MORITZ: Better and better.——I am not fit...

Spring Awakening: A Children's Tragedy

Moritz Stiefel

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MORITZ: Better and better.——I am not fit. Another may be able to climb to the top. I pull the door to behind me and step into the open.——I don't care enough about it to let myself be turned back. I haven't succeeded in forcing my way. How shall I force my way now!——I have no contract with God. Let them make out of the thing what they will. I have been forced.——I do not hold my parents answerable. At the same time, the worst must fall upon them. They were old enough to know what they were doing. I was a weakling when I came into the world——or else I would have been wise enough to become another being. Why should I be forced to pay for the fact that the others were here already!

I must have fallen on my head——If anybody makes me a present of a mad dog I'll give him back a mad dog. And if he won't take back his mad dog, then I am human and——

I must have fallen on my head!

Man is born by chance and should not, after mature consideration——It is to shoot oneself dead! The weather at least has shown itself considerate. The whole day it looked like rain and yet it has held off.——A rare peace rules in nature. Nowhere anything dazzling, exciting. Heaven and earth are like a transparent fabric. And everything seems so happy. The landscape is as sweet as the melody of a lullaby.——“Sleep, little prince, sleep on,” as Fräulein Snandulia sang. It's a shame she holds her elbows so awkwardly!——I danced for the last time at the Cäcilienfest. Snandulia only dances with good matches.——Her silk dress was cut low in front and in the back. In the back, down to her girdle and in the front down——unconscionably low.——She couldn't have worn a chemise.———That might be something able to affect me yet.——More than half curiosity.——It must be a wonderful sensation——a feeling as if one were being carried through the rapids——I should never tell anybody that I was experiencing something untried before——I would act as if I had done it all.—There is something shameful in growing up to be a man without having learned the chief function of masculinity.——You come from Egypt, honorable sir, and have not seen the pyramids?!

I will not cry again to-day. I will not think of my burial again.——Melchior will lay a wreath on my coffin. Pastor Kahlbauch will console my parents. Rector Sonnenstich will cite examples from history.——It is possible that I shall not have a tombstone. I had wanted a snow-white marble urn on a pedestal of black syenite.——Thank God, I shall not miss them. Monuments are for the living, not for the dead.

I should need a whole year to say farewell to everything in my thoughts. I will not cry again. I am so happy to be able to look back without bitterness. How many beautiful evenings I have passed with Melchior!——under the osiers; at the forester's house; on the highway where the five lindens stand; on the Schlossberg, among the restful ruins of the Runenburg.——When the hour comes, I will think with all my might of whipped cream. Whipped cream doesn't stay firm. It falls and leaves a pleasant after-taste.——I had thought men were infinitely worse. I haven't found one who didn't want to do his best. Many have suffered with me on my own account.

I wander to the altar like the ancient Etrurian youth whose dying rattle bought his brothers' prosperity for the coming year.——I experience bit by bit the mysterious awe of liberation. I sob with sorrow over my lot.——Life has turned its cold shoulder to me. I see earnest, friendly glances luring me there in the distance, the headless queen, the headless queen—compassion awaiting me with open arms——

Your commands concern minors; I carry my free ticket in myself. If the shell sinks, the butterfly flits from it; the delusion no longer holds.——You should drive no mad bargain with the swindle! The mists close in; life is bitter on the tongue.

Wedekind, Frank. Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy. Trans. Francis J. Ziegler, 1910. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/35242/35242-h/35242-h.htm

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