Vec Makropulos

Vec Makropulos

Die Sache Makropulos
Oper in drei Akten

Libretto

Leos Janacek (nach der gleichnamigen Komödie von Karel Capek)

Uraufführung

18. Dezember 1926, Brünn (Nationaltheater)

Besetzung

EMILIA MARTY, Sängerin (Sopran)
ALBERT GREGOR (Tenor)
VITEK, Rechtsanwaltsgehilfe (Tenor)
KRISTINA, seine Tochter (Mezzospran)
JAROSLAV PRUS (Bariton)
JANEK PRUS, sein Sohn (Tenor)
DR. KOLENATY, Anwalt (Bassbariton)
MASCHINIST (Bass)
AUFRÄUMFRAU (Alt)
HAUK-SCHENDORF, Operettentenor (Tenor)
KAMMERMÄDCHEN (Alt)

MÄNNERCHOR

Ort

Prag

Zeit

im Jahr 1922

Janácek, Leos

Janácek, Leos
3.7.1854 Hukvaldy - 12.8.1928 Ostrava


Bühnenwerke
mit Datum/Ort der Uraufführung:

Sárka (1888)
Pocatek románu (10.2.1894 Brno)
Její pastorkyna [Jenufa] (21.1.1904 Brno)
Osud (1904)
Osud [rev] (1906; 18.9.1934 Brno*; 25.10.1958 Brno)
Její pastorkyna [rev] (1906)
Její pastorkyna [rev 2] (1911)
Její pastorkyna [rev 3] (26.5.1916 Praha)
Sárka [rev] (1919) [+ Chlubna]
Výlety páne Brouckovy (23.4.1920 Praha)
Káta Kabanová (23.11.1921 Brno)
Príhody lisky Bystrousky (6.11.1923 Brno)
Sárka [rev 2] (11.11.1925 Brno)
Vec Makropulos (18.12.1926 Brno)
Z mrtvého domu (12.4.1930 Brno) [+ Chlubna, Bakala]
rev = Bearbeitung / * = konzertant (Radio)



Die Sache Makropulos


ERSTER AKT
In der Kanzlei des Dr. Kolenaty räumt VÍtek die Akten für den seit 100 Jahren sich hinziehenden Erbschaftsfall Gregor gegen Prus beiseite, dessen Abschluss kurz bevorsteht, weshalb Albert Gregor ungeduldig die Rückkehr Dr. Kolenatys vom Gericht erwartet. Christa stürmt in die Kanzlei, um ihrem Vater von der Kunst und Schönheit der berühmten Emilia Marty vorzuschwärmen, die kurz danach, ganz überraschend, mit Dr. Kolenaty die Kanzlei betritt. Sie wünscht Genaueres über den in allen Blättern genannten Fall Gregor-Prus zu erfahren. Kolenaty referiert im Geschäftston: Bei dem Prozess geht es um das Millionenvermögen des Barons Prus, der 1827 kinderlos starb; um einen ansehnlichen Teil davon, sein Landgut, stritten sein Vetter Emmerich Prus sowie ein junger Mann namens Ferdinand Gregor, der seinen Anspruch aus einer mündlichen Verfügung, wonach ein Herr MacGregor erben solle, ableitete. Albert, der letzte Gregor, kann den von Generation zu Generation verschleppten Prozess nur gewinnen, wenn er ein schriftliches Testament vorlegt. Die Marty, die seltsamerweise genaue Personenkenntnisse schon verriet, beschreibt dem verblüfften Kolenaty auf einmal ganz genau, wo das Testament zu finden ist: im Stammhaus der Prus, in einem Ablageschrank. Ja, sie weiss sogar seinen Inhalt: Dass der Baron Prus sein Gut einem unehelichen Sohn, dem Ferdinand Gregor vermacht habe: seine Mutter sei eine schott. Sängerin namens Elian MacGregor gewesen. Der Rechtsanwalt hält alles für einen Aprilscherz, aber Gregor zwingt ihn, der Sache nachzugehen. Gregor vertraut unerklärlicherweise der Sängerin. Er ist fasziniert von ihrer irritierenden Schönheit und Rätselhaftigkeit. Er fragt weiter, dringt in sie, macht ihr heftige Avancen, obwohl sie ihm auch unheimlich und erschreckend erscheint. Emilia Marty sagt ihm, was er für sie tun könne: ein griech. Dokument, das er vom alten Prus geerbt habe, möchte sie haben, unbedingt. Kolenaty kehrt mit Jaroslav Prus zurück. Die Dokumente wurden am genannten Ort gefunden! Noch ist damit aber nicht geklärt, ob jener Ferdinand Gregor wirklich der Sohn des Barons Prus war. Emilia Marty will den Beweis dafür beibringen.

ZWEITER AKT
Auf der kahlen Bühne des Opernhauses wartet Prus auf Emilia Marty, die am Vorabend hier einen grossen Erfolg gefeiert hat. Sein Sohn und Christa, die ihrem Janek hier klarzumachen versucht, dass es aus sei zwischen ihnen, weil die Kunst alles von ihr fordere, werden im gleichen Moment von ihm überrascht, als die Marty die Bühne betritt und gleich darauf, als weitere Verehrer, Gregor und VÍtek. Die Diva begegnet allen Komplimenten kalt oder mit Grobheiten. Nur dem verrückten, ihr auf Knien huldigenden Hauk-Schendorf gewährt sie einen Kuss: Die Liebe zu einer Zigeunerin, Eugenia Montez, die er in Emilia wieder zu erkennen glaubt, hat ihn vor fünfzig Jahren um den Verstand gebracht. Sobald sich der Verehrerschwarm verlaufen hat, auch der mehr und mehr von ihr faszinierte Janek gegangen ist, stellt ihr Jaroslav Prus einige Fragen. Man habe auch Briefe bei Prus gefunden, feurige Liebesbriefe, alle E. M. gezeichnet; könnte das ausser Elian MacGregor nicht auch Emilia Marty, Eugenia Montez oder am ehesten Elina Makropulos heissen, alles Namen, die er in den Papieren fand? Und ein Makropulos sei als eigentlicher Name des wahren Erben genannt. So habe Gregor keine Chance, als Erbberechtigter anerkannt zu werden. Und alle Dokumente blieben in seinem, Prus' Besitz, auch ein weiteres, versiegeltes griech. Dokument, das sich fand. "Das Dokument kaufe ich", ruft Emilia schnell, aber Prus wendet sich schweigend ab. Nun sucht sie Janek, dann Prus selbst um den Preis einer Liebesnacht dazu zu bringen, ihr das Dokument zu verschaffen. Prus verspricht es schliesslich.

DRITTER AKT
Prus und Emilia haben die Nacht zusammen verbracht, für Prus eine Nacht mit einer eisigen Frau. Angeekelt wirft er ihr das versiegelte Dokument hin. Man bringt ihm einen Brief mit den letzten Worten seines Sohnes: Janek hat sich aus unerfüllter Liebe zu Emilia Marty getötet. Die Sängerin reagiert mit grösster Kälte. Prus stürzt mit einer Verwünschung aus ihrem Haus. Noch einmal taucht Hauk- Schendorf auf; Emilia soll mit ihm nach Spanien fliehen, was sie spontan zusagt. Die Abreise wird aber durch das Erscheinen von Dr. Kolenaty, Gregor, Prus, VÍtek und Christa verhindert. Man beschuldigt Emilia der Urkundenfälschung: Ihr Autogramm für Christa und die Unterschrift auf dem hundertjährigen Schriftstück seien gleich. Und sie habe Janek auf dem Gewissen. Die Durchsuchung ihres Gepäcks fördert weiteres Belastungsmaterial zutage, so dass Emilia Marty schliesslich ihr entsetzliches Geheimnis preisgeben muss: Sie ist seit dreihundertdreissig Jahren Elina Makropulos, 1576 geboren. Ihr Vater Hieronymus Makropulos, Alchimist in Prag, war Leibarzt Kaiser Rudolfs II. und hat an ihr ein Elixier zur Lebensverlängerung um dreihundert Jahre erproben müssen. Das ist die "Sache Makropulos". Sie ist auch Elian MacGregor und Emilia Montez und trug viele Namen mehr. Ferdinand Prus war der einzige Mann, den sie jemals geliebt hat, ihm überliess sie deshalb auch das Dokument ihres Vaters, welches Prus, in der Hoffnung auf ihre Rückkehr, stets aufbewahrt hatte. Nun läuft ihre Lebensspanne ab, aber sie möchte sie nicht mehr mit Hilfe des Elixiers, nach dem sie so gierig gesucht hat, verlängern. Zusehends verfallend, entsagt sie dem Leben, dessen Dauer ihr den Glauben an die Menschheit, an die Liebe genommen hat und die Seele sterben liess. Sie drängt Christa die Formel des Elixiers auf, die sie nimmt und verbrennt. Emilia Marty bricht tot zusammen.
The Makropulos Case
ACT I
The offices of the lawyer Dr Kolenaty. The outcome of the century-old inheritance case of Gregor vs Prus is expected today. Kolenaty outlines the case at length to the famous opera singer Emilia Marty, who reveals an uncanny knowledge of past events concerning Elian MacGregor, the mistress of "Pepi" Prus, and directs them to an unknown will. Emilia Marty wants a document in Greek from Albert Gregor, who is attracted by her.

ACT II
Backstage at the opera house. After a triumphant performance Emilia Marty holds court for her admirers. Prus and Gregor intrigue over various documents that will affect the case. Both men are now fascinated by Marty. Prus agrees to bring her the Greek document she wants if she will meet him that night.

ACT III
Emilia Marty's hotel room. Baron Prus has spent the night with Marty, but claims she is cold and unfeeling. She asks for the document. Various people arrive with questions as her past catches up with her. Emilia Marty tells her story: She was born Elina Makropulos in 1585 to the alchemist at the court of Rudolf II. Her father invented a potion to prolong life and tested it on her. She has lived for over three hundred years and changed her name several times, keeping the initials E.M. She needs to take the formula again to stay alive. But, she says, infinite life has no meaning: it only has a value when it is finite. The formula is burnt and Emilia Marty dies.
L'Affaire Makropoulos
ACTE I
La séduisante cantatrice Emilia Marty (soprano) témoigne dans un procès d'héritage devant l'avocat Kolenaty (basse) et surprend par sa connaissance parfaite de faits très anciens en fait, de son vrai nom Elina Makropoulos, et ayant vécu successivement sous les identités d'Ellian Mac Gregor, Elsa Muller, Ekaterina Myskin, Eugenia Montez, elle est âgée de 356 ans, et ce prodige est dû à un élixir de longue vie, créé par son père, mais dont elle a perdu la formule, alors qu'approche le moment où il lui faudrait en boire de nouveau pour survivre.

ACTE II
Dans les coulisses d'un théâtre, entourée d'admirateurs, elle se conduit avec le cynisme que lui a fait acquérir sa trop longue expérience des choses et des gens, et elle n'accordera une nuit au baron Jaroslav Preus (baryton) que parce qu'il possède le parchemin contenant la formule. Le fils du baron, Janek (ténor), épris d'Emilia et désespéré par son geste, se suicide.

ACTE III
Emilia conte son passé, mais tous refusent de connaître la recette de la jeunesse éternelle. Kristina (mezzo-soprano), qui était la fiancée de Janek, brûle la formule, et Emilia, lasse de la vie, peut enfin mourir.
ATTO PRIMO
Nello studio legale di Kolenatý, che provvede a un’esposizione dettagliata del caso; Emilia sopraggiunge fornendo le sue preziose notizie. Mentre Kolenatý si reca a prelevare il testamento a casa di Prus, il fascino di Emilia ha occasione di esercitarsi anche su Gregor. Questi se ne innamora perdutamente, ma viene respinto con glaciale e annoiata indifferenza. Avendo Gregor ai suoi piedi, Emilia ne approfitta per domandargli del documento che reca la formula della pozione, ma apprende da Kolenatý, di ritorno da casa Prus, che questo è rimasto in possesso del barone.

ATTO SECONDO
Dietro le quinte dell’Opera, la mattina successiva a una rappresentazione che l’ha avuta per protagonista, Emilia continua a trattare con crudele durezza pretendenti e ammiratori. A Gregor, a Krista e Vítek si aggiungono Janek, il figlio di Jaroslav Prus, e il vecchio e ormai demente conte Hauk-Sendorf. In Emilia egli ha riconosciuto Eugenia Montez, la gitana di cui si era invaghito cinquant’anni prima in Andalusia. A Emilia si presenta quindi Jaroslav Prus; insospettito dalle inesplicabili conoscenze di Emilia sulla sua famiglia e dal suo immotivato interesse alla causa di Gregor, mette la cantante alle strette. Emilia induce il giovane Janek a tentare di sottrarre il documento per lei. Al tempo stesso tenta di comperare il documento da Prus, che acconsente a cederglielo in cambio di una notte d’amore.

ATTO TERZO
Nella stanza d’albergo ove Emilia e Prus hanno trascorso insieme la notte. Arriva la tragica notizia del suicidio d’amore di Janek. Di fronte al dolore di Prus, Emilia reagisce con assoluta indifferenza, restandosene seduta a pettinarsi i capelli. Prus fa appena in tempo a manifestarle il suo incredulo sdegno allorché sopraggiungono Gregor, Kolenatý e il conte Hauk. Kolenatý e il suo assistito sono decisi a denunciare Emilia per frode, a causa delle sospette e inesplicabili contraddizioni del suo racconto, in cui risultano confuse e sovrapposte le figure di Elian McGregor e di Elina Makropulos. Emilia si decide infine a raccontare l’autentica versione della sua inverosimile storia: ella è stata Elian, Elina e molte altre ancora. Ma viene creduta solo quando i primi segni di morte appaiono sul suo volto, ora che la pozione sta esaurendo i suoi effetti. Emilia rinuncia a servirsi della pozione e decide di lasciarsi morire, comprendendo che la sua perpetua giovinezza non dà altro che dolore e apatia. Solo chi vive nell’imminenza inesorabile della morte, rivela Emilia in un appassionato addio ai presenti, può provare qualcosa come la felicità: «Oh! la vita non dovrebbe durare così a lungo! Se solo vi accorgeste come è facile per voi la vita! Voi siete così vicini a ogni cosa! (...) Per la banale, fortuita ragione che morirete in così breve tempo». Emilia muore mentre il documento che cela il ‘segreto Makropulos’, da lei donato con le sue ultime parole alla giovane ammiratrice Krista per farne un’altra prodigiosa cantante, viene dato alle fiamme.


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ACT ONE

The clerk's room at Dr Kolenaty's.
Backstage, door leading out; left, door into the office.
On rear wall, shelves of files, pair of steps.
On other walls lists of charges, official notices, calendars, phone.
Masses of papers, files.


Prelude

VITEK
putting files back on shelves
Oh dear, dear me! One o'clock.
The old man won't be coming now.
Case of Gregor versus Prus.
G, G, R - Here we are.
climbs up the steps
Case of Gregor -
Look at that one - it's had it now.
Oh dear, oh dear.
leafing through a folder
Eighteen twenty-seven,
thirty-two,
forty, forty-seven -
in a few years we might have had a centenary:
He replaces the folder.
Causa Gregor Prus.
Ah well. Nothing lasts for ever!
Vanity … dust and ashes!
He settles down reflectively on the top step.
What do you expect? Old titled family.
What else? Baron Prus! Fighting the case for a hundred years, swine.
Citoyens Citizens!
"Will you continue to tolerate -
Gregor stands in the doorway, unobserved, listening for a moment.
- this class
who owe their privilege to tyranny alone …"

GREGOR
Citizen Marat?

VITEK
Goodness no. Not Marat.
climbing down
That was Danton,
speech of October 23, 1792.
I do apologize, a thousand times.

GREGOR
Dr Kolenaty not here?

VITEK
Hasn't come back yet.

GREGOR
What'll the verdict be? Looks bad? Am I done for?

VITEK
I can't help you there.
No idea. Old man's been at court all day.

GREGOR
flinging himself into an armchair
Ring them up.

VITEK
Right you are.
at the phone
Halo? Dr Kolenaty?
Already left? Thanks.
hangs up
Already left.
GREGOR
And the verdict?

VITEK
I can't help you there.
When I think
that for thirty years, thirty years,
we'd been arguing this case -
and you had to rush to the High Court with it.
Just like that - ruin a hundred years old monument.

GREGOR
Don't talk nonsense, Vitek.
I want to win this case finally.

VITEK
Or lose.

GREGOR
And if we lose, then -

VITEK
- then you can shoot yourself.
Just what your father used to say.

GREGOR
Well, he did shoot himself.

VITEK
Because of the debts he ran up over the inheritance.

GREGOR
Shut up, will you?

KRISTA
enters
Dad, that Marty woman's stupendous!
Dad, that Marty's stupendous!

GREGOR
Who is, who is?

VITEK
Who is, who is?

KRISTA
Why Marty, of course!

GREGOR
Who's that?

KRISTA
Emilia Marty! Emilia Marty!

VITEK
My daughter's going in for opera.

KRISTA
Oh Daddy, Daddy,
I'm going to drop this opera idea.
She's the greatest singer in the world!
I'm going to drop the stage,
I can't carry on...
because I'm just no good!
Dad, that Marty!
God, she's - God, she's beautiful!

GREGOR
And how old is she?

KRISTA
Nobody knows, nobody can tell!

VITEK
Well now, about thirty say?

KRISTA
At least. And she's beautiful!

GREGOR
I'll be coming to the opera tonight.
Not to hear Marty, to hear you!

KRISTA
You'd be an ass to do that! And blind with it!

VITEK
Come off it!

KRISTA
Not want to see Marty?

VITEK
Come off it, now!
Cheeky thing, this girl!

KRISTA
to Gregor
He shouldn't talk about Marty if he hasn't seen her!

KOLENATY
enters
This way, do come in.

Marty appears in the doorway

KRISTA
Oh my God!
It's Marty. Come away, Dad!

Vitek tiptoes off, followed by Krista

KOLENATY
What can I do for you?

MARTY
Doctor Kolenaty?
I've seen that girl somewhere -
My name is Marty; I'd like to see you about -

KOLENATY
Yes indeed, please, please.

MARTY
I've come to you about the Gregor case.

GREGOR
How's that? Madame … ?

MARTY
I am not married.

KOLENATY
doing the honours
Miss Marty …
My client Mr Gregor …

MARTY
Is this him?
This? He may as well stay and listen.

Gregor sits down opposite her.

MARTY
So you are the lawyer who's been representing this Gregor
in the Joseph Prus inheritance case?

KOLENATY
The deceased baron Ferdinand Joseph Prus, that is.

MARTY
He's dead, then?

KOLENATY
Pooh! Centuries ago, in fact.

MARTY
Poor mite! I never knew that.

KOLENATY
Come, come.
Is there anything else I can do for you?

MARTY
rising
No, I don't want to hold you up.

KOLENATY
rising
Forgive me, mademoiselle!
I'm sure you had a reason for coming.

MARTY
sits down and opens a newspaper
Indeed. I read hear:
"Final day of court case Gregor v. Prus."
A coincidence, isn't it

KOLENATY
Well, it was in all the papers.

MARTY
To come to the point,
can you tell me anything about the case?

KOLENATY
Ask away!
settling in an easy-chair

MARTY
Tell me the story.

KOLENATY
Around 1820, then, the Prus estate was owned
by the feeble-minded baron Ferdinand Prus.

MARTY
Joe?
Was he feeble-minded?

KOLENATY
Eccentric, then.

MARTY
No. Unhappy.

KOLENATY
How could you be sure?

MARTY
How could you?
KOLENATY
Let the Lord decide.
So Joseph Ferdinand Prus,
who died childless and intestate in 1827 -

MARTY
What did he die of?

KOLENATY
Meningitis or something.
His cousin took charge of the estate, Emerich Prus-Zabrzezinski.
This was contested by baron Szepházy,
nephew of the deceased's mother,
claiming the entire inheritance,
and in respect of the Loukov estate
by a certain Ferdinand Karel Gregor,
in the same year - 1827.

MARTY
Wait, though -
Ferdinand must have been a little boy then.

KOLENATY
Quite right, he was being brought up
at the Theresianum.
His claim to the Loukov estate
rested on the following facts:
first, the deceased had personally approached
the director of the Theresianum, in persona,
and declared that he was bequeathing the estate in question
"dem genannten Minderjährigen", [ = "the said minor"]
the said Gregor, who,
as soon as he came of age,
would become its owner.
Item pro secundo: the said minor,
at the behest, and during the life, of the deceased,
was to hold the usufruct of the said estate
with the title of "Besitzer and Eigentümer". [= "occupier and owner"]

MARTY
So that was all quite straightforward.

KOLENATY
I beg your pardon.
Against this baron Emerich Prus objected
that the deceased had left no written will
but that, on the contrary,
in his last hour
he had made a verbal disposition
in favour of another person.

MARTY
But that's not true!

KOLENATY
Precisely the difficulty!

MARTY
It's just not possible!

KOLENATY
Precisely the difficulty.
He climbs up the steps, takes out the Gregor file and, sitting on the top, leafs through it.
I'll show you immediately why:
"As he lay dying in a high fever
he declared several times
that the Loukov estate
should go to "Herr Mach Gregor …
He replaces the file.
Or in Czech "Rehor Mach".

MARTY
But that's a misunderstanding,
a misunderstanding!
Joe was talking about Gregor,
Ferdie Gregor!

KOLENATY
Litera scripta valet.
What is written, is written.
Meanwhile cousin Szepházy
digs up some individual
with the name of Rehor Mach.

MARTY
Wait a moment! Wait a moment!
It was his own son though.
Ferdie was his own son,
Ferdie was Joe's son after all!

KOLENATY
Who was? Whose son?
His own son?

GREGOR
His own son?

KOLENATY
Then who was his mother?

MARTY
His mother?
She was called Ellian MacGregor,
a singer at the imperial opera.

GREGOR
What was her name?

MARTY
It's a Scottish name, you know.

GREGOR
Do you hear that, Dr Kolenaty?
Mac - Gregor!
Not "Mach" at all! Understand?

KOLENATY
sitting down
But why then did her son not call himself
"MacGregor"?

MARTY
Oh, out of consideration for his mother.
You see, Ferdie never knew his mother.

KOLENATY
I see.
Have you evidence of that?

MARTY
I don't know if I have. Proceed.
KOLENATY
To proceed, then.
Ever since that time litigation has gone on
between several generations
of Prus's, Szepházy's, Gregor's -
aided by successive Dr Kolenatys.
And thanks to this assistance
the last Gregor will lose the suit,
and will do so, as it happens,
this very day:
scribbling testily
So, that's the whole story.
Have you any questions?

MARTY
Yes. What do you need to win?

KOLENATY
A will in writing.

MARTY
And do you know of any?

KOLENATY
There is none.

MARTY
That's annoying.

KOLENATY
Certainly is.
rising
Any other questions?

MARTY
Whom does the old Prus home belong to now?

KOLENATY
My opponent Jaroslav Prus, none other.

MARTY
Listen then.
There used to be a sort of cupboard in the Pruses' house,
each drawer labelled by the year.

GREGOR
An archive.

KOLENATY
A filing cabinet.

MARTY
One drawer was labelled
eighteen hundred and sixteen.
You see, that was the year
Joe met Ellian MacGregor.
And this is where he kept the letters
that he got from Ellian.

KOLENATY
sits down
How do you know that?

MARTY
There's no need to ask.
There are letters from the estate-managers.
In fact a huge mass of papers.
Would you go and have a look?

KOLENATY
Certainly.
If Prus allows me, of course.
MARTY
And if he doesn't?

KOLENATY
Then there's nothing to be done.

MARTY
So you must get at the drawer some other way.

KOLENATY
At midnight, for sure, with ladder, rope,
skeleton keys and so on and so forth!
You have odd ideas about lawyers, mademoiselle!

MARTY
But you've got to get hold of it!
There are letters in it
including a sort of yellow envelope,
with Prus' handwritten will sealed up inside.

KOLENATY
standing up
Goodness gracious, how can you know that?
Just tell me please -

GREGOR
leaping up
Do you know for sure?

KOLENATY
- what's in it, what it says?.

MARTY
It says that Joe bequeaths the Loukov estate
to his illegitimate son.

KOLENATY
In so many words?

MARTY
Yes.

KOLENATY
This is in a sealed envelope?

MARTY
Quite.

KOLENATY
With Joseph Prus' own seal?

MARTY
Yes.

KOLENATY
sitting down
Right, thank you.
Why are you trying to make fools of us?

MARTY
Don't you believe me?

GREGOR
I believe you!

KOLENATY
Not a word!

MARTY
Don't you believe me?

GREGOR
I believe you!

KOLENATY
Not a word!
Not a word!

GREGOR
How dare you -

KOLENATY
Not a word of it!
Be reasonable, old fellow!
If an envelope is sealed up,
how can anyone know what's inside it?

GREGOR
I believe her.

KOLENATY
And in someone else's house!
Mademoiselle, you have quite a flair
for fairy-stories.

GREGOR
I believe her.
If you want to know, Dr Kolenaty,
I believe what the lady says.
So you go to Prus' house -

KOLENATY
Which I don't propose to do.

GREGOR
- or I'll ask that favour of the first lawyer
I find in the telephone book.
He goes to the telephone and leafs through the address book. Kolenaty goes up to him.

KOLENATY
Do as you please.

GREGOR
speaking into the telephone
Doctor Abeles?

KOLENATY
Oh, anyone but him!

GREGOR
Gregor here.

KOLENATY
snatches the receiver. To Gregor
Look here, we're friends, aren't we?
All right, I'll go there.

GREGOR
To Prus' house?

KOLENATY
To the devil's if you like.
rushes out

GREGOR
Finally!

MARTY
Well done, Gregor!

GREGOR
Finally!

MARTY
Is he really that stupid?
GREGOR
Practical-minded.
Can't allow for miracles!
But I always counted on a miracle happening,
and then came you!
Allow me to thank you.

MARTY
Don't mention it!

GREGOR
Just think, I can be sure now
that the will will be found!
Why do I have such immense faith in you?
Perhaps because
you are so immensely beautiful, beautiful.

MARTY
How old are you?

GREGOR
Thirty-four.
Ever since I was little I've thought of nothing
but getting hold of that fortune.
I've lived like a fool, I couldn't help it
and if you hadn't turned up
I would have shot myself.

MARTY
Debts?

GREGOR
Yes.
I am being quite frank with you -
my position was hopeless.
And suddenly you arrived,
God knows where from,
famous, marvellous, mysterious -
Why do you laugh?

MARTY
Oh nothing. Silly ideas.

GREGOR
I conjure you to speak!
Explain everything!
she shakes her head
Can't you explain?

MARTY
I'm not going to.

GREGOR
How do you know about those letters?
How do you know about the will?
Where did you get this knowledge? How long ago?
Who told you it all?
Who are you in touch with?
You must realise, that -
that I have to know what lies behind this!

MARTY
A miracle.

GREGOR
Yes, a miracle.
But every miracle has its explanation.
It would be unbearable otherwise.
Why did you come?
Why should you want to help me,
me of all people?
What do you stand to gain?

MARTY
That's my business.

GREGOR
But mine too.
Miss Marty,
if I am to be indebted to you for everything,
for my fortune,
for my very life,
what can I offer you in return?

MARTY
Just what do you mean?

GREGOR
What can I offer you?

MARTY
Oh come now,
the scoundrel's offering me cash!

GREGOR
Forgive me!

MARTY
The poor thing wants to hand money around!

GREGOR
Why talk to me as if I were a little boy?

MARTY
going to the window and gazing out
Well, aren't you?

GREGOR
It's quite intolerable
how small I feel beside you!

MARTY
turning round from the window
What's your name, my friend?

GREGOR
What on earth -

MARTY
Your name, my friend?

GREGOR
Gregor.

MARTY
Again?

GREGOR
MacGregor.

MARTY
Your Chrisitian name, idiot!

GREGOR
Albert.

MARTY
Your mother called you Bertie, eh?

GREGOR
Yes. My mother's dead, though.
MARTY
Pooh! Everyone dies, what else?

GREGOR
What was Ellian MacGregor like?

MARTY
At last you think of asking!

GREGOR
Do you know anything about her? Who was she?

MARTY
A great singer.

GREGOR
Was she beautiful?

MARTY
Yes.

GREGOR
Was she in love with my great-grandfather?

MARTY
Yes. I suppose so.
In her own way, though.

GREGOR
When did she die?

MARTY
I can't say. That's enough, Bertie. Another time.

GREGOR
coming close to Marty
Emilia!

MARTY
I'm not Emilia to you.

GREGOR
Then what am I to you?
Don't taunt me, for God's sake,
don't humiliate me!
Try and imagine
that I owe you nothing
that you are just a lovely woman
who has dazzled a man.
Listen a moment,
I am trying to tell you something.
I am seeing you now for the first time.
No, no, don't laugh at me!

MARTY
I am not laughing - don't be a fool.

GREGOR
A fool is what I am.
I have never been such a fool before.
You thrill me
like a call to battle!
Have you ever seen bloodshed?
That excites a man to insanity.
As for you, the first glance told me,
as for you, the first glance told me,
there is something terrible inside you.
Have you been through a great deal?
Listen to me.

MARTY
Oh don't start off again

GREGOR
I can't understand why no one ever killed you.

MARTY
Don't start off again!

GREGOR
Let me finish!
Let me finish!
You were harsh to me.
That puts a man off his balance.
It scorched me like a furnace.
What is it about you?
One senses something right away,
like an animal on the trail.
You arouse something frightening.
Has anyone told you that?
coming close to her
Emilia, surely you know how lovely you are?

MARTY
Just look at me! Lovely!
she glows in the stagelight

GREGOR
How wonderful!
You look beautiful!

MARTY
the light shines through her
Leave me alone! Go away, Bertie!

GREGOR
Fabulously beautiful!

MARTY
You know, Bertie -
the light drops
what you could give me?

GREGOR
What do you mean?

MARTY
You made the offer yourself.
Do you know what I'd like?

GREGOR
Anything is yours.

MARTY
Listen, Bertie. Can you read Greek?

GREGOR
No.

MARTY
So you see, it would mean nothing to you.
Get me the Greek documents.

GREGOR
What Greek documents?

MARTY
The ones Ferdie left you.
You know, Gregor - your ancestor.
Will you get me them?

GREGOR
I don't know of any such documents.

MARTY
Nonsense, you must have them!
For God's sake, Albert,
tell me you've got them!

GREGOR
I haven't. I haven't.

MARTY
Don't lie!
You've got them, haven't you?
Dunce!
I have to get hold of them!
Do you hear me? Find them!

GREGOR
How do I know where they are?

MARTY
Look for them! Bring me them!
That's what I've come for -
that's what I've come here for!

GREGOR
Emilia!

MARTY
Has Prus got them?
Get them off him!
Call for a car!

KOLENATY
rushes in with Pros following
We've found them! We've found them!
throwing himself on his knees before Marty
A thousand apologies.
I'm a stupid old brute!

MARTY
Was it there?

KOLENATY
You know everything -
of course it was.

GREGOR
What, what?

KOLENATY
The will,
the letters -
and something else too, dear fellow -

PRUS
offering Gregor his hand
Congratulations -

KOLENATY
- dear fellow!

PRUS
- on the wonderful will!
to Kolenaty
Will you introduce me?

KOLENATY
Now we can have the order quashed.

PRUS
Introduce me!
KOLENATY
The case goes to Gregor.

MARTY
But where are the papers?
The papers?

KOLENATY
Which papers?

MARTY
The ones from Ellian.

PRUS
Still at my place.
But Herr Gregor needn't worry.

KOLENATY
This is Baron Prus, our bitter enemy!

MARTY
Bertie will get me them!

PRUS
There's just one thing missing, though.

MARTY
What's still missing?

PRUS
Some evidence, say,
that Ferdinand, the son,
was indisputably Ferdinand Gregor.

MARTY
Some evidence?

PRUS
To say the least.

MARTY
All right, Dr Kolenaty.
I will send you something of the kind.

KOLENATY
How do you mean?
You carry it around with you?

MARTY
It surprises you, doesn't it?

KOLENATY
Gregor,
you might as well ring two-seven.

GREGOR
at the telephone
Ring Dr Abeles? Why him?

KOLENATY
Simply because - because - -



ACT TWO

A large theatre stage, empty except for some post?performance litter:
stage furniture, rolled?up backcloths, light fixtures ...
At the front a stage throne on a platform.


CLEANING WOMAN
Did you see those bouquets?
STAGE TECHNICIAN
No.

CLEANING WOMAN
I never saw such a show in my life.
People were roaring ?
I thought they'd pull the place down.
Clean off their heads they were!
And there was no end to it.
Fifty times
she went to take a bow ?

STAGE TECHNICIAN
Listen to me, listen ?

CLEANING WOMAN
? that Marty woman did.

STAGE TECHNICIAN
A woman like that must have a fortune!

CLEANING WOMAN
Oh Lord, Kudrna.
I'm sure she does.

STAGE TECHNICIAN
But you know, it makes you shiver all over
when she sings.

CLEANING WOMAN
I don't mind telling you, Kudrna,
I was in tears, honest!

PRUS
enters
Is Miss Marty not here?

CLEANING WOMAN
She's with the manager.
But she's bound to come back here,
she's left something in the cloakroom.

PRUS
Very well, I'll wait.
stands to one side

CLEANING WOMAN
This is the fifth visitor.
It's like a hospital queue.

STAGE TECHNICIAN
I just can't picture it.
Does a woman like that
have men?friends?

CLEANING WOMAN
Oh yes, oh yes.
You can be sure of that, Kudrna.

STAGE TECHNICIAN
Gosh! Just can't picture it!

CLEANING WOMAN
Why get so worked up about it?
She's not your type, you know.
She's not your type, you know,
exit on the other side

KRISTA
enters
Come along, Janek.
There's nobody here.
JANEK
following her
Won't anyone throw me out?

KRISTA
My God, Janek,
I do feel wretched!

JANEK
trying to kiss her
Why?

KRISTA
No ? no kissing!
That's finished with.
I've got other worries now.

JANEK
But Krista!

KRISTA
Isn't Marty terrific?
Do you think I ought to go on with this singing?
If I do, everything else must stop ?? do you see?
I'll have to concentrate on the stage.
You know, Janek,
sitting on the throne
this is dreadful.
I keep thinking of you all day long,
all day long.
Janek tries to kiss her
Goodness, you are a wicked one!

JANEK
Oh, if you only knew, Krista ?
I can't think about anything but you!

KRISTA
All right for you, you're not singing,
and anyway you must be sensible, my child!
My voice is only just forming,
I'm not supposed to talk too much.
No ? hang on.
I've come to a decision.
Janek, it's all over between us,
finished for good.
We'll only see each other once a day.

JANEK
But ?

KRISTA
And meanwhile
we've got to behave like strangers,
all day. Come along, silly
there's room for you too up here.
Do you think she could ever love a man?

JANEK
Who?

KRISTA
Marty, naturally.
Everyone's crazy about Marty,
everyone she sets eyes on.

JANEK
That's not true!

KRISTA
Honestly! Honestly!
I feel so scared in front of her ?

JANEK
Krista darling.
He steals a kiss.

KRISTA
Now Janek!

PRUS
edging forward
I'm not looking!

JANEK
with a start
Father!
runs off into the wings with Krista

PRUS
You don't have to run away.

MARTY
offstage
And another?
enters
And another?
facing the wings
Let me alone, gentlemen!
seeing Prus
What, still another?

PRUS
Oh no, Miss Marty.
My business is quite different.

MARTY
sits on the throne, eyeing Janek
Is this your son?

PRUS
Yes. Come a bit nearer, Janek.

MARTY
Come closer, Janek,
so that I can see you.
Were you at the performance?

JANEK
Yes.

MARTY
Did you think I was good?

JANEK
Yes.

MARTY
Is there anything else you can say but "yes"?

JANEK
Oh yes.

MARTY
Your son's a fool.

PRUS
I'm ashamed of him.

Enter Gregor with bouquet; Vitek follows

MARTY
Oh Bertie!

GREGOR
Thank you for this evening!

MARTY
Give me them!
she takes the bouquet
And what's this?
taking a jewel?box out of the bouquet
You can take this back.
What idiocy, buying things in jewel?cases!
She hands him the box, sniffs at the flowers and throws them on the ground.
What did you have to pay, stupid ass?
Had to do the rounds of the moneylenders,
borrow it, didn't you?
feeling in her purse and pulling out a handful of money
There you are ?
otherwise I'll pull your ears!

GREGOR
Money!

PRUS
For goodness' sake stop this!

GREGOR
You do have strange manners.
snatching the money and giving it to Vitek
Hand this in at the office.

MARTY
to Vitek
Credit it to him.

VITEK
Yes, certainly.

MARTY
to Vitek
Were you at the performance?
Did you think I was good?

VITEK
My God, I'll say you were!
You sang like Strada!

MARTY
Did you ever hear Strada?
Strada used to squeak!
Corrona ? she had a plum in her mouth!
Agujari ? she was just a silly goose!

VITEK
That's as may be ?
but she died a hundred years ago!

MARTY
The worse for her.
Do you think I don't know?

KRISTA
Janek, let's get out of here!

GREGOR
Shall I bring in a few more people
for you to be rude to?

MARTY
No need.

KRISTA
Come, let's get away!

MARTY
They'll come anyway.
She watches Janek and Krista petting
Ha?ha, they make a lovely pair those two!
Have they been in paradise yet?

VITEK
I beg your pardon?

MARTY
Have they enjoyed each other?

VITEK
For God's sake Krista,
you haven't, surely... ?

KRISTA
Dad, how could you...

MARTY
Shut up, silly girl.
What hasn't happened is still to come.
In any case, it's not worth the candle.

PRUS
What is worth the candle, then?

MARTY
Nothing is. Absolutely nothing.

HAUK
enters with bouquet
Allow me,
allow me, please.
dropping to his knees and sobbing
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
allow me to...
kneeling in front of the throne
Oh if only you knew...
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ?
you're so, so like her!
Even your voice, your eyes, your brow -
Oh, you're the very image of her!
The very image!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!

MARTY
Who is this little old fellow ?

HAUK
rising to his feet
Well, you see, I'm the madman.

PRUS
Feeble?minded.

HAUK
That's it, that's it.
Hauk the madman.

MARTY
Oh dear ?

HAUK
I was in love, you see,
fifty years ago,
in eighteen seventy.

MARTY
That's right.
HAUK
She was a gypsy:
"Chula negro" [= "That dusky beauty"] they used to call her,
down south, that is, in Andalusia.
Everyone was crazy about her.
Vaya, Gitana! [= "Hey, gypsy!"]
Everyone was crazy about her.
Vaya, Gitana!
Everyone was crazy about her.
I left everything behind,
everything with her.
Ever since then I've been half?witted ?
you know what I mean, I hope?
I haven't really been alive since then ?
just dozing.
But what do you care about a woman
long since dead?

MARTY
Dead? Don't be silly.
Maxi!
She bends down to him

HAUK
Eugenia!

MARTY
Give me a kiss!

HAUK
What are you saying?

MARTY
Besa me, bobo, bobazo!
[="Kiss me you fool, you great big fool!"]

HAUK
Jesús mil veces. [= "Jesus, Jesus!"]

MARTY
One little kiss, you dunce!

HAUK
kisses her
Eugenia,
moza negra querida carisima!
[= "Darling beloved dusky lass"]

MARTY
Chito, tonto! Quira! Fuera!
[= "Hush, fool! Away! Out with you!"]

HAUK
Es ella, es ella,
Gitana endiablada!
Ella es ella,
Gitana endiablada!
[= "It's her, it's her, that deuce of a gipsygirl!'']
exit after bowing to Prus and the rest
I shall be back again!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ?

MARTY
Next please.
Who wants what?

VITEK
If you please,
would you be so good as to sign
this photo of you for Krista?
MARTY
What nonsense!

KRISTA
Janek, come along!

MARTY
What are they quarreling about?
signs

KRISTA
Come here, Janek!

JANEK
It's just to …

MARTY
Oh, I'll do it for Krista.

VITEK
with a bow
Thanks a thousand times.
exits with Krista

MARTY
Adieu, then!
Oh, go away everybody! Go away!
Leave me in peace finally!

PRUS
bowing
I'm exceedingly sorry.

MARTY
No, not you!
But what's Janek looking so dazed for?
Why doesn't he go?
Exit Janek
To Gregor

And what do you want here?

GREGOR
I have to talk to you!

MARTY
I haven't got time for you now.

GREGOR
I have to talk to you!

MARTY
Bertie, I beg you, leave me!
Go away now, dear - go away now!
Come back in a moment if you like!

GREGOR
I shall come back.
Bows coldly to Prus and exits.

MARTY
At last!

PRUS
Allow me to ask you, first:
they both sit down
have you any special interest
in Mr Gregor, personally?

MARTY
No.

PRUS
Are you particularly interested
in his winning the case?

MARTY
No.
PRUS
Thank you.
I don't wish to probe into
how you come to know everything
that's in the locked cabinets in my house.
That is evidently your secret.

MARTY
Quite.

PRUS
You knew
that certain letters were there,
you knew Prus' will was there,
even under seal.
Did you know there was something else there?

MARTY
rising excitedly
What pray?
Did you find something?
Look here, what was it?

PRUS
No idea.
It's just a sealed envelope.
What do you know about the lady
you call Ellian MacGregor?

MARTY
You have her letters?

PRUS
Perhaps you can tell me more
about that vagabond?

MARTY
I beg your pardon?
How dare you!
How dare you speak like that!

PRUS
But my dear lady,
what's troubling you?
Why bother about a woman of dubious repute
who lived a hundred years ago?

MARTY
Precisely.
No concern of mine at all!
sitting down
So she was a vagabond?

PRUS
Well you know, I've read her letters.
An amazingly passionate type,
that woman.

MARTY
Oh, you shouldn't have read them.

PRUS
There are references
to the strangest intimacies.
I'm no youngster, mademoiselle,
but believe me,
the most abandoned roué
would have less experience of certain matters
than that girl.

MARTY
You mean "that whore"?
PRUS
What was Ellian's real name?

MARTY
Ellian MacGregor.
You've got it in those letters.

PRUS
No, pardon me!
All it says there is E.M.
Nothing more.

MARTY
That of course means Ellian MacGregor.

PRUS
It could equally well stand for Emilia Marty,
Elina Makropulos,
or a thousand other names.

MARTY,
But it stands for
Ellian MacGregor.

PRUS
Or more likely, for Elina Makropulos,
a Greek woman from Crete.

MARTY
Confound it!

PRUS
You knew this?

MARTY
How the devil do you know it?

PRUS
Elementary.
The will speaks of a certain Ferdinand,
born at Loukov on November 20th, 1816,
and the birth register says the following:
taking out a notepad and reading aloud
Nomen infantis: Ferdinand Makropulos;
status: illegitimate;
father ? omitted;
mother ? Elina Makropulos.

MARTY
Is that all?

PRUS
Iit's quite enough, quite enough!

MARTY
Poor little Gregor!
So Loukov stays with you, does it?

PRUS
At least until we have word
from some Mr Makropulos.

MARTY
And if no Makropulos turns up?

PRUS
Then the envelope remains closed
and no one can lay hands on it.
MARTY
Then he will turn up,
just you see!

PRUS
Where have you got him?
Hidden in a trunk?
What a pity it's all untrue.

MARTY
Do you think I'm lying?
Prus starts to leave
Wait a moment.
How much would you sell me the envelope for?

Prus turns round

PRUS
I beg your pardon?
exitsl with a bow

Enter Gregor


MARTY
So it's you, Bertie?

GREGOR
Why do you have your eyes closed?
You look as if you were in pain.
What's up with you?

MARTY
Tired.
Speak softly.

GREGOR
coming close to her
Softly
I must warn you.
Forbid me rather to speak softly
Do you hear, Emilia ?
Tell me not to speak softly!
I love you.
You smile?
And still I love you!

MARTY
It's cold, Bertie.

GREGOR
Are you asleep, then?

MARTY
Chilly.

GREGOR
Take care, Emilia. You snub me,
but even that,
even that gives me pleasure.
You terrify me,
but even that delights me.
I feel like strangling you
when you humiliate me,
I feel like ?
Emilia, I shall probably kill you.
There is something repugnant in you,
you are evil, base, appalling.
A brute with no feeling.

MARTY
Not really, Bertie ?
GREGOR
You are.

MARTY
I'm not.

GREGOR
Nothing means anything to you.
Cold as a knife.
As if you had just risen from the grave.
To love you is perversion.
Yet I love you so much,
I could tear the flesh from my bones.

MARTY
Do you like the name Makropulos?

GREGOR
Don't taunt me!
I love you like a lost soul,
Emilla!

MARTY
Then run along
to that lawyer of yours,
and get him to return you the document
I gave him.

GREGOR
Is it a forgery?

MARTY
On my soul it isn't,
Albert, certainly not.
But we must have another one,
made out in the name of Makropulos.

GREGOR
Will you make love to me?

MARTY
Never,
do you understand? Never!

GREGOR
sitting down
Then I shall kill you, Emilia!

MARTY
Nonsense.
Can you see this scar on my neck?
That was when someone else tried to kill me.
I don't propose to strip
and show you all the momentos
you men have left me.
Is killing all I'm good for?

GREGOR
I love you.

MARTY
Kill me, then.
If only you knew ?

GREGOR
I love you!
MARTY
? how little it all means to me!
If only you knew!

GREGOR
What's up with you?

MARTY
wringing her hands
Wretched,
wretched Elina!

GREGOR
Come, Emilia,
let's leave this place.
Nobody has ever loved you as I do.
Do you hear ire, Emilia?
Marty snores
What's this now?
Sleeping like a drunkard.
Are you playing a joke on me?
Emilia, this is me ?
bending down over her
there's no one around ?

CLEANING WOMAN
coughs, standing at a distance
Hm, hm, hm, hm hm.

GREGOR
stiffening
What's going on?
Ah, it's you.
The young lady's fallen asleep.
Don't wake her.

He kisses Emilia's hand and runs off.

The Cleaning Woman comes up to her.


CLEANING WOMAN
Somehow I'm sorry for her.
exits

Janek steps out of the wings and stands looking at Emilia, dazed, from ten yards off.


MARTY
stirring
Is that you, Bertie?

JANEK
retreating
No, sorry,
just Janek.

MARTY
sitting up
Janek?
ome here, Janek.
Would you like to do something for me?

JANEK
Oh yes, yes!

MARTY
Something big ?

JANEK
Oh yes!

MARTY
? a deed of heroism?
And will you
expect something in return?

JANEK
Nothing, I assure you

MARTY
Come closer!
This is very nice of you, you know?
Listen, your father has a sealed envelope at home.
It says on it:
"To be handed to my son Ferdinand."
He's got it in his desk, his safe or somewhere.
Compris?

JANEK
Yes, yes indeed.

MARTY
Bring it to me.

JANEK
Will Papa let me have it?

MARTY
No. You've got to get it from him.

JANEK
That wouldn't do!

MARTY
Little boy's afraid of his dad.

JANEK
I'm not afraid,
but ? but ?

MARTY
Janek, I give you my word,
It's just a worthless keepsake.
I would so love to have it!

JANEK
I'll have a try.

PRUS
emerging from the shadow
Don't try too hard, Janek.

JANEK
Oh dad, you again?

PRUS
Get off! Get off!
Janek goes off abjectly
Well well, Miss Marty,
I thought he'd be hanging around the theatre,
and all the time ?

MARTY
And what brings you hanging round here?

PRUS
I was waiting for you.

MARTY
going right up to him
Give me the envelope, then.

PRUS
It doesn't belong to me.

MARTY
Fetch it for me.

PRUS
When, then?
When?

MARTY
Tonight.

PRUS
It's a deal.

exits quickly

ACT THREE

A hotel room.
Left, the window; right, door onto corridor.
Centre, entrance to Marty's bedroom,
with a translucent curtain across it
on which movements of someone dressing are silhouetted.
Marty emerges from the bedroom in a nightgown,
followed by Prus in dinner-jacket, but collarless;
he sits down on the right.
Marty goes to the window and lets up the blind.
Faint glow of dawn.


MARTY
turning round from the window
Well?
Do you hear?
Give me the envelope!

Prus takes a wallet from his pocket and removes a sealed envelope,
which he throws down on the table.
Marty takes it and goes to the dressing-table, where she sits down,
switches the light on and after inspecting the seal opens the envelope
with a hairpin and takes a handwritten document out. She stands up again.


MARTY
Good!
folds the paper and slips it into her décolleté

PRUS
You cheated me.

MARTY
You had what you wanted.

PRUS
You cheated me.
Cold as ice.
Like holding a corpse.
And that's what I get for purloining papers.
Much obliged!

MARTY
A sealed envelope meant such a loss to you ?

PRUS
I shouldn't have given it you.
Made me feel like a thief.
Ugh! Disgusting!

MARTY
Do you want to spit in my face?

PRUS
No ?? my own.
MARTY
Feel free!
knocking, enter chamber maid
in bedjacket and slip, breathlessly

Who is that?

CHAMBER MAID
Excuse me, miss,
is Mr Prus here?

PRUS
What is it?

CHAMBER MAID
There's a servant of Mr Prus' here.
Says he's got to speak to him.
Says he's brought him something.

PRUS
Damn it, how did he find out?
Let him wait.
No,
Stay here.
goes off into the bedroom

CHAMBER MAID
Good lord,
Mary sits down at the dressing?table and the chamber maid lets her hair down for her
did I get a fright!
And there's that servant quite beside himself,
and can't even talk.
Something must have happened, miss.

MARTY
Careful, you're pulling my hair out!

CHAMBER MAID
And white as a sheet,
that servant was.

PRUS
hurrying out again with collar and tie on
Do excuse me.
exits right

CHAMBER MAID
brushing Marty's hair
He's an important gentleman. eh?
If you'd seen, miss,
how that servant was all a?tremble.

MARTY
I'll have some scrambled eggs later.
yawns
What time is it?

CHAMBER MAID
And he had some writing or other in his hand.

MARTY
What time is it?

CHAMBER MAID
Gone seven.

MARTY
Turn the light off and shut up.

CHAMBER MAID
And he was all blue in the lips,
that servant was. I thought he was going to pass out.
And great big -
great big tears in his eyes ?

MARTY
You're a fool,
you'll pull all my hair out.
Show me the comb.

CHAMBER MAID
Well, my hands are all shaking!

MARTY
Just look -
all the hair you've torn out

CHAMBER MAID
Something must have happened.

PRUS
enters from the corridor with an open letter in his hand which he strokes mechanically. Feels for a chair and sits down.
Send this girl away

MARTY
Leave us then.

Exit chamber maid

PRUS
Oh ? so that's why he did it, that's why!
Poor Janek!
Marty takes the comb and uses if herself
My only son!
- "Father, be happy ?
but as for me ?"
standing up
What are you doing here?

MARTY
with hairpins in her mouth
Combing my hair.

PRUS
Perhaps you didn't understand.
Janek was in love with you!
He killed himself on your account!

MARTY
Pooh! The number of men who kill themselves!

PRUS
And you can sit there combing your hair!

MARTY
Should I run around with it all messed up?

PRUS
It was for you he killed himself!

MARTY
Can I help that?

PRUS
Did you hear what I said?

MARTY
You were to blame too.
Am I supposed to tear my hair?

PRUS
Stop talking or I'll ?
Knocking at the door. Prus exit, colliding with Hauk in the doorway.
Lout!

Hauk tiptoes in and kisses Marty on the back of the neck.

MARTY
Buenos dias, Maxi!

HAUK
Sh-sh!

MARTY
What are you up to so early?

HAUK
Sh?sh! Get dressed, Eugenia!
We're leaving!

MARTY
Where for?

HAUK
Hee?hee! For Spain!

MARTY
Are you crazy?

HAUK
My wife has no idea
that I'm not coming back to her.
Do you know what I've got with me?
Matilda's jewelry.
For your information
Matilda's my wife. She's old.
It's an ugly business, being old.

MARTY
Si, si, señor.

HAUK
But you haven't grown old.
You know, madmen live a long time.
Oh, I have a long life before me!
And as long as you enjoy making love,
rattling castanets
have your fill of it!
Well, gipsy, shall we be off?

MARTY
Let's go!

She gathers luggage together.
knock at the door


CHAMBER MAID
pokes her head in
Excuse me, miss,
a lot of people here!

MARTY
This is a visit!
Enter Gregor, Kolenaty, Vitek, Krista, Prus and a doctor
I must warn you all
that I'm about to leave,
about to leave!

HAUK
They've got me!

KOLENATY
Please, mademoiselle,
don't do that.

Doctor leads Hauk away on his arm

HAUK
Hee?hee?hee!
Hee?hee?hee?hee?hee?hee!

KOLENATY
Stay put without any fuss,
then I won't have to call ?

MARTY
? the police?
Kolenaty offers her a chair
Do you propose to interrogate me?

KOLENATY
Mademoiselle,
this is just a friendly chat!
Did you sign this photograph for Krista?
Is that your signature?

MARTY
It is.

KOLENATY
Excellent. Allow me, then:
did you send me last night this document,
dated 1836?
Is it genuine?

MARTY
It is.

KOLENATY.
But it's written with alizarin ink.
Do you know what that implies? Eh?

MARTY
How should I know?

KOLENATY
It's a forgery!

MARTY
I swear that Ellian MacGregor wrote it!

KOLENATY
When'?

MARTY
That's irrelevant.

KOLENATY
Oh, very relevant, very relevant!
When did Ellian MacGregor die?

MARTY
Oh push off, push off!
I'm not going to say another word!

GREGOR
Then we'll look through her things ourselves.
MARTY
Leave them alone!
Don't you dare!
she opens dressing?table drawer

GREGOR
jumps across and knocks a revolver from her hand
Use a gun, would you?
Before you do,
just look at that youngster's face.
Do you know what has happened?

MARTY
You mean Janek!

GREGOR
And you know why?
That boy is on
your conscience!

MARTY
Pah!
Is that what you've come about, Bertie?
I'll tell you everything
as soon as I've dressed,
as soon as I've eaten.
runs into bedroom

They all rush to Marty's travelling case; Gregor grabs a seal, Vitek a medallion and Kolenaty some letters.


GREGOR
A seal with the monogram
E. M.
Just as on Ellian MacGregor's documents.

VITEK
Hauk?Sendorf's family crest.

KOLENATY
Where is he?

VITEK
They've taken him away.

KOLENATY
Eugenia Montez,
Elsa Müller, 99,
Ellian MacGregor,
Ekaterina Myshkin ?

VITEK
All E ? M -

KOLENATY
Here we are now!
"Meine liebste Ellian …"
[= "My dearest Ellian"]

PRUS
Sure it isn't Ellina?

KOLENATY
Not a bit of it.
"Ellian MacGregor, Wien."
Vitek, fetch my gown here.
VITEK
Yes, certainly.
he runs off

Krista starts crying


KOLENATY
Don't cry now, Tina?weena!

PRUS
Show me that letter.
It's genuine -
written by a Greek woman, Elina Makropulos.

KOLENATY
But it's in the handwriting of ?

PRUS
? none other than Elina Makropulos.

KOLENATY
My head's spinning.

PRUS
It's the same writing
as in my letters.

KOLENATY
to Vitek, entering
Vitek, call her in!

Vitek goes and brings Marty in, wearing evening dress with a bottle in one hand and drinking from a glass in the other.

VITEK
She's on to whisky.

MARTY
leaning tipsily against the wall
Leave me alone!
This is just to give me confidence!

KOLENATY
donning his lawyer's gown
Hysteria!
Tlake the bottle away from her.

MARTY
No!
You can't have it!
clutching bottle to her bosom
Otherwise I won't tell you anything!
to Kolenaty
You look like an undertaker!

KOLENATY
What is your name?

MARTY
Mine?
Elina Makropulos.

KOLENATY
Born where?

MARTY
In Crete.

KOLENATY
What is your age?

MARTY
What would you say?
KRISTA
Over forty.

MARTY
sticking her tongue out at her
School?girl!

KOLENATY
Born in what year?

MARTY
1575

KOLENATY'
What's that? You're going too far!

MARTY
That makes me 337 years old.

KOLENATY
Who was your father?

MARTY
Hieronymos Makropulos,
personal physician to the Emperor Rudolf II.

KOLENATY
I shan't talk to you any more,
I shan't talk to you.

PRUS
What's your real name?

MARTY
Elina Makropulos.

PRUS
Are you related to Elina Makropulos,
the mistress of Josef Prus?

MARTY
But that was me!

PRUS
How do you mean?

MARTY
I was Joe Prus' mistress.
It was his son I had,
that Gregor.

GREGOR
And Ellian MacGregor?

MARTY
That was me!

GREGOR
Are you insane?

MARTY
I'm your
great?great?great?great?great?great-grandmama.
And Ferdie, he was my boy.
GREGOR
Which Ferdie?

MARTY
Ferdinand Gregor, of course.
But on the certificate it must give the real name ?

KOLENATY
My God, my God!

MARTY
? Ferdinand Makropulos.

KOLENATY
And when were you born?

MARTY
O Christos Soter, [= Christ my Saviour!]
let's have done with it!
Fifteen hundred and seventy?five.
I was also Ekaterina Myshkin
and Else Müller.
How can one stand living 300 years
amongst people?
300 years of this life!

PRUS
And how could you know
what was inside a sealed envelope?

MARTY
Because Joe showed it me
before he put it inside,
so that I could tell
that silly Ferdie.

PRUS
And why did you not tell him?

MARTY
What the devil do I care,
hee?hee?hee,
about my youngsters?

KOLENATY
What sort of talk is this?

MARTY
Listen, mates,
it's a long time now
since I've been a lady.
Want a drink?
Mother of Christ,
is my throat dry!
I shall go up in flames...

PRUS
You wrote these letters yourself?

MARTY
That I did.
I told Joe everything, you know
I was fond of Joe.
That's a man I was fond of.
That's why I lent him the Makropulos stuff.

PRUS
And what is that?
KOLENATY
What's that?

GREGOR
What did you lend him?

VITEK
What is it?

MARTY
The Makropulos stuff.
He wanted it so much, you see.
to Prus
That sheet of paper you gave me back today.
That sealed envelope ?
Joe wanted to try, it out.
He promised to give it me back.
But instead he attached it to his will.
He thought I'd come to get it,
and - and -
I never came till now
I wanted to get hold of the stuff
so that I could live for three hundred years!
Three hundred years of being young!

GREGOR
Is that all you came for?

MARTY
Ha?ha?ha,
ha?ha?ha!
I don't care a rap about your being my boy!
Do I know how many thousands of my brats
are scampering round the world,
brats of mine scampering round the world?
pressing the envelope to her heart
Now you are mine, mine,
now you are mine!
This is what my father wrote out
for the emperor Rudolf.

VITEK
The emperor Rudolf?

MARTY
Listen, good folk,
there was a scamp for you!
And when he started to grow old
he kept looking for the elixir of life
so that he could be young again.
That was when my father came to him
and wrote him down this magic,
this recipe -
so that he could survive 300 years,
300 years of youth.
But the emperor Rudolf was scared,
and said:
"Try it on your daughter,
first try it on your daughter!"
And that was me!
And that was me!
I was sixteen at the time,
so he tried it out on me.
Then for a week or so
I was unconscious ?
and then got well again.
VITEK
And the emperor?

MARTY
Nothing to tell.
How could he know
that I'd live for 300 years,
that I'd live for 300 years?
So he locked my father up in a tower
as a swindler.
And I escaped with the secret
to Hungary.
I don't know exactly where.

PRUS
Did you show anyone the Makropulos thing?

MARTY
I showed it to Joe,
when he begged me to.
But I had to get hold of it again myself -

KOLENATY
How old are you?

MARTY
? because I was ageing.

KOLENATY
How old are you?

MARTY
Don't confuse things!
Three hundred and twenty?seven.
So that's what it's all about ?
I've reached the end.
Feel me, Bertie, I'm turning to ice.
Feel my hands, all of you!

KOLENATY
Why did you forge
Ellian MacGregor's handwriting?

MARTY
Pater hemon … ! [= Our Father … !]

KOLENATY
Don't tell lies!
You are Emilia Marty -

MARTY
Pater hemon!

KOLENATY
You stole Eugenia Montez' medallion!

MARTY
Pater hemon,
hos eis en uranois! [= which art in heaven!]

KOLENATY
We know everything, everything.
We know everything, we know everything, everything!
What's your name?

MARTY
collapsing
Elina …
Makropulos.
KOLENATY
letting her drop
Damn it, she's not lying after all!

PRUS
She's not!

GREGOR
She's not!

VITEK
She's not!

KOLENATY
tearing off his gown
Get the doctor!

They take Marty off to the bedroom: the doctor goes in to her

MARTY
enters as if transfixed, a mere shadow supported by the doctor.
Others all rise to their feet. Greenish lighting on stage and audience

I could feel
death's hand on me.
It was not so dreadful.

GREGOR, VITEK, PRUS, KOLENATY
Miss Marty,
we have been brutal to you!

KRISTA
l am so awfully sorry for you!

MARTY
Here you all are,
and it's just as if you weren't there.
You are just objects and shadows!

CHORUS
We are just objects and shadows!

MARTY
Dying, departing ?
it's all one, all the same!

CHORUS
All one, all the same!

MARTY
wringing her hands
Oh, life should not last so long!
If you only realised how easy life is for you!
You are so close to everything!
For you, everything makes sense!
For you, everything has its value!
Fools,
you are so blissful ?

CHORUS
We are blissful!
We fools are so blissful!

MARTY
? for the trivial chance reason
that you are going to die so soon.

CHORUS
We are blissful!
We fools are so blissful!
MARTY
You believe in humanity,
in greatness, in love!
There's nothing more you could wish for!

CHORUS
There's nothing more
we could wish for!

MARTY
But in me life has come to a halt,
Christ,
and can go no further!
What hideous solitude!
It's all in vain, Krista,
whether you sing or keep silent ?
no pleasure in being good,
no pleasure in being bad.
No pleasure on earth,
no pleasure in heaven.
And one comes to learn
that the soul has died inside one.

GREGOR
Then why did you come ?

VITEK, KOLENATY, PRUS
Then why did you come ?

GREGOR
? for the secret,
the Makropulos secret?

VITEK, KOLENATY, PRUS
- the Makropulos secret?

MARTY
It is written here:
"Ego, Hieronymos Makropulos,
iatros kaisaros Rudolphou."
[= "I, Hieronymos Makropulos, physician to the emperor Rudolph."]
I don't want the stuff any more!
Here, take the formula.
Does no one want it?
You're standing here, Krista.
I stole your man from you.
You are beautiful.
Take it!
You will be famous,
you will have a voice like Ellian Marty!
Take it, girl! Take it, girl!

GREGOR, KOLENATY
Don't take it!

VITEK, PRUS
Don't take it!

Krista takes the document and holds it over a flame till it catches fire.
Stage-lighting changes to red.


MARTY
Pater hemon?
crumpling up

The document is consumed in the flames.