you are right. I feel almost as if things had already begun to improve. It's strange, but ... one ... seems to breathe more freely.

CECILIA

Yes, Amadeus, now we are reaping the reward of always having been honest. Think how exhausted most people would be in a moment like this—by all sorts of painful evasions, labored truces, and pitifully sentimental reconciliations. Think of the hostile spirit in which they would be facing each other during their moment of belated candor. We two, Amadeus—we shall at least be able to part as friends. (Pause)

AMADEUS

And our boy?

CECILIA

Is he your sole worry?

AMADEUS

No, there are many things. How is it going to be arranged anyhow?

CECILIA

That's what we shall have to discuss carefully during the next few days—before we go away. Until then everything must remain as before. It can perfectly well remain as it has been during the last year. That involves no wrong to anybody. (Pause)

AMADEUS (seats himself at the piano; the ensuing pause is laden with apprehension; then he begins to play the same theme—a Capriccio—which was heard earlier during the scene)

CECILIA (who has been approaching the door to the veranda, turns about to listen)

AMADEUS (stops abruptly)

CECILIA

Why don't you go on?

AMADEUS (laughs quickly, nervously)

CECILIA

Wasn't that the Intermezzo?

AMADEUS (nods)

CECILIA (still at some distance from him)

Have you made up your mind what you are going to call it? Is it to be Capriccio?

AMADEUS

Perhaps Capriccio doloroso. It is peculiar how one often fails to understand one's own ideas to begin with. The hidden sadness of that theme has been revealed to me by you.

CECILIA

Oh, you would have discovered it yourself, Amadeus.

AMADEUS

Maybe. (Pause) And whom will you get for the studying of your parts next year?

CECILIA

Oh, I'll always find somebody. Those numbers for the concert—you'll help me with those just the same, won't you? And I hope you'll be kind enough to give me the accompaniment at the concert too.

AMADEUS

That's a foregone conclusion.—But I should really like to know who is to assist you with your studies after this.

CECILIA

Do you regard that as the most important problem to be solved?

AMADEUS

No, of course not. The less so, as I don't quite see why I shouldn't go on helping you as before.

CECILIA (with a smile)

Oh, you think...? But then we should have to agree on hours and conditions.

AMADEUS

That was not meant as a joke, Cecilia. Seeing that we are parting in a spirit of perfect understanding, why shouldn't such an arrangement be considered tentatively at least?

CECILIA

Those things will probably settle themselves later on.... That we ... that you play my accompaniment at a concert ... or help me to study a part....

AMADEUS

Why later on?... (He rises and stands leaning against the piano) There can be no reasonable ground for changing our musical relationships. I think both of us would suffer equally from doing so. Without overestimating myself, I don't think it likely that you can find a better coach than I am. And as for my compositions, I don't know of anybody who could understand them better—with whom I would rather discuss them than with you.

CECILIA

And yet that's what you will have to come to.

AMADEUS

I can't see it. After all, we have nobody else to consider—at least, I have not.

CECILIA

Nor have I. I shall know how to preserve my freedom.

AMADEUS

Well, then...?!

CECILIA

Nevertheless, Amadeus.... That we must meet and talk is made necessary by our positions, of course.... But even in regard to our work things cannot possibly remain as hitherto. I'm sure you must realize that.

AMADEUS

I can't see it. And—leaving our artistic relations entirely aside—there is much else to be considered—things of more importance. Our boy, Cecilia. Why should the youngster all at once be made fatherless, so to speak?

CECILIA

That's entirely out of the question. We must come to an understanding, of course.

AMADEUS

An understanding, you say. But why make difficulties that could be avoided by a little good-will? The boy is mine as much as yours. Why shouldn't we continue to bring him up together?

CECILIA

You suggest things that simply can't be done.

AMADEUS

I don't feel like you about that.—On the contrary! The more I consider our situation calmly, the more irrational it seems to me that we should part ways like any ordinary divorced couple ... that we should give up the beautiful home we have in common....

CECILIA

Now you are dreaming again, Amadeus!

AMADEUS

We have been such good chums besides. And so we might remain, I think.

CECILIA

Oh, of course, we shall.

AMADEUS

Well, then! The things that bind us together are so compelling, after all, that any new experiences brought by our freedom must seem absolutely unessential in comparison. Don't you realize that as I do? And we shouldn't have to consider what people may say. I think we have the right to place ourselves on a somewhat higher level. In the last instance, we must always belong together, even if a single tie should be severed among the hundreds that unite us. Or are we all of a sudden to forget what we have been to each other—as well as what we may and should be to each other hereafter? One thing remains certain: that no one else will ever understand you as I do, and no one me as you do.... And that's what counts in the end! So why shouldn't we....

CECILIA

No, it's impossible! Not because of the people. They concern me as little as they do you. But for our own sake.

AMADEUS

For our own sake...?

CECILIA

You see, there is one thing you forget: that, beginning with to-day, we shall have secrets to keep from each other. Who knows how many—or how heavy they may prove?... But even the least of them must come between us like a veil.

AMADEUS

Secrets...?

CECILIA

Yes, Amadeus.

AMADEUS

No, Cecilia.

CECILIA

What do you mean?

AMADEUS

That's exactly what must not happen.

CECILIA

But—Amadeus!

AMADEUS

There must never be any secrets between us two. Everything depends on that—you are right to that extent. But why should there be any secrets between us? Remember that after to-day we shall no longer be man and wife, but chums—just chums, who can hide nothing from each other—who must not hide anything. Or is that more than you dare?

CECILIA

More than I dare...? Of course not.

AMADEUS

All right. We'll discuss everything frankly, just as we have been doing—nay, we shall have more things than ever to discuss. Truth becomes now the natural basis of our continued relationship—truth without any reservation whatsoever. And that should prove highly profitable, not only to our mutual relationship, but to each one of us individually. Because ... you don't think, do you, that either one of us could find a better chum than the other one?... Now we shall bring our joys and sorrows to each other. We shall be as good friends as ever, if not better still. And our hands shall be joined, even if chasms open between us. And thus we shall keep all that we have had in common hitherto: our work, our child, our home—all that we must continue to have in common if it is to retain its full value to both of us. And we shall gain many new things for which both of us have longed—things in which I could take no pleasure, by the way, if I had to lose you.

CECILIA (drops him a curtsey)

AMADEUS

That's how you feel, too, Cecilia. I am sure of it. We simply cannot live without each other. I certainly cannot live without you.—And how about you?

CECILIA

It's quite likely I should find it a little difficult.

AMADEUS

Then we agree, Cecilia!

CECILIA

You think so...?!

AMADEUS

Cecilia! (He suddenly draws her closer to himself)

CECILIA (with new hope lighting her glance)

What are you doing?

AMADEUS (putting his arms about her)

I now bid good-by to my beloved.

CECILIA

Forever.

AMADEUS

Forever. (Pressing her hand) And now I am welcoming my friend.

CECILIA

For all time to come—nothing but your friend.

AMADEUS

For all time...? Of course!

CECILIA (draws a deep breath)

AMADEUS

Yes, Cecilia, don't you feel much easier all at once?

CECILIA

The whole thing seems very strange to me—like a dream almost.

AMADEUS

There is nothing strange about it. Nothing could possibly be simpler or more sensible. Life goes right on ... and all is well.... Come on, Cecilia—let us run through those songs.

CECILIA

What songs...?

AMADEUS

Don't you care?

CECILIA

Oh, why not?—With pleasure....

AMADEUS (seating himself at the piano)

Really, I can't tell you how happy this makes me! There has practically been no change whatever. The uneasiness alone is gone ... that uneasiness of the last few weeks.... I have not had a very happy time lately. The sky has seemed so black above our house—and not only above ours. Now the clouds are vanishing. The whole world has actually grown light again. And I am going to write a symphony—oh, a symphony...!

CECILIA

Everything in due time.... Just now let us have one of those songs at least.... Oh, that one...?

AMADEUS

Don't you want it?

CECILIA

Oh, as it's there already....

AMADEUS

Now, then—I start. (He strikes the first chord) Please don't put a lot of sentimentality into the opening words. They should be reserved and ponderous.

CECILIA (singing)

"No more to meet you was my firm...."

AMADEUS

Very fine.

CECILIA

O Amadeus!

AMADEUS

What is it?

CECILIA

I am afraid you will become too lenient now.

AMADEUS

Lenient...? You know perfectly well that, as artist considered, you have no rival in my eyes, and will never have one.

CECILIA

Really, Amadeus, you shouldn't be flirting with all your pupils.

AMADEUS

I have the greatest respect for you.—Now let's go in!

CECILIA

"No more to meet...."

AMADEUS

What's the matter?

CECILIA

Nothing. I haven't tried to sing anything like this for a long time. Go right on!

AMADEUS (begins playing again)

CECILIA

"No more to meet you was my firm and sworn decision, and yet when evening comes, I...."

CURTAIN



THE SECOND ACT

The same room as in the previous act. It is an evening in October. The stage is dark. Marie and the chambermaid enter together. The maid turns on the light.

MARIE

Thank you.—But if your mistress is tired, please tell her she mustn't let me disturb her.

CHAMBERMAID

She hasn't arrived yet. She's not expected until this evening.

AMADEUS (enters from the right, with hat and overcoat on) Who is it?... Oh, is it you, Marie! Glad to see you. Have you been here long?

MARIE

No, I just got here. I meant to call on Cecilia, but I hear....

AMADEUS

Then you can keep me company waiting for her. (Handing overcoat and hat to the maid) Please take these.

CHAMBERMAID (goes out)

AMADEUS

I have also just got home. I had to do a lot of errands. I start the day after to-morrow.

MARIE

So soon!—That'll be a short reunion.

AMADEUS

Yes.—Won't you sit down, please? (Looking at his watch) Cecilia should be here in an hour.

MARIE

She has had a tremendous success again.

AMADEUS

I should say so! Look here—the telegram I got this morning. (He takes it from the writing desk and hands it to Marie) It refers to her final appearance last night.

MARIE

Oh.... Twenty-seven curtain calls...!

AMADEUS

What?... Naw! That flourish belongs to the preceding word. Seven only! Otherwise she wouldn't be coming to-day.

MARIE (reading again)

"Have new offer on brilliant terms."

AMADEUS

On brilliant terms!

MARIE

Then I suppose she'll do it at last?

AMADEUS

Do what?

MARIE

Settle down in Berlin for good.

AMADEUS

Oh, it isn't certain. "Have offer," she says, and not "have accepted offer." No, we'll have to talk it over first.

MARIE

Really?

AMADEUS

Of course. We consult each other about everything, my dear Marie—just as we used to do. And in a much more impersonal spirit than before. As far as I am concerned, I shall be quite free next year, and have no more reason to live in Vienna than in Berlin or in America.

MARIE

But it will be dreadful for me if Cecilia goes away.

AMADEUS

Well, these successes abroad may possibly force the people here to understand what they have in Cecilia, and to act accordingly.

MARIE

I hope so.—Besides, I think really that Cecilia has developed a great deal lately. To me her voice seems fuller and richer—with more soul to it, I might say.

AMADEUS

Yes, don't you think so? That's my feeling, too.

MARIE

But how she does work! It had never occurred to me that a finished artist might be so industrious.

AMADEUS

Might, you say? Must, you should say.

MARIE

Last summer, when I came out mornings in the garden to play with my children, she would be practicing already—just like a young student. With absolute regularity, from nine until a quarter of ten. Then again before lunch, from twelve to half past. And finally another half hour in the evening.... If the weather was good or bad; if she was in good spirits or....

AMADEUS

Or...?

MARIE

She was always in good spirits for that matter. I don't think anything in the world could have kept her from practicing those runs and trills.

AMADEUS

Yes, that's her way. Nothing in the world could keep her from.... But then, what could there be to keep her from it last Summer? In that rustic retreat of yours, where you didn't see anybody ... or hardly anybody....

MARIE

Nobody at all.

AMADEUS

Well, you received a call now and then—or Cecilia did, at least.

MARIE

Oh, I see. You mean—Prince Sigismund. He could hardly be said to call.

AMADEUS (smilingly, with an appearance of unconcern)

Why not?

MARIE

He merely whisked by on his wheel.

AMADEUS (as before)

Oh, he must at least have stopped to lean against a tree for a few moments. He must even have taken time enough—and I am mighty glad he did—to photograph the little house in which you were living. (He takes from the desk a small framed photograph and hands it to Marie, who is seated on the couch)

MARIE (surprised)

And you have that standing on your writing desk?

AMADEUS (slightly puzzled)

Why shouldn't I?

MARIE (studying the photograph)

Just as it was—Cecilia and I sitting on the bench there—yes. And there's the hazel by the garden fence.... How it does bring back the memory of that beautiful, warm Summer day...

AMADEUS (bending over the desk to look at the picture)

I can make out you and Cecilia, but those three boys puzzle me hopelessly.

MARIE

In what way...? That's little Peter, who is doing like this ... (She blinks)

AMADEUS

Oh, is that it?

MARIE

And that's Max—and he with the hoop is Mauritz.

AMADEUS

So that's a hoop?... I took it for one of those cabins used by the watchmen along the railroad. The background comes out much better. The landscape actually looks as if steeped in Summer and stillness.... (Brief pause)

MARIE

It was really nice. The deep shadows of the woods right back of the house, and that view of the mountain peaks—oh, marvelous! And then the seclusion.... It's too bad that you never had a look at that darling place. We thought ... Cecilia did expect you after all....

AMADEUS (has risen and is walking to and fro)

I don't believe it.... And it didn't prove feasible, for that matter. The pull of the South was still on me.

MARIE (smiling)

You call that the South?

AMADEUS (smiling also)

Oh, Marie!

MARIE (a little embarrassed)

I hope you're not offended?

AMADEUS

Why should I be? I didn't make a secret of my whereabouts to anybody.

MARIE (confidentially)

Albert told me about the villa, and the park, and the marble steps....

AMADEUS

So he gave you all those details? And yet he wasn't there more than an hour.

MARIE

I think he intends to use the park for his last act.

AMADEUS

Is that so? If he would only bring it to me... I mean the last act. I want to take it with me on my tour.

MARIE

Do you think you'll find time to work?

AMADEUS

Why not? I am always working. And I have never in my life been more eager about it. I, too, am having a brilliant period. For years I have not been doing better. And I am no less industrious than Cecilia. With the difference that regular hours are not in my line—nine to nine-forty-five, twelve to twelve-thirty, and so on. But you ask Albert! When he threw himself on the bed exhausted, in that inn at the Fedaja Pass, I sat down and finished the instrumentation for the Capriccio in my Fourth.

CHAMBERMAID (enters with a couple of letters and goes out again)

AMADEUS

You'll pardon me, my dear Marie?

MARIE

Please don't mind me. (She rises)

AMADEUS

A letter from Cecilia, written yesterday, before the performance. I have had letters like this every day.

MARIE

Go right on and read it, please.

AMADEUS (having opened the letter)

Oh, there's plenty of time. In another hour Cecilia will be telling me all that's in it.... (He opens the other letter, runs through it, and flings it away) How stupid people are ... how stupid! ... Ugh! And mean! (He glances through Cecilia's letter once more) Cecilia writes me about a reception at the house of the Director.... Sigismund was there, too. Yes, you know, of course, that Sigismund has been in Berlin?

MARIE (embarrassed)

I ... I thought ... Or rather, I knew ...

AMADEUS (with an air of superiority)

Well, well—there is no cause for embarrassment in that. Don't you consider the Prince an uncommonly sympathetic person?

MARIE

Yes, he's very pleasant. But I can assure you, Amadeus, that he came only once to our place in the Pustertal,[4] and he didn't stay more than two hours.

[4] A valley along the river Rienz, marking the northern limit of the Dolomite ranges in the Tirol.

AMADEUS (laughing)

And what if he had stayed a week...? Really, Marie, you're very funny!

MARIE (shyly)

May I tell you something?

AMADEUS

Anything you want, Marie.

MARIE

I'm convinced that you two will find each other again in spite of all.

AMADEUS

Find each other...? Who should? Cecilia and I? (He rises) Find each other? (He walks to and fro, but stops finally near Marie) A sensible woman like you, Marie—you ought to understand that Cecilia and I have never lost each other in any way. I think it's very singular.... (He strolls back and forth again) Oh, you must understand that the relationship between her and me is so beautiful—that now only it has become such that we couldn't imagine anything more satisfactory. We don't have to find each other again! Look here now—here are her letters. She has been writing me from eight to twelve pages every day—frank, exhaustive letters, as you can only write them to a friend—or rather, only to your very best friend. It is simply impossible to imagine a finer relationship.

ALBERT (entering from the right)

Good evening.

AMADEUS

You're rather late in getting here.

ALBERT

Good evening, Marie. (He pats her patronizingly on the cheek)

AMADEUS

There will hardly be time for work now. Cecilia will be here very soon.

ALBERT

Oh, we can always put in half an hour. I have brought along some notes for the third act.

MARIE

I think I shall go home, as the boys will be expecting me soon.

ALBERT

All right, child, you go on home.

AMADEUS

Why don't you stay instead? I am sure Cecilia will be glad to see you. And then Albert can take you home. You might get Peter to entertain you in the meantime.... Or would you prefer to stay here and listen?

ALBERT

No, child, you had better go in to Peter. Especially as Mr. von Rabagas doesn't appear in the third act—so you won't be losing much.

MARIE

I'll leave you alone. Bye-bye! (She goes out)

ALBERT

Now let's fall to! (He brings out some notes from one of his pockets and begins to read) "The stage shows an open stretch of rolling ground that slopes gradually toward the footlights. In the background stands a villa, with marble steps leading up to it. Still farther back, the sea can be felt rather than seen." (Bowing to Amadeus) "A tall plane tree in full leaf stands in the center of the stage."

AMADEUS (laughing)

So you have got it there?

ALBERT

It's meant as a compliment to you.

AMADEUS

Many thanks.

ALBERT (after a pause)

Tell me, Amadeus, is it actually true that the Count has become reconciled with the Countess after his duel with the painter?

AMADEUS

I don't know. For a good long while I haven't seen the Countess except at the opera. (He rises and begins walking to and fro again)

ALBERT (shaking his head)

There's something uncanny about that affair.

AMADEUS

Why? I think it's quite commonplace. A husband who has discovered his wife's (sarcastically) "disloyalty"....

ALBERT

That wasn't the point. But that he discovers it only six months too late, when his wife is already deceiving him with another man.—There would have been nothing peculiar about the Count having a fight with you. But the case is much more complicated. Here we have a young man all but killed because of an affair that is long past. And in the meantime you are left perfectly unmolested—or have been so far, at least.

AMADEUS (walking as before)

ALBERT

Do you know, what I almost regret—looking at it from a higher viewpoint? That the painter is not a man of genius ... and that the Count hasn't really killed him. That would have put something tremendously tragi-comical into the situation. And that's what would have happened, if ... he up there had a little more wit....

AMADEUS

How? What do you mean by that?

ALBERT

I mean, if I had been writing the play....

AMADEUS (makes a movement as if hearing some noise outside)

ALBERT

What is it?

AMADEUS

I thought I heard a carriage, but it was nothing. (He looks at his watch) And it wouldn't be possible yet.... You read on, please. (Once more he begins walking back and forth)

ALBERT

You're very preoccupied. I'll rather come back to-morrow morning.

AMADEUS

No, go on. I am not at all....

ALBERT (rising)

Let me tell you something, Amadeus. If it would please you—and it would be all one to me, you know—I could go with you.

AMADEUS

Where?... What do you mean?

ALBERT

On your tour. For a week, at least, or a fortnight, I should be very glad to stay by you ... (affectionately) until you have got over the worst.

AMADEUS

But...! Good gracious, do you think it's because of the Countess...? Why, that story is over long ago.

ALBERT

Which I know. And I know, too, that you are now trying other means of making yourself insensible. But I see perfectly well that, under the circumstances, you can't succeed all at once.

AMADEUS

What circumstances are you talking of anyhow?

ALBERT

My dear fellow, I should never have dreamt of forcing myself into your confidence, but as the matter has already got into the papers....

AMADEUS

What has got into the papers?

ALBERT

Haven't you read that thing in the New Journal to-night?

AMADEUS

What thing?

ALBERT

That Cecilia and Prince Sigismund.... But, of course, you are familiar with the main facts?

AMADEUS

I'm familiar with nothing. What is in the New Journal?

ALBERT

Just a brief notice—without any names, but not to be mistaken.... It reads something like this: "One of our foremost artists, who has just been celebrating triumphs in the metropolis of an adjoining state ... until now the wife of a gifted musician" ... or perhaps it was "highly gifted" ... and so on ... and so on ... "and a well-known Austrian gentleman, belonging to our oldest nobility, intend, we are told ..." and so on....

AMADEUS

Cecilia and the Prince...?!

ALBERT

Yes ... and then a hint that, in such a case, it would not prove very difficult to obtain a dispensation from the Pope....

AMADEUS

Has everybody gone crazy?... I can assure you that not a word of it is true!... You won't believe me?... I hope you don't think I would deny it, if.... Or do you actually mean that Cecilia might have ... from me.... Oh, dear, and you are supposed to be a friend of ours, a student of the human soul, and a poet!

ALBERT

I beg your pardon, but after what has happened it would not seem improbable....

AMADEUS

Not improbable...? It is simply impossible! Cecilia has never thought of it!

ALBERT

However, it ought not to surprise you that such a rumor has been started.

AMADEUS

Nothing surprises me. But I feel as if the relationship between Cecilia and myself were being profaned by tittle-tattle of that kind.

ALBERT

Pioneers like yourself must scorn the judgment of the world. Else they are in danger of being proved mere braggarts.

AMADEUS

Oh, I am no pioneer. The whole thing is a private arrangement between me and Cecilia, which gives us both the greatest possible comfort. Be kind enough, at least, to tell the people who ask you, that we are not going to be divorced—but that, on the other hand, we are not deceiving each other, as it is asserted in these scrawls with which I have been bombarded for some time. (He indicates the letter which arrived at the same time as Cecilia's)

ALBERT (picks up the letter, glances through it, and puts it away again) An anonymous letter...? Well, that's part of it....

AMADEUS

Explain to them, please, that there can be no talk of deceit where no lies have been told. Tell them that Cecilia's and my way of keeping faith with each other is probably a much better one than that practiced in so many other marriages, where both go their own ways all day long and have nothing in common but the night. You are a poet, are you not—and a student of the human soul? Well, why don't you make all this clear to the people who refuse to understand?

ALBERT

To convey all that would prove a rather complicated process. But if it means so much to you, I could make a play out of it. Then they would have no trouble in comprehending this new kind of marriage—at least between the hours of eight-thirty and ten.

AMADEUS

Are you so sure of that?

ALBERT

Absolutely. In a play I can make the case much clearer than it is presented by reality—without any of those superfluous, incidental side issues, which are so confusing in life. The main advantage is, however, that no spectators attend the entr'acts, so that I can do just what I please with you during those periods. And besides, I shall make you offer an analogy illuminating the whole case.

AMADEUS

An analogy, you say...?

ALBERT

Yes, analogies always have a very soothing effect. You will remark to a friend—or whoever may prove handy—something like this: "What do you want me to do anyhow? Suppose that Cecilia and I were living in a nice house, where we felt perfectly comfortable, and which had a splendid view that pleased us very much, and a wonderful garden where we liked to take walks together. And suppose that one of us should feel a desire sometime to pick strawberries in the woods beyond the fence. Should that be a reason for the other one to raise a cry all at once about faithlessness, or disgrace, or betrayal? Should that force us to sell the house and garden, or make us imagine that we could never more look out of the window together, or walk under our splendid trees? Merely because our strawberries happened to be growing on the other side of the fence..."

AMADEUS

And you would make me say that?

ALBERT

Do you fear it's too brilliant for you?—Oh, that wouldn't occur to anybody. Trust me to fix it. In such a play I can do nothing whatever with your musical talent. You see, I can't let you conduct your symphony for the benefit of the public. And so I get both myself and you out of it by putting into your character a little more sense and energy and consistency....

AMADEUS

Than God has given me originally.

ALBERT

Well, it's not very hard to compete with Him!

AMADEUS

I shall certainly be curious about one thing: how you mean to end that play.

ALBERT (after a brief pause)

Not very happily, my dear fellow.

AMADEUS (a little staggered)

Why?

ALBERT

It is characteristic of all transitional periods, that a conflict which might not exist to a later generation, must end tragically the moment a fairly decent person becomes involved in it.

AMADEUS

But there is no conflict.

ALBERT

I shall not shirk the duty of inventing one.

AMADEUS

Suppose you wait a little while yet...? Perhaps life itself might....

ALBERT

My dear chap, I am not at all interested in what may be done with us by this ridiculous reality which has to get along without stage manager or prompter—this reality which frequently never gets to the fifth act, merely because the hero happens to be struck on the head by a brick in the second. I make the curtain rise when the plot takes a diverting turn, and I drop it the moment I have proved myself in the right.

AMADEUS

Please, my dear fellow, don't forget when writing your play, to introduce a figure on which reality in this case has lavished much more care than on the hero—I mean, the fool.

ALBERT

You can't insult me in that way. I have always regarded myself as closely akin to him.

[Marie enters with little Peter and the Governess.

PETER

Mamma is coming!

MARIE

The carriage has just stopped outside.

GOVERNESS

It was impossible to make the boy stay in bed.

ALBERT

And look at the fine flowers he has got!

PETER

That's for mamma!

AMADEUS (takes a flower out of the bunch)

I hope you permit, sonny ...

CECILIA (enters followed by the Chambermaid)

Good evening!—Oh, are you here, too? That's awfully nice!

PETER

Mamma!—Flowers!

CECILIA (picks him up and kisses him)

My boy! My boy! (Then she shakes hands with the rest)

AMADEUS (handing her the single flower)

Peter let me have one, too.

CECILIA

Thanks. (She shakes hands with him; then to the chambermaid) Get my things out of the carriage, please. The coachman will help you. He has been paid already.

CHAMBERMAID (goes out)

CECILIA (taking off her hat)

Well, Marie?... (To the other two) Can it be possible that you have been working?

ALBERT

We have tried.

CECILIA (to the governess)

Has he behaved like a little man?

PETER

Indeed I have! Have you brought anything for me?

CECILIA

Of course. But you won't get it until to-morrow morning.

PETER

Why not?

CECILIA

Because I am too tired to unpack. To-morrow, when you wake up, you'll find it on your little table.

PETER

What is it?

CECILIA

You'll see by and by....

PETER

Is my little table big enough for it?

CECILIA

We'll hope so.

AMADEUS (who is leaning against the piano, keeps looking at her all the time)

CECILIA (pretends not to notice him)

ALBERT

You're looking splendid.

CECILIA

I'm a little bit worn out.

AMADEUS

You must be hungry.

CECILIA

Not at all. We had something to eat in the dining car. Almost everybody did. But I do want a cup of tea. (To the governess) Will you see to it, please?

AMADEUS

Let me have a cup, too, and please see that I get a few slices of cold meat.

GOVERNESS

I have given orders for it already. (She goes out)

CECILIA

Have you really been waiting for me with the supper?

AMADEUS

No ... I haven't been waiting. I ... simply never thought of it.

CECILIA (to Albert and Marie)

Why don't you sit down?

ALBERT

No, we are going, my dear Cecilia. Let me congratulate you with all my heart—that will be enough for to-day.

MARIE

You have celebrated regular triumphs, they say?

CECILIA

Well, it wasn't bad. (To Amadeus) Did you get my telegram?

AMADEUS

Yes, it pleased me tremendously.

CECILIA

Think of it, children! After the performance I was commanded to appear in the box of His Majesty!

ALBERT

Commanded...? Invited, I hope you mean! Neither emperor nor king has the right to command you.

CECILIA

You old anarchist! But what does it matter? One goes to the box nevertheless. And you would have done that, too.

ALBERT

Why not? One must, if possible, study every form of existence at close quarters.

AMADEUS

And what did the Emperor have to say?

CECILIA

He was very complimentary. Had never seen a better Carmen.

ALBERT

The very next thing he'll order an opera for you from some Spaniard.[5]

[5] This refers to a habit of Emperor William's, from whom the Italian composer, Leoncavallo, among others, once received such an order.

GOVERNESS (enters)

The tea will be here in a moment.

AMADEUS

Now you must get back to bed, Peter. It's late.

GOVERNESS (wants to take the boy away)

PETER

No, mamma must take me to bed as when I was a little baby.

CECILIA

Come on then!—Mercy me, how heavy you have grown. (Goes out with Peter and the governess)

MARIE

My, but she is pretty!

AMADEUS

Haven't you discovered that before?

ALBERT

Well, good-by then!

AMADEUS

Until to-morrow. I shall be expecting you early—between nine and ten.

MARIE (to Amadeus as she is going out)

Don't you regret having to leave her again at once?

AMADEUS

Duty, my dear Marie....

CECILIA (returning)

Oh, are you really going?—Good-by then—for a little while!

[Albert and Marie go out.

CECILIA (going to the fireplace)

Home again! (She sits down)

AMADEUS (near the door and speaking rather shyly)

It's a question whether it can please you as much as it does me.

CECILIA (holds out her hand to him)

AMADEUS (takes her hand and kisses it; then he seats himself) Tell me all about it.

CECILIA

What am I to tell? I haven't left anything untold—or hardly anything.

AMADEUS

Well....

CECILIA

Getting home every night—and it was quite late at times, as you know—I sat down and wrote to you. I wish you had been equally explicit.

AMADEUS

But I have written you every day, too.

CECILIA

Nevertheless, my dear, it seems to me you must have lots to add. (With a laugh) To many things you have referred in a strikingly casual fashion.

AMADEUS

I might say the same to you.

CECILIA

No, you can't. My letters have practically been diaries. And that's more than could be said of yours.—Well, Amadeus...? Without frankness the whole situation becomes meaningless, I should say.

AMADEUS

What is there to be cleared up?

CECILIA

Is it really all over with Philine?

AMADEUS

That was all over—(rising) before you left. And you know it. I really don't think it's necessary to discuss bygone matters.

CECILIA

Will she be able to stay in the company, by the way—after this scandal in connection with your—pardon me!—predecessor?

AMADEUS

Everything has been arranged, I hear. And she has even made up with her husband again.

CECILIA

Is that so?—That's rather unpleasant, don't you think? At bottom, it matters very little then to have the story all over. In the case of a man who has the disconcerting habit of not finding out certain things until months afterward....

AMADEUS

It is better not to think of such things.

CECILIA

Has she any letters of yours?

AMADEUS (having thought for a moment)

Only the one in which I bade her farewell.

CECILIA

That might be enough. Why haven't you demanded it back?

AMADEUS

How could I?

CECILIA

How frivolous you are! Yes, frivolous is just the word. (Putting her hand on his shoulder) Now it's possible to talk of a thing like this, Amadeus. Formerly you might have misunderstood such a remark—taking it for jealousy, or something like that.... But, really, I do hope you don't get mixed up in any more affairs of that kind. I don't like to be scared to death all the time on behalf of my best friend. There is nothing in the world I begrudge you—of that you may be sure. But getting killed for the sake of somebody else—that's carrying the joke a little too far!

AMADEUS

I promise you, that you'll no longer have to be scared to death on my behalf.

CECILIA

I hope so. Otherwise I must leave you to take care of yourself.—And seriously speaking, Amadeus, I hope you don't forget that your life has been preserved for more sensible and more important things—that you have a lot more to do in this world.

AMADEUS

Yes, that's what I feel. I don't think I have ever felt it so strongly in all my life. (Radiantly) My symphony ...

CECILIA (eagerly)

... is done?

AMADEUS

It is, Cecilia. And ... I didn't mean to tell you about it to-day, but it leaves me no peace....

CECILIA

Well, what is it?

AMADEUS

The chorus in the final passage—you know the principal theme of it already—it is led and dominated by a soprano solo. And that solo has been written for you.

CECILIA

My revered Master! How proud your trust in me makes me!

AMADEUS

Don't make fun of it, Cecilia, I beg you. There is nobody in the world who can sing that solo like you.... That solo is yours—and only yours. While writing it, the ring of your voice was in my mind. Next February, as soon as I get back, I shall have the symphony put on, and then you must sing that solo.

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