COUNTESS JULIE (Miss Julie)
CHARACTERS COUNTESS JULIE, twenty-five years old JEAN, a valet, thirty KRISTIN, a cook, thirty-five FARM SERVANTS The action takes place on Saint John's night, the mid-summer festival surviving from pagan times. SCENE.--A large kitchen. The ceiling and walls are partially covered by draperies and greens. The back wall slants upward from left side of scene. On back wall, left, are two shelves filled with copper kettles, iron casseroles and tin pans. The shelves are trimmed with fancy scalloped paper. To right of middle a large arched entrance with glass doors through which one sees a fountain with a statue of Cupid, syringa bushes in bloom and tall poplars. To left corner of scene a large stove with hood decorated with birch branches. To right, servants' dining table of white pine and a few chairs. On the cud of table stands a Japanese jar filled with syringa blossoms. The floor is strewn with juniper branches. Near stove, an ice-box, sink and dish-table. A large old-fashioned bell, hangs over the door, to left of door a speaking tube. Kristin stands at stork engaged in cooking something. She wears a light cotton dress and kitchen apron. Jean comes in wearing livery; he carries a large pair of riding-boots with spurs, which he puts on floor. JEAN. Tonight Miss Julie is crazy again, perfectly crazy. KRISTIN. So--you're back at last. JEAN. I went to the station with the Count and coming back I went in to the barn and danced and then I discovered Miss Julie there leading the dance with the gamekeeper. When she spied me, she rushed right toward me and asked me to waltz, and then she waltzed so--never in my life have I seen anything like it! Ah--she is crazy tonight. KRISTIN. She has always been. But never so much as in the last fortnight, since her engagement was broken off. JEAN. Yes, what about that gossip? He seemed like a fine fellow although he wasn't rich! Ach! they have so much nonsense about them. [Seats himself at table.] It's queer about Miss Julie though-to prefer staying here at home among these people, eh, to going away with her father to visit her relatives, eh? KRISTIN. She's probably shamefaced about breaking off with her intended. JEAN. No doubt! but he was a likely sort just the same. Do you know, Kristin, how it happened? I saw it, although I didn't let on.
KRISTIN. No--did you see it? JEAN. Yes, indeed, I did. They were out in the stable yard one evening and she was "training" him as she called it. Do you know what happened? She made him leap over her riding whip, the way you teach a dog to jump. He jumped it twice and got a lash each time; but the third time he snatched the whip from her hand and broke it into pieces. And then he vanished! KRISTIN. Was that the way it happened? No, you don't say so! JEAN. Yes, that's the way the thing happened. But what have you got to give me that's good, Kristin? KRISTIN. [She takes things from the pans on stove and serves them to him.] Oh, it's only a bit of kidney that I cut out of the veal steak for you. JEAN [Smelling the food]. Splendid! My favorite delicacy. [Feeling of plate]. But you might have warmed the plate. KRISTIN. You're fussier than the Count, when you get started. [Tweaks his hair.] JEAN. Don't pull my hair! You know how sensitive I am. KRISTIN. Oh--there, there! you know I was only loving you. [Jean eats, and Kristin opens bottle of beer.] JEAN. Beer on midsummer night--thank you, no! I have something better than that myself. [Takes bottle of wine from drawer of table.] Yellow seal, how's that? Now give me a glass--a wine glass you understand, of course, when one drinks the genuine. KRISTIN. [Fetches a glass. Then goes to stove and puts on casserole.] Heaven help the woman who gets you for her husband. Such a fuss budget! JEAN. Oh, talk! You ought to be glad to get such a fine fellow as I am. And I don't...
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