Page:Poet Lore, volume 26, 1915.djvu/318

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Maršálek.—What the devil! Why not have a sensible word with the Captain. (Puts himself into a pose.) I obediently announce, Mr. Captain, that we are faring well here and that it would be a sin against our ruler, the Emperor, and against God if we moved away from here as long as we don’t have to. When we have in this confounded war such drudgery, torture and hard treatment, let’s for once take a holiday!

Matouš.—Oh, well, as to hard treatment—that isn’t so bad. What about us poor people! You are gentlemen compared to us!

Řehák and Voices.—Feudalism! The director! And all the nobility’s servants!

Maršálek.—Feudalism! Feudalism! What a fuss you make about it. Compared to soldiering, that’s . . . And then, thunder! Brothers, comrades! Feudalism? Ha, ha, ha, feudalism? I’ll tell you some news about feudalism that will make you shout! Feudalism— —

Slavík.—Hush, Maršálek!

Maršálek.—Comrade! Is that the way you go at me? Am I subordinated to you? Am I not a soldier and you only a bugler? And we did bring the tidings that feudalism— —

Slavík.—Not a word!

Řehák and Voices. (A rustle and hum.)—He knows something! What is it? Hear! Let him tell!

Maršálek.—And why not? I have the same right— —

Slavík.—The Captain strictly forbade it! Not a mutter!

Maršálek (Screaming).—And so only you dare to scream and I not? I tell you, farmers, that feudalism— —

Slavík.—You know nothing—don’t even murmur!

Maršálek.—I don’t know anything? I’ll show you whether I don’t know.

Slavík (To Hruška).—Go and get the Captain. (Hruška runs away.)

Řehák and Voices.—Let him speak! The greatest curiosity is apparent. People talk excitedly with Slavík and separate him from Maršálek. Voices to {{sc|Marsálek.) What is it? Tell us. Here is a twenty krejcar piece. You’ll get more. (They pour out beer for him.)

Maršálek.—I don’t want your twenty krejcar piece for a soldier must never let himself be bribed to do anything. (In a low voice.) But I tell you, that you are fools, churls (Angry movement among his hearers) and something even worse if you perform