Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: L'oiseau bleu. English - The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts
Author: Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "L'oiseau bleu. English - The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



THE BLUE BIRD


_A Fairy Play in Six Acts_


By Maurice Maeterlinck

_Translated By_ Alexander Teixeira De Mattos



CHARACTERS

   TYLTYL
   MYTYL
   LIGHT
   THE FAIRY BÉRYLUNE
   NEIGHBOUR BERLINGOT
   DADDY TYL
   MUMMY TYL
   GAFFER TYL (Dead)
   GRANNY TYL (Dead)
   TYLTYL'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS (Dead)
   TIME
   NIGHT
   NEIGHBOUR BERLINGOT'S LITTLE DAUGHTER
   TYLÔ, THE DOG
   TYLETTE, THE CAT
   BREAD
   SUGAR
   FIRE
   WATER
   MILK
   THE WOLF
   THE PIG
   THE OX
   THE COW
   THE BULL
   THE SHEEP
   THE COCK
   THE RABBIT
   THE HORSE
   THE ASS
   THE OAK
   THE ELM
   THE BEECH
   THE LIME-TREE
   THE FIR-TREE
   THE CYPRESS
   THE BIRCH
   THE CHESTNUT-TREE
   THE IVY
   THE POPLAR
   THE WILLOW
   STARS, SICKNESSES, SHADES, LUXURIES, HAPPINESSES, JOYS, ETC.



TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

A new act appears for the first time in this edition and is inserted as
Act IV--_Palace of Happiness_. It has been specially written for the
Christmas revival of _The Blue Bird_ at the Haymarket Theatre, where
it will take the place of the Forest Scene (Act III., Scene 2). In the
printed version, however, the Forest Scene is retained; and in this and all
later editions the play will consist of six acts instead of five.

ALEXANDER TEIXEIRA DE MATTOS.
CHELSEA, 14 _November_, 1910.



COSTUMES


TYLTYL wears the dress of Hop o' my Thumb in Perrault's Tales. Scarlet
knickerbockers, pale-blue jacket, white stockings, tan shoes.

MYTYL is dressed like Gretel or Little Red Riding-hood.

LIGHT.--The "moon-coloured" dress in Perrault's _Peau d'âne;_ that is
to say, pale gold shot with silver, shimmering gauzes, forming a sort of
rays, etc. Neo-Grecian or Anglo-Grecian (_à la_ Walter Crane) or even
more or less Empire style: a high waist, bare arms, etc. Head-dress: a sort
of diadem or even a light crown.

THE FAIRY BÉRYLUNE and NEIGHBOUR BERLINGOT.--The traditional dress of the
poor women in fairy-tales. If desired, the transformation of the Fairy into
a princess in Act I may be omitted.

DADDY TYL, MUMMY TYL, GAFFER TYL and GRANNY TYL.--The traditional costume
of the German wood-cutters and peasants in Grimm's Tales.

TYLTYL'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS.--Different forms of the Hop-o'-my-Thumb
costume.

TIME.--Traditional dress of Time: a wide black or dark-blue cloak, a
streaming white beard, scythe and hour-glass.

NIGHT.--Ample black garments, covered with mysterious stars and "shot" with
reddish-brown reflections. Veils, dark poppies, etc.

THE NEIGHBOUR'S LITTLE GIRL.--Bright fair hair; a long white frock.

THE DOG,--Red dress-coat, white breeches, top-boots, a shiny hat. The
costume suggests that of John Bull.

THE CAT.--The costume of Puss In Boots: powdered wig, three-cornered hat,
violet or sky-blue coat, dress-sword, etc.

N.B.--The heads of the DOG and the CAT should be only discreetly
animalised.

THE LUXURIES.--Before the transformation: wide, heavy mantles in red
and yellow brocade; enormous fat jewels, etc. After the transformation:
chocolate or coffee-coloured tights, giving the impression of unadorned
dancing-jacks.

THE HAPPINESSES OF THE HOME.--Dresses of various colours, or, if preferred,
costumes of peasants, shepherds, wood-cutters and so on, but idealised and
interpreted fairy-fashion.

THE GREAT JOYS.--As stated in the text, shimmering dresses in soft and
subtle shades: rose-awakening, water's-smile, amber-dew, blue-of-dawn, etc.

MATERNAL LOVE.--Dress very similar to the dress worn by Light, that is to
say, supple and almost transparent veils, as of a Greek statue, and, in so
far as possible, white. Pearls and other stones as rich and numerous as may
be desired, provided that they do not break the pure and candid harmony of
the whole.

BREAD.--A rich pasha's dress. An ample crimson silk or velvet gown. A huge
turban. A scimitar. An enormous stomach, red and puffed-out cheeks.

SUGAR.--A silk gown, cut like that of a eunuch in a seraglio, half blue
and half white, to suggest the paper wrapper of a sugar-loaf. Eunuch's
headdress.

FIRE.--Red tights, a vermilion cloak, with changing reflections, lined with
gold. An aigrette of iridescent flames.

WATER.--A pale-blue or bluish-green dress, with transparent reflections and
effects of rippling or trickling gauze, Neo-Grecian or Anglo-Grecian style.
but fuller and more voluminous than that of LIGHT. Head-dress of aquatic
flowers and seaweed.

THE ANIMALS.--Popular or peasant costumes.

THE TREES.--Dresses of different shades of green or the colour of the
trunks of trees. Distinctive attributes in the shape of leaves or branches
by which they can be recognised.



SCENES

  ACT I.--The Wood-cutter's Cottage.

  ACT II.,  Scene 1--At the Fairy's.

  Scene 2--The Land of Memory.

  ACT III., Scene 1--The Palace of Night.

  Scene 2--The Forest.

  ACT IV.,  Scene 1--Before the Curtain.

  Scene 2--The Palace of Happiness.

  ACT V.,   Scene 1--Before the Curtain.

  Scene 2--The Graveyard.

  Scene 3--The Kingdom of the Future.

  ACT VI.,  Scene 1--The Leave-taking.

  Scene 2--The Awakening.



THE BLUE BIRD



ACT I.  _The Wood-cutter's Cottage_

_The stage represents the interior of a wood-cutter's cottage, simple and
rustic in appearance, but in no way poverty-stricken. A recessed fireplace
containing the dying embers of a wood-fire. Kitchen utensils, a cupboard, a
bread-pan, a grandfather's clock, a spinning-wheel, a water-tap, etc. On a
table, a lighted lamp. At the foot of the cupboard, on either side, a_
DOG _and a_ CAT _lie sleeping, rolled up, each with his nose in his
tail. Between them stands a large blue-and-white sugar-loaf. On the wall
hangs a round cage containing a turtle-dove. At the back, two windows, with
closed inside shutters. Under one of the windows, a stool. On the left
is the front door, with a big latch to it. On the right, another door. A
ladder leads up to a loft. On the right also are two little children's
cots, at the head of which are two chains, with clothes carefully folded
on them. When the curtain rises_, TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _are sound
asleep in their cots_, MUMMY TYL _tucks them in, leans over them,
watches them for a moment as they sleep and beckons to_ DADDY TYL,
_who thrusts his head through the half-open door_. MUMMY TYL _lays
a finger on her lips, to impose silence upon him, and then goes out to the
right, on tiptoe, after first putting out the lamp. The scene remains in
darkness for a moment. Then a light, gradually increasing in intensity,
filters in through the shutters. The lamp on the table lights again of
itself, but its light is of a different colour than when_ MUMMY TYL
_extinguished it. The two_ CHILDREN _appear to wake and sit up in
bed_.

TYLTYL
Mytyl?

MYTYL
Tyltyl?

TYLTYL
Are you asleep?

MYTYL
Are you?...

TYLTYL
No; how can I be asleep when I'm talking to you?

MYTYL
Say, is this Christmas Day?...

TYLTYL
Not yet; not till to-morrow. But Father Christmas won't bring us anything
this year....

MYTYL
Why not?

TYLTYL
I heard mummy say that she couldn't go to town to tell him ... But he will
come next year....

MYTYL
Is next year far off?...

TYLTYL
A good long while.... But he will come to the rich children to-night....

MYTYL
Really?...

TYLTYL
Hullo!... Mummy's forgotten to put out the lamp!... I've an idea!...

MYTYL
What?...

TYLTYL
Let's get up....

MYTYL
But we mustn't....

TYLTYL
Why, there's no one about.... Do you see the shutters?...

MYTYL
Oh, how bright they are!...

TYLTYL
It's the lights of the party.

MYTYL
What party?...

TYLTYL
The rich children opposite. It's the Christmas-tree. Let's open the
shutters....

MYTYL
Can we?...

TYLTYL
Of course; there's no one to stop us.... Do you hear the music?... Let us
get up....

(_The two_ CHILDREN _get up, run to one of the windows, climb on
to the stool and throw back the shutters. A bright light fills the room.
The_ CHILDREN _look out greedily_.)

TYLTYL
We can see everything!...

MYTYL (_who can hardly find room on the stool_)
I can't....

TYLTYL
It's snowing!... There's two carriages, with six horses each!...

MYTYL
There are twelve little boys getting out!...

TYLTYL
How silly you are!... They're little girls....

MYTYL
They've got knickerbockers....

TYLTYL
What do you know?... Don't push so!...

MYTYL
I never touched you.

TYLTYL (_who is taking up the whole stool_)
You're taking up all the room...

MYTYL
Why, I have no room at all!...

TYLTYL
Do be quiet! I see the tree!...

MYTYL
What tree?...

TYLTYL
Why, the Christmas-tree!... You're looking at the wall!...

MYTYL
I'm looking at the wall because I've got no room....

TYLTYL (_giving her a miserly little place on the stool_)
There!... Will that do?... Now you're better off than I!... I say, what
lots and lots of lights!...

MYTYL
What are those people doing who are making such a noise?...

TYLTYL
They're the musicians.

MYTYL
Are they angry?...

TYLTYL
No; but it's hard work.

MYTYL
Another carriage with white horses!...

TYLTYL
Be quiet!... And look!...

MYTYL
What are those gold things there, hanging from the branches?

TYLTYL
Why, toys, to be sure!... Swords, guns, soldiers, cannons....

MYTYL
And dolls; say, are there any dolls?...

TYLTYL
Dolls?... That's too silly; there's no fun in dolls....

MYTYL
And what's that all round the table?....

TYLTYL
Cakes and fruit and tarts....

MYTYL
I had some once when I was little....

TYLTYL
So did I; it's nicer than bread, but they don't give you enough....

MYTYL
They've got plenty over there.... The whole table's full.... Are they going
to eat them?...

TYLTYL
Of course; what else would they do with them?...

MYTYL
Why don't they eat them at once?...

TYLTYL
Because they're not hungry....

MYTYL (_stupefied with astonishment_)
Not hungry?... Why not?...

TYLTYL
Well, they eat whenever they want to....

MYTYL (_incredulously_)
Every day?...

TYLTYL
They say so....

MYTYL
Will they eat them all?... Will they give any away?...

TYLTYL
To whom?...

MYTYL
To us....

TYLTYL
They don't know us....

MYTYL
Suppose we asked them....

TYLTYL
We mustn't.

MYTYL
Why not?...

TYLTYL
Because it's not right.

MYTYL (_clapping her hands_)
Oh, how pretty they are!...

TYLTYL (_rapturously_)
And how they're laughing and laughing!...

MYTYL
And the little ones dancing!...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes; let's dance too!... (_They stamp their feet for joy on the
stool_.)

MYTYL
Oh, what fun!...

TYLTYL
They're getting the cakes!... They can touch them!... They're eating,
they're eating, they're eating!...

MYTYL
The tiny ones, too!... They've got two, three, four apiece!...

TYLTYL (_drunk with delight_)
Oh, how lovely!... Oh, how lovely, how lovely!...

MYTYL (_counting imaginary cakes_)
I've got twelve!...

TYLTYL
And I four times twelve!... But I'll give you some....

(_A knock at the door of the cottage_.)

TYLTYL (_suddenly quieted and frightened_)
What's that?...

MYTYL (_scared_)
It's Daddy!...

(_As they hesitate before opening the door, the big latch is seen to rise
of itself, with a grating noise; the door half opens to admit a little old
woman dressed in green with a red hood on her head. She is humpbacked and
lame and near-sighted; her nose and chin meet; and she walks bent on a
stick. She is obviously a fairy_.)

THE FAIRY
Have you the grass here that sings or the bird that is blue?...

TYLTYL
We have some grass, but it can't sing....

MYTYL
Tyltyl has a bird.

TYLTYL
But I can't give it away....

THE FAIRY
Why not?...

TYLTYL
Because it's mine.

THE FAIRY
That's a reason, no doubt. Where is the bird?...

TYLTYL (_pointing to the cage_)
In the cage....

THE FAIRY (_putting on her glasses to examine the bird_)
I don't want it; it's not blue enough. You will have to go and find me the
one I want.

TYLTYL
But I don't know where it is....

THE FAIRY
No more do I. That's why you must look for it. I can do without the grass
that sings, at a pinch; but I must absolutely have the blue bird. It's for
my little girl, who is very ill.

TYLTYL
What's the matter with her?...

THE FAIRY
We don't quite know; she wants to be happy....

TYLTYL
Really?...

THE FAIRY
Do you know who I am?...

TYLTYL
You're rather like our neighbour, Madame Berlingot....

THE FAIRY (_growing suddenly angry_)
Not a bit!... There's not the least likeness!... This is intolerable!... I
am the Fairy Bérylune....

TYLTYL
Oh! Very well....

THE FAIRY
You will have to start at once.

TYLTYL
Are you coming with us?

THE FAIRY
I can't, because I put on the soup this morning and it always boils over
if I leave it for more than an hour.... (_Pointing successively to the
ceiling, the chimney and the window_) Will you go out this way, or that
way, or that way?...

TYLTYL (_pointing timidly to the door_)
I would rather go out that way....

THE FAIRY (_growing suddenly angry again_)
That's quite impossible; and it's a shocking habit!... (_Pointing to the
window_) We'll go out this way.... Well?... What are you waiting for?...
Get dressed at once.... (_The_ CHILDREN _do as they are told and
dress quickly_.) I'll help Mytyl....

TYLTYL
We have no shoes....

THE FAIRY
That doesn't matter. I will give you a little magic hat. Where are your
father and mother?....

TYLTYL (_pointing to the door on the right_)
They're asleep in there....

THE FAIRY
And your grandpapa and grandmamma?...

TYLTYL
They're dead....

THE FAIRY
And your little brothers and sisters.... Have you any?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes; three little brothers....

MYTYL
And four little sisters....

THE FAIRY
Where are they?...

TYLTYL
They are dead, too....

THE FAIRY
Would you like to see them again?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes!... At once!... Show them to us!...

THE FAIRY
I haven't got them in my pocket.... But this is very lucky; you will see
them when you go through the Land of Memory.... It's on the way to the Blue
Bird, just on the left, past the third turning.... What were you doing when
I knocked?...

TYLTYL
We were playing at eating cakes?...

THE FAIRY
Have you any cakes?... Where are they?...

TYLTYL
In the house of the rich children.... Come and look, it's so lovely. (_He
drags the_ FAIRY _to the window_.)

THE FAIRY (_at the window_)
But it's the others who are eating them!...

TYLTYL
Yes; but we can see them eat....

THE FAIRY
Aren't you cross with them?...

TYLTYL
What for?...

THE FAIRY
For eating all the cakes.... I think it's very wrong of them not to give
you some....

TYLTYL
Not at all; they're rich.... I say, isn't it beautiful over there?...

THE FAIRY
It's no more beautiful there than here.

TYLTYL
Ugh!... It's darker here and smaller and there are no cakes....

THE FAIRY
It's exactly the same, only you can't see....

TYLTYL
Yes, I can; and I have very good eyes. I can see the time on the church
clock and daddy can't...

THE FAIRY (_suddenly angry_)
I tell you that you can't see!... How do you see me?... What do I look
like?... (_An awkward silence from_ TYLTYL.) Well, answer me, will
you? I want to know if you can see!... Am I pretty or ugly?... (_The
silence grows more and more uncomfortable_.) Won't you answer?... Am I
young or old?... Are my cheeks pink or yellow?... Perhaps you'll say I have
a hump?...

TYLTYL (_in a conciliatory tone_)
No, no; It's not a big one....

THE FAIRY
Oh, yes, to look at you, any one would think it enormous.... Have I a hook
nose and have I lost one of my eyes?...

TYLTYL
Oh, no, I don't say that.... Who put it out?...

THE FAIRY (_growing more and more irritated_).
But it's not out!... You wretched, impudent boy!... It's much finer than
the other; it's bigger and brighter and blue as the sky.... And my hair,
do you see that?... It's fair as the corn in the fields, it's like virgin
gold!... And I've such heaps and heaps of it that it weighs my head
down.... It escapes on every side.... Do you see it on my hands? (_She
holds out two lean wisps of grey hair_.)

TYLTYL
Yes, I see a little....

THE FAIRY (_indignantly_)
A little!... Sheaves! Armfuls! Clusters! Waves of gold!... I know there are
people who say that they don't see any; but you're not one of those wicked,
blind people, I should hope?...

TYLTYL
Oh, no; I can see all that isn't hidden....

THE FAIRY
But you ought to see the rest with as little doubt!... Human beings are
very odd!... Since the death of the fairies, they see nothing at all and
they never suspect it.... Luckily, I always carry with me all that is
wanted to give new light to dimmed eyes.... What am I taking out of my
bag?...

TYLTYL
Oh, what a dear little green hat!... What's that shining in the cockade?...

THE FAIRY
That's the big diamond that makes people see....

TYLTYL
Really?...

THE FAIRY
Yes; when you've got the hat on your head, you turn the diamond a little;
from right to left, for instance, like this; do you see?... Then it presses
a bump which nobody knows of and which opens your eyes....

TYLTYL
Doesn't it hurt?...

THE FAIRY
On the contrary, it's enchanted.... You at once see even the inside of
things: the soul of bread, of wine, of pepper, for instance....

MYTYL
Can you see the soul of sugar, too?...

THE FAIRY (_suddenly cross_)
Of course you can!... I hate unnecessary questions.... The soul of sugar
is no more interesting than the soul of pepper.... There, I give you all I
have to help you in your search for the Blue Bird. I know that the flying
carpet or the ring which makes its wearer invisible would be more useful to
you.... But I have lost the key of the cupboard in which I locked them....
Oh, I was almost forgetting!... (_Pointing to the diamond_) When you
hold it like this, do you see?... One little turn more and you behold the
past.... Another little turn and you behold the future.... It's curious and
practical and it's quite noiseless....

TYLTYL
Daddy will take it from me....

THE FAIRY
He won't see it; no one can see it as long as it's on your head....
Will you try it?... (_She puts the little green hat on_ TYLTYL'S
_head_.) Now, turn the diamond.... One turn and then....

(TYLTYL _has no sooner turned the diamond than a sudden and wonderful
change comes over everything. The old_ FAIRY _alters then and there
into a princess of marvellous beauty; the flints of which the cottage walls
are built light up, turn blue as sapphires, become transparent and gleam
and sparkle like the most precious stones. The humble furniture takes life
and becomes resplendent; the deal table assumes as grave and noble an air
as a table made of marble; the face of the clock winks its eye and smiles
genially, while the door that contains the pendulum opens and releases the
Hours, which, holding one another by the hand and laughing merrily, begin
to dance to the sound of delicious music_.)

TYLTYL (_displaying a legitimate bewilderment and pointing to the Hours_)
Who are all those pretty ladies?...

THE FAIRY
Don't be afraid; they are the hours of your life and they are glad to be
free and visible for a moment....

TYLTYL
And why are the walls so bright?... Are they made of sugar or of precious
stones?...

THE FAIRY
All stones are alike, all stones are precious; but man sees only a few of
them....

(_While they are speaking, the scene of enchantment continues and is
completed. The souls of the Quartern-loaves, in the form of little men in
crust-coloured tights, flurried and all powdered with flour, scramble out
of the bread-pan and frisk round the table, where they are caught up by_
FIRE, _who, springing from the hearth in yellow and vermilion tights,
writhes with laughter as he chases the loaves_.)

TYLTYL
Who are those ugly little men?...

THE FAIRY
Oh, they're nothing; they are merely the souls of the Quartern-loaves, who
are taking advantage of the reign of truth to leave the pan in which they
were too tightly packed....

TYLTYL
And the big red fellow, with the nasty smell?...

THE FAIRY
Hush!... Don't speak too loud; that's Fire.... He's dangerous. (_This
dialogue does not interrupt the enchantment. The_ DOG _and the_
CAT, _lying rolled up at the foot of the cupboard, utter a loud and
simultaneous cry and disappear down a trap; and in their places rise two
persons, one of whom has the face of a bull-dog, the other that of a
tom-cat. Forthwith, the little man with the bull-dog face, whom we will
henceforward call the_ DOG, _rushes upon_ TYLTYL, _kisses him
violently and overwhelms him with noisy and impetuous caresses; while the
little man with the face of a tom-cat, whom we will simply call the_
CAT, _combs his hair, washes his hands and strokes his whiskers before
going up to_ MYTYL.)

THE DOG (_yelling, jumping about, knocking up against everything,
unbearable_)
My little god!... Good-morning, good-morning, my dear little god!... At
last, at last we can talk!... I had so much to tell you!... Bark and wag
my tail as I might, you never understood!... But now!... Good-morning,
good-morning!... I love you!... Shall I do some of my tricks?... Shall
I beg?... Would you like to see me walk on my front paws or dance on my
hind-legs?...

TYLTYL (_to the_ FAIRY)
Who is this gentleman with the dog's head?....

THE FAIRY
Don't you see? It's the soul of TYLÔ whom you have set free....

THE CAT (_going up to_ MYTYL _and putting out his hand to her, with
much ceremony and circumspection_)
Good-morning, Miss.... How well you look this morning!...

MYTYL
Good-morning, sir.... (_To the_ FAIRY) Who is it?...

THE FAIRY
Why, don't you see? Its the soul of Tylette offering you his hand.... Kiss
him....

THE DOG (_hustling the_ CAT)
Me, too!... I've kissed the little god!... I've kissed the little girl!...
I've kissed everybody!... Oh, grand!... What fun we shall have!... I'm
going to frighten Tylette I Bow, wow, wow!...

THE CAT
Sir, I don't know you....

THE FAIRY (_threatening the_ DOG _with her stick_)
Keep still, will you, or else you'll go back into silence until the end of
time....

(_Meanwhile, the enchantment has pursued its course: the spinning-wheel
has begun to turn madly in its corner and to spin brilliant rays of light;
the tap, in another corner, begins to sing in a very high voice and,
turning into a luminous fountain, floods the sink with sheets of pearls and
emeralds, through which darts the soul of_ WATER, _like a young
girl, streaming, dishevelled and tearful, who immediately begins to fight
with_ FIRE.)

TYLTYL
And who is that wet lady?...

THE FAIRY
Don't be afraid. It's Water just come from the tap....

(_The milk-jug upsets, falls from the table and smashes on the floor; and
from the spilt milk there rises a tall, white, bashful figure who seems to
be afraid of everything_.)

TYLTYL
And the frightened lady in her nightgown?...

THE FAIRY
That's Milk; she has broken her jug....

(_The sugar-loaf, at the foot of the cupboard, grows taller and wider and
splits its paper wrapper, whence issues a mawkish and hypocritical being,
dressed in a long coat half blue and half white, who goes up to_ MYTYL
_with a sanctimonious smile_.)

MYTYL (_greatly alarmed_)
What does he want?...

THE FAIRY
Why, he is the soul of Sugar!...

MYTYL (_reassured_)
Has he any barley-sugar?...

THE FAIRY
His pockets are full of it and each of his fingers is a sugar-stick....

(_The lamp falls from the table and, at the same moment, its flame
springs up again and turns into a luminous maid of incomparable beauty. She
is dressed in long transparent and dazzling veils and stands motionless in
a sort of ecstasy_.)

TYLTYL
It's the Queen!...

MYTYL
It's the Blessed Virgin!...

THE FAIRY
No, my children; it's Light....

(_Meanwhile, the saucepans on the shelves spin round like tops; the
linen-press throws open its folding-doors and unrolls a magnificent display
of moon-coloured and sun-coloured stuffs, with which mingles a no less
splendid array of rags and tatters that come down the ladder from the loft.
But, suddenly, three loud knocks are heard on the door at the right_.)

TYLTYL (_alarmed_)
That's daddy!... He's heard us!...

THE FAIRY
Turn the diamond!... From left to right!...

(TYLTYL _turns the diamond quickly_.)
Not so quick!... Heavens! It's too late!... You turned it too briskly;
they will not have time to resume their places and we shall have a lot of
annoyance....

(_The FAIRY becomes an old woman again, the walls of the cottage lose
their splendour. The Hours go back into the clock, the spinning-wheel
stops, etc. But, in the general hurry and confusion, while_ FIRE _runs
madly round the room, looking for the chimney, one of the loaves of bread,
who has been unable to squeeze into the pan, bursts into sobs and utters
roars of fright_.)

THE FAIRY
What's the matter?...

BREAD (_in tears_)
There's no room in the pan!...

THE FAIRY (_stooping over the pan_)
Yes, there is; yes, there is.... (_Pushing the other loaves, which have
resumed their original places_.) Come, quick, make room there....

(_The knocking at the door is renewed_.)

BREAD (_utterly scared, vainly struggling to enter the pan_)
I can't get in!... He'll eat me first!...

THE DOG (_frisking round_ TYLTYL)
My little god!... I am still here!... I can still talk!... I can still kiss
you!... Once more! Once more! Once more!...

THE FAIRY
What, you too?... Are you there still?...

THE DOG
What luck!... I was too late to return to silence; the trap closed too
quickly....

THE CAT
So did mine.... What is going to happen?... Is there any danger?...

THE FAIRY
Well, I'm bound to tell you the truth: all those who accompany the two
children will die at the end of the journey....

THE CAT (_to the_ DOG)
Come, let us get back into the trap....

THE DOG
No, no!... I won't!... I want to go with the little god!... I want to talk
to him all the time!...

THE CAT
Idiot!...

(_More knocking at the door_)

BREAD (_shedding bitter tears_)
I don't want to die at the end of the journey!... I want to get back at
once into my pan!...

FIRE (_who has done nothing but run madly round the room, hissing with
anguish_)
I can't find my chimney!...

WATER (_vainly trying to get into the tap_)
I can't get into the tap!...

SUGAR (_hovering round his paper wrapper_)
I've burst my packing-paper!...

MILK (_lymphatically and bashfully_)
Somebody's broken my little jug!...

THE FAIRY
Goodness me, what fools they are!... Fools and cowards too!... So you
would rather go on living in your ugly boxes, in your traps and taps, than
accompany the children in search of the bird?...

ALL (_excepting the_ DOG _and_ LIGHT)
Yes, yes! Now, at once!... My tap!... My pan!... My chimney!... My trap!...

THE FAIRY (_to_ LIGHT, _who is dreamily gazing at the wreckage of her
lamp_)
And you, Light, what do you say?

LIGHT
I will go with the children....

THE DOG (_yelling with delight_)
I too!... I too!...

THE FAIRY
That's right.... Besides, it's too late to go back; you have no choice now,
you must all start with us.... But you, Fire, don't come near anybody; you,
Dog, don't tease the Cat; and you, Water, hold yourself up and try not to
run all over the place....

(_A violent knocking is again heard at the door on the right_.)

TYLTYL (_listening_)
There's daddy again!... He's getting up this time; I can hear him
walking....

THE FAIRY
Let us go out by the window.... You shall all come to my house, where I
will dress the Animals and the Things properly.... (_To_ BREAD) You,
Bread, take the cage in which to put the Blue Bird.... It will be in your
charge.... Quick, quick, let us waste no time....

(_The window suddenly lengthens downwards, like a door. They all go
out; after which the window resumes its primitive shape and closes quite
innocently. The room has become dark again and the two cots are steeped in
shadow. The door on the right opens ajar and in the aperture appear the
heads of_ DADDY _and_ MUMMY TYL.)

DADDY TYL
It was nothing.... It's the cricket chirping....

MUMMY TYL
Can you see them?...

DADDY TYL
I can.... They are sleeping quite quietly....

MUMMY TYL
I can hear their breathing....

(_The door closes again_)


CURTAIN



ACT II.



SCENE I.--_At the_ FAIRY'S.


_A magnificent entrance-hall in the palace of the_ FAIRY BÉRYLUNE.
_Columns of gleaming marble with gold and silver capitals, staircases,
porticoes, balustrades, etc_.

_Enter from the back, on the right, sumptuously clad, the_ CAT, SUGAR
_and_ FIRE. _They come from a room which emits rays of light; it is
the_ FAIRY'S _wardrobe. The_ CAT _has donned the classic
costume of Puss-in-boots_; SUGAR, _a silk dress, half white and half
pale-blue; and_ FIRE _wears a number of many-coloured aigrettes and a
long vermilion mantle lined with gold. They cross the whole length of the
hall to the front of the stage, where the_ CAT _draws them up under a
portico on the right_.

THE CAT
This way, I know every inch of this palace. It was left to the Fairy
Bérylune by Bluebeard.... Let us make the most of our last minute of
liberty, while the children and Light pay their visit to the Fairy's little
daughter.... I have brought you here in order to discuss the position in
which we are placed.... Are we all here?...

SUGAR
I see the Dog coming out of the Fairy's wardrobe....

FIRE
What on earth has he got on?...

THE CAT
He has put on the livery of one of the footmen of Cinderella's coach.... It
was just the thing for him.... He has the soul of a flunkey.... But let us
hide behind the balustrade.... It's strange how I mistrust him.... He had
better not hear what I have to say to you....

SUGAR
It is too late.... He has discovered us.... Look, here is Water also coming
out of the wardrobe.... Goodness me, how fine she is!...

(_The_ DOG _and_ WATER _join the first group_.)

THE DOG (_frisking about_)
There! There!... Aren't we fine I.... Just look at these laces and this
embroidery!... It's real gold and no mistake!...

THE CAT (_to_ WATER)
Is that Catskin's "colour-of-time" dress?... I seem to recognise it....

WATER
Yes, it's the one that suited me best....

FIRE (_between his teeth_)
She's not brought her umbrella....

WATER
What's that?...

FIRE
Nothing, nothing....

WATER
I thought you might be speaking of a great red I saw the other day....

THE CAT
Come, don't let as quarrel; we have more important things to do.... We are
only waiting for Bread; where is he?

THE DOG
He was making an endless fuss about choosing his dress....

FIRE
Worth while, isn't it, for a fellow who looks a fool and carries an
enormous stomach?...

THE DOG
At last, he decided in favour of a Turkish robe, adorned with gems, a
scimitar and a turban....

THE CAT
There he is!... He has put on Bluebeard's finest dress...

_Enter_ BREAD, _in the costume described above. The silk robe is
crossed tightly over his huge stomach. In one hand he holds the hilt of a
scimitar passed through his sash and in the other the cage intended for the
Blue Bird_.

BREAD (_waddling conceitedly_)
Well?... What do you think of this?

THE DOG (_frisking round the_ LOAF)
How nice he looks! What a fool he looks! How nice he looks! How nice he
looks!...

THE CAT (_to the_ LOAF)
Are the children dressed?...

BREAD
Yes, Master Tyltyl has put on Hop-o'-my-Thumb's blue jacket and red
breeches; and Miss Mytyl has Gretel's frock and Cinderella's slippers....
But the great thing was the dressing of Light!...

THE CAT
Why?...

BREAD
The Fairy thought her so lovely that she did not want to dress her at
all!... Thereupon I protested in the name of our dignity as essential and
eminently respectable elements; and I ended by declaring that, under those
conditions, I should refuse to be seen with her....

FIRE
They ought to have bought her a lampshade!...

THE CAT
And what answer did the Fairy make?...

THE LOAF
She hit me with her stick on my head and stomach....

THE CAT
And then?...

BREAD
I allowed myself to be convinced; but, at the last moment, Light decided on
the moonbeam dress at the bottom of the chest with Catskin's treasures....

THE CAT
Come, stop chattering, time presses.... Our future is at stake.... You have
heard--the Fairy has just said so--that the end of this journey will, at
the same time, mark the end of our lives.... It is our business, therefore,
to prolong it as much as possible and by every possible means.... But there
is another thing: we must think of the fate of our race and the destiny of
our children....

BREAD
Hear, hear!... The Cat is right!...

THE CAT
Listen to me!... All of us here present, Animals, Things and Elements,
possess a soul which man does not yet know. That is why we retain a remnant
of independence; but, if he finds the Blue Bird, he will know all, he will
see all and we shall be completely at his mercy.... This is what I have
just learned from my old friend, Night, who is also the guardian of the
mysteries of Life.... It is to our interest, therefore, at all costs to
prevent the finding of that bird, even if we have to go so far as to
endanger the lives of the children themselves....

THE DOG (_indignantly_)
What's the fellow saying?... Just say that again, will you, to see if I
heard right?...

BREAD
Order! Order!... It's not your turn to speak!... I'm in the chair at this
meeting....

FIRE
Who made you chairman?...

WATER (_to_ FIRE)
Hold your tongue!... What are you interfering with?...

FIRE
I shall interfere where I choose.... And I want none of your remarks....

SUGAR (_concilatorily_)
Excuse me.... Do not let us quarrel.... This is a serious moment.... We
must, above all things, decide what measures to adopt....

BREAD
I quite agree with Sugar and the Cat....

THE DOG
This is ridiculous!... There is Man and that's all!... We have to obey him
and do as he tells us!... That is the one and only fact!... I recognise no
one but him!... Hurrah for Man!... Man for ever!... In life or death, all
for Man!... Man is God!...

BREAD
I quite agree with the Dog.

THE CAT (_to the_ DOG)
But at least give your reasons....

THE DOG
There are no reasons!... I love Man and that's enough!... If you do
anything against him, I will throttle you first and I will go and tell him
everything....

SUGAR (_intervening sweetly_)
Excuse me.... Let us not embitter the discussion.... From a certain point
of view, you are both of you right.... There is something to be said on
both sides....

BREAD
I quite agree with SUGAR!...

THE CAT
Are we not, all of us, Water, Fire you yourselves, Bread and the Dog, the
victims of a nameless tyranny?... Do you remember the time when, before the
coming of the despot, we wandered at liberty upon the face of the earth?...
Fire and Water were the sole masters of the world; and see what they have
come to!... As for us puny descendants of the great wild animals....
Look out!... Pretend to be doing nothing!... I see the Fairy and Light
coming.... Light has taken sides with Man; she is our worst enemy.... Here
they are....

_Enter, on the right, the_ FAIRY, _in the shape of an old woman,
and_ LIGHT, _followed by_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL.

THE FAIRY
Well?... What is it?... What are you doing in that corner?... You look like
conspirators.... It is time to start.... I have decided that Light shall be
your leader.... You will obey her as you would me and I am giving her my
wand.... The children will pay a visit to their late grandparents this
evening.... You will remain behind; that is more discreet.... They will
spend the evening in the bosom of their dead family.... Meanwhile, you will
be getting ready all that is wanted for to-morrow's journey, which will be
a long one.... Come, up, be off and every one to his post!...

THE CAT (_hypocritically_)
That is just what I was saying to them, madam.... I was encouraging them to
do their duty bravely and conscientiously; unfortunately, the Dog, who kept
on interrupting me....

THE DOG
What's that?... Just wait a bit I...

(_He is about to leap upon the_ CAT, _but_ TYLTYL _foreseeing
his intention, stops with a threatening gesture_.)

TYLTYL
Down, Tylô!... Take care; and, if ever I catch you again...

THE DOG
My little god, you don't know, it was he who...

TYLTYL (_threatening him_)
Be quiet!...

THE FAIRY
Come, that will do.... Let Bread hand the cage for this evening to
Tyltyl.... It is just possible that the Blue Bird may be hidden In the
Past, at the grandparents'.... In any case, it Is a chance which we must
not neglect.... Well, Bread, the cage?

BREAD (_solemnly_)
One moment, if you please, Mrs. Fairy....
(_Like an orator making a speech_)
I call upon all of you to bear witness that this silver cage, which was
entrusted to my care by....

THE FAIRY (_interrupting him_)
Enough!... No speeches!... We will go out this way and the children
that....

TYLTYL (_rather anxiously_)
Are we to go all alone?...

MYTYL
I feel hungry!...

TYLTYL
I, too!...

THE FAIRY (_to_ BREAD)
Open your Turkish robe and give them a slice of your good stomach....

(BREAD _opens his robe, draws his scimitar and cuts two slices out of his
stomach and hands them to the_ CHILDREN.)


SUGAR (_approaching the_ CHILDREN)
Allow me at the same time to offer you a few sugar-sticks....
(_He breaks off the five fingers of his left hand, one by one, and
presents them to the_ CHILDREN.)

MYTYL
What is he doing?... He is breaking all his fingers!...

SUGAR (_engagingly_)
Taste them, they are capital... They're made of real barley-sugar....

MYTYL (_tasting one of the fingers_)
Oh, how good they are!... Have you many of them?...

SUGAR (_modestly_)
Yes; as many as I want....

MYTYL
Does that hurt you much, when you break them off?...

SUGAR
Not at all.... On the contrary, it's a great advantage; they grow again at
once and so I always have new, clean fingers....

THE FAIRY
Come, children, don't eat too much sugar.... Don't forget that you are to
have supper presently with your grandpapa and grandmamma....

TYLTYL
Are they here?...

THE FAIRY
You shall see them at once....

TYLTYL
How can we see them, when they are dead?...

THE FAIRY
How can they be dead, when they live in your memory?... Men do not know
this secret, because they know so little; whereas you, thanks to the
diamond, are about to see that the dead who are remembered live as happily
as though they were not dead....

TYLTYL
Is Light coming with us?

THE FAIRY
No, it is more proper that this visit should be confined to the family....
I will wait near here, so as not to appear indiscreet.... They did not
invite me....

TYLTYL
Which way are we to go?...

THE FAIRY
Over there.... You are on the threshold of the Land of Memory.... As soon
as you have turned the diamond, you will see a big tree with a board on it,
which will show you that you are there.... But don't forget that you are
to be back, both of you, by a quarter to nine.... It is extremely
important.... Now mind and be punctual, for all would be lost if you were
late.... Good-bye for the present!...
(_Calling the_ CAT, _the_ DOG, LIGHT, _etc_.) This way.... And the little
ones that way....

(_She goes out to the right, with_ LIGHT, _the_ ANIMALS, _etc., while the_
CHILDREN _go out to the left_.)


CURTAIN



SCENE 2.--_The Land of Memory_.

_A thick fog, from which stands out, on the right, close to the
footlights, the trunk of a large oak, with a board nailed to it. A vague,
milky, impenetrable light prevails_. TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _are at
the foot of the oak_.

TYLTYL
Here Is the tree!...

MYTYL
There's the board!...

TYLTYL
I can't read it.... Wait, I will climb up on this root.... That's it.... It
says, "Land of Memory."

MYTYL
Is this where it begins?...

TYLTYL
Yes, there's an arrow....

MYTYL
Well, where are grandad and granny?...

TYLTYL
Behind the fog.... We shall see....

MYTYL
I can see nothing at all!... I can't see my feet or my hands....
(_Whimpering_) I'm cold!... I don't want to travel any more.... I want
to go home....

TYLTYL
Come, don't keep on crying, just like Water.... You ought to be ashamed of
yourself.... A great big little girl like you.... Look, the fog is lifting
already.... We shall see what's behind it....

(_The mist begins to move; It grows thinner and lighter, disperses,
evaporates. Soon, in a more and more transparent light, appears, under a
leafy vault, a cheerful little peasant's cottage, covered with creepers.
The door and windows are open. There are bee-hives under a shed,
flower-pots on the window-sills, a cage with a sleeping blackbird. Beside
the door is a bench, on which an old peasant and his wife_, TYLTYL'S
_grandfather and grandmother, are seated, both sound asleep_.)

TYLTYL (_suddenly recognising them_)
It's grandad and granny!...

MYTYL (_clapping her hands_)
Yes! Yes!... So it is! So it is!...

TYLTYL (_still a little distrustful_)
Take care!... We don't know yet if they can stir.... Let's keep behind the
tree....

(GRANNY TYL _opens her eyes, raises her head, stretches herself, gives
a sigh and looks at_ GAFFER TYL, _who also wakes slowly from his
sleep_.)

GRANNY TYL
I have a notion that our grandchildren who are still alive are coming to
see us today....

GAFFER TYL
They are certainly thinking of as, for I feel anyhow and I have pins and
needles in my legs....

GRANNY TYL
I think they must be quite near, for I see tears of joy dancing before my
eyes....

GAFFER TYL
No, no, they are a long way off.... I still feel weak....

GRANNY TYL
I tell you they are here; I am quite strong....

TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL (_rushing up from behind the oak_)
Here we are!... Here we are!... Gaffer! Granny!... It's we!... It's we!...

GAFFER TYL
There!... You see?... What did I tell you?... I was sure they would come
to-day....

GRANNY TYL
Tyltyl!... Mytyl!... It's you!... It's she!... (_Trying to run to meet
them_) I can't run!... I've still got the rheumatics!...

GAFFER TYL (_hobbling along as fast as he can_)
No more can I.... That's because of my wooden leg, which I still wear
instead of the one I broke when I fell off the big oak....

(_The_ GRANDPARENTS _and the_ CHILDREN _exchange frantic
embraces_.)

GRANNY TYL
How tall and strong you've grown, Tyltyl!

GAFFER TYL (_stroking_ MYTYL'S _hair_)
And Mytyl!... Just look at her.... What pretty hair, what pretty eyes!...

GRANNY TYL
Come and kiss me again!... Come on to my lap....

GAFFER TYL
And what about me?...

GRANNY TYL
No, no.... Come to me first.... How are Daddy and Mummy Tyl?...

TYLTYL
Quite well, granny.... They were asleep when we went out....

GRANNY TYL (_gazing at them and covering them with caresses_)
Lord, how pretty they are and how nice and clean!... Was it mummy who
washed you?... And there are no holes in your stockings!... I used to darn
them once, you know.... Why don't you come to see us oftener?... It makes
us so happy!... It is months and months now that you've forgotten us and
that we have seen nobody....

TYLTYL
We couldn't, granny; and to-day its only because of the Fairy....

GRANNY TYL
We are always here, waiting for a visit from those who are alive.... They
come so seldom!... The last time you were here, let me see, when was it?...
It was on All-hallows, when the church-bells were ringing....

TYLTYL
All-hallows?... We didn't go out that day, for we both had very bad
colds....

GRANNY TYL
No; but you thought of us....

TYLTYL
Yes....

GRANNY TYL
Well, every time you think of us, we wake up and see you again....

TYLTYL
What, is it enough to...

GRANNY TYL
But come, you know that....

TYLTYL
No, I didn't know....

GRANNY TYL (_to_ GAFFER TYL)
It's astonishing, up there.... They don't know yet.... Do they never learn
anything?...

GAFFER TYL
It's as in our own time.... The Living are so stupid when they speak of the
Others....

TYLTYL
Do you sleep all the time?...

GAFFER TYL
Yes, we get plenty of sleep, while waiting for a thought of the Living to
come and wake us.... Ah, it is good to sleep when life is done.... But it
is pleasant also to wake up from time to time....

TYLTYL
So you are not really dead?...

GAFFER TYL
What do you say?... What is he saying?... Now he's using words we don't
understand.... Is it a new word, a new invention?...

TYLTYL
The word "dead"?...

GAFFER TYL
Yes, that was the word.... What does it mean?...

TYLTYL
Why, it means that one's no longer alive....

GAFFER TYL
How silly they are, up there!...

TYLTYL
Is it nice here?...

GAFFER TYL
Oh, yes; not bad, not bad; and, if one could just have a smoke....

TYLTYL
Aren't you allowed to smoke?...

GAFFER TYL
Yes, it's allowed; but I've broken my pipe....

GRANNY TYL
Yes, yes, all would be well, if only you would come and see us oftener....
Do you remember, Tyltyl?... The last time I baked you a lovely
apple-tart.... You ate such a lot of it that you made yourself ill....

TYLTYL
But I haven't eaten any apple-tart since last year.... There were no apples
this year....

GRANNY TYL
Don't talk nonsense.... Here, we have them always....

TYLTYL
That's different....

GRANNY TYL
What? That's different?... Why, nothing's different when we're able to kiss
each other....

TYLTYL (_looking first at his_ GRANDMOTHER _and then at his_ GRANDFATHER)
You haven't changed, grandad, not a bit, not a bit.... And granny hasn't
changed a bit either.... But you're better-looking....

GAFFER TYL
Well, we feel all right.... We have stopped growing older.... But you,
how tall you're growing!... Yes, you're shooting up finely.... Look,
over there, on the door, is the mark of the last time.... That was on
All-hallows.... Now then, stand up straight.... (TYLTYL _stands up
against the door_.) Four fingers taller!... That's immense!... (MYTYL
_also stands up against the door_.) And Mytyl, four and a half!...
Aha, ill weeds grow apace!... How they've grown, oh, how they've grown!...

TYLTYL (_looking around him with delight_)
Nothing is changed, everything is in its old place!... Only everything is
prettier!... There is the clock with the big hand which I broke the point
off....

GAFFER TYL
And here is the soup-tureen you chipped a corner off....

TYLTYL
And here is the hole which I made in the door, the day I found the
gimlet....

GAFFER TYL
Yes, you've done some damage in your time!... And here is the plum-tree in
which you were so fond of climbing, when I wasn't looking.... It still has
its fine red plums....

TYLTYL
But they are finer than ever!...

MYTYL
And here is the old blackbird!... Does he still sing?...

(_The blackbird wakes and begins to sing at the top of his voice_.)

GRANNY TYL
You see.... As soon as one thinks of him....

TYLTYL (_observing with amazement that the blackbird is quite blue_)
But he's blue!... Why, that's the bird, the Blue Bird which I am to take
back to the Fairy.... And you never told us that you had him here!... Oh,
he's blue, blue, blue as a blue glass marble!... (_Entreatingly_)
Grandad, granny, will you give him to me?...

GAFFER TYL
Yes, perhaps, perhaps.... What do you think, granny?...

GRANNY TYL
Certainly, certainly.... What use is he to us?... He does nothing but
sleep.... We never hear him sing....

TYLTYL
I will put him in my cage.... I say, where is my cage?... Oh, I know, I
left it behind the big tree.... (_He runs to the tree, fetches the cage
and puts the blackbird into it_.) So, really, you've really given him to
me?... How pleased the Fairy will be!... And Light too!...

GAFFER TYL
Mind you, I won't answer for the bird.... I'm afraid that he will never get
used again to the restless life up there and that he'll come back here by
the first wind that blows this way.... However, we shall see.... Leave him
there, for the present, and come and look at the cow....

TYLTYL (_noticing the hives_)
And how are the bees getting on?

GAFFER TYL
Oh, pretty well.... They are no longer alive, as you call it up there; but
they work hard....

TYLTYL (_going up to the hives_)
Oh, yes!... I can smell the honey!... How heavy the hives must be!... All
the flowers are so beautiful!... And my little dead sisters, are they here
too?...

MYTYL
And where are my three little brothers who were buried?...

(_At these words, seven little_ CHILDREN, _of different sizes, like
a set of Pan's pipes, come out of the cottage, one by one_.)

GRANNY TYL
Here they are, here they are!... As soon as you think of them, as soon as
you speak of them, they are there, the darlings!...

(TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _run to meet the_ CHILDREN. _They hustle
and hug one another and dance and whirl about and utter screams of
joy_.)

TYLTYL
Hullo, Pierrot!... (_They clutch each other by the hair_.) Ah, so
we're going to fight again, as in the old days.... And Robert!... I say,
Jean, what's become of your top?... Madeleine and Pierette and Pauline!...
And here's Riquette!...

MYTYL
Oh, Riquette, Riquette!... She's still crawling on all fours!...

GRANNY TYL
Yes, she has stopped growing.

TYLTYL (_noticing the little_ DOG _yelping around them_)
There's Kiki, whose tail I cut off with Pauline's scissors.... He hasn't
changed either....

GAFFER TYL (_sententiously_)
No, nothing changes here....

TYLTYL
And Pauline still has a pimple on her nose....

GRANNY TYL
Yes, it won't go away; there's nothing to be done for it....

TYLTYL
Oh, how well they look, how fat and glossy they are!... What jolly cheeks
they have!... They look well fed....

GRANNY TYL
They have been much better since they ceased living.... There's nothing
more to fear, nobody is ever ill, one has no anxiety....

(_The clock inside the cottage strikes eight_.)

GRANNY TYL (_amazed_)
What's that?...

GAFFER TYL
I don't know, I'm sure.... It must be the clock....

GRANNY TYL
It can't be.... It never strikes....

GAFFER TYL
Because we no longer think of the time.... Was any one thinking of the
time?...

TYLTYL
Yes, I was.... What is the time?...

GAFFER TYL
I'm sure I can't tell.... I've forgotten how.... It struck eight times, so
I suppose it's what they call eight o'clock up there....

TYLTYL
Light expects me at a quarter to nine.... It's because of the Fairy....
It's extremely important.... I'm off!...

GRANNY TYL
Don't leave us like that, just as supper's ready!... Quick, quick, let's
lay the table outside.... I've got some capital cabbage-soup and a
beautiful plum-tart....

(_They get out the table, dishes, plates, etc., and lay for supper
outside the door, all helping_.)

TYLTYL
Well, as I've got the Blue Bird.... And then it's so long since I tasted
cabbage-soup.... Ever since I've been, travelling.... They don't have it at
the hotels....

GRANNY TYL
There!... That didn't take long!... Sit down, children.... Don't let us
lose time, if you're in a hurry....

(_They have lit the lamp and served the soup. The_ GRANDPARENTS _and
the_ CHILDREN _sit down round the table, jostling and elbowing one
another and laughing and screaming with pleasure_.)

TYLTYL (_eating like a glutton_)
How good it is!... Oh, how good it is!...I want some more! More!...

(_He brandishes his wooden spoon and noisily hits his plate with it_.)

GAFFER TYL
Come, come, a little more quiet.... You're just as ill-behaved as ever; and
you'll break your plate....

TYLTYL (_half-raising himself on his stool_)
I want more, more!... (_He seizes the tureen, drags it toward him and
upsets it and the soup, which trickles over the table and down over their
knees and scalds them. Yells and screams of pain_.)

GRANNY TYL
There!... I told you so!...

GAFFER TYL (_giving TYLTYL a loud box on the ear_)
That's one for you!...

TYLTYL (_staggered for a moment, next puts his hand to his cheek with an
expression of rapture_)
Oh, that's just like the slaps you used to give me when you were alive?...
Grandad, how nice it was and how good it makes one feel!... I must give you
a kiss!...

GAFFER TYL
Very well; there's more where that came from, if you like them....

(_The clock strikes half-past eight_)

TYLTYL (_starting up_)
Half-past eight!... (_He flings down his spoon_.) Mytyl, we've only
just got time!...

GRANNY TYL
Oh, I say!... Just a few minutes more!... Your house isn't on fire!... We
see you so seldom....

TYLTYL
No, we can't possibly.... Light is so kind.... And I promised her.... Come,
Mytyl, come!...

GAFFER TYL
Goodness gracious, how tiresome the Living are with all their business and
excitement!...

TYLTYL (_taking his cage and hurriedly kissing everybody all round_)
Good-bye, grandad.... Good-bye, granny.... Good-bye, brothers and sisters,
Pierrot, Robert, Pauline, Madeleine, Riquette and you, too, Kiki.... I feel
we mustn't stay.... Don't cry, granny; we will come back often....

GRANNY TYL
Come back every day!...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes; we will come back as often as we can....

GRANNY TYL
It's our only pleasure and it's such a treat for us when your thoughts
visit us!...

GAFFER TYL
We have no other amusements....

TYLTYL
Quick, quick!... My cage!... My bird!...

GAFFER TYL (_handing him the cage_)
Here they are!... You know, I don't warrant him; and if he's not the right
colour...

TYLTYL
Good-bye! Good-bye!...

THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS TYL
Good-bye, Tyltyl! Good-bye, Mytyl!... Remember the barley-sugar!...
Good-bye!... Come again!... Come again!...

(_They all wave their handkerchiefs while_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL
_slowly move away. But already, during the last sentences, the fog of the
beginning of the scene has been gradually re-forming, so that, at the end,
all has disappeared in the mist and, at the fall of the curtain_, TYLTYL
_and_ MYTYL _are again alone visible under the big oak_.)

TYLTYL
It's this way, Mytyl....

MYTYL
Where is Light?...

TYLTYL
I don't know.... (_Looking at the bird in the cage_.) But the bird is
no longer blue!... He has turned black!...

MYTYL
Give me your hand, little brother.... I feel so frightened and so cold....


CURTAIN



ACT III.



SCENE 1.--_The Palace of_ NIGHT.


_A large and wonderful hall of an austere, rigid, metallic and sepulchral
magnificence, giving the impression of a Greek temple with columns,
architraves, flagstones and ornaments of black marble, gold and ebony. The
hall is trapezium-shaped. Basalt steps, occupying almost the entire width,
divide it into three successive stages, which rise gradually toward the
back. On the right and left, between the columns, are doors of sombre
bronze. At the back, a monumental door of brass. The palace is lit only
by a vague light that seems to emanate mainly from the brilliancy of the
marble and the ebony. At the rise of the curtain_, NIGHT, _in the form
of a very old woman, clad in long, black garments, is seated on the steps
of the second stage between two children, of whom one, almost naked,
like Cupid, is smiling in a deep sleep, while the other is standing up,
motionless and veiled from head to foot_.

_Enter from the right, in the foreground, the_ CAT

NIGHT
Who goes there?

THE CAT (_sinking heavily upon the marble steps_)
It is I, Mother Night.... I am worn out....

NIGHT
What's the matter, child?... You look pale and thin and you are splashed
with mud to your very whiskers.... Have you been fighting on the tiles
again, in the snow and rain?...

THE CAT
It has nothing to do with the tiles!... It's our secret that's at stake!...
It's the beginning of the end!... I have managed to escape for a moment to
warn you; but I greatly fear that there is nothing to be done....

NIGHT
Why?... What has happened?...

THE CAT
I have told you of little Tyltyl, the woodcutter's son, and of the magic
diamond.... Well, he is coming here to demand the Blue Bird of you....

NIGHT
He hasn't got it yet.....

THE CAT
He will have it soon, unless we perform some miracle.... This is how the
matter stands: Light, who is guiding him and betraying us all, for she has
placed herself entirely on Man's side, Light has learned that the Blue
Bird, the real one, the only one that can live in the light of day, is
hidden here, among the blue birds of the dreams that live on the rays of
the moon and die as soon as they set eyes on the sun.... She knows that she
is forbidden to cross the threshold of your palace, but she is sending the
children; and, as you cannot prevent Man from opening the doors of
your secrets, I do not know how all this will end.... In any case, if,
unfortunately, they should lay their hands on the real Blue Bird, there
would be nothing for us but to disappear....

NIGHT
Oh dear, oh dear!.... What times we live in!... I never have a moment's
peace.... I cannot understand Man, these last few years.... What is he
aiming at?... Must he absolutely know everything?... Already he has
captured a third of my Mysteries, all my Terrors are afraid and dare not
leave the house, my Ghosts have taken flight, the greater part of my
Sicknesses are ill....

THE CAT
I know, Mother Night, I know, the times are hard and we are almost alone in
our struggle against Man.... But I hear them coming.... I see only one way:
as they are children, we must give them such a fright that they will not
dare to persist or to open the great door at the back, behind which they
would find the Birds of the Moon.... The secrets of the other caverns will
be enough to distract their attention and terrify them....

NIGHT (_listening to a sound outside_)
What do I hear?... Are there many of them?...

THE CAT
It is nothing; it is our friends, Bread and Sugar; Water is not very well
and Fire could not come, because he is related to Light.... The Dog is
the only one who is not on our side; but it is never possible to keep him
away....

(_Enter timidly, on the right, in the foreground, TYLTYL, MYTYL, BREAD,
SUGAR and the DOG_.)

THE CAT (_rushing up to TYLTYL_)
This way, little master, this way.... I have told Night, who is delighted
to see you.... You must forgive her, she is a little indisposed; that is
why she was not able to come to meet you....

TYLTYL
Good-day, Mrs. Night....

NIGHT (_in an offended voice_)
Good-day?... I am not used to that.... You might say, Good-night, or, at
least. Good-evening....

TYLTYL (_mortified_)
I beg your pardon, ma'am....I did not know....(_Pointing to the two_
CHILDREN.) Are those your two little boys?... They are very nice....

NIGHT
This is Sleep....

TYLTYL
Why is he so fat?...

NIGHT
That is because he sleeps well....

TYLTYL
And the other, hiding himself?... Why does he veil his face?...Is he
ill?... What is his name?...

NIGHT
That is Sleep's sister.... It is better not to mention her name....

TYLTYL
Why?...

NIGHT
Because her name is not pleasant to hear.... But let us talk of something
else.... The Cat tells me that you have come here to look for the Blue
Bird....

TYLTYL
Yes, ma'am, if you will allow me.... Will you tell me where he is?...

NIGHT
I don't know, dear.... All I can say is that he is not here.... I have
never seen him....

TYLTYL
Yes, yes.... Light told me that he was here; and Light knows what she is
saying.... Will you hand me your keys?...

NIGHT
But you must understand, dear, that I cannot give my keys like that to
the first comer.... I have the keeping of all Nature's secrets and I am
absolutely forbidden to deliver them to anybody, especially to a child....

TYLTYL
You have no right to refuse them to Man when he asks you for them....I know
that....

NIGHT
Who told you?...

TYLTYL
Light....

NIGHT
Light again! Always Light!... How dare she interfere, how dare she?...

THE DOG
Shall I take them from her by force, my little god?...

TYLTYL
Hold your tongue, keep quiet and try to behave.... (_To_NIGHT) Come,
madam, give me your keys, please....

NIGHT
Have you the sign, at least?... Where is it?...

TYLTYL (_touching his hat_)
Behold the Diamond!...

NIGHT (_resigning herself to the inevitable_)
Well, then... Here is the key that opens all the doors of the hall.... Look
to yourself if you meet with a misfortune.... I will not be responsible....

BREAD (_very anxiously_)
Is it dangerous?...

NIGHT
Dangerous?... I will go so far as to say that I myself do not know what I
shall do when certain of those bronze doors open upon the abyss.... All
around the hall, in each of those basalt caves, are all the evils, all the
plagues, all the sicknesses, all the terrors, all the catastrophes, all the
mysteries that have afflicted life since the beginning of the world.... I
have had trouble enough to Imprison them there with the aid of Destiny; and
it is not without difficulty, I assure you, that I keep some little order
among those undisciplined characters.... You have seen what happens when
one of them escapes and shows itself on earth....

BREAD
My great age, my experience and my devotion make me the natural protector
of these two children; therefore, Mrs. Night, permit me to ask you a
question....

NIGHT
Certainly....

BREAD
In case of danger, which is the way of escape?...

NIGHT
There is no way of escape.

TYLTYL (_taking the key and climbing the first steps_)
Let us begin here.... What is behind this bronze door?...

NIGHT
I think it is the Ghosts.... It is long since I opened the door and since
they came out....

TYLTYL (_placing the key in the lock_)
I will see.... (_To_ BREAD) Have you the cage for the Blue Bird?...

BREAD (_with chattering teeth_)
I'm not frightened, but don't you think it would be better not to open the
door, but to peep through the keyhole?...

TYLTYL
I don't want your advice....

MYTYL (_suddenly beginning to cry_)
I am frightened!... Where is Sugar?... I want to go home!...

SUGAR (_eagerly, obsequiously_)
Here I am, miss, here I am.... Don't cry, I will break off one of my
fingers so that you may have a sugar-stick....

TYLTYL
Enough of this!...

(_He turns the key and cautiously opens the door. Forthwith, five or
six_ GHOSTS _of strange and different forms escape and disperse on
every side_. MYTYL _gives a scream of fright_, BREAD, _terrified,
throws away the cage and goes and hides at the back of the hall, while_
NIGHT, _running after the_ GHOSTS, _cries out to_ TYLTYL.)

NIGHT
Quick! Quick!... Shut the door!... They will all escape and we should never
be able to catch them again!... They have felt bored in there, ever since
Man ceased to take them seriously....
(_She runs after the_ GHOSTS _and endeavours, with the aid of a whip
formed of snakes, to drive them back to the door of their prison_.)
Help me!... Here!... Here!...

TYLTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Help her, Tylô, at them!...

THE DOG (_leaping up and barking_)
Yes, yes, yes!...

TYLTYL
And Bread, where's Bread?...

BREAD (_at the back of the hall_)
Here.... I am near the door to prevent them from going out....

(_One of the_ GHOSTS _moves in that direction and he rushes away at
full speed, uttering yells of terror_.)

NIGHT (_to three_ GHOSTS _whom she has seized by the neck_)
This way, you!... (_To_ TYLTYL) Open the door a little.... (_She
pushes the_ GHOSTS _into the cave_.) There, that's it....
(_The_ DOG _brings up two more_.) And these two.... Come, quick,
in with you!... You know you're only allowed out on All-hallows....

(_She closes the door._)

TYLTYL (_going to another door_)
What's behind this one?....

NIGHT
What is the good?...I have already told you the Blue Bird has never been
here.... However, as you please.... Open the doors if you like.... It's the
Sicknesses....

TYLTYL (_with the key in the lock_.)
Must I be careful in opening?...

NIGHT
No, it is not worth while.... They are very quiet, the poor little
things.... They are not happy.... Man, for some time, has been waging
such a determined war upon them!... Especially since the discovery of the
microbes.... Open, you will see....

(TYLTYL _opens the door quite wide. Nothing appears_.)

TYLTYL
Don't they come out?

NIGHT
I told you they are almost all poorly and very much discouraged....
The doctors are so unkind to them.... Go in for a moment and see for
yourself....

(TYLTYL _enters the cavern and comes out again immediately_.)

TYLTYL
The Blue Bird is not there.... They look very ill, those Sicknesses of
yours.... They did not even lift their heads.... (_One little Sickness in
slippers, a dressing-gown and a cotton nightcap escapes from the cavern
and begins to frisk about the hall_.) Look!... There's a little one
escaping.... Which one is it?...

NIGHT
It's nothing, one of the smallest; it's Cold-in-the-Head.... It is one
of those which are least persecuted and which enjoy the best health....
(_Calling to_ COLD-IN-THE-HEAD) Come here, dear....It's too soon yet;
you must wait for the winter.... (COLD-IN-THE-HEAD, _sneezing, coughing
and blowing its nose, returns to the cavern and_ TYLTYL _shuts the
door_.)

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
Let us look at this one..... What is in here?...

NIGHT
Take care!... It is the Wars.... They are more terrible and powerful
than ever.... Heaven knows what would happen if one of them escaped!...
Fortunately, they are rather heavy and slow-moving.... But we must stand
ready to push back the door, all of us together, while you take a rapid
glance into the cavern....

(TYLTYL, _with a thousand precautions, opens the door ajar so that there
is only a little gap to which he can put his eye. He at once doubles his
back against the door, shouting_.)

TYLTYL
Quick! Quick!... Push with all your might!... They have seen me!... They
are all coming!... They are breaking down the door!...

NIGHT
Come, all together!... Push hard!... Bread, what are you doing?... Push,
all of you!... How strong they are!... Ah, that's it!... They are giving
way!... It was high time!... Did you see them?...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes!... They are huge and awful!... I don't think that they have the
Blue Bird....

NIGHT
You may be sure they haven't.... If they had, they would eat him at
once.... Well, have you had enough of it?... You see there is nothing to be
done....

TYLTYL
I must see everything.... Light said so....

NIGHT
Light said so!... It's an easy thing to say when one's afraid and stays at
home....

TYLTYL
Let us go to the next.... What is in here?...

NIGHT
This is where I lock up the Shades and the Terrors....

TYLTYL
Can I open the door?...

NIGHT
Certainly.... They are pretty quiet; they are like the Sicknesses....

TYLTYL (_half-opening the door, with a certain mistrustfulness, and
taking a look into the cavern_)
Are they not there?...

NIGHT (_looking into the cavern in her turn_)
Well, Shades, what are you doing?... Come out for a moment and stretch your
legs; it will do you good.... And the Terrors also.... There is nothing to
be afraid of.... (_A few_ SHADES _and a few_ TERRORS, _in the
shape of women, shrouded, the former in black veils and the latter in
greenish veils, piteously venture to take a few steps outside the cavern;
and then, upon a movement of_ TYLTYL'S, _hastily run back again_.)
Come, don't be afraid.... It's only a child; he won't hurt you....
(_To_ TYLTYL) They have become extremely timid, except the great ones,
those whom you see at the back....

TYLTYL (_looking into the depths of the cave_)
Oh, how terrifying they are!...

NIGHT
They are chained up.... They are the only ones that are not afraid of
Man.... But shut the door, lest they should grow angry....

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
I say!... This is a darker one.... What is here?

NIGHT
There are several Mysteries behind this one.... If you are absolutely bent
upon it, you may open it too.... But don't go in.... Be very cautious and
let us get ready to push back the door, as we did with the Wars....

TYLTYL (_half-opening the door; with unparalleled precautions and passing
his head fearsomely through the aperture_)
Oh!... How cold!... My eyes are smarting!... Shut it quickly!... Push, oh,
push! They are pushing against us!... (NIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT _and_
SUGAR _push back the door_.) Oh, I saw!...

NIGHT
What?...

TYLTYL (_upset_)
I don't know, it was awful!... They were all seated like monsters without
eyes.... Who was the giant who tried to seize me?...

NIGHT
It was probably Silence; he has charge of this door.... It appears to have
been alarming?... You are quite pale still and trembling all over....

TYLTYL
Yes, I would never have believed.... I had never seen.... And my hands are
frozen....

NIGHT
It will be worse presently if you go on....

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
And this one?... Is this terrible also?...

NIGHT
No; there is a little of everything here.... It is where I keep the
unemployed Stars, my personal Perfumes, a few Glimmers that belong to me,
such as Will-o'-the-Wisps, Glow-worms and Fireflies, also the Dew, the Song
of the Nightingales and so on....

TYLTYL
Just so, the Stars, the Song of the Nightingales.... This must be the
door....

NIGHT
Open it, if you like; there Is nothing very bad inside....

(TYLTYL _throws the door wide open. The_ STARS, _in the shape of
beautiful young girls veiled in many-coloured radiancy, escape from their
prison, disperse over the hall and form graceful groups on the steps and
around the columns, bathed in a sort of luminous penumbra. The_ PERFUMES
OF THE NIGHT, _who are almost invisible, the_ WILL-O'-THE-WISPS,
_the_ FIREFLIES _and the transparent_ DEW _join them, while
the_ SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALES _streams from the cavern and floods the
Palace of_ NIGHT.)

MYTYL (_clapping her hands with delight_)
Oh, what pretty ladies!...

TYLTYL
And how well they dance!...

MYTYL
And how sweet they smell!...

TYLTYL
And how beautifully they sing!...

MYTYL
What are those, whom one can hardly see?...

NIGHT
Those are the Perfumes of my Shadow.

TYLTYL
And those others, over there, in spun glass?...

NIGHT
They are the Dew of the plains and forests.... But enough!... They would
never have done.... It is the devil's own business to get them back, once
they begin to dance.... (_Clapping her hands together_.) Now then,
Stars, quick!... This is not the time for dancing.... The sky is overcast
and heavily clouded.... Come, quick, in with you, or I will go and fetch a
ray of sunlight!... (_The_ STARS, PERFUMES, _etc., take to flight in
dismay and rush back into the cavern; and the door is closed upon them. At
the same time, the song of the_ NIGHTINGALE _ceases_.)

TYLTYL (_going to the door at the back_)
Here is the great middle door....

NIGHT (_gravely_)
Do not open that one...

TYLTYL
Why not?....

NIGHT
Because it's not allowed....

TYLTYL
Then it's here that the Blue Bird is hidden; Light told me so....

NIGHT (_maternally_)
Listen to me, child ... I have been kind and indulgent ... I have done for
you what I have never done for any one before ... I have given up all my
secrets to you.... I like you, I feel pity for your youth and innocence and
I am speaking to you as a mother.... Listen to me, my child, and believe
me; relinquish your quest, go no further, do not tempt fate, do not open
that door....

TYLTYL (_a little shaken_)
But why?...

NIGHT
Because I do not wish you to be lost.... Because not one of those, do you
hear, not one of those who have opened it, were it but by a hair's breadth,
has ever returned alive to the light of day.... Because every awful thing
imaginable, because all the terrors, all the horrors of which men speak on
earth are as nothing compared with the most harmless of those which assail
a man from the moment when his eye lights upon the first threats of the
abyss to which no one dares give a name.... So much so that I myself, if
you are bent, in spite of everything, upon touching that door, will ask you
to wait until I have sought safety in my windowless tower... Now it is for
you to know, for you to reflect....

(MYTYL, _all in tears, utters cries of inarticulate terror and tries to
drag_ TYLTYL _away_.)

BREAD (_with chattering teeth_)
Don't do it, master dear!... (_Flinging himself on his knees_) Take
pity on us!... I implore you on my knees.... You see that Night is
right....

THE CAT
You are sacrificing the lives of all of us....

TYLTYL
I must open the door....

MYTYL (_stamping her feet, amid her sobs_)
I won't!... I sha'n't!...

TYLTYL
Sugar and Bread, take Mytyl by the hand and run away with her.... I am
going to open the door....

NIGHT
Run for your lives!... Come quickly!... It is time!... (_She flees._)

BREAD (_fleeing wildly_)
At least wait till we are at the end of the hall!...

THE CAT (_also fleeing_)
Wait! Wait!...

(_They hide behind the columns at the other end of the hall_. TYLTYL
_remains alone with the DOG by the monumental door_.)

THE DOG (_panting and hiccoughing with suppressed fright_)
I shall stay, I shall stay!... I'm not afraid!... I shall stay!... I shall
stay with my little god!... I shall stay!... I shall stay!...

TYLTYL (_patting the_ DOG)
That's right, Tylô, that's right!... Kiss me.... You and I are two.... And
now, steady!...

(_He places the key in the lock. A cry of alarm comes from the other
end of the hall, where the runaways have taken refuge. The key has hardly
touched the door before its tall and wide leaves open in the middle, glide
apart and disappear on either side in the thickness of the walls, suddenly
revealing the most unexpected of gardens, unreal, infinite and ineffable,
a dream-garden bathed in nocturnal light, where, among stars and planets,
illumining all that they touch, flying ceaselessly from jewel to jewel and
from moonbeam to moonbeam, fairy-like blue birds hover perpetually and
harmoniously down to the confines of the horizon, birds innumerable to
the point of appearing to be the breath, the azured atmosphere, the very
substance of the wonderful garden_.)

TYLTYL (_dazzled, bewildered, standing in the light of the garden_)
Oh!... Heaven!... (_Turning to those who have fled_) Come quickly!...
They are here!... It's they, it's they, it's they!... We have them
at last!... Thousands of blue birds!... Millions!.... Thousands of
millions!... There will be too many!... Come, Mytyl!... Come, Tylô!...
Come, all!... Help me!... (_Darting in among the birds_.) You can
catch them by handfuls!... They are not shy!... They are not afraid of
us!.... Here! Here!.... (MYTYL _and the others run up. They all enter the
dazzling garden, except_ NIGHT _and the_ CAT.) You see!... There
are too many of them!... They fly into my hands!... Look, they are eating
the moonbeams!... Mytyl, where are you?.... There are so many blue wings,
so many feathers falling that one cannot see anything for them!.... Don't
bite them, Tylô!.... Don't hurt them!.... Take them very gently!....

MYTYL (_covered with blue birds_)
I have caught seven already!.... Oh, how they flap their wings!.... I can't
hold them!....

TYLTYL
Nor can I!.... I have too many of them!... They're escaping!.... They're
coming back!.... Tylô has some, too!.... They will drag us with them!....
They will take us up to the sky!.... Quick, let us go out this way!....
Light is waiting for us!.... How pleased she will be!.... This way, this
way!....

(_They escape from the garden, with their hands full of struggling birds,
and, crossing the whole hall amid the mad whirl of the azure wings, go out
on the right, where they first entered, followed by_ BREAD _and_
SUGAR, _who have caught no birds_. NIGHT _and the_ CAT, _left
alone, return to the back of the stage and look anxiously into the
garden_.)

NIGHT
Haven't they got him?...

THE CAT
No.... I see him there, on that moonbeam.... They could not reach him, he
kept too high....

(_The_ CURTAIN _falls. Immediately after, before the dropped
curtain_, ENTER, _at the same time, on the left_, LIGHT _and on
the right_, TYLTYL, MYTYL _and the_ DOG, _who run up all covered
by the birds which they have captured. But already the birds appear
lifeless and, with hanging heads and drooping wings, are nothing more in
their hands than inert remains._)

LIGHT
Well, have you caught him?...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes!...As many as we wanted!... There are thousands of them!... Here
they are!... Do you see them?... (_Looking at the birds, which he holds
out to_ LIGHT, _and perceiving that they are dead_) Why, they
are dead!... What have they done to them?... Yours too, Mytyl?... Tylô's
also?... (_Angrily flinging down the dead bodies of the birds_) Oh,
this is too bad?... Who killed them?... I am too unhappy!...

(_He hides his head in his arms and his whole frame is shaken with
sobs._)

LIGHT (_pressing him maternally in her arms_)
Do not cry, my child.... You did not catch the one that is able to live in
broad daylight.... He has gone elsewhere.... We shall find him again....

THE DOG (_looking at the dead birds_))
Are they good to eat?....

(_They all go out on the left_.)



SCENE 2.--_The Forest._

_A forest. It is night. The moon is shining. Old trees of various kinds,
notably an_ OAK, _a_ BEECH, _an_ ELM, _a_ POPLAR, _a_ FIR-TREE, _a_
CYPRESS, _a_ LIME-TREE, _a_ CHESTNUT-TREE, _etc_.

ENTER _the_ CAT.

THE CAT (_bowing to the trees in turn_)
To all the trees here present, greeting!....

THE TREES (_murmuring in their leaves_)
Greeting!....

THE CAT
This is a great day, a day of days!.... Our enemy is coming to set free
your energies and to deliver himself into your hands..... It is Tyltyl, the
son of the wood-cutter, who has done you so much harm.... He is seeking the
Blue Bird, whom you have kept hidden from Man since the beginning of
the world and who alone knows our secret.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) What do you say?... Ah, it's the Poplar!... Yes, he possesses
a diamond which has the virtue of setting free our spirits for a moment;
he can compel us to hand over the Blue Bird and thenceforth we shall be
definitely at Man's mercy.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Who is
speaking?... Ah, the Oak!... How are you?... (_A murmuring in the leaves
of the_ OAK.) Still got your cold?... Does the Liquorice no longer look
after you?... Can't you throw off your rheumatism?... Believe me, that's
because of the moss; you put too much of it on your feet.... Is the Blue
Bird still with you?... (_A murmuring in the leaves of the_ OAK.) I
beg your pardon?... Yes, there is no room for hesitation; we must take
the opportunity; he must he done away with.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) I didn't quite catch.... Oh, yes, he is with his little
sister; she must die, too.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Yes, they
have the Dog with them; there is no keeping him away.... (_A murmuring in
the leaves_.) What did you say?... Bribe him?... Impossible.... I have
tried everything.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Ah, is that you,
Fir-Tree?... Yes, get four planks ready.... Yes, there are Fire, Sugar,
Water and Bread besides.... They are all with us, except Bread, who is
rather doubtful.... Light alone is on Man's side; but she won't come....
I made the children believe that they ought to steal away while she was
asleep.... There never was such an opportunity.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) Ah, that's the Beech's voice!... Yes, you are right; we must
inform the animals.... Has the Rabbit got his drum?... Is he with you?...
Good, let him beat the troop at once.... Here they are!...

(_The roll of the_ RABBIT'S _drum is heard, diminishing in the
distance. Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL _and the_ DOG.)

TYLTYL
Is this the place?...

THE CAT (_obsequiously, eagerly, mealy-mouthed, rushing to meet the_
CHILDREN)
Ah, there you are, my little master!... How well you look and how pretty,
this evening!.... I went before you to announce your arrival.... All Is
going well. We shall have the Blue Bird to-night, I am sure.... I have just
sent the Rabbit to beat the troop in order to convoke the principal
animals of the country.... You can hear them already among the foliage....
Listen!... They are a little shy and dare not come near.... (_The sounds
are heard of different animals, such as cows, pigs, horses, donkeys, etc.
The_ CAT, _aside, to_ TYLTYL, _taking him apart_) But why
have you brought the Dog?... I have told you he is on the worst terms with
everybody, even the trees.... I fear that his odious presence will spoil
everything....

TYLTYL
I could not get rid of him.... (_To the_ DOG, _threatening him_)
Go away, you ugly thing!...

THE DOG
Who?... I?... Why?... What have I done?...

TYLTYL
I tell you, go away!... We don't want you here and there's an end of it....
You're a nuisance, there!...

THE DOG
I sha'n't say a word.... I shall follow you at a distance.... They sha'n't
see me.... Shall I beg?...

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Do you allow this disobedience?... Hit him on the nose with your stick; he
is really unbearable!...

TYLTYL (_beating the_ DOG)
There, that will teach you to be more obedient!...

THE DOG (_yelling_)
Ow! Ow! Ow!...

TYLTYL
What do you say?...

THE DOG
I must kiss you now you've beaten me!... (_He covers_ TYLTYL _with
violent kisses and embraces_.)

TYLTYL
Come.... That will do.... That's enough.... Go away!...

MYTYL
No, no; I want him to stay.... I am afraid of everything when he is not
there....

THE DOG (_leaping up and almost upsetting_ MYTYL, _whom he overwhelms with
hurried and enthusiastic kisses_)
Oh, the dear little girl!... How beautiful she is!... How good she is!...
How beautiful she is, how sweet she is!...I must kiss her!... Once more,
once more, once more!...

THE CAT
What an idiot!... Well, we shall see!... Let us lose no time.... Turn the
diamond....

TYLTYL
Where shall I stand?...

THE CAT
In this moonbeam; you will see better.... There, turn it gently!...

(TYLTYL _turns the Diamond. A long-drawn-out rustling shakes the leaves
and branches. The oldest and most stately trunks open to make way for the
soul which each of them contains. The appearance of these souls differs
according to the appearance and the character of the trees which they
represent. The soul of the_ ELM, _for instance, is a sort of pursy,
pot-bellied, crabbed gnome; the_ LIME-TREE _is placid, familiar and
jovial; the_ BEECH, _elegant and agile; the_ BIRCH, _white,
reserved and restless; the_ WILLOW, _stunted, dishevelled and
plaintive; the_ FIR-TREE, _tall, lean and taciturn; the_ CYPRESS,
_tragic; the_ CHESTNUT-TREE, _pretentious and rather dandified;
the_ POPLAR, _sprightly, cumbersome, talkative. Some emerge slowly
from their trunks, torpidly stretching themselves, as though they had been
imprisoned or asleep for ages; others leap out actively, eagerly; and all
come and stand in a circle round the two_ CHILDREN, _while keeping as
near as they can to the tree in which they were born_.)

THE POPLAR (_running up first and screaming at the top of his voice_)
Men?... Little men!... We shall be able to talk to them!... We've done with
silence!... Done with it!... Where do they come from?... Who are they?...
What are they?... (_To the_ LIME-TREE, _who comes forward quietly
smoking his pipe_) Do you know them, Daddy Lime-Tree?...

THE LIME-TREE
I do not remember ever having seen them....

THE POPLAR
Oh, yes, you must have!... You know all the men; you're always hanging
about their houses....

THE LIME-TREE (_examining the_ CHILDREN)
No, I assure you.... I don't know them.... They are too young still.... I
only know the lovers who come to see me by moonlight and the topers who
drink their beer under my branches....

THE CHESTNUT-TREE (_affectedly adjusting his eyeglass_)
Who are these?... Are they poor people from the country?...

THE POPLAR
Oh, as for you, Mr. Chestnut-Tree, ever since you have refused to show
yourself except in the streets of the big towns...

THE WILLOW (_hobbling along in a pair of wooden shoes_)
Oh dear, oh dear!... They have come to cut off my head and arms again for
fagots!...

THE POPLAR
Silence!... Here is the Oak leaving his palace!... He looks far from well
this evening.... Don't you think he is growing very old?... What can his
age be?... The Fir-tree says he is four thousand; but I am sure that he
exaggerates.... Listen; he will tell us all about it....

(_The_ OAK _comes slowly forward. He is fabulously old, crowned with
mistletoe and clad in a long green gown edged with moss and lichen. He is
blind; his white beard streams in the wind. He leans with one hand on a
knotty stick and with the other on a young_ OAKLING, _who serves as
his guide. The Blue Bird is perched on his shoulder. At his approach, the
other trees draw themselves up in a row and bow respectfully_.)

TYLTYL
He has the Blue Bird!... Quick! Quick!... Here!... Give it to me!...

THE TREES
Silence!...

THE CAT (_to_ TYLTYL)
Take of your hat. It's the Oak!...

THE OAK (_to_ TYLTYL)
Who are you?....

TYLTYL
I am Tyltyl, sir.... When can I have the Blue Bird?...

THE OAK
Tyltyl, the wood-cutter's son?...

TYLTYL
Yes, sir....

THE OAK
Your father has done us much harm.... In my family alone, he has put to
death six hundred of my sons, four hundred and seventy-five uncles and
aunts, twelve hundred cousins of both sexes, three hundred and eighty
daughters-in-law, and twelve thousand great-grandsons!...

TYLTYL
I know nothing about it, sir.... He did not do it on purpose....

THE OAK
What have you come here for; and why have you made our souls leave their
abodes?...

TYLTYL
I beg your pardon, sir, for disturbing you.... The Cat said that you would
tell us where the Blue Bird was....

THE OAK
Yes, I know that you are looking for the Blue Bird, that is to say, the
great secret of things and of happiness, so that Man may make our servitude
still harder....

TYLTYL
Oh, no, sir; it is for the Fairy Bérylune's little girl, who is very
ill....

THE OAK (_laying silence upon him with a gesture_)
Enough!... I do not hear the Animals.... Where are they?... All this
concerns them as much as us.... We, the Trees, must not assume the
responsibility alone for the grave measures that have become necessary....
On the day when MAN hears that we have done what we are about to do, there
will be terrible reprisals..... It is right, therefore, that our agreement
should be unanimous, so that our silence may be the same....

THE FIR-TREE (_looking over the top of the other trees_)
The Animals are coming.... They are following the Rabbit.... Here are the
souls of the Horse, the Bull, the Ox, the Cow, the Wolf, the Sheep, the
Pig, the Cock, the Goat, the Ass, and the Bear....

(_Enter the souls of the_ ANIMALS, _who, as the_ FIR-TREE
_utters their names, come forward and sit down among the trees, with the
exception of the soul of the_ GOAT, _who roams to and fro, and of
the_ PIG, _who snuffles among the roots_.)

THE OAK
Are all here present?...

THE RABBIT
The Hen could not leave her eggs, the Hare is out on a run, the Stag has a
pain in his horns, the Fox is ill--here is the doctor's certificate--the
Goose did not understand and the Turkey flew into a passion....

THE OAK
These abstentions are most regrettable.... However, we have a quorum....
You know, my brothers, the nature of our business. The child you see before
you, thanks to a talisman stolen from the powers of Earth, is able to take
possession of the Blue Bird and thus to snatch from us the secret which
we have kept since the origin of life.... Now we know enough of Man to
entertain no doubt as to the fate which he reserves for us once he is in
possession of this secret. That is why it seems to me that any hesitation
would be both foolish and criminal.... It is a serious moment; the child
must be done away with before it is too late....

TYLTYL
What is he saying?...

THE DOG (_prowling round the_ OAK _and showing his fangs_)
Do you see my teeth, you old cripple?...

THE BEECH (_indignantly_)
He is insulting the Oak!...

THE OAK
Is that the Dog?... Drive him out! We must suffer no traitors among us!...

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Send the Dog away.... It's a misunderstanding.... Leave it to me; I will
arrange things.... But send him away as quick as you can....

TYLTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Will you be off!...

THE DOG
Do let me worry the gouty old beggar's moss slippers!.... It will be such a
joke!...

TYLTYL
Hold your tongue!... And be off with you!... Be off, you ugly brute!...

THE DOG
All right, all right, I'm going.... I'll come back when you want me....

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
It would be a good thing to chain him up, or he will commit some folly; the
Trees will be angry and all will end badly....

TYLTYL
What can I do?... I have lost his leash....

THE CAT
Here's the Ivy just coming along with strong bonds....

THE DOG (_growling_)
I'll come back, I'll come back!... Ugh! Goutytoes! Timbertoes!... Pack of
old stunted growths, pack of old roots!... It's the Cat who's at the bottom
of all this!... I'll be even with him!... What have you been whispering
about, you sneak, you tiger, you Judas!... Wow, wow, wow!....

THE CAT
You see, he insults everybody....

TYLTYL
Yes, he is unbearable and one can't hear one's self speak.... Mr. Ivy, will
you chain him up, please?...

THE IVY (_timorously going up to the_ DOG)
Won't he bite?...

THE DOG (_growling_)
On the contrary, on the contrary!... He's going to kiss you!... Just wait
and see!... Come along, come along, you old ball of twine, you!...

TYLTYL (_threatening him with his stick_)
Tylô!...

THE DOG (_cringing at_ TYLTYL'S _feet and wagging his tail_)
What am I to do, my little god?

TYLTYL
Lie down flat!... Obey the Ivy.... Let him bind you, or....

THE DOG (_growling between his teeth, while the_ IVY _binds him_)
Ball of twine I... Hunk of yarn!... Hangman's rope I... Calves' leash!...
Look, my little god I ... He's cutting my paws!... He's choking me!...

TYLTYL
I don't care!... It's your own fault.... Hold your tongue; be quiet; you're
unbearable!...

THE DOG
You're wrong, for all that.... They mean mischief.... Take care, my little
god!... He's closing my mouth!... I can't speak!...

THE IVY (_who has tied up the_ DOG _like a parcel_)
Where shall we put him?... I've muzzled him finely.... He can't utter a
word....

THE OAK
Fasten him tight down there behind my trunk; to my big root.... We will
decide later what had best be done with him....

(_The_ IVY _and the_ POPLAR _carry the_ DOG _behind
the_ OAK'S _trunk_.)

THE OAK
Is that done?... Well, now that we are rid of this inconvenient witness, of
this renegade, let us deliberate in accordance with justice and truth....
I will not conceal from you the deep and painful nature of my emotion....
This is the first time that it is given to us to judge Man and make him
feel our power.... I do not think that, after the harm which he has done
us, after the monstrous injustice which we have suffered, there can remain
the least doubt as to the sentence that awaits him....

ALL THE TREES and ALL THE ANIMALS
No! No! No!... No doubt at all!... Hanging!... Death!... The injustice has
been too great!... The abuse too wicked!... It has lasted too long!...
Crush him!... Eat him!... At once!... Here and now!...

TYLTYL (_to the_ CAT)
What is the matter with them?... Are they displeased?...

THE CAT
Don't be alarmed.... They are a little annoyed because Spring is late....
Leave it to me; I will settle it all....

THE OAK
This unanimity was inevitable.... We must now decide, in order to avoid
reprisals, which form of execution will be the most practical, the easiest,
the quickest and the safest, which will leave the fewest accusing traces
when Man finds the little bodies in the forest....

TYLTYL
What is all this about?... What is he driving at?... I am getting tired of
this.... He has got the Blue Bird; let him hand it over....

THE BULL (_coming forward_)
The most practical and the surest way is a good butt with the horns in the
pit of the stomach.... Shall I go at him?...

THE OAK
Who speaks?...

THE CAT
It's the Bull.

THE COW
It would be better to keep quiet.... I won't meddle with it.... I have all
the grass to browse in the field which you can see down there in the blue
light of the moon.... I have quite enough to do....

THE OX
I also.... However, I agree to everything beforehand....

THE BEECH
I can offer my highest branch to hang them on....

THE IVY
And I the slip-knot....

THE FIR-TREE
And I the four planks for their little coffin....

THE CYPRESS
And I a perpetual grant of a tomb....

THE WILLOW
The simplest way would be to drown them in one of my rivers.... I will take
charge of that....

THE LIME-TREE (_in a conciliatory tone_)
Come, come.... Is it really necessary to go to such extremities?... They
are very young.... We could quite simply prevent them from doing any harm
by keeping them prisoners in an enclosure which I will undertake to form by
planting myself all around....

THE OAK
Who speaks?... I seem to recognise the honeyed accents of the Lime-tree....

THE FIR-TREE
Yes, it's he....

THE OAK
So there is a renegade among us, as among the Animals?... Hitherto we have
only had to deplore the disloyalty of the Fruit-trees; but they are not
real trees....

THE PIG (_rolling his small eyes gluttonously_)
I think we should first eat the little girl.... She ought to be very
tender....

TYLTYL
What's he saying?... Just wait a bit, you...

THE CAT
I don't know what is the matter with them; but things are beginning to look
badly....

THE OAK
Silence!... What we have to decide is which of us shall have the honour of
striking the first blow, who shall ward off from, our tops the greatest
danger that has threatened us since the birth of Man....

THE FIR-TREE
That honour falls to you, our king and our patriarch....

THE OAK
Is that the Fir-tree speaking?... Alas, I am too old!... I am blind and
infirm and my numbed arms no longer obey me.... No, to you, brother, ever
green, ever upright, to you, who have witnessed the birth of most of these
trees, to you be the glory, in default of myself, of the noble act of our
deliverance....

THE FIR-TREE
I thank you, venerable father.... But as I shall, in any case, have the
honour of burying the two victims, I should be afraid of arousing the just
jealousy of my colleagues; and I think that, next to ourselves, the oldest
and the worthiest and the one that owns the best club is the Beech....

THE BEECH
You know I am worm-eaten and my club is no longer to be relied upon.... But
the Elm and the Cypress have powerful weapons....

THE ELM
I should be only too pleased; but I can hardly stand upright.... A mole
twisted my great toe last night....

THE CYPRESS
As for me, I am ready.... But, like my brother, the Fir-tree, I shall have,
if not the privilege of burying them, at least the advantage of weeping
over their tomb.... It would be an unlawful plurality of offices.... Ask
the Poplar....

THE POPLAR
Me?... Are you serious?... Why, my wood is more tender than the flesh of
a child!... And, besides, I don't know what's the matter with me.... I am
shivering with fever.... Just look at my leaves.... I must have caught cold
at sunrise this morning....

THE OAK (_bursting out with indignation_)
You are afraid of Man!... Even those unprotected and unarmed little
children inspire you with the mysterious terror which has always made us
the slaves that we are!... Enough of this! Things being as they are and the
opportunity unequalled, I shall go forth alone, old, crippled, trembling,
blind as I am, against the hereditary enemy!... Where is he?...

(_Groping with his stick, he moves towards_ TYLTYL.)

TYLTYL (_taking his knife from his pocket_)
Is it me he's after, that old one, with his big stick?...

ALL THE TREES (_uttering a cry of alarm at the sight of the knife, they
step in between and hold back the_ OAK)
The knife!... Take care!... The knife!...

THE OAK (_struggling_)
Let me be!... What does it matter?... The knife or the axe!... Who's
holding me back?... What! Are you all here?... What! You all want to....
(_Flinging down his_ _stick_) Well, so be it!... Shame upon
us!... Let the Animals deliver us!...

THE BULL
That's right!... I'll see to It!... And with one blow of the horns!...

THE OX _and_ THE COW (_holding him back by the tail_)
What are you doing?... Don't be a fool!... It's a bad business!... It will
end badly.... It is we who will pay for it.... Do let be.... It's the wild
animals' business....

THE BULL
No, no!... It's my business!... Wait and see!... Look here, hold me back or
there will be an accident!...

TYLTYL (_to_ MYTYL, _who is uttering piercing screams_)
Don't be afraid!... Stand behind me.... I have my knife....

THE COCK
He has plenty of pluck, the little chap!...

TYLTYL
So you've made up your minds, it's me you're going for?...

THE ASS
Why, of course, my little man; you've taken long enough to see it!...

THE PIG
You can say your prayers; your last hour has come.... But don't hide the
little girl.... I want to feast my eyes on her.... I'm going to eat her
first....

TYLTYL
What have I done to you?...

THE SHEEP
Nothing at all, my little man.... Eaten my little brother, my two sisters,
my three uncles, my aunt, my grandpapa and my grandmamma.... Wait, wait,
when you're down, you shall see that I have teeth also....

THE ASS
And I hoofs!...

THE HORSE (_haughtily pawing the ground_)
You shall see what you shall see!... Would you rather that I tore you with
my teeth or knocked you down with a kick?... (_He moves ostentatiously
towards_ TYLTYL, _who faces him and raises his knife. Suddenly the_
HORSE, _seized with panic, turns and rushes away_.) Ah, no!... That's
not fair!... That's against the rules!.... He's defending himself!...

THE COCK (_unable to hide his admiration_)
I don't care, the little chap's full of grit!...

THE PIG (_to the_ BEAR _and the_ WOLF)
Let us all rush on them together.... I will support you from the rear....
We will throw them down and share the little girl when she is on the
ground....

THE WOLF
Divert their attention in front.... I am going to make a turning
movement....

(_He goes round_ TYLTYL, _whom he attacks from behind and half
overthrows_.)

TYLTYL
You brute!... (_He raises himself on one knee brandishing his knife and
doing his best to cover his little sister, who utters yells of distress.
Seeing him half overturned, all the_ ANIMALS _and_ TREES _come up
and try to hit him_. TYLTYL _calls distractedly for assistance_.)
Help! Help!... Tylô! Tylô!... Where is the Cat?... Tylô!... Tylette!
Tylette!... Come! Come!...

THE CAT (_hypocritically, holding aloof_)
I can't come.... I have sprained my paw....

TYLTYL (_warding of the blows and defending himself as best he can_)
Help!... Tylô! Tylô!... I can't hold out!... There are too many of them!...
The Bear! The Pig! The Donkey! The Ass! The Fir-tree! The Beech!... Tylô!
Tylô! Tylô!...

(_Dragging his broken bonds after him, the_ DOG _leaps from behind
the trunk of the_ OAK _and, elbowing his way through_ TREES
_and_ ANIMALS, _flings himself before_ TYLTYL, _whom he defends
furiously_.)

THE DOG (_distributing great bites_)
Here! Here, my little god!... Don't be afraid! Have at them!... I know how
to use my teeth!... Here, there's one for you, Bear, in your fat hams!...
Now then, who wants some more?... Here, that's for the Pig and that's for
the Horse and that's for the Bull's tail!... There, I've torn the Beech's
trousers and the Oak's petticoat!... The Fir-tree's making tracks!... Whew,
it's warm work!...

TYLTYL (_overcome_)
I'm done for!... The Cypress has caught me a great blow on the head....

THE DOG
Ow!... That's the Willow!... He's broken my paw!...

TYLTYL
They're coming back, they're charging down upon us, all together!... This
time, it's the Wolf!...

THE DOG
Wait till I give him one for himself!...

THE WOLF
Fool!... Our brother!... His father drowned your seven puppies!...

THE DOG
Quite right!... And a good thing too!... It was because they looked like
you!...

ALL THE TREES AND ANIMALS
Renegade!... Idiot!... Traitor!... Felon!... Simpleton!... Judas!... Leave
him!... He's a dead man!... Come over to us!...

THE DOG (_drunk with ardour and devotion_)
Never! Never!... I alone against all of you!... Never! Never!... True to
the gods, to the best, to the greatest!... (_To_ TYLTYL) Take care,
here's the Bear!... Beware of the Bull!... I'll jump at his throat....
Ow!... That's a kick.... The Ass has broken two of my teeth....

TYLTYL
I'm done for, Tylô!... Ah!... That was a blow from the Elm.... Look, my
hand's bleeding.... That's the Wolf or the Pig....

THE DOG
Wait, my little god.... Let me kiss you.... There, a good lick.... That
will do you good.... Keep behind me.... They dare not come again.... Yes,
though.... Here they are coming back!... This time, it's serious!.... We
must stand firm!...

TYLTYL (_dropping to the ground_)
No, I can hold out no longer!...

THE DOG (_listening_)
They are coming!... I hear them, I scent them!...

TYLTYL
Where?... Who?...

THE DOG
There! There!... It's Light!... She has found us!... Saved, my little
king!... Kiss me!... We are saved!... Look!... They're alarmed!... They're
retreating!... They're afraid!...

TYLTYL
Light!... Light!... Come quick!... Hurry!... They have rebelled!... They
are all against us!...

_Enter_ LIGHT. _As she comes forward, the dawn rises over the
forest, which becomes light_.

LIGHT
What is it?... What has happened?... But, my poor boy, didn't you know?...
Turn the diamond!... They will return into silence and obscurity; and you
will no longer perceive their hidden feelings....

(TYLTYL _turns the diamond. Immediately, the souls of all the_ TREES
_rush back into the trunks, which close again. The souls of the_
ANIMALS _also disappear; and a peaceful_ COW _and_ SHEEP,
_etc., are seen browsing in the distance. The Forest becomes harmless
once more_, TYLTYL _looks around him in amazement_.)

TYLTYL
Where are they?... What was the matter with them?... Were they mad?...

LIGHT
No, they are always like that; but we do not know it because we do not see
it.... I told you so before; it is dangerous to wake them when I am not
there....

TYLTYL (_wiping his knife_)
Well, but for the Dog and if I had not had my knife!... I would never have
believed that they were so wicked!...

LIGHT
You see that Man is all alone against all in this world....

THE DOG
Are you very badly hurt, my little god?...

TYLTYL
Nothing serious.... As for Mytyl, they have not touched her.... But you, my
dear Tylô?... Your mouth is all over blood and your paw is broken!...

THE DOG
It is not worth speaking of.... It won't show to-morrow.... But it was a
tough fight!...

THE CAT (_appearing from behind a thicket, limping_)
I should think so!... The Ox caught me a blow with his horns in the
stomach.... You can't see the marks, but it's very painful.... And the Oak
broke my paw....

THE DOG
I should like to know which one....

MYTYL (_stroking the_ CAT)
My poor Tylette, did he really?.... Where were you?... I did not see
you....

THE CAT (_hypocritically_)
Mummy dear, I was wounded at the first, while attacking that horrid Pig,
who wanted to eat you.... And then the Oak gave me a great blow which
struck me senseless....

THE DOG (_to the_ CAT, _between his teeth_)
As for you, I want a word with you presently.... It will keep!...

THE CAT (_plaintively, to_ MYTYL)
Mummy dear, he's insulting me.... He wants to hurt me....

MYTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Leave him alone, will you, you ugly beast?...

(_They all go out_.)


CURTAIN



ACT IV



SCENE 1.--_Before the Curtain_.


_The curtain represents beautiful clouds_

(_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT, BREAD,
FIRE, SUGAR, WATER _and_ MILK.)


LIGHT
I believe we have the Blue Bird this time. I ought to have thought of it
before. But the idea came to me, like a ray from the sky, this morning
only, when I recovered my strengthen the dawn.... We are at the entrance
to the enchanted palaces where all men's Joys, all men's Happinesses are
gathered together in the charge of Fate.

TYLTYL
Are there many of them? Shall we have any? Are they little?

LIGHT
Some are little and some are great; some are coarse and some are delicate;
some are very beautiful and others not so pleasant to look upon.... But the
ugliest were expelled from the garden some time ago and took refuge with
the Miseries. For we must not forget that the Miseries inhabit an adjoining
cave, which communicates with the Garden of Happiness and is separated from
it only by a sort of vapour or fine veil, lifted at every moment by
the winds that blow from the heights of Justice or from the depths of
Eternity.... What we have now to do is to organise ourselves and take
certain precautions. Generally, the Joys are very good; but, still, there
are some of them that are more dangerous and treacherous than the greatest
Miseries.

BREAD
I have an idea! If they are dangerous and treacherous, would it not be
better for us all to wait at the door, so that we may lend a hand to the
children should they be obliged to fly?....

THE DOG
Not at all! Not at all! I mean to go everywhere with my little gods! Let
those who are afraid remain at the door! We have no need (_looking at_
BREAD) of cowards (_looking at the_ CAT) or traitors!...

FIRE
I'm going!... I hear it's great fun!... They dance all the time....

BREAD
Do they have any eating as well?

WATER (_moaning_)
I have never known the smallest Happiness!... I should like to see some at
last!....

LIGHT
Hold your tongues! Who asked your opinions?... This is what I have decided:
the Dog, Bread and Sugar shall go with the children. Water shall stay
outside, because she is too cold, and Fire, because he is too turbulent. I
strongly urge Milk to remain at the door, because he is so impressionable.
As for the Cat, he can do as he likes.....

THE CAT
I shall take the opportunity of calling on the chief Miseries of my
acquaintance, who live next door to the Joys....

TYLTYL
And you, Light? Aren't you coming?

LIGHT
I cannot go into the Joys like this: most of them cannot endure me. But
I have here the thick veil with which I cover myself when I visit
happy people.... (_She unfolds a long veil and wraps herself in it
carefully_.) Not a ray of my you! must startle them, for there are many
Happinesses that are afraid and are not happy.... There... like this, even
the ugliest and coarsest of them will have nothing to fear....

(_The curtain opens and discloses the next Scene_)



SCENE 2.--_The Palace of Happiness_.

_When the curtain of clouds opens, the stage represents, in the forefront
of the palace, a sort of hall formed of tall marble columns, between which
hang heavy purple draperies, supported by golden ropes and concealing all
the background. The architecture suggests the most sensual and sumptuous
moments of the Venetian or Flemish Renascence, as seen in the pictures
of Veronese or Rubens, with garlands, horns of plenty, fringes, vases,
statues, gildings, lavishly distributed on every side. In the middle stands
a massive and marvellous table of jasper and silver-gilt, laden with
candlesticks, glass, gold and silver plate and fabulous viands. Around the
table, the biggest luxuries of the Earth sit eating, drinking, shouting,
singing, tossing and lolling about or sleeping among the haunches of
venison, the miraculous fruits, the overturned jars and ewers. They are
enormously, incredibly fat and red in the face, covered with velvet and
brocade, crowned with gold and pearls and precious stones. Beautiful female
slaves incessantly bring decorated dishes and foaming beverages. Vulgar,
blatantly hilarious music, in which the brasses predominate. The stage is
bathed in a red and heavy light_.

(TYLTYL, MYTYL, _the_ DOG, BREAD _and_ SUGAR _are a little
awestruck at first end crowd round_ LIGHT _in the foreground, to the
right. The_ CAT, _without a word, walks to the background, also to the
right, lifts a dark curtain and disappears_.)

TYLTYL
Who are those fat gentlemen enjoying themselves and eating such a lot of
good things?

LIGHT
They are the biggest Luxuries of the Earth, the ones that can be seen with
the naked eye. It is possible, though not very likely, that the Blue Bird
may have strayed among them for a moment. That is why you must not turn the
diamond yet. For form's sake, we will begin by searching this part of the
hall.

TYLTYL
Can we go up to them?

LIGHT
Certainly. They are not ill-natured, although they are vulgar and usually
rather ill-bred.

MYTYL
What beautiful cakes they have!....

THE DOG
And such game! And sausages! And legs of lamb and calves' liver!... There
is nothing nicer or lovelier in the world than liver!...

BREAD
Except quartern-loaves made of fine white flour! They have splendid
ones!... How lovely they are! How lovely they are!...

SUGAR
I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, I beg a thousand pardons.... Allow
me, allow me.... I would not like to hurt anybody's feelings; but are you
not forgetting the sweetmeats, which form the glory of that table and
which, if I may say so, surpass in grandeur and magnificence all that
exists in this hall, or perhaps anywhere else?...

TYLTYL
How pleased and happy they look!... And they are shouting! And laughing!
And singing!... I believe they have seen us....

(_A dozen of the biggest_ LUXURIES _have risen from table and now,
holding their stomachs in their hands, advance laboriously towards the_
CHILDREN.)

LIGHT
Have no fear, they are very affable.... They will probably invite you to
dinner.... Do not accept, do not accept anything, lest you should forget
your mission....

TYLTYL
What? Not even a tiny cake? They look so good, so fresh, so well iced with
sugar, covered with candied fruits and brimming over with cream!...

LIGHT
They are dangerous and would break your will. A man should know how to
sacrifice something to the duty he is performing. Refuse politely, but
firmly.

THE BIGGEST OF THE LUXURIES (_holding out his hand to_ TYLTYL)
How do you do, Tyltyl?...

TYLTYL (_surprised_)
Why, do you know me?... Who are you?...

THE LUXURY
I am the biggest of the Luxuries, the Luxury of Being Rich; and I come, in
the name of my brothers, to beg you and your family to honour our endless
repast with your presence. You will find yourself surrounded by all that is
best among the real, big Luxuries of this Earth. Allow me to introduce
to you the chief of them. Here is my son-in-law, the Luxury of Being a
Landowner, who has a stomach shaped like a pear. This is the Luxury of
Satisfied Vanity, who has such a nice, puffy face, (_The_ LUXURY OF
SATISFIED VANITY _gives a patronising nod_.) These are the Luxury of
Drinking when you are not Thirsty and the Luxury of Eating when you are not
Hungry: they are twins and their legs are made of macaroni. (_They bow,
staggering_.) Here are the Luxury of Knowing Nothing, who is as deaf as
a post, and the Luxury of Understanding Nothing, who is as blind as a bat.
Here are the Luxury of Doing Nothing and the Luxury of Sleeping more
than Necessary: their hands are made of bread-crumb and their eyes of
peach-jelly. Lastly, here is Fat Laughter: his mouth is split from ear to
ear and he is irresistible....

(FAT LAUGHTER _bows, writhing and holding his sides_.)

TYLTYL (_pointing to a_ LUXURY _who is standing a little on one side_)
And who is that one, who dares not come up to us and who is turning his
back?...

THE LUXURY OF BEING RICH
Do not ask about him: he is a little awkward and is not fit to be
introduced to children.... (_Seizing_ TYLTYL'S _hands_) But come
along! They are beginning the banquet all over again.... It is the twelfth
time since this morning. We are only waiting for you.... Do you hear all
the revellers calling and shouting for you?... I cannot introduce you to
all of them, there are so many of them.... (_Offering his arm to the two
children_) Allow me to lead you to the two seats of honour....

TYLTYL
No, thank you very much, Mr. Luxury.... I am so sorry.... I can't come for
the moment.... We are in a great hurry, we are looking for the Blue Bird.
You don't happen to know, I suppose, where he is hiding?

THE LUXURY
The Blue Bird?... Wait a bit.... Yes, I remember.... Some one was telling
me about him the other day.... He is a bird, that is not good to eat, I
believe.... At any rate, he has never figured on our table.... That means
that we have a poor opinion of him. But don't trouble; we have much better
things.... You shall share our life, you shall see all that we do....

TYLTYL
What do you do?

THE LUXURY
Why, we occupy ourselves incessantly in doing nothing.... We never have a
moment's rest.... We have to drink, we have to eat, we have to sleep. It's
most engrossing....

TYLTYL
Is it amusing?

THE LUXURY
Why, yes.... It needs must be; it's all there is on this Earth....

LIGHT
Do you think so?...

THE LUXURY (_pointing to_ LIGHT, _aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Who is that ill-bred young person?...

(_During the whole of the preceding conversation a crowd of_ LUXURIES
_of the second order have been busying themselves with the_ DOG,
SUGAR _and_ BREAD _and have dragged them to the orgie_. TYLTYL
_suddenly sees them seated fraternally at the table with their hosts,
eating, drinking and flinging themselves about wildly_.)

TYLTYL
Why, look, Light!... They are sitting at the table!...

LIGHT
Call them back, or this will have a bad end!...

TYLTYL
Tylô!... Here, Tylô!... Come here at once, will you? Do you hear?... And
you too, Sugar and Bread, who told you to leave me?... What are you doing
there, without permission?

BREAD (_speaking with his mouth full_)
Can't you keep a civil tongue in your mouth?...

TYLTYL
What? Is Bread daring to be impertinent?... Why, what's come over you?...
And you, Tylô?... Is that the way you obey? Now then, come here, on your
knees, on your knees!... And look sharp!...

THE DOG (_muttering, from the end of the table_)
When I'm eating, I'm at home to nobody and I hear nothing....

SUGAR (_honey-mouthed_)
Pardon us, we could not possibly leave such charming hosts so abruptly:
they would be offended....

THE LUXURY
You see!... They are setting you an example.... Come, we are waiting for
you.... We won't hear of a refusal.... We shall have to resort to a gentle
violence.... Come, you Luxuries, help me!... Let us push them to the table
by force, so that they may be happy in spite of themselves!... (_All
the_ LUXURIES, _uttering cries of joy and skipping about as nimbly
as they are able, drag the_ CHILDREN, _who struggle, while_ FAT
LAUGHTER _seizes_ LIGHT _vigorously round the waist_.)

LIGHT
Turn the diamond, it is time!...

(TYLTYL _obeys_ LIGHT'S _order. Forthwith, the stage is lit up with
an ineffably pure, divinely roseate, harmonious and ethereal brightness.
The heavy ornaments in the foreground, the thick red hangings become
unfastened and disappear, revealing an immense and magnificent hall, a
sort of cathedral of gladness and serenity, tall, innocent and almost
transparent, whose endless fabric rests upon innumerous long and slender,
limpid and blissful columns, suggesting the architecture of the Palladian
churches or certain drawings by Carpaccio, notably the "Presentation of the
Virgin" in the Uffizi Gallery. The table of the orgie melts away without
leaving a trace; the velvets, the brocades, the garlands of the_
LUXURIES _rise before the luminous gust that invades the temple tear
asunder and fall, together with the grinning masks, at the feet of the
astounded revellers. These become visibly deflated, like burst bladders,
exchange glances, blink their eyes in the unknown rays that hurt them;
and, seeing themselves at last as they really are, that is to say, naked,
hideous, flabby and lamentable, they begin to utter yells of shame and
dismay, amid which those of_ FAT LAUGHTER _are clearly distinguishable
above all the rest. The_ LUXURY OF UNDERSTANDING NOTHING _alone
remains perfectly calm, while his friends rush about madly, trying to flee,
to hide themselves in corners which they hope to find dark. But there is
not a shadow left in the dazzling room. And so the majority, in their
despair, decide to pass through the threatening curtain which, in an angle
on the right, closes the vault of the Cave of Miseries. Each time that one
of them, in his panic, raises a skirt of the curtain, a storm of oaths,
imprecations and maledictions is heard to issue from the hollow depths of
the cave. As for the_ DOG, BREAD _and_ SUGAR, _they hang their
heads, join the group of the_ CHILDREN _and hide behind them very
sheepishly_.)

TYLTYL (_watching the_ LUXURIES _flying_)
Goodness, how ugly they are!... Where are they going?...

LIGHT
I really believe that they have lost their heads.... They are going to take
refuge with the Miseries, where I very much fear that they will be kept for
good....

TYLTYL (_looking around him, wonder-struck_)
Oh, what a beautiful hall, what a beautiful hall!... Where are we?...

LIGHT
We have not moved: it is your eyes that see differently.... We now behold
the truth of things; and we shall perceive the soul of the Joys that endure
the brightness of the diamond.

TYLTYL
How beautiful it is!... And what lovely weather!... It is just like
midsummer.... Hullo! It looks as though people were coming to talk to
us....

(_The halls begin to fill with angel forms that seem to be emerging from
a long slumber and glide harmoniously between the columns. They are clad
in shimmering dresses, of soft and subtle shades; rose-awakening,
water's-smile, amber-dew, blue-of-dawn, etc_.)

LIGHT
Here come some amiable and curious Joys who will direct us....

TYLTYL
Do you know them?...

LIGHT
Yes, I know them all; I often come to them, without their knowing who I
am....

TYLTYL
Oh, what a lot of them there are!... They are crowding from every side!

LIGHT
There were many more of them once. The Luxuries have done them great harm.

TYLTYL
No matter, there are a good few of them left....

LIGHT
You will see plenty of others, as the influence of the diamond spreads
through the halls.... There are many more Happinesses on Earth than people
think; but the generality of men do not discover them....

TYLTYL
Here are some little ones: let us run and meet them....

LIGHT
It is unnecessary: those which interest us will pass this way. We have no
time to make the acquaintance of all the rest....

(_A troop of little_ HAPPINESSES, _frisking and bursting with
laughter, run up from the back of the halls and dance round the_
CHILDREN _in a ring_.)

TYLTYL
How pretty, how very pretty they are!... Where do they come from, who are
they?...

LIGHT
They are the Children's Happinesses....

TYLTYL
Can one speak to them?

LIGHT
It would be no use. They sing, they dance, they laugh, but they do not talk
yet....

TYLTYL (_skipping about_)
How do you do? How do you do?... Oh, look at that fat one laughing!... What
pretty cheeks they have, what pretty frocks they have!... Are they all rich
here?...

LIGHT
Why, no, here, as everywhere, there are many more poor than rich....

TYLTYL
Where are the poor ones?...

LIGHT
You can't distinguish them.... A Child's Happiness is always arrayed in all
that is most beautiful in Heaven and upon Earth.

TYLTYL (_unable to restrain himself_)
I should like to dance with them....

LIGHT
It is absolutely impossible, we have no time.... I see that they have not
the Blue Bird.... Besides, they are in a hurry: you see, they have already
passed.... They too have no time to waste, for childhood is very short....

(_Another troop of_ HAPPINESSES, _a little taller than the last,
rush into the hall, singing at the top of their voice, "There they are!
There they are! They see us! They see us!" and, dance a merry fling around
the_ CHILDREN, _at the end of which the one who appears to be
the chief of the little band goes up to_ TYLTYL _with hand
outstretched_.)

THE HAPPINESS
How do you do, Tyltyl?...

TYLTYL
Another one who knows me!... (_To_ LIGHT) I am getting known wherever
I go!... (_To the_ HAPPINESS) Who are you?...

THE HAPPINESS
Don't you recognise me?... I'll wager that you don't recognise any one
here!

TYLTYL (_a little embarrassed_)
Why, no.... I don't know.... I don't remember seeing any of you.

THE HAPPINESS
There, do you hear?... I was sure of it!... He has never seen us!...

(_All the other_ HAPPINESSES _burst out laughing_) Why, my dear
Tyltyl, we are the only things you do know!... We are always around you!...
We eat, drink, wake up, breathe and live with you!...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes, just so, I know, I remember.... But I should like to know what
your names are....

THE HAPPINESS
I can see that you know nothing.... I am the chief of the Happinesses of
your home; and all these are the other Happinesses that live there....

TYLTYL
Then there are Happinesses in my home?

(_All the_ HAPPINESSES _burst out laughing_.)

THE HAPPINESS
You heard him!... Are there Happinesses in his home!... Why, you little
wretch, it is crammed with Happinesses in every nook and cranny!... We
laugh, we sing, we create enough joy to knock down the walls and lift the
roof; but, do what we may, you see nothing and you hear nothing.... I hope
that, in future, you will be a little more sensible.... Meantime, you shall
shake hands with the more noteworthy of us.... Then, when you reach home
again, you will recognise them more easily and, at the end of a fine day,
you will know how to encourage them with a smile, to thank them with a
pleasant word, for they really do all they can to make your life easy and
delightful.... Let me introduce myself first: the Happiness of Being Well,
at your service.... I am not the prettiest, but I am the most important.
Will you know me again?... This is the Happiness of Pure Air, who is almost
transparent.... Here is the Happiness of Loving one's Parents, who is clad
in grey and always a little sad, because no one ever looks at him.... Here
are the Happiness of the Blue Sky, who, of course, is dressed in blue, and
the Happiness of the Forest, who, also of course, is clad in green: you
will see him every time you go to the window.... Here, again, is the
good Happiness of Sunny Hours, who is diamond-coloured, and this is the
Happiness of Spring, who is bright emerald....

TYLTYL
And are you as fine as that every day?

THE HAPPINESS OF BEING WELL
Why, yes, it is Sunday every day, in every house, when people open their
eyes.... And then, when evening comes, here is the Happiness of the
Sunsets, who is grander than all the kings in the world and who is followed
by the Happiness of Seeing the Stars Rise, who is gilded like a god of
old.... Then, when the weather breaks, here are the Happiness of the Rain,
who is covered with pearls, and the Happiness of the Winter Fire, who opens
his beautiful purple mantle to frozen hands.... And I have not mentioned
the best among us, because he is nearly a brother of the great limpid
Joys whom you will see presently: his name is the Happiness of Innocent
Thoughts, and he is the brightest of as all.... And then here are.... But
really there are too many of them!... We should never have done; and I must
first send word to the Great Joys, who are right at the back, near the
gates of Heaven, and who have not yet heard of your arrival.... I will send
the Happiness of Running Barefoot in the Dew, who is the nimblest of us....
(_To the_ HAPPINESS OF RUNNING BAREFOOT IN THE DEW, _who comes
forward capering_) Off you go!...

LIGHT (_to_ TYLTYL)
In the meantime, you might enquire about the Blue Bird. It is just possible
that the chief Happiness of your home knows where he is....

TYLTYL
Where Is he?...

THE HAPPINESS
He doesn't know where the Blue Bird is!... (_All the_ HAPPINESSES OF
THE HOME _burst out laughing_.)

TYLTYL (_vexed_)
No, I do not know.... There's nothing to laugh at.... (_Fresh bursts of
laughter_.)

THE HAPPINESS
Come, don't be angry... and let us be serious.... He doesn't know: well,
what do you expect? He is no more absurd than the majority of men.... But
little Happiness of Running Barefoot in the Dew has told the Great Joys and
they are coming towards us....

(_Tall and beautiful angelic figures, clad in shimmering dresses, come
slowly forward_.)

TYLTYL
How beautiful they are!... Why are they not laughing?... Are they not
happy?...

LIGHT
It is not when one laughs that one is really happy....

TYLTYL
Who are they?...

THE HAPPINESS
They are the Great Joys....

TYLTYL
Do you know their names?...

THE HAPPINESS
Of course; we often play with them.... Here, first of all, before the
others, is the Great Joy of Being Just, who smiles each time an injustice
is repaired. I am too young: I have never seen her smile yet. Behind her is
the Joy of Being Good, who is the happiest, but the saddest; and it is very
difficult to keep her from going to the Miseries, whom she would like to
console; for, if she left us, we should be almost as miserable as the
Miseries themselves. On the right is the Joy of Fame, next to the Joy of
Thinking. After her comes the Joy of Understanding, who is always looking
for her brother, the Luxury of Understanding Nothing....

TYLTYL
But I have seen her brother!... He went to the Miseries with the Big
Luxuries....

THE HAPPINESS
I was certain of it.... He has turned out badly; keeping evil company has
corrupted him entirely.... But do not speak of it to his sister. She would
want to go and look for him and we should lose one of our most beautiful
Joys.... Here, among the greatest Joys, is the Joy of Seeing what is
Beautiful, who daily adds a few rays to the light that reigns amongst
us....

TYLTYL
And there, far away, far away, in the golden clouds, the one whom I can
hardly see when I stand as high as I can on tip-toe?...

THE HAPPINESS
That is the Great Joy of Loving.... But, do what you will, you are ever so
much too small to see her altogether....

TYLTYL
And over there, right at the back, those who are veiled and who do not come
near?...

THE HAPPINESS
Those are the Joys whom men do not yet know....

TYLTYL
What do the others want with us?... Why are they standing aside?...

THE HAPPINESS
It is before a new Joy who is arriving, perhaps the purest that we have
here....

TYLTYL
Who is it?

THE HAPPINESS
Don't you recognise her yet?... But take a better look at her, open your
two eyes down to the very heart of your soul!... She has seen you, she
has seen you!... She runs up to you, holding out her arms!... It is your
mother's Joy, it is the peerless Joy of Maternal Love!...

(_The other_ JOYS, _who have run up from every side, acclaim the_
JOY OF MATERNAL LOVE _with their cheers and then fall back before her in
silence_.)

THE JOY OF MATERNAL LOVE
Tyltyl! And Mytyl!... What, do I find you here?... I never expected it!...
I was very lonely at home; and here are you two climbing to that Heaven
where the souls of all mothers beam with joy!... But first kisses, heaps
and heaps of kisses!... Into my arms, the two of you; there is nothing on
earth that gives greater happiness!... Tyltyl, aren't you laughing?... Nor
you either, Mytyl?... Don't you know your mother's love when you see it?...
Why, look at me: are these not my eyes, my lips, my arms?...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes, I recognise them, but I did not know.... You are like Mummy, but
you are much prettier....

MATERNAL LOVE
Why, of course, I have stopped growing old.... And every day brings me
fresh strength and youth and happiness.... Each of your smiles makes me
younger by a year.... At home, that does not show; but here everything is
seen and it is the truth....

TYLTYL (_wonder-struck, gazing at her and kissing her by turns_)
And that beautiful dress of yours: what is it made of?... Is it silk,
silver or pearls?...

MATERNAL LOVE
No, it is made of kisses and caresses and loving looks.... Each kiss you
give me adds a ray of moon-light or sunshine to it....

TYLTYL
How funny, I should never have thought that you were so rich!... Where used
you to hide it?... Was it in the cupboard of which Daddy has the key?...

MATERNAL LOVE
No, no, I always wear it, but people do not see it, because people see
nothing when their eyes are closed.... All mothers are rich when they love
their children.... There are no poor mothers, no ugly ones, no old ones.
Their love is always the most beautiful of the Joys.... And, when they seem
most sad, it needs but a kiss which they receive or give to turn all their
tears into stars in the depths of their eyes....

TYLTYL (_looking at her with astonishment_)
Why, yes, it's true, your eyes are filled with stars.... And they are
really your eyes, only they are much more beautiful.... And this is your
hand too, with the little ring on it.... It even has the burn which you
gave it one evening when lighting the lamp.... But it is much whiter; and
how delicate the skin is!... There seems to be light flowing through it....
Doesn't it do any work like the one at home?...

MATERNAL LOVE
Why yes, it is the very same: did you never see that it becomes quite white
and fills with light the moment it fondles you?...

TYLTYL
It's wonderful, Mummy: you have the same voice also; but you speak much
better than you do at home....

MATERNAL LOVE
At home, one has too much to do and there is no time.... But what one does
not say one hears all the same.... Now that you have seen me, will you know
me again, in my torn dress, when you go back to the cottage tomorrow?...

TYLTYL
I don't want to go back.... As you are here, I want to stay also, as long
as you remain....

MATERNAL LOVE
But it's just the same thing: I am down below, we are all down below....
You have come up here only to realise and to learn, once and for all, how
to see me when you see me down below.... Do you understand, Tyltyl dear?...
You believe yourself in Heaven; but Heaven is wherever you and I kiss each
other.... There are not two mothers; and you have no other.... Every child
has only one; and it is always the same one and always the most beautiful;
but you have to know her and to know how to look.... But how did you manage
to come up here and to find a road for which men have been seeking ever
since they began to dwell upon the Earth?...

TYLTYL (_pointing to_ LIGHT, _who, discreetly, has drawn a little to one
side_)
She brought me....

MATERNAL LOVE
Who is she?...

TYLTYL
Light....

MATERNAL LOVE
I have never seen her.... I was told that she was very fond of you both and
very kind.... But why does she hide herself?... Does she never show her
face?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes, but she is afraid that the Joys might be frightened if they saw
too clearly....

MATERNAL LOVE
But doesn't she know that we are waiting only for her! (_Calling the
other_ GREAT JOYS) Come, come, sisters! Come quickly, all of you! Light
has come to visit us at last!...

(_A stir among the_ GREAT JOYS, _who draw nearer, with cries of
"Light is here!... Light! Light!_...")

THE JOY OF UNDERSTANDING (_thrusting all the others aside, to come and
embrace_ LIGHT)
You are Light and we did not know it!... And we have been waiting for you
for years and years and years!... Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of
Understanding, who have been seeking you for so long!... We are very happy,
but we cannot see beyond ourselves....

THE JOY OF BEING JUST (_embracing_ LIGHT _in her turn_)
Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of Being Just, who have besought you
so long.... We are very happy, but we cannot see beyond our shadows.

THE JOY OF SEEING WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL (_also embracing_ LIGHT)
Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of Seeing what is Beautiful, who have
loved you so dearly.... We are very happy, but we cannot see beyond our
dreams....

THE JOY OF UNDERSTANDING
Come, sister, come, do not keep us waiting any longer.... We are strong
enough, we are pure enough.... Put aside those veils which still conceal
from us the last truths and the last happinesses.... See, all my sisters
are kneeling at your feet.... You are our queen and our reward.

LIGHT (_drawing her veils closer_)
Sisters, my beautiful sisters, I am obeying my Master.... The hour is not
yet come; it will strike, perhaps, and I shall return without fear and
without shadow.... Farewell, rise and let us kiss once more, like sisters
lost and found, while waiting for the day that will soon appear....

MATERNAL LOVE (_embracing_ LIGHT)
You have been very good to my poor little ones....

LIGHT
I shall always be good to those who love one another....

THE JOY OF UNDERSTANDING (_going up to_ LIGHT)
Let the last kiss be laid upon my forehead....

(_They exchange a long kiss; and, when they separate and raise their
heads, tears are seen to stand in their eyes_.)

TYLTYL (_surprised_)
Why are you crying?... (_Looking at the other_ JOYS) I say! You're
crying too!... But why have all of you tears in your eyes?...

LIGHT
Hush, dear....


CURTAIN



ACT V



SCENE I.--_Before the Curtain_.


_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT, BREAD,
FIRE, SUGAR, WATER _and_ MILK.

LIGHT
I have received a note from the Fairy Bérylune telling me that the Blue
Bird is probably here.

TYLTYL
Where?...

LIGHT
Here, in the graveyard behind that wall.... It appears that one of the dead
in the graveyard is hiding it in his tomb.... We must find out which one it
is.... We shall have to pass them under review....

TYLTYL
Under review?... How is that done?...

LIGHT
It is very simple: at midnight, so as not to disturb them too greatly, you
will turn the diamond. We shall see them come out of the ground; or else we
shall see those who do not come out lying in their tombs....

TYLTYL
Will they not be angry?...

LIGHT
Not at all; they will not even know.... They do not like being disturbed,
but, as it is their custom, in any case, to come out at midnight, that will
not inconvenience them....

TYLTYL
Why are Bread, Sugar and Milk so pale and why do they say nothing?...

MILK (_staggering_)
I feel I am going to turn....

LIGHT (_aside to TYLTYL_)
Do not mind them.... They are afraid of the dead....

FIRE (_frisking about_)
I'm not afraid of them!... I am used to burning them.... Time was when I
burnt them all; that was much more amusing than nowadays ...

TYLTYL
And why Is Tylô trembling?... Is he afraid, too?...

THE DOG
I?... I'm not trembling!... I am never afraid; but if you went away, I
should go too....

TYLTYL
And has the Cat nothing to say?...

THE CAT (_mysteriously_)
I know what's what....

TYLTYL (_to LIGHT_)
Are you coming with us?...

LIGHT
No; it is better that I should remain at the gate of the graveyard with the
Things and the Animals.... Some of them would be too frightened and I fear
that the others would misbehave.... Fire, in particular, would want to burn
the dead, as of old; and that is no longer done.... I shall leave you alone
with Mytyl....

TYLTYL
And may not Tylô stay with us?...

THE DOG
Yes, yes, I shall stay; I shall stay here I... I want to stay with my
little god!...

LIGHT
It is impossible.... The Fairy gave formal orders; besides, there is
nothing to fear....

THE DOG
Very well, very well, it makes no difference. If they are vicious, my
little god, all you have to do Is this ... (_he whistles_) and you
shall see.... It will be just as in the forest: Wow! Wow! Wow!...

LIGHT
Come, good-bye, dear children ... I shall not be far away.... (_She
kisses the_ CHILDREN.) Those who love me and whom I love always find me
again.... (_To the_ THINGS _and the_ ANIMALS) This way, all of
you....

(_She goes out with the_ THINGS _and the_ ANIMALS. _The_
CHILDREN _remain alone in the middle of the stage. The curtain, opens and
discloses the next scene_.)



SCENE 2.--_The Graveyard_.

_It is night. The moon is shining on a country graveyard.. Numerous
tombstones, grassy mounds, wooden crosses, stone slabs, etc_. TYLTYL
_and_ MYTYL _are standing by a short stone pillar_.

MYTYL
I am frightened!...

TYLTYL (_not too much at his ease_)
I am never frightened....

MYTYL
I say, are the dead wicked?...

TYLTYL
Why, no, they're not alive!...

MYTYL
Have you ever seen one?...

TYLTYL
Yes, once, long ago, when I was very young....

MYTYL
What was it like, say?...

TYLTYL
Quite white, very still and very cold and it didn't talk....

MYTYL
Are we going to see them, say?...

TYLTYL
Why, of course, Light said so....

MYTYL
Where are they?...

TYLTYL
Here, under the grass or under those big stones....

MYTYL
Are they there all the year round?...

TYLTYL
Yes.

MYTYL (_pointing to the slabs_)
Are those the doors of their houses?...

TYLTYL
Yes.

MYTYL
Do they go out when it's fine?...

TYLTYL
They can only go out at night....

MYTYL
Why?...

TYLTYL
Because they are in their shirts....

MYTYL
Do they go out also when it rains?...

TYLTYL
When it rains, they stay at home....

MYTYL
Is it nice in their homes, say?...

TYLTYL
They say it's very cramped....

MYTYL
Have they any little children?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes; they have all those that die....

MYTYL
And what do they live on?...

TYLTYL
They eat roots....

MYTYL
Shall we see them?...

TYLTYL
Of course; we see everything when I turn the diamond.

MYTYL
And what will they say?...

TYLTYL
They will say nothing, as they don't talk....

MYTYL
Why don't they talk?...

TYLTYL
Because they have nothing to say....

MYTYL
Why have they nothing to say?...

TYLTYL
You're a nuisance....

(_A pause_)

MYTYL
When will you turn the diamond?

TYLTYL
You heard Light say that I was to wait until midnight, because that
disturbs them less....

MYTYL
Why does that disturb them less?...

TYLTYL
Because that is when they go out to take the air....

MYTYL
Is it not midnight yet?...

TYLTYL
Do you see the church clock?...

MYTYL
Yes, I can even see the small hand....

TYLTYL
Well, midnight is just going to strike.... There!... Do you hear?...

(_The clock strikes twelve_)

MYTYL
I want to go away!...

TYLTYL
Not now.... I am going to turn the diamond....

MYTYL
No, no!... Don't!... I want to go away!... I am so frightened, little
brother!... I am terribly frightened!...

TYLTYL
But there is no danger....

MYTYL
I don't want to see the dead!... I don't want to see them!...

TYLTYL
Very well, you shall not see them; shut your eyes....

MYTYL (_clinging to_ TYLTYL'S _clothes_)
Tyltyl, I can't stay!... No, I can't possibly!... They are going to come
out of the ground!...

TYLTYL
Don't tremble like that.... They will only come out for a moment....

MYTYL
But you're trembling, too!... They will be awful!...

TYLTYL
It is time, the hour is passing....

(TYLTYL _turns the diamond. A terrifying minute of silence and
motionlessness elapses, after which, slowly, the crosses totter, the mounds
open, the slabs rise up...._)

MYTYL (_cowering against_ TYLTYL)
They are coming out!... They are there!...

(_Then, from all the gaping tombs, there rises gradually an efflorescence
at first frail and timid, like steam; then white and virginal and more and
more tufty, more and more tall and plentiful and marvellous. Little by
little, irresistibly, invading all things, it transforms the graveyard into
a sort of fairy-like and nuptial garden, over which rise the first rays of
the dawn. The dew glitters, the flowers open their blooms, the wind murmurs
in the leaves, the bees hum, the birds wake and flood the air with
the first raptures of their hymns to the sun and to life. Stunned and
dazzled,_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL, _holding each other by the hand,
take a few steps among the flowers while they seek for the trace of the
tombs_.)

MYTYL (_looking in the grass_)
Where are the dead?....

TYLTYL (_looking also_)
There are no dead....


CURTAIN



SCENE 3.--_The Kingdom of the Future_.

_The immense halls of the Azure Palace, where the children wait that
are yet to be born. Infinite perspectives of sapphire columns supporting
turquoise vaults. Everything, from the light and the lapis-lazuli
flagstones to the shimmering background into which the last arches run
and disappear, everything, down to the smallest objects, is of an unreal,
intense, fairy-like blue. Only the plinths and capitals of the columns,
the key-stones, a few seats and circular benches are of white marble or
alabaster. To the right, between the columns, are great opalescent doors.
These doors, which_ TIME _will throw back towards the end of the
scene, open upon actual life and the quays of the Dawn. Everywhere,
harmoniously peopling the hall, is a crowd of_ CHILDREN _robed in
long azure garments. Some are playing, others strolling to and fro, others
talking or dreaming; many are asleep, many also are working, between the
colonnades, at future inventions; and their tools, their instruments, the
apparatus which they are constructing, the plants, flowers and fruit which
they are cultivating or plucking are of the same supernatural and luminous
blue as the general atmosphere of the Palace. Figures of a taller stature,
clad in a paler and more diaphanous azure, figures of a sovereign and
silent beauty move among the_ CHILDREN _and would seem to be angels.

_Enter on the left, as though by stealth, gliding between the columns in
the foreground_, TYLTYL, MYTYL _and_ LIGHT. Their arrival causes
a certain movement among the_ BLUE CHILDREN, _who come running up on
every hand, form a group around the unwonted visitors and gaze upon them
with curiosity_.

MYTYL
Where are Sugar, the Cat and Bread?...

LIGHT
They cannot enter here; they would know the future and would not obey....

TYLTYL
And the Dog?...

LIGHT
It is not well, either, that he should know what awaits him in the course
of the ages....I have locked them all up in the vaults of the church....

TYLTYL
Where are we?...

LIGHT
We are in the Kingdom of the Future, in the midst of the children who are
not yet born. As the diamond allows us to see clearly in this region which
is hidden from men, we shall very probably find the Blue Bird here....

TYLTYL
Certainly the bird will be blue, since everything here is
blue....(_Looking all around him_.) Heaven, how beautiful it all
is!...

LIGHT
Look at the children running up....

TYLTYL
Are they angry?...

LIGHT
Not at all....You can see, they are smiling, but they are surprised....

THE BLUE CHILDREN (_running up in ever-increasing numbers_)
Live children!...Come and look at the little live children!...

TYLTYL
Why do they call us the little live children?

LIGHT
Because they themselves are not alive yet....

TYLTYL
What are they doing, then?...

LIGHT
They are awaiting the hour of their birth....

TYLTYL
The hour of their birth?...

LIGHT
Yes; it is from here that all the children come who are born upon our
earth. Each awaits his day.... When the fathers and mothers want children,
the great doors which you see there, on the right, are opened and the
little ones go down....

TYLTYL
What a, lot there are! What a lot there are!...

LIGHT
There are many more.... We do not see them all.... There are thirty
thousand halls like this, all full of them.... Just think, there are enough
to last to the end of the world!... No one could count them....

TYLTYL
And those tall blue persons, who are they?...

LIGHT
No one exactly knows.... They are believed to be guardians.... I have heard
that they will come upon earth after men.... But we are not allowed to ask
them....

TYLTYL
Why not?...

LIGHT
Because it is the earth's secret....

TYLTYL
And may one talk to the others, the little ones?...

LIGHT
Certainly; you must make friends.... Look, there is one who is more curious
than the rest.... Go up to him, speak to him....

TYLTYL
What shall I say to him?...

LIGHT
Whatever you like, as you would to a little playfellow....

TYLTYL
Can I shake hands with him?...

LIGHT
Of course, he won't hurt you.... But come, don't look so constrained.... I
will leave you alone, you will be more at ease by yourselves.... Besides, I
want to speak to the tall blue person....

TYLTYL (_going up to the_ BLUE CHILD _and holding out his hand_)
How do you do?... (_Touching the_ CHILD'S _blue dress with his
finger_.) What's that?...

THE CHILD (_gravely touching_ TYLTYL'S _hat_)
And that?...

TYLTYL
That?... That is my hat.... Have you no hat?...

THE CHILD
No; what is it for?...

TYLTYL
It's to say How-do-you-do with.... And then for when it rains or when it's
cold....

THE CHILD
What does that mean, when it's cold?...

TYLTYL
When you shiver like this: brrrr! brrrr!... When you blow into your hands
and go like this with your arms....

(_He vigorously beats his arms across his chest_.)

THE CHILD
Is it cold on earth?...

TYLTYL
Yes, sometimes, in the winter, when there is no fire....

THE CHILD
Why is there no fire?...

TYLTYL
Because it's expensive and it costs money to buy wood....

THE CHILD
What is money?...

TYLTYL
It's what you pay with....

THE CHILD
Oh....

TYLTYL
Some people have money and others have none....

THE CHILD
Why not?...

TYLTYL
Because they are not rich.... Are you rich?... How old are you?...

THE CHILD
I am going to be born soon.... I shall be born in twelve years.... Is it
nice to be born?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes!... It's great fun!...

THE CHILD
How did you manage?...

TYLTYL
I can't remember.... It is so long ago!...

THE CHILD
They say it's lovely, the earth and the live people!...

TYLTYL
Yes, it's not bad.... There are birds and cakes and toys.... Some have them
all; but those who have none can look at them....

THE CHILD
They tell us that the mothers stand waiting at the door.... They are good,
aren't they?...

TYLTYL
Oh, yes!... They are better than anything in the world!... And the grannies
too; but they die too soon....

THE CHILD
They die?... What is that?...

TYLTYL
They go away one evening and do not come back....

THE CHILD
Why?...

TYLTYL
How can one tell?... Perhaps because they feel sad....

THE CHILD
Has yours gone?...

TYLTYL
My grandmamma?...

THE CHILD
Your mamma or your grandmamma, I don't know....

TYLTYL
Oh, but it's not the same thing!... The grannies go first; that's sad
enough.... Mine was very kind to me....

THE CHILD
What is the matter with your eyes?.... Are they making pearls?...

TYLTYL
No; it's not pearls....

THE CHILD
What is it, then?...

TYLTYL
It's nothing; it's all that blue, which dazzles me a little....

THE CHILD
What is that called?...

TYLTYL
What?...

THE CHILD
There, that, falling down....

TYLTYL
Nothing, it is a little water....

THE CHILD
Does it come from the eyes?...

TYLTYL
Yes, sometimes, when one cries....

THE CHILD
What does that mean, crying?...

TYLTYL
I have not been crying; it is the fault of that blue... But if I had cried,
it would be the same thing....

THE CHILD
Does one often cry?...

TYLTYL
Not little boys, but little girls do.... Don't you cry here?...

THE CHILD
No; I don't know how....

TYLTYL
Well, you will learn.... What are you playing with, those great blue
wings?...

THE CHILD
These?... That's for the invention which I shall make on earth....

TYLTYL
What invention?... Have you invented something?...

THE CHILD
Why, yes; haven't you heard?... When I am on earth, I shall have to invent
the thing that gives happiness....

TYLTYL
Is it good to eat?... Does it make a noise?...

THE CHILD
No; you hear nothing....

TYLTYL
That's a pity....

THE CHILD
I work at it every day.... It is almost finished.... Would you like to see
it?...

TYLTYL
Very much.... Where is it?...

THE CHILD
There, you can see it from here, between those two columns....

ANOTHER BLUE CHILD (_coming up to_ TYLTYL _and plucking his sleeve_)
Would you like to see mine, say?...

TYLTYL
Yes, what is it?...

THE SECOND CHILD
The thirty-three remedies for prolonging life.... There, in those blue
phials....

A THIRD CHILD (_stepping out from the crowd_)
I will show you a light which nobody knows of!... (_He lights himself
up entirely with an extraordinary flame_.) It's rather curious, isn't
it?...

A FOURTH CHILD (_pulling_ TYLTYL'S _arm_)
Do come and look at my machine which flies in the air like a bird without
wings!...

A FIFTH CHILD
No, no; mine first! It discovers the treasures hidden in the moon!...

THE BLUE CHILDREN (_crowding round_ TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _and all crying
together_)
No, no, come and see mine!... No, mine is much finer!... Mine is a
wonderful invention!... Mine is made of sugar!... His is no good!... He
stole the idea from me!...

(_Amid these disordered exclamations, the_ LIVE CHILDREN _are
dragged towards the blue workshops, where each of the inventors sets his
ideal machine going. There ensues a cerulean whirl of wheels, disks,
flywheels, driving-wheels, pulleys, straps and strange and as yet unnamed
objects shrouded in the bluey mists of the unreal. A crowd of odd and
mysterious mechanisms dart forth and hover under the vaults or crawl at the
foot of the columns, while_ CHILDREN _unfold charts and plans, open
books, uncover azure statues and bring enormous flowers and gigantic fruits
that seem formed of sapphires and turquoises_.)

A LITTLE BLUE CHILD (_bending under the weight of some colossal blue
daisies_)
Look at my flowers!...

TYLTYL
What are they?... I don't know them....

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
They are daisies!...

TYLTYL
Impossible!... They are as big as tables!...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
And they smell so good!...

TYLTYL (_smelling them_)
Wonderful!...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
They will grow like that when I am on earth....

TYLTYL
When will that be?...

THE LITTLE BLUE CHILD
In fifty-three years, four months and nine days....

(_Two_ BLUE CHILDREN _arrive, carrying, like a lustre hanging on a
pole, an incredible bunch of grapes, each larger than a pear_.)

ONE OF THE CHILDREN (_carrying the grapes_)
What do you say to my fruits?...

TYLTYL
A bunch of pears!...

THE CHILD
No, they are grapes!... They will all be like that when I am thirty.... I
have found the way....

ANOTHER CHILD (_staggering under a basket of blue apples the size of
melons_)
And mine!... Look at my apples!...

TYLTYL
But those are melons!...

THE CHILD
No, no!... They are my apples and they are not the finest at that!... They
will all be alike when I am alive.... I have discovered the system!...

ANOTHER CHILD (_wheeling a blue barrow with blue melons bigger than
pumpkins_)
What do you say to my little melons?...

TYLTYL
But they are pumpkins!...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
When I come on earth, the melons will be splendid!... I shall be the
gardener of the King of the Three Planets....

TYLTYL
The King of the Three Planets?

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
The great king who for thirty-five years will bring happiness to the Earth,
Mars and the Moon.... You can see him from here....

TYLTYL
Where is he?...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
There, the little boy sleeping at the foot of that column.

TYLTYL
On the left?...

THE CHILD WITH THE MELONS
No, on the right.... The one on the left is the child who will bring pure
joy to the globe....

TYLTYL
How?...

THE CHILD (_the one that first talked to_ TYLTYL)
By means of ideas which people have not yet had....

TYLTYL
And the other, that little fat one with his fingers to his nose, what will
he do?...

THE CHILD
He is to discover the fire that will warm the earth when the sun is paler
than now....

TYLTYL
And the two holding each other by the hand and always kissing; are they
brother and sister?...

THE CHILD
No; they are very comical....They are the Lovers....

TYLTYL
What is that?...

THE CHILD
I don't know.... Time calls them that, to make fun of them.... They spend
the day looking into each other's eyes, kissing and bidding each other
farewell....

TYLTYL
Why?...

THE CHILD
It seems that they will not be able to leave together...

TYLTYL
And the little pink one, who looks so serious and is sucking his thumb,
what is he?...

THE CHILD
It appears that he is to wipe out injustice from the earth....

TYLTYL
Oh!...

THE CHILD
They say it's a tremendous work....

TYLTYL
And the little red-haired one, who walks as if he did not see where he was
going, is he blind?...

THE CHILD
Not yet; but he will become so....Look at him well; it seems that he is to
conquer Death....

TYLTYL
What does that mean?...

THE CHILD
I don't exactly know; but they say it's a great thing....

TYLTYL (_pointing to a crowd of_ CHILDREN _sleeping at the foot of
the columns, on the steps, the benches, etc_.)
And all those asleep, what a number of them there are asleep!... Do they do
nothing?...

THE CHILD
They are thinking of something....

TYLTYL
Of what?...

THE CHILD
They do not know yet; but they must take something with them to earth; we
are not allowed to go from here empty-handed....

TYLTYL
Who says so?...

THE CHILD
Time, who stands at the door.... You will see when he opens it.... He is
very tiresome....

A CHILD (_running up from the back of the hall and elbowing his way
through the crowd_)
How are you, TYLTYL?...

TYLTYL
Hullo!... How does he know my name?...

THE CHILD (_who has just run up and who now kisses_ TYLTYL _and_
MYTYL _effusively_.)
How are you?... All right?... Come, give me a kiss, and you too, Mytyl.
It's not surprising that I should know your name, seeing that I shall be
your brother.... They have only just told me that you were here.... I was
right at the other end of the hall, packing up my ideas.... Tell mummy that
I am ready....

TYLTYL
What?... Are you coming to us?...

THE CHILD
Certainly, next year, on Palm Sunday.... Don't tease me too much when I am
little.... I am very glad to have kissed you both beforehand.... Tell daddy
to mend the cradle.... Is it comfortable in our home?...

TYLTYL
Not bad.... And mummy is so kind!...

THE CHILD
And the food?...

TYLTYL
That depends.... We even have cakes sometimes, don't we, Mytyl?...

MYTYL
On New Year's Day and the fourteenth of July.... Mummy makes them....

TYLTYL
What have you got in that bag?... Are you bringing us something?...

THE CHILD
I am bringing three illnesses: scarlatina, whooping-cough and measles....

TYLTYL
Oh, that's all, is it?... And, after that, what will you do?...

THE CHILD
After that?... I shall leave you....

TYLTYL
It will hardly be worth while coming!...

THE CHILD
We can't pick and choose!...

(_At that moment, a sort of prolonged, powerful, crystalline vibration is
heard to rise and swell; it seems to emanate from the columns and the opal
doors, which are irradiated by a brighter light than before_.)

TYLTYL
What is that?...

THE CHILD
That's Time!... He is going to open the gates!...

(_A great change comes over the crowd of_ BLUE CHILDREN, _Most of
them leave their machines and their labours, numbers of sleepers awake and
all turn their eyes towards the opal doors and go nearer to them_.)

LIGHT (_joining_ TYLTYL)
Let us try to hide behind the columns.... It will not do for Time to
discover us....

TYLTYL
Where does that noise come from?...

A CHILD
It is the Dawn rising.... This is the hour when the children who are to be
born to-day go down to earth....

TYLTYL
How will they go down?... Are there ladders?...

THE CHILD
You shall see.... Time is drawing the bolts....

TYLTYL
Who is Time?...

THE CHILD
An old man who comes to call those who are going....

TYLTYL
Is he wicked?...

THE CHILD
No; but he hears nothing.... Beg as they may, if it's not their turn, he
pushes back all those who try to go....

TYLTYL
Are they glad to go?...

THE CHILD
We are sorry when we are left behind, but we are sad when we go.... There!
There!... He is opening the doors!...

(_The great opalescent doors turn slowly on their hinges. The sounds of
the earth are heard like a distant music. A red and green light penetrates
into the hall_; TIME, _a tall old man with a streaming beard, armed
with his scythe and hourglass, appears upon the threshold; and the
spectator perceives the extremity of the white and gold sails of a galley
moored to a sort of quay, formed by the rosy mists of the Dawn_.)

TIME (_on the threshold_)
Are they ready whose hour has struck?...

BLUE CHILDREN (_elbowing their way and running up from all sides_)
Here we are!... Here we are!... Here we are!...

TIME (_in a gruff voice to the_ CHILDREN _defiling before him to go out_)
One at a time!... Once again, there are many more of you than
are wanted!... It's always the same thing!... You can't deceive
me!...(_Pushing back a_ CHILD.) It's not your turn!... Go back and
wait till to-morrow.... Nor you either; go in and return in ten years.... A
thirteenth shepherd?... There are only twelve wanted; there is no need for
more; the days of Theocritus and Virgil are past.... More doctors?... There
are too many already; they are grumbling about it on earth.... And
where are the engineers?... They want an honest man, only one, as a
phenomenon.... Where is the honest man?... Is it you?... (THE CHILD _nods
yes_.) You appear to me to be a very poor specimen!... Hallo, you, over
there, not so fast, not so fast!... And you, what are you bringing?...
Nothing at all, empty-handed?... Then you can't go through.... Prepare
something, a great crime, if you like, or a fine sickness, I don't care ...
but you mast have something.... (_Catching sight of a little_ CHILD
_whom the others are pushing forward, while he resists with all his
strength_.) Well, what's the matter with you?... You know that the hour
has come.... They want a hero to fight against injustice; you're the one:
you most start....

THE BLUE CHILDREN
He doesn't want to, sir....

TIME
What?... He doesn't want to?... Where does the little monster think he
is?... No objections, we have no time to spare....

THE CHILD (_who is being pushed_)
No, no!...I don't want to go!... I would rather not be born!... I would
rather stay here!...

TIME
That is not the question.... When the hour comes, it comes!... Now then,
quick, forward!...

A CHILD (_stepping forward_)
Oh, let me pass!... I will go and take his place!... They say that my
parents are old and have been waiting for me so long!...

TIME
None of that!... You will start at your proper hour, at your proper
time.... We should never be done if we listened to you.... One wants to
go, another refuses; it's too soon or it's too late.... (_Pushing back
some_ CHILDREN _who have encroached upon the threshold_.) Not so
near, you children!... Back, you inquisitive ones!... Those who are not
starting have no business outside.... You are in a hurry now; later, when
your turn comes, you will be frightened and hang back.... Look, there are
four who are trembling like leaves.... (_To a_ CHILD _who, on the
point of crossing the threshold, suddenly goes back_.) Well, what is
it?... What's the matter?...

THE CHILD
I have forgotten the box containing the two crimes which I shall have to
commit....

ANOTHER CHILD
And I the little pot with my idea for enlightening the crowd....

A THIRD CHILD
I have forgotten the graft of my finest pear!...

TIME
Run quick and fetch them!... We have only six hundred and twelve seconds
left.... The galley of the Dawn is already flapping her sails to show that
she is waiting.... You will come too late and you won't be born!... Come,
quick, on board with you!... (_Laying hold of a_ CHILD _who tries to
pass between his legs to reach the quay_.) Oh, no, not you!... This is
the third time you've tried to be born before your turn.... Don't let me
catch you at it again, or you can wait forever with my sister Eternity;
and you know that it's not amusing there!... But come, are we ready?... Is
every one at his post?... (_Surveying the_ CHILDREN _standing on the
quay or already seated In the galley_.) There is still one missing....
It is no use his hiding, I see him in the crowd.... You can't deceive
me!... Come on, you, the little fellow whom they call the Lover, say
good-bye to your sweetheart....

(_The two_ CHILDREN _who are called the Lovers, fondly entwined,
their faces livid with despair, go up to_ TIME _and kneel at his
feet_.)

THE FIRST CHILD
Mr. Time, let me stay behind with her!...

THE SECOND CHILD
Mr. Time, let me go with him!...

TIME
Impossible!... We have only three hundred and ninety-four seconds left....

THE FIRST CHILD
I would rather not be born!...

TIME
You cannot choose....

THE SECOND CHILD (_beseechingly_)
Mr. Time, I shall come too late!...

THE FIRST CHILD
I shall be gone before she comes down!...

THE SECOND CHILD
I shall never see him again!...

THE FIRST CHILD
We shall be alone in the world!...

TIME
All this does not concern me.... Address your entreaties to Life.... I
unite and part as I am told....(_Seizing one of the_ CHILDREN.)
Come!...

THE FIRST CHILD (_struggling_)
No, no, no!... She, too!...

THE SECOND CHILD (_clinging to the clothes of the_ FIRST)
Leave him with me!... Leave him!...

TIME
Come, come, he is not going to die, but to live!... (_Dragging away
the_ FIRST CHILD.) Come along!...

THE SECOND CHILD (_stretching her arms out frantically to the_ CHILD
_that is being carried off_)
A sign!... A sign!... Tell me how to find you!...

THE FIRST CHILD
I shall always love you!...

THE SECOND CHILD
I shall be the saddest thing on earth!... You will know me by that!...

(_She falls and remains stretched on the ground_.)

TIME
You would do much better to hope.... And now, that is all....
(_Consulting his hour-glass_.) We have only sixty-three seconds
left....

(_Last and violent movements among the_ CHILDREN _departing and
remaining. They exchange hurried farewells_.)

THE BLUE CHILDREN
Good-bye, Pierre!... Good-bye, Jean!... Have you all you want?... Announce
my idea!... Have you got the new turnscrew?... Mind you speak of my
melons!... Have you forgotten nothing?... Try to know me again I... I shall
find you!... Don't lose your ideas!... Don't lean too far into space!...
Send me your news!... They say one can't... Oh, try, do try!... Try to
tell us if it's nice!... I will come to meet you I... I shall be born on a
throne!...

TIME (_shaking his keys and his scythe_)
Enough! Enough!... The anchor's raised!...

(_The sails of the galley pass and disappear. The voices of the_
CHILDREN _in the galley are heard in the distance_: "The Earth! The
Earth!... I can see it!... How beautiful it is!... How bright it is!... How
big it is!"... _Then, as though issuing from the depths of the abyss, an
extremely distant song of gladness and expectation_.)

TYLTYL (_to_ LIGHT)
What is that?... It is not they singing.... It sounds like other voices....

LIGHT
Yes, it is the song of the mothers coming out to meet them....

(_Meanwhile_, TIME _closes the opalescent doors. He turns to take
a last look at the hall and suddenly perceives_ TYLTYL, MYTYL
_and_ LIGHT.)

TIME (_dumbfoundered and furious_)
What's that?... What are you doing here?... Who are you?... Why are you not
blue?... How did you get in?... (_He comes forward, threatening them with
his scythe_.)

LIGHT (_to_ TYLTYL)
Do not answer!... I have the Blue Bird.... He is hidden under my cloak....
Let us escape.... Turn the diamond, he will lose our traces.... (_They
slip away on the left, between the columns in the foreground_.)


CURTAIN



ACT VI



SCENE I.--_The Leave-taking_.


_The stage represents a wall with a small door. It is the break of
day_.

(_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, BREAD, WATER, SUGAR, FIRE _and_
MILK) You would never guess where we are....

TYLTYL
Well, no, Light, because I don't know....

LIGHT
Don't you recognise that wall and that little door?...

TYLTYL
It is a red wall and a little green door.

LIGHT
And doesn't that remind you of anything?...

TYLTYL
It reminds me that Time shewed us the door....

LIGHT
How odd people are when they dream.... They do not recognise their own
hands....

TYLTYL
Who is dreaming?... Am I?...

LIGHT
Perhaps it's myself.... Who can tell?... However, this wall contains a
house which you have seen more than once since you were born....

TYLTYL
A house which I have seen more than once since I was born?...

LIGHT
Why yes, sleepy-head!... It is the house which we left one evening, just a
year ago, to a day....

TYLTYL
Just a year ago?... Why, then....

LIGHT
Come, come!... Don't open great eyes like sapphire caves.... It's the dear
old house of your father and mother....

TYLTYL (_going up to the door_)
But I think.... Yes, really.... It seems to me.... This little door.... I
recognise the wooden pin.... Are they in there?... Are we near mummy?... I
want to go in at once.... I want to kiss her at once!...

LIGHT
One moment.... They are sound asleep; you must not wake them with a
start.... Besides, the door will not open till the hour strikes....

TYLTYL
What hour?... Is there long to wait?...

LIGHT
Alas, no!... A few poor minutes....

TYLTYL
Aren't you glad to be back?... What is it, Light?... You are quite pale,
you look ill....

LIGHT
It's nothing, child.... I feel a little sad, because I am leaving you....

TYLTYL
Leaving us?...

LIGHT
I must.... I have nothing more to do here; the year is over, the Fairy is
coming back to ask you for the Blue Bird....

TYLTYL
But I haven't got the Blue Bird!... The one of the Land of Memory turned
quite black, the one of the Future turned quite pink, the Night's are dead
and I could not catch the one in the Forest.... Is it my fault if they
change colour, or die, or escape?... Will the Fairy be angry and what will
she say?...

LIGHT
We have done what we could.... It seems likely that the Blue Bird does not
exist or that he changes colour when he is caged....

TYLTYL
Where is the cage?...

BREAD
Here, master.... It was entrusted to my diligent care during our long
journey; to-day, now that my mission is drawing to an end, I restore it to
your hands, untouched and carefully closed, as I received it.... (_Like
an orator making a speech_) And now, in the name of all, I crave
permission to add a few words....

FIRE
He has not been called upon to speak!...

WATER
Order!...

BREAD
The malevolent interruptions of a contemptible enemy, of an envious
rival....

FIRE
An envious rival!... What would you be without me?... A lump of shapeless
and indigestible dough....

WATER
Order!...

FIRE
I won't be shouted down by you! ...

(_They threaten each other and are about to come to blows_.)

LIGHT (_raising her wand_)
Enough!...

BREAD
The insults and the ridiculous pretensions of an element whose notorious
misbehaviour and whose scandalous excesses drive the world to despair....

FIRE
You fat pasty-face!

BREAD (_raising his voice_)
Will not prevent me from doing my duty to the end.... I wish, therefore, in
the name of all...

FIRE
Not in mine!... I have a tongue of my own!...

BREAD
In the name of all and with a restrained but simple and deep emotion,
to take leave of two distinguished children, whose exalted mission ends
to-day.... When bidding them farewell, with all the grief and all the
fondness which a mutual esteem....

TYLTYL
What?... You are bidding us farewell?... Are you leaving us too?...

BREAD
Alas, needs must, since the hour when men's eyes are to be opened has not
yet come.... I am leaving you, it is true; but the separation will only be
apparent, you will no longer hear me speak....

FIRE
That will be no loss!...

WATER
Order! Silence!...

FIRE
I shall keep silence when you cease babbling in the kettles, the wells, the
brooks, the waterfalls and the taps....

LIGHT (_threatening them with her wand_)
That will do, do you hear?... You are all very quarrelsome; It is the
coming separation that sets your nerves on edge like this....

BREAD (_with great dignity_)
That does not apply to me.... I was saying, you will no longer hear me
speak, no longer see me in my living form.... Your eyes are about to close
to the invisible life of the Things; but I shall always be there. In the
bread-pan, on the shelf, on the table, beside the soup, I who am, if I may
say so, with Water and Fire, the most faithful companion, the oldest friend
of Man....

FIRE
Well, and what about me?...

LIGHT
Come, the minutes are passing, the hour is at hand which will send us back
into silence.... Be quick and kiss the children....

FIRE (_rushing forward_)
I first! I first!... (_Violently kissing the_ CHILDREN.) Good-bye,
Tyltyl and Mytyl!... Good-bye, my darlings.... Think of me if ever you want
any one to set fire to anything....

MYTYL
Oh! Oh!... He's burning me!...

TYLTYL
Oh! Oh!... He's scorched my nose!...

LIGHT
Come, Fire, moderate your transports.... Remember you're not in your
chimney....

WATER
What an idiot!...

BREAD
What a vulgarian!...

FIRE
There, look; I will put my hands in my pockets.... But don't forget me....
I am the friend of Man.... I shall always be there, in the hearth and in
the oven; and I will come sometimes and put out my tongue for you when
you are cold or sad.... I shall be warm in winter and roast chestnuts for
you....

WATER (_approaching the_ CHILDREN)
I shall kiss you without hurting you, tenderly, my children....

FIRE
Take care, you'll get wet!...

WATER
I am loving and gentle; I am kind to human beings....

FIRE
What about those you drown?...

WATER
Love the wells, listen to the brooks.... I shall always be there....

FIRE
She has flooded the whole place....

WATER
When you sit down, in the evening, beside the springs--there is more than
one here in the forest--try to understand what they are trying to say....

FIRE
Enough! Enough!... I can't swim!...

WATER
I shall no longer be able to tell you as clearly as I do to-day that I love
you; but you will not forget that that is what I am saying to you when you
hear my voice.... Alas!... I can say no more.... My tears choke me and
prevent my speaking....

FIRE
It doesn't sound like it!...

WATER
Think of me when you see the water-bottle.... Alas! I have to be silent
there; but my thoughts will always be of you.... You will find me also in
the ewer, the watering-can, the cistern and the tap....

MILK (_approaching timidly_)
And me in the milk-jug....

TYLTYL
What, you too, my dear Milk, so shy and so good?... Is everybody going?...

SUGAR (_naturally mawkish and sanctimonious_)
If you have a little corner left in your memory, remember sometimes that my
presence was sweet to you.... That is all I have to say.... Tears are not
in harmony with my temperament and they hurt me terribly when they fall on
my feet....

BREAD
Jesuit!...

FIRE (_yelping_)
Sugar-plum! Lollipop! Caramel!...

TYLTYL
But where are Tylette and Tylô gone to?... What are they doing?...

(_The_ CAT _is heard to utter shrill cries_.)

MYTYL (_alarmed_)
It's Tylette crying!... He is being hurt!...

(_Enter the_ CAT, _running, his hair on end and dishevelled, his
clothes torn, holding his handkerchief to his cheek, as though he had the
toothache. He utters angry groans and is closely pursued by the_ DOG,
_who overwhelms him with bites, blows and kicks_.)

THE DOG (_beating the_ CAT)
There!... Have you had enough?... Do you want any more?... There! There!
There!...

LIGHT, TYLTYL and MYTYL (_rushing forward to part them_)
Tylô!... Are you mad?... Well, I never!... Down!... Stop that, will you?...
How dare you?... Wait, wait!...

(_They part the_ DOG _and the_ CAT _by main force_.)

LIGHT
What is it?... What has happened?...

THE CAT (_blubbering and wiping his eyes_)
It's the Dog, Mrs. Light.... He insulted me, he put tin tacks in my food,
he pulled my tail, he beat me; and I had done nothing, nothing, nothing at
all!...

THE DOG (_mimicking him_)
Nothing, nothing, nothing at all!... (_In an undertone, with a mocking
grimace_) Never mind, you've had some, you've had some and you're going
to have some more!...

MYTYL (_pressing the_ CAT _in her arms_)
My poor Tylette, where has he hurt you?... Tell me.... I shall cry too....

LIGHT (_to the_ DOG, _severely_)
Your conduct is all the more, unworthy since you have chosen for this
disgraceful exhibition the already most painful moment when we are about to
part from these poor children....

THE DOG (_suddenly sobered_)
To part from these poor children?...

LIGHT
Yes; the hour which you know of is at hand.... We are going to return to
silence.... We shall no longer be able to speak to them....

THE DOG (_suddenly uttering real howls of despair and flinging himself
upon the_ CHILDREN, _whom he loads with violent and tumultuous caresses_.)
No! No!... I refuse!... I refuse!... I shall always talk!... You will
understand me now, will you not, my little god?... Yes! Yes! Yes!... And we
shall tell each other everything, everything, everything!... And I shall be
very good.... And I shall learn to read and write and play dominoes!... And
I shall always be very clean.... And I shall never steal anything in the
kitchen again.... Shall I do a wonderful trick for you?... Would you like
me to kiss the Cat?...

MYTYL (_to the_ CAT)
And you, Tylette?... Have you nothing to say to us?...

THE CAT (_in an affected and enigmatic tone_)
I love you both as much as you deserve....

LIGHT
Now let me, in my turn, children, give you a last kiss....

TYLTYL and MYTYL (_hanging on to_ LIGHT'S _dress_)
No, no, no, Light!... Stay here with us!... Daddy won't mind.... We will
tell mummy how kind you have been....

LIGHT
Alas! I cannot!... This door is closed to us and I must leave you....

TYLTYL
Where will you go all alone?...

LIGHT
Not very far, my children; over there, to the Land of the Silence of
Things....

TYLTYL
No, no; I won't have you go.... We will go with you.... I shall tell
mummy....

LIGHT
Do not cry, my dear little ones.... I have not a voice like Water; I have
only my brightness, which Man does not understand.... But I watch over him
to the end of his days.... Never forget that I am speaking to you in every
spreading moonbeam, in every twinkling star, in every dawn that rises, in
every lamp that is lit, in every good and bright thought of your soul....
(_Eight o'clock strikes behind the wall_.) Listen!... The hour is
striking!... Good-bye!... The door is opening!... In with you, in with
you!...

(_She pushes the_ CHILDREN _through the door, which has half-opened
and which closes again behind them_. BREAD _wipes away a furtive
tear_, SUGAR _and_ WATER, _etc., all in tears, flee precipitously
and disappear in the wings to the right and left. The_ DOG _howls
behind the scenes. The stage remains empty for a moment and then the
scenery representing the wall and the little door opens in the middle and
reveals the last scene_.)



SCENE 2.--_The Awakening_.

_The same setting as in_ ACT I, _but the objects, the walls and the
atmosphere all appear incomparably and magically fresher, happier, more
smiling. The daylight penetrates gaily through the chinks of the closed
shutters. To the right, at the back_, TYLTYL _and_ MYTYL _lie
sound asleep in their little beds. The_ DOG, _the_ CAT _and
the_ THINGS _are in the places which they occupied in_ ACT I,
_before the arrival of the_ FAIRY.

_Enter_ MUMMY TYL

MUMMY TYL (_in a cheerfully scolding voice_)
Up, come, get up, you little lazybones!... Aren't you ashamed of
yourselves?... It has struck eight and the sun is high above the trees!...
Lord, how they sleep, how they sleep!... (_She leans over and kisses
the_ CHILDREN.) They are quite rosy.... Tyltyl smells of lavender and
Mytyl of lilies-of-the-valley.... (_Kissing them again_) What sweet
things children are!... Still, they can't go on sleeping till midday.... I
mustn't let them grow up idle.... And, besides, I have heard that it's
not very healthy.... (_Gently shaking_ TYLTYL) Wake up, wake up,
Tyltyl....

TYLTYL (_waking up_)
What?... Light?... Where is she?... No, no, don't go away....

MUMMY TYL
Light?... Why, of course it's light... Has been for ever so long.... It's
as bright as noonday, though the shutters are closed.... Wait a bit till I
open them.... (_She pushes back the shutters and the dazzling daylight
invades the room_.) There! See!... What's the matter with you?... You
look quite blinded....

TYLTYL (_rubbing his eyes_)
Mummy, mummy!... It's you!...

MUMMY TYL
Why, of course, it's I.... Who did you think it was?...

TYLTYL
It's you.... Yes, yes, it's you!....

MUMMY TYL
Yes, yes, it's I.... I haven't changed my face since last night.... Why do
you stare at me in that wonderstruck way?... Is my nose turned upside down,
by any chance?...

TYLTYL
Oh, how nice it is to see you again!... It's so long, so long ago!... I
must kiss you at once.... Again! Again! Again!... And how comfortable my
bed is!... I am back at home!...

MUMMY TYL
What's the matter?... Why don't you wake up?... Don't tell me you're
ill.... Let me see, show me your tongue.... Come, get up and dress....

TYLTYL
Hullo, I've got my shirt on!...

MUMMY TYL
Of course you have.... Put on your breeches and your little jacket....
There they are, on the chair....

TYLTYL
Is that what I did on the journey?...

MUMMY TYL
What journey?...

TYLTYL
Why, last year....

MUMMY TYL
Last year?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes!...At Christmas, when I went away....

MUMMY TYL
When you went away?... You haven't left the room.... I put you to bed last
night, and here you are this morning.... Have you dreamed all that?...

TYLTYL
But you don't understand!... It was last year, when I went away with Mytyl,
the Fairy, Light--how nice Light is!--Bread, Sugar, Water, Fire: they did
nothing but quarrel!... You're not angry with me?... Did you feel very
sad?... And what did daddy say?... I could not refuse... I left a note to
explain....

MUMMY TYL
What are you talking about?... For sure, either you're ill or else you're
still asleep.... (_She gives him a friendly shake_.) There, wake
up.... There, is that better?...

TYLTYL
But, mummy, I assure you.... It's you that's still asleep....

MUMMY TYL
What! Still asleep, am I?... Why? I've been up since six o'clock.... I've
finished all the cleaning and lit the fire....

TYLTYL
But ask Mytyl if it's not true.... Oh, we have had such adventures!...

MUMMY TYL
Why Mytyl?... What do you mean?...

TYLTYL
She was with me.... We saw grandad and granny....

MUMMY TYL (_more and more bewildered_)
Grandad and granny?...

TYLTYL
Yes, in the Land of Memory.... It was on our way.... They are dead, but
they are quite well.... Granny made us a lovely plum-tart.... And then the
little brothers--Robert, Jean and his top--and Madeleine and Pierrette and
Pauline and Riquette, too....

MYTYL
Riquette still goes about on all fours!...

TYLTYL
And Pauline still has a pimple on her nose....

MUMMY TYL
Have you found the key of the cupboard where daddy hides his brandy
bottle?...

TYLTYL
Does daddy hide a brandy bottle?...

MUMMY TYL
Certainly. One has to hide everything when one has little meddlesome
good-for-nothings like you.... But come, out with it, confess that you took
it.... I would rather it was that.... I sha'n't tell daddy.... I sha'n't
beat you....

TYLTYL
But, mummy, I don't know where it is....

MUMMY TYL
Just walk in front of me, so that I may see if you can walk straight....
(TYLTYL _does so_) No, it's not that.... Dear heaven, what is the
matter with them?... I shall lose them too, as I lost the others!...
(_Suddenly mad with alarm, she calls out_) Daddy Tyl!... Come, quick!
The children are ill!...

(_Enter_ DADDY TYL, _very calmly, with an axe in his hand_.)

DADDY TYL
What is it?...

TYLTYL and MYTYL (_running up gaily to kiss their father_)
Hullo, daddy!... It's daddy!... Good-morning, daddy!... Have you had plenty
of work this year?...

DADDY TYL
Well, what's the matter?... They don't look ill; they look very well....

MUMMY TYL (_weeping_)
You can't trust their looks.... It will be as with the others.... They
looked quite well also to the end; and then God took them.... I don't know
what's the matter with them.... I put them to bed quite quietly last night;
and this morning, when they woke up, everything was wrong.... They don't
know what they're saying; they talk about a journey.... They have seen
Light and grandad and granny, who are dead, but who are quite well....

TYLTYL
But grandad still has his wooden leg....

MYTYL
And granny her rheumatics....

MUMMY TYL
Do you hear?... Run and fetch the doctor!...

DADDY TYL
Why, no, no.... They are not dead yet.... Come, let us look into this....
(_A knock at the front door_.) Come in!...

(_Enter_ NEIGHBOUR BERLINGOT, _a little old woman resembling the_
FAIRY _in_ ACT I _and leaning on a stick_.)

THE NEIGHBOUR
Good-morning and a Merry Christmas to you all!...

TYLTYL
It's the Fairy Bérylune!...

THE NEIGHBOUR
I have come to ask for a bit of fire for my Christmas stew.... It's very
chilly this morning.... Good-morning, children, how are you?...

TYLTYL
Fairy Bérylune, I could not find the Blue Bird....

THE NEIGHBOUR
What is he saying?...

MUMMY TYL
Don't ask me, Madame Berlingot.... They don't know what they are saying....
They have been like that since they woke up.... They must have eaten
something that wasn't good....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Why, Tyltyl, don't you remember Goody Berlingot, your Neighbour
Berlingot?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes, ma'am.... You are the Fairy Bérylune.... You're not angry with
us?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Béry... what? Goodness gracious me!...

TYLTYL
Bérylune.

THE NEIGHBOUR
Berlingot, you mean Berlingot....

TYLTYL
Bérylune or Berlingot, as you please, ma'am.... But Mytyl knows....

MUMMY TYL
That's the worst of it, that Mytyl also....

DADDY TYL
Pooh, pooh!... That will soon go; I will give them a smack or two....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Don't; It's not worth while.... I know all about it; it's only a little fit
of dreaming.... They must have slept in the moonbeams.... My little girl,
who is very ill, is often like that....

MUMMY TYL
By the way, how is your little girl?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Only so-so.... She can't get up.... The doctor says that it's her
nerves.... I know what would cure her, for all that. She was asking me for
it only this morning, for her Christmas box; it's a notion she has...

MUMMY TYL
Yes, I know; it's Tyltyl's bird.... Well, Tyltyl, aren't you going to give
it at last to that poor little thing?...

TYLTYL
What, mummy?...

MUMMY TYL
Your bird.... It's no use to you.... You don't even look at it now.... And
she has been dying to have it for ever so long!...

TYLTYL
Hullo, that's true, my bird!... Where is he?... Oh, there's the cage!...
Mytyl, do you see the cage?... It's the one which Bread carried.... Yes,
yes, it's the same one, but there's only one bird in it.... Has he
eaten the other, I wonder?... Hullo, why, he's blue!... But it's my
turtle-dove!... But he's much bluer than when I went away!... Why, that's
the blue bird we were looking for!... We went so far and he was here all
the time!... Oh, but it's wonderful!... Mytyl, do you see the bird? What
would Light say?... I will take down the cage.... (_He climbs on a chair
and takes down the cage and carries it to the_ NEIGHBOUR.) There, Madame
Berlingot, there you are.... He's not quite blue yet, but that will come,
you shall see!... Take him off quick to your little girl....

THE NEIGHBOUR
Really?... Do you mean it?... Do you give it me like that, straight away
and for nothing?... Lord, how happy she will be!... (_Kissing_ TYLTYL)
I must give you a kiss!... I fly!... I fly!...

TYLTYL
Yes, yes; be quick.... Some of them change their colour....

THE NEIGHBOUR
I will come back to tell you what she says....

(_She goes out_.)

TYLTYL (_after taking a long look around him_)
Daddy, mummy, what have you done to the house?... It's just as it was, but
it's much prettier....

DADDY TYL
How do you mean, it's prettier?...

TYLTYL
Why, yes, everything has been painted and made to look new, everything is
clean and polished.... It was not like that last year....

DADDY TYL
Last year?...

TYLTYL (_going to the window_)
And look at the forest!... How big and fine it is!... One would think
it was new!... How happy I feel here!... (_Going to the bread-pan and
opening it_) Where's Bread?.... I say, the loaves are very quiet.... And
then here's Tylô!... Hullo, Tylô, Tylô!... Ah, you had a fine fight!... Do
you remember, in the forest?...

MYTYL
And Tylette.... He knows me, but he has stopped talking....

TYLTYL
Mr. Bread.... (_Feeling his forehead_) Hullo, the diamond's gone!...
Who's taken my little green hat?... Never mind; I don't want it any
more.... Ah, Fire!... He's a good one!... He crackles and laughs to make
Water angry.... (_Running to the tap_) And Water?... Good-morning,
Water!... What does she say?... She still talks, but I don't understand her
as well as I did....

MYTYL
I don't see Sugar....

TYLTYL
Lord, how happy I am, happy, happy, happy!...

MYTYL
So am I, so am I!...

MUMMY TYL
What are you spinning round for like that?....

DADDY TYL
Don't mind them and don't distress yourself.... They are playing at being
happy....

TYLTYL
I liked Light best of all.... Where's her lamp?... Can we light it?...
(_Looking round him again_.) Goodness me, how lovely it all is and how
glad I feel!...

MUMMY TYL
Why?...

TYLTYL
I don't know, mummy....

(_A knock at the front-door_.)

DADDY TYL
Come in, come in!...

(_Enter the_ NEIGHBOUR, _holding by the hand a little girl of a
fair and wonderful beauty, who carries_ TYLTYL'S _dove pressed in her
arms_.)

THE NEIGHBOUR
Do you see the miracle?...

MUMMY TYL
Impossible!... Can she walk?...

THE NEIGHBOUR
Can she walk?... She can run, she can dance, she can fly!... When she saw
the bird, she jumped, just like that, with one bound, to the window, to see
by the light if it was really Tyltyl's dove.... And then, whoosh!... Out
into the street, like an angel!... It was as much as I could do to keep
pace with her....

TYLTYL (_going up to her, wonderstruck_)
Oh, how like Light she is!...

MYTYL
She is much smaller....

TYLTYL
Yes, indeed!... But she will grow bigger....

THE NEIGHBOUR
What are they saying?... Haven't they got over it yet?...

MUMMY TYL
They are better, they are mending.... It will be all right when they have
had their breakfasts....

THE NEIGHBOUR (_pushing the_ LITTLE GIRL _into_ TYLTYL'S _arms_).
Come along, child, come and thank Tyltyl....

(TYLTYL, _suddenly frightened, takes a step back_.)

MUMMY TYL
Well, Tyltyl, what's the matter?.... Are you afraid of the little girl?...
Come, give her a kiss, a good big kiss.... No, a better one than that....
You're not so shy as a rule!... Another one!... But what's the matter with
you?... You look as if you were going to cry....

(TYLTYL, _after kissing the_ LITTLE GIRL _rather awkwardly, stands
before her for a moment and the two children look at each other without
speaking; then_ TYLTYL _strokes the dove's head_.)

TYLTYL
Is he blue enough?...

THE LITTLE GIRL
Yes, I am so pleased with him....

TYLTYL
I have seen bluer ones.... But those which are quite blue, you know, do
what you will, you can't catch them....

THE LITTLE GIRL
That doesn't matter; he's lovely....

TYLTYL
Has he had anything to eat?...

THE LITTLE GIRL
Not yet.... What does he eat?...

TYLTYL
Anything: corn, bread, Indian corn, grasshoppers....

THE LITTLE GIRL
How does he eat, say?...

TYLTYL
With his beak. You'll see, I will show you....

(_He moves in order to take the bird from the_ LITTLE GIRL'S _hands.
She resists instinctively; and, taking advantage of the hesitation of their
movements, the_ DOVE _escapes and flies away_.)

THE LITTLE GIRL (_with a cry of despair_)
Mother!... He is gone!... (_She bursts into sobs_.)

TYLTYL
Never mind.... Don't cry.... I will catch him again.... (_Stepping to the
front of the stage and addressing the audience_.) If any of you should
find him, would you be so very kind as to give him back to us?... We need
him for our happiness, later on....


CURTAIN





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "L'oiseau bleu. English - The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home