List Of Contents | Contents of Man and Superman, by Bernard Shaw
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wicked are quite comfortable in it: it was made for them. You
tell me you feel no pain. I conclude you are one of those for
whom Hell exists.

THE OLD WOMAN. Do you feel no pain?

DON JUAN. I am not one of the wicked, Senora; therefore it bores
me, bores me beyond description, beyond belief.

THE OLD WOMAN. Not one of the wicked! You said you were a

DON JUAN. Only a duel. I ran my sword through an old man who was
trying to run his through me.

THE OLD WOMAN. If you were a gentleman, that was not a murder.

DON JUAN. The old man called it murder, because he was, he said,
defending his daughter's honor. By this he meant that because I
foolishly fell in love with her and told her so, she screamed;
and he tried to assassinate me after calling me insulting names.

THE OLD WOMAN. You were like all men. Libertines and murderers
all, all, all!

DON JUAN. And yet we meet here, dear lady.

THE OLD WOMAN. Listen to me. My father was slain by just such a
wretch as you, in just such a duel, for just such a cause. I
screamed: it was my duty. My father drew on my assailant: his
honor demanded it. He fell: that was the reward of honor. I am
here: in hell, you tell me that is the reward of duty. Is there
justice in heaven?

DON JUAN. No; but there is justice in hell: heaven is far above
such idle human personalities. You will be welcome in hell,
Senora. Hell is the home of honor, duty, justice, and the rest of
the seven deadly virtues. All the wickedness on earth is done in
their name: where else but in hell should they have their reward?
Have I not told you that the truly damned are those who are happy
in hell?

THE OLD WOMAN. And are you happy here?

DON JUAN. [Springing to his feet] No; and that is the enigma on
which I ponder in darkness. Why am I here? I, who repudiated all
duty, trampled honor underfoot, and laughed at justice!

THE OLD WOMAN. Oh, what do I care why you are here? Why am I
here? I, who sacrificed all my inclinations to womanly virtue and

DON JUAN. Patience, lady: you will be perfectly happy and at home
here. As with the poet, "Hell is a city much like Seville."

THE OLD WOMAN. Happy! here! where I am nothing! where I am

DON JUAN. Not at all: you are a lady; and wherever ladies are is
hell. Do not be surprised or terrified: you will find everything
here that a lady can desire, including devils who will serve you
from sheer love of servitude, and magnify your importance for the
sake of dignifying their service--the best of servants.

THE OLD WOMAN. My servants will be devils.

DON JUAN. Have you ever had servants who were not devils?

THE OLD WOMAN. Never: they were devils, perfect devils, all of
them. But that is only a manner of speaking. I thought you meant
that my servants here would be real devils.

DON JUAN. No more real devils than you will be a real lady.
Nothing is real here. That is the horror of damnation.

THE OLD WOMAN. Oh, this is all madness. This is worse than fire
and the worm.

DON JUAN. For you, perhaps, there are consolations. For instance:
how old were you when you changed from time to eternity?

THE OLD WOMAN. Do not ask me how old I was as if I were a thing
of the past. I am 77.

DON JUAN. A ripe age, Senora. But in hell old age is not
tolerated. It is too real. Here we worship Love and Beauty. Our
souls being entirely damned, we cultivate our hearts. As a lady
of 77, you would not have a single acquaintance in hell.

THE OLD WOMAN. How can I help my age, man?

DON JUAN. You forget that you have left your age behind you in
the realm of time. You are no more 77 than you are 7 or 17 or 27.

THE OLD WOMAN. Nonsense!

DON JUAN. Consider, Senora: was not this true even when you lived
on earth? When you were 70, were you really older underneath your
wrinkles and your grey hams than when you were 30?

THE OLD WOMAN. No, younger: at 30 I was a fool. But of what use
is it to feel younger and look older?

DON JUAN. You see, Senora, the look was only an illusion. Your
wrinkles lied, just as the plump smooth skin of many a stupid
girl of 17, with heavy spirits and decrepit ideas, lies about her
age? Well, here we have no bodies: we see each other as bodies
only because we learnt to think about one another under that
aspect when we were alive; and we still think in that way,
knowing no other. But we can appear to one another at what age we
choose. You have but to will any of your old looks back, and back
they will come.

THE OLD WOMAN. It cannot be true.


THE OLD WOMAN. Seventeen!

DON JUAN. Stop. Before you decide, I had better tell you that
these things are a matter of fashion. Occasionally we have a rage
for 17; but it does not last long. Just at present the
fashionable age is 40--or say 37; but there are signs of a
change. If you were at all good-looking at 27, I should suggest
your trying that, and setting a new fashion.

THE OLD WOMAN. I do not believe a word you are saying. However,
27 be it. [Whisk! the old woman becomes a young one, and so
handsome that in the radiance into which her dull yellow halo has
suddenly lightened one might almost mistake her for Ann

DON JUAN. Dona Ana de Ulloa!

ANA. What? You know me!

DON JUAN. And you forget me!

ANA. I cannot see your face. [He raises his hat]. Don Juan
Tenorio! Monster! You who slew my father! even here you pursue

DON JUAN. I protest I do not pursue you. Allow me to withdraw

ANA. [reining his arm] You shall not leave me alone in this
dreadful place.

DON JUAN. Provided my staying be not interpreted as pursuit.

ANA. [releasing him] You may well wonder how I can endure your
presence. My dear, dear father!

DON JUAN. Would you like to see him?

ANA. My father HERE!!!

DON JUAN. No: he is in heaven.

ANA. I knew it. My noble father! He is looking down on us now.
What must he feel to see his daughter in this place, and in
conversation with his murderer!

DON JUAN. By the way, if we should meet him--

ANA. How can we meet him? He is in heaven.

DON JUAN. He condescends to look in upon us here from time to
time. Heaven bores him. So let me warn you that if you meet him
he will be mortally offended if you speak of me as his murderer!
He maintains that he was a much better swordsman than I, and that
if his foot had not slipped he would have killed me. No doubt he
is right: I was not a good fencer. I never dispute the point; so
we are excellent friends.

ANA. It is no dishonor to a soldier to be proud of his skill in

DON JUAN. You would rather not meet him, probably.

ANA. How dare you say that?

DON JUAN. Oh, that is the usual feeling here. You may remember
that on earth--though of course we never confessed it--the death
of anyone we knew, even those we liked best, was always mingled
with a certain satisfaction at being finally done with them.

ANA. Monster! Never, never.

DON JUAN. [placidly] I see you recognize the feeling. Yes: a
funeral was always a festivity in black, especially the funeral
of a relative. At all events, family ties are rarely kept up
here. Your father is quite accustomed to this: he will not expect
any devotion from you.

ANA. Wretch: I wore mourning for him all my life.

DON JUAN. Yes: it became you. But a life of mourning is one
thing: an eternity of it quite another. Besides, here you are as
dead as he. Can anything be more ridiculous than one dead person
mourning for another? Do not look shocked, my dear Ana; and do
not be alarmed: there is plenty of humbug in hell (indeed there
is hardly anything else); but the humbug of death and age and
change is dropped because here WE are all dead and all eternal.
You will pick up our ways soon.

ANA. And will all the men call me their dear Ana?

DON JUAN. No. That was a slip of the tongue. I beg your pardon.

ANA. [almost tenderly] Juan: did you really love me when you
behaved so disgracefully to me?

DON JUAN. [impatiently]] Oh, I beg you not to begin talking about
love. Here they talk of nothing else but love--its beauty, its
holiness, its spirituality, its devil knows what!--excuse me; but
it does so bore me. They don't know what they're talking about. I
do. They think they have achieved the perfection of love because
they have no bodies. Sheer imaginative debauchery! Faugh!

ANA. Has even death failed to refine your soul, Juan? Has the
terrible judgment of which my father's statue was the minister
taught you no reverence?

DON JUAN. How is that very flattering statue, by the way? Does it
still come to supper with naughty people and cast them into this
bottomless pit?

ANA. It has been a great expense to me. The boys in the monastery
school would not let it alone: the mischievous ones broke it; and
the studious ones wrote their names on it. Three new noses in two
years, and fingers without end. I had to leave it to its fate at
last; and now I fear it is shockingly mutilated. My poor father!

DON JUAN. Hush! Listen! [Two great chords rolling on syncopated
waves of sound break forth: D minor and its dominant: a round of
dreadful joy to all musicians]. Ha! Mozart's statue music. It is
your father. You had better disappear until I prepare him. [She

>From the void comes a living statue of white marble, designed
to represent a majestic old man. But he waives his majesty with
infinite grace; walks with a feather-like step; and makes every
wrinkle in his war worn visage brim over with holiday joyousness.
To his sculptor he owes a perfectly trained figure, which he
carries erect and trim; and the ends of his moustache curl up,
elastic as watchsprings, giving him an air which, but for its
Spanish dignity, would be called jaunty. He is on the pleasantest
terms with Don Juan. His voice, save for a much more
distinguished intonation, is so like the voice of Roebuck Ramsden
that it calls attention to the fact that they are not unlike one
another in spite of their very different fashion of shaving.

DON JUAN. Ah, here you are, my friend. Why don't you learn to
sing the splendid music Mozart has written for you?

THE STATUE. Unluckily he has written it for a bass voice. Mine is
a counter tenor. Well: have you repented yet?

DON JUAN. I have too much consideration for you to repent, Don
Gonzalo. If I did, you would have no excuse for coming from
Heaven to argue with me.

THE STATUE. True. Remain obdurate, my boy. I wish I had killed
you, as I should have done but for an accident. Then I should
have come here; and you would have had a statue and a reputation
for piety to live up to. Any news?

DON JUAN. Yes: your daughter is dead.

THE STATUE. [puzzled] My daughter? [Recollecting] Oh! the one you
were taken with. Let me see: what was her name?


THE STATUE. To be sure: Ana. A goodlooking girl, if I recollect
aright. Have you warned Whatshisname--her husband?

DON JUAN. My friend Ottavio? No: I have not seen him since Ana

Ana comes indignantly to light.

ANA. What does this mean? Ottavio here and YOUR friend! And you,
father, have forgotten my name. You are indeed turned to stone.

THE STATUE. My dear: I am so much more admired in marble than I
ever was in my own person that I have retained the shape the
sculptor gave me. He was one of the first men of his day: you
must acknowledge that.

ANA. Father! Vanity! personal vanity! from you!

THE STATUE. Ah, you outlived that weakness, my daughter: you must
be nearly 80 by this time. I was cut off (by an accident) in my
64th year, and am considerably your junior in consequence.
Besides, my child, in this place, what our libertine friend here
would call the farce of parental wisdom is dropped. Regard me, I
beg, as a fellow creature, not as a father.

ANA. You speak as this villain speaks.

THE STATUE. Juan is a sound thinker, Ana. A bad fencer, but a
sound thinker.

ANA. [horror creeping upon her] I begin to understand. These are
devils, mocking me. I had better pray.

THE STATUE. [consoling her] No, no, no, my child: do not pray. If
you do, you will throw away the main advantage of this place.
Written over the gate here are the words "Leave every hope
behind, ye who enter." Only think what a relief that is! For what
is hope? A form of moral responsibility. Here there is no hope,
and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by
praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in
short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse
yourself. [Don Juan sighs deeply]. You sigh, friend Juan; but if
you dwelt in heaven, as I do, you would realize your advantages.

DON JUAN. You are in good spirits to-day, Commander. You are
positively brilliant. What is the matter?

THE STATUE. I have come to a momentous decision, my boy. But
first, where is our friend the Devil? I must consult him in the
matter. And Ana would like to make his acquaintance, no doubt.

ANA. You are preparing some torment for me.

DON JUAN. All that is superstition, Ana. Reassure yourself.
Remember: the devil is not so black as he is painted.

THE STATUE. Let us give him a call.

At the wave of the statue's hand the great chords roll out again
but this time Mozart's music gets grotesquely adulterated with
Gounod's. A scarlet halo begins to glow; and into it the Devil
rises, very Mephistophelean, and not at all unlike Mendoza,
though not so interesting. He looks older; is getting prematurely
bald; and, in spite of an effusion of goodnature and friendliness,
is peevish and sensitive when his advances are not reciprocated.
He does not inspire much confidence in his powers of hard work or
endurance, and is, on the whole, a disagreeably self-indulgent
looking person; but he is clever and plausible, though
perceptibly less well bred than the two other men, and enormously
less vital than the woman.

THE DEVIL. [heartily] Have I the pleasure of again receiving a
visit from the illustrious Commander of Calatrava? [Coldly] Don
Juan, your servant. [Politely] And a strange lady? My respects,

ANA. Are you--

THE DEVIL. [bowing] Lucifer, at your service.

ANA. I shall go mad.

THE DEVIL. [gallantly] Ah, Senora, do not be anxious. You come to
us from earth, full of the prejudices and terrors of that
priest-ridden place. You have heard me ill spoken of; and yet,
believe me, I have hosts of friends there.

ANA. Yes: you reign in their hearts.

THE DEVIL. [shaking his head] You flatter me, Senora; but you are
mistaken. It is true that the world cannot get on without me; but
it never gives me credit for that: in its heart it mistrusts and
hates me. Its sympathies are all with misery, with poverty, with
starvation of the body and of the heart. I call on it to
sympathize with joy, with love, with happiness, with beauty.

DON JUAN. [nauseated] Excuse me: I am going. You know I cannot
stand this.

THE DEVIL. [angrily] Yes: I know that you are no friend of mine.

THE STATUE. What harm is he doing you, Juan? It seems to me that
he was talking excellent sense when you interrupted him.

THE DEVIL. [warmly shaking the statue's hand] Thank you, my
friend: thank you. You have always understood me: he has always

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