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BOOKS BY HERMANN SUDERMANN
Published By CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
The Joy of Living (Es Lebe das Leben). A Play in Five Acts. Translated from the German by Edith Wharton. net $1.25
Roses. Four One-Act Plays. Translated from the German by Grace Frank. net $1.25
FOUR ONE-ACT PLAYS
STREAKS OF LIGHT--THE LAST VISIT
--MARGOT--THE FAR-AWAY PRINCESS
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
NEW YORK:::::::::::::::::::::::: 1909
Copyright, 1909, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Published September, 1909
A PLAY IN ONE ACT
The Present Day
The action takes place at a small pavilion situated in the park belonging to an old castle.
STREAKS OF LIGHT
An octagonal pavilion of the Rococo period, the three front walls of which are cut off by the proscenium. Ceiling and walls are cracked and spotted by rain, and bear the marks of long disuse. At the back, in the centre, a large doorway. The glass door is thrown wide open; the shutters behind are closed. On the right and left, in the oblique walls of the room, are windows, the shutters of which are also closed. Through the blinds at the door and the right window, sunbeams in streaks of light penetrate the semi-darkness of the room.
On the left, in the foreground, a Louis Sixteenth sofa with table and gilded chairs to match. On the wall above, an old mirror. Near the sofa, a tapestried doorway. A chandelier wrapped in a dusty gauze covering is suspended from the ceiling. A four-post bed with hangings of light net takes up the right side of the stage. In the foreground, in front of the bed, a table with plates, glasses, wine-decanters, and provisions on it. A coffee percolator stands under the table. In the middle of the stage, a little to the right, a chaise-longue. At the head of it, a small table. Between the large door and the windows, dusty marble busts on dilapidated pedestals. Above them, on the walls, a collection of various sorts of weapons. The Oriental rugs which are thrown about the floor and over the chaise-longue contrast strangely with the faded splendour of the past.
The whole room is decorated with roses. On the table at the left is a bronze vessel of antique design overflowing with roses. Garlands of roses hang from the chandelier and encircle the bedposts. On the small table near the chaise-longue, a large, flat dish, also filled with roses. In fact wherever there is any place for these flowers, they have been used in profusion.
Part of the table which stands in front of the sofa is covered by a napkin, upon which are seen a bottle of wine and the remains of a luncheon for one. It is a sultry afternoon in midsummer.
Julia lies on the chaise-longue, asleep. She is a beautiful woman, about twenty-five years of age, intractable and passionate, with traces of a bourgeois desire to be "romantic." She is dressed in white, flowing draperies, fantastically arranged.
A tower clock strikes four. Then the bells of the castle are heard ringing. Both seem to be at a distance of about two hundred paces.
Pierre enters cautiously through the tapestried doorway at the left. He is a fashionably dressed, aristocratic young fellow who has been petted and spoiled. He is effeminate, cowardly, arrogant, and is trying to play the passionate man, although inwardly cold and nervous.
(Laughs in her sleep. Her laughter dies out in groans.) Pierre! Pierre! Help! Pierre!
Pierre (bending over her).
Yes, yes. What is it?
Nothing-- (Laughs and goes on sleeping).
Pierre (straightening up).
Whew How hot it is! (He stares at Julia, his face distorted by fear and anger, and beats his forehead. Then indicating the outstretched form of the woman.) Beautiful!--You beautiful animal--you! (Kneels. Julia holds out her arms to him, but he evades her embrace.) Stop! Wake up!
Please let me sleep.
No! Wake up! I've only come for a moment. It's tea-time, and I have to go back to the house.
No, mamma will be asking for me. I have to be there for tea.
I have a headache. I want some black coffee!
Then make it yourself. The gardener is cleaning the orchid rooms in the hot-house, and he has no time for