Page images





Mr. Von Rückenmark.


his children.
Carolin Von Hellstern.
Ferdinand Von Bombeek,
Peter Goodsheep-(Edward's servant)


The Scene is a room in Mr. Von Rückenmarks house.

[ocr errors]


(Emily seated in the foreground employed in needle work,

Katzrabe and Walter standing near the door; Mr. Rück.

enmark 'comes out of an adjoining room.] Rück.-Who wants to speak with me? Xa¢z.-Your honor has advertized in the papers that you want

a' valet-de-chambre. I offer my services. Wal.- And I. Rück.–Well, well ; yes, very good ;- but my valet has the charge

of my money also, and must therefore be an honest man ; one

who may be trusted. Katz.-That's exactly my character. Wal.—There are my testimonials. Rück,-(Takes the testimonials and reads them) You lived fifteen

years with your master ? Wal.-Death alone could separate me from him. Rück.–That is certainly a recommendation ; (to Katzrabe) where

are your testimonials ? Katz. I have none; they have been stolen from me.


Rick.- Ah! Well, that is not of so much importance to me. Il we were to form our judgments by these testimonials should conclude that there were no bad servants in the world. - The most honorable man, when he dismisses a seirant, takes no sciuple of giving him a compassionate lie to help him on. Whether another honorable man is deceived by such conduct, no

one thinks of enquiring, provided only the rascals get on-I - therefore place no credit whatever in such testimonials. Heaveú

be praised I am acquainted with a totally diferent method, which is always infallible.—Nobody cheats me. Whoever I lake into my service must first let me examine his head. Do you agtec

to this? Wal. With all


heart. Kalz.-If you must. Riirk.-(Feels Walter's head with great seriousness) ah ! ah ! (goes

to his daughter.) Now Emily read these testimonials, I beg you for heaven's sakem-Would not one believe that the fellow was

miracle of honesty ? He is a rascal, a rile rascal. IIc has the - organ of thest as large as a roll of tobacco. Look at his broad

depressed skull, how it bulges out on both sides (He turns back) Gö along my good fellow, I have no occasion for your services. Wal.-I served my sainted master fifteen years honesty and faith

fully. Riick.-Palm that upon some one else.—You bave robbed him,

shainefully robbed bim. Wal.-My good character is every thing to me, Your Honor. If

you wo'nt take me into your service you certainly have no right

on that account to slander nre. Rick.-Well, my good fellow it is not my fault that you are gi

ven to thieving, and it certainly is not your fault. It is a nisfortune which no one can help. (He feels Kaizrabe's head) Bravo!-- Bravo! zennds there's a magnificent skull. Such a bump of goodnature lias never come under my observation before ! A real miracle of benevolence (To Walter.) Now look yourself,

at this billock! That is totally wanting in you. Wal.-I can easily believe that. The lellow got a sound cudgelling

yesterday in a public house for cheating at play-He must bave

a great many more lumps upou bis head still. Katz.-Slander, sheer slander. Rick. Certainly,- exactly so,- yon are a fool.-Lumps are no

organs. (He feels again) Quite flat here at the sides,-not a

trace of cunning, still less of theft. You are honest lellow-you i may be a little stupid, but that's of no importance. I take you

into my service. Katz.-Your honor shall be lhoroughly satisfied with me, depend

upon it.

Fal - That's to be hoped ! But it is no affair of mine-Your --honor must however recall the insulting expressious you have * made use of towards me this moruing, or I shall lay a complaint

against you instantly, Riick. My good man I mean well with you, and can give you no

beller advice sbau to have yourself locked up as long us you live, • or you'll go on stealing until you coine to the gallows. Wal. This is too bad. My good name is my whole wealth : I'll certainly enquire of of ihe magistrates whether it is allowa

able to steal that without any cause whatever.-- (Exit.) Riick.- Make hastc after him and take care bat ibe fellaw carries

volbing off witb him.



Riick.--) have made a splendid acquisition. An organ of good

nature as large as " my fist.— You may entrust hin with all ine

silver things directly. I'll stake my word upon his honesty. Em.-But my dear Fatber, if you have dove the other poor fel

low wrong Riick.-Wrong? Why did you not see then what protuberances

he had on both sides behind his ears? The rascal bus a bead

as broad as • dewlap. Em.-Granted that your system is infallible, your

celebrated master nevertheless declared ihal it was exceedingly difficult to distinguish the organs by feeling thym. This five sense of touch, he said,

was the lot of few, and thuse. tew were chiefly women. Riick.--Nonsense, sunff. The man was gallant and wished to pay you a complimient; nothing more. I uuderstand the maller as well as wy budy

But you don't ibiuk so, because I can't find the organ of music on your lover's head, and because I have dis

covered thai he is a lieusoplist. Em.-My Ferdinand is certainiy a little eoibusiastic. Riick. That's just it-exactly what I say. Em.-But his divinity is only Love. Riick.–Don't deceive yourself -- Love does not lie here in the crown

of the head; it's behind in the poll. Em....I think it lies in the heart. Rick.--- In the poll. I tell you---And your Mr. Von Bombeck is a

ileosoplist who sooner or later will found a new religions sect. Em..--At present, however, he appears to think about no such thing.

Rick.---It will come---Of. music he has not even a restige. As far

as that is concerned, he has a skuli like an. Ape's, which has also

no organ for music. Em.---That may be. He is no lover of music. But for all that he

may be a good husband. The harmony of congenial hearts * Riick.---But I tell you we are not talking about hearts, but heads.

You know I love music passionately, and once for all, I am de. termined to have no son-in-law odio wants a taste for this noble gift of heaven. And no daughter-in-law either. It is misfortune enuugh that my own children have such ape's skulls. I have selected therefore for your brother a young lady with a head like a triangle. Those are your true inusical geniusses, and with the belp

of God, I hope to find just such another for you. Em.- May I ask who is the beautiful lady with the three comujered

head that you have selected for my brother ?
Ruck.--Miss Sturzwald.
Em.-Ha! ha! ha! The bump-backed Miss Sturywald, why she

does not know even a single note.
Ruck. That's no matter. Nighuingales don't sing by note.
Em..But she has not a note in her voice.
Ruck.-What does that signily. With her organ she could become

a virtuoso in a weck if she choose, and 10 please me she wille
Your brother relurns to day inom his travels. I'll urrange the
whole affair then,

[ocr errors]

Em.- I doubt whether the beautiful betrothed will please my bro.

ther's laste.
Ruck.- Don't be anxious on that score. When he sees ibat organ!
Em.-And that hump!
Ruck. But he shall not see the hump. He can look at ber iu

front, can't he-oh that triangle !
Em.-I am afraid, my dear Father, the hump ***.
Ruck.-Hold your tongne about the hump. All women have

humps somewhere, if they hav'nt them on their backs. A bump there is by far the casiest 10 put up with, Your vanily, your Jalsehood, your coquering-these are the worst excrescences, and a poor husband finds it much heavier to bear them than you do! Good heavens! if a woman has only a geutle disposition and a tol table orgau o music, she migil bare, as far as the rest is concerned, a hump like a camels; who would scruple at that? When she plays and sings her busband, standing behind her chair, lets tears of extacy fall upon her bump. In short, Edward warries Miss Sturzwald, and you remain single until some one with a triangular head proposes for you.



Bomb.---Pardon my early visit. Love and anxiety bring me here. I come again, Mr. Von Ruckenmark, 10 beg you for the

hand of your daughter, Riick.---Mr. Vox Bombeck I have already expressd my regret, and

there's nothing more unpleasant than to be obliged to express

that regret (wice in such matters. Bomb.---But I possess Emily's beart. Riick.---That you may keep in the name of heaven. A girls heart

is like a Bishopric in partibus infidelium. As for her hand

however * * Bumh.---Why should not this dear hand strep the path of my liso

with Auwers ? Ruch.- Alas! The rose-season of lovers is even briefer than Flora's !

After the honeymoon the rosts are collected into a Pol-pourri, sail thrown upon them, and sometimes smelt 10, as a memorial

of the happy days when they blossomed. Bomb.-To drop metaphors, Mr. Von Rückenmark, what have you

to say against me? I am a wealthy man! Ricki-Do you innagine I am one of those fathers mbo think they

du 'enough when they procure for their daughters the means of eating-and that 100 upon silver ? No. I care whether they do eat and hav;-Whether gall seasons the pheasants, or lears drop

into the Madeira * Bomb.- But I may without boasting say that I am an honorable

man, and of a gentle disposition, Riick.- Oh yes, you have the organ of benevolence in a tolerable

degree, but not a vestiye of that of music. I broke that to you lately; and without barmony there is no chance of a happy marriage. Had my dear wile, now in heaven, not sung, we should, in spite of the heavenly sts, have tormented each other to death

from sheer ennai. Bomb.- If your consent depends upon that only, I will begin to

lake lessons this very day. Rick.- What good will that do? Your head is compressed like

a boule ! You will only torture yoursell in vain. Bomb.- Abominable obstinacy! Rick.-Yes, God be thanked, I have the organ of firmness—it's

here just behind that of theosophy. Bomb.-My father unites his entreaties to mine, and he hopes to

give them weight with you by offering, as he now does, io fear, up the bond for the 2000 Louis-d'ors which you owe him.

* *


« PreviousContinue »