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Full Online Book HomePlaysWin Or Lose - Act 4: Scene 1 To Scene 9
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Win Or Lose - Act 4: Scene 1 To Scene 9 Post by :Richelo_Killian Category :Plays Author :Henryk Sienkiewicz Date :May 2012 Read :1108

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Win Or Lose - Act 4: Scene 1 To Scene 9


(The same Drawing Room.)


(Jozwowicz. Drahomir.)

(Jozwowicz sits at table writing in notebook. Drahomir enters.)

DRAHOMIR. Doctor, I came to bid you farewell.

DOCTOR (rising suddenly).--Ah, you are going away?


DOCTOR. So suddenly? For long?

DRAHOMIR. I am returning to-day to Swietlenice, to George; to-morrow I leave for Paris.

DOCTOR. One word--have you said anything to any one of your plans?

DRAHOMIR. Not yet. I only made up my mind an hour ago.

DOCTOR. Then Mr. Pretwic knows nothing about it as yet?

DRAHOMIR. No; but why do you ask?

DOCTOR (aside).--I must act now--otherwise everything is lost. (Aloud) Count, I have not much time to speak to you now, because in a moment I expect Anton in regard to a matter on which my whole future depends. Listen to me. I beseech you, for the sake of the peace and health of the princess, not to mention to any one that you are going away. Neither to the Prince nor to Mr. Pretwic.

DRAHOMIR. I do not understand you.

DOCTOR. You will understand me. Now I cannot tell you anything more. In a half hour pray grant me a moment of conversation. Then you will understand me--that I guarantee you. Here is Anton. You see I cannot explain now.

DRAHOMIR. I will see you again. (He goes out.)



(Anton. Jozwowicz.)

ANTON. The fight is very hot. Have you the address?

DOCTOR. Here it is. How goes it?

ANTON. Up to now everything is well, but I repeat--the fight is very hot. If you had not come the last time, you would have lost the battle, because Miliszewski has withdrawn and his partisans vote for Husarski. Podczaski is good for nothing. Your speech in the city hall was splendid. May thunder strike you! Your address was admired even by your enemies. Oh, we will at last be able to do something. For three days I have not slept--I have not eaten--I work and I have plenty of time, because I have lost my position.

DOCTOR. You have lost your position?

ANTON. On account of the agitation against Husarski.

DOCTOR. Have you found any means against him?

ANTON. I have-written an article. I have brought it to you. Read it. He sues me--he will beat me. They will put me in prison, but it will be only after the election, and my article wronged him very much.

DOCTOR. Very well.

ANTON. But when I am in prison you must take care of my wife and children. I love them dearly. I have three of them. It is too much--but _natura lex dura_.

DOCTOR. Be assured.

ANTON. You would not believe me if I were to tell you that I am almost happy. Sometimes it seems to me that our country is a moldy room and that I open the window and let in the fresh air. We will work very hard. I believe in you, because you are an iron man.

DOCTOR. I shall either perish or gain two victories.


DOCTOR. Yes; the other one even to-day, here. The events have surprised me in some way. The facts turned against me, and I was obliged to build my plans of action only a short while ago.

ANTON. Eh! If we win only there. Do you know what--I would prefer that you abandon the idea of the other victory.

DOCTOR. Anton, you are mistaken.

ANTON. Because you worry a great deal. You have grown awfully thin. Look in the mirror.

DOCTOR. No matter; after I have sprung the mine I shall be calmer and the mine is ready.

ANTON. But it will cost you too much.

DOCTOR. Yes, but I shall not retract.

ANTON. At least be careful and do not smear your hands with the powder.




(The same. Stella.)

STELLA (entering, notices Anton).--Ah, excuse me.

DOCTOR. Mr. Anton Zuk, a friend of mine. (Anton bows.) What is your wish, princess?

STELLA. You told me to stay in bed and it is so hard to lie down. Mrs. Czeska went to the chapel and I escaped. Do you approve?

DOCTOR. I cannot help it, princess, although I would like to scold you like a disobedient child. A few moments ago some one else begged for you also.

STELLA. Who was it?

DOCTOR. Count Drahomir. And he begged so earnestly that I promised him that I would allow you to leave the bed. He wishes to have a talk with you to-day, because he will not be able to see you again.

STELLA (aside).--What does it mean?

DOCTOR. He will be here at five o'clock.

STELLA. Very well.

DOCTOR. And now, pray, return to your room. Your dress is too thin and you might catch cold.




(Jozwowicz. Anton.)

ANTON. Ah, that is the princess.

DOCTOR. Yes, it is she.

ANTON. Very pretty, but looks as though she was made of mist. As for me, I prefer women like my wife. From such as your princess you cannot expect sturdy democrats.

DOCTOR. Enough of that.

ANTON. Then I will weigh anchor and sail. I will distribute the pamphlet with your address, and then I will write another article against Husarski. If they put me in prison they shall at least have a reason for it. Good-bye.

DOCTOR. If you meet a servant, tell him that I am waiting for Count Drahomir.



(Jozwowicz--then Drahomir.)

DOCTOR (alone).--Let that golden-haired page go, but he must see her before he goes. This leave-taking shall be the red flag for the bull. (Drahomir enters.) I am waiting for you, sir. Is Mr. Pretwic in the chateau?

DRAHOMIR. He is with the prince.

DOCTOR. Count, be seated, and let us talk.

DRAHOMIR (uneasily).--I am listening, sir.

DOCTOR. You are in love with the princess.

DRAHOMIR. Mr. Jozwowicz!

DOCTOR. On your honor--yes or no?

DRAHOMIR. Only God has the right to ask me such a question. I do not dare to ask myself.

DOCTOR. And your conscience?

DRAHOMIR. And no one else.

DOCTOR. Then let us turn the question. She loves you.

DRAHOMIR. Be silent, sir. Oh, God!

DOCTOR. Your pride is broken. You knew of it?

DRAHOMIR. I did not wish to know it.

DOCTOR. But now you are aware of it.

DRAHOMIR. That is the reason why I am going away from here forever.

DOCTOR. It is too late, sir. You have tangled her life and now you leave her.

DRAHOMIR. For God's sake, what shall I do, then?

DOCTOR. Go away, but not forever, and not without telling her good-bye.

DRAHOMIR. Why should I add the last drop to an already overflowing cup?

DOCTOR. A beautiful phrase. Can you not understand that it will hurt her good name if you should go away suddenly without taking leave of her? And she--she is ill and she may not be able to bear your departure.

DRAHOMIR. I do not see any remedy--

DOCTOR. There is only one. Find some pretext, bid her good-bye quietly, and tell her that you will be back. Otherwise it will be a heavy blow for her strength. You must leave her hope. She must not suspect anything. Perhaps later she will become accustomed to your absence--perhaps she will forget--

DRAHOMIR. It will be better for her to forget.

DOCTOR. I will do my best, but I shall first throw a handful of earth on your memory.

DRAHOMIR. What shall I do, then?

DOCTOR. To find a pretext to bid her good-bye, tell every one that you are going. Then come back--and go away. Mr. Pretwic also must not know anything.

DRAHOMIR. When shall I bid her good-bye?

DOCTOR. In a moment. I told her. I will manage to be with Pretwic during that time. She will be here presently.

DRAHOMIR. I would prefer to die.

DOCTOR. No one is certain of to-morrow. Be off now. (Drahomir goes out.)




(Jozwowicz. Then a servant.)

DOCTOR. How warm it is here! My head is splitting. (He rings--a servant enters.) Ask Mr. Pretwic to come here. (The servant goes out.) My head is bursting--but then I will have a long peace.



(Jozwowicz. George Pretwic.)

GEORGE (entering).--What do you wish with me?

DOCTOR. I wish to give you good advice about the princess's health.

GEORGE. How is she?

DOCTOR. Better. I allowed her to leave bed because she and Drahomir asked me to.

GEORGE. Drahomir?

DOCTOR. Yes. He wishes to talk with her. They will be here in a quarter of an hour.

GEORGE. Jozwowicz, I am choking with wrath and pain. Drahomir avoids me.

DOCTOR. But you do not suspect him.

GEORGE. I swear to you that I have defended myself from suspicions as a man dying on the steppe defends himself from the crows--that I have bitten my hands with pain and despair--that I still defend myself. But I cannot any more. I cannot. The evidence pounds on my brain. He avoids me. He tells me that I have become an idiot--that I have become a madman, because--

DOCTOR. Keep your temper. Even if he were in love with the princess, nobody rules his own heart.

GEORGE. Enough! You were right when you coupled his name with hers. At that moment I repulsed the thought, but it was there just the same (he strikes his breast). The fruit is ripened. Oh, what a ridiculous and dreadful part I am playing here--

DOCTOR. But he saved your life.

GEORGE. In order to take it when it began to have a certain value. His service is paid with torture, with a slain happiness, with a broken hope, with destroyed faith in myself, in him and in her.

DOCTOR. Be easy.

GEORGE. I loved that man. Tell me that I am a madman and I shall be calmed. How dreadful to think that it is he! Forgive me everything I said to you before and help me. Evil thoughts are rushing through my head.

DOCTOR. Be calm--you are mistaken.

GEORGE. Prove to me that I am mistaken and I will kneel before you.

DOCTOR. You are mistaken, because Drahomir is going away.

GEORGE. He is going away. (A moment of silence.) Oh, Lord! Then I can live without such tortures, I may hope!

DOCTOR (coolly and slowly).--But he is not going away forever. He said he would return.

GEORGE. You put me on the cross again.

DOCTOR. Come to your senses and do not let yourself be carried away by madness. At any rate you gain time. You can win her heart back again.

GEORGE. No--it is done. I am sinking into a precipice.

DOCTOR. Everything will be straightened out by his absence.

GEORGE (with an outburst).--But did you not tell me that he will return?

DOCTOR. Listen: I agree with you that you have repaid Drahomir for the services of saving your life with your tortures. Drahomir has betrayed you and has broken the friendship between you by winning her heart. But I do not think that he is going away in order to avoid your vengeance.

GEORGE. And to give her time to break her engagement! Yes, yes! I am cursed. I suspect him now of everything. He avoids me.

DOCTOR. Mr. Pretwic.

GEORGE. Enough. I am going to ask him when he will be back. He has saved my life once, and slain me ten times. (He tries to leave.)

DOCTOR. Where are you going?

GEORGE. To ask him how long he is going away.

DOCTOR. Wait a moment. How could you ask him such a question? Perhaps he is innocent, but pride will shut his mouth and everything will be lost. Stay here--you can leave only over my corpse. I am not afraid of you!--do you understand? In a moment they will be here. You wish for proofs--you shall have them. From the piazza you cannot hear them, but you can see them. You shall be persuaded with your own eyes--perhaps you will regret your impetuosity.

GEORGE (after a while).--Very well, then. May God grant that I was mistaken! Thank you--but you must not leave me now.

DOCTOR. One word more. No matter what happens I shall consider you a villain if you place her life in peril by any outburst.

GEORGE. Granted. Where shall we go?

DOCTOR. On the piazza. But you have fever--you are already shaking.

GEORGE. I am out of breath. Some one is coming. Let us be going.




(Drahomir. Then Stella.)

DRAHOMIR. The last evening and the last time. (After a while.) O Lord, thy will be done!

STELLA (enters).--The Doctor told me that you wished to see me.

DRAHOMIR. Yes, madam. Pray forgive my boldness. A very important affair calls me home. I come to bid you good-bye.

STELLA. You are going away?

DRAHOMIR. To day I am going to Swietlenice, to-morrow still further. (A moment of silence.)

STELLA. Yes, it is necessary.

DRAHOMIR. Life has flown like a dream--it is time to wake up.

STELLA. Shall we see each other again?

DRAHOMIR. If God permits it.

STELLA. Then let us shake hands in farewell. I can assure you that you have a friend in me. Friendship is like an immortal--it is a pale flower, but does not wither. May God guide you and protect you. The heart--of a sister--will follow you everywhere. Remember--

DRAHOMIR. Farewell.

STELLA. Farewell. (She goes toward the door. Then suddenly turns. With a sob in her voice.) Why do you deceive me? You are going forever.

DRAHOMIR. Have mercy on me.

STELLA. Are you going away forever?

DRAHOMIR. Yes, then.

STELLA. I guessed it. But perhaps it is better--for both of us.

DRAHOMIR. Oh, yes. There are things which cannot be expressed, although the heart is bursting. A while ago you told me that you will remember--it will be better for you to forget.

STELLA. I cannot. (She weeps.)

DRAHOMIR (passionately).--Then I love you, my dearest, and that is the reason why I escape. (He presses her to his breast.)

STELLA (awakening).--Oh, God! (She rushes, out.)




(Drahomir. Jozwowicz. George.)

(George stops with Jozwowicz near the door.)

DRAHOMIR. Ah, it is you, George.

GEORGE. Do not approach me. I have seen all. You are a villain and a coward.


GEORGE. In order not to soil my hand, I throw in your face our broken friendship, my trampled happiness, lost faith in God and man, endless contempt for you and myself.


GEORGE. Do not approach me, because I will lose my self-command and will sprinkle these walls with your brains. No, I shall not do that--because I have promised. But I slap your face, you villain. Do you hear me?

DRAHOMIR (after struggling with himself for a moment).--Such an insult I swear before God and man I will wash out with blood.

GEORGE. Yes, with blood (pointing to the doctor). Here is the witness of these words.

DOCTOR. At your service, gentlemen.

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Win Or Lose - Act 5: Scene 1 To Scene 10 Win Or Lose - Act 5: Scene 1 To Scene 10

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Win Or Lose - Act 3: Scene 1 To Scene 14 Win Or Lose - Act 3: Scene 1 To Scene 14

Win Or Lose - Act 3: Scene 1 To Scene 14
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