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Oskar Panizza, The Council of Love (1895)

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Act I, Scene I

Heaven, a throne room; three angels in swan-white, quilt-like suits with tight-fitting knee-breeches similar to spats, knee-length stockings, short cupid wings, hair powdered white and cut short, satin shoes; they have feather-dusters in their hands for dusting.

First Angel: Today HE is getting up late again.

Second Angel: Be happy! This coughing, these watery blue eyes, this stream of mucus, swearing, spitting the whole day – one hardly has a healthy moment.

Third Angel: Yes, it is strange up here!

First Angel: By the way, has the throne been fastened down?

Second Angel: Yes, for heaven’s sake! Has the throne been fastened down? It was wobbling yesterday.

Third Angel: Who was wobbling yesterday?

First Angel: The throne, dumb little goose!

Third Angel: surprised: The throne? – Why does the throne wobble?

First Angel: In the end, it just wobbles.

Third Angel: What? Is there really something up here that actually wobbles?

First and Second Angels: laughing loudly: Ha, ha, ha, ha! –

Third Angel: ever more serious and amazed: Yes, why does the holy throne wobble?

First Angel: energetically: dumb little goose! Because everything up here is coming unglued and getting shaky anyway: gods, furniture, carpets, wallpaper.

Third Angel: inwardly quaking: God, if my mother ever found out about this.

Second Angel: with furrowed brow and sarcasm: Your mother? What does your mother have to do with this, you rascal?

Third Angel: Well, today she had the sixtieth mass read for my soul.

First and Second Angels: with growing astonishment: For you?! both laughing out loud By the way, how old are you anyway?

Third Angel: collecting her thoughts and then quoting with great passion: “Before God a thousand years are like a day, and a day like a thousand years!” –

First and Second Angels: waving her aside and attempting to bring her to reason; very ironically: Yeah, yeah, yeah, – whatever you say; we know this already! – But how old were you down there?

Third Angel:like a child: Barely fourteen years!

First Angel: laughing: And for that you need to have masses read for your soul?

Third Angel: hesitantly: Oh, you just don’t understand, I died down there.

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