The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II
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The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann by Gerhart HauptmannCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann Volume IIAuthor: Gerhart HauptmannRelease Date: February, 2006 [EBook #9972] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on November 5, 2003]Edition: 10Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO Latin-1*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DRAMATIC WORKS OF ***Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Thomas Berger and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.THE DRAMATIC WORKSOFGERHART HAUPTMANN(Authorized ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann by Gerhart Hauptmann Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann Volume II Author: Gerhart Hauptmann Release Date: February, 2006 [EBook #9972] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on November 5, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO Latin-1 *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DRAMATIC WORKS OF *** Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Thomas Berger and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. THE DRAMATIC WORKS OF GERHART HAUPTMANN (Authorized Edition) Edited By LUDWIG LEWISOHN Assistant Professor in The Ohio State University VOLUME TWO: SOCIAL DRAMAS 1913 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION By the Editor. DRAYMAN HENSCHEL (Fuhrmann Henschel) Translated by the Editor. ROSE BERND (Rose Bernd) Translated by the Editor. THE RATS (Die Ratten) Translated by the Editor. INTRODUCTION The first volume of the present edition of Hauptmann's Dramatic Works is identical in content with the corresponding volume of the German edition. In the second volume The Rats has been substituted for two early prose tales which lie outside of the scope of our undertaking. Hence these two volumes include that entire group of dramas which Hauptmann himself specifically calls social. This term must not, of course, be pressed too rigidly. Only in Before Dawn and in The Weavers can the dramatic situation be said to arise wholly from social conditions rather than from the fate of the individual. It is true, however, that in the seven plays thus far presented all characters are viewed primarily as, in a large measure, the results of their social environment. This environment is, in all cases, proportionately stressed. To exhibit it fully Hauptmann uses, beyond any other dramatist, passages which, though always dramatic in form, are narrative and, above all, descriptive in intention. The silent burden of these plays, the ceaseless implication of their fables, is the injustice and inhumanity of the social order. Hauptmann, however, has very little of the narrow and acrid temper of the special pleader. He is content to show humanity. It is quite conceivable that the future, forgetful of the special social problems and the humanitarian cult of to- day, may view these plays as simply bodying forth the passions and events that are timeless and constant in the inevitable march of human life. The tragedies of Drayman Henschel and of Rose Bernd, at all events, stand in no need of the label of any decade. They move us by their breadth and energy and fundamental tenderness. No plays of Hauptmann produce more surely the impression of having been dipped from the fullness of life. One does not feel that these men and women—Hanne Schäl and Siebenhaar, old Bernd and the Flamms—are called into a brief existence as foils or props of the protagonists. They led their lives before the plays began: they continue to live in the imagination long after Henschel and Rose have succumbed. How does Christopher Flamm, that excellent fellow and most breathing picture of the average man, adjust his affairs? He is fine enough to be permanently stirred by the tragedy he has earned, yet coarse enough to fall back into a merely sensuous life of meaningless pleasures. But at his side sits that exquisite monitor—his wife. The stream of their lives must flow on. And one asks how and whither? To apply such almost inevitable questions to Hauptmann's characters is to be struck at once by the exactness and largeness of his vision of men. Few other dramatists impress one with an equal sense of life's fullness and continuity, "The flowing, flowing, flowing of the world." The last play in this volume, The Rats, appeared in 1911, thirteen years after Drayman Henschel, nine years after Rose Bernd. A first reading of the book is apt to provoke disappointment and confusion. Upon a closer view, however, the play is seen to be both powerful in itself and important as a document in criticism and Kulturgeschichte. It stands alone among Hauptmann's works in its inclusion of two separate actions or plots—the tragedy of Mrs. John and the comedy of the Hassenreuter group. Nor can the actions be said to be firmly interwoven: they appear, at first sight, merely juxtaposed. Hauptmann would undoubtedly assert that, in modern society, the various social classes live in just such juxtaposition and have contacts of just the kind here chronicled. His real purpose in combining the two fables is more significant. Following the great example, though not the precise method, of Molière, who produced La Critique de l'École des Femmes on the boards of his theater five months after the hostile reception of L'École des Femmes, Hauptmann gives us a naturalistic tragedy and, at the same time, its criticism and defense. His tenacity to the ideals of his youth is impressively illustrated here. In his own work he has created a new idealism. But let it not be thought that his understanding of tragedy and his sense of human values have changed. The charwoman may, in very truth, be a Muse of tragedy, all grief is of an equal sacredness, and even the incomparable Hassenreuter—wind-bag, chauvinist and consistent Goetheaner—is forced by the essential soundness of his heart to blurt out an admission of the basic principle of naturalistic dramaturgy. The group of characters in The Rats is unusually large and varied. The phantastic note is somewhat strained perhaps in Quaquaro and Mrs. Knobbe. But the convincingness and earth-rooted humanity of the others is once more beyond cavil or dispute. The Hassenreuter family, Alice Rütterbusch, the Spittas, Paul John and Bruno Mechelke, Mrs. Kielbacke and even the policeman Schierke—all are superbly alive, vigorous and racy in speech and action. The language of the plays in this volume is again almost wholly dialectic. The linguistic difficulties are especially great in The Rats where the members of the Berlin populace speak an extraordinarily degraded jargon. In the translation I have sought, so far as possible, to differentiate the savour and quaintness of the Silesian dialect from the coarseness of that of Berlin. But all such attempts must, from their very nature, achieve only a partial success. The succeeding volumes of this edition, presenting the plays written in normal literary German, will offer a fairer if not more fascinating field of interpretation. LUDWIG LEWISOHN. DRAYMAN HENSCHEL LIST OF PERSONS DRAYMAN HENSCHEL. MRS. HENSCHEL. HANNE SCHÄL (later MRS. HENSCHEL). BERTHA. HORSE DEALER WALTHER. SIEBENHAAR. KARLCHEN. WERMELSKIRCH. MRS. WERMELSKIRCH. FRANZISKA WERMELSKIRCH. HAUFFE. FRANZ. GEORGE. FABIG. HILDEBRANT. VETERINARIAN GRUNERT. FIREMAN. Time: Toward the end of the eighteen sixties. Scene: The "Gray Swan" hotel in a Silesian watering place. THE FIRST ACT A room, furnished peasant fashion, in the basement of the "Grey Swan" hotel. Through two windows set high in the left wall, the gloomy light of a late winter afternoon sickers in. Under the windows there stands a bed of soft wood, varnished yellow, in which MRS. HENSCHEL is lying ill. She is about thirty-six years of age. Near the bed her little six-months-old daughter lies in her cradle. A second bed stands against the back wall which, like the other walls, is painted blue with a dark, plain border near the ceiling. In front, toward the right, stands a great tile-oven surrounded by a bench. A plentiful supply of small split kindling wood is piled up in the roomy bin. The wall to the right has a door leading to a smaller room. HANNE SCHÄL, a vigorous, young maid servant is very busy in the room. She has put her wooden pattens aside and walks about in her thick, blue stockings. She takes from the oven an iron pot in which food is cooking and puts it back again. Cooking spoons, a twirling stick and a strainer lie on the bench; also a large, thick earthenware jug with a thin, firmly corked neck. Beneath the bench stands the water pitcher. HANNE'S skirts are gathered up in a thick pad; her bodice is dark grey; her muscular arms are bare. Around the top of the oven is fastened a square wooden rod, on which long hunting stockings are hung up to dry, as well as swaddling clothes, leathern breeches and a pair of tall, water-tight boots. To the right of the oven stand a clothes press and a chest of drawers—old fashioned, gaily coloured, Silesian pieces of furniture. Through the open door in the rear wall one looks out upon a dark, broad, underground corridor which ends in a glass door with manicoloured panes. Behind this door wooden steps lead upward. These stairs are always illuminated by a jet of gas so that the panes of the door shine brightly. It is in the middle of February; the weather without is stormy. FRANZ, a young fellow in sober coachman's livery, ready to drive out, looks in. FRANZ Hanne! HANNE Eh? FRANZ Is the missis asleep? HANNE What d'you suppose? Don't make so much noise! FRANZ There's doors enough slammin' in this house. If that don't wake her up—! I'm goin' to drive the carriage to Waldenburg. HANNE Who's goin'? FRANZ The madam. She's goin' to buy birthday presents. HANNE Whose birthday is it? FRANZ Little Karl's. HANNE Great goin's on—those. To hitch up the horses on account o' that fool of a kid an' travel to Waldenburg in such weather! FRANZ Well, I has my fur coat! HANNE Those people don't know no more how to get rid o' their money! We got to slave instead! In the passage appears, slowly feeling his may, the veterinarian GRUNERT. He is a small man in a coat of black sheep's fur, cap and tall boots. He taps with the handle of his whip against the door post in order to call attention to his presence. GRUNERT Isn't Henschel at home yet? HANNE What's wanted of him? GRUNERT I've come to look at the gelding. HANNE So you're the doctor from Freiburg, eh? Henschel, he's not at home. He went to Freiburg carryin' freight; seems to me you must ha' met him. GRUNERT In which stall do you keep the gelding? HANNE 'Tis the chestnut horse with the white star on his face, I believe they put him in the spare stall. [To FRANZ.] You might go along an' show him the way. FRANZ Just go straight across the yard, 's far as you can, under the big hall, right into the coachman's room. Then you c'n ask Frederic; he'll tell you! [Exit GRUNERT. HANNE Well, go along with him. FRANZ Haven't you got a few pennies change for me? HANNE I s'pose you want me to sell my skin on your account? FRANZ [Tickling her.] I'd buy it right off. HANNE Franz! Don't you—! D'you want the woman to wake up? You don't feel reel well, do you, if you can't wring a few farthings out o' me! I'm fair cleaned out. [Rummaging for the money.] Here! [She presses something into his hand.] Now get out! [The bell rings. FRANZ [Frightened.] That's the master. Good-bye. [He goes hastily. MRS. HENSCHEL [Has waked up and says weakly.] Girl! Girl! Don't you hear nothin'? HANNE [Roughly.] What d'you want? MRS. HENSCHEL I want you to listen when a body calls you! HANNE I hear all right! But if you don't talk louder I can't hear. I got only just two ears. MRS. HENSCHEL Are you goin' to cut up rough again? HANNE [Surly.] Ah, what do I—! MRS. HENSCHEL Is that right, eh? Is it right o' you to talk rough like that to a sick woman? HANNE Who starts it, I'd like to know! You don't hardly wake up but what you begin to torment me. Nothin's done right, no matter how you do it! MRS. HENSCHEL That's because you don't mind me! HANNE You better be doin' your work yourself. I slaves away all day an' half o' the night! But if things is that way—I'd rather go about my business! [She lets her skirts fall and runs out. MRS. HENSCHEL Girl! Girl!—Don't do that to me! What is it I said that was so bad? O Lord, O Lord! What'll happen when the men folks comes home? They wants to eat! No, girl … girl! [She sinks back exhausted, moans softly, and begins to rock her baby's cradle by means of a cord which is within her reach. Through the glass door in the rear KARLCHEN squeezes himself in with some difficulty. He carries a dish full of soup and moves carefully and timidly toward MRS. HENSCHEL'S bed. There he sets down the dish on a wooden chair. MRS. HENSCHEL Eh, Karlchen, is that you! Do tell me what you're bringin' me there? KARLCHEN Soup! Mother sends her regards and hopes you'll soon feel better and that you'll like the soup, Mrs. Henschel. MRS. HENSCHEL Eh, little lad, you're the best of 'em all. Chicken soup! 'Tis not possible. Well, tell your mother I thank her most kindly. D'you hear? Don't go an' forget that! Now I'll tell you somethin', Karlchen! You c'n do me a favour, will you? See that rag over there? Get on this bench, will you, an' pull the pot out a bit. The girl's gone off an' she put it too far in.