« AnteriorContinuar »
stunned. It was hand to hoof and horns for on the head, was disabled from managing a brief second or two, and then the great his reins, while another, struck full in the surging mass broke to the westward, and the face, had his upper lip split open to the teeth. long chase began. It had been all our way Many followed his example and withdrew so far, but to the assistance of the herd there from the battle. The chase over, the party now came one of the most unexpected allies slowly assembled near the bodies of the first that even an old hunter could imagine. It victims, and the two wagons with a number was the soft snow, that up to this time had of men putting in an appearance from camp, helped us in tracking them; for, as the herd we retraced our steps to it, each one recountsurged head, there came from their feet one ing his personal adventures. of the most persistent showers of snow-balls, It was growing dark as the sergeant in of iron-like consistency, that any one was ever charge of the wagon party rapped at my called on to face, and was surpassed only by tent and reported: “The wagons are in with those thrown by the horses themselves, which, the carcasses of nineteen elk, and I am satstrung out in disorder, the men and horses in isfied we have gotten them all, sir.” The the rear had to face as well. Every ball that next day we started for home. struck a horse delayed him. One man, struck
MEISTERSCHAFT: IN THREE ACTS.
BY MARK TWAIN.
[EXPLANATORY. I regard the idea of this German, replace it with French, leaving the play as a valuable invention. I call it the English parts undisturbed. When you come Patent Universally-Applicable Automatically- to the long conversation in the second act, Adjustable Language Drama. This indicates turn to any pamphlet of your French Meisterthat it is adjustable to any tongue, and per- schaft, and shovel in as much French talk on formable in any tongue. The English por- any subject as will fill up the gaps left by the tions of the play are to remain just as they expunged German. Example - page 423 are, permanently; but you change the foreign French Meisterschaft: portions to any language you please, at will. Do you see? You at once have the same old On dirait qu'il va faire chaud. play in a new tongue. And you can keep on j'ai extrêmement chaud.
J'ai chaud. changing it from language to language, until Ah! qu'il fait chaud ! your private theatrical pupils have become Il fait une chaleur étouffante! glib and at home in the speech of all nations. L'air est brûlant. Zum Beispiel, suppose we wish to adjust the il est presque impossible de supporter la chaleur.
Je meurs de chaleur. play to the French tongue. First, we give Cela vous fait transpirer. Mrs. Blumenthal and Gretchen French names. Mettons nous à l'ombre. Next, we knock the German Meisterschaft Il fait du vent. sentences out of the first scene, and replace Il fait un temps très-agréable pour se promener au
Il fait un vent froid. them with sentences from the French Meister- jourd'hui. schaft — like this, for instance: "Je voudrais faire des emplettes ce matin; voulez-vous avoir And so on, all the way through. It is very l'obligeance de venir avec moi chez le tailleur easy to adjust the play to any desired lanfrançais ?” And so on. Wherever you find guage. Anybody can do it.)
that the conversation shall be in German, and
in German only — every single word of it! MR. STEPHENSON. MARGARET STEPHENSON. GEORGE FRANKLIN. ANNIE STEPHENSON.
Very kind - oh, very! when neither Annie William Jackson. Mrs. BLUMENTHAL, the Wirthin. nor I can put two words together, except as GRETCHEN, Kellnerin.
they are put together for us in Meisterschaft or that idiotic Ollendorff! (Refers to book,and
memorizes: Mein Bruder hat Ihren Herrn SCENE I.
Vater nicht gesehen, als er gestern in dem Laden
des deutschen Kaufmannes war.) Yes, we can Scene of the play, the parlor of a small private dwell. have society, provided we talk German. What ing in a village.
would such a conversation be like! If you MARGARET. (Discovered crocheting — has a pam
should stick to Meisterschaft, it would change phlet.)
the subject every two minutes; and if you stuck MARGARET. (Solus.) Dear, dear! it's dreary to Ollendorff, it would all be about your sisenough, to have to study this impossible Ger- ter's mother's good stocking of thread, or your man tongue: to be exiled from home and all grandfather's aunt's good hammer of the carhuman society except a body's sister in order penter, and who's got it, and there an end. to do it, is just simply abscheulich. Here's You could n't keep up your interest in such only three weeks of the three months gone, topics. ( Memorizing : Wenn irgend möglich,and it seems like three years. I don't believe möchte ich noch heute Vormittag dort ankomI can live through it, and I 'm sure Annie can't. men, da es mir sehr daran gelegen ist, einen (Refers to her book, and rattles through, several meiner Geschäftsfreunde zu treffen.) My mind times, like one memorizing :) Entschuldigen is made up to one thing : I will be an exile, Sie, mein Herr, können Sie mir vielleicht sagen, in spirit and in truth: I will see no one durum wie viel Uhr der erste Zug nach Dresden ing these three months. Father is very ingenabgeht? (Makes mistakes and corrects them.) ious -oh, very! thinks he is, anyway. Thinks I just hate Meisterschaft! We may see peo- he has invented a way to force us to learn to ple; we can have society: yes, on condition speak German. He is a dear good soul, and
VOL. XXXV.- 63.
all that; but invention is n't his fash'. He will M. (Spasmodically unarming and kissing
(With eloquent energv.) Why, nothing her.) 'Sh! don't use such language. O darin the world shall — Bitte, können Sie mir ling, say it again! vielleicht sagen, ob Herr Schmidt mit diesem A. As sure as guns ! Zuge angekommen ist ? Oh, dear, dear George M. I don't mean that! Tell me again, - three weeks! It seems a whole century that — since I saw him. I wonder if he suspects that A. (Springing up and waltzing about the I- that I — care for him -j-just a wee, room.) They ’re here - in this very village wee bit ? I believe he does. And I believe to learn German - for three months! Es sollte Will suspects that Annie cares for him a little, mich sehr freuen wenn Sie that I do. And I know perfectly well that they M. (Joining in the dance.) Oh, it's just too care for us. They agree with all our opinions, lovely for anything! ( Unconsciously memono matter what they are; and if they have a rizing :) Es wäre mir lieb wenn Sie morprejudice, they change it, as soon as they see gen mit mir in die Kirche gehen könnten, how foolish it is. Dear George! at first he just aber ich kann selbst nicht gehen, weil could n't abide cats; but now, why now he's ich Sonntags gewöhnlich krank bin. Juckjust all for cats; he fairly welters in cats. I he! never saw such a reform. And it's just so with A. (Finishing some unconscious inemorizall his principles: he has n't got one that he ing.) - morgen Mittag bei mir speisen had before. Ah, if all men were like him, könnten. Juckhe! Sit down and I 'll tell this world would — (Memorizing: Im Ge- you all I 've heard. (They sit.) They 're gentheil, mein Herr, dieser Stoff is sehr billig. here, and under that same odious law that Bitte, sehen Sie sich nur die Qualität an.) Yes, fetters us our tongues, I mean ; the metaand what did they go to studying German for, phor's faulty, but no matter. They can go if it was n't an inspiration of the highest and out, and see people, only on condition that purest sympathy ? Any other explanation they hear and speak German, and German is nonsense - why, they 'd as soon have only. thought of studying American history. (Turns M. Is n't - that – too lovely! her back, buries herself in her pamphlet. first A. And they 're coming to see us ! memorizing aloud, until Annie enters, then to M. Darling! (Kissing her.) But are you herself, rocking to and fro, and rapidly moving sure ? her lips without uttering a sound.)
A. Sure as guns — Gatling guns!
M. 'Sh! don't child, it's schrecklich! DarEnter Annie, absorbed in her pamphlet — does not at first see Margaret.
ling — you are n't mistaken?
A. As sure as g - batteries ! ANNIE. (Memorizing: Er liess mich gestern
then früh rufen, und sagte mir dass er einen sehr
They jump up and dance a moment unangenehmen Brief von Ihrem Lehrer erhalten M. ( With distress.) But, Annie dear! — we hatte. Repeats twice aloud, then to herself, can't talk German and neither can they ! briskly moving her lips.)
A. (Sorrowfully.) I did n't think of that. M. (Still not seeing her sister.) Wie geht M. How cruel it is! What can we do? es Ihrem Herrn Schwiegervater? Es freut A. (After a reflective pause, resolutely.) mich sehr dass Ihre Frau Mutter wieder wohl Margaret — we've got to. ist. (Repeats. Then mouths in silence.)
M. Got to what ? (Annie repeats her sentence a couple of times A. Speak German. aloud; then looks up, working her lips, and dis- M. Why, how, child ? covers Margaret.) Oh, you here! (Running A. ( Contemplating her pamphlet with earto her.) O lovey-dovey, dovey-lovey, I've nestness.) I can tell you one thing. Just give got the gr-reatest news! Guess, guess, guess! me the blessed privilege: just hinsetzen Will You 'll never guess in a hundred thousand Jackson here in front of me and I'll talk Germillion years -- and more!
man to him as long as this Meisterschaft holds M. Oh, tell me, tell me, dearie; don't keep out to burn. me in agony.
M. (Joyously.) Oh, what an elegant idea! A. Well, I will. What-do-you-think? You certainly have got a mind that 's a mine They're here!
of resources, if ever anybody had one. M. Wh-a-t! Who? When ? Which ? A. I 'll skin this Meisterschaft to the last Speak!
sentence in it! A. Will and George!
M. (With a happy idea.) Why, Annie, it 's M. Annie Alexandra Victoria Stephenson, the greatest thing in the world. I 've been all what do you mean!
this time struggling and despairing over these A. As sure as guns!
few little Meisterschaft primers: but as sure as you live, I 'll have the whole fifteen by heart meinen Bruder, und einen Kamm für mich before this time day after to-morrow. See if I selbst gekauft. don't.
(Exit.) A. And so will I; and I'll trowel-in a
Enter Mrs. BLUMENTHAL, the Wirthin. layer of Ollendorff mush between every couple WIRTHIN. (Solus.) Ach, die armen Mädchen, of courses of Meisterschaft bricks. Juckhe! sie hassen die deutsche Sprache, drum ist es M. Hoch! hoch! hoch!
ganz und gar unmöglich dass sie sie je lernen A. Stoss an!
können. Es bricht mir ja mein Herz ihre KumM. Juckhe! Wir werden gleich gute mer über die Studien anzusehen .... Wardeutsche Schülerinnen werden! Juck um haben sie den Entchluss gefasst in ihren A. -he!
Zimmern ein Paar Tage zu bleiben ? ... M. Annie, when are they coming to see us? Ja-gewiss—dass versteht sich : sie sind entTo-night?
muthigt -arme Kinder ! A. No.
(A knock at the door.) Herein ! M. No? Why not? When are they coming? What are they waiting for? The idea!
Enter Gretchen with card. I never heard of such a thing! What do G. Er ist schon wieder da, und sagt dass er you
nur Sie sehen will. (Hands the card.) AuchA. (Breaking in.) Wait, wait, wait! give a Wirthin. Gott im Himmel - der Vater der body a chance. They have their reasons. Mädchen! (Puts the card in her pocket.) Er M. Reasons ? - what reasons ?
wünscht die Töchter nicht zu treffen? Ganz A. Well, now, when you stop and think, recht; also, Du schweigst. they 're royal good ones. They've got to talk G. Zu Befehl. German when they come, have n't they? Of WIRTHIN. Lass ihn hereinkommen. course. Well, they don't know any German G. Ja, Frau Wirthin! but Wie befinden Sie sich, and Haben Sie gut
Exit Gretchen. geschlafen, and Vater unser, and Ich trinke lieber Bier als Wasser, and a few little parlor WIRTHiN. (Solus.) Ah-jetzt muss ich ihm things like that; but when it comes to talking, die Wahrheit offenbaren. why, they don't know a hundred and fifty German words, put them all together.
Enter Mr. Stephenson. M. Oh, I see!
STEPHENSON. Good morning, Mrs. BlumenA. So they 're going neither to eat, sleep, thal — keep your seat, keep your seat, please. smoke, nor speak the truth till they 've I'm only here for a moment — merely to get crammed home the whole fifteen Meister- your report, you know. (Seating himself.) schafts auswendig!
Don't want to see the girls — poor things, M. Noble hearts !
they'd want to go home with me. I'm afraid A. They ’ve given themselves till day after I could n't have the heart to say no. How's to-morrow, half-past 7 P. M., and then they 'll the German getting along? arrive here, loaded.
Wirthin. N-not very well ; I was afraid M. Oh, how lovely, how gorgeous, how you would ask me that. You see, they hate beautiful! Some think this world is made of it, they don't take the least interest in it, and mud; I think it 's made of rainbows. (Mem- there is n't anything to incite them to an interorizing.) Wenn irgend möglich, so möchte est, you see. And so they can't talk at all. ich noch heute Vormittag dort ankommen, da S. M-m. That's bad. I had an idea that es mir sehr daran gelegen ist, - Annie, I can they'd get lonesome, and have to seek society; learn it just like nothing!
and then, of course, my plan would work, conA. So can I. Meisterschaft 's mere fun— 1 sidering the cast-iron conditions of it. don't see how it ever could have seemed dif- WIRTHIN. But it has n't so far. I've thrown ficult
. Come! We can be disturbed here: nice company in their way — I've done my let 's give orders that we don't want anything very best, in every way I could think of — to eat for two days; and are absent to friends, but it's no use; they won't go out, and they dead to strangers, and not at home even to won't receive anybody. And a body can't nougat-peddlers
blame them; they 'd be tongue-tied - could M. Schön! and we 'll lock ourselves into n't do anything with a German conversation. our rooms, and at the end of two days, whoso. Now when I started to learn German— such ever may ask us a Meisterschaft question shall poor German as I know — the case was very get a Meisterschaft answer — and hot from the different: my intended was a German. I was bat!
to live among Germans the rest of my life; Borh. (Reciting in unison.) Ich habe einen and so I had to learn. Why, bless my heart! Í Hut für meinen Sohn, ein Paar Handschuhe für nearly lost the man the first time he asked me
I thought he was talking about the measles. mean because it 'll be so much nicer to have They were very prevalent at the time. Told them all to ourselves. him I did n't want any in mine. But I found M. Oh, natürlich! Ja! Dass ziehe ich durout the mistake, and I was fixed for him next chaus vor. Do you believe your Meisterschaft time. . . Oh, yes, Mr. Stephenson, a sweet- will stay with you, Annie? heart's a prime incentive!
A. Well, I know it is with me S. (Asiite.) Good soul! she does n't suspect sentence of it; and a couple of hods of Ollenthat my plan is a double scheme — includes dorff, too, for emergencies. May be they 'll a speaking knowledge of German, which I am refuse to deliver,— right off — at first, you know bound they shall have, and the keeping them - der Verlegenheit wegen — aber ich will sie away from those two young fellows — though später herausholen — when I get my hand in if I had known that those boys were going off und vergisst Du dass nicht! for a year's foreign travel, I - however, the M. Sei nicht grob, Liebste. What shall we girls would never learn that language at home; talk about first when they come ? they 're here, and I won't relent — they've A. We-ll— let me see. There is shoppinggot to stick the three months out. (Aloud.) and — all that about the trains, you know,So they are making poor progress ? Now tell and going to church — and — buying tickets me
will they learn it after a sort of fash- to London, and Berlin, and all around — and ion, I mean - in the three months ?
all that subjunctive stuff about the battle in WIRTHIN. Well, now, I 'll tell you the only Afghanistan, and where the American was chance I see. Do what I will, they won't an- said to be born, and so on- and — and ahswer my German with anything but English ; oh, there 's so many things — I don't think a if that goes on, they 'll stand stock still. Now body can choose beforehand, because you I'm willing to do this: I'll straighten every- know the circumstances and the atmosphere thing up, get matters in smooth running order, always have so much to do in directing a conand day after to-morrow I 'll go to bed sick, versation, especially a German conversation, and stay sick three weeks.
which is only a kind of an insurrection, any S. Good! You are an angel! I see your way. I believe it 's best to just depend on idea. The servant girl –
Prov-(Glancing at watch, and gasping )- half Wirthin. That 's it; that's my project. She past - seven! does n't know a word of English. And Gret- M. Oh, dear, I 'm all of a tremble! Let 's chen 's a real good soul, and can talk the slates get something ready, Annie ! off a roof. Her tongue 's just a futter-mill. (Both fall nervously to reciting): EntschuldiI'll keep my room, — just ailing a little, — and gen Sie, mein Herr, können Sie mir vielleicht they 'll never see my face except when they sagen wie ich nach dem norddeutchen Bahnpay their little duty-visits to me, and then I'll hof gehe? (They repeat it several times, losing say English disorders my mind. They 'll be their grip and mixing it all up.) shut up with Gretchen's wind-mill, and she 'll
(A knock.) just grind them to powder. Oh, they 'll get a start in the language - sort of a one, sure 's Both. Herein! Oh, dear! O der heilige -you live. You come back in three weeks.
Enter Gretchen. S. Bless you, my Retterin! I'll be here to the day! Get ye to your sick-room- you GRETCHEN. (Ruffled and indignant.) Entshall have treble pay.' (Looking at watch.) schuldigen Sie, meine gnädigsten Fräulein, es Good! I can just catch my train. Leben Sie sind zwei junge rasende Herren draussen,
die wohl! (Exit.)
herein wollen, aber ich habe ihnen geschWIRTHIN. Leben Sie wohl! mein Herr ! woren dass — (Handing the cards.)
M. Du liebe Zeit, they 're here! And of course down goes my back hair! Stay and receive them, dear, while I - Leaving.)
A. I-alone? I won't! I 'll go with you! Time, a couple of days later.
(To G.) Lass en Sie die Herren näher treten; (The girls discovered with their work and primers.) und sagen Sie ihnen dass wir gleich zurückANNIE. Was fehlt der Wirthin ?
kommen werden. (Exit.) MARGARET. Dass weiss ich nicht. Sie ist Gr. (Solus.) Was! Sie freuen sich darüber? schon vor zwei Tagen ins Bett gegangen - Und ich sollte wirklich diese Blödsinnigen, A. My ! how fliessend you speak !
dies grobe Rindvieh hereinlassen? In den M. Danke schön und sagte dass sie nicht hülflosen Umständen meiner gnädigen jungen wohl sei.
Damen ?- Unsinn!(Pause — thinking.) WohA. Good! Oh, no, I don't mean that! No lan! Ich werde sie mal beschützen! Sollte - only lucky for us — glücklich, you know I man nicht glauben, dass sie einen Sparren zu