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Title: Yolanda of Cyprus
Author: Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Yolanda of Cyprus" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)

Transcriber's Note:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Other detailed notes appear at the end of this e-text.





[Illustration: Publisher Logo]


_Copyright, 1908, by The McClure Company_

Published, March, 1908

                              ACT I


    RENIER LUSIGNAN            _A Descendant of the Lusignan Kings
                                   of Cyprus_

    BERENGERE                  _His Wife_

    AMAURY                     _His Son, Commander of Famagouste
                                   under the Venetians_

    YOLANDA                    _The Ward of Berengere, betrothed
                                   to Amaury_

    CAMARIN                    _A Baron of Paphos, Guest in the
                                   Lusignan Castle_

    VITTIA PISANI              _A Venetian Lady, also a Guest_

    MORO                       _A Priest_

    HASSAN                     _Warden of the Castle_

    HALIL                      _His Son, a Boy_

    TREMITUS                   _A Physician_

    OLYMPIO                    _A Greek Boy, serving Amaury_

    ALESSA                   }
    MAGA                     } _Berengere's Women_
    CIVA                     }
    MAURIA                   }

    SMARDA                     _Slave To Vittia_

    PIETRO                     _In Vittia's pay_

    _Priests, Acolytes, etc._

              TIME--_The Sixteenth Century_
              PLACE--_The Island of Cyprus_


    SCENE: _A dim Hall, of blended Gothic and Saracenic styles,
        in the Lusignan Castle, on the island of Cyprus near
        Famagouste. Around the walls, above faint frescoes
        portraying the deliverance of Jerusalem by the
        Crusaders, runs a frieze inlaid with the coats-of-arms
        of former Lusignan kings. On the left, and back, is a
        door hung with heavy damask, and in the wall opposite,
        another. Farther down on the right a few steps, whose
        railing supports a Greek vase with jasmine, lead
        through a chapel to the sleeping apartments. In the
        rear, on either side, are guled lattice windows, and in
        the centre an open grated door, looking upon a loggia,
        and, across the garden below, over the moonlit sea.
        Seats are placed about, and, forward, a divan with rich
        Turkish coverings. A table with a lighted cross-shaped
        candlestick is by the door, left; and a lectern with a
        book on it, to the front, right. As the curtain rises,
        the Women, except_ CIVA, _lean wearily on the divan,
        and_ HALIL _near is singing dreamily:_

            Ah, the balm, the balm,
            And ah, the blessing
            Of the deep fall of night
            And of confessing.
            Of the sick soul made white
            Of all distressing:
            Made white!...
            Ah, balm of night
            And, ah the blessing!

            [_The music falls and all seem yielding to sleep.
                Suddenly there are hoof-beats and sounds at the
                gates below._ HALIL _springs up._

    _Halil._ Alessa! Maga! Voices at the gates!

            [_All start up._

    Some one is come.

    _Alessa._         Boy, Halil, who?

    _Halil._                            Up, up!
    Perhaps lord Renier--No: I will learn.

            [_He runs to curtains and looks._

    It is Olympio! Olympio!
    From Famagouste and lord Amaury!

    _Mauria._                         Ah!
    And comes he here?

    _Halil._            As he were lord of skies!
    To lady Yolanda, by my lute!

    _Maga._                       Where is she?

    _Alessa._ I do not know; perhaps, her chamber.

    _Mauria._                                       Stay:
    His word may be of the Saracens.

    _Halil_ (_calling_).                   Oho!

            [_He admits_ OLYMPIO, _who enters insolently down.
                All press round him gaily._

    _Mauria._ Well, what, Olympio, from Famagouste?
    What tidings? tell us.

    _Maga._                 See, his sword!

    _Olympio._                               Stand off.

    _Mauria._ The tidings, then, the tidings!

    _Olympio._                                None--for women.

    _Mauria._ So-ho, my Cupid? None of the Saracens?
    Of the squadron huddling yesterday for haven
    At Keryneia?

    _Olympio._  Who has told you?

    _Mauria._                      Who?
    A hundred galleys westing up the wind,
    Scenting the shore, but timorous as hounds.
    A gale--and twenty down!

    _Maga._                  The rest are flown?

    _Olympio._ Ask Zeus, or ask, to-morrow, lord Amaury,
    Or, if he comes, to-night. To lady Yolanda
    I'm sent and not to tattle, silly, here.

            [_He starts off, but is arrested by laughter
                within. It is_ CIVA _who enters, holding up a

    O! Only Civa.

            [_Starts again with_ HALIL.

    _Civa._                           How, Olympio!
    Stay you, and hear!--May never virgin love him!
    Gone as a thistle! (_turns_).

    _Mauria._                     Pouf! (_laughs_).

    _Alessa_ (_to_ CIVA).               Now what have you?

    _Civa._ Verses! found in the garden. Verses! verses!
    On papyrus of Paphos. O, to read!
    But you, Alessa--!

    _Alessa_ (_takes them_).      In the garden?

    _Civa._                                       By
    The fountain cypress, at the marble feet
    Of chaste Diana!

    _Maga._           Where Sir Camarin
    And oft our lady--!

    _Civa._              Maga, will you prattle?
    Read them to us, Alessa, read them, read.
    They are of love!

    _Maga._            No, sorrow.

    _Civa._                         O, as a nun
    You ever sigh for sorrow!--They are of love!
    Of princes bursting through enchanted bounds
    To ladies prisoned in an ogre's keep!
    Then of the bridals!--O, they are of love!

    _Maga._ No, Civa, no!--of sorrow! see, her lips!

            [_She points to_ ALESSA, _who, reading, has paled._

    See, see!

    _Civa._    Alessa!

    _Alessa._           Maga--Civa--Ah!

            [_She rends the parchment._

    _Mauria._ What are you doing?

    _Alessa._                      They were writ to _her_!

    _Mauria._ To her? to whom? what are you saying? Read!
    Read us the verses.

    _Alessa._             No.

    _Mauria._                  Tell then his name
    Who writes them, and to whom.

    _Alessa._                      I will not.

    _Mauria._                                   Then
    It is some guilt you hide!--And touching her
    You dote on--lady Yolanda!

    _Alessa._                    Shame!

    _Mauria._                            Some guilt
    Of one, then, in this castle!--See, her lips
    Betray it is.

    _Maga._       No, Mauria! no! no! (_holds her_) hush!

            [_Forms appear without._

    _Mauria._ O, loose me.

    _Maga._                 There, on the loggia! Hush, see--
    Our lady and Sir Camarin.

    _Alessa_ (_fearful_).       It is....
    They heard us, Maga?

    _Maga._                No, but----

    _Mauria_ (_to_ ALESSA).              So? that mouse?

    _Alessa._ You know not, Mauria, what thing you say.--
    He is troubling her; be still.

            [_Stepping out as_ BERENGERE _enters._

                                    My lady?

    _Berengere_ (_unwillingly_).               Yes.
    It is time, now, for your lamps,
    And for your aves and o'erneeded sleep.
    But first I'd know if yet lord Renier----

            [_Sees_ ALESSA'S _face._

    Why are you pale?

    _Alessa._         I?

    _Berengere._           So--and strange.

    _Alessa._                                 We have
    But put away the distaff and the needle.

            CAMARIN _enters._

    _Berengere._ The distaff and the needle--it may be.
    And yet you do not seem----

    _Alessa._                     My lady--?

    _Berengere._                              Go.
    And send me Hassan.

            [_The women leave._

                         Camarin--you saw?
    They were not as their wont is.

    _Camarin._                        To your eyes,
    My Berengere, that apprehension haunts.
    They were as ever. Then be done with fear!

    _Berengere._ I cannot.

    _Camarin._             To the abyss with it. To-night
    Is ours--Renier tarries at Famagouste--
    Is ours for love and for a long delight!

    _Berengere._ Whose end may be--

    _Camarin._                      Dawn and the dewy lark!
    And passing of all presage from you.

    _Berengere_ (_sits_).                  No:
    For think, Yolanda's look when by the cypress
    We read the verses! And my dream that I
    Should with a cross--inscrutable is sleep!--
    Bring her deep bitterness.

    _Camarin._                   Dreams are a brood
    Born of the night and not of destiny.
    She guesses not our guilt, and Renier
    Clasps to his breast ambition as a bride--
    Ambition for Amaury.

    _Berengere._           None can say.
    He's much with this Venetian, our guest,
    Though Venice gyves us more with tyranny
    Than would the Saracen.

    _Camarin._                But through this lady
    Of the Pisani, powerful in Venice,
    He hopes to lift again his dynasty
    Up from decay; and to restore this island,
    This verdure-dream of the seas, unto his house.
    'Tis clear, my Berengere!

    _Berengere._                Then, _her_ design?
    And, the requital that entices her?


    Evil will come of it, to us some evil,
    Or to Yolanda and Amaury's love.--
    But, there; the women.

    _Camarin._               And too brief their stay.
    What signal for to-night?

    _Berengere._                Be in the garden.
    Over the threshold yonder I will wave
    The candle-sign, when all are passed to sleep.

    _Camarin._ And with the beam I shall mount up to you
    Quicker than ecstasy.

    _Berengere._            I am as a leaf
    Before the wind and raging of your love.

    _Camarin._  But to return unto your breast!

            [_He leaves her by the divan._

            [_The women re-enter with silver lighted lamps;
                behind them are_ HASSAN _and the slave_ SMARDA.
                _They wait for_ BERENGERE, _who has stood
                silent, to speak._

    _Berengere_ (_looking up_). Ah, you are come; I had forgotten.
    And it is time for sleep.--Hassan, the gates:
    Close them.

    _Hassan._    And chain them, lady?

    _Berengere._                        Wait no longer.
    Lord Renier will not come.

    _Hassan._                    No word of him?

    _Berengere._ None, though he yesterday left Nicosie
    With the priest Moro.

    _Hassan._               Lady--

    _Berengere._                    Wait no longer.
    Come, women, with your lamps and light the way.

            [_The women go by the steps._ BERENGERE _follows._

    _Hassan_ (_staring after her_). The reason of this mood in her?
        the reason?
    Something is vile. Lady Yolanda weeps
    In secret; all for what? By God! the Paphian?
    Or she of Venice? (_sees_ SMARDA). Now slave! Scythian!
    Why do you linger?

    _Smarda._            I am bidden--(_snarls_) by
    My mistress.

    _Hassan._    Spa! Thy mistress hath, I think,
    Something of hell in her and has unpacked
    A portion in this castle. Is it so?

    _Smarda._ My lady is of Venice.

    _Hassan._                        Strike her, God.
    Her smirk admits it.

    _Smarda._             Touch me not!

    _Hassan._                            I'll wring
    Your tongue out sudden, if it now has lies.
    What of your lady and lord Renier?

    _Smarda._                            Off!

            RENIER _enters behind, with_ MORO.

    _Hassan._ Your lady and lord Renier, I say!
    What do they purpose?

    _Smarda._               Fool-born! look around.

    _Hassan._ Not till----

    _Smarda._                Lord Renier, help.

    _Hassan._                                    What do you say?

            [_Turns, and stares amazed._

    A fool I am ...

    _Renier._         Where is my wife?

    _Hassan._                            Why, she ...
    This slave stung me to pry.

    _Renier._                     Where is my wife?

    _Hassan._ A moment since she left--the women with her.
    She asked for your return.

    _Renier._                    And wherefore did?

    _Hassan._ You jeer me.

    _Renier._               Answer.

    _Hassan._                        Have you not been gone?

    _Renier._ Not--overfar. Where is Yolanda?--Well?
    No matter; find my chamber till I come.
    Of my arrival, too, no word to any.

            [HASSAN _goes, confused._

    You, Moro, have deferred me; now, I move.
    Whether it is suspicion eats in me,
    Mistrust and fret and doubt--of whom I say not,
    Or whether desire, and unsubduable,
    To see Amaury sceptred--I care not.

            [_To_ SMARDA.

    Slave, to your lady who awaits me, say
    I'm here and now have chosen.

    _Moro._                         Do not!

    _Renier._                                 Chosen.

            [SMARDA _goes._

    None can be great who will not hush his heart
    To hold a sceptre, and Amaury must.
    He is Lusignan and his lineage
    Will drown in him Yolanda's loveliness.

    _Moro._ It will not.

    _Renier._             Then at least I shall uncover
    What this Venetian hints.

    _Moro._                     Sir?

    _Renier._                         I must know.

    _Moro._ 'Tis of your wife?--Yolanda?

    _Renier._                             Name them not.
    They've shut me from their souls.

    _Moro._                             My lord, not so;
    But you repulse them.

    _Renier._               When they pity. No,
    Something has gone from me or never was
    Within my breast. I love not--am unlovable.
    Amaury is not so.
    And this Venetian Vittia Pisani----

    _Moro._ Distrust her!

    _Renier._              She has power.

    _Moro._                                But not truth.
    And yesterday a holy relic scorned.

    _Renier._ She loves Amaury. Wed to her he will
    Be the elected Governor of Cyprus.
    The throne, then, but a step.

    _Moro._                        But all too great.
    And think; Yolanda is to him as heaven:
    He will not yield her.

    _Renier._               Then he must. And she,
    The Venetian, has ways to it--a secret
    To wrench her from his arms.

    _Moro._                        Sir, sir?--of what?

    _Renier._ I know not, of some shame.

    _Moro._                               Shame!

    _Renier._                                    Why do you clutch me?

    _Moro._ I--am a priest--and shame----

    _Renier._                              You show suspicions.

            [VITTIA _enters unnoted._

    Of whom?--Of whom, and what?

    _Vittia_ (_lightly_).         My lord, of women.

            [RENIER _starts and turns._

    So does the Holy Church instil him.

    _Renier._                             You
    Come softly, lady of Venice.

    _Vittia._                     Streets of sea
    In Venice teach us.

    _Renier._             Of what women, then?
    My wife? Yolanda?

    _Vittia._           By the freedom due us,
    What matters it? In Venice our lords know
    That beauty has no master.

    _Renier._                   Has no.... That,
    That too has something hid.

    _Vittia._                    Suspicious lord!
    Yet Berengere Lusignan is his wife!
    And soon Yolanda--But for that I'm here.
    You sent for me.

    _Renier_ (_sullen_). I sent.

    _Vittia._                    To say you've chosen?
    And offer me irrevocable aid
    To win Amaury?

    _Renier._        All is vain in me
    Before the fever for it.

    _Vittia._                 Then, I shall.
    It must be done. My want is unafraid.
    Hourly I am expecting out of Venice
    Letters of power.
    And what to you I pledge is he shall be
    Ruler of Cyprus and these Mediterranean
    Blue seas that rock ever against its coast.
    That do I pledge ... but more.

    _Renier._                       Of rule?... Then what?

    _Vittia_ (_going up to him_). Of shame withheld--dishonor

            [_As he recoils._

    Hush! there are steps.

            [_The slave re-enters._


    _Smarda_ (_quickly_).             My lady!

    _Vittia._                                   Speak.

    _Smarda._ I've erred; she's not asleep.

    _Vittia._                               Who?--Ah! Yolanda?

    _Smarda._ Yes; she is coming!

    _Renier._                     Ha!

    _Vittia._                         My lord----!

    _Renier._                                       I'll stay,
    Stay and confront her.

    _Vittia._               Ignorantly? No.

    _Renier._ I'll question her.

    _Vittia._                     Blindly, and peril all?

    _Renier._ I will return. You put me off, and off.

            [_By the loggia, with_ MORO, _he goes; the slave
                slips out._ YOLANDA _enters, sadly, her gaze on
                the floor. She walks slowly, but becoming
                conscious starts, sees_ VITTIA, _and turns to

    _Vittia._ Your pardon--

    _Yolanda._               I can serve you?

    _Vittia._                                  If you seek
    The women, they are gone.

    _Yolanda._                  I do not seek them.

    _Vittia._ Nor me?

    _Yolanda._         Nor any.--Yet I would I might
    With seeking penetrate the labyrinth
    Of your intent.

    _Vittia._        I thank you. And you shall,
    To-night--if you have love.

    _Yolanda._                   That thread were vain.

    _Vittia._ I say, if you have love.

    _Yolanda._                          Of guile?

    _Vittia._                                      Of her
    You hold as mother, and who is Amaury's.

    _Yolanda._ Were it so simple, all designs that ever
    Laired in you, would to my eyes have been as clear
    As shallows under Morpha's crystal wave.

    _Vittia._ Unproven you speak so.

    _Yolanda._                       And proven would.

    _Vittia._ If so, then--save her.

    _Yolanda._ Who? What do you--? (_stops_).

    _Vittia_ (_with irony_).                  Mean?
    It is not clear?

    _Yolanda._         Save her?

    _Vittia._                    The surety flies
    Out of your cheek and dead upon your heart:
    Yet you are innocent--oh innocent!--
    O'er what abyss she hangs!

    _Yolanda._                   O'er no abyss.

    _Vittia._ But to her lord is constant!

    _Yolanda_ (_desperate_).                 She is constant.

    _Vittia._ And to his bed is true!

    _Yolanda._                        True.

    _Vittia._                               And this baron
    Of Paphos--Camarin--is but her _friend_,
    And deeply yours--as oft you feign to shield her!

    _Yolanda._ He is no more.

    _Vittia._                 Your heart belies your lips,
    Knows better than believing what you say.

    _Yolanda._ Were, were he then ... (_struggles_) lord Renier
        knows it not!
    And never must. I have misled his thought
    From her to me. The danger thus may pass,
    The open shame.
    Sir Camarin departed, her release
    From the remorse and fettering will seem
    Sweet as a vista into fairyland.
    For none e'er will betray her.

    _Vittia._                       None?

    _Yolanda._                             Your tone ...!
    (_Realising._) The still insinuation! You would do it!
    This is the beast then of the labyrinth!
    And this your heart is!

    _Vittia._                No, not ever: no.
    But _now_, if you deny me.

    _Yolanda._                  Speak as a woman,
    If there is womanhood in you to speak.
    The name of Berengere Lusignan must
    Go clean unto the years, fair and unsullied.
    Nor must the bloody leap
    Of death fall on her from lord Renier's sword,
    A death too ready if he but suspect.
    No, she is holy!
    And holy are my lips
    Remembering that they may call her mother!
    All the bright world I breathe because of her,
    Laughter and roses, day-song of the sea,
    Not bitterness and loneliness and blight!
    All the bright world,
    Of voices, dear as waking to the dead--
    Voices of love and tender earthly hopes--
    O, all the beauty I was once forbid!
    For O!--
    She lifted me, a lonely convent weed,
    A cloister thing unvisited of dew,
    Withering and untended and afar
    From the remembered ruin of my home,
    And here has planted me in happiness.
    Then, for her, all I am!

    _Vittia._                  Or--hope to be?

    _Yolanda._ The price, say, of your silence.--I am weary.

    _Vittia._ And would be rid of me.

    _Yolanda._                        The price, the price.

    _Vittia._ It is (_low and ashamed_) that you renounce Amaury's

            [_A pause._

    _Yolanda._ Amaury's love.... You then would rend me there
    Where not Eternity could heal the wound
    Though all the River of God might be for balm!
    Cruelty like to this you could not do?

            [_Waits a moment._

    A swallow on the battlements to-day
    Fell from the hawk: you soothed and set it free.
    This, then, you would not--!

    _Vittia._                     Yes.

    _Yolanda._                          You cannot!

    _Vittia._                                        Yes.

    _Yolanda_ (_wrung for a moment then calm_).
    I had forgotten, you are of Venice--Venice
    Whose burdening is vast upon this land.

    _Vittia._   And you despise me!

    _Yolanda._                      More I loathe
    That love of him has led your thought so low.

            [_Is going._

    _Vittia._ Stay! If you leave and do not choose at once--

            [_Sounds are heard at the gates._

    Who's that?... (_starts_). Amaury?... You've expected him?

            [_The chains fall._

    Your purpose, then! Is it now to renounce
    And force him from you or to have me breathe
    To Renier Lusignan the one word
    That will transmute his wrong to madness?
    Say it! For centuries have stained these walls
    But never a wife; never--

            _Enter_ BERENGERE.

    _Yolanda._        Mother?...

    _Berengere._                    Amaury
    Has spurred to us, Yolanda, from his post,
    And is below. But ... what has befallen?

            [_Looks from one to the other._

    _Yolanda._ He comes here, mother?

    _Berengere._ At once.

    _Yolanda_ (_in dread_). Ah!

    _Berengere._                 Child?...

    _Vittia_ (_to_ YOLANDA).                To-night
    Must be the end.

    _Yolanda._        Go, go.

    _Berengere_ (_as_ VITTIA _passes out_). What thing is this?

    _Yolanda._ Mother, I cannot have him--here--Amaury!
    Defer him but a little--till to-morrow.
    I cannot see him now.

    _Berengere._           This is o'erstrange.

    _Yolanda._ Help me to think. Go to him, go, and say
    Some woman thing--that I am ill--that I
    Am at confession--penance--that--Ah, say
    But anything!

    _Berengere._  Yolanda!

    _Yolanda._              Say.... No use.
    Too late.

    _Berengere._ His step?

    _Yolanda._              Oh, unmistakable;
    Along the corridor. Go!

            [_The curtains are thrown back._

    _Amaury_ (_at the threshold_).    My Yolanda!

            [_Hastens down and takes her, passive, in his
                arms._ BERENGERE _goes._

    My, my Yolanda!...

            [_Kisses her._

    To touch you is as triumph to the blood,
    Is as the boon of battle to the strong!

    _Yolanda._ Amaury, no; release me and say why
    You come: The Saracens--?

    _Amaury._                   Not of them now!

            [_Bends back her head._

    But of some tribute incense to this beauty,
    Dear as the wind wafts from undying shrines
    Of mystery and myrrh!
    I'd have the eloquence of quickened moons
    Pouring upon the midnight magicly,
    To say all I have yearned,
    Now, with your head pillowed upon my breast!
    Slow sullen speech, come to my soldier lips,
    Rough with command, and impotent of softness!
    Come to my lips! or fill so full my eyes
    That the unutterable shall seem as sweet
    To my Yolanda. But ... how, how now? tears?

            [_Lifts her face._

    _Yolanda._ Amaury----

    _Amaury._ What have I done? Too pronely pressed
    You to this coat of steel?

    _Yolanda._                   No, no.

    _Amaury._                            My words,
    Or silence, then?

    _Yolanda._          Amaury, no, but sweet,
    Sweet as the roses of Damascus crusht,
    Your silence is! and sweeter than the dream
    Of April nightingale on Troados,
    Or gushing by the springs of Chitria,
    Your every word of love! Yet--yet--ah, fold me,
    Within your arms oblivion and hold me,
    Fast to your being press me, and there bless me
    With breathèd power of your manhood's might.

    _Amaury._    This I cannot understand.

    _Yolanda_ (_freeing herself_). Nothing--a folly--groundless

    _Amaury._ You've been again at some old tale of sorrow,

            [_Goes to the lectern._

    Pining along the pages of a book--
    This, telling of that Italy madonna
    Whose days were sad--I have forgotten how.
    Is it not so?

    _Yolanda._      No, no. The tears of women
    Come as the air and sighing of the night,
    We know not whence or why.

    _Amaury._                   Often, perhaps.
    I am not skilled to tell. But never these!
    They are of trouble known.

    _Yolanda._                  Yet now forget them.

    _Amaury._ It will not leave my heart that somehow--how
    I cannot fathom--Camarin----

    _Yolanda_ (_lightly, to stop him_). No farther!

    _Amaury._ That Camarin of Paphos is their cause.--
    Tell me----

    _Yolanda._    Yes, that I love thee!

    _Amaury._                            Tell me----

    _Yolanda._                                        Love thee!
    As sea the sky! and as the sky the wind!
    And as the wind the forest! As the forest--
    What does the forest love, Amaury? I
    Can think of nothing!

    _Amaury._              Tell me then you have
    Never a moment of you yielded to him,
    That never he has touched too long this hand--
    Till evermore he must, even as I--
    Nor once into your eyes too deep has gazed!
    You falter? darken?

    _Yolanda._            Would he ne'er had come
    Into these halls! that it were beautiful,
    Holy to hate him as the Lost can hate.

    _Amaury._ But 'tis not?

    _Yolanda._               God shall judge him.

    _Amaury._                                     And not you?

    _Yolanda._ Though he is weak, there is within him--

    _Amaury._                                             That
    Which women trust? and you?

            [BERENGERE _enters. He turns to her._


    _Berengere._                          A runner,
    A soldier of your troop within the forts
    Has come with word.

    _Amaury_ (_starting_). Mother!

    _Berengere._                    It is ill news?
    I've seen that battle-light in you before.
    'Tis of the Saracens? you ride to-night
    Into their peril?

    _Amaury._           Come, the word, the word!

    _Berengere._ Only this token.

    _Amaury._                     The spur? the spur? (_Takes it._)
        They then
    Are landing!

    _Yolanda._     How, Amaury; tell your meaning!

    _Amaury._ The galleys of the Saracens have found
    Anchor and land to-night near Keryneia.
    My troops are ready and await me--
    So I must speed.

    _Yolanda_ (_with strange terror_). I pray you, do not go.

    _Amaury._ Yolanda!

    _Yolanda._         If I am left alone--!

    _Amaury._                                 Yolanda!

    _Yolanda_ (_sinking to a seat_). I meant it not--a breath of
    And go.

    _Amaury._ I know you not to-night. Farewell.

            [_He kisses her and hurries off.... A silence._

    _Berengere._ Yolanda----

    _Yolanda._               Mother, I will go to sleep.

            [_She rises._

    _Berengere._ A change has come to you--a difference
    Drawn as a veil between us.

    _Yolanda._                    I am weary.

    _Berengere._ You love me?

    _Yolanda._                As, O mother, I love him,
    With love impregnable to every ill,
    As Paradise is.

    _Berengere._      Then--

    _Yolanda._               I pray, no more.
    To-night I am flooded with a deeper tide
    Than yet has flowed into my life--and through it
    Sounds premonition: so I must have calm.

            [_She embraces_ BERENGERE; _goes slowly up steps and off._

    _Berengere_ (_chilled_). What fear--if it is fear--has so
        unfixed her?
    Is it suspicion? Then I must not meet
    Him here to-night--or if to-night, no more.
    Her premonition!--and my dream that I
    Should with a cross bring her deep bitterness.

            [_Thinks a moment, then takes the crucifix from her neck._

    Had Renier but come, perhaps I might ...

            [_Lays it on table._

    O were I dead this sinning would awake me!...
    And yet I care not (_dully_).... No, I will forget.

            [_Goes firmly from door to door and looks out each.
                Then lifts, unnoting, the cross-shaped
                candlestick; and waving it at the loggia, turns
                holding it before her._

    Soon he will come up from the cool, and touch
    Away my weakness with mad tenderness.
    Soon he will ... Ah!

            [_Has seen with terror the candlestick's structure._

    The cross!... My dream!... Yolanda!

            [_Lets it fall._

    Mercy of God, move in me!... Sacrilege!

            [_Sinks feebly to the divan, and bows, overcome._

    _Camarin_ (_appearing after a pause on the loggia_).
    My Berengere, a moment, and I come!

            [_Enters, locking the grating behind him. Then he
                hurries down and leans to lift her face._

    _Berengere._ No, no! nor ever, ever again, for ever!


    Go from me and behind leave no farewell....

    _Camarin._ This is--illusion. In the dew I've waited,
    And the night's song of you is in my brain--
    A song that seems----

    _Berengere._            Withhold from words. At last
    Fate is begun! See, with the cross it was
    I waved you hither. Leave me--let me pass
    Out of this sin--and to repentance--after.

    _Camarin._ I cannot, cannot!

    _Berengere._                 Pity, then, my fear.
    This moment were it known would end with murder,
    Or did it not, dishonour still would kill!
    Leave, leave.

    _Camarin._     To-morrow, then; but not to-night!

            [_He goes behind and puts his arms around her._

    Give me thy being once again, thy beauty.
    For it I'm mad as bacchanals for wine.

            [YOLANDA, _entering on the balcony, hears, and
                would retreat, but sees_ RENIER _come to the

    Once more be to me all that woman may!
    Let us again take rapture wings and rise
    Up to our world of love, guilt would unsphere.
    Let us live over days that passed as streams
    Limpid by lotus-banks unto the sea,
    O'er all the whispered nights that we have clasped
    Knowing the heights and all the deeps of passion!
    But speak, and we shall be amid the stars.

            [RENIER _draws a dagger and leaves the grating.
                With a low cry_ YOLANDA _staggers down: the Two
                rise, fearful._

    _Berengere._ Yolanda!

    _Yolanda._            Mother, mother!... Ah, his eyes!

    _Berengere._ What brings you here--to spy upon me?

    _Yolanda._                                         Listen!...
    Think not of me--no, hush--but of the peril
    Arisen up ... Your husband!

    _Camarin._                    Renier?

    _Yolanda._ Was at that grating--heard. And from its sheath
    Drew forth a dagger!--Ah!

    _Berengere_ (_weakly_).    What does she say?

    _Yolanda._ Find calmness now, and some expedient.

            [_She struggles to think._

    _Berengere._ I cannot die.

    _Yolanda._                 No, no.

    _Berengere._                       My flesh is weak,
    Is poor of courage--poverished by guilt,
    As all my soul is! But, Yolanda, you--!

    _Yolanda._ Yes, something must be done--something be done.

            [CAMARIN _goes to the curtains and returns._

    _Berengere._ The shame ... the shame ... the shame!

    _Yolanda._                                          There yet is

    _Berengere._ You can deliver! you are innocent.

    _Yolanda._ Perhaps. Let me but think.--He came----

    _Berengere._                                        You see?
    There is escape? a way from it?

    _Yolanda._                        Perhaps.
    He came after your words ... yes ... could not see
    Here in the dimness ... but has only _heard_
    Sir Camarin ...

    _Berengere._      I do not know!

    _Yolanda._                       Go, in ...
    Up to your chamber and be as asleep.
    There is a way--I think--dim, but a way.
    Go to your chamber; for there yet may be

    _Berengere._ I--yes, yes.

    _Yolanda._                There is a way.

            [BERENGERE _goes._

    Strength now to walk it! strength unfaltering.

    _Camarin._ What do you purpose?

    _Yolanda._                      Here to take her place,
    Here at the lowest of her destiny.

    _Camarin._ I do not understand.

    _Yolanda._                      But wholly shall.
    Clasp me within your arms; he must believe
    'Tis I and not his wife you have unhallowed,
    Your arms about me, though they burn! and breathe me
    Thirst of unbounded love as unto her.

            [_He clasps her, and they wait._

    Ah, it is he!

    _Camarin._      No.

    _Yolanda._          Yes, the words; at once!

    _Camarin_ (_hoarsely_). With all my body and soul-breath I
        love you,

            [RENIER _enters with_ MORO.

    And all this night is ours for ecstasy.
    Kiss me with quenchless kisses, and embrace
    Me with your beauty, till----

            [YOLANDA _with a cry, as of fear, looses herself,
                pretending to discover_ RENIER, _who is struck

    _Moro._                         My lord, my lord!...
    It is Yolanda.

    _Renier._        Then--

            [_The dagger falls from him._

                              Why, then--Amaury!

            [YOLANDA_, realising, stunned, sinks back to the divan._


                              ACT II

                    SEVERAL DAYS HAVE ELAPSED

    SCENE: _The forecourt of the castle, beyond which is the
        garden and in the distance the mountains, under the
        deep tropical blue of morning. On the right the wall
        enclosing the castle grounds runs back and is lost in
        the foliage of cypress, palm, orange; it is pierced by
        an arched gate with lifted portcullis. On the left
        rises the dark front of the castle, its arabesqued
        doorway open. Across the rear a low arcaded screen of
        masonry, with an entrance to the right, separates the
        court from the garden. Before it a fountain, guarded by
        a statue of a Knight of St. John, falls into a porphyry
        basin. By the castle door, to the front, and elsewhere,
        are stone seats._ HASSAN _is standing moodily by the
        screen, left, looking out the portcullis. He starts,
        hearing steps, and as the old leach_ TREMITUS _enters,
        motions him silently into the castle; then muttering
        "the old blood-letter," stands as before, while_ CIVA,
        MAGA, _and_ MAURIA _are heard in the garden, and enter
        gaily bearing water-jars to the fountain._ CIVA _sees
        his look and breaks into a twitting laughter. The other
        two join her._

    _Civa._ Look at him! Maga! Mauria! behold!
    Was ever sight so sweet upon the world?
    Is he not very Joy?

    _Mauria_ (_critically_). Now, is he not?
    With the price of vinegar upon his face.

            [_All laugh._

    The price of vinegar! who'll buy!--Not I!
    Not I! Not I! Not I!

    _Hassan._             Wench.

    _Civa._                       Verily!
    And not a man! he has discovered it!
    You're not a man, Mauria! we were duped.

            [MAURIA _slaps her playfully._

    But see him now--a mummy of the Nile!
    Who died of choler!

    _Mauria._            Then, a care, he'll bite.
    He's been in the grave a long while and he's hungry.
    A barley-loaf, quick, Maga!

    _Civa._                       To appease him!
    But s-sh! beware! there's something of import.

            [_They stop in mock awe before him._

    What does he think of?

    _Mauria._                Sphinxes and the spheres.

    _Civa._ Or little ants and gnats that buzz about him.

    _Mauria._ And how to make them smart for sauciness.

    _Civa._ Or of Alessa!

    _Maga._               No, no, Civa! come;
    Enough of teasing.

    _Civa._             Of Alessa!

    _Maga._                         No.
    Your pitcher, come. He's troubled by the tale
    Of lady Yolanda----
    And waits for lord Amaury from the battle.

    _Civa._ The--! heigh! heigh-o! awaits! la, la! he does!

            [HASSAN _starts at her tone._

    For lord Amaury! does he so indeed?

    _Hassan._ What do you know? Be silent.

    _Civa._                                Ho!

    _Hassan._                                  Itch! would
    You have lady Yolanda hear? She comes
    Now, as she has this morning thrice, to ask.

            [YOLANDA _appears on the threshold with_ ALESSA.

    Lord Renier ... remember, if she learns!

            [CIVA _flouts him, but goes to the fountain. The
                others follow, fill their jars, and, singing,
                return to the garden._ YOLANDA _then crosses
                to_ HASSAN, _who waits evasive._

    _Yolanda._ My want is still the same--words are unneeded.

    _Hassan._ To know of lord Amaury?

    _Yolanda._                        Lord Amaury--
    He has not yet returned?

    _Hassan_ (_loathly_).     I have not seen him.

    _Yolanda._ Nor heard?

    _Hassan._              Nothing.

    _Yolanda._                      I cannot understand.

            [_Goes to the gate, troubled._

    _Hassan_ (_low_). Liar that I am to say it!

    _Yolanda._                                  I cannot--cannot!


    The Saracens we know were routed to
    Their vessels--all the Allah-crying horde.
    And lord Amaury--said the courier not?----
    Rode in the battle as a seraph might
    To the Holy Sepulchre's deliverance.
    And yet no word from him.

    _Hassan._                   Perhaps--with reason.

            [_She looks at him quickly--he flushes._

    With reason! ... knowing, lady, what, here, now,
    Is rumoured of a baron
    And lady Yolanda!... Pardon!

    _Yolanda_ (_slowly_).         Of a baron
    And lady Yolanda.

    _Hassan._          Yes: it is the women
    Who with their ears ever at secrecy
    Rumour it. But, lady, it is a lie?
    This Camarin, this prinker,
    Whose purse is daily loose to us.... I curse him!
    His father ... Well, my mother's ten years dead,
    Stained, as you know--
    And flower-lips breathe innocent above her.
    But I'll avenge her doom.

    _Yolanda._                 On--whom?

    _Hassan_ (_points castlewards_).       On him!
    So you, who do not hush this tale of you,
    Though it is truthless--hear:
    I have a stab for Camarin of Paphos
    Whenever he has lived--but say!--too long.

    _Yolanda_ (_who has listened rigidly. After a pause_).
    Come here ... look in my eyes, and--deeper.... Shame!

            [_Quells him._

    Pity alone we owe to sin not blame.
    And they who love may stray, it seems, beyond
    All justice of our judging.--
    Is evil mad enchantment come upon
    The portals of this castle?

    _Hassan._                    I would serve you.

    _Yolanda._ With murder? no. But if you would indeed,
    As oft you have----

    _Hassan._            Lady, I will.

    _Yolanda._                          Then watch
    The Venetian, and when Amaury comes
    Find me at once. What sound was that?... A bugle?
    It is! it is! Alessa! (_Overjoyed._) Do you hear?
    His troop! Amaury's! O the silver chime!
    Again I breathe, I breathe!
    My heart as a bird of May!
    Amaury!... Come! we'll go to him! we'll go!
    Before any within Lusignan--!

    _Alessa._                      Lady!

    _Yolanda._ At once! it rings again! again! we'll go!

    _Alessa._ And tell him?

    _Yolanda._               Warn! Warn him a fever's here
    That he must fend his ear from. 'Twill suffice.
    And I again shall see him, hear him speak,
    Hang on his battle-story blessedly!
    And you, Hassan.... But why do you stand stone?
    You know something.... He's dead!

    _Hassan._                          No, lady, no.

    _Yolanda._ Not? ah! ... then what? 'Twas not his trumpet?

    _Hassan_ (_after a struggle_).                             No.
    And I will lie to you no longer;
    Though for obedience it be or life;
    And at lord Renier's command.... It is
    Not true that lord Amaury from the battle
    Has not returned.

    _Yolanda._         But he--you mean--is here?

            [_Stands motionless._

    _Hassan._ He came ... on yesterday ... at dusk. Was led
    Up to his chamber ...
    So much lord Renier who slipt him in
    Revealed, that I might guile you.

    _Alessa_ (_sharply_).              And you have?

    _Hassan._ Yes.

    _Alessa._      Though you boasted love to me?

    _Hassan._                                      Now, woman!

    _Alessa._ Lady, I would have wed him--wed this toad!


    Who'd kill the Paphian, too!

    _Hassan._                     Yes!

    _Alessa._                           Worm! with dust?
    Heeling away from him?

    _Yolanda._               Be still, be still.

            [ALESSA _turns to her._

    These words can wait on what may yet be helped.
    This may undo me! First of all I should
    Have seen Amaury! Now----!

    _Hassan._                    The Venetian!

            [_They start._ VITTIA _enters from the castle._

    Lady, I will go in.

    _Alessa._            And I; to wait.

            [_They go._

    _Yolanda_ (_suddenly_). But I to see Amaury.

    _Vittia._                                    What? (_stops_).

    _Yolanda._                                          To see,
    Vittia Visani, who withholds Amaury--
    Who came last night at dusk, as well you know.

            [_They face, opposed._

    What have you told him?

    _Vittia._                 Ha!

    _Yolanda._                    Insolence, false
    And feigning! But no matter; lies are brief.
    I'll go myself to him.

    _Vittia._                To be repelled?

            BERENGERE _enters._

    _Yolanda._ If he could trust you--but he could not.

    _Vittia._                                           Knowing
    A Paphian ere this has fondled two?

    _Yolanda._ You hear, mother? (_To_ VITTIA). Out of my way at once.

    _Berengere._ Stay, stay! She has not told him! nothing!... Yes,
    I too have been aware and kept you blind.
    For he was overworn, and still is, much.
    But now his wound----

    _Yolanda._             Wound! he is wounded?

    _Berengere._                                  He sleeps.

    _Yolanda._ And is in danger--jeopardy?

    _Berengere._                           In none;
    If the leech Tremitus has any skill;
    And that you know.

    _Yolanda._          I thank ... Madonna ... thee!

            [VITTIA _laughs and goes._

    But you, mother, are come at last to say
    Your promises, broken two days, are kept?
    You've spoken? won lord Renier to wisdom?
    Pled him to silence which alone can save us?
    Dear mother----?

    _Berengere._      Do not call me so again.

            [_Turns away._

    I have not--and I will not.

    _Yolanda._                    Oh!

    _Berengere._                      I cannot....

    _Yolanda._ But can leave me so laden here within
    This gulf's dishonour? Never!... So return
    And pledge him but to wait!
    For this Venetian has now, I bode,
    Something of evil more,
    When once Amaury hears all that has passed.

    _Berengere._ I cannot.

    _Yolanda_ (_stung_).    Then hear, hear me! I
    Too am a woman, and the woman wants,
    The beauty and ache and dream and glow and urge
    Of an unreckoned love are mine as yours.
    I will not lose Amaury; but will tell him
    Myself the truth.

    _Berengere._       Then--I'll not stay for death,
    And wait for shame. But now with Camarin
    Will go from here.

    _Yolanda._          Mother!

    _Berengere._                 To some retreat

    _Yolanda._ Where still pursuit would follow! even,
    I fear, Amaury's?--
    And overtake you though it were as far
    As the sea foams, or past the sandy void
    Of stricken Africa? It would be vain.
    Vain, and I cannot have you. No, but listen----

            [_Breaks off seeing_ RENIER, _on the castle
                threshold. His look is on her, but he comes
                down addressing_ BERENGERE.

    _Renier._ She troubles you too much.

    _Berengere._                         My lord?

    _Renier._                                     Too much.
    You cherish her and reap unchastity
    For gratitude--unchastity against
    Our very son who was betrothed to her.
    Yet see her shameless.

    _Berengere_ (_dully_). No; I think you wrong her.

            [YOLANDA _moves apart._

    _Renier._ Nobly you pity! But it will not veil her.
    Rather the convent and the crucifix,
    Matin and Vesper in a round remote,
    And senseless beads, for such.--But what more now
    Is she demanding?

    _Berengere._        Little.

    _Renier._                   Not the means
    Still to deceive Amaury?

    _Berengere._               Renier ... no.

            [_Speaks loathly._

    But I have a request that, if you grant,
    Will lead peace back to us ... and from us draw
    This fang of fate.

    _Renier._            Ah.

    _Berengere._             Yes.

    _Renier_ (_slowly_).           And we might be
    As those that wedded love?

    _Berengere._                Perhaps.

    _Renier._                             That--love!

            [_A pause._

    Then it shall be, at once.... But no, I first
    Have a confession.

    _Berengere._        You?

    _Renier._                 A pang!--For days

            [_Takes her hand._

    Before I found Yolanda on the breast
    Of Camarin of Paphos----
    I suffered in the furnace of suspicion
    The fume and suffocation of the thought
    That you were the guilty one--you my own wife.

            [_She recoils to_ YOLANDA, _who comes up._

    I did; but rue, rue it!...
                               ... Yet--it is just
    That you recoil even as now you do
    From stain upon your wedded constancy....
    And time that is e'er-pitiful must pass
    Over it--
    Before there is forgiveness. And perhaps
    Then I shall win you as I never have.--
    Now the request.

    _Berengere._      That now ... I cannot plead.

            [_Sees_ YOLANDA _harden. Is impelled._

    And yet I must.... It is that, till I bid,
    Amaury may not know of this ... not know
    This trouble fallen from a night of evil----
    Pitiless on us as a meteor's ash.

    _Renier._ Not of it? he? not know?

    _Berengere._                       Trust to me.

    _Renier._                                       How!
    And to this wanton's perfidy to bind
    Him witless to her--with a charm perhaps--
    Or, past releasing, with a philtre? She
    Whom now he holds pure as a spirit sped
    From immortality, or the fair fields
    Of the sun, to be his bride?

    _Yolanda._                   Sir, no!... She means
    Not I shall wed him! (_Winningly._) Only that you spare
    To separate us with this horror; that
    You trust me to dispel his love, to pall
    And chill his passion from me. For I crave
    Only one thing--innocence in his sight.

    _Renier._           I will--that you are mad.
    Yet madder I, if to this murk my brain
    Were blind.

    _Yolanda._   As it will be! in deadlier dark,
    If you attend me not!
    And may have destiny you cannot know.
    But you will heed?
    For somewhere in you there is tenderness.
    Once when you chafed in fever and I bore
    White orange blossoms dewy to your pillow
    You touched my hand gently, as might a father.

            [_Caresses his._

    Once on the tower when alone at dusk
    I sang--I know not why--of lost delights,
    Of vanished roses that are e'er recalling
    May to the world, you came and suddenly
    Lifted my brow up silent to your kiss.
    Ah, you remember; you will hear me?

    _Renier._                            No!
    Though you are cunning.--Thus you wove the mesh
    About Amaury--till he could not move
    Beyond you.

    _Yolanda._   For his sake I ask it.

    _Renier._                            For
    No sake but to o'ersway him with your eyes
    In secret, thus, and with
    Your hair that he believes an aureole
    Brought with you out of Heaven.

    _Berengere._                     Again--wrong.

    _Renier._ So deem you and, my Berengere, I grieve,
    Desiring much your peace.

    _Berengere._               It grieves you not.

    _Renier._ Then not! and half I fear--you hear?--it should not.
    There's midnight in this thing and mystery.
    Does she not love--Camarin?

    _Yolanda_ (_trembling_).     Say no more.
    Be all--all as you will.

    _Renier._                That brings you low:
    But brings to me no light--only again
    The stumbling in suspicion.

    _Yolanda._                   It should not.

    _Renier_ (_with a sudden gleam_).
    To-morrow then, unless Amaury runs
    Fitting revenge through Camarin of Paphos,
    Your lover, you shall clasp him openly
    Before all of Lusignan.

    _Yolanda._               No; no, no!
    The thought of it is soil!... Rather ... his death!

    _Renier._ What, what?

    _Berengere._ My lord, she knows not what she says.
    The unaccustomed wind of these ill hours
    Has torn tranquillity from her and reason.

    _Yolanda_ (_realising_). Yes, as she says--tranquillity and reason.

            [_Strains to smile._

    These hours of ill!

    _Renier._            I'll send her Camarin.

            [_Goes, looking steadfastly back._

    _Yolanda_ (_turning, then, to_ BERENGERE).
    His mood and mien--that tremor in his throat,
    Unfaltering. I fear him.

    _Berengere._              Life is fear.
    No step was ever taken in the world
    But from a brink of danger, or in flight
    From happiness whose air is ever sin.
    It sickens me.

    _Yolanda._      Mother!

    _Berengere._             Nothing; a pain
    Here in my breast.


    _Yolanda._          And it is all through him
    Who as a guest came pledged into this house.
    Came with the chivalry and manly show
    Of reverence and grace, that he too well
    Has learnt in cunning lands and used to lure.

            [CAMARIN _appears from garden._

    Ah, and he seeks us now! unwhelmed of it!
    Ready of step, impassive, cold! And see--

            [CAMARIN _bows forcedly._

    A flawless courtesy! as of a king!
    Can he not smile too on his handiwork?
    Our days were merciful and he has made
    Each moment's beat a blow upon the breast.
    Honour was here and innocence lies now
    A sacrifice that pain cannot consume.--

    _Camarin._ Or death.

    _Yolanda._           Then have you not, unshameable!
    A help for it or healing? you who know
    So well the world and its unwonted ways!
    A man would have, a man.

    _Camarin._                And I am barren.
    My brain an arid waste under remorse.
    Only one thing it yields--the love of her
    My love has made unholy.

    _Yolanda._                While to me
    The shame is left, and silence--no defence,
    When it is told Amaury, "See her you
    Blest with betrothal and the boon of faith,
    Chose as the planet-mate of your proud star!
    While, in the battle,
    You with the weal of Cyprus on your brow
    Dared momently peril,
    We found her".... Ah, the memory is fire!----
    I will not bear it.

    _Camarin._           Then how? what?... You must.
    Though for your suffering I am pitiful,
    You must!

            [_Takes her wrist._

    For to one thing, one only now I'm bent----
    That Berengere be saved.

    _Berengere._               To-day ... no more.

    _Camarin._ Suspicion and the peril-feet of shame
    I must keep from her still.

    _Yolanda._                   Though driven o'er
    My heart they trample the lone flower of hope.

            [_Shaking off his hand, then, unnaturally wrought up._

    And even now perhaps Amaury hears
    And turns away in horror!

    _Camarin._                 What? Come, come.
    Enough is here without----

    _Yolanda_ (_as before_).   I'll go to him!
    Despite of them! in to his side and say
    That I am innocent--as the first dawn
    And dew of Eden!... Yes!

    _Camarin._                 A frenzy! Mere
    Folly! you wander!

    _Yolanda_ (_suddenly_). That was anguish? whose?

            [_Is hauntedly listening._

    _Camarin._ Amaury still is many leagues away--

            [HASSAN _appears._

    At Keryneia! Do you hear me?

    _Yolanda._                     Hassan!

            [_Is numb as he hurries down from the castle to
                her. A pause; then her voice falls hoarsely._

    I hear you, speak. His wounds I know. The rest!
    They've told him?

    _Hassan._          The Venetian, who nursed him
    Last night, pouring his potions--
    She and lord Renier. They broke his sleep.
    He listened to them as one in a grave.
    Then they besought of him
    Some oath against you, were they right: he would not.
    Now he has risen,
    Silent and pale and suffering; in leash.
    He's coming here.

    _Camarin._         Why, you are mad!

    _Yolanda._                            Be still.

    _Camarin._ Amaury was not then delayed? is--here?

            [_Voices are heard perturbed within the castle.
                Then_ AMAURY, _putting aside_ RENIER _and_
                TREMITUS, _followed by_ VITTIA _and others,
                enters down._

    _Amaury._ I'll not return unto my couch though twice
    These wounds and all your wants were urging it!
    Yolanda! my Yolanda!--Never, never!

            [_Takes her to him._

    Until I prove you that a word against
    Her that I hold here in my arms is more
    To me than any peril.

    _Tremitus._            But, sir--!... Aeih!
    My precious physic wasted!

    _Amaury._                   Till I prove it!
    For ... my Yolanda!...
    You who are purity if Mary still
    Is mother of God and lighteth Paradise!
    You in whose presence I am purged as one
    Bathing a thousand years in angel song!
    They say, you, who are stainless to my eyes
    As is the sacring-bell to holy ears,
    So undefiled even the perfect lily
    Pendent upon your breast fears to pollute it!
    Listen, they tell me you--A fool, a fool
    Would know it unbelievable and laugh.

    _Renier._ As now a fool is doing?

    _Amaury._                         O, sir, pardon.
    You are my father, and, I must believe,
    Mean well this monster breath's unchastity,
    As does this lady (_of_ VITTIA) who has gently nursed me.
    But you were tricked; it was illusion swum
    Before your sleep. Therefore my purpose is
    Now to forget it.

    _Tremitus._        Aieh! and to return
    Now to my drugs.

    _Renier._         Stand off!--As dogs forget
    The lash in hunger of the wonted bone?

            [_Laughs angrily._

    _Amaury._ A poison so incredible and dark
    You cannot duped inoculate me with.
    Trust in my veins makes of it but more love.
    And to dispel your minds (_goes to_ CAMARIN) I'll clasp his hand
    Whom you have so accused.

    _Vittia._                  O do, my lord!

            [_Smiles disdainfully._

    And then embrace him in whose arms three nights
    Ago she was embraced.

    _Yolanda_ (_to her_). Can you so say!

    _Vittia._ Yes, and will add----

    _Amaury._                       Lady of Venice, nothing!
    But this to all, I answer!--
    There is my mother, see,
    Wounded with wonder of this plight, and pity.
    Yolanda has dwelt by her
    As the fawn
    By the white doe on mount Chionodes.
    I would as quick believe that she had given
    Her holiness up to contamination
    As that Yolanda----

    _Yolanda._          Amaury, enough!... I know!

    _Amaury._ As quickly!

    _Yolanda._            Then ... quell this delirium!

            [_A pause._

    Out of your thought forever let it fall,
    Hear no more of it, ever!
    Be deaf to it as to a taunt of doom,
    In triple mail to every peaceless word,
    Granite against even its memory.
    Say that you will, and now!...

    _Renier._                      So that you may
    Allure him yet to wed you?

    _Amaury._                   Sir!

    _Renier._                        She would.

    _Yolanda._ No, no! But let him.... Then I will go far
    Away from here to any alien air,
    To opiate India, a lost sea-isle!
    To the last peak of arid Caucasus.

    _Renier._ With Camarin of Paphos?

    _Yolanda._                        With whoever
    Your peace and this compelling pain.... Ah no!

    _Renier._ With him, with him, I say?...

    _Amaury._                               You drive and drain her.
    To me her words shall be--me and no other.
    So my Yolanda now dissolve the cling
    Of this invisible but heavy hydra;
    I've striven with it till no more I can.
    If any tare has been unseemly sown
    Upon the April vision of our love,
    Say it at once that I may rend and fling it
    Away from us. Say it!

    _Renier._              Vainly implored.--
    Yet ask her this, If she three nights ago----

    _Amaury._ I will not so insult her.

    _Tremitus._                         Aieh----

    _Renier._                                    Insult?
    She knows what I would bid and does she hurl
    Her soul in any disavowal?

    _Amaury._                   I
    Will speak to her alone. Go, all of you,
    There to the fountain.

    _Yolanda._              Yes, Amaury, then
    One searching of my face shall free your fear.
    Alone, alone.

    _Renier._      Still to befool him!

    _Yolanda_ (_warningly_).             Choose!
    I cannot suffer more of this.

    _Amaury._                      Nor I
    To breathe ever the burning of this mist
    Of anguish and insatiate accusal.--
    This wound upon my throat, fever it not
    With longer fire of doubt, Yolanda.

    _Yolanda._                           Ah!

    _Berengere._ I am not well. I will go to my chamber.

            [_She passes into the castle._

    _Renier._ But I never until this guiler grants
    I found her in the arms of Camarin,
    Drinking the frenzied wine of passion
    He poured from his soul.

    _Amaury._                Yolanda?

    _Renier._                          She is silent;
    Dumb to deny it.

    _Amaury._         But she will, she will.
    You've driven her with dread and awe.

    _Vittia_ (_lightly_).                  And truth?

    _Amaury._ Have wounded her. But do not fear, Yolanda;
    Fiercely disown.

    _Yolanda._        Amaury ... it is true.

            [_He staggers slowly back._

    No, no; I have not been faithless to you--
    Even a moment
    To the divinity of love high-altared
    Here in my breast! to the immutable
    Beauty of it! ... look, look not on me so--
    As if I had struck, murdered a little child!
    Or palsied one who put a hand to help me;
    Or through eternity had desecrated,
    Vainly, virginity and trust and truth!
    No, my Amaury! I ... do you not see?


    Not faithless, hear! it is not true! not true!
    But only this----

    _Camarin._         Yolanda!

    _Yolanda._                   I----

    _Camarin._                         Yolanda!

            [_A moment, then she sinks down, her face in her
                hands._ AMAURY _groans; then starting goes
                fiercely to_ HASSAN, _and taking his sword
                recrosses trembling to_ CAMARIN.

    _Amaury._ The day you first set step in Lusignan
    An image of the Magdalen within
    The chapel yonder fell--presaging this.
    Only your death, your death or mine stands pale
    Between us now, awaiting silently.
    Draw, and at once.

    _Camarin._          Amaury, I will not.

    _Amaury._ Out, quickly.

    _Camarin._  Do your will. I'll put no more
    To the guilt I bear, or to the misery
    That guilt has brought upon you.

    _Amaury._                         Coward!

    _Camarin._                                 Strike!

    _Amaury._ You play a part! (_Raves._) And 'tis that you may live
    Still in the love that you a thief have stolen.
    So, with your steel----!

    _Camarin._                It stays within its sheath.

    _Amaury._ Then I will not be thwarted though I must
    Crush you as one a viper with his heel,
    Though I must take your leper throat into
    My hands and strangle life from it!
    For the same sky you breathe I will not.
    The sun that falls upon you shall not foul
    My being--
    Though I must go down into hell for it.

            [_He starts, frenzied, to strike, but suddenly
                staggers; then clasps at his throat, drops the
                sword, and sinks down moaning._

    _Yolanda._ His wound!

    _Tremitus._           Aeih, aeih! at last.

    _Yolanda._                                 Amaury! Oh!

            [_Runs to him. He struggles to his feet._

    Amaury! Amaury!

    _Amaury._        Stand away from me.

            [_She falls back; he laughs in derision._

    I to believe her pure as my own mother!

    _Vittia._ Had you but trusted me, Amaury.

    _Amaury._                                 You?

            [_Looks long at her._

    Henceforth I will.

    _Vittia._           And wholly?

    _Amaury_ (_significantly_).      She ... shall do it.

            [_Starts into the castle._

    _Yolanda_ (_dauntedly_). Amaury! what is this?

    _Vittia._                                      That, ere a dawn,
    Guileless Yolanda, you shall wed with him
    Your paramour of Paphos----

    _Yolanda._                   Camarin?

    _Vittia._ And from these gates be led wanton away.

            [YOLANDA, _for a moment whelmed, tries to laugh
                scorn; but, turning, her eye meets_ RENIER'S
                _full of suspicion. He follows_ AMAURY
                _meaningly into the castle._


                              ACT III

                            THE SAME DAY

    SCENE: _The Hall and loggia of Act I; but toward sunset,
        and afar, on the flushed sea, are seen the fisher-boats
        returning pale-winged to shore. In the left distance,
        also, a portion of Famagouste is visible above the
        waves--its orient walls and towers, white domes and
        houses, interspersed with tall palms. The interior of
        the Hall is the same; only the divan is placed to the
        front and left, the lectern near the balcony leading to
        the sleeping apartments and to the chapel._ SMARDA _is
        lying lithely on the divan, beguiled with her charms
        and amulets, and from time to time giving a low,
        sinuous laugh._ VITTIA _enters, watches a moment,
        thoughtful, then advances._

    _Vittia._ Smarda----

    _Smarda_ (_springing up_). Lady ... your slave!

    _Vittia._                                       I think you are.
    Think that you are--if ever the leopard yields.

    _Smarda._ To you, lady? A-ha! let him refuse.

    _Vittia._  And you will heed it well; I fear not.
    But first I have thought of requital.

    _Smarda_ (_avidly_).                   Ouie!

    _Vittia._ Those amulets you wear, of jade and sard--

    _Smarda_ (_quickly dark_). Are for revenge--to bring revenge!

    _Vittia._                                                   And from
    Your Scythian home, over the hated sea,
    They came with you.

    _Smarda._            Yes.

    _Vittia._                 From the home whence you
    Were torn by the Moor who was your one-time master.
    Is it not so?

    _Smarda._      The spirits strangle him!

            [_Works at the charms._

    _Vittia._ Well, if I win to-night what is begun
    You shall not want, to-morrow,
    Gold for a weightier witchery upon him.

            [_The slave's eyes gleam._

    But listen, every sinew will be needed
    Still to achieve this wedding, though we have
    Camarin with us, willing. So I've learned
    A ship has come from Venice.

    _Smarda_ (_quickly_).         Pietro?

    _Vittia._ Yes, Pietro, it must be, has arrived
    With papers that will help.

    _Smarda._                    Ha! Fortune's touch!

    _Vittia._ It is, but tardy. Therefore I must have
    Them instantly.

    _Smarda._        Ere he has time, lady,
    To vaunt his loves, in Lusignan, and babble.

    _Vittia._ As, wooing dolt, he will. But see to it.
    I shall be in this place with lord Amaury,
    Whom I must ... but no matter.
    He left me suddenly a season since
    Seeing his father look strangely upon
    His mother; for lord Renier's doubt I still
    Have been compelled to feed--to move Yolanda.
    Here in this place then I shall be, at need.

            [_She goes engrossedly._

    _Smarda_ (_recalling the pledge; evilly_). A-ha! ha-ha! ha-ha!
        if she but win!
    A talisman with might upon the Moor!

            [_Begins to dance--a charm held up before her._

    If she but win! a-ha! a curse on him!

            [_Whirls faster with a wild grace, swaying to and
                fro, and chanting softly the while, till
                suddenly a laugh in the corridor stops her, and_
                PIETRO _is heard through the curtains adoring_
                CIVA, _who pushes him into the Hall, then runs
                away laughing._

    _Pietro_ (_after her_). Hold, fair one! Stay! You look on Pietro
    Of Venice! Pietro!

    _Smarda_ (_to herself_). A-ha ... ha-ha!

    _Pietro_ (_turning_). It is the slave! (_Grandly._) I greet you,

    _Smarda._    Greeting!

    _Pietro._ I, Pietro, who, as you know, am sought
    By all the loveliest
    Attending on the lords and high of Venice.

    _Smarda._ So!... So!

    _Pietro._            "The gentle Pietro," they say.
    You may remember.

    _Smarda._          So.

    _Pietro._               "Proud Pietro!"
    And then they sigh.

    _Smarda._            So.

    _Pietro._                 Then they weep and pine--
    "For Pietro"--until I must console them.

    _Smarda_ (_going to where he poses; contemptuously_).
    And for all this, O prince of paramours,

            [_Spurns him._

    My lady no doubt has bid you to sail from Venice?

    _Pietro._ Eh?

    _Smarda._     Eh! And she will hear no doubt with love
    That you delay the powers of the Senate
    Sent in your keeping to her?

    _Pietro._                    Slave! ... (_alarmed_) the papers?

    _Smarda._ With love and with delight? since she awaits them?
    With joy? When told your amorous mouthings yonder?

    _Pietro._ Slave, she must never! You will take them to her!

            [_Fumbles for papers._

    In to her ... quickly!...
    Dear slave, you will--and say if she inquire
    That I was led astray
    By the little Cyprian with guiling eyes
    Who fell enamoured of me at the gate.

    _Smarda._ Civa!

    _Pietro._       The same! I sought to run away,

            [_Still searching._

    O slave, say to her, but I could not for--
    For--for a lady by the marble knight,
    That is, by the fountain, swooned, as I came in.
    And then--

    _Smarda._    Swooned!

    _Pietro._             As I came!

    _Smarda_ (_a-quiver_).            Beside the fount?
    Who? which? lady Yolanda? lady Berengere?

            [_He stares at her ardour._

    Did no one say?... My mistress must know this!
    The papers, quickly!

    _Pietro._              Slave, you----! By my sins!

            [_She has seized them swiftly, and gone. He follows
                amazed. Then sunset begins without, crimson and
                far; and_ AMAURY _appears from the loggia,
                reckless and worn. He pauses, looks about him,

    _Amaury._ Not here yet.... There is more in this than seems.

            [_Goes to divan and sits._ VITTIA _enters behind._

    More, Camarin of Paphos, than is clear!

            [_Starts up._

    And she must tell me! (_Sees_ VITTIA.) Lady, you I mean.

            [VITTIA _advances inquiringly._

    What is beyond this shame upon Yolanda?

    _Vittia._ My lord----?

    _Amaury._              What! It is moving in me clouded,
    Deeper than sight but pressing at my peace.
    My father's look! you saw it!

    _Vittia._                      Ah!

    _Amaury._                           And saw
    Fear in my mother!

    _Vittia._           Yes, implanted deep.

    _Amaury._ And did not wonder?

    _Vittia_ (_sits_).             When I knew its source?
    No need, my lord--though your pang too I marked--
    For, trust me, ere to-morrow all will cease--
    If you are firm.

    _Amaury._         I? who know nought? In what?

    _Vittia._ That do not ask, I pray. (_Deftly._) Another could
    Fitly reply, but I----

    _Amaury._               No other better!

    _Vittia._ Then ... it will cease, my lord--
    So as a flail of doubt it should not still
    Beat in you--when Yolanda
    Is wed with Camarin ... no, do not speak;
    The reason for your sake I must withhold.

    _Amaury._ Though as under sirocco I am kept.


    Sirocco!... It is unintelligible!

            [_Rises. A pause._

    Yet you speak gently.

    _Vittia._              No; unblushingly!

            [_He looks surprised._

    Unblushingly to one who knows--though by
    A chance--my love to him--my lowered love.

            [_Turns away._

    And yet I cannot rue
    That he awaking sudden from the potion
    Surprised yearning and truth upon my lips.
    No, and I would that gentle words might be
    As waters of enchantment on his grief.--
    But of Yolanda--


    _Amaury._         Still I love her, still!

    _Vittia_ (_strainedly_). As well she knows, so may refuse to wed
    With Camarin.

    _Amaury._      She?

    _Vittia._            Since you are Lusignan,
    Heir of a sceptred line,
    And yet may reach--the realm.

    _Amaury_ (_pierced_).          Which ... do you mean,
    She hopes of?

    _Vittia._      Were it folly to make sure?

            [_A pause._

    _Amaury._ How? speak.

    _Vittia._             Again unshameful? No; one thing
    Alone would serve you. That I must not bring
    My tongue to falter.

    _Amaury._             Be it so.

    _Vittia._                        And yet ...

            [_He has turned away._

    Yet I must bend to! and, my lord, I will!
    Will ... for you suffer!
    Will, though indelicacy seem to soil
    Whatever bloom I boasted.

            [_Goes to him._

                              It is this:
    To let her ... but for to-day ...
    Think you ... for she's aware of my affection ...
    Have chosen--to wed me.

    _Amaury._                You!

    _Vittia._                      For to-day.
    To-morrow I return to Venice, then

    _Amaury_ (_moved_). Lady--?

    _Vittia._                   I will bear it.

    _Amaury._                                   ... Thus?


    Then it shall be. And grateful I'll await
    The issue's utterance. And stay, wear this--

            [_Takes off a ring._

    From her dead father's hand--
    As a proof to her of any tie soever.
    But now--for the sails make home along the sea--
    Now of my mother.

    _Vittia._          More, my lord?

            [SMARDA _glides in._

    _Amaury._                          This only.
    To-morrow when again she ... Scythian!

            [_The slave is gleaming strangely._

    _Vittia._ Smarda! what do you mean? why are you here?

            [_Sees papers; takes them._

    These--but not these alone have brought you! What?

            [Follows SMARDA'S eye.

    Of lord Amaury?

    _Smarda._        Of his mother.

    _Vittia._                        How!

    _Smarda._ She swooned of terror at the castle gate.
    She lies in danger. Hear--'twas as she fled
    The lord of Lusignan.

    _Amaury._              My father?

    _Smarda._                          He.
    And you are sought below, I heard it said:
    Some officer of Famagouste---and men.

            [AMAURY _turns dazed and goes._

    _Vittia_ (_through a surge of thoughts that have darkened her face_).
    This is again fortune! ... fortune!

    _Smarda._                            Lady?

    _Vittia._ Is! though an instant since it seemed disaster.

    _Smarda._ And how?

    _Vittia._          Yolanda, does not know? nothing?

    _Smarda._ Nothing. She was returning from the rocks,
    Where nest the windy gulls,


    As I came hither, I stole there at noon
    To see her suffer.

    _Vittia._            Then--I can compel her.
    She will come here. Go to the curtains, see.
    If she is near, the Paphian is in
    The bower by the cypress: there, tell him,
    _The loggia--at once_.... Ah!

            YOLANDA _enters._

    _Yolanda_ (_to herself_).       "Ah" indeed.

            [_Her look of purpose changes to one of distrust.
                But she firmly fronts to_ VITTIA, _as the slave
                slips out._

    _Vittia._ My gratitude! I wished, and you are here.

    _Yolanda._ And--for some reason of less honour--you.

    _Vittia._ I, a dear guest? fa!

    _Yolanda._                     Would you were! ... not one
    This ne'er-before-envenomed air would banish.


    One whose abiding
    These walls would loathe aloud--had they a tongue
    To utter.

    _Vittia._   Yet I may be mistress of them.
    Ere all is done--since still it is my purpose.

    _Yolanda._ Gulfs wide as the hate of God for infamy
    Would lie preventing; so there is no fear.


    _Vittia._ A prophesy!

    _Yolanda._            A deeper than disdain.

    _Vittia._ Or than your love of Camarin of Paphos!

    _Yolanda._ Which you would feign, but cannot.

    _Vittia._                                     Still, before
    Evening is done, you will become his wife.

    _Yolanda._ If, ere it come, all under Lusignan
    Do not look scorn on Vittia Pisani.


    _Vittia._ What! how?

    _Yolanda._           Plentiful scorn! (_With joy._) A thing may still
    Be done to lift my hope out of this ruin!
    To bring Amaury grateful to my feet!
    And I will do it.

    _Vittia._           Tell? ... vowing him first
    To win his father's lenience?... No ... I see!
    You will when she who's guilty
    And this enamoured Paphian are fled!

            [YOLANDA _turns pale._

    When they are fled! ha.... And it is too late.

    _Yolanda._ Too--? (_stunned_). You by a trick--some trick have--!

    _Vittia._                                       Hindered? Little
    I needed.... Her wings are flightless. She is ill,
    Verging--go learn!--to death.

    _Yolanda._                     Oh ...!

    _Vittia._                              To the grave.
    And you alone, she knows, can put it far--
    Since she is numbed and drained
    Momently by the terror of her husband,
    Whose every pulse seems to her a suspicion.

    _Yolanda._ And it is you ... you who have urged again
    His doubt that would have sunk!

    _Vittia._                        It was enough
    Merely to sigh--and fear her innocence
    Can only seem simple as dew again
    If you wed freely Camarin of Paphos.

    _Yolanda._ And that you could! though in her heart remorse
    Trampled and tore!
    Though with the wounds of battle he you "love"
    Is livid still.

    _Vittia._        And grieves?--Be comforted!
    For _he_ is--now security has come.

            [_Shows the ring;_ YOLANDA _falls back._

    As _he_ is, do not fear.

    _Yolanda._               Amaury!... Oh!
    My father's gift--so desecrated? So?--
    Ah, you are merciless!

    _Vittia._               Only aware
    How to compel your pity to my ends;
    For you will spare his mother.

    _Yolanda._                      Yielding--still,
    And past all season of recovery?
    Shattering love for ever at my feet?
    No, you are duped. For empty, cold are the veins
    Now of submission in me; numb and dead
    The pleading of it. And upon you, back,
    I cast the burden of your cruelty.


    And--if she dies in terror of the lips
    Of Renier Lusignan--on your peace
    The guilt be!

    _Vittia._      Fa.

    _Yolanda._         The heaping mass of horror!

    _Vittia_ (_moved_). Liar, on her own; for she has sinned.

    _Yolanda._  And suffered!
    But you----

    _Vittia._                 I say her own. I've done no crime.
    And you will wed him.

    _Yolanda._             Or, ... Venetian--
    Wed you to Remorse!
    For there at the gates that guard your rest you hear
    Dim now the risen phantom cries of it,
    The presage beat of them like hungry hands
    That will o'erwhelm you!
    All that I could to spare her I have done;
    All that was duty and of love the most.
    But you it was who struck and kindled first
    Within lord Renier fire of suspicion.
    And you it is--
    Since in the worst that live there yet is heaven!--
    Must null his doubt and ease the sobbing ebb
    And flood of her sick spirit; you who must
    Go to his fear and with persuasion say
    That it is folly of him and of you
    So to suspect her, since in Camarin's
    Arms I was found. You will!

    _Vittia._                    And--then go pray?

            [_Draws out the papers scornfully._

    Rather I'll bring you this:--Authority
    Sent me of Venice
    To make Amaury lordly over Cyprus,
    Or to abase him even of Famagouste;
    Which I will do--

            [_Goes to her._

    Unless I have the pledge that you will wed,
    Though not to be his wife and free to leave him,
    This Paphian,
    And with him from Lusignan hence will pass.

            [CAMARIN _appears on loggia._

    And he has come now for your answer.

    _Yolanda._                            Here!
    In league with you! in this!

    _Vittia._                     Most loyally;
    And ready skilfully to disavow,
    With every force, your innocence--if you
    Attempt betrayal!--
    Enter, my lord of Paphos--I have spoken.

            [CAMARIN _enters desperately._

    But she has pledged no further--though the life
    Of Berengere Lusignan fall for it,
    And though Amaury.... But you may avail.

            [_Moves off._ YOLANDA _stands silently between
                them._ CAMARIN _looks at her, falters, then
                turns on_ VITTIA.

    _Camarin._ As an anchorite covets, Venetian,
    Immortal calm, I crave and covet this!
    Yet ... I will not entreat it of her more.

    _Vittia._ What!

    _Camarin._ Fate may fall. I swore in dread, but will not!

    _Yolanda_ (_low_). Madonna!

    _Vittia._                   You refuse?

    _Yolanda._                              He does.

    _Vittia._                                        The whole?

    _Yolanda._ Lady of Venice, yes; for very shame!

            [_With deep joy._

    Bitterly tho' it be, he must, for shame!
    For though he would waste the air of the world to keep
    The breath still in the veins
    Of her his love so wronged,
    He cannot ask me more than breast can bear--
    Knowing I have already borne for her
    Infection worse than fetid marshes send
    From Mesaoria--
    Have lost the sky of love that I had arched
    And all the stars of it. See, he is dumb!--
    He cannot.

    _Camarin_ (_coldly_). No; but to your heart I leave her
    And to your pity.

    _Yolanda._         Say not pity to me!

            [_The word overwhelms her anew._

    Am I not needy, fain of it, and can
    Endurance ever dure!
    What have I left ...
    Of joy to ripple in me or of light
    To sway me to forgetting--I to whom
    Dawn was enchanted incense once, and day,
    The least of earth, an ides of heaven bliss.
    What to me left! to me!
    Who shepherded each happy flock of waves
    Running with silvery foaming there to shore,
    Who numbered the little leaves with laughing names
    Out of my love,
    And quickened the winds with quicker winds of hope,
    That now are spent ... as summer waters,
    Leaving my breast a torrent's barren bed.
    Pity and pity! ever pity! No.

            [_Enter_ HASSAN.

    A nun to pity I will be no more.
    But you, cruel Venetian.... Ah, ah,
    Mother of God! is there no gentleness
    In thee to move her and dissolve away
    This jeopardy congealing over us?

            [_A pause._

    _Vittia._ You see, none.

    _Yolanda._               Ah, for sceptre and for might
    Then to compel you.

    _Vittia._            Still, there is none.

    _Yolanda._                                  None ...

            [_Sinks to a seat in despair._

    Yet could I think!

    _Hassan._            Lady Yolanda--


    _Yolanda._                          Were
    My brain less weary!

    _Hassan._              Lady Yolanda--

    _Yolanda._                            Well?

    _Hassan._ There is a means--a might.

    _Yolanda._                           Well?

            [_Is half heedless._

    _Hassan._                                  To compel her.

    _Yolanda._ To ... what?

    _Hassan._               If you will dare it.

    _Yolanda._                                   Will--?


    _Hassan._                                             I swear.

    _Yolanda._ Your thought! I have no fear.

    _Hassan._                                Then ... let me but
    Seize her and shut her fast an hour within
    The leprous keep, and she shall write whate'er
    You order; then upon a vessel quick
    Be sent to Venice whence she came.

    _Camarin._                           Mad! mad!
    Venice would rise!

    _Hassan._           And Cyprus, to be free!--
    But 'tis not, lady! and lord Renier
    Shall have a letter of her guile and flight.
    Venture it, venture!

    _Yolanda_ (_after a long pause_). If it can be done,
    It shall be.

    _Hassan._     Ah!

    _Yolanda._         And must be.

    _Vittia._                       Fools, to me!

            [_She stands defensive, as_ HASSAN _prepares to close in._

    _Yolanda._ Quickly, and take her.

    _Hassan._                         Now.

    _Camarin_ (_with sudden horror_).       No!... Sateless God!

            [_His eyes are fixed on the balcony. All look,
                appalled. For slowly down the steps comes_
                RENIER _following_ BERENGERE, _whose eyes turn
                back in fluttering trance upon him._

    _Yolanda._ Ah! ... he will kill her! Stop, my lord! mother!
    Lord Renier!

           [_Runs; takes_ BERENGERE _in her arms._

                 Cold is she, stony pale,
    And sinking!... Go away from her, go, go!

    _Renier._ No ... she shall tell me.

    _Yolanda._                          Mother!... Tell you that
    You are her murderer?

    _Renier._              The truth!

    _Yolanda._                         The truth!

            [_Laughs bitterly, and at a loss, as if amazed.
                Then, almost against her will--_

    It is suspicion! is that mad suspicion
    That you have had of her.

    _Renier._                  It is! It is!

    _Yolanda._ And--all because I have these days delayed
    To wed with Camarin.

    _Renier._             Delayed?

    _Yolanda._                      Because
    I show befitting shame that I was here
    Found in his arms ... when to Amaury
    I was betrothed!

    _Renier._         Power of--!--No!

    _Yolanda._                          Because
    I grieve to leave Lusignan, this my home--
    Where I have dwelt as under tented love--
    Though I am bidden.

    _Renier._            This can be?

    _Berengere_ (_faintly_).           Yolanda!

    _Renier._ I say--only delayed? and you--?

    _Yolanda._                                Yes, yes.
    Now I will wed him, heedless, wantless, wild.
    Send for the priest and for Amaury, for
    Laughter and lights and revelry--for all
    Within this castle. But first to her bed,
    And to tranquillity,
    She must be borne, she your cold violence
    Has driven here.... Alessa--Tremitus!

            [_They have entered._

    Lead her within. O mother! piteous mother!----
    Ah, it was ruthless, kindless!

    _Renier._                       We shall see.

            [_To_ HASSAN.

    Bid Moro and Amaury.--As for her,
    I soon may come and seek forgiveness.

    _Berengere._                           No!

            [HASSAN _goes._

    My brain and breath! ... the pall ... where am I ... how
    Long must I lie!...

    _Tremitus._          She speaks to visions. So,
    So can the blood do--trick us utterly!

            [_He supports her--with_ ALESSA--_slowly up steps
                and off._ YOLANDA _covers her eyes._ HASSAN
                _returns with_ MORO, _then, and with_ AMAURY,
                _whose look seeks_ VITTIA.

    _Yolanda_ (_as all stand silent_). Speak, speak, and tell him!

    _Renier._                             Yes, Amaury ... you
    Are sent for to behold Yolanda wed,
    As you commanded,
    Here unto Camarin. Shame has till now
    Withheld her, but ... what ails you?

    _Amaury._                             On; go on.
    The sudden blood up to my wounds.

    _Renier._                          It has,
    I say, withheld her. But she now has chosen.

    _Amaury._ So; and ... it is well. And here are her
    Vows I have kept--

            [_Takes a packet from his breast._

    Vows and remembrances ... I shall aspire--

            [_Hands it; she lets it fall._

    That I may loathe her not o'ermuch; and to
    Muffle my sword from him that now she weds.

            [_His voice breaks tonelessly._

    Come, let it be.

    _Yolanda._        Amaury!

    _Amaury_ (_angrily_).       Priest, be brief!

    MORO (_before them; as_ CAMARIN _takes_ YOLANDA'S _hand_).
    The Church invests me, and the powers of
    This island, here to make you man and wife.
    Be joined, ye who have sinned,
    In soul, peace and repentances for ever.

            [_He signs the cross._ YOLANDA _stands dazed. A
                silence. Then a shuddering cry and all turn
                toward the balcony, where_ ALESSA _bursts, pale
                and wild and striving to speak._

    _Yolanda_ (_with dread, awe, premonition_). Alessa!

    _Alessa._             Lady Yolanda! you have wed him?

    _Yolanda_ (_pausing_). Yes.

    _Alessa._                   Lady Berengere is dead.

    _Yolanda._                                          No!... No!

            [_Chokes rebelliously._

    It cannot be! mother! cannot! awake her!
    And tell her I have wed him! mother! cannot!

            [_Goes trembling, belieflessly, up the balcony. A
                strange doubt seizes_ AMAURY. _On the rest is
                silence, consternation, and fear._


                              ACT IV

    SCENE: _The Chapel of the Castle--or Chapel of the
        Magdalen--a few hours later. It is of stone,
        low-arched, gloomy, and adorned with Byzantine mosaics
        of gaunt saints on backgrounds of gold. The altar is in
        the rear, and above it a large window, through which
        pours the still moon. In front of it, to either side,
        rise two pillars supporting the roof, and on one of
        them, halfway up, stands a stone image of the Magdalen.
        Forward are two other pillars whose bases form seats.
        The right wall has, set midway, a large door hung with
        heavy curtains. In the rear are smaller doors leading
        to a sacristy. The altar lamp and a few tapers burn._
        ALESSA _enters, rubbing her eyes as if to clear them of
        vision, looks around, then calls uncertainly--_

    _Alessa._ Good father! Father Moro! ... He is not here.

            [_Rubs her eyes again._

    The dead are strange! I knew not of their power.
    It is as if her spirit still imprisoned
    Hovered beneath the pallor of her face
    And strove to speak. Good father!

            [_Enter_ MORO.

                                      Ah, you were
    There in the sacristy.

    _Moro._                 Yes, Your desire?

    _Alessa._ The acolytes summoned from Famagouste
    To aid your rites before her burial
    Have come, and wait.

    _Moro._               Send hither two.

            [_Looks closely at her._

    _Alessa._                               At once.

            [_Is going. He stops her._

    _Moro._ Woman, this passes silence. There must be
    Some question. Do you understand this wedding?
    The evil that has risen in this house?
    Do you?

    _Alessa._ I may not speak.

    _Moro._                    And wherefore may not?

    _Alessa._ I may not. It is best.

    _Moro._                          As says Yolanda,
    Who is to-day impenetrable in all.
    But who, now, in a lofty grief above
    The misery that blasted her, seems calm,
    And answers only,--
    "God in His season will,
    I trust, unfold it soon; I cannot, now!" ...
    And yet I heard
    Her darkly bid the Paphian be gone----
    From here--without her.

    _Alessa._                And he would not?

    _Moro._                                     No.
    Does she not see Amaury dangerous
    For truth--which you conceal?

    _Alessa._                      The acolytes
    Are waiting.

    _Moro._       Go.... But if this hour brings forth
    What you shall rue----

    _Alessa._               Father!

            [_Goes quickly, troubled._

    _Moro._                          In blindness still!
    For Vittia Pisani, who alone
    Seems with these twain to share this mystery
    Is silent to all importunity.
    Oh, Berengere Lusignan!--
                              But, 'tis mine
    To pray and to prepare. (_Listens._) The acolytes.

            [_Two enter, sleek, sanctimonious._

    (_To Them._) Come here.... You're Serlio,
    Of the Ascension. You?

    _2nd Acolyte._          Hilarion.
    From Santa Maria by the Templars' well,
    Which God looks on with gratitude, father.
    For though we're poor and are unworthy servants
    We've given willingly our widow's mite.
    And now we ...

    _Moro._         You are summoned to this place
    For ministrations other than the tongue's.
    Prepare that altar--masses for the dead.

    _Hilarion._ Man is as grass that withers!

    _Moro._                                   Kindle all
    Its tapers. The departed will be borne
    Hither for holy care and sacred rest.
    So do--then after
    Look to that image of the Magdalen,
    Once it has fallen.

    _Serlio._            Domine, dirige!

            [MORO _goes. They put off cant and set to work._

    _Hilarion_ (_insolently, lighting a taper_).
    We'll have good wine for this!

    _Serlio._                     The Chian! Hee!
    None's like the Chian! and to-morrow, meat!
    Last week old Ugo died and we had pheasant.

    _Hilarion._ When we are priests we'll give no comforting
    To wife or maid--till we have sipped!

    _Serlio._                              And supped!
    Though 'tis a Friday and the Pope is dead!

            [_Silence. They work faster._

    _Hilarion._ There, it is done. Now to the image.

            [_Mounts pillar._

    _Serlio._                                        Well,
    Olympio, the cock who fetched us, said
    That image fell first on the day----

    _Hilarion._                           Tchuck! tchuck!
    Better no breath about that lord of Paphos,
    Or any here. For till the dead are three
    Days gone, you know--! But there's the woman. Feign.

            [_As_ ALESSA _re-enters; hypocritically._

    The blessed dead! in Purgatory may
    They briefly bide.

    _Serlio._           Aye! aye!

    _Alessa_ (_still troubled_).   What say you?

    _Hilarion._                                   Ah!
    I lay that it is wiser never to foul
    The dead, even in thinking,
    For they may hear us, none can say, and once
    My mother saw a dead man who had gone
    Unshriven start up white and cry out loud
    When he was curst.

    _Serlio._           O Lord!

    _Alessa_ (_staring_).       No!... Well, such things
    There are perchance. And now they say that Venus,
    The Anadyomene, who once ruled this isle,
    Is come again.... But you have finished? Soon
    They bring her body here.

    _Hilarion._                  Now have I, now!
    It will not totter again.


    _Alessa._                 Would that it might
    Upon the head of----(_catches herself; calmly_) You are awaited
    There in the sacristy.... The chant begins!

            [_The acolytes go. She grows more disquieted._

    Begins! and lady Yolanda still awaits
    Heedless, though Lord Amaury's desperate,
    As is the Paphian!... They near!... The curtains!

            [_Goes to door and draws them back. As she does so
                the chant swells louder. Then the cortège
                enters_--MORO, _the acolytes with tapers;_
                BERENGERE _on a litter_, AMAURY, RENIER,
                VITTIA, _the women_, HASSAN, _and last_
                YOLANDA. _The litter_, AMAURY _by it, comes to
                the altar; the chanting ceases._

    _Moro_ (_as_ AMAURY _bows, shaken_).
    No moan or any toil of grief be here
    Where we have brought her for sainted appeal.
    But in this holy place until the tomb
    Let her find rest.

    _Amaury._           Set down the bier.

            [_It is placed._

    _Moro._                                 Lone rest!
    Then bliss Afar for ever!

    _Amaury_ (_rises_).        Be it so!

            [_Turning; brokenly._

    But unto any, mother, who have brought thee
    Low to this couch, be never ease again.
    To any who have put thy life out, never!
    But in them be the burning that has seemed
    To shrivel thee--whether with pain or fear!
    And be appeaseless tears,
    Salt tears that rust the fountain of the heart.

            [_Sinks to a seat. A pause._

    _Moro._ My son, relentless words.

    _Amaury_ (_up again_).             To the relentless!

    _Moro._ God hear you not!

    _Amaury._                 Then is He not my God.

    _Moro._ Enough, enough. (_To the rest._) But go and for her soul
    Freight all of you this tide of night with prayer.

    _Amaury._ Never!

    _Moro._          I bid.

    _Amaury._               And I forbid those who
    Have prized her not!
    For though nought's in the world but prayer may move,
    Still but the lips that loved her
    Should for her any sin beseeching lift.

            [_Looking at_ YOLANDA.

    They and no other!

    _Yolanda._          It is well.

    _Amaury._                        Not one.

    _Yolanda._ Then, mother----

            [_Goes to bier._

    _Amaury._                   That name again?

    _Yolanda._                                    While I have breath.


    Yes, though you hold me purgeless of that sin
    Only the pale archangels may endure
    Trembling to muse on!
    Or though yon image of the Magdalen,
    Whose alabaster broke amid her tears
    And her torn hair, forbade me with a voice.
    And you, whose heart is shaken
    As in a tomb a taper's flame, would know
    I speak with love.

    _Camarin._          Unswerving love.

    _Amaury._                             Then, by
    Christ, and the world that craves His blood, I think
    She, if she would, or you, could point to me,
    Or you, Vittia Pisani,
    The reason of this sudden piteous death
    Hard on the haunted flight before my father,
    Whose lips refuse.

    _Camarin._          She knows no shred of it.

    _Amaury._ You lie to say it.

    _Camarin._                   Then will, still--if there
    Is need.

    _Amaury._ Because you love her?

    _Yolanda._                       Peace, peace, peace.

    _Amaury._ A hollow word for what had never being.

    _Yolanda._ Look on her face and see.

    _Amaury_ (_at bier_).                 Upon her face!
    Where not oblivion the void of death
    Has hid away, or can, the agony
    Of her last terror--but it trembles still.
    I tell you, no. Grief was enough, but now
    Through it has risen mystery that chokes
    As a miasma from Iscariot's tomb.
    And till this pall of doubt be rent away
    No earth shall fall and quicken with her dust!
    But I will search her face ... till it reveals.

    _Camarin._ He raves.

    _Amaury._            Iscariot! yes!

    _Yolanda._                          Again, peace, peace!

    _Amaury._ That you may palter!

    _Yolanda_ (_gently_).           That she may not grieve.

            [_Goes again to bier._

    For--if her soul is near--it now is wrung.
    Near! would it were to hear me and impart
    Its yearning and regret to us who live,
    Its dim unhappiness and hollow want.
    Yes, mother, were you now about us, vain,
    Invisible and without any voice
    To tell us of you!
    Were you and now could hear through what of cold
    Or silence wrap you, oh, so humanly,
    And seeming but a veil--
    Then would you hear me say--

            [_Suddenly aghast._

                                 Ah, God!

    _Amaury._                              Yolanda!

            [_She starts back from the bier._


    _Renier._ Girl, what rends you?

    _Yolanda._                       Saw you not?

            [_Rushes to bier and shakes it._

    Mother! you hear me? mother!

    _Renier._                     Girl!

    _Yolanda._                           She breathes!

            [_Consternation. Some fall to their knees._

    _Vittia._ What? what?

    _Yolanda._             Mother! Her breast! Mother! She moves!

    _Amaury._ God! God!

    _Yolanda._          Stand off from her ... Mother!

    _Camarin._                                         Her eyes!...
    They open! open!

    _Yolanda._        Mother!...

    _Amaury._                     See; her lips!
    They strive to speak! O faintly. O so faint!
    Can you not hear?

    _Berengere._       Yolanda!

    _Yolanda._                   Mother!

    _Berengere._                         Renier!

    _Renier._ Yes, yes?

    _Berengere._        Yolanda--

    _Renier._                     Speak!

    _Berengere._                         Christ, save me ... Christ!
    Yolanda's innocent, and I ... 'twas I.

    _Amaury._ What? what is it she says?

    _Berengere._                         Camarin! Ah!

            [_She shudders and dies, amid low uttered awe._
                RENIER _bends, lays his hand a moment on her
                breast, then, with a cry of rage, springs from
                her and draws, and rushes on_ CAMARIN, _who
                awaits him, desperate._

    _Amaury_ (_confused, as they engage_).
        Yolanda; what is this?

    _Yolanda._                  Amaury, in!
    Compel lord Renier back! he cannot live,
    You only could against Camarin now!
    Wait not to question, but obey me! if--
    You ever--! (_as he rushes in_) Holy Magdalen, defend him!

            [RENIER _falls back._

    Now, now defend him, if to chastity
    Thou'rt vowed in heaven.

    _Vittia._                Fool!... Camarin, strike!

    _Yolanda._ He's wounded!

    _Camarin._               Oh!... Berengere! ... treachery!

            [_He staggers and sinks back heavily toward the
                pillar. There is breathless, strained suspense.
                Then the image above, unsettled and shaken by
                his fall, sways, totters and crushes upon him.
                A cry, "The Magdalen!" goes up around._

    _Hassan_ (_hurrying to him; after awe and silence_).
    He's dead.

    _Alessa._    The Magdalen!

    _Hassan._                  No breath in him.

            [_A pause._

    _Renier_ (_low, harshly_).
    Bear him without then ever from this place,
    That never more shall know a holy rite--
    And from these gates, I care not to what tomb.

            [_To_ AMAURY.

    Then shall you hear this mystery's content,
    That still as a madness measures to your sight.
    Bear him without.

            [_The limp body is borne away. All follow but_
                AMAURY, YOLANDA, RENIER.

    Now you shall hear, with shame,
    But with exalted pride and happy tears;
    Then come obliteration!
    Speak, girl.... Nobility
    Had never better title to its truth.

            [_Kisses her hand and goes._

    _Amaury._ Yolanda!... He?... This reverence as to
    An angel? Speak!

    _Yolanda._        Amaury----

    _Amaury._                     O pause not!

    _Yolanda._ Then--to save her who's dead--from death and shame,
    I took her place within the Paphian's arms.

    _Amaury._ O! ... and by me, driven by me, bore this?


    Pure as the rills of Paradise, endured?

    _Yolanda._ For you!--and her who sleeps forgiven there,


    Now while her spirit weightless overwingeth
    Night, to that Throne whose seeing heals all shame!
    For her I did! but oh, for you, whose least
    Murmur to me is infinite with Spring,
    Whose smile is light, filling the air with dawn,
    Whose touch, wafture of immortality
    Unto my weariness; and whose eyes, now,
    Are as the beams God lifted first, they tell us,
    Over the uncreated,
    In the far singing mother-dawn of the world!--
    Come with me then, but tearless, to her side.

            [_They go to the bier and stand as in a dream. A
                pause, then her lips move, last, as if

    While there is sin to sway the soul and sink it,
    Pity should be as strong as love or death!

            [_With a cry of joy he enfolds her, and they kneel,
                wrapped about with the clear moon._

                              THE END

       *       *       *       *       *
Transcriber's Notes:

Minor typesetting inconsistencies of italics and smallcap words
and punctuation have been corrected without comment.

All stage directions have been uniformly formatted to a left
uniform indent instead of a right page margin.

Spelling corrections:

  Page 3, "aamask" to "damask" (hung with heavy damask).
  Page 110, "violenc" to "violence" (she your cold violence).
  Page 112, "Caramin" to "Camarin" (84) (_as_ CAMARIN _takes_).

Word Variations:

  "Aeih" (2) and "Aieh" (2) (as spoken by TREMITUS)
  "leach" (1) and "leech" (1) (when refering to TREMITUS)

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