Geography and Plays, by Gertrude Stein

Accents in Alsace.
A Reasonable Tragedy.

Act I. The Schemils.

Brother brother go away and stay.

Sister mother believe me I say.

They will never get me as I run away.

He runs away and stays away and strange to say he passes the lines and goes all the way and they do not find him but hear that he is there in the foreign legion in distant Algier.

And what happens to the family.

The family manages to get along and then some one of his comrades in writing a letter which is gotten hold of by the Boche find he is a soldier whom they cannot touch, so what do they do they decide to embrew his mother and sister and father too. And how did they escape by paying sombody money.

That is what you did with the Boche. You always paid some money to some one it might be a colonel or it might be a sergeant but anyway you did it and it was neccesary so then what happened.

The Schemmels.

Sing so la douse so la dim.

Un deux trois

Can you tell me wha

Is it indeed.

What you call a Petide.

And then what do I say to thee

Let me kiss thee willingly.

Not a mountain not a goat not a door.

Not a whisper not a curl not a gore

In me meeney miney mo.

You are my love and I tell you so.

In the daylight

And the night

Baby winks and holds me tight.

In the morning and the day and the evening and alway.

I hold my baby as I say.


And what is an accent of my wife.

And accent and the present life.

Oh sweet oh my oh sweet oh my

I love you love you and I try

I try not to be nasty and hasty and good

I am my little baby's daily food.


In the exercise of greatness there is charm.

Believe me I mean to do you harm.

And except you have a stomach to alarm.

I mean to scatter so you are to arm.

Let me go.

And the Alsatians say.

What has another prince a birthday.

Now we come back to the Schemmils.

Schimmel Schimmel Gott in Himmel

Gott in Himmel There comes Shimmel.

Schimmel is an Alsatian name.

Act II.

It is a little thing to expect nobody to sell what you give them.

It is a little thing to be a minister.

It is a little thing to manufacture articles.

All this is modest.

The Brother.

Brother brother here is mother.

We are all very well.


Listen to thee sweet cheerie

Is the pleasure of me.

In the way of being hungry and tired

That is what a depot makes you

A depot is not for trains

Its for us.

What are baby carriages

Household goods

And not the dears.

But dears.

Another Act.

Clouds do not fatten with teaching.

They do not fatten at all.

We wonder if it is influence

By the way I guess.

She said. I like it better than Eggland.

What do you mean.

We never asked how many children over eleven.

You cannot imagine what I think about the country.

Any civilians killed.

Act II.

See the swimmer. He don't swim.

See the swimmer.

My wife is angry when she sees a swimmer.

Opening II.

We like Hirsing.


We like the mayor of Guebwiller.


We like the road between Cernay and the railroad.

We go everywhere by automobile.

Act II.

This is a particular old winter.

Everybody goes back.


I can clean.

I can clean.

I cannot clean without a change in birds.

I am so pleased that they cheat.

Act 54.

In silver stars and red crosses.

In paper money and water.

We know a french wine.

Alsatian wine is dearer.

They are not particularly old.

Old men are old.

There are plenty to hear of Schemmel having appendicitis.

Scene II.

Can you mix with another

Can you be a Christian and a Swiss.

Mr. Zumsteg. Do I hear a saint.

Louisa. They call me Lisela.

Mrs. Zumsteg. Are you going to hear me.

Young Mr. Zumsteg. I was looking at the snow.

All of them. Like flowers. They like flowers.

Scene III.

It is an occasion.

When you see a Hussar.

A Zouave.

A soldier

An antiquary.

Perhaps it is another.

We were surprised with the history of Marguerite's father and step-father and the American Civil War.

Joseph. Three three six, six, fifty, six fifty, fifty, seven.

Reading french.

Reading french.

Reading french singing.

Any one can look at pictures.

They explain pictures.

The little children have old birds.

They wish they were women.

Any one can hate a Prussian.

Alphonse what is your name.

Henri what is your name.

Madeleine what is your name.

Louise what is your name.

Rene what is your name.

Berthe what is your name

Charles what is your name

Marguerite what is your name

Jeanne what is your name.

Act 425.

We see a river and we are glad to say that that is in a way in the way today.

We see all the windows and we see a souvenir and we see the best flower. The flower of the truth.

An Interlude.

Thirty days in April gave a chance to sing at a wedding.

Three days in February gave reality to life.

Fifty days every year do not make substraction.

The Alsations sing anyway.

Forty days in September.

Forty days in September we know what it is to spring.

Act in America.

Alsatians living in America.

February XIV.

On this day the troops who had been at Mulhouse came again.

They came in the spring.

The spring is late in Alsace.

Water was good and hot anyway.

What are you doing.

Making music and burning the surface of marble.

When the surface of marble is burned it is not much discolored.

No but there is a discussion.

And then the Swiss.

What is amiss.

The Swiss are the origin of Mulhouse.

Alsace or Alsatians.

We have been deeply interested in the words of the song.

The Alsatians do not sing as well as their storks.

Their storks are their statuettes.

The rule is that angels and food and eggs are all sold by the dozen.

We were astonished.

And potatoes

Potatoes are eaten dry.

This reminds me of another thing I said. A woman likes to use money.

And if not.

She feels it really is her birthday.

Is it her birthday.

God bless her it is her birthday.

Please carry me to Dannemarie.

And what does Herbstadt say.

The names of cities are the names of all.

And pronouncing villages is more of a test than unbrella.

This was the first thing we heard in Alsatia.

Canary, roses, violets and curtains and bags and churches and rubber tires and an examination.

All the leaves are green and babyish.

How many children make a family.

The Watch on the Rhine.

Sweeter than water or cream or ice. Sweeter than bells of roses. Sweeter than winter or summer or spring. Sweeter than pretty posies. Sweeter than anything is my queen and loving is her nature.

Loving and good and delighted and best is her little King and Sire whose devotion is entire who has but one desire to express the love which is hers to inspire.

In the photograph the Rhine hardly showed

In what way do chimes remind you of singing. In what way do birds sing. In what way are forests black or white.

We saw them blue.

With for get me nots.

In the midst of our happiness we were very pleased.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59