BBC world theater; 76; Madame De
The national educational radio network presents the BBC World Theater these weekly broadcasts are made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This week on BBC World Theatre we present our own we based on a story by Louise develop and translated by John Whiting John Tidemand directs the production with music composed and played by John HOTCHKISS. The action of the play takes place in Paris in the 1880s.
In a society where a woman's success and reputation depend less on her beauty than on her elegance. Was distinction itself. She set the style for the whole way of life. Men believe there can be no other woman like her. So of course other women did their best to copy her. At least they called an echo of the compliments which were constantly being paid to her. Matters were helped by the fact that her husband. Was a very rich man. He was proud of his wife and allowed. He never questioned the money she spent so there was no reason to think that he might disapprove. Like many she was driven by a mixture of weakness and bravado to pretend that when her husband admired something she bought such as a new hat she
couldn't resist saying that it would cost a little less than the real price. So Madame de kept from her husband just how much money she owed. After some years of this game she was faced with large debts. At first they swatted her then made her anxious. And finally she was in despair. It was all the more difficult to tell her husband about the bills because she'd lied for such a long time and he'd never been anything but generous. She didn't want to lose his admiration or his trust and so there was only one thing to be done. She must sell some jewelry. She opened her jewel box.
It would be unwise she thought to get rid of an heirloom. Equally unwise to sell a quantity of cheap jewelry for she would have to explain its disappearance so she decided to sell a pair of earrings. They were diamonds cut in the shape of two. A magnificent present from her husband on the day after their wedding. So she took them to the jeweler pock was a discrete math. Friend as well as tradesmen to the best people. Who knew that back he knew it wouldn't surprise me but
I have decided to part with him. Yeah all of these diamond hearts I believe you sow them to Miss you do on the day after my marriage. Your decision distresses me on your health for myself and my brother please. Thing is I regretted selling them and then at least I've made you happy this morning. I won't ask how much they will miss you do wouldn't like me to be too old. This isn't one it round you can settle the price with your decision for a new model I don't like the idea. You must get used to it was you that book. I've already done so. It's always sad to get rid of something one loves but it must happen to you more often than to me. Tonight businessman but losing certain stones breaks
my heart. Put these in its place monsieur van park at least be wholehearted. I won't offend you by asking you to keep this secret. We Family Jewels are rather like Father Confessor. Thank you I'm already provided for in that way. Who you call I ask is that you don't tell anyone that I have disposed of these men to say you thought perhaps I might forgive such a blunt question but what would you tell your husband I should say. I just say this is my last thought. Oh it would hardly be a lie it is not wise after the event was you that back but lost souls very badly all of your sins. Then pack put the glass in his eye and examine the earring closely.
The clasp healed perfectly well and so the jeweler decided that I must have secret money troubles and thought it best to negotiate through his wife. Who considered himself extremely tactful in pretending. Not to guess this. Paid her debts and her beauty seemed enriched. That night there was a. Madame Du Toit you know those are my.
Last my. Yes I was I'm sure I have. Them somewhere. I repeat I was coming out but I didn't say anything because you are wrong as usual. I even hesitate in between them I am. Like Jews my God. Then you know all you kept them in your head meaning to put them on in the cab. Yes yes I must have dropped them in the cab and stopped at the party.
The next morning I was in the newspaper. They let it be understood that the earrings had been. Stolen. The jeweler who was very upset by this decided to go and see Missy Missy a Doe who was in his library received him at once. Oh Good morning friend puck. What brings you here. I suppose you've come to tempt me. I'm sorry but it's not there yet. Well he may begin such a difficult because you shouldn't be. Why do you and perhaps annoy you. I must ask you to be discreet. Good Lord then talk the secret secret all right. A matter of good faith. All right I promise. Why old girl.
I received a vision driven but didn't yesterday she wanted something amended. Unfortunately you know she wanted to buy something. Don't tease me that Buck I'm not at my best in the morning. She wanted to so do something with you I don't want to meet these two moved hearts saying that she wanted to get rid of them. I found it hard to believe that a dog would dispose of something to that dribble without your knowledge. I wanted to be of service to you but we all have bills which will do it on the other hand I had to keep to Madame de who asked me to keep the transaction secret that I must pretend to think that you were not concerned. Well I didn't just enough. Who not didn't look. I needed you I would not allow myself that. But just
enough difference to the Tendou that I knew very well that she would know that I'm not. It was very good of you. If a trifle involved rash. I went on I realized that the only what I did in the paper that they suspected Jews to have been stolen. There is no moral conclusion to the story. Puck who it is that there are fewer thieves about than we are led to believe and that should make us very happy. The actual conclusion should make us equally happy. You anyway. I'm going to buy the jewels again. Very unhappy having to sell them to you a second. Don't apologize. I'm very pleased to have them back. I suppose the price is still the same. You and I can assure you that my check. Is as good as it ever was.
Miss you there was sad to find that his wife would be lying to him for so long by hiding her debts. She harmed his credit and his reputation. How heartless deception. The night before the ball when she pretended to be wrong it shocked him. Yet he gave no sign of what he was feeling as he showed out to Mr. van park but made a few masculine jokes about the fallibility of reliable women. That night at a friendly farewell supper with his mistress. She was a beautiful. Spanish. Missy and was beginning to fall violently out of love with her. And also she was going to South America the next day. As his wife had shown she cared nothing for the diamond hearts. Miss you do decided that it would be amusing and
just to give them to this charming girl. They were present to thank her for leaving him before he was compelled to leave her. So Madame does two diamond cross the Atlantic on their way to one new one. While this was happening. Miss you decided to have the Whitley not so frank a discussion as would embarrass him as much as his wife. But at least to try and put an end an end he could look upon as final to this story. Yes. Good gracious. Have you come to tea.
So long since the last time I began to think things what excuse have you. What strange things you say. I like having tea with you very much. You are one of the few women of my acquaintance who drink tea in a proper way. I think you know some women who seem to be enough to shoot themselves which is disgusting. Others perform a right which is boring but you seem to enjoy it. Do you want to cry. But it's true I love tea. Let me ring for another note no thank you. I hate she. I'd like to see you drink it. That's all. I want to talk to you about this unfortunate affair. What if they're a dime in the heart so of course don't you think too much fuss is being made about it. It's unfortunate of course but it only concerns us. I quite agree I
find it that a toss up to no name is only been in the newspapers when someone in the family has married or died. Or sometimes when I made a particular ass of myself at the Horse Show now it's on the front page. Among the crimes although where the victim and not the criminal. It's not very pleasant. You you don't suspect anyone you know. You the more I think of it the more I believe you're right. I lost the airings but if you don't you tell me that I wasn't wearing them that night I shouldn't have been so absent minded. I was late and I meant to carry them and put them on in the carriage and then I forgot you were talking when she will. It's a weakness of mine always to concentrate on what you are saying. Your crowd sure you lost but you are quite sure. Well just say that you found them. Horses that one never thinks of the
obvious. If you take my advice you would have the horses harnessed and go straight way until our host apologized. The scene at their ball the other night. Perhaps you haven't thought about it you were always ruled more by your heart than your head. But it was very unpleasant for everyone. You're right it was unforgivable and God once but he would be alive and I dealt with things as they are. Do you want to know what I think. Don't be absurd I know. But most who do or did not know what his wife was thinking all the same he was satisfied that he lit a cigar and it was excellent. He believed he'd settled the exasperating business of the hearts in an intelligent way. Yes most satisfaction
but it was not set off from it. Beautiful Sanish girl in the Argentine. She missed going there. She'd never been in love with him but there are other reasons for needing a man. She spent quite a time trying to find someone else with as little gravity and as much money. She gambled and won. At first. It's the surest way of losing it will it. I'm so. Lost. One day penniless. She's so hot. The best kept them in the shop window less than a day an ambassador of a country near to France was leaving the Argentine and being appointed to Paris. He was a man of taste and very rich. He sold the jewels in love with him and both before sailing for
Europe. On the situation. It was a great dinner at which he as that night admired her very much. He had come to the dinner as a duty but he found he wasn't. Far from it. He was fascinated and showed it
knew how to interest men and she was attracted to him. She liked to please people. And from the first evening the ambassador gave her the opportunity. And provoked as they belong to the same the same society we often saw in time and reception. When they met they never offended convention by staying together too long in public. They would move away from the crowd as if they had something urgently important to talk about. Had good manners not to be upset by this. He knew his wife. But of course after some months of these meetings the ambassador
ended by confiding in each other. It has become a pleasant habits to call on your late each afternoon. I am a man of habit and it frightens me why each time when we die a little. I find nothing good in seeing you every afternoon in my drawing room. My job makes for a nomadic life. I'm never sure where I should be tomorrow. When a man has unlimited freedom forced on him he finds it difficult to found any lasting relationship. Who are you expecting this afternoon. No one. I had the doorman told I was ill and that I couldn't receive anybody. Oh I'm so sorry. The doorman didn't see me coming and I I walked here. It's such a lovely day. I'm sorry
I disobeyed your orders even though I I did not know about them. My Dallman was wide awake. He was told that I would receive you. I'm so sorry again. This is a mood today that makes you say RIP. I have also formed an agreeable habit. It is to be entertained by you. You know I have learned to wonder rival the subtleties of most European diplomats. But that's not so difficult. A few of them are Taliban after all. But it still baffles me. Oh you know the public should think of employing women like you. It wouldn't occur to them no it was. Women have. Other things to do. They must dress please people and killed. Well that does.
Do you like pleasing people. I've always thought perhaps in this game that diplomacy was the art of not asking certain questions. So far I have managed to hide this fact from various ministers. I am not a very good diplomat but they don't tell anyone. They would send me God knows where and I should not be able to see you and I certainly NOT tell anyone. I have been a very dull dog these last two weeks all alone in Paris. Tell me was it pleasant that kept I know the sun was shining. I have never really understood why people think the sun is so important. I met your husband several times at the club while you were away. Though he didn't
understand why you had gone either and he told me that you are loved. Its a rumor I provide so as to get away from Paris alone in December. How was the mimosa the mimosa. It was yellow. It was memos but I thought you would love that too. I imagined it showering down on you as you sat writing letters. A funny thing I don't suppose you noticed but there were a few grains in your last letter of one in which you told me about your solitary wall on the wall in the day. It was heaven. I might have been in Normandy for once the place stopped looking like the picture postcards but usually it's a setting for Cousin dried feelings. They say that nine out of 10 couples spend there. How do you imagine learning to love
each other in such a place. No wonder most marriages fail. Where can people learn to love each other. Who cares. In dry weather like today in the country with a log and the rain tapping on the window. It's in the back of a Z. I ask my husband to invite you there for the bowhunting. I sometimes go for two or three days in the winter. I cannot keep this up. Neither can I. It's just two years ago today that we met with the first time.
It's 5:30 already this day then in the country. Just three days off. It's it's a long time it's not too long. I want to say it's delicious. Doc you know my wife sort of made up her mind to have electricity like a grandmother she always waits for me to bring the lamps. Excuse me I'm just like these gun people. Good to see you my dear. Pettis is an up role. O has moved into Canada and I am detaining an ambassador. Worse than that because I won't be seen tonight. She must to know to the softness performance of the mater so cross the cheaper tent of the opera with a gun yes this is top C just at the time we should be arriving like idiots dressed up to a port risk us will be on the Milan express if we want to hear. We must
make for the godly own to be a scholar tomorrow I should need some blankets and sandwiches you come in. Certainly then for you know for us to be a nice little trip. But don't make you laugh. The trouble with you foreign diplomats is that you will bring order into everything like a woman who is always on your mind but with whom you can never have fun because she is such a proper person. If my wife ever mentioned how come down on Thursday for the blonde it will give you rest. I'm sorry I cannot. I know I'm not free on Thursday and I have already accepted another invitation but didn't it say the following Thursday. But why must it be a Thursday when my wife and I have kept the habit since childhood we always planned because do you know where my deah. I spent my childhood at a boarding school under the Guardian and the other
boys always went out Thursdays. It's somebody for me I've always put it aside to daydream. The playground was full again on Fridays which is the day that I keep for my amusement I logged Friday always makes me think of codfish I love it. Forgive me I must take my leave. My hand anyway will choose one of the other five days and meet again. Thank you. He didn't dare to look at me. So what made him do he loves me. Join me. I know you're too sensible to encourage him. Not all the same I find him lovable.
Don't you know you always had a liking for solemnity. So for us to get along together I'm the one who's had to be a little hypocritical. What do you think of the bombshell what she does not sing at the opera tonight. Spent a wretched night neither had. She stayed at home or the next lazy with no new house. She related the incident of the day before and doubted if it ever happened. The ambassador who was announced at 5 o'clock as usual put her mind at rest on that point.
The ambassador was solemn and seemed deeply moved. My love my dear love you began last summer sometime. I wanted to give you some druids that I have but they might have been made for you and you would actually deserve them. Here you see these two hots. They are ours. Keep them high and more than anything look on them as one of you. You can only wear them when we are alone but that makes me very happy. Us up. Also it was quite possible for a moment Madame du was lost for words. All kinds of thoughts. One is mad as another came into her head. Then she fell into the ambassador's arms murmuring My
love my Delia with such sincerity that it brought tears to his eyes. All the same he was rather taken aback that his present magnificent as it was it had such an effect on the woman he loved. For although he came of a cautious raise and although the conversation which followed if you could have only heard it was extremely fair to us. It was all about love. He was deeply in love with Madame de And Madame der loved him too more than anything in the world and the rest of the story alas will prove that she'd never been in love before. The two kisses were the first she'd ever received. Yet that occurred to this sensitive an honest woman. A most idiotic idea. One of those ideas both silly and commonplace which only women can have.
It will offend every man who hears it as opposed to mortally offend the ambassador when he came to learn of it dreamily said. I want to wear these proudly before them. I want to have a heart to hearts with you in night. It was this that was so shocking. So let me tell a lie since you will always know the truth. And as she said this I use what is pure water. What kind of life one which can easily be believed. My mother's cousin has already given me half the jewels from her very beautiful collection. No one would be surprised if she should send me these earrings. She hates my husband. They're on such bad terms he never sees her and she has nothing to do with the rest of the family. I'll go and see her tomorrow morning and take her into my confidence. You know you fight me my love.
Why do you need a coffee doll which is too heavy. I should be happy to share it. Holly in your source it seems that unless a woman tells someone she must doubt both her love and her love and stop talking psychology we always gloomy and usually well just let me have my happiness. We are visiting your house tonight and when you see me coming in wearing high to hurt you lose it. We won and that I owe you. You are like a tree. I heard it one before you're just like God. If you must admit it was both very touching. I'm very simple. Let me tell you how Madame De Niro recklessly found her jewels again just
as she was going out with her husband. They were in a pair of gloves. She no longer wore and which she sharply told her maid to fight in the last moment. Now mishear do knew quite well that he'd given those jewels to the Spanish girl some time before and as he was less inclined than his wife to believe in miracles he began to think the matter over something he read it is. That evening Madame d'Urfe and her husband had been invited by the ambassador to a musical evening. She wore her finest ball gown and hears. Yes she would wear a Diamant earring as she was about to put them on when her husband unexpectedly came into her mind. Can you believe your eyes my. FACE. Thank you all who
what are you doing. I should keep them. They always see with me. Would you care to see my headings. Why can't I win. Why can't I welcome you have yours I have mine I. Did not ask for the jewels again Khadijah arrived at the embassy having exchanged a mug. I am. Miss you didn't notice the look which passed between his wife and the ambassador he was
not spying on and had no wish to see it. However the look confirmed the conclusion he'd arrived at on the way to the Soiree musical. As the violinist was tuning up. He recalled that a year before the ambassador had come from the same South American city where Micio does form a mistress had since been living. He thought it probable that she would run short of money and had so. He was not surprised that the ambassador had booked a miss who does tastes did not inclined towards platonic love affairs either. To say he could understand. But one day his wife had told the ambassador how unhappy she'd been when she had to sell some jewels she loved and how by an amazing coincidence this was a little hard to find
but he must bring himself to believe it. Possessing those very jewels had once graciously offered to make a happy again. Thank you. Looking at the matter this way this you do could see no reason to take it amiss. He knew how to distinguish between a friendly and an impersonator. He told himself that the ambassador far from having wished to offer Madame de a present that she could not have accepted but only wanted to help her repair the damage done by the lie of which they both supposed the husband was unaware. Even so. Missy does would not allow him to admit that his wife had
received such a valuable present from another man. He took the ambassador aside after the concert and led him into a drawing room. My dear fellow you couldn't have been more tactful but you see I have good reason to know that my wife didn't find her earrings among some old pairs of gloves that are. I can understand how you were tempted to help. You gave her the opportunity of a raising the unhappiness she calls me when she saw the jewels I'd given her as a wedding present. I've not spoken to her about it because I think some things can destroy the harmony between husband and wife. Now it would upset me very much to see her wearing these earrings knowing that she owes them to your generosity. On the other hand I'd like to have these diamonds again. So it was the simplest and friendliest conclusion I suggest. If you agree that you intrust them
to my jeweler and tell him what I owe him full of you you leave me no alternative tact and diplomacy demands that I agree. The ambassador was very hurt. He found it hard to forgive madam for accepting as a token of His love jewels which must have recalled her first love her first favors the intimacies of her married life. He felt himself in a ridiculous position. He saw insult and mockery in what she'd done and all love died. He went to the general the next morning and gave him a dime and. Then pretending that an official dispatch recalled him to his country. He disappeared without a word of farewell. Some discreet while later and then puck called again
at his house. Would you believe her. Yes my dear fellow I can't believe it because I know why you're here. Oh just tell me the price of what you brought in shipping you these jewels for the third time that I'm into bood a profitable business. They wish they could cause this to they do. My bill would be passed to the hands of one of my colleagues in Windows analogies. And do you know me. What took coincidence. But given perk I think established as a certainty that what is true is unlikely and that what is unlikely is true. Nothing surprises me. I take it the price is still the same. It is magic.
Service your der both the earrings for the third time how should one tell a story which ended so sadly for it has all the appearance of a joke as if Fate were amusing itself. What is more it's a true story. As soon as the jeweler had gone Miss you rang for a footman and asked him if Madame de was at home. He was told that you had gone to her room. Her face was flushed yet she complained of being frozen. She'd taken to her bed. Yes you do went to her bedroom with him. He took a jewel case. Understood by this. He was he was not.
And was suffering from for the first time in her life. And Miss you'd see her lying there so beautiful pitiable and distressed her eyes shining with love in the red halos of her eyelids took the opportunity to teach her a lesson. What to say about this. He opened the jewel case and put it on the bed said nothing. She stretched out her hand and timidly lifted the hearts to her ears as if she wanted to be reminded of the only two kisses she had ever received.
I'm sorry. Open your eyes we must have a talk will you listen to me for a few minutes without interrupting. You have made these jurors a source of misery by your lies. I am very angry and you must be punished. My nephew's wife has just had a son. Unfortunately he is the only name. So I do the tomorrow we have go in to see the young mother. You will make her a present of these earrings which no longer belong to you. Matt was silenced by grief shame and love. She felt that she was facing an ordeal such as heaven imposes on saints. She understood that she must submit to being brave and that her weakness would help her. So without another word she took off the earrings and put them back in the jewel case which Missy hell outta her.
He pressed on the lid in an almost brutal way with the palm of his hand. That's that you will not see them again. We go to my niece tomorrow. But Miss you do if you was on the verge of bankruptcy and did not tell his family about it some weeks later his wife came in here to see Madame de the girl pleaded with her to buy the hearts and so save her husband. But madam do not having the necessary money could only send her to the family jewels and so one morning. You want to see my dear fellow what can I do for you.
I come to ask your advice. The situation is Gaelic it so as not to offend you I'm compelled to behave in a most ethical way and reveal a secret to my conscience. You scoundrel I do love me. Tell me about it. I'm listening to my ideas which keeps me awake at night. You already sold me these years. Most business been knew about you wouldn't if you was bankruptcy so I have voided asking the lady in question to buy Jim betters. I knew she was getting rid of the Jews to save her husband and she has indeed saved him which happens. They die I have a chance of saving the sea for someone you know is looking for an important engagement present. I felt you would wish me to dispose of these diamonds without informing you.
I didn't know that you had given them to your niece. I don't want to create a false impression in the minds of people who might see them in my shop and begin to think that Goto's had forced you to part with the most thoughtful. Miss you der began to think he was condemned to go on buying the jewels indefinitely until he was quite ruined to atone for some sin he no longer remembered. But he was a kind man under his apparent coldness and it hurt him to see Madame de shut up and wasting away. Since he had forced her to part with the jewels so that before going out to the club he went and knocked at his wife's door. Oh.
If I knew you were saved. Will you do the same for me. Who else. Anything you can do to please miss your dirty look out the jewel case and calmly put the earrings into Madame de trembling hand. Day for me. Yes but I insist that you come to the ball with me. What do you think I have been up for 10 days. You promised to do me a favor. But if you won't give me back that you used it for was.
No. Be sensible and consider. Think of the position you put me in. Think of the position in which you've put our friend the best. Only try to help you. We agree on that. Don't worry if you are seen wearing these earrings tonight you city's conscience at rest as well as mine. You despair of this miserable atmosphere from which all three of us have suffered and for which you and the response. Oh we have it. Yes come back. You will be at the ball what I want to take you tonight. The truth she knew why the ambassador had lived she couldn't reveal this to her husband but neither could she bear to part with the hearts which recalled her only two kisses in a weak voice she answered.
Affected by her. Took no notice of the. Maid his wife. She arrived smiling the Dayalan sparkling at her ears an ultimate beauty gave her magnificence. She held herself all the more upright for being near to collapse. She was still smiling. When her eyes met those of the ambassador who had seen her come in. He misunderstood her smile. And why she wore the diamonds. Both seemed an act of defiance to him. He believed that by wearing the jewels about which he knew the
truth. Meant to sweep away the past. Because now. She despised it. As he kissed her hand which she tenderly held out to him. He said. I shall never forgive you. And while the others crowded round her he turned away. Miss UDA was in a good humor. His vanity had been satisfied. He was ready to make a night of it. And although usually that it courteous he forgot his wife for once and let her go home without it while he went on enjoying himself. After the boy went to bed sobbing renouncing life and all wish for life she wrote a line of humble prayer to the ambassador imploring him to come and see her
and into the snow that early February morning. Throwing her flimsy shoulders. She went from the house unseen and ran like a madwoman through the snow to the embassy. She rang the bell. For a long time. At last the door was opened by a bad tempered man half asleep half dressed in a forbidding uniform. He took the letter and slammed the door in Madame d'Urfe face. Now neither health love nor reason
could tempt her to live. The ambassador called that evening. I can't see anyone she said of me. This is her letter. Come with me. Madame De Lay at the frontier of a new loveliness. The two men stood motionless looking down at her. She was still breathing feebly brokenly. Presently feeling himself to be an intruder. The ambassador was about to go when Madame de in a convulsive death agony stretched out her arms. Gave a sigh and died. Her hands opened a little there with the two diamond hearts as if she wished to offer them to the unknown.
She is dead. Take this out that she has given you. The other is to dispose of it. Use it. So ends the story of Madame de And the two diamond hearts which Micio did never have to buy again.
We've heard Madame der buy on we based on a story by the we's divel Mora and translated by John Whiting the BBC World Theatre production was directed by John Titan and the music was composed and played by John Hotchkiss John Ross I was the man at the piano and June Toben Madame der Rohe flu fever played her husband and Roger Delgado the Ambassador Walter Fitzgerald played the part of van park the jeweler next week listen for Stephen Mari and Googie withers in the reign of King Edward the third. A play published in 15 96 and now thought to have been partly written by Shakespeare. These were all theater programmes are produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Their presentation by national educational radio was made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and they're prepared for broadcast in this country by WITF FM Public Radio in Hershey Pennsylvania.
- BBC world theater
- Episode Number
- Madame De
- Producing Organization
- British Broadcasting Corporation
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
Producing Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-2-76 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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