Page:Poet Lore, At the Chasm, volume 24, 1913.pdf/12

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here (pointing to the paper) did not have anything in there, nor in (pointing to his forehead) here.

Cilka.—Excellent, brother.

Karel.—I have to give you a pleasant surprise. I am the author of this criticism. I thank you for your kind appreciation, but I will not change my criticisms on that account. I am sorry that you do not agree with me, but as I said before, the picture is bad. But what is the use of repeating it, there it is in black and white. (Lights cigarette.)

Bohdan.—That which is written here is an insult of a great work of Art. It is not an analysis—because every conclusion of this criticism lacks facts and proofs. But Bystrina will not offend you much longer.

Karel.—How is that?

Cilka (quickly).—He received a government stipend and he is going to Paris.

Karel.—How do you know about it?

Bohdan.—I brought it home from the club last night. Everybody was talking about it. He is going in a couple of days and he is right. No one is a prophet in his own country.

Cilka.—Oh, stop, Bohdan; you know that Karel cherishes an old prejudice against Bystrina, an old dislike.

Karel.—Dislike, prejudice! Mere phrases again. Of course, I did not forget that there was a time when Mr. Bystrina (bursts into laughter) could have been dangerous—but to-day that gentleman is wholly indifferent to me. Let him draw a good picture and I will not deny him my recognition. I will not shout it in hyperboles, but state it simply and truly, just as to-day when I am condemning his work.

Bohdan.—You have to condemn him, you, and there are thousands who are enthusiastic about his work. But that is the misfortune, these thousands have not the opportunity to express their opinions, while you, a journalist, have—that is the whole difference. In that way you have the means in your power.

Cilka.—Drop this matter, Bohdan. Did he not say himself that even if the picture were good, he would not use hyperboles? You can feel the old rival.

Karel.—There are two things which I must make clear to you, Cilka. The first is in regard to those hyperboles and the second in regard to my attitude to Mr. Bystrina. I never use hyperboles. It is a very imprudent and uncautious thing. How do we mortals know that a work, let it be as great and beautiful as possible, is worthy of a hyperbole?—Do