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The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts by Maurice Maeterlinck

Part 2 out of 3

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Because her name is not pleasant to hear.... But let us talk of something
else.... The Cat tells me that you have come here to look for the Blue

Yes, ma'am, if you will allow me.... Will you tell me where he is?...

I don't know, dear.... All I can say is that he is not here.... I have
never seen him....

Yes, yes.... Light told me that he was here; and Light knows what she is
saying.... Will you hand me your keys?...

But you must understand, dear, that I cannot give my keys like that to
the first comer.... I have the keeping of all Nature's secrets and I am
absolutely forbidden to deliver them to anybody, especially to a child....

You have no right to refuse them to Man when he asks you for them....I know

Who told you?...


Light again! Always Light!... How dare she interfere, how dare she?...

Shall I take them from her by force, my little god?...

Hold your tongue, keep quiet and try to behave.... (_To_NIGHT) Come,
madam, give me your keys, please....

Have you the sign, at least?... Where is it?...

TYLTYL (_touching his hat_)
Behold the Diamond!...

NIGHT (_resigning herself to the inevitable_)
Well, then... Here is the key that opens all the doors of the hall.... Look
to yourself if you meet with a misfortune.... I will not be responsible....

BREAD (_very anxiously_)
Is it dangerous?...

Dangerous?... I will go so far as to say that I myself do not know what I
shall do when certain of those bronze doors open upon the abyss.... All
around the hall, in each of those basalt caves, are all the evils, all the
plagues, all the sicknesses, all the terrors, all the catastrophes, all the
mysteries that have afflicted life since the beginning of the world.... I
have had trouble enough to Imprison them there with the aid of Destiny; and
it is not without difficulty, I assure you, that I keep some little order
among those undisciplined characters.... You have seen what happens when
one of them escapes and shows itself on earth....

My great age, my experience and my devotion make me the natural protector
of these two children; therefore, Mrs. Night, permit me to ask you a


In case of danger, which is the way of escape?...

There is no way of escape.

TYLTYL (_taking the key and climbing the first steps_)
Let us begin here.... What is behind this bronze door?...

I think it is the Ghosts.... It is long since I opened the door and since
they came out....

TYLTYL (_placing the key in the lock_)
I will see.... (_To_ BREAD) Have you the cage for the Blue Bird?...

BREAD (_with chattering teeth_)
I'm not frightened, but don't you think it would be better not to open the
door, but to peep through the keyhole?...

I don't want your advice....

MYTYL (_suddenly beginning to cry_)
I am frightened!... Where is Sugar?... I want to go home!...

SUGAR (_eagerly, obsequiously_)
Here I am, miss, here I am.... Don't cry, I will break off one of my
fingers so that you may have a sugar-stick....

Enough of this!...

(_He turns the key and cautiously opens the door. Forthwith, five or
six_ GHOSTS _of strange and different forms escape and disperse on
every side_. MYTYL _gives a scream of fright_, BREAD, _terrified,
throws away the cage and goes and hides at the back of the hall, while_
NIGHT, _running after the_ GHOSTS, _cries out to_ TYLTYL.)

Quick! Quick!... Shut the door!... They will all escape and we should never
be able to catch them again!... They have felt bored in there, ever since
Man ceased to take them seriously....
(_She runs after the_ GHOSTS _and endeavours, with the aid of a whip
formed of snakes, to drive them back to the door of their prison_.)
Help me!... Here!... Here!...

TYLTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Help her, Tylo, at them!...

THE DOG (_leaping up and barking_)
Yes, yes, yes!...

And Bread, where's Bread?...

BREAD (_at the back of the hall_)
Here.... I am near the door to prevent them from going out....

(_One of the_ GHOSTS _moves in that direction and he rushes away at
full speed, uttering yells of terror_.)

NIGHT (_to three_ GHOSTS _whom she has seized by the neck_)
This way, you!... (_To_ TYLTYL) Open the door a little.... (_She
pushes the_ GHOSTS _into the cave_.) There, that's it....
(_The_ DOG _brings up two more_.) And these two.... Come, quick,
in with you!... You know you're only allowed out on All-hallows....

(_She closes the door._)

TYLTYL (_going to another door_)
What's behind this one?....

What is the good?...I have already told you the Blue Bird has never been
here.... However, as you please.... Open the doors if you like.... It's the

TYLTYL (_with the key in the lock_.)
Must I be careful in opening?...

No, it is not worth while.... They are very quiet, the poor little
things.... They are not happy.... Man, for some time, has been waging
such a determined war upon them!... Especially since the discovery of the
microbes.... Open, you will see....

(TYLTYL _opens the door quite wide. Nothing appears_.)

Don't they come out?

I told you they are almost all poorly and very much discouraged....
The doctors are so unkind to them.... Go in for a moment and see for

(TYLTYL _enters the cavern and comes out again immediately_.)

The Blue Bird is not there.... They look very ill, those Sicknesses of
yours.... They did not even lift their heads.... (_One little Sickness in
slippers, a dressing-gown and a cotton nightcap escapes from the cavern
and begins to frisk about the hall_.) Look!... There's a little one
escaping.... Which one is it?...

It's nothing, one of the smallest; it's Cold-in-the-Head.... It is one
of those which are least persecuted and which enjoy the best health....
(_Calling to_ COLD-IN-THE-HEAD) Come here, dear....It's too soon yet;
you must wait for the winter.... (COLD-IN-THE-HEAD, _sneezing, coughing
and blowing its nose, returns to the cavern and_ TYLTYL _shuts the

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
Let us look at this one..... What is in here?...

Take care!... It is the Wars.... They are more terrible and powerful
than ever.... Heaven knows what would happen if one of them escaped!...
Fortunately, they are rather heavy and slow-moving.... But we must stand
ready to push back the door, all of us together, while you take a rapid
glance into the cavern....

(TYLTYL, _with a thousand precautions, opens the door ajar so that there
is only a little gap to which he can put his eye. He at once doubles his
back against the door, shouting_.)

Quick! Quick!... Push with all your might!... They have seen me!... They
are all coming!... They are breaking down the door!...

Come, all together!... Push hard!... Bread, what are you doing?... Push,
all of you!... How strong they are!... Ah, that's it!... They are giving
way!... It was high time!... Did you see them?...

Yes, yes!... They are huge and awful!... I don't think that they have the
Blue Bird....

You may be sure they haven't.... If they had, they would eat him at
once.... Well, have you had enough of it?... You see there is nothing to be

I must see everything.... Light said so....

Light said so!... It's an easy thing to say when one's afraid and stays at

Let us go to the next.... What is in here?...

This is where I lock up the Shades and the Terrors....

Can I open the door?...

Certainly.... They are pretty quiet; they are like the Sicknesses....

TYLTYL (_half-opening the door, with a certain mistrustfulness, and
taking a look into the cavern_)
Are they not there?...

NIGHT (_looking into the cavern in her turn_)
Well, Shades, what are you doing?... Come out for a moment and stretch your
legs; it will do you good.... And the Terrors also.... There is nothing to
be afraid of.... (_A few_ SHADES _and a few_ TERRORS, _in the
shape of women, shrouded, the former in black veils and the latter in
greenish veils, piteously venture to take a few steps outside the cavern;
and then, upon a movement of_ TYLTYL'S, _hastily run back again_.)
Come, don't be afraid.... It's only a child; he won't hurt you....
(_To_ TYLTYL) They have become extremely timid, except the great ones,
those whom you see at the back....

TYLTYL (_looking into the depths of the cave_)
Oh, how terrifying they are!...

They are chained up.... They are the only ones that are not afraid of
Man.... But shut the door, lest they should grow angry....

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
I say!... This is a darker one.... What is here?

There are several Mysteries behind this one.... If you are absolutely bent
upon it, you may open it too.... But don't go in.... Be very cautious and
let us get ready to push back the door, as we did with the Wars....

TYLTYL (_half-opening the door; with unparalleled precautions and passing
his head fearsomely through the aperture_)
Oh!... How cold!... My eyes are smarting!... Shut it quickly!... Push, oh,
push! They are pushing against us!... (NIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT _and_
SUGAR _push back the door_.) Oh, I saw!...


TYLTYL (_upset_)
I don't know, it was awful!... They were all seated like monsters without
eyes.... Who was the giant who tried to seize me?...

It was probably Silence; he has charge of this door.... It appears to have
been alarming?... You are quite pale still and trembling all over....

Yes, I would never have believed.... I had never seen.... And my hands are

It will be worse presently if you go on....

TYLTYL (_going to the next door_)
And this one?... Is this terrible also?...

No; there is a little of everything here.... It is where I keep the
unemployed Stars, my personal Perfumes, a few Glimmers that belong to me,
such as Will-o'-the-Wisps, Glow-worms and Fireflies, also the Dew, the Song
of the Nightingales and so on....

Just so, the Stars, the Song of the Nightingales.... This must be the

Open it, if you like; there Is nothing very bad inside....

(TYLTYL _throws the door wide open. The_ STARS, _in the shape of
beautiful young girls veiled in many-coloured radiancy, escape from their
prison, disperse over the hall and form graceful groups on the steps and
around the columns, bathed in a sort of luminous penumbra. The_ PERFUMES
OF THE NIGHT, _who are almost invisible, the_ WILL-O'-THE-WISPS,
_the_ FIREFLIES _and the transparent_ DEW _join them, while
the_ SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALES _streams from the cavern and floods the
Palace of_ NIGHT.)

MYTYL (_clapping her hands with delight_)
Oh, what pretty ladies!...

And how well they dance!...

And how sweet they smell!...

And how beautifully they sing!...

What are those, whom one can hardly see?...

Those are the Perfumes of my Shadow.

And those others, over there, in spun glass?...

They are the Dew of the plains and forests.... But enough!... They would
never have done.... It is the devil's own business to get them back, once
they begin to dance.... (_Clapping her hands together_.) Now then,
Stars, quick!... This is not the time for dancing.... The sky is overcast
and heavily clouded.... Come, quick, in with you, or I will go and fetch a
ray of sunlight!... (_The_ STARS, PERFUMES, _etc., take to flight in
dismay and rush back into the cavern; and the door is closed upon them. At
the same time, the song of the_ NIGHTINGALE _ceases_.)

TYLTYL (_going to the door at the back_)
Here is the great middle door....

NIGHT (_gravely_)
Do not open that one...

Why not?....

Because it's not allowed....

Then it's here that the Blue Bird is hidden; Light told me so....

NIGHT (_maternally_)
Listen to me, child ... I have been kind and indulgent ... I have done for
you what I have never done for any one before ... I have given up all my
secrets to you.... I like you, I feel pity for your youth and innocence and
I am speaking to you as a mother.... Listen to me, my child, and believe
me; relinquish your quest, go no further, do not tempt fate, do not open
that door....

TYLTYL (_a little shaken_)
But why?...

Because I do not wish you to be lost.... Because not one of those, do you
hear, not one of those who have opened it, were it but by a hair's breadth,
has ever returned alive to the light of day.... Because every awful thing
imaginable, because all the terrors, all the horrors of which men speak on
earth are as nothing compared with the most harmless of those which assail
a man from the moment when his eye lights upon the first threats of the
abyss to which no one dares give a name.... So much so that I myself, if
you are bent, in spite of everything, upon touching that door, will ask you
to wait until I have sought safety in my windowless tower... Now it is for
you to know, for you to reflect....

(MYTYL, _all in tears, utters cries of inarticulate terror and tries to
drag_ TYLTYL _away_.)

BREAD (_with chattering teeth_)
Don't do it, master dear!... (_Flinging himself on his knees_) Take
pity on us!... I implore you on my knees.... You see that Night is

You are sacrificing the lives of all of us....

I must open the door....

MYTYL (_stamping her feet, amid her sobs_)
I won't!... I sha'n't!...

Sugar and Bread, take Mytyl by the hand and run away with her.... I am
going to open the door....

Run for your lives!... Come quickly!... It is time!... (_She flees._)

BREAD (_fleeing wildly_)
At least wait till we are at the end of the hall!...

THE CAT (_also fleeing_)
Wait! Wait!...

(_They hide behind the columns at the other end of the hall_. TYLTYL
_remains alone with the DOG by the monumental door_.)

THE DOG (_panting and hiccoughing with suppressed fright_)
I shall stay, I shall stay!... I'm not afraid!... I shall stay!... I shall
stay with my little god!... I shall stay!... I shall stay!...

TYLTYL (_patting the_ DOG)
That's right, Tylo, that's right!... Kiss me.... You and I are two.... And
now, steady!...

(_He places the key in the lock. A cry of alarm comes from the other
end of the hall, where the runaways have taken refuge. The key has hardly
touched the door before its tall and wide leaves open in the middle, glide
apart and disappear on either side in the thickness of the walls, suddenly
revealing the most unexpected of gardens, unreal, infinite and ineffable,
a dream-garden bathed in nocturnal light, where, among stars and planets,
illumining all that they touch, flying ceaselessly from jewel to jewel and
from moonbeam to moonbeam, fairy-like blue birds hover perpetually and
harmoniously down to the confines of the horizon, birds innumerable to
the point of appearing to be the breath, the azured atmosphere, the very
substance of the wonderful garden_.)

TYLTYL (_dazzled, bewildered, standing in the light of the garden_)
Oh!... Heaven!... (_Turning to those who have fled_) Come quickly!...
They are here!... It's they, it's they, it's they!... We have them
at last!... Thousands of blue birds!... Millions!.... Thousands of
millions!... There will be too many!... Come, Mytyl!... Come, Tylo!...
Come, all!... Help me!... (_Darting in among the birds_.) You can
catch them by handfuls!... They are not shy!... They are not afraid of
us!.... Here! Here!.... (MYTYL _and the others run up. They all enter the
dazzling garden, except_ NIGHT _and the_ CAT.) You see!... There
are too many of them!... They fly into my hands!... Look, they are eating
the moonbeams!... Mytyl, where are you?.... There are so many blue wings,
so many feathers falling that one cannot see anything for them!.... Don't
bite them, Tylo!.... Don't hurt them!.... Take them very gently!....

MYTYL (_covered with blue birds_)
I have caught seven already!.... Oh, how they flap their wings!.... I can't
hold them!....

Nor can I!.... I have too many of them!... They're escaping!.... They're
coming back!.... Tylo has some, too!.... They will drag us with them!....
They will take us up to the sky!.... Quick, let us go out this way!....
Light is waiting for us!.... How pleased she will be!.... This way, this

(_They escape from the garden, with their hands full of struggling birds,
and, crossing the whole hall amid the mad whirl of the azure wings, go out
on the right, where they first entered, followed by_ BREAD _and_
SUGAR, _who have caught no birds_. NIGHT _and the_ CAT, _left
alone, return to the back of the stage and look anxiously into the

Haven't they got him?...

No.... I see him there, on that moonbeam.... They could not reach him, he
kept too high....

(_The_ CURTAIN _falls. Immediately after, before the dropped
curtain_, ENTER, _at the same time, on the left_, LIGHT _and on
the right_, TYLTYL, MYTYL _and the_ DOG, _who run up all covered
by the birds which they have captured. But already the birds appear
lifeless and, with hanging heads and drooping wings, are nothing more in
their hands than inert remains._)

Well, have you caught him?...

Yes, yes!...As many as we wanted!... There are thousands of them!... Here
they are!... Do you see them?... (_Looking at the birds, which he holds
out to_ LIGHT, _and perceiving that they are dead_) Why, they
are dead!... What have they done to them?... Yours too, Mytyl?... Tylo's
also?... (_Angrily flinging down the dead bodies of the birds_) Oh,
this is too bad?... Who killed them?... I am too unhappy!...

(_He hides his head in his arms and his whole frame is shaken with

LIGHT (_pressing him maternally in her arms_)
Do not cry, my child.... You did not catch the one that is able to live in
broad daylight.... He has gone elsewhere.... We shall find him again....

THE DOG (_looking at the dead birds_))
Are they good to eat?....

(_They all go out on the left_.)

SCENE 2.--_The Forest.

A forest. It is night. The moon is shining. Old trees of various kinds,
notably an_ OAK, _a_ BEECH, _an_ ELM, _a_ POPLAR, _a_ FIR-TREE, _a_

ENTER _the_ CAT.

THE CAT (_bowing to the trees in turn_)
To all the trees here present, greeting!....

THE TREES (_murmuring in their leaves_)

This is a great day, a day of days!.... Our enemy is coming to set free
your energies and to deliver himself into your hands..... It is Tyltyl, the
son of the wood-cutter, who has done you so much harm.... He is seeking the
Blue Bird, whom you have kept hidden from Man since the beginning of
the world and who alone knows our secret.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) What do you say?... Ah, it's the Poplar!... Yes, he possesses
a diamond which has the virtue of setting free our spirits for a moment;
he can compel us to hand over the Blue Bird and thenceforth we shall be
definitely at Man's mercy.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Who is
speaking?... Ah, the Oak!... How are you?... (_A murmuring in the leaves
of the_ OAK.) Still got your cold?... Does the Liquorice no longer look
after you?... Can't you throw off your rheumatism?... Believe me, that's
because of the moss; you put too much of it on your feet.... Is the Blue
Bird still with you?... (_A murmuring in the leaves of the_ OAK.) I
beg your pardon?... Yes, there is no room for hesitation; we must take
the opportunity; he must he done away with.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) I didn't quite catch.... Oh, yes, he is with his little
sister; she must die, too.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Yes, they
have the Dog with them; there is no keeping him away.... (_A murmuring in
the leaves_.) What did you say?... Bribe him?... Impossible.... I have
tried everything.... (_A murmuring in the leaves_.) Ah, is that you,
Fir-Tree?... Yes, get four planks ready.... Yes, there are Fire, Sugar,
Water and Bread besides.... They are all with us, except Bread, who is
rather doubtful.... Light alone is on Man's side; but she won't come....
I made the children believe that they ought to steal away while she was
asleep.... There never was such an opportunity.... (_A murmuring in the
leaves_.) Ah, that's the Beech's voice!... Yes, you are right; we must
inform the animals.... Has the Rabbit got his drum?... Is he with you?...
Good, let him beat the troop at once.... Here they are!...

(_The roll of the_ RABBIT'S _drum is heard, diminishing in the
distance. Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL _and the_ DOG.)

Is this the place?...

THE CAT (_obsequiously, eagerly, mealy-mouthed, rushing to meet the_
Ah, there you are, my little master!... How well you look and how pretty,
this evening!.... I went before you to announce your arrival.... All Is
going well. We shall have the Blue Bird to-night, I am sure.... I have just
sent the Rabbit to beat the troop in order to convoke the principal
animals of the country.... You can hear them already among the foliage....
Listen!... They are a little shy and dare not come near.... (_The sounds
are heard of different animals, such as cows, pigs, horses, donkeys, etc.
The_ CAT, _aside, to_ TYLTYL, _taking him apart_) But why
have you brought the Dog?... I have told you he is on the worst terms with
everybody, even the trees.... I fear that his odious presence will spoil

I could not get rid of him.... (_To the_ DOG, _threatening him_)
Go away, you ugly thing!...

Who?... I?... Why?... What have I done?...

I tell you, go away!... We don't want you here and there's an end of it....
You're a nuisance, there!...

I sha'n't say a word.... I shall follow you at a distance.... They sha'n't
see me.... Shall I beg?...

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Do you allow this disobedience?... Hit him on the nose with your stick; he
is really unbearable!...

TYLTYL (_beating the_ DOG)
There, that will teach you to be more obedient!...

THE DOG (_yelling_)
Ow! Ow! Ow!...

What do you say?...

I must kiss you now you've beaten me!... (_He covers_ TYLTYL _with
violent kisses and embraces_.)

Come.... That will do.... That's enough.... Go away!...

No, no; I want him to stay.... I am afraid of everything when he is not

THE DOG (_leaping up and almost upsetting_ MYTYL, _whom he overwhelms with
hurried and enthusiastic kisses_)
Oh, the dear little girl!... How beautiful she is!... How good she is!...
How beautiful she is, how sweet she is!...I must kiss her!... Once more,
once more, once more!...

What an idiot!... Well, we shall see!... Let us lose no time.... Turn the

Where shall I stand?...

In this moonbeam; you will see better.... There, turn it gently!...

(TYLTYL _turns the Diamond. A long-drawn-out rustling shakes the leaves
and branches. The oldest and most stately trunks open to make way for the
soul which each of them contains. The appearance of these souls differs
according to the appearance and the character of the trees which they
represent. The soul of the_ ELM, _for instance, is a sort of pursy,
pot-bellied, crabbed gnome; the_ LIME-TREE _is placid, familiar and
jovial; the_ BEECH, _elegant and agile; the_ BIRCH, _white,
reserved and restless; the_ WILLOW, _stunted, dishevelled and
plaintive; the_ FIR-TREE, _tall, lean and taciturn; the_ CYPRESS,
_tragic; the_ CHESTNUT-TREE, _pretentious and rather dandified;
the_ POPLAR, _sprightly, cumbersome, talkative. Some emerge slowly
from their trunks, torpidly stretching themselves, as though they had been
imprisoned or asleep for ages; others leap out actively, eagerly; and all
come and stand in a circle round the two_ CHILDREN, _while keeping as
near as they can to the tree in which they were born_.)

THE POPLAR (_running up first and screaming at the top of his voice_)
Men?... Little men!... We shall be able to talk to them!... We've done with
silence!... Done with it!... Where do they come from?... Who are they?...
What are they?... (_To the_ LIME-TREE, _who comes forward quietly
smoking his pipe_) Do you know them, Daddy Lime-Tree?...

I do not remember ever having seen them....

Oh, yes, you must have!... You know all the men; you're always hanging
about their houses....

THE LIME-TREE (_examining the_ CHILDREN)
No, I assure you.... I don't know them.... They are too young still.... I
only know the lovers who come to see me by moonlight and the topers who
drink their beer under my branches....

THE CHESTNUT-TREE (_affectedly adjusting his eyeglass_)
Who are these?... Are they poor people from the country?...

Oh, as for you, Mr. Chestnut-Tree, ever since you have refused to show
yourself except in the streets of the big towns...

THE WILLOW (_hobbling along in a pair of wooden shoes_)
Oh dear, oh dear!... They have come to cut off my head and arms again for

Silence!... Here is the Oak leaving his palace!... He looks far from well
this evening.... Don't you think he is growing very old?... What can his
age be?... The Fir-tree says he is four thousand; but I am sure that he
exaggerates.... Listen; he will tell us all about it....

(_The_ OAK _comes slowly forward. He is fabulously old, crowned with
mistletoe and clad in a long green gown edged with moss and lichen. He is
blind; his white beard streams in the wind. He leans with one hand on a
knotty stick and with the other on a young_ OAKLING, _who serves as
his guide. The Blue Bird is perched on his shoulder. At his approach, the
other trees draw themselves up in a row and bow respectfully_.)

He has the Blue Bird!... Quick! Quick!... Here!... Give it to me!...


Take of your hat. It's the Oak!...

Who are you?....

I am Tyltyl, sir.... When can I have the Blue Bird?...

Tyltyl, the wood-cutter's son?...

Yes, sir....

Your father has done us much harm.... In my family alone, he has put to
death six hundred of my sons, four hundred and seventy-five uncles and
aunts, twelve hundred cousins of both sexes, three hundred and eighty
daughters-in-law, and twelve thousand great-grandsons!...

I know nothing about it, sir.... He did not do it on purpose....

What have you come here for; and why have you made our souls leave their

I beg your pardon, sir, for disturbing you.... The Cat said that you would
tell us where the Blue Bird was....

Yes, I know that you are looking for the Blue Bird, that is to say, the
great secret of things and of happiness, so that Man may make our servitude
still harder....

Oh, no, sir; it is for the Fairy Berylune's little girl, who is very

THE OAK (_laying silence upon him with a gesture_)
Enough!... I do not hear the Animals.... Where are they?... All this
concerns them as much as us.... We, the Trees, must not assume the
responsibility alone for the grave measures that have become necessary....
On the day when MAN hears that we have done what we are about to do, there
will be terrible reprisals..... It is right, therefore, that our agreement
should be unanimous, so that our silence may be the same....

THE FIR-TREE (_looking over the top of the other trees_)
The Animals are coming.... They are following the Rabbit.... Here are the
souls of the Horse, the Bull, the Ox, the Cow, the Wolf, the Sheep, the
Pig, the Cock, the Goat, the Ass, and the Bear....

(_Enter the souls of the_ ANIMALS, _who, as the_ FIR-TREE
_utters their names, come forward and sit down among the trees, with the
exception of the soul of the_ GOAT, _who roams to and fro, and of
the_ PIG, _who snuffles among the roots_.)

Are all here present?...

The Hen could not leave her eggs, the Hare is out on a run, the Stag has a
pain in his horns, the Fox is ill--here is the doctor's certificate--the
Goose did not understand and the Turkey flew into a passion....

These abstentions are most regrettable.... However, we have a quorum....
You know, my brothers, the nature of our business. The child you see before
you, thanks to a talisman stolen from the powers of Earth, is able to take
possession of the Blue Bird and thus to snatch from us the secret which
we have kept since the origin of life.... Now we know enough of Man to
entertain no doubt as to the fate which he reserves for us once he is in
possession of this secret. That is why it seems to me that any hesitation
would be both foolish and criminal.... It is a serious moment; the child
must be done away with before it is too late....

What is he saying?...

THE DOG (_prowling round the_ OAK _and showing his fangs_)
Do you see my teeth, you old cripple?...

THE BEECH (_indignantly_)
He is insulting the Oak!...

Is that the Dog?... Drive him out! We must suffer no traitors among us!...

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Send the Dog away.... It's a misunderstanding.... Leave it to me; I will
arrange things.... But send him away as quick as you can....

TYLTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Will you be off!...

Do let me worry the gouty old beggar's moss slippers!.... It will be such a

Hold your tongue!... And be off with you!... Be off, you ugly brute!...

All right, all right, I'm going.... I'll come back when you want me....

THE CAT (_aside, to_ TYLTYL)
It would be a good thing to chain him up, or he will commit some folly; the
Trees will be angry and all will end badly....

What can I do?... I have lost his leash....

Here's the Ivy just coming along with strong bonds....

THE DOG (_growling_)
I'll come back, I'll come back!... Ugh! Goutytoes! Timbertoes!... Pack of
old stunted growths, pack of old roots!... It's the Cat who's at the bottom
of all this!... I'll be even with him!... What have you been whispering
about, you sneak, you tiger, you Judas!... Wow, wow, wow!....

You see, he insults everybody....

Yes, he is unbearable and one can't hear one's self speak.... Mr. Ivy, will
you chain him up, please?...

THE IVY (_timorously going up to the_ DOG)
Won't he bite?...

THE DOG (_growling_)
On the contrary, on the contrary!... He's going to kiss you!... Just wait
and see!... Come along, come along, you old ball of twine, you!...

TYLTYL (_threatening him with his stick_)

THE DOG (_cringing at_ TYLTYL'S _feet and wagging his tail_)
What am I to do, my little god?

Lie down flat!... Obey the Ivy.... Let him bind you, or....

THE DOG (_growling between his teeth, while the_ IVY _binds him_)
Ball of twine I... Hunk of yarn!... Hangman's rope I... Calves' leash!...
Look, my little god I ... He's cutting my paws!... He's choking me!...

I don't care!... It's your own fault.... Hold your tongue; be quiet; you're

You're wrong, for all that.... They mean mischief.... Take care, my little
god!... He's closing my mouth!... I can't speak!...

THE IVY (_who has tied up the_ DOG _like a parcel_)
Where shall we put him?... I've muzzled him finely.... He can't utter a

Fasten him tight down there behind my trunk; to my big root.... We will
decide later what had best be done with him....

(_The_ IVY _and the_ POPLAR _carry the_ DOG _behind
the_ OAK'S _trunk_.)

Is that done?... Well, now that we are rid of this inconvenient witness, of
this renegade, let us deliberate in accordance with justice and truth....
I will not conceal from you the deep and painful nature of my emotion....
This is the first time that it is given to us to judge Man and make him
feel our power.... I do not think that, after the harm which he has done
us, after the monstrous injustice which we have suffered, there can remain
the least doubt as to the sentence that awaits him....

No! No! No!... No doubt at all!... Hanging!... Death!... The injustice has
been too great!... The abuse too wicked!... It has lasted too long!...
Crush him!... Eat him!... At once!... Here and now!...

TYLTYL (_to the_ CAT)
What is the matter with them?... Are they displeased?...

Don't be alarmed.... They are a little annoyed because Spring is late....
Leave it to me; I will settle it all....

This unanimity was inevitable.... We must now decide, in order to avoid
reprisals, which form of execution will be the most practical, the easiest,
the quickest and the safest, which will leave the fewest accusing traces
when Man finds the little bodies in the forest....

What is all this about?... What is he driving at?... I am getting tired of
this.... He has got the Blue Bird; let him hand it over....

THE BULL (_coming forward_)
The most practical and the surest way is a good butt with the horns in the
pit of the stomach.... Shall I go at him?...

Who speaks?...

It's the Bull.

It would be better to keep quiet.... I won't meddle with it.... I have all
the grass to browse in the field which you can see down there in the blue
light of the moon.... I have quite enough to do....

I also.... However, I agree to everything beforehand....

I can offer my highest branch to hang them on....

And I the slip-knot....

And I the four planks for their little coffin....

And I a perpetual grant of a tomb....

The simplest way would be to drown them in one of my rivers.... I will take
charge of that....

THE LIME-TREE (_in a conciliatory tone_)
Come, come.... Is it really necessary to go to such extremities?... They
are very young.... We could quite simply prevent them from doing any harm
by keeping them prisoners in an enclosure which I will undertake to form by
planting myself all around....

Who speaks?... I seem to recognise the honeyed accents of the Lime-tree....

Yes, it's he....

So there is a renegade among us, as among the Animals?... Hitherto we have
only had to deplore the disloyalty of the Fruit-trees; but they are not
real trees....

THE PIG (_rolling his small eyes gluttonously_)
I think we should first eat the little girl.... She ought to be very

What's he saying?... Just wait a bit, you...

I don't know what is the matter with them; but things are beginning to look

Silence!... What we have to decide is which of us shall have the honour of
striking the first blow, who shall ward off from, our tops the greatest
danger that has threatened us since the birth of Man....

That honour falls to you, our king and our patriarch....

Is that the Fir-tree speaking?... Alas, I am too old!... I am blind and
infirm and my numbed arms no longer obey me.... No, to you, brother, ever
green, ever upright, to you, who have witnessed the birth of most of these
trees, to you be the glory, in default of myself, of the noble act of our

I thank you, venerable father.... But as I shall, in any case, have the
honour of burying the two victims, I should be afraid of arousing the just
jealousy of my colleagues; and I think that, next to ourselves, the oldest
and the worthiest and the one that owns the best club is the Beech....

You know I am worm-eaten and my club is no longer to be relied upon.... But
the Elm and the Cypress have powerful weapons....

I should be only too pleased; but I can hardly stand upright.... A mole
twisted my great toe last night....

As for me, I am ready.... But, like my brother, the Fir-tree, I shall have,
if not the privilege of burying them, at least the advantage of weeping
over their tomb.... It would be an unlawful plurality of offices.... Ask
the Poplar....

Me?... Are you serious?... Why, my wood is more tender than the flesh of
a child!... And, besides, I don't know what's the matter with me.... I am
shivering with fever.... Just look at my leaves.... I must have caught cold
at sunrise this morning....

THE OAK (_bursting out with indignation_)
You are afraid of Man!... Even those unprotected and unarmed little
children inspire you with the mysterious terror which has always made us
the slaves that we are!... Enough of this! Things being as they are and the
opportunity unequalled, I shall go forth alone, old, crippled, trembling,
blind as I am, against the hereditary enemy!... Where is he?...

(_Groping with his stick, he moves towards_ TYLTYL.)

TYLTYL (_taking his knife from his pocket_)
Is it me he's after, that old one, with his big stick?...

ALL THE TREES (_uttering a cry of alarm at the sight of the knife, they
step in between and hold back the_ OAK)
The knife!... Take care!... The knife!...

THE OAK (_struggling_)
Let me be!... What does it matter?... The knife or the axe!... Who's
holding me back?... What! Are you all here?... What! You all want to....
(_Flinging down his_ _stick_) Well, so be it!... Shame upon
us!... Let the Animals deliver us!...

That's right!... I'll see to It!... And with one blow of the horns!...

THE OX _and_ THE COW (_holding him back by the tail_)
What are you doing?... Don't be a fool!... It's a bad business!... It will
end badly.... It is we who will pay for it.... Do let be.... It's the wild
animals' business....

No, no!... It's my business!... Wait and see!... Look here, hold me back or
there will be an accident!...

TYLTYL (_to_ MYTYL, _who is uttering piercing screams_)
Don't be afraid!... Stand behind me.... I have my knife....

He has plenty of pluck, the little chap!...

So you've made up your minds, it's me you're going for?...

Why, of course, my little man; you've taken long enough to see it!...

You can say your prayers; your last hour has come.... But don't hide the
little girl.... I want to feast my eyes on her.... I'm going to eat her

What have I done to you?...

Nothing at all, my little man.... Eaten my little brother, my two sisters,
my three uncles, my aunt, my grandpapa and my grandmamma.... Wait, wait,
when you're down, you shall see that I have teeth also....

And I hoofs!...

THE HORSE (_haughtily pawing the ground_)
You shall see what you shall see!... Would you rather that I tore you with
my teeth or knocked you down with a kick?... (_He moves ostentatiously
towards_ TYLTYL, _who faces him and raises his knife. Suddenly the_
HORSE, _seized with panic, turns and rushes away_.) Ah, no!... That's
not fair!... That's against the rules!.... He's defending himself!...

THE COCK (_unable to hide his admiration_)
I don't care, the little chap's full of grit!...

THE PIG (_to the_ BEAR _and the_ WOLF)
Let us all rush on them together.... I will support you from the rear....
We will throw them down and share the little girl when she is on the

Divert their attention in front.... I am going to make a turning

(_He goes round_ TYLTYL, _whom he attacks from behind and half

You brute!... (_He raises himself on one knee brandishing his knife and
doing his best to cover his little sister, who utters yells of distress.
Seeing him half overturned, all the_ ANIMALS _and_ TREES _come up
and try to hit him_. TYLTYL _calls distractedly for assistance_.)
Help! Help!... Tylo! Tylo!... Where is the Cat?... Tylo!... Tylette!
Tylette!... Come! Come!...

THE CAT (_hypocritically, holding aloof_)
I can't come.... I have sprained my paw....

TYLTYL (_warding of the blows and defending himself as best he can_)
Help!... Tylo! Tylo!... I can't hold out!... There are too many of them!...
The Bear! The Pig! The Donkey! The Ass! The Fir-tree! The Beech!... Tylo!
Tylo! Tylo!...

(_Dragging his broken bonds after him, the_ DOG _leaps from behind
the trunk of the_ OAK _and, elbowing his way through_ TREES
_and_ ANIMALS, _flings himself before_ TYLTYL, _whom he defends

THE DOG (_distributing great bites_)
Here! Here, my little god!... Don't be afraid! Have at them!... I know how
to use my teeth!... Here, there's one for you, Bear, in your fat hams!...
Now then, who wants some more?... Here, that's for the Pig and that's for
the Horse and that's for the Bull's tail!... There, I've torn the Beech's
trousers and the Oak's petticoat!... The Fir-tree's making tracks!... Whew,
it's warm work!...

TYLTYL (_overcome_)
I'm done for!... The Cypress has caught me a great blow on the head....

Ow!... That's the Willow!... He's broken my paw!...

They're coming back, they're charging down upon us, all together!... This
time, it's the Wolf!...

Wait till I give him one for himself!...

Fool!... Our brother!... His father drowned your seven puppies!...

Quite right!... And a good thing too!... It was because they looked like

Renegade!... Idiot!... Traitor!... Felon!... Simpleton!... Judas!... Leave
him!... He's a dead man!... Come over to us!...

THE DOG (_drunk with ardour and devotion_)
Never! Never!... I alone against all of you!... Never! Never!... True to
the gods, to the best, to the greatest!... (_To_ TYLTYL) Take care,
here's the Bear!... Beware of the Bull!... I'll jump at his throat....
Ow!... That's a kick.... The Ass has broken two of my teeth....

I'm done for, Tylo!... Ah!... That was a blow from the Elm.... Look, my
hand's bleeding.... That's the Wolf or the Pig....

Wait, my little god.... Let me kiss you.... There, a good lick.... That
will do you good.... Keep behind me.... They dare not come again.... Yes,
though.... Here they are coming back!... This time, it's serious!.... We
must stand firm!...

TYLTYL (_dropping to the ground_)
No, I can hold out no longer!...

THE DOG (_listening_)
They are coming!... I hear them, I scent them!...

Where?... Who?...

There! There!... It's Light!... She has found us!... Saved, my little
king!... Kiss me!... We are saved!... Look!... They're alarmed!... They're
retreating!... They're afraid!...

Light!... Light!... Come quick!... Hurry!... They have rebelled!... They
are all against us!...

_Enter_ LIGHT. _As she comes forward, the dawn rises over the
forest, which becomes light_.

What is it?... What has happened?... But, my poor boy, didn't you know?...
Turn the diamond!... They will return into silence and obscurity; and you
will no longer perceive their hidden feelings....

(TYLTYL _turns the diamond. Immediately, the souls of all the_ TREES
_rush back into the trunks, which close again. The souls of the_
ANIMALS _also disappear; and a peaceful_ COW _and_ SHEEP,
_etc., are seen browsing in the distance. The Forest becomes harmless
once more_, TYLTYL _looks around him in amazement_.)

Where are they?... What was the matter with them?... Were they mad?...

No, they are always like that; but we do not know it because we do not see
it.... I told you so before; it is dangerous to wake them when I am not

TYLTYL (_wiping his knife_)
Well, but for the Dog and if I had not had my knife!... I would never have
believed that they were so wicked!...

You see that Man is all alone against all in this world....

Are you very badly hurt, my little god?...

Nothing serious.... As for Mytyl, they have not touched her.... But you, my
dear Tylo?... Your mouth is all over blood and your paw is broken!...

It is not worth speaking of.... It won't show to-morrow.... But it was a
tough fight!...

THE CAT (_appearing from behind a thicket, limping_)
I should think so!... The Ox caught me a blow with his horns in the
stomach.... You can't see the marks, but it's very painful.... And the Oak
broke my paw....

I should like to know which one....

MYTYL (_stroking the_ CAT)
My poor Tylette, did he really?.... Where were you?... I did not see

THE CAT (_hypocritically_)
Mummy dear, I was wounded at the first, while attacking that horrid Pig,
who wanted to eat you.... And then the Oak gave me a great blow which
struck me senseless....

THE DOG (_to the_ CAT, _between his teeth_)
As for you, I want a word with you presently.... It will keep!...

THE CAT (_plaintively, to_ MYTYL)
Mummy dear, he's insulting me.... He wants to hurt me....

MYTYL (_to the_ DOG)
Leave him alone, will you, you ugly beast?...

(_They all go out_.)



SCENE 1.--_Before the Curtain_.

_The curtain represents beautiful clouds_

(_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT, BREAD,

I believe we have the Blue Bird this time. I ought to have thought of it
before. But the idea came to me, like a ray from the sky, this morning
only, when I recovered my strengthen the dawn.... We are at the entrance
to the enchanted palaces where all men's Joys, all men's Happinesses are
gathered together in the charge of Fate.

Are there many of them? Shall we have any? Are they little?

Some are little and some are great; some are coarse and some are delicate;
some are very beautiful and others not so pleasant to look upon.... But the
ugliest were expelled from the garden some time ago and took refuge with
the Miseries. For we must not forget that the Miseries inhabit an adjoining
cave, which communicates with the Garden of Happiness and is separated from
it only by a sort of vapour or fine veil, lifted at every moment by
the winds that blow from the heights of Justice or from the depths of
Eternity.... What we have now to do is to organise ourselves and take
certain precautions. Generally, the Joys are very good; but, still, there
are some of them that are more dangerous and treacherous than the greatest

I have an idea! If they are dangerous and treacherous, would it not be
better for us all to wait at the door, so that we may lend a hand to the
children should they be obliged to fly?....

Not at all! Not at all! I mean to go everywhere with my little gods! Let
those who are afraid remain at the door! We have no need (_looking at_
BREAD) of cowards (_looking at the_ CAT) or traitors!...

I'm going!... I hear it's great fun!... They dance all the time....

Do they have any eating as well?

WATER (_moaning_)
I have never known the smallest Happiness!... I should like to see some at

Hold your tongues! Who asked your opinions?... This is what I have decided:
the Dog, Bread and Sugar shall go with the children. Water shall stay
outside, because she is too cold, and Fire, because he is too turbulent. I
strongly urge Milk to remain at the door, because he is so impressionable.
As for the Cat, he can do as he likes.....

I shall take the opportunity of calling on the chief Miseries of my
acquaintance, who live next door to the Joys....

And you, Light? Aren't you coming?

I cannot go into the Joys like this: most of them cannot endure me. But
I have here the thick veil with which I cover myself when I visit
happy people.... (_She unfolds a long veil and wraps herself in it
carefully_.) Not a ray of my you! must startle them, for there are many
Happinesses that are afraid and are not happy.... There... like this, even
the ugliest and coarsest of them will have nothing to fear....

(_The curtain opens and discloses the next Scene_)

SCENE 2.--_The Palace of Happiness_.

_When the curtain of clouds opens, the stage represents, in the forefront
of the palace, a sort of hall formed of tall marble columns, between which
hang heavy purple draperies, supported by golden ropes and concealing all
the background. The architecture suggests the most sensual and sumptuous
moments of the Venetian or Flemish Renascence, as seen in the pictures
of Veronese or Rubens, with garlands, horns of plenty, fringes, vases,
statues, gildings, lavishly distributed on every side. In the middle stands
a massive and marvellous table of jasper and silver-gilt, laden with
candlesticks, glass, gold and silver plate and fabulous viands. Around the
table, the biggest luxuries of the Earth sit eating, drinking, shouting,
singing, tossing and lolling about or sleeping among the haunches of
venison, the miraculous fruits, the overturned jars and ewers. They are
enormously, incredibly fat and red in the face, covered with velvet and
brocade, crowned with gold and pearls and precious stones. Beautiful female
slaves incessantly bring decorated dishes and foaming beverages. Vulgar,
blatantly hilarious music, in which the brasses predominate. The stage is
bathed in a red and heavy light_.

(TYLTYL, MYTYL, _the_ DOG, BREAD _and_ SUGAR _are a little
awestruck at first end crowd round_ LIGHT _in the foreground, to the
right. The_ CAT, _without a word, walks to the background, also to the
right, lifts a dark curtain and disappears_.)

Who are those fat gentlemen enjoying themselves and eating such a lot of
good things?

They are the biggest Luxuries of the Earth, the ones that can be seen with
the naked eye. It is possible, though not very likely, that the Blue Bird
may have strayed among them for a moment. That is why you must not turn the
diamond yet. For form's sake, we will begin by searching this part of the

Can we go up to them?

Certainly. They are not ill-natured, although they are vulgar and usually
rather ill-bred.

What beautiful cakes they have!....

And such game! And sausages! And legs of lamb and calves' liver!... There
is nothing nicer or lovelier in the world than liver!...

Except quartern-loaves made of fine white flour! They have splendid
ones!... How lovely they are! How lovely they are!...

I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, I beg a thousand pardons.... Allow
me, allow me.... I would not like to hurt anybody's feelings; but are you
not forgetting the sweetmeats, which form the glory of that table and
which, if I may say so, surpass in grandeur and magnificence all that
exists in this hall, or perhaps anywhere else?...

How pleased and happy they look!... And they are shouting! And laughing!
And singing!... I believe they have seen us....

(_A dozen of the biggest_ LUXURIES _have risen from table and now,
holding their stomachs in their hands, advance laboriously towards the_

Have no fear, they are very affable.... They will probably invite you to
dinner.... Do not accept, do not accept anything, lest you should forget
your mission....

What? Not even a tiny cake? They look so good, so fresh, so well iced with
sugar, covered with candied fruits and brimming over with cream!...

They are dangerous and would break your will. A man should know how to
sacrifice something to the duty he is performing. Refuse politely, but

THE BIGGEST OF THE LUXURIES (_holding out his hand to_ TYLTYL)
How do you do, Tyltyl?...

TYLTYL (_surprised_)
Why, do you know me?... Who are you?...

I am the biggest of the Luxuries, the Luxury of Being Rich; and I come, in
the name of my brothers, to beg you and your family to honour our endless
repast with your presence. You will find yourself surrounded by all that is
best among the real, big Luxuries of this Earth. Allow me to introduce
to you the chief of them. Here is my son-in-law, the Luxury of Being a
Landowner, who has a stomach shaped like a pear. This is the Luxury of
Satisfied Vanity, who has such a nice, puffy face, (_The_ LUXURY OF
SATISFIED VANITY _gives a patronising nod_.) These are the Luxury of
Drinking when you are not Thirsty and the Luxury of Eating when you are not
Hungry: they are twins and their legs are made of macaroni. (_They bow,
staggering_.) Here are the Luxury of Knowing Nothing, who is as deaf as
a post, and the Luxury of Understanding Nothing, who is as blind as a bat.
Here are the Luxury of Doing Nothing and the Luxury of Sleeping more
than Necessary: their hands are made of bread-crumb and their eyes of
peach-jelly. Lastly, here is Fat Laughter: his mouth is split from ear to
ear and he is irresistible....

(FAT LAUGHTER _bows, writhing and holding his sides_.)

TYLTYL (_pointing to a_ LUXURY _who is standing a little on one side_)
And who is that one, who dares not come up to us and who is turning his

Do not ask about him: he is a little awkward and is not fit to be
introduced to children.... (_Seizing_ TYLTYL'S _hands_) But come
along! They are beginning the banquet all over again.... It is the twelfth
time since this morning. We are only waiting for you.... Do you hear all
the revellers calling and shouting for you?... I cannot introduce you to
all of them, there are so many of them.... (_Offering his arm to the two
children_) Allow me to lead you to the two seats of honour....

No, thank you very much, Mr. Luxury.... I am so sorry.... I can't come for
the moment.... We are in a great hurry, we are looking for the Blue Bird.
You don't happen to know, I suppose, where he is hiding?

The Blue Bird?... Wait a bit.... Yes, I remember.... Some one was telling
me about him the other day.... He is a bird, that is not good to eat, I
believe.... At any rate, he has never figured on our table.... That means
that we have a poor opinion of him. But don't trouble; we have much better
things.... You shall share our life, you shall see all that we do....

What do you do?

Why, we occupy ourselves incessantly in doing nothing.... We never have a
moment's rest.... We have to drink, we have to eat, we have to sleep. It's
most engrossing....

Is it amusing?

Why, yes.... It needs must be; it's all there is on this Earth....

Do you think so?...

THE LUXURY (_pointing to_ LIGHT, _aside, to_ TYLTYL)
Who is that ill-bred young person?...

(_During the whole of the preceding conversation a crowd of_ LUXURIES
_of the second order have been busying themselves with the_ DOG,
SUGAR _and_ BREAD _and have dragged them to the orgie_. TYLTYL
_suddenly sees them seated fraternally at the table with their hosts,
eating, drinking and flinging themselves about wildly_.)

Why, look, Light!... They are sitting at the table!...

Call them back, or this will have a bad end!...

Tylo!... Here, Tylo!... Come here at once, will you? Do you hear?... And
you too, Sugar and Bread, who told you to leave me?... What are you doing
there, without permission?

BREAD (_speaking with his mouth full_)
Can't you keep a civil tongue in your mouth?...

What? Is Bread daring to be impertinent?... Why, what's come over you?...
And you, Tylo?... Is that the way you obey? Now then, come here, on your
knees, on your knees!... And look sharp!...

THE DOG (_muttering, from the end of the table_)
When I'm eating, I'm at home to nobody and I hear nothing....

SUGAR (_honey-mouthed_)
Pardon us, we could not possibly leave such charming hosts so abruptly:
they would be offended....

You see!... They are setting you an example.... Come, we are waiting for
you.... We won't hear of a refusal.... We shall have to resort to a gentle
violence.... Come, you Luxuries, help me!... Let us push them to the table
by force, so that they may be happy in spite of themselves!... (_All
the_ LUXURIES, _uttering cries of joy and skipping about as nimbly
as they are able, drag the_ CHILDREN, _who struggle, while_ FAT
LAUGHTER _seizes_ LIGHT _vigorously round the waist_.)

Turn the diamond, it is time!...

(TYLTYL _obeys_ LIGHT'S _order. Forthwith, the stage is lit up with
an ineffably pure, divinely roseate, harmonious and ethereal brightness.
The heavy ornaments in the foreground, the thick red hangings become
unfastened and disappear, revealing an immense and magnificent hall, a
sort of cathedral of gladness and serenity, tall, innocent and almost
transparent, whose endless fabric rests upon innumerous long and slender,
limpid and blissful columns, suggesting the architecture of the Palladian
churches or certain drawings by Carpaccio, notably the "Presentation of the
Virgin" in the Uffizi Gallery. The table of the orgie melts away without
leaving a trace; the velvets, the brocades, the garlands of the_
LUXURIES _rise before the luminous gust that invades the temple tear
asunder and fall, together with the grinning masks, at the feet of the
astounded revellers. These become visibly deflated, like burst bladders,
exchange glances, blink their eyes in the unknown rays that hurt them;
and, seeing themselves at last as they really are, that is to say, naked,
hideous, flabby and lamentable, they begin to utter yells of shame and
dismay, amid which those of_ FAT LAUGHTER _are clearly distinguishable
above all the rest. The_ LUXURY OF UNDERSTANDING NOTHING _alone
remains perfectly calm, while his friends rush about madly, trying to flee,
to hide themselves in corners which they hope to find dark. But there is
not a shadow left in the dazzling room. And so the majority, in their
despair, decide to pass through the threatening curtain which, in an angle
on the right, closes the vault of the Cave of Miseries. Each time that one
of them, in his panic, raises a skirt of the curtain, a storm of oaths,
imprecations and maledictions is heard to issue from the hollow depths of
the cave. As for the_ DOG, BREAD _and_ SUGAR, _they hang their
heads, join the group of the_ CHILDREN _and hide behind them very

TYLTYL (_watching the_ LUXURIES _flying_)
Goodness, how ugly they are!... Where are they going?...

I really believe that they have lost their heads.... They are going to take
refuge with the Miseries, where I very much fear that they will be kept for

TYLTYL (_looking around him, wonder-struck_)
Oh, what a beautiful hall, what a beautiful hall!... Where are we?...

We have not moved: it is your eyes that see differently.... We now behold
the truth of things; and we shall perceive the soul of the Joys that endure
the brightness of the diamond.

How beautiful it is!... And what lovely weather!... It is just like
midsummer.... Hullo! It looks as though people were coming to talk to

(_The halls begin to fill with angel forms that seem to be emerging from
a long slumber and glide harmoniously between the columns. They are clad
in shimmering dresses, of soft and subtle shades; rose-awakening,
water's-smile, amber-dew, blue-of-dawn, etc_.)

Here come some amiable and curious Joys who will direct us....

Do you know them?...

Yes, I know them all; I often come to them, without their knowing who I

Oh, what a lot of them there are!... They are crowding from every side!

There were many more of them once. The Luxuries have done them great harm.

No matter, there are a good few of them left....

You will see plenty of others, as the influence of the diamond spreads
through the halls.... There are many more Happinesses on Earth than people
think; but the generality of men do not discover them....

Here are some little ones: let us run and meet them....

It is unnecessary: those which interest us will pass this way. We have no
time to make the acquaintance of all the rest....

(_A troop of little_ HAPPINESSES, _frisking and bursting with
laughter, run up from the back of the halls and dance round the_
CHILDREN _in a ring_.)

How pretty, how very pretty they are!... Where do they come from, who are

They are the Children's Happinesses....

Can one speak to them?

It would be no use. They sing, they dance, they laugh, but they do not talk

TYLTYL (_skipping about_)
How do you do? How do you do?... Oh, look at that fat one laughing!... What
pretty cheeks they have, what pretty frocks they have!... Are they all rich

Why, no, here, as everywhere, there are many more poor than rich....

Where are the poor ones?...

You can't distinguish them.... A Child's Happiness is always arrayed in all
that is most beautiful in Heaven and upon Earth.

TYLTYL (_unable to restrain himself_)
I should like to dance with them....

It is absolutely impossible, we have no time.... I see that they have not
the Blue Bird.... Besides, they are in a hurry: you see, they have already
passed.... They too have no time to waste, for childhood is very short....

(_Another troop of_ HAPPINESSES, _a little taller than the last,
rush into the hall, singing at the top of their voice, "There they are!
There they are! They see us! They see us!" and, dance a merry fling around
the_ CHILDREN, _at the end of which the one who appears to be
the chief of the little band goes up to_ TYLTYL _with hand

How do you do, Tyltyl?...

Another one who knows me!... (_To_ LIGHT) I am getting known wherever
I go!... (_To the_ HAPPINESS) Who are you?...

Don't you recognise me?... I'll wager that you don't recognise any one

TYLTYL (_a little embarrassed_)
Why, no.... I don't know.... I don't remember seeing any of you.

There, do you hear?... I was sure of it!... He has never seen us!...

(_All the other_ HAPPINESSES _burst out laughing_) Why, my dear
Tyltyl, we are the only things you do know!... We are always around you!...
We eat, drink, wake up, breathe and live with you!...

Oh, yes, just so, I know, I remember.... But I should like to know what
your names are....

I can see that you know nothing.... I am the chief of the Happinesses of
your home; and all these are the other Happinesses that live there....

Then there are Happinesses in my home?

(_All the_ HAPPINESSES _burst out laughing_.)

You heard him!... Are there Happinesses in his home!... Why, you little
wretch, it is crammed with Happinesses in every nook and cranny!... We
laugh, we sing, we create enough joy to knock down the walls and lift the
roof; but, do what we may, you see nothing and you hear nothing.... I hope
that, in future, you will be a little more sensible.... Meantime, you shall
shake hands with the more noteworthy of us.... Then, when you reach home
again, you will recognise them more easily and, at the end of a fine day,
you will know how to encourage them with a smile, to thank them with a
pleasant word, for they really do all they can to make your life easy and
delightful.... Let me introduce myself first: the Happiness of Being Well,
at your service.... I am not the prettiest, but I am the most important.
Will you know me again?... This is the Happiness of Pure Air, who is almost
transparent.... Here is the Happiness of Loving one's Parents, who is clad
in grey and always a little sad, because no one ever looks at him.... Here
are the Happiness of the Blue Sky. who, of course, is dressed in blue, and
the Happiness of the Forest, who, also of course, is clad in green: you
will see him every time you go to the window.... Here, again, is the
good Happiness of Sunny Hours, who is diamond-coloured, and this is the
Happiness of Spring, who is bright emerald....

And are you as fine as that every day?

Why, yes, it is Sunday every day, in every house, when people open their
eyes.... And then, when evening comes, here is the Happiness of the
Sunsets, who is grander than all the kings in the world and who is followed
by the Happiness of Seeing the Stars Rise, who is gilded like a god of
old.... Then, when the weather breaks, here are the Happiness of the Rain,
who is covered with pearls, and the Happiness of the Winter Fire, who opens
his beautiful purple mantle to frozen hands.... And I have not mentioned
the best among us, because he is nearly a brother of the great limpid
Joys whom you will see presently: his name is the Happiness of Innocent
Thoughts, and he is the brightest of as all.... And then here are.... But
really there are too many of them!... We should never have done; and I must
first send word to the Great Joys, who are right at the back, near the
gates of Heaven, and who have not yet heard of your arrival.... I will send
the Happiness of Running Barefoot in the Dew, who is the nimblest of us....
forward capering_) Off you go!...

In the meantime, you might enquire about the Blue Bird. It is just possible
that the chief Happiness of your home knows where he is....

Where Is he?...

He doesn't know where the Blue Bird is!... (_All the_ HAPPINESSES OF
THE HOME _burst out laughing_.)

TYLTYL (_vexed_)
No, I do not know.... There's nothing to laugh at.... (_Fresh bursts of

Come, don't be angry... and let us be serious.... He doesn't know: well,
what do you expect? He is no more absurd than the majority of men.... But
little Happiness of Running Barefoot in the Dew has told the Great Joys and
they are coming towards us....

(_Tall and beautiful angelic figures, clad in shimmering dresses, come
slowly forward_.)

How beautiful they are!... Why are they not laughing?... Are they not

It is not when one laughs that one is really happy....

Who are they?...

They are the Great Joys....

Do you know their names?...

Of course; we often play with them.... Here, first of all, before the
others, is the Great Joy of Being Just, who smiles each time an injustice
is repaired. I am too young: I have never seen her smile yet. Behind her is
the Joy of Being Good, who is the happiest, but the saddest; and it is very
difficult to keep her from going to the Miseries, whom she would like to
console; for, if she left us, we should be almost as miserable as the
Miseries themselves. On the right is the Joy of Fame, next to the Joy of
Thinking. After her comes the Joy of Understanding, who is always looking
for her brother, the Luxury of Understanding Nothing....

But I have seen her brother!... He went to the Miseries with the Big

I was certain of it.... He has turned out badly; keeping evil company has
corrupted him entirely.... But do not speak of it to his sister. She would
want to go and look for him and we should lose one of our most beautiful
Joys.... Here, among the greatest Joys, is the Joy of Seeing what is
Beautiful, who daily adds a few rays to the light that reigns amongst

And there, far away, far away, in the golden clouds, the one whom I can
hardly see when I stand as high as I can on tip-toe?...

That is the Great Joy of Loving.... But, do what you will, you are ever so
much too small to see her altogether....

And over there, right at the back, those who are veiled and who do not come

Those are the Joys whom men do not yet know....

What do the others want with us?... Why are they standing aside?...

It is before a new Joy who is arriving, perhaps the purest that we have

Who is it?

Don't you recognise her yet?... But take a better look at her, open your
two eyes down to the very heart of your soul!... She has seen you, she
has seen you!... She runs up to you, holding out her arms!... It is your
mother's Joy, it is the peerless Joy of Maternal Love!...

(_The other_ JOYS, _who have run up from every side, acclaim the_
JOY OF MATERNAL LOVE _with their cheers and then fall back before her in

Tyltyl! And Mytyl!... What, do I find you here?... I never expected it!...
I was very lonely at home; and here are you two climbing to that Heaven
where the souls of all mothers beam with joy!... But first kisses, heaps
and heaps of kisses!... Into my arms, the two of you; there is nothing on
earth that gives greater happiness!... Tyltyl, aren't you laughing?... Nor
you either, Mytyl?... Don't you know your mother's love when you see it?...
Why, look at me: are these not my eyes, my lips, my arms?...

Yes, yes, I recognise them, but I did not know.... You are like Mummy, but
you are much prettier....

Why, of course, I have stopped growing old.... And every day brings me
fresh strength and youth and happiness.... Each of your smiles makes me
younger by a year.... At home, that does not show; but here everything is
seen and it is the truth....

TYLTYL (_wonder-struck, gazing at her and kissing her by turns_)
And that beautiful dress of yours: what is it made of?... Is it silk,
silver or pearls?...

No, it is made of kisses and caresses and loving looks.... Each kiss you
give me adds a ray of moon-light or sunshine to it....

How funny, I should never have thought that you were so rich!... Where used
you to hide it?... Was it in the cupboard of which Daddy has the key?...

No, no, I always wear it, but people do not see it, because people see
nothing when their eyes are closed.... All mothers are rich when they love
their children.... There are no poor mothers, no ugly ones, no old ones.
Their love is always the most beautiful of the Joys.... And, when they seem
most sad, it needs but a kiss which they receive or give to turn all their
tears into stars in the depths of their eyes....

TYLTYL (_looking at her with astonishment_)
Why, yes, it's true, your eyes are filled with stars.... And they are
really your eyes, only they are much more beautiful.... And this is your
hand too, with the little ring on it.... It even has the burn which you
gave it one evening when lighting the lamp.... But it is much whiter; and
how delicate the skin is!... There seems to be light flowing through it....
Doesn't it do any work like the one at home?...

Why yes, it is the very same: did you never see that it becomes quite white
and fills with light the moment it fondles you?...

It's wonderful, Mummy: you have the same voice also; but you speak much
better than you do at home....

At home, one has too much to do and there is no time.... But what one does
not say one hears all the same.... Now that you have seen me, will you know
me again, in my torn dress, when you go back to the cottage tomorrow?...

I don't want to go back.... As you are here, I want to stay also, as long
as you remain....

But it's just the same thing: I am down below, we are all down below....
You have come up here only to realise and to learn, once and for all, how
to see me when you see me down below.... Do you understand, Tyltyl dear?...
You believe yourself in Heaven; but Heaven is wherever you and I kiss each
other.... There are not two mothers; and you have no other.... Every child
has only one; and it is always the same one and always the most beautiful;
but you have to know her and to know how to look.... But how did you manage
to come up here and to find a road for which men have been seeking ever
since they began to dwell upon the Earth?...

TYLTYL (_pointing to_ LIGHT, _who, discreetly, has drawn a little to one
She brought me....

Who is she?...


I have never seen her.... I was told that she was very fond of you both and
very kind.... But why does she hide herself?... Does she never show her

Oh, yes, but she is afraid that the Joys might be frightened if they saw
too clearly....

But doesn't she know that we are waiting only for her! (_Calling the
other_ GREAT JOYS) Come, come, sisters! Come quickly, all of you! Light
has come to visit us at last!...

(_A stir among the_ GREAT JOYS, _who draw nearer, with cries of
"Light is here!... Light! Light!_...")

THE JOY OF UNDERSTANDING (_thrusting all the others aside, to come and
embrace_ LIGHT)
You are Light and we did not know it!... And we have been waiting for you
for years and years and years!... Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of
Understanding, who have been seeking you for so long!... We are very happy,
but we cannot see beyond ourselves....

THE JOY OF BEING JUST (_embracing_ LIGHT _in her turn_)
Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of Being Just, who have besought you
so long.... We are very happy, but we cannot see beyond our shadows.

Do you recognise me?... I am the Joy of Seeing what is Beautiful, who have
loved you so dearly.... We are very happy, but we cannot see beyond our

Come, sister, come, do not keep us waiting any longer.... We are strong
enough, we are pure enough.... Put aside those veils which still conceal
from us the last truths and the last happinesses.... See, all my sisters
are kneeling at your feet.... You are our queen and our reward.

LIGHT (_drawing her veils closer_)
Sisters, my beautiful sisters, I am obeying my Master.... The hour is not
yet come; it will strike, perhaps, and I shall return without fear and
without shadow.... Farewell, rise and let us kiss once more, like sisters
lost and found, while waiting for the day that will soon appear....

You have been very good to my poor little ones....

I shall always be good to those who love one another....

Let the last kiss be laid upon my forehead....

(_They exchange a long kiss; and, when they separate and raise their
heads, tears are seen to stand in their eyes_.)

TYLTYL (_surprised_)
Why are you crying?... (_Looking at the other_ JOYS) I say! You're
crying too!... But why have all of you tears in your eyes?...

Hush, dear....



SCENE I.--_Before the Curtain_.

_Enter_ TYLTYL, MYTYL, LIGHT, _the_ DOG, _the_ CAT, BREAD,

I have received a note from the Fairy Berylune telling me that the Blue
Bird is probably here.

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