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Title: Pandora's Box - A Tragedy in Three Acts
Author: Wedekind, Frank, 1864-1918
Language: English
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  PANDORA'S BOX


  A TRAGEDY IN THREE ACTS
  BY
  FRANK WEDEKIND

  Translated by Samuel A. Eliot, Jr.

  [Illustration]

  BONI AND LIVERIGHT
  NEW YORK      1918

  COPYRIGHT, 1914
  BY
  ALBERT AND CHARLES BONI



  PANDORA'S BOX


  LULU
  BY FRANK WEDEKIND

  ERDGEIST (EARTH-SPIRIT) $1.00
  PANDORA'S BOX           $1.00



CHARACTERS


  LULU.
  ALVA SCHÖN, _writer_.
  SCHIGOLCH.
  RODRIGO QUAST, _acrobat_.
  ALFRED HUGENBERG, _escaped from a reform-school_.
  COUNTESS GESCHWITZ.
  BIANETTA.                      }
  LUDMILLA STEINHERZ.            }
  MAGELONE.                      }
  KADIDIA, _her daughter_.       }
  COUNT CASTI PIANI.             }  In Act II.
  PUNTSCHU, _a banker_.          }
  HEILMANN, _a journalist_.      }
  BOB, _a groom_.                }
  A DETECTIVE.                   }
  MR. HUNIDEI.                              }
  KUNGU POTI, _imperial prince of Uahubee_. } In Act III.
  DR. HILTI, _tutor_.                       }
  JACK.                                     }



ACT I


_The hall of EARTH-SPIRIT_, Act IV, _feebly lighted by an oil lamp on
the centre table. Even this is dimmed by a heavy shade. Lulu's
picture is gone from the easel, which still stands by the foot of the
stairs. The fire-screen and the chair by the ottoman are gone too.
Down left is a small tea-table, with a coffee-pot and a cup of black
coffee on it, and an arm-chair next it._

_In this chair, deep in cushions, with a plaid shawl over her knees,
sits Countess Geschwitz in a tight black dress. Rodrigo, clad as a
servant, sits on the ottoman. At the rear, Alva Schön is walking up
and down before the entrance door._

RODRIGO. He lets people wait for him as if he were a concert
conductor!

GESCHWITZ. I beg of you, don't speak!

RODRIGO. Hold my tongue, with a head as full of thoughts as mine
is!--I absolutely can't believe she's changed so awfully much to her
advantage there!

GESCHWITZ. She is more glorious to look at than I have ever seen her!

RODRIGO. God preserve me from founding my life-happiness on your
taste and judgment! If the sickness has hit her as it has you, I'm
smashed and thru! You're leaving the contagious ward like an
acrobat-lady who's had an accident after giving herself up to art.
You can scarcely blow your nose any more. First you need a
quarter-hour to sort your fingers, and then you have to be mighty
careful not to break off the tip.

GESCHWITZ. What puts *us* under the ground gives *her* health and
strength again.

RODRIGO. That's all right and fine enough. But I don't think I'll be
travelling off with her this evening.

GESCHWITZ. You will let your bride journey all alone, after all?

RODRIGO. In the first place, the old fellow's going with her to
protect her in case anything serious--. My escort could only be
suspicious. And secondly, I must wait here till my costumes are
ready. I'll get across the frontier soon enough alright,--and I hope
in the meantime she'll put on a little embonpoint, too. Then we'll
get married, provided I can present her before a respectable public.
I love the practical in a woman: what theories they make up for
themselves are all the same to me. Aren't they to you too, doctor?

ALVA. I haven't heard what you were saying.

RODRIGO. I'd never have got my person mixed up in this plot if she
hadn't kept tickling my bare pate, before her sentence. If only she
doesn't start doing too much as soon as she's out of Germany! I'd
like best to take her to London for six months, and let her fill up
on plum-cakes. In London one expands just from the sea air. And then,
too, in London one doesn't feel with every swallow of beer as if the
hand of fate were at one's throat.

ALVA. I've been asking myself for a week whether a person who'd been
sentenced to prison could still be made to go as the chief figure in
a modern drama.

GESCHWITZ. If the man would only come, now!

RODRIGO. I've still got to redeem my properties out of the pawn-shop
here, too. Six hundred kilos of the best iron. The baggage-rate on
'em is always three times as much as my own ticket, so that the whole
junket isn't worth a trowser's button. When I went into the pawn-shop
with 'em, dripping with sweat, they asked me if the things were
genuine!--I'd have really done better to have had the costumes made
abroad. In Paris, for instance, they see at the first glance where
one's best points are, and bravely lay them bare. But you can't learn
that with bow-legs; it's got to be studied on classically shaped
people. In this country they're as scared of naked skin as they are
abroad of dynamite bombs. A couple of years ago I was fined fifty
marks at the Alhambra Theater, because people could see I had a few
hairs on my chest, not enough to make a respectable tooth-brush! But
the Fine Arts Minister opined that the little school-girls might lose
their joy in knitting stockings because of it; and since then I have
myself shaved once a month.

ALVA. If I didn't need every bit of my creative power now for the
"World-conqueror," I might like to test the problem and see what
could be done with it. That's the curse of our young literature:
we're so much too literary. We know only such questions and problems
as come up among writers and cultured people. We cannot see beyond
the limits of our own professional interests. In order to get back on
the trail of a great and powerful art we must move as much as
possible among men who've never read a book in their lives, whom the
simplest animal instincts direct in all they do. I've tried already,
with all my might, to work according to those principles--in my
"Earth-spirit." The woman who was my model for the chief figure in
that, breathes to-day--and has for a year--behind barred windows; and
on that account for some incomprehensible reason the play was only
brought to performance by the Society for Free Literature. As long as
my father was alive, all the stages of Germany stood open to my
creations. That has been vastly changed.

RODRIGO. I've had a pair of tights made of the tenderest blue-green.
If *they* don't make a success abroad, I'll sell mouse-traps! The
trunks are so delicate I can't sit on the edge of a table in 'em. The
only thing that will disturb the good impression is my awful bald
head, which I owe to my active participation in this great
conspiracy. To lie in the hospital in perfect health for three months
would make a fat pig of the most run-down old hobo. Since coming out
I've fed on nothing but Karlsbad pills. Day and night I have
orchestra rehearsals in my intestines. I'll be so washed out before I
get across the frontier that I won't be able to lift a bottle-cork.

GESCHWITZ. How the attendants in the hospital got out of her way
yesterday! That was a refreshing sight. The garden was still as the
grave: in the loveliest noon sunlight the convalescents didn't
venture out of doors. Away back by the contagious ward she stepped
out under the mulberry trees and swayed on her ankles on the gravel.
The door-keeper had recognized me, and a young doctor who met me in
the corridor shrunk up as tho a revolver shot had struck him. The
Sisters vanished into the big rooms or stayed stuck against the
walls. When I came back there was not a soul to be seen in the garden
or at the gate. No better chance could have been found, if we had had
the curséd passports. And now the fellow says he isn't going with
her!

RODRIGO. I understand the poor hospital-brothers. One has a bad foot
and another has a swollen cheek, and there appears in the midst of
them the incarnate death-insurance-agentess! In the Hall of the
Knights, as the blessed division was called from which I organized my
spying, when the news got around there that Sister Theophila had
departed this life, not one of the fellows could be kept in bed. They
scrambled up to the window-bars, if they had to drag their pains
along with them by the hundred-weight. I never heard such swearing in
my life!

ALVA. Allow me, Fräulein von Geschwitz, to come back to my
proposition once more. Tho my father was shot in this room, still I
can see in the murder, as in the punishment, nothing but a horrible
misfortune that has befallen *her*; nor do I think that my father, if
he had come through alive, would have withdrawn his support from her
entirely. Whether your plan for freeing her will succeed still seems
to me very doubtful, tho I wouldn't like to discourage you; but I can
find no words to express the admiration with which your
self-sacrifice, your energy, your superhuman scorn of death, inspires
me. I don't believe any man ever risked so much for a woman, let
alone for a friend. I am not aware, Fräulein von Geschwitz, how rich
you are, but the expenses for what you have accomplished must have
exhausted your fortune. May I venture to offer you a loan of 20,000
marks--which I should have no trouble raising for you in cash?

GESCHWITZ. How we did rejoice when Sister Theophila was really dead!
From that day on we were free from custody. We changed our beds as we
liked. I had done my hair like hers, and copied every tone of her
voice. When the professor came he called *her* "gnädiges Fräulein"
and said to me, "It's better living here than in prison!"... When the
Sister suddenly was missing, we looked at each other in suspense: we
had both been sick five days: now was the deciding moment. Next
morning came the assistant.--"How is Sister Theophila?"--"Dead!"--We
communicated behind his back, and when he had gone we sank in each
other's arms: "God be thanked! God be thanked!"--What pains it cost
me to keep my darling from betraying how well she already was! "You
have nine years of prison before you," I cried to her early and late.
Now they probably won't let her stay in the contagious ward three
days more!

RODRIGO. I lay in the hospital full three months to spy out the
ground, after toilfully peddling together the qualities necessary for
such a long stay. Now I act the valet here with you, Dr. Schön, so
that no strange servants may come into the house. Where is the
bridegroom who's ever done so much for his bride? *My* fortune has
also been destroyed.

ALVA. When you succeed in developing her into a respectable artiste
you will have put the world in debt to you. With the temperament and
the beauty that she has to give out of the depths of her nature she
can make the most blasé public hold its breath. And then, too, she
will be protected by *acting* passion from a second time becoming a
criminal in reality.

RODRIGO. I'll soon drive her kiddishness out of her!

GESCHWITZ. There he comes! (_Steps louden in the gallery. Then the
curtains part at the head of the stairs and Schigolch in a long black
coat with a white sun-shade in his right hand comes down. Thruout the
play his speech is interrupted with frequent yawns._)

SCHIGOLCH. Confound the darkness! Out-doors the sun burns your eyes
out.

GESCHWITZ. (_Wearily unwrapping herself._) I'm coming!

RODRIGO. Her ladyship has seen no daylight for three days. We live
here like in a snuff-box.

SCHIGOLCH. Since nine o'clock this morning I've been round to all the
old-clothes-men. Three brand new trunks stuffed full of old trowsers
I've expressed to Buenos Ayres via Bremerhaven. My legs are dangling
on me like the tongue of a bell. That's the new life it's going to be
from now on!

RODRIGO. Where are you going to get off to-morrow morning?

SCHIGOLCH. I hope not straight into Ox-butter Hotel again!

RODRIGO. I can tell you a fine hotel. I lived there with a lady
lion-tamer. The people were born in Berlin.

GESCHWITZ. (_Upright in the arm-chair._) Come and help me!

RODRIGO. (_Hurries to her and supports her._) And you'll be safer
from the police there than on a high tightrope!

GESCHWITZ. He means to let you go with her alone this afternoon.

SCHIGOLCH. Maybe he's still suffering from his chillblains!

RODRIGO. Do you want me to start my new engagement in bath-robe and
slippers?

SCHIGOLCH. Hm--Sister Theophila wouldn't have gone to heaven so
promptly either, if she hadn't felt so affectionate towards our
patient.

RODRIGO.. She'll have a different value when one must serve thru a
honeymoon with her. Anyway, it can't hurt her if she gets a little
fresh air beforehand.

ALVA. (_A pocketbook in his hand, to Geschwitz who is leaning on a
chair-back by the centre table._) This holds 10,000 marks.

GESCHWITZ. Thank you, no.

ALVA. Please take it.

GESCHWITZ. (_To Schigolch._) Come along, at last!

SCHIGOLCH. Patience, Fräulein. It's only a stone's throw across
Hospital Street. I'll be here with her in five minutes.

ALVA. You're bringing her here?

SCHIGOLCH. I'm bringing her here. Or do you fear for your health?

ALVA. You see that I fear nothing.

RODRIGO. According to the latest wire, the doctor is on his way to
Constantinople to have his "Earth-spirit" produced before the Sultan
by harem-ladies and eunuchs.

ALVA. (_Opening the centre door under the gallery._) It's shorter for
you thru here. (_Exeunt Schigolch and Countess Geschwitz. Alva locks
the door._)

RODRIGO. You were going to give more money to the crazy sky-rocket!

ALVA. What has that to do with you?

RODRIGO. I get paid like a lamp-lighter, tho I had to demoralize all
the Sisters in the hospital. Then came the assistants' and the
doctors' turn, and then--

ALVA. Will you seriously inform me that the medical professors let
themselves be influenced by you?

RODRIGO. With the money those gentlemen cost me I could become
President of the United States!

ALVA. But Fräulein von Geschwitz has reimbursed you for every penny
that you spent. So far as I know you're getting a monthly salary of
five hundred marks from her besides. It is often pretty hard to
believe in your love for the unhappy murderess. When I asked Fräulein
von Geschwitz just now to accept my help, it certainly was not to
incite your insatiable avarice. The admiration which I have learnt to
have for Fräulein von Geschwitz in this affair, I am far from feeling
towards you. It is not at all clear to me what claims of any kind you
can make upon me. That you chanced to be present at the murder of my
father has not yet created the slightest bond of relationship between
you and me. On the contrary, I am firmly convinced that if the heroic
undertaking of Countess Geschwitz had not come your way you would be
lying somewhere to-day without a penny, drunken in the gutter.

RODRIGO. And do you know what would have become of you if you hadn't
sold for two millions the tuppeny paper your father ran? You'd have
hitched up with the stringiest sort of ballet-girl and been to-day a
stable-boy in the Humpelmeier Circus. What work do you do? You've
written a drama of horrors in which my bride's calves are the two
chief figures and which no high-class theater will produce. You
walking pajamas! You fresh rag-bag you! Two years ago I balanced two
saddled cavalry-horses on this chest. How that'll go now, after this
(_clasping his bald head_), is a question sure enough. The foreign
girls will get a fine idea of German art when they see the sweat come
beading thru my tights at every fresh kilo-weight! I shall make the
whole auditorium stink with my exhalations!

ALVA. You're weak as a dish-clout!

RODRIGO. Would to God you were right! or did you perhaps intend to
insult me? If so, I'll set the tip of my toe to your jaw so that your
tongue'll crawl along the carpet over there!

ALVA. Try it! (_Steps and voices outside._) Who is that...?

RODRIGO. You can thank God that I have no public here before me!

ALVA. Who can that be!

RODRIGO. That is my beloved. It's a full year now since we've seen
each other.

ALVA. But how should they be back already! Who can be coming there? I
expect no one.

RODRIGO. Oh the devil, unlock it!

ALVA. Hide yourself!

RODRIGO. I'll get behind the portières. I've stood there once before,
a year ago. (_Disappears, right. Alva opens the rear door, whereupon
Alfred Hugenberg enters, hat in hand._)

ALVA. With whom have I--.... You? Aren't you--?

HUGENBERG. Alfred Hugenberg.

ALVA. What can I do for you?

HUGENBERG. I've come from Münsterburg. I ran away this morning.

ALVA. My eyes are bad. I am forced to keep the blinds closed.

HUGENBERG. I need your help. You will not refuse me. I've got a plan
ready. Can anyone hear us?

ALVA. What do you mean? What sort of a plan?

HUGENBERG. Are you alone?

ALVA. Yes. What do you want to impart to me?

HUGENBERG. I've had two plans already that I let drop. What I shall
tell you now has been worked out to the last possible chance. If I
had money I should not confide it to you; I thought about that a long
time before coming.... Will you not permit me to set forth to you my
design?

ALVA. Will you kindly tell me just what you are talking about?

HUGENBERG. She cannot possibly be so indifferent to you that I must
tell you that. The evidence *you* gave the coroner helped her more
than everything the defending counsel said.

ALVA. I beg to decline the supposition.

HUGENBERG. You would say that; I understand that, of course. But all
the same you were her best witness.

ALVA. *You* were! You said my father was about to force her to shoot
herself.

HUGENBERG. He was, too. But they didn't believe me. I wasn't put on
my oath.

ALVA. Where have you come from now?

HUGENBERG. From a reform-school I broke out of this morning.

ALVA. And what do you have in view?

HUGENBERG. I'm trying to get into the confidence of a turnkey.

ALVA. What do you mean to live on?

HUGENBERG. I'm living with a girl who's had a child by my father.

ALVA. Who is your father?

HUGENBERG. He's a police captain. I know the prison without ever
having been inside it; and nobody in it will recognize me as I am
now. But I don't count on that at all. I know an iron ladder by which
one can get from the first court to the roof and thru an opening
there into the attic. There's no way up to it from inside. But in all
five wings boards and laths and great heaps of shavings are lying
under the roofs, and I'll drag them all together in the middle and
set fire to them. My pockets are full of matches and all the things
used to make fires.

ALVA. But then you'll burn up there!

HUGENBERG. Of course, if I'm not rescued. But to get into the first
court I must have the turnkey in my power, and for that I need money.
Not that I mean to bribe him; that wouldn't go. I must lend him money
to send his three children to the country, and then at four o'clock
in the morning when the prisoners of respected families are
discharged, I'll slip in the door. He'll lock-up behind me and ask me
what I'm after, and I'll ask him to let me out again in the evening.
And before it gets light, I'm up in the attic.

ALVA. How did you escape from the reform-school?

HUGENBERG. Jumped out the window. I need two hundred marks for the
rascal to send his family to the country.

RODRIGO. (_Stepping out of the portières, right._) Will the Herr
Baron have coffee in the music-room or on the veranda?

HUGENBERG. Where does that man come from? Out of the same door! He
jumped out of the same door!

ALVA. I've taken him into my service. He is dependable.

HUGENBERG. (_Grasping his temples._) Fool that I am! Oh, fool!

RODRIGO. Oh, yah, we've seen each other here before! Cut away now to
your vice-mamma. Your kid brother might like to uncle his brothers
and sisters. Make your sir-papa the grandfather of his children!
You're the only thing we've missed. If you once get into my sight in
the next two weeks, I'll beat your bean up for porridge.

ALVA. Be quiet, you!

HUGENBERG. I'm a fool!

RODRIGO. What do you want to do with your fire? Don't you know the
lady's been dead three weeks?

HUGENBERG. Did they cut off her head?

RODRIGO. No, she's got that still. She was mashed by the cholera.

HUGENBERG. That is not true!

RODRIGO. What do you know about it! There, read it: here! (_Taking
out a paper and pointing to the place._) "The murderess of Dr.
Schön...." (_Gives Hugenberg the paper. He reads:_)

HUGENBERG. "The murderess of Dr. Schön has in some incomprehensible
way fallen ill of the cholera in prison." It doesn't say that she's
dead.

RODRIGO. Well, what else do you suppose she is? She's been lying in
the churchyard three weeks. Back in the left-hand corner behind the
rubbish-heap where the little crosses are with no names on them,
there she lies under the first one. You'll know the spot because the
grass hasn't grown on it. Hang a tin wreath there, and then get back
to your nursery-school or I'll denounce you to the police. I know the
female that beguiles her leisure hours with you!

HUGENBERG. (_To Alva._) Is it true that she's dead?

ALVA. Thank God, yes!--Please, do not keep me here any longer. My
doctor has forbidden me to receive visitors.

HUGENBERG. My future is worth so little now! I would gladly have
given the last scrap of what life is worth to me for her happiness.
Heigh-ho! One way or another I'll sure go to the devil now!

RODRIGO. If you dare in any way to approach me or the doctor here or
my honorable friend Schigolch too near, I'll inform on you for
intended arson. You need three good years, to learn where not to
stick your fingers in! Now get out!

HUGENBERG. Fool!

RODRIGO. Get out!! (_Throws him out the door. Coming down._) I wonder
you didn't put your purse at that rogue's disposal, too!

ALVA. I won't stand your damned jabbering! The boy's little finger is
worth more than all you!

RODRIGO. I've had enough of this Geschwitz's company! If my bride is
to become a corporation with limited liability, somebody else can go
in ahead of me. I propose to make a magnificent trapeze-artist out of
her, and willingly risk my life to do it. But then I'll be master of
the house, and will myself indicate what cavaliers she is to receive!

ALVA. The boy has what our age lacks: a hero-nature; therefore, of
course, he is going to ruin. Do you remember how before sentence was
passed he jumped out of the witness-box and yelled at the justice:
"How do you know what would have become of you if you'd had to run
around the cafés barefoot every night when you were ten years old?!"

RODRIGO. If I could only have given him one in the jaw for that right
away! Thank God, there are jails where scum like that gets some
respect for the law pounded into them.

ALVA. One like him might have been my model for my "World-conqueror."
For twenty years literature has presented nothing but demi-men: men
who can beget no children and women who can bear none. That's called
"The Modern Problem."

RODRIGO. I've ordered a hippopotamus-whip two inches thick. If that
has no success with her, you can fill my cranium with potato-soup. Be
it love or be it whipping, female flesh never inquires. Only give it
some amusement, and it stays firm and fresh. She is now in her
twentieth year, has been married three times and has satisfied a
gigantic horde of lovers, and her heart's desires are at last pretty
plain. But the man's got to have the seven deadly sins on his
forehead, or she honors him not. If he looks as if a dog-catcher had
spat him out on the street, then, with such women-folks, he needn't
be afraid of a prince! I'll rent a garage fifty feet high and break
her in there; and when she's learnt the first diving-leap without
breaking her neck I'll pull on a black coat and not stir a finger the
rest of my life. When she's educated practically it doesn't cost a
woman half as much trouble to support her husband as the other way
round, if only the man takes care of the mental labor for her, and
doesn't let the sense of the family go to wreck.

ALVA. I have learnt to rule humanity and drive it in harness before
me like a well-broken four-in-hand,--but that boy sticks in my head.
Really, I can still take private lessons in the scorn of the world
from that school-boy!

RODRIGO. She'll just comfortably let her hide be papered with
thousand-mark bills! I'll extract salaries out of the directors with
a centrifugal pump. I know their kind. When they don't need a man,
let him shine their shoes for them; but when they must have an
artiste they cut her down from the very gallows with their own hands
and with the most entangling compliments.

ALVA. In my situation there's nothing more in the world to fear--but
death. In the realm of sensation I am the poorest beggar. But I can
no longer scrape up the moral courage to exchange my established
position for the excitements of the wild, adventurous life!

RODRIGO. She had sent Papa Schigolch and me together in chase of some
strong antidote for sleeplessness. We each got a twenty-mark piece
for expenses. There we see the youngster sitting in the Night-light
Café. He was sitting like a criminal on the prisoner's bench.
Schigolch sniffed at him from all sides, and remarked, "He is still
virgin." (_Up in the gallery, dragging steps are heard._) There she
is! The future magnificent trapeze-artiste of the present age!

(_The curtains part at the stair-head, and Lulu, supported by
Schigolch, and in a black dress, slowly and wearily descends._)

SCHIGOLCH. Hui, old mold! We've still to get over the frontier
to-day.

RODRIGO. (_Glaring stupidly at Lulu._) Thunder of heaven! Death!

LULU. (_Speaks, to the end of the act, in the gayest tones._) Slowly!
You're pinching my arm!

RODRIGO. How did you ever get the shamelessness to break out of
prison with such a wolf's face?!

SCHIGOLCH. Stop your snout!

RODRIGO. I'll run for the police! I'll give information! This
scarecrow let herself be seen in tights?! The padding alone would
cost two months' salary!--You're the most perfidious swindler that
ever had lodging in Ox-butter Hotel!

ALVA. Kindly refrain from insulting the lady!

RODRIGO. Insulting you call that?! For this gnawed bone's sake I've
worn myself away! I can't earn my own living! I'll be a clown if I
can still stand firm under a broom-stick! But let the lightning
strike me on the spot if I don't worm ten thousand marks a year for
life out of your tricks and frauds! I can tell you that! A pleasant
trip! I'm going for the police! (_Exit._)

SCHIGOLCH. Run, run!

LULU. He'll take good care of himself!

SCHIGOLCH. We're rid of *him*!--And now some black coffee for the
lady!

ALVA. (_At the table left._) Here is coffee, ready to pour.

SCHIGOLCH. I must look after the sleeping-car tickets.

LULU. (_Brightly._) Oh, freedom! Thank God for freedom!

SCHIGOLCH. I'll be back for you in half an hour. We'll celebrate our
departure in the station-restaurant. I'll order a supper that'll keep
us going till to-morrow.--Good morning, doctor.

ALVA. Good evening.

SCHIGOLCH. Pleasant rest!--Thanks, I know every door-handle here. So
long! Have a good time! (_Exit._)

LULU. I haven't seen a room for a year and a half. Curtains, chairs,
pictures....

ALVA. Won't you drink it?

LULU. I've swallowed enough black coffee these five days. Have you
any brandy?

ALVA. I've got some elixir de Spaa.

LULU. That reminds one of old times. (_Looks round the hall while
Alva fills two glasses._) Where's my picture gone?

ALVA. I've got it in my room, so no one shall see it here.

LULU. Bring it down here now.

ALVA. Didn't you even lose your vanity in prison?

LULU. How anxious at heart one gets when one hasn't seen herself for
months! One day I got a brand-new dust-pan. When I swept up at seven
in the morning I held the back of it up before my face. Tin doesn't
flatter, but I took pleasure in it all the same.--Bring the picture
down from your room. Shall I come too?

ALVA. No, Heaven's sake! You must spare yourself!

LULU. I've been sparing myself long enough now! (_Alva goes out,
right, to get the picture._) He has heart-trouble; but to have to
plague one's self with imagination fourteen months!... He kisses with
the fear of death on him, and his two knees shake like a frozen
vagabond's. In God's name.... In this room--if only I had not shot
his father in the back!

ALVA. (_Returns with the picture of Lulu in the Pierrot-dress._) It's
covered with dust. I had leant it against the fire-place, face to the
wall.

LULU. You didn't look at it all the time I was away?

ALVA. I had so much business to attend to, with the sale of our paper
and everything. Countess Geschwitz would have liked to have hung it
up in her house, but she had to be prepared for search-warrants. (_He
puts the picture on the easel._)

LULU. (_Merrily._) Now the poor monster is learning the joys of life
in Hotel Ox-butter by her own experience.

ALVA. Even now I don't understand how events hang together.

LULU. Oh, Geschwitz arranged it all very cleverly. I must admire her
inventiveness. But the cholera must have raged fearfully in Hamburg
this summer; and on that she founded her plan for freeing me. She
took a course in hospital nursing here, and when she had the
necessary documents she journeyed to Hamburg with them and nursed the
cholera patients. At the first opportunity that offered she put on
the underclothes in which a sick woman had just died and which really
ought to have been burnt. The same morning she traveled back here and
came to see me in prison. In my cell, while the wardress was outside,
we, as quick as we could, exchanged underclothes.

ALVA. So that was the reason why the Countess and you fell sick of
the cholera the same day!

LULU. Exactly, that was it! Geschwitz of course was instantly brought
from her house to the contagious ward in the hospital. But with me,
too, they couldn't think of any other place to take me. So there we
lay in one room in the contagious ward behind the hospital, and from
the first day Geschwitz put forth all her art to make our two faces
as like each other as possible. Day before yesterday she was let out
as cured. Just now she came back and said she'd forgotten her watch.
I put on her clothes, she slipped into my prison frock, and then I
came away. (_With pleasure._) Now she's lying over there as the
murderess of Dr. Schön.

ALVA. So far as outward appearance goes you can still agree with the
picture as much as ever.

LULU. I'm a little peaked in the face, but otherwise I've lost
nothing. Only one gets incredibly nervous in prison.

ALVA. You looked horribly sick when you came in.

LULU. I had to, to get our necks out of the noose.--And you? What
have you done in this year and a half?

ALVA. I've had a succès d'estime in literary circles with a play I
wrote about you.

LULU. Who's your sweetheart now?

ALVA. An actress I've rented a house for in Karl Street.

LULU. Does she love you?

ALVA. How should I know that? I haven't seen the woman for six weeks.

LULU. Can you stand that?

ALVA. You will never understand that. With me there's the closest
alternation between my sensuality and mental creativeness. So towards
you, for example, I have only the choice of regarding you
artistically or of loving you.

LULU. (_In a fairy-story tone._) I used to dream every other night
that I'd fallen into the hands of a sadic.... Come, give me a kiss!

ALVA. It's shining in your eyes like the water in a deep well one has
just thrown a stone into.

LULU. Come!

ALVA. (_Kisses her._) Your lips have got pretty thin, anyway.

LULU. Come! (_Pushes him into a chair and seats herself on his
knee._) Do you shudder at me?--In Hotel Ox-butter we all got a
luke-warm bath every four weeks. The wardresses took that opportunity
to search our pockets as soon as we were in the water. (_She kisses
him passionately._)

ALVA. Oh, oh!

LULU. You're afraid that when I'm away you couldn't write any more
poems about me?

ALVA. On the contrary, I shall write a dithyramb upon thy glory.

LULU. I'm only sore about the hideous shoes I'm wearing.

ALVA. They do not encroach upon your charms. Let us be thankful for
the favor of this moment.

LULU. I don't feel at all like that to-day.--Do you remember the
costume ball where I was dressed like a knight's squire? How those
wine-full women ran after me that time? Geschwitz crawled round,
round my feet, and begged me to step on her face with my cloth shoes.

ALVA. Come, dear heart!

LULU. (_In the tone with which one quiets a restless child._)
Quietly! I shot your father.

ALVA. I do not love thee less for that. One kiss!

LULU. Bend your head back. (_She kisses him with deliberation._)

ALVA. You hold back the fire of my soul with the most dexterous art.
And your breast breathes so virginly too. Yet if it weren't for your
two great, dark, childish eyes, I must needs have thought you the
cunningest whore that ever hurled a man to destruction.

LULU. (_In high spirits._) Would God I were! Come over the border
with us to-day! Then we can see each other as often as we will, and
we'll get more pleasure from each other than now.

ALVA. Through this dress I feel your body like a symphony. These
slender ankles, this cantabile. This rapturous crescendo. And these
knees, this capriccio. And the powerful andante of lust!--How
peacefully these two slim rivals press against each other in the
consciousness that neither equals the other in beauty--till their
capricious mistress wakes up and the rival lovers separate like the
two hostile poles. I shall sing your praises so that your senses
shall whirl!

LULU. (_Merrily._) Meanwhile I'll bury my hands in your hair. (_She
does so._) But here we'll be disturbed.

ALVA. You have robbed me of my reason!

LULU. Aren't you coming with me to-day?

ALVA. But the old fellow's going with you!

LULU. He won't turn up again.--Is not that the divan on which your
father bled to death?

ALVA. Be still. Be still....

  CURTAIN.



ACT II


_A spacious salon in white stucco. In the rear-wall, between two high
mirrors, a wide folding doorway showing in the rear room a big
card-table surrounded by Turkish upholstered chairs. In the left wall
two doors, the upper one to the entrance-hall, the lower to the
dining-room. Between them a rococo-console with a white marble top,
and above it Lulu's Pierrot-picture in a narrow gold frame let into
the wall. Two other doors, right; near the lower one a small table.
Wide and brightly-covered chairs stand about, with thin legs and
fragile arms; and in the middle is a sofa of the same style (Louis
XV.)._

_A large company is moving about the salon in lively conversation.
The men--*Alva*, *Rodrigo*, Marquis *Casti-Piani*, Banker *Puntschu*,
and Journalist *Heilmann*--are in evening dress. *Lulu* wears a white
Directoire dress with huge sleeves and white lace falling freely from
belt to feet. Her arms are in white kid gloves, her hair done high
with a little tuft of white feathers. *Geschwitz* is in a bright blue
hussar-waist trimmed with white fur and laced with silver braid, a
tall tight collar with a white bow and stiff cuffs with huge ivory
links. *Magelone* is in bright rainbow-colored shot silk with very
wide sleeves, long narrow waist, and three ruffles of spiral
rose-colored ribbons and violet bouquets. Her hair is parted in the
middle and drawn low over her temples. On her forehead is a
mother-of-pearl ornament, held by a fine chain under her hair.
*Kadidia*, her daughter, twelve years old, has bright-green satin
gaiters which yet leave visible the tops of her white silk socks, and
a white-lace-covered dress with bright-green narrow sleeves,
pearl-gray gloves, and free black hair under a big bright-green hat
with white feathers. *Bianetta* is in dark-green velvet, the collar
sewn with pearls, and a full skirt, its hem embroidered with great
false topazes set in silver. *Ludmilla Steinherz* is in a glaring
summer frock striped red and blue._

_Rodrigo stands, centre, a full glass in his hand._

RODRIGO. Ladies and gentlemen--I beg your pardon--please be quiet--I
drink--permit me to drink--for this is the birthday party of our
amiable hostess--(_taking Lulu's arm_) of Countess Adelaide
d'Oubra--damned and done for!--I drink therefore----and so forth, go
to it, ladies! (_All surround Lulu and clink with her. Alva presses
Rodrigo's hand._)

ALVA. I congratulate you.

RODRIGO. I'm sweating like a roast pig.

ALVA. (_To Lulu._) Let's see if everything's in order in the
card-room. (_Alva and Lulu exeunt, rear. Bianetta speaks to
Rodrigo._)

BIANETTA. They were telling me just now you were the strongest man in
the world.

RODRIGO. That I am. May I put my strength at your disposal?

MAGELONE. I love sharp-shooters better. Three months ago a
sharp-shooter stepped into the casino and every time he went "bang!"
I felt like this. (_She wriggles her hips._)

CASTI-PIANI. (_Who speaks thruout the act in a bored and weary tone,
to Magelone._) Say, dearie, how does it happen we see your nice
little princess here for the first time to-night? (_Meaning
Kadidia._)

MAGELONE. Do you really find her so delightful?--She is still in the
convent. She must be back in school again on Monday.

KADIDIA. What did you say, mama?

MAGELONE. I was just telling the gentleman that you got the highest
mark in geometry last week.

HEILMANN. Some pretty hair she's got!

CASTI-PIANI. Just look at her feet: the way she walks!

PUNTSCHU. By god, she's got breeding!

MAGELONE. (_Smiling._) But my dear sirs, take pity on her! She's
nothing but a child still!

PUNTSCHU. That'd trouble me damned little! (_To Heilmann._) I'd give
ten years of my life if I could initiate the young lady into the
ceremonies of our secret society!

MAGELONE. But you won't get me to consent to that for a million. I
won't have the child's youth ruined, the way mine was!

CASTI-PIANI. Confessions of a lovely soul! (_To Magelone._) Would you
not agree, either, for a set of real diamonds?

MAGELONE. Don't brag! You'll give as few real diamonds to me as to my
child. You know that quite the best yourself. (_Kadidia goes into the
rear room._)

GESCHWITZ. But is nobody at all going to play, this evening?

LUDMILLA. Why, of course, comtesse. I'm counting on it very much, for
one!

BIANETTA. Then let's take our places right away. The gentlemen will
soon come then.

GESCHWITZ. May I ask you to excuse me just a second. I must say a
word to my friend.

CASTI-PIANI. (_Offering his arm to Bianetta._) May I have the honor
to be your partner? You always hold such a lucky hand!

LUDMILLA. Now just give me your other arm and then lead us into the
gambling-hell. (_The three go off so, rear._)

MAGELONE. Say, Mr. Puntschu, have you still got a few Jungfrau shares
for me, maybe?

PUNTSCHU. Jungfrau-shares? (_To Heilmann._) The lady means the stock
of the funicular railway on the Jungfrau. The Jungfrau, you
know,--the Virgin--is a mountain up which they want to build a wire
railway. (_To Magelone._) You know, just so there may be no
confusion;--and how easy that would be in this select circle!--Yes, I
still have some four thousand Jungfrau-shares, but I should like to
keep those for myself. There won't be such another chance soon of
making a little fortune out of hand.

HEILMANN. I've only one lone share of this Jungfrau-stock so far. I
should like to have more, too.

PUNTSCHU. I'll try, Mr. Heilmann, to look after some for you. But
I'll tell you beforehand you'll have to pay drug-store prices for
them!

MAGELONE. My fortune-teller advised me to look about me in time. All
my savings are in Jungfrau-shares now. If it doesn't turn out well,
Mr. Puntschu, I'll scratch your eyes out!

PUNTSCHU. I am perfectly sure of my affairs, my dearie!

ALVA. (_Who has come back from the card-room, to Magelone._) I can
guarantee your fears are absolutely unfounded. I paid very dear for
my Jungfrau-stock and haven't regretted it a minute. They're going up
steadily from day to day. There never was such a thing before.

MAGELONE. All the better, if you're right. (_Taking Puntschu's arm._)
Come, my friend, let's try our luck now at baccarat. (_All go out,
rear, except Geschwitz and Rodrigo who scribbles something on a piece
of paper and folds it up, then notices Geschwitz._)

RODRIGO. Hm, madam countess--(_Geschwitz starts and shrinks._) Do I
look as dangerous as that? (_To himself._) I must make a bon mot.
(_Aloud._) May I perhaps make so bold--

GESCHWITZ. You can go to the devil!

CASTI-PIANI. (_As he leads Lulu in._) Permit me a word or two.

LULU. (_Not noticing Rodrigo who presses his note into her hand._)
Oh, as many as you like. (_Rodrigo bows and goes out, rear._)

CASTI-PIANI. (_To Geschwitz._) Leave us alone!

LULU. (_To Casti-Piani._) Have I hurt you again in any way?

CASTI-PIANI. (_Since Geschwitz does not stir._) Are you deaf?
(_Geschwitz, sighing deeply, goes out, rear._)

LULU. Just say straight out how much you want.

CASTI-PIANI. With money you can no longer serve me.

LULU. What makes you think that we have no more money?

CASTI-PIANI. You handed out the last bit of it to me yesterday.

LULU. If you're sure of that then I suppose it's so.

CASTI-PIANI. You're down on the bare ground, you and your writer.

LULU. Then why all the words?--If you want to have me for yourself
you need not first threaten me with execution.

CASTI-PIANI. I know that. But I've told you more than once that you
won't be my downfall. I haven't sucked you dry because you loved me,
but loved you in order to suck you. Bianetta is more to my taste from
top to bottom than you. You set out the choicest sweetmeats, and
after one has frittered his time away at them he finds he's hungrier
than before. You've loved too long, even for our present relations.
With a healthy young man, you only ruin his nervous system. But
you'll fit all the more perfectly in the position I have sought out
for you.

LULU. You're crazy! Have I commissioned you to find a position for
me?

CASTI-PIANI. I told you, though, that I was an appointments-agent.

LULU. You told me you were a police spy.

CASTI-PIANI. One can't live on that alone. I was an
appointments-agent originally, till I blundered over a minister's
daughter I'd got a position for in Valparaiso. The little darling in
her childhood's dreams imagined the life even more intoxicating than
it is, and complained of it to Mama. On that, they nabbed me; but by
reliable demeanor I soon enough won the confidence of the criminal
police and they sent me here on a hundred and fifty marks a month,
because they were tripling our contingent here on account of these
everlasting bomb-explosions. But who can get along on a hundred and
fifty marks a month? My colleagues get women to support them; but, of
course, I found it more convenient to take up my former calling
again; and of the numberless adventuresses of the best families of
the entire world, whom chance brings together here, I have already
forwarded many a young creature hungry for life to the place of her
natural vocation.

LULU. (_Decisively._) I wouldn't do in that business.

CASTI-PIANI. Your views on that question make no difference whatever
to me. The department of justice will pay anyone who delivers the
murderess of Dr. Schön into the hands of the police a thousand marks.
I only need to whistle for the constable who's standing down at the
corner to have earned a thousand marks. Against that, the House of
Oikonomopulos in Cairo bids sixty pounds for you--twelve hundred
marks--two hundred more than the Attorney General. And, besides, I am
still so far a friend of mankind that I prefer to help my loves to
happiness, not plunge them into misfortune.

LULU. (_As before._) The life in such a house can never make a woman
of my stamp happy. When I was fifteen, that might have happened to
me. I was desperate then--thought I should never be happy. I bought a
revolver, and ran one night bare-foot thru the deep snow over the
bridge to the park to shoot myself there. But then by good luck I lay
three months in the hospital without setting eyes on a man, and in
that time my eyes opened and I got to know myself. Night after night
in my dreams I saw the man for whom I was created and who was created
for me, and then when I was let out on the men again I was no longer
a silly goose. Since then I can see on a man, in a pitch-dark night
and a hundred feet away, whether we're suited to each other; and if I
sin against that insight I feel the next day dirtied, body and soul,
and need weeks to get over the loathing I have for myself. And now
you imagine I'll give myself to every and any Tom and Harry!

CASTI-PIANI. Toms and Harries don't patronize Oikonomopulos of Cairo.
His custom consists of Scottish lords, Russian dignitaries, Indian
governors, and our jolly Rhineland captains of industry. I must only
guarantee that you speak French. With your gift for languages you'll
quickly enough learn as much English, besides, as you'll need to get
on with. And you'll reside in a royally furnished apartment with an
outlook on the minarets of the El Azhar Mosque, and walk around all
day on Persian carpets as thick as your fist, and dress every evening
in a fabulous Paris gown and drink as much champagne as your
customers can pay for, and, finally, you'll even remain, up to a
certain point, your own mistress. If the man doesn't please you, you
needn't bring him any reciprocal feelings. Just let him give in his
card, and then--(_Shrugs, and snaps his fingers._) If the ladies
didn't get used to that the whole business would be simply
impossible, because every one after the first four weeks would go
headlong to the devil.

LULU. (_Her voice shaking._) I do believe that since yesterday you've
got a screw loose somewhere. Am I to understand that the Egyptian
will pay fifteen hundred francs for a person whom he's never seen?

CASTI-PIANI. I took the liberty of sending him your pictures.

LULU. Those pictures that I gave you, you've sent to him?

CASTI-PIANI. You see he can value them better than I. The picture in
which you stand before the mirror as Eve he'll probably hang up at
the house-door, after you've got there.... And then there's one thing
more for you to notice: with Oikonomopulos in Cairo you'll be safer
from your blood-hounds than if you crept into a Canadian wilderness.
It isn't so easy to transport an Egyptian courtesan to a German
prison,--first, on account of the mere expense, and second, from fear
of coming too close to eternal Justice.

LULU. (_Proudly, in a clear voice._) What's your eternal Justice to
do with me! You can see as plain as your five fingers I shan't let
myself be locked up in any such amusement-place!

CASTI-PIANI. Then do you want me to whistle for the policeman?

LULU. (_In wonder._) Why don't you simply ask me for twelve hundred
marks, if you want the money?

CASTI-PIANI. I want for no money! And I also don't ask for it because
you're dead broke.

LULU. We still have thirty thousand marks.

CASTI-PIANI. In Jungfrau-stock! I never have anything to do with
stock. The Attorney-General pays in the national currency, and
Oikonomopulos pays in English gold. You can be on board early
to-morrow. The passage doesn't last much more than five days. In two
weeks at most you're in safety. Here you are nearer to prison than
anywhere. It's a wonder which I, as one of the secret police, cannot
understand, that you two have been able to live for a full year
unmolested. But just as I came on the track of your antecedents, so
any day, with your mighty consumption of men, one of my colleagues
may make the happy discovery. Then I may just wipe my mouth, and you
spend in prison the most enjoyable years of your life. If you will
kindly decide quickly. The train goes at 12.30. If we haven't struck
a bargain before eleven, I whistle up the policeman. If we have, I
pack you, just as you stand, into a carriage, drive you to the
station, and to-morrow escort you on board ship.

LULU. But is it possible you can be serious in all this?

CASTI-PIANI. Don't you understand that I can act now only for your
bodily rescue?

LULU. I'll go with you to America or to China, but I can't let myself
be sold of my own accord! That is worse than prison!

CASTI-PIANI. (_Drawing a letter from his pocket._) Just read this
effusion! I'll read it to you. Here's the postmark "Cairo," so you
won't believe I work with forged documents. The girl is a Berliner,
was married two years and to a man whom you would have envied her, a
former comrade of mine. He travels now for the Hamburg Colonial
Company....

LULU. (_Merrily._) Then perhaps he *visits* his wife occasionally?

CASTI-PIANI. That is not incredible. But hear this impulsive
expression of her feelings. My white-slave traffic seems to me
absolutely no more honorable than the very best judge would tax it
with being, but a cry of joy like this lets me feel a certain moral
satisfaction for a moment. I am proud to earn my money by scattering
happiness with full hands. (_Reads._) "Dear Mr. Meyer"--that's my
name as a white-slave trader--"when you go to Berlin, please go right
away to the conservatory on the Potsdamer Strasse and ask for Gusti
von Rosenkron--the most beautiful woman that I've ever seen in
nature--delightful hands and feet, naturally small waist, straight
back, full body, big eyes and short nose--just the sort you like
best. I have written to her already. She has no prospects with her
singing. Her mother hasn't a penny. Sorry she's already twenty-two,
but she's pining for love. Can't marry, because absolutely without
means. I have spoken with Madame. They'd like to take another German,
if she's well educated and musical. Italians and Frenchwomen can't
compete with us, 'cause of too little culture. If you should see
Fritz"--Fritz is the husband; he's getting a divorce, of
course,--"tell him it was all a bore. He didn't know any better, nor
did I either." Now come the exact details--

LULU. (_Goaded._) I can not sell the only thing that ever was my own!

CASTI-PIANI. Let me read some more.

LULU. (_As before._) This very evening, I'll hand over to you our
entire wealth.

CASTI-PIANI. Believe me, for God's sake, I've *got* your last red
cent! If we haven't left this house before eleven, you and your lot
will be transported to-morrow in a police-car to Germany.

LULU. You *can't* give me up!

CASTI-PIANI. Do you think that would be the worst thing I can have
done in my life?... I must, in case we go to-night, have just a brief
word with Bianetta. (_He goes into the card-room, leaving the door
open behind him. Lulu stares before her, mechanically crumpling up
the note that Rodrigo stuck into her hand, which she has held in her
fingers thruout the dialog. Alva, behind the card-table, gets up, a
bill in his hand, and comes into the salon._)

ALVA. (_To Lulu._) Brilliantly! It's going brilliantly! Geschwitz is
wagering her last shirt. Puntschu has promised me ten more
Jungfrau-shares. Steinherz is making her little gains and profits.
(_Exit, lower right._)

LULU. I in a bordell?--(_She reads the paper she holds, and laughs
madly._)

ALVA. (_Coming back with a cash-box in his hand._) Aren't you going
to play, too?

LULU. Oh, yes, surely--why not?

ALVA. By the way, it's in the Berliner Tageblatt to-day that Alfred
Hugenberg has hurled himself over the stairs in prison.

LULU. Is he too in prison?

ALVA. Only in a sort of house of detention. (_Exit, rear. Lulu is
about to follow, but Countess Geschwitz meets her in the door-way._)

GESCHWITZ. You are going because I come?

LULU. (_Resolutely._) No, God knows. But when you come then I go.

GESCHWITZ. You have defrauded me of all the good things of this world
that I still possessed. You might at the very least preserve the
outward forms of politeness in your intercourse with me.

LULU. (_As before._) I am as polite to you as to any other woman. I
only beg you to be equally so to me.

GESCHWITZ. Have you forgotten the passionate endearments by which,
while we lay together in the hospital, you seduced me into letting
myself be locked into prison for you?

LULU. Well, why else did you bring me down with the cholera
beforehand? I swore very different things to myself, even while it
was going on, from what I had to promise you! I am shaken with horror
at the thought that that should ever become reality!

GESCHWITZ. Then you cheated me consciously, deliberately?

LULU. (_Gaily._) What have you been cheated of, then? Your physical
advantages have found so enthusiastic an admirer here, that I ask
myself if I won't have to give piano lessons once more, to keep
alive! No seventeen-year-old child could make a man madder with love
than you, a pervert, are making him, poor fellow, by your
shrewishness.

GESCHWITZ. Of whom are you speaking? I don't understand a word.

LULU. (_As before._) I'm speaking of your acrobat, of Rodrigo Quast.
He's an athlete: he balances two saddled cavalry horses on his chest.
Can a woman desire anything more glorious? He told me just now that
he'd jump into the water to-night if you did not take pity on him.

GESCHWITZ. I do not envy you this cleverness with which you torture
the helpless victims sacrificed to you by their inscrutable destiny.
My own plight has not yet wrung from me the pity that I feel for you.
_I_ feel free as a god when I think to what creatures *you* are
enslaved.

LULU. Who do you mean?

GESCHWITZ. Casti-Piani, upon whose forehead the most degenerate
baseness is written in letters of fire!

LULU. Be silent! I'll kick you, if you speak ill of *him*. He loves
me with an uprightness against which your most venturous
self-sacrifices are poor as beggary! He gives me such proofs of
self-denial as reveal *you* for the first time in all your
loathsomeness! You didn't get finished in your mother's womb, neither
as woman nor as man. You have no human nature like the rest of us.
The stuff didn't go far enough for a man, and for a woman you got too
much brain into your skull. That's the reason you're crazy! Turn to
Miss Bianetta! She can be had for everything for pay! Press a
gold-piece into her hand and she'll belong to you. (_All the_
_company save Kadidia throng in out of the card-room._) For the
Lord's sake, what has happened?

PUNTSCHU. Nothing whatever! We're thirsty, that's all.

MAGELONE. Everybody has won. We can't believe it.

BIANETTA. It seems I have won a whole fortune!

LUDMILLA. Don't boast of it, my child. That isn't lucky.

MAGELONE. But the bank has won, too! How is that *possible*?

ALVA. It is colossal, where all the money comes from!

CASTI-PIANI. Let us not ask! Enough that we need not spare the
champagne.

HEILMANN. I can pay for a supper in a respectable restaurant
afterwards, anyway!

ALVA. To the buffet, ladies! Come to the buffet! (_All exeunt, lower
left._)

RODRIGO. (_Holding Lulu back._) Un momong, my heart. Have you read my
billet-doux?

LULU. Threaten me with discovery as much as you like! I have no more
twenty thousands to dispose of.

RODRIGO. Don't lie to me, you punk! You've still got forty thousand
in Jungfrau-stock. Your so-called spouse has just been bragging of it
himself!

LULU. Then turn to *him* with your blackmailing! It's all one to me
what he does with his money.

RODRIGO. Thank you! With that blockhead I'd need twice twenty-four
hours to make him grasp what I was talking about. And then come his
explanations, that make one deathly sick; and meanwhile my bride
writes me "It's all up!" and I can just hang a hurdy-gurdy over my
shoulder.

LULU. Have you got engaged here, then?

RODRIGO. Maybe I ought to have asked your permission first? What were
my thanks here that I freed you from prison at the cost of my health?
You abandoned me! I might have had to be a baggage-man if this girl
hadn't taken me up! At my very first entrance, right away, they threw
a velvet-covered arm-chair at my head! This country is too decadent
to value genuine shows of strength any more. If I'd been a boxing
kangaroo they'd have interviewed me and put my picture in all the
papers. Thank heaven, I'd already made the acquaintance of my
Celestine. She's got the savings of twenty years deposited with the
government; and she loves me just for myself. She doesn't aim only at
vulgar things, like you. She's had three children by an American
bishop--all of the greatest promise. Day after to-morrow we'll get
married by the registrar.

LULU. You have my blessing.

RODRIGO. Your blessing *can* be stolen from me. I've told my bride I
had twenty thousand in stock at the bank.

LULU. (_Amused._) And after that he boasts the person loves him for
himself!

RODRIGO. She honors in me the man of mind, not the man of might as
you and all the others have done. That's over now. First they tore
the clothes from one's body and then they waltzed around with the
chambermaid. I'll be a skeleton before I'll let myself in again for
such diversions!

LULU. Then why the devil do you pursue the unfortunate Geschwitz with
your attentions?

RODRIGO. Because the creature is of noble blood. I'm a man of the
world, and can do distinguished conversation better than any of you.
But now (_with a gesture_) my talk is hanging out of my mouth! Will
you get me the money before to-morrow evening or won't you?

LULU. I have no money.

RODRIGO. I'll have hen-droppings in my head before I'll let myself be
put off with that! He'll give you his last cent if you'll only do
your damned duty once! You lured the poor lad here, and now he can
see where to scare up a suitable engagement for his accomplishments.

LULU. What has it to do with you if he wastes his money with women or
at cards?

RODRIGO. Do you absolutely *want*, then, to throw the last penny that
his father earned by his paper into the jaws of this rapacious pack?
You'll make four people happy if you'll not take things too exactly
and sacrifice yourself for a beneficent purpose! Has it got to be
only Casti-Piani *forever*?

LULU. (_Lightly._) Shall I ask him perhaps to light you down the
stairs?

RODRIGO. As you wish, countess! If I don't get the twenty thousand
marks by to-morrow evening, I make a statement to the police and your
court has an end. Auf Wiedersehen! (_Heilmann enters, breathless,
upper right._)

LULU. You're looking for Miss Magelone? She's not here.

HEILMANN. No, I'm looking for something else--

RODRIGO. (_Taking him to the entry-door, opposite him._) Second door
on the left.

LULU. (_To Rodrigo._) Did you learn that from your bride?

HEILMANN. (_Bumping into Puntschu in the doorway._) Excuse me, my
angel!

PUNTSCHU. Ah, it's you. Miss Magelone's waiting for you in the lift.

HEILMANN. You go up with her, please. I'll be right back. (_He
hurries out, left. Lulu goes out at lower left. Rodrigo follows
her._)

PUNTSCHU. Some heat, that! If I don't cut off *your* ears, you'll cut
'em off me! If I can't hire out my Jehoshaphat, I've just got to help
myself with my brains! Won't they get wrinkled, my brains! Won't they
get indisposed! Won't they need to bathe in Eau de Cologne! (_Bob, a
groom in a red jacket, tight leather breeches, and twinkling
riding-boots, 15 years old, brings in a telegram._)

BOB. Mr. Puntschu, the banker!

PUNTSCHU. (_Breaks open the telegram and murmurs:_) "Jungfrau
Funicular Stock fallen to--" Ay, ay, so goes the world! (_To Bob._)
Wait! (_Gives him a tip._) Tell me--what's your name?

BOB. Well, it's really Freddy, but they call me Bob, because that's
the fashion now.

PUNTSCHU. How old are you?

BOB. Fifteen.

KADIDIA. (_Enters hesitatingly from lower left._) I beg your pardon,
can you tell me if mama is here?

PUNTSCHU. No, my dear. (_Aside._) Devil, she's got breeding!

KADIDIA. I'm hunting all over for her; I can't find her anywhere.

PUNTSCHU. Your mama will turn up again soon, as true as my name's
Puntschu! (_Looking at Bob._) And that pair of breeches! God of
Justice! It gets uncanny! (_He goes out, upper right._)

KADIDIA. Haven't *you* seen my mama, perhaps?

BOB. No, but you only need to come with me.

KADIDIA. Where is she then?

BOB. She's gone up in the lift. Come along.

KADIDIA. No, no, I can't go up with you.

BOB. We can hide up there in the corridor.

KADIDIA. No, no, I can't come, or I'll be scolded. (_Magelone,
terribly excited, rushes in, upper left, and possesses herself of
Kadidia._)

MAGELONE. Ha, there you are at last, you common creature!

KADIDIA. (_Crying._) O mama, mama, I was hunting for you!

MAGELONE. Hunting for me? Did I tell you to hunt for me? What have
you had to do with this fellow? (_Heilmann, Alva, Ludmilla, Puntschu,
Geschwitz, and Lulu enter, lower left. Bob has withdrawn._) Now don't
bawl before all the people on me; look out, I tell you!

LULU. (_As they all surround Kadidia._) But you're crying,
sweetheart! Why are you crying?

PUNTSCHU. By God, she's really been crying! Who's done anything to
hurt you, little goddess?

LUDMILLA. (_Kneels before her and folds her in her arms._) Tell me,
cherub, what bad thing has happened. Do you want a cookie? Do you
want some chocolate?

MAGELONE. It's just nerves. The child's getting them much too soon.
It would be the best thing if no one paid any attention to her!

PUNTSCHU. That sounds like you! You're a pretty mother! The courts'll
yet take the child away from you and appoint me her guardian!
(_Stroking Kadidia's cheeks._) Isn't that so, my little goddess?

GESCHWITZ. I should be glad if we started the baccarat again at last?
(_All go into the card-room. Lulu is held back at the door by Bob._)

LULU. (_When Bob has whispered to her._) Certainly! Let him come in!
(_Bob opens the door and lets Schigolch enter, in evening dress, his
patent-leather shoes much worn, and keeping on his shabby opera
hat._)

SCHIGOLCH. (_With a look at Bob._) Where d'd you get him from?

LULU. The circus.

SCHIGOLCH. How much does he get?

LULU. Ask him if it interests you. (_To Bob._) Shut the doors. (_Bob
goes out lower left, shutting the door behind him._)

SCHIGOLCH. (_Sitting down._) The truth is, I'm in need of money. I've
hired a flat for my mistress.

LULU. Have you taken another mistress here, too?

SCHIGOLCH. She's from Frankfort. In her youth she was mistress to the
King of Naples. She tells me every day she was once very bewitching.

LULU. (_Outwardly with complete composure._) Does she need the money
very badly?

SCHIGOLCH. She wants to fit up her own apartments. Such sums are of
no account to *you*. (_Lulu is suddenly overcome with a fit of
weeping._)

LULU. (_Flinging herself at Schigolch._) O God Omnipotent!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Patting her._) Well? What is it now?

LULU. (_Sobbing violently._) It's too horrible!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Draws her onto his knee and holds her in his arms like a
little child._) Hm--You're trying to do too much, child. You must go
to bed, now and then, with a story.--Cry, that's right, cry it all
out. It used to shake you just so fifteen years ago. Nobody has
screamed since then, the way you could scream! You didn't wear any
white tufts on your head then, nor any transparent stockings on your
legs: you had neither shoes nor stockings then.

LULU. (_Crying._) Take me home with you! Take me home with you
to-night! Please! We'll find carriages enough downstairs!

SCHIGOLCH. I'll take you with me; I'll take you with me.--What is it?

LULU. It's going round my neck! I'm to be shown up!

SCHIGOLCH. By who? Who's showing you up?

LULU. The acrobat.

SCHIGOLCH. (_With the utmost composure._) I'll look after him.

LULU. Look after him! *Please*, look after him! Then do with me what
you will!

SCHIGOLCH. If he comes to me, he's done for. My window is over the
water. But (_shaking his head_) he won't come; he won't come.

LULU. What number do you live at?

SCHIGOLCH. 376, the last house before the hippodrome.

LULU. I'll send him there. He'll come with the crazy person that
creeps about my feet. He'll come this very evening. Go home and let
them find it comfortable.

SCHIGOLCH. Just let them come.

LULU. To-morrow bring the gold rings he wears in his ears.

SCHIGOLCH. Has he got rings in his ears?

LULU. You can take them out before you let him down. He doesn't
notice anything when he's drunk.

SCHIGOLCH. And then, child--what then?

LULU. Then I'll give you the money for your mistress.

SCHIGOLCH. I call that pretty stingy.

LULU. And whatever else you want! What I have!

SCHIGOLCH. It's pretty near ten years since we knew each other.

LULU. Is that all?--But you've got a mistress.

SCHIGOLCH. My Frankforter is no longer of to-day.

LULU. But then swear!

SCHIGOLCH. Haven't I always kept my word to you?

LULU. Swear that you'll look after him!

SCHIGOLCH. I'll look after him.

LULU. Swear it to me! Swear it to me!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Puts his hand on her ankle._) By everything that's holy!
To-night, if he comes--

LULU. By everything that's holy!--How cool that is!

SCHIGOLCH. How hot this is!

LULU. Drive straight home. They'll come in half-an-hour! Take a
carriage!

SCHIGOLCH. I'm going.

LULU. Quick! Please!-- --All-powerful--

SCHIGOLCH. Why do you stare at me so again already?

LULU. Nothing--....

SCHIGOLCH. Well? Is your tongue frozen on you?

LULU. My garter's broken.

SCHIGOLCH. What if it is? Is that all?

LULU. What does that augur?

SCHIGOLCH. What does it? I'll fasten it for you if you'll keep still.

LULU. That augurs misfortune!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Yawning._) Not for you, child. Cheer up, I'll look after
him! (_Exit. Lulu puts her left foot on a foot-stool, fastens her
garter, and goes out into the card-room. Then Rodrigo is cuffed in
from the dining-room, lower left, by Casti-Piani._)

RODRIGO. You can treat me decently anyway!

CASTI-PIANI. (_Still perfectly unemotional._) Whatever would induce
me to do that? I will know what you said to her here a little while
ago.

RODRIGO. Then you can be very fond of me!

CASTI-PIANI. Will you bandy words with me, dog? You demanded that she
go up in the lift with you!

RODRIGO. That's a shameless, perfidious lie!

CASTI-PIANI. She told me so herself. You threatened to denounce her
if she didn't go with you.--Shall I shoot you on the spot?

RODRIGO. The shameless hussy! As if anything like that could occur to
me!--Even if I should want to have her, God knows I don't first need
to threaten her with prison!

CASTI-PIANI. Thank you. That's all I wanted to know. (_Exit, upper
left._)

RODRIGO. Such a hound! A fellow I could throw up onto the roof so
he'd stick like a Limburger cheese!--Come back here, so I can wind
your guts round your neck. That would be even better!

LULU. (_Enters, lower left; merrily._) Where were you? I've been
hunting for you like a pin.

RODRIGO. I've shown *him* what it means to start anything with me!

LULU. Whom?

RODRIGO. Your Casti-Piani! What made you tell him, you slut, that I
wanted to seduce you?!

LULU. Did you not ask me to give myself to my deceased husband's son
for twenty thousand in Jungfrau shares?

RODRIGO. Because it's your duty to take pity on the poor young
fellow! You shot away his father before his nose in the very best
years of life! But your Casti-Piani will think it over before he
comes into my sight again. I gave him one in the basket that made the
tripes fly to heaven like Roman candles. If you've got no better
substitute for me, then I'm sorry ever to have had your favor!

LULU. Lady Geschwitz is in the fearfullest case. She twists herself
up in fits. She's at the point of jumping into the water if you let
her wait any longer.

RODRIGO. What's the beast waiting for?

LULU. For you, to take her with you.

RODRIGO. Then give her my regards, and she can jump into the water.

LULU. She'll lend me twenty thousand marks to save me from
destruction if you will preserve her from it herself. If you'll take
her off to-night, I'll deposit twenty thousand marks to-morrow in
your name at any bank you say.

RODRIGO. And if I don't take her off with me?

LULU. Denounce me! Alva and I are dead broke.

RODRIGO. Devil and damnation!

LULU. You make four people happy if you don't take things too exactly
and sacrifice yourself for a beneficent purpose.

RODRIGO. That won't go; I know that, beforehand. I've tried that out
enough now. Who counts on an honorable soul like that in a bag o'
bones! What the person had for me was her being an aristocrat. My
behavior was as gentleman-like, and more, as you could find among
German circus-people. If I'd only just pinched her in the calves
once!

LULU. (_Watchfully._) She is still a virgin.

RODRIGO. (_Sighing._) If there's a God in heaven, you'll get paid for
your jokes some day! I prophesy that.

LULU. Geschwitz waits. What shall I tell her?

RODRIGO. My very best wishes, and I am perverse.

LULU. I will deliver that.

RODRIGO. Wait a sec. Is it certain sure I get twenty thousand marks
from her?

LULU. Ask herself!

RODRIGO. Then tell her I'm ready. I await her in the dining-room. I
must just first look after a barrel of caviare. (_Exit, left. Lulu
opens the rear door and calls in a clear voice "Martha!" Countess
Geschwitz enters, closing the door behind her._)

LULU. (_Pleased._) Dear heart, you can save me from death to-night.

GESCHWITZ. How?

LULU. By going to a certain house with the acrobat.

GESCHWITZ. What for, dear?

LULU. He says you must belong to him this very night or he'll
denounce me to-morrow.

GESCHWITZ. You know I can't belong to any man. My fate has not
permitted that.

LULU. If you don't please him, that's his own fix. Why has he fallen
in love with you?

GESCHWITZ. But he'll get as brutal as a hangman. He'll revenge
himself for his disappointment and beat my head in. I've been thru
that already.... Can you not possibly spare me this hardest test?

LULU. What will you gain by his denouncing me?

GESCHWITZ. I have still enough of my fortune to take us to America
together in the steerage. There you'd be safe from all your pursuers.

LULU. (_Pleased and gay._) I want to stay here. I can never be happy
in any other city. You must tell him that you can't live without him.
Then he'll feel flattered and be gentle as a lamb. You must pay the
coachman, too: give him this paper with the address on it. 376 is a
sixth-class hotel where they're expecting you with him this evening.

GESCHWITZ. (_Shuddering._) How can such a monstrosity save your life?
I don't understand that. You have conjured up to torture me the most
terrible fate that can fall upon outlawed me!

LULU. (_Watchful._) Perhaps the encounter will cure you.

GESCHWITZ. (_Sighing._) O Lulu, if an eternal retribution does exist,
I hope I may not have to answer then for you. I cannot make myself
believe that no God watches over us. Yet you are probably right that
there is nothing there, for how can an insignificant worm like me
have provoked his wrath so as to experience only horror there where
all living creation swoons for bliss?

LULU. You needn't complain. When you *are* happy you're a hundred
thousand times happier than one of us ordinary mortals ever is!

GESCHWITZ. I know that too! I envy no one! But I am still waiting.
You have deceived me so often already.

LULU. I am yours, my darling, if you quiet Mr. Acrobat till
to-morrow. He only wants his vanity placated. You must beseech him to
take pity on you.

GESCHWITZ. And to-morrow?

LULU. I await you, my heart. I shall not open my eyes till you come:
see no chambermaid, receive no hair-dresser, not open my eyes before
you are with me.

GESCHWITZ. Then let him come.

LULU. But you must throw yourself at his head, dear! Have you got the
house-number?

GESCHWITZ. Three-seventy-six. But quick now!

LULU. (_Calls into the dining-room._) Ready, my darling?

RODRIGO. (_Entering._) The ladies will pardon my mouth's being full.

GESCHWITZ. (_Seizing his hand._) I implore you, have mercy on my
need!

RODRIGO. A la bonne heure! Let us mount the scaffold! (_Offers her
his arm._)

LULU. Good-night, children! (_Accompanies them into the corridor....
then quickly returns with Bob._) Quick, quick, Bob! We must get away
this moment! You escort me! But we must change clothes!

BOB. (_Curt and clear._) As the gracious lady bids.

LULU. Oh what, gracious lady! You give me your clothes and put on
mine. Come! (_Exeunt into the dining-room. Noise in the card-room,
the doors are torn open, and Puntschu, Heilmann, Alva, Bianetta,
Magelone, Kadidia and Ludmilla enter, Heilmann holding a piece of
paper with a glowing Alpine peak at its top._)

HEILMANN. (_To Puntschu._) Will you accept this share of
Jungfrau-stock, sir?

PUNTSCHU. But that paper has no exchange, my friend.

HEILMANN. You rascal! You just don't want to give me my revenge!

MAGELONE. (_To Bianetta._) Have you any idea what it's all about?

LUDMILLA. Puntschu has taken all his money from him, and now gives up
the game.

HEILMANN. Now he's got cold feet, the filthy Jew!

PUNTSCHU. How have I given up the game? How have I got cold feet? The
gentleman has merely to lay plain cash! Is this my banking-office I'm
in? He can proffer me his trash to-morrow morning!

HEILMANN. Trash you call that? The stock in my knowledge is at 210!

PUNTSCHU. Yesterday it was at 210, you're right. To-day, it's just
nowhere. And to-morrow you'll find nothing cheaper or more tasteful
to paper your stairs with.

ALVA. But how is that possible? Then we *would* be down and out!

PUNTSCHU. Well, what am _I_ to say, who have lost my whole fortune in
it! To-morrow morning I shall have the pleasure of taking up the
struggle for an assured existence for the thirty-sixth time!

MAGELONE. (_Passing forward._) Am I dreaming or do I really hear the
Jungfrau-stock has fallen?

PUNTSCHU. Fallen even lower than you! Tho you can use 'em for
curl-paper.

MAGELONE. O God in Heaven! Ten years' work! (_Falls in a faint._)

KADIDIA. Wake up, mama! Wake up!

BIANETTA. Say, Mr. Puntschu, where will you eat this evening, since
you've lost your whole fortune?

PUNTSCHU. Wherever you like, young lady! Take me where you will, but
quickly! Here it's getting frightful. (_Exeunt Puntschu and
Bianetta._)

HEILMANN. (_Squeezing up his stock and flinging it to the ground._)
That is what one gets from this pack!

LUDMILLA. Why do you speculate on the Jungfrau too? Send a few little
notices on the company to the German police here, and then you'll
still win something in the end.

HEILMANN. I've never tried that in my life, but if you want to help
me--?

LUDMILLA. Let's go to an all-night restaurant. Do you know the
Five-footed Calf?

HEILMANN. I'm very sorry--

LUDMILLA. Or the Sucking Lamb, or the Smoking Dog? They're all right
near here. We'll be all by ourselves there, and before dawn we'll
have a little article ready.

HEILMANN. Don't you sleep?

LUDMILLA. Oh, of course; but not at night. (_Exeunt Heilmann and
Ludmilla._)

ALVA. (_Who has been trying to resuscitate Magelone._) Ice-cold
hands! Ah, what a splendid woman! We must undo her waist. Come,
Kadidia, undo your mother's waist! She's so fearfully tight-laced.

KADIDIA. (_Without stirring._) I'm afraid. (_Lulu enters lower left
in a jockey-cap, red jacket, white leather breeches and riding boots,
a riding cape over her shoulders._)

LULU. Have you any cash, Alva?

ALVA. (_Looking up._) Have you gone crazy?

LULU. In two minutes the police'll be here. We are denounced. You can
stay of course, if you're eager to!

ALVA. (_Springing up._) Merciful Heaven! (_Exeunt Alva and Lulu._)

KADIDIA. (_Shaking her mother, in tears._) Mama, Mama! Wake up!
They've all run away!

MAGELONE. (_Coming to herself._) And youth gone! And my best days
gone! Oh, this life!

KADIDIA. But I'm young, mama! Why shouldn't I earn any money? I don't
want to go back to the convent! Please, mama, keep me with you!

MAGELONE. God bless you, sweetheart! You don't know what you say--Oh,
no, I shall look around for an engagement in a Varieté, and sing the
people my misfortunes with the Jungfrau-stock. Things like that are
always applauded.

KADIDIA. But you've got no voice, mama!

MAGELONE. Ah, yes, that's true!

KADIDIA. Take me with you to the Varieté!

MAGELONE. No, it would break my heart!--But, well, if it can't be
otherwise, and you're so made for it,--I can't change things!--Yes,
we can go to the Olympia together to-morrow!

KADIDIA. O mama, how glad that makes me feel! (_A plain-clothes
detective enters, upper left._)

DETECTIVE. In the name of the law--I arrest you!

CASTI-PIANI. (_Following him, bored._) What sort of nonsense is that?
*That* isn't the right one!

  CURTAIN.



ACT III


_An attic room, without windows, but with two sky-lights, under one
of which stands a bowl filled with rain-water. Down right, a door
thru a board partition into a sort of cubicle under the slanting
roof. Near it, a wobbly flower-table with a bottle and a smoking
oil-lamp on it. Upper right, a worn-out couch. Door centre; near it,
a chair without a seat. Down left, below the entrance door, a torn
gray mattress. None of the doors can shut tight._

_The rain beats on the roof. Schigolch in a long gray overcoat lies
on the mattress; Alva on the couch, wrapped in a plaid whose straps
still hang on the wall above him._

SCHIGOLCH. The rain's drumming for the parade.

ALVA. Cheerful weather for her first appearance! I dreamt just now we
were dining together at Olympia. Bianetta was still with us. The
table-cloth was dripping on all four sides with champagne.

SCHIGOLCH. Ya, ya. And I was dreaming of a Christmas pudding. (_Lulu
appears, back, barefoot, in a torn black dress, but with her hair
falling to her shoulders._) Where have you been? Curling your hair
first?

ALVA. She only does that to revive old memories.

LULU. If one could only get warmed, just a little, from one of you!

ALVA. Will you enter barefoot on your pilgrimage?

SCHIGOLCH. The first step always costs all kinds of moaning and
groaning. Twenty years ago it was no whit better, and what she has
learned since then! The coals only have to be blown. When she's been
at it a week, not ten locomotives will hold her in our miserable
attic.

ALVA. The bowl is running over.

LULU. What shall I do with the water?

ALVA. Pour it out the window. (_Lulu gets up on the chair and empties
the bowl thru the sky-light._)

LULU. It looks as if the rain would let up at last.

SCHIGOLCH. Your wasting the time when the clerks go home after
supper.

LULU. Would to God I were lying somewhere where no step would wake me
any more!

ALVA. Would I were, too! Why prolong this life? Let's rather starve
to death together this very evening in peace and concord! Is it not
the last stage now?

LULU. Why don't *you* go out and get us something to eat? You've
never earned a penny in your whole life!

ALVA. In this weather, when no one would kick a dog from his door?

LULU. But me! I, with the little blood I have left in my limbs, I am
to stop your mouths!

ALVA. I don't touch a farthing of the money!

SCHIGOLCH. Let her go, just! I long for one more Christmas pudding;
then I've had enough.

ALVA. And I long for one more beefsteak and a cigarette; then die! I
was just dreaming of a cigarette, such as has never yet been smoked!

SCHIGOLCH. She'll see us put an end to before her eyes, before doing
herself a little pleasure.

LULU. The people on the street will sooner leave cloak and coat in my
hands than go with me for nothing! If you hadn't sold my clothes, I
at least wouldn't need to be afraid of the lamp-light. I'd like to
see the woman who could earn anything in the rags I'm wearing on my
body!

ALVA. I have left nothing human untried. As long as I had money I
spent whole nights making up tables with which one couldn't help
winning against the cleverest card-sharps. And yet evening after
evening I lost more than if I had shaken out gold by the pailful.
Then I offered my services to the courtesans; but they don't take
anyone without the stamps of the courts, and they see at the first
glance if one's related to the guillotine or not.

SCHIGOLCH. Ya, ya.

ALVA. I spared myself no disillusionments; but when I made jokes,
they laughed at *me*, and when I behaved as respectable as I am, they
boxed my ears, and when I tried being smutty, they got so chaste and
maidenly that my hair stood up on my head for horror. He who has not
prevailed over society, they have no confidence in.

SCHIGOLCH. Won't you kindly put on your boots now, child? I don't
think I shall grow much older in this lodging. It's months since I
had any feeling in the ends of my toes. Toward midnight, I'll drink a
bit more down in the pub. The lady that keeps it told me yesterday I
seemed to really want to be her lover.

LULU. In the name of the three devils, I'll go down! (_She puts to
her mouth the bottle on the flower-table._)

SCHIGOLCH. So they can smell your stink a half-hour off!

LULU. I shan't drink it all.

ALVA. You won't go down. You're my woman. You shan't go down. I
forbid it!

LULU. What would you forbid your woman when you can't support
yourself?

ALVA. Whose fault is that? Who but my woman has laid me on the
sick-bed?

LULU. Am I sick?

ALVA. Who has trailed me thru the dung? Who has made me my father's
murderer?

LULU. Did *you* shoot him? He didn't lose much, but when I see you
lying there I could hack off both my hands for having sinned so
against my judgment! (_She goes out, into her room._)

ALVA. She infected me from her Casti-Piani. It's a long time since
she was susceptible to it herself!

SCHIGOLCH. Little devils like her can't begin putting up with it too
soon, if angels are ever going to come out of them.

ALVA. She ought to have been born Empress of Russia. Then she'd have
been in the right place. A second Catherine the Second! (_Lulu
re-enters with a worn-out pair of boots, and sits on the floor to put
them on._)

LULU. If only I don't go headfirst down the stairs! Ugh, how cold! Is
there anything in the world more dismal than a daughter of joy?

SCHIGOLCH. Patience, patience! She's only got to take the right road
into the business at the start.

LULU. It's all right with me! Nothing's wrong with me any more.
(_Puts the bottle to her lips._) That warms one! O accursed!
(_Exit._)

SCHIGOLCH. When we hear her coming, we must creep into my cubby-hole
awhile.

ALVA. I'm damned sorry for her! When I think back.... I grew up with
her in a way, you know.

SCHIGOLCH. She'll hold out as long as I live, anyway.

ALVA. We treated each other at first like brother and sister. Mama
was still living then. I met her by chance one morning when she was
dressing. Dr. Goll had been called for a consultation. Her
hair-dresser had read my first poem, that I'd had printed in
"Society": "Follow thy pack far over the mountains; it will return
again, covered with sweat and dust--"

SCHIGOLCH. Oh, ya!

ALVA. And then she came, in rose-colored muslin, with nothing under
it but a white satin slip--for the Spanish ambassador's ball. Dr.
Goll seemed to feel his death near. He asked me to dance with her, so
she shouldn't cause any mad acts. Papa meanwhile never turned his
eyes from us, and all thru the waltz she was looking over my
shoulder, only at him.... Afterwards she shot him. It is
unbelievable.

SCHIGOLCH. I've only got a very strong doubt whether anyone will bite
any more.

ALVA. I shouldn't like to advise it to anybody! (_Schigolch grunts._)
At that time, tho she was a fully developed woman, she had the
expression of a five-year-old, joyous, utterly healthy child. And she
was only three years younger than me then--but how long ago it is
now! For all her immense superiority in matters of practical life,
she let me explain "Tristan and Isolde" to her--and how entrancingly
she could listen! Out of the little sister who at her marriage still
felt like a school-girl, came the unhappy, hysterical artist's wife.
Out of the artist's wife came then the spouse of my blessed father,
and out of *her* came, then, my mistress. Well, so that is the way of
the world. Who will prevail against it?

SCHIGOLCH. If only she doesn't skid away from the gentlemen with
honorable intentions and bring us up instead some vagabond she's
exchanged her heart's secrets with.

ALVA. I kissed her for the first time in her rustling bridal dress.
But afterwards she didn't remember it.... All the same, I believe she
had thought of me even in my father's arms. It can't have been often
with him: he had his best time behind him, and she deceived him with
coachman and boot-black; but when she did give herself to him, then
_I_ stood before her soul. Thru that, too, without my realizing it,
she attained this dreadful power over me.

SCHIGOLCH. There they are! (_Heavy steps are heard mounting the
stairs._)

ALVA. (_Starting up._) I will not endure it! I'll throw the fellow
out!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Wearily picks himself up, takes Alva by the collar and
cuffs him toward the left._) Forward, forward! How is the young man
to confess his trouble to her with us two sprawling round here?

ALVA. But if he demands other things--low things--of her?

SCHIGOLCH. If, well, if! What more will he demand of her? He's only a
man like the rest of us!

ALVA. We must leave the door open.

SCHIGOLCH. (_Pushing Alva in, right._) Nonsense! Lie down!

ALVA. I'll hear it soon enough. Heaven spare him!

SCHIGOLCH. (_Closing the door, from inside._) Shut up!

ALVA. (_Faintly._) He'd better look out! (_Lulu enters, followed by
Hunidei, a gigantic figure with a smooth-shaven, rosy face, sky-blue
eyes, and a friendly smile. He wears a tall hat and overcoat and
carries a dripping umbrella._)

LULU. Here's where I live. (_Hunidei puts his finger to his lips and
looks at Lulu significantly. Then he opens his umbrella and puts it
on the floor, rear, to dry._) Of course, I know it isn't very
comfortable here. (_Hunidei comes forward and puts his hand over her
mouth._) What do you mean me to understand by that? (_Hunidei puts
his hand over her mouth, and his finger to his lips._) I don't know
what that means. (_Hunidei quickly stops her mouth. Lulu frees
herself._) We're quite alone here. No one will hear us. (_Hunidei
lays his finger on his lips, shakes his head, points at Lulu, opens
his mouth as if to speak, points at himself and then at the door._)
Herr Gott, he's a monster! (_Hunidei stops her mouth; then goes rear,
folds up his overcoat and lays it over the chair near the door; then
comes down with a broad smile, takes Lulu's head in both his hands
and kisses her on the forehead. The door, right, half opens._)

SCHIGOLCH. (_Behind the door._) He's got a screw loose.

ALVA. He'd better look out!

SCHIGOLCH. She couldn't have brought up anything drearier!

LULU. (_Stepping back._) I hope you're going to give me something!
(_Hunidei stops her mouth and presses a gold-piece in her hand, then
looks at her uncertain, questioningly, as she examines it and throws
it from one hand to the other._)

LULU. All right, it's good. (_Puts it into her pocket. Hunidei
quickly stops her mouth, gives her a few silver coins, and glances at
her commandingly._) Oh, that's nice of you! (_Hunidei leaps madly
about the room, brandishing his arms and staring upward in despair.
Lulu cautiously nears him, throws an arm round him and kisses him on
the mouth. Laughing soundlessly, he frees himself from her and looks
questioningly. She takes up the lamp and opens the door to her room.
He goes in smiling, taking off his hat. The stage is dark save for
what light comes thru the cracks of the door. Alva and Schigolch
creep out on all fours._)

ALVA. They're gone.

SCHIGOLCH. (_Behind him._) Wait.

ALVA. One can hear nothing here.

SCHIGOLCH. You've heard that often enough!

ALVA. I will kneel before her door.

SCHIGOLCH. Little mother's sonny! (_Presses past Alva, gropes across
the stage to Hunidei's coat, and searches the pockets. Alva crawls to
Lulu's door._) Gloves, nothing more! (_Turns the coat round, searches
the inside pockets, pulls a book out that he gives to Alva._) Just
see what that is. (_Alva holds the book to the light._)

ALVA. (_Wearily deciphering the title-page._) Warnings to pious
pilgrims and such as wish to be so. Very helpful. Price, 2 s. 6 d.

SCHIGOLCH. It looks to me as if God had left *him* pretty completely.
(_Lays the coat over the chair again and makes for the cubby-hole._)
There's nothing doing with these people. The country's best time's
behind it!

ALVA. Life is never as bad as it's painted. (_He, too, creeps back._)

SCHIGOLCH. Not even a silk muffler he's got and yet in Germany we
creep on our bellies before this rabble.

ALVA. Come, let's vanish again.

SCHIGOLCH. She only thinks of herself, and takes the first man that
runs across her path. Hope the dog remembers her the rest of his
life! (_They disappear, left, shutting the door behind them. Lulu
re-enters, setting the lamp on the table. Hunidei follows._)

LULU. Will you come to see me again? (_Hunidei stops her mouth. She
looks upward in a sort of despair and shakes her head. Hunidei,
putting his coat on, approaches her grinning; she throws her arms
around his neck; he gently frees himself, kisses her hand, and turns
to the door. She starts to accompany him, but he signs to her to stay
behind and noiselessly leaves the room. Schigolch and Alva
re-enter._)

LULU. (_Tonelessly._) How he has stirred me up!

ALVA. How much did he give you?

LULU. (_As before._) Here it is! All! Take it! I'm going down again.

SCHIGOLCH. We can still live like princes up here.

ALVA. He's coming back.

SCHIGOLCH. Then let's just retire again, quick.

ALVA. He's after his prayer-book. Here it is. It must have fallen out
of his coat.

LULU. (_Listening._) No, that isn't he. That's some one else.

ALVA. Some one's coming up. I hear it quite plainly.

LULU. Now there's some one tapping at the door. Who may that be?

SCHIGOLCH. Probably a good friend he's recommended us to. Come in!
(_Countess Geschwitz enters, in poor clothes, with a canvas roll in
her hand._)

GESCHWITZ. (_To Lulu._) If I've come at a bad time, I'll turn around
again. The truth is, I haven't spoken to a living soul for ten days.
I must just tell you right off, I haven't got any money. My brother
never answered me at all.

SCHIGOLCH. Your ladyship would now like to stretch her feet out under
our table?

LULU. (_Tonelessly._) I'm going down again.

GESCHWITZ. Where are you going in this pomp?--However, I come not
wholly empty-handed. I bring you something else. On my way here an
old-clothes man offered me twelve shillings for it, but I could not
force myself to part from it. You can sell it, though, if you want
to.

SCHIGOLCH. What is it?

ALVA. Let us see it. (_Takes the canvas and unrolls it. Visibly
rejoiced._) Oh, by God, it's Lulu's portrait!

LULU. (_Screaming._) Monster, you brought that here? Get it out of my
sight! Throw it out of the window!

ALVA. (_Suddenly with renewed life, deeply pleased._) Why, I should
like to know? Looking on this picture I regain my self-respect. It
makes my fate comprehensible to me. Everything we have endured gets
clear as day. (_In a somewhat elegiac strain._) Let him who feels
secure in his middle-class position when he sees these blossoming
pouting lips, these child-eyes, big and innocent, this rose-white
body abounding in life,--let him cast the first stone at us!

SCHIGOLCH. We must nail it up. It will make an excellent impression
on our patrons.

ALVA. (_Energetic._) There's a nail sticking all ready for it in the
wall.

SCHIGOLCH. But how did you come upon this acquisition?

GESCHWITZ. I secretly cut it out of the wall in your house, there,
after you were gone.

ALVA. Too bad the color's got rubbed off round the edges. You didn't
roll it up carefully enough. (_Fastens it to a high nail in the
wall._)

SCHIGOLCH. It's got to have another one underneath if it's going to
hold. It makes the whole flat look more elegant.

ALVA. Let me alone; I know how I'll do it. (_He tears several nails
out of the wall, pulls off his left boot, and with its heel nails the
edges of the picture to the wall._)

SCHIGOLCH. It's just got to hang a while again, to get its proper
effect. Whoever looks at that'll imagine afterwards he's been in an
Indian harem.

ALVA. (_Putting on his boot again, standing up proudly._) Her body
was at its highest point of development when that picture was
painted. The lamp, kid dear! Seems to me it's got extraordinarily
dark.

GESCHWITZ. He must have been an eminently gifted artist who painted
that!

LULU. (_Perfectly composed again, stepping before the picture with
the lamp._) Didn't you know him, then?

GESCHWITZ. No. It must have been long before my time. I only
occasionally heard chance remarks of yours, that he had cut his
throat from persecution-mania.

ALVA. (_Comparing the picture with Lulu._) The child-like expression
in the eyes is still absolutely the same in spite of all she has
lived thru since. (_In joyous excitement._) The dewy freshness that
covered her skin, the sweet-smelling breath from her lips, the rays
of light that beam from her white forehead, and this challenging
splendor of young flesh in throat and arms--

SCHIGOLCH. All that's gone with the rubbish wagon. She can say with
self-assurance: That was me once! The man she falls into the hands of
to-day 'll have no conception of what we were when we were young.

ALVA. (_Cheerfully._) God be thanked, we don't notice the continual
decline when we see a person all the time. (_Lightly._) The woman
blooms for us in the moment when she hurls the man to destruction for
the rest of his life. That is her nature and her destiny.

SCHIGOLCH. Down in the street-lamp's shimmer she's still a match for
a dozen walking spectres. The man who still wants to make connections
at this hour looks out more for heart-qualities than mere physical
good points. He decides for the pair of eyes from which the least
thievery sparkles.

LULU. (_Now as pleased as Alva._) I shall see if you're right. Adieu.

ALVA. (_In sudden anger._) You shall not go down again, as I live!

GESCHWITZ. Where do you want to go?

ALVA. Down to fetch up a man.

GESCHWITZ. Lulu!

ALVA. She's done it once to-day already.

GESCHWITZ. Lulu, Lulu, where you go I go too.

SCHIGOLCH. If you want to put your bones up for sale, kindly get a
district of your own!

GESCHWITZ. Lulu, I shall not stir from your side! I have weapons upon
me.

SCHIGOLCH. Confound it all, her ladyship plots to fish with our bait!

LULU. You're killing me. I can't stand it here any more. (_Exit._)

GESCHWITZ. You need fear nothing. I am with you. (_Follows her._)

ALVA. (_Whimpering, throws himself on his couch. Schigolch swears,
loudly and grumbling._) I guess there's not much more good to expect
on this side!

SCHIGOLCH. We ought to have held the creature back by the throat.
She'll scare away everything that breathes with her aristocratic
death's head.

ALVA. She's flung me onto a sick-bed and larded me with thorns
outside and in!

SCHIGOLCH. And she's still got enough strength in her body to do the
same for ten men alright.

ALVA. No mortally wounded man'll ever find the stab of mercy welcomer
than I!

SCHIGOLCH. If she hadn't enticed the acrobat to my place that time,
we'd have him round our necks to-day too.

ALVA. I see it swinging above my head as Tantalus saw the branch with
the golden apples!

SCHIGOLCH. (_On his mattress._) Won't you turn up the lamp a little?

ALVA. Can a simple, natural man in the wilderness suffer so
unspeakably?!--God, God, what have I made of my life!

SCHIGOLCH. What's the beastly weather made of my ulster! When I was
five-and-twenty, I knew how to help myself!

ALVA. It has not cost everyone my sunny, glorious youth!

SCHIGOLCH. I guess it'll go out in a minute. Till they come back
it'll be as dark in here again as in mother's womb.

ALVA. With the clearest consciousness of my purpose I sought
intercourse with people who'd never read a book in their lives. With
self-denial, with exaltation, I clung to the elements, that I might
be carried to the loftiest heights of poetic fame. The reckoning was
false. I am the martyr of my calling. Since the death of my father I
have not written a single line!

SCHIGOLCH. If only they haven't stayed together! Nobody but a silly
boy will go with two, no matter what.

ALVA. They've not stayed together!

SCHIGOLCH. That's what I hope. If need be, she'll keep the creature
off from her with kicks.

ALVA. One, risen from the dregs, is the most celebrated man of his
nation; another, born in the purple, lies in the mud and cannot die!

SCHIGOLCH. Here they come!

ALVA. And what blessed hours of mutual joy in creation they had lived
thru with each other!

SCHIGOLCH. They can do that now, for the first time rightly.--We must
hide again.

ALVA. I stay here.

SCHIGOLCH. Just what do you pity them for?--Who spends his money has
his good reasons for it!

ALVA. I have no longer the moral courage to let my comfort be
disturbed for a miserable sum of money! (_He wraps himself up in his
plaid._)

SCHIGOLCH. Noblesse oblige! A respectable man does what he owes his
position. (_He hides, left. Lulu opens the door, saying "Come right
in, dearie," and there enters Prince Kungu Poti, heir-apparent of
Uahubee, in a light suit, white spats, tan button-boots, and a gray
tall hat. His speech, interrupted with frequent hiccoughs, abounds
with the peculiar African hiss-sounds._)

KUNGU POTI. God damn--it's dark on the stairs!

LULU. It's lighter here, sweetheart. (_Pulling him forward by the
hand._) Come on!

KUNGU POTI. But it's cold here, awful cold!

LULU. Have some brandy?

KUNGU POTI. Brandy? You bet--always! Brandy's good!

LULU. (_Giving him the bottle._) I don't know where there's a glass.

KUNGU POTI. Doesn't matter. (_Drinks._) Brandy! Lots of it!

LULU. You're a nice-looking young man.

KUNGU POTI. My father's the emperor of Uahubee. I've got six wives
here, two Spanish, two English, two French. Well--I don't like my
wives. Always I must take a bath, take a bath, take a bath....

LULU. How much will you give me?

KUNGU POTI. Gold! Trust me, you shall have gold! One gold-piece. I
always give gold-pieces.

LULU. You can give it to me later, but show it to me.

KUNGU POTI. I never pay beforehand.

LULU. But you can show it to me, thoh!

KUNGU POTI. Don't understand, don't understand! Come,
Ragapsishimulara! (_Seizing Lulu round the waist._) Come on!

LULU. (_Defending herself with all her strength._) Let me be! Let me
be! (_Alva, who has risen painfully from his couch, sneaks up to
Kungu Poti from behind and pulls him back by the collar._)

KUNGU POTI. (_Whirling round._) Oh! Oh! This is a murder-hole! Come,
my friend, I'll put you to sleep! (_Strikes him over the head with a
loaded cane. Alva groans and falls in a heap._) Here's a
sleeping-draught! Here's opium for you! Sweet dreams to you! Sweet
dreams! (_Then he gives Lulu a kiss; pointing to Alva._) He dreams of
you, Ragapsishimulara! Sweet dreams! (_Rushing to the door._) Here's
the door!! (_Exit._)

LULU. But I'll not stay here?!--Who can stand it here now!--Rather
down onto the street! (_Exit. Schigolch comes out._)

SCHIGOLCH.--Blood!--Alva!--He's got to be put away somewhere.
Hop!--Or else our friends 'll get a shock from him--Alva! Alva!--He
that isn't quite clear about it--! One thing or t'other; or it'll
soon be too late! I'll give him legs! (_Strikes a match and sticks it
into Alva's collar...._) He will have his rest. But no one sleeps
here.--(_Drags him by the head into Lulu's room. Returning, he tries
to turn up the light._) It'll be time for me, too, right soon now, or
they'll get no more Christmas puddings down there in the tavern. God
knows when she'll be coming back from her pleasure tour! (_Fixing an
eye on Lulu's picture._) She doesn't understand business! She can't
live off love, because her life is love.--There she comes. I'll just
talk straight to her once--(_Countess Geschwitz enters._) ... If you
want to lodge with us to-night, kindly take a little care that
nothing is stolen here.

GESCHWITZ. How dark it is here!

SCHIGOLCH. It gets much darker than this.--The doctor's already gone
to rest.

GESCHWITZ. She sent me ahead.

SCHIGOLCH. That was sensible.--If anyone asks for me, I'm sitting
downstairs in the pub.

GESCHWITZ. (_After he has gone._) I will sit behind the door. I will
look on at everything and not quiver an eye-lash. (_Sits on the
broken chair._) Men and women don't know themselves--they know not
what they are. Only one who is neither man nor woman knows them.
Every word they say is untrue, a lie. And they do not know it, for
they are to-day so and to-morrow so, according as they have eaten,
drunk, and loved, or not. Only the body remains for a time what it
is, and only the children have reason. The men and women are like the
animals: none knows what it does. When they are happiest they bewail
themselves and groan, and in their deepest misery they rejoice over
every tiny morsel. It is strange how hunger takes from men and women
the strength to withstand misfortune. But when they have fed full
they make this world a torture-chamber, they throw away their lives
to satisfy a whim, a mood. Have there ever once been men and women to
whom love brought happiness? And what is their happiness, save that
they sleep better and can forget it all? My God, I thank thee that
thou hast not made me as these. I am not man nor woman. My body has
nothing common with their bodies. Have I a human soul? Tortured
humanity has a little narrow heart; but I know I deserve nothing when
I resign all, sacrifice all.... (_Lulu opens the door, and Dr. Hilti
enters. Geschwitz, unnoticed, remains motionless by the door._)

LULU. (_Gaily._) Come right in! Come!--you'll stay with me all night?

DR. HILTI. (_His accent is very broad and flat._) But I have no more
than five shillings on me. I never take more than that when I go out.

LULU. That's enough, because it's you! You have such faithful eyes!
Come, give me a kiss! (_Dr. Hilti begins to swear, in the broadest
north-country vowels._) Please, don't say that.

DR. HILTI. By the de'il, 'tis the first time I've e'er gone with a
girrl! You can believe me. Mass, I hadn't thought it would be like
this!

LULU. Are you married?

DR. HILTI. Heaven and Hail, why do you think I am married?--No, I'm a
tutor; I read philosophy at the University. The truth is, I come of a
very old country family. As a student, I got just two shillings
pocket-money, and I could make better use of that than for girrls!

LULU. So you have never been with a woman?

DR. HILTI. Just so, yes! But I want it now. I got engaged this
evening to a country-woman of mine. She's a governess here.

LULU. Is she pretty?

DR. HILTI. Yaw, she's got a hundred thousand.--I am very eager, as it
seems to me....

LULU. (_Tossing back her hair._) I *am* in luck! (_Takes the lamp._)
Well, if you please, Mr. Tutor? (_They go into her room. Geschwitz
draws a small black revolver from her pocket and sets it to her
forehead._)

GESCHWITZ.--Come, come,--beloved! (_Dr. Hilti tears open the door
again.--_)

DR. HILTI. (_Plunging in._) Insane seraphs! Some one's lying in
there!

LULU. (_Lamp in hand, holds him by the sleeve._) Stay with me!

DR. HILTI. A dead man! A corpse!

LULU. Stay with me! Stay with me!

DR. HILTI. (_Tearing away._) A corpse is lying in there! Horrors!
Hail! Heaven!

LULU. Stay with me!

DR. HILTI. Where d's it go out? (_Sees Geschwitz._) And there is the
devil!

LULU. Please, stop, stay!

DR. HILTI. Devil, devilled devilry!--Oh, thou eternal--(_Exit._)

LULU. (_Rushing after him._) Stop! Stop!

GESCHWITZ. (_Alone, lets the revolver sink._) Better, hang! If she
sees me lie in my blood to-day she'll not weep a tear for me! I have
always been to her but the docile tool that could be used for the
heaviest labor. From the first day she has abhorred me from the
depths of her soul.--Shall I not rather jump from the bridge? Which
could be colder, the water or her heart? I would dream till I was
drowned.--Better, hang!-- --Stab?--Hm, there would be no use in
that-- --How often have I dreamt that she kissed me! But a minute
more; an owl knocks there at the window, and I wake up.-- --Better,
hang! Not water; water is too clean for me. (_Starting up._)
There!--There! There it is!--Quick now, before she comes! (_Takes the
plaid-straps from the wall, climbs on the chair, fastens them to a
hook in the door-post, puts her head thru them, kicks the chair away,
and falls to the ground._) Accursed life!--Accursed life!--Could it
be before me still??--Let me speak just once to thy heart, my angel!
But thou art cold!--I am not to go yet! Perhaps I am even to have
been happy once.--Listen to him, Lulu! I am not to go yet! (_She
drags herself before Lulu's picture, sinks to her knees and folds her
hands._) My adoréd angel! My love! My star!--Have mercy upon me, pity
me, pity me, pity me!

(_Lulu opens the door, and Jack enters--a thick-set man of elastic
movements, with a pale face, inflamed eyes, arched and heavy brows, a
drooping mustache, thin imperial and shaggy whiskers, and fiery red
hands with gnawed nails. His eyes are fixed on the ground. He wears a
dark overcoat and a little round felt hat. Entering, he notices
Geschwitz._)

JACK. Who is that?

LULU. That's my sister. She's crazy. I don't know how to get rid of
her.

JACK. Your mouth looks beautiful.

LULU. It's my mother's.

JACK. Looks like it. How much do you want? I haven't got much money.

LULU. Won't you spend the night with me here?

JACK. No, haven't got the time. I must get home.

LULU. You can tell them at home to-morrow that you missed the last
'bus and spent the night with a friend.

JACK. How much do you want?

LULU. I'm not after lumps of gold, but, well, a little something.

JACK. (_Turning._) Good night! Good night!

LULU. (_Holds him back._) No, no! Stay, for God's sake!

JACK. (_Goes past Geschwitz and opens the cubicle._) Why should I
stay here till morning? Sounds suspicious! When I'm asleep they'll
turn my pockets out.

LULU. No, I won't do that! No one will! Don't go away again for that!
I beg you!

JACK. How much do you want?

LULU. Then give me the half of what I said!

JACK. No, that's too much. You don't seem to have been at this long?

LULU. To-day is the first time. (_She jerks back Geschwitz, on her
knees still, half turned toward Jack, by the straps around her
neck._) Lie down and be quiet!

JACK. Let her alone! She isn't your sister. She is in love with you.
(_Strokes Geschwitz's head like a dog's._) Poor beast!

LULU. Why do you stare at me so all at once?

JACK. I got your measure by the way you walked. I said to myself:
That girl must have a well-built body.

LULU. How can you see things like that?

JACK. I even saw that you had a pretty mouth. But I've only got a
florin on me.

LULU. Well, what difference does that make! Just give that to me!

JACK. But you'll have to give me half back, so I can take the 'bus
to-morrow morning.

LULU. I have nothing on me.

JACK. Just look, thoh. Hunt thru your pockets!--Well, what's that?
Let's see it!

LULU. (_Showing him._) That's all I have.

JACK. Give it to me!

LULU. I'll change it to-morrow, and then give you half.

JACK. No, give it all to me.

LULU. (_Giving it._) In God's name! But now you come! (_Takes up the
lamp._)

JACK. We need no light. The moon's out.

LULU. (_Puts the lamp down._) As you say. (_She falls on his neck._)
I won't harm you at all! I love you so! Don't let me beg you any
longer!

JACK. Alright; I'm with you. (_Follows her into the cubby-hole. The
lamp goes out. On the floor under the two sky-lights appear two vivid
squares of moonlight. Everything in the room is clearly seen._)

GESCHWITZ. (_As in a dream._) This is the last evening I shall spend
with these people. I'm going back to Germany. My mother'll send me
the money. I'll go to a university. I must fight for woman's rights;
study law.... (_Lulu shrieks, and tears open the door._)

LULU. (_Barefoot, in chemise and petticoat, holding the door shut
behind her._) Help!

GESCHWITZ. (_Rushes to the door, draws her revolver, and pushing Lulu
aside, aims it at the door. As Lulu again cries "Help!"_) Let go!
(_Jack, bent double, tears open the door from inside, and runs a
knife into Geschwitz's body. She fires one shot, at the roof, and
falls with suppressed crying, crumpling up. Jack tears her revolver
from her and throws himself against the exit-door._)

JACK. God damn! I never saw a prettier mouth! (_Sweat drips from his
hairy face. His hands are bloody. He pants, gasping violently, and
stares at the floor with eyes popping out of his head. Lulu,
trembling in every limb, looks wildly round. Suddenly she seizes the
bottle, smashes it on the table, and with the broken neck in her hand
rushes upon Jack. He swings up his right foot and throws her onto her
back. Then he lifts her up._)

LULU. No, no!--Mercy!--Murder!--Police! Police!

JACK. Be still. You'll never get away from me again. (_Carries her
in._)

LULU. (_Within, right._) No!--No!--No!-- --Ah!--Ah!...

(_After a pause, Jack re-enters. He puts the bowl on the table._)

JACK. That *was* a piece of work! (_Washing his hands._) I *am* a
damned lucky chap! (_Looks round for a towel._) Not even a towel,
these folks here! Hell of a wretched hole! (_He dries his hands on
Geschwitz's petticoat._) This invert is safe enough from me! (_To
her._) It'll soon be all up with you, too. (_Exit._)

GESCHWITZ. (_Alone._) Lulu!--My angel!--Let me see thee once more! I
am near thee--stay near thee--forever! (_Her elbows give way._) O
cursed--!! (_Dies._)

  CURTAIN.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE


The following printer's errors have been corrected:

  "Fäulein" corrected to "Fräulein" (page 15)
  "CASTI-PIANA" corrected to "CASTI-PIANI" (page 38)
  "HEILMAN" corrected to "HEILMANN" (page 56)
  "SCHIGLOCH" corrected to "SCHIGOLCH" (page 70)





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