Page:Poet Lore, At the Chasm, volume 24, 1913.pdf/15

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Cilka.—I am not so sure about that.

Bohdan.—Because you are of a sensitive disposition; such people as you are always unhappy. Characters like yours always yearn for more and more, they are never satisfied, and believe me, even love gets tired once in awhile. There's a time when it can go no further, needs peace and silence, and asks not for more sweetness. But temperaments like yours cannot admit of such a state of peace; to them empty emotions are dearer and more welcome than that rare, sacred peace of the soul. You, yourself, are to blame for your unhappiness.

Cilka (offended).—Do you speak that way, Bohdan? I see that I was mistaken in you.

Bohdan.—If you will consider these things in a quiet way, your husband's bit of jesting or a bit of irony will not offend you. I have known him for eight years, and since you were married I have lived with you. His soul is a gem, a diamond.

Cilka.—An uncut one, alas!

Bohdan.—You ought to laugh with him.

Cilka.—Then I would have to laugh at myself, at my own convictions, at my own feelings. I would then have to play a farce which would be a tragedy. Would you advise me to do that?

Bohdan.—You take trifles too seriously. Say with Hamlet, 'Words, words, words!' They are but the waste of daily conversation and are soon lost and forgotten. In actual life we do not judge by words but by action, and his actions are good, gentle and loyal.

Cilka (excited).—My husband does not even know what a good advocate he has in you.

Bohdan.—The greatest misfortune in a home is exaggerated and eccentric sensitiveness, be it the husband's or the wife's. Karel is trying to kill it with his irony and his jests. You gladly fall a victim to it. Your bringing up was, of course, a great deal to blame, but you yourself give way too much to your dreams. You are one of those who conceive marriage to be like a rosy midsummer night's dream, in which one does nothing but drink coffee and read novels; but instead of that it is a serious and onerous duty. But I must appear ridiculous preachin glike a cad. Good-bye. Meditate over these things while you are alone.

Cilka (gets up and detains him).—Do not leave me, Bohdan. You are right, partly. I will think over it—but stay and tell me more. Do remain awhile. I am so weak just now that I don't know if——

Bohdan.—What is the matter? Why are you so excited?

Cilka.—It’s nothing. It’s all right now.