Translation:Puss in Boots/Act 1/Scene 3

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Translation:Puss in Boots by Ludwig Tieck, translated from German by wikisource and  Wikisource
Act 1, Scene 3

ACT ONE

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Scene Three


Outside a tavern.

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Lorenz, Kunz, Michel, sitting on a bench; The Landlord.


Lorenz

I must be off. I have a long journey home ahead of me.

Landlord

You are a subject of the king, aren't you?

Lorenz

Yes, indeed. What do you call your ruler?

Landlord

We just call him Bugbear.[1]

Lorenz

What a silly title. Has he no other name, then?

Landlord

Whenever he issues edicts, they always read: For the good of the public, the Law demands.... From which I conclude that that is his real name. All petitions too are always laid before the Law.[2] He's a fearsome man.

Lorenz

Still, I would prefer to be a king's subject; a king is more distinguished, you know. They say that bugbears make very ungracious masters.

Landlord

He is not particularly gracious, that is certainly true, but, on the other hand, he's also the very embodiment of justice. Lawsuits are often sent to him, even from abroad, and he must settle them.

Lorenz

They say wonderful things about him; the story goes he can transform himself into any animal.

Landlord

That's true; he often travels about incognito to sound the opinions of his subjects; that's why we never trust a stray cat or dog, because we always think it could very well be our ruler in disguise.

Lorenz

There too we are surely better off than you; our king never goes out without his crown, cloak and sceptre; he can be easily recognized by these, even when he's a mile away. Well, take care of yourselves.

Exit Lorenz.


Landlord

He's already in his own country now.

Kunz

Is the border that close?

Landlord

Of course; even that tree belongs to the king; from this very spot you can see everything that goes on in his country; this border here has even been lucky for me. I would have been bankrupt long ago if deserters from over there had not supported me; almost every day quite a few cross over.

Michel

Is military service over there so hard?

Landlord

Not particularly, but running away is so easy; and just because it is so strictly forbidden, the fellows have an incredible desire to desert. Look, I bet that's another one coming now!

A Soldier enters, running


Soldier

A tankard of beer, innkeeper! Quickly!

Landlord

Who are you?

Soldier

A deserter.

Michel

Perhaps it was filial love that made him desert. Poor fellow, do look after him, innkeeper.

Landlord

Well, if he has money, he shall not lack for beer.

He goes into the tavern. Enter Two Hussars on horseback; they dismount.


First Hussar

Well, thank God we made it this far! Your health, neighbor!

Soldier

This is the border.

Second Hussar

Yes, thank Heavens! Thanks to this fellow we really had to ride. Innkeeper! Beer!

Landlord

with several glasses

Here, gentlemen, a nice cool drink; you all seem pretty hot.

First Hussar

Here, you scroundrel! Cheers!

Soldier

Cheers! Let me hold your horses while you drink.

Second Hussar

Boy, that fellow can certainly run! It's a good thing the border is so close: otherwise this job would be a bitch!

First Hussar

Well, we have to go back, I suppose. Adieu, deserter! The best of luck to you!

They mount their horses and ride away.


Landlord

Will you be staying here?

Soldier

No, I'm going on; I have to enlist again – with the neighboring duke.

Landlord

Do come and see me again when you next desert.

Soldier

I will. Farewell.

They shake hands. The soldier and the guests leave; the landlord goes into the tavern. The curtain falls.


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Notes[edit]

  1. Popanz: bugbear, bogey. In Charles Perrault's classic French version of the tale, Le Chat Botté, this character is simply called un Ogre, an Ogre.
  2. Gesetz: Law.