The time and place of action of the playwright are not defined, but by all signs events in all three acts occur in the modern author era.
The house of the minister. Gol, emphasizing his rights as an old friend of the family, urgently demands from his master’s host Irene to urgently talk with her husband about his appointment to the post of prefect. Gol has been with his party for ten years, was with him in those difficult times, when for adherence to the ideas he proclaimed it was possible to pay with his life. But the minister has been in power for six months, and the supporters who provided him with the victory did not get anything from this. The moment is quite sharp, the struggle is going on in the parliament, serious competition has developed between the American Southeast
The conversation is curtailed because of the appearance of a longtime friend of the householder of Firmian. He is clearly
Having met her husband, Irene tries to put in a word for Gol, but Karl is adamant: what his wife asks for is impossible, for friendship can not be paid with money.
The secretary reports that the visitor waits in the waiting room of the minister. Mex, a man from the closest associates of Andri, immediately goes to the point: using his influence, he will help ensure the necessary result of voting at the evening session of the parliament. In Andri Mex, disappointed, this young man lacks the proper scope, far he will not go. The Mexican is fully assured and does not intend to ask much: the title of an adviser in exchange for his assistance would quite suit. An outraged minister drives a visitor out of the office,
There is another visitor, Schwender passionately, but rather inconsistently praises the activities of the minister, declaring himself a long-time and faithful adherent, and then in disguised form offers services for the physical elimination of the leader of the opposition. The Minister expelled this visitor with indignation. A good man is adherent, he did not miss a single speech, but absolutely did not take anything from his speeches. For how many years he says: not violence and hatred, but love and justice should be among people. What’s so surprising, ironically, Fermian, Schwender, seems to really carry on the preaching of Charles, and he is ready to serve him as a secret assassin because, as he just explained, the American once deceived him, and since then he considers them all outright scoundrels. According to the minister, there is no such good person, which would not do bad, there is no one that can not be corrected. Here, for example, Gol is young, ambitious, he is attracted by wealth and honors. It’s too easy for Goly to get everything in life, but you need to go through need and grief in order to understand yourself.
At a meeting with his party companions, the minister discusses tactics of behavior at parliamentary hearings. He expresses confidence that although the mood in certain press organs and in some circles of the population is not entirely favorable, they will still be able to turn in their own way thanks to the majority in the parliament. Kaun demands to use power and arrest Andrie: how many dirty machinations the opposition creates, but the minister does not agree: no leader is guaranteed against abuse of his name. The opposition was lucky to find a capable, energetic leader, whom, unfortunately, they missed making their supporter. And one can not force convictions by force, people can not be coerced without convincing them. According to Lutz, the reforms cause serious damage to some personal interests. He calls on the minister to act more slowly, more cautiously, more moderately. ” We are not here to please the people, “retorts the minister. “We must educate him.” Gol proposes to distribute all the seats in the administration among his people, then the whole army of agitators will be at the disposal of the party. This is not the case when you risk everything and you do not get anything in return. Grown by unworthy speeches, the minister chases Gol. they are more disappointed with him, they were inspired earlier, they had firm principles, and now they find envy, hatred, greed, they can not think solely of their own profit, it will ruin everything. Members of the faction disagree, Firmin fears, that Karl spoiled the matter with his sharpness. then at the disposal of the party there will be a whole army of agitators. This is not the case when you risk everything and get nothing in return. Outraged by unworthy speeches, the minister chases Gol. Companions more and more disappoint him. Before, they were inspired, they had firm principles, and now they discover envy, hatred, greed. You can not think solely of your own profit – it will ruin everything. Members of the faction disagree, Firmian fears that Karl spoiled the matter with his sharpness. then at the disposal of the party there will be a whole army of agitators. This is not the case when you risk everything and get nothing in return. Outraged by unworthy speeches, the minister chases Gol. Companions more and more disappoint him. Before, they were inspired, they had firm principles, and now they discover envy, hatred, greed. You can not think solely of your own profit – it will ruin everything. Members of the faction disagree, Firmian fears that Karl spoiled the matter with his sharpness.
There is a meeting of the parliament. The question is not in the National Bank or in the American company, as they try to inspire, counting on cheap patriotism, Andri says. It is about the benefit of the country. The minister was more suited to become a poet who would tirelessly encourage, excite and warn the public conscience. As a fiery apostle of humane ideas, he did much for the good of the motherland, more than one generation enthusiastically listened to his seductive speeches. But the country is in crisis, there are signs of a terrible collapse, and it will crush this extravagant policy of great experiments, for the implementation of which there are not enough forces. The minister is an honest but incapable person, surrounded by bad advisers and intriguers. The speech of the head of the opposition causes a stormy reaction from the audience. During the break, Gol proposes compromising materials to Andri’s political rival, but he angrily rejects his proposal. Then Gol enters into negotiations with the director of the American company. Irene, who is in the courtroom, can not withstand the increasing tension, she faints, and she is taken home.
After the break, the minister makes a reply. To some extent, he manages to break the mood of the hall. He explains the reasons that prompted the government to commission the construction of the channel to the National Bank. And in vain, a young colleague regarded their attempts to raise the country as an inept and doomed to the failure of the activities of the obsolete generation. The main thing is truth and justice; These ideas, of course, are old, like humanity, but they are constantly updated with humanity.
It is proposed to carry out a roll-call vote on the issue of the channel, but Gol is asking. He comes out with an unmasking statement, accusing the minister of treason and betrayal of the country’s interests. The National Bank bribed it and paid it in full. As evidence, Gol presents the wife’s wife’s receipt of a loan. A huge scandal erupts. The minister is shocked and confused.
And again the house of the minister. Karl appears in shabby clothes, torn clothes. He struggled to escape from the furious crowd. He can not come to himself, he had nothing but an honest name, and now he was branded a thief and a deceiver. From the street a whistle, laughter, insulting cries come out, stones are flying in the windows. Karl is surprised at the arrival of Firmian: after all, it seems that all turned away from him. He calls on the friend not to attach importance to shouting to us and to the comedians. There is no slander that can not be denied, but for this you need to be in shape. Karl can not understand: how could a wife do this? By ignorance, says Firmian, she certainly did not know how the matter could turn out. This is the fault of Carl, who could not explain Irene, that in her situation one should be especially cautious.
There is a painful explanation with his wife. Irene did not know that the money from the bank, over time, she was going to return them. She did not want to burden the financial problems of her husband, who devoted so much time and energy to his work. Carl realizes that he is guilty: he did not notice what was going on next door, in the family, he could not become an advisor, an assistant to his wife.
Appears excited Andry. How awful is the spectacle of the crowd, these faces, distorted by malice, cunning and hatred, reveling in shame and intoxicated by meanness. It’s embarrassing and painful that these people praised him as a hero. How could you be so deceived, it seemed to him that he was guided by honest intentions, and in fact it was revenge for the fact that his political opponent is higher, stronger, more significant than all of them. Andri intends to leave a political career, go to the provinces, try to live with dignity and decent. Karl is shocked by the recognition of the young man. He sees in him a kindred spirit, experiencing also impotence, disappointment. It seems that they both realized the truth, clothed it in pathetic words – freedom, justice… But the crowd does not understand them. Well, they will live together quietly among people, gradually winning their souls and hearts, work for the common good. Maybe it’s even better that it all happened.