As the company prepares to begin their rehearsal of the six
My little darling! You're frightened, aren't you? You don't know where we are, do you? (Pretending to reply to a question of the Child): What is the stage? It's a place, baby, you know, where people play at being serious, a place where they act comedies. We've got to act a comedy now, dead serious, you know; and you're in it also, little one. (Embraces her, pressing the little head to her breast, and rocking the child for a moment). Oh darling, darling, what a horrid comedy you've got to play! What a wretched part they've found for you! A garden ... a fountain ... look ... just suppose, kiddie, it's here. Where, you say? Why, right here in the middle. It's all pretence you know. That's the trouble, my pet: it's all make-believe here. It's better to imagine it though, because if they fix it up for you, it'll only be painted cardboard, painted cardboard for the rockery, the water, the plants.... Ah, but I think a baby like this one would sooner have a make-believe fountain than a real one, so she could play with it. What a joke it'll be for the others! But for you, alas! not quite such a joke: you who are real, baby dear, and really play by a real fountain this big and green and beautiful, with ever so many bamboos around it that are reflected in the water, and a whole lot of little ducks swimming about.... No, Rosetta, no, your mother doesn't bother about you on account of that wretch of a son there. I'm in the devil of a temper, and as for that lad.... (Seizes Boy by the arm to force him to take one of his hands out of his pockets). What have you got there? What are you hiding? (Pulls his hand out of his pocket, looks into it and catches the glint of a revolver). Ah! where did you get this?
[Pirandello, Luigi, Six Characters In Search of An Author, Act Two.]
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