Introduction and translation by William Archer.
gape at in astonishment--[Lowers his voice]--but at bottom they are all respectable, pompous horse-faces, and self- opinionated donkey-muzzles, and lop-eared, low-browed dog-skulls, and fatted swine-snouts--and sometimes dull, brutal bull-fronts as well---
[Indifferently.] All the dear domestic animals, in fact.
Simply the dear domestic animals, Maia. All the animals which men have bedevilled in their own image--and which have bedevilled men in return. [Empties his champagne-glass and laughs.] And it is these double-faced works of art that our excellent plutocrats come and order of me. And pay for in all good faith--and in good round figures too--almost their weight in gold, as the saying goes.
[Fills his glass.] Come, Rubek! Drink and be happy.
[Passes his hand several times across his forehead and leans back in his chair.] I am happy, Maia. Really happy--in a way. [Short silence.] For after all there is a certain happiness