The Red and the Black. Стендаль

The Red and the Black - Стендаль

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      Chuzzlewit: A Play in Two Acts

      Falstaff: A Play in Four Acts (with William Shakespeare, John Dennis, and William Kendrick)

      Outrageous Women: Lady Macbeth and Other French Plays (editor and translator)

      The Red and the Black: A Play in Three Acts (adapted from the novel by Stendhal)

      The Stendhal Hamlet Scenarios and Other Shakespearean Shorts from the French (editor and translator)




      Adapted from the Novel by Stendhal


      Copyright © 2012 by Frank J. Morlock

      Published by Wildside Press LLC


      For Robert Haas,

      for many years of friendship


      Young Julien

      The Bishop



      A Servant

      Monsieur Reynal

      Madame Reynal (Louise)



      Father Pirard

      Marquis de la Mole


      Count Norbert

      First Gent

      Second Gent

      Several Masks

      Monsieur de Croisenois (not a speaking part)

      Count Altamira

      Prince Araceli (not a speaking part)

      Reactionary Gentleman



      ACT I

      SCENE 1

      The apartment of the Bishop.

      A young man in priestly attire is practicing benedictions before a mirror.

      The Young Julien enters, trembling, carrying a miter.

      Julien (to himself)

      It is my duty to speak. (he advances, the Bishop turns)


      Well, Monsieur, is it ready yet?


      Yes, Excellency.


      I need it immediately. (he places it on) There, it will stay. (he adjusts it, steps aside a little, practices several more benedictions) What do you think, Monsieur Julien? Does it look right?


      Perfect, Excellency.


      Too far back, perhaps? That would look silly. But, it mustn’t fall over the eyes like a visor either.


      I think it’s very good.


      The King is used to venerable clergymen. I mustn’t look frivolous because of my age.


      To be a Bishop, and so young. How clever you must be.


      It isn’t age that makes a servant of God. (pause) The King is here to pay his respects to a relic. But make no mistake, he is here to pay his respects to us...the clergy. Never forget, Julien, that you are about to see one of the greatest kings on earth on his knees before the servants of God. These servants are weak, persecuted, martyred in this world, but triumphant in Heaven—and, if we are careful, here on Earth as well.


      On Earth as it is in Heaven.

      (Julien crosses himself, awestruck, as the curtain descends.)


      ACT I

      SCENE 2

      Some years later.

      Monsieur Reynal’s garden.

      Julien and his father, Sorel, enter.

      Sorel (to a servant)

      We are here to see the mayor. (the servant hesitates) On his invitation...on business.


      Please wait. I’ll inform Monsieur Reynal.

      (The servant enters the house.)

      Sorel (collaring his son)

      Answer me without lying, if you can, Bookworm. How did you get to know his wife? When did you speak to her?


      I don’t know her. I’ve only seen her at Church.


      Ah, but you must have stared at her, didn’t you? Scum.


      Never. I only see God when I’m in Church. (there is just a shade, only a shade of insincerity in this protest)


      Does God wear petticoats? (pause) There’s something behind this. Why should the mayor choose you as a tutor for his children? But, I’ll never find out from you, you crafty little sneak.


      I’d still like to know what I’m going to get for it.


      Board, lodging, clothing, plus three hundred a year. Isn’t that enough for you, my fine gentleman?


      I won’t be a servant.


      Who said that, you idiot? You think I’d let my son be a servant?


      I won’t eat with the servants.


      Shut up and leave this to me, you greedy little bastard.


      I’ll die before I’ll eat with the servants.

      (Madame and Monsieur Reynal enter from the house. Reynal is much older than his pretty wife.)

      Reynal (to his wife)

      Let him boast about his carriage. He doesn’t have a tutor for his children.

      Madame Reynal

      Perhaps he’ll steal this one from us.


      Then you approve of my plans? All right, then, it’s settled.

      Madame Reynal (slyly)

      Good Heavens, dear, how quickly you make up your mind.


      Strength of character. It’s going to cost us, but we must maintain our position. (approaching Sorel) Welcome to my house, Monsieur Sorel. This is your son Julien? Charmed I’m sure. (Julien makes an awkward bow, but stands mute) Your father has told you of the arrangements made for you? (Julien tries to speak but words fail him, he contents himself with a murderous look) Monsieur Sorel, this is Madame de Reynal, my wife.


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