Ladies and gentlemen, don’t feel let down:
We know this ending makes some people frown.
We had in mind a sort of golden myth
Then found the finish had been tampered with.
Indeed it is a curious way of coping:
To close the play, leaving the issue open.
Especially since we live by your enjoyment.
Frustrated audiences mean unemployment.
Whatever optimists may have pretended
Our play will fail if you can’t recommend it.
Was it stage fright made us forget the rest?
Such things occur. But what would you suggest?
What is your answer? Nothing’s been arranged.
Should men be better? Should the world be changed?
Or just the gods? Or ought there to be none?
We for our part feel well and truly done.
There’s only one solution that we know:
That you should now consider as you go
What sort of measures you would recommend
To help good people to a happy end.
Ladies and gentlemen, in you we trust:
There must be happy endings, must, must, must!
The epilogue to The Good Person of Szechwan, by Bertolt Brecht. (trans. John Willett)