Translation:Puss in Boots/Interval 1
Why, it's getting crazier and crazier. — What was the purpose of that last scene, I wonder?
No purpose at all; it was totally unnecessary; just an excuse to introduce some new piece of tomfoolery. We seem to have lost sight of the cat altogether. There's no fixed point of view at all.
It's just as if I were drunk.
In what period is the play supposed to be set, then? Obviously, the hussars are a recent invention.
We simply shouldn't put up with it; we should kick up a racket. We haven't the faintest idea now what this play is about.
And no love interest, either! There's nothing in it for the heart, nothing for the imagination!
I don't know about the rest of you, but at the first sign of any more nonsense, I'm going to start stamping and hissing.
to his neighbor
I like this play now.
Very nice, very nice indeed; he's a great man, the author — he has imitated The Magic Flute very well.
I especially liked the hussars; people are usually too apprehensive to bring horses onto the stage — but why not? They often have more sense than the humans. I would rather see one good horse than several human beings in a modern play.
The Moors in Kotzebue — after all, a horse is just another kind of Moor.
Did you notice what regiment the hussars belonged to?
No, I wasn't paying close enough attention to them. — Too bad they took themselves off so soon; actually, I'd like to see a whole play with nothing but hussars in it — I really like the cavalry.
What do you think of all this?
I simply can't get the excellent acting of the man who's playing the cat out of my head. What a study! What subtlety! What observation! What a costume!
That's true; he really does look like a large tom-cat.
And just look at his entire mask, as I would prefer to call his costume; for since he has so completely disguised his natural appearance, this word is far more appropriate. God bless me, but God bless the ancients too while He's at it. You probably do not know that in the Classical world, all rôles without exception were performed in masks, as you will find in Athenaeus, Pollux and other authors. It's difficult, don't you see, to know all these details, because one must now and then look them up for oneself in the works of such authors; but, of course, one then has the advantage of being able to quote them. There is a difficult passage in Pausanias—
You were going to be kind enough to say something about the cat.
Oh, yes. — I only meant to say all the foregoing by the by, so I beg you most earnestly to consider it as a footnote; and — to return to the cat — have you noticed, I wonder, that he is not one of those black cats? No, on the contrary, he is almost completely white and has only a few black spots; that expresses his good nature admirably; the whole course of the play and all the emotions which it shall arouse are, as it were, foreshadowed by this very fur.
The curtain is rising again!
- ↑ The Moors in Kotzebue: A reference to the Moorish slave Xury in August von Kotzebue's play Der Papagoy (The Parrot) of 1792.