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Lords and lovers : and other dramas / by Olive Tilford Dargan. Dargan, Olive Tilford, 1869-1968. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-208-30909571 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Lords and lovers : and other dramas / by Olive Tilford Dargan. Dargan, Olive Tilford, 1869-1968. C. Scribner's Sons, New York : 1906. 315 p. ; 22 cm. Coleman Lords and lovers -- The shepherd -- The siege. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04598.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-208. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. LORDS AND LOVERS AND OTHER DRAMAS This page in the original text is blank. LORDS AND AND OTHER DRAMAS BY OLIVE TILFORD DARGAN NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1906 LOVERS C'ayriglt, 1906, by Charles Scribner's Sons All rights reserved Published, October, 1906 The Trot Press, Newo York CONTENTS LORDS AND LOVERS: PART I 1 PART II 71 THE SHEPHERD 135 THE SIEGE 207 This page in the original text is blank. LORDS AND LOVERS PART I CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY HENRY m, King of England EARL OF ALBEMARLE EARL OF PEMBROKE RICHFORD, son to Pembroke, afterwards Earl ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY BISHOP OF WINCHESTER CARDINAL GUAILO HUBERT DE BURGH, afterwards Earl of Kent SIR ROLAND DE BORN STEPHEN GODFREY, a soldier GREGORY, a captain BALDUR, GODRIC. soldiers ORSON, a servant GERSA, an officer under De Burgh FRIAR SEBASTIAN LORD GOLY LORD DE VERE MARGARET, a Scottish princes ELEANOR, Countess of Albemare, wife of Albemarle GLAIA, ward of De Burgh ELDRA, servant to Glaia Lords and ladies of the court, bishops, barons, priests, citizens, soldier., c. TImE: 13th Century SCENE: England ACT I SCENE 1. Room in the earl of Pembroke's castle. Pem- broke in bed. Rich/ord and Albemarle attending. Pem. The king has come Alb. He waits upon your grace As a good servant; with demeanor speaks True sorrow you are brought so low. Pem. [Stoutly] Ha! Low Alb. Sir, but in body. Pembroke's mounting mind Can never be struck down. Pem. He's sad, you say Alb. In tears, your grace. He weeps more like a son Than sovereign. Pem. A son! Where is the son Would weep for Pembroke Rich. Here, my dearest father! Here are the tears would water thy affliction Till it be washed from thy endangered body. Here is the heart would give its younger blood To make thine leap with health. Without you, sir, I am no more than is the gaudy bloom Of some stout tree the axe has brought to ground. 0, wilt forgive the many pains I've cost thee Pem. First touch my hand and swear by highest God That you will serve the king. Rich. 0, slight condition! I take this noble hand that ne'er was raised 3 LORDS AND LOVERS 'Gainst country, throne or God, and by that God, I vow to serve the king. Pem. For the last time I'll trust and pardon you. If you make black Your soul with violation of this oath, I, safe beyond the stars, shall know it not, Nor die again to think on 't. Men, weep not That ye lack sons, hut weep when your wives bear them! Alb. I'll vouch for him, your grace. Pem. Thanks, Albemarle. Rich. Will you, my kindest father, say a word To bring me to the graces of the king Pem. Ay, son. Rich. Now, sir Pem. Nay, I'm not dying yet, And wish to keep my last words for his ears. There's holy magic in the passing tongue That stamps its truth unrasurable. So Would I grave Henry's heart. Rich. But, sir- Pem. I'll wait My hour. Who comes with him Alb. The legate, Gualo, To-day arrived from Rome. Pem. And I not told Already I am dead. These ears, that kings Engaged, are now contracted to the worm Permits no forfeiture. Well, well, his message Alb. The cardinal assures us that the pope Will cast his power with Henry. Though he loves This praying Louis, well he knows our right. Pem. The pope our friend I thank thee, Heaven! England, take up thy heart! Thou yet mayst hope! [Enter bishop of Winchester] Win. God save great Pembroke! 4 LORDS AND LOVERS Pem. He alone can do it. Lord Albemarle, and my new-graced son, Will 't please you walk within Alb. We are your servants. [Exeunt Richford and Albemarle, left] Pem. Now, Winchester Win. You sent for me, your grac I have made haste. Pem. Ay, you'd trot fast enough To see me die. Win. Nay, sir, I hope you've called Me to your service. Pem. So I have, my lord. A task unfinished I must leave to you. Here is the key to yonder cabinet. Pray you unlock it . . . and take out the packet Your eye's now on. Win. This, sir Pem. Ay, that is it. 'Twas Henry Second, grandsire of this Henry, Gave me that packet. Sir, you know the tale Of princess Adelais who journeyed here As the betrothed of Richard, Henry's son. Alack, she never was his bride. Some say That Henry loved her . . . I know not . . . but she Returned to France, her reason wandering. "If she recover," said the king to me, " Give her this packet; should she die, break seal And learn what you shall do." She did not die, Nor can I say she lives, so sad her state. Her age was bare fifteen when she left England, Her face a lily and her eyes a flood; She now must be midway her fifth decade, A time, I've heard, when subtle changes work Within the mind. A beauteous soul! 0 God, ce. 5 LORDS AND LOVERS Restore her now, or lift her e'en to thee! . . . Take you the packet, and the king's command. But first your oath. Deceit has sapped my faith So oft I could believe the devil himself Wears gown and mitre. Peter des Roches, will you Be true Win. I swear by Heaven. Pem. That is done, As well as 't can be done. Call in my son And Albemarle. Win. My lords! [Re-enter Richford and Albemarle] Pem. Now let us talk Of England. 0, this fleet, this fleet, rigged out By warlike Constance in monk Louis' name! I see it nearing now, leaping the waves, On, on, and none to meet it! Cowards all. What do ye here, ye three, loitering about A sick man's bed A man almost a corpse. I would not have a servant waste himself To give me drink while England needs his sword. Rich. My father lord, we have our men abroad Rousing the country for a stout defence. To meet the French with our poor ships were madness; But let them land we'll give them such a rap- Pem. What Land your enemy 0, fools and cowards! . . I've given my life for England. Now you'll cast My heart-dear bargain into Louis' hand As 'twere a snood slipped from an easy maid. Fool man! to puff his days out jousting Fate, Who waits but his bare death to start her mock Of horrid pleasantries. Then does she make Dice of the miser's bones, carousal cups Of the ascetic's skull, a hangman's scoff Of clerics' prayer-fed sons; and proudest sires, 6 LORDS AND LOVERS Who sentried their blue blood, peer back through dust To see all Babylon pour to their line. And now she'll bid my war-ghost eyes behold The land held with my life become a field For foes at holiday! Win. Compose yourself, your grace. Pem. Gualo has come, but where is he will set This power its task, and play it for this isle I can not say that wisdom dies with me, But I could wish more proof of sager mind Than e'er I've had from this small audience. Lord Bishop, you are left custodian Of Henry's ripening youth. Win. Nor shall I fail To be your worthy heir in this high duty, For still I shall consult with your great spirit, Praying your ghost be mover of my deeds. Pem. I've spoken to the king. He'll give you love For love. But who shall be lord chancellor There's little choice. And yet there's one, De Burgh, If camp and field could spare him- Alb. Sir, a man No older than our sons Pem. By your good leave, Age is no patent to respect and place If virtue go not with it. Whitened hairs Make honor radiant, but vice thereby Is viler still. Ay, there are some Rich. Peace, father, And save thy strength for us. Pem. Ah, son, I've been A careless holder all my life, and still With my last hour play spendthrift. Well, here be Three friends of England-Gualo makes a fourth- And trusting you I ease my bones to death. [Enter attendant with a letter, which he gives to Pembroke] LORDS AND LOVERS Pem. [After reading] De Burgh! 0 gallant soul! Now am I young! With forty ships he'll meet the fleet of France! I live again, for courage is not dead! Sinking] Nay-help-ah, I am gone. I'll hasten on And plead in Heaven for his victory. [Seems to die] Alb. Ah. . . dead Rich. In truth. Win. I'll go and tell the king. [Aside, going] My joyful tears he will translate to grief, And think I weep a friend's death, not a foe's Whose only act of friendship was to die. [Exit] Alb. How now, my lord Does your good purpose hold Rich. It has the falling sickness, Albemarle, And now lies low as earth. Alb. Then set thy foot Upon it that it rise no more. Rich. 'Tis done. Alb. What fools are they who think that dying men Speak oracles to pivot action on, When death's decay so blurs each fading sense They know but darkly of the world about, And of realities all plain to us Build visions substanceless to gull our faith. Grant that they do take note of things unseen, 'Tis with their faces to another world, And what they speak is strange and ill advice To us whose work is still 'mong men of earth. Rich. You need not clear your way to me. I've not A scruple in my soul would trip a gnat. Speak out your heart. Alb. You are great Pembroke now. But Richford took an oath to serve the king. Rich. And he is Louis. 8 LORDS AND LOVERS Alb. Till we find hour fit To cast his yoke and take a sovereign Of our election. Rich. Royal Albemarle! Alb. Here stand we then. De Burgh we count as dead. Le Moine has orders to strike off his head Soon as he's taken. Now we get the king To Dover fort, on pretence to defend it. There the besieging French will take him prisoner, And ship him straight to Calais-or to Heaven. Pem. [Half rising] Devils! dogs! beasts! Now these devoted bones Will never lie at peace in English earth. My country! Must the foreign foot be set Once more upon thy neck, and thine own sons Pour sulphur to thy wounds The king! the king! What, vipers, do you hear Call in the king! Alb. We must not, sir. Pem. Ho, here! The king! [Rises from bed, starts forward and falls back speechless. Enter Henry, Gualo, Winchester, and attendants. Albemarle and Richford stand together. Pembroke dies pointing to them and gazing at the king] Hen. My lords, what does this mean Alb. This noble man Wished much to say a word of grace for me And his forgiven son. Alas, black death Has stolen the balm that might have eased our way Into your heart. Hen. Fear not, my lords. I'll trust you, Even as he wished. [Kneels by bed] 0, Pembroke, couldst thou leave me [Curtain] 9 LORDS AND LOVERS SCENE 2. Before Dover castle. Night. Hubert de Burgh walking and listening. Hub. But forty ships! But forty slit-sailed drabs Of storm and watery danger to meet all France Fresh-winged upon the sea! And yet no word Nor stir of help. Methinks were I the king, Or Pembroke with his power in my mouth, Each English road should be ablaze to-night With swift flint-striking hoofs. Now to our shore Puffs up the wave may prove oblivion's maw, And drink these Dover cliffs as they were sands, Yet England sleeps, with one lone heart at watch. [Sound of horse approaching] Nay, two, for Roland comes. [Enter Roland de Born, dismounted] Rol. You, Hubert Hub. Ay. You bring no aid Rol. The king is powerless. Pembroke is dead. The barons to covert slink, Saying their loyalty binds them to fight No farther than the shore. The bishops smirk Beneath their mitres, roll their eyes and cry " God and great Rome, deliver us! " which means Deliver us to Louis, king of monks And darling of the pope. Hub. And Albemarle Rol. Stands by the king, and ready with his men To meet the foe on land, but not a soul Will send to sea. Hub. Dissembler! Well he knows A victory on the sea means England lost, So many traitor hearts will league with France And sell their country for one castle more. 10 LORDS AND LOVERS Rol. What now We've little time. 'Tis almost day. The moon is down, and the raw, rising air Sucks in approaching light. What must be done Hub. The Cinque Ports yield me forty ships. With these I'll meet Le Moine. Rol. 0, Hubert, Hubert! Hub. Ay, My men are all aboard and waiting me. The garrison I leave to you. Hold it For honor and the king, nor yield to save So poor a thing as my unlucky head Should I go foul at sea. You'll be the first The victors will besiege. Rol. My friend! Hub. Tut, man, The sea's a good safe bed. Come in. Some wine Will take the night-chill from your blood. In, in! [Exeunt. Curtain] SCENE 3. Within the castle. Stephen, Baldur, Godric, and other soldiers talking and drinking. Ste. [Draining his glass] As good liquor as ever wet an oath since Noah was a vintner. Bal. Vintner An you put him in the trade the bishop will have you up for it. Ste. A groat for your bishop, and that off your grandam's eyes! I'm no little king Henry pulled to mincemeat by his bishops and barons. "I'll take off your mitre," roars he to his bishop. " An you take off my mitre, I'll clap on a helmet, by the lord," says my bishop. "I'll have your castle! " shouts he to his baron. " An you take my castle, I'll give you London tower," says master baron. Ay, and he would, with the keeper thrown in. 11 LORDS AND LOVERS Bal. And you too, if you bite not a bit from your tongue. Ste. By the mass, I'll drink the king's ale, and I'll take the king's money, but I'll fight for none but Hubert de Burgh! God. And he for the king-so you. Ste. I care not how you make it. De Burgh is my master. I'll fight for him and with him and after him, but I'll wear a red sword for no bishop or baron or little king Harry in Christendom! Bat. That may be so with more of us than you, but stop your mouth with good ale and let words alone. Ste. And I'll go with him to the French court and pull Louis off the king's stool! [Sings] Hear, boys, hear! 0, hear our captain call! We'll away, boys, away! For the love o' the sword and the love o' the money, We'll on to the wars, my brave fellows all, An they take our Jack they will leave our Johnny. Away, boys, away! [Enter Hubert and Roland] Hub. What cheer, my men A fair morning for brave hearts. Can you keep this castle for me till I've had a bout at sea A soldier. That we can, sir! Ste. I'll go with you, sir, by your leave. The castle will wait for us, I give you my word, sir. Hub. You have seen the bottom of your glass too often to-night, Stephen. Ste. God bless you, sir, there's where a soldier keeps his oath to serve God and his country, and he can't look it over too often. Take me wi' you, sir, and I'll prove you who lifts his glass the highest will wave his sword the longest. [Kneels] I was your father's soldier, sir, and hope to die yours. 12 LORDS AND LOVERS Hub. Nay, I must leave trusty souls behind me. Let those who love me least fight under my eye, but I'll trust my good Stephen around the world. Ste. [Rising] Ay, sir! Rain arrows, hail bullets, we'll keep the castle against all weather! Hub. [Presenting Roland] Then here's your brave cap- tain. Follow him now, and farewell, good fellows-fare- well, all! [Soldiers start out slauly, following Roland] An old soldier. [Turning] But you'll come again, sir Another. Ay, we'll see you back Another. An you come or come not, I kiss my sword to you, Hubert de Burgh, the bravest knight in all England! Hub. Why, my hearts, would you start the liquor in my eyes I go where there's brine enough. Twelve hours' sail with fortune will bring me back-but if I come not, remember your king! [Exeunt soldiers] They know 'tis death-they know 'tis death. And what Is that We are all guests in God's great house, The Universe, and Death is but his page To show us to the chamber where we sleep. What though the bed be dust, to wake is sure; Not birds but angels flutter at the eaves And call us, singing. [Enter Gersa] Gersa, what success Ger. The bags are all aboard, sir. Hub. And portioned to every vessel Ger. Ay, sir. Hub. Well despatched Ger. The men heaved as though the sacks held all the pope's treasury and they were to take their pay out of it. Hub. Yet they found the contents not so heavy as gold, I hope. 13 LORDS AND LOVERS Ger. Nor so light as feathers, sir. Hub. But I pray they'll fly as well, and more to the purpose. Aboard with you now. I'll not be long behind you. [Exit Gersa] If this, my careful stratagem, should fail, God help the friendless boy on England's throne! Now Pembroke's noble strength must e'en to coffin; And Isabel across the sea cares not, But happier in a gentler husband's love Takes little thought of John of England's heir, Who has his father's beauty, not his heart,- Just so much of that proud and guilty blood As makes him kingly nor corrupts his own. . . .But, come, my soul! Prepare thee for a world Of rarer breath, lest thou too rudely go To th' high conclave of spirits. Father [Enter friar Sebastian] Fr. Seb. Son, Art ready for the sacrament Hub. I lack A prayer of thine to make me so. Give me Such blessing as you'd lay upon me were Death couchant for my heart, and on my brow Drop thou the holy unguent that doth fit The body for the last touch of the soul. Fr. Seb. My love is to thy mortal frailty bound, And first I'll bless thee as an earthly father, Praying that thou mayst smite thine enemies. [Re-enter Roland] Rol Your pardon, Hubert. Lady Albemarle Is here, and begs for instant sight of you. Hub. My sister I will see her. [Exit Roland] Wait you, father. The world must still intrude on Heaven's affairs. 14 LORDS AND LOVERS [Exit friar through large folding doors rear as lady Albe- marle enters left] La. Alb. Brother! Is Glaia here Hub. She is. But why This eagerness La. Alb. My lord says that you go To meet the French. Is 't true Hub. In one hour's time I count myself at sea. La. Alb. Then what-O, where Shall I hide Glaia Hub. Hide Is 't evermore hide That spotless maid, born but to be a star To human eyes La. Alb. Nay, born to be my shame, And constant, killing fear! Hub. She will be safe. Roland de Born, who now will guard this castle, Holds Glaia as the heart in his own body. Ay, she is safe,-but if the danger nears, She'll be conducted back to Greenot woods- La. Alb. Roland de Born What knows he Hub. Only this, That Glaia, weary of skies, rests foot on earth. La. Alb. He does not love her, Hubert Say not that! Hub. Thy daughter is so honored. La. Alb. No! Hub. She has His noble love, and he my happy wish That he may make her wife. La. Alb. Then thou art false, And I look on my grave. Hub. What, Eleanor La. Alb. You know my place, and how I queen the court, 15 LORDS AND LOVERS A virtuous mark that lords point out to wives, Bidding them walk as Albemarle's good dame. Now let me take my seat on the lowest step, And none too humble to mock me going up. Hub. What 's this to do with Roland's love for Glaia La. Alb. 0, let them scorn! 'Tis nothing! But my husband- Brother, I never dreamed thy cruelty Would give me to his vengeance. Hub. Cruelty La. Alb. 0, see me at his feet-bleeding and broken Hub. Not while I wear a sword! But how have I Disturbed thee What have said I've threshed my words, But find no devil in them. La. Alb. 0, this Roland, If he wive Glaia must ferret out my shame Pry her life ope who is she-whence she came- Till all my secret blushes 'fore his eye. Hub. Though he learn all, thy honor in his breast Is safe as gem that at earth's centre burns. La. Alb. Nav, I'll not live! You know not Albemarle! He'll scourge me through the court in rags to match My tattered virtue,-then the rack-fire-screws- The Scotch boot-0, the world's not dear enough To purchase so. I will not live! Hub. I swear That Roland cares so much for Glaia's birth As to be glad she's born. And at my word He will receive her questionless and dumb, Nor ever doubt, or weigh his promised faith. La. Alb. Why, is there such a man in all the world Hub. He sees her as one looks upon a rose, And thinks not of the mould that bore it, or what The tale that dews and winds could tell. La. Alb. 'Tis strange. 16 LORDS AND LOVERS Hub. As strange as truth. La. Alb. I must-I do believe you Hub. And bless his suit La. Alb. Ay, let him wed her strait What waits he for Let her be lost in him, This rare, this unmatched wonder of a man, And I will cast this shadow from my life, Heave off the weight that seventeen years I 've borne, And walk the lighter, for I've known what 'tis To step high 'neath a load. 0, let them wed As soon as may be, Hubert. Why not now Hub. He waits to win her heart. La. Alb. Cares he for thati You can command her, Hubert. ght. Hub. But will not. She is a plant of Nature's tenderest love, And must be won to bloom by softest airs, Else shall we risk the gentle life and see No buds unfold. La. Alb. I understand her not, Nor try. She is a part of strangest days, That like to burning dreams bewilder as They scar the recollection. She's more kin To those strange creatures of the wood that peeped About my shelter when she lay a babe Than to my blood. Yet she is mine-my daughter. Hub. Will you not see her La. Alb. No. Hub. You will find her up. La. Alb. Why should I see her Give a stranger's kiss, And hear her stiffly say "Your ladyship" If she would love me! Hub. Do not weep. La. Alb. You think I do not suffer. 17 1. LORDS AND LOVERS Hub. I've no wish to think so. La. Alb. I'm nearly mad at times! But I must go. Hub. [Hesitating] How is-the princess La. Alb. Margaret 0, well, But every day more full of starts and whims. Last night the king was with us Hub. Ah, the king La. Alb. She gave him stinted welcome. Then my lord Came in with news of the advancing fleet, And danger to the throne, concluding with Your aim to put to sea, and at that point She swooned quite prettily and pleased the king. Hub. She swooned La. Alb. Most properly, the king being by To know it was for him. Hub. 0-ay, for him! La. Alb. Who else I hope they'll soon be wed. Hub. Be wed Henry is young. La. Alb. But old enough being king. And Albemarle is pressing for the marriage. 'Tis now ten years since Margaret came from Scotland To be his charge. A pretty child-do you Remember But now grown from beauty, pale And fanciful. You've seen the change Hub. To me She never changes but to show herself More beautiful. La. Alb. You have not seen it Pah! Now I must go. Good brother, fare you well. You've given me comfort. [Kisses him] Hub. Farewell, Eleanor. [Exit lady Albemarle] Art gone, my sister, and no word of love 18 LORDS AND LOVERS For one who looks on death It is the fear That keeps so constant with her makes her hard And unlike woman-unlike Margaret. . . . Last night the king was with her-and she swooned. But not for him. By Heaven, 'twas not for him! [Sits by table, boiang his head upon it] O Margaret! Not one dear word Not one [Enter Margaret, veiled] Mar. Ah! [Steps toward him, throwing off her veil] Hubert Hub. [Starting up] Princess! Here You here Mar. Couldst think I'd let thee go till I had said "God save thee " to thy face Hub. You risk too much! Mar. Risk, Hubert Hub. 0, what have you done Mar. What done Hub. The king will think Mar. The king will think as I do, That 'tis most natural to pay adieu To friends. Hub. But Albemarle Mar. Approves our friendship. I do not understand. Hub. Yet you came veiled. Mar. 'Twas early-and the air was pricking chill. I-thought-do you go soon Hub. That you should come! Mar. Soon, Hubert Hub. Ay, at once. Mar. At once. Why then, Farewell. Hub. Stay! Ah-I mean-why did you come Mar. My soul! I think I came that you might wish Me back again. Was it so wrong of me 19 LORDS AND LOVERS Are we not friends And if I came in hope To ease adieu with unction of a tear I know none else would shed- Hub. 0, Margaret! Pray God that I deserve this! Now I go So light I'll hardly need my ship's good wings To bear me. Mar. The earl doubts not your victory. How many ships go with you Hub. All we have. The ports hold not a single vessel from me. Mar. And the enemy's I hope they are enough To make your victory noble. Hub. I've no doubt They count up bravely. Mar. Not too many, sir! Hub. The battle will not shame me. Mar. But how many Hub. As yet we have no word but rumor's. Mar. Ahl! Tell me you'll win. Hub. Then help me by not doubting. Mar. I must not doubt-for if-I did- Hub. What then Mar. Nay, I'll not stay to tell you. I must go. I keep you from the battle and your fame. You have forgiven me my morning ride Faith, but you frowned! Hub. I thought how many eyes Were on the king's betrothed. Mar. Choose better words, My friend. I am not yet the king's betrothed, And I-had you the time- Hub. Nay, all my life Is yours. LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. Hear then. 1 will not weed the king. Hub. A princess can not choose. Mar. Then I'll not be A princess! Hub. Margaret! Mar. A princess Nay, I'll be no more a woman, if that means To cage my soul in circle of a court And fawn on turn-key humor for my life! Scotland is lost to me. I'll not go there -To meet my dangerous brother's wrath. No, no! But there are forests-I can fly to them, And dig my food from Nature's generous earth, Thrive on her berries, drink from her clear streams, Sleep 'neath the royal coverlet of her leaves, And make some honest friends 'mong her kind creatures That we call dumb because, forsooth, they speak By eye and touch and gibber not as we! . . .So silent, sir Come, will you not advise me . . . There was a day before the day of kings When maidens looked where'er their hearts had sped And found them mates who had no need of crowns To make them royal, and such a day the world May see again, but I, alack, must breathe The present time, and crave the help of state And craft and gold to get me married! 0, The judgment angel -gathering up our clay Will know this period by its broken hearts! . . .Hast not a word Now should I wed the king Hub. He is a gentle youth, and in your care Would blossom brave in virtues. Afar. Nay- Hub. All hope For this poor land lies in your grace. Mar. Ah, Hubert, 21 LORDS AND LOVERS Where is there woman strong enough to save Fair Henry from his flatterers Not here. Wouldst cast me to the pool where he must drown Hub. Where canst thou hide thy beauty, Margaret This is wild talk of forests. Where couldst flee What land would shelter thee from England's love And Scotland's rage My own-my Margaret- Where could we go Mar. 0, Hubert, we Hub. I'm mad. Peace to thee, maiden. I go to my ships. Mar. Forgive me! I'll be gone. [Re-enter Gersa] Hub. What! Not aboard Ger. Your pardon, sir. We have confirmed reports The French outnumber us by triple count. Eighty large ships, the double of our own, Besides two score of galleons and small vessels That in themselves would match us. And 'tis sure Le Moine, the pirate, leads the fleet. Hub. Are all Now ready Ger. Ay, we wait for you. Hub. Grant me A bare half hour-no-not so much. I shall O'ertake you ere you reach your ship. [Exit Gersa. Hubert turns to Margaret and finds that she has fainted] My lady! Is this, too, for the king Mar. [Reviving] You shall not go! Hub. I must-and now. Let me but press your hand- Mar. No, no, my lips! Hubert, let us be true. Death watches now and will report all lies LORDS AND LOVERS To Heaven. Now I must see you go from me, Out of my eyes as stars go from the sky, And never, never see you come again, Let me once hear you say you love me, Hubert, And all the years that I must weep for thee I'll keep the words as a sweet golden bell To sound whene'er my ears want music. Hub. Thou art the king's. Mar. Nay, I will lay my head Upon the block, ere pillow it by his. Hub. Then we'll be mad together, Margaret. To go one step in this is to go farthest. Ah, yesterday I saw a knight I loved Sink in his blood; but when he called the name Of his dear bride, and died as it made sweet His lips, I thought of you and envied him. And now, so soon, his fortune is my own. [Calls] Come, father! [To Margaret] Art afraid Mar. Ah, yes, afraid That I may lose thee! Hub. Is it hell, or Heaven [Re-enter friar Sebastian] Good father, when two souls have kissed so close They in each other lose the form of self, And neither body knows its own again, Wouldst join them mortally, that being one They can not go amiss Fr. Seb. If they be free, My son, to take the vows. Hub. Thou knowest us. Fr. Seb. I've blessed ye both as children. Mar. I am free By my soul's right, and though a princess born, Here choose my lord. Fr. Seb. My daughter, thou art noble, 24 LORDS AND LOVERS And must be written fair though envy keep The beadroll of thy faults, but 'tis poor rank Not thee stoops to this choice. Mar. I know it, father. Though it should cost my fortune, name and place, I'd give them all to be his wife one hour. Fr. Seb. Then, by my sacred vows, as I believe Love is from Heaven, and 'tis God himself Who fosters its sweet growth through all the blood Till action, thought, yea, life, do hang upon it, I'll bind ye in the dear eternal bonds, And bless your union with the holy feast. Come in with me. [Exit, rear] Hub. [Embracing her] 'Tis Heaven, Margaret! [Curtain] ACT II SCENE 1. Within Dover castle. Same room as in act first. Enter Glaia followed by Eldra. Eld. 0, my lady, up all night, and now 'tis barely day you must be going! Gla. My good Eldra, you would teach my shadow con- stancy, for you follow me without let or leave from the sun. Eld. I follow not you but my orders, mistress. Sir Roland says that I must not leave you. Gla. The gates are all locked. Does he think me a bird to fly over the walls Eld. That he does! The bonniest bird that ever sang in Greenot woods. Isn't Sir Roland a man, my lady Gla. By his cap and feather, I should not doubt it. Eld. But a man you may look at, my lady! Gla. Pray God I may, madam, for 'tis sad to be young and blind. Eld. Ay, but when I look at Sir Roland I could sing again the song that got me a husband. Gla. What song I think you got him with your fair face and honest mind, and he took the song by way of grace with meat. Eld. True, mistress, I was a fair, canny lass over the border. Gla. And a fair, canny dame you are now, Eldra. But what was the song 25 LORDS AND LOVERS Eld. It was back summat ten jaunts o' the sun from Lammas to Lammas. I was standing on the rock hills over Logan frith wi' the green woods behind me an' lookin' out to sea. The waves were runnin' high, and the brine in my face gave me such a spirit that in a minute my bonnet was off and I was singing at the top of my voice- 0 braw, braw knight, come down the glen And awa' to kirk wi' me! And Heaven send us seven stout sons To fight for our king on the sea! It's a long ballad, but it's out o' my mind now, and who should come up behind me but my man that was to be, and 'twas set then and there we must go to the kirk come Sunday. Ay, it got me a husband, but never a son, for only six months away he was drowned at sea-the very sea that I'd sung so brave t-to Gla. Don't cry. He will come sailing back some day with a fortune in his pocket. I don't believe he was drowned. Eld. I care not what's in his pocket, ma'am, if he bring me love in his heart. Gla. That he will, I am sure. Where is Orson Eld. Bathing his knees in gooseoil, my lady. You kept him at prayers all night for Sir Hubert. Gla. Why, did we not share his watch Eld. Yes, mistress, but when you fell asleep we had not the heart to wake you. Gla. 0, ho! I fell asleep, did I Eld. I should hope you did, my lady. For my part I winked but once, and when I woke up you were- Gla. Asleep Eld. No, but you were praying so chipper that I knew you were just at it. 26 LORDS AND LOVERS Gla. 0, false woman! Do you think I could sleep when Hubert is on the sea Call Orson to me. Eld. Orson! Orson! [Enter Orson, walking stiffly] Gla. Why, Orson, you carry as much dignity as a watch- man that has just let in a duke. Ors. Mock not affliction got in your service, my lady. Gla. My service When did I tell you to sleep all night on your knees Ors. Sleep Sleep, lady Gla. Ay, sleep. You are a knave. Bring me my lute. Ors. [Muttering] Sleep! There's thanks for you! [Exit] Eld. Mistress, you must not play your lute here. The king's men are not like Sir Hubert's, and your voice will quick tell 'em there's a bird in the bower. Gla. I am not afraid. What are men but creatures like ourselves Eld. Like ourselves La, my lady! Gla. There's no harm in them. You are a foolish dame. [Re-enter Orson] [Taking lute] Good Orson, I am sorry if your knees are stiff. You may have the unguent that Sir Roland brought me from Palestine. Go, Eldra, and get it for him. Eld. [Aside] An I give him not gooseoil with a dash of cinnamon, I'm no good servant to my mistress. [Exeunt Eldra and Orson] Gla. I do not like this castle with Hubert away. Sir Roland makes it a prison. If I could get out I should try to find my way to Greenot woods. The doves are nesting now, and the little brown fawns are specked with snow. [Plays lute and sings] 27 LORDS AND LOVERS 0, lady, let the roses blow In thy pale cheeks for this- That I may to that garden go And pluck them with a kiss. My roses are all plucked, she said, No more shall ever grow, For cold is he and low his head Whose dear love made them blow. Then lay she down where slept her lord Upon the silver heather; Then sighed the knight, nor said he word, But left the twa together. [Enter the king, dressed in black. He gazes at Glaia] Gla. What is your name, boy Hen. Henry. Gla. Henry That is the king's name. Are you his soldier Hen. I fight for him. Gla. Ah, me! Hen. Is it not brave to fight Gla. But kings are wicked To buy their kingdoms with their subjects' lives. Two days ago they brought a noble knight Into the castle, bloody and quite dead, And when I cried, my Hubert whispered " Hush, 'Tis for the king." Hubert is now at sea- Mayhap this moment dies-and for the king. And 'twas last night I heard Sir Roland say "We'll hold the castle till each man is down," All for the king. And now you fight for him. I hate the king! Hen. 0, do not say that. 28 LORDS AND LOVERS Gla. Why Hen. Because he loves you. Gla. He has never seen me. You're merry, boy. Hen. But good kings love their subjects Before they know them. Gla. 0! Is Henry good Hen. He prays to be so. Gla. Let him pray, lest he Grow old in evil like his father, John. Who is your father, Henry Hen. He is dead. Gla. Ah! But you have a mother. Hen. Far away, And one who loves me little. Gla. Now I'll sigh No more for parents, since I know that they May die, or prove unkind. I have no kin. But Hubert loves me. Hen. Lady Gla. I am Glaia. That is all I know, but Hubert says Some day he'll tell me more. I do not care. I love to be a mystery to myself. Hen. [Aside] She's nobly born, and kept from her estate; But how should she 'be honest Hubert's charge Gla. What say you, Henry Hen. 'Tis so strange to find An angel housing in this black-browed castle, Converting war's grim seat to paradise. Hast always lived here Gla. 0, behind these walls No, I've a home deep in the happy forest. I do not like this place these huge black rocks 29 LORDS AND LOVERS Piled up so high, with caves i' the ground, and holes To shoot out arrows. I walk on tiptoe here, Afraid I'll wake the ghosts that sleep i' the corners. But in the forest I can shout and run, And everything I wake will laugh and sing. Hen. Where is this happy place Gla. I can not tell. 'Twas night when we came here, and Hubert says That none must know the way. I wonder why. Do you live in a castle Hen. When I'm not At wars. Gla. 0 me, I would not live in one To please- Hen. The king Gla. No, not to please the king. Hen. If he were lonely, Glaia Gla. Lonely 0, He is to wed the princess Margaret. Are you not glad He'll not be lonely then. She's fair and good, they say. Hen. But not as you. Her princess feet like well the solid earth. She is a flower that sips of sun and dew, But feedeth most from root-cups firm in ground; While you are made of music, love, and air,- A being of the sky-a lover's star, Although he be a king. The grace of heaven About your beauty plays, and drops as soft Upon my eyes as light from the lark's wing. But I must leave you now. Sweet, take this gift. [Gives her his jewelled belt] And know my name and place are worthy yours, Though you should be a princess, as I think. See, here's a jewel in this belt. I dare 30 LORDS AND LOVERS To part with it, though wise men say my life Is safe but when I wear it. 'Tis the stone Of Wales, and blessed by magic of the seers That in that country dwell. Gla. Then keep it. Ay, You must. Hen. No, no! I have a fear some harm Will touch you, me away. Keep you the charm, And I will take your lute. In lonely hours I'll touch the chords and think thou'rt listening. [Exit] Gla. A lovely boy! 0 me, these dreadful wars! Eldra's a goose to call the king's men rude. I wish he had not gone. I'll play again And see who'll come. Ah, now I have no lute. No matter, I will sing. [Sings] 0, sweet the day and fair the May, But Love he laid him down to weep [Enter Gregory] Greg. A pixy sure! Sweet apparition, wilt fly if I approach Then here I'll stand, anid from this point remote As frosty Hebrid from the golden East, Adore thy seeming substance! Ah, no answer Advance then, valiant Gregory, and explore. Flesh 'S light, 'tis flesh! A very woman, too. -k silent woman. Heavenly miracle! With lips like twin strawberries 'neath one leaf. The very manner of them begs a kiss. I' faith, they shall not beg. Gla. You would not kiss me! Greg. You wrong me, duck. Why, I'm a man of mirth. A soldier, sweet. And would not kiss Now, now! You take me for a ghost-or starve-bone saint. 31 LORDS AND LOVERS I am not padded-I fill out my coat And owe but for the cloth. A man, my chick! Shalt have a kiss. Gla. 0, help me, Eldra! Help! [Stephen runs in, seizes Gregory and shakes him about] Ste. [Pricking him with his sword] Shalt have a kiss, he shall! A man, my chick! I fill my coat, I do! Greg. Hold, sir! I am An officer of the king! Ste. Why then, shalt have More kisses! 'S blood! I thought thee but a scrub. A king's man, sir, shall have more ceremony. [Pricks him around the room. Enter Roland] Rol. Stephen! Brawling here You know the orders. Ste. Orders, I take it, sir, don't count in such a case extraordinary. Rol. Your extraordinary cases have become quite usual, Stephen. Ste. Be you the judge, sir. This gay blood here was troubling the lady- Rol. Glaia! Then he dies! [Drawing his sword] Ste. Orders, orders, sir! Gla. He did not touch me, Roland. Rol. Touch thee If he No more than looked at thee death is enough. But had he touched thee Gla. Art thou cruel, Roland I thought thee gentle. Wouldst thou make me hate thee Rol. You shall not hate me, Glaia. [Sheathes his sword] Let him live. But take him from my sight. [Exeunt Stephen and Gregory] Gla. 0, Roland, now I love thee! LORDS AND LOVERS Rol. Love me, Glaia Gla. Next to Hubert. Rol. 0, next to Hubert. Gla. And the boy. Rol. The boy Gla. Henry his name is. Such a pretty youth! He gave me this,-and see, this jewel here Is all so precious that it guards the life Of whoso wears it. He must like me well To give it me. Dost think he likes me, Roland Rol. [Aside] 0 God, the king! . . . Give me the bal- dric, Glaia. I will return it, for I know the youth. In truth, I've seen him wear this very belt. 'Twas wrong to take it, Glaia. He belongs So wholly to the king that you can have No portion of his love, lest he betray Himself and thee. Go, get you ready, child, To leave this place. For you 'tis full of dangers. Gla. Back to the woods 0 happiness! But I- Ah, must we go so soon Rol. It was your prayer. Gla. But then-I had not-strange! Why is it, Roland, 'Tis not so merry going as I thought Is 't not a little lonely in the woods And yet it never seemed so. Will you come To see me, Roland Rol. Do you want me, Glaia Gla. 0, yes, dear Roland! And you'll bring the boy I want to ask if he will be my brother. Rol. You must not see him. Go and get you ready. [Exit Glaiaa] 0, wretched me, to love so frail a thing! Fragile and pure, thou art not for this world, Where the same winds that bring thee breath must blow 33 LORDS AND LOVERS Thy gentle life out. [Re-enter the king] Sovereign liege, Count it not boldness if I dare to guess Your presence here. You come, my lord, to find This precious property. [Gives him the belt] I know 'tis prized, And hold me happy that it met my eye Before another's. Hen. Gentle Roland, thanks. I need not ask if you found aught with this More precious still. Rol. Nothing that majesty Might without blushing claim. Hen. Thank you again. [Aside] I've found the lover! . . . Is there news from sea Rol. Uncertain news, that I was on my way To give to you. Report cries victory For Hubert, but 'tis chance improbable That he should win, so take a breath, your highness, Ere you believe. Hen. The lords must know of this! Rol. Your majesty, I have a suit to thee. Hen. A victory! Rol. If you do hold him dear Who, by report, has won this doubtful battle, That saves your kingdom and sets fast your crown, I beg you hear me! Hen. Speak, but be not slow, Good Roland. Rol. Sire, De Burgh has enemies Who seek his downfall, for his honesty Stands rock-like 'tween the throne and treachery. 'Twas they who wrought to send him feebly forth 34 LORDS AND LOVERS 'Gainst odds so great they left no chance of life Save by God's love and favor. If he wins, The victor's garland and his king's reward Will further urge their hate to villainy. Hen. Who are these foes Rol. The earl of Albemarle, Pembroke and Winchester. Hen. My very staff! What proof hast thou Rol. I've nothing for your eye, But in my heart there is a testament That makes me bold to name them. I would risk All but my soul to save you such a friend And virtuous servant as De Burgh. You may Condemn me- Hen. First, I'll watch these lords. But be they false, where, where shall I find friends Rol. 'Mong those who fight your battles, sire, nor fear To die to save a king. [Exit] Hen. [Seating himself in an alcove] I see a king Must take some thought to keep his crown on 's head. [Re-enter Stephen and Eldra] Eld. Dear man, you can't deny it! 'Twas you saved my mistress. But for my good man drowned at sea I'd love you, sweeting. Ste. And if you love me it must be by way of kiss and part, for my good wife is still in the world, I've reason to think, and some day I shall run plumb into her bonny white arms. But a kiss, my lass, with a penny to the priest, can do a soldier no harm, and you'll always find me obliging in everything except matrimony. Eld. Out! Away! You old father Longbeard! You Johnny Hump-back! 35 LORDS AND LOVERS Ste. Hump! 'Tis the squint in your eye, my dearie! I'm as straight as a poplar in the king's court. Eld. Squint, sir May be so, for I'm thinkin' o' my braw handsome man, an' 'twould make a straight eye squint to see you standin' in his place, it would. Ste. An' I'm thinkin' o' my bonny little girl, as plump and tender as a partridge at her first nest, and out upon you, my fine, fat waddler! Eld. An my man were here you'd drop to your fours and go like a beast for shame, you would. The prettiest figure 'tveen here and Jerusalem! He had an arm! He could sling a sword! And such a leg! Dick Lion-heart never shaped a trimmer stocking. Hair like a raven fannin' the wind! An eye like Sallydeen's! For all the world a black coal with a fire in the middle. No watery peepers like present company's. An his eyes were stars in heaven I could point 'em out! Ste. 0, my sweet wench that's a waitin' for me! When shall I see her comin'with her head up like a highland doe, an' cheeks as red as my grandam's nightcap I think o' her now as she stood on the high rocks over Logan's frith singin' the song that made the sugar-water start in my heart. And straight I must gallop wi' her to the kirk- Hey, what's the matter, old lady Eld. Nothin'-nothin', sir,-just one o' my qualms. Ste. Do you have 'em ordinary A pity now. My lass, an she lived a thousand years, would not be qualmsy. Eld. [Aside] 'Tis Stephen, my own man! And he doesn't know me! 0, I am changed from his ain lassie! He despises me! Waddler! 0! Ste. Chirk up, old duck. When I find my lass- [Re-enter Orson] Ors. Mistress Eldra, what do you gabbling here and my lady calling you [Exit Eldra with Orson] 36 LORDS AND LOVERS Ste. Eldra By Pharo's ghost! Let me see-ten years. It might be-yes-her very complexion-the pert eye-the little foot-the canny twitch to her lips-and her man drowned at sea. Well, I'm pickled. She has built up such a Solomon's glory picture o' me that plain Stephen Godfrey will never get another chance. He had an arm! Ha! Did I An eye like Sallydeen! A leg like Lion- heart! Ha! [Struts up and down] But now I'm father Longbeard. Well, I'll shave off this weeping willow tree anyhow. [Re-enter Eldra] Eld. Good sir, are you here yet Ste. [Aside] Good sir! Methinks I grow in favor. Ay, sweet madam. Eld. [Aside] He's lookin' softer now. Well a day, this is a world. Here they brought me and the lady Glaia to make sure we would be saTe, and now they're taking us back for the same reason. Ay me, and a lonely, dreary place it is we're goin' to, with never a civil gentleman like yourself to sit out the night wi' a stoop o' ale an' cakes o' my own raisin'. Ste. My good madam, if you will give me the tip o' the road, I'll not be a slow traveller when the business of war will let an honest soldier course to his liking. Eld. 0, 'tis secret, sir. AMy lady is hid away for some reason of God or the devil, and I'll not be so false as to let a stranger on the track. Ste. Am I a stranger, madam Did not my good arm no more than an hour ago procure me warrant for better treatment Come! As you say, there '11 be lonely times, and a discreet companion who knows how to keep his tongue behind his teeth will not come amiss on a rainy day. Eld. [Aside] How can it be harm to tell my own man when the good priest said we were one flesh 'Twill only be tellin' my own ears. Well, sir, if you'll swear by St. 37 LORDS AND LOVERS Peter's thumb and the crucifix you'll never let anybody know- Ste. By St. Peter's thumb and the crucifix-and your black eyes, too-I swear! Eld. Then take the straight road to-- 0, I'm afraid! Ste. Courage, my pretty! There's not a cricket to hear you. Eld. The straight road to Greenot woods, and two miles in the forest where the brook crosses, ride up the stream half a mile to a tall red ash standin' alone, and three miles by the path to the right brings you to the place you'll find me. Now I've done it! No, don't thank me for bein' a fool. Ste. Nay, a woman, dearie. Eld. I must run to my mistress. [Exit Eldra, Stephen following] Hen. [Coming forward] Go, Stephen with the Lion's leg. You'll haste If I be not before you. Am I bound To Margaret By others' mouths, perhaps, But certain not at all by oath of mine. [Enter friar Sebastian] What holy gloom comes here Friar Sebastian, One time the counsellor to Isabel. Do you not know me, father Fr. Seb. [Kneeling] Gracious king! Hen. Nay, rise and bless me. Fr. Seb. Hear, my sovereign. This meeting is not chance. I sought thee here To tell what palsies me to think on. Hen. Speak, Then think of it no more. Fr. Seb. 'Tis said De Burgh Has gained the victory 'gainst all expectance. I know that he was sure he went to death, 38 LORDS AND LOVERS Else had he never put unto his lips The rose that bloomed for one so high above him. But dreaded death is yet full gracious, sire, And sanctions rights too bold for life to claim. Hen. Did Hubert wrong me, father Fr. Seb. Alas, my king! Hen. Come, drop your burden even to my heart That I may know its weight. Fr. Seb. Sire, in the hour That he spent last on land, I married him To a most noble lady. Hen. Married Ha! Nor asked consent of me Not one "By your good leave, my king" Fr. Seb. If in my words So soon you find affront to majesty, I dare not tell you more. Hen. Nay, I'll forgive him. Remembering his service 'twere too stern To make contention of his marriage. Fr. Seb. Though he should banish all the woes of England, Make sorrow alien, and a tear unknown, Yet has he wronged a king. Though happy mothers Drop on their knees and let no hour pass by Without its prayer for him, still has he wronged A king! Hen. Wilt never speak because you speak So much Fr. Seb. Here let me lie, and pray your grace For two long troubled hearts. When I have spoken Then set thy foot upon my priestly head, But spare them, spare them, sire! Hen. Up! Rise, I say, From this debasement. We shall take good care To shield your holiness. Now speak! 39 LORDS AND LOVERS Fr. Seb. One word Will tell you-one. Hen. [Taking a seat] And how much time will 't take To say that word Fr. Seb. It is the name of her Whom knightly Hubert made his wife. Hen. Is it A long name, father Fr. Seb. [On his knees] It is Margaret. Hen. [Rising] Of Scotland Fr. Seb. [Covering his head] Ay, my liege. Hen. [Aside] Deliverance! Rise, father, rise, and learn that even a king Is noble enough to suffer and forgive. Fr. Seb. Have I my ears Are these your words, my lord Or does some pitying angel alchemize Them into sounds more fit to reach y weak And trembling age Hen. You hear even as I speak. 'Tis true that Hubert pitched his love full high. Good manners had not o'ershot the royal bow; But take my word no harm shall come to him. Fr. Seb. He'll need a friend, my liege, for dangers stride In wake of this rash marriage. Hen. Leave them To me. I'll try my fledgling wit in this. Where is the cardinal Fr. Seb. I' the western hall. Hen. Here come the lords. But first I'll speak with Gualo. [Exeunt Henry and friar Sebastian, left. At right, enter Albemarle, Winchester and Pembroke] Pem. [To Albemarle] He has not yet confirmed you chancellor 40 LORDS AND LOVERS Alb. No need, so short his reign. Win. We should have news. By this the battle's done. I wonder now How far is Hubert's head on its long journey To ocean's bottom Alb. May it please your grace, We think 'tis best that you stay with the king. If all desert him 'twill look foul in us, And it will take an honest English face To keep the people with us. Win. True, my lord. And I will stay with him, for I have gone A little deeper in his heart than you, And can best turn him to advance our plot. Pem. While we ride forth to call men to defence- In truth to give them hand and foot to Louis- You wait here with the king Win. I understand. And you not coming up, perforce be taken. Then Henry may lay by his crown, or keep 't To please his jailer's peeping mammets, or bribe His turnkey for a slug of meat. Alb. The jail Where he must lie is small and needs no keeper; For who go in so well contented are They're never known to set foot forth again. Win. Must go so far Well, as you please, my lords. [Re-enter Henry, 'with Cardinal Gualo and attendants] Alb. God save your majesty! Hen. My faithful friends, Well met. Win. Ah, still in black, my liege Hen. Why not, My lord When my poor father in the flesh Was struck by death they dressed me in this hue; 41 LORDS AND LOVERS And heavier cause have I to wear it now, When he who gave my soul its dearest light- My father in nobility above The blood or happy chance of birth-is gone To come no more. Win. But, good, my liege, am I So little worth that with a strange misfit I wear his dignity Hen. The worthier You are to wear 't you'll teach me to regret His goodness lost, and be more pleased to see How I prize virtue dead, guessing thereby How dear is living virtue to my soul. Pen. [Aside to Albemarle] Does he suspect Alb. 'Twould trouble us. There are Some captains in the fort would make a way For his escape. Hen. You've had no news, my lords Alb. We yet wait word, but rest you easy, sire. Our fleet is safe and proudly bearing home. Hen. Your faith is strong. Alb. I have no doubt, my lord. Hen. Were it not well to take this time to plan De Burgh's reward Alb. Ay, 'twere, your majesty. Hen. What say you, my lord cardinal You first. How should we grace his triumph With what honor Gualo. None is too great. I'd place him next the throne. What think your lordships Alb. As yourself, my lord. [Aside to Pembroke] Best humor him. Gualo. Then further I may speak. The earl of Kent, who lately met his death, Has left no heir to his vast lands and name. 42 LORDS AND LOVERS I think that God did so provide this place For honor of De Burgh. And more than this, Let him be made the great lord chancellor, And chief justiciary of this troubled realm. Alb. [Aside to Pembroke] Agree. No matter. Gualo's eye is on us. Win. You speak in happy time, lord cardinal, And we embrace your meaning heartily. Hen. This easy payment of so great a debt Inclines me to forget the dangerous way De Burgh comes by his honor. We must keep That ever in our hearts, my worthy lords, Lest we grow jealous of his climbing fortune. Alb. I hope we've memories, sire, and honest ones. Hen. Well, to forfend the bating of his praise In my poor mind, I'll give a lasting proof Of how I hold him, and here forfeit right To Margaret's hand in favor of De Burgh. Alb. My liege! The princess Hen. He is now an earl; And if I not complain, should any here Alb. But, sire- Pem. [Aside to Albemarle] Submit! 'Tis only for an hour. Alb. Pardon me that I thought to save you, sire From such dear sacrifice. Hen. 'Tis fit we make it, And ask your fair approval, Albemarle. Alb. And here I give it, my too gracious king. [To an attendant] Whist! Are the horses saddled Att. Ready, sir. [Enter Gregory] Hen. Well, captain, well Greg. The princess Margaret And lady Albemarle are at the gates. 43 LORDS AND LOVERS AMb. My countess gads for news of her brave brother. Hen. A worthy quest. [To Gregory] See them refreshed and lodged, But bid them keep their chamber for a time. [Exit Gregory] Alb. [To Pembroke] Where are our messengers Can they be lost Pem. We should have heard by now. There's something wrong. [Enter an attendant] Att. Your majesty, a messenger! Hen. From sea [Enter Gersa] Ger. The king! Where is the king Alb. Pray use your eyes. Ger. [Kneeling] Your majesLy. Hen. Arise. Your message Ger. Sire, Hubert de Burgh is at the port. Alb. [Aside] How now Ger. With all his ships but five. Pem. [To Winchester] But five What's here Win. A witch i' the pot, your lordships. Ger. For those five There's fifty of the French gone to the bottom. The rest are scattered wide, with crippled sails Begging the winds for mercy. Hen. Hark, my lords! Divinity is here. [To Gersa] How was this done What know you of the battle Ger. When we met The opposing fleet, we crept by swift and silent, As to escape the fight. So near we coursed We heard the jeers cast on us as we passed. 44 LORDS AND LOVERS Well by, we turned, and with the wind at back, Bore down full sail and grappled. Hen. Here were men! Ger. Then, sire, we cut the lime-sacks on our decks- Hen. Lime-sacks Ger. Which gave out smarting clouds that rose Hen. Now here were fools! Ger. Sire, you forget the wind. The sweeping breeze took up the stinging lime, Clearing our decks, but wrapping round our foes, Blinding all eyes. Hen. St. George! Ger. 'Twas easy then To hook our vessels to the great French ships, Cut down their rigging and make way at will O'er the wallowing crew Pem. Must we believe this tale Hen. Goes it against your wish Pem. Nay, but 'tis strange. Ger. [To Henry] One hundred knights, eight hundred officers, Now wait their doom from you. Le Moine was found Hid in his ship, and offered mighty sums For his vile life, but Fitzroy closed the parley By striking off his head. Alb. What Le Moine dead Hen. Why so amazed, my lord of Albemarle Did you not prophesy a victory Alb. True, true, my liege, but this surpasses all My hope of it. Call it a miracle, Not victory. Gualo. Call it whate'er you will, The Lord of Hosts was with this noble knight. Hen. Not knight, but the right noble earl of Kent, And for his life our grand justiciary. 45 LORDS AND LOVERS [To Gersa] Thou art the mavis to a happy dawn. Come, sing again. [Talks aside with him] Win. [To Albemarle and Pembroke] Your lordships, do you ride Alb. What tone is this Win. A tone you'll tune to, sir. Didst think me such a fool to stay and fall With Henry into Louis' hands Nay, I've No wish to enter that small cell of earth Which needs no turnkey, as you say. Alb. What, sir Win. No, by the Lord! At the first castle where You planned to stop I had my servants laid To take you prisoners. It stirs my blood That you should think I came to the bishopric By a fool's wit. Now Rome is at my back, And Henry king! But I'll make peace with you, For I foresee a power in De Burgh That warns me not to scorn even traitor strength. Alb. Ay, we've no fear you'll let this sudden turn Cut off our fortunes. Hen. Come, my lords. Come, all! We'll to the gates to greet the earl of Kent! [Exeunt. Curtain] 46 ACT III SCENE 1. Same as in act second. The king, Pembroke, Albemarle, Winchester, and other lords entering. Hen. The barons are assembling. On to London, And call the council. I will join you there. The revenues long promised shall be paid. At last I am a king! Will post, my lords Night shuffles toward the morn. Pem. You'll not forget Your barons' suit, my liege. Hen. Bring the petition. I'll look at it, and then-will what I will. [Exit] Alb. What new-gown cock is this Pem. Will what I will! And post you, sirs! Win. The child that hung at knees Now stands on the great shoulders of De Burgh, And ports himself a giant o'er our heads. Pem. Ha, so! This wedge of love 'twixt you and Henry Quite thrusts you out. Win. True, sir, but I've in mind A plot will reach as high as Kent's new head, Which, with your sworn and loyal aid, I'll push To fullest stature. Pem. You have my oath, my lord. Win. And bond more sure-your spurring need to prick Kent's swelling strength. But you, lord Albemarle- 47 LORDS AND LOVERS The mighty Kent is brother to your wife, Which now may count somewhat to lift your fortunes. Alb. And when didst see my fortunes lie so low As need the hoisting hand of friend or kin Nay, our ambitions swear us enemies! I stand as free, my lord, as any here. Win. Then hear my plan. You know I carry ali With the archbishop. Pem. True. If Winchester would Trust Canterbury to find way. Win. Through him We'll call this council in the name of Rome, To kill the canker in the bud of peace So lately ventured in the track of war, And sound abroad that on this holy day All weapons, armor, and gross sign of blood Shall be laid by. I will persuade the king His dignity is touched to be so quick To fill his purse before he says his prayers, And that 'tis wise to throw this goodly bait To hook the common love. Now to this meeting Let every prelate bear most righteous arms, And every baron look well to his sword; Then when the unsuspecting king appears, Close companied no doubt by his new earl, That mushroom minion we will dare accuse And crop his power as we prize our safety. Pem. But will not Kent oppose this swordless worship Win. Nay, he's afflicted with true piety, And in the addling flush of high success Is mellow with the good love of the world. All men are honest now! Trust me, he'll bait At what his judgment yesterday had scorned. Alb. But what have we t' advance with show of right Against him 48 LORDS AND LOVERS Win. Gualo brings the axe-although Ile knows it not-that shall behead De Burgh. Trust me, my lords, and soon you shall know more. Alb. Work as you will, for while he is in power We are but puppets and I dance not well. Win. I'll ride with Gualo, and begin our move. Then on to Canterbury. Fare you well, Till morning bring our bold designs together. [Exit] Alb. How, Pembroke Seest the gull in this Pem. It needs No second sight, my lord. The barons' arms Outnumber all the feeble prelacy. Alb. Thinks we'll stop with Kent when Henry stands Defenceless 'fore us Come! We too must ride. Pem. Proud Poitevin! He plots to lose his head, And give this land a king indeed! Alb. My Pembroke! [Exeunt. An attendant opens the large doors, rear, lady Albemarle and the princess Margaret enter] La. Alb. What! no one here We have not seen a soul But the poor fool who brought us food and wine. I'll not endure it! Are we prisoners Mewed up these hours, when all about there's stir As Fate changed hands and rumbled destiny. Such clattering, shifting, revel, and "To horse!" And we mope here like toothless dames that long Have lost the world! Att. Your ladyship, the king Will see you here. La. Alb. That's better. He shall beg My pardon. [Seats herself] Mar. How canst think of things so slight When even now your brother may be lost 49 LORDS AND LOVERS La. AMb. I lose no kingdom with him. That's your theme, And, lord, you don't neglect it. Mar. [Walking away from her] 0, for word! Surely some word has come! La. Alb. Would I were home! 'Twas you, my lady, put this journey on me With prating of my duty to my brother. But I know why you came. Mar. 0 me, you know La. Alb. That does not mark me wise. A fool might guess. Mar. 0, I am lost! Dear lady, be my friend! La. Alb. Why such a fluttering like a lass in folly The king was here, and 'twas mere wit in you To follow after, making me your foil. Mar. The king La. Alb. Ay, ay, the king! I understand Your cry about my brother. Mar. 0! La. Alb. Why such an "0!" As though you'd swallow all the air i' the room And kill me with vacuity. Mar. Ah, madam! La. Alb. You'll not have long to wait. He'll be here soon. Mar. 0. then you think he's safe La. Alb. I think he's safe Why should he not be safe Mar. Could I believe it! La. Alb. His truest lords are with him. Albemarle Himself is guard sufficient. Mar. Albemarle He is not with your brother! La. Alb. Brother Pah! 50 LORDS AND LOVERS How you draw off and on, as 'twere a shame To love a king! Mar. The king Ah-I La. Alb. You ask If he is safe, and I say safe enough, Then drops the curtain of your modesty, And you cry of my brother. Faith, you'll have Me set about with this till I believe lMly brother is the king of England! Mar. 0, I'm wretched, wretched! La. Alb. Patience! He'll be here. True, 'tis most beggarly of him to lag, But do not doubt he'll come. Mar. He will not come. 0, never, never, never! La. Alb. Foolish lass! He can not stay away from you-his wife. I might as well be out with 't soon as late. Mar. 0, lady-countess-if you e'er had need Of gentle friends La. Alb. I know not what to do With this strange piece of daintiness. Up, mistress! How will you blush when Henry calls you wife, If I, in play, can throw you on your knees Mar. Henry God pity me! I am so racked! La. Alb. Thou art a fool! Up, girl, there's some one comes. If 't be the king! Quick now, and smooth your face. If he should wonder at this trace of tears, I'll tell him why you wept. Mar. You could not be So cruel! La. Alb. Cruel How 'Twill please him well To hear you wept for him. LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. For him [Enter attendant] Att. The king. La. Alb. Now, now, be still. He comes. [Enter Henry] Hen. My duty to My fair and honored guests. And my first suit Is for your pardon that I come so late; My next is still for pardon I must haste Unto my third, and pray the lady Margaret For word with her alone. La. Alb. I will withdraw, My lord. Hen. [To attendants] Attend the countess. Mar. O! dear Heaven! Hen. Are you at prayers, sweet lady Mar. Say I am, Can women pray too much, who need so oft The soft protection of the holy skies Hen. Have I been slack in care Ah, Margaret, Let youth excuse neglect the past may know. In future- Mar. 0, thou hast been all I wish! Hen. All All, Margaret You've been in England Ten years or more, and understand, I think, Why you, a child, were sent unto our court. Mar. My lord, when peace was made with Scotland's king, I was included in the arbitrament, But am uncertain of the precise terms, Though I dare think there was no mention made Of marriage. Hen. There was a dowry paid To English coffers. Mar. Dowry Ah, was 't not LORDS AND LOVERS A dainty serving of too humble pie Mere specious covering for indemnity Proud Scotland would not pay by such a name Hen. May be, but 'twas held wise to joir the kingdoms By current of our blood. Mar. True at that time 'Twas best for England to make closer ties Wi' the north, but now is Scotland on her knees, And you have naught to fear if you should choose To set aside my claim. Hen. The people's eyes Are on you as their queen. Mar. They will approve As readily if you make other choice. Hen. Then 't seems we both are free to follow love In any court we please. Mar. In truth, my lord! Hen. And you reject me Mar. I am not so bold Hen. But, lady, in the world's mouth you will be My cast off love, for who is there so wise As to believe you would refuse a king Mar. I care not, sir! What is the world to me 0, let it think as 'twill, if only- Hen. Ah, If only you are saved from me But, madam, I can not flip the world away as you. It is my field of tourney where I joust For fame and tender reputation. I must not let men point to you and say "See Henry's fool!" You shall be wed at once Unto the lord most powerful in England Who yet is free. Mar. 0, sir- Hen. The earl of Kent. 53 LORDS AND LOVERS M.ffar. Your majesty, l)e merciful! Hen. I am. Mar. My knees were bending to you thankfully, But you have changed their purpose to a prayer For veriest pity. The earl of Kent, my lord An old, fierce man, who scorns the name of love Hen. To you he will be kind. I'll stake my crown, Once wed to him you'll thank me for this day, And swear you'd choose him yours from all the world. He's in the castle now. I'll send him here, For I'm in haste to bring the marriage on. Wait here, sweet Margaret. [Opens doors rear, and she passes slowly through] Mar. Kill me, my lord! Hen. Now, by these tears, you'll live to bless me yet. For from my heart I swear you're better wed Than if you chose the king. [Closes doors and calls attendant] Ho, there! [Enter attendant] I'll see The earl of Kent. Bid him come in. [Exit attendant] 'Tis cruel, But right they should be punished who forgot A king to please themselves. [Enter Hubert] Hub. Your majesty! Hen. How now, my chancellor Methinks this day Should mark the high note of thy singing heart. But thou art gloomy, as weighing still thy chance Against the flocking French. Canst not be merry If Henry bids thee, Hubert Hub. Ah, my lord, I little thought to have escaped the foe. Hen. Is that to grieve on, man By Heaven, I'll think It would have pleased you better to have sunk 54 LORDS AND LOVERS My fleet and not the enemy's. Come, come! What think you of the fortune we've assigned you Art satisfied Hub. 0, 'tis not to be borne! Hen. I' faith, thou 'rt plain. Hub. 0, dear my liege, I mean- Hen. Well, sir, I have another blessing for thee May prove more welcome. How wouldst like a wife Of royal blood I will not tell her name, But take my word that were my heart not bound I'd look her way for fetters. She is fair, Ay, perfect as the lily plucked to grace A Lord's day altar, yet is proud enough To hold your new-dropped dignities above The mire and brambles of the common way; And all this, sir, shall be your wedded wife. Hub. My lord Hen. Nay, do not thank me. Ah, at last I've touched the key of gratitude. Indeed, My Hubert, you are pale with this new joy. I almost fear to tell you she is there- Within that room-and waiting your approach. Hub. My royal lord-I beg- Hen. No, not a word Of thanks. Hub. Not thanks! There's something else to say! Hen. What, sir Wouldst still play hang-lip at thy fortune Hub. Hear me, your majesty! Hen. Nay, I will speak. Sir, I have done what monarchs seldom do, Proclaimed my general worthy of his hire, And paid it, too, and these sour looks from you Are as the poisonous leaves in a fair garland Marking it for decay. I've yielded much 55 16 LORDS AND LOVERS Unto your noble merit, but no more WVill yield to your proud humor! Hub. Hear, my lord Hen. No words! There is the door. Go in and find The lady that must be your wife, or down Come all your brave new honors to the ground! [Opens door and forces him through. Margaret is lying on the floor, her face hidden] Hub. 0, Heaven! 'Tis Margaret! Mar. 0! [Leaps up, gazes at Hubert and runs to his arms] Hubert, Hubert! [The king closes the doors upon them] Hen. The midnight's past. I must away to Glaia, And by the sunrise at her window sing. My lords are set toward London. None shall know, Save Cupid's self, how far I ride to-night. [Curtain] ACT IV SCENE 1. Near the cottage in Greenot woods. Henry, with lute, singing. Ope, throw ope thy bower door, And come thou forth, my sweet! 'Tis morn, the watch of love is o'er, And mating hearts should meet. The stars have fled and left their grace In every blossom's lifted face, And gentle shadows fleck the light With tender memories of the night. Sweet, there's a door to every shrine; Wilt thou, as morning, open thine Hark! now the lark has met the clouds, And rains his sheer melodious flood; The green earth casts her mystic shrouds To meet the flaming god! Alas, for me there is no dawn If Glaia come not with the sun. [Enter Glaia. The king kneels as she approaches] Gla. 'Tis you! Hen. [Leaping up] Pardoned! Queen of this bowerland, Your glad eyes tell me that I have not sinned. Gla. How cam'st thou here Now who plays Hubert false Nay, I'm too glad thou 'rt come to question so. 'Tis easy to forgive the treachery That opes our gates to angels. 57 LORDS AND LOVERS Hen. 0, I'm loved Gla. Yes, Henry. All the mom I've thought of you, And I rose early, for I love to say Good-by to my dear stars; they seem so wan And loath to go away, as though they know The fickle world is thinking of the sun, And all their gentle service of the night Is quite forgot. Hen. And what didst think of me Gla. That could you come and see this beauteous wood, Fair with Spring's love and morning's kiss of grace, You'd be content to live awhile with me, Leave war's red step to follow living May Passing to pour her veins' immortal flood To each decaying root; and rest by springs Where waters run to sounds less rude than song, And hiding sibyls stir sweet prophecies. Hen. The only springs I seek are in your eyes That nourish all the desert of myself. Drop here, 0, Glaia, thy transforming dews, And start fair summer in this waste of me! Gla. Poor Henry! What dost know of me to love Hen. See yon light cloud half-kirtled with faint rose What do I know of it but that 'tis fair And yet I dream 'twas born of flower dews And goes to some sweet country of the sky. So cloud-like dost thou move before my love, From beauty coming that I may not see, To beauty going that I can but dream. 0, love me, Glaia! Give to me this hand, This miracle of warm, unmelting snow, This lily bit of thee that in my clasp Lies like a dove in all too rude a cote Wee heaven-cloud to drop on monarch brows And smooth the ridgy traces of a crown! 58 LORDS AND LOVERS Rich me with this, and I'll not fear to dare The darkest shadow of defeat that broods O'er sceptres and unfriended kings. Gla. Why talk Of crowns and kings This is our home, dear Henry. For if you love me you will stay with me. Hen. Ah, blest to be here, and from morning's top Review the sunny graces of the world, Plucking the smilingest to dearer love, Until the heart becomes the root and spring Of hopes as natural and as simply sweet As these bright children of the wedded sun And dewy earth! Gla. I knew you'd stay, my brother! You'll live with me! Hen. But there's a world not this, O'er-roofed and fretted by ambition's arch, Whose sun is power and whose rains are blood, Whose iris bow is the small golden hoop That rims the forehead of a king,-a world Where trampling armies and sedition's march Cut off the flowers of descanting love Ere they may sing their perfect word to man, And the rank weeds of envies, jealousies, Push up each night from day's hot-beaten paths- Gla. 0, do not tell me, do not think of it! Hen. I must. There is my world, and there my life Must grow to gracious end, if so it can. If thou wouldst come, my living periapt, With virtue's gentle legend overwrit, I should not fail, nor would this flower cheek, Pure lily cloister of a praying rose, E'er know the stain of one despoiling tear Shed for me graceless. Will you come, my Glaia Gla. Into that world No, thou shalt stay with me. 59 LORDS AND LOVERS Here you shall be a king, not serve one. Ah, The whispering winds do never counsel false, And senatorial trees droop not their state To tribe and treachery. Nature's self shall be Your minister, the seasons your envoys And high ambassadors, bearing from His court The mortal olive of immortal love. Hen. To man my life belongs. Hope not, dear Glaia, To bind me here; and if you love me true, You will not ask me where I go or stay, But that your feet may stay or go with mine. Let not a nay unsweet those tender lips That all their life have ripened for this kiss. [Kisses her] O ruby purities! I would not give Their chaste extravagance for fruits Iran Stored with the honey of a thousand suns Through the slow measure of as many years! Gla. Do brothers talk like that Hen. I think not, sweet. Gla. But you will be my brother Hen. We shall see. Gla. And you will stay with me No Ah, I fear All that you love in me is born of these Wild innocences that I live among, And far from here, all such sweet value lost, I'll be as others are in your mad world, Or wither mortally, even as the sprig A moment gone so pertly trimmed this bough. Let us stay here, my Henry. We shall be Dear playmates ever, never growing old,- Or if we do 'twill be at such a pace Time will grow weary chiding, leaving us To come at will. Hen. No, Glaia. Even now 60 LORDS AND LOVERS I must be gone. I came for this-to say I'd come again, and bid you watch for me. A tear 0, love! One moment, then away! [Exeunt. Curtain] SCENE 2. A street in London. Citizens, friars, priests, pass in devout manner, some bearing crucifixes. First Cit. A day, a day, 0, such a day! Second Cit. 'Twill make a new page in our chronicles, the like ne'er read before. Third Cit. Nay, when Saxon Edward came back from conquered Wales- Fourth Cit. Ay, 'twas such a day of holy joy! Second Cit. But not so general. First Cit. And guards with arms kept order in the streets. Third Cit. But now there's no authority abroad save that comes from our hearts. Surely the air is charged with drug of peace, and all men breathe it. First Cit. Where meets the council In the Tower chamber Third Cit. Nay, at Westminster palace. Second Cit. That's three miles. We must push on if we would see them enter. [They move off] First Friar. How meanly does it speak for this proud world That when the devil lays his weapons by And peace and love for one day reign o'er all, That it should wonder at itself, and cry "A miracle!" Second Friar. In holy Edward's time, The nuns of Beda joined the council in 61 LORDS AND LOVERS Concerted praise, for 'twas their prayerful fast Kept Heaven with the king and gave us Wales; And 'twas decreed that ever on such days The nuns from this most blest and ancient abbey Should with the great assembly kneel in praise. First Friar. And so they do this day. The legate, Gualo, Sent invitation from the king. Second Friar. The king This shows most well in him. First Friar. If we haste on, We'll see the sisters passing toward the palace. Second Friar. Let 's forward then. God save so good a king! [Exeunt. Curtain] SCENE 3. The great hall in Westminster. Barons and prelates assembled. Rich surcoats open, revealing arms. Enter Henry and the earl of Kent. Hen. My lords, is this the faith you keep with kings Then Heaven save me from it! Was 't not your will This day all arms should hang upon the wall Yet you come here as though the trump had called To sudden battle. Canterbury. Hear, your majesty, The cause for which we laid upon our souls This seeming perjury, and you'll forgive As Heaven, calling it no stain. Hen. Sir, let The movers of this saintly shift speak first. You, Winchester You, Albemarle Canst preach The lie away Alb. My honored liege, these swords, 62 LORDS AND LOVERS Surer than bended knees, bespeak your safety. Knowing that treachery oft defames the ranks Of those who shine as the highpriests of God, I and my brother barons came thus armed, Thinking it better so to break our oaths Than that false hands should break your kingly staff. Hen. For my protection then you do offend Alb. For that alone, my liege, we wear this armor. Hen. And you, lord bishop, guardian of our person By prayer and Heavenly counseL-who even in war Should wear no sword but that of righteousness,- Confess you with these warlike blades thy Lord Unable to defend his own Win. My liege, 'Tis in His name, to work His equal justice, We bear these weapons, sacred by our cause. [Enter Gualo] Gua. Your majesty, the nuns of Beda's abbey Would enter now. Cant. The nuns What do they here Hen. You know, your grace, since blessed Edward's time 'T has been their privilege on days of prayer To join their voices with the court and state. Cant. A privilege, but never yet in practice. Hen. The more is England's shame that has not seen For so long past a day of general prayer And utter peace. Not in our time, nor John's, Nor Richard's 'fore him, nay, nor greater Henry's, Might Beda's sisters claim this privilege. Lord Cardinal, bid them in. [Exit Gualo] Alb. Nay, nay, my liege, This is no place for women. Hen. Are they not Forever foremost in both prayer and peace By Heaven's King, they've more right here than we! 63 LORDS AND LOVERS [Enter nuns, led by the abbess, who kneels before the king] Hen. Rise, holy abbess. Abb. Sovereign of England, May Heaven's Sovereign protect thy youth! And as thy hand is on thy sceptre laid Feel there the Hand invisible from whence Thy power comes, and know thy way as His. [Henry bows his head. The abbess and nuns pass to a station apart and kneel] Hen. Say on, lord bishop. Let us hear how priests May break an oath and Heaven smile upon it. Win These papers, dearest liege, are warrant for us. There is one here so steeped in guilt, the pope Commands his sentence by our Spiritual Court; And knowing crime so deep makes fierce defence, We came thus armed. Hen. Who of my subjects is so basely given The pope must urge the sword of justice 'gainst him Win. He is so high in your esteem, my liege- Hen. Now were he next ourself, our very love, Excepting one, the noble earl of Kent, Whom only calumny dare censure, we Should yield him to thee. Win. So Then we did well To wear these arms, for 'tis no less than Kent Whom we accuse. Hen. Kent Ha! We'll hear your tale That we may laugh at it. Win. You'll sooner weep, I fear. The princess Adelais, of France, Is free of the infliction that impaired Her noble mind, and through the pope makes suit For the recovery of a son-her child And the great Henry's. Gualo brings this letter, 64 LORDS AND LOVERS Beneath the pope's own seal, to England's primate, His grace of Canterbury. It is signed By Geoffrey de Burgh, the father of your Kent, And written five years back to Adelais, In care of 's Holiness, with the request That it be given her should she recover. The purport is-her child has lived to be A grace to manhood, but that he himself Approaches death, and from his worthy son, Hubert de Burgh, she may in proper time Learn all a mother's heart would know. Hen. Well plotted! Win. And here's another paper that great Pembroke, Dying, laid in my hands. It bears the seal Of Henry Second, and tells how his son And Adelais' is given to the charge Of Geoffrey de Burgh, lord keeper of the Tower And Dover Castle. Hen. Keep your paper, sir! Dost think that I'll believe these parchment tales Of one whose stainless past the world may read Win. That precious past, sire, is the bed whereon This deed's embossed. All he has done that's noble Now serves to make this foul. Look at him now! He has no word, but stands as one made stiff By sin's confrontment. Hen. Rather like the god Was caught 'twixt the burning and the frozen worlds, For so my too-warm love and your deep hate Engulf him. Win. Hear the end, my liege. Hen. Go on, If there's an end. Win. This says that Henry's son, Arrived at thirty years, shall take his place 65 LORDS AND LOVERS 'Mong English nobles as the Duke of Bedford, And hold in fief five castles, herein named Rockingham, Harle, Beham and Fotheringay, With strongest Bedford as his ducal seat; But if the child should die, his great estate Shall to the church, and in the church's name I call De Burgh to show the heir, or prove That he is dead and by no hidden means. Kent. The devil, sir, must pay you bounteous hire, You sweat so in his service. Naught I know Of ghostly Bedford, or ever heard of him, Or that my father held a ward in charge. Hen. We know you innocent. Win. Then let him prove His claim to these five castles. Two he holds, And three were given in dowry with his sister When she became the wife of Albemarle. These must he yield, or show that Bedford lives, Else will the church by force possess its own. AMb. Mad Winchester! You plot too heavy here. You know there are no stronger forts in England Than these three castles that the countess brought me, And you'd command their strength in wars against The power of the barons! Yield these forts Not while I've breath to fight for what's my own! Geoffrey de Burgh received them from great Henry For secret, valiant service, such as knights Have rarely given kings. Talk you of force My sword shall answer you. I will not yield, And here declare a war! What say you, barons Pem. Your cause is ours, and here we draw our swords! Alb. You hear, lord bishop. Moreover we must take The person of the king, nor longer risk His majesty with traitors. Come, my liege. Cant. What! Take the king 66 LORDS AND LOVERS 7 Alb. Ay, take the king! Win. While grace In Heaven lives, we'll keep him from your clutchl Alb. While we are barons and can lift a sword, We will defy you and protect the king! Hen. I am a monarch, and will go or stay As I do please. Lord barons, not with you. Pem. Ah, must we force you, sir Win. Not from our hands! Alb. An you do stir, my iord of Winchester, We'll wash these floors with blood! Cant. The king is ours! Alb. Swords write our title! Strike, my friends! Hen. God, no! Win. Stay, Albemarle! We do not well to waste The life of England. If we yield the king, Will you give up the castles Pem. [To Albemarle] Say you will. The king once ours we'll keep the castles, too. Alb. [To Winchester] Then rest it there. Give us the king, and take The castles. [Aside] If you can. Ay, there '11 be wars Will make each stone of England mine. The rocks And cliffs I'll mark with name of Albemarle! Win. [To Henry] Think not I risk your dear and royal life. I'll call out troops till trees do seem to walk And cry for God and Henry! [To barons] To your care We yield the king. Pen. Then, Henry, come with us. Hen. Plain Henry, now thy crown is gilt Pem. We'll put No pressure on your liberty save that We must t' enforce our charter rights. Win. De Burgh 67 LORDS AND LOVERS Must to the Tower, there to await our judgment. Lords Goly and De Vere, conduct him thither. Goly. Come, sir. You will not move Kent. 0, Margaret, Your love divined too well! Now for the sword You bade me bring, and he who first should lay A hand upon me- De Vere. Come! Pem. [To the king] And you with us. Kent. Hark, lamb, the wolves are at thee! Goly. Must we move you Abb. [Coming down] Off with your hands, in warrior Michael's name! Touch not De Burgh! And you-lord barons-you Who blow the gentle fires of this new peace With wind of your hot tempers-free the king, And wait as fathers on his tender years! Alb. I said, my lords, we should have prating here. Abb. The midnight vision and long hours of prayer Give us strange powers, and we see thoughts burn In your intent would strike their fire against The stars of war and light disaster o'er A shuddering world. But you- Alb. Back to your beads! Abb. We'll count our beads in your fast dropping blood! Wouldst try our swords and see if they be keen And if you scorn mine in a woman's hand, Here is the hand shall bear it to your woe. [Takes sword from under her cloak and gives it to Kent. All the nuns rise, drop their cloaks and show themselves to be armed men. The abbess throws off her hood and stands revealed as Mar- garet] Hen. My guards! Kent. My soldiers! 6s8 LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. Kent will not to Tower While Margaret of Scotiand is his wife. Cant. Princess, the day is yours, and I, for one, Thank Heaven 'tis so. Win. And I. Mar. Contentious lords, Forget one hour that ye are baron-peers, And churchmen clambering to the pinnacle Topped with a cardinal's cap. Think ye are men Of England, whose dear duty is to her, And swear ye brothers as ye are her sons. Down on your knees! Ask pardon of your king! Win. [Kneeling] 0, sovereign liege, in all I said and did My conscience led me and my God did counsel. If 'tis a sin to seek the punishment Of one whom we believe has wronged your blood, Then have we sinned indeed. Hen. Wilt swear to drop This charge 'gainst noble Kent, whose honest soul Will cloak such guilt when north winds blow their frost From bosom of the sun Win. I swear, my lord, That your own lips shall be the first to make Renewal of this charge. Hen. Rise, Winchester. You are forgiven, but not yet may take Your old place in our heart. [Albemarle and Pembroke kneel] Alb. Were thoughts of men Writ on the heart's red walls, this sword, my liege, Should open mine that you might read me clear Of all intent save truest care for thee. Pem. And I, my king, sought but the good of England In all too harshly crying for the rights Of your long loyal barons. Hen. Rise, my lords. 69 70 LORDS AND LOVERS We hold you not attainted, but awhile Must look with careful coldness on your love, Till by your lives we test this swift repentance. Alb. 0 sovereign merciful, we ask no more Than thus to prove us true. Hen. Now let this day Be given as we intended, to His praise Whose eye doth search the closet of the dark As freely as the dayplains of the sun, And reads the minds of men where kings must trust. [Curtain] LORDS AND LOVERS PART II CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY HENRY m, King of England EARL OF KENT EARL OF ALBENIARLE EARL OF PEMBROKE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY BISHOP OF WINCHESTER LORD WYNNE COUNT DE ROUILLET, attending Adelai STEPHEN GODFREY, a soldier ORSON, a servant to Glaia ADELAIS, a princess of France MARGARET, wife of Kent ELEANOR, wife of Albemarle GLAIA, ward of Kent ELDRA, servant to Glaia Lords and ladies of the court, barons, prelates, guards, attendants, c. TIME: 13th Century SCENE: England ACT I ScENE 1. Autumn in Greenot woods near Glaia's cottage. Table, seats, mugs and ale. Enter Eldra with a plate of cakes. Eld. [Putting plate on table] It's the very day and hour he'll be coming, and he's not the man to count leaves by the roadside. He likes my cookin', as I've had proof, and he looks so cunnin' at me lately I could swear he was fallin' in love all over again. And I'm picking up my looks, I must say. Ay, there's nothin' like a soft tongue for keepin' a woman young. I feel 'most like a lassie, though he did say some words at first that made my heart sore, not knowing me after ten years away. And he's that handsome yet,-since he's shaved off the beard that got so between us I didn't know my own good man that married me in Dummerlie kirk on as sweet a Sunday morn as you ever see, and the priest in a new frock from Wappington, as the housekeeper told me herself- La, I forgot my lady! [Runs out. Stephen steps from behind a shrub] Ste. So, mistress, you've known me all the time, have you And me playin' the fool courtin' my own wife that was ready to jump into my arms at the drop o' a hat! But I'll play you a game, my lady! [Re-enter Eldra] Eld. 0, Mr. Stephen! 73 LORDS AND LOVERS Ste. Ho, Madam Prune-face! A sweet mornin', now ain't it, but a bit briskish as suits the season. Eld. Prune-face! By my lady's glass, I've not a wrinkle yet as big as the hair on a bat's wing! Plague take the eyes o' him that says it as shouldn't! Ste. Well, well, I meant no harm, but mickle it takes to pinch a bruise. I brought a message to your lady from Sir Roland- Eld. Sir Roland He's a lord now Ste. Ay, 'tween the king and Hubert they've made him a lord. Eld. Hubert! You mean his grace, the earl of Kent Ste. He's still my friend, Meggy. The earldom is noth- ing between Hubert and old friends. And I'm a-climbing too. I've had an advancement, which I don't mind telling you about, but I'll have a bit o' your brew first and a dozen or so o' them cakes, seein' you took the trouble. I could never disappoint a woman as had put herself out for me. [Sits at table] Eld. [Pouring ale] It has been a long stretch since you were this way, sir. Ste. Eh Has it Well, I don't wonder you think so in this sort o' a place. Not much goin' or comin' round here! But time don't hang wi' Stephen. There's ridin' and fightin' an' the lassies to comfort- Eld. I thought you were honest. You've bragged enough! Ste. As honest as a soldier, my dear,-and that ought to content any woman. [Eldra sits at table] Yes, sit if you like. I'm not overproud, though your place is behind a man o' my rank when he's at table. I know I've eaten wi' you and drunk wi' you, but I've had an advancement, Meggy, I've had an advancement. [Takes sip of ale and puts it down] Costmary! Well, let 'em as likes it drink it. 74 LORDS AND LOVERS Eld. 'Tis nice and balsamy. I thought you'd like it, and saved it o' purpose. Ste. Dose me wi' tansy and be done! [Eldra turns her head to wipe away a tear and Stephen gulps the ale] Ste. [Bites a cake and puts it dawn] Poh! Eld. Don't you like it Ste. If I don't mind a lie for manners' sake, I do, but if I've more respect for truth than manners, I don't. Ain't your hand a little out Eld. I thought they were extra nice, sir. I'm sure they rose like feathers. Ste. And may blow away for me! But come, don't hang your head, Meggy. You're too old for that. Eld. My name is Eldra, sir. Ste. I know, I know, but I told you that was the name o' my dear lass that's dead and gone Eld. Dead and gone Ste. That's what I said. If she ain't dead, she's where I can't get her, which is all the same to a soldier, so I've about made up my mind to give over lookin' for her. Lord, don't cry, little chicken! You are a soft one. Cryin' to think I've lost such a jewel o' a lass, but I'll tell you something to make you think better of it. There is somebody up in old Scotland that I think I'll fetch down for the comfort o' Stephen-as bonny a woman as a man need want, wi' enough siller laid up from her old daddy to make a soldier a gentleman. Lizzie o' Logan Eld. Oh-h! Ste. The qualms again Now devil take a woman as gets queasy just when a man wants to be friendly and talk things over. Eld. [Aside] Liz o' Logan! My cousin as was always jealous and wanted my Stephen! 75 LORDS AND LOVERS Ste. Hey, Meggy! [She runs out, left] Ha, ha, ha! Poor little woman! I'm a villain. I'm twenty villains. [Eldra steals back unseen and hears him] To treat my bonny sweet wife so! The cunningest darling that ever said yes to a soldier! I'll make it all right when she comes back, and won't there be a smackin' o' lips! [Eldra makes signs of joy and revenge and disappears] Where has she gone Run off to cry her sweet eyes out, I'll warrant! I'll go find her. [Exit, left. Eldra and Orson come on, rear] Ors. 0, is it true My faithful heart is blest at last My rival indeed vanquished And I-I am your adored one Eld. Yes, but don't be a bigger fool than you can help. Ors. Fool, ma'am Eld. There, there, I mean don't forget that you are a man of dignity Ors. Ah! Don't trouble yourself. Eld. And cosset me before folks, like a bumpkin with his first lass. Ors. I'll be patient-before company. Though I should just like to show that man of blood what my rights are now. But you mean it, Eldra This is not another jade's trick Eld. 'Tis true-always barring that my man don't come back to claim me. Ors. The fishes keep him! [Re-enter Stephen] AM! Eld. [Whispers sweetly to Orson, then discovers Stephen] 0. here he is! Now, Orson, I know you'll be friends wi' Mr. Stephen. Just to please me now. You see, sir, Orson's been courtin' me many a year, and I had just about give in like a weak woman, when you came and got me all upset somehow, lookin' so much like my man who was drowned at sea, an' his own name too. I did lose 76 LORDS AND LOVERS my head so at times I could 'a' sworn you were my very man, but what you said about Liz o' Logan brought me to my right mind again, and Orson is willing to make up, and I'm sure we can all be friends, only me and Orson won't be presumin', an' shame take me to think I ever looked so high as a king's man wi' an advancement- though Orson is a man of dignity now-and-sit down, Orson! [Sits at table and pours ale for herself and Orson] We take a snip together about this time every mornin'. Orson's got no quarrel with the ale cost, and he does love my raisin' o' bread and cake. Ors. And who doesn't let him starve in a ditch! We don't ask you to sit, Mister Stephen. We know our place, and hope you know yours. Eld. Ay, a king's man must keep his head high. Ors. High, my love Eld. I mean with an advancement. Ors. 'Tis well. You know me, Eldra. Eld. I hope I do, Orson. Ors. And you must own, my dear, that you came to your right mind in very good time. Eld. I'm reasonably thankful, Orson. I know what it is to be a soldier's wife. Ors. They lie not between linen, I warrant you. Eld. Linen An they get muslin without begging it, they may thank fortune! Ors. With never a silk smock for the fair. Eld. Silk smock An a new one comes before the old one drops off they may say their prayers for it! Ore. But we'll be snug enough, my dear. Eld. That we will! Ors. And winter coming on. Ah! Eld. True enough. Ors. A good fire. Eld. Yes, my love. 77 LORDS AND LOVERS Ors. A little mulled sack, if the night be wet. Eld. Indeed, my dear! And a hot posset for your cold, curdled with sweet wine. Ors. Humph! A little tart, I beg you, to give it spice. Eld. Well, our tastes won't quarrel. I know a wife's place. Ors. By my life, you do! 0, 'tis a merry day! Would I were not a man of dignity now! [Pats her] Eld. Orson! Ors. I mean-O, come! 'Tis a merry day! Give us a song, mister soldier! Ste. I'll give you the devil! Ors. How, sir You seem disturbed. Perhaps your reflections are not so happy as mine. It may be your mistress has not such an adoring and adorable eye-can not feast you with her cheeks-[kisses Eldra]-regale you with her lips-[kisses her] Ste. Scoundrel! Kiss my wife [Takes him by collar and throws him aside] Eld. My Stephen! Ste. My Eldra! Eld. [Running to his arms] I knew it was you! Ste. I knew it was you! Eld. Why didn't you tell me Ste. Why didn't you tell me Ors. As a man of dignity now, I should like to ask why you didn't tell me! Ste. [Dancing up and down stage with Eldra] Ay, Orson, 'tis a merry day! Come, come! Here's a good ale for all. To you, Orson! [Drinks] And let the song go 'round! [All sing] Ho, Autumn time, 0, Autumn time, When every wind is jolly, And pip and pear drop in their prime For tooth of fun and folly! 78 LORDS AND LOVERS When Hobnail's store is ripe for raids, And grapes go to the pressing, And apple cheeks are like a maid's When Jack would be a-kissing! Ho, hips and haws for vagabonds, With russets for who'll dare, And hazels by the meadow ponds, Brown-sweet for barefoot's fare! The pettychaps beflit the larch, The rocks from barn-top scold, And summer rogues are on the march For quarters 'gainst the cold. Ho, Autumn time, 0, Autumn time! When every wind is jolly, And pip and pear drop in their prime For tooth of fun and folly! Eld. Hist! My lady is coming with her knight. Ste. What knight Nobody should be coming here but the earl of Kent and my lord of Wynne. Come, lass, what knight Eld. 0, now it's out, you must be as mum as a dumb man's grave. My lady has a lover, and a sweet young knight he is, too, who rides out every week just for a peep at her. List! You can hear them now, just over the hedge. Ste. And the master doesn't know! By Heaven, the man's a villain, and I'm a traitor to my lord of Kent if I don't wring his neck! Eld. Stephen! Stephen! Or. Hold, sir! 79 LORDS AND LOVERS Ste. Off with you! I'd drag him out an 'twere the king himself! [Leaps through the hedge and pulls the king through] God's mercy! I am dead! It is the king! [AU kneel to the king. Glaia comes through the hedge] Gla. The king Hen. 'Tis true. I am that wretched man, Your sovereign. [Kneels] Ste. [Aside] Kneel to a woman! Nay, Not Stephen! [Rises] Hen. Speak, sweet, and say that I'm forgiven! Gla. My Henry I'll forgive, but not the king. Hen. No pity for the king 0, take him, too, Fair Glaia, crown and all! [Rises] Look not away, Nor down, nor up, nor anywhere but here. Say thou'lt forgive, we'll instantly to court, For there's a spirit sits within this hour, Like silent wisdom in a lovely face, That gives me confidence. We'll to the court! I know thou art a maid of noble blood, For thou'rt indexed with rank's unerring sign, And dearly limned by Nature for a queen. Weep not, my sweet, thy lover is a king, And by my soul, and these dear wildered eyes, And by the life in these blue wandering veins, [kissing her hand] These azure rivers in a lily field- I'll lift thee high as is the English throne! [Exeunt the king and Glaia] Ste. Now there '11 be a broil at court to please all the witches on the island. Eld. And 'twas you dropped the devil's meat into the pot. 0, woe, woe, woe! That I should live to see my lady wed the king! Ste. Well, worse could 'a' happened. The king might have had me hung, and it's bad luck to be a widow twice 80 LORDS AND LOVERS to the same man. I'm for the court to keep both eyes open for what sport befalls. Eld. Sport 0, the poor lord of Wynne! What will he do now May be 'tis sent on him for worshippin' my lady like the Holy Virgin. Sport 0, that you should be my husband and a villain! Up with you, Orson! There's work for such poor servants as we be. Ore. Servant, ma'am Dost not think that this high connection of my lady's will make me lord chamberlain to Eld. Ay, thou'lt get thy right place, I hope, though it be lord footman to a donkey! Come along with you both! [Exeunt. Re-enter the king and Glaia] Gla. I can't believe it yet, your majesty. Hen. Nay, Henry, love. The name you gave me first. By that alone I'll live upon your lips. Gla. I should be gay,-alack, I am half sad. A sort of music here is gone. Mayhap I loved my brother better than the king. Hen. Thy brother Call me that no more. My bride! The sleeping angel I would kiss awake, For waking thou art human and can love. Ah, Glaia, none doth know how I have dreamed, For kings must give up all just to be kings- How oft at night I've left the palace world To find me lodging in the sweeter air Where spirits hold their gentle pageantries, And meet the winds that blow from destiny Pregnant with fortune for my famished soul,- While they who stood about the royal bed, Whose stealthful eyes held me in silken jail, Knew not my body lay untenanted And they but guarded clay. And everywhere 'Twas thee I sought, my Glaia. When you came, I looked, and knew that I need dream no more. 81 LORDS AND LOVERS Gla. And thou art no more sad I make thee happy Hen. When I am with thee 'tis continual Spring, For in my heart is such sweet jugglery Each winter-ragged month doth put on May. Gla. It makes me fear to be so much to thee. 0, Henry, leave me,-leave me here a child That never shall be woman,-ne'er shall seek The bitter knowledge of the human world. [A fawn comes to her from the wood. She fondles it] See, brother! I would ope no book less pure Than these large eyes. Ah, me, was ever soul So full of earth as mine I can love nothing But woods and streams, and these unspeaking things That reasonless may build no dream of God. My Henry, why this fear that if I go From this dear world I'll come to it no more Hen. Cast off the doubt-and here I trample it. We shall come often to this home of peace. But, Glaia, let us go. The hours run fast, And eve must find me at the court. Gle. The court There does my rival in my lover speak. There speaks my enemy, for in the court I shall find that will make these fears all plain. Hen. Fear nothing now! I see thou knowest how To please me best, making me woo thee o'er And o'er again, for naught could be more sweet! [Exeunt. Curtain] SCENE 2. Room in Westminster palace. The earl of Kent and countess of Albemarle talking. Kent. Why do you doubt You've ever trusted me. La. Alb. Ay, while you were all man. Kent. So am I now. LORDS AND LOVERS La. Alb. Nay, you are one half woman, being married. A wife's the key may ope her husband's heart To all the world. She is the pick and pry To every lock of trust, and weasels through His secrets spite all seals. Swear, Hubert, swear That Margaret shall not know! Kent. Have I not sworn How many times will you demand my oath La. Alb. A thousand thousand will not bring me peace! Kent. Ah, Eleanor, why desolate your days With this wild fear 'Tis Heaven you've sinned against, Not man. Look thou above for condemnation. The world is harsh to virtue, not to sin. See how the daughter of the earl of Valence, John's one-time mistress, proudly holds her head, Nor lacks for fawning followers And mark How Rosamond's two sons have fixed their line Fast 'mong our English peers. If you would dare To bring sweet Glaia forth, I do not doubt The court would welcome her as princess born. La. Alb. But Albemarle! He never would forgive! Christine of Valence was not wife to him, Else would her mimic court be dungeon close, And racks, not lovers, kiss her dainty fingers. You've never seen his rage! 0, swear again You'll set securest watch on act and tongue, Nor let Kent. Here is your lord with Winchester. La. Alb. 0! Kent. Come, I'll satisfy you, Eleanor. [Exeunt, right. Winchester and Albemarle enter rear] Win. The name of Kent erases church and state And king. Fortune grows doting, and would make A darling of this man. 83 LORDS AND LOVERS Alb. She'll change her love, Doubt not. Win. 'Tis time. New favors upon him light As birds on fruity branches. Castles and estates Are but as feathers every wind brings in. Dost not begin to fear him Alb. You are pleasant. I fear When I could lend him half my power, And yet o'erbear him In the north there are One thousand leaders holding swords of me! Win. I'm answered then Alb. Ay, sir. Though not from love To Kent, nor hate to you, do I deny you. But I'll not stand the champion of a wanton, Though royal daughter of a royal sire. The knightly Albemarles have never stooped To lift adultery from its miry bed And set its colors on their virtuous helm. Win. Now, by your leave, the half of England comes Into the worldi by left hand of the priest, Yet fight and pray as well as you or I, Nor bates a jot their honor in men's eyes, Alb. You have my answer. When I'm ready for't, I'll tumble Kent to earth in my own fashion, And not by means that sets French Adelais On virtue's pinnacle, a star of gilt To falsely glitter in the eye of dames And set them wandering with their vanities Till they forget the way to their true lords. Win. [Musing] I'm writing a court history, your grace. 'Twas John, I think, who set your countess' father On fortune's road. Alb. Nay, 'twas the king before him, Henry the Second. Win. [Going] Well, my wary lord, 84 LORDS AND LOVERS I have no bruise to nurse, and meet the blow Befalls from any point. Alb. What do you say Win. I say, my lord, I'll strike as pleases me, And you keep cover as you will. [Exit] Alb. A bruise Keep cover Gods! And I stood still! The dog! I'll after him and take him by the throat! [Re-enter lady Albemarle, right] La. Alb. What said our ancient enemy Alb. Enough! He angered me! La. Alb. But what the cause, my lord Alb. He'll quash the claim the church makes to my castles If I will aid in bringing Kent to trial On charge of Adelais, who sojourns here To push her old appeal. I will not do 't! La. Alb. Thanks that you shield my brother, by whose rise You droop. Alb. I shield your brother When his name Is Kent Nay, you mistake me. I refused Because this princess was no more nor less Than Henry Second's mistress, and the son, Whose death is laid to Kent, was the vile fruit Of wantonness. A princess! I'd forgive A milkmaid false, but error in the great Is so bestarred by its exalted place That those beneath mistake what is so lustered For the true sun. La. Alb. Hast seen the king, my lord Alb. I say 'tis guilt of such a heinous sort, So foully odorous and so far bestrewn, The sea o'errunning Britain could not wash The island free of it! 85 LORDS AND LOVERS La. Alb. 'Tis very wrong. Alb. What! Set this princess over all your heads As she were halo-browed, that you might pray Her saintly patronage for your loose hopes La. Alb. Indeed, it is not well. Alb. Well By my life, Our English dames are running mad enough, And must be duchesses because-look ye- They're wantons to a king! Out on your kind! [Aside, slowly] "'Twas John, I think, who set your countess' father On fortune's road." You've been a handsome woman- Could foot right well on Venus' heels. My soul, There's beauty in you yet to draw an eye O'er the picket of defence! La. Alb. My lord, I pray you Alb. 'Tis well that our young Richard has my eye, And trick of walk, and way of sudden speech, Else I'd suspect a cuckoo in the nest, For all your dainty strictures and high head! La. Alb. For Christ's sake, Albemarle Alb. Ay, had he not My very shoulder hitch and swelling neck This night I'd drag him to the eastern tower And hurl him to the Thames! La. Alb. My God! Alb. For you I'd pay out my estate in hire of men To spend their lives devising drawn-out pains That death might feed and grow upon itself! La. Alb. Ah, sir, no need. I'm dead now with your words. Alb. The king is entering. Look up, my dame. I rage to think you could be false, and not Because you are. Come, where's your blood, my lady 86 LORDS AND LOVERS Those frosted cheeks are not the royal color. Smile and I'll pardon you. I know you true. [Aside] But when we're home again we'll talk somewhat Of those same favors granted to your father. [Enter Pembroke, Winchester, and others. Pembroke and Winchester talk apart] Pem. But where is Gualo He is friend to Kent. Win. Shipped back to Rome. Pem. Well done! Win. That is made sure. And now I'll push the claim of Adelais With all the power pillared by the church. Pem. Henry will never yield. He wraps the earl So close in love 'twill shake the throne to part them. There's no path to the king not barriered By Kent's unceasing watch. Win. I'll drop a canker Will eat a way for us. Ah, here they come. Pem. Arm-locked as king and king; and eye to eye, Like lovers changing souls. [Enter Henry, Kent, Lord Wynne. Lords and ladies, among whom is Margaret, enter behind them] Hen. [To Kent] I fear to tell you, Hubert, even you. Kent. I do not fear to hear it, whate'er you do So well becomes a throne. Hen. You promise then Your fullest pardon Kent. Your open deeds, my lord, Bear such a noble front I should not fear To clap a lusty "ay" to all you've done In secret. Hen. Thank you, Kent. And Roland, too,- Our good lord Wynne must echo you with pardon, For I have touched him when he felt me not, And shortly he must look upon his wound. 87 LORDS AND LOVERS Wynne. I do not fear to see it. You've taught me, sir, The wounds you give me carry their own heal. lien. But this is deep. Wynne. The richer then the balm. lien. Then out, poor Henry, with thy heart's misdeed. [Turns to the court] Listen, my lords,-my gracious court,-to you I make appeal. Is any here who holds Me in such wintry and removed regard He would not grant my heart its choice in love [Surprise and silence] Win. Your wisdom, sire, that sets the cap of age Upon the curls of youth, gives us excuse To bid you choose at will your royal mate. If I speak not for all, we'll hear dissent. [Silence] This silence warrants you to woo and speed. Hen. That I have done, and now can show to you This jewel of my choice that late I found Deep hidden from the world. So fixed my love, I can not wait to wander through the ways A king comes to betrothal, and shall win Your quick assent, even now, by bringing her To your commending eyes. [Exit Henry] A lord. What does he mean Is this some princely revel Another lord. It may be, And our part is to smile. Win. [To Pembroke] Mark you earl Kent He changes face. Pem. And his pale friend, lord Wynne, Turns corpse on 's feet. Win. Ha! Is it possible They were not privy to this kingly move 88 LORDS AND LOVERS [Re-enter Henry, leading Glaia] Hen. Here, dear my lords! Look on my choice and say That here might come Rome's vestals to repair Their tapers dim. Is she not royal, friends See how her eyes look bravely into yours, Though on her cheek a sweet timidity Doth couch in coral. Now commend me, all! And Hubert, earl of Kent, say whence is she, And what her parentage For all I know Is that I found her bowered in Greenot woods. Kent. My God! Hen. 0, Hubert, muffle up the storm Rides on your brow, and smile upon my love! Kent. Believe me, sire, she can not be your wife. Hen. Not be my wife Unsay the words, dear Hubert. You mean, perhaps, she's humbler born than I- The daughter of a duke-an earl-a lord- Ay, say a knight that bravely bore his shield, And all the gap 'twixt her degree and mine Her native graces will bridge o'er and make Her way unto my throne. Kent. [Kneeling] 0, king beloved, You must believe me! She can not be yours! Hen. Then, Heaven, turn foul, thou dost not shine for me! Rise, Hubert, rise, for I must love you still, Though you have robbed me of the sun and stars. Kent. [Rises] My noblest sovereign! Hen. Now let me hear Why this ne'er mated dove can not be mine, And I'll attend thee patient as the dead Do list their requiem. Kent. Sire, I am pledged. Such sacred oaths are warders at my lips 89 LORDS AND LOVERS That angels would turn pale in Heaven to hear Their violation. Hen. Oaths We must not hear Kent. Not from my lips. It may be from another's In better time. Hen. In better time By Heaven, You shall uncover here her history, And I myself shall say if she may be My own or no! Kent. Thy mercy on a man In one hour old! Hen. You are the torturer! 0, Hubert, Hubert, I am on mv knees! Kent. Sire, give me leave to go, and take this maid, So long my care that I must keep her still. Come, Glaia-child-'tis Hubert takes thy hand. My sovereign lord, I go with sorrow hence. I would my tongue were torn from its curst root Than speak you woe,-but do not hope, my liege, Your husband hand can ever touch this maid. The thought to ague shakes my soul! [Exit Kent with Glaia. Margaret would follow, but is detained by lady Albemarle, who is half swooning. Winchester kneels and kisses the king's robe] Win. My king, Thou'rt still beloved. Hen. Ah, what canst say to one So pinioned by distress that he must lose His dearest friend or dearest love Win. My lord, if friendship may have leave to speak As fits its holy bond and name Hen. 0, speak! Say anything! Win. Too long you have been wronged. Did not Kent win by stealth the Scottish princess, 90 LORDS AND LOVERS Your promised bride Consorting his base blood With royalty-which was his secret aim, And all his burning love for Margaret But feigned and politic to gain your pity. Again he's at your heart! And hopes once more To bear himself to high success. If not, With face assumed and sorrowing he'll melt You to forgiveness. Mar. Listen not, my liege! Hen. [To Winchester] Is this your comfort Mar. Sire, he slanders love As true as God's to men, who says my lord Is false! Win. Her pride would say as much, my liege. As for this maid,-whom majesty might choose, And all the kingdom feel itself adorned,- She's either heir to vast and rich estates, Or Kent dotes on her with such jealous love He will not yield her even to his king. And both these reasons, sire, I urge as one T' explain his stout refusal to make known What honesty would haste to shout aloud. Wynne. Who says that Kent, in friendship or in love, E'er sought his gain, doth foully lie! Win. This man Is Kent's own creature. Hen. Ah, that's not his sin. He loves my Glaia, and would make her his. Wynne. Yes, sire, I love her,-you are right so far,- But, sovereign lord, I would expect as soon To pottle with an angel at an inn As make her mine. Though Hubert spurred my suit Hen. He favored you! Wynne. He set no bars between us. Hen. Ah, you could wed her-let the king go beg! 91 LORDS AND LOVERS Alb. Away, you perked-up villain! Out of this! Wynne. When you come with me, sir, that I may slit The tongue that fouls my name! Alb. My hot-mouthed sir, I'll leave his majesty to teach you better manners. Hen. And here I do, with a ne'er-ending lesson. Roland de Born, so lately lord of Wynne, Thou'rt banished from our realms, not to return, Though thou shouldst live to see more years than yet Man ever numbered his. Wynne. Is this your will Hen. In truth, 'tis nothing else! Wynne. Then, sire, farewell. Some men are fashioned men by circumstance Shaped by what wind blows on them. In their veins The heavens croak or sing. Does the sky frown, They're muddy and befouled,-it smiles, and straight Fair weather's in their blood, sporting its flag In their new countenance. Not I, my lords! Nay, on the winds my soul shall leave its shape, And where I venture I am what I am, A knight of England, loyal to his king. [Exit] Alb. Death to his arrogance! Pem. This judgment, sire, Is much too modest. Win. Hear us now, my liege, For you have heard too little these months past. Hen. My lords, I am too faint and troubled now To understand if you be friends or foes, Or if the earl of Kent be false to me; But come, and what you choose to speak, I'll hear. . . .Glaia, art gone from me Ah, who would live The winds of doom are sold by Lapland witches, Who mix the compass points and blow us foul When we have paid our fortune to go fair. 92 LORDS AND LOVERS [Exeunt Henry and lords. Lady Albemarle and Mar- garet are left alone] Mar. Why do you keep me so La. Alb. Where would you go Mar. Where else but to my lord La. Alb. You shall not go. 0, stay with me! One moment, Margaret! Mar. Another Nay, you're better. I must go. 0, Eleanor, didst hear that Winchester Foul murderer of honor-Hubert's honor! Can these be tongues of men . . . And Roland banished! La. Alb. Canst think of him Mar. He's Hubert's friend. Who now Will stand by him La. Alb. You, Margaret, and I. Mar. Yes-let me go! La. Alb. IWhat will you say to him Mar. Beg him not let his bitter thoughts usurp Quite all his heart, but leave a little room That e'er so small will make me ample heaven. La. Alb. You will not ask of Glaia Mar. Ask Dost think That I must ask La. Alb. He will not tell thee! Mar. Not I am his heart. His veins run not with health Except as I know how they course, and beat Concordantly. Doubt not he'll tell me all. La. Alb. He shall not tell thee! Mar. Madam, you are strange. La. Alb. Ay, Margaret, and strangest to myself. 0, he is true! Dear God, I know he's true! Mar. Make it no question then. For by the sun, And heaven's starry clock that now goes by, You shall not say he's false to Margaret! 93 LORDS AND LOVERS La. Alb. To you Ha! false to you Dost think my thoughts Must ever web round you Mar. [Going] You are his sister. La. Alb. What, are you gone Forgive me, Margaret. Mar. Ah, you forget that I am suffering too. La. Alb. You suffer You Mar. You have a husband, madam. La. Alb. I have. Let me remember him. Ha, ha! You suffer, icicle What do you know of pain But as the lookers on about a pit See one at bottom dying As curious eyes Regard the writhing heretic at stake Or say, as angels flying heavenward turn To give one grudged tear unto the damned That is your pain, you pure, proud Margaret! 0, madness, seize me! Mar. By my fears you have No need to pray for 't. La. Alb. Conscience, where dost sleep Let me tread by nor rouse thee. Mar. Eleanor La. Alb. Whence are those floods of fire 0, Hubert, save me! Mar. Dear Eleanor, be calm. I did not think You loved your brother so. La. Alb. What's that you say Ah, yes, 'tis Margaret. Go to him now. Ask of this maid-then blazon all-all-all! Mar. Come with me, Eleanor. La. Alb. Drive home the knife Now threats his heart! Mar. Come with me, come! La. Alb. 'Tis fit His wife should do it! 94 LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. Come, dear Eleanor. [Exeunt, right. Henry, Winchester, Albemarle, Pem- broke, enter rear] Win. We're glad you are convinced, my lord. Hen. Glad, sir Glad that one half my heart is mottled, foul, Diseased, and must be cut away, though I Die with the cleaving Ay, I am convinced. Win. And give consent that Kent be made to answer The charge of Adelais Hen. Be 't as you please. Pem. 'Twere best to haste in this, ere all the shires Misled in love by Kent, hear of his danger. Win. I have the warrant here. It lacks your seal, My liege. Hen. [Quickly sealing it] Now it does not. Here splits my heart, And half falls with thee, Hubert. [Winchester comforts him. Albemarle and Pembroke talk apart] Pem. In fewest words, What purpose you Alb. To ride at once to north, And through my agents stir up a rebellion Against the king, whom we must make appear Kent's sole remover, for he now 's become The idol of the witless multitude, With whose hot sanction we may move 'gainst Henry And roll his head as fast as Kent's to hell. Pem. But you must see the trial. Alb. So I aim. But if I'm blocked therein, I look to you To keep me stationed in my feudal rights, And what you venture for me I'll make good With forty thousand men, or horse or foot. 95 LORDS AND LOVERS Hen. Where is lord Wynne Inquire if he has gone Alb. He'll trouble you no more, for if my servants Be to me loyal they've set him toward the sea. Hen. You're pert in my own matters. I bethought me I would recall his sentence. He is noble, And I have done him wrong. Why press about me Ye are devils all! Call me the earl of Kent. Win. He is not here, my lord. Hen. Give me the warrant. Quick, sir! I'll have it back! I'll take more time! Win. 'Tis gone, my liege. Hen. Gone Is the devil your post Pem. We pray your pardon, sire. Hen. Could you not give One little hour to old friends taking leave, Though one is a poor king Away from me! Win. Dear majesty, beloved above all kings, Let not your frown unpay again the service Your smile even now rewarded. 'Tis too much, Howe'er we have endured, to ask our silence While Kent doth rob thee of a fairer queen Than ever made a court seem gaudy poor By her rich self. iMust we stand humbly back, That he may please his bosom with her beauty, And bury in his lust what forth should shine Thine and a happy England's constant sun Pem. No doubt, my liege, we shall remove each bar That shuts you from your love, and please ourselves The most in pleasing you. Hen. 0, make her mine, And all you wish, if kings have power o'er fate, Will come to pass. I trust you-yet-and yet- Who can be true when Huberts are found false [Curtain] 96 ACT II ScEN 1. A room in the earl of Kent's palace. An inner room rear, cut off by curtains. Kent alone. Kent. Now, Eleanor, wilt prove thee saint, or devil Wilt mend this breach, or must I perish in it Too well I know that soul's dark history To think it may breed light. The moment globes The years' full character; a whole life's face Peeps out in smallest deeds. Yet wonders are. And Eleanor may prove false to herself To once keep faith with Heaven. [Listens] Glaia Ay! [Goes to curtains rear, parts them softly, looks within and returns] She did not call. I'll watch all night. 'Twill be No added task since there's no sleep for me. My Margaret is safe. They dare not touch A princess of the blood. But I am down. 'Tis said and sung there is no greater pain Than wrenches Fortune's nurslings when she flies. Not so. False lady of the wheel, take all! But 0, to see my king yield to the wolves Now fang-close to his heart-there is my death! [Sits on a couch, his head bowed. Margaret enters, advances softly and embraces him. He looks up, re- turning her caress] Now let the world go on, I'll rest me here. Why should I keep my hand proud on the helm, 97 LORDS AND LOVERS War with the unsated surge, nor know the pause That is the spirit's silent growing time Ah, Margaret, how little will content thee No more nor less than love and poorest me Mar. No more, my lord. Nor will aught less make full My greedy cup. Thou wert the king's, but now Thou art all mine. All mine, my love Or is That little "all" my greatest flatterer Kent. You know my heart. Where have you been so long Mar. With Eleanor. I brought her home with me. Kent. She's here Mar. Yes, Hubert. Ah, she loves you well. Kent. She loves me Mar. Better than you thought. Kent. [In sudden hope] Then . . . Speak! What has she told you Mar. Nothing. What, my lord, Should she have told me Kent. [Dully] Nothing. Mar. I have heard So much of this-this nothing. Kent. Margaret, Thou hast my soul. Wilt keep it true for me Mar. I keep it No, I doubt myself. Kent. Thyself Then trust my trust in thee, which meets thy love As swallows meet the waking winds of Spring And know where life is. Mar. Doubt or trust, I love thee! O Hubert, let us go this night to lands That know how to be kind and smile on lovers. Kent. Dost hope by flying England to fly pain, That everywhere encircles man as fire To shape his soul in fashion of his God 98 LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. For love and life I beg! Why do I say For love and life, since there's no life for me Without thy love 0, you will go with me! Leave the ungrateful king to wed at will- Kent. Leave Glaia to the king The thought is flame! Mar. [Standing before him, suddenly tense] Who is this maiden that you guard as she Were the one drop of blood that in your heart Makes living centre Who Kent. [After a pause] You heard my answer. Mar. Ay, to the king, but not to me-thyself- Nay more, for when thou takest away thyself, Though in the smallest part, so much I die,- And by this secret that divorces us Am wholly slain. But tell it to me, Hubert, And 'twill become another blessed bond, To second union closer than the first Re-sanctioning our souls. [He is silent. Her rage overcomes her] Unseal thy lips, Or by the fires that flit now through my brain, By the ancestral wrongs within my blood That start suspicion where there is no foe, I shall begin to doubt thee! Who is she To thee who art my husband Kent. Margaret, Go to the maiden lying yon and look Once more upon her vestal face, then ask If she know aught of guilt. [Margaret looks silently toward the curtains] Mar. [In subdued tone] She's there Kent. Poor child! I thought you'd be her gentle, elder sister, And help me still her woeful flutterings. [Turns away] 99 LORDS AND LOVERS Where's now the proud, sure strength that made discount Of Heaven's arm 0, reed-propped vanities, Swelling usurpful till ye seem our life, Ye must come down that we may find ourselves And God. Mar. 0, take me back! I did not know This spirit dwelt in me. One of my race, A woman, long ago, stabbed through a heart That played her false, yet she was gentle too, And died for what her hand had done. May be The unquiet dead come back to live in us. 0, it was she stirred this strange passion in me. 'Twas not myself. Speak to me, Hubert! Say 'Twas not myself. Kent. [Embracing her] Sole angel of my love! MIar. You'll take me back Let Time begin his count One minute past, and leave the last one out. 0, say a word will sponge it from the day, Or all my future must turn b)ack its face And live with gazing on that minute's point. Kent. It was not you, my heart. But say it were, Should I pull down my heaven because a bird Makes flying blot against it 'Tis the doubts That darkly flitting show love's constant sky Forever radiant. Mar. O me! O me! And this is shame! Kent. Nay, sweet! Weep, if you must, But let thy tears be rain upon the soul Making a fair new season. Mar. Let me die! Kent. So overwrought Thou who hast been my strength Mar. If I were dead then you- Kent. Should be as thou! 100 LORDS AND LOVERS 'Tis not thy death but Glaia's that would be The sad solution of these woes. Mar. Not her, So fair . . . and dear to us. Kent. [Kissing her] My gentle love! . . 'Twere best she died, who now must drink the cup That makes death sweet in coming. I myself Almost could guide the knife unto her heart And cut off ruder visitors. Mar. 0, veil The thought. Its nakedness has chilled my soul. Kent. Ay, she is God's, not mine. Leave her to him. And now, my life, you, too, must go to rest. Mar. You'll not to bed Kent. The king may send for me. He will not sleep, for in his face was woe Will quiet not to slumber. Mar. 0, my love, How can I leave thee now If thou wert held By softest sleep on pillows of content I could no less than weep to go from thee, And yet these tears are all I have when thou Art left to sad, despairing watch. I'll stay, For I've no words to part with, none to tell How breaks my heart in going. Kent. Nay, I must work, And you will call my wits to otherwheres; Then in the morn these eyes, undewed with sleep, Will show me not the light that must be mine. Mar. Dost toy with words to me Not in my eyes, But in my heart burns thy unfailing torch, And if you find it dim it is thy secret Casts shade between us, not a lack in me. Kent. If I should speak then oaths were straws in fire. Mar. 0, no, I would not have thee speak. That's past. 101 LORDS AND LOVERS 'Tis our misfortune that we are divided In this most pitchy hour that in itself Were nothing if our hearts could meet and melt In unreserved touch. In every life There comes a watch the soul must keep alone. The hour has struck for thine. And mine I feel Is not so far away. Now, now I go, My lord. Because I help you best in going. Our hearts would rush together, and the pain Grows in them baffled. Dearer than life, good night. I leave my prayers like candles set about you, And as they fail think of me on my knees Renewing them from Heaven. [Exit, right] Kent. Margaret! [Pauses, slowly takes up the light and goes off, left, leav- ing the room in darkness. Curtain] Sc ENE 2. The same room in darkness. Margaret enters, right, carrying a taper. Afar. I'll look upon her. When sleep slips the rein The soul plays in the face unguarded. Then The conscious warder holding up the mask Before the secret self bares all defence Unheedful of approach. I'll look, and pray To find the lineaments so pure by day Still guileless fair. 0, that 'twere yesterday- Sweet yesterday-when I knew not nor guessed The sad division 'tween my soul and Hubert's! 0, knowledge, rude defiler of our dreams, How oft we'd give thy hard, substantial store To build again with bright illusion's eye Our happy towers on the inconstant clouds: [Sees a light through curtains] 102 LORDS AND LOVERS She's up! No . . . who is there [Veils her taper. Kent comes from the inner room. He carries a candle] Kent. She does not move. 0, Eleanor, how could thy heart give blood To one so pure that he who loves her best Would send her back to Heaven Mar. [Unheard by Kent] Eleanor! Her child! Her child! Kent. Fair Glaia, may'st thou rest, Nor ever wake till angels call thee up. [Looking back] Ay, ay, she sleeps. [Exit, left] Mar. How gracious art thou, God, To bless me so! 0, wicked Eleanor! This was the fire that maddened thee to-night. Not fear for Hubert. How couldst make his life The priceless cloak of thy own worthless shame But I can save him! I will make thee speak, Unsistered woman! [Draws back the curtains, leairing them open, showing the inner room and bed on which Glaia lies] Glaia, now I'll look, Nor all thy grace shall hide the lines that mark Thy cruel mother. Can this be the face That breeds such misery Fair heaven-case Of innocence! . . . My Hubert's niece, so mine. How lily-cold in sleep! And still . . . so still. A kiss will not awake thee-one as light As my own heart. So cold 0, cold as death! [Draws back the coverlet] Blood! Blood! A dagger here! 0 Heaven, That this smooth coverlet should hide so much! [Stands a moment in silent horror] And Hubert thought she slept. "Rest well," he said, 103 LORDS AND LOVERS "Nor ever wake till angels call thee up." Nor wilt thou wake till then, poor Glaia. 0, How can I call him here to look on this! [Takes up the dagger] Strange that the slayer left his dagger here. He in whose heart the thought of murder lives Has more of cunning in him. [Drops dagger suddenly] Hubert's! O! [Staggers away from bed and holds herself up by the cur- tains. Buries her face for an instant, then looks up blanched and determined] I must act quickly. 0, at once-at once! One pause may be the grave of resolution. [Starts toward bed, but stops] "She does not move," he said . . . and "ay, she sleeps," As though she slept eternally. [Goes to bed and takes up the dagger] His dagger. Oft has it pleased me to regard this hilt. Pearls winding like a milky way about A turquoise heaven. Even then my fate Lurked in the blade. Why do I talk, and beg A vile delay Pain is sole merchant here, And with each moment amplifies his profit. . . . I will not pray, for prayer is softening, And I must be too stern to pity self. I was a princess. I'll not think of that, For now I am a wife. And for my lord Must die. They'll find me here, and say the deed Was mine. My jealous hand avenged my wrong. 0 gentle Heaven, he is not worthy this! Nay, nor no man, and yet for every man There lives a woman who would die for him. [Lifts the dagger] 104 LORDS AND LOVERS I can not strike. [Drops her arm] I must . . . ere I go mad And leave the event to chance. [Lifts dagger, grows faint and falls with a cry to the floor. Kent enters, left] Kent. 'Twas Margaret's voice. My love [Advances and sees Margaret on the floor] 0, life of mine! [Looks toward bed] Glaia! Uncovered-bleeding-dead! Put out My eyes! Out . . . out. What cruelty yet lives In Heaven to show me this 0, Eleanor, Come, come and see how thy one sin has grown To widest hell! Thy Glaia dead . . . even cold . . . And Margaret . . . not dead . . . but would she were! [Bends over her] Yea, I could love thee then. My Margaret, Couldst do this thing Thy hand was ever tender, And oft thou coveredst even guilt with mercy. . . .She could not do it. . . . Ay, she could . .. she could. For her ancestral steps are marked with blood, And but to-night her eye flashed with a look That like an evil star did point to this. [Knocking without, and opening of gates] My summons from the king. Ho, Rufus [Draws coverlet over Glaia's form] Glaia, Thou wert the bud of earth; infinity Shall wear thy blossom and be proud. [Enter attendant] Att. My lord Kent. Your mistress faints. Call up her women. Haste! [Exit attendant. Kent takes Margaret in his arms and 105 LORDS AND LOVERS bears her off, right. Re-enters, goes to curtains and draws them, concealing Glaia's bed] 0, Henry, now thy heart is struck. [Enter an attendant] Who comes Att. Your grace, I do not know. Strange men who give No name, but say that they must see you. Kent. Must Admit them. Att. Here, your grace Kent. Ay, here. [Exit attendant. Kent picks up dagger from the floor] 'Tis mine. I'll wear my own. [Hangs dagger at his belt] Now is the earl of Kent A murderer. How feels it with you, sir [Enter officers and attendants] Officer. My lord of Kent, you are our prisoner. Kent. By whose command Off. The king's. Kent. 0, April heart, Dost think 'twill ne'er be winter What the crime Off. You're charged, on pain of death, to show the son Of Adelais, of France. Kent. That sin is old And faded now. I know another blots O'er that. I'll burn your ears with 't as we go. [Exeunt. Curtain] 106 ACT III SCENE 1. A rmall altar room adjoining the king's apart- ment. Henry bowed and kneeling. Enter Winchester and attendant. Att. Since morning he has knelt, and sees no one. You are the first admitted. Win. Dear my lord- Hen. [Rising and turning to Winchester] Will you, too, tell me she is dead Win. Alas Hen. 0, not that word-the pretty mask of woe, That never hid a tear. If she is dead, Weep and be dumb, or find some word that rends The heart in uttering it. Win. My lord Hen. My lord! You're too polite a mourner, by my faith! 0, Glaia, Glaia, Glaia, art thou dead Canst thou then sleep, 0, God Win. That he does sleep This deed is proof. Hen. What deed 'Tis false! She lives. 'Twas blessed yester morn I held her here, And heard her laugh and say my kisses were Like Maythorn blossoms dropping on her hair. And can her voice be still Nay, fiends themselves Love music, and would spare to put so much 107 LORDS AND LOVERS To silence. 0, in her tongue the nightingale Was dead, having no sweeter cause to live. She could not die. A thousand thousand angels Would rush to save her and with silvery wings Beat back the assaulting devil. Win. Would I could say She lives! You drain my heart with every tear You drop upon this woe. Loved majesty, Look up and weep no more. Hen. Stop not my tears. They shall pour sea-like till my body lies An isle o'erwhelmed. My eyes could lend the skies Another flood yet lack not moisture. . . . Glaia! It was my kiss that slew thee. But for me Thou hadst been living still. So Winter springs To clasp his blushing Autumn love, then spends His weary season burying her dead leaves. Win. Rouse you, my lord. The creature is alive That slew her. Hen. He is found-and lives-and you Stand here to tell me Win. Hear my story, sire. When we arrested Kent- Hen. Arrested Kent You could not wait Well, we shall see, my lord, My Glaia loved him and he shall not die. Win. The moment he was taken he confessed That he had slain the maid- Hen. What is 't you say Now, by my life, I thought you said that Kent- I'l not repeat it-'twas so strange a thing- I'm numb since this dark news, and what I hear By insurrection of my wits becomes What I hear not. Win. Recall yourself, my lord. 108 LORDS AND LOVERS Your wits are loyal, and inform you rightly. I said 'twas Kent- Hen. Ha! Now the devil speaks In his own person. You've thrust the cloven foot Too far from 'neath the bishop's gown. Win. My lord- Hen. Now I read back and take the hellish measure Of all your lies! Win. Your majesty- Hen. Sir, I have loved this man, and when I felt Too weak for England's throne, I laid my head Upon his breast and there grew strong as he. And you dare say- Win. I do not say, my liege, The crime is his, but he confessed it so. Here are the words in which he damns himself. [Gives the king a paper] Hen. Drop from the world, 0 sun! Make all the air Dark as my heart, that from this hour shall know No re-ascending star! Leave me, my lord. All's as you please. Do what you will. The world No more shall draw me forth to look upon it. Yet I am young, and had but learned to smile. [Enter attendant] Att. The earl of Pembroke begs to see my lord Of Winchester. Hen. Admit him here. I'll pray. [Turns to altar. Enter Pembroke] Win. What news, your grace Pem. 'Tis strange enough, my lord. Kent's wife, the princess Margaret, now swears 'Twas she who took the maiden's life, and speaks With so much care and proof of circumstance I scarce can doubt her. 109 LORDS AND LOVERS Win. Margaret! Pem. No other. She says 'twas she alone, and not her husband. Win. This fortune wears our colors. Give it welcome. I feared she'd rouse all England,-Scotland, too,- In Kent's defence. You know her blood of old. But now her hands are bound. Pem. Then you've no doubt 'Twas she Win. I wish to have none, that's enough To shape my looks by. [Henry rises and comes toward them] Ah, my liege, we hear That Margaret is author of the crime We now bewail, not Kent. Hen. That it was either I can not whip my senses to believe. Win. She has confessed. Hen. Why, so did Kent. This shows A gap in proof. Win. Kent thought to shield his wife. Hen. Then he must love her well, and yet your tongue Struck hard another way. Nay, it is she Who thinks to save her lord. Poor Margaret, Thou hadst done better to have wed the king. Win. My lord, we can not doubt Kent loved this maid. 'Twas as apparent as the light to eyes; And he would pause ere put her from his arms To bed with worms; but this same love would be Poor Margaret's bitter cause to wish her dead; And Jealousy, we know, is page to Murder, Holding the candle for the hellish stroke. Hen. But why should Kent confess Win. With all his sins, He has the grace of chivalry, and thought 110 LORDS AND LOVERS By his confession to save Margaret, Not caring for his fate since he was doomed For other crime. Hen. I'll hear no more, my lord. A woman . . . and that woman-Margaret. Win. My liege Hen. No more. Here is my seal. 'Tis yours. And now I beg you go. Nothing is dear But grief, sole link 'tween me and love. Leave me, I pray. [Turns to altar] Win. [Aside, gloating] Weep, fool, my star is in my hand! Pem. God send you comfort, sire. [Exeunt Winchester and Pembroke] Hen. [To attendant] Let none approach me. [Exit attendant. Henry sings] I laid a rose upon my heart, Ay me! Soon 'gan its beauty to depart, Ay, ay me! I nursed it with desire, Still did its beauty go, For 0, my heart was fire, Cruel fire! Ay me, I did not know, I did not know. [Enter a friar through panel door behind altar] Art thou a shadow come to say All men are shadows and naught living is Friar. I come to give God's help and ask for thine, My son and king. Hen. 'Tis death, sir, thus to steal Into my presence. ill LORDS AND LOVERS Friar. So I prove my love For thee, your highness, venturing life to reach Thine ear's seclusion. Hen. What wouldst tell me, father I've heard your voice before and found it honest. By that, mayhap, we'll prove old friends. Come in. [Exeunt] SCENE 2. A prison corridor. Kent alone. Kent. Is this the end of Kent The block and axe His porters to throw ope the sealed gate I thought a good wife's prayers had ushered me, And weeping peers had held my garments back Until the soul disdained to hide therein. . . .What value's in this world that men will buy 't With so much groaning This strange human chaos Where vice is often merit, merit vice, Or if they be themselves so change deserts That wisdom is clapped to gallows, folly to thrones, And innocence lifts up thin, fettered hands While guilt walks angel free. Where palsy shakes The pen from the seer's hand, and crowing health Bids fools to write; where Fame forgets to blush At Flattery's board, and Honor, pendulous 'Twixt bribe and faith, dwindles inert and like A withered finger shames the hand of state. . . .Where Margarets can stripe their souls' pure white With guileless blood. She, she that was a dove To falcon turn and rend a fledgling's breast! It casts a doubt on Heaven, makes of faith A leper scourged from man's hale faculties, And love a monster of diseased minds! Come, dearest Death, and mis-shaped world away! [Margaret is admitted, left, by a turnkey] 1192 LORDS AND LOVERS Turnkey. You're honest All your jewels, ma'am Mar. Ay, all! They have been praised, but had no worth till now When each one buys a minute with my lord. [Exeunt turnkey, locking door] [Margaret comes down corridor toward Kent, her hands behind her] Kent. [Looking up] What devil drove you here Mar. Did Hubert speak Kent. What do you want Why hold away your hands Fear not that I'll embrace thee! Mar. What art thou Kent. Nothing to thee, whatever else I am. Away! For Death and I have just locked hands. One moment more and I had cozened him Of all his pain. But you, dear, damned foe, Take up his weapons and re-gash my wounds. Mar. Is this my lord Kent. Go. I command you. Go! Eternity drops on me, and lightfoot Time Hies like a ghost to nothing. What dost here Mar. I die. Kent. You die No fear of that. You are Too great a lover of this life that vaunts A bloated bubble 'twixt immortal shores. Mar. If once 'twere true-if once I loved this world- Thy bitter words have sucked desire to live From all my senses. As a god I held thee, Now mocking gods bid me look on whilst thou Deport'st thyself 'neath mortal. Sir, what plague Hast met What conjuration of the skies Disfigures thee Kent. The same that made thyself A woman. Back unto your world! Mar. 0, true 113 LORDS AND LOVERS I loved this life, and held a heart not dead To music, beauty, sweet and warm delights, An interest in the season-robing earth, An entertained eye for fortune's chance, And too pretentiously I sighed to leave The unfollowed steps of fair and flying Truth, And last, poor woman, shrank to change thine arms For the cold circlet of Elysian clouds; But you, pervert and monstrous, work my peace, Unto my eyes deforming all the world And maling the unknown more dear than dream. Kent. I monstrous 0, thou shame! To've died for you Were scarcely more than's done each day for love; But I for you have heaped my name with crime, Crime that will damn my reputation's snow While lasts the world and men recount old tales! Mar. 'Twas for my sake you did it! Ah, I know. You loved me well. Would you had known me better, Or loved me less! 0, how couldst think my life Would flower with happiness when sacrifice Of one as dear to Heaven as myself Lay burning at its root Nay, I must wither Unto this world, but as I fall thy name Grows fairer, for I have confessed 'twas I. For love of me you sinned. The punishment Is mine. Kent. Confessed You have confessed No, no! Mar. I shall be soon forgot, but your great name Will live, and since it must, or dark or bright, I would remove as much of foulness from it As blood of mine will cleanse. Kent. You have confessed! 0, God of truth, let man trust to thy mercy, Not hope to cheat thy justice! You confessed 114 LORDS AND LOVERS Already I was doomed, but you-you might Have lived. Ay, and you shall! [Comes near her and sees that her hands are fettered] In fetters You By holy Heaven, though giants forged these on I'd strip them off! [Breaks her letters] Mar. 0, let me wear them, sir! My bond of blessedness-for I am blest In dying for your sin! Kent. That word again My sin Mar. Forgive me, Hubert. 'Twas no sin. Indeed, 'twas none. For you were not yourself. 'Tvas madness. Heaven must forgive it thee. Kent. God help thee, Margaret! Wouldst say I did it Mllar. Not you, but heavy, secret woe that bred A demon in your blood to strike poor Glaia,- And too-dear love of me which vainly hoped To give me peace where never peace could be. 0, look not so! At God's own throne 'twill be Forgiven thee, for surely thou wert tried As Heaven tries its own. Kent. Art mad at last Thy crime confessed to all the world, and yet Denied to me, the only heart that knows [She gazes at him, bewildered] Poor soul, her madness has been slow enough. Come, bruised darling, with thy blood-stained hands! Thou 'rt mine, my only love! [Embracing her. She moves from him] Mar. 'Tis you that speak Wild words. My blood-stained hands They're free of blood As the pure angel's who writes golden down The saintliest deeds of men! 115 LORDS AND LOVERS Kent. Whate'er thy words, Thine eyes are true, and there's no madness in them. But, Margaret, I found thee by her side- Mar. 'Twas there I swooned- Kent. The dagger in thy hand Mar. Yes, in my hand, but, Hubert-hear me, Hubert! I saw you come from Glaia's curtained bed, Slow and despairing, murmuring "She sleeps," As though you said she slept to wake no more. I entered, saw her pale, drew back the coverlet- There ran the stream that drained her beauty's rose There lay your dagger-yours. And then I thought By dying there to save your life and name, But fainted, 0, too soon- Kent. My heart, my heart! 0, had I done such deed would I have left My dagger to confess it Glaia called- Not so-I dreamed she called-and going there, Found her in deepest sleep-or thought I found Her so-and touched her not lest she should stir And know her woes again. Mar. It was not you Kent. That question makes your tongue a dagger's point, And yet my doubt of you was deeper wrong, Measuring all the difference between Man's grosser soul and woman's altar-lit. 0, Margaret, some serpent heart planned well To do this deed and leave the guilt with me. Mar. Who-who, my Hubert Nay, it matters not, Since 'twas not you-not you! In two small words My heaven is built again! Kent. We ne'er shall know. I've foes enough, and one of them perhaps So sought to cast me deeper by this crime, 116 LORDS AND LOVERS And we shall wear his foul and scarlet mark Even unto our graves,-for we must die. Mar. Enough that we die sinless. Kent. 0, my love, Who would have died for me! Mar. And you, dear lord, Who took such shame upon you for my sake! Kent. Death was already on me, and 'twas naught To make addition to my guilt. But you, Your heart not pausing, leapt from safety's shore Into the flood. 0, might I live for thee! A blessed bondman to thy merest wish, From hour to hour to watch thy graces bloom As various as Flora when she loves, And in each furrow of thy brow that writ Thee mortal set a new April mocking Time! Then when no more I could dispute his doom, Enter with thee a star-lit, sweet old age, The fane of rest, and sanctuary where ,All sorrows take their ease. Mar. Think thou of Heaven. Kent. But 0, how dear this life! The immortal world Is shrunk to shadow of a single thought, And this contemned earth is sudden grown Past circumscription of the mind's fond eye. No-no--we must not die! Mar. Wouldst tremble now When thou hast love beside thee Nay, my lord, Be yet the man of men, whose virtue drew My wild resisting heart into its sun. Kent. 0, must we leave it all-the gracious earth Where we have loved, and heard the robins sing, And built our nest that song might never cease Ah, I am weak, my sweet, and shine but in The doting tear that dims a true wife's eye. 117 LORDS AND LOVERS Mar. 'Tis not my love that paints thee radiant, But thy own light illumes my eyes to love. 0, lord of mine, the kings of earth in vain May hope to be thy shadowy parallel, And where we go, in any court of air Or cloud or heaven, still must thou be the one Excelling star. Kent. [Clasping her] Heart of the sun, beat here! 0, thy immortal fire will make Death warm Ere he can make thee cold. [The turnkey opens door at end of corridor] Mar. My life, my soul! Kent. 0, God! Celestial marshaller of chance To some far end of good, let me believe Thy hand is here, and even on our heads. [The turnkey comes down] Ah, kiss me, kiss me, Heaven's Margaret. Could I my life concentrate in one beat I'd dwarf it so and give it in this kiss. [Curtain] SCENE 3. A room in the earl of Albemarle's palace. A friar, and the king in friar's dress, but uncowled, waiting. Hen. This is a fitting room for Death's cold jest; So proudly hung, and filled with comfort's chattels, As though its owner hoped long respite from A clayey bed. Where is the tenant, father Friar. She'll enter presently,-ah, even now. [Henry puts on cowl. Enter lady Albemarle, bearing a small box which she holds to her bosom] La. Alb. Father, hast brought the holy man The saint Whose prayer may save the soul already damned. Fr. Good daughter- 118 LORDS AND LOVERS La. Alb. Ha! Good devil! That were better! He's here Well, send him back. I've changed my mind. I will not see him,-no, nor you! Fr. Farewell. La. Alb. Nay, do not go! Wouldst leave a soul in hell For humor of the tongue [Friar returns to her] My soul Pah, sir! You think a priest can save it I want not Your prayers, l)ut your good service to set right A wrong. Don't mumble over me! I speak Because I'm dying. Had I hope to live, Then right might shift for itself. And you call this Repentance! Pah! Who can keep mum when death Turns the last screw You know the earl of Kent My brother Fr. Yes, my daughter. La. Alb. I know that Will make his peace with Henry-foolish king! I must go back to tell you-years and years. [Turns away as if musing] Fr. Speak, lady, in God's name. La. Alb. I'll tell you all. But I'll not kneel. I've lived too much on knees. . . . See Albemarle! He has as many bodies As he has wishes to keep spy on me. . . . He's gone, and did not speak. He never speaks, But there's a sort of beast sits in his heart That growls and I do hear it. Fr. Peace, good lady. La. Alb. Ah, good again. Foul, foul and villainous! Come here, thou holy man. To you I'll speak. Dost think that ever I was beautiful, And these long locks once bound a king to me Hen. A king La. Alb. Ay, royal John. A king indeed! 119 LORDS AND LOVERS Angel to me though devil to the world. None loved him but his Eleanor,-none, none! The rest were mistresses unto his throne. I gave my heart, he took me up to his. Ah, father, do you think that is my sin That is my joy, my glory, my one pride. I'll ne'er repent it until I repent That e'er I smiled or felt myself alive. Repent Nay, father, not till I believe That marble women are more dear to God Than we whose hearts are warm with the same love That beat in His when worlds leapt from His joy. Come back, 0 golden summer, when there dwelt Two happy beings in a magic wood, Treading not earth but soft enchantment's air, Until the beast came! There, do you not see him Away, black Albemarle! 0, mercy, Heaven! . . .Then there was Glaia, bud of our true love- Hen. Glaia! La. Alb. 0, happy I, when he my king Bent over me and said, " Sweet, she is ours! " Hen. My sister! La. Alb. What dost say Thy sister Ha! Base monk, I tell thee that her blood was royal As Henry's own! Ay, nobler! Who shall say My spirit leapt not o'er pale Isabel's [Retreats to couch by which is a small table. Puts box on table and lays her head upon it, weeping] Hen. Then Glaia was my sister. Did you hear Fr. I heard what I well knew before By my heart's guess, but had no proof of it. La. Alb. [Starting up] Hear, father! You've heard nothing yet. Last night I killed her. Do you hear I killed her. Hen. 0! 120 LORDS AND LOVERS La. Alb. You hear Ay, for you gasp and mutter prayers. I thought to go and watch her while she slept, And walked a devil with me who held close A dagger-Hubert's-that's my brother, monk. Still, still, ye swirling fiends that in my brain Keep your hot dance! Be still! . . . She lay asleep, Pain in her heart and beauty on her brow; Her curls-her father's curls-around her face. One fell upon my wrist-and see, a burn, As though its gold were fire. She turned to me, And murmured as her father did in sleep; Then in my hand the knife arose, and fell, And as my brain rocked sick I heard him say, My lover, bending o'er me, "She is ours." [Pauses] Hen. And then La. Alb. What next I know not, but I think Some cunning led me to conceal the deed And make escape. I left the dagger there. 'Twas Hubert's. You had best be quick, or harm Will come to him. The world is such a fool! But wait-O, wait till I am dead! I am A coward born, and life has bred me such. Hark! Albemarle is coming! Lock the door! [Runs to the table and takes up the box] Look-in this box-my lover's letters-see! I have the key. I'll give it to the devil, And Albemarle may look for it in hell. 0. I am dying! Hide them for me, priest. My letters from my king. I'll burn them all. Nay, nay, sweet, pretty words, lie down with me. Together we'll grow cold. Ye'd fire enough, God wot! [Lies on conch] Glaia is dead. Be quiet now. 1921 LORDS AND LOVERS Hast heard I was her mother There's a secret- No-no-I must not speak it-but 'twill out By doomsgate, so they say. You are a priest; Canst tell how far 'tis from the grave to hell You think they'll let me lie a little first And see how 'tis to sleep 'Tis a long walk, I'll lie quite still, and give no trouble none. [Dies] Hen. Help! Something to revive her. Fr. It were vain. Earth has not such restorative. Hen. Not dead Fr. The heavenly amaranth alone can dew Her brow with life. Hen. 0, Hubert! What am I Let me crawl to thy feet, cast off my crown As I cast off this cowl, and lie in dust Before thee! 0, too late! [To friar] 'Tis as you guessed. And each confessed in sacrificial love Hoping to save the other. Tell me now Who plays the angel here Fr. My liege, one who Would not be here but that he fears no death. [Removes his cowfl Hen. Roland! Wynne. I My king! Hen. Not king, but friend, And equal in this woe. Rise! 'Tis no time To kneel. What must we do Now Margaret Is safe-but Hubert Even now they doom him. Barons and church are leagued to prove him guilty, Nor have I power against their proof to pardon And keep my throne. Wynne. Take courage. Thou art king. 122 LORDS AND LOVERS Hen. To th' tower then. If majesty is yet A word of might, we'll dare them all. Wynne. Now speaks Yourself. Hen. ITl be the king! Wynne. You fill my heart With singing prophecies. Hen. But first we'll give An order for the noble burial Of this poor woman. Glaia's mother, Roland. She called me brother, and would have it so. Ah, little sister, did the angels tell you You lived so much with them. . . . 'Twas I who killed her. My very hand, and not this poor mad woman's. I slew them both. Oh, oh, oh! Wynne. Dear my lord, Leave grief unto the grave, that it best decks; The living call us now. Hen. You talk so, sir, Who did not love her. Wynne. 0, my lord! Hen. You did. Forgive me, friend, that I forgot your heart. Wynne. If constancy past sacrifice of hope Is love, I loved her, sire. If to be true To every wish that rises from her grave Is love, I love her still. But you, my liege, Cloud your fidelity, wasting in tears The moments now devoted by the stars To rescue one she loved. Hen. Shame me no more. We'll give an order here, then to the tower! [Exeunt] 1923 ACT IV ScEiNE 1. The council chamber in the Tower of London. Barons and prelates assembled. Archbishop of Canter- bury presiding. Princess Adelais present, attended by several French nobles and her women. She advances before the archbishop. Ade. Ye peers of England, and ye men of God, Humbly I make my suit. Not as a princess With vassal pomp and power to awe the eye And judgment take fore-captive, though a score Of buried kings have dowered me with veins Of high regality; nor sue I with The holy potency of Heaven's pontiff, Though his own mouth would speak if I were silent, As speak the skies when tempests chasten earth. But here, my lords, a lonely woman kneels; A weary mother weeping her lost son. You know how all my better years were spent In that dark wild where wander minds dethroned. When the dear world came back to me, my cry Was for my babe-no more a babe, but up To manhood shot as in a single hour. And as the hunger takes some starving wretch, Desire upon me seized to know his love, And on his breast to die. My lords, mayhap I am as old as is the oldest here, But 0, so poor in time. I've but that youth, 124 LORDS AND LOVERS Brief youth that held its morning roses up And fled, and this bare, aged now that drops But aching moments till I've found my son. Cant. Rise, royal Adelais! Believe that we Have hearts of men, and know the love of mothers. But to give back your son belongs to Him Whose voice doth open graves and call the dead. Ade. My heart cries that he lives! 0, he was here Five years ago-five little years. Why, 'twas But yesterday! This letter tells you, sirs. "Brave and right royal. Great Henry's worthy son." This letter from the man who guarded him, Geoffrey de Burgh, an honest, good old man, And faithful to his king. He could not have A son so cruel as to kill my son, Or rob the world of what did so adorn it And yet none know. Cant. In grief I say 'tis so; And England lies in shame that her chief lord, Raised to administer her vaunted justice, Should prove so base, so foul, that- Ade. 0, my lord, He must be nobler than you think, else would your king Lift him so high-make him his friend, And with an earldom top his risen fortune May be he overcapped too many whom His guilt would please more than his innocence. Cant. We've given him fair and open trial. Urged him In name of God and England to declare His knowledge of the precious living charge His father left to him. But he is brazen In flat denial. Ade. 0, your eminence, May I not see him Let me plead for truth With a poor mother's tears. 125 LORDS AND LOVERS Cant. You will but hear The unblushing lie which we have sought to spare you. Ade. 0, let me see him! Cant. Kent, step forth and tell This suffering princess what you will. Kent. [Coming out from guards] Dear madam, Your tears are suitors to my pity- Ade. Henry! Kent. Each drop a supplicant that I would ease Were such sweet power mine. But, by my soul, And by the mother's love I never knew Though dreamed on, I am innocent of blood, Nor did I ever see or know your son. Ade. Ah, I have found him, lords! 0, you old men, If any here be old, do you not hear The mighty Henry speak in this young voice My grandsire, Louis, bends that brow on me, That eye has flashed such light from 'neath a crown. [To Kent] Be not amazed; thou art my only born. Thy mother's heart could not so falsely beat As to deny thee! England, be glad with me! Count de Rouillet. 0, pity, Heaven! She is mad again. Win. Take her away. Ade. Away When I have found him By those blest stars that drew my feet to his, I'll not go hence till he may go with me! Kent. Dear lady, go. I'll come to thee in time. Ade. I am thy mother. Wilt not call me so I've cleared my vision with a sea of tears And can not be deceived. Cant. Wouldst call a villain son A man condemned Whose headsman waits even now Ade. What has he done God does not lie, and 'twas his hand that writ This countenance to mark a noble mind, 126 LORDS AND LOVERS And not to be a villain's fair decoy. Ah, murder him, but the same axe will strike My life away, for never shall he go From out my arms! One of her women. Come, dearest lady. Win. Ay, She must depart. [To Rouillet] Pray, lead her off, my lord. She interrupts the court. Ade. You'd force me, sir Ah, true, I am in England. 0, my lords, I beg you let me stay! I'll not disturb you, But sit as quiet as the stone I am. [Takes a seat. Her women attend her] You see, my lords, I'm calm. I have no son. Win. [To Canterbury] This time is poorly spared. Pray you, proceed. Cant. Hear then your sentence, Hubert, earl of Kent, And Margaret, his wife, stand forth with him. Unto the block you both shall go forthwith A guard at door. The king! Win. The king The doors are closed to all! Hen. [Entering] All but the king, lord bishop. Margaret, I bring a gift-your freedom. Ah, you sinned When you confessed your guilt, but not before. Our dearest Glaia died not by your hand, Nor yet by Kent's. First, lords, know you The maiden was the daughter of my father- Ay, ay, there's proof. She was the child of John And a fair lady of his court and ours, Who, dying, made confession to her priest- Win. A priest We know, my lord and king, that priests Oft sell reports unto the devil's purse. Hen. That from a churchman Win. Would an honest priest Betray confession 127 LORDS AND LOVERS Hen. This was given, sir, For open use in Kent's defence. In short, I was that priest, my lord, and played the monk To better purpose than I've played the king. Cant. Your majesty- Hen. Is pleased to speak, your grace This then, my lords, proves Kent had holy reason For thwarting my vain love. Alb. Could this be true And Kent not speak when a bare word had saved him Hen. Have you been home to-day, my lord Alb. My liege, Since morn I've ridden hard, and was much pushed To arrive in season for the trial. Hen. What news From north Alb. 'Twas south I rode, your majesty, About my shore estates. Pem. Sire, I informed you- Hen. Ay, so. Alb. What should I do at home, my liege Hen. Comfort your lady, who fast droops to death. Alb. My wife But she was well when I set forth. Hen. You'll find her changed! But we must speak of Kent. My lords, he was close pledged not to betray The maiden's parentage for this good reason. Her mother was his sister, living in dread Of her harsh present lord, and she besought, Past power to resist, his oath to die Ere he should make it known. I know not who Of you would prove so true to oaths if death Lay in the keeping, or what hearts are here Would drain themselves to guard a sister's life. Cant. Who is this sister, sire 128 LORDS AND LOVERS Alb. This shows that kings May even be duped like poorer men. All know That Kent's sole sister is my countess. Hen. Sir, We've no mind to deny you. It is she We mean,-the lady Albemarle. [Albemnarle staggerT] Pem. My lord- Alb. Air! Stand from me! Give way! I must be gone! Hen. We must command you stay. Alb. This air is poison! Hen. Stay, sir! Alb. I say not to the king 'tis false, But to each British lord who hears I swear 'Tis a foul lie! Hen. My ears, sir, registered 11er last confession, that 'twas her hand struck Her daughter's heart, her child and John's. Alb. Let go! It was her malady that spoke. I'll to her And rival death in tortures! God, I will- Hen. Death has outstripped you, sir. Her breath is gone. Alb. Then I'll inflict her body till her ghost Comes back to shriek in it! Hen. You're yet too late. We've given orders for her due interment As mother of our sister. Alb. Ha! My servants! You guard my house Hen. We do, my lord. Win. [Aside to Canterbury] Haste, sir, Or Kent will yet escape. Cant. Your majesty, The lady Margaret, thanks to Heaven and you, 129 LORDS AND LOVERS Is now at liberty, but the life of Kent Is forfeited. He must at once to doom. Hen. Already sentenced, sir You're hasty reaching Your black conclusion. Stay a little Cant. Sire, We moved with deference, respecting him Who for a time had lived within your bosom. To longer stay his death would tempt the skies To draw their mercy from us, seeing it were So basely used. Guards here for Kent! Hen. 0, stay One moment, please your eminence. My lord Of Winchester, I'd see again the papers First gave excuse to put this guilt on Kent. Win. And here they are, my liege. [Gives him papers] There you will read Of the great trust consigned by Henry Second To Geoffrey de Burgh, and by him to his son, As Adelais brings proof. [Enter Wynne, carrying a small box] Wynne. Your majesty Hen. [Reading] Yourpatience! Presentlywe'llhear you. Pen. What! The lord of Wynne returned Alb. Returned! I doubt If he has seen salt water. Pen. But I hope He has not bent a wizard's eye upon Our secrets. Hen. Hear, my lords, this paper given By dying Pembroke to our Winchester, Signed, ay, and written, by our grandsire king. [Reads] "And for we know that envious ills assail The nobly born when not by wedlock blest-" 130 LORDS AND LOVERS Win. Nay-'tis not that! My lord, I beg-it is The other paper! Hen. [Reading] " Till he be a man And cast a weighty spear, let him be called De Burgh, and known as Geoffrey's son-" Win. Hear me Hen. Peter des Roches, here's matter for your death, Which at your humble suit we'll moderate To banishment. Win. 0, blasted be this hand Wynne. Curse not the unlucky hand that bared thy sin, For we have other proof of Kent's high birth. Within this box where lady Albemarle Treasured the tokens from her kingly love, I found a paper of another tenor,- A letter from her father, old De Burgh, To be delivered at his death to one Called Hubert, his supposed son, wherein He tells him of his birth and bids him claim Name and estate as his great father willed. You know the words, my fallen Winchester,- "Rockingham, Harle, Beham and Fotheringay, -With strongest Bedford as his ducal seat." This letter, as we know, was kept from Kent, And where 'twas found best tells the why thereof. Ade. [Rising] Who will deny me now Must I keep still, Ye lords of England Have I yet your leave T' embrace my son Kent. [Crossing to her] We'll ask no leave, my mother. Do dreams take flesh, and prayers become alive For I have dreamed and prayed to see your face, Though but in vision, thinking you in Heaven; And all my life your voice like far off singing Has followed me. Sometimes it seemed 'twould near If I might wait in silence, wooing it, 131 LORDS AND LOVERS But life that waits no longing pushed me on WVith the old loss new in my heart. Ade. My son! My only son! 0, twice thou'rt born to me! Kent. And I must double yet thy joy, for see Thy daughter too. [Presents Margaret] Miar. [To Adelais] If thou wilt call me so. [Adelais embraces Margaret] lien. Those castles, Albemarle, which were your boast, 'Must now revert to their right lordly owner, The earl of Kent. Alb. Take them, my liege, take all, But leave me this good sword which I would wear As your most loyal subject. lIen. Nay, my lord, Your service past but illy recommends you. You are our prisoner. Guards for Albemarle! Alb. What does this mean You cast your crown by this! Hen. It means, proud man, you are a traitor proved. You galloped hard last night, and 'twas to death. Those troops you called on pretence to avenge The death of Kent will be by Kent commanded. Alb. [To Wynne] 'Tis you who've brought this hell upon me, villain! Hen. By your good patience, he is not a villain! I know not all his merit, but enough To make him my chief general; asking first His guard against this plotting Poitevin- This unfrocked bishop-should he e'er attempt To make new friends and land upon our shores. Wynne. Sire, in my arms he'll find a harrier High as the devil scaled to enter Heaven. Alb. [To Pembroke] Be lightning in my cause, if you would save me! 132 LORDS AND LOVERS Pemn. I go at once to raise what power I can. Hen. Out, guards, with Albemarle, and keep him close Till he go forth to death. [Exit Albemnarle unuder guard. Pembroke is hurrying out] Stay, Pembroke. You Ilave been too close his brother. 'Tis a pity To sever you in death, but for the sake Of your great father dead we're lenient And banish you the kingdom. Pem. Sire, I go. [Exit] Hen. [To officer] Follow him, sir, and see him straight- way shipped. [Exit officer] Now Kent may ask and have. What gift shall speak My great affection What thy dearest wish Kent. Let him not ask for more, who has the love Of Margaret, his mother, and his king. [Curtain] 133 This page in the original text is blank. THE SHEPHERD A PlAY IN THREE ACTS CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY ADRIAN LAVROV, the Shepherd of Lonz PETER VETROVA, an old peasant CATHERINE, Vetrota's waife VASIL, grandson of Peter and Catherine VERA, sister to Vasil KORELENKO, betrothed to Vera PRINCESS SOPHIE TRAVINSKI KALLUSIIKIN, SIMEON, GREGORI, IGO, peasants of Lonz ANNA, UIMANA, neighbors to the Vetrovas GREGORIEF, an er-prisoner GALOVKINE, a doctor IMANLIEF, a student COLONEL ORLOFF, of the Czar's army IRTENIEFF, ZARKOFF, officers Soldiers, retolutionists, peasants, r. SFN-E: A peasant home in Russia TIME: June, nineteen hundred and five No'rE.-The song episode in Act 11 is adapted from "The Green Book," by Maurus Jokai. ACT I SCENE 1. A room in Peter Vetrova's cottage. Door opens centre rear into a little yard beyond which is the village street. Centre right, door into Lavrov's room. Right second entrance leads to kitchen and garden. Between the two doors right a large brick stove whitewashed and at present unused. Shell above store. A loom stands in right hand corner rear. A window in rear wall betweenen loon and door. Before window a small table on which are student's books and papers. On left side of door a small, rude cabinet is built in the wall about six feet front floor. A wide bench. stands under cabinet. A small high window in left wall. Near front, very high up on wall left, hangs a half length portrait of the Saviour. A1 table left of centre. Bench before loom. Two or three stools, one or two plain chairs; and a larger chair, of peasant make, near table Centre. Glimpses of grass and a fruit-tree in bloom seen through open door and window rear. Vetrova discovered, making bark shoes. Catherine sits near him in the large chair, sewing. Vera at loom. Vasil in door rear with violin. He ceases playing as curtain rises. Vetrova. That b)rings b)ack young days, mother. Catherine. The summer is getting into your head, Petrovich. 137 THE SHEPHERD Vet. My heels too. If the boy plays any more I shall forget my broken bones and he off to the forest. Vasi!. I'll keep on forever if I can play your crutch away, grandfather. Cath. [Hastily, as Vasil raises the bow] No! Enough for to-day. Vera. [To herself, as she weares] Rags-rags--rags! 0, if I could make some of those beautiful things I saw at the bazaar! [Softly] Or just a sweet white coverlet for me and Sasha. [Turns from the loom to the others] Vasil. [Who has crossed to Catherine] If I can please but one it shall be you, little grandmother. Vera. [Running to Vetrovca, and sitting on his knee] And if I could please but one it should be you, little grand- father! Cath. [Removing Vasil's arm from her shoulder] There, go to your book, lad. The Shepherd will be coming back. Vasil. [Smiling] I am ready for him. [Crosses to small table rear, sits by it, and begins stuldying. Vera follows him, and they look over the book together, Vasil explaining, Vera teasing] Vet. [Taking up his work] I wish you loved the music, Catherine. It makes things different somehow . . . while it lasts. Cath. 'Tis your spirit, Petrovich. You were never like the rest of us. The others called you queer, but I knew it was just spirit. Vet. Eh-yes. Don't you remember the gypsy ring in the forest forty-five years Cath. How you talk, Petrusha! 'Tis evil times [looks guardedly at the young people] and we are old. Vet. Yes . . . old. We may gather acorns in the woods, mother, but we shall never find any more flowers. Well enough. The trees would grow wrinkled with 138 THE SHEPHERD laughter to see an old man dancing beneath them. Eh -yes, let him stoop, and pick up brush. Cath. [Comfortingly] We have the children, Petrusha. Vet. [Sullenly] We had their father and mother, too. Cath. We've fared better than others. We've always had our home. Vet. Because you served in the barin's house and the mistress liked you. Just chance! And then the barin died and Travinski got hold of everything. Cath. But the Shepherd came. Vet. Another chance! Life oughtn't to owe itself to that. It isn't living. Those two awful years before the Shepherd came when Andrei died-they were real. A part of what is. We were like our neighbors then. Yes. [Stops talking as Vera crosses to her grandmother] Vera. [Leaning affectionately against Catherine] How you must love Vasil, grandmamma, to make him an em- broidered blouse out of a piece of your best blanket! Cath. He is leaving us, my child. Vera. You said I should have this if I married Alex- ander. Cath. Perhaps these bad times will be over then, and we may be able to get something new. Vera. 0, these bad times! They will never be over. I've been waiting for that ever since I was born. Cath. And we waited before you, child. Vera. [Repentant] I didn't mean it, grandmamma! Can't I help you make the blouse But it may not be the fashion in Berlin. I will ask Sasha what the students wear. [Takes up a piece of the stuff] And how can you sew on winter things in summer time Winter is so far away,-a thousand years away. Vasil will never live till winter time. Cath. [Shocked] Vera! Vera. Well, you know he can't live a thousand years. 139 THE SHEPHERD Cath. Why does winter seem so far off, dear Vera. 0, I don't know. [A slight pause] Alexander says we can not be married before winter. Cath. [Smiling and laying down her work] Do you love him so much [Vera buries her face in her grandmother's lap] And he is right, dear. You should wait a long time. What can a young man do now Everything is uncertain. Nothing is sure but hunger and children. Vera. [Looking up] Isn't it the strangest thing in the world Cath. What, dear Vera. That he should love me. Cath. And that you should love him Vera. 0, no! I couldn't help loving himl Cath. [Shaking her head and taking up her work] My thread, child. I left it in the kitchen. [Exit Vera, second entrance, right] Vet. [Looking .after her] She is like her mother, Cath- erine. Cath. Yes . . . dear Polya. I thought she was going to have a wilful heart, but she is just a woman. Vet. [Moodily] I wish they were both with their parents in the only safe place in Russia, the grave. Cath. [Looking at Vasil] Hush! He will be safe enough soon. The Shepherd is good to send him away, and he so poor himself. Buy him from the army, and all. Vet. Send an innocent lad out of his own country to be safe. Cath. He is to be a musician as well as a scholar. Berlin is the place. The Shepherd knows. He could not keep out of trouble at our universities. You know what you were in your youth, Petrovich. Vet. I wanted to be a scholar too. But they beat me back. Cath. You have been a good peasant. You might have 140 THE SHEPHERD been a poor scholar. And we have had the teachers. Don't you remember the first night-class in our cottage, and the noble's daughter who wore peasant clothes and taught grown men to read That was thirty years ago. Vet. And she went to Kara for it . . . to the mines . . .for teaching men to read. Cath. But others came. Vet. And went . . . as she did. Cath. God bless them! We can all read our Bibles now. And the lad is going to a university. Vet. 'Tis far, Berlin. I am old. The Shepherd is needed everywhere. He may go any time. Vasil ought to stay with his sister. Cath. She has Alexander. Vet. How long will he keep out of prison with that big heart and hot head Cath. God will protect her. Vet. As he did her mother! Yes. Cath. You are hardening your heart, Petrovich. [Turns toward icon, crossing herself] Vera. [Re-entering] Grandmamma! [Stands in door] Cath. The thread, child. Vera. 0, I forgot. Uliana is in the kitchen. Cath. [Rising quickly] Uliana! Vera. It's bad news, I'm afraid. She keeps wiping her eyes pretending she isn't. Cath. Did she tell you anything Vera. No, grandmamma. I couldn't make her. [Catherine hurries across to kitchen entrance. Vetrnva takes up his crutch and hobbles after her] Cath. [Sternly] Stay with the children, Petrovich. [Exit, closing door behind her] Vera. [Opening door for Vetrova] Go on, grandfather. [Laughs and kisses him] Are you afraid I promise you Vasil and I will stay here. She wants you, I know. 141 THE SHEPHERD Vet. [Lifting her chin] A good child, but too pretty, too pretty. [Exit] Vera. [Turns and looks at Vasil, who is absorbed in his book. Crosses to him] Vasil Vasil. [Looking up reluctantly] Ten pages beyond Adrian's mark. He will be pleased. Vera. Is there anything you like better than to please Adrian Vasil. [Listening] Who is in the kitchen Vera. Uliana. Vasil. And you don't want to hear the gossip Vera. No. I want to stay with you. [Guilefully] You are going away, you know. Vasil. [Rising] There may be news from Vera. Don't go! I promised. Vasil. Then it is from Petoff. Vera. Adrian doesn't want you to hear about such things. Vasil. [Sitting down] Haven't I ears and eyes They think I don't know . . . but see here. [Takes up a tablet] You may read it, Vera. [She glances over tablet] I wrote it this morning. Vera. It is gay and sad too. But it is not like a June song. There are no birds and flowers in it. Vasil. Don't you know who the "Summer Maid" is, Vera Vera. Summer herself, isn't she Vasil. No, stupid. She is Freedom-Liberty. Vera. 0, Vasil! And the old, dead Winter is- Vasil. Yes, the Czar. Vera. 0, I'm afraid! Let me burn it, Vasil. Vasil. [Taking it from her] No. Vera. Suppose somebody should find it-a spy Vasil. He wouldn't understand it. You didn't your- self. 142 THE SHEPHERD Vera. But I'm a stupid. Vasil. [Catching her in his arms] Are you, little sister Vera. Let me have it, Vasil. Vasil. [Tears sheet from tablet, folds it and puts it into his pocket] No. It's as safe as any piece of paper. Vera. Adrian won't like it. He says your mind must be free from-all that. Free for what, Vasil We want to be free only to do things. Vasil. [Laying his hand on his book] For this,-and this [softly touching his violin],-and this. [Lifting his pen] Vera. 0, what a slave! You will have three masters. I want to be free too, but not for such things. I want to make Sasha happy. Vasil. A woman's freedom. Free to wear fetters. Have you seen him to-day Vera. No, but- Vasil. What And the sun so high Vera. I am waiting for him now. I shall tease him about the great man who fell in love with me at the bazaar. Vasil. Who was it wanted to make Sasha happy Vera. He ought to be glad that such a splendid officer even looked at me! Vasil. And were you glad, Vera Vera. No. I ran away. Vasil. What did Madam Korego say to that Vera. [As Korelenko enters unseen by her] She said she would never take me again, and I told her I didn't care, I was going to marry Sasha, who was finer than any officer in the world. Vasil. Good-morning, Alexander Korelenko. Vera. [Whirls about and sees Alexander] Now I can't tease him! [Vasil returns to his book] Korelenko. About what, little bird Vera. 0, I found a new lover at the bazaar. 143 THE SHEPHERD Kore. [Smiling] I told Madam Korego it would never do to take you. Vera. A fine gentleman, all covered with gold lace. Kore. And he gave you a piece to weep over when you are only poor little madam Korelenko Vera. A very great man-General Petrizoff! Kore. [Starting furiously] Has that-has he looked at you [Walks from her] Vera. [Imploring] Sasha! Kore. [Turning back to her] My little one! I'm a jealous fool! He will not hunt out you, poor little you. [Holds her to him, and shakes a clenched fist behind her back. Adrian enters by street door and goes up to Korelenko] Adrian. You would hold love in your heart and hate in your hand, Alexander Vera. [Freeing herself] 0, Adrian! [Takes his hat and stick] You are tired. I will bring you some tea. Adr. No, little sister. Lay the table in the garden. It makes one hungry to walk from Petoff. Vera. So far! Sit down, you bad little brother! [Leads him to the large chair, and goes toward kitchen] In three minutes! [Listens at door and says softly] Uliana is gone. [Exit] Kore. What of Petoff Adr. [Looks about and sees Vasil at his book] Vasil, lad, a cup of water from the garden well. The roads are un- usually dusty for the first of June. [Exit Vasil, kitchen way] Kore. You are wrong, Adrian. It is time for him to know man's work. This is not a day for dreamers. Adr. For dreamers, no,-but a dreamer, yes. Can we not spare one to step out of the days to a place in the ages We shall die, indeed, if there is none to sing us. Kore. He must know his theme then. Adr. He shall know it,-when he knows art so well that 144 THE SHEPHERD life can not tempt him to die. I will save his youth, his enthusiasm, and then . . . he may please himself. Kore. No use. Our prisons are full of buried enthu- siasms. He must take his fate with the rest of us. This is the world, not a fairy's cockle-shell. You can't save him. Adr. I must. In him Heaven has given me back my own youth. I shall not surrender it a second time. Kore. He belongs to himself, and he will soon find out that he is a man and a Russian. But Petoff What did you find there Adr. Despair, desolation, death. That is all they have gained by revolt. Kore. No! They have gained the name of men. To have submitted to be stripped and turned bleeding under the skies would have proved them lower than beasts. [Enter Vetrova, right, with cup of water] Vet. I begged the cup of Vasil. Let me die when I can not serve Adrian Lavrov. Adr. [Advancing to him and taking the cup] Thank you, Petrovich. I would rather serve you. [Drinks] Vet. Are we safe, Adrian Lavrov Is Lonz at peace Adr. Yes, Petrovich. I have Prince Travinski's word that we shall not be molested so long as we are patient under the law. Kore. The law Under robbery and the rod! Patience under the foot of your master! Adr. The slave can always rise above the master by for- giving him. Go among our neighbors, Petrovich, and let them know they need fear nothing while they themselves keep the peace. Vet. Heaven, and the Shepherd of Lonz, be praised! [Places cup on table and goes out street door] Kore. You saw Travinski How did you manage it He has steadily refused to see any one from the people. 145 THE SHEPHERD Adr. And he refused to see me at first, but as I was coming away I met a lady who interceded for me. Kore. His daughter The princess Sophie Adr. No. Sophie Remon. One of the Red Cross workers. Kore. Remon I don't know her. Adr. Her district is farther north, but she comes here occasionally. Kore. She must have great influence. Adr. Yes. I was surprised to meet her in the palace. Kore. Naturally. In the enemy's camp. A spy on one side or the other. Adr. [Sternly] I, too, was in the palace, Korelenko. Kore. [Looking at him closely, after a surprised start] All right. I suppose she explained her presence there. Adr. I asked nothing. She is probably a friend of the princess. Kore. I hope not. She can't be her friend and yours too. Adr. Why not Kore. I learned to-day that the princess Sophie is one of Petrizoff's spies. She has a wager with him, a luck- piece against a tiara, that she will secure evidence to con- vict you. Adr. Petrizoff need not be at so much trouble. He can imprison me without evidence when he pleases. Kore. Not you. That may do for other poor devils, but you have friends all over Russia. It would make too much of a stir even for Petrizoff. He would have to show the papers [Re-enter Vera, right] Vera. Have you forgotten you were hungry Adr. Come, Sasha. [They go out, right, with Vera, as Vetrova and princess Sophie Travinski appear at street door. She wears a 146 THE SHEPHERD long gray ulster marked with a red cross, and a plain, drooping hat with veil] Sophie. Thank you, sir. I might have missed the house. Vet. [As they enter] Bless you, no! There's not a child in the village out of its cradle that couldn't tell you where the Shepherd lives. Soph. [Looking about the room] And he lives here Vet. As I've told you, lady,-with me, old Vetrova. Ten years since he came in at that door to be a son to me and Catherine. Soph. He has lived here ten years Vet. Not all of that, for he is often called away. But he always comes back. 'Tis never too far to come back. [Draws up the large chair] Will you sit here, madam Soph. You have a granddaughter [Sitting] Vet. Little Vera,-and a grandson, too. Twins, though not a bit alike, as you may see for yourself before you go. 'Twas Vasil, my grandson, who brought the Shepherd to us. He was just seven years old then, and a fine lad. We can say that about our grandchildren, ma'am. The Shep- herd loved him at first sight, and a father he's been to him ever since. His own father, my Andrei, died under the rod one bad year when taxes couldn't be paid, and his wife -the little mother-died too when they brought him in. She dropped like that. But we don't tell the children. They'll not have to dig up graves for trouble. [Going rigih] I'll let the Shepherd know you are here. Soph. [In sudden confusion] Wait-I mean-yes-tell him I am here. Vet. 'Tis luck you have found him at home, for these bitter days keep him at work. Shall I tell him your name, lady Soph. Sophie Remon. [Exit Vetrova] 147 THE SHEPHERD Soph. His home! What a place! But I could kneel here. [Rises and walks nervously, but becomes suddenly composed at sound of a step. Enter Adrian, right. He stands reservedly at some distance from her] Adr. May I help you this time But I hope it is not trouble of your own that brings you. Soph. No. Adr. Then I am glad to see you again. We had so little time this morning, and my surprise was so great when I recognized you Soph. You knew me Adr. I should know you anywhere. Soph. But you will keep my secret It is important. No one must suspect that I am Sophie Travinski. Adr. [Starts] Ah! . . . I did not know- Soph. You said you recognized me! Adr. As Sophie Remon. We had not met for some time. Soph. 0- Adr. But have no fear, your highness Soph. [Approaching and offering her hand] Not to you. To you I am still the same. Adr. [Not seeing her hand] Let me thank you again for being my kind divinity this morning. Soph. I did nothing. Adr. Everything. The people are crazed out of their dulness. They fear new, unknown horrors. I did not know what might happen; but the assurance of Prince Travinski will renew their endurance. That was what I needed-his word. Soph. [Uneasily] You can not need it. You who have such power over the people. 'Tis not because Travinski said it but because you repeat it that they believe. You are a great man, Adrian Lavrov. 148 THE SHEPHERD Adr. [Smiling] Not great enough to be flattered as great. Soph. 0, I have seen-[checks herself, changing her words] men with men, and I know a king from a subject. Adr. Then you are wiser than I. But what is your wish, your highness You say you have not come for yourself. Soph. No. For Vera Vetrova. She is in danger. Adr. Vera How can such a child he in danger Soph. You ask that in Russia Adr. She lives at home-she goes nowhere. Soph. Where was she yesterday Adr. I was away all day. Soph. And Vera was in Yaltowa, at the bazaar to raise funds for the wounded. Adr. I remember now. Madam Korego asked per- mission to take her. Soph. She is not a wise woman. Adr. What has happened Soph. Petrizoff saw her. You know the man he is. Adr. Yes-O Soph. She escaped him, but madam was pleased to give all information. Adr. What can I do Where will she be safe Soph. Not in the Czar's dominions. Petrizoff Adr. I know! Something must be done at once. I must think! Soph. I have already thought. Will you trust me Adr. [Gazing at her] Absolutely. Soph. 0, thank you! Adr. You have a plan Soph. A friend of mine leaves for Odessa to-morrow to embark for America. Vera can travel with her, taking her maid's passport. She will be safe until to-morrow. The officers' ball, and some other matters, will keep Pet- 149 THE SHEPHERD rizoff occupied. I will arrange everything and send for her in the morning. Adr. Poor little girl! It will be hard for her, and her grandparents are very feeble. Dear old Petrovich! It will kill him to lose his darling. Soph. [With concealed anxiety] You-you are very fond of her Adr. Yes. Soph. [Bravely] Perhaps you love her. Adr. I do. Soph. 0! Then Adr. But it will be hardest for Korelenko. She is be- trothed to him. Soph. Betrothed! Ah, to Adr. Alexander Korelenko. He is headstrong, and does not always understand. I'm afraid he will want to brave things out here. Soph. 0, he can't! He must understand that he can't. That would mean the destruction of both. Could he not go with her Adr. Perhaps. Soph. I can arrange that too, if he wishes. My friend was to be accompanied by a brother. He can go later. Tell Korelenko, and let me know before to-morrow. [Re-enter Vetrova, right] Vet. [Respectfully] Will the lady take a cup of tea in the garden with Catherine and my little granddaughter Soph. Gladly. [To Adrian] She must know me. [Vetrova holds the door open for her] [Vera's voice without] 0, you have come! This way to the garden. [Vetrova closes the door and crosses to Adrian, who stands motionless, apparently not seeing Vetrova] Vet. A sweet lady. Adr. [To himself] The princess! 150 THE SHEPHERD Vet. Eh, yes, she steps like one. But not so pretty as our Vera. Adr. [Catching the last word] Vera! Ah,-Petrovich, I've been thinking that the children ought not to be parted. Vet. You are right, Adrian Lavrov. Adr. And you would be willing to let Vera go with Vasil to Berlin Vet. [Astounded] Go with him My Vera My little girl Go away Leave her old grandfather I don't understand you, Adrian Lavrov. Let the boy stay with his sister. Adr. [Putting his hand4 on Vetrova's shoulder] That must not be, Petrovich. He ought to go. He must go. He will be a great musician. God means it. There is no mistake about him. [Leaves Vetrova and crosses to table where Vasil has been studying. Turns over the papers meditatively, forgetting Vetrova] He will never write. He feels too much to articulate. But music--through that his divinity can flow. [Takes up the book] Bless the lad! He learns by leaps. [Drops book] And I must send him from me-my youth-my dreams. Vet. But not Vera! Not her! Adr. If she stays she will marry, Petrovich. And she must leave you then. Vet. No, no! Alexander has promised me that she may live with me till I die. [Pleadingly] Only till I die, Adrian Lavrov. Adr. [Hiding his emotion] Well, Petrovich, sufficient unto the day. Let us be happy till to-morrow. [Re-enter Korelenko, right] Kore. Vera is calling you, Petrovich. [Vetrova hobbles off, right] Who is this woman, Adrian Adr. You heard the name. Kore. I heard what she calls herself, but who is she Adr. I shall not tell you. 151 THE SHEPHERD Kore. You needn't. I know enough. Adr. What do you know Kore. What my eyes tell me. She is helping Vera with the dishes-and such hands! Remember I have warned you against the princess Sophie. Adr. Forget that slander, Korelenko. Kore. Slander! I believe that this woman is the friend and accomplice of the princess. Adr. [Smiling] You do Kore. [Looking at his watch] I must hurry to Yaltowa. Do me this favor, Adrian. Don't leave Vera alone with this-Sophie Remon. At the best she is not what she pre- tends to be, and for some reason she is trying to win Vera's friendship. Adr. Alexander, I must speak to you about Vera. Kore. [Going] Not a second to spare. I am already late, and Gregorief Adr. Gregorief! He will ruin you, Sasha. You are half a terrorist now. He will complete the work. Kore. He is getting at the bottom of a big reactionary plot. I can't stay to explain, and we don't know enough yet- Adr. Keep away from him! Kore. Can't now. We must root this out. It is a ter- rible thing. I shall be back by midnight. [Exit] Adr. And Vera must go to-morrow. [Re-enter Vetrova, right] Adr. What is wrong, Petrovich Vet. The lady is a good lady. Yes. But why does she want to take Vera from the old man She has stolen the child's heart. And to-morrow she is going to send a car- riage- [Distant cries are heard from without] Adr. What is that It sounds like-Petoff yesterday. [Uliana hurries in, street door] What is it, Uliana 152 THE SHEPHERD Uliana [Crossing herself toward icon as she enters] 0, sir, the soldiers have come! Adr. The soldiers Well, they are only passing through the village. Uli. They have stopped, sir! And they are Cos- sacks. Adr. Do not be alarmed. They- [Enter two peasants] Simeon Gregori Simeon. What do they want-the soldiers Adr. Nothing. Gregori. We are ordered to line up in the street. They are dragging some of the men out. Does that mean nothing, Shepherd of Lonz Adr. I will find out what it means. Stay here. You have done no wrong. You will not be harmed. [Enter another peasant] Ugo Ugo. Is it flogging, sir Adr. No! It can't be! [Goes toward door. Cries of "The Shepherd, The Shepherd," heard without] Adr. [In door] I am here. A voice without. We have followed your counsel, Shep- herd of Lonz. We have kept the peace. We have borne the taxes. We have given our sons to the war. Why are the soldiers here Adr. I do not know. But I have the word of Prince Travinski, your little father, that no outrage will be com- mitted. Come in, friends. [A dozen or more peasants enter. Catherine, Sophie, Vera and Vasil come on, right] A peasant. [Doggedly] I gave the Czar my two sons. He gives me the rod. Another. My children have no bread. But the taxes are paid. Adr. You have done your best, and I can not believe that you will be harmed. 153 THE SHEPHERD A peasant. It makes no difference how we do. There were good men at Petoff. [A man staggers in] Adr. Kalushkin! Uli. [Rushing to him] My Petrov! Out of your bed! Why did you come Kalushkin. We are to be lined up in the street and every tenth man flogged. [Silence. Then a woman hurries in] Adr. Anna! Anna. [Kneeling before Adrian] My lad-they have taken him! His father died last night. You know how he died. He was starved. He left the bread for me and the lad. And now they have taken him-my boy- [sobbing] [Adrian lifts her up in silence] A peasant. [Starting up from bench where he has sat as if stunned] Flogging! [Relapses into silence] Kalush. We are weak, we are starved, we can not bear the blows. Adr. Whatever happens we will not forget that the blow we receive falls on our bodies only; the blow we give falls back upon our souls. We will be patient even unto death; we will not league with our enemy against our immortal selves. [Groans, and mutters of remonstrance] What have our neighbors at Petoff gained by striking back Put out your hands and feel the ashes of their homes. And they have lost not only their homes, their children, and themselves, but an eternal triumph, a tri- umph for the spirit of peace in the world. A voice at door. Here they come! [Enter Orloff, with soldiers. Others are seen crowding into the yard] Orloff. We want the men of this house. 154 THE SHEPHERD Adr. I am one. Orl. [Looking him over] Not you. We know you. We want the peasants. There are two here. [Glancing at paper in his hand] Peter Vetrova, Vasil Vetrova. Adr. For what are they wanted This is a peaceful village. Orl. And we intend to see that it remains so. Adr. I can assure you of that. My word is worth some- thing. Orl. Not in the army, friend. Adr. The men of Lonz are men of peace. Orl. A warning not to get bad habits from their neigh- bors won't hurt them. Revolt is catching, and Petoff has given us a deal of trouble. Adr. Does this mean flogging Orl. Only every tenth man. The same as for taxes. They get off light, but we've heard no thanks yet. Adr. Prince Travinski gave me his word this morn- ing- Orl. Travinski! It was this morning that he sent to Petrizoff asking him to warm up Lonz a little and be quick about it. Adr. This morning Orl. You see, my friend, your word won't pass in the army. And you can't blame Travinski for wanting to take things in time here after all his bother about Petoff. [Loudly] Peter Vetrova! Adr. [Pushing Vetrova forward] One blow would kill this old man. Have you a warrant for murder Orl. Let him go. Death will take care of him. [Laughs] [Adrian draws Vetrova back] Orl. Vasil Vetrova! [Vasil steps out, his face white, his eyes blazing] A voice. Adrian Lavrov, do you still say submit Adr. [Blanching] Submit. 155 THE SHEPHERD Orl. [To Vasil] Come! Adr. [Stepping between them] I will take his lot. Put me in his place. Orl. You are not a peasant. Adr. I live as one, work as one. We are not born to a class; we choose it. It is the lad who is no peasant. Orl. What is he then Adr. A student. Orl. Ha! In the University of Lonz! No. He must come with us. Adr. If I can not stand for him I will stand for myself. I am one of these people. A voice. No! Adr. You live by my counsel. I too must live by it. If I shun the fate it brings I can not ask you to believe me again. [Sophie moves appealingly forward, then back unnoticed] Orl. I can't oblige you with a flogging,-I am sorry to say,-even to keep you in favor with your converts. For- ward! To the line! Soph. [Stepping out] Release the boy! Orl. Who are you Soph. [Taking off her hat] You know, Count Orloff. Orl. I salute your highness. Soph. Release him. OrI. Again I salute your highness, but my orders are from Petrizoff. Soph. Mine also. Read this. [Holds an open locket before him] Ort. [Reads] "The bearer is in my service. Petrizoff." [Softly] Ah,-the tiara Adr. 0 God! Orl. We release Vasil Vetrova. LTo princess, in low tone] When may I see you Soph. To-night, at the ball. 156 THE SHEPHERD Orl. [Bending over her hand] Till then-silence. [To the men] Forward! A voice. Must we go, Shepherd of Lonz We have hands as well as they! Must we go Adr. Go. The millennium is no lie, and the man who suffers wrong for the eternal right's sake is the man who brings it nearer. Go! And God give you strength to be true to yourselves-to the future-to Him! [Orloff, soldiers and peasants pass out. Adrian is fol- lowing when Sophie comes toward him hesitatingly] Adr. I must go with the people. Soph. I have not deceived you in the way you think. Adr. [Passing her] I must go. Soph. You will return here Adr. This is my home. Soph. I shall wait for you. Adr. Farewell! [Exit] [Sophie stands looking oftcr him. Vasil approaches and kneels before her. She gives him her hand, which he kisses reverently. Curtain] SCENE 2. Same room several hours later. Sophie alone, standing by the small, high window, left. Soph. Almost sunset. [Turns from window] And he knows I am waiting. [Hears a step in the yard and turns again to window. Adrian enters, pauses in door, and sees Sophie gazing out. He advances] Adr. Your highness Soph. [Turning her head] You have made no haste. Adr. I have been with the people. Soph. [Looking at him] You are tired. I, too, went out, but it was so terrible. . . . You are very tired. Sit down, please. I want to stand. [Takes a few nervous steps and goes back to window] 157 THE SHEPHERD Adr. [Breaking the silence] Is there anything to say Soph. [Not turning] The horrible thing you think of me is not true. Adr. We will not talk about that. Soph. [Turns, eagerly] You have forgiven me Adr. Yes. Soph. As the saints forgive, or for love of me Adr. For love of God, not you! Soph. [Smiling] It's the same thing, isn't it Adr. [In embarrassment] I-what did you mean Soph. Come, sit down. [She takes a seat. He does not more] Do rest. You will drop. [He is silent] So you do not love me Adr. I have not time to amuse your highness- Soph. [Rising] Nor I to be amused. I know the truth. You do love me. I saw it in your face when you thought I had been false. I knew then that I was more than a mere traitor. I was beloved. And in spite of the suffer- ing-the sadness-the shame-I was glad. Adr. [Trembling] Glad Soph. First, let me tell you that I am Petrizoff's spy. [He drops to a seat] He wanted to convict you. You are so important, it seems, that proof from a high source was necessary. I offered to supply it. [Smiles] Don't you see I was afraid some one else might be successful. Adr. [Rising] I see. You are only false to Petrizoff. Soph. [Hotly] I am only his good angel. I have kept him from doing terrible things bynot finding the means Adr. Forgive me. I don't understand yet. Why did you do this-for me Soph. You were doing a noble work. Adr. [Turns away] Yes, it was my work you wanted to save. Soph. Adrian! [He faces her. She stands in the light from the window] You came to the Travinski palace two 158 THE SHEPHERD years ago. It was June, like this-[motioning out)-and sunset-like this. Do you remember Adr. I remember. Soph. You talked to my father. I was in the room. You did not see me, a mere princess,-but I saw you- heard you. I could not leave-I could not turn away. Your words were like new dreams to me. . . . And after that Petrizoff appealed to my father to furnish evidence against you. He consented because he feared your power over the peasants. I begged him to trust the matter to me, and it was then that I made the foolish wager with Petrizoff. My light manner deceived him, but all the time my heart was dying within me for fear I should fail. Adr. [Falteringly] Your highness- Soph. 0, not that! I have called you Adrian for two years. [He is silent, and she continues] The Red Cross work gave me opportunities to see you. At first perhaps I was only trying to save you-and win you. But now I know that I am true. I am ready to die for the things that you would die for, not for your sake but the things' sake. Though I do not love you less. My love has grown with my spirit. When we met this morning I dared to put into my eyes all that I felt. You looked as though you had suddenly met a being out of Heaven, but it was not Heaven's light upon my face; it was my love for you. Adr. Sophie . . . let it be the light from Heaven, not poor human love. Soph. [Drawing back] Have I-am I-mistaken Adr. No. I love you as I have prayed never to love in my life. Soph. And I love you as I have prayed all my life I might love. Adr. There are greater things-than this. Soph. I know. It is because of those greater things 159 THE SHEPHERD that I love you. [Touching him gently] And how can love be anything but a help-a blessing Adr. By taking no second place; by making itself mas- ter, as it always does; as it is doing now. [Moves from her in agitation, which he suppresses, and speaks steadily] Years ago I gave myself to mankind. A poor gift, but the surrender was hard, for I loved myself and believed in giants, if not gods, who shoulder above the race. But the surrender was complete. And now shall I take another self in you One that I could never give up [8he is silent. A woman approaches withoun, moaning. Adrian goes to the door] Anna Anna. [Appearing at door] My lad is dead, sir. He wanted to see you again, but there was none to send. Each is busy with his own. Adr. Dear Nikola! God's rest is his. Anna. Yes. Heaven is a good place for our children. 'Tis better with me than Uliana. Her Petrov may live, but he will never walk. Can you come to-night and sit a bit by the lad I'm almost thinkin' he would know it, sir. Adr. I will come, Anna. Anna. Just a bit. I wouldn't keep you from the living. God bless you, sir! [Goes. Adrian remains in door until her footsteps die away, then returns to Sophie] Adr. You know what my work means. The daily offer- ing up of the body to prison and death. That does not matter now, but if you were in danger, as my wife would always be, do you doubt that I would try to save you at the risk of all for which I have lived And I have lived for it because it was the one righteous way for me. Soph. I should never come between you and your work. Adr. I gave up ambition-I would rather move with the multitude one step nearer the light than with my two hands catch at the sun. I gave up art-what right had I to re- 160 THE SHEPHERD treat into the beautiful while my brothers lay blind with- out Burnish my spirit to reflect gleams beyond the sta-s, while children were without bread But love 0, I thought God would spare me this! Soph. Adrian-you don't understand-I should not be in your way-your work would be mine Adr. 0, you don't understand-you can't, for you are a woman, whose natural breath is the incense of sacrifice. But in me there is no angel. If you were mine, I would risk everything to hold you-one bit of rosy flesh that I might kiss! Soph. [Softly] I know you better than that. Adr. Even now I am trembling for you, thinking more of your safety than of the poor people who are waiting for me as their only hope. You must leave here at once- cease trying to protect me-what you have done for Vasil may arouse the suspicions of Petrizoff- Soph. He will not hear of it. I spoke to Orloff. [An- swering his look] I can take care of myself, Adrian. [Taking his hand] It is you who need Adr. [Withdrawing his hand] Don't! Who lets in love, lets in his master, and I must be free-free! You will despise me, but that perhaps is the better way. 0, I long to deceive myself, to say that it would make no difference, that I could see the chains fastened about you, see you dragged away, and go on unfalteringly with no dimming of the vision. But it would be a lie. Soph. The truth. You could do it. Adr. No. And you would not want me to do it For- give me. You do not believe it now, but you would want me to love you first. Soph. Yes. But I should not let you. You say your- self that sacrifice is woman's breath. I could give up even my desire to be first. But why make a question of the im- possible No woman could be first with you, Adrian. 161 THE SHEPHERD Adr. 0 you don't knowl [A man comes to door, rear, makes sign of the cross toward icon, and stands waiting] Adr. What now, Nico Nico. Petrov Kalushkin is worse, sir. Can you come before night Adr. In ten minutes. Nico. The Holy Mother bless you, sir! [Exit] Soph. [As Adrian turns silently to her] I have only this to say, Adrian. I understand, and I am ready. Adr. And I am not. I know the man in me too well. I can not trust him. While you are safe, and I am free, go. Soph. [Paling and gathering up her pride] I am sorry that I waited for the command. [Moving to right] I will speak to the Vetrovas, and obey you. Adr. [As she opens door] Sophie! Soph. [Turning] Princess Travinski! [Exit] Adr. Ah, pride will not help her. I don't know what has happened-what I have done [Enter Vasil, centre right, carrying hi violin] Vasil. 0, has she gone Adr. No, but she is going. Vasil. She will come back Adr. Why should she Isn't it enough that she has given herself to us for one day Vasil. She has given herself to me forever-by saving my life. She may forget you and the others, but she can't forget me, Adrian. 0, I have been so happy to-day! Adr. To-day Vasil. I have finished "The Joy of the Stars." Adr. [Exultantly] Your sonata finished To-day! Vasil. You have been right, Adrian. This life shall not touch me. I could never understand it. When I think of it I grow blind-blind-blind! I shall sing-just sing 162 THE SHEPHERD till my head goes off, nor ask why. The people are good, honest, work from light to dark, yet they starve, bleed, die. And I, who pray to harm nothing, I-this morning- [stops, shudders, crosses to table, rear, lays his violin upon it, and sits despairingly. Adrian follows and puts his arm over the boy's shoulders] Adr. That is over, lad. You will soon be in Berlin with your music, and you will forget. Think of it as a dream that will not come again. Vasil. But it will be coming to others. Always some- where there are people suffering, in prison, mad, tor- tured Adr. You can not help them now, Vasil. And to let sympathy destroy your power for work will rob them of the joy you may bring them hereafter. Forget them for awhile that you may come again with help, not tears, that ease your heart rather than theirs. Vasil. No, I shall not forget-not for a minute-but I shall work and be blithe of soul, for what has the soul to do with the tearing of the heart, unless it be to show its free wings above it If I were imprisoned, racked, dying, I should want the music to go on, I should try even then to help it, to turn my cries into a song. That is why I can sing while they suffer-because happiness is the right thing-because I am ready to suffer while they sing,- not because I forget. 0, you can trust me, Adrian! And [with sudden appeal] I want to be at the meeting to- night. Adr. [Hastily] No. Vasil. Yes, Adrian. Adr. You are too young. Vasil. As old as the morning star. Do not be afraid. Whatever touches me, nothing shall touch my song. Adr. Your song can be saved only with your life, Vasil, and this meeting is dangerous. In a few days you are 163 THE SHEPHERD going away. We will not uselessly waste your heart to- night. Vasil. I do not want to go just now, Adrian. Let me stay here a little longer. There is so much you can teach me yet. Adr. [Smiling] You make better music than I can dream. No, it is time to go. Vasil. But I want to stay! Adr. [Quickly] You must have no wishes. [More gently] Aside from your art. Vasil. Art can breathe only through life. I must live! Art is for men and women. If I do not understand them, how can they understand my music I shall not play to sheep, nor rocks, nor stars, nor God, nor angels! Adr. You know what I mean, Vasil. In heart the true artist is all man, all woman; but in genius, as impersonal as the universe. Vasil. I know it! Have I not proved it to-day Petrov Kalushkin is lying over yonder bleeding from a hundred lashes, but I-[takling up his violin]-listen to "The Joy of the Stars! " Adr. [Laying his hand on the bow] Stop-no-I mean- [silence. Vasil puts dawn the violin and looks at Adrian] I am not a genius, Vasil. You will be what I can not. Vasil. And you will trust me I may be at the meeting Adr. [Taking his hat] Yes. This once. And then Berlin. Vasil. You are worn out, Adrian. Must you go again Adr. Again and again. You may say good-by to the princess for me. Vasil. Wait! She is coming! [Exit Adrian, street door, as Sophie and Vera enter left. Sophie has on hat and ulder] Vera. You kissed me this morning, and you were a princess. 164 THE SHEPHERD Soph. And I will kiss you again, dear Vera. You will be ready in the morning for the visit you have prom- ised me Vera. 0, yes! [They cross toward Vasit] Vera. I shall love you always for saving my Vasil. It would have killed him. Adrian has guarded him always. [Lifting VasiQs hand] See Vasil. [Offended, drawing away his hand] I am not a child, Vera. Vera. [Hurt] 0, Vasil! Vasil. [Embracing her] There! The princess will think we are two babies. Vera. [With dignity] I am betrothed. Soph. Happy Alexander! Vasil. [Jealously, as she caresses Vera] Princess, may I play to you before you go Soph. 0, will you Vera. Sit here, princess. [Sophie takes the large chair, Vera sits on stool beside her. Vasil gets his violin from table, comes over and stands ready to play. Drops the bow in desperation] Soph. What is the matter Vasil. How can I play to that ugly coat and hat Soph. [Laughing and removing hat and ulster] Is that all Vasil. Now you are my princess! Soph. Yours Vasil. Yes. You have sold yourself to me. Soph. I have Vasil. By doing me a favor-the most binding of bar- gains. As long as you live your thoughts will come back to me. Could you forget me, princess Soph. No, Vasil. But you must not care so much. Vasil. Don't you like me to care 165 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Yes, but Vasil. Then I will. 0, it is glorious to dream and know why! To sing and know to whom the song belongs! Soph. My boy, make your country your goddess, not a woman. Vasil. My country! What is it The thing that raised a knout above my shoulders Soph. My dear Vasil- Vasl. Adrian is right. I must find that which is not country, nor home, nor people,-the eternal in the hour. Soph. But Adrian cares for country, home, people. Vasil. No. He cares only for the soul. These other things are shadow boundaries in the mind that vanish when the soul looks on them. Here, I'll show you how little he cares. [Unfastens a chain from his neck and draws a medal from his bosom] He gave me this, because I wanted it to play with. I was only a boy then. And he forgot all about it. Have you noticed how Adrian for- gets I would not give it back because he was going to bury it. [Holding out medal] See [Drawing it back] You love him, don't you Soph. Why-yes-you strange boy. Vasil. Then you may see it. Soph. [Turning away] No. Vasil. But I want you to look. The name is on it-his grandfather's-great-grandfather's-O, I don't know how far back. But I am sure he was a great prince. Soph. [Looking at medal] Donskoi! Vasil. Wasn't he a great prince Soph. Yes. But a greater man. Vasil. And Adrian could be a prince too. [Re-fastening chain] But he doesn't care at all. When I asked him if this was a piece of the sun, he said " No, the last of a great shadow." I know what he meant now. Why are you sad, princess 166 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Because I have been unkind to Adrian. Vasil. Don't mind. He will forgive you. He forgives everybody everything. Soph. But it isn't pleasant to be forgiven that way, as if we were anybody else. I want to be forgiven because I am myself. Vasil. You can't with Adrian. His star is the soul, and in its light we are all alike. Soph. And what is your star, Vasil Vasil. Mine It is the same, only I call it love instead of soul. The great love-that makes one heart beat in another's body-that makes me faint in Russia when a beggar starves in India-that fades your cheek with the girl's at an English loom-that turns the comfortable American out of doors with the driven Jew-that gives one color to every flag, and makes the might of the strong- est nation the right of the Kaffir babe. This is my star, as Adrian's, only I see it warm and golden instead of cold and white. Soph. [Softly] It may not be always cold and white to him. Vasil. [Thoughtfully] Perhaps not, or he would not know so well- Soph. How others see Vasil. [Nods, and takes up his violin] Shall I play now, princess Soph. Yes, but do not think of me,-think of- Vasil. I know. The great love. [He plays, standing by window. Vera sits leaning against Sophie's lap. The princess gazes toward the door, and her look meets Adrian's as he enters. He crosses anl stands by her chair. She reaches up and gives him her hand, which he clasps. Curtain] 167 ACT II SCENE 1. Same room at night. A score or more of peasant men and women, and half as many revolutionists assem- bled. They are singing as the curtain rises. Hark, brothers, hark! [Knock, knock, knock!J What do you here, Knocking in the cold Red are your hands, Frozen are your feet, [Knock, knock, knock.'] What do you here, Knocking in the cold A prison we build, [Knock, knock, knock!] Here the Czar knelt, Blessing the stones; But when it is finished The gates will unfold And swallow the builders. [Knock, knock, knock!] They who labor not, The rich and the idle, Will imprison the workers Who make the babe's bread. Despair drives our hammer, 168 THE SHEPHERD The hearts of the toilers Lie under the blow; We will throw down the hammer, We will labor no more. No, brothers, no! Build ye the prison, Be willing of heart; And when it is finished, Your heavy oppressors Through the dark gates In terror shall pass. Weeping to dungeon The rich and the idle Then shall descend, While above ye shall sing, Swinging your hammers In the broad light. Knock, brothers, knock! [Knock, knock, knock.] [At close of song Adrian rises. Silence] An old man. Speak, Adrian Lavrov. Adr. Brothers, we have met to talk matters over. Manli4. We have talked for seventy-five years! A student. The lash spoke the last word to-day. Old man. Speak, Adrian Lavrov. Adr. Friends, the truth that was clear to you before the enemy's blow fell to-day is no less true now that the blow has fallen. Manl. Not on your back, Lavrov. A peasant. The lash of the Czar goes deeper than the words of the preacher. Another. We have obeyed you until now, shepherd of Lonz. 169 THE SHEPHERD Adr. [Gently] And you will obey me again. Manl. You will obey the voice of your own manhood! Adr. You will remember that you bear the leaven of the race, that you carry in your blood the universal peace. Manl. Every beat of your hearts is telling you now to be men! Adr. Submission is the only death-answer to vio- lence. The world for very shame must cease to crucify Christ! Gregorief. [Leaping up] Move your Sunday-school to the dungeons of Schlusselburg! Yes, I have been there. I was twenty years under the storm-waves of Lake Ladoga, and if your words could have reached me through the damp walls they would have received their true answer-a mad- man's answer. For torture does not give men the serenity of gods or preachers, Lavrov. Twenty years of the silence that welcomes the silence of death-twenty years of the loneliness that makes men pray for the joy of weeping together-twenty years with starving eyes on naked walls, while above me the great, wide seasons were going by- twenty years of void and gloom with the windy waters whipping my prison island, and all the more maddening because I could not hear them, because they too were a silent guard. I was like this boy [touching Vasil, who is leaning toward him listening intently] when they put me in, and I came out-as you see. [Laughs ironically] But I am fortunate. I left others behind me to whom those dark doors will never open, while I have the privi- lege of-dying above ground. Adr. It makes no difference which side of a prison door the conquering spirit is on, Gregorief. Greg. Ha! I wasn't a spirit then. They put me in while I was still in this life, where the flesh throbs and the blood sings. I was like this boy, I say, and I came out two months ago a broken consumptive wretch. You see 170 THE SHEPHERD me, Lavrov. Am I fit to leaven the race I am what oppression makes, not the meek angels you dream about. Into my children will go the bitterness of the wronged to come out in hate, the feebleness of the broken man to come out in cunning, the stinging for revenge to come out in murder- Adr. But if you had triumphed-the immortal you- what a soul you could bequeath to your country! 0, one such could almost save her! Greg. One! She has them by the thousand, every- where thwarting us-their holy tears putting out our living fire as fast as we kindle it! [Laying his hands on Vasil] Ah, here is a spirit worth all your saints, Lavrov. Son, take up my torch as I drop it-my torch and sword, lad- Vasil. [Eager and trembling] I am a singer, not a fighter. Greg. Songs are good weapons. Write them for us, boy. Give us one to-night before the fire dies there. [Knocking Vasil's breast] A war-song- Vasil. [Springing up] I will! A song from Schlussel- burg! [Rushes out, street door] Adr. Are you the devil, Gregorief Greg. [Laughing] If I am I must have my legions. Did you intend my recruit for a saint, Lavrov [Fervidly] I have sworn to level my prison before I die Adr. You have laid another stone upon it. There is but one power before which the prisons will forever fall- the power of the soul. Strike them down, and the blows that lay them low will raise them again for your children. Greg. Fanaticism! You can not fit the laws of Heaven to the energies of earth, Lavrov! I tell you- Galovkine. Leave this. We've no time. The burning of Yaltowa is fixed for to-morrow night. Adr. [Dazed] The burning of Yaltowa! 171 THE SHEPHERD Greg. Yes, Lavrov. Petrizoff intends to burn the town in our name. We are moving too fast toward the favor of the world, and must be repainted as red ogres. Adr. Burn the town! Manl. [Bitterly] That is not so bad a matter. What are a few thousand homes more or less in a country where no house is safe The terrible part is the blow to the cause. Our great parties were never more united, never so ready for a telling stroke, and this horrible crime laid at the door of the revolutionists Adr. It must be prevented! We must act at one- Manl. And get clapped into prison a little sooner. There is not time now for general action. Adr. Burnt The horror of it! Greg. [Looking at Adrian] It can be prevented. Adr. How Greg. Petrizoff is the whole plot, and he is not immortal. Adr. [After a cold silence] You are a fool to say this to me, Gregorief. Greg. Reserve your judgment till you know yourself better. Your heart is with us, Lavrov, in spite of your preaching. Adr. Do you suppose I would quietly permit this murder Greg. Will you quietly permit Petrizoff's ten-thousand murders Adr. There is a difference. Greg. Yes. We put one assassin to righteous death, he murders thousands of honest men. Adr. [In samne tone as before] There is a difference. Greg. Your difference! Adr. God's difference. The wicked may do their worst and the world still hope, but if the children of light borrow their weapons Greg. There is but one way to fight the devil! 172 THE SHEPHERD Adr. If you use his own fire you must live in hell to do it. Greg. And we don't live in hell now, I suppose! Adr. Not an everlasting one. You have the selfish- ness of the living generation, Gregorief, that consumes as its candle the sun of the unborn. Greg. Bah! Each generation must fight for its own breath. Adr. Who conquers with a club will rule with a club. It is only through the enduring righteousness now taking deepest root in the night of oppression that true liberation will come, pushing upward to flower in the conscience of every man. When we are free from within, government will of itself fall away- Greg. Anarchy! Adr. Yes. Anarchy of the soul, not of the blood. The anarchy that Christ saw when he said the meek shall in- herit the earth. This is the vision before me, the vision that I held before the bleeding bodies in Lonz to-day- Greg. To the devil with your visions! Man will always be a worm while he crawls! It is those who have remem- bered their stature that have done most for the race. And I-from under their feet-with Death's hand upon me- I will remember mine! [Galovkine, who is watching at the door, steps forward, lifting his hand in signal. Instantly the scene becomes one of merrymaking. A man who sits on shelf above stove be- gins fiddling, and a peasant dances a clog in the middle of the floor. Orloff enters, followed by two or three guards. Vetrova rises to meet them) Vet. You are welcome. Orl. A jolly ending to the day, good people. Vet. We've reason to be merry, sir, as you know, who spared my lad this morning. Cath. And you too, Petrovich. 173 THE SHEPHERD Vet. Eh, but I don't count, mother. Orl. 'Tis sporting time with us too. We are on our way to the officers' ball at Yaltowa. A little gayety after the hard work at Petoff. Glad to find you are not making more trouble for us. Vet. We've had our lesson, sir. Orl. [Suspiciously] And this happy meeting is to en- courage yourselves in good intentions Vet. Sir, we are true men. [Vasil suddenly appears in door, rear, waming a paper] Vasil. I have it! The song is ready! Adr. [Looking meaningly at Vasil] Don't be so sure of your first effort, my boy. Better let it get cold. Orl. No, we'll hear it. That paper looks interesting. Vasil. Pardon me. [Folds paper and puts it into his pocket) Orl. I insist upon hearing it. Vasil. [Taking paper out reluctantly] 'Tis merely a song, sir, and will hardly bear reading. I will sing it for you. [Unfolds paper slowly] A Welcome to Summer, friends. 'Tis an old chorus, and you can help me with it. [Sings] Come out, come out with me To meet the summer maid! A queen, a queen is she, Whose love is as the sea That would all lands caress, Whose loves are many as the sands, And each a sovereign is, For whom her arms enring Is royal by her kiss, Forevermore a king, a king, a king! Come, dance, dance, dance, and welcome the summer maid! Who has looked into her eyes is nevermore afraid! 174 THE SHEPHERD We will gather our hearts together, we will mingle our feet on the grass, We will hold her with kisses, nor ever, nor ever let her pass! [The peasants join in chorus] Her free step is the (lawn No darkness can waylay, Her laugh is the wild waterfall By winter never chained, Her hair the winds unreined, Her eyes unbridled sun, And all the waves are in her call That heard is never still, Her breath the clouds that hie Free as they list or will, And in her bosom find a greater sky! Ye mothers, come, forsake Dead fire and frozen hearth; The bones ye call your babes, awake, For in her lap she bears Sweet grain and golden ears That warming in their veins shall make The ruddy might of men; Your daughters that now lie Blanched, broken, still, shall then Lift up rose faces and forget to die. Old Winter in his snows Is covered, covered deep, For all above him lie his slain, And not until his breath Has warmed them out of death May he arise from his cold sleep. Good-by, good-by, good-by, 175 THE SHEPHERD Old Winter dead and white, No more meet you and I, A last and long, a long and last good-night! [As the chorus is sung the last time, Vasil dances out among the peasants, who join hands with him and all move in a ring, singing] Orl. I congratulate you. And now will you favor me with the copy Vasil. [Seeming to hesitate] 'Tis hardly worthy-- Orl. [Taking it] Leave that to me. [Glances disap- pointedly at song, repeating the first line] Humph! Yes . . . [Puts it into his pocket] So you are all true men en- joying yourselves I've no objection. On the contrary. I'm in the humor to join you if my lady Bright-eyes [look- ing at Vera] will honor me. [Vera rises, curtsies, and couples spring up, forming a dance, Orloff and Vera leading] Orl. [At close of the dance] Thank you, Bright-eyes. I shall find no fairer partner at the ball, whither I must be going. And here, young man. I will leave you your song. It may be your only copy. [Brings out several papers from his pocket and looks them over] Here is the song, but . . . [Assumes sudden sternness] A serious mat- ter. I have lost an important paper since I came into this room. [Looks searchingly at their faces] An important paper on official business. [AU are silent, betraying no emotion. He turns his gaze to Vera, who is sitting by her grandfather] Ah, my little lady, perhaps your fingers were busy in the dance. Come forward, please. [Vera steps out, bewildered] Vera. I did not touch it. Orl. Of course not. Now will you shake your scarf, please Yes, I will do it for you. [Shakes her scarf and a paper drops to the floor. Orloff picks it up] Ah, found! 176 THE SHEPHERD Good, but rather a sad affair for you, little one. Even fingers so dainty as yours must not meddle with the Czar's papers. Vera. I did not touch them! Orl. Of course not. But you must come with me. [Mutterings from the men] I hear you, friends. If any of you want to come along just make it known. Our prisons are well stuffed, but we can manage to pack away all present. Adr. [After a second of silence] The child is innocent. Orl. 0, you want to go, do you But you happen to be the one we don't want-yet. Anybody else Vera. [Sobbing] I did not touch it. Orl. You may tell that to Petrizoff. He is always kind to beauty. Vera. [In terror] Am I going to him Orl. He will not be far away, I imagine. Adr. You can not take this child. The paper was not stolen. Orl. You saw it drop from her scarf. Adr. Where you put it. Orn. [In a rage] Your mouth will soon be shut! If I could have had my way this morning your hide wouldn't hold shucks to-night! [Noise of a carriage at door. Sophie enters in ball dress. She draws back in astonishment at sight of Orloff] Soph. [Faintly] You here Orl. And you Soph. [Composed] May I speak to you, Count Orloff Orn. At your service, your highness. [They draw aside, left, front. The peasants talk in low tones. Guards stand by Vera] Soph. Of course I know why you are here, but I had to simulate surprise. Orl. You were very successful. 177 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Since the exposure of this morning the people are ready to suspect me, and I must retain their confidence or my usefulness is at an end. Orl. Quite. Soph. They heard to-day of the girl's danger, and were planning her escape, so I, not knowing whether you would arrive in time, stopped-to Orl. Yes Soph. Quiet their fears and assure them of her safety. Are there any prisoners besides the girl Orl. No, but I would give something to take this inso- lent Shepherd. I've only a few hours to wait though. Soph. A few hours Orl. Yes-ah, you don't know everything then! Soph. Dear man, I know everything but one,-that is, how much you know. If you will go to the ball in my carriage we may find out how far we can trust each other. Orl. Angel! Soph. Don't! The people-you must pretend to oppose me. They think I am interceding for the girl. Orl. [As if suddenly recalling something] Why did you save the boy this morning Soph. I will explain that too-in the carriage. We must go now. I first, so they will not know we leave to- gether. Orl. [Crestfallen] I promised Petrizoff not to leave the girl till I had her safe in prison. There have been so many escapes Soph. [With a glance at Vera] She iw pretty. Good- evening then. Orl. Wait-I will go with you! Soph. [Melting] Will you Then you sha'n't. You shall take no risks for me. Orl. Risk! I would risk anything. Ah, you can't de- prive me now. 178 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Can you trust the guards Orl. I will trust them! Soph. Very well. I will wait for you. [Going, stops be- fore Adrian] I have not been able to obtain her release, but I am sure there is hope. At least I have touched Colonel Orloff's heart. Have I not, Count Orl. You have indeed! Soph. [Looking steadily at Adrian] And you will hear news of great importance before morning. [To Orloff] Will he not Orl. Without doubt, your highness. Soph. [Going, again turns to Adrian] The Count will give you his word that I am to be trusted. Orl. To be sure, your highness. Soph. Good-night. [Exit] Orl. [After following Sophie's departure with a fatuous look] Come, lady-bird, we must be moving. [Starts out, the guards follonving with Vera. Vetrova, who has seemed quite stunned, suddenly rushes after them and beats guards with his crutch] Orl. [Seizing him by the collar and throwing him to the floor] You old fool! We don't want to bother with you! [Exeunt Orloff, guards and Vera. Vetrova, lying on floor, lifts his fist and curses] Adr. [Bending over him] Petrusha! Vet. Let me be, Adrian Lavrov! I have held my peace all my life to die cursing at last! I was dumb when they broke my bones under the rod. I was dumb when my son died under the lash. But Vera, my little girl-dragged to that-O God, send thy fires upon him! Curse him- curse him-urse- [Dies. The peasants cross them- selves. Some kneel before the icon, praying. Catherine gazes at Vetrova in hopeless terror. Galovkine kneels and examines the body] Galovkine. Dead. 179 THE SHEPHERD Cath. Dead-and a curse on his lips. My Petrusha- dead-and a curse on his lips. [Two men pick up the body and bear it off right centre, Adrian opening the door. Catherine follows with several women. The other peasants go off silently, street door, leaving only Adrian, Vasil and the revolutionists] Greg. As I was saying when-the Czar interrupted us- Petrizoff must die. And you will help us, Lavrov. Yes -you must! You say yourself that our best hope lies in sympathy and sentiment- Adr. Which the bomb utterly destroys. Greg. Not when the Shepherd throws it. Wait! I do not mean that literally, for this [raising his hand] is the consecrated hand. But your name as our leader would sanctify the deed. Adr. Your leader Greg. Yes. Not only for this, but for our army. Your name is a divine word in every peasant home in Russia. It is cheered by every body of workmen gathered together to-night, and in the army who would not surrender the colors of Romanov to the hero line of Donskoi Adr. [Starting] Gregorief Greg. Wait! They are all ready now. The peasantry, inspired by the teaching of our martyrs for the last thirty years,-the nobility with awakened conscience,-the work- men, one great body with suspended arms,-the army of the Czar ready to become the army of the people,-all await their leader-you! [A pause] Russia is looking but one way-to freedom. To-day you may lead us to victory almost without blood. Let Petrizoff commit this crime in the name of liberty, and to-morrow we shall be like the scattered limbs of a dissevered body. You will not let this be, Lavrov. You will Adr. No! Let civilization wait another century rather than deliver her flag to the hands of murderers! 180 THE SHEPHERD Greg. And where is it now if not in the hands of mur- dercrs Adr. It is not in their hands, Gregorief, but in ours, that are yet clean. Do this thing, and it is you, not Petrizoff, who give the greatest blow to freedom. The world is just beginning to understand us Greg. Yes! Where is that understanding growing strongest In America. And how does the autocracy propose to meet this new influence By a secret com- mercial treaty with the United States. Give any govern- ment a pocket interest in the security of another and to the winds with sympathy! Petrizoff has his agents there now, and the burning of Yaltowa is only a part of his scheme to chill the hearts that are warming to us. But he shall not live to do it. You will not let him live, Lavrov. My God, don't you see that your opportunity has come Adr. Yes. My opportunity to point once more to where the sun shall rise. Greg. The sun never rises on the blind. You would throw us back into night for another thousand years! Adr. What are a thousand years to the soul of man on the right path to the right thing Galovkine. [Plucking at Gregorief] Come away. We lose time here. Greg. Not until I tell this fool where he stands! You imagine, Lavrov, that you are a friend to freedom, but a greater enemy does not tread Russian soil. Why does the government leave you at work Because of your power to subdue the spirit in men. It is you such as you-who forget our shackles and fill the prisons. But thank the Powers that keep the race alive, there are still some of us who believe in manhood-in the virtues of the heart as well as the soul-in courage, honor, justice! [To the others] Come up to Breshloff's. We will finish there. [Enter Korelenko hurriedly] 181 THE SHEPHERD Greg. [Grasping his hand] Korelenko! The word What is it Kore. What you wished. We needed only the consent of the Social Democrats to Petrizoff's death- Greg. Yes, yes! Kore. And I have brought their sanction Greg. [Almost sobbing] Thank God! Kore. If it is done under the leadership of the Shep- herd of Lonz. [Adrian staggers back against loom] Greg. [Clutching Korelenko] Take back that infernal proviso! Kore. I thought you wished it. Greg. I did, when I believed the man there was human. Kore. He is. The most human of us all. You don't know him. Adrian, you see that all depends upon you- Adr. [Waning him away] Begone-all of you! Manl. Come! God gave us good right arms. We need not wait for Lavrov's. Kore. But can we do without the Social Democrats Greg. Yes! We have the others. Come to Breshloff's! [All go except Korelenko, who lingers in the door. Adrian sits exhausted on bench before loom] Adr. Sasha Kore. [Turning back quickly] Well Adr. You have chosen Kore. Between my friends and my enemies Yes. Adr. Between the body and the soul. Kore. Soul! There is none in Russia. When we get possession of our bodies we may be permitted to cultivate souls! Adr. If you would wait a little, Sasha. Reforms are coming. The Czar will grant a constitution Kore. He will grant what we take, no more. And what do we gain if he gives us a constitution and keeps his army 182 THE SHEPHERD If he gives us schools and exiles the teachers If he gives us freedom and denies it to the men who have won it- our brothers in the dungeons No, we want our constitu- tion, not the Czar's-a constitution with law and justice behind it, not an army. Adr. Is it time There is so much ignorance yet Kore. Ignorance! Where is it greater than among our masters We suffer as much from their stupidity as their oppression. I hate the ass's head more than the tyrant's! Adr. But the poor, illiterate peasants. Are they ready- Kore. Viatka and Perm answer that! There, where they have been let alone, they have established the best governed provinces in Russia. But here, where ignorance is protected--do you know what will happen if Yaltowa is burnt The peasants of Karitz will be led into the town to pillage and slaughter in the name of Christ. Adr. [In horror] Karitz! My poor people! I must go there at once. Kore. There It is only because you are here that Lonz will not be led into it. [Ironically] Since you can't be everywhere, hadn't we better devise some other means for the protection of the people Adr. 0, it is horrible! Kore. More horrible than you dream. A good man can not know how bad the world is, for he can never get away from himself. [Re-enter Manlief] Manl. Come, Korelenko. We shall be too late. Adr. He is not going. Mani. No I'll stiffen his heart. You don't know, do you, that your little Vera has been taken to Petrizoff Kore. [Stares in amazement, and clutches Adrian] Is this a lie Adr. She has been arrested. 183 THE SHEPHERD Kore. You let her be taken Adr. I had no choice. Kore. There is always a choice. You could have killed her. [Breaks down] Manl. [Touching him] Come. Kore. Yes! Go on! I'll come! M3anl. At Breshloff's. [Exit] Kore. [Savagely, starting up] You would save his life knowing that! Adr. What has Vera's misfortune-yours-mine-to do with an eternal principle Kore. Damn your principle! It will put us all into hell! Adr. The princess may be able to do something for her. She- Kore. You still believe in that spy [Adrian is silent. Korelenko looks at him] Forgive me. You love her. No! If you knew what love is you would help me! Adr. [Going to him as he reaches the door] Wait. I do know. I love her even as you love Vera, and I swear to you that if she stood in Vera's place my answer would be the same. Kore. [Abstractedly] You love her. [Starts suddenly away] Adr. You will stay now, Sasha Kore. Now No. There is something to do now. [Exit] Adr. Light, light, 0 my God! [Door opens, right centre, and a woman appears] Woman. Can you come to Catherine Vetrova now, sir [Adrian bows his head and follows her out. Vasil, who has been sitting behind the little table rear, at times listening eagerly, at times overcome, rises and moves slowly forward, carrying his violin] 184 THE SHEPHERD Vasil. [Repeats softly] " As impersonal as the uni- verse." [Strikes two or three notes on the violin and stops, terrified. Dashes the instrument down and throws himself to the floor, sobbing] 0, Vera! Vera! Vera! [Curtain] SCIENE 2. The same. Vasil still lying on the floor. Adrian enters right, crosses and attempts to rouse him. Adr. You must go to bed, my son. There is nothing for you to do. Vasil. [Rising] Nothing for me to do Why am I in the world then Adr. To be our light-oursong-to find our angels for us. Vasil. [Looking down at his violin] It is broken. Adr. [Picking it up] You will mend it. Vasil. And the heart too [Goes to table, left front, and sits by it, despondent and thoughtful We were wrong to- day, Adrian. I was wrong. No one has a right to hap- piness while others are suffering because of things that are in the power of man to help. The good people who forget what is out of sight, as if misery-or duty-were a question of eyes and ears, they are the most to blame. [Rises] If they would all help-just all of the good. [Goes to door, rear, and stands a moment looking out] The princess dances at the ball to-night. Adr. My boy! Vasil. [Coming back to Adrian] But they will not all help-not yet. Perhaps the world of peace must come before the world of love, not out of it . . . as war has come before peace. The law of Moses was once the best law. His race saved itself by it. Has the day of its necessity passed, Adrian Are we sure 185 THE SHEPHERD Adr. It has passed for the man. Vasil. But humanity is so far behind the man. Adr. [Gently] That is what made Christ. Vasil. And that is what killed him! [Enter a priest, street door] Priest. Blessed be this house. Adr. Welcome, father. Priest. Is death here Adr. Yes, father. [Crosses to right and opens door for priest to enter] You have many visits to make to-night. Priest. Many, my son. [Stops before Adrian] I have a message for the Shepherd of Lonz. Adr. [Taking letter] Thank you, father. Priest. Thank her that sent it, and God who made her heart. [Passes into room, right] Adr. [After looking over letter] The princess has danced to some purpose, my boy. Vera is free. She will be on her way to Odessa by morning. Vasil. Free The princess saved her My princess! Did she write it [Taking letter] I will read it with kisses! Adr. It must be burnt. Vasil. No, let me keep it-a little while. Adr. We must be careful. Hush-some one is coming. [Vasil retreats to table, rear. Enter Korelenko in great agitation] Kore. Yaltowa is on fire! We are one night too late! They must have heard Adr. On fire Now Kore. I waited with Gregorief at Breshloff's, the others went on to Yaltowa, where- Adr. You waited for Petrizoff Kore. This ball was only to cover their scheme Adr. You waited with Gregorief for Petrizoff Kore. He will pass through the village about four o'clock. 186 THE SHEPHERD Adr. But now-O, you are saved from that thing! Kore. Yes. If we kill him now the fire will seem only a part of the deed. It will help them fix the lie upon us. Adr. Too late, thank God! Kore. You think of nothing but Petrizoff ! What of the people now dying in Yaltowa Dying because he lives Go see the horrors there! The reactionists are every- where in the streets, disguised as revolutionists, looting and murdering! Your Karitz peasants are being turned into beasts [Adrian gives a deep groan and sits overcome, by table front, left] Kore. It is not too late! Our friends-Russia-free- dom-yet may live if you will help us! Your name will justify Petrizoff's death to the world. With the loss of their chief the reactionists will be in confusion, before they can recover you can organize the great leagues into a militia- Adr. You are mad to think such power is in me. Kore. You don't know your power! You can do it- you only-and it must be done now-before the war in the East is over-before the Czar can make new promises -give us the mockery of a constitution, and fool half of us back to allegiance-before-- Adr. [Rising, shaken] It can not rest with me. One man can not make destiny. Kore. Yes, when that man is you-when the time is now! Absolutism is at its ebb. Will you wait till the tide gathers and flows over us again in waves of blood Adr. [To himself, walking] Are there then two codes One for the man, one for the race And when they con- flict, the man must yield Kore. Codes! The question of a man's right to his breath is settled outside of ethics! 0, Adrian, brother, 187 THE SHEPHERD be a man to-night and not a preacher! Never in the his- tory of the world has there been a revolution so ripe, so terrible, without a leader to march at its head. Adr. Humanity has dropped the club. It will drop the gun. Even the soldiers are throwing it down. And shall I pick it up- Kore. Only for a day! Petrizoff alone stands between us and the army. Vitelkin, the next in power, is ready to join us. But he is suspected already, and must soon re- sign-or be poisoned. If we remove Petrizoff now thirty regiments will come to us with Vitelldn, and others will fol- low until the Czar is without an army. In a month-a fort- night-the revolutionists will be masters of the nation Adr. Masters of the nation! [Walks away, and returns, much calmer, to Korelenko] If it is true that only the life of Petrizoff stands between the revolutionists and triumph, he can not long be the sole barrier. He must see his folly and change his Kore. [Furious] Were he to turn angel now, he should die for his past sins! Adr. [Sadly] I see. We should unfetter the avenging lion, not loosen the dove of peace, with Petrizoff's death. Kore. I did not mean that. You know it was the anger of a moment. [Kneeling] For the last time I beg you- in the name of all that redeems man from the beast- Adr. [Very pale] Rise, Korelenko. Heal ye first your- selves. Out of your differences, your divisions, you make your master. If for one day enmity should sleep, if for one day every lover of freedom should love his neighbor, in that day the oppressor would fall. Rise! I will not do it. Kore. [Springing up] You will! Adr. Will Kore. Yes. The princess Sophie Travinski is betrayed to Petrizoff. I hoped to prevail without telling you, and spare your heart what mine suffers. 188 THE SHEPHERD Adr. Betrayed Kore. She has aided to-night in the escape of a prisoner taken by Petrizoff's order. He will know all by morning if he lives. Adr. This lie will not tempt me, Sasha. I can hardly believe you have uttered it. [Fearfully] I might have believed you. Kore. I am prepared for your doubt. Gregorief waits outside. He will support my word [going to door]. Adr. No! I will not see him again. It is true. [Crosses uncertainly and sits on bench before loom] 0, is there no end to this night Kore. A princess Ghedimin went to Yakutsk for a lesser offence. Adr. Don't-don't speak. Kore. [After watching him a moment] If Petrizoff dies he will never know. Adr. There is no time to warn her. Kore. Then the evidence will go to Petrizoff at once. Adr. You would do that Kore. No, but Gregorief would. He is waiting for your answer. Adr. My answer Kore. You know how to save her. Adr. [Rising] How Kore. Join us. Adr. [Sinking dawn again] You might be merciful now, Korelenko. Kore. [Unbelievingly] You will not save her Adr. Not that way. Kore. There is no other. Adr. Then she- Kore. Adrian, I can not believe you. You will save her! Adr. How can I now The struggle is over. For a heavenly motive I refused to join you; I can not consent 189 THE SHEPHERD now for an earthly one. 0, if you had not told me! If you had pleaded a little longer- [Realizes what he is say- ing, and looks at Korelenko with a bitter smile] You see it is impossible. Kore. [Raging] I will kill you! Adr. Do, Sasha. Kore. [Turning frma him] Vera! My little girl! Adr. [Rising suddenly] 0, I have not told you Kore. What Quick! Adr. Vera is free. Read this-where-Vasil, the letter! [Vasil, who sits by the small table, silently lays the letter upon it. Korelenko crosses and snatches it up] Adr. [As Korelenko reads] You see they will wait for you on the Petoff road until two o'clock. You must go at once. The princess has arranged for you to journey with Vera if you wish, and you must now, for to remain here means imprisonment on the Yaltowa charge. [Korelenko is dumb, looking at the letter] Don't lose hope, Sasha. You can still help us in America-perhaps do more for the cause there than here-and you will have Vera- Kore. [Strangely] You must save her now, Adrian. Adr. She is saved. Haven't you read Don't you see Kore. Not Vera, the princess. It was I who betrayed her. And it was Vera she saved. I was so sure of you. You said Adr. I am sorry for you, Korelenko. You have sold the angel in your service. Kore. No! You did it! You deceived me! You swore you loved her! Adr. I swore the truth. Kore. Bah! Such love! Prove it! Prove it! [Hbur- ries to the little cabinet in wall, rear, unlocks it, takes out a bomb from his pocket, places it in the cabinet, locks the door and returns to Adrian with key] Prove it! I am going to Vera. Gregorief will wait at Breshloff's. Send him this 190 THE SHEPHERD 191 key within an hour and he will know what to do. [Offers key to Adrian, who looks at him silently. Korelenko throws key to the floor] There it is! Send it, or her fate will be on your soul, not mine! [Exit] Adr. 0, Infinite Love, why didst make us as men to try us as gods . . . And I might have saved her. Might . . [Goes slowly to the key, stoops and picks it up. As he raises his head his glance falls on the portrait of the Saviour on wall in front of hint) Unto seventy times seven. [He drops the key and takes a step or two toward the picture] Thou too wert man! . . . [As he gazes at the portrait Vasil comes softly forward, takes up the key, returns to table, and sits looking at the key as if fascinated. Curtain] ACT III SCENE 1. Same room. Vasil asleep on bench, rear, left. Adrian watching by him. Adr. If I had saved him this day . . . this night! But now . . . what peace can heal him [Rises and walks] Lord, Lord, from out these burning days, let one, just one, go free! As thou lovest thy world, let him be spared, let him be spared! [Enter Sophie, street door. Adrian looks at her uncom- prehendingly. She crosses to him] Adr. Why have you come Soph. To warn you! Adr. The boy-do not wake him. [Sophie crosses to left, rear, Adrian following. She looks down at Vasil, stoops and tenderly kisses him, then moves away with Adrian. Vasil opens his eyes and looks after them] Adr. The last two hours have been terrible, but he rests now. Soph. You must take him with you. Adr. With me Soph. I have come from the ball. Adr. I see. Soph. Orloff is a very weak man. I found out that you are to be arrested to-night. Adr. It has come then. Soph. Is Korelenko going with Vera Adr. I hope so. He has gone to meet her. 192 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Then you can't take his place. We must think of some other way-and quickly. Adr. Not for me. It is you who must go. You are betrayed to Petrizoff. Soph. I hoped you wouldn't hear that. I am in no danger. Adr. [Between fear and relief] No danger Soph. [With a half smile] By and by you will believe that I can take care of myself. [Enter Korelenko with Vera] Soph. Not gone Adr. You are lost. Soph. Why did you bring her back You have no right to destroy her life! Vera. I would not go. My place is with Alexander. [Softly] You ought to understand that, princess. Soph. [To Korelenko] She is a child. She did not know. You should have gone with her. Kore. Your highness, that was impossible. Soph. It was not! All was prepared Kore. [To Adrian] Does she know Soph. That I am betrayed Yes, but the man en- trusted with the evidence happened to be a devoted ser- vant of my own- [Alexander groans] Hie will fall! And you-Adrian-what is the matter Kore. [Steadying himself against the loom and clasping Vera] I have thrown our lives away-mine and Vera's- that is all. Soph. Why couldn't you go with her Kore. Because it was I who betrayed you. And could I accept life and love at your hands Soph. [Shrinking] You But why Kore. I can not answer. Come, Vera, to your grand- mother. [Exeunt Korelenko and Vera, right, centre] 193 THE SHEPHERD Soph. 0, why did he do it Adr. I can tell you. Soph. Then why Adr. Because he believed- 0, Sophie, beloved, before I speak, look at me with the love in your eyes as I saw it first. I did not know it was for me then. Let me see it now while I know you are mine-mine! Yes, yes, you love me! Soph. Ah, Adrian, I am afraid I love nothing else. [Vasil covers his eyes with his arm] Adr. And you will kiss me once Soph. Once Adr. As if we were parting forever, Sophie. [She em- braces and kisses him. He moves away from her] Now I will tell you why Alexander could not answer you, and why I can. He betrayed you believing that I could and would save you. Soph. And you Adr. Could, but would not. Soph. [Moting back] What are you saying, Adrian Adr. I could have saved you but I would not. Isn't it clear Soph. [Moving back till she stands in dim light] No- I don't- Adr. I would not consent to Petrizoff's death. Soph. [Lifting her head] 0! [Regarding him steadily] You refused your consent when you knew that his death would save me Adr. [Louering his eyes] I did. Soph. He, a murderer, whose death has been justly due a thousand times, and I, innocent, the woman you say you love- Adr. [Bowing his head, not meeting her look] I have told you the truth. Soph. And that is why we part forever 194 THE SHEPHERD Adr. That is why. Soph. Because I could not forgive you Adr. No. I should want more than forgiveness. I should want you to understand. Soph. That you were right Adr. Yes. Soph. And I couldn't understand Adr. [Still hopelessly, not looking at her] No. Soph. [Coming nearer] And we part forever [He makes no answer. She comes nearer] Forever [He is still silent. She comes near enough to turn his face to hers] Forever, Adrian Adr. Sophie! [Takes her in his arms] Soph. 0, do you think I will ever leave you now Adr. You do understand! Soph. [Smiling] That I can never be in your way You will always sacrifice me first Yes, I knew that all the time, but you didn't. Adr. And it makes no difference Soph. How can it when I love you Adr. I wonder if God understands women. Soph. 0, some of them. The rest He made to puzzle over when eternity hangs on His hands. Adr. [Kissing her] Heaven-heart! Soph. [Releasing herself] That must wait. We haven't a minute- [They hear steps outside, and stand waiting. Orloff and two guards enter] Orl. It is my turn to be surprised, your highness. I suppose you are here to assure this prisoner of safety. Soph. What prisoner Orl. Adrian Lavrov. [Guards put fetters on Adrian's wrists] Adr. For what crime am I arrested Orl. [To guards] Keep him here until I return. 195 THE SHEPHERD Adr. For what crime Otl. For crime sufficient. Adr. I insist upon knowing. Orl. You will know soon enough-in the next world. They say everything is known there. Soph. He is ashamed to tell you. You are arrested as chief instigator in the burning of Yaltowa. Adr. Is it possible Soph. More than possible. It is so. That is the crime you will die for unless you are rescued by a rising of the people. Adr. That must not be! Orl. Don't worry. We are giving your friends enough to think about. [Sophie has gradually neared the door. Orloff steps be- fore her] Orl. Pardon me, your highness. You invited me into your carriage a few hours ago. I beg to return the cour- tesy. Soph. Let me pass! Orl. You will leave here only under my escort. Soph. I know where I shall die then. Orl. You have cost me one prisoner. Soph. What proof have you Orl. None-yet. But I know it. Soph. 0 wonderful sagacity! Orl. And I shall lay my reasons before Petrizoff. Soph. I suppose you believe, too, that I would rescue the Shepherd of Lonz Orl. I shall at least not lose sight of him until he is in prison. [Sophie turns her back upon Orloff] You must come with me or stay here under guard. I don't promise you as pleasant a journey as you gave me, for I shall not be at so much trouble to please. I shall not even ask you to let me repeat the little kiss 196 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Sir! Orl. On your hand, which you so kindly permitted. [Sophie again attempts to pass him] Will your highness take my arm to the carriage We have only a short dis- tance to drive before meeting Petrizoff. [Looking at hits watch] He ought to be almost here. Soph. I will stay here. Orl. In shackles Soph. [Holding out her arms] Yes. Orl. Stay then. But I will not bind you. Soph. No, I might not forgive you that if it turns out that you have made a fool's mistake. Ol. There is no mistake, as you will learn after I have seen Petrizoff. [To guards] No conversation between prisoners. [To Sophie] Let me assure you that these guards can be trusted. [Exit] [Adrian sits in the large chair, a guard stationed on each side of him. Sophie sits on low stool before him, and lays her head upon his knees] A guard. [Anxiously] It is not permitted to commu- nicate- Soph. Then don't, sir! [Silence for a moment, then the noise of horses approaching] Soph. Ah-Petrizoff! [Vasil rises cautiously. The guards have their backs to him and the door. He stands on the bench, unlocks cab- inet, takes out the bomb, puts it under his blouse, and goes softly out] Adr. Sophie-Sophie-you do not regret- Soph. No, no! Don't, Adrian! Forget all but love- love-love! This is the last-the last- [Sound of trampling without, shrieks and noises. They start and listen. Korelenko runs through the room from right and out at street door. Vera comes on after him. Adrian and Sophie rise and look questioningly at each 197 THE SHEPHERD other. The guards lift their weapons. Adrian looks to- ward bench and sees that Vasil is gone] Adr. Vasil! [To Vera] Is he in there Vera. No, Adrian. Adr. He has gone out. He will be hurt. [Looks suddenly at cabinet, which is open] Who has been here Gregorief [Stares at cabinet. Sophie's gaze follows his. He turns to her, speaking slowly] There was a bomb in that cabinet. Could it be possible- that- Soph. [Gently] I am afraid it is true. Adr. Never! Not him! Soph. Adrian! Beloved! Adr. [Not heeding her] Vasil! Vasil! [Staggers to seat by table, front, left. Guards keep by him. Enter Korelenko followed by Gregorief and others] Vera. [Running to Korelenko] Vasil-where is he [Korelenko is silent] Soph. Is he hurt Kore. The boy-or- Soph. The boy. Kore. Not hurt, but taken. [Adrian throws his fettered arms upon the table and lays his face upon them] Soph. Is Petrizoff dead Kore. Only a wound. This night belongs to hell. 0, if it could have been as we planned! Soph. No one is killed Kore. No one but Orloff. Soph. Orloff dead! [Under her breath] Then I am safe. Kore. Gods, if only it had been Petrizoff! His escape is unbelievable. [Turning to Adrian] What says the preacher now 198 THE SHEPHERD Soph. Don't! See his fetters Kore. Ah! When Greg. [Crossing to Adrian] Fortunate man! Now he may develop his soul! Soph. How can you Greg. How could he, madam How could he Do you know what he has done He has killed every man that died in Yaltowa to-night-he has slaughtered every child-he has outraged every woman! What else Free- dom offered him her hand and he struck her to earth! He has scattered her forces-he has strengthened her oppressor-and the rivers of blood that must now drench Russia shall flow from his door! But-ha! ha! he has saved his soul! [Enter Irteniefi, attended] Irtenieff. I want the prisoner, Adrian Lavrov. [No one answers. He sees Adrian and crosses to him] What is your crime [Adrian does not raise his head] Soph. None. Irten. You are arrested for the burning of Yaltowa All prisoners taken on that charge are free by the order of Petrizoff. Soph. Take off his chains! [At a sign from Irteniefi guards unfetter Adrian, who does not seem to know what they are doing] Kore. Such an order from Petrizoff What does it mean Irten. It means that he is frightened into saying his prayers for a day or two. Soph. Adrian, my dear one, look up! Irten. [To Korelenko] And if you've a particular regard, as I've heard, for the little beauty there, you'd better get her out of Russia before his scare rubs off. Kore. Thank you, sir. 199 THE SHEPHERD [Exeunt Irtenieff, men, and guards left by Orlofi. Dawn has been gradually breaking, showing through door and window, rear. Sophie continues to talk softly to Adrian and finally he raises his head] Adr. They will bury the sunshine of the world-shut up his golden years in darkness Soph. We will free him, Adrian. We will live to set him free. [Zarkoff, and Vasil guarded, appear at door] Zarkoff. [Stepping in] Now show your accomplices. [Vasil stands on the threshold, silent, looking eagerly at the faces in the room] You swore you would tell who helped you if we brought you here. Vasil. I will. Zar. [Pointing to Gregorief] Is he one Vasil. Let me take my time. You wouldn't hurry on your way to Schlusselburg, would you I must speak to my friends first. Adrian-father, brother, master-the songs have all come back. When I only looked on, doing nothing to help, the music stopped, but now- Zar. Too many words, sir! Vasil. Now I am doing my part, I have a right to my song. They will take me to Zar. Stop that! Vasil. And under the stormy waters my heart will be singing Zar. Say your good-bys, and be done! Vasil. Put your ear to my violin, and you will hear- Zar. Come! Vasil. You must yield something too, Adrian. Step back to the law of Moses for vantage if you can leap to Christ with the world in your arms. Zar. You have broken your oath! Vasil. I have not. I will tell you. 200 THE SHEPHERD Zar. Speak then. Who are your confederates Vasil. There is but one. Zar. Who Where is he Vasil. He is here-in this room-he is in every prison in Russia-he is in every heart that knows the meaning of love-but if you want to arrest him [stepping back into the sunlight and pointing upward] you must go up there, for he is God. Zar. That for your blasphemy! [Strikes Vasil on the mouth with his sword] Off with him! [Guards take Vasil off. Zarkoff follows. Silence brok-en by a groan from Adrian] Soph. Beloved, beloved, he shall be free! The whole world shall help us! Greg. May we knock down the prisons now, Lavrov Adr. 0 God, in all thy ages can this be justified Kore. You can justify it in a moment. Adrian Lavrov, this is your call to war. If you respond, his life is well lost. Adr. War [Staggers up] Yes. And I will use the strongest of earthly weapons, the arms of peace. The powers that upbuild are as invincible as the universe. By them it stands. Only by their toleration do the forces of destruction live. Toleration Only by the support of the powers of peace do the powers that destroy exist. Is not the army of the Czar fed by us, clothed by us, paid by us And if we refuse to give, must it not beg of us If he who works not shall not eat, what is the doom of the destroyer The sower shall not sow for him, the reaper shall not reap for him, the builder shall not build for him, the physician shall not heal him, the scholar shall not teach him, the lawyer shall not plead for him, no trade shall supply him, no craft shall assist him, no art shall amuse him. The mills shall be silent, the wheels shall not turn, the wires shall be dumb, until he cries out 201 THE SHEPHERD "Peace, thou art master: let me be so much as thy servant! " A revoluetinist. Right! This, too, is war! Adr. Yes. The new war of a new day. Not in mad- ness hurling bombs, but giving our pity as we take our right. Man. And who will pay your soldiers of peace Must not their women and children eat Adr. The money we now pay to our brothers to strike us shall put bread in our mouths. A revolutionist. Keep the taxes! Man. You join us at last! Adr. No. We join each other . . . under the only unconquerable power. Gather an army and go forth wish guns, and you may be laid in the dust. But the gathered forces of peace are as the fingers on God's hand, one with His strength, one with His will. Friends, friends, we have been searching earth for the weapon already in our grasp. The woman at the loom, the mujik in the field, the workman on the housetop, the man at the wire, the throttle, the wheel, hold it in their hands. To know its might-to use it together-that is all. Together! 0, they must see it-as I do now! I will gather my disciples, we will knock at every door and preach the gospel of united peace until all our unions are one union, all our bodies one body, with one breath, one heart, one head. In barin and peasant, mechanic and noble, Christian and Jew, Finn, Pole, Czech, Serb, Geor- gian, Tatar, must be born as in one man the conscious strength of peace. And to its deliverance I give my life, my soul! [Sits down. Sophie leans over him] . . . Yes . . .he shall be free. Greg. [Who has been searching Vasil's violin, comes forward with a paper in his hand] They shall all be free! THE SHEPHERD We will make no terms, we will accept no constitution, till every dungeon door be open, till we hold in our arms the brothers who have made freedom no longer a dream of the night but a song of the morning! To them we owe the liberty that is dawning, and shall we tread the earth they give us while they perish beneath it Hear our latest martyr-the youngest of us all. Hear the "Voice of Schlusselburg!" [Read-s] We are deep, we are deep Beneath your swift feet That pass and yet pass With unfaltering beat; But life has no sound That can deaden our moans, And no measure of ground Can bury our bones, Can bury our bones. We have given ye all But our lingering breath,- The light from our eyes, The prayer at our death. The wine of the days, Drink it up, drink it up! But our hearts, as the grape, We pressed for the cup, We pressed for the cup. Through the measureless sun Your seasons shall sway. Pluck the fruit as your own, Ye have nothing to pay; 208 THE SHEPHERD For your summers of bloom Are the summers we've lost, And we in our tomb, We pay the red cost, We pay the red cost. Your youths shall be wed And the maids shall be fair, But the tears we have shed Are the pearls they shall wear; Your bride ye shall seek As never we could, But the rose on her cheek, It is dyed with our blood, It is dyed with our blood. The lips of your child Shall be warm on your own, But 'tis cold, it is cold, Where our babes lie alone. The hand of your friend In yours ye shall take, But look ye -the scar Ours wear for his sake, Ours wear for his sake. The feast shall be spread And the world shall be there, But set at the head Our invisible chair. Ay, the banquet is ours, For our dishes make room! Each baked by the fires Of a smouldering home, Of a smouldering home. 204 THE SHEPHERD 205 We are deep, we are deep Beneath your swift feet That pass and yet pass With unfaltering beat; But life has no sound That can deaden our moans, And no measure of ground Can bury our bones, Can bury our bones. [Curtain] This page in the original text is blank. THE SIEGE A DRAMA IN FIVE ACTS CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY DIONYSIUS, the Younger, tyrant of Syracuse DION, a Syracusan noble ARISTOCLES, the Athenian friend of Dion OCRASTES, a young lord, attached to Dion HERACLIDES, admiral of Syracuse PHIIIJSTUS, an ambitious courtier CALLORLJS, AEGISTHIS, friends of Heradlide SPEUISIPPUS, from Athens, friend of Aristocles PANTIJUS, captain of Dion's Grecian guards DOMENES, captain of the tyrant's guards TIMOLEON, ASCANI)ER, lords of Syracuse GYLIPPUS, MENODES, DRACON, citizens BRENTIO, slave to Dion TICHUS, lave to Aritocles ARATEA, wife of Dion NAURESTA, a noble lady THEANO, daughter of Nauresta METHONE, woman to Nauresta Soldiers, citizens, essengers, dancers, c. SCENE: Syracuse, Sicily Tmu: 356 B. C. ACT I SCENE 1. A pavilion in vineyard near Dion's house. Enter Dion and Aritocles, foUowed by Brentio and Tichus. Dion. That Dionysius bends the neck of pomp To do you honor, shows an eye yet false To your true merit. Aris. But 'tis better, Dion, Than to have found his frowning archers planted Point to our landing ship. Dion. He'd not have dared To greet you so, but this vain, strutting show Wrongs you no less. Aris. Himself far more. Dion. Ay, friend. The mines of earth into one coffer poured Would not enrich a spendthrift or insure Him linen for a shroud. If you can not Prevail with him- If Nay, you will. All ifs Lie down before your wooing argument. Aris. I knew his father when the years had stripped His agued soul, and his untutored age Looked from a crabbed eye upon the world. For him I would not have a second time Foregone Athenian groves, but youth that keeps An open door to Wisdom as to Folly, May even of Virtue make at last a guest. 209 THE SIEGE Dion. My hope is born again, now you are here. When I have seen pick-thank philosophers At ear of Dionysius, seeding his mind- Wherein my toil had set fair Ceres' garden- With foul and flaunting weeds to overrun My country, I have been tempted to forego The idle reaping, uplay the soil itself, And with some few and trusted followers Rouse a new Spring to breed us gracious harvest. Aris. But he who strikes at heritage gives riot Fair leave to play above his trampled grave, And rather than usurp a wrong with right, You bend your strength to make the wrong a virtue. Dion. Ay, so the young tyrant has my knee, but thus To keep my mind at bow and flexure proves My patience 'fore the gods. Welcome the day When I may honor Truth in honoring The head of rule in my belov6d city! But now no more of state austerities; I would be glad one hour and nurse the joy Of seeing thee. Thou'st brought me half my heart That kept with thee in Athens. [Enter Brentiol Well Bren. The mistress comes. Dion. In happy season Aris. Dion. My wife. Aris. Art married, Dion Dion. To Aratea, Dionysius' sister, But as unlike him as the eternal sky To moody ocean. Aris. Married That th My lord, Mistress Since you sailed; e word 210 THE SIEGE Dion. Fast bound, indeed, to one who will not break Our souls' knit circle. She is Virtue's servant, And wears her fairest flower, beauty. Tich. [Aside, as Dion looks off left to see if Aratea approaches] Ha! A beauty! I will warrant it. There be Some ugly wives i' the world but no man married 'em. Dion. [To Brentio] Come, sir. What entertainment is provided [Dion talks asie with slave] Aris. So goes my friend. He who was happiest lost In the vast solitude of a noble book, Or Truth's deep-pathed discourse. A wife. Is this My journey's end That little haven whence No harbored sail dares sea Port of delay, And pocket of emprise, whose shallows oft Have sunk the mightiest hope of greatest states! [Enter a servant] Ser. [To Dion] My lord, the captain of the harbor waits. Dion. [To Aristocles] One moment, friend. [Exit, right] Ark. That lordly soul a-dream In woman's arms! That heaven-cleaving mind At fireside tattle with a gossip dame! Now comes the sunward ranging eagle down To sit by nest, a tame prudential spouse. Where sped the proud ambassador of morn On wings that clipped the burning orient, Hovers the cautious mate at pains to find A youngling's breakfast. [Re-enter Dion] Dion. Come, my friend. You're skilled In harbor matters, and I need your word. [Exeunt Dion and Aristocles, right] 211 THE SIEGE Bren. Is your wise man married Tich. That's a fool's question. Bren. True, but- Peace! Yonder comes the mistress. I must be off. "Entertainment," quoth my lord. Which means a gentle sally of honest nymphs, and a sort of mild, virtuous music at hide-and-seek in the vineyard. You must to court if you would know how wenches can trip in Sicily. Come, brother stranger. I'll take care o' your enjoyments. You shall see us with both eyes, I promise you. [Exeunt Brentio and Tichus. Enter, left, Aratea, Theano, Nauresta, Ocrastes and Phillistus] Ara. I'm not convinced, Phillistus. Who may search The wreckage 'neath a smile, or count the tears Deep in a stoic eye Let us believe Aristocles is not in nature cold As his philosophy. Oc. I'll freeze my sword A winter night, then warm his heart by 't. Cold! The. You've seen him Oc. At the landing. The. Now we hear! What is this marvel like Oc. A frozen god. Apollo cast in snow. Phil. Sicilian suns Are warm. Oc. He's proof 'gainst sun. Why, he doth cool His liver with his blood,-hath not a stir Of whetted sense, be 't anger, love or pain, To prick him mortal. Ara. He is young to be So true a sage. The. They come. Prepare, 0 eyes, To wonder! THE SIEGE [Re-enter Dion and Aristocles] Ara. [Advancing] Welcome, noble Athenian. Your fame has oft made voyage to our shore, And we rejoice that now you follow it. Please know my friends. Dion. [To Aratea, as Aristocles greets the others] Why is Phillistus here Are we so poor, my dame, the enemy Must sauce our feast Nay, nay! Ara. I hope, my lord, My brother's subjects are not enemies. Phil. [Who has stood apart, approaches Ar-istocles] Wel- come to Sicily, although your breath is somewhat frosty for our warmer pleasures. Ara. [As Dion frownns] The frost that draws the poison, saves the flower, you mean, my good Phillistus. Aris. A fair interpreter! Phil. Ay, when we know not our meaning, let a woman find it. Oc. Which she will do the more readily if we mean nothing. The. True, her wit is generous. She'll always bait a hook that angles painfully. Oc. Though she, good soul, must hang herself upon it. [Theano and Ocrastes move aside, bantering. Aratea turns to Phillistus and Nauresta] Dion. [To Aristocles] Ocrastes is a youth full dear to me. Orphaned at birth, I've bred him from a babe. He is of bravest heart, and must leap high Although he fall o'er heaven. Aris. And the maid Dion. The daughter of my brother some years dead. Her bloom might make e'en priestly blood forget To pace with vows, but she is true, and kneels To wisdom's star. Hast yet no eye for woman 213 THE SIEGE Aria. For all things fair. That is my staff 'gainst age. We're young so long as we love beauty. [Aratea moves to Dion and Aristocles, leaving Nauresta and Phillistus together] Nau. See This feathered snuggery Phil. A vine-lark's nest. Nau. Touch 't not. We'll lose a song by you. 'Tis strange These dare-wings build about our heads, when they So fear us. Phil. Farther. Birds are not my study. [They move aside] Nau. Frowning again, my lord Phil. And reason for it. I like not yonder pairing. [Looks at Theano and Ocrastes] Nau. Would that your plans Might leave them happy! Phil. False I'll not believe it Of thee, Nauresta. I've given thee confidence As open as the ungated dawn; unlocked My secrets; fixed within your breast, as in My own, my darling purpose! Nau. 'Twas my counsel In Aratea's ear that brought you hither. And why these dark reproaches where I hoped To see the color of your gratitude Phil. What's done, though ne'er so well, but a way For what's to do, Nauresta. Nau. Al I know not how to please you. Phil. makes t, my lord, Learn. To me 214 THE SIEGE Be wax, and adamant to all touch else. Mad Dionysius is in revels lost; Dion is far too stern for common love; Between the two my hope makes fair ascent Above the clouds of state. 'Tis I must reign. Then we, my queen, must see our daughter wed To somie strong noble who will prop our power. Ocrastes' love is bound inseverably To Dion. Keep him from Theano, sweet. Look on them now. See how she bends to him Nau. Nay, she is modest, sir. Phil. But mark! He speaks, And crimson runs her cheek, as though his voice Did paint it magically, which bids him fair, For know you not that love on blushes feeds As plundering bees on roses He is sure! 'Twill task you hard to ward from port who bears So bold a sail. Nau. But I will do it. Ay! Phil. Again you are all mine! [Nauresta move3 to Theano and Ocra8tes] Thus do I woo The mother, with the daughter in my eye. Ara. [To Aristocles] Ah, yes, I know you'll cast fond sighs toward Athens, And in the night look through the dark to her- A myrtle-crowned bride without her lord- But yet our land, too poor in Ceres' smile To outwoo Academe, may show some charm To ease your banishment. Aris. 0, 'tis an isle That 'neath the eye of Zeus might bloom nor blush Save at his praise; yet holds within itself Treasure that ornaments its cruder worth As gems make eyes in stone,-a friend whose hand 215 THE SIEGE Leads Virtue's own, and woman's beauty crowned By starry mind as I ne'er hoped to see Till at the port of the immortal world My eyes should meet my dreams. Dion. What now So soon, Aristocles Ara. My lord Dion. I knew she'd find The gate to your forgiveness. Phil. [Aside] My tongue creaks Amid this piping. Dion. True, she's fair enough For praise, but I'm a plain prose lover, friend, Nor, like a doting osier o'er a brook, Pore on her features, wasting oil of time That should burn high in task of gods and state. Phil. [Aside] I'll cast a pebble in this summer pool. [To Aristoeles] Sir, you will find our Dionysius worthy, The proud descendant of a prouder sire, Upholding well his shining heritage. Aris. Worthy I hope he is, but even kings, My lord, may wrap them in humility, Nor boast descent, when demigods of earth But bastards are in heaven. Dion. Ay, some of us Should curvet not so high, bethinking of Our audience in the clouds; for this brave world Is but a theatre whereto the gods For pastime look, and whoso makes most show Of plumes careering and proud-lifting stride Is but the greatest anticker of all To their high eyes. A little music, friends. Phil. And in good time! A sermon then a song. [Enter dancers, the two in advance bearing urns which they place on a small altar, singing] 9216 THE SIEGE Bring cedar dark, And ruby-wood, Bring honeyed-bark, The Naiad's food, Till altar flame And incense rise In friendship's name To seek the skies. [Chorus by maidens bearing wreaths of olive and lauren Myrtle leave on Venus' tree, Nor the Bacchic ivy see; Olive bring, and laurel bough, And may hours that gather now Of his years fair token be! [They bow before Aristocles and continue dancing] Aris. [Watching Aratea] The sun has made a shrine of her bright hair Where eyes would worship, but her fairer face Lures their devotion ere they gaze one prayer. Phil. [Crossing to Aristocles] Aristocles, I swear yon dancer's foot, Curving the air, marks beauty of more worth Than all the fantasies of dream you write On heavens conjectural. Dion. [Angrily to Phillistus] It suits you well To treat the theme deific with bold tongue. No thought so high but you would trick it out In shrugging sophistry! Phil. [Going] Farewell. The court Has always welcome for me. Dion. Farewell, my lord, And Ceres send you grace! 217 THE SIEGE Phil. [Turning] Beware, proud Dion! The topmost limb makes an uneasy seat. Who perches there must take account of winds, Lest dignity go forfeit to surprise. By Jaso, sir, your cause is fallen sick, Nor Athens emptying all her wits may heal it! [Exit] Ara. My lord, a little patiene- Dion. Patience, madam! Would words were meat for swords! I'd had his crop! [Enter a royal messenger] Mess. Most noble Dion, greeting from the king. He begs you'll bring the Athenian sage to banquet, And see some shows within the royal gardens. Dion. More revels! More This cracks the very glass Of our fair prospect, wherein we saw him sit With listening ear to wisdom. [To messenger] No! Ara. My lord Dion. Say to the tyrant Ill not feast with him. [Exit messenger] Ara. May I be bold to say this is not well I fear, my lord, your stem, imperious port Is much against you in our easeful city. If on occasion you would smooth your brow To patient lenience you in time would win All hearts to wear the livery of your purpose, That now shows cold and sober for their mood. Dion. Not so! The bending tree ne'er kissed the clouds. I will not stoop! What Flaunt his sport before A sage's eye, who comes at his own suit To teach him truth Aris. Yet we must not forget Discourteous truth is hated; vehemence, 218 THE SIEGE The whip of argument, but frights conviction. Pardon so stale a word. Ara. But 'tis so true! The winding zephyr, not the hurrying gale, Finds out the hidden rose. My brother's heart Has yet a grain of good, which gentleness May find and touch to life. Dion. It was the slight, The unseemly slight to you, Aristocles, So chafed me. Aris. Think but of our charge, my friend, Fair Syracuse. Dion. So, so! I say no more. Your wisdom be to me Athene's shield Whereby I'll see to strike this head of wrong Nor be devoured. Come, we will walk abroad. But not to court. Aris. [To Aratea] My wishes wait on thee. May Fortune dress thee for a second self Till eyes mistaking seek thy face for hers. Ara. Nay, let her wed thee, and like loving wife Give all her portion, then empty-handed pluck New grace from heaven to adorn thee still. [Exeunt Dion and Aristocles] Nau. Now, Aratea, the song of praise! Which of the gods is he most like Ara. Like none of them. Jove is long-bearded, Nep- tune has forgot to walk, Mercury is boyish, Apollo like a woman, and Mars so heavy-footed he would stumble mocking the grace of Aristocles! Nau. 'Tis plain a curious eye will never take you to Olympus, since you've seen the Athenian. Ara. I own I have a sudden comfort from this gentle sage. Nau. What is it 219 THE SIEGE Ara. You know my Dion has one only fault. Nau. 0, all but perfect man! Ara. He is so true that he is stern as truth. Nau. That's truth indeed! Ara. So just that he is harsh as Justice' self. Nau. Another truth! Ara. So good that- Nau. What! More of this singular fault Ara. This Athens' tongue, so sweetly mediate, Will lead the people's love unto my lord, Who now upholds the state in thankless sort. They honor and admire, but keep their hearts For those who woo them! Ah, I blame them not. Oc. Dion need borrow no Athenian tongue To speak for him. Nau. You'll hear no voice denies Him perfect praise. OC. Who would deny it The. None, Ocrastes, none. How like a gem unpriced His rich simplicity doth shine amid The purpled show of lords! It is as though The sovereign alkahest, weary of law, Had given the scorned pebble leave to glow The fairest eye of all the pearl6d shore. Ara. They'll sing us deaf, Nauresta, on this theme. But come. [Draws Nauresta away] Come, madam, come! We must prepare Some good-wife pleasure for my lord's return. [Exeunt Aratea and Nauresta, left] Oc. [Embracing Theano] My love! At last! 0 god1- dess Patience, how Thou muffledst me! Time crept on thousand legs And each one crippled. The. Ay, so slow the hour THE SIEGE Moved to this golden now I thought each moment Turned back to seek some loss and spent itself A second time. Oc. Now all the world's at morn. How young we are, Theano! 0, 'tis true Life is at tick of dawn when love begins. Thz. I'm older then than you, for I 'gan love The day you won the laurel from proud Carthage. In the wild race how like a shooting star You made a heaven of earth's grosser air! And 'twas that day I heard old warriors say Your lance would dare prick ope the clouds till AMars Looked forth to combat. Ah, I scarce believe Our island's easy lap did bear you, and thank The gods that wealth, whose poison -pampered tooth Likes best the marrow-sweet of youth, has left You still a man. Oc. Truth weeps when lovers talk, But where is sound more sweet All that I am I owe to Dion. Give to him the praise, If praise is due, and you would please me best. The. Thy approbation is my glass of merit, And there alone am I arrayed fair, Yet for his sake, not yours, I love lord Dion. 'Tis wonder's hour in wonder's day he should So fit his life, despite the careless time, To please the gods. Oc. When shall we tell him, love, Of this new joy of ours The. My mother first. Oc. Didst note her frown What has so changed her, sweet The. I find her troubled late, as she would soothe Her breast above some panting mystery. Oc. She must disclose the cause, and show if 't has 221 THE SIEGE An honest face. I'll have no mincing doubts And ghostly secrets peering on our love. The. She is our gentle mother. Wait, my heart! Oc. Phillistus is too often at her ear. Have guard against him. In his smoothest words He'll subtly seat a devil to confound you. 'Tis pity. Eloquence is the flute o' the soul, Which virtue alone should play, for good or bad It has immortal consequence. The. He was My father's friend, and well may be my mother's. Oc. Ah, but he coos too near her widowed nest. The. Ocrastes! Can you dare My noble mother! Whose sorrows sit like shadows in her eye Whose loyal breast asks no embrace less chill Than the cold tomb where my dear father lies Oc. 'Twas but a word. The. Unsay it, 0, unsay it! Oc. Ay, by our island's god, 'twas never spoken! The. I've scarce a breath, Ocrastes. Oc. And that breath This kiss must drink. You will forgive Speak not. These clinging lips have told me. A kiss, Theano, Unseals all secrets but to be their grave. Then we know all, and all we know's forgot. 'Tis saying true, a kiss is worth the world, When, having it, there's no world but a kiss. [Re-enter Nauresta and Aratea, left] Nau. [Crossing to Theano] Still here, my daughter [Enter Brentio, right] Bren. 0, mistress, the master is coming with Dionysius. Since he would not take the Athenian to court, the court is coming hither. Oc. Here 'Tis a strange declension of his pride. Ara. I fear 'tis cover for a thrust 'gainst Dion. 222 THE SIEGE Oc. No! Virtue such as his is heavened above The reach of sceptres. Ara. But he was too bold In his refusal to attend the feast. They come! And Dionysius' brow is like A new, unclouded sun. No eyes for us! [Enter Dionysius, Aristocles, Dion, and lords] Diony. [To Aristocles] Speak on, nor cease t' enchant my rous6d ear, Although thy words, like honey from the isle Where Ate fell, are something mixed with bitter. But give me not to virtue suddenly, Lest she disdain the greening, unripe fruit, And from her sun I do forever fall. Dioin. Heed then his counsel, Dionysius. A ruler is the state's bountificer,- High warden at the gates of happy good,- And when he turns unto himself the stream That should make fair his country, he is damned As oft a robber as his subjects count. Each man he meets may claim his golden coat! Diony. What's your rough meaning, sir Aris. 'Tis this, my lord. Here is a land born in a dream of Nature, And given to man to please her waking eyes Until she thinks that yet she dreams. His task To build the adorning temple, turn groves retired To happy shades where wisdom meets with youth, And with triumphant art set statued thought To gleam abroad from every favored spot Till e'en the flattered gods be tempted here In marble fair to wait on mortal eyes, And genius roam in generation free, Breathing the constant good of mind aspiring, Till not a clod, be it or earth or human, 9223 THE SIEGE But knows a smile to make itself more fair. How should it grieve thee then to see the pomp Of one, sole, only man heave with the weight Of all the state, and wear in barren pride The fertile beauty of his golden isle Diony. Divine Athenian, if I be that man, Be thou the master of my realm till I Have learned what 'tis to be one. Teach me here My first new duty. Dion. Check debauching riot That sluices now the palace! Cease these feasts That fume to heaven like Hecate's brewing-vats! Nay, sir, those scowls unwrite your watcrish vow. Aris. Our Dion means, my lord, that virtue wanes As revels wax; and yet an hour of rest The gods allow us. I myself have trained Young figures for the dance that wreathes with grace The needful, idle hour. Diony. You leave us music Aris. Ay, 'tis the angel 'tween the sense and soul, A hand on each, that one may feel the touch Of purest heaven mid rosy revelling, The other catch sweet trembles of a wave That shake her calm till white cheek meets the rose. Diony. And feasting, sir Aris. Nay, there's the soul's expense For what o'erdims her fair, majestic visions; But fruits of sheltered vales grow lush for man, And awny grasses droop with sugared grains, And wine, tempered to reason's flow, oft lights The questing mind. Diony. Enough! No groaning board That shifts its burden to the spirit! No revel To pleasure Pleasure! Naught but what is meet For fair philosophy's relaxive hour! 224 THE SIEGE Adrastus, see 'tis done. Go instantly! [Exit Adrastus] Dion, you're for the harbor Dion With your leave. Diony. Which we must grant. Your business is our own. Oc. With you, my lord Dion. Most welcome son. Adieu. [Exeunt Dion and Ocrastes] Ara. Brother, 'tis long since you have visited me. I hold a magnet now in our new friend Will draw you to my house. Diony. Nay, I must rob you. The palace is his home. Ara. 0, not to-day! Diony. I'll yield to-day, but not an hour beyond To-morrow's sun. Adieu, Aristocles. Give me thy love; I'll give thee Syracuse. [Exeunt Dionysius and lords] Ara. [To Aristocles] We have some statues in the gar- den, sir, May please an eye from Athens. Will you come [Exeunt Aratea and Aristocles] The. Mother, why look so darkly on Ocrastes Nau. Darkly, my daughter The. Has he not a soul As truly virtuous as his face is fair Nau. True, but he's not for you. Believe it. The. Ah! Nau. Nor grieve my heart with pleading to know more. Some day I'll speak, but now my bosom's locked With key not in my hands. The. Mother, I pray You'll give no more a flattered, willing ear To lord Phillistus' tongue. 22e5 THE SIEGE Nau. What do you mean The. I do not know. I am disturbed by him. I scarce can tell you how. Nau. To call him friend But proves my loyalty to the loved dead. The. I do not doubt my mother! No, no, no! But him I fear. His eye speaks muddily, And echoes not his words. Nau. No more of this! You prattle, child. Say that he loves me The. Ah, Not that! Nau. Yet were he villain, is not love The soul's sweet cleanser and redeeming incense The. The serpent and the bee make food and venom Of the same flower's sweetness; so fair minds In love enlarge with merit, while villainy, Sucking such sweet, swells rank and poisonous. Nau. No more, my daughter! [Enter courtiers, right] Nau. Good-day, my lords! You are early from the play. Did it not please you First courtier. Tame, tame. I'd not have left my couch at the bath for such. And Dracon's tongue was middle of a pretty tale. Nau. But the banquet-why stayed you not for that Second courtier. Have you not heard The seven evil winds have struck the feast, and left but fruit and wine. My wife's as good a cook. Can serve a plate of figs! Nau. What's this First courtier. As we say. Our delectable gardens are smit with sudden prudent frost. The mullein and the plantain shortly will grow where we have plucked luxu- riance' rose. 226 THE SIEGE [Enter Aratea and Ariitocles] Nau. What do you mean, my lord First courtier. [Looking at Ari8tocles] The wind is all too near that wrought this havoc. Aris. Nay, have no fear for Dion. You wrong this hour of promise. Your brother yields us much. Ara. hideed too much! These sudden born desires are to be feared in him. Ah, here's Ocrastes. Nau. He's much disturbed. I know that brow. [Re-enter Ocrastes, right] The. Ocrastes Oc. Now heavens shake for what mine eyes have seen! I followed Dion to the southern shore Where the new pinnace floats beneath the castle, And there Domenes held him in close talk, When suddenly ere wink could question it, The soldiers had him bound within a boat Outrowing to the pinnace, which took him up And bent to sea like an embodied wind. But that a score of traitor arms enforced me The waves had kept me not on hated land! Surprise so stormed him Dion scarce could call " Revenge me not, but seek to calm the city!" Then from the pinnace a relenting boat Brought this short writing. 'Tis for Aratea. Ara. Read-read-Ocrastes-I-I can not see. Oc. [Reads] Aristocles will be thy comfort. Bid him not forget Syracuse to think of me. Now that the thorny counsellor is plucked from court, he can do much with Dionysius. Ocrastes will be to thee a brother of more love than ever was the tyrant. Sweet, farewell. 'Tis from thine eyes I'm banished, not thy heart. Ara. 0 Dion, Dion! My unhappy lord! Aris. Abate thy grief, dear lady. Affliction is 227 THE SIEGE The night of man where stars his lustrous soul That in a happy sun would pale unseen. Ara. My brother! 'Tis his treacherous hand! 0, me! Now heaven and earth be naught, I care not! [Exeunt Aratea, Nauresta, Theano and attendants] A courtier. Come! There's more to this. - Another. Ay, friends, let's to the streets. [Courtiers hurry away. Ocrastes and Aristocles alone] Oc. I'll rouse the populace! Aria. No, you will calm it. Oc. Sir, I was knit in heat and tempered mortA' Your natal star was cold when you were born, Dead in the heavens, had long forgot its fire, And could not give one twinkle's warmth to you! I've blood, and know my friends! Arii. Dost think that sorrow Lives only in hot brows No angers be That rage not on the tongue Oc. 0, you can feel Aris. Here sweep the tides that prove it. Oc. Yet so calm Aris. Who keeps his heart astir with his own woe Has never room for others. Let us put Our paltry love aside and seek the good Of all the city, not of one because He is our friend. Think not a man may leave Life's reefed and breakered straits behind and reach Philosophy's still- waved almighty sea With selfish sorrow's mottled pilot eye. Oc. And you've a mortal pulse Can love and die Ari8. I am as you, Ocrastes,-heart and limb,- But I have given my kingdom to my soul, And throned secure above the body's chance Rock not with its misfortune. 228 THE SIEGE Oc. Who can keep Such sovereign state, my lord Art never torn Or shaken Aris. What hap of winds, think you, may shake The monarch towers of the soul Oc. Forgive me, Aristocles. Thou sun immovable! How like Hyperion fixed in calm you shine, And riot's faction in my blood grows still With looking on thee. I'll to court and strive With sober measure to effect repeal Of Dion's banishment. And failing that, I yet may save for him his untouched wealth. [Going, turns] Is it not lonely on the serene height, My lord Aris. The gods are sometimes there. [Exit Ocrastes] The gods Vain words on vainer tongue. 0, man, man, man! Weak child of limit and unwinged desire, Coping with deity in daring bout, And drowned at last within a woman's tear! . . . Hyperion fixed in calm. Ay, true it is That in the heaven of my sphering mind I've reached the pause solstitial. And would fain Take comet course on new, unbidden track Than traverse o'er the stale appointed route. Ay, break the orbit's fond and placid round, And swim a wonder to the staring suns! The end is death,-and yet a comet's death. The rushing wings are round me, bear me up, And drive me like a meteor charging doom, When Aratea veils me with her eyes. 2999 230 THE SIEGE [Enter Tichus] Tich. [Aside, noting Aristocles' groan] Ho, for ill that's past and ill that is to come, philosophy has ever a saw, but in a present pinch speaks not for groaning! . . . My lord, the lady Aratea asks for word with you. Aris. [Hesitating] Tell her . . . I come. [Curtain] ACT II ScmNE 1.. An outer court, Dionysiu' palace. Two en- trances to palace on the right. Columns rear. Sea and sky seen between them. Behind columns a street. At left a garden. Speusippus and lords pass from street toward garden. Speu. Dion, my lords, has gathered friends in Athens, And waits your invitation to set sail With power for your relief. Six circled moons Have risen from the sea since he was banished And you are dumb as you were staring yet Upon the marvel of his taking off. First lord. What is his life with you Speu. He walks a mark For Athens' eye,-a breathing virtue, sir, Making the good in other men stand still To gaze at what in him is better. Second lord. This Is his true color. Speu. True By Pallas, sir, Apollo purges not more ardently The earth of humors than he iniquity From man and state! Divinity has made His heart her brooding place to bring forth deeds So like her own complexion that men read The book of Heaven in them and grow wise Without the aid of schools. First lord. We know our loss. Third lord. The tyrant sends him his great revenues. 231 THE SIEGE Speu. Which Dion casts like sweet and general rain On parching poverty. His charity Is a perpetual summer where bruised merit Lifteth in flower. Second lord. So was it here. Speu. And you Could have him home had you some brave Greek blood At heart. Please you, I've heard a shepherdess Combed wool on Dardan plain when Troy was burning Methinks Sicilian sires bred from that dame. First lord. By Zeus, this is bold rating. Second lord. 'Tis our due. 'Twixt caution's pause and the delay of shame Lies but one step, and Syracuse is on it. Courage grows agued and hunches at the hearth Forefearing enterprise. Speu. Can you be still Third lord. No more, my lord. Here's Dionysius. [They move into garden asDionysius enters from street with Aristocles and other lords, and turns toward palace] First lord. He's well attended. Second lord. Ay, let tattered vice Step out o' door and contemnation hoots It home again, while silken viciousness May march as 't will 'tween meek uncovered polls, With Flattery's footmen running neck and neck To open any gate. First lord. True! true! Speu. Talk! talk! A sword's the tongue for me! Third lord. The tyrant speaks. Hark, friends! Diony. Aristocles, excepting thee No man alive might teach me hate myself. Say what thou wilt, I'll love thee! 232 THE SIEGE Third lord. Fair enough. Second lord. Fair in the flower, but no fruit, my lord. The fragrance sickens. A sound wholesome deed Were pungent sniffing! Aris. Sir, upon the soil Of this fair courtesy I'd lodge a seed Might bloom with Dion's pardon. Diony. Pardon Dion! By Delos' horned altar, no! My tongue Compound my own destruction Aris. Sir, your tongue Is bound to you, but I could wish it had A wiser master. Diony. Roast me in the bull Of Phalaris, if I be such a fool! Thou know'st that he conspired against me! Aris. Nay- Diony. With honey breath you steal into my heart But to betray it! Arix. I pray your leave to sail From Sicily. Greece hath a place for me Above insult. Diony. Go when you will. To-day! Our admiral shall bear you. [To Heraclides] Hear you, sir Choose out your ship. Aristocles, farewell. Talk not of me i' the Academe. Aris. My lord, The gods take care we've no such dearth of matter. Farewell. Diony. [As Aristocles turns to go] Dost mean it Nay! Spoil not my jest. Canst take offence from one who loveth thee In truth wouldst go Aria. The winds that fan me hence M3 THE SIEGE Will be as welcome as the breeze that lifts The sail of calm-bound mariners that long Have in mid-ocean rocked and dreamed of food. Diony. No, no, my friend! Thou shalt not go from me! Dost call thyself philosopher, and take First chance to fly thy duty here Hear you, Lord admiral. Watch every gate nor let This bold man pass. Sink the Sicilian fleet Ere you do spare a ship for hire or pity To grant him sail and beggar me of friends, For all my friends are corporate now in him. [To Aristocles] Talk not of parting while you have my love. Cold yet Go seek my sister. She will bring Your high look to sweet friendship's level. Go. Yours is the only tongue can draw her from Her tearful reticence. Tell her the stars Will find me with her. I have news too new For pale indifference. 'Twill rouse her wrath Or pleasure. [Speusippus and companions pass from garden to street and off left] Ha, what Greekish stranger there Phil. Speusippus, sir. Diony. Methought his acid look Had turned my purple cloak a pauperish yellow. Phil. Aristocles best knows him. An Athenian. Aris. [Who is slowly going into palace by smaller en- trance, front, turns] And worthy of his birth. He is my friend, And brings me Dion's love. Diony. That name again! . Well, thou'rt my soul. [Aristocles goes into palace. Dionysius turns to larger entrance rear] 234 THE SIEGE Phil. [Detaining Heraclides] A word with you, my lord. [Dianysius and attendants enter palace] Her. What's urgent, friend Phil. Marked you Speusippus Her. Ay. Phil. He comes to stir a war in Dion's name. Already there's a rumbling 'mong the people That warns us to be swift. Her. My fears have caught it. Phil. The tyrant's mood is ripe. See how he loves And hates Aristocles This is the hour To move him to the Athenian's death. Her. You're right. When friendship oars 'tween choler and regard, A crafty hand may steer which wished way Sets wind of secret business, and he That rides be none the wiser. Phil. The Athenian Removed, then Dionysius is our own. Her. We'll have short need of him. The tyrant's guards Are envious of the Greek to murder's pitch, Because he counsels Dionysius To cast them off and rule by love alone. The captain stands our friend, his sword aloft To fall as turns the hair. Phil. The guards must do 't. The people hold them privileged in humors, And say not yea or nay to them. But does Callorus join us Her. He yet hesitates. Phil. Then cease your suasion and to his easy state Clap screws will cramp. Pain is the orator Can clinch his case and drive the question home. Her. You'll to AEgisthus 9235 THE SIEGE Phil. Ay, though we've a difference. A trifle that his vanity may stand on. r Her. Make your excuse, but study how you do it. Faults oft are none till clapped conspicuous With an apology.) Phil. I've learned of you. None has a tongue more apt to come at love 'Neath what ill cover hides it. Dionysius I leave to you. My name use as 'twere yours. My sum of wisdom is to know your own And trust you wholly. Her. That you may, Phillistus. My fame rests on this move. [Exit] Phil. Your fame, good sir, Has naught to do with what I close intend. By Victory's wings, I'll reach the top of power, Or from her golden ball knock Fortune's foot And steer her course myself! Now to Nauresta. [Goes into palace, front entrance. Brentio, Tichus and Methane enter merrily from garden. Brentio carries a large harp. They sit on benches left] Bren. These are merry days since Dionysius brought us to the palace. I would weep for my poor banished mas- ter, for they say a far country makes a weary foot, but there's so much laughing matter here-the singing and the rhyming, and the pretty wenches tripping your eyes up at every comer, that my tears are no more out than I've good reason to whip them in again. Meth. 0 Venus! There's no laughing here save of your dreaming. Dost see how the courtiers scowl They say the scholars and philosophers leave them no dancing room in the palace; the halls are full of sand for the pleasure of the students that come to draw those foolish figures- plates, they call em Tich. Geometry. 236 THE SIEGE Bren. That's your master's doing. Thank the wise man for that! Meth. It suits our mistresses well enough. They blink at a smile as an owlet at the sun. Troth, I've seen them weep so much that I feel wrapped in a fog with the vapor of their tears. Tich. But let us be merry. No more sad airs, my sweet Methone. Bren. [Aside] I like not this sugary possessive.... Play, my own sweetest Methone, and I'll sing you a song out of head. Meth. Pray you, sing it not out of feet too, for a limping line is past carrying. Bren. 'Tis a song of you and will go fast enough, I warrant. Meth. [ScornfuUy] Of me Bren. Nay, of your jewels! Meth. An you mock me, I'll- Bren. [Touching his lips] Your rubies [pointing to his eyes], your diamonds [grinning to show teeth], your pearls. Tich. You may sing that song when diamonds wink tears, rubies pucker for kisses, and pearls bite figs i' the morning. Bren. Well, I've a better one. [Sings] Her voice is like the birds that wive When blossoms swing in April trees, And from her bosom's honey hive Sighs come and go like bees. Her smile Meth. Nay, I'm no farm-house sweet for loutish Cory- don! How would you sing me, master Tichus, were I in Athens where every maid is fair Tich. With more truth and less boast. Meth. Your song, sir. [Tichus sings] M THE SIEGE Heigh-ho, my star of love Has left its heaven high, And all the beauteous court above, To dwell in fair Methone's eye. And now, alas, unlucky bliss, It finds a home so bright That all its beauty buried is Within that fairer, cruel light. No more, no more it shines for me But as she gives it leave! 0, bid thy stars, sweet maid, agree- Bren. Ho, if heaven had no stars save those left by lovers after fitting up their mistress' eyes, Erebus would stumble for want of candles! Meth. [Jumping up] Go! I hear my mistress! [Tichus walks leisurely into garden, Brentio folknwing] Meth. Brentio, take the harp! [Brentio returns and picks up harp] Bren. So! I'm an excellent dromedary, if I can't flute it like Apollo. Meth. Run, snail! Bren. Not I, by Vulcan's limp! [Theano appears at smaller entrance of palace] The. Methone [Brentio runs into garden] The. [Coming out] You here, Methone lady Nauresta. I fear your pleasure and your duty lie Too far apart. [Exit Methane, right] Ocrastes, come! My love! Fair clos6d flowers that wait the royal dawn Ere they will sport with beauty's open face Are as my heart that caseth up its joy To wait thy voice. Attend the M3 THE SIEGE (The day darkens to dusk. Theano looks into the garden, suddenly eager] He's coming! No, he stops To talk with Brentio. How close they whisper! What is 't he gives the slave For shame, bold eyes, To spy upon a lord so true! What was 't Phillistus said No matter. It was false. [She noves aside as Brentio crosses to palace] Bren. (Jingling coins] 0 sweet, sweet gold! Art mine all mine-my love And will I do it Ay! I'd sell my soul To such a brave paymaster. [Enters palace] Oc. [Coming on right, not seeing Theano] Vile, too vile! Let me not think of it. The. Ocrastes Oc. Ah, My never-setting star! The. But you are troubled. Hast news Oc. Rumors, my girl. They're in the air Like floating poisons. 0 that Syracuse Had one man in 't! The. Look in my eyes and see him. Oc. One sword in one right hand! The. Here, in my eyes. Oc. I see a dallying, damned temporizer, Who stops to count the threatening dragon's teeth Ere reaving him of head. The. My love, what is it Oc. Still Dion lingers, playing the game of wits In idle Athens, while scandal eats his name The. Ocrastes! Oc. Yes, I said it. 239 THE SIEGE The. Ah, you mean- Oc. I mean- The. Aristocles. Oc. 0, Dion, Dion! The. Speusippus says he comes. Oc. Too late he comes That should be here already. The. Dear my love, He is not young as you, and years are cautious. While age makes ready to resent affront The blows of youth are given and forgot. Oc. Ah, my Theano, I've but one place of peace- Nay, I've not that-your pity-housing bosom. Though JEolus' thirty sons made centre round me, There should I rest as on a summer cloud Rose-covered by the toil of flying doves To keep off heaven's tears. And you deny it! The. My own! Oc. You do not love me! The. Hear him not, 0 patient Heaven! Oc. Come to me, Theano. The. Not while my mother lives to suffer for it. Oc. My love, as nature runs, she must die first. Forgive my rudest tongue-but will you then- When so she goes-bring all this heart to me I'm tortured lest her bitter will against me Should reach back from the tomb. The. Ah, my beloved, The wounds we give the dead must fall unfelt. Then why should senseless graves wound life Ay, then- Unhappy happy then-I'll be all yours. [Enter Methone, right] Meth. Mistress Theano, your mother is strangely ill. I pray you, come. 24 THE SIEGE The. 0 me, my fatal word! Oc. Nay, 'twas our watchful star moved me to urge it. Let me go with you, love, and strive once more To win the picket of her bluff regard. The. Not now. Wait here until I come again. [Exit Theano] Oc. The silken bud that holds a treasured world Uncaskets nothing in the hour of bloom, But fans the air with its own waste of leaves. Even so my hope, that with the swelling year Pressed to a summer crown, unfolds on naught And prodigal of self to naught is come. [Goes into garden. Stars appear in the sky visible be- yond columns, rear. Servants crme out of the palace and set lights about the court. Enter Aratea and Aristo- cles from palace, front. They cross to rear and sit bc- tween two of the columns] Ara. Aristocles-my Dion's friend and mine I rest upon your soul and feel encirqued By silent potence, like the quietude Of heaven when gods are still,-when prayers come not, And enters no desire. So strange-this peace. My infant eyes oped on a shaking isle, And I was cradled in my father's wars. O soon, too soon, I knew woe's touch of death! But these are living days-days to be wreathed With memory's stars, and circled new each morn With pearls iridian from regretful eyes That they-such days-can pass. Aris. Eternity Looked once upon the world, where lingers yet Some brightness of her eye that we call Time. Can aught so fleet hold value of thy tear Thou who hast the immortal heritage Ara. I can not say. Your mind in heaven sleeps, 241 THE SIEGE And by the day you but recall your dreams; While I, my lord, couch not so gloriously, And from the earth must speak. Aris. 0, not from earth- [Re-enter Ocrastes] Ara. [To Ocrastes] Will you not sit with us Oc. Nay, I'll rest here. [Lies down on one of the long seats] I know you talk of Dion, and one who loves him Brings no intrusive ear,-or if it is, 'Tis deaf with weariness. Ara. [To Aristocles] He's tempest-racked Between his love and friend. Ay, me, the world! Aris. I'll leave you now. No more of my poor thoughts. You're wearied with long listening. [Rises] Ara. 0, sir, Your thoughts are flowers and your words their fragrance; I do not hear but breathe them. Pray you, stay! [He slowly resumes his seat. She looks silently at the sky. He writes on tablet] Ara. Aristocles, thou wilt be god of gods When thou 'rt among those stars; but now, 0 friend, Come nearer earth. Be mortal for my sake. I'm fearful when you're gone, or when your soul Keeps court so far above me. Aria. I'll read to you. Ara. What you have written there Aris. No-no-'tis nothing. Ara. Ah, do not read to-night. I am so lonely That even with a book I would not share thee, Though it should tempt with the most wondrous hap Of bard or lover caught in liquid line. You've travelled much; tell me an Egypt tale. I'm weary of nymphs, and piping shepherd songs, And the ever-wrangling gods of blue Olympus. THE SIEGE Aris. Then hear the tale of Isis as 'tis told By the prophet-cradling Nile when Lotus buds Upbreathing blow new seasons of old dreams. Not e'en our Venus, dove-led, invisible, More softly moves to Paphos wood than she O'er sleeping earth. Her wings lead on the light, And when she lifts them dawn awakes. Ara. Fair Isis! An.,. She seeks her brother, self-created, slain By his own pride, for he was God of All. Her tears, like weeping music, sweeten earth, Nor rests she till she finds him. Ara. Sister Isis! Aris. And then-none knows how hid in solitude She suckles death with life till he new rises The God of All, too great for pride, too just For death; the sire of Beauty, breathing Life Through Love,-soul of the nurturing sun- The mother-breast of fields-the parent thrill Of birds, of trees, of flowers-of all that makes Most sweet the fair world's mortal pageantry,- Yea of the eternal, vital glow that throbs Within humanity's deep-rubied heart. So runs the myth, dear Aratea. Ara. Ah! How runs the rubric of thy thought that sets The symbol plain Read that to me, I pray thee. Arin. The lonely mind may not uprafter stars, And vain, adventurous man who of himself Createth Heaven must see it fall. Then doth The woman spirit, girdle of the worlds, Above the ruins cry,-his mate forgot Who from his flesh by love's divinity Calls forth the beauteous eternities To star the globe of life. -240 THE SIEGE Oc. [Rising] Which is to say, As simple people speak in Sicily, A man must wed! Ara. Ocrastes, talk not so! Like stars that may not range below the zenith, His meaning keeps the orbit of high thought, And will not dwell in gross and simple words. Oc. Ho, mistress Dion, you too would like to spin Your cobwebs round the moon! [To Aristocles] Get you to Athens, While you may say to Dion she is true! [Aristocles tries to speak] 0, ay, I know what you would say, my lord. You would not love Aurora though she dropped Her morning mantle at your feet and blushed Herself revestured. No! But Aratea! She has a human heart,-eyes that can fill With tears,-soft hands that love the thing they touch,- A body that might be the ivory cup Delight doth use to dip and measure out The rose-flood of her pleasure. Go, I say! Take to the sea, and leave no track my sword May follow. [Rushes into garden] Ara. Sir, forgive his madness! Ah, He is distracted by these wrongs to Dion. I have not told you, friend, that Dionysius To-day seized all possessions of my lord, And stopped all moneys to him. In this deed Ocrastes reads the preface to new woes, Which shakes his mind's security and gives A living color to his fantasies. [Aristocles stands gazing out, not showing his face] But Heaven and I know your white soul, my lord- [Enter Callorus, from palace, larger entrance, with guards] Callo. Your pardon, worthy sage and fairest lady. 94;4 THE SIEGE I come from Dionysius, whose care Has bared a plot against Aristocles, Whom he for safety bids repair at once To the castle fort, where he must rest to-night In sure protection of the royal guards. Ara. The guards The royal guards Callo. You will make haste, My lord Before the people move against you. Hearing that Dion has set sail with troops To level Syracuse, they think 'tis by Your aid and counsel. Pray you, lose no time. Aris. I'll go with you, Callorus. Not from fear, But to keep riot down that else might shake The city's peace. [To Aratea] Farewell. [Exeunt Aristocles, Callorus and guards, by street] Ara. Farewell I could not speak. The tyrant's guards! They hate Aristocles. My fears have now a shape and short will show Their foulest face. I must take means at once To learn the truth. My careful Dionysius, I will be vigilant too. [Turns to go in. Picks up a bit of paper] 'Tis what he wrote And said 'twas nothing. 0,-a pretty rhyme! [Reads] Thine eyes are on the stars, my Star! Would I might be That heaven far With thousand eyes on thee! He is a poet. Ay, 'tis but a rhyme. And yet-'tis very pretty-I will keep it. [Re-enter Ocrastes from garden. He approaches Aratea as if he would speak, but she hurries into palace, en- trance front, without seeing him. He retires in gloom 1W THE SIEGE as Dionysius and a train of lords come out of palace, large entrance, rear] Diony. Come, friends! Now is the sweetest garden hour, When day's dust-fouled trail is passed, and night Has not yet donned her moist and heavy cloak. [They cross to garden] Here let us wait the lords. We've summoned all Of golden purse and of right noble line. Now that we've stopped all revenues to Dion, And this night give our sister to a husband Of our own choosing- Oc. Dionysius! Diony. Ha! You, Ocrastes Know to whom you speak! Oc. My lord, you would not dare- Diony. Not dare That word Is strange to me. Will some good scholar here Tell me its meaning Oc. Pardon, mighty lord. I sought to warn you that the wife of Dion- Diony. Your blood moves hotly off in Dion's cause, And warning from our chief suspected foe- Oc. This arm has fought your battles, sir! Diony. Ay, so. Would we might rank your famous valiancy Once more with us, but while we doubt your heart You are our enemy. Oc. What proof, my lord- Diony. We'll find it soon enough. Till then have care, And dainty walk 'tween wolf and precipice! [Dionysius and lords go into garden] Oc. To cry this wrong would give the sea new tongue, And mend the winds with utterance! But now No time for sighs and groans. The tyrant's brow 246 THE SIEGE Is hung with murder's cloud. I must be quick Or lose the breath ties me to upper earth. Action must take the vantage now of thought, And reason follow after. [Re-enter Theano, from palace] The. I was long. . . . She's better now, and quiet. Oc. Better Who The. Who-O! My mother. Oc. Fie, does she y The. 0 gentle gods! Oc. All women now should d The. Ocrastes! yet live lie. Oc. Do not stare. Thine eyes are not The only home of agony. Farewell! The. Farewell No, no! [Clinging to him] You'll tell me first! What is it Will you not trust me Oc. 'Tis thy trust I want. The. Thou hast it. Oc. Swear 'tis mine. The. My lover! Oc. Swear! Thy trust! Thy perfect trust! The. 'Tis thine. I swear it. Oc. Though fiends of doubt hail thee on every side, Venting their slander from the mouth of winds, Yet wilt thou trust me The. Ay, my lord, I will! [Lords begin to enter from the garden] Oc. Once more to-night Ill see thee. Go! The. My love! Oc. Go, go! [Theano goes into palace. Dionysius comes from garden. Ocrastes moves aside and stands in shadow] 9247 THE SIEGE Diony. 'Tis time our sister should be told Our happy purpose. A lord. She is here. [Aratea re-enters, and hastens across to Dionysis] Ara. My brother, I came to seek you. Lord Aristocles Diony. Ay, troubles press upon us, dearest sister, And much is trembling in adventure's hand. Now do we need your husband's strength to meet III fortune's tide. Ara. Then you have sent for Dion 0, you forgive! Diony. Speak not that traitor's name! He is the foe 'gainst whom I must go forth. You are to wed a lord whose might shall be My own. To-night! Dost hear Ara. Ay, Dionysius. Diony. And art not pleased No thanks that I provide For your forsaken state Now, now! One word. Stand not so fixed, as I had ordered you To instant death. Ara. You make me marble, sir. Unloose my soul's locked torture with the key Of one retracting word, or I must seek In kinder stone my sole relief from pain. 0, say it is not so! This is a jest Will make you weep when you Diony. Jesting to fools! Not throned skies can change what we've determined. This rebel brow shocks my fond heart that toils In your ungracious service. Come, my friends. All to the council hall! With me, my sister. Ara. 0, brother, not one moment to look back And say farewell to Heaven Not one to gaze Into the darkness ere I plunge to hell THE SIEGE Diony. And let the hour 'tween my intent and deed Lay meddling finger on my purpose Nay, You know me better, madam. On my lords! Delay's the whetstone sharpens best the blades Of enemies. Ara. Go, sir! I am myself. I will not move. If you will tear me hence, And drag your father's daughter at your feet, Then you may take me to the council hall. Diony. Your pleasure, sister. Here we'll hold our court. Go, Clitus, to the steps and turn all hither. Ara. Art thou my brother, Dionysius Nay! We are of different mothers. Now I know We are of different fathers, too. Diony. You dare! Silence thy slanderous tongue! Ara. I say thou 'rt not My royal father's son! Diony. His sword is mine! [Seizes her in a rage, threatening her with his weapon; then slowly releases her and she sinks to bench by pillar of the colonnade. Lords assemble, some talking ex- citedly but in undertone, others cool and scoffing. Speu- sippus and friends enter, taking inconspicuous place. Ocrastes keeps in shade, motionless and unnoticed] A lord. Ha, Calisthenes, you need not come to bite at this bait. 'Tis a dainty morsel and only goldfish are al- lowed to nibble. An old lord. I mislike this marriage. 'Twill bring us woe, let it reach Dion's ears. Another. Ay, wars beyond our guess will come of it. Young lord. The admiral against AXgisthus! Second young lord. Heraclides He is much wived already. Third young lord. The easier to take another. 249 THE SIEGE Second young lord. XEgisthus bids most fair. I take you. Diony. My friends, would that I had for each of you So fair a sister, and were not thus forced To choose among you. Who is first to speak Her. I pray this gift, my lord. Diony. Brave admiral, You would stand high, perhaps the highest with us, Were 't not that old wives make new enemies. Icetes. I'm free to give my undivided heart. Diony. But, good Icetes, age is creeping on you. We want a fighting arm as well as heart. Who else No voice Must we then hawk her up Look on her, gentlemen! Even tears may not Disfigure her. This fit of sorrow past You'll see her smile again, those wondrous smiles You've longed in secret to make all your own. A week, a day, will put some spirit in her. Ara. [Rising] To you, my lords of Syracuse! Think not To wed the wife of Dion as she stands. You'll pluck no rose in me. This face I'll sere With constant travelling tears, till Beauty here Shall search in vain for memory of herself. My wealth I'll ffing upon the air to birds And beggars. Ay, my palace shall take wings! My costly robes I'll cast into the street That common women may adorn themselves. I am no princess. I refuse the name Of aught that makes me sister to that wretch. Go seek some linen washer by a brook And find a wealthier and a prouder wife. Diony. Spoke I not truth, my lords You see how fast Her spirit grows. Hear her sweet names for me Now we'll have bidders plenty. Thanks, my sister. She'll sing, my lords, when once she's neatly caged. AEgisthus. I beg- 9250 THE SIEGE Caioms. My lord- Diony. 'Tis fit you both should speak At once, for both alike sit in my favor. XEgisthus' lands are broad, but you, Callorus, Have proved a mightier leader in the field, And all in all you do deserve alike. There's none may rank above you. Oc. (Stepping out] One, my lord. pound;g. There's none! Cabo. Let him come forth! Diany. Who, sir His name. Oc. Ocrastes. Diony. You Efg. Ha, ha! Oc. Why not, my lord Diony. You're Dion's heart. You cast him off Oc. You ask For proof I take his wife. Were I to warm My fingers in his blood, I'd have more hope That he would rise and bless me than to keep His love while she lies on my bosom. Ara. O! Oc. I challenge any here to match my claim. This is the sword, my lord, that held the city Against the Tarentines when these brave nobles Trembled behind their fast shut doors. Xg. 'Tis false! Oc. All know 'tis true. Since boasting now's a virtue, I'll do it well. Who wore the laurel wreath That saved all Sicily a spreading blush The day the Carthaginian youths were sent Defeated home You ask for wealth My vineyards Run to the wilderness. My corn now greens On pound;Etna's slope and yellows by the Gela. My father's coffers are unopened yet, 251 THE SIEGE And ships are sailing here will fill my own. My slaves might meet an army, and I'll put A sword in every hand for Syracuse. In rank I bow to none. The blood of Pollis, First king of Syracuse, runs yet in me, And even Dionysius' royal self Yields to my line the birthright courtesy. Diony. Enough. Now Dion's cause falls dow Enough! Come to our heart, Ocrastes! There's not one We'd rather win to us. Speu. [Asie] 0, Dion, now all Forsake thee but calamity, that like A covetous ill wife hangs on thy fortune! Diony. By Pluto, no more fear! Our throne is safe! Oc. My lord Diony. Nay, brother! Oc. Pray be warned by one Who knows too well your need. Not all the troops Of broadest Sicily may keep you safe When Dion comes from Greece. Men swarm to him As he were golden Saturn giving off New fortunes with each breath. Send me with speed To Italy. There I have friends shall be Your own, and pour a fleet into your harbor Will turn lord Dion pale when next his eye Scans Syracusan waters. Diony. Italy We'll think of it. You're the true warrior stuff, Planning campaigns with the same breath you win A royal bride. We like you better for it, But she may like you less. Give her a word. Oc. 0, fairest woman that ever made the earth More sweet and beauteous to live upon, You'll find in me a true and gentle lord. Tn. 252 THE SIEGE These tears I'll teach to run a smiling race And in a happy death forget their birth. [Attempts to embrace her] Ara. Open the prisons, call some convict forth, And I will wed him, but not you! These lords Have hated Dion, have not lived upon His constant kindness. You have drunk his love Like flowing wine, and lived by it! Oc. Rail on, If railing pleases you. In aftertime You'll love the better for it. Diony. Right! Give her leave, And she will stroke you where she meant to strike. Ara. You love Theano! Oc. Ah,-I did, perhaps, A thousand years ago. All now's forgot But that thou mayst be mine. Ara. 0, false Oc. 0 true! What was scarce fair to unpossessing eyes, Perfection is when gods have made it ours. Thou wilt forgive me that I loved thee not While thou wert Dion's, for my eyes were sealed By loyalty to him. But this divorce That frees thee gives me sight. I see, and love. And by that love still dost thou grow more fair. For is not love a second, truer eye, Finding out beauty where the first could not No more! We'll plead hereafter. 'Tis an hour To win, not woo. Swords must be burnished. sails Must meet the wind! Ara. Are you Ocrastes No! 0, no! He is the son of Dion's love, And you would wed his wife. He was a poor Forsaken babe, his mighty heritage 253 THE SIEGE Plunder for any thief. 'Twas Dion then Became his father, gave him life and wealth, And that sweet breeding that till now did show So fair in him. Ocrastes owes him all Oc. Ay, all! E'en wisdom. He would call me fool Stayed I from market when thy richest self Courts any passing bid. Since he must lose Ara. Nay, every touch will be a three-fold shame Robbing a husband, benefactor, friend. My eyes will mirror those reproachful days When Dion's care was fond about us both. His kisses guard my lips. His praise of you Will block your words in my assaulted ears. Oc. You know me not. My words shall be love's fire Burning the track of Dion's pale discourse. My kisses on your lips hold festal war With his till they, poor ghosts, shall flee. And dews Of happiness shall wash all pictures out From your fair eyes but my enthroned own Which hourly I'll new-set in their fair glass! Ara. I called you brother! . . . 0, my lords, I beg- Some one of you-to take me for-your-wife. [Faint8. Ocrastes 8UppOrts her. Curtain] 254 ACT III SCENE 1. A chalmber in the palace. Nauresta on bed asleep. Phillistus watching. Phil. This poison's swift. Here is her cup. Whypalter A drop will do it. [Gazes at her] 'Tis when we sleep the touch Of life is gentlest. Even affliction's kiss Falls like a rose upon the sense-shut lid. Then he most miserable is as the happy, And who so happy that is not then more blest And since that death is sleep's eternal sum, Why should I pause, nor grant this precious good 0, I could moralize me to a god Who holds the cup of bliss for lip beloved. Nauresta, drink, and in this little drop Sip everlasting ease. [Pours poison] 'Tis done. I've reached From mortal shores and opened Hades' gate. Ay, with the gesture of a hand have hooked Eternity. Nau. [Waking] Phillistus, you Phil. 'Tis I, Beloved Nauresta. Nau. Flowers! You have brought them Phil. Can I forget you love them Nau. Ah, my friends! 255 THE SIEGE They wear no frown to dash down hearts; nor chide When ears are sick for quickening praise; but yield Their royal payment for each passing care; No vagrant dew gives them its moistening heart But they must pay it thrice in perfumed beauty, And bury it as never king shall lie. 0 human faces, might ye turn to flowers, How many broken hearts would live again! Phil. This is a covert chiding of my faults, So deep repented, love. I'll make thee happy. Nau. My gentle daughter-she that I could call A sister to this rose-her mute complaints Cry like dumb, wounded birds to my sore heart, And I pass by nor help. For what, Phillistus That you may wear a crown in Syracuse. A crown that is the golden nest of cares, Brooded by every dismal wing may hatch An enemy to peace. Phil. And when didst grow So wise, Nauresta Nau. Midnight hours teach well. Some sleepless nights would help you too, I think. Wise Ay, and not too late! I'll be no more Your shield while you make thrust at brave Ocrastes. I'll give him my Theano. Phil. Does he know Nau. Not yet. I weakly thought to pay old love The grace of first confession. Phil. [Kissing her hand] Thanks for that. This sudden turning of a heart long loyal Has left me numb. You know how dear my purpose That she should wed a lord of my own faction. Give me an hour, but one, before you speak. You break the bough that held my care-built nest, And old wings go not blithely after straw. 256 THE SIEGE Nau. They've learned to wait, and who would count an hour Before the long day of unbroken love I'm weary now, Phillistus. Phil. Rest thee, sweet. [She sleeps] Ah, not too soon I spiced her cup. The way Grows perilous, and I must mount with care To my high seat, lest I should rise to fall; For though the path to crowns be long and slant, There's no way down but by a precipice. [Enter Theano bearing an urn which she places on table by cup] The. You're faithful, sir. [Bends over Nauresta] Her brow is calm again. Phil. Now were I ill 'twould quickly make me well To have so fair a face above my bed. The. Hear, my lord, you'd die ere mine should be there! Phil. Surely 'tis no offence to call you fair. The. Beauty lives not upon your commendation, Nor with your silence dies. Spare me, my lord, The cymbal clap of words that add no jot To fairness. Phil. Pardon me, dear girl. I was Your father's friend The. I strive not to forget it. Phil. And could I have your love- The. All that is good In you I love. Now thou'st the measure, sir, For my affection. Is it small enough Phil. By heaven, you do not mince it! Nau. [Waking] Is that my daughter The. See, mother, I have brought this drink for you. [Pours beverage into cup and offers to Nauresta] There's health in 't. Is there not, Phillistus 257 THE SIEGE Phil. Ay, Health and long life. [Nauresta drinks] Nau. There's virtue in the cup. Even now I'm better. The. Now Nau. 0, I could rise! [Sits up] The. No, dear. Be patient yet. Nau. Nay, I'll be up! Pray call Methone, love, to dress me. . . . Ah, Whence comes this lighter heart How good to have it! I feel like a new-pardoned prisoner Tasting the air. Smile, sweet! Those lily lids Shall droop no more with woe I lay upon them. [Enter Methane with robes] Now, now, Methone, make me young again. 0, not that robe! 'Tis for a grandame that. My sky-gray mantle with its falling softness Broidered like sunset clouds! [Exit Meth/one] The. I beg you, sweet- Nau. Wilt smooth my hair Nay, let it be as 'tis. This way. Ah-now- [Falls back] 0! Help me! Help Let go, ye furies! The. Mother! Meth. [Entering] Mistress! mistress! Nau. 'Tis poison! poison! I am murdered. 0! My daughter-tell her-tell her-ah-Ocrastes [Dies] The. Have mercy, Heaven! 0, Phillistus, help her! [Faints. Phillistus holds her] Phil. [To Methone] Go call your comrades here. [Exit Methane] Even now you're mine. Ocrastes! Ha! Her last word was his name. 258 THE SIEGE I'll turn this crook of fortune to account, And make a god of accident. The. [Reviving] O! O! Misfortune makes my heart her sanctuary. So many woes take shelter there. Phil. One woe You have escaped. Ocrastes' wicked love. 0 villainous! I dare not think of it! That he would poison one so dear to you The. Man, man, care for your soul! There is no stain So black as when the gall of calumny Breaks on the snow of virtue! You must rate Your precious life at naught. Ocrastes, sir, Will have your slanderous heart for this! Phil. He may, If 'tis your wish. You heard her cry his name As though she saw her murderer. The. She cried- Ah, yes-I heard- What did she mean Phil. The truth. The. Make me not mad !-He's never entered here. Phil. Why should he when a little gold will buy A hand for any deed The. The gold-the gold He gave to Brentio! Dear Juno, help! My mind strays from me. Phil. Hast not found him changed Full of quick passions-contradictions-words Of broken point Seen shadows on his face As though his mind were brooding darker matter Than could be kept within 't Bethink thee well, For memory's eye reflective oft repeals The confirmation of the grosser sight, And what so pleased the entertained sense Shows in her studied glass a fearful front. 9-59 THE SIEGE The. 0, stop thy tongue of death! My promise to him- So strangely asked-so strangely given! 0!- Phil. Thy mother's word- The. 0, let me die, die, die! Phil. My girl, all things that be may be endured. Death does not come for this or that affliction, But when 'tis time to knock. Up, sweet Theano! By fortune's rudder, wheel and horn of bounty, You shall rise fair above this foul mischance! [Re-enter Methone] Meth. My lady, lord Ocrastes begs to see you. The. No, no! Not now. Phil. Ay, see him now, Theano. Show him the burden of this bed, nor let The damned simulation of his eye Deceive you. Bravely tell him to his face None better knows the gate she came by death. The. You lie! . . . And yet I can not see him now. Though he is innocent, my wicked promise Burns like accusing fire by this dear form. Meth. Mistress, he comes! Phil. I'll leave you with him. Courage! [Phillistus retreats to curtains, left. Enter Ocrastes] The. You dare come here Oc. I dare The. 0, see, Ocrastes, What lieth here! The shell of what even now Was she who gave me birth. Oc. Not dead Ah, love! The. Call me not love! Not here-and now. 0, go! Oc. Theano! The. Touch me not! My doubt will make Your hand a thing of fire! Oc. Dear heart, fend off This sea of woe oi 'twill sweep reason with it. 260 THE SIEGE I could be wild with strange things that I know, And came to tell you of, but for your sake I'm calm. The. Dost know, sir, she was poisoned Oc. Poisoned Forgive me, love. Be mad now as thou wilt, Still thy distraction will be stinted measure For grief so dark. Poisoned! 0, who- The. Who Who That is the question thrusts me like a sword. All loved her-all. She had no enemy. Oc. [Calmly] You spoke of doubt. What did you mean, Theano The. Leave me, Ocrastes! Go! Oc. Phillistus- The. No! He loved her well. That was his touch of Heaven. 0, who had cause but-- Oc. Do not say it. I go. Not deity descending from the skies To make our peace could now unite us. Ay, Thou'rt dead to me as that cold body. The. Oh-h! [Swoons] Oc. And in that bosom did I come to set A purpose I'd not whisper now to death Lest his dumb lips should tattle. Alone-alone, To grapple in the dark the beast of chance! . . . Affection on my track shall ache to death, Friendship in blood lie mute, and love I'll tear From its high heaven to plunge like Ate's coals On Pluto's fire! [Exit] Phil. [Comes forward and revives Theano] Sweet girl, he's gone. The. [Rising] Where is he Phil. Hc'll trouble thee no more. 261 THE SIEGE The. Heat me the irons! This tongue shall be burnt out that dared accuse him! Phil. She's mad indeed! The. Nay, sir, the cloud of pitch That blinded me is gone. [Enter maids] Touch her not yet. [Maids stand aside] Methone, hasten Brentio to find The noblest lord in Syracuse. Meth. Who, mistress The. Who but Ocrastes Go! Phil. [Approaching her] Theano- The. Sir, We have no need of you. I pray you, go. [Kneels by bed] He will forgive, then I will die with thee! Phil. Nay, by the gods, should you so die, my maid, Then Sicil' will have groaning cause 'gainst one Who robs her country to make rich her grave. Immortal Beauty must herself go wronged Should you so break her living mould in you, And drain her veins to your fair body trusted For warm and deathless passage. The. [Springing up] Are you man Or monster that you foul this hour with thought So gross Phil. A man-no more, no less-who loves Your mother's daughter. Hate me as you will, I here adopt your grief,-with oath and tear Take it to love as my own child of woe, And swear you faith to death. The. The gods, my lord, Record not oaths of men till they've received The confirmation of an act. I'll wait Their seal on yours. Phil. This night- THE SIEGE The. Sir, will you go Stay not to rouse Ocrastes' rage. Phil. You think He'll come The. I've sent for him. Phil. You're proudly sure. Will coo your loves by this forbidding bed The. Ay, for her hovering shade knows now the truth. [Enter Heraclides] Her. Pardon, my lord, that I have sought you out. The hour like an unbridled courser needs Strong hands upon it. Ah,-death here Phil. There lies Delay's excuse,-and yet 'tis none, for woe Whose feast is but a heart should lift no head Beside the large calamity that makes A morsel of a state. How goes our matter Her. Aristocles is locked within the castle, In care of Dionysius' guards. Phil. Ah, then He's safe. Her. As safe as we could wish, my lord. And I've yet fresher news. Ocrastes joins us, With wealth and courage like an Atlas back To bear our venture. Phil. He revolts from Dion Ocrastes Her. He, my lord. Phil. What works this change Her. A lady's morning cheek and golden hair. He now is wed to absent Dion's wife. Phil. What say you, sir Her. The lords were in debate Of who should have her, when out comes Ocrastes, 9.63 THE SIEGE And cries his claim with such o'er-riding proof That Dionysius claps a quick assent And all the court confirm him sullenly. Ocrastes goes to Italy for troops To meet the force which Dion brings from Greece Phil. But this new marriage! Tell us more. Belike I've missed some sport. Her. Sport Ha! It was a scene. Phil. But went the lady to him willingly Her. 0, she was modest, played chameleon And changed color rhythmically, as though A music of sweet shades sat on her cheek, Then coyly swooned, but her reviving eye, Methinks, looked kindly on his youthful beauty. Phil. [Watching Theano] And the young lord Did not his countenance Play hers a blushing match Her. Ay, shame and will Mapped out his face between 'em, but short met In love's red constancy. The. 0! 0! Her. Once more The lady fainted, but 'twas in his arms. Ha, ha! The. And yet I live! Phil. How long, my lord, Since this bold comedy Her. 'Tis now two hours Behind us. Phil. [To Theano] Ah, before he came to you! What shameless shame! The. He loved me! How-O. why Phil. Nay, ask not why. As well essay to trace The legend that the soft and curling foam 264 THE SIEGE Writes on the shaken wave as fix love's path With steady eye or his vagaries mark. Farewell an hour. I'll come again to-night To serve your grief. You'll learn at last to trust me, And in my heart seek comfort. [Exeunt Phillistus and Heraclides] The. Oh, oh, oh! He does not love her. Would he did! I then Might honor him that dared dishonor truth For love's almighty sake,-but 'twas to save His life. Ah, me, his life that saved thus Abates all value and becomes as clay. Meth. Sweet mistress! The. 0,0 me! Meth. Stay this hot flood. Tears bring no lover back. Ay, not though maids Should weep until their cheeks were but a mead For two salt brooks to play. The. 0, leave me! Meth. Nay- The. Leave me, I say! Away! [Exit Methone] 0 death! 0 life!- Which wears the darker face Here is my choice. [Falls by Nauresta's body] [Curtain] SCENE 2. A bare room in the castle fort. Aritocles alone. Aris. They said a bed would be provided me, But nothing's here. And nothing's all he needs, Who holds himself a soul stripped of the world And its necessities. [Lies dowm] That fellow took My cloak. Good luck to him. Philosophy, 265 THE SIEGE Thou art the only sail no wind may drive Into misfortune's port. How still the world! The silence like a great Accuser stares, Full of dumb curses looking from large eyes. [Rises and walks] . . . I will not see her more. 0, quickly come, Ye stoic angels wont to wait on me, And with the cords of resolution stout Bind ye my purpose to the throne of Zeus That it may shake but with Olympus' self! . . . Will she not think me harsh to leave her so She who is made of all earth's gentle things- The scent of morn, the first green on the bough, The valley dews where infant blossoms drink, The going light with rose heart yearning back,- Yet brave, and like a new Hippolita Might wearthe belt of Mars. 0, flower of heaven, Yet wrapped in soft and strange delirium Of odors once Elysian! Naught to me, Who will not see her more. Now is she dead, And I know but a grave. I'll sleep . . . sleep . . . sleep. [Lies still. Enter Aratea. She is veiled, and her un- bound hair falls about her form] Ara. [Drawing inner bolt to door] I scarce could bribe the guard to let me pass! [Looks about room and sees Aristocles] Asleep [Crosses to him. Unveils] Rise, friend! Aris. [Starting] My dream. Ara. Aristocles! Aris. [Rising] You you Ara. I, friend. Aris. 'Tis you-and yet 'tis not. A stranger soul, disordered and unknown, Looks from your eyes. 266 THE SIEGE Ara. My brother's false to thee. This castle's murder's trap, and you are caught in't! Aris. I've had some thought 'twas so. I die to-night Ara. No, no! dear Heaven! See! [Opens door, left] This inner room. It has a hidden stairway to the sea Where waits a boat will bear you to a sail New-spread for Greece, with crew that know the wave As though begot of mermaids. Ans. No! To make Presumptuous end of life is an offence To Heaven, but gracious gods may offer death For honorable choice-as they do now- And here I choose it. Ara. Thy choice then must be mine. My hope was you would fly and hasten Dion To my deliverance. For I am sold. The cords of bondage cut in very flesh. But ask not now of this. This letter here Will tell my lord what I have spared you. Go, Or I've no hope, and then-by this bright blade- [shaving a dagger] I die. Aris. Ah, what you will! Command me. Ara. [Moving left] Come! Into this chamber! [Exeunt, and in a omtent re-enter] 0, the door new-sealed! Apollo help us now! . . . Did you not see The narrow window in that chamber Aris. Ay, The stars looked on us as we passed, as though They smiled to see how man would measure time With periods cdept death. 9267 THE SIEGE Ara. [Fearfuly] If you-could leap- Aris. I will. Ara. 'Tis not far down-but 0, the rocks Jut up like monsters. No! You shall not do it. 'Twere death with treble pain. Aris. Then Ill die here. To go from your fair presence to the gods Is hardly change. Ara. 'Twould change the world that lost thee. Then would this isle uncrown herself of joy, And palsying shake beauty from her lap. The flowers would die in pain, and every leaf Fast wither, fade and fall, as those that moan O'er Thracian Phyllis' grave. I will not stay Without my friend. Ah no, 'twould not be life. Arin. The longest days are breaths, quick-drawn and short, The longest life a day to be forgot. Thou soon wouldst come. Ara. I could not find the way. 'Tis with your eyes, not mine, I catch the light Unalterable upon immortal brows And keep my course. Aris. Nay, thou'st no need of guide. Shine out, bright soul, and dim thy troubling stars. Ara. [Turns aside, weeping] You do not know! Aris. Be true unto the calm Of Heaven in you set. Who trust to aught That's of their souls externe but give themselves As feathers to the wind. Ara. [Slowly] My lord, this night, By Dionysius' force, my hand was given In marriage to Ocrastes. Dost thou hear Ocrastes sails this hour for Italy. Ere he returns 268 THE SIEGE Ari8. Thou'st whirled away my soul! o stroke of Dis! 0 faithless Heaven! He Not he! Such mid-hell treachery is out Of mortal meaning! Ara. He is mad, I think. He loves me not. Aris. I'd sport a madman too! Wear lunacy as doth a king his purple, If that would draw a goddess from the skies To quiet in my arms! Did it not strain Forbearance to the snap that Dion-whose wisdom Humbles the mouth of Zeus-whose justice is The boast of shades when Rhadamanthus blunders- Should wear the chiefest pearl to mortals cast- Sweet Beauty's sole extravagance-as 'twere A something to be stained with human love And gods not question it Who then could see It made the common booty of a thief, Nor break the cable of a mind controlled And lose the shore of reason Who Ara. [Kneeling] Be calm If thou wouldst help me. Aris. [Not heeding] Pity, weep, weep, weep! 0, from thy woeful heaven cast a dew As universal as the East when she To every herb throws pearls! Ara. [Leaping up] The guards! They come! But I go with thee, sir. 'Tis not farewell. Aris. [Calm] Not you. I die because Elysian mates Now summon me. No need excuses there The guest intrusive. Stay thee for thy call, Nor but to save an hour of painful breath Cut ever off the never ending day We two shall walk the clouds too happy e'en To love. Give me that hope, and dying now 269 THE SIEGE I live. Deny it, and 'tis you, not swords, That wound. They slay poor flesh, that gauzy breath Sole guards from wormy ravage. You would strike My never-healing soul! Those steps of doom Ara. Hark! Ah-they pass! Dear gods, is there no way Arin. The window. Ara. No! Aris. IIl make the leap and live To set you free! Ara. No. no! The rocks would gash More cruelly than swords. Wait-O! Blest Heaven! Thou 'rt saved! Wait here! [Runs into inner room] Aris. Go, spirit beautiful! Her hair enrobes her like a parted cloud That opes to show us Heaven. . . . Give now my flesh To swords, ye gods, but save me from the death That has no end! [Re-enter Aratea, shorn of her locks, which she lays at Aristocles' feet. Her veil is draped about her, conceal- ing her loss] 0! Maimed, my goddess Ara. See I knew you'd say me nay. But now 'tis done. Aris. Those locks of Venus' gold. Ara. The dagger served. Aria. Too well! Ara. [Weaving the locks] Not so. Now, now a rope to bridge Eternity for thee! More strands! Lend me Your lightnings, blessed skies, to weave this chain! Aria. Your flying fingers need them not. Ara. More, more! A thousand hairs, they say, will hold a man. Aris. Ay, one will do it. 270 THE SIEGE Ara. Merry, my lord Why not Apollo, smile upon us! I know we dream. See how 1 make this fast It is your life I lengthen. Ari8. 0, 'tis bought too preciously! [Takes up a lock and kisses it] What waste of sun and gold! Ara. Nay, when you're safe, I'll cast it to fair Venus on the sea, A votive offering. Look now! 'Tis done. Ari8. So soon Ara. And you must go. Aris. Art sure 'tis done Ara. Afraid, my lord Aris. Afraid! Ara. You see 'tis finished. Aris. Ay, 'tis. Ara. The window-come! We'll make this fast- And then-farewell! Aris. Till I return with Dion. Ara. Return No, no, my lord! 0, come no more To this cursed land. Be happy in thy Athens. And Plenty bless thee as thou wert her child, Swelling thy measure till prosperity Hang on thy look like fruit invisible Dropping to whom thou wilt. Aris. And you-and you- My heart is dumb. What gods wish for themselves Become a human fortune and befall thee! [Exeunt. Guards approach and beat door. Re-enter Aratea] Ara. Strike, dogs! Some say Apollo fathered him. 0, god of melody, guard thou the life That beats a perfect song! [Door falls and Domenes enters with guards] 9271 272 THE SIEGE Dom. What! Who is this Ara. A princess, sir. Dom. Where is the prisoner Ara. He's gone. Dom. Gone! How Where Ara. Did not Zeus himself Steal Ganymede Why not Aristocles [Curtain] ACT IV SCENE: The grove of Ceres on the right, a temple partly visible. The island of Ortygia in rear, separated from mainland by a very narrow channel with wall on the Ortygian side running off stage left, to channel bridge where the ensuing conflict is supposed to centre. The island extends down to the Lesser Harbor, centre rear, which widens to a sea-glimpse at right. On the island shore in the farthest distance is outlined the temple of Artemis. Part of the Ortygian castle is shoun on an island, left, the lower part concealed by channel wall. At extreme left, front, the entrance to Phillistus' dwelling is seen. Between dwelling and channel a road leads to- ward the bridge. At front of stage a road runs left toward the Greater Harbor, and right toward Epipolai, the outermost portion of the city. On the right, toward rear, terraces lead up to the heights of Achridina. Various statues are seen, the largest being a Victory at entrance to grove. Off the stage, left front, over Greater Harbor, the sun is setting, throwing gradually softening tints and increasing shadows. Troops of soldiers, laughing and talking with citizens in holiday costume, come up the road from the Greater Harbor and pass off toward Epipolai. Speusippus, Ascander, and Timoleon, enter from grove and stand near the Victory. At right front enter young men arrayed for banqueting, bearing wreaths, torches, etc. They turn to rear and pass up terraces toward Achridina, singing. 273 THE SIEGE 0, pleasure is the wing of Time, Care his limping, leaden foot! Too late, too late, for laugh and rhyme When old Winter's at the root Of desire, And no fire Can thaw the frost where we lie mute. Then come all and feast ye now! Come catch Love, the pretty rover! Not a maiden bind her brow With a rose unkissed by lover! As a flower Is Cupid's hour, And where he flies none can discover. [Exeunt toward the heights of Achridina] Timnoleon. So turns our war into a holiday. Here Dion lands, and swift the tyrant flies With all his boasted guard into the castle, While Syracuse throws open gate and arms To welcome her besieger. Ascander. By Artemis! Didst see him marching in-Calippus on One side, Aristocles on t'other-their corselets white Fair shining in the sun, and each with locks Bright garlanded-close treading them the guards- The hundred Grecian guards that watch by Dion, Then all his men in battle order placed Tim. But when his trumpeter blew from the gate, And all the people upward looked in silence While he declared them subjects but of Heaven, No wonder that each eye turned fount and flowed. Ase. Then 'twas the wet cheek marked the noble heart, And the unwatered eye was shame. 9274 THE SIEGE Tim. And now His soldiers rove throughout the city, while The people lean from walls like branching trees And shake a crop of blessings. Agc. Kisses too! E'en in the streets the women set their tables, And from their wreath6d urns pour Cretan wine For Dion's men. Tim. What says my lord Speusippus The only sour-face in all Syracuse. Speu. And cause enough. A pretty soldier, sir, Who'd choose to march with flowers in his hand Like smirking virgin on Diana's day! I thought the tyrant would show tooth of war And not turn tail and kennel. Tim. [Starting] What noise is that It cuts the air unlike a feasting cry. Speu. By Mars, I pray our swords will yet have airing, And good fresh drink too! Tim. Here's a man, Ascander. He courts dame Trouble as she were his wench. Speu. Tut, tut, my friends, I've but a soldier's relish For an honest fight. What's there to fear Besides, I have a trick to dodge misfortune's blows. Tim. What's that, Speusippus Speu. Why, if breaks my cup, I think what now an it had been my vase From Phelas' shop I break my vase, and straight I cry ho! ho! now had my house been burnt That were a woe! But bums my house indeed, I think of wife and child who perished not; When dies my wife or son, I thank the gods That Death crept all so near and touched not me. And when his certain hour to clutch me comes I'll think of famines, plagues, of earthquakes, floods, 275 THE SIEGE And nations swept away. And still I'll cure Such broad affliction with the thought of how The Universe itself is but a shell To crackle when it please the hand that made it. So, friends, I mend each woe with its own cloth Till all looks well again. Tim. Ay, but the patch Is greater than the garment. [Enter Calippu8, hurrying] Speu. Ho, Calippus! Cal. Hail, friends! But stay me not. I run to join The general without the city gates. Awc. What Dion Cal. Ay! Tim. Without the gates Cal. 'Tis so. Phillistus and the admiral have seized Excitement's topping hour to turn all hearts With fear's mad eloquence, saying that Dion Comes to avenge his wrongs and set up rule More cruel than Dionysius dared. And so This gay and garlanded humanity Troop to these traitors, while lord Dion camps Without the city. Speu. Gods! Did he go mildly By Erebus' black daughter, I'd have turned And beat them to subjection. Not a blow Cal. He came to lift their yoke, not add another, And struck to heart with their ingratitude Gave them their choice, nor made warlike retort Beyond to warn them, with his finger lifted To yonder frowning castle, that the tyrant Was bayed, not conquered. Tim. Conquered No! The city never knew a woe till now. 276 THE SIEGE Speu. Ay, Syracuse should with one general bray Cry ass to Heaven. 0, mullets of Abdera, Would ye be kings, come reign in Sicily! Asc. Phillistus has no force to meet the foe Will belch from that black fort. Speu. Haste, friends, to Dion! Cal. You'll go Speu. What else There'll be some good play yet. Bray, Syracuse, thou populated ass! [Exeunt. The sunlight fades into twilight, and the full moon rises, right, rear, where the Lesser Harbor uidens to the sea. Theano comes out of Phillistus' house and places fresh verbenas on the entrance altar. An Ama- zon follows her] The. Though gods forget me I'll remember them. [Sees the Amazon] Stand back! I'll not be dogged! [The Amazon advances, folds her arms and takes station near Theano, who turns wearily from her and looks out upon the scene] Well for this earth That Beauty keeps her court for gods not men, Nor clouds for mortal mourning! 0, fair city, And fairer night, how strange and cold your smile Upon my heart! . . . The slave is gone. That means Phillistus comes. [Phillistus enters opposite and stands in shadow, gazing at Theano] Phil. I've little hope to cheat her more. Her eyes Are at the windows of my heart and read Each dark recess. Well, let love go if 't must. The joys of hate are no less deep,-and she Is mine! [Approaches] Theano I am here. The. I see. Phil. My day of days has come! One kiss to crown it. Art still unkind Ah, sweet, where is the smile 277 THE SIEGE Should dress thee in a fairer light than gilds The crystal Thetis when Hyperion woos What! not a kiss. The. This statue's sculptured lips Are warmer, sir. Phil. To me! The. Though on your brow Yon Victory should drop her high-held wreath You'd be no more nor less than now. Who wears The unseen chaplet given of spirit hands To him whose soul is virtue, needeth not Ambition's leafy handful that oft makes The mortal brow vaunt as it grew the trees Of all Olympus. Phil. What a welcome here For Sicily's new king! Know, my Theano, That Dionysius is to castle beaten, And treacherous Dion from the city thrust, While Heraclides with me shares the power Soon to be mine alone, for his fall, too, Already is assured. The. Then thou hast topped The very summit of thy bold desire. Phil. True! Aspiration now, lit like a lark On Fortune's steeple, sings above all hazard. My loved Theano, thou 'rt queen of Syracuse; Well sleep to-night like happy royalty In honor's bed. The. The stone of Sisyphus Will gather moss ere that may be, Phillistus. You gave the safety of your stable house To my bewildered grief. 'Twas noble, sir, Though mine was woe would make a lion sheathe His hungry claws and pass on softest foot. But not for gold or throne will I be yours. 278 THE SIEGE Not for all sapphires that have kissed in crowns, All rubies that in deepest caves make day, Would I be wife to you, or take your hand Though to be plucked into Elysium! Phil. So By the fires of Dis, I'll end this play! Dost think me your poor slave to sweat for naught An ass to bear your pack for chaff and straw The. My lord Phil. Did I risk all to play the nurse Unto your tedious grief for a false lover All Syracuse knows you his fool, and yet You'd play Penelope, and hope to sit With tears of twenty years upon your cheeks! 0 stare and wonder, gasp, and sir! and ho! Weep if you will, and pray your baby prayers. I've done with ah's and oh's and niceties! The. 0 now this monster shows its head! Phil. Go in!. Wilt have me call the slave The. Beware, Phillistus! Phil. Of what, or whom The. Of Heaven, sir! Phil. Ha! ha! What powers there owe not their reign to man The mind at holiday makes gods for sport And gives them us for masters. When I'm crowned I'll banish all these idle, meddling wits, These boggy brains that spring with toadstool thrones Decked with a deity. The. And yet the gods Now hear thee! Phil. Say they do, love rules 'mong gods As men. Doubt not they'll wink at my warm suit. The. 0, thy black soul will be the scorn of devils When hell has claimed thee! 279 THE SIEGE Phil. Know me blacker still! Since hate must be the bond between our hearts, I'll burn this into thine-thy father's death Was by my hand made sure, that I might woo Your foolish mother, who drank in turn my cup. Yet shall I wear the blossom of your love Fair on my bosom, and the fruit shall grow To propagate my house. So silent, madam Is not this news You would not coo for me; May I not hear you rave The. Who, who could speak Now swirling harpies pluck away my soul, And leave me here a shell that yet can breathe! Phil. Ah, you shall breathe and live for me-for me! The. 0 lust, whose sovereign heel treads life As destiny had given bond and stamp for 't! Phil. Ay, my desire would charter hell for breath And blow her fires to desolate the world Ere lose thee now! [Enter a messenger from the bridge road] Mess. Sir, Heraclides begs your instant aid! The castled enemy have darted forth Phil. How Where Mess. Behind the wall-across the bridge! Like adder's tongue they've struck the sleeping city. Now Heraclides calls for men to guard The channel crossing. Phil. Say I'll join him there. At once! Away! [Exit messenger] Phil. [CaUs] Ragunda! Amazon! [Ragunda comes out of Phillistus' house] Take in your charge, and keep a closer watch. Your life, as hers, is short or long. [To Theano] In, madam! 280 THE SIEGE The. Here dies my faith. 0 chance-made world, upheaved By Demiurgus turning in his sleep! [Goes in with Ragunda. Enter second messenger] Mess. 0, sir- Phil. Pray put your periods after news, Not 'fore. Mess. My lord, the tyrant's guards have made A second murderous sally from the castle, And with great brands of flame have fired the city! Now Dionysius, knowing he must forego The tyranny, would utterly destroy us, And wipe from earthly chronicle the name Of Syracuse! Phil. I'll come . . . when I have turned A bolt within. [Goes in] [Enter third messenger] Third mess. Where is Phillistus Second mess. [Pointing to house] There. Third mess. The people rage against him, and have sent Again to Dion, praying his return. [Re-enter Phillistus] Phil. Dion! He'll come. Then farewell crown and life! Where, men Third mess. The fight is hardest where the wall Runs to the channel. Phil. On! That is the place. [Exeunt toward bridge. The sky darkens, clouding the moon. On the road from the Greater Harbor enter men, women, and children, who run about confusedly in the darkness] First voice. Where is the lord Phillistus Second voice. Heraclides is wounded. Third voice. Dogs! They brought this hell on us! Voices shrieking. The guards! The guards! 281 THE SIEGE [Soldiers of Dionystus rush on, road left, front, carrying brands which they cast about. They seize the people and put all to the sword] Soldiers. To Achridina! To the heights! Burn all! [Exeunt, right, rear, scattering brands, one of which lights the temple of Ceres seen through the trees, left. Enter citizens, left, front. They carry arms. Burning brands reveal the dead] First citizen. See, friends! Here lie our pictures as we'll be A moment hence. Second cit. No hope now but in Dion! Third cit. [As Dracon enters] Dracon! Dracon. All lost-all lost. Put up your swords. The Carthaginian fleet lies in the bay, And by the sea-gate to the castle fort Empties her men into the tyrant's hand! Second cit. 0 Syracuse! Dracon. And next upon this news Phillistus and the admiral desert us, Flying to Dionysius. Voices. Traitors! dogs! Dracon. And now though Dion should forgive our baseness Voices. He will! he will! Dracon. His force and ours united Can not make stand against the strengthened foe. Voices. 0 woeful night! 0 bloody, bloody night! Third cit. Now sword and fire will make such havoc 'mong us There '11 not be breath enough in all the city To say good-morrow to the sun. [Cheers without, right, front. Enter a warrior at the head of troops. He wears helmet and carries shield] 282 THE SIEGE Warrior. Shame, shame! 0, Syracusans, shame! If ye be men, Let battle take the garb of order, and death Array itself in decency! I've brought A band of noble Leontines to strike With who shall prove no coward! Lift your swords Till Victory sees them shining through the night And knows which way to bend her doubtful wings! On, on, my men! On, Syracusans, on! [All go off left, cheering. Enter Gylippus, righ, rear, wounded] (ylippus. I'll drop me here till flame or steel o'er- take me. [Falls doum] Menodes. [Entering] Gylippus Wounded. Gy. Deep enough. No matter. Wounds are Bellona's favors. Do you bleed Men. I lose an arm. 'Twas a warm kiss that took it. Gy. Hast seen the stranger and his Leontines He goes through fire as 'twere a pastime loved, Shaking the burning timbers from his back As they were flies. Men. Thrice has he formed The citizens for charge, though night and flame War on confusion's side. Gy. Ocrastes comes With ships that treble all sent out from Carthage. Men. Then Dion to the rescue speedily, Or Syracuse is ashes! [Shouts without] Gy. Dion! He's here! Now Mercy cloister close, and stern Revenge, Long patient, take the sword! Men. Ho, who are these [Enter the warrior in combat with Phillistus, left, rear] Gy. The stranger with Phillistus! Here's my blow! [Attemp1e to rise] 283 THE SIEGE Men. No need! He falls! Phil. [Down] Your mercy! Warrior. Take it-death! Thou single confine of all men's corruption, Die-die and poison ghosts in hell! [Flames issue from Phillistus' house. Servants rush out, shrieking] Phil. [Half rising and looking at the flames] My house In flames! Thanks, gods, for this! Proud mistress, burn Behind your bars, and to your black remains Be your Ocrastes welcome! Warrior. Aid me, Heaven! [Rushes into house] Phil. That voice O traitor! He will save her! Ay He'll tread through hell nor burn his feet! I die now as they kiss! Ocrastes-O! The rest I'll tell to gaunt and gibbering shades. [Dies] [Curtain falls and rises upon the same scene in ruins, several hours later. Wrecks smoulder in foreground. In rear the flames from Achridina throw light on the untouched castle and island. Noise of battle comes from left. Enter from bridge road Dion, Panthue, Calippus, Aristocles, Speusippus, and others] Dion. Thanks for my life. 'Twas bravely rescued, friends. Cal. My lord, you do us wrong so to expose the arm That props our hope. Dion. Nay, not with me, Calippus, The battle rests, but with the unknown warrior Gods lend our fainting cause. Where'er he strikes The gash6d enemy look on their wounds And turn like death-met fear to seek a cover. Aris. Ay! Once he fell, but rose with such new might He seemed like Mars who, tripped on Trojan field, e84 THE SIEGE Uprising threw his shoulders 'gainst the clouds And darkened heaven. Panthus. By Zeus, he'd dare to hale Rhamnusia from her winged car and turn Her gryphons to the winds! Dion. Back to his aid! Pan. Your wound, my lord. Cal. Give valor space to breathe. There'll be brave puffing ere the wall is down. The channel banks it close, but we may breach it. Speu. It must be done, and must, sir, captains may In war. Dion. Then to it! We waste breath. Pan. Stay, sir! We go-not you-for when our general bleeds Each man afield bleeds with him. See, your wound! By Thaumas' claw-foot maids, 'tis past a scratch! Dion. I feel not this-but 0, fair Syracuse! Rock in thy fiery cradle till the sea Gets up to weep, and bending gods pour down Remorseful tears to drown the reddening shame That blushes o'er the moon and writes the name Of hell upon the stars! (A sudden burst of noise and flame from the heights of Achridina] Art gone, my city Ah, fallen Dionysius, must thou Lose all. then cast thy soul to swell the loss It is thy kingly reputation burns, With all that thou mightst own in fair Elysium! [Shouting, left] Speu. The wall! the wall! They charge! Pan. The stranger leads! Ho, come, Speusippus! Dion. On! on, on, my friends! 285 THE SIEGE [Exeunt, left. The flames from Achridina die down. Semi-darkness. Men enter and creep about the black- ened ruins. Soft light in the East] First man. Now Ceres mend our bones! Will 't e'er be light Second man. Ay, yonder winks the dawn. First man. This blindfold war Is Horror past familiar-her leper cheek Bowsing both cheeks like mistress privileged. Third man. Gods keep us! Many a man has died this night Upon his dear friend's sword. The treacherous torch And threatening glare of flames too oft betrayed The panic-glazed eye. [Domenes rushes on from left. Speusippus following] First man. Domenes Second man. Ay, The captain of the tyrant's guards. The Greek Is on him! Third man. Down! Dom. Spare me! I'll give you news! Speu. Live while your tongue wags. Speak! What of the fleet From Italy Dom. All lost but one poor sail That brings the desperate news. The tyrant mad With this is bound for flight with what is left Of Carthage. Speu. Ab, Ocrastes dead Dom. Drowned, sir. Speu. And Dion's wife Dom. She's in the castle-safe. Speu. And flies with Dionysius Speak, man! Dom. She begs to stay, but he may force her off. 286 THE SIEGE Speu. Then we must stop this play and take the castle! Drag off! You're past all harm. [Going off, left] Now one charge more! [Exit] [Light breaks over Lesser Harbor] Voices. Light! light! First man. 0 blessed Zeus! And yet I fear The babe-eyed Dawn will sicken with what's here And creep back into night. Second man. No, day comes on,- The red-capped nurse that in her bosom hides The cherub Dawn, while her broad smile Goes round the world. Third man. A smile on this Second man. Ay, ay, Her stomach's for all sights, and ulcerous earth She'll kiss as close as fountain-laughing vales. First man. By Ares' bloody dame, here's work enough To keep the gods a year from holiday! [Shouts without, left. Enter citizens and soldiers in joy- ful confusion] Voices. 'Tis down! The wall is down! The castle's taken! A voice. The tyrant has fled by sea! Another. And none too soon! Another. He'd pay his head else! Cries without. Dion! Dion! Dion! [Enter Dion with friends and citizens] Dion. Shout not my name, for 'twas the noble stranger Who won this night. Seek him, Calippus,-beg His presence here with brow unhelmeted, That we may look where valor hath her home. Cal. He's gone, my lord. Dion. Gone 287 THE SIEGE Cal. Vanished, as the sea Had lapped him up. Dion. More like the gods have stooped To draw him home again. [Looks about at the desolation and groans] Cal. Your wound, my lord Dion. No, no. I weep for dying Syracuse. Now is her glory like a weary star Withdrawn from fortune's heaven. 0 fairest city, Whose beauty drew the feet of farthest kings, And set a value in the poorest eye To be a storied heritage to sons When sires who saw had passed! Even thou hast won From cold oblivion but an ashen cloak! Aris. 'Tis tyranny lies here, not Syracuse. Ay, from these mourned ashes, friend, will spring A brighter glory than they bury now, And this night's woe bear fruitage of a peace When Time shall hang as thick with happy hours As Flora's breast with buds. Speu. By Hector's spur, It pricks to think this valor-breasted night, Bristling with action's pikes toward charging death, Should e'er beg life of tolerant memory, Thankful for so much breath as may endow A musty adage in the mouth of peace, Or shepherd song piped by an idle rill To meek-eared violets in noonday shade! O! 0! my lady Fame must have her nap. Soft, Mars, put on thy slippers! [Enter soldiers dragging Heraclides] Dion. Who is this First soldier. My lord, a prisoner. Second sol. 'Tis Heraclides, My lord. 288 THE SIEGE Voices. Death! Death to Dion's enemy! Dion. What Heraclides Pan. Ay! [Drawing his sword] The blow is mine! Dion. Put up your sword, brave Panthus. Nay, put ul)! Pan. [Dropping weapon] 'Twere better used, sir. Dion. Heraclides, speak. What would you say Do you repent this night Her. All men, my lord, repent the step that brings Their cloud-high foreheads to earth. I lie so low That Fortune's sun-bent eye will find no more My sunken ruin,-and but one comfort left, I can descend no further. Pan. Ay, to hell! Her. Ambition knows no hell but failure. Strike! You put me out of torture, not send me to it. Dion. Life only dreams her hells till death's be found. Her. 'Tis easy thus to speak from victory's height Whence all looks fair,-so fair misfortune seems Sole lie o' the world. We bite truth with the dust, My lord. Voices. His sentence! Death! The traitor! Death! Dion. Peace, friends. Voices. Death! Seize him! Kill him! Cal. Dion speaks! Voices. Hear Dion! Dion. Not alone in martial venture Do victors win their bays. Let each of us, Trampling on anger and contending malice That from our natures thrust out serpent heads, Forgive this captive foe, and crown our brows With wreaths of victory outshining all That shake from war-decked temples. Hear, my lord. By the power I hold in the true hearts and minds Of noble Syracusans, I forgive thee. Voices. No, no! 289 THE SIEGE Cal. My lord, be warned. He has a tongue Would flatter Zeus from heaven, and common minds He calls as flies to honey. Dion. Nay, his sweet Is wormwood now. Because this foolish man Has walked in sin, shall I too blemish virtue Voices. Revenge! Revenge! Dion. Who offers injury, And who revenges it, ply the same thread Of Nature's scarlet. Heraclides, go. Thou'rt free. Her. I do not kneel to you-a man- But to the god that houses in your hape. O noble Dion, what deed may speak my thanks Too great for tongue Dion. Arise, go forth, and where You once betrayed a thousand hearts lead one To safety. [Exit Heraclides, rabble following] Cal. [To Speusippus] Sir, what think you Speu. 'Tis gross error. He'll breathe a life into the stones o' the street Ere lack for followers. Cal. Come, let us see. [Exeunt Calippus and Speusippus, others following] Dion. [To his Grecian guards] Go nurse your wounds, brave friends. I need no more Your arms, but ever need your love. You with them, Panthus. You know my wishes. Pan. Ay, my lord. [Exeunt Panthus and guards. Aristocles remains with Dion] Dion. My friend! [They embrace] No tears! We'll water joy hereafter. 290 TH1E SIEGE Now there is much to do. Wilt seek Calippus for me And make him governor of the castle Arii. Ay. [Exit] Dion. [Alone] Now red revolt with opened veins lies low Fast paling to her death; and silence deep As takes the mother's ear who waits the step Of her dead soldier son, creeps o'er the world. And to my lonely eye the universe Shrinks to a monument writ with one grief. Ocrastes, couldst, when locked within my love- Ay, bedded in the core-to vermin turn And gnaw the heart thou breathedst in . . . 0 youth, Among life's strangely flowering hopes thou art The blossom of deceit! When we have watched Thy tender green peer up-thy opening buds That wrap their silken promise round our fears- And spent our prayers like nurturing rains upon thee That thou mayst bloom above our pride and hang The rose or spring upon our frosty age, How dost thou droop, till o'er thy cankered wreck We dew thy fall with tears! . . . 0 beauteous bud, What deadly aconite cast its foul shade Upon thy blowing grace My son, my son, I am no warrior when I think of thee, Else would my sword be out. A father's eye Is turned upon thy sin, and all the wrong Thou didst to me half righted with a tear . . . . The sun comes flaming from the sea as though Another Syracuse burnt on the waves . . . Why stand I here The castle doors are open, And therein waits the fairest face of earth To shine for me To shine 0 human sun, Unlike thy skyey peer, thy light is dimmed With what thou'st looked upon. Thy beams have drunk 291 292 THE SIEGE Pollution deep that now detested falls Upon my soul. [Re-enter Aritocles] Aris. All's well, my lord. Dion. All's well That's strange news for my heart. Wilt go with me Aris. Whither, my lord Dion. Into yon castle.... Come. [Exeunt. Curtain] ACT V SCENE: A room in the castle. Brentio alone. Bren. By Hector, we've had a night of it. I must stop now and count my fingers and toes, for I'm sure there's some of me missing. First, my gold! [Counts gold] All here. But poor mistress Theano that I promised to carry through fire and flood for this same sweet gold was burnt up last night. Well, my lord Ocrastes is dead too, so I'll not be called to account. Had it been flood now I might have kept my promise, but fire-I never could abide a singed beard. [Enter Tichus] Ho, Tichus! These are wars, sir! These are wars! Have you killed your man this night Tich. A score, I hope. Bren. Well, I've naught to say. Let deeds talk. A bragging tongue is Fame's best grave-digger, though it wag i' the mouth of Hercules. But I spared some, I'll say that. They cried so for mercy, poor fellows! Not a man of 'em was ready to die, by his own count. Tich. If you wait for that you'll die swearing blood is green for all you'll even draw of it. When the gods prom- ised that no man shoufid die till he was ready old Charon sold his boat. Bren. There's a stick-penny for you. What was his bargain Tich. A feather bed, that he might sleep off idleness. Bren. Ab, but you should have seen me when a villain 293 THE SIEGE pitted at me with three pikes. A murderous three- handed deformity, by the truth o' my eyes he was! Tich. Then you shook your sword, I warrant! Bren. No, bless me, I shook my feet. Tich. Man, you didn't run Bren. No, I flew. I wore Mercury's feathers, I tell you. Tich. Shame, Brentio! A coward's leg will never over- take Fame. Bren. Ay, but when a man must leap the grave to catch her, let take her who will! I'm done. Have you been through the castle Tich. No. Bren. Come then. There are sights to be seen. Mostly in the cellars, where every soldier gets a bottle for his song. [Sings] Who will not be merry then let him go drown, Let him go drown, In as rosy a bumper as ever went down, As ever went down, And he'll bob up, he'll bob up, by Bacchus, he will, As hail a good fellow as ever wet gill! Here are our masters! I'm gone. A hero may drink, but work-never! [Exit] Tich. There's more trouble ahead than the claw o' my wit can scratch. Ocrastes' death makes one less in the pother, but I've eyes in my head, and there's no doubt my master is in love with the lady Aratea, and one lover can make more trouble than a score of extra husbands. Well, well, when thy cares bewilder thee take time and wine for thy counsellors. So let it work out. [Exit. Aristocles and Dion appear in hail partly visible through wide open doors, rear. Aristocles enters and comes front. Dion re- mains without, gazing doun, moody and meditative] 294 THE SIEGE Aris. Deep, deep, my thoughts, dive to some bed of death In my wide-regioned self, nor come again Like sea-return6d corpse, with livid grin And foul, accreted horror, to beg anew For burial. [Dion comes in and walks slowly across to Aristocles] You'll see her now Dion. See M Aris. Your wife. Dion. My wife Have Aris. Your summons by Diana's altar. Dion. Ah! So near Ari. Theano waits with her. Dion. My r bhom I a wife She waits iiece She's safe Aris. By miracle. The unknown knight Bore her from out Phillistus' burning house. Dion. Still swells our debt to him. Aris. You'll see her now Dion. See whom, my friend Aris. Your wife, sir,-Aratea. Dumn. When you repeat the name I half believe I have a wife. Your voice was ever true, Nor fed me with the rifled husks of speech. ... Was she not fair Aris. My lord Dion. How fair, think you Aris. Who, sir, could say Such beauty scorns all words And writes itself but in the wondering eye. Dion. You shift. You shift. Your tongue is beauty's pencil. 5e95 THE SIEGE Did heaven lack a goddess you might limn A fairer than a Venus for the place. Speak on. Tell me her sum to the last doit. The balance of a hair-a smile unborn- I d not strike off. Aris. [Coldly] You know her worth, my lord. Dion. Nay, the appraising eye when fixed too near The thing it loves distorts the sweet proportion. You can adjust your gaze, take stand to bring Her beauty to perfection's single-point. Aris. What matter All is yours. Dion. Ah, if 'twere mine I'd care not, happy then to know 'twas mine. But when we've lost we're moved to question, sir, Else are we crippled twice in our estate, Once in the loss, again to know it not. Aris. Strange speech, my lord. I hardly know your tongue. Dion. You can not understand, for you've no wife. No more have I. But once . . . Yes, yes, I'll see her. Wilt bring her here Aris. I bring her Here To you Dion. If 'tis too sad a service- Aris. Nay, I go. [Exit] Dion. I am forgot in his great pity of her. [Enter Calippus] Cal. Lord Dion, Heraclides begs to see you. Dion. Is he alone Cal. 1Egisthus comes with him. Dion. Bid them into the banquet hall. Cal. My lord, You will not see them Dion. Ay, there's naught to fear. Tell them I'll join them soon. [Exit Calippus] 206 THE SIEGE Now riven heart, Close firm as mountain bulwark that beats off The Thracian wind. [Enter Aristocles uwith Theano and Aateda] Dion. [To Theano] Good welcome, niece. [He embraces Theano, and looks silently at Aratea] Ara. [Falteringly] My lord- Dion. Your friend, your lover-ay, your slave,- but not Your lord, sweet Aratea. Ara. 0! Condemned! Dion. Not that-but- Ara. Then you'll hear me Dion. No! Your voice Renews in me the battle that I thought Was fought to end. Ara. But I could say, my lord Dion. Ay, you could say what would revoke the sun, Turn back into his heart his golden spears, And from the sapphire battlements make pour Surprised night! How easy then to shake The scarce-sworn vow from my unfended breast To melt like snowflake caught in lap of June! Ara. 0, sir- Dion. You've that in you defeats resolve, And casts in broil the mind's high chancery. I will not hear a word! 'Tis my defence, Not cruelty. All honor shall be thine Apart from me. Ara. What honor may be mine Apart from thee Dion. Nay, question not my justice! Ara. You think me vile, my lord Dion. Mayhap I do! Were there no poisons left in Sicily 97 THE SIEGE No rank, night-sweating herbs whose bane might work Proud honor's choice Were daggers grown too blunt To pierce fair flesh What, not a rope-nor cord No garters-strips of silken robes- Aris. 0, spare To accuse a soul who erred that she might still Be true to Heaven. Dion. True By Pallas! True Aris. Sir, she obeyed the gods who bid us wait And work on earth our destiny. Dion. The gods Sometimes write in our fates that to seek death Is what will solely please them. Aris. Must I see The sun of justice in you set Dion. Ah, friend, Do you not see 'tis my desire that cries To keep her still 'Tis passion weighing doubts, Hoping to find them light as rising vapors. Aris. Though she had struck at life within her heart, Swart Atropos had dropped her shears for pity, Nor helped so fair a woe to death. Yet you Dion. 0, she is pure, but not to me! 'Tis stamped Upon my soul that she is dark to me Though fair to Heaven! The. Hear her, sir. She took No vows. Her lips were dumb- Dion. 0, vows! You speak Of words The. But- Dion. Silence, niece! Aris. Receive her, sir. Dion. Never, my friend! What can you know of this Aris. I know she is Pandora without taint! The secret pattern lost in mourning heaven 29 THE SIEGE When rapt Hephaistos shaped the perfect clay By Pallas' breath made vital! Sir, receive her! Let me implore it by our years of love. Dion. Thou'rt dear to me as man may be to man, But wert thou dear as god may be to god, I could not grant thy wish. Ari3. Then she is mine! And, could I snatch a tear from Dian's cheek When bowed at secret altar she renews Her vestal sanctity, 'twould not be less Unspotted to my love! 0, Aratea, Wilt come My wife Say not thou lov'st, but cling Unto my breast as trusting bud to bough, Or but uplook with eyes whose shaken sea Is calmed in mine. Dion. Ye powers that rule my being, Stop every conscious note but wonder! Aris. Ah, I've beard it said Apollo loved my mother, And I could wish it true, that god-descended I might embrace thyself, who surely art Of high Olympus born-whose mortal part Wears beauty as the night her stars. Dion. Behold Me desolate, ye gods! Is this my friend Nay, thou hast given friendship such a blow She dies from earth, nor in eternal groves May she be healed. Aris. Not mine, but yours, the blow. Dion. Ocrastes struck me, and I rose again. My wife was taken, and I lived to sigh. But you-O, now the quick of life is seized With mortal ill. Now shakes my earth to centre, And on me falling bow her peak6d tops. Even here and now I die. All fellowship 299 THE SIEGE Forego with gallant breath, and lay me down Like forest trunk that pours its wasting heart From every lopped limb. [Theano attempts to comfort him] Go from me, girl. My wounded senses shrink away from life Till gentlest touches are as brands of pain. Dumb be my lips. I'll speak no more on earth. Ara. Keep you that word! Thy silence is my speech! Know, Dion, though the knowing now is naught, Ocrastes left me ere his marriage vow Was cold in air, nor took one bridal kiss. Nor have these eyes beheld him since that hour, Nor will the eye of mortal see him more. The sea now holds him to her buried heart. Some shelly couch washed with a Nereid's tears Is his last bed. Dion. And you untouched . . . untouched. Ara. I grieve you did not know me better, sir. You too, my lord Aristocles. Those cords- Those daggers-poisons-had been quickly found- Dion. Untouched! No bridal kiss! My blindness goes. But Heaven, in pity, shut me dark again, For I have wronged Ocrastes-who is dead. How could your woman heart not know the truth- That he thus saved you from a baser touch To be restored all perfect, pure to me And he is dead. Give me your pity, gods! Now we will mourn, Theano. Here, my daughter. Our griefs let marry in our kissing tears. [Embraces Theano] But there's a brightness yet in this dark woe. [Advances to Aratea] Once more, my love, my wife, you are all mine. 300 THE SIEGE [Aristockes steps before Aratea] What mean you now Ari8. To guard my own. For you The pearl of opportunity is lost. Briareus' hands could not now snatch it back Where't pales on time's retreating wave. Dion. By Mars, I'll pass you, sir! The. Let Aratea speak. Is't not for her to choose Dion. A wedded woman Can have no choice. The. 0, Dion, be a god, Not man, and grant it. Aris. Choose thine own. As free As new created star, fix where thou wilt. Diom. Ay, choose! Thou art my wife. Thy holy truth Will fail thee not. Speak! End this bitter folly From which the gods would turn shame-burning face! The. Not if all tale be true. Dion. You speak too much! Ara. First swear, my lords, however I may choose, You'll still be friends, as honored and as true As though this face I loathe had never come Between your loves. Ari8. I swear to you my friend Shall be my friend. Ara. You, sir Dion. I will forgive him, For love has made him mad. Ara. Swear it by Heaven. Dion. By Heaven. Now wilt speak Ara. Such sacred oaths Need sacrificial rite, and here I give My blood. 301 THE SIEGE [Suddenly draws a dagger and attempts to stab herself. Aristocles, watching eagerly, seizes dagger, and sup- porting her speaks wildly] Aris. Think not that you can fly me now! Though thou wert dead still wouldst thou live for me In such dear semblance of remembered show That I would seek to woo thy houseless spirit E'er give thee o'er unclasped to Heaven! Ara. Ah! [Releases herself] Dion. But now she lives, and living she is mine. Aris. Her lips, not yours, shall say! Dion. Lost man, thou 'rt crazed. I pity thee. Speak, wife. Ara. 0, blow me, winds, To some unpeopled sphere, and find me peace As sweet as his who cropped the first day fruits Of green unharrowed earth! Dion. This is no answer. Ara. My lord, if 't be my prayers can save my soul, In some far fane I'll serve the priestess' cup Till Death is kind and calls me. Dion. [Seizing her arm] Answer me! Art mine, or his Ara. Till truth no more is truth Thou art my lord. [Aristocles turns and moves apart, covering his face with his mantle. Aratea sinks feebly and Theano supports her] Dion. [To Aristocles] Now you've your answer! Niece, Lead out my wife. [Theano takes Aratea from the room, through curtained entrance, left] Aristocles-my friend- I pity and forgive thee. When Love drives, His chariot reins are veins of mortal men, 302 THE SIEGE Who fain must course the bright god's destiny Nor reck the road. 'Tis strange-not that you loved her- But that I did not dream it must be so, She being the top and bloom of all her sex, As you, my lord, of yours. A mortal judge Would grant you her, but God gave her to me, And I doubt not He blundered to a purpose Beyond our dream. Ah me, the night's red eyes Looked fatal on the sail that bore you hither. Cursed be my prayers that drew you from your Athens! Farewell! For you must go. Small Sicily No more may hold us both. [Re-enter Theano) The. She's better, sir. Dion. That's well. [Enter Calippus, through hail, rear] Your news Cal. Our saviour of the night Now waits to see you. Dion. The warrior Ask him in! [Exit Calippus] The. I'll speak the thanks he waited not to hear, Although my heart gives none for this poor life. [Enter warrior, rear, still in arms and helmeted] Dion. Thou'rt welcome as the gods. As lightning makes The world now bright, now dark, you fill and void The circle of our sense, but, here or there, 'Tis ours to grant you what you will if power Be in us. Warrior. [Kneeling] For one thing I sue-forgiveness. [Removes helmet] Dion. Ocrastes! Oc. Ay. 303 THE SIEGE Dion. How couldst be hid from me Though veiled in seven-fold steel The. Not dead-not dead Oc. [Embracing Theano] My heart, look up. The long tale of my sins Will be as virtue's song when in love's ear 'Tis whispered. Nay, weep not. Those woes are sealed. The. 0, canst forgive me Oc. It is I must sue. Nay, nay, my sweet, no liquid gem drop now On misery's broken altar, too long rich With these eyes' jewels. The. Ah, thou'rt mine... still mine. Oc. Ere I have done your constancy shall hear Such music of true love you'll think those birds That move the gentle concords of the night In these bright locks make bower continual. [Kisses her hair] For every hour of your ungracious star, With the full circuit of a smiling moon I'll pension you, till covetous of time You'll wish your sorrows had been more, not less. Dion. Not one embrace for me Oc. Before I make My plea for pardon Dion. That may wait, my son, For empty hours. This is too full of joy. Oc. I did not go to Italy, my lord, But to the Leontines- Diom. 0, go not back To read the bloodprints of bewildered feet. Now as the soft life-wooing breath that moves So swift upon the track of orient storms That ere the woeful people dry their tears Earth is new-clad in garments of the sun 304 THE SIEGE And balm is in the air like blessings winged, Fanning delight in every lifted cheek, So treads this hour at heel of flying woe. [Enter Brentio, rear] Bren. My lord, the people in the banquet hall are drinking all the cellars dry. You'd weep to see it, sir. [Sees Theano and Ocrastes. Looks in beuwilderment from one to the other, claps hand to his purse and runs out] Dion. The slave's beset. Oc. He's drunk, my lord. Dion. I had forgot Heraclides. [Going] Ocrastes, come. We'll not so soon be parted. You to my wife, Theano. [Exeunt Dion and Ocrastes, rear; Theano through curtains, left] Aris. [Alone] Dion, how oft hast sworn I was thy dearest, Yet go to happiness while I droop here As to my grave. Nor dost thou need me more Than quickest life its century-buried dead. Yet one is yon, behind those curtains close, Who starves even as you feed. Her love is mine. By Heaven, I know 'tis mine! Yet I must go- Leave her to perish. Ay, her flower soul Not long will bear the weight of unloved love. [Soldiers enter hall, rear, drinking and singing] 0, Helen had a rosy lip, And only one might kiss it, But all of mistress wine may sip And she will never miss it. Ho, brothers all are we, Brothers all are we! We've sworn to the last red drop, Be it found in a heart or found in a cup, And brothers all we be! .305 THE SIEGE A soldier's trade it is to die, And what poor fools are they Who for a soldier's death will sigh- 'Tis all in a business way. Ho, brothers all are we, c. [Exeunt drunkenly] Ant. 0, I am wounded in the character I sought to build so giant-like that as A figure on the skies all men would see And longing upward scorn their baser state! Now am I grown deform6d with a scar That all eternity can not make fair. . . . To go . . . nor say farewell. To go . . . to go, And see no more her face . . . that face which is Imagination sighing in a word. That face where Beauty with her mysteries Sits listening to Magi of the air, Or ocean lapping on eternal sands. 'Tis as a star should to a flower turn, And yet remember heaven. [Approaches curtains and kneels] Fare thee well! O thou whose body is a living urn Full of distill6d sweets from every mead Where Love hath set a flower! Whose soul compacts All earth's divinity, and leaves profane All space where it is not! [Arises and starts out slowly. At the door he looks back. Aratea appears at curtains, but does not see him] 0, I must fly . . . Must fly . . . nor hear again her voice that lures As it would draw the fallen golden world O'er desert ages to man's memory. W06 THE SIEGE Ara. [Sees him and advances] You here, Aristocles Aris. Wilt say farewell Ara. [Going back] Farewell. Aris. No word but that Ara. That is too much. Aris. [Approaching] Too much Ara. I-faint again. Nay, touch me not! Arw. Am I so perilous to thee My hand Has had no commerce yet with cruelty. Ara. The moon with silver foot steps not more soft Among the tears of night than falls thy touch On me, who, poorer than the night, must go Uncomforted. Thou'lt leave this place at once If thou hast pity. Aris. Ah, had I a heart Great-swelling as the sad Molurian mount, Or piled peaks that wreck the sailing moon, 'Twere not enough to melt upon this woe! Ara. Wretched, 0 wretched me! To be the curse Of what is best on earth! Aris. Peace, unjust lips! Thou art a rose that, rooted in Elysium, Leans sorrowing to the world that it may see What beauty is and know then how to dream. 0, close those other worlds, your eyes, that I May live in this! [She moves back] Stay, I must speak! Ara. No, no! Aris. And you must hear me. Ara. Silence, sir, is best. In her deep bosom let our woes be buried, As Night doth shepherd all the cares of day Till Heaven think the world asleep, though 'neath The dark are hot and staring eyes. Aris. Nay, nay, 307 THE SIEGE Put courage in thy heart to gender wings That we may dart as swallows to the sun And tread the rosy air where love may breathe! Ara. My lord Aris. Come! come! Greece is our home of light. There you, my wife, shall rule a lesser heaven And tutor souls for God's. [She turns to go] One moment hear me! You love me, Aratea. Ara. Fare you well. Aris. [Against the curtains] First say thou lovest me! Dost thou not hear A voice at night when calm Eirene leads Sleep to all eyes but thine Ara. Have mercy, sir! Ami. What leap of soul or dream of sense hast thou That is not sweeter for you hold me dear When Theia's daughter, priestess gray, unhoods Her morning face, and all her clouds of rose With flying petals light the waking world, Does not your ecstasy swim on the flood Of my remembered eyes, and their delight Re-jewel beauty's diadem Ara. I beg- Aris. When throbbing wonders of a dying sun Trail off their glories like escaping souls, And Night with lustred heaven round her neck Lures up immensities, whose spirit longs Through all your longings till it leads your own To crowned and still content Ara. Will you not go Aris. And when thy gaze is on the sibyl sea, Striving to read her ancient wave-writ script, And break the seal a differing language sets 308 THE SIEGE Upon her mighty tongue, whence cometh peace Like full and silent answer to your heart Ara. If this be love, then let it be mine still. For it may be without a touch of hands. Ay, though in Athens you must live and move Still are you mine in mysteries and joys. I thank you, sir, for having taught me love That is forever holy, wronging none. Aris. Nay, Aratea, man can not be God And pipe all Heaven through a mortal reed! Come to my arms, 0 life and soul of me! As chaste verbenas on an altar kiss, As streamlets join in soft approving shade, As clouds immingle in the glancing sun, So shall our loves unchided of the skies. Not leafy choirs that anthem Flora in, Or those sweet songs that in day's virgin hour Their hymeneal pour from feathery pipes That stale Apollo's lute, shall win more smiles From the consenting gods! Ara. 0, music, breath Of sin! Aris. Not so! To love thee not were sin! The adoration of so fair a soul Would save me were I damned! And thou art mine. By stars that knit their motions with our fates, The season-childing sun, great Heaven itself- Ara. 0, not by Heaven! Aris. And Heaven's all-greater Lord, Who gives us souls that we may love all beauty, And gives us beauty that our souls may love it, I swear thee mine! Ara. Your oath-your oath to Dion! Aris. Thou 'rt mine above all vows! Thou canst not let 309 THE SIEGE A mock-enthron6d custom speak to God An atom fettered with nice consequence Bar up the gates of love that are as wide As His earth-belting arms Ara. No pity, none. Ari2. My heart, say thou wilt come. Ara. 'Tis death. Aris. 'Tis life! Come now, 0 now, else are we cast apart Far as the dismal Night heaves her vast sigh, Far as the laboring Chaos breathing blows,- Perchance to hurl eternally about The farthest stars that from opposed heavens Dart fiery scouts that die ere they have met, So long their journey is. Or, gloomier fate, Condemned sit like stones that once could weep Forever in the cave of ended things That deep in some immortal Lemnos lies Nor ever opens its dank gates to day! 0, come ere we are lost! Be thy fair arms The rainbow girdle to this longing storm And its rude breast will pillow thee as soft As Leda when, cool-rocked on lily couch, The great down-bosomed god swam to her love! Come, Aratea, heart of life! 0 now This pulse speaks back to mine-this bosom throbs Like heaven's Artemis unto her own! [Kisses her] o kiss that holds the mornings of all time, And dewy seasons of the ungathered rose, Plant once again thy summer on my lips! Ara. How dear is death that kisses with such breath! Thine eyes are seas where sighing ardors blow Love's argosies from island bowers of dream Into my heart. Save me, Aristocles! 310 THE SIEGE o me, I'm netted in these golden curls With web as sure as that the crafty god Once wove round Aphrodite's blushing bed And trapped great Ares, sport for gazing heaven! 0, I am lost! [Casts him off] Away! away! Nor may My lips move more on earth but in a prayer To cleanse this moment's madness from our souls! Aris. Wouldst leave me now to death Ara. Ay, unto death, Lest Truth and Honor die! Thy way's not mine. My aspen soul would shake its house of fear, Imagine thunder in the bee's soft hum, And mountain-rocking winds in harmless air That would not move the purple down of clouds. To so great compass now my horror grows That I myself seem Chaos. 'Tis as I stood 'Mong heaps of ruined destinies with life Still mourning in them. I am still for fear Another world will crumble as I stir. Aris. Move, Aratea! Speak! Ara. Dost hear that sound It is the rustle of tear-dropping gods Who gather all the golden virtues up Vouchsafed to earth and trampled low by man. See how they rise with their immortal store, A moving radiance like the march of light, And leave us dark for want of what they bear Far, far till stars must upward look to see- A sapphire trail through the ethereal rose! Now-earth and darkness-and you call it love! [Sinks down] Aris. [Lifting her] Fair soul, be mortal yet! Ara. [Going from him] Who leaps for stars Must fall a million leagues too short, or else 311 THE SIEGE Take vantage not of earth. [Goes to curtains] Farewell-till death. Aris. 'Twill not be long to wait. Thou canst not live In Dion's arms. Ara. Nor thine. As well to hope The air-winged seed will root in vacancy, And high mid-nothing hang with lobed bloom, As that the rose of love will flower from The wreck of men and gods. [He kneels and kisses her robe. She goes out] Aris. Before I die I've touched divinity. [As he rises a slave rushes in, rear, and kneels] Slave. My lord! Aris. You serve Lord Heraclides, do you not Slave. I do, And know his heart-his traitor heart. Aris. Speak, man. Slave. You love the noble Dion Anis. [Starts] Dion Ay, I love him well. Slave. Sir, Heraclides comes To slay him. Dion, the good! But you will save -him! Xgisthus and Callorus aid my master. They're bringing Dion here. Ans. Here Haste! Bring you Ocrastes and Calippus! Freedom! Go! [Slave runs out. Aristocles steps back unseen as Dion, Heraclides, Egisthus and CaUorus enter. The slave running out meets them] Her. What do you, sirrah [The slave runs by without answer] Go! You'll not outrun The hangman! THE SIEGE [iEgisthus and Calorus keep in rear of Heraclides, who walks with Dion] Eg. [To Callorus] We're betrayed. Callo. [To Heraclides] Do not delay The blow. Her. [To Dion] You like our plan, my lord pound;g. [To Heraclides] Strike now. Dion. 'Tis balm to Syracuse. Your hand upon it, And pardon me my left. Her. With all my heart! [Stabs at Dion, whose sword arm is still in bandage. Aris- tocles, watching, springs out and knocks the weapon aside. Heraclides engages with him. Callorus rushes at Dion, who has loosened his right arm, and his foe, meeting unexpected defence, is slain. As Callorus falls, ,Egisthus strikes at Dion and disarms him, sending his weapon against the curtains, left. Dion, unarmed and suffering, falls back. Aristocles presses before Dion, fighting desperately with Heraclides and Egisthus. Aratea appears at curtains] Ara. [Taking up Dion's weapon] 0 heart of Mars, beat here! [She advances suddenly and draws upon lEgisthus, who falls back in momentary astonishment, and Aristocles, relieved, slays Heraclides. Ocrastes and Calippus rush in rear, followed by guards and slaves. Theano and women, enter left. pound;Xgisthus kneels and surrenders his sword to Aratea] Cal. No mercy now! [To guards] To prison with Egisthus! [Guards lead off Egisthus] Oc. Dion! Safe Dion. [Rising] My wife-and friend-can tell you. Ask of them. Oc. [Picking up bandage] My lord, your scarf. 313 THE SIEGE Dion. Let 't be, my son. Let 't be. I shall not need it any more. Oc. 0 joy, My lord! Cal. And joy for Heraclides' death! Aris. Poor man! His flattery so soon found friends That he himself was caught by it, and thought To gain a crown by Dion's death. E'en while They talked-O ne'er was friendly speech so punctured- His sword was out and aimed at Dion's bosom. Oc. Your blade is purple, but it should be black, So vile his blood! [Dion sinks to a seat] Cal. My lord! Oc. Your wound! He bleeds! o see! This stream is gushing as 'twould fill 'An ocean. Help! A surgeon! Dion. Nay, too late. Olympus' power alone is potent here. There's not enough of life in me to wish For life. Ara. 0, Dion! Dion. Kneel here, my wife. [Aratea kneels at Dion's sie] And you, Aristocles, come close to me. [Aristocles kneels on the other side of Dion] Two faces Where more of heaven is writ than I have seen In all the world beside. Ay, ye will pair Like twin divinities, and haply by The sweet conjunction of your beauteous stars Make a new influence in the skies may draw The world to heaven. . . . Ocrastes, son, on you Now falls the heavy weight of government. 314 THE SIEGE 315 . . . Farewell, all hearts. My way is new and long, And strange may be the fortunes of my shade, But somewhere I shall lay me down in peace, For death's unmeasured sea must own a strand, And e'en eternity beat to a shore. [Dies. Curtain]