Translation:Puss in Boots/Act 2/Scene 2
Hinze with his cane, knapsack and bag.
Glorious weather! — What a beautiful, warm day; afterwards I will lie out in the sun for a bit.
He spreads out his bag.
Well, Fortune favor me! — Of course, when I reflect how that capricious goddess rarely favors shrewdly laid plans and always ends up confounding the intelligence of us mortals, I really should lose all my courage. But be still, my heart; a little work and sweat for a kingdom is surely worth the effort. — So long as there are no dogs around here; I can't stand the sight of those creatures; I despise their kind because they submit themselves so willingly to the lowest form of human bondage; they're good for nothing except flattering and biting; and they have no style at all, without which social intercourse is absolutely impossible. — There's no game to be caught.
He begins to sing a hunting song: "In the field I creep, silent and wild," etc. A nightingale begins to warble in a nearby bush.
She sings superbly, the songstress of the grove — but how delicious she must taste! — The great are so lucky; they can eat as many nightingales and larks as they like; — we poor common people must content ourselves with their singing, with the beauty of their nature, with their incomprehensibly sweet harmony. — It's so annoying that I can never listen to a bird singing without at the same time wanting to eat it. — Nature! Nature! Why do you always mar my finest emotions by saddling me with such a vulgar taste in music! — I almost feel like taking off my boots and gingerly climbing up that tree; she must be perching somewhere up there.
There is stamping in the pit.
Nightingales are good-natured creatures; I never realized that they prefer to sing when the weather is stormy and tempestuous, but now I see how wrong I was. — Ay! Sing on, you warbler, until you run out of breath! — She must taste delicious. But I'm forgetting all about my hunting with these sweet dreams. — Truly, there's no game to be caught. — Hello, someone's coming!
Two Lovers enter.
Say, honey, can you hear that nightingale?
I'm not deaf, my dear.
Oh, how my heart overflows with joy to be surrounded like this by nature in all her harmonious perfection, where every sound is an echo of my own love, and all heaven bows down and pours out its ether to me.
You're beginning to rave, my dear!
Don't call the most natural emotions of my heart raving.
He kneels down.
Look, I swear to you here in the sight of the glorious heavens—
approaching them courteously
I beg your pardon, but could you please move along? Your charming displays of affection are making it impossible for me to hunt.
With the Sun as my witness, the Earth — and everything else: You yourself, dearer to me than Earth, Sun, and all the planets—What is it, my good friend?
I'm trying to hunt — I beg you most humbly.
Barbarian! You dare to interrupt a passionate avowal of love! Clearly, you are not of woman born. You are not fit to live in human society.
If you would only consider—
Wait one moment, my good friend; can't you see that my beloved, lost in the intoxication of the moment, is on his knees.
Do you believe me now?
Oh! I already believed you, even before you opened your mouth!
She bends down to him affectionately.
Dearest! — I — love you! — Oh, inexpressibly!
Am I mad? — Oh, and if I'm not, why do I not become so immediately with an excess of joy, wretched contemptible creature that I am? — I am no longer on Earth; behold me closely, dearest, and tell me: Am I not perhaps wandering up there at the center of the immortal Sun?
You are in my arms, and they shall never release you either.
Oh, come, this open country is too narrow for my emotions, we must scale the highest mountain and tell the whole of Nature how happy we are!
They go off quickly and full of delight. Loud applause and cries of "Bravo!" are heard in the pit.
The lover really threw himself into his rôle. Ow! I've applauded so much that my hands have swollen right up.
You don't know how to restrain yourself when you're happy.
Yes, I'm always like that.
Ah! — that was certainly something for the heart! — That makes one feel good again!
Really beautiful diction in that scene!
But I wonder whether it was really essential to the plot?
I never worry about the plot; if I cry, I cry, that's enough; that passage was simply divine.
O Love, how powerful art thou! Thy voice calmeth the storm, it reduceth the thundering public to silence. Thou confoundest the hearts of the critics; they have forgotten their anger; their refinement has been mislaid. But there's still no game to be had.
A rabbit creeps into the bag; Hinze rushes over and pulls the drawstring tight.
What have we here, my good friend! This creature is a cousin of mine, so to speak. Yes, that's the way of the world nowadays: dog eat dog, sibling rivalry; if you want to get on in the world, you've got to be prepared to push others out of your way.
He takes the rabbit out of the bag and puts it into his knapsack.
Wait! Wait! — I really must take care not to devour the game myself. If I just tie up the knapsack as quickly as possible, I should be able to hold my appetite in check. — Fie! For shame, Hinze! — Is it not the nobleman's duty to sacrifice himself and his desires for the good of his fellow creatures? That is the reason we were created, and whoever cannot do that — oh, it were better for him if he had never been born!
As he is on the point of withdrawing, there is loud applause. Everyone cries "Encore" and he has to repeat his beautiful closing speech. Then he bows respectfully and goes off with the rabbit.
Oh, what a noble fellow!
And what fine human sentiments!
I suppose things like this can still be edifying in their own way, but whenever I see such tomfoolery I just want to lay about me like a madman.
I too began to feel quite wistful — the nightingale — the lovers — the final tirade — why, this play has some really beautiful passages after all!
- ↑ Im Felde schleich ich, still und wild: The opening line of Jägers Abendlied (Hunter's Evening Song), a poem by Johann von Goethe. It has been set to music by several composers, most notable them being Franz Schubert (D215, Op. 3, No. 4).