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Title: The Ghetto - A Drama in Four Acts
Author: Heijermans, Herman, 1864-1924
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE GHETTO

      *      *      *      *      *

  Plays


  THE PLAYS OF HENRIK IBSEN. Small 4to, cloth, 5s. each, or paper
    covers, 1s, 6d. each.

     JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN.
     LITTLE EYOLF.
    *THE MASTER BUILDER.
    *HEDDA GABLER.

      *_Also a limited Large Paper Edition, 21s. net._

  BRAND: A Dramatic Poem in Five Acts. By HENRIK IBSEN. Translated in
    the original metres by C. H. HERFORD. Small 4to, cloth, 7s. 6d.

  THE PLAYS OF GERHART HAUPTMANN. Paper covers, 1s. 6d., or cloth, 2s.
    6d. each.

    *HANNELE.
     LONELY LIVES.
     THE WEAVERS.

      *Also small 4to, with Portrait, 5s.

  THE PRINCESS MALEINE, and THE INTRUDER. By MAURICE MAETERLINCK. With
    an Introduction by HALL CAINE, and a Portrait of the Author. Small
    4to, cloth, 5s.

  THE FRUITS OF ENLIGHTENMENT: By Count LYOF TOLSTOY. With Introduction
    by A. W. PINERO. Small 4to, with Portrait, 5s.

  CYRANO DE BERGERAC. By EDMOND ROSTAND. Small 4to, 5s. Also, Popular
    Edition, 16mo cloth, 2s. 6d.; paper, 1s. 6d.

      LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN
       21 BEDFORD STREET, W.C.

      *      *      *      *      *


THE GHETTO

A Drama in Four Acts

Freely Adapted from the Dutch of
HERMAN HEIJERMANS, JR.

By
CHESTER BAILEY FERNALD



London: William Heinemann
MDCCCXCIX

Copyright, 1899

All rights, including Acting rights in the English Language, reserved

Entered at the Library of Congress
Washington, U.S.A.



_DRAMATIS PERSONÆ_


  RAFAEL.
  SACHEL.
  AARON.
  RABBI HAEZER.
  SAMSON.
  DANIEL.
  MORDECAI.
  ESTHER.
  REBECCA.
  ROSA.

  _A Watchman. Inhabitants of The Ghetto._

  _The action takes place in The Ghetto, Amsterdam, at the present time._

  _The incidental music composed by Mr. N. CLIFFORD PAGE._



_PREFACE_


_In the not wholly grateful task of adapting this play to the present
demands of the English and American stage, partly as those demands have
been interpreted by others than me, numerous alterations have been
thought necessary. I hope that this adaptation does not conceal the fact
that Mr. Heijermans' original is a work of very admirable unity and
force._

      _CHESTER B. FERNALD._

  _September, 1899._



THE GHETTO



THE FIRST ACT

  SCENE: _A street in the Ghetto in Amsterdam. On the left the shop of
    SACHEL. Running down from the centre to the right, diagonally, the
    wall of a canal; a bridge across the canal; a vista of the river and
    the city at the back._


    _Enter SAMSON and DANIEL._

SAMSON.

  Have trade and traffic gone to bed for Sabbath?

DANIEL.

  Not till old Sachel shuts his shop. See, he sits there in the gloom
  like a spider waiting in its web. He would keep open all night for two
  cents.

SAMSON.

  He's waiting for his son. What if the old man knew that Rafael spent
  half his time composing music--music for which he gets nothing? He
  would lock the door on Rafael to-night.

DANIEL.

  Let him! The world shall hear from Rafael. Wait till we play his
  music.

SAMSON.

  But he still has time to devote to his father's Christian
  servant-maid.

DANIEL.

  Eh--you have noticed too? [_They look into the shop._] Ah, see her! I
  say, she's the handsomest in Amsterdam--high or low! You had better be
  careful what you say about her to Rafael.

SAMSON.

  I am. When I spoke a trifle lightly of her, he offered to smash my
  head with your 'cello.

DANIEL.

  And you apologized?

SAMSON.

  Not wanting it smashed.

DANIEL.

  Meaning your head.

SAMSON.

  No, meaning your 'cello. But I shall proceed with her. She is
  unhappy--I think she needs _me_!

    _Enter MORDECAI, with a piece of lace, by way of the bridge. He goes
      into the shop._

  I thought we had done with trade in this street. There goes an old
  sheep to pawn his fleece. I say--bah!

DANIEL.

  So will the old sheep say "Bah!" when Sachel has shorn him. See the
  old man feeling it over--they say he can tell brass from gold by the
  touch of his talons.

SAMSON.

  It is well the old man is blind; if he saw the look of disgust on the
  girl's face--ay, she'd like to rush out in the air!

DANIEL.

  If she hates trade so, why does she stay in the Ghetto?

SAMSON.

  She has nowhere else to go--she doesn't appear to want to get away.
  Are they cursing each other over a copper? See the curl of her lip!
  Look! look!

      [_ROSA rushes out of the shop._

ROSA.

  [_As if stifling._] Oh! oh! they have no souls--there is not a soul
  among them, save Rafael's!

      [_She sees DANIEL and SAMSON._

SAMSON.

Good evening!

ROSA.

  [_Coldly._] Good evening.

SAMSON.

  It's a fine evening, isn't it?

ROSA.

  No.

SAMSON.

  No, I suppose not. Is Rafael at home?

ROSA.

  No.

SAMSON.

  No--he stays away, he is in love?

DANIEL.

  With whom?

SAMSON.

  With somebody--somebody. I read between the notes of his music. He's
  fallen in love and he's put it all into music. [_Insinuatingly._] Do
  you know who she is?

ROSA.

  [_She gets a broom and begins to sweep._] How should I, a Christian,
  be so deep in his confidence?

SAMSON.

  As deep in his confidence as need be. But do not trust him too much.
  Ah--[_quasi-regretful_]--and I am his friend. But it is love that has
  made a fool of me.

ROSA.

  No, I should not lay it to the door of love.

SAMSON.

  It _is_ love. If I could look into such eyes as yours, and my heart
  not smoke like--like a burning haycock, then I should be more fool
  than now.

ROSA.

  You could not be. With whom do you mean to insinuate that Rafael is
  carrying on a love affair?

SAMSON.

  Oh, not you!

ROSA.

  Oh! With whom, then?

SAMSON.

  [_Whispering._] To-morrow, when you are alone----

      [_He pauses, hearing SACHEL in the shop._

SACHEL.

  No, no!

MORDECAI.

  But----

SACHEL.

  No, no, no!

    _Enter MORDECAI, followed by SACHEL._

MORDECAI.

  Half a guilder! Half a guilder! Oh! if it isn't worth four guilders,
  it is worth nothing.

      [_He begins to roll up his lace._

SACHEL.

  If it is worth four guilders to you, keep it. H'm! Because I am blind,
  cannot I feel with my fingers? No, it is tatters.

MORDECAI.

  It's beautiful. I leave it to any one.

SACHEL.

  So do I. I leave it to Rosa; she's a Christian, she knows nothing
  about trade. Rosa!

ROSA.

  [_Coming to him._] Yes.

SACHEL.

  Am I not right? Is it not charity to offer him half a guilder for that
  lace?

DANIEL.

  [_Mischievously._] A beautiful piece of lace!

SAMSON.

  A splendid piece of lace; he could not have come honestly by that!

SACHEL.

  I have not summoned every idler in the street. Rosa!

      [_Exeunt DANIEL and SAMSON._

MORDECAI.

  [_Whispering to ROSA._] My son is dead, how can I bury him without
  money? It was his mother's--the only fragment I have left of hers----

SACHEL.

  I hear you; is he giving you something?

ROSA.

  [_In compassion._] It is not so badly worn; surely it is worth four
  guilders!

SACHEL.

  You lie! I say you lie! Do you think you can make a fool of me--you
  thieves! Ah, I know you are standing there, twisting your cheeks at
  me! But you shall not rob me; no, no! Give me that! [_He takes the
  lace and examines it with his fingers._] I knew it! It has been
  patched--by some bag-maker. You minx--you hussy! Do I feed you that
  you may rob me? Everybody lies to me--but they do not deceive me! I
  will not give half a guilder--only thirty cents.

MORDECAI.

  Sachel! I must have _two_ guilders! He died in my arms. You have a
  son--for pity's sake--for pity's sake!

SACHEL.

  Have you had pity on my eyes? You say this lace is whole; it is a lie.
  You say your son is dead; that is a lie too, for all I know. I'll give
  no more--no more.

MORDECAI.

  Oh! Oh! Give me that! You black-hearted miser. [_He snatches it._] You
  are rich--you have known me for years--and you would let my son be
  buried in the pauper's field! A curse on you! May your son _live_ to
  hate you--desert you--disown you--curse you, as I do!

      [_Exit MORDECAI._

SACHEL.

  Rosa! Run and offer him a guilder and a half! Run!

ROSA.

  Mordecai! He will not stop! He's gone!

SACHEL.

  With a curse! Could I be more cursed than I am? Come here. You have
  driven the trade from my door.

ROSA.

  I?

SACHEL.

  Yes, you--you misbegotten wretch! Had you not whined and pleaded for
  him, he would have taken a guilder. If you, too, had said, "Tatters!
  nothing but tatters." Why did you not?

ROSA.

  Because I will not lie for you!

SACHEL.

  I employ you to do my bidding! What are you doing now--idling, wasting
  precious time? [_ROSA begins to sweep._] In the middle of last
  night--were you up?

ROSA.

  No!

SACHEL.

  [_Ironically._] You will not lie for me! Why are you so disturbed
  about it?

ROSA.

  I am not disturbed.

SACHEL.

  I say you are. You are red in the face--I know it. Why were you up?

ROSA.

  I was not up.

SACHEL.

  I heard you! I heard you, and you cannot deceive me. Did I not lie
  awake until Rafael came home? It struck twelve as he went to his room.
  It was not five minutes later when I hear steps along the hall--yes, I
  can hear steps, though the shoes be off! I heard steps, and then your
  door opened. Why do you stop? I heard your door open; what does it
  mean?

ROSA.

  Do you mean that--that some one came--some one opened my door?

SACHEL.

  Some one--some one! I mean you--you opened it--and you went
  downstairs. Why? What were you doing while you thought I slept?

ROSA.

  I did not leave my room.

SACHEL.

  And she will not lie for me! If you are honest, why does your voice
  tremble so? You were up, and why? If I miss anything;--do you want to
  be turned into the streets? [_He hears the noise of a window opening._]
  Who's that? Some fresh enemy? I cannot move but some one's hand is
  raised against me! Enemies--enemies I cannot strike nor battle
  with--because I cannot see!

ROSA.

  I--I am not your enemy!

SACHEL.

  How do I know? Have I ever looked into your eyes? Ay, if I could look
  into them at this moment, God knows what I should find. You are not my
  enemy! Why, then, were you up last night prowling about my house--at
  midnight--when my son--when Rafael;--Rafael--? Come here! [_She comes
  to him._] Your hand! Was it Rafael? Did Rafael--? No, no, my beautiful
  boy--with such as you--an ugly, misshapen wench like you! [_Pause._]
  Unless--unless they lied to me! Did not Esther sniff and say that you
  were white and thin, when we rescued you from pauperdom--when you were
  threatened with the streets--you thankless vagabond? They knew I would
  not have had you else! Rafael said that "pretty" was no word for such
  a face as yours; did he mean that you were beautiful;--did he mean
  that? Your form--yes, your form! [_He passes his hand over her._] Hold
  still! Do you fear an old blind wreck like me? Ay, you are like a
  Madonna, damn you! Your face--hold still--your nose--[_he passes his
  hand over her face_]--your brow--your chin;--they lied to me! You are
  beautiful! It _was_ Rafael!

ROSA.

  What do you mean? I tell you I am not beautiful!

SACHEL.

  Are you ugly? Do you swear you are ugly?

ROSA.

  You cannot see the colour of my skin--you cannot see the rings under
  my eyes.

SACHEL.

  You swear--do you swear you are not beautiful?

ROSA.

  I may have been pretty once--but now----

      [_She is silent._

SACHEL.

  [_Thoughtfully._] When she says that--h'm! H'm! No woman would deny
  her beauty if she had it. No, no! H'm! Rafael--my beautiful boy; why,
  I only mentioned it to frighten you!

    _Enter ESTHER, over the bridge._

ESTHER.

  What's the matter now--you troublesome old person?

SACHEL.

  My sister--my compassionate sister! H'm! I know you're waiting,
  watching my face from day to day for a sign of death.

ESTHER.

  You silly old man, does any one put a pin in your way?

SACHEL.

  Any one? Every one! Has she not just driven away a customer because
  she would not----

ESTHER.

  I don't want to hear about it!

SACHEL.

  H'm! A little money--it is nothing! I have given my life for it--and
  my eyes--my eyes! By God's right, do not the blessings of thrift
  belong to me? And here I drag my gloomy, empty life away, with a son
  who brings me nothing, a sister who watches me like a vulture and this
  hussy who drives my customers to curse me!

ESTHER.

  Who do you think gave me this letter for you? Aaron.

SACHEL.

  Aaron! He hasn't been near us for years! What does he want? Read!

ESTHER.

  When the Sabbath has already begun?

SACHEL.

  Well, what do we have this Christian for? Rosa!

    _Enter ROSA._

ESTHER.

  Rosa, open this letter and read it.

ROSA.

  [_Reading._] "I shall be at your house to-night, on a matter of
  business.--AARON HEINE."      [_Exit ROSA._

SACHEL.

  Business? What business can he have with me?

ESTHER.

  His daughter, I think. There was something in the way he spoke that
  made me feel it!

SACHEL.

  To marry his Rebecca to my son. H'm! I'll make him speak first. I'll
  worry him! I'll make him sweat.

ESTHER.

  Rosa! Put up the shutters.

SACHEL.

  I will not trust her to put up the shutters.

ESTHER.

  You never had a better servant in your house.

SACHEL.

  [_Fetches shutters and awkwardly adjusts them._] She is a Christian.
  It is bad luck--it was wrong for us to take her in.

ESTHER.

  You were glad enough to have her. Would a Jewess light your fire on
  Sabbath--would a Jewess open your letters for you? Shall I send her
  away?

SACHEL.

  Not yet.

ESTHER.

  No. Because on Sabbath your feet would be cold and your letters would
  lie unopened, even if you were not blind. I pity the girl; I have
  heard that her father was a gentleman and died poor and in exile,
  because he had given succour to the persecuted Jews.

    _Enter ROSA._

SACHEL.

  Who can prove it? It is a good story to work upon our sympathies. They
  cannot deceive me. I will have no sympathies.

ESTHER.

  [_To ROSA._] Isn't it warm.

      [_They look off over the river._

ROSA.

  But aren't those clouds beautiful? They are bringing a blessed rain;
  but they lower as if they brought a pestilence.

ESTHER.

  You call them beautiful? You know very well that we are speculating in
  produce: if the drought keeps on the rich will have to pay dear for
  their vegetables, and the poor won't have any; it will profit us
  handsomely! And you only think of your own pleasure!

ROSA.

  It was only the beauty, the majesty of the clouds; they are massed
  together like enemies ready to destroy us. But the poor; ah, I can see
  the hand of God in those clouds!

ESTHER.

  Which God, Rosa?

ROSA.

  The God of all peoples, of all faiths--the God who knows no ceremony
  but the way of living, and no creed but what He plants in the hearts
  of every one.

ESTHER.

  You are a strange sort of Christian! You talk like Rafael! [_Exit
  ROSA, as if to avoid the subject._] I wonder if she ever talks with
  Rafael! Sachel, I see Aaron!

SACHEL.

  I'll make him speak first.

    _Enter AARON._

AARON.

  [_To SACHEL._] Good evening. [_No answer._] What's the matter with
  you, old friend? I have a bit of business with you.

ESTHER.

  Good evening. Rather late for business, isn't it? Sit down.

AARON.

  It's never too late for business. It was never too early when we were
  young--eh, Sachel? Do you remember forty years ago, when you and I and
  Abram stood in line at two o'clock in the morning--to get the best
  places at the sale? Poverty wasn't trumps then, as it is now.

ESTHER.

  H'm! I fancy not with you, now.

SACHEL.

  What did you come about?

AARON.

  Eh? Well, I have something I think you'll want.

SACHEL.

  What?

AARON.

  Eh? Why, some wool, I'll sell it cheap. Feel that! As soft as my
  daughter's cheek!

      [_Gives SACHEL a packet of wool._

SACHEL.

  [_Returning the packet._] I didn't think you'd have anything I wanted.

ESTHER.

  No; it wouldn't interest us. Have some coffee, Rosa!

AARON.

  You think it is not good. You don't know! That wool was bought by my
  daughter, Rebecca, and I'll back her judgment against any man's in the
  Ghetto! [_Gives a little to SACHEL._] Feel that!

SACHEL.

  [_Breaking the fibres, and listening to the sound they make._] His
  daughter! Cotton! More cotton! His daughter!

AARON.

  I will match her with your son, any day!

SACHEL.

  My son is in no hurry to marry.

AARON.

  Marry? I meant as a judge of wool. You are the only one that's
  thinking of marrying him. What's the matter--doesn't any girl's father
  want him?

SACHEL.

  [_Picking the wool apart._] H'm!

AARON.

  There _is_ a keen demand for handsome young wives nowadays, judging from
  the way my daughter is besieged.

SACHEL.

  Your daughter? You speak as if she had had an offer.

    _Enter ROSA with the coffee._

AARON.

  H'm, _an_ offer! But I came here to talk about wool! If it were not
  the Sabbath I would burn a little for you, and you could tell by the
  smell there is not a shred of cotton in it!

SACHEL.

  Let the Christian burn it for us, then. Rosa, light that!

      [_ROSA burns a little of the wool in the spirit lamp._

AARON.

  [_Laughingly._] If you can smell cotton in that, then the sheep have
  been eating cotton-seed, and it has sprouted through their shins. Do
  you smell any cotton? Ah!

      [_Exit ROSA._

SACHEL.

  No; because I have picked all the cotton out. Rubbish!

ESTHER.

  Have some coffee?

AARON.

  [_Putting away packet of wool._] Oh, well, if you don't know a good
  thing when you see it. Ah! Those cakes of yours, Esther; I remember
  them, I remember them of old! Let me send my daughter to learn how to
  make them, will you?

ESTHER.

  Certainly.

AARON.

  That's the only thing under the sky that my daughter can't do to
  perfection. Well, how is that son of yours?

SACHEL.

  Where is he, you had better ask! Unless I stay up till midnight, I
  never meet him.

AARON.

  Oh, well, a young fellow has to have his day I suppose.

SACHEL.

  Did I have my day? I was one of eight souls who crawled and starved in
  a room half as big as my shop parlour. I have known hunger to gnaw at
  my belly, till I cried myself to sleep, and dreamt that I was
  disembowelled. And my grandmother died, and my little sister too, from
  sheer want. Sheer want! At his age I could have bought and sold him
  twice a day. The fellow is a worthless vagabond!

AARON.

  H'm. I suppose, if the truth be said, he _is_ a worthless vagabond!

SACHEL.

  You--what affair is it of yours? You would give half you have--and
  that wouldn't be much--to have him in your household!

AARON.

  Ha! My daughter has no haste to wed.

SACHEL.

  Who said anything about wedding? It is you that seem to have the
  subject on your mind.

AARON.

  With my girl? With Rebecca? You rely too much upon your son's good
  looks and upon the lot of money he will have.

SACHEL.

  Who said he would have a lot of money? I am not dead yet.

AARON.

  Even so, your only child is not going empty-handed.

SACHEL.

  He will go empty-handed, by the Commandments, if he does not obey his
  father! And, in any case, I have not slaved my eyes away that another
  man's child may be fed.

    _Enter REBECCA._

AARON.

  Still he must marry some day.

SACHEL.

  Marry whom? No girl who does not bring twelve thousand guilders shall
  marry my son!

      [_Exit ESTHER._

      [_REBECCA pauses at the bridge unobserved and interested._

REBECCA.

  [_Aside._] They are getting on!

AARON.

  [_Swelling with indignation._] Twelve thousand guilders! Twelve
  thousand guilders! A snap of the finger! And is your son a prince? You
  talk like an imbecile. Suppose some one was fool enough to give his
  daughter such a dowry, what would you give your son?

SACHEL.

  Nothing! He has his share in the business--or will have.

AARON.

  Oh, you're enough to make a man jump into the sea!

SACHEL.

  Did I ask anything of you? Why should you jump into the sea?

AARON.

  Eh, what? Rebecca! How did _you_ happen to be here?

SACHEL.

  [_Ironically._] Yes, how did you happen to be here?

REBECCA.

  Why, didn't you _tell_ me----

AARON.

  [_Waving her away._] We're talking business, Sachel and I!

    _Enter ESTHER._

  Esther, those cakes are wonderful!

ESTHER.

  Thanks! [_To REBECCA._] Look here. [_Showing a photograph--watching
  her closely._] Rafael is a good-looking boy, isn't he?

REBECCA.

  Oh, you'd better let me have this! He wouldn't mind, would he? What a
  fine likeness--but so sad!

ESTHER.

  That's for some nice girl to take out of him.

REBECCA.

  [_Tapping the photograph._] And you'll let me----

ESTHER.

  Have the picture? With pleasure! Have you seen Isaac's new warehouse?

      [_Points up the canal. REBECCA retires to the bridge._

  [_Sotto, to AARON._] I like your girl--she's remarkably discreet. When
  she's married, you'll be lonely enough!

AARON.

  [_Sotto._] And when she is married, Esther--[_meaningly_]--may I take
  me a wife on the same day; one that can bake such cakes as those!
  [_Aloud._] Esther, there is not another woman in Amsterdam that can
  bake such cakes as those!

      [_The two exchange meaning glances; they advance on SACHEL, as if
        now in alliance._

REBECCA.

  [_Aside._] I don't believe it was about me!

AARON.

  But, outside of that, Rebecca is a wonderful housewife, and in the
  shop--she brings me the trade!

SACHEL.

  H'm! She'll never bring you a son-in-law! For you can't spare money to
  give with her. You need it all in your business.

AARON.

  Do I? With my daughter there will go a trifle of eight thousand
  guilders.      [_Pause._

REBECCA.

  [_Aside._] It _is_ about me. They are getting on!

AARON.

  And he thinks a girl will bring his son a matter of twelve thousand
  guilders.

    _Enter ROSA; she shows that she has been listening and is troubled._

SACHEL.

  Let my son tell me he is going to marry a girl with less than twelve
  thousand! I would give him the choice of starvation. I would lock the
  door on him.

      [_ROSA sees the photograph in REBECCA'S hand._

AARON.

  Who's talking of your son? My daughter--Esther, just look at her--such
  a figure, such a skin--such eyes! Esther, Esther, look at her walk!
  Look at her walk!

REBECCA.

  Is Rafael at home?

ROSA.

  No.

ESTHER.

  Rafael and Rebecca--that would sound rather well!

AARON.

  My dear woman, I won't give twelve thousand guilders.

SACHEL.

  And I won't give my son at less!

AARON.

  Your son? Did I ask you for your son? Did I?

SACHEL.

  Did I ask you for your daughter? What is she to me?

REBECCA.

  [_Aside._] Oh, they are really getting on!

AARON.

  Oh, my daughter! I wish your son were her equal! If _I_ had such a
  son----

SACHEL.

  I don't want your advice! [_Rises._] You manage your own child. I'll
  manage mine.      [_Starts for shop._

AARON.

  You will? You can't manage him. Where is he now? Dallying with some
  wanton, for all you know! My God, one would think him a second Joseph!

SACHEL.

  Do you house him? Do you feed him? Does he trouble you? Speak well of
  him, or go home!

AARON.

  I will go home!

ESTHER.

  Sit down! Now talk sense! It's a good match: you both know it's a good
  match, and so--[_to REBECCA_]--have you seen the repairs to the old
  bridge?

      [_REBECCA moves farther away, leaving the photograph of RAFAEL on
        the wall._

  [_Lowering her voice._] They are both only children. And so, in any
  case, the money will stay in the family. You let Sachel consider it.

      [_ROSA takes the photograph of RAFAEL and hides it behind her._

REBECCA.

  [_Aside._] I wonder how Rafael will consider it?

SACHEL.

  It costs nothing to consider it, but----

ESTHER.

  We'll see you to-morrow.

AARON.

  At my house--before service. Come on, Rebecca; I have arranged about
  the wool. Good-night!      [_Exit._

ESTHER.

  Good-night!

REBECCA.

  Oh, where's my picture of Rafael? [_ROSA drops the photograph into the
  canal._] It's gone!

      [_She looks about for it._

ESTHER.

  How could it have gone?

      [_REBECCA sees it in the canal._

REBECCA.

  It has fallen into the canal! It's ruined! [_Looks at ROSA._] I don't
  understand. I don't understand!

ESTHER.

  Oh, well; Rafael has some others. I'll see Rafael. Good-night.

REBECCA.

  [_To ROSA._] If the portrait dropped in where I left it, then it must
  have floated against the current.

ROSA.

  [_Fiercely, sotto._] It did go against the current.

      [_Exit REBECCA._

SACHEL.

  Not a cent under twelve thousand.

      [_ROSA, at the bridge, struggles with tears._

ESTHER.

  We shall see!      [_Exit._

SACHEL.

  So we shall. Why doesn't he come? His miserable selfishness. My God,
  if anything has happened to him! He doesn't come. He might have been
  set upon and robbed--beaten, killed, by some cursed ruffian beyond the
  Ghetto. My God--I'm harsh--too harsh with him. I shall be chastened
  for it. I was harsh to his mother; yes, I know--I know; I broke her
  heart perhaps, and Rafael, poor boy----[_Stops, listens._] His step!
  Yes; even--steady--he's in no distress. He's not worrying about _me_.
  He'll come home to sleep and get more money--that's all. He's a
  vagabond--a rascally vagabond!

    _Enter ESTHER._

    _Enter RAFAEL by the bridge._

RAFAEL.

  [_Wearily._] Good evening. [_No answer._] Good evening! [_No answer._]

      [_He exchanges guarded looks with ROSA. Exit ROSA._

ESTHER.

  [_Contemptuously._] The gentleman says "Good evening!" This is his
  lodging-house, where he does us the honour to sleep!

RAFAEL.

  I know I am rather late. I hope you were not anxious about me, father.
  Were you? Father! Oh--well!

ESTHER.

  Why should he answer you? What manner of son are you?

SACHEL.

  Where have you been all day?

RAFAEL.

  I--what does it matter? I know--I promised to do some business for
  you--but--there were other things--I forgot--I am sorry.

ESTHER.

  Oh, he's sorry.

SACHEL.

  I asked you where you idled all this day, and you evaded me.

RAFAEL.

  I have been everywhere--and the day vanished while I was thinking.
  Have you something to eat, aunt?

SACHEL.

  We have finished eating.

ESTHER.

  At this time of night! H'm!

RAFAEL.

  Very well. I will see what I can find.

SACHEL.

  Oh, my Maker, how heavily thou visitest upon me! To be thus mocked by
  a stranger within mine own house! If your poor dead mother knew how
  you treated me!

RAFAEL.

  Father, the rotten board that marked my mother's grave is falling to
  pieces. And you can hardly find the spot for weeds--weeds!

SACHEL.

  Is that where you've been? Where else?

RAFAEL.

  Far away--in my thoughts.

SACHEL.

  Another day--a whole precious day devoured by your drivelling
  nonsense! Are you a son? Have you an old blind father? Oh, my
  business, my splendid business, that I slaved and sweated out my
  marrow for, dwindling, dwindling with every ticking of the clock! And
  he wants me to buy a new headboard! I had better buy one for myself. I
  had better be dead than not, with such a son.

ESTHER.

  Sachel! Sachel! You cry--for a son like that! He is not worth one
  tear.

SACHEL.

  God punishes me for all my sins. When he was a child I have stolen the
  bread from my mouth for him, weeks at a time; and now I may burrow
  alone in the dark for all he cares, chained to my door-post, chained
  to wait till some one comes to deal with me--to rob and swindle and
  mock me--because I am alone--and blind.

RAFAEL.

  And the saddest is, it is not my doing, and I cannot help it.

SACHEL.

  Not his doing! Oh, my Maker! Can I keep him in irons and make him use
  his eyes for me?

RAFAEL.

  Father, between us matters cannot be improved--now nor ever!

ESTHER.

  Well, upon my word!

SACHEL.

  Why not? You have something you dare not tell. There is a woman in it.
  You had forty guilders when you went away this morning. Have you a
  cent of it left?

RAFAEL.

  I gave it all to Mordecai to bury his son.

SACHEL.

  I do not believe it.

RAFAEL.

  Father! For the little time that I remain here need we add more
  bitterness to what exists?

SACHEL.

  What do you say?

RAFAEL.

  I am going away.

SACHEL.

  What--what--what do you say?

RAFAEL.

  I am going away!

SACHEL.

  Oh, oh, that crowns all! He can look into my dead eyes and threaten
  this--without a quiver--without a qualm!

RAFAEL.

  Ah, there was a time--there was a time, when I would have yielded any
  sacrifice for you--when I was a boy and you had just gone blind, and
  my heart was wrung with a pity for you that was a very pity in itself.
  If I had seen tears in your poor sightless eyes, then my peace would
  have been utterly destroyed; at the thought of having vexed you I
  should have beaten my brow. And now it's gone--gone--and it won't come
  back--it can't come back--because you robbed me of it.

SACHEL.

  I? I? What have _I_ done? And why do you go away?

RAFAEL.

  For reasons all of which I will not tell.

SACHEL.

  You dog! To leave your father--sick and blind, and on the road to
  poverty! God shall curse you for it!

RAFAEL.

  No; God shall not! To live under this roof--to see, day in, day
  out--nothing--nothing--but, no--no! There _are_ reasons, reasons
  enough, Heaven be my judge!

      [_Several musical instruments begin to tune up in the house where
        DANIEL and SAMSON live._

ESTHER.

  Heaven will be your judge! There _are_ reasons--reasons you are
  ashamed of--reasons you dare not tell!

SACHEL.

  It is true! You have fouled my name, you have been in the mire, you
  have committed some contemptible thing you are ashamed of! You are
  running away, you dare not tell why!

      [_RAFAEL throws over a chair; regains his composure._

RAFAEL.

  Is it but three years ago that I was so ignorant, so raw, and so
  fond of you? I had known you with the fire of life in your eyes, and
  now it had gone; the light of your soul was as hidden in a dungeon,
  because you were blind. Ah, how I suffered! I shut my eyes to
  imagine it--darkness, black nothing; God's beautiful sky gone for
  ever, as if you were in your coffin under ground! Awful! Awful! And
  this, this was my father--my father, whom I loved and honoured, of
  all the world!

SACHEL.

  Who asked your sympathy? Hold your tongue!

RAFAEL.

  I honoured you because you asked the sympathy of no man. I
  _honoured_ you. Shall I ever forget that Friday, when I stood alone
  in the gloom of this warehouse, watching you, sorrowing over your
  blindness, with tears in my eyes! You stood by the scales. They were
  weighing out your merchandise; the man who had bought it stooped and
  shifted the weights; and your creature Jacob read the figures out
  and you wrote them down in great coarse scrawls--your grey head
  bare, your face turned up to heaven. How I loved you--how I pitied
  you! You bore yourself with such calm--such fortitude--as if, when
  God had touched your eyes, He had whispered into your ears some
  portion of the everlasting truth. No one saw me--I was back in the
  shadow. And I started forward; I wanted to say, "Father--go in;
  father, never labour again! Sit in your chair--rest always--while I
  do your bidding--while I do everything!" But I did not say it. No! I
  stopped; I slunk back into the deepest shadow like a criminal. I had
  uttered a cry, but you and Jacob did not hear me. On the platform of
  the scales, when your client stooped to balance them, I had seen a
  foot go out--go out while your white face was turned in holy calm to
  heaven--go out and press down--so that the scales read false--so
  that the man who bought our goods was tricked and robbed--robbed of
  the money we had not earned from him. And again I saw it, and again,
  and again, father! And the man whose foot went out and did this
  crime, the man who was stealing and stealing, time after time,
  stealing his money, stealing my respect, my honour, my youth, before
  my eyes--was it Jacob? No, it was you--you, my father--my father,
  whom I loved and pitied, and they had trusted--because you were
  blind!

ESTHER.

  Shame! That's a lie! Shame!

RAFAEL.

  [_Turning to his father._] Is it a lie?

SACHEL.

  [_Hoarsely._] Let him go on. Let him go on.

RAFAEL.

  And that afternoon I went with my father to the synagogue; I did not
  pray, I could not speak. I only gazed at my father's face, waiting
  to see it soften into some shade of doubt, of repentance, of
  remorse. And the dead eyes faced up to the rafters where the sun
  shone through--they faced up there with the same impassive
  stare--the same holy calm, as when he stood with his foot on the
  scales. Ah, when we walked home, how cold and pitiless the sky
  looked down at me that winter day! We sat at our Sabbath table. He
  complained that I was silent. He said prayers, he dipped the bread
  in the salt. The lamplight shone on him, and I stared into his face,
  and I saw nothing--nothing I had always thought I saw--and my heart
  was ice; and he rose and stumbled over a stool and fell, and I
  picked him up--and my heart was still ice. He was no longer blind to
  me--he was nothing--nothing but a--ah no, no,--what's the
  use--what's the use?

SACHEL.

  [_Hoarsely._] Have I been different from the others? Aaron, Levy,
  Isaac, would they not have done the same? Is there any one who would
  not take advantage of my eyes? No; business is business.

RAFAEL.

  Business,--Aaron, Levy, Isaac! God, how I have despised them all my
  life!

ESTHER.

  Oh, he would give overweight!

RAFAEL.

  I will quarrel no more with you. When I am gone----

SACHEL.

  You are not going--you shall not go! [_Trembling._] I have nothing
  in the world but you. Didn't I do it all for you? When I am dead the
  money will be yours, and the blame sewed up in my shroud with me.
  Can't you be content?

RAFAEL.

  [_After looking at him for a moment, hopelessly._] It is getting late.
  I am tired. Let us go to bed, and to-morrow let us part friends.

ESTHER.

  You eat something. Then you'll feel differently. H'm! He go away! I
  shall call up Rosa!

RAFAEL.

  Thanks, no. I could not eat now. Has she not done enough this
  sweltering day?

ESTHER.

  Then I'm going to bed. No wonder, to be so irregular in your ways. You
  were up last night. Couldn't you sleep?

RAFAEL.

  I did not sleep until nearly morning.

      [_Exit ESTHER. SACHEL goes to try the shutters._

  Well, good-night, father. You won't answer? Well, good-night!
  [_Music begins in the house at the back._] [_Aside._] They are
  playing my music. Give me time--I will show you what is in my soul!

SACHEL.

  [_Aside._] The scales--that is not the only reason!

    _Enter ROSA, who does not see SACHEL. She starts to go to RAFAEL.
      SACHEL hears her._

  Rosa, why are you not in bed? [_ROSA stops motionless, mute,
  frightened._] Is that Rosa? [_He is suspicious._

      [_They do not answer. Exit SACHEL into the house, evidently with a
        purpose._

ROSA.

  [_Rushing to RAFAEL._] Rafael! Rafael! Tell me the truth. Am I not
  your wife? Don't you love me? Do you love some one else? Do you love
  Aaron's daughter? They are planning to marry her to you. What does
  it mean? [_He motions her to be silent._] Does it mean that you wish
  it? No--no, it can't be that: you have said you were going away; but
  you didn't tell them of me. Why? Why do you not tell them of
  me?--soon enough you'll have to; and then--then you will have to
  choose--choose between the rage of your father--between
  disinheritance--poverty--the wrath of all the Ghetto, and me--only
  me! Rafael, my life is in your hands. Love me--love me, Rafael!
  Don't let me doubt you! [_He stops her mouth. Suddenly SACHEL opens
  the window over the shop-door; he leans out, listens, hears nothing,
  withdraws._] He's in my room--he's searching for me--he suspects
  us--he has said so. He's coming down now; he's going to accuse us;
  he's going to tell you to desert me--desert me or starve! Rafael,
  what are you going to say? Rafael, what are you going to say?

      [_He stops her mouth again; they look in through the door. A
        pause._

    _Enter SACHEL._

SACHEL.

  She's not in the house! Rosa--where are you?

ROSA.

  [_Whispering to RAFAEL._] Where? Where?

RAFAEL.

  [_Quietly taking her in his arms._] Rosa is here, father.

A WATCHMAN.

  [_Heard in the distance._] Ten o'clock, and all's well! Ten o'clock,
  and all's well!

      [_SACHEL shakes his head._

END OF THE FIRST ACT.



THE SECOND ACT

  SCENE: _A living room in the rear of SACHEL'S shop. A door at the
    back opens into the street; at the left a staircase runs up over a
    fireplace to a gallery which gives access to two rooms off the
    stage._

  _ROSA is discovered at the fireplace. ESTHER is at the dining-table,
    which is set with the Sabbath-cloth. ESTHER crosses to a door at the
    left._


ESTHER.

  Sachel, your medicine!

      [_ROSA brings a jug of hot water to the table; ESTHER prepares some
        medicine with the water._

    _Enter SACHEL._

SACHEL.

  That girl--where is she?

ESTHER.

  She's here.

SACHEL.

  [_Aside._] That's what Rafael said last night. Rosa! Go and water
  the flowers in my window and pick off the dead leaves, and be sure
  you give plenty of time to it.      [_Exit ROSA._

ESTHER.

  Well! Since when have you taken such an interest in flowers?

      [_She goes upstairs._

SACHEL.

  I want to talk; I've been awake all night. This girl keeps lying to
  me. Last night she had the effrontery to tell me--[_with
  calculation_]--she told me she was considered beautiful!

ESTHER.

  [_Not interested._] Well, she is beautiful!

      [_Exit ESTHER._

SACHEL.

  H'm! [_He thinks deeply; rises._] Rosa!

    _Enter ROSA._

  Last night you tried to make me think you were ugly;--you deceived
  me. You are not a woman--you are a fiend come into my house--come in
  out of the Christian world--to do what? What do you expect to do
  here? Do you know you are in the heart of the Ghetto? What do you
  expect to do in my house?

ROSA.

  Nothing but what my God gives me the right to do!

SACHEL.

  Your God? I tell you the wall your God built against us still shuts
  Him away from here! You came into my house to divide it against
  itself. You have been getting too near my son. Do you think I don't
  know? You've been trying to turn him against his religion, you've
  been trying to turn him against me!

ROSA.

  If I have, then I have failed. Rafael loves you.

SACHEL.

  You say so? I ask no better proof that he hates me! You came into my
  house to accomplish this, you vampire! Could you not have fastened
  on someone else than Rafael? Who sent you here to find him? Did
  your Christian God send you here?

ROSA.

  [_Thinking of RAFAEL._] Yes, yes, my God did send me here--[_checks
  herself_]--or else I should have starved.

SACHEL.

  Starve! Does a demon ever starve? Not while young men have hot
  blood! Hah! It is well that I have found you out before this thing
  has gone too far. Don't I know your damned tricks; _you_ wouldn't be
  satisfied with a passing touch of his lips. You've got a brain--a
  lying, scheming, devilish brain! You want his heart--you want his
  soul! By God! [_He goes vigorously and opens the door, to the
  street._] Do you know what I'm going to do? There's where we found
  you--out there in the streets, without a friend, without a cent, and
  your dead father----

ROSA.

  Sachel, my father helped your people!

SACHEL.

  Now let the Jews help his daughter! You've lied to me always! Shall
  I believe this story of your father? I believe he was a demon like
  you! I believe he was sent out of hell to steal away men's souls, as
  you were. You've found something to fight when you've come across
  me! Shall I feel a snake in my bosom and not cast it out? [_He
  points to the door._] You--[_He checks himself; a pause._] Shut the
  door! Go on with your work! [_Exit ROSA._] No, no, no--it won't do
  to _tear_ him away from her. She is beautiful;--we must marry him to
  Rebecca. Rebecca is handsome, Rebecca is rich, Rebecca is minx
  enough. We must marry him to Rebecca if we can. If not, to some one
  else--any one else, as soon as we can. But we must handle him with
  care. Ah! I had better get the Rabbi to talk to him; the Rabbi has
  tact. And, for the present, we must let Rosa be.

    _Enter ESTHER. A knock on the door._

  Aaron. Come in!

    _Enter AARON._

AARON.

  Good morning!

SACHEL.

  Good morning!

ESTHER.

  Good morning!

AARON.

  I shouldn't have come, my friend, if I hadn't promised Esther. For
  I've been thinking it over; and if there is any question of your son
  marrying my daughter, I tell you I will give eight thousand guilders
  and no more!

SACHEL.

  All because I said "Good morning" to you. I have been considering
  it. I am willing to talk with you. As you probably said in your
  sleep last night, if you can get rid of your daughter without paying
  more than ten thousand guilders, you'll be pretty well satisfied.

AARON.

  Eh--what?

SACHEL.

  Come on, it's time to start to the synagogue; we'll have a talk on the
  way.

AARON.

  But, my dear sir, eight thousand----

SACHEL.

  No; as you said in your sleep--ten thousand!

      [_Exeunt all._

    _Enter SAMSON, cautiously._

SAMSON.

  Rosa! Rosa! [_Aside._] A little show of modesty! Rosa! Nevertheless
  she is listening at the other side of that door; she thinks I will
  betray myself in some soliloquy. H'm! [_Loudly._] Ah--she's not
  here; how the blood rushed to my heart, like the sea beating against
  a rock, when I thought I should have two golden moments alone with
  her! [_He stands on lowest cupboard shelf to be near her door, which
  is upstairs._] But she's gone!--gone forth to air her beauty. Such
  beauty! Such a face, such a form! Night after night she floats in my
  dreams--[_he steps up one shelf nearer_]--for I love her so that I
  have not slept a wink for weeks.

    _Enter DANIEL, unobserved by SAMSON._

  And if she were here I would tell her so! I could gratify her
  tastes! For once her love is mine. [_He draws a bunch of keys from
  his pocket._] She shall hear such music as this from morn till
  night----

      [_He jingles the keys._

    _Enter ROSA._

  One--two--three--four--five--five gold pieces! Did I come abroad
  with only five? H'm! There are plenty more like these indoors--yes,
  in doors! And here I stand perishing with my ardour. Nay, I feel
  faint----

      [_DANIEL bursts into loud laughter._

ROSA.

  [_To SAMSON._] You miserable cur! [_SAMSON descends sheepishly._] If
  I were of your faith--if I were not a servitor, without a father,
  without a brother, you would not dare! [_DANIEL laughs._] And
  you--if you were a little better than he, you would have struck him!
  What do you want here? Go!

DANIEL.

  Look here, my girl, you need not be so virtuous when you talk to us!
  We live next to you--our windows overlook yours--eh, Samson?

SAMSON.

  Don't you be unpleasant to this lady!

ROSA.

  [_To DANIEL._] What do you mean?

DANIEL.

  Lady! What do we mean? What's the difference? Rafael is a friend of
  ours. We are most liberal--most charitable, eh, Samson?

ROSA.

  Rafael? Why do you speak of Rafael? What do you mean?

SAMSON.

  Now you needn't bring Rafael into it, Daniel. I don't want any--any
  misapprehension with Rafael.

ROSA.

  You shall have an understanding with him, you cowards--you vulgar
  beasts! I shall tell him!

DANIEL.

  He'll tell you to hold your tongue. Are you his wife? No; you're a
  Christian servant in his father's house; we know all about that, and
  you'd better learn to take a joke.

SAMSON.

  It was only a joke, you know--only a joke--(_with a forced laugh._)
  [_ROSA'S anger increases._] Now don't you tell Rafael that I was
  trying to get in his way!

ROSA.

  What do you mean? Get in his way? He would flick you over his shoulder
  into the canal. I shall tell him!

SAMSON.

  Don't--don't bring Rafael into it! Hasn't he enough on his mind
  already?

ROSA.

  Would anything so slight as you increase his burden? You cowards! You
  both fear him! You _may_ fear him!

    _Enter RAFAEL._

RAFAEL.

  Hallo! News! news! I've seen Hanakoff--and Hanakoff
  says--Hanakoff--what's the matter? What is the matter? Which of you
  was it? Rosa, what did they do?

ROSA.

  [_Pointing to SAMSON._] Let him speak.

SAMSON.

  Why--why, she can't take a joke--that's all.

RAFAEL.

  Oh, a joke. What was the joke? What was the joke?

DANIEL.

  Oh, everything is a joke. Don't we live across the street? Can two
  people help putting their heads together once in a while? Well, of
  course, if you--if she--if we--why, of course----

RAFAEL.

  What did they say?

ROSA.

  They said--they insinuated that--that----

RAFAEL.

  I know what they said. You--I--[_He takes hold of them both._] Two
  people can't help putting their heads together! If you will meet me
  in some seclusion, my two good friends, I'll show you how two heads
  can be so put together that two people shall see stars enough to
  read their horoscopes. You shall read in those stars the name of
  Rosa--Rosa who, God search my soul, is purer than the snows on the
  crest of the Jungfrau. Quite properly--[_as he causes them to bend
  low_]--quite properly, they bend in homage, Rosa! And Daniel here,
  Daniel whom the starving lions would not taste--the story never
  seemed to me so true as now--he says that what he said he did not
  say, and can't remember what it was, and is most sorry that he said
  it--and see--[_forces them_]--bends low. I thank you for your
  courtesy. And Samson, he that slew the thousands with the jawbone
  of an ass--which is his jawbone to this day--he's swallowing those
  words he spoke, so eagerly that he chokes! Ha, ha! my ardent
  friends! [_He turns them about ironically._] And must you go? Ah,
  well! [_He pushes them towards the door._] If you insist--if you
  insist--Good-bye! Good-bye! [_He throws them violently out._] [_Then
  to ROSA._] I have seen Hanakoff; he is going to play my music
  to-night; and if--Rosa--[_ROSA bursts into tears._] Rosa!

ROSA.

  Go away from me!

RAFAEL.

  But why, Rosa----

ROSA.

  Let me be! You shall never touch me again! I hate you--I loathe
  you--all of you!

RAFAEL.

  But have I not disposed of them! Is there anything else? My darling!

ROSA.

  No, never again; never shall you lay your hand on me! I know what
  lies before me now. I am your wife and you will not proclaim me. I
  am your wife and they insult me, and you bundle them off without a
  word such as I wanted, as if I were your mistress, who must not be
  vexed! I know now; last night you soothed me over--you took me in
  your arms before him; but he is blind--he did not understand--he
  only suspected something foul; and so it will grow, until his
  suspicion makes an open accusation; and then you will stand
  revealed--you will shrink away from me--you will cry, "I have sinned
  in the sight of the synagogue," and I shall be cast out of doors--a
  broken plaything, a husk of yesterday!

RAFAEL.

  Rosa! Rosa! Are you not my wife?

ROSA.

  Your wife--here in the Ghetto--here among your people? No, to them I
  am a Christian--to them I cannot be your wife--to them I am a
  sacrilege--an insult in their teeth! Oh! as one who enters hell I
  entered here--a steaming hell of avarice; not life--but a sickly
  poisoned dream of gain, gain--always gain. I thought I saw a bright
  light shining in this horrid place. I flew to you--I gave you my
  soul--to find myself--ugh!--only----

RAFAEL.

  Horror! that you should even think such things!

ROSA.

  Think such things! You say you love me with all your heart--with all
  your soul. How great is your soul that dares not the anger of a
  father who is wrong?--a soul that fears poverty, disinheritance, the
  hatred of the Ghetto? You fear that you would be cast off, that you
  would suffer want and ridicule, that your father would never feed
  you and clothe you again; and when that fear comes into your heart
  what room is left for me? Love! Ugh! Ugh! What is _your_ love! The
  love of the way that is easiest, the love of the son of honest
  Sachel--the love of a Jew!

RAFAEL.

  [_Slowly, sorrowfully._] And now _you_ say "Jew!" "Jew!" as they say
  it in the streets, among the mob, when I go beyond the Ghetto. It
  sounds strange from lips that I thought loved me; it sounds strange
  from the daughter of your father! Such a man he was! When you and I
  had our first long talks together, and you told me of the noble
  deeds your father had done in behalf of the Jews, I couldn't help
  loving you for his sake; and now you call me Jew! I _am_ a Jew.
  Never forget that I am a Jew. I have married you; and when it is
  known I shall have no standing among Jews. The orthodox will avoid
  me as a pariah, and the mob of Jews will howl at me when I go into
  the street. And I shall still be a Jew--proud of my race, proud of
  its fortitude, of the great triumph which shall come to us Jews when
  we have shaken off the material shell which hides our spirits, and
  makes us no better and no worse than the Christians! No, no! You are
  angry--you don't care what you say! You are angry--and you sneer at
  my father. What do you know against my father's honesty?

ROSA.

  He is the father of a man who has married me and dares not proclaim
  me.

RAFAEL.

  Dares not! Dares not! Ah, you little know me if you think that!
  Rosa, Rosa! Look here! My dear little girl, you are all wrong. We
  have agreed on this point. It was yourself who said that we must not
  tell of our marriage yet. [_ROSA sinks into a chair._] You said that
  I must give my time to my music, until I had made a name--until
  we could go forth on our own footing--not cast out of that
  door--without a cent between us, to be reviled and hustled by the
  mob. And I thought of my father--of his old age--of his pain. If he
  _is_ wrong--if he _is_ what he should not be, he's still my
  father----

ROSA.

  He called me a demon just now! He opened the door and was about to
  bid me go from here. He said my father came out of hell. He called
  me a vampire--he called me a snake----

RAFAEL.

  Oh--! Oh--! Rosa, poor little Rosa!

ROSA.

  [_Weeping._] I only want you to love me. I want to know it--to know
  that they cannot, shall not take you from me! Tell me so, Rafael;
  burn it into my heart, Rafael!

RAFAEL.

  Yes, it must be burned into your heart, dear. Before to-night it
  shall be. I love you! I dare anything for the sake of my love for
  you!

ROSA.

  Rafael!

      [_Knock at the door. She rushes upstairs._

  Rafael! But your father--[_knock_]--you mustn't tell him!

RAFAEL.

  Hush! [_Exit ROSA. RAFAEL goes to the window; sees REBECCA._]
  Rebecca! She knows that the old people will be at the synagogue at
  this hour. What does she want here? A true daughter of her father,
  and yet she has many virtues, I suppose! I wish she would take her
  virtues and go home! I want to get at my music.

    _Enter REBECCA._

  Oh, some friend of Rosa, I suppose?

REBECCA.

  What--don't you know me? I am Rebecca--I used to know you once.

RAFAEL.

  Oh, Rebecca--Abram's daughter, of course. Won't you----?

      [_Points to a chair._

REBECCA.

  Not Abram's daughter, Rafael; Aaron's daughter. My father was here
  only yesterday.

RAFAEL.

  Oh, Aaron's daughter! Oh yes! Aaron was here only yesterday!

REBECCA.

  Yes.

RAFAEL.

  And now you are here.

REBECCA.

  Yes. He came to sell some wool.

RAFAEL.

  Some wool? I thought it was a lamb he came to sell. Ah well! [_Motions
  to chair._] Let us proceed to business.

REBECCA.

  But I did not come on business.

RAFAEL.

  We are quite alone.

REBECCA.

  From what your friends Samson and Daniel have just told me, I should
  think not.

      [_She examines the room._

RAFAEL.

  How do you like it?

REBECCA.

  [_Laughs._] Father said I ought to come and see Esther.

RAFAEL.

  Oh, so your father--a thoughtful man; your father, a man of tact,
  admirable tact!

REBECCA.

  You say such strange things!

      [_A pause. She begins to struggle with a ring on her finger._

RAFAEL.

  [_Yawning._] Admirable tact!

REBECCA.

  This ring--it's so tight--it hurts my finger so! I took it from
  Isaac's son one time--when we played that our fathers had engaged us
  to marry. I don't suppose it was quite proper of me, was it, Rafael?
  It was years ago--but--but--[_pulls_]--it doesn't come easily! [_She
  stretches out her hand to him._] Don't you want to clear it away,
  Rafael?

RAFAEL.

  [_Goes to the cupboard._] Just a moment.

REBECCA.

  [_With her hand still out._] Everybody out, Rafael?

RAFAEL.

  [_Bringing a plate._] There's not a Jew in the house.

      [_He removes the ring easily, and gives it to her on the plate._

REBECCA.

  [_Vexed._] Your servant--that Christian person--I suppose she's
  listening at that door?

RAFAEL.

  [_He sits on the table._] You might go up and see.

REBECCA.

  [_After hesitating, she runs up the stairs and opens the door._] Oh! I
  don't believe there is any one in the house but us! I'm afraid to come
  down!

RAFAEL.

  You needn't be!

REBECCA.

  You mustn't come up!

RAFAEL.

  They'll be home soon. Let us proceed to business.

REBECCA.

  [_Archly coming down one step._] Do you call it business?

RAFAEL.

  I can't say I do. I weigh 12 stone, Rebecca, and your father won't
  give but 8000 guilders. That's--that's 666 guilders a stone; 14 into
  666, that's only 45 guilders a pound! And----

REBECCA.

  No, it's over 47-1/2 guilders a pound.

RAFAEL.

  I am sure you are right--only 47-1/2 guilders a pound he'll give for
  me. No, I can't say I call that business.

REBECCA.

  [_Coming down a step._] You don't seem to have much sentiment about
  it, Rafael.

RAFAEL.

  Ah, if it were only a matter of sentiment! [_She comes down two
  steps._] But sentiment after business, Rebecca, after business. I
  am 40 inches round the chest, Rebecca; and if my heart should swell
  I should be doubtless 45. But at eight thousand guilders, Rebecca,
  it doesn't swell!

REBECCA.

  But I--I don't like to talk this way, Rafael; it doesn't seem to me
  quite--quite nice.

RAFAEL.

  That is your delicacy, Rebecca, your extreme delicacy. But we must not
  mix delicacy with business, Rebecca. He sticks at eight thousand, and
  not a thing, I suppose, in the way of dresses, finery, rigging----?

REBECCA.

  It's really most unpleasant to have to talk of such things. Of
  course I shall have a dozen of everything; father has told me
  so--when I am--when I--I can't say it! I really can't speak of it.

RAFAEL.

  That's your shrinking nature, Rebecca, your extreme sensitiveness!
  H'm! How should a man's heart know which way to beat? On the one
  side the daughter, with her delicacy, her shrinking nature; on the
  other side the father, who sticks at eight thousand guilders! No;
  at eight thousand I will not love you. It would not be dignified at
  eight thousand!

REBECCA.

  [_Coming down the remaining steps._] But you don't suppose that if
  my father were willing to give, say, ten thousand, he would begin at
  more than eight thousand; not with _your_ father--now would he,
  Rafael? But I think that nowadays, when young people are to be--when
  they intend--they ought to have some sentiment for each other.

RAFAEL.

  H'm!

REBECCA.

  And, moreover, I think that young men should be more careful as to
  how they let themselves be talked about--more careful than you are.
  They call you an infidel, Rafael, and they say disagreeable things
  about you and this impertinent servant of yours.

RAFAEL.

  They do! [_A pause._] Of course, if we were to contemplate
  matrimony--you and I--such a matter would be very serious.

REBECCA.

  It certainly would.

RAFAEL.

  And so it's very fortunate, Rebecca, that we have been talking in a
  kind of irony--you and I--over a matter which was never even
  remotely possible! Isn't it?

REBECCA.

  [_After a pause._] Yes, _very_ fortunate. It would have been most
  unfortunate for you if you had ever entertained the idea. If your
  father or mine entertain it, we must speedily end that. Go on with
  your scullerymaid; it's nothing to me.

RAFAEL.

  No, it's nothing to you, Rebecca! You and I don't want to marry, and
  they are trying to chain us together against our wills! We must
  fight them, Rebecca! We must put our backs against the wall! Your
  father will whisper avarice to you. He'll bid you look around. "This
  is thy neighbour's house," he'll say. "It will all be Rafael's;
  see--see--treasure, value, gain; see the jewels there, the gold and
  silver, the rich laces and old articles of art--all his, my
  girl--and his father will die soon! He'll die of joy if he gets
  eight thousand guilders with his daughter-in-law. And then it will
  be all yours--yours and Rafael's; yours to hug and wrap your soul
  around, my girl; all--all, from the last atom of diamond dust in
  the cases there, to the rust on the nail in the latch on the door
  that keeps away the moans of the starving!"

REBECCA.

  But do you think----?

RAFAEL.

  But you won't be betrayed by an old man's lust for gold. No! You'll
  say: "Father, I have a heart; I will not give myself to one I do not
  love, to soothe your itching palm!" You'll look well saying that,
  Rebecca! You'll stand and face him in the dignity of truth! You'll
  be defending the next generation against the crawling viper of
  greed! I'd like to be there! I'd like to see the flash in your eyes;
  even now you cannot think of it without fire in your look! I see the
  anger of righteousness; I cannot too deeply express my respect,
  Rebecca!

REBECCA.

  Do you think I don't know what you mean? You think I want to marry
  you--to get you away from this vile creature--this unthinkable
  person who----

    _Enter ROSA._

RAFAEL.

  Will you be so good as to say no more about Rosa! If a man--[_He
  checks himself._] Let me tell you what she is to me----

ROSA.

  Rafael, Rafael!

REBECCA.

  Oh! She calls you Rafael! She was listening all the time! What they
  say is true: you thrust your shameful doings in my face! I shall
  tell my father--I shall tell everyone; they will stone you from the
  Ghetto! You tried to make a fool of me; and you--you----

      [_She bursts into tears. Exit._

RAFAEL.

  And now I'm going to break my poor old father's heart. I am going to
  tell him that you and I were married by the Civil Authority beyond
  the Ghetto, that we are one and indivisible. Poor old man! I am not
  without love for my father, you know. He will think that I am lost
  for ever; he will turn me away from his door with a curse on his
  lips; and then, when we are gone, he'll sink down in his chair and
  weep; a broken life, an old age come to nothing! And he may die at
  any moment--it may kill him--and he _might_ have died and never have
  known it.

ROSA.

  Rafael, I can't be the cause of his death! Don't tell him, Rafael! I
  will try to live on--as we are.

RAFAEL.

  Live on as we are, with this doubt in your heart? You have said I
  dared not face poverty for your sake. Such a doubt must be killed at
  any cost. I won't have it coming back to you to mar your faith in me
  in after years. No; there's no question of my not telling him;
  there's only the question of how to tell him.

ROSA.

  Rafael, I would rather you wouldn't! I have been selfish; I forgot
  about your father; I forgot about your music.

RAFAEL.

  My father will probably speak first of Rebecca. I shall say: "No,
  father, I will marry no woman I do not love." Then that will be
  settled; my father will let the matter drop. Then I shall tell him
  about you. Either he will be violent or he will ask me a few
  questions between his teeth, such as: "How much money have you?"

ROSA.

  Nothing!

RAFAEL.

  Or, "What vocation are you master of?"

ROSA.

  The music--if he could only hear----!

RAFAEL.

  My father is as deaf to my art as he is blind. "Are you master of an
  art, when it will not yield you bread?" he will say.

ROSA.

  But it will yield you bread, if you will but wait, Rafael!

RAFAEL.

  I was very happy when I came through that door. I saw Hanakoff this
  morning. He is going to play my Fantasia to-night, Rosa, before the
  aristocracy; he is going to let me lead his orchestra! And in a
  month he would have played my Symphony!

ROSA.

  Would have! Why not, then?

RAFAEL.

  Why not? It won't be possible, Rosa.

ROSA.

  It must be possible! Why not? Why not?

RAFAEL.

  Well, because the Symphony isn't finished, and in the time when I
  thought to finish it I shall be working with my hands to keep us
  from starving--if a man can keep from starving by working with his
  hands!

ROSA.

  Rafael, you shall not tell your father! You shall not sacrifice your
  career to me. I wounded you too deeply. I didn't mean what I said--I
  didn't realise what I was doing. See, dear, we must wait for the
  Symphony. You must go on with your work--you must have peace--you
  must know that I love you--that I cannot doubt you! Don't you feel
  that the music will succeed?

RAFAEL.

  It must succeed! It's beautiful. My God, I know it's beautiful!
  Because it is you, Rosa, shining through my art, lifting up my
  spirit till I can't call the work mine. It comes from you and from
  God!

ROSA.

  Then, against my will, will you put me between God and the message
  he sends to the world through you? No!

RAFAEL.

  I must accept the challenge you have made. I am a musician; but I'm
  a man first!

ROSA.

  But--but I----      [_She weeps._

RAFAEL.

  Don't--don't! And this is the day I had looked forward to for so
  many weary months; my music has found a great man who believes in
  it, and on that day my spirit is sunken within me; I am waiting to
  give my father a blow that may kill him, and the woman I love so
  tenderly is sobbing her foolish little heart out on my knee!

ROSA.

  [_Springing up._] Not now! I have stopped sobbing--the tears have
  cleared my eyes--I see better than you! I will not have you magnify
  the doubt I threw into my angry words. There was no doubt; I spoke
  falsely. Have I not given you my life? I should not dare to doubt
  you! There are things that must not, shall not be done. We are going
  to pass through a fire of hatred, scorn, ridicule. We _must_ have
  success, we _must_ triumph, and we must protect your father from
  harm. Go! Tell your father you cannot marry Rebecca; tell him he
  must not think of that. Lead him home, speak kind words to him, but
  don't tell him of me. And then go to work on your Symphony. You say
  I inspired it. You touch my vanity. I want to inspire it to the end!
  Don't mind me, don't think of me. Work, work, and only let me once
  in a while come softly, silently, and----

      [_She kisses his hand._

RAFAEL.

  Rosa! Rosa! How you tempt me! I want to do what is right. I can't
  tell which it is, but the child of my soul is coming forth into the
  world, and your kiss is so like a mother's kiss--it seems to bid me
  be gentle to my child--not to kill it before it is born. Oh, how I
  love my music--love it because it lets me express my love for you! I
  say the world shall never forget how I loved you when my music goes
  down to history! Rosa, Rosa, can you wait--can you trust me?

ROSA.

  [_Joyfully._] You are going to grant my prayer--you're going to
  wait--wait! I'm so glad--I'm so glad!

RAFAEL.

  Unless they force me to it, I'll wait. I must go and find my father;
  it's late already. And then to the Symphony! Ah, you--you are my
  Symphony--it cannot fail! We must have success--and then let the
  Ghetto do what it can! I ought to be back in an hour. Will you steal
  a moment to let me tell you how things stand?

ROSA.

  Yes! yes! Good-bye! good-bye! Remember, there is no Rosa--she does
  not exist!

      [_RAFAEL shakes his head laughingly; kisses her. Exit. She stands
        smiling and happy._

A VOICE WITHOUT.

  That was the man; he's going to marry a Christian!

ROSA.

  Oh!

ANOTHER VOICE.

  He's going to marry the Christian servant in his father's house!

VARIOUS VOICES.

  Oh! Shame! shame! [_ROSA runs to the window._] Oh! Oh!

THE SECOND VOICE.

  It's a sacrilege! He's an infidel!

THE THIRD VOICE.

  He's a dog!      [_Mingled cries of "Yes, yes!"_

ROSA.

  What will they do? That girl! that girl! she has told them!

THE FIRST VOICE.

  Shall he do this in our teeth and not suffer?

VARIOUS VOICES.

  No, no!

ROSA.

  Ah! they'll stone him! Ah! O God, it might be the last time he ever
  touched my lips!

A WOMAN'S VOICE.

  Stone him! Stone him! He mocks our God!

ROSA.

  Ah, Rafael! What shall I do?

VARIOUS VOICES.

  He does! He's a dog! He insults us all! Out of the Ghetto with him!
  Come on!

      [_A number of rough men and women charge along the street, and are
        seen through the window, repeating their cries, which then begin
        to diminish in the distance._

ROSA.

  It has come! He's alone--he'll face them--he will not yield an inch!
  [_A rising yell of the mob is heard._] Rafael! No, he shall not be
  alone! No! No!

      [_She opens the door. A yell from the mob farther in the distance;
        she locks the door and runs off past the window. A still more
        distant yell from the mob dying away._

END OF THE SECOND ACT.



THE THIRD ACT

  SCENE: _A street. At the right the entrance to the synagogue, with
    steps and a portico. At the left the house of AARON, before which
    are some chairs, in the shade of an awning. Some trees and shrubs
    give a grateful contrast to the surroundings of SACHEL'S house, seen
    in ACT I._

  _The final chant of a Jewish service is heard within the synagogue.
    Enter REBECCA, flushed from her interview with RAFAEL, as the chant
    ends, and among others, AARON comes out of the synagogue._


AARON.

  Ah, you've come back! Did you find Esther at home?

REBECCA.

  No; you knew she would not be at home!

AARON.

  Eh! After you had gone, my dear, there I saw her, going into the
  synagogue.

    _Enter ROSA; she looks about anxiously._

  Well, how did you--how did you get on?

REBECCA.

  [_Angrily, seeing ROSA._] I----

AARON.

  [_Seeing ROSA._] 'Sh! It's all arranged, my girl! You wanted him; now
  you have him. Are you happy?

REBECCA.

  [_Her eyes on ROSA, with growing malevolence._] Yes.

AARON.

  Go in. Rafael is coming here, and the Rabbi--a quiet talk. Make
  yourself look well; the boy's a little high-strung, you know.
  By-and-by we will go out by the shop door; we will come round this
  way and join them. We must use tact. Will you come in?

REBECCA.

  [_Still facing ROSA._] In a moment.      [_Exit AARON._

ROSA.

  [_Overcoming a reluctance._] Have you seen Rafael?

REBECCA.

  He's not here. [_Malignantly._] He went home again.

ROSA.

  Do you speak the truth?

REBECCA.

  If I spoke all the truth I know you would not stay to hear it!

ROSA.

  All the truth you know would not take long to tell!      [_Exit._

REBECCA.

  She hates me! She shall hate me more!

      [_Exit into the house._

    _Enter SACHEL and ESTHER from the synagogue; she looks about._

SACHEL.

  You do not see him?

ESTHER.

  Not yet.

SACHEL.

  He won't come; he suspects that the Rabbi will try to influence him.

    _Enter SAMSON and DANIEL._

ESTHER.

  He said he would walk home with us. Good afternoon, have you seen
  Rafael?

DANIEL.

  Good afternoon. [_To SAMSON._] _Have_ we seen Rafael!

SAMSON.

  Is he looking for us?

SACHEL.

  He might be; he does not care what vagabond he goes with.

DANIEL.

  It is true! For I hear he is about to turn Christian and marry his
  father's maid-servant!

SAMSON.

  And any one who dislikes it is to be thrown out of the house--even if
  it be his father! Daniel, shall we stay to meet such a person?

DANIEL.

  I scorn the interview!      [_Exeunt._

SACHEL.

  You are rascals and liars! [_To ESTHER._] They speak the truth! It
  is Rosa who has turned my son against me!

ESTHER.

  Oh, be still! Here comes the Rabbi!

    _Enter THE RABBI, with a father, a mother, and their son, who seems
      subdued, as if after an exhortation by THE RABBI. THE RABBI
      dismisses them blandly._

THE RABBI.

  That boy came as stubborn as a donkey, but a little touch of
  sympathy, enough concession to soothe his pride, a little tact
  withal, and he departs as meek as a lamb.

SACHEL.

  But Rafael is my son, and you cannot twist him about your finger. He
  has no heart; he treats me like a dog. They say he is foul of my
  maid-servant. If it's true----

THE RABBI.

  'Sh! 'sh! Scandalous! Are you every gossip's plaything? Come!
  Violence, violence--we shall do nothing with violence. Rafael is
  young, short-sighted and stubborn; but he's a good fellow at heart.
  We must handle him delicately, like a big trout. You leave him to
  me, and he will stay at home and marry Aaron's daughter, willingly.

      [_They sit in front of AARON'S house._

ESTHER.

  Now what did I tell you, you silly old man!

THE RABBI.

  Silly old man! Not at all. An affectionate father, deeply troubled
  about his only child--sorely vexed because too many things have gone
  wrong at once! Would you have him sit still and not open his month?
  Oh no, Sachel is not the man to let things take care of themselves!

SACHEL.

  It is true! What does she know about the feelings of a parent? Ah, I
  would mould things now, Rabbi, but times have changed. Once, as it
  is written in the Books of Moses, a son must obey his father, or he
  would be stoned to the gates of the city! That was right!

THE RABBI.

  It was right then; but, as you so very rightly observe, Sachel,
  times have changed; and when one throws stones now, one must pay for
  the windows. So, instead of stoning Rafael, we shall marry him to
  Rebecca; and in time you shall be the grandfather of a boy; a boy, I
  say! Ha, ha, ha! You don't laugh enough, Sachel!

SACHEL.

  I cannot laugh! I tell you there is a serpent in my house. This
  girl--this Rosa, I could swear that she----

THE RABBI.

  Shame! shame! I won't hear about it! It was for you that I was
  preaching, but you do not listen when you come to synagogue. Of
  course, you were thinking about Rafael. You leave him to me. He
  shall marry Rebecca, do you hear? In such matters as this you are a
  child!

SACHEL.

  He shall do my bidding, or he shall go in rags! 'Sh!

      [_They all listen. Enter RAFAEL, with his hand bound up carelessly
        in a handkerchief._

THE RABBI.

  Why, it's Rafael! What an unexpected pleasure!

RAFAEL.

  It _is_ a long time since I have seen you.

SACHEL.

  Daniel and Samson are liars! But if it were true, I would----

THE RABBI.

  Tut, tut! What's the matter? Mumbling about business matters on the
  Sabbath! Well, well, how you've shot up since--since----

RAFAEL.

  Since last I came to the synagogue I have had time to grow.

THE RABBI.

  I pass that over. I don't look upon you as gone astray. You are
  seeking for the light, and when you find it, whether you think so
  now or not, you will find it there! [_Indicating the synagogue._]
  Just as when you find happiness you will find it here.

RAFAEL.

  In the house of Aaron?

THE RABBI.

  With your father, and at home, under the roof where your mother
  lived. Ah! what a fine career is open to you in following out your
  father's business! It isn't every boy who has such opportunities!

RAFAEL.

  Business! You in your synagogue--you ought to be the enemy of
  business. You ought to preach it to our people without end that
  their life of morning, noon, and night, and not a breath drawn but
  for sake of gain, is a sickly mockery of life, and that it is
  against the law of Moses!

THE RABBI.

  Another prophet! Business, gain, contrary to the laws of Moses! Go
  on, my boy! Let us have the sermon you would preach! Ha, ha! Go on!
  Now I shall learn something.

RAFAEL.

  Have I not read in the Book of Moses how the people divided the
  soil, and there was no one who had more than another; and there was
  no grinding of the poor, and there was never any selling of lands:
  "For mine is the soil, and you are but strangers unto Me!" And
  among them was not business despised? How did Jacob speak of
  Issachar?

THE RABBI.

  Bravo! "A strong ass," eh? Ha, ha, ha! You've been deep in the
  Pentateuch. Where will you find such inspirations in any other
  Sacred Book? But you should read them under guidance, you foolish
  boy!

RAFAEL.

  Under guidance! There is a guidance born in me that takes me where I
  am, and I do not fear! It is a guidance that lives to-day; it is not
  a guidance dug from the bones of a dead people of the dim past! I
  know. You are going to say that Solomon did business, that David did
  business. I don't care if they did! And you tell me that I skim the
  surface, that I miss the spirit of the Jewish faith; and I tell you
  that it is this spirit that my soul revolts against--the spirit that
  holds our people in chains--the chains of the Ghetto!

THE RABBI.

  Ghetto! There is no Ghetto! We do not live in Ghettos now, my boy!
  Preposterous!

RAFAEL.

  And now _you_ are skimming the surface, and _you_ will not see the
  truth that underlies! You say there is no Ghetto! Could I ever play
  with any but another Jew when I was a child? Could I ever eat with a
  Christian? Was I ever taught by any but a Jew? No, you have taught
  me to despise the Christians!

THE RABBI.

  They persecuted us for ages; they have not taught us to admire them.

RAFAEL.

  They have ceased to persecute us, they have taken down the stones of
  the Ghetto walls, but still we are taught to despise them; still we
  try to think ourselves the chosen people. We set ourselves as a race
  against them and the universal brotherhood of man. This is the proof
  of it: _our women we marry, theirs we pay!_

THE RABBI.

  That is not true; it's a shameful calumny!

RAFAEL.

  I can pick you ten young men to prove it--out of those that heard
  you preach to-day!

THE RABBI.

  How dare you say such a thing! Are you a Jew no longer? Am I
  speaking to a Christian?

RAFAEL.

  You are speaking to a Jew who claims to-day and to-morrow as his
  own--not yesterday! A Jew who believes that it shall not be asked if
  a man worship in a synagogue or in a cathedral, in a chapel or in a
  mosque, or in silence and solitude under God's own dome! And the
  falsehood you have brought me up by; our hatred and our bigotry
  which keeps us away from them, our cursed earthiness which keeps
  them away from us--I loathe it all--I hate it--I will fight it as
  long as I live! I am a Jew--a Jew of to-day and to-morrow; and every
  man whom God created in his image is my brother!

THE RABBI.

  The boy's gone daft! Daft!

SACHEL.

  No, not that; he's been poisoned--poisoned by this damned creature in
  my house! She's his----

THE RABBI.

  Be still! I lost my self-control--set me a better example. I--I--it
  is many years--indeed, I may say I have never listened to such a
  tirade! Let me tell you, you will live to regret what you have said
  here in the very shadow of the synagogue. I will not treat it
  seriously; I cannot! That you--a mere boy who has gobbled a bit here
  and a bit there from the Book of Law, should have the monstrous
  effrontery to--to----

RAFAEL.

  Father, are you ready to walk home now?

SACHEL.

  I--I am not rested yet.      [_He pokes THE RABBI._

RAFAEL.

  From the sermon?

    _Enter two rough fellows, supporting another, who has a swollen eye;
      they stand at a distance, with sinister looks at RAFAEL._

SACHEL.

  Ha, ha! [_Pokes THE RABBI._] You don't laugh enough!

THE RABBI.

  As I was about to say, when I was interrupted, you have said that
  Rafael wants to go away. Then let him go! When he comes back he'll
  have a different view of his people. Do you fear he won't come back;
  not come back to his home--to his blind old father? You are foolish,
  Sachel! Drive him away, and he'll find that there is no home in the
  world like a Jewish home--that a clock ticks nowhere in the world as
  it does by one's own hearth. Ah, the Christians don't know what
  family life is; they have nothing to compare with ours. It is
  because we stay by one another, because we are sober and temperate
  and industrious and respectful of our elders!

      [_RAFAEL goes up, faces the three men at the back; they slink off.
        He returns, showing a new determination in his face._

SACHEL.

  He ought to marry; then he would appreciate that.

THE RABBI.

  Marry? Who spoke of marrying? He doesn't want to marry yet; I
  wouldn't have him marry yet. Don't try to hurry Rafael; he's not the
  fellow to stand it. My dear friends, when the time comes, and a
  strong, fine-looking young fellow makes up his mind that----

RAFAEL.

  It is a good idea. I have been thinking of marriage all day.

SACHEL.

  Eh, you have? Now what sort of thoughts did you have? I suppose you
  thought I would object, eh?

ESTHER.

  But he doesn't know any girls. He never looks at them!

RAFAEL.

  I know one.

ESTHER.

  Indeed! And whom, pray?

RAFAEL.

  Aaron's daughter--Rebecca. Do you know her?

      [_SACHEL nudges THE RABBI._

ESTHER.

  This is where she lives; and she came to see us yesterday, with her
  father.

RAFAEL.

  Indeed! What did he come for?

ESTHER.

  To sell some wool! She's a fine girl, I should say.

RAFAEL.

  A delicate person--a retiring person--a shrinking person!

ESTHER.

  Oh, not too much so.

RAFAEL.

  [_As if disappointed._] Then you think she is not so sensitive a
  creature?

ESTHER.

  Well, I should say she _was_ perhaps rather sensitive.

THE RABBI.

  Shrinking, I should say.

SACHEL.

  Shrinking; she is shrinking, I should say!      [_A pause._

ESTHER.

  Well----

THE RABBI.

  And----

SACHEL.

  And did----?

RAFAEL.

   Eh? Rain--rain? Oh no!

THE RABBI.

  Speaking of Rebecca reminds me, and I will tell you an anecdote----

RAFAEL.

  Curious coincidence that, just as my mind was full of thoughts of love
  and matrimony, in should burst this same Rebecca!

SACHEL.

  Eh? eh?      [_He nudges THE RABBI._

THE RABBI.

  Curious? Not at all! Beauty, health, cleverness--the idea is in the
  air, wherever she goes. If I were a young man--but such matters are
  not for my concern until they are brought to the synagogue--I
  should----

      [_REBECCA appears at the window of AARON'S house._

RAFAEL.

  True, Rabbi, true! And you do wisely not to meddle with them. Do you
  know there was a faint suggestion in the air--like the subtle odour
  of some tender flower--that possibly Rebecca would not be averse to
  marrying me!

SACHEL.

  Well, well, well! Hee, hee!      [_He nudges THE RABBI._

ESTHER.

  Dear me; love at first sight!

RAFAEL.

  Not at first sight; we have had previous interviews----

SACHEL.

  Eh? eh? The rascal!

RAFAEL.

  ----about fourteen years ago. And now we have met again, and I
  thought she would be willing to marry me, but being so shrinking a
  creature, like--what shall I say--like a snail withdrawing into its
  shell----      [_REBECCA draws back in pain._

ESTHER.

  [_Mildly deprecating._] Oh!

RAFAEL.

  She would not say so in as many words.

      [_REBECCA looks out again._

ESTHER.

  I am sorry for the poor girl; for, if the truth be told--But, there,
  you are not serious about anything!

SACHEL.

  Why do you say "poor girl" when she would bring----

THE RABBI.

  But Rafael doesn't look to dowries; he has a romantic turn. The fact
  that she would bring five or six thousand guilders----

SACHEL.

  Ten thousand guilders!

RAFAEL.

  Ten thousand guilders! [_In irony._] H'm! But--Oh, well, I'm not a
  very keen observer, Rabbi; it is probable that Rebecca never----

THE RABBI.

  On the contrary. For, speaking of that very matter, which, of course,
  is no affair of mine, she----

RAFAEL.

  Quite true, quite true! What did you say, aunt?

ESTHER.

  Eh? Oh, I was going to say that she begged your photograph of me
  yesterday, and when it dropped into the canal she was almost ready to
  cry.

RAFAEL.

  H'm! But it was careless of her to drop me into that nasty canal!

SACHEL.

  It blew in; there came a great gust of wind.

RAFAEL.

  The wind must have been Aaron, disputing the value of his wool!

THE RABBI.

  Good! Good! Ha, ha, ha! He has a mind; he will not let his heart run
  away with his head!

RAFAEL.

  And so Rebecca----H'm! But I shall not let my heart run away with my
  purse. I should hold my hot young blood in bounds!

SACHEL.

  Not always! Not always! A young man must have his day!

RAFAEL.

  But is she well? Is she sound? One cannot be too cautious. I knew of
  a girl who seemed as strong as a green peach on a tree; and she had
  not been two days married when, what do you think? Why, she died!
  She knew she was going to die, but she never told him! That's awful,
  awful! Oh! Oh! I could not stand a thing like that! [_THE RABBI
  rises to look at RAFAEL'S face._] I have a soul, Rabbi, I know,
  because you taught me so, and a deception like that--it would kill
  my love.

      [_REBECCA draws in, distressed._

THE RABBI.

  Are you serious?

RAFAEL.

  Am I serious? He asks me if I am serious! But that was not Rebecca.
  You think Rebecca is----

THE RABBI.

  She's as honest as her father!

RAFAEL.

  Ah! Two of them, as honest as each other! [_THE RABBI has growing
  appreciation of the irony._] H'm! But a good housewife? A good
  needlewoman? Sharp over the counter? My father has not slaved to
  feed the idleness of another man's daughter!

ESTHER.

  I'll answer for that. I thought I could bake cakes, but she's coming
  to-morrow to teach me how! You never tasted such cakes!

THE RABBI.

  Indeed, I believe I have heard them spoken of.

SACHEL.

  [_Who has been musing._] Eh--cakes? You cannot expect a girl to know
  everything. Anyway, she's coming to-morrow; and Esther is going to----

RAFAEL.

  Esther is going to learn from her. Excellent!

SACHEL.

  Eh? [_He is nudged by ESTHER._] Yes, yes!

RAFAEL.

  Good, good! I half suspect that--that you look with favour on
  Rebecca. We--we had considerable conversation this morning, we
  talked of money--and love--and----

SACHEL.

  They talked of love! Now, what did you say of love?

RAFAEL.

  And we talked of money--and of children--and of--money.

      [_ESTHER looks at THE RABBI; she also now in dawning suspicion of
        RAFAEL'S irony._

SACHEL.

  Ha, ha! They talked of love and children! Of love and children! We
  must have some wine, Rafael--this is the house of a friend. Esther,
  you go and fetch it. Now what----

ESTHER.

  They charge two prices at that place around the corner.

SACHEL.

  I say we will have some wine! Some good wine! Go!

ESTHER.

  Very well; it is a season of denial with us.

THE RABBI.

  But the extreme heat! [_Whispers._] Get some from my house.

      [_Exit ESTHER._

SACHEL.

  H'm! They talked of children and love! And what did you say about
  children, my boy? Ah, they are beautiful things; though I could not
  see one, I could fondle it! What about children, my boy?

RAFAEL.

  We said that they should each have two cradles; one with a soft
  pillow of burnt wool and one with a hard pillow of burnt cotton, so
  that they should learn the difference before they were old enough to
  tell the sun from a silver coin.

      [_An angry gesture from THE RABBI._


SACHEL.

  Eh, what--H'm! Yes, yes, but later--later would do as well. And
  about love, Rafael; what did she say about love?

RAFAEL.

  Oh, she is a shrinking creature--as shrinking as wool unmixed with
  cotton! And, at first, she would not talk of love, but at length she
  said that when she was married she expected to have a dozen----

SACHEL.

  A dozen! That's too large a family in such times as these!

RAFAEL.

  A dozen of everything.

SACHEL.

  Ah yes--a dozen of everything, Rafael; a dozen of the finest. Her
  father has told me so.

    _Enter ESTHER, followed by a servant with glasses of wine on a
      tray._

  And a dowry of ten thousand guilders! What do you think of that, my
  boy? The wine--here! I shall propose a toast! [_He takes a glass and
  gives glasses to the others; ESTHER and THE RABBI take theirs
  unwillingly._] Here! Here!

THE RABBI.

  [_Holding his glass toward RAFAEL._] I suggest a toast to an open
  heart--to a tongue that leads no man astray!

RAFAEL.

  Hear! The Rabbi suggests that--with _his_ tongue! I'll drink that
  toast with _you_, Rabbi!

SACHEL.

  It is my wine! I am proposing the toast! I----

THE RABBI.

  [_To SACHEL._] You had better drink in silence, and go home. You are
  deceiving yourself: you know not where you stand!

RAFAEL.

  What! What does he mean, father? Am I deceiving myself? Are you not
  planning to marry me to Rebecca? Do you fear, then, that I have
  fallen in love with her? Is she not an honest girl--a shrinking
  girl--a girl as good as Father Aaron?

SACHEL.

  Yes, and better!

RAFAEL.

  Will she not bring me a dozen of everything, and ten thousand
  guilders? Could man ask more? What's wrong here? Why do they not
  raise their glasses?

SACHEL.

  Because they will not let me manage my own affairs! He is my son,
  not yours! It is my wine, not yours! Drink, then, drink to Rebecca,
  the richest girl in the Ghetto, a beautiful young girl, a marvellous
  young girl----

      [_ESTHER turns appealingly to THE RABBI; both look on in distress
        and perplexity._

RAFAEL.

  But they do not raise their glasses, father; they will not drink,
  father! Why? Do they see handwriting on the wall? Do they think I
  have forsaken my race? Do they think I have given my heart and soul
  to the heart and soul of another? Why do they not raise their
  glasses?

SACHEL.

  Let them throw it on the ground if they will! Every one tries to
  thwart me, every one but you; but they shall not! I am Sachel! Drink
  with me! Drink to Rebecca, your wife, Rafael! For this day I have
  seen Aaron; I have sat with him--yesterday and to-day I have sat
  with him! I have laboured with him, my boy; your father was not
  wanting! He would have squirmed into my house with eight thousand;
  but I raised him! I raised him two thousand, my boy! We have agreed,
  agreed! She is yours, Rafael--yours! To Rebecca, my daughter-in-law!
  Now will you drink--will you clink your glasses? [_He reaches about;
  no one clinks; RAFAEL turns away and pours his wine on the ground._]
  Where are you? I'm all alone! What's the matter? What's the matter?

RAFAEL.

  They have not touched their glasses, father! They stand staring at
  you, without words!

ESTHER.

  Sachel, come home!

SACHEL.

  What do you mean? You fools, what do I care what you mean! He's
  going to stay at home and be my boy, my comfort, my staff in my old
  age; he's going to marry Rebecca! Rafael and Rebecca! Rafael and
  Rebecca! Does it not sound beautiful--beautiful!

    _Enter AARON by way of the street, dragging REBECCA by the hand;
      she holds back in deep mortification._

AARON.

  Ha, ha! It does! It does!

REBECCA.

  Father!

AARON.

  Don't be afraid, my girl. [_To the others._] I suspected what you
  were doing! Rafael--[_effusively_]--since the day she was born I've
  had an eye on you! Eh, what's the matter? Why are you all so glum?

RAFAEL.

  [_He goes to the table and gets a glass, then back._] On this solemn
  occasion, sir, I was about to propose a toast.

SACHEL.

  Yes.

AARON.

  [_Goes to table._] We'll drink it here.

      [_He offers the glass to REBECCA._

REBECCA.

  I don't want to drink, father; I want to go in, father!

AARON.

  Bosh! What are you afraid of? Speak on, my boy!

SACHEL.

  Yes, speak on, and speak your soul to them! They need not think to
  thwart this marriage! Let them beware!

AARON.

  [_Surprised._] What's this about?

RAFAEL.

  It's about my soul--my soul that leaps its bounds at last--my soul
  that speaks from the heart of a man! [_A passer-by at the back stops
  to listen._] My soul that dwelt in the wilderness--a rumbling,
  roaring, raging, lying, sweating wilderness of traffic in the things
  of earth--my soul in the wilderness crying in vain, in vain, for the
  love of another soul like mine. Is it not so, Rebecca?

AARON.

  Hear, hear!

REBECCA.

  Let me go, father!

RAFAEL.

  Let _me_ go, father; let _me_ go! I would not be slain on the altar,
  father! The knife is in my flesh! This is the blood of my heart! O
  God, crieth my soul in vain? Where--where is the angel that shall
  stay my father's hand?

      [_A crowd slowly gathers._

AARON.

  Masterly! Masterly! Here she is! What an auctioneer he would make!

RAFAEL.

  What an auctioneer I should make! Ah! [_He runs and stands on the
  synagogue steps._] My father bids me sell my soul! Shall I sell it
  cheap--my soul and my heart's blood? Shall it be knocked down to the
  solitary thirsty first who bids? I, to whom the stench of avarice is
  the breath of morning and night--I, who have seen a man sell his
  soul on the scales----

SACHEL.

  What does he mean by that?

RAFAEL.

  I--to be knocked down for two pink lips and a banknote! See--my red
  heart's blood! See--see--see! And you would have me sell it for ten
  thousand pieces of silver! And I say no! no! no!

AARON.

  He wants more! Oh! I will not give it, do you hear? It is an insult
  to ask more--an insult to my daughter!

REBECCA.

  Father, come away!

ESTHER.

  Sachel, come home!

SACHEL.

  Let me be! What does he want? What does he mean?

AARON.

  Ha, ha! he wants more!

RAFAEL.

  I want more! The sale shall be public! [_The crowd thickens._] I
  will have my price. Who bids more? Who bids? What do you bid, my
  girl?

REBECCA.

  Nothing--nothing--I----      [_Exit._

RAFAEL.

  She bids all she has, and yet I will not take it! More--more--who
  bids me more?

AARON.

  Ha, ha! ten million guilders, idiot!

    _Enter ROSA, at the back._

RAFAEL.

  He bids ten million guilders, and that is still too small. You bid
  nothing but money, money; have you nothing else? Who comes? Who
  bids? Who bids? See, see--[_He points to ROSA, who has worked
  forward, pressed by the crowd._] Another bidder! Another bidder! The
  angel--the angel come to stay my father's hand!

      [_ESTHER and others turn fiercely on ROSA._

ROSA.

  [_Panic-stricken, pressed by the crowd._] Rafael! Rafael!

SACHEL.

  It's Rosa! It's Rosa!

RAFAEL.

  Rosa, Rosa, what do you bid? They bid money, nothing but money; and
  you--you----

ROSA.

  [_Wringing her hands._] Rafael!

SACHEL.

  She calls him Rafael! A curse! A damning curse!

      [_The crowd murmurs._

RAFAEL.

  Silence! It is my blood we are drinking! It is my soul we are
  selling! [_To AARON._] And you bid more than all you have, and yet
  it will not do; and you, Rosa, angel--angel--for my heart--for my
  soul--bid, bid!

ROSA.

  For your heart--my heart! For your soul--my soul!

RAFAEL.

  Ha, ha! Going! Going!

THE RABBI.

  Going the way of the profligate--to the damned!

      [_Exit into the synagogue, closing the doors._

RAFAEL.

  Gone to the highest bidder! She has been my wife for months!
  [_SACHEL sinks into a chair; hisses and groans from the crowd._] Now
  let the Ghetto damn me if it can!

ONE OF THE CROWD.

  She's a Christian!

      [_The crowd surround RAFAEL, who holds them at bay._]

END OF THE THIRD ACT.



THE FOURTH ACT

  SCENE: _The same as ACT I. It is seven days later. AARON discovered
    at the door; he holds some letters in his hand._


AARON.

  I had rather talk to you here.

    _Enter SACHEL, pale, bowed and trembling; the two sit on a bench
      at the right._

  Then it is true that you have not heard from Rafael for a week? What
  happened that day, after the officers had dispersed the crowd?

SACHEL.

  [_With a sob, then restraining his emotions._] He brought her back
  here to get the few things that belong to her. He said that as soon
  as he had done with Hanakoff he would come and get her. Then he went
  away. He said he would be back in the morning; and he has been gone
  a week! My God, it was I who made him so anxious to leave--it is the
  judgment of the Almighty upon my sins!

AARON.

  [_Calculatingly, as he looks at the letters in his hand._] Oh, he's
  your son; I fancy if he got in the vicinity of harm, he saw it
  before it saw him! And the girl, why do you let her stay here?

SACHEL.

  The Rabbi! The Rabbi came here and made me promise to keep the girl
  until Rafael could find a home for her. I thought it would be the
  next day; I promised. The Rabbi said he repented the strong words he
  had uttered when he slammed the door of the synagogue. H'm! The
  Rabbi is not much better than you, or at least, than me! The only
  difference is that the Rabbi is always repenting! If Rafael would
  only come back, I'd let him keep the girl here for ever--what do I
  care! I want my son--the only thing I live for!

AARON.

  But doesn't the girl know where he is?

SACHEL.

  No, no. Esther kept telling me that Rosa has had no word from
  Rafael. I would not believe it; and this morning I took hold of her;
  I cursed her up and down for not telling me where he was. She said
  if she knew where he was she would walk to him, if it was a thousand
  miles, rather than stay another night under my roof. Then, for the
  third time this week, she had a fit of hysterics--I never heard such
  sobs in all my life! When she quieted down she went up and put on
  the rags she first came here in; and since then she has refused to
  take food from us; she won't enter the house; she is wandering about
  here somewhere now. I don't know; though she be a Christian and a
  pauper, I suppose I'll have to accept her for my daughter-in-law, if
  he'll only come!

AARON.

  She, that broke up your home and took your son away from the finest
  young woman in the Ghetto? She, that robbed him of his faith and
  brought him to a pass where every one is saying that he has run away
  rather than face the consequences of his acts? H'm!

SACHEL.

  What am I going to do? If he's dead, I _will_ keep her! Isn't she
  the only one in the world whose sorrow will approach mine?

AARON.

  But if he is not dead? If he comes back? [_Circumspectly makes as if
  to open one of the letters._] Look here--

      [_Enter the RABBI; AARON hastily puts away the letters._

  Oh, the Rabbi! [_Whispers._] We must get rid of him. I want to talk
  to you.

RABBI.

  Good evening! How is that girl? Is she still crying her eyes out? It's
  pitiful! It is dangerous! I must see her!      [_AARON nudges SACHEL._

SACHEL.

  She's all right. I have not heard her stir since she went to bed.

RABBI.

   Oh, she's gone to bed--good! Sachel, Rafael had my promise to
   protect that girl; and I will protect her. Last Saturday we were all
   overwrought; we were taken by surprise. But now that we all realise
   it, it comes to this: Rafael has married a Christian girl; she knows
   what an affront this is to the religion in which Rafael was reared,
   and to which inevitably he must return his full devotion when he
   grows an older and wiser man. Now there is but one remedy: Rosa must
   become a Jewess. Not to-night or to-morrow; but she must be
   influenced to open her heart to the faith of her husband; and she
   must be urged to welcome a future day when she shall enter the
   synagogue and come forth from there with all the hatred, all the
   revulsion which she has seen in our faces to-day, buried for ever!
   Teach her to be thankful that this is Holland, where a Christian
   _may_ become a Jewess.

AARON.

  Rabbi, your sentiments are worthy of your calling. Sachel and I have
  been talking; we both regret our bitter words of that day. Sachel
  has become reconciled--as much as any Jew could. And, to tell the
  truth, we had gone so far as to dismiss the subject and to devote
  ourselves to a very important matter of business which had to go
  over from Friday.

THE RABBI.

  I see--I see! I am very glad, then! We must make Rosa understand the
  things that are glorious in our religion; the inspirations that have
  sustained us through centuries of the bitterest persecution that
  men have ever known. And she must believe that we shall cling to
  them until that supreme day when Jerusalem is peopled anew with the
  race which God has chosen for His own. Is it not so?

SACHEL.

  Yes, yes! And we'll walk a little way with you. Then, Aaron, you can
  come back, and we can go on with that business.

      [_They go up: THE RABBI stops at the bridge._

THE RABBI.

  Very well; but you will treat the young girl tenderly, my friends?
  Look here; you and Esther and Rafael bring her to my house some
  night when there will be no one else there. We'll let her feel the
  warmth of our hearts, as if she were already a Jewess. We will show
  her what the inner life of the Jews is; the life that the Christians
  have no conception of. And so we will work upon her better nature;
  but--yes, yes, I see you are busy. You are not worrying about
  Rafael, then?

AARON.

  Oh, he'll be all right. I'm sure of it.

      [_They start off over the bridge._

THE RABBI.

  I'm glad to see you here, Aaron. It does you credit to forget your
  disappointments!      [_Exeunt._

    _A bell tolls ten o'clock. Enter ROSA. Her pallor and the tremor
      of her voice show the effects of intense emotional strain._

ROSA.

  The very hour that he went away, and seven days are gone! Seven
  days--and he stood here and took me in his arms!
  Oh!--[_turning_]--you who cry after me that Rafael has deserted his
  Christian mistress; it is because you never knew the love of
  anything but money! You look down--always down! But the same clear
  sky was over our heads when he kissed me here, and we looked up to
  it and thanked God, who made us dare to lead our life in open truth
  before the world! Let _God_ punish us for loving each other, if that
  be a crime! Oh, _does_ He punish us? Where is my Rafael, you star
  that watched over us then! I love him, I love him; I cannot live
  without him--sweet star, tell me where he is to-night! Oh, it is
  from pity that you will not tell! And he lies cold and dead! Rafael,
  Rafael, I'm all alone--all alone! [_Weeps._] No, no; it can't be
  that! Dear God, who sees me here among these aliens, you could not
  be so cruel to your own! Not so cruel as that! Not so cruel as that!

      [_She sobs; exit._

    _Enter AARON and SACHEL._

AARON.

  Where is Esther?

SACHEL.

  Can't you hear her snoring? I can, though she is away at the back of
  the house! I have not slept seven hours in these seven days!

AARON.

  Do you think the girl has any suspicion that Rafael may have found
  that he has undertaken the impossible? If he did throw her off--I
  don't say that he has--but if he did, it must strike her that she
  wouldn't have a place to go in all the world!

SACHEL.

  She believes in him.

AARON.

  When he is with her, yes! But when he is away, and she waits and
  waits, are not all women alike? Doesn't she know that he has
  sacrificed every guilder that he might have had from you?

SACHEL.

  I said that to them. Why did I not hold my cursed tongue! He hadn't
  a copper in his pocket; the poor boy had given away everything he
  had, to bury Mordecai's son.

AARON.

  And does not she know that he gave up every friend he had, too, when
  he forsook his religion? These things must have passed through her
  mind.

SACHEL.

  What do I care what is passing in _her_ mind!

AARON.

  Of course, of course! [_Pulls the letters from his pocket._] But the
  main probability is that Rafael will soon return. I am only thinking
  whether before he returns this girl could not be influenced to leave
  here, made to believe that the boy has deserted her? You can't blame
  me for considering my daughter's feelings in this matter. Now
  suppose we could let drop a few things in Rosa's presence, without
  appearing to know that she overheard?

SACHEL.

  I don't care about her! I want _him_ to come back.

AARON.

  Don't you see: after a whole week, after all her waiting and
  waiting, without a word from him and with her whole life trembling
  in the balance, then if she overhears certain things----! Of course
  if we try to persuade her he is gone, she'll suspect at once. But
  there are certain remarks that we can let drop, quite casually, you
  know, that will absolutely make her believe that he does not intend
  to come back; that he has deserted her.

SACHEL.

  But she _won't_ believe it!

AARON.

  No, not if we try to convince her! But we won't try! You only make
  certain statements within her hearing; and if she says they are not
  true, just shrug your shoulders! What is in that girl's mind? Either
  that he has met harm, or that he is afraid to come back to her; that
  the poverty staring him in the face has been too much for him. Seven
  days is a long time when a woman is alone on the rack of doubt. Now,
  do you see what I mean?

SACHEL.

  But I want my son! I don't care whether he marries your daughter! I
  want my son!

AARON.

  [_Tapping the letters._] Here are some letters. One for you and four
  for Rosa.

SACHEL.

  Where did _you_ get them? Is mine from Rafael? Yes? Ah, ah! Read it,
  quick!

AARON.

  [_Reads._] "Father: Rosa will tell you where I am. I am your son; do
  not be harsh to Rosa. The Rabbi told me that he knew you would keep
  her over night; as I left her for a night, relying upon his good
  offices with you, so I feel I may leave her for a week. Good-bye,
  father. Rafael."

SACHEL.

  He's all right! He's all right! [_Pauses, suddenly._] Look here, you
  miserable rascal, you've had this for a week. You've bribed that
  postman; it's a crime!

AARON.

  One for you and four for her. Will you listen to one of those he
  wrote to her? [_Opens it._] Shall I open it?

SACHEL.

  You have, already.

AARON.

  Shall I read it?

SACHEL.

  [_After hesitation._] Yes.

AARON.

  [_Reads._] "My darling: If I take ship at once with Hanakoff for
  London, I have the opportunity of a life time; it will fix me in my
  career as I had never dreamed of. My mind tells my heart that I must
  go; but I am as joyful as I am sorrowful; for in a week, dear, I
  take you away from the stifling air you breathe to-night--out of the
  Ghetto, into the freedom which is the right of our love. Good night,
  my angel! Your Rafael."

SACHEL.

  He'll have money now. He'll never look at me again. She's got him!
  She's got him! O, I would to my Maker I were dead!

AARON.

  No, no! She hasn't got him! She shan't have him! Don't you see, this
  clears the way for the very thing I proposed to you.

SACHEL.

  What? What? It might succeed, with the girl in the state she is. But
  if it does, what will Rafael say, to-morrow?

AARON.

  Eh? Why, if he finds her gone and she left no word, let him draw his
  own conclusions; that she was afraid to stand by him; afraid to
  share his poverty. You say "to-morrow"? He may be back to-night!
  It's your one chance. If it succeeds, the girl goes, with two
  hundred guilders in her pocket; Rafael stays home--in due time
  marries Rebecca--becomes a successful Jew. If it fails--then this
  Christian robs you of him anyway! [_SACHEL ponders; then suddenly
  touches him; they listen; AARON whispers._] Only casually; not an
  effort to convince her! She can't help believing it, then!

SACHEL.

  Sh--!

    _Enter ROSA, by the bridge; she drops her hands, hopelessly, and
      stays near the bridge, turned away from them._

AARON.

  [_Without looking about, whispers._] Was that her step? [_SACHEL
  nods; a pause; AARON begins in a moderate tone._] Yes; but a man who
  gives his word to one girl and then deserts her, would desert
  another girl. Shall I let my daughter risk that? No!

SACHEL.

  But I tell you it is not a parallel case! A marriage solemnised in a
  synagogue is one thing; but a marriage such as this--which we all
  know is not a marriage, either inside or outside the Ghetto--I tell
  you it's totally different!

AARON.

  Didn't he commit himself morally? Very well! Then he goes and finds
  that he has been tricked by a venial under-magistrate, for the sake
  of thirty guilders; and he finds that it was no marriage at all! The
  girl is reduced merely to the position of his mistress----

SACHEL.

  Well, doesn't that dispose of _her_? Doesn't that rid him of
  responsibility?

AARON.

  Yes; but it is a high moral consideration that occupies me. The boy
  found that he could rid himself of his burden; the discovery came
  when he had been looking about for a week, and finding nothing but
  poverty, privation and despair on every side; no one would lend him
  money; none of his former friends would speak to him; there was only
  the choice between an absolutely hopeless struggle and running away.
  He ran! And I say a young man who has thus been tried and found
  wanting is no man to be my daughter's husband!

SACHEL.

  O! Because Rafael has had one mistress is he not good enough to be
  your daughter's husband?

ROSA.

  What do you mean! What do you mean, Sachel! [_The two men rise,
  affecting surprise._] It is a lie! It is a cruel lie!

AARON.

  Eh? Doesn't the _girl_ know about it?

ROSA.

  What do you mean by saying that he ran away from me? How do you know
  that he ran away from me? Where is he! Tell me where he is! Quick,
  you shall!

AARON.

  No one will know where he is until he has spent the money he sent
  for. And that ought to keep him a year, even in England.

ROSA.

  England--you say he has gone to England? You tell me he has deserted
  me? After what he said before the synagogue? I say it's a lie--a
  preposterous lie! It isn't true that I am only his mistress--it's a
  lie!

AARON.

  I'll tell you what _is_ true; after this escapade with you he'll
  have to prove himself a man before he marries my daughter.

ROSA.

  He can't marry your daughter! He's mine! O, God, what does this
  mean? Can't you find him? Can't you let me see him? He would have
  written to me--I know he would! Sachel, let me go to him. Sachel,
  tell me where he is!

AARON.

  What could Sachel do, even if he could reach the boy? After seven
  days, at the very moment Sachel has been persuaded to accept all
  this--to treat you as his daughter--here slinks Rafael along the
  canal and up through the warehouse and whispers that he has given
  you up! Then he wheedles his father out of more money than I would
  give ten sons, and then boards a ship for England! [_To SACHEL._] Do
  you think I'll see my daughter marry such a man? If he wants to
  return next year on the hope of marrying Rebecca, you tell him to
  remain in England!

ROSA.

  It's a lie! He couldn't desert me. He's a man of soul--of honour! It
  isn't true. My God, it can't be true!

AARON.

  You'd better find a place to sleep, and then compose yourself to
  make the best of it. I have a friend in the country who will receive
  you. With the money that Rafael has persuaded his father to give
  you, begin life over again. Come!      [_Touches her._

ROSA.

  No, I will not come! It is a lie. You try to convince me because
  you know I will kill myself--because you----

AARON.

  Has any one tried to convince you? Sachel is the only one to gain by
  your going. Has he tried to convince you?

ROSA.

  I know--I know--O God! Sachel, Sachel, as you fear your God, swear
  to me that he has deserted me! Swear to me that he wants to marry
  Rebecca!

SACHEL.

  I--I----

AARON.

  Shall _I_ take an oath, on the Law of Moses, that is fastened to the
  lintel there?

ROSA.

  I will not believe _you_ on any oath! I will only believe
  Sachel--Sachel, who could not deceive me--[_turns to
  SACHEL_]--because you know that if you make me go away and kill
  myself Rafael will hate you, for ever and ever! Sachel, Sachel,
  can't we get him back? I'll do anything--anything. I'll become a
  Jewess if you'll get him back! Sachel, Sachel!

      [_Cries hysterically._

AARON.

  The poor girl wants your oath. That's a simple matter. [_To
  SACHEL._] There is no reason why I should stay here to witness this.
  Good-night!

      [_Exit by the bridge._

SACHEL.

  Such as you to kill yourself--h'm! Now take your money and be off!
  I'm going to lock my door.

ROSA.

  _You_ haven't said the marriage was false! _You_ haven't said he
  went away! _You_ haven't said he wants to many her--you dare not! It
  can't be true! It _can't_ be true!

SACHEL.

  Dare not--dare not. What do you mean? You thankless hussy! You wreck
  my home, you rob me of my son, and then when he has gone and I offer
  you money to leave me in peace you dare to say I lie!

ROSA.

  No, I did not say _you_ lied, because _you_ have not said that he is
  deserting me! You will not! You dare not! He loves me; he is coming
  back! I will stay until he comes!

SACHEL.

  He wants to be rid of you. He has gone to England. He wants Aaron
  to----

ROSA.

  Sachel, Sachel, think what you are saying! Tell me he is dead--tell
  me anything but that he's left me! O, could your son dishonour me?
  Think what you are saying! No, no--not unless you swear it in the
  sight of God! Sachel, Sachel--[_as he puts hand on the
  lintel_]--don't swear to it--[_on her knees_]--don't swear to it!

SACHEL.

  [_With a burst of rage._] God!--Hear me then. You have been nothing
  but Rafael's mistress! Rafael has deserted you! Rafael wants to
  marry Rebecca! Rafael has sailed from Amsterdam! By the sacred Law
  of Moses, by all that is holy in the sight of God, I swear it! I
  swear it! Now go! Take your money and go!

      [_She goes towards the canal._

ROSA.

  And so--and so--Dear God--dear God!

SACHEL.

  Where are you? Here, take it--take it! Where are you going?

ROSA.

  [_At the canal._] Dear God--dear God--No more--no more!

SACHEL.

  Come away!

ROSA.

  Rafael!      [_She jumps into the canal._

SACHEL.

  Stop! O--O God! It isn't true! Rosa! Rosa! [_At the wall._] A stick!
  A stick! I cannot find one! Where are you? For God's sake, answer!
  Don't you hear? O God! O God! [_Turns to the house, where music is
  being played._] Daniel! Samson! Open the door! [_The music drowns
  his voice._] Help! help! [_He rushes back._] Rosa! Reach out your
  hand! Where are you--where are you? Answer me--[_the music ceases
  abruptly_]--answer. [_A silence. He slinks away from the wall. A
  pause._] What will Rafael do? What will God do?

      [_He hears the footsteps of RAFAEL._

    _Enter RAFAEL, joyously._

RAFAEL.

  Hello, father, father! I'm home again! Why haven't I heard from you?
  I--what's the matter?

SACHEL.

  [_Trembling._] I--I--don't mind me! I--I--I thought you wouldn't
  come back. We didn't get your letters until to-day. But you've
  come--you've come! Rafael, for God's sake, don't leave me! For God's
  sake--I'm sick, I'm blind, I've only a little while left! Stay with
  me. Don't leave me alone--you mustn't leave me alone!

RAFAEL.

  You are not well. Have you been in the heat? Father, why do you
  tremble so?

SACHEL.

  I'm not trembling, my boy. I--I--my boy, my boy, ask me anything and
  I will give it to you! I can't live without my son! If you speak a
  harsh word to me I shall drop dead, Rafael.

RAFAEL.

  Father, father, be calm; Heaven knows I don't want to be harsh to
  you; there's a clean page to begin on if you like. We'll leave this
  place; come and live with Rosa and me. She has never spoken a harsh
  word to you, has she? Don't you see now that she has the gentleness
  of an angel? Wait till our people know her!

SACHEL.

  Yes, yes, I know; my God, I know--I--I--[_RAFAEL makes as if to go
  in._] Rafael, for God's sake, don't leave me!

RAFAEL.

  Where is she, father? She was afraid to stay here; but I told her
  she was my wife, and that you loved your son, and that ought to be
  enough to reassure her. I had to go with Hanakoff. I have made a
  success, do you hear? Don't worry, don't tremble. I must find Rosa.
  Where is she? Rosa! I've something to tell you!

SACHEL.

  No, no; don't speak so loud!

RAFAEL.

  Yes, but she does not hear me! Isn't she in the house? Rosa! What have
  you said to her? Where is she? She is not here. Where is she?

SACHEL.

  Don't ask me, don't ask me!

RAFAEL.

  Where is she?

SACHEL.

  I couldn't stop her!

RAFAEL.

  From what? Where is she?

SACHEL.

  Don't know, don't know! She went away!

RAFAEL.

  Where--why?

SACHEL.

  You shall not blame me! It was not my doing. Aaron--Aaron--it was he
  who bribed the postman! Before God it was not I!

RAFAEL.

  Bribed the postman? She did not hear from me? Where is my wife?

SACHEL.

  No, no, Rafael, my boy; my dearest boy--she's gone, she took money,
  she deserted you!

RAFAEL.

  You are lying!

      [_People collect, looking over the canal wall._

SACHEL.

  She said--she said she hated our race--she hated you--she hated all
  of us; she was going away, out of the Ghetto, away, off there,
  there--[_He points away from the canal. The excitement at the canal
  wall increases. RAFAEL starts as if towards the wall._] Not there,
  not there, Rafael, my boy, my boy!

RAFAEL.

  What's the matter down there? [_Two men bring ROSA up the steps; the
  crowd obscures her from RAFAEL._] Who is that? My God! Is it a
  woman?

A MAN.

  Yes.

RAFAEL.

  [_Pushes through the crowd._] Rosa, Rosa--Rosa! Oh! oh! oh!

SACHEL.

  Oh, my boy!--oh, my boy! Rafael! Rafael! I couldn't stop her!

RAFAEL.

  [_Turning on his father._] Ugh! Off from me--off! Oh, oh, damnable,
  damnable monster! Take him away!

AN OLD MAN.

  He's your father! Shame! shame!

      [_Hisses from crowd._

RAFAEL.

  [_To SACHEL._] Keep your cursed talons off! Murderer! Murderer! You
  made her drown herself!

A SECOND MAN.

  Leave him alone! Shame! This is the man who blasphemes God!

A THIRD MAN.

  He profaned the synagogue--he curses his father!

      [_RAFAEL meanwhile looks upon the body of ROSA._

THE SECOND MAN.

  Shall he do all this--this--in our teeth? [_Hisses from the crowd._]
  Hide your face! Hide your face!

      [_Advances on RAFAEL._

RAFAEL.

  Stand away from her! [_Throws him down, turns to his father._] O
  God, if I had not concealed your knavery from her, your holiest oath
  would not have moved her! And now must you live on, while she lies
  thus?

SACHEL.

  [_To the crowd._] She poisoned my son; she took away his religion--she
  killed my son's love for his father! She deserves it--she deserves it!

RAFAEL.

  Rosa, my Rosa, you shall not die! Life, life, freedom--the blue
  sweet sky, we two together singing in the sun--not the dead soul
  sighing through the trees--not the whisper of night--the sorrowful
  shade that passes in the mist! No, no, you must feel my breath upon
  your cheek, you must feel my arms, you must live, live! [_ROSA
  stirs._] Live! She breathes--she breathes! Air--distance--distance,
  I say! Rosa, it is I, Rafael! You are safe! Not all the fiends in
  God's grey world shall thrust an arm between us. Rosa! Rosa!

ROSA.

  [_Raising her head a little._] Rafael, forgive me----

SACHEL.

  Rafael--Rafael--she means me. Forgive _me_--for God's sake--[_on his
  knees to RAFAEL, who turns his back_]--Rafael!

SECOND MAN.

  Shame! shame! He hates his father!

THE CROWD.

  Shame! shame! Punish him!

      [_The crowd closes in on RAFAEL._

ROSA.

  [_In fear._] Rafael!

RAFAEL.

  Are you no better than a mob of Christians? Stand back! [_Pushes the
  crowd back violently._] Rosa, Rosa--away--out of the Ghetto--into
  the air! Rosa!

      [_The crowd starts to close in again; he takes ROSA in his arms
        and rushes across the bridge. The crowd follows, walking
        rapidly. SACHEL is left solitary._

SACHEL.

  Rafael! Raf----      [_He falls._

    _Enter A WATCHMAN._

WATCHMAN.

  Eleven o'clock, and all's--[_Stops and looks at SACHEL, who stirs and
  sobs._] Eleven o'clock!

      [_Exit WATCHMAN, thoughtfully._

  Eleven o'clock!


THE END.


  Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO.
  London & Edinburgh



      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:


  Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

  Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from
  the original.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected as follows:
    Page 28: "ust" changed to "just"
    Page 30: "manag" changed to "manage"
    Page 120: "sustain" changed to "sustained"
    Page 134: "want's" changed to "wants"

  Errors in punctuation have been corrected without note.





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