Fiction > Harvard Classics > Gotthold Ephraim Lessing > Minna von Barnhelm
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Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781).  Minna von Barnhelm.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act I
 
Scene III
 
 
MAJOR VON TELLHEIM,  LANDLORD,  JUST


  Maj. T.  (entering). Just!
  1
  Just.  (supposing the LANDLORD is still speaking). Just? Are we so intimate?  2
  Maj. T.  Just!  3
  Just.  I thought I was “Herr Just” with you.  4
  Land.  (seeing the MAJOR). Hist! hist! Herr Just, Herr Just, look round; your master—  5
  Maj. T.  Just, I think you are quarreling! What did I tell you?  6
  Land.  Quarrel, your honour? God forbid! Would your most humble servant dare to quarrel with one who has the honour of being in your service?  7
  Just.  If I could but give him a good whack on that cringing cat’s back of his!  8
  Land.  It is true Herr Just speaks up for his master, and rather warmly; but in that he is right. I esteem him so much the more: I like him for it.  9
  Just.  I should like to knock his teeth out for him!  10
  Land.  It is only a pity that he puts himself in a passion for nothing. For I feel quite sure that your honour is not displeased with me in this matter, since—necessity—made it necessary—  11
  Maj. T.  More than enough, sir! I am in your debt; you turn out my room in my absence. You must be paid, I must seek a lodging elsewhere. Very natural.  12
  Land.  Elsewhere? You are going to quit, honoured sir? Oh, unfortunate stricken man that I am. No, never! Sooner shall the lady give up the apartments again. The Major cannot and will not let her have his room. It is his; she must go; I cannot help it. I will go, honoured sir—  13
  Maj. T.  My friend, do not make two foolish strokes instead of one. The lady must retain possession of the room—  14
  Land.  And your honour could suppose that from distrust, from fear of not being paid, I… As if I did not know that your honour could pay me as soon as you pleased. The sealed purse … five hundred thalers in louis d’ors marked on it—which your honour had in your writing-desk … is in good keeping.  15
  Maj. T.  I trust so; as the rest of my property. Just shall take them into his keeping, when he has paid your bill—  16
  Land.  Really, I was quite alarmed when I found the purse. I always considered your honour a methodical and prudent man, who never got quite out of money… but still, had I supposed there was ready money in the desk—  17
  Maj. T.  You would have treated me rather more civilly. I understand you. Go, sir; leave me. I wish to speak with my servant.  18
  Land.  But, honoured sir—  19
  Maj. T.  Come, Just; he does not wish to permit me to give my orders to you in his house.  20
  Land.  I am going, honoured sir! My whole house is at your service.  (Exit.)  21
 

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