Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Jacquinot (Throwing down the charcoal).-Hold on! That isn't fair.

Wife (Raising the cane threateningly).—Put that down, you beast. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?

Jacquinot (Grabbing blindly for the charcoal).-By my soul!

Wife.-If it becomes necessary for me to injure your face, I'll beat it into a pulp. Jacquinot.—I do not wish to fight

I always get the worst of it. Don't talk of fighting

I will do your bidding.

Wife. There still remains for you to put the house in order, do the washing, and help me churn the butter. I will tie one of my aprons about you.

The Mother.-And then you must do all those things which we have forgotten to mention.

Jacquinot.- I have a list here long enough to last me two months if I work every minute of the day.

Wife.--You complain at whatever I set you to do. You complain fifty times a day.

Jacquinot.—I do nothing of the sort, by Saint Marie, fifty times a day! By Saint George, fifty times! Not more than twenty, by my soul, not more than twenty! The Mother.-Bad joy to the rascal!

the villain wishes to do nothing!

Jacquinot.--I must be a rogue to be treated like this! There's no rest for the wicked! Day and night I must keep on the run! Wife.—That is all right if it pleases me. Write that down

you must learn who is boss in this house. Jacquinot (Shoving the list toward her).—There it is, keep it

guard it well for fear it be lost. From now on I swear to do nothing except what is written here

if I do may 1 be hanged for it.

Wife (Handing him the list).—You keep it, it will come in handy when you forget your duties. (To her mother.) You had better go and lie down again. Jacquinot will bring up your breakfast when it is ready. (She gives the old lady her cane and helps her up the steps and into the room at the left. She returns immediately with several blankets.) Come now, Lazybones, hustle around a bit, the son will be set before we get anything done today. We'll do a little washing this morning and bake. Carry these to the tubs.

Jacquinot (Yawning).--I hardly understand what it is you want me to do.

[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to de

im

Wife.-Don't sit there and yawn, get up

fool. Jacquinot.—Yes

yes. Wife.-It's little you will ever amount to. (Throwing the blankets at his feet.) Get up and put these in the tub by the fire

you will wash today. Jacquinot (Protestingly).—That is not on my list of duties. Wife. It is

of course it is. Jacquinot.—By Jehan, it is not.

Wife.-No? Well, I'll show you. (She takes up the board, looks over it hurriedly, then keeping her finger on the place shoves it toward him.) There

there it is, stupid. Jacquinot (Squinting at the board. His wife hits him a cuf over the head. Without so much as looking to where she points)Hola! Hola! Oh, la, la. I see it

I see it now you were right.

Wife.--I'm always right. Now pick those things up and put them in the tub.

Jacquinot.-My soul, when will I milk the cows and feed the chickens, if I must do all your work first?

Wife.—You must do my work first.
Jacquinot.A piteous household

this.
Wife (Angrily picking up the quilts and carrying them toward
the tub. JACQUINOT meekly follows her).—All you do is stand
and grumble

I'll change your tune for you. Jacquinot (Throwing his arms up over his head).—Don't don't do it by the devil

don't do it.

Wife.-The devil is in you. I'll teach you to learn your duties. (She strikes at him, misses and falls back into the tub.) Mon Dieu Have pity on my poor soul

get me out of this or I shall die

Jacquinot

Jacquinot

rescue your wife. Pull her out of this. (She kicks wildly but only sinks deeper.) Pull me out of this.

Jacquinot (Running to the table and hurriedly looking over the list. Triumphantly.) It isn't on my list! Wife.Mon Dieu

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

may I be removed.
Jacquinot (Enjoying the situation immensely).—How can I
wash the clothes when you take all the tub for yourself?

Wife (Pleadingly).—My good husband, save my life.
Jacquinot.--But it isn't on my list

you see I've
learned my lesson well.
Wife.-Who will save me

must I die here?

get andet 8

save me

run

.

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Jacquinot (Reading from his list of duties).—This says
Wife.—Save me
Jacquinot.To come

go

trot
make
bread

rake the coals
Wife.- I'm dying.
Jaqcuinot.To take the grain to the mill.
Wife.—You dog!
Jacquinot.—To make the bed and put the kettle on the fire.
Wife.-Mother! Mother!
Jacquinot.-And keep the kitchen clean.
Wife.--Pull me out of this or go get a priest.

Jacquinot (Bowing).-I've looked over all my duties and nowhere does it say that I must pull you from the tub.

Wife.—Then why isn't it written there?

Jacquinot.-Because you didn't tell me to write it there. Ha ha

ha ha!
Wife.-Go get someone to save me.

Jacquinot (Kicking up his heels).—That is not written here either. Wife. Oh, sweetest husband, help me

my strength is spent

the breath all squeezed out of me. (The Mother hobbles down the steps at the left.)

The Mother.-Holloa! What is going on here?
Jacquinot.My prayer to Saint Jehan has been answered

the devil has settled my wife.
Wife.-Mother! Give me your hand!

help me out of this!

The Mother (Hobbling toward her).- I'm coming I'm coming

Jacquinot give me your hand at this!
Jacquinot.That is not on my list . it is not.

The Mother.-Infamous scoundrel, are you leaving her to die?

· Jacquinot.-Since she lives by me, why should she not die by me? I have plenty to do without adding new duties to my list.

The Mother.-Sweet Jacquinot!

Jacquinot.--I shall not do it, by my soul, I shall not unless first it is promised that henceforth I be in possession of all the household and that I be master here. Wife.-Help me out

get me out and I promise that hereafter only you will be master here, dear Jacquinot.

The Mother. She will do all the work without asking you to do anything

unless some great necessity arises.

.

[ocr errors]

to

[ocr errors]

Jacquinot (With a sweep of his hand).—Then do away with the necessity. (Doubtfully scratching his chin.) But by all the saints of mass I want you to keep your promise exactly as you have given it to me.

Wife.- Never will it be otherwise, my love, I promise you.

Jacquinot (Rubbing out the list of duties with his sleeve).Your first duty will be to kiss

to squeeze hug

to fondle The Mother.—You alone, Jacquinot, shall be master here. You have been wronged

henceforth your wife will do all the household duties and obey all your commands.

Jacquinot.—That is as it should be. I shall be happy if the bargain holds

I shall live without a care in the world. Wife.--I shall keep my promise to you always. · The Mother.—You will be master of your own house.

Jacquinot (Dancing around the kettle).—Then I shall have more than most men do. Ha ha

my time has come at last. Get hold of the tub, mother. Puli

pull (The old woman takes hold of the kettle. JACQUINOT takes hold of his wife's hands. They pull together. Suddenly MADAME JACQUINOT emerges from the kettle. The old woman with a scream sits down, the kettle on top of her, as the curtain falls.)

IBSEN IN HIS MATURITY

BY PAUL H. GRUMMANN

III

“HEDDA GABLER” AND “THE MASTER BUILDER”

I

BSEN acquired the habit of presenting his characters

under a double aspect; as they seem to the compact, unthinking majority, and as they finally appeal to the select minority, so ably represented by Dr. Stockman. In the case of Hedda Gabler, the compact majority

proved to be so large, that it has taken longer than the ten years granted by Ibsen, for his real conceptions to become current.

Hedda is the daughter of a general and, as such, is a member of the highest military aristocracy of her home. She has grown up without a mother, but her father has not entirely neglected the duties of a chaperon. Beautiful, talented, and accomplished, this young woman naturally has many opportunities to marry officers. Since she does not do this, it is natural to suppose that the military environment of her girlhood does not appeal to her. It is also quite evident that she might marry Mr. Brack, a wealthy official of her home. Since Mr. Brack might be considered a good match, and since he is not unattractive, the plausible inference is that Hedda objects to his immorality.

She does fall in love with Lövborg, a young genius whose ability as a writer is respected and feared. With him she sits in the same room with her absent-minded father and discusses his escapades. Since she has grown into adolescence without a mother and under the awkward chaperoning of her father, the world of sex is a mysterious and interesting riddle to her, and the escapades of her lover prove attractive. She dismisses Lövborg at the point of a revolver, from which it must be inferred that he makes improper advances to her. This is not altogether unlike Nora's firtation. The moment she confronts a personal insult, she acts in accordance with sound instincts.

« AnteriorContinuar »