ON Friday, 29 September 1911, we were in the Hotel Adlon in Berlin. I took the elevator and at the third floor I stepped directly into the arms of a man hurrying to enter it. As soon as I released myself from the clinch, I asked 'Aren't you Gerhart Hauptmann?' He replied with a smile, 'Das ist mein Name.' Then I told him I had the honour of teaching his plays to undergraduates at Yale University, and I should like very much to have ten minutes of conversation at his convenience. He said his wife was in the hospital and he was on his way thither. Naturally I apologized for keeping him even for a moment. He said if I would be in the office of the hotel the next morning at ten o'clock, he would be very glad to talk with me. I was there of course, and he was accompanied by his son, a pretty boy about ten years old, and dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Herr Hauptmann was kind, considerate, charming. He impressed me as an absolutely sincere man, modest, quiet, with strong convictions--later, when I got to know John Galsworthy, the two men seemed to me in their ideas and in their manner very much alike. I asked Mr. Hauptmann, 'Which of your plays do you think is the best?' Without any hesitation he said, 'Und Pippa Tanzt.' This surprised me. He added that he had never enjoyed writing a play so much as he did Fuhrmann Henschel. He said the dramatist must never think of the box-office or of the possible financial success of his work; he must write plays, as he
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography, with Letters. Contributors: William Lyon Phelps - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 529.