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Title: Porzia
Author: Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Kentuckiana Digital Library)



PORZIA

BY

CALE YOUNG RICE


AUTHOR OF

"A NIGHT IN AVIGNON," "YOLANDA OF CYPRUS," "CHARLES DI TOCCA," "DAVID,"
"MANY GODS," "NIRVANA DAYS," "FAR QUESTS," "THE IMMORTAL LURE," ETC.


GARDEN CITY

NEW YORK

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

MCMXIII



_Copyright, 1913, by_

CALE YOUNG RICE

_All rights reserved, including that of translation into Foreign
Languages, including the Scandinavian._



To

GILBERT MURRAY

_Poet, Dramatist, and Master-Interpreter of a great literature_



PREFACE


Some years ago while writing "A Night In Avignon" the thought came
to me of framing two other plays that should deal respectively with
the Renaissance spirit at its height and decadence, as that play had
dealt with it at its beginning. For the great human upheaval that
came intoxicatingly to Italy during the fourteenth, fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries is so full of æsthetic contrast and glamor as
to be peculiarly suitable for the doubly exacting purposes of poetic
drama.

"Giorgione," the second of these plays to be written, was published in
1911 with three other plays in a volume entitled "The Immortal Lure,"
and like "A Night In Avignon" was received with such kindness as to
encourage me to write the third, here presented under the name of
"Porzia."

This last play, whose period is that of "decadent Humanism," or as
Symonds prefers to call it, of "The Catholic Reaction," is laid in
Naples, where the passions of men, more than freed from the long
domination of the Church and the Hereafter, seemed to reach in their
grasp at this life almost incredible heights and depths of excess.
And yet from amid this excess, as from a rank and unweeded garden,
were springing into flower many seeds of modern intellectual
enfranchisement, as the achievements of Bruno and his contemporaries
witness.

I need only add that I have sought to use materials that would be true
to the time of this final portrayal, and that I therefore trust it may
be understood as an organic member of the group to which it belongs.

C. Y. R.

Louisville, Kentucky, June, 1912.



  ACT I

  CHARACTERS

  RIZZIO DI ROSSI   _A young Leader of the Literati at Naples,
                       suspected of heresy_
  OSIO              _His Brother_
  PORZIA            _His Wife_
  ALOYSIUS          _Her Uncle, a Physician_
  BIANCA            _Her Cousin, a Florentine, once betrothed to Osio_
  GIORDANO BRUNO    _A young Dominican, also heretical_
  MONSIGNOR QUERIO  _An Officer of the Inquisition_
  TASSO             _A Poet_
  MARINA            _A Sicilian serving Porzia_
  MATTEO            _Serving Rizzio, later Osio_
  _Dancers from Capri, Musicians, Guards of the Inquisition, etc._

  TIME--_About 1570_



  PORZIA


  SCENE: _A portion of the house, terrace and garden
       of Rizzio on his wedding day at Naples. It is so
       situated as to command a view of the city, the
       blue Bay with Capri set like a topaz in it, the
       Vesuvian coast, and the Mountain itself--rising
       like a calm though unappeasable monitor against
       the land's too sensual enchantment._

       _The house, a white corner of which is visible
       along the right, has large doors toward the back
       giving upon the terrace. A vine-clad terrace wall,
       several feet above the level of the terrace, but
       much above that of the street without, runs across
       the rear to a cypress-set gate in the centre, and
       on into the lustrous Spring foliage of ilex,
       myrtle and orange._

       _A pedestaled image of the Virgin against the
       house, a statue of Pan before a bower opposite,
       and several stone seats forward, are decked with
       orange blossoms that glow in the light of late
       afternoon._

       _Music, reveling, and laughter are heard, muffled,
       within. Then amid a louder burst of them Osio strides
       angrily forth. He is followed in argumentative elation
       by Rizzio--clothed in Greek raiment, a book in his
       hand--and by Bruno._

  _Osio_ (_as they come down_). Proof from the teeth of aliens and fools
  And infidels that follow their own reason?
  I want no proof! your books should burn in Hell!

  _Rizzio_ (_gaily_). Because they glorify the stars in heaven?

  _Osio._ I say they are heresy!

  _Rizzio._                      And I say truth!

    [_Uplifts volume._

  That were your ears not stopped with sophistries
  And Jesuitry you would adjudge divine!

    [_Tosses it down._

  _Bruno._ Ai, Signor Osio, there's no denying!

    [_Porzia appears anxiously at the door._

  We need but look,
  To learn that stars are worlds
  Swung out upon infinitudes of space.
  And as for earth--
  Tho Christ shed blood upon it--
  'Tis but a pilgrim flame among them all.

    [_Porzia leaves door._

  _Osio_ (_turning upon him_). And you, a monk, will say so to
      the Church
  And to the Holy Office?

  _Bruno_ (_in humorous alarm_). God forbid!

  _Osio._ And you, Rizzio, who on your wedding-day,
  Mid rites of Venus
  And revels to Apollo,
  Wear pagan robes--and prink others in them--

  _Rizzio._ Ho, others! meaning Porzia?

  _Osio._                              I say--

    [_Mirth within._

  _Rizzio_ (_laughing at him_). What, what, my merry raging brother,
      more?
  That Pan is not your god, whom I but now
  Besought for inward beauty and truth of soul?
  No, no, he is not, by Vesuvius!

  _Osio._ I say--

  _Rizzio._ That Plato and the ancients are
  A plague which only the Pope can purge from earth?

    [_Again laughing._

  Ai! to the flames with them, and with all fairness!

  _Osio._ I say that you--

  _Rizzio._                Hey, yea! that I who fall
  Not on my knees to mitred villainy--
  Or cringe to crosiered craft--
  And yet whose life is lit for truth and freedom--
  Am viler far than you
  Who take your pleasure and pay it with confession?
  Who think the Devil with faith would be no Devil?

    [_Porzia again appears with Bianca._

  You hear it, Bruno?

  _Osio._            I say there is one thing
  You shall not do!

  _Rizzio._          So-ho! my lordly brother,
  My breaker of betrothals--if not creeds--
  And that is what?

  _Osio._            I will protect her from it!

  _Rizzio._ Her?

  _Osio._        Porzia! from the passion of your lies!

    [_Astonishment._

  _Rizzio_ (_stung, staring_). By ... all the saints and fiends
      and incubi
  That ever infested night and nunneries!
  What frenzy now is biting at your brain!

    [_Before him._

  Is she your wife, so to concern your care?

    [_They face, pale._

  _Porzia_ (_who sees, and with Bianca comes quickly, winningly down_).
  Heresy! heresy! truth and heresy!
  Are there no other words in all the world
  To pour as wine
  Upon a wedding-day!--
  Are these your ways, my newly wedded lord,
  To leave me, an hour's bride, away from home--
  From my dear uncle's home--
  With but a friend or two for comforting--
  And bandy words of other stars than those
  You swear to see when gazing in my eyes!

  _Rizzio_ (_responsively_). My Porzia!

  _Porzia._                No, no! I'll not forgive you!
  For is it not ill boding to our bridals
  You quarrel over the heavens--and not me!

    [_As he laughs._

  My beauty, he says, this husband I have taken,
  Is life--and yet ere 'tis an hour his
  Forgets to live on it!--and Osio,
  The brother of him,--
  E'en Osio there--

  _Rizzio_ (_gay again_). Who swears he will protect you!

    [_Osio starts._

  _Porzia._ Protect?

  _Rizzio._          Against the heresy of robes
  Of pagan fashion--and against your husband!

    [_Constraint. Porzia sees Bianca flush._

  _Porzia._ I do not understand--unless you jest,
  As oft--too oft you do!
  Or mean perchance Bianca ... unto whom
  He was betrothed
  And whom he would, this breath,
  Be wooing again, were _I_, not _words_, your bride!

    [_Then winningly again, as Marina enters._

  But see, here is Marina! the dance awaits!

    [_Music is heard._

  Let us go in and give ourselves to Joy,
  For Misery is quick enough to take us,
  If first we do not wed us to her rival!
  Is it not so?

  _Rizzio_ (_with passion_). Or sun has never shone!
  So in! the tarantelle! (_as Tasso enters_) And then a song
  From Messer Tasso, who would be divine,

    [_Greets him._

  Did he love Venus as he fears the Church,
  Apollo as he shuns the Inquisition!
  In!--Osio, will you come?

  _Osio._                  I will not.

  _Rizzio._                            Then
  Dance with your own mad humors and delusions
  Here to Vesuvius and to the sea,--
  Or to Bianca plead your pardon!
                  (_To the rest_) Come!

    [_Seizes blossoms blithely._

  For in this world there's but one heresy,
  Denial of the divinity of Joy!

    [_Throws sprays over Porzia, takes her hand and they go singing.
        All follow, but Osio and Bianca._

  _Osio_ (_when their steps have died; in cold rage_).
  You shall hear more of this, my pretty brother!
  Prater of pagan doubts!
  Whom--but that God may use it--I would curse
  For the resemblance that our mother gave us!
  For, by the living blood of San Gennaro,
  In yon Duomo, the scoffing siren song
  Of heresy that swells in you shall cease,
  Tho it shall take the sweat of the rack to hush it!
  You shall hear more!...

  _Bianca_ (_who has stood long indignant_).
                          And others shall hear more!

    [_Her voice breaking as she turns on him._

  Others who fix upon me this affront
  Of broken and humiliate betrothals!

    [_As he attempts to speak._

  Yes! you have made of me a thing of shame
  Here in the eyes
  Of those who're alien to me!
  That you have loved me not--or love me less
  Than once you did, too well I came to know--
  I--with the blood in me of the Medici!--
  And now it is open prate!... But do you think
  The women of my city want resentment,
  Or less than these sun-lusting ones of Naples
  Know how to cool their wrath?

  _Osio._                      I think you mad--
  In a mad maze--
  And yield it no concern;
  Nor shall--(_meaningly_) until a thing you know is done.
  As to betrothals, give your memory breath:
  Ours was agreed to end as either willed.

    [_Goes from her to gate and looks expectantly out._

  _Bianca_ (_as he returns_). And you, weary of it, have utterly
  Chosen to end it?

    [_Sits._

  _Osio._ Have I so affirmed?

  _Bianca_ (_springing up_). I will not have evasions, Osio!
  Shiftings and turnings
  Radiant of hopes
  That torture expectation till it breaks.

    [_Again sitting._

  And yet--perchance it is as well they come
  Now ... while there yet is time for more withdrawals.

  _Osio_ (_starting_). More?

  _Bianca._ For--I fear all trust in you is folly;
  And that the heresy of Rizzio
  Which I agreed with you to take unto
  Monsignor Querio--

  _Osio_ (_clenching_). Shall not be taken?

    [_She rises._

  Not! but you leave the brunt to me alone?

  _Bianca._ You purpose more, I think, than to restrain him.

  _Osio._ And you more than abjuring! You would gaze
  Upon his godless schisms, ...
  Upon the naked luring of his lies!

  _Bianca._ No! Tho the beauty of them--

  _Osio._                                Beauty! beauty!

    [_Striking the Pan near him._

  That wind of infidelity from Hell
  He blows out of his lips do you call beauty!
  No!--and he with his poets and philosophers,
  His Platos
  And star-mad Copernicas,
  And that Dominican, Giordano Bruno,
  For whom the stake to flames will yet be lit,
  Shall learn you are too late in your relenting!

  _Bianca_ (_stricken_). Too ... late!

  _Osio._                      His heresies shall reap their due.

  _Bianca_ (_death-pale_). Which means--that you already have revealed
      them!
  Have sent unto Monsignor Querio
  To-day--
  Rizzio's wedding-day!--
  For that
  It was you sought out Matteo, who, pledged
  Unto Marina,
  As were you to me,
  Has broke his troth?...
  And now, now you await him?--O was not
  Your promise to me that a week should pend
  Ere any step?

  _Osio._      I will not lose my soul,

    [_Turns away._

  And dallying is the feebleness of fools.

  _Bianca._ And will lies save it--tho they be for Heaven!--
  To one who nigh has lost her soul for you?

    [_When he does not answer, more penetratively._

  We have been friends, Osio, long been friends,
  And, woman that I am, I would 'twere more,
  But in this I suspect--

  _Osio._                  Enough! we prate!

    [_Rankling, uneasily._

  I say enough.

  _Bianca._      And I say all too little,

    [_Bitterly._

  Until I tell you now plain to your face,
  And to your heart
  Plunging toward this passion,
  That not alone a hate of heresy
  Is haunting you to it, but that the lips
  And eyes and brows and soul of--

  _Osio._                          Will you cease!

  _Bianca._ I tell you that you love her--Porzia!
  And veer but to the vision of her face!

  _Osio_ (_who after strangling silence finds words_).
  If you say that, Bianca, ever again
  Or if, by all the demons that Avernus
  Pours out upon the black Phlegraean fields,
  You hint it or suggest it to her, till--

  _Bianca._ Till you achieve her! and have wrapped the rites
  Of the Church round your achieving?
  Till you have severed her from Rizzio--
  Have swept her from perdition--
  Into your swathing arms! I say you shall not!
  Me you have set aside, but there an end!

    [_Starts toward door._

  _Osio._ Stop! whither do you go?

  _Bianca._                        To call them! call!
  And to betray your treachery--and mine!

    [_Calling._

  Rizzio! Porzia! Rizzio!

  _Osio._                  Maledictions!

    [_Seizing her wrists._

  Will you become a dagger, and not know,
  Stiletto that you are, what thing you stab!

  _Bianca._ The infatuation festering within you!
  Till, deaf with the desire of it and dream,
  You cannot tell their voice from Deity's.

    [_Calls again._

  Rizzio! Porzia! Tasso!

    [_The music ceases._

  _Rizzio_ (_within; startled_). It was Bianca!

    [_Hastening to door with the rest crowding closely after._

  How? what? you called? what moves you?--Osio?

    [_Looks around._

  Was some one here? what is it? speak!... Bianca?
  What burns you?

  _Bianca._ You shall hear! It must be told.
  Yes, yes!... (_Struggling to say it_) ...
  And with no leavening delay of words.
  We ... I ... You must be gone from here at once;
  At once--for there is peril.

  _Rizzio._                    Pah-ho! peril?
  Now, Scylla and the Sibyl and Charybdis!
  What megrim have you had?

  _Bianca._                None--for doubting;
  Or any, it matters not, if you will go,
  And quickly, trusting reason--as you boast to;
  For I have heard--

  _Rizzio._          Have heard what and from whom?

    [_Again looks around._

  _Bianca._ There was one here who said Monsignor Querio
  Knows of your excommunicant delight
  In books that are forbid--
  And ... of your heresies!

  _Porzia_ (_in quick dismay_). The Inquisition!
  You mean--he may be sought by it and seized,
  Held in the trammels of it for a truth
  That...! Do you mean, Bianca, Osio,
  That now, at any hour--?... Oh, he must go!

    [_Hears noise at gate._

  And quickly! In, Rizzio, in, for they--!

    [_The gate opens and Matteo entering stops amazed and alarmed._

  _Rizzio_ (_with laughing relief_). Now, now, do you not see your
      apprehension!
  Is Matteo the Inquisition! Is
  He then the prison that has come to seize me?
  Fie, fie, Bianca, with your fears that mar
  Again the bridal beauty of this hour,
  And crowd with quiverings the bliss of it!
  No more of them!--(_to dancers_) Hither! and wind your maze!
  Again take up the dance!

  _Porzia._                No, Rizzio, no!
  For now delight would die under our feet,
  And we but trample on it! No! Dismiss them
  Back now to Capri!...
  More than the woman fear within me warns it.
  For you have been o'er bold--not vainly, nay,
  For truth, I know, must dare--but there may be
  More in this than you think.

  _Rizzio._                    And ere it rises
  I cravenly must quench the altar-fires
  That I attend--and our half-wedded joys?
  No! no! More revels!
  Till we shall utterly uncloud our bliss
  And leave remembrance not a stain upon it!
  A song, Tasso, a song!
  The taunting one that swept us into laughter!
  How runs it? did it not begin with Naples?
  (_Recalls it._)

        Naples sins and Torre pays,
        (Torre del Greco!)
        Who fears the earthquake all her days!
        (Torre del Greco!)
        Who....

    [_Forgets._

        Who sits beneath Vesuvius
        And shrives the castaways of us!
        Naples sins and Torre pays,
        (Torre del Greco!)

  On, on with it! Come Porzia!--On, on.

  _Tasso_ (_who has stood shrinking_). Ah, Signor, no; I fear;
      I cannot; pray
  Your pardon. I must go.

  _Rizzio._              Go!

  _Tasso._                  I would not
  Offend the Church--who is the Bride of Christ.

  _Rizzio_ (_unaffected_). Then off with you, unworthy follower
  Of Virgil,
  And of fire-veined Ariosto,--
  Of singers who have flung their hearts to courage,
  As yet we shall fling ours! (_Tasso goes._) For even Bianca
  And Osio
  Must rue now their alarm,
  And help us back from it to revelry.

    [_As he turns to them, then to all._

  What, none of you? no heart of joy about me?

  _Porzia_ (_striving for abandon_). Yes, Rizzio!... tho I would have
      you fly;
  For bodingly I breathe the breath of evil!

    [_With forced lightness._

  A dance, then!
  Again weave its delight!

    [_Dancers show cheer._

  For to your want mine is attuned, and what
  Is music to it shall o'ermaster me!
  And not alone my feet shall follow, but
  The Truth you fly to will I wing to attain!--
  Tho stars seem to my simple sight but candles
  Upon the altar of God, I'll think them worlds,
  If to your soul they seem so; and for the rest--

    [_A knock brings consternation, this time to all. The dancers
        fall to crossing themselves, some kneeling. As they do so
        the gate is thrown open and Querio enters; he is followed
        by several guards._

  _Querio_ (_advancing; amid awe_). In the name of the Vicar of God
      who sits at Rome,
  And of the Holy Office, I arrest
  The giver of these pagan rites and revels.

    [_Guards step to Rizzio's side; he stands speechless._

  _Porzia_ (_stunned_). Oh,... Oh!

  _Rizzio_ (_hoarsely_). And at whose urgence, my lord Prelate,

    [_Starts forward._

  I ask you at whose urgence this is done!
  This deed of churchly duty!... Yes, in justice
  I seek; for there has been
  Some traitor and perhaps a liar.--Osio?
  Bianca? (_fiercely_) half, half I believe 't was you!

    [_All are appalled._

  _Porzia._ No, no, Rizzio!... no!... what are you saying!

    [_Restrainingly._

  Will you requite injustice with a worse?

    [_To Querio, who is unmoved._

  Monsignor, this in truth is hunting haste,
  To search him out
  Upon his wedding-day,
  And bind him with the very wreaths of it!
  Could you not wait an eve, a night, until
  To-morrow when his nuptials would be o'er!

  _Querio._ Who weds two brides is bigamist, Signora.
  When he divorces heresy accuse me.
  But now say your farewells,
  And with a moment's privacy: that can
  I grant, that and no more: the rest's with Rome.

    [_Retires to rear--as do all but the two._

  _Porzia_ (_whom dread now begins to overwhelm_).
  My Rizzio! my own! I cannot bear it!
  O why did you not go, delaying till
  This fate has fallen
  Now like a pall upon us!
  I fear! I fear!...
  To be so wedded, ere I am a wife,
  Here in this city of dark lawless passions!

    [_Unrestrainedly._

  Ah, can you not recant?
  Deny at once and so--

  _Rizzio._            Porzia!

  _Porzia._                    Nay!
  And yet to have you leave me--
  Ere any nuptial night has hung our couch,
  Ere I have lain beside you in the dark
  And like Madonna dreamed of motherhood!
  Ah, ah, I cannot!...

  _Rizzio_ (_with a thought_). Then--listen to me.

    [_Osio starts, watching him._

  I will return to you!

  _Porzia._            Return?

  _Rizzio._                    Perchance.
  It may be. For with florins to the guard--
  With friendly gold--
  May he not be persuaded
  To bring me hither to you, for an hour
  At midnight--tho it be but for an hour?

    [_They look at each other._

  _Querio_ (_suspiciously, coming down_). Enough, Signor; the hour
      is running late.
  And there are here, may be,

    [_Sinisterly._

  Some who are avid now to be at vespers.

  _Porzia_ (_embracing Rizzio_). Then go, my lord; farewell, and fear
      not for me,
  Since I shall toil only for your release.

    [_He goes, with Querio and guard. Porzia quails, then lets
        Marina lead her into the house. All follow but Bianca,
        Osio, and Matteo at gate._

  _Bianca_ (_as the twilight begins, to Osio_).
  Now that you have achieved so much, what more?

    [_He does not answer; she also turns into house._

  _Osio_ (_whom a turmoil of passions is tearing_).
  What more?... God in His Heaven shall decide!...
  Doubts have I had--like swine of hell within me--
  But now He shall decide--
  If she's to be the mother of heretics ...
  Or if I, who acclaim the Creed, shall have her!

    [_Calls._

  Matteo!

  _Matteo._  Signor--(_advancing_) here.

  _Osio._                            You have done well.
  And from to-night I take you to my service,
  With wages that shall gild you from a want,
  And with the benediction of the Church.
  But there is one thing more:
  Follow Monsignor Querio to the prison,
  Then to Signora Porzia return--
  And say her husband sent you
  To bid her be in the bower there at midnight.

  _Matteo_ (_staring_). But Signor, will she come?

  _Osio._                            Say that she is
  To speak no word--but keep to silence: go.

    [_With fixed face, when the latch clicks behind him._

  God shall decide, ...
  For if she does not know
  My arms from _his_, then, it shall be a sign
  That to them and my bed ... she was predestined.

    [_The dark grows. He turns soon to go, and the curtain falls....
        But rises again at once and it is midnight; with only dim
        lights from the silent, sleeping city. As it does so Porzia
        with Marina comes out of the house. They pause and listen,
        Marina half-anxiously._

  _Porzia_ (_drawing free_). Return and have no fear, he soon will come,
  And bade me be alone there in the bower.
  The night is like a spell to draw him to me.

  _Marina._ Signora--!

  _Porzia._            Like a spell of living love.

    [_Crosses over, as one in a dream, and enters the bower. Marina
        goes, the gate opens, and Osio silently enters, coming down
        into the bower amorously. A long silence ... then slowly
        the Curtain._



  ACT II


  A YEAR HAS ELAPSED

  SCENE: _A sala, or hall, in the house of Rizzio. Its
       spacious walls and ceiling are frescoed with
       Virgilian scenes of a simpler and more beautiful
       kind than was usual to the decaying art of the
       period, and its high-arched open doors in the rear
       look out upon the terrace of Act I, toward the
       city, the Bay, Vesuvius--the whole magic curve
       of the haunting coast._

       _Several antique terminal-statues, the bodies of
       which end strangely in their pedestals, stand on
       either side these doors, and about the hall a
       Venus and other rare objects of virtu recovered
       from the past are mingled with the furnishings of
       the room, which, arranged for joy and beauty,
       seems somehow sad when unoccupied, as now, tho
       the Neapolitan sun is shining brightly in from
       the blue._

       _An arrased doorway right leads thro a passage to
       the street gate, and one left to the penetralia of
       the house, from which Marina enters deeply
       troubled. She looks back, shakes her head, saying,
       "O my poor lady!" then crosses to door right,
       listens, and hearing nothing goes slowly to door
       rear, where she waits, singing sadly_:

  Shepherds down the mountain wind,
    Wild pipes play in the street.
  O Sicily, my Sicily,
    I long for thee, my Sweet!

  Once a year God takes his joy,
    And that great joy is Spring,
  He weds earth clad in blossom-robes,
    For His enrapturing!

    [_She stops, listening, then resumes_:

  Once a year God takes his joy,
    And that--

    [_She stops again hearing sounds at the gate, then is startled
        to paleness by the voice of Matteo; and as she listens a
        stern strong determination takes her._

  _Matteo._ Basta! am I to pass! son of a dog!
  Snout of a swine! knave! door-bestriding fool!
  Have I not matters to her from my master,
  To the Signora, from her husband's brother?

    [_A scuffle._

  The Devil's scullion feed you
  On flame, until your liver shrivels black!

    [_He has pushed past and enters the Hall insolently._

  O-hé! who's here! I come from Signor Osio!

    [_Sees Marina._

  The little Sicilian? Luck then is my slave!

    [_Going to her._

  Well, pretty fig! my little red pomegranate!
  My fair forbidden fruit--pluckt in the moon!
  I've come ... (_stopped by her mien_) But,
  Blood of the Holy Sepulchre!

    [_Looks around uncertainly._

  What thing has happened here?

  _Marina._ That, Matteo,

    [_Speaks solemnly._

  Which yet I do not know, and which I pray
  Madonna you may be as ignorant of.

  _Matteo._ Eh?... I, my beauty?

  _Marina._                    You--who left this house
  A year ago to-night with Signor Osio,
  Left suddenly,
  To serve his wealth and pleasure,
  And who will leave it now as instantly,
  If he is not in need--of absolution.

  _Matteo._ Of ... (_starting_) absolution? Body, now, of Bacchus!
  Does he not go to the Mass--and if he does not
  Am I a priest
  To know his need of purging?
  Or if he sins must I be damned with him?

  _Marina._ No, so the way from it--

  _Matteo._                          The way! the way!
  I want no way, but in unto your mistress.
  Am I not sent here to her with commands?
  Ecco! and must I turn with them upon me,
  And say a wench denied me?
  Or that I feared
  Perchance to catch the fever
  Of heresy your master's shackled with?
  Pah, but you jest, my ruby rose of Aetna--

    [_Insinuatingly._

  Whom yet I will not say but I will wed,
  Tho you are from that Paynim-breeding isle
  Of Sicily. You jest: so, in with you.
  I seek your lady.

  _Marina._ Seek ... and shall find more.

  _Matteo._ More! (_Struck by her tone._) And from what and whom?

  _Marina._                                        I wait Aloysius,
  The leech.

  _Matteo._    And that is what I am to fear?

  _Marina._ The child is ill.

  _Matteo_ (_starting_).        The child!

  _Marina._                                My lady's child.

    [_With tenser solemnity._

  For there has come of late into her mind
  A dread that has dried life within her breasts.

  _Matteo_ (_who pales_). And am I God, woman, to keep dread from her?

  _Marina._ Tending to it a strangeness comes upon her,
  And with the sudden seizure of it, fear--
  Shudders of horror, instincts of some evil
  That she somehow has suffered, or committed--

    [_Pauses._

  _Matteo_ (_paler_). What do you mean!

  _Marina._                            As one within a trance.

  _Matteo._ And do you mean--?

  _Marina._                    A mood seizes her flesh
  That creeps against her will whene'er unto her
  The little one is pressed.

  _Matteo_ (_trembling_).        This is a lie!

  _Marina._ She cannot look upon it, but with terror,
  That brings remorse
  Awakening more terror!
  The blight of heresy, she strives to think
  Of her lord's heresy is sent upon her,
  Or of her own refusal, it may be,
  To wed the Convent, not the carnal world.

  _Matteo._ To you she said this?

  _Marina._ Ah! and Madonna! her sleep!
  She walks with eyes wide open.

  _Matteo._                      I say you lie.
  You do! as if Eternity were not,--

    [_Seizes her wrist._

  To frighten me and Signor Osio!

  _Marina_ (_coldly, stingingly_). And yet you understand? ha,
      understand?
  And hoarsely stare at words upon my lips
  That should be meaningless as moony madness?
  You penetrate
  What not the Pope himself,
  Nor any could, but with a guilty knowledge?
  There's villainy I say, and you are in it,
  The tool of a blind villain, who should be
  Where now his brother rots, but that the Church
  Is no more Christ's!
  Ah, ah! my nails could tear
  Your hated false caresses from my flesh,
  Your kisses from my memory and fling them
  Upon your wicked heart. And, for your master,
  The Virgin strangle him! She--or another!

    [_Meaningly._

  Another!

  _Matteo_ (_startled_). What? what say you?

  _Marina._                                  That--one--will!
  For do not think such sins go unavenged.

    [_Starts to go._

  _Matteo._ I say, what do you hint! Stand! there is more!

    [_Seizes her and clasps her to him._

  More! and I'll have it, by the crater of Hell!
  More--and your lips shall tell it with a kiss.

  _Marina._ Off me! (_Struggling._) And if you do not get from here--

    [_Breaks free._

  Before Signora Bianca--

  _Matteo._                Ah! Ahi!
  It has to do then with the Florentine?
  Who is as pagan as that devil Venus,

    [_Points to statue._

  Yet prates to priests as subtly as my master
  Who will not play Love with her?
  By the Passion and Blood of God, has she again
  Gone jealous to Monsignor Querio,
  To get undone the doors of the Inquisition,
  So that your master...? has she?

  _Marina._                        They are open!--
  O would I who o'erheard might tell my lady!--
  And Signor Rizzio goes free to-day!
  Free to return here unto his own home!
  Free to cast from him a year's ignorance,
  A year's imprisonment beyond the pale
  Of any word or message
  And learn how on his wedding-day when he
  Was seized and on his wedding-night when he
  Expected to return.... At that you quail?
  Begone then, or--

  _Matteo_ (_gnashing_). The jealousy of women!
  Their hearts are devil-pots that ever boil.--
  But this is cud for Signor Osio,
  So get you in at once unto your mistress
  And say--


        _Enter_ BIANCA _suddenly in agitation_

  _Bianca_ (_looking about, with alarm_). Where is my cousin?
      (_Calls_) Porzia! Porzia!--
  She must return at once--unto the child:
  Her mood is perilous and must be pent.

    [_As they stare._

  Did you not see her? (_Impatient._) Am I Proserpine
  To make such gaping ghosts of you? I say,
  Was she not here?

  _Marina._        Signora--?

  _Bianca._                  She hung, haunted,

    [_Searching again._

  By the child's cradle--there a little since,
  But suddenly rose up and fled from it,
  Saying--she would wed death!

  _Marina._                    Wed death! Signora!

  _Bianca._ Yes; I was near. Her words--that struck me stark.
  I could not speak. Do you know aught of this,
  You who have seen these dark distractions in her?
  Or does this ... drone of Signor Osio?

    [_Toward Matteo._

  What brings him here?

  _Matteo._            Marina there.

  _Bianca._                          Ha, yes!

    [_At door rear._

  The honey from that flower--but what else?

    [_At door right._

  Marina, yes, for you have been with her
  Too often under the moon, but there is more
  Behind you than yourself. Your master has
  Not sent you?

  _Matteo._ Yes, Signora. To your beauty
  He sends salute; and to your lady cousin
  Who ... O Signora, see! (_staring_) upon the terrace!

    [_He has broken off awestruck._

  See, see! Oh, in her hand there is ... Oh!--oh!

    [_They turn and behold Porzia trancedly approaching, a stiletto
        before her and her lips moving obliviously._

  _Porzia._ And should I not, Madonna, if ... O should I?
  Would you in heaven not assuage and shrive me?
  Make the wound seem as holy as were Christ's?
  Miraculously make--

  _Bianca._          Porzia!

  _Porzia._                  Make--(_dazed_)

  _Bianca._ Porzia, do you dream!

  _Porzia_ (_startled_). Bianca! (_dropping blade_) You?

    [_A pause._

  _Bianca._ This speech to weapons! this distraction. What
  And whence and why is it? Your child--

  _Porzia_ (_quickly_).                  Yes, yes!...

    [_A little incoherent._

  I went into the garden to wait Aloysius,
  My uncle Aloysius, who is a leech.
  I have not slept.... What is it I am saying?

    [_Seeing Matteo._

  Is that one come to tell--

  _Bianca._                  He is the servant--
  Of Osio.

  _Porzia_ (_with recoil_). Of Osio?... Of Osio?

    [_Trembling._

  _Matteo._ Signora, yes. He sends me with a message.
  He begs that he may see you.

  _Porzia._                    See?

  _Matteo._                          Implores
  That this strange shrinking from him and aversion,
  This pale ... and unintelligible ... repulsion
  You have of late--

  _Porzia._  Go back to him! go, go!

    [_Struggling: with solemn abhorrence._

  And say I cannot see him. He is my brother,
  My husband's brother,
  Whom I pray to honor.
  And is much like my husband:
  A likeness that unreasonably, it may be,
  I shudder to look upon: and yet--

  _Matteo._                          He bade me
  To say, Signora, nothing must prevent;
  That it concerns--

  _Porzia._          See him I will not, ever!

    [_With utter repugnance._

  And cannot and should not tho he sought me in
  That time which lies beyond eternity,
  That space which is beyond the brink of all.
  What thing it is haunting his heart I know not.
  But in his presence all my flesh becomes
  A shudder of horror,
  All my soul a fear.
  My husband's brother is he, my poor husband's,
  But he.... Go, go!... and tell him that strange drawings
  And strange repulsions pass the hearts of those
  Whom grief has gathered upon; and that I who
  Upon my wedding-day had torn from me--

    [_Suddenly, uncontrollably._

  Say, say I would he were not on the earth!

  _Bianca_ (_amazed, suspicious_).   Porzia! what is this!

  _Porzia._                                        I know not: go!

    [_He goes, then Marina, fearful. An over-fraught pause._

  _Bianca_ (_at length, jealously_). For this there is a reason--and
      but one.
  You love, you love him!

  _Porzia._                Love ... whom?

  _Bianca._                                Osio!
  Yet dare not so you draw him with denials,
  Knowing that to repel is to entrain him.

    [_As Porzia stares, stupefied._

  O mockery of it! fools my eyes were, fools,
  That stood within my head and did not see!
  To me he spoke of love--yearning for you,
  And in me heard but echoes of you ... ever!
  Yet, since you loved him,
  Why unto his brother,
  A heretic o'erturning God with stars,
  Did you--

  _Porzia_ (_sinking to a divan_). I pray you speak things possible,
  Tho to your sight I seem and to my own
  Like one unnatural beyond belief!
  A child I have whom fever now is burning,
  A husband all unhallowed in a prison ...
  Tho to my dreams last night he seemed to come.

    [_Bianca starts._

  And so you must forgive me if blind shrinkings,
  That to your sight seem semblances of love,
  Unhelpably o'ertake me.

  _Bianca._ Then--confess
  Why Osio seeks you and why so you shun him?
  And with the child why are your ways so wild?
  You fear sometimes to touch it,
  As if it were another's, or at your breast
  Could only drink of horror.

  _Porzia_ (_rising_).        Ah!... ah, ah!

  _Bianca:_ Love is it, love, I say, of Osio,
  That motherhood itself cannot amend,
  And Rizzio shall hear of it--this day.

  _Porzia._ He ... there in the darkness ... can hear naught!
  Leave me, I pray, to wait Aloysius.
  Why comes he not?... Ah, and why do you rend me?
  For you would not indeed to Rizzio
  Add demon doubts ...
  Of me who am to him there in the night
  Sun, moon and the white galaxy of stars
  Such as not even Messer Bruno dreams....
  For, if you would, are you indeed Bianca
  Who, as a child, sang with me under the olives
  And cypresses; or watched with wonder eyes
  The fisherman draw marvels from the deep,
  Then homeward wing at eve to Ischia?
  I cannot think it!... yet...!

    [_Again distraught._

  O what is it I dread! what thing has changed
  All natural thoughts within me to repugnance,
  All instincts and desires into terror?
  I cannot touch my flesh, but I turn cold
  As if I had touched pollution, cannot press
  My child unto my breasts, but ... true, Oh, true!...
  A madness whispers in me, "Take it away!"

    [_Staring, hauntedly._

  And too, and too ... in solitude the want
  Of Rizzio imprisoned comes to me;
  Yet when I reach for him I seem enclasped
  By unknown arms ... in the sere dark, that ... Oh!
  Now, now I feel them! off!

    [_A knock at the gate._

  (_Starting_) Ah, ah, Aloysius!...
  With healing! he at last! (_moving toward door_) Uncle, the child--

    [_Stops rooted to the floor for Osio has suddenly entered. He
        does not speak, nor she, but only Bianca, who looks at them,
        uttering his name then turning goes._

  _Osio_ (_at length, tortured_). You shut me from your presence and
      your doors,
  My messages return to me unopened,
  My messengers unhonored--yet I've come,
  For speak to you I must, and utterly!

  _Porzia_ (_gazing_). Lord Jesu!

  _Osio._                        Ai, Lord Jesu! let Him hear!
  For if ever He huddled in a Manger,
  Or hung, a red atonement, on the Cross--
  If you are not soul-bound to heresy,
  You must....

  _Porzia._ Oh, oh! why are you here?

  _Osio._                              Why?... Peace!
  Can you not listen to me without terror
  Not look upon me
  Without eyes where awe
  Sits like a murdered thing, or without hands
  That flutter at your heart unfalteringly?
  I am your brother.

  _Porzia._          I ... will hold you so.

  _Osio._ But more than sister are you to my breast.

  _Porzia._ Ah!

  _Osio._ More, and I would save you from the flames
  That bind you to a heretic and Hell.
  Nay, stay! do not start from me; stay, do not!
  But hear me, for not that alone has led me,
  Not that alone,
  But love unbearable--
  Such as not any lips in all the world
  Have sung, or any famed for it have breathed
  Upon the pagan pages of a book:
  For they were heathen all, in penance now
  Upon the sulphur winds that sweep Inferno,
  While I--

  _Porzia_ (_whose look stops him_).   While, you, you, inordinate,
  Speak baseness so unto your brother's wife?

  _Osio._ His, no! no more! no more! for heresy
  Has rent from him all rights, therefore I dare
  To hunger for you, and to pledge the Pope
  Will grant us dispensation--

  _Porzia._                    Oh! Oh, oh!

    [_Overwhelmed with loathing._

  _Osio._ You will not heed it, will not come with me?

  _Porzia._ Madonna, wash his words out of my brain,

    [_Her hands lifted._

  And from my memory purge their pollution!
  (_To him_) Go, go!...
  And may the poison of you never pass
  Across my sight again.

  _Osio._                It will--to save you,
  For mine you are--God wills it!--and ... have been!

  _Porzia._ Oh!

  _Osio._        Have!--it was predestined--by His breath.
  Was he to see you mate a heretic,
  Or from your body spring the Anti-Christ?
  A year ago you wedded one, and I
  Was ready with the hands of the Inquisition.
  They seized him with his pagan pride upon him,
  And from this house of feasting and of flowers
  He went. You had a message brought from Matteo
  Saying he would return to you at midnight.
  I came, and in the darkness of the bower,
  Which God made darker,
  You took my arms for his!--were mine, were mine!

  _Porzia_ (_who has sunk to a seat, rising_). Never!--But now I know
      what I have feared,
  What dread it is invisibly has bound me--
  Invisibly, unvariably!... I know,
  And so shall break it!
  Your thought has been to shadow me about
  With this unceasing thing, to make me so
  Believe--and so obtain me!
  Your voice, eyes, lips and being with this purpose
  Have held my soul unswervably to fear,
  But now it is free! free, free!

  _Osio._                        And will be when
  Rizzio comes?

  _Porzia._      Rizzio?

  _Osio._                Out of prison?

    [_As she gazes at him._

  I tell you the child is mine! for Rizzio
  Returned not to you. Mine, mine, and you must
  Protect it and yourself.

  _Porzia._                From--?... do you mean?
  O do you mean that he may come? that you
  Expect him, O and soon? and that Bianca--?

  _Osio._ I mean no mysteries, but that the child
  Is mine--
  And you may be--
  And all be well.

  _Porzia._ But he will come? you have some intimation?
  Some waft of his release, some prescience?
  But say it and I will forgive you all!
  Say that my arms once more shall clasp him to me!
  Say that my heart once more shall beat to his!
  Say that my eyes once more shall drink the dawn
  From his, and I--

  _Osio._            Be still. For if you will not
  Now, now be mine, one thing must be assured
  Beyond the sway of peril:
  It must be kept from him there is a child.

  _Porzia._ Never! but I will lay it in his arms,
  Unto the cradle of his bosom bring it--
  While I have hands of purity to lift it--
  And--

  _Osio._ Have him fling it forth? Hush! what is here?

    [_A knocking at the gate: amazed cries: then Rizzio's voice._

  _Porzia._ Rizzio! Rizzio! Rizzio!

  _Rizzio_ (_without_).            Porzia! Porzia!

    [_He enters, weak and worn, in tattered raiment, and comes down
        to where she gazes too overcome to embrace him._

  _Rizzio._ My Porzia! (_With a clasp._) O do I look upon you,
  Not on some prison vision that will vanish
  Between my arms to nothingness of air?
  Some wan and hollow haunting of the night?
  Look up into my soul and speak to me
  With eyes that are incarnate songs of love!
  Ah, what, you cannot?
  The swiftness of my coming has undone you?

  _Porzia._ No, no!

  _Rizzio._ Then give reality to dreams,
  Linking your lips to mine!... Oh, oh! at last!
  At last I know I live
  And am more than
  A madness in miasmic night immured!
  And that eternity of want can end--
  Upon your breast--within this house where--(_Seeing Osio_) You?

    [_With inexplicable antagonism._

  _Osio._ I ... and I have no welcome for you, knowing
  That heresy is still hot in your heart.

  _Rizzio._ For which you with accursèd joy are glad?...

    [_Osio goes rankling into garden._

  What does he here, my Porzia? what does he?

    [_Troubled._

  Has he been much with you? Sometimes there in
  My fetters I have fought strange dreams of him,
  Battled against him as against a brood
  Of elemental horrors and contagion.
  Yet when I would awake--

  _Porzia_ (_clinging fearfully_).    My Rizzio!...

  _Rizzio._ Ai, yours! when hope was darkest, when the links
  Of wolvish steel were feeding on my bone.

    [_Holds out wrists._

  Or like a python wound me as I slept.

  _Porzia._ The pity of my heart and lips shall heal them.

    [_With caresses._

  _Rizzio._ They and the passion of you, and the peace
  And beauty of your body and your soul,
  That were torn from me at the very altar,
  But now--purer for waiting--shall be mine.

  _Porzia_ (_trembling_).    Yes, yes, Rizzio!

  _Rizzio._                                    Say, say it again!
  For oh, the jealous fears that have defiled me,
  The visions I have called a lie in vain,
  The hot hands I have seen laid on your beauty!

    [_To her look of helplessness._

  O say it! for you gaze--as if you could not!
  As if ... O what is wringing you! You can
  Not say it--that no arms but mine have held you,
  No lips but mine have ever lingered, ever--?

    [_A pitiful cry of distress breaks from within, then a hurry of
        feet and Marina rushes on anguished._

  _Marina._ My lady! O my lady!... the child! the child!

  _Porzia_ (_swaying_).    What is it? Speak!

  _Marina._                                  My lady, it is dead!

    [_A wild pause._

  _Porzia._ Dead? dead? my child? my little one? my own?
  My baby?... Oh; oh, oh!... oh, oh, oh, oh!

    [_She stretches her arms distractedly before her and goes._

  _Rizzio_ (_who has staggered, dazed, and is frenziedly realizing_).
      God, God, the madness ... is this then the madness....
  At last!...
  Her child? her child? and I--never a husband?
  She has a child and I am childless! I!...
  Have I been tricked, beaten, betrayed, undone,
  Duped by a lie of low inconstancy.

    [_To Marina._

  Speak, quean!

  _Marina._    O sir, I know not what to say!

  _Rizzio._ Tho truth bays wild, fool-face!

  _Marina._                                Sir, sir, I cannot!
  But hold, I pray you! for she is ... she ... Ah!

    [_Has cried out, for the curtains have parted and Porzia is
        entering--the dead child in her arms, her eyes gazing
        sightlessly._

  _Rizzio_ (_who looks at her, racked, laughs wildly, then rushes to
      door_). At last, at last the heretic's in Hell!

    [_Breaks past Aloysius entering, and is gone._

  _Marina_ (_to the leech_). O Signor Aloysius, my poor, poor lady!

    [_Weeping._

  My lady! O what now, what now shall heal her!

  _Aloysius._ Go in, prepare her bed, and I will bring her.
  In, in, I say! (_as she goes; to the mother_) Porzia!

    [_Gently._

    [_She does not answer._

  Come, Porzia!

  _Porzia._      Yes, yes; is the grave ready?
  Then let the clod fall softly, and the shroud
  Not wake him, for he sleeps. And let there be
  Some orange blossoms too ... some orange blossoms!

    [_She permits him to lead her in, still gazing before her._

  CURTAIN.



  ACT III


  NIGHT OF THE NEXT DAY

  SCENE: _The terrace of Act I, but lit wanly now by the
       moon, whose  sheen is cast like a pall over the
       city and kindles the Bay to quivering silver. Thro
       the open door of the house and from the window of
       Porzia's chamber which is just above the image of
       the Virgin, light falls streaming toward the Pan
       and toward the deeply shadowed bower. A stone seat
       is set to the front centre._

       _Osio, haunted and desperate, stands without the
       bower, watching Matteo who is stealthily coming
       down from the pedestal of the Virgin where he has
       climbed to listen, and who crosses the terrace to
       him._

  _Osio._ Her words! give me her words--and them alone!
  What were they?

  _Matteo._ I could learn no more, Signor.
  The fever is tossing her.

  _Osio._                  To peril of death?
  She is sinking now down into ceaseless Hell,
  Where he shall follow?
  Is swooning low to it?
  And to eternal flame?

  _Matteo._            I do not know.
  But burningly she sleeps. (_Uneasily._) Shall we not go?

    [_Looks around._

  For if we here are found--

  _Osio._                   They have not brought her
  The Sacrament?

  _Matteo._      No priest is there, Signor.

  _Osio._ The child, she asks for it?

  _Matteo._                          I seemed to hear
  Signora Bianca say that since the morning
  When it was borne in secret to the tomb
  She has not.
  But still her moan's of Signor Rizzio,
  Who has not yet returned, tho still they seek him.

  _Osio_ (_bitterly_). Her blood be on his head! upon his head!
  And not on mine, that has not swayed to schism,
  If death is calling now for her damnation.
  No, I am pure of it!

  _Matteo._            But should he come?

    [_Again looks around._

  _Osio._ I'll fear him not. Never! For odium
  It were to God that I a moment should--
  Him black with unbelief!
  But come he will not ... since he left deluded.
  Or if he should a voice has pledged to me
  Full absolution if--

  _Matteo._            What, Signor?

  _Osio._                            Peace!
  He will not. So again mount up!

  _Matteo_ (_unwillingly_).      Signor!

  _Osio._ Mount, mount, and strain the most to get me more.

    [_Matteo loathly crosses and again ascends the pedestal. But
        scarcely has done so when a knock comes at the gate. He
        steps down into the shadow of the image--Osio into bower.
        Then Marina appears from the house hesitantly._

  _Marina._ Who knocks? Signor Aloysius, is it you?

  _Aloysius._ Ai, ai! and weary: open!

    [_Being admitted._
                                      This day! this day!
  The search till he was found; and then the toil--
  The patient physic poured
  Vainly it seemed unto the proud or poor.

    [_Taking off medicine pouch._

  But it at last is done. Now, the relief--
  He came reluctant? and to her outpoured
  A lava of wild purpose and revenge
  When he was told?

  _Marina._ He? (_staring_) Signor Rizzio?
  You have not brought him?

  _Aloysius._              Brought? Is he not here?

  _Marina_ (_dismayed_). Signor!

  _Aloysius._                But how? but how? (_dropping pouch._)
      Not he? and Bruno?
  Who had been with him,
  Whom he had but left
  To search, sudden it seemed, for Osio?
  Not Bruno! whom I pledged to find and lead him
  Here to her--since we learned that Osio
  Has fled from Naples?

  _Marina._            Signor, neither! none!

    [_Involuntarily._

  O he must come, or she will die!

  _Aloysius._                      ... Die?...

  _Marina._ New evils gather ever in vendetta!

  _Aloysius._ You run from them too rapidly to death,
  Which comes but when it will--and not from sleep
  In which I left her.

  _Marina._            But her sleep has grown
  To fever that has flowed into her brain!
  Her heart is full of moans,
  Her lips of murmurs!
  She tore the crucifix from off her neck
  And flung it from her, saying that it was
  The arms of Osio; and then cried out
  That she was virgin and immaculately
  Had borne a child, that now was laid in the tomb,
  But should arise again. Then would she start
  And say there is no God, but only stars,
  But stars, a heaven of stars! For which Signora
  Bianca ignorant arose and chid her.

  _Aloysius._ And all unduly did! This must be stayed,
  Not made immedicable.
  Go in; prepare the herbs that I left with you.

    [_She goes--as he stands pondering--past Bianca, who enters._

  _Bianca_ (_pausing, then with resolute bitterness_).
  So you have come and have not brought him? Well,
  The insult of this secrecy must end,
  The shrouding and affronting soil of it.
  I'll sift in doubt no more, but have the truth.

  _Aloysius._ Signora?

  _Bianca._            O, fatality's in the world,
  From atom to infinity it may be,
  But there is also sinning. Which is this?
  And whence is it
  If she though sunk in sleep
  Says ever "I must go into the bower!"
  And ever with elusive lips "the bower!"
  Whom would she meet?

  _Aloysius._          The bower?

  _Bianca._                        Whom! or if
  No guilt is in her why this grievous haunting?

  _Aloysius._ I will go to her.

  _Bianca_ (_angrily_).        So to evade confessing?
  To avoid granting
  That it is Osio?
  That it is he has been her paramour?
  That he it is has plundered her with passion--
  Whose proof is the child
  Which Heaven has struck dead?
  Will go? Nor first deny
  That rightly Rizzio has turned from her
  And now perchance is seeking Osio----

    [_Breaks off, for the gate opens and Rizzio slowly enters. A
        deadly purpose is on him as he looks around._

  _Rizzio_ (_at length_). You clothe my thought,
  Bianca, in the flesh
  Of speech that I have shunned: but we shall know----
  Soon know, for I have tracked him to this gate.

    [_To Aloysius, solemnly._

  Where is he?

  _Aloysius_ (_amazed_). He?... Osio?

  _Rizzio._                          So! reveal him!

  _Aloysius._ But--this is error!... he is gone from Naples!

  _Rizzio._ Or wrapped in lies is hidden here for her?
  By the very God of the world, I say---- (_With restraint._)
      But ... no!

  _Aloysius._ And "no" until you trust it! For her fate
  Is not as you suppose.

  _Rizzio._              Nor his? Nor he!
  This bigot whose religion's lechery?
  This monk to whom licentiousness is God?
  This monster I illimitably loathe?

    [_Searching as he speaks._

  I say that he is here; that I will find him;
  That, I have tracked him to you, and ... (_suddenly_) Aha!

    [_Discovers Matteo under image._

  Aha! from Naples he is gone? from Naples?

    [_Drawing Matteo forth._

  But leaves his shadow here?

  _Matteo_ (_terrified_).      Signor! Signor!

    [_Cringes._

  _Rizzio._ From Naples he is sped, but at the feet
  Of the Virgin he adores drops this devotion?

    [_Slowly, terribly._

  Unpitiable toad--of filth begotten!
  Pander who should go down into the Pit
  And be the go-between of burning lusts,
  Where lurks he?

  _Matteo._ Signor! (_chokes_) Signor! I will show.
  You shall have all; but let me live, Signor.
  I have a father crippled who would starve
  But for the gold I get....
  And she, Signora Porzia's innocent.

  _Rizzio._ And virgin too! with that obliteration
  You'll clothe her! Heaven's Queen, do I not know
  What Nature and conception are!

  _Aloysius_ (_trembling_).        Ai, so!
  And of them there is no denial here.
  That she has given birth, herself has told you,
  Herself.... The child _was_ hers, but----

  _Rizzio._                                Born of miracles
  And of imaginations and of dreams?
  Is this Judea
  And a day divine,
  Not Italy and unregeneration,
  Where God deputes the world to Borgias?
  The father of it was he--he and no other!

  _Aloysius._ But in her innocence she--

  _Rizzio._                              Yielded! Yielded!
  And clung to him as the harlot moon to earth.

  _Aloysius._ No, no!

  _Rizzio._            Thro nights and nights!

  _Aloysius._                                  Never; but duped
  And unaware she took his arms for yours,
  Believed, tho by yon moon, I know not how,
  Unless she was entranced,
  That you had come to meet her in the bower,
  And----


        MARINA _enters suddenly terrified_

  _Marina._ Signor! Signor Aloysius! O quick!
  O come to her! She has arisen!

  _Aloysius._                    Risen!

  _Marina._ O, in her sleep! and will not to her bed
  Return, but says with eyes empty of sight
  That it is time----

  _Aloysius._          For what?

  _Marina_ (_hesitant, distressed_). To ... meet him in
  The bower!

  _Aloysius_ (_quickly_). I will come to her.

  _Rizzio_ (_burningly_).                      Ah! ah!

    [_Starts before him._

  And drug her now with opiates to prevent her?
  Or waken her and bid her to deny?
  Did I not deem it? and will you feign further?
  Did I not say that Osio is here?
  There in the bower is he, there! and she
  Has planned to meet him.

  _Marina._               Signor! no! no, no!
  'Tis you that she would meet!

  _Rizzio._                    And not this croucher,

    [_Of Matteo._

  Who is alone and purposeless? not he?
  Nor him he pledges craven to reveal?

  _Marina._ O, Signor, no!

  _Rizzio._                Lies! and a world of lies!

    [_His words writhing._

  And now you shall not hold her: she shall come:
  Shall go into the bower. She shall take him
  Before your very breath unto her breast.

  _Marina._ But, Signor, she is asleep.

  _Rizzio._                            Go, lead her.

  _Marina._                                          She
  Knows not what she is doing!

  _Rizzio._                    She shall learn!

  _Marina._ O Signor, no, no, no!

  _Rizzio._                      I tell you, then,

    [_Starting toward house._

  That truth is still my star, and that no shrinking
  Shall stay me, tho all night contains would quench it.

    [_Is near door, when Porzia herself like a wraith appears--and
        at the same time Osio is seen in the entrance to bower.
        Before Porzia's sleep-fixed eyes Rizzio falls back: her
        somnambulant speech breaks faintly._

  _Porzia._ The night is as a spell. No more of physic.
  Return unto your couch. The Inquisition?
  To take him? from his very nuptials take him?
  He is no bigamist, Monsignor Querio.

    [_Pauses._

  Yes, Rizzio, at midnight!... Yes.--Ever
  The arms of Osio round me instead!
  This choking shroud of fever that defiles!

    [_Moans, trying to throw it off._

  But, peace; the child will wake. My little one,
  My baby!... lift the candle to its face.

    [_Again moaning._

           O that is Osio, not Rizzio,
  I see within its eyes! Yet do not kill him,
  No, Rizzio, do not kill him, tho he is
  Your brother and has done it: I have borne
  Too much and they would prison you again.
  Or if they did not, still the stars we love
  Must not turn into ... drops of bloody vengeance!--
  But, peace to this! (_moves forward_) for it is time to meet him.

  _Marina_ (_withholdingly_).  Signora!

  _Porzia._                          Time to meet him in the bower.

    [_Is nearing it._

  For now he is returned and all the night
  Is like a spell to draw my soul unto him.

    [_With Osio before her._

  Yes, Rizzio, I come; you see, I ... I ...

    [_Is reaching her arms to him when a shudder takes her. Her
        hand goes up to her brow and her gaze wanly flutters. Then
        suddenly her trance breaks and she shrinks screaming._

  It is not he! not Rizzio! Not he!
  Marina! Bianca! Help! not he! help; help!

    [_Sinks wildly back to the seat._

  _Marina_ (_who runs to her_). Signora, no! not he! not he! but we
  Are here and he is come and you shall see him.

    [_Kneeling._

  See, you have dreamed!...

  _Aloysius_ (_by her_). And have awakened, Porzia,
  Awakened from imaginings and terrors;
  For you are ill....

  _Marina._          And knew not what you did!...
  But now look round you and all shall be well.

    [_She looks and, finding Rizzio, rises again bewildered._

  _Marina_ (_who understands_). It now is he, Signora; do not fear.

  _Porzia._ Rizzio! Rizzio! Rizzio!

  _Rizzio._                        Porzia!

    [_He sobs._

  _Porzia._ O, is it dreams? I pray do not deceive me.
  I think that it is he, but O so many
  My thoughts have been and full of pain to me
  That truth shall never more, alas, be true,
  Or trust be ever utter trust again
  Till peace has come to me as pure as that
  To earth, from the rainbow's woven amulet
  Upon the brow of God--peace wed to kindness.
  And to deceive me now were less than kind!

  _Rizzio._ My Porzia! (_Falls weeping at her feet._) Deceit at last
      is o'er!
  And not he, even he, who wrought this wrong
  And who would forge that rainbow into fetters,
  Till I could wish
  The eternal tooth of pain
  And of remorse should tear him--not he, now,

    [_Rising; to Osio._

  Shall turn my heart from love unto revenge.
  But "pagan" tho I be, I bid him go!

    [_Points to gate, and Osio tortured, flings it open--and goes.
        Then when Matteo has followed, Rizzio turns tenderly to
        Porzia. The horror falls from her as he folds her finally
        to him--while the moon that had clouded, shines on them
        bright and still._



  THE END



THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS

GARDEN CITY, N.Y.



FAR QUESTS

CALE YOUNG RICE


"The countrymen of Cale Young Rice apparently regard him as the equal
of the great American poets of the past. _Far Quests_ is good
unquestionably. It shows a wide range of thought, and sympathy, and
real skill in workmanship, while occasionally it rises to heights of
simplicity and truth, that suggest such inspiration as should mean
lasting fame."--_The Daily Telegraph (London)._

"Mr. Rice's lyrics are deeply impressive. A large number are complete
and full-blooded works of art."--_Prof. Wm. Lyon Phelps (Yale
University)._

"_Far Quests_ contains much beautiful work--the work of a real poet in
imagination and achievement."--_Prof. J. W. Mackail (Oxford
University)._

"Mr. Rice is determined to get away from local or national limitations
and be at whatever cost universal.... These poems are always animated
by a force and freshness of feeling rare in work of such high
virtuosity."--_The Scotsman (Edinburgh)._

"Mr. Cale Young Rice is acknowledged by his countrymen to be one of
their great poets. There is great charm in the nature songs (of this
volume) and of the East. Mr. Rice writes with great simplicity and
beauty."--_The Sphere (London)._

"Mr. Rice's forte is a poetic drama. Yet in the act of saying this the
critic is confronted by such poems as _The Mystic_.... These are the
poems of a thinker, a man of large horizons, an optimist profoundly
impressed with the pathos of man's quest for happiness in all
lands."--_The Chicago Record-Herald._

"Mr. Rice's latest volume shows no diminution of poetic power. Fecundity
is a mark of the genuine poet, and a glance through these pages will
demonstrate how rich Mr. Rice is in vitality and variety of thought....
There is too, the unmistakable quality of style. It is spontaneous,
flexible, and strong with the strength of simplicity--a style of rare
distinction."--_Albert S. Henry (The Book News Monthly,
Philadelphia)._



THE IMMORTAL LURE

CALE YOUNG RICE


It is great art--with great vitality.--_James Lane Allen._

In the midst of the Spring rush there arrives one book for which all
else is pushed aside.... We have been educated to the belief that a man
must be long dead before he can be enrolled with the great ones. Let us
forget this cruel teaching.... This volume contains four poetic dramas
all different in setting, and all so beautiful that we cannot choose one
more perfect than another.... Too extravagant praise cannot be given Mr.
Rice.--_The San Francisco Call._

Four brief dramas, different from Paolo & Francesca, but excelling
it--or any other of Mr. Phillips's work, it is safe to say--in a vivid
presentment of a supreme moment in the lives of the characters.... They
form excellent examples of the range of Mr. Rice's genius in this
field.--_The New York Times Review._

Mr. Rice is quite the most ambitious, and most distinguished of
contemporary poetic dramatists in America.--_The Boston Transcript (W.
S. Braithwaite)._

The vigor and originality of Mr. Rice's work never outweigh that first
qualification, beauty.... No American writer has so enriched the body of
our poetic literature in the past few years.--_The New Orleans
Picayune._

Mr. Rice is beyond doubt the most distinguished poetic dramatist America
has yet produced.--_The Detroit Free Press._

That in Cale Young Rice a new American poet of great power and
originality has arisen cannot be denied. He has somehow discovered the
secret of the mystery, wonder and spirituality of human existence,
which has been all but lost in our commercial civilization. May he
succeed in awakening our people from sordid dreams of gain.--_Rochester
(N. Y.) Post Express._

No writer in England or America holds himself to higher ideals (than Mr.
Rice) and everything he does bears the imprint of exquisite taste and
the finest poetic instinct.--_The Portland Oregonian._

In simplicity of art form and sheer mystery of romanticism these poetic
dramas embody the new century artistry that is remaking current
imaginative literature.--_The Philadelphia North American._

Cale Young Rice is justly regarded as the leading master of the
difficult form of poetic drama.--_Portland (Me.) Press._

Mr. Rice has outlived the prophesy that he would one day rival Stephen
Phillips in the poetic drama. As dexterous in the mechanism of his art,
the young American is the Englishman's superior in that unforced quality
which bespeaks true inspiration, and in a wider variety of manner and
theme.--_San Francisco Chronicle._

Mr. Rice's work has often been compared to Stephen Phillips's and there
is great resemblance in their expression of high vision. Mr. Rice's
technique is sure, ... his knowledge of his settings impeccable, and one
feels sincerely the passion, power and sensuous beauty of the whole.
"Arduin" (one of the plays) is perfect tragedy; as rounded as a sphere,
as terrible as death.--_Review of Reviews._

The Immortal Lure is a very beautiful work.--_The Springfield (Mass.)
Republican._

The action in Mr. Rice's dramas is invariably compact and powerful, his
writing remarkably forcible and clear, with a rare grasp of form. The
plays are brief and classic.--_Baltimore News._

These four dramas, each a separate unit perfect in itself and differing
widely in treatment, are yet vitally related by reason of the one
central theme, wrought out with rich imagery and with compelling
dramatic power.--_The Louisville Times (U. S.)_

The literary and poetical merit of these dramas is undeniable, and they
are charged with the emotional life and human interest that should, but
do not, always go along with those other high gifts.--_The (London)
Bookman._

Mr. Rice never [like Stephen Phillips] mistakes strenuous phrase for
strong thought. He makes his blank verse his servant, and it has the
stage merit of possessing the freedom of prose while retaining the
impassioned movement of poetry.--_The Glasgow (Scotland) Herald._

These firm and vivid pieces of work are truly welcome as examples of
poetic force that succeeds without the help of poetic license.--_The
Literary World (London)._

We do not possess a living American poet whose utterance is so clear, so
felicitous, so free from the inane and meretricious folly of sugared
lines.... No one has a better understanding of the development of
dramatic action than Mr. Rice.--_The Book News Monthly (Albert S.
Henry)._



COUNTRY LIFE IN AMERICA

THE WORLD'S WORK

THE GARDEN MAGAZINE

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO., GARDEN CITY, N. Y.



MANY GODS

By

CALE YOUNG RICE


"These poems are flashingly, glowingly full of the East.... What I am
sure of in Mr. Rice is that here we have an American poet whom we may
claim as ours."--_The North American Review (William Dean Howells)._

"Mr. Rice has the gift of leadership ... and he is a force with whom we
must reckon."--_The Boston Transcript._

... "We find here a poet who strives to reach the goal which marks the
best that can be done in poetry."--_The Book News Monthly (A. S.
Henry)._

"When you hear the pessimists bewailing the good old time when real
poets were abroad in the land ... do not fail to quote them almost
anything by Cale Young Rice, a real poet writing to-day.... He has done
so much splendid work one can scarcely praise him too highly."--_The San
Francisco Call._

"In 'Many Gods' the scenes are those of the East, and while it is not
the East of Loti, Arnold or Hearn, it is still a place of brooding,
majesty, mystery and subtle fascination. There is a temptation to quote
such verses for their melody, dignity of form, beauty of imagery and
height of inspiration."--_The Chicago Journal._

"'Love's Cynic' (a long poem in the volume) might be by Browning at his
best."--_Pittsburg Gazette-Times._

"This is a serious, and from any standpoint, a successful piece of
work ... in it are poems that will become classic."--_Passaic (New
Jersey) News._

"Mr. Rice must be hailed as one among living masters of his art, one to
whom we may look for yet greater things."--_Presbyterian Advance._

"This book is in many respects a remarkable work. The poems are indeed
poems."--_The Nashville Banner._

"Mr. Rice's poetical plays reach a high level of achievement.... But
these poems show a higher vision and surer mastery of expression than
ever before."--_The London Bookman._


_Net, $1.25 (postage 12c.)_



NIRVANA DAYS

Poems by

CALE YOUNG RICE


"Mr. Rice has the technical cunning that makes up almost the entire
equipment of many poets nowadays, but human nature is more to him
always ... and he has the feeling and imaginative sympathy without
which all poetry is but an empty and vain thing."--_The London Bookman._

"Mr. Rice's note is a clarion call, and of his two poems, 'The Strong
Man to His Sires' and 'The Young to the Old,' the former will send a
thrill to the heart of every man who has the instinct of race in his
blood, while the latter should be printed above the desk of every minor
poet and pessimist.... The sonnets of the sequence, 'Quest and
Requital,' have the elements of great poetry in them."--_The Glasgow
(Scotland) Herald._

"Mr. Rice's poems are singularly free from affectation, and he seems to
have written because of the sincere need of expressing something that
had to take art form."--_The Sun (New York)._

"The ability to write verse that scans is quite common.... But the
inspired thought behind the lines is a different thing; and it is this
thought untrammeled--the clear vision searching into the deeps of human
emotion--which gives the verse of Mr. Rice weight and potency.... In the
range of his metrical skill he easily stands with the best of living
craftsmen ... and we have in him ... a poet whose dramas and lyrics will
endure."--_The Book News Monthly (A. S. Henry)._

"These poems are marked by a breadth of outlook, individuality and
beauty of thought. The author reveals deep, sincere feeling on topics
which do not readily lend themselves to artistic expression and which he
makes eminently worth while."--_The Buffalo (N. Y.) Courier._

"We get throughout the idea of a vast universe and of the soul merging
itself in the infinite.... The great poem of the volume, however, is
'The Strong Man to His Sires.'"--_The Louisville Post (Margaret S.
Anderson)._

"The poems possess much music ... and even in the height of intensified
feeling the clearness of Mr. Rice's ideas is not dimmed by the obscure
haze that too often goes with the divine fire."--_The Boston Globe._


_Paper boards. Net, $1.25 (postage 12c.)_



A NIGHT IN AVIGNON

By

CALE YOUNG RICE

_Successfully produced by Donald Robertson_


"It is as vivid as a page from Browning. Mr. Rice has the dramatic
pulse."--_James Huneker._

"It embraces in small compass all the essentials of the drama."--_New
York Saturday Times Review (Jessie B. Rittenhouse)._

"It presents one of the most striking situations in dramatic literature
and its climax could not be improved."--_The San Francisco Call._

"It has undeniable power, and is a very decided poetic
achievement."--_The Boston Transcript._

"It leaves an enduring impression of a soul tragedy."--_The Churchman._

"Since the publication of his 'Charles di Tocca' and other dramas, Cale
Young Rice has justly been regarded as a leading American master of that
difficult form, and many critics have ranked him above Stephen Phillips,
at least on the dramatic side of his art. And this judgment is further
confirmed by 'A Night in Avignon.' It is almost incredible that in less
than 500 lines Mr. Rice should have been able to create so perfect a
play with so powerful a dramatic effect."--_The Chicago Record-Herald
(Edwin S. Shuman)._

"There is poetic richness in this brilliant composition; a beauty of
sentiment and grace in every line. It is impressive, metrically pleasing
and dramatically powerful."--_The Philadelphia Record._

"It offers one of the most striking situations in dramatic
literature."--_The Louisville Courier-Journal._

"The publication of a poetic drama of the quality of Mr. Rice's is an
important event in the present tendency of American literature. He is a
leader in this most significant movement, and 'A Night in Avignon' is
marked, like his other plays, by dramatic directness, high poetic
fervor, clarity of poetic diction, and felicity of phrasing."--_The
Chicago Journal._

"It is a dramatically told episode, and the metre is most effectively
handled, making a welcome change for blank verse, and greatly enhancing
the interest."--_Sydney Lee._

"Many critics, on hearing Mr. Bryce's prediction that America will one
day have a poet, would be tempted to remind him of Mr. Rice."--_The
Hartford (Conn.) Courant._


_Net 50c. (postage 5c.)_



YOLANDA OF CYPRUS

A Poetic Drama by

CALE YOUNG RICE


"It has real life and drama, not merely beautiful words, and so differs
from the great mass of poetic plays."--_Prof. Gilbert Murray._

_Minnie Maddern Fisk_ says: "No one can doubt that it is superior
poetically and dramatically to Stephen Phillips's work," and that Mr.
Rice ranks with Mr. Phillips at his best has often been reaffirmed.

"It is encouraging to the hope of a native drama to know that an
American has written a play which is at the same time of decided poetic
merit and of decided dramatic power."--_The New York Times._

"The most remarkable quality of the play is its sustained dramatic
strength. Poetically it is frequently of great beauty. It is also lofty
in conception, lucid and felicitous in style, and the dramatic pulse
throbs in every line."--_The Chicago Record-Herald._

"The characters are drawn with force and the play is dignified and
powerful," and adds that if it does not succeed on the stage it will be
"because of its excellence."--_The Springfield Republican._

"Mr. Rice is one of the few present-day poets who have the steadiness
and weight for a well-sustained drama."--_The Louisville Post
(Margaret Anderson)._

"It has equal command of imagination, dramatic utterance, picturesque
effectiveness and metrical harmony."--_The London (England) Bookman._

_T. P.'s Weekly_ says: "It might well stand the difficult test of
production and will be welcomed by all who care for serious verse."

_The Glasgow (Scotland) Herald_ says: "Yolanda of Cyprus is finely
constructed; the irregular blank verse admirably adapted for the
exigencies of intense emotion; the characters firmly drawn; and the
climax serves the purpose of good stagecraft and poetic justice."

"It is well constructed and instinct with dramatic power."--_Sydney
Lee._

"It is as readable as a novel."--_The Pittsburg Post._

"Here and there an almost Shakespearean note is struck. In makeup,
arrangement, and poetic intensity it ranks with Stephen Phillips's
work."--_The Book News Monthly._


_Net, $1.25 (postage 10c.)_



COUNTRY LIFE IN AMERICA

THE WORLD'S WORK

THE GARDEN MAGAZINE

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO., GARDEN CITY, N. Y.



DAVID

A Poetic Drama by

CALE YOUNG RICE


"I was greatly impressed with it and derived a sense of personal
encouragement from the evidence of so fine and lofty a product for the
stage."--_Richard Mansfield._

"It is a powerful piece of dramatic portraiture in which Cale Young Rice
has again demonstrated his insight and power. What he did before in
'Charles di Tocca' he has repeated and improved upon.... Not a few
instances of his strength might be cited as of almost Shakespearean
force. Indeed the strictly literary merit of the tragedy is altogether
extraordinary. It is a contribution to the drama full of charm and
power."--_The Chicago Tribune._

"From the standpoint of poetry, dignity of conception, spiritual
elevation and finish and beauty of line, Mr. Rice's 'David' is, perhaps,
superior to his 'Yolanda of Cyprus,' but the two can scarcely be
compared."--_The New York Times (Jessie B. Rittenhouse)._

"Never before has the theme received treatment in a manner so worthy of
it."--_The St. Louis Globe-Democrat._

"It needs but a word, for it has been passed upon and approved by
critics all over the country."--_Book News Monthly._ And again: "But few
recent writers seem to have found the secret of dramatic blank verse;
and of that small number, Mr. Rice is, if not first, at least without
superior."

"With instinctive dramatic and poetic power, Mr. Rice combines a
knowledge of the exigencies of the stage."--_Harper's Weekly._

"It is safe to say that were Mr. Rice an Englishman or a Frenchman, his
reputation as his country's most distinguished poetic dramatist would
have been assured by a more universal sign of recognition."--_The
Baltimore News (writing of all Mr. Rice's plays)._


_Net, $1.25 (postage 12c.)_



CHARLES DI TOCCA

By

CALE YOUNG RICE


"I take off my hat to Mr. Rice. His play is full of poetry, and the
pitch and dignity of the whole are remarkable."--_James Lane Allen._

"It is a dramatic poem one reads with a heightened sense of its fine
quality throughout. It is sincere, strong, finished and noble, and
sustains its distinction of manner to the end.... The character of
Helena is not unworthy of any of the great masters of dramatic
utterance."--_The Chicago Tribune._

"The drama is one of the best of the kind ever written by an American
author. Its whole tone is masterful, and it must be classed as one of
the really literary works of the season." (1903).--_The Milwaukee
Sentinel._

"It shows a remarkable sense of dramatic construction as well as poetic
power and strong characterization."--_James MacArthur, in Harper's
Weekly._

"This play has many elements of perfection. Its plot is developed with
ease and with a large dramatic force; its characters are drawn with
sympathy and decision; and its thoughts rise to a very real beauty. By
reason of it the writer has gained an assured place among playwrights
who seek to give literary as well as dramatic worth to their
plays."--_The Richmond (Va.) News-Leader._

"The action of the play is admirably compact and coherent, and it
contains tragic situations which will afford pleasure not only to the
student, but to the technical reader."--_The Nation._

"It is the most powerful, vital, and truly tragical drama written by an
American for some years. There is genuine pathos, mighty yet never
repellent passion, great sincerity and penetration, and great elevation
and beauty of language."--_The Chicago Post._

"Mr. Rice ranks among America's choicest poets on account of his power
to turn music into words, his virility, and of the fact that he has
something of his own to say."--_The Boston Globe._

"The whole play breathes forth the indefinable spirit of the Italian
renaissance. In poetic style and dramatic treatment it is a work of
art."--_The Baltimore Sun._


_Paper boards. Net, $1.25 (postage, 9c.)_



SONG-SURF

(Being the Lyrics of Plays and Lyrics) by

CALE YOUNG RICE


"Mr. Rice's work betrays wide sympathies with nature and life, and a
welcome originality of sentiment and metrical harmony."--_Sydney Lee._

"In his lyrics Mr. Rice's imagination works most successfully. He is an
optimist--and in these days an optimist is irresistible--and he can
touch delicately things too holy for a rough or violent pathos."--_The
London Star (James Douglas)._

"Mr. Rice's highest gift is essentially lyrical. His lyrics have a charm
and grace of melody distinctively their own."--_The London Bookman._

"Mr. Rice is keenly responsive to the loveliness of the outside world,
and he reveals this beauty in words that sing themselves."--_The Boston
Transcript._

"Mr. Rice's work is everywhere marked by true imaginative power and
elevation of feeling."--_The Scotsman._

"Mr. Rice's work would seem to rank with the best of our American poets
of to-day."--_The Atlanta Constitution._

"Mr. Rice's poems are touched with the magic of the muse. They have
inspiration, grace and true lyric quality."--_The Book News Monthly._

"Mr. Rice's poetry as a whole is both strongly and delicately spiritual.
Many of these lyrics have the true romantic mystery and charm.... To
write thus is no indifferent matter. It indicates not only long work but
long brooding on the beauty and mystery of life."--_The Louisville
Post._

"Mr. Rice is indisputably one of the greatest poets who have
lived in America.... And some of these (earlier) poems are truly
beautiful."--_The Times-Union (Albany, N. Y.)_


_Net, $1.25 (postage 12c.)_





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