Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Ödön von Horváth: Tales from the Vienna Woods and Other Plays

(Tales from the Vienna Woods - Scene Five)

At a wine garden outside Vienna. A small band with guitars and accordion is playing dance music and popular songs. Petals from the fruit-trees in blossom rain down. The whole place is buzzing and everyone is slightly high on the wine, including the Fairy King, Mathilda, and Eric.

Out there where green the wine grows

And blue the Danube flows,

A cottage peeps through the vines

There lives a maid of mine,

With lips as red as blood –

Her kisses taste so good –

And eyes a violet hue,

Beside the Danube so blue.

There'll be new wine each year

When we are gone from here,

There'll be pretty girls to kiss

And we will not be missed.

(For a moment there is a deathly hush in the wine garden - then everyone starts singing again, three times louder than before.)

So let's all go to Nussdorf soon,

We'll have a lot of fun,

The evening's just begun,

We'll dance and sing a merry tune

And then roll home and sleep

Till the afternoon, till the afternoon.

(Enthusiastic applause; people are dancing between the tables; everyone is pretty fuddled by now.)

FAIRY KING Bravo! Bravissimo! I'm my old self again tonight! Encore! Da capo!

(As a couple dance past he grabs the girl's breasts.)

HER PARTNER (slaps his hand) Hands off her boobs.

THE GIRL They're my boobs, if you please.

ERIC Uncle Fairy King, in honor of this most excellent Viennese wine tavern and, last but not least, of your good self, allow me to take the liberty of raising the Salamander, a special fraternity toast - Hail! Hail! Hail! (tries to push his glass round and round then drum with it on the table, but only succeeds in spilling most of his wine)

MATHILDA Hey, hey, take it easy, young man. Just look at that, he's spilled it all over me.

ERIC More wine! Waiter, more wine! The Salamander must rise, the fraternity's honor's at stake. Waiter!

FAIRY KING Did he soak you? You poor thing.

MATHILDA Through and through. To the skin.

FAIRY KING What, right through to your skin -

MATHILDA Are you off your head too?

ERIC The honor of the fraternity is at stake! Old Prussia's not dead yet! Attention! (gets up, crashes his heels together and stands to attention, absolutely still)

FAIRY KING What's the matter with him?

MATHILDA I'm used to it by now. When he's had one too many he gives orders to himself.

FAIRY KING I don't know how he can keep still for so long. A smart lad, sturdy too. You have to admire him. Things are looking up. (falls under the table)

MATHILDA Jesus and Mary!