A monologue from the play by Gerhart Hauptmann

NOTE: This translation by Ludwig Lewisohn was first published in 1912 by B.W. Huebsch, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

HOFFMANN: I must tell you that I consider your appearance and demeanor here -- to put it mildly -- incredibly impudent. You come here, enjoy my hospitality, thresh out a few of your thread-bare phrases, turn my sister-in-law's head, go on about old friendships and other pleasant things, and then you tell me quite coolly: you're going to write a descriptive pamphlet about the local conditions. Why, what do you take me to be, anyhow? D'you suppose I don't know that these so-called essays are merely shameless libels? . . . You want to write a denunciation like that, and about our coal district, of all places! Are you so blind that you can't see whom such a rag would harm most keenly? Only me, of course! I tell you, the trade that you demagogues drive ought to be more firmly stamped out than has been done up to now! What is it you do? You make the miners discontent, presumptuous; you stir them up, embitter them, make them rebellious, disobedient, wretched! Then you delude them with promises of mountains of gold, and, in the meantime, grab out of their pockets the few pennies that keep them from starving! You ridiculous, pompous wind-bag! Go to work! Leave off this silly drivelling! Do something!