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Title: Lords and Lovers - and Other Dramas
Author: Dargan, Olive Tilford
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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LORDS AND LOVERS AND OTHER DRAMAS



    LORDS AND LOVERS

    AND

    OTHER DRAMAS

    BY

    OLIVE TILFORD DARGAN


    NEW YORK

    CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

    1906



    _Copyright, 1906, by Charles Scribner's Sons_

    _All rights reserved_

    _Published, October, 1906_


    _The Trow Press, New York_



CONTENTS


    LORDS AND LOVERS:

    PART I                       1

    PART II                      71

    THE SHEPHERD                135

    THE SIEGE                   207



LORDS AND LOVERS

PART I


_CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY_

HENRY III, _King of England_

EARL OF ALBEMARLE

EARL OF PEMBROKE

RICHFORD, _son to Pembroke, afterwards Earl_

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

BISHOP OF WINCHESTER

CARDINAL GUALO

HUBERT DE BURGH, _afterwards Earl of Kent_

SIR ROLAND DE BORN

STEPHEN GODFREY, _a soldier_

GREGORY, _a captain_

BALDUR, GODRIC, _soldiers_

ORSON, _a servant_

GERSA, _an officer under De Burgh_

FRIAR SEBASTIAN

LORD GOLY

LORD DE VERE

MARGARET, _a Scottish princess_

ELEANOR, _Countess of Albemarle, wife of Albemarle_

GLAIA, _ward of De Burgh_

ELDRA, _servant to Glaia_

_Lords and ladies of the court, bishops, barons, priests, citizens,
soldiers, &c._

    TIME: _13th Century_

    SCENE: _England_



ACT I

     SCENE 1. _Room in the earl of Pembroke's castle. Pembroke in bed.
     Richford and Albemarle attending._


    _Pem._ The king has come?

    _Alb._                   He waits upon your grace
    As a good servant; with demeanor speaks
    True sorrow you are brought so low.

    _Pem._ [_Stoutly_]       Ha! Low?

    _Alb._ Sir, but in body. Pembroke's mounting mind
    Can never be struck down.

    _Pem._              He's sad, you say?

    _Alb._ In tears, your grace. He weeps more like a son
    Than sovereign.

    _Pem._    A son! Where is the son
    Would weep for Pembroke?

    _Rich._ Here, my dearest father!
    Here are the tears would water thy affliction
    Till it be washed from thy endangered body.
    Here is the heart would give its younger blood
    To make thine leap with health. Without you, sir,
    I am no more than is the gaudy bloom
    Of some stout tree the axe has brought to ground.
    O, wilt forgive the many pains I've cost thee?

    _Pem._ First touch my hand and swear by highest God
    That you will serve the king.

    _Rich._                 O, slight condition!
    I take this noble hand that ne'er was raised
    'Gainst country, throne or God, and by that God,
    I vow to serve the king.

    _Pem._                   For the last time
    I'll trust and pardon you. If you make black
    Your soul with violation of this oath,
    I, safe beyond the stars, shall know it not,
    Nor die again to think on 't. Men, weep not
    That ye lack sons, but weep when your wives bear them!

    _Alb._ I'll vouch for him, your grace.

    _Pem._                             Thanks, Albemarle.

    _Rich._ Will you, my kindest father, say a word
    To bring me to the graces of the king?

    _Pem._ Ay, son.

    _Rich._         Now, sir?

    _Pem._                 Nay, I'm not dying yet,
    And wish to keep my last words for his ears.
    There's holy magic in the passing tongue
    That stamps its truth unrasurable. So
    Would I grave Henry's heart.

    _Rich._                      But, sir----

    _Pem._                           I'll wait
    My hour. Who comes with him?

    _Alb._                    The legate, Gualo,
    To-day arrived from Rome.

    _Pem._                    And I not told?
    Already I am dead. These ears, that kings
    Engaged, are now contracted to the worm
    Permits no forfeiture. Well, well, his message?

    _Alb._ The cardinal assures us that the pope
    Will cast his power with Henry. Though he loves
    This praying Louis, well he knows our right.

    _Pem._ The pope our friend? I thank thee, Heaven!
    England, take up thy heart! Thou yet mayst hope!
                              [_Enter bishop of Winchester_]

    _Win._               God save great Pembroke!

    _Pem._                  He alone can do it.
    Lord Albemarle, and my new-graced son,
    Will 't please you walk within?

    _Alb._                    We are your servants.
                     [_Exeunt Richford and Albemarle, left_]

    _Pem._ Now, Winchester?

    _Win._                  You sent for me, your grace.
    I have made haste.

    _Pem._             Ay, you'd trot fast enough
    To see me die.

    _Win._ Nay, sir, I hope you've called
    Me to your service.

    _Pem._              So I have, my lord.
    A task unfinished I must leave to you.
    Here is the key to yonder cabinet.
    Pray you unlock it ... and take out the packet
    Your eye's now on.

    _Win._             This, sir?

    _Pem._                        Ay, that is it.
    'Twas Henry Second, grandsire of this Henry,
    Gave me that packet. Sir, you know the tale
    Of princess Adelais who journeyed here
    As the betrothed of Richard, Henry's son.
    Alack, she never was his bride. Some say
    That Henry loved her ... I know not ... but she
    Returned to France, her reason wandering.
    "If she recover," said the king to me,
    "Give her this packet; should she die, break seal
    And learn what you shall do." She did not die,
    Nor can I say she lives, so sad her state.
    Her age was bare fifteen when she left England,
    Her face a lily and her eyes a flood;
    She now must be midway her fifth decade,
    A time, I've heard, when subtle changes work
    Within the mind. A beauteous soul! O God,
    Restore her now, or lift her e'en to thee!
    ... Take you the packet, and the king's command.
    But first your oath. Deceit has sapped my faith
    So oft I could believe the devil himself
    Wears gown and mitre. Peter des Roches, will you
    Be true?

    _Win._ I swear by Heaven.

    _Pem._                    That is done,
    As well as't can be done. Call in my son
    And Albemarle.

    _Win._         My lords!

                         [_Re-enter Richford and Albemarle_]

    _Pem._                   Now let us talk
    Of England. O, this fleet, this fleet, rigged out
    By warlike Constance in monk Louis' name!
    I see it nearing now, leaping the waves,
    On, on, and none to meet it! Cowards all.
    What do ye here, ye three, loitering about
    A sick man's bed? A man almost a corpse.
    I would not have a servant waste himself
    To give me drink while England needs his sword.

    _Rich._ My father lord, we have our men abroad
    Rousing the country for a stout defence.
    To meet the French with our poor ships were madness;
    But let them land we'll give them such a rap----

    _Pem._ What? Land your enemy? O, fools and cowards!
    ... I've given my life for England. Now you'll cast
    My heart-dear bargain into Louis' hand
    As 'twere a snood slipped from an easy maid.
    Fool man! to puff his days out jousting Fate,
    Who waits but his bare death to start her mock
    Of horrid pleasantries. Then does she make
    Dice of the miser's bones, carousal cups
    Of the ascetic's skull, a hangman's scoff
    Of clerics' prayer-fed sons; and proudest sires,
    Who sentried their blue blood, peer back through dust
    To see all Babylon pour to their line.
    And now she'll bid my war-ghost eyes behold
    The land held with my life become a field
    For foes at holiday!

    _Win._ Compose yourself, your grace.

    _Pem._ Gualo has come, but where is he will set
    This power its task, and play it for this isle?
    I can not say that wisdom dies with me,
    But I could wish more proof of sager mind
    Than e'er I've had from this small audience.
    Lord Bishop, you are left custodian
    Of Henry's ripening youth.

    _Win._                    Nor shall I fail
    To be your worthy heir in this high duty,
    For still I shall consult with your great spirit,
    Praying your ghost be mover of my deeds.

    _Pem._ I've spoken to the king. He'll give you love
    For love. But who shall be lord chancellor?
    There's little choice. And yet there's one, De Burgh,
    If camp and field could spare him----

    _Alb._                               Sir, a man
    No older than our sons?

    _Pem._                By your good leave,
    Age is no patent to respect and place
    If virtue go not with it. Whitened hairs
    Make honor radiant, but vice thereby
    Is viler still. Ay, there are some----

    _Rich._                            Peace, father,
    And save thy strength for us.

    _Pem._                     Ah, son, I've been
    A careless holder all my life, and still
    With my last hour play spendthrift. Well, here be
    Three friends of England--Gualo makes a fourth--
    And trusting you I ease my bones to death.

    [_Enter attendant with a letter, which he gives to Pembroke_]

    _Pem._ [_After reading_] De Burgh! O gallant soul!
                             Now am I young!
    With forty ships he'll meet the fleet of France!
    I live again, for courage is not dead!
    [_Sinking_] Nay--help--ah, I am gone.      I'll hasten on
    And plead in Heaven for his victory.
                                            [_Seems to die_]

    _Alb._ Ah ... dead?

    _Rich._ In truth.

    _Win._ I'll go and tell the king. [_Aside, going_]
    My joyful tears he will translate to grief,
    And think I weep a friend's death, not a foe's
    Whose only act of friendship was to die.        [_Exit_]

    _Alb._ How now, my lord? Does your good purpose hold?

    _Rich._ It has the falling sickness, Albemarle,
    And now lies low as earth.

    _Alb._                     Then set thy foot
    Upon it that it rise no more.

    _Rich._                      'Tis done.

    _Alb._ What fools are they who think that dying men
    Speak oracles to pivot action on,
    When death's decay so blurs each fading sense
    They know but darkly of the world about,
    And of realities all plain to us
    Build visions substanceless to gull our faith.
    Grant that they do take note of things unseen,
    'Tis with their faces to another world,
    And what they speak is strange and ill advice
    To us whose work is still 'mong men of earth.

    _Rich._ You need not clear your way to me. I've not
    A scruple in my soul would trip a gnat.
    Speak out your heart.

    _Alb._                You are great Pembroke now.
    But Richford took an oath to serve the king.

    _Rich._ And he--is Louis.

    _Alb._ Till we find hour fit
    To cast his yoke and take a sovereign
    Of our election.

    _Rich._          _Royal Albemarle!_

    _Alb._ Here stand we then. De Burgh we count as dead.
    Le Moine has orders to strike off his head
    Soon as he's taken. Now we get the king
    To Dover fort, on pretence to defend it.
    There the besieging French will take him prisoner,
    And ship him straight to Calais--or to Heaven.

    _Pem._ [_Half rising_] Devils! dogs! beasts!
                                            Now these devoted bones
    Will never lie at peace in English earth.
    My country! Must the foreign foot be set
    Once more upon thy neck, and thine own sons
    Pour sulphur to thy wounds? The king! the king!
    What, vipers, do you hear? Call in the king!

    _Alb._ We must not, sir.

    _Pem._ Ho, here! The king!

     [_Rises from bed, starts forward and falls back speechless. Enter
     Henry, Gualo, Winchester, and attendants. Albemarle and Richford
     stand together. Pembroke dies pointing to them and gazing at the
     king._]

    _Hen._ My lords, what does this mean?

    _Alb._                             This noble man
    Wished much to say a word of grace for me
    And his forgiven son. Alas, black death
    Has stolen the balm that might have eased our way
    Into your heart.

    _Hen._ Fear not, my lords. I'll trust you,
    Even as he wished.                     [_Kneels by bed_]
                O, Pembroke, couldst thou leave me?

           *       *       *       *       *

                      [_Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _Before Dover castle. Night. Hubert de Burgh walking
     and listening._

    _Hub._ But forty ships! But forty slit-sailed drabs
    Of storm and watery danger to meet all France
    Fresh-winged upon the sea! And yet no word
    Nor stir of help. Methinks were I the king,
    Or Pembroke with his power in my mouth,
    Each English road should be ablaze to-night
    With swift flint-striking hoofs. Now to our shore
    Puffs up the wave may prove oblivion's maw,
    And drink these Dover cliffs as they were sands,
    Yet England sleeps, with one lone heart at watch.
    [_Sound of horse approaching_] Nay, two, for Roland comes.

                        [_Enter Roland de Born, dismounted_]

    _Rol._         You, Hubert?

    _Hub._                       Ay.
    You bring no aid?

    _Rol._           The king is powerless.
    Pembroke is dead. The barons to covert slink,
    Saying their loyalty binds them to fight
    No farther than the shore. The bishops smirk
    Beneath their mitres, roll their eyes and cry
    "God and great Rome, deliver us!" which means
    Deliver us to Louis, king of monks
    And darling of the pope.

    _Hub._                  And Albemarle?

    _Rol._ Stands by the king, and ready with his men
    To meet the foe on land, but not a soul
    Will send to sea.

    _Hub._            Dissembler! Well he knows
    A victory on the sea means England lost,
    So many traitor hearts will league with France
    And sell their country for one castle more.

    _Rol._ What now? We've little time. 'Tis almost day.
    The moon is down, and the raw, rising air
    Sucks in approaching light. What must be done?

    _Hub._ The Cinque Ports yield me forty ships.
                                             With these
    I'll meet Le Moine.

    _Rol._              O, Hubert, Hubert!

    _Hub._                                Ay,
    My men are all aboard and waiting me.
    The garrison I leave to you. Hold it
    For honor and the king, nor yield to save
    So poor a thing as my unlucky head
    Should I go foul at sea. You'll be the first
    The victors will besiege.

    _Rol._                   My friend!

    _Hub._                             Tut, man,
    The sea's a good safe bed. Come in. Some wine
    Will take the night-chill from your blood. In, in!

                       [_Exeunt. Curtain_]


     SCENE 3. _Within the castle. Stephen, Baldur, Godric, and other
     soldiers talking and drinking._

_Ste._ [_Draining his glass_] As good liquor as ever wet an oath since
Noah was a vintner.

_Bal._ Vintner? An you put him in the trade the bishop will have you up
for it.

_Ste._ A groat for your bishop, and that off your grandam's eyes! I'm
no little king Henry pulled to mincemeat by his bishops and barons.
"I'll take off your mitre," roars he to his bishop. "An you take off my
mitre, I'll clap on a helmet, by the lord," says my bishop. "I'll have
your castle!" shouts he to his baron. "An you take my castle, I'll give
you London tower," says master baron. Ay, and he would, with the keeper
thrown in.

_Bal._ And you too, if you bite not a bit from your tongue.

_Ste._ By the mass, I'll drink the king's ale, and I'll take the king's
money, but I'll fight for none but Hubert de Burgh!

_God._ And he for the king--so you.

_Ste._ I care not how you make it. De Burgh is my master. I'll fight
for him and with him and after him, but I'll wear a red sword for no
bishop or baron or little king Harry in Christendom!

_Bal._ That may be so with more of us than you, but stop your mouth
with good ale and let words alone.

_Ste._ And I'll go with him to the French court and pull Louis off the
king's stool!

                        [_Sings_]

    Hear, boys, hear! O, hear our captain call!
              We'll away, boys, away!
      For the love o' the sword and the love o' the money,
    We'll on to the wars, my brave fellows all,
      An they take our Jack they will leave our Johnny.
              Away, boys, away!

                [_Enter Hubert and Roland_]

_Hub._ What cheer, my men? A fair morning for brave hearts. Can you
keep this castle for me till I've had a bout at sea?

_A soldier._ That we can, sir!

_Ste._ I'll go with you, sir, by your leave. The castle will wait for
us, I give you my word, sir.

_Hub._ You have seen the bottom of your glass too often to-night,
Stephen.

_Ste._ God bless you, sir, there's where a soldier keeps his oath to
serve God and his country, and he can't look it over too often. Take me
wi' you, sir, and I'll prove you who lifts his glass the highest will
wave his sword the longest. [_Kneels_] I was your father's soldier,
sir, and hope to die yours.

_Hub._ Nay, I must leave trusty souls behind me. Let those who love me
least fight under my eye, but I'll trust nay good Stephen around the
world.

_Ste._ [_Rising_] Ay, sir! Rain arrows, hail bullets, we'll keep the
castle against all weather!

_Hub._ [_Presenting Roland_] Then here's your brave captain. Follow him
now, and farewell, good fellows--farewell, all!

      [_Soldiers start out slowly, following Roland_]

_An old soldier._ [_Turning_] But you'll come again, sir?

_Another._ Ay, we'll see you back?

_Another._ An you come or come not, I kiss my sword to you, Hubert de
Burgh, the bravest knight in all England!

_Hub._ Why, my hearts, would you start the liquor in my eyes? I go
where there's brine enough. Twelve hours' sail with fortune will bring
me back--but if I come not, remember your king!

                   [_Exeunt soldiers_]

    They know 'tis death--they know 'tis death.
                                And what
    Is that? We are all guests in God's great house,
    The Universe, and Death is but his page
    To show us to the chamber where we sleep.
    What though the bed be dust, to wake is sure;
    Not birds but angels flutter at the eaves
    And call us, singing.

                   [_Enter Gersa_]

                    Gersa, what success?

_Ger._ The bags are all aboard, sir.

_Hub._ And portioned to every vessel?

_Ger._ Ay, sir.

_Hub._ Well despatched?

_Ger._ The men heaved as though the sacks held all the pope's treasury
and they were to take their pay out of it.

_Hub._ Yet they found the contents not so heavy as gold, I hope.

_Ger._ Nor so light as feathers, sir.

_Hub._ But I pray they'll fly as well, and more to the purpose. Aboard
with you now. I'll not be long behind you.

                       [_Exit Gersa_]

    If this, my careful stratagem, should fail,
    God help the friendless boy on England's throne!
    Now Pembroke's noble strength must e'en to coffin;
    And Isabel across the sea cares not,
    But happier in a gentler husband's love
    Takes little thought of John of England's heir,
    Who has his father's beauty, not his heart,--
    Just so much of that proud and guilty blood
    As makes him kingly nor corrupts his own.
    ... But, come, my soul! Prepare thee for a world
    Of rarer breath, lest thou too rudely go
    To th' high conclave of spirits. Father?

                [_Enter friar Sebastian_]

    _Fr. Seb._                               Son,
    Art ready for the sacrament?

    _Hub._                       I lack
    A prayer of thine to make me so. Give me
    Such blessing as you'd lay upon me were
    Death couchant for my heart, and on my brow
    Drop thou the holy unguent that doth fit
    The body for the last touch of the soul.

    _Fr. Seb._ My love is to thy mortal frailty bound,
    And first I'll bless thee as an earthly father,
    Praying that thou mayst smite thine enemies.

                 [_Re-enter Roland_]

    _Rol_ Your pardon, Hubert. Lady Albemarle
    Is here, and begs for instant sight of you.

    _Hub._ My sister? I will see her.
              [_Exit Roland_] Wait you, father.
    The world must still intrude on Heaven's affairs.

     [_Exit friar through large folding doors rear as lady Albemarle
     enters left_]

    _La. Alb._ Brother! Is Glaia here?

    _Hub._                            She is. But why
    This eagerness?

    _La. Alb._ My lord says that you go
    To meet the French. Is 't true?

    _Hub._                          In one hour's time
    I count myself at sea.

    _La. Alb._             Then what--O, where
    Shall I hide Glaia?

    _Hub._ Hide? Is 't evermore hide
    That spotless maid, born but to be a star
    To human eyes?

    _La. Alb._ Nay, born to be my shame,
    And constant, killing fear!

    _Hub._                      She will be safe.
    Roland de Born, who now will guard this castle,
    Holds Glaia as the heart in his own body.
    Ay, she is safe,--but if the danger nears,
    She'll be conducted back to Greenot woods----

    _La. Alb._ Roland de Born? What knows he?

    _Hub._                                  Only this,
    That Glaia, weary of skies, rests foot on earth.

    _La. Alb._ He does not love her, Hubert? Say not that!

    _Hub._ Thy daughter is so honored.

    _La. Alb._                        No!

    _Hub._                               She has
    His noble love, and he my happy wish
    That he may make her wife.

    _La. Alb._                Then thou art false,
    And I look on my grave.

    _Hub._                  What, Eleanor?

    _La. Alb._ You know my place, and how I queen the court,
    A virtuous mark that lords point out to wives,
    Bidding them walk as Albemarle's good dame.
    Now let me take my seat on the lowest step,
    And none too humble to mock me going up.

    _Hub._ What's this to do with Roland's love for Glaia?

    _La. Alb._ O, let them scorn! Tis nothing! But my husband--
    Brother, I never dreamed thy cruelty
    Would give me to his vengeance.

    _Hub._                         Cruelty?

    _La. Alb._ O, see me at his feet--bleeding and broken----

    _Hub._ Not while I wear a sword! But how have I
    Disturbed thee? What have said? I've threshed my words,
    But find no devil in them.

    _La. Alb._                O, this Roland,
    If he wive Glaia must ferret out my shame--
    Pry her life ope--who is she?--whence she came?--
    Till all my secret blushes 'fore his eye.

    _Hub._ Though he learn all, thy honor in his breast
    Is safe as gem that at earth's centre burns.

    _La. Alb._ Nay, I'll not live! You know not Albemarle!
    He'll scourge me through the court in rags to match
    My tattered virtue,--then the rack--fire--screws--
    The Scotch boot--O, the world's not dear enough
    To purchase so. I will not live!

    _Hub._                          I swear
    That Roland cares so much for Glaia's birth
    As to be glad she's born. And at my word
    He will receive her questionless and dumb,
    Nor ever doubt, or weigh his promised faith.

    _La. Alb._ Why, is there such a man in all the world?

    _Hub._ He sees her as one looks upon a rose,
    And thinks not of the mould that bore it, or what
    The tale that dews and winds could tell.

    _La. Alb._                              'Tis strange.

    _Hub._ As strange as truth.

    _La. Alb._                 I must--I do believe you.

    _Hub._ And bless his suit?

    _La. Alb._                 Ay, let him wed her straight.
    What waits he for? Let her be lost in him,
    This rare, this unmatched wonder of a man,
    And I will cast this shadow from my life,
    Heave off the weight that seventeen years I've borne,
    And walk the lighter, for I've known what 'tis
    To step high 'neath a load. O, let them wed
    As soon as may be, Hubert. Why not now?

    _Hub._ He waits to win her heart.

    _La. Alb._                       Cares he for that?
    You can command her, Hubert.

    _Hub._                       But will not.
    She is a plant of Nature's tenderest love,
    And must be won to bloom by softest airs,
    Else shall we risk the gentle life and see
    No buds unfold.

    _La. Alb._      I understand her not,
    Nor try. She is a part of strangest days,
    That like to burning dreams bewilder as
    They scar the recollection. She's more kin
    To those strange creatures of the wood that peeped
    About my shelter when she lay a babe
    Than to my blood. Yet she is mine--my daughter.

    _Hub._ Wilt you not see her?

    _La. Alb._                  No.

    _Hub._                          You will find her up.

    _La. Alb._ Why should I see her? Give a stranger's kiss,
    And hear her stiffly say "Your ladyship"?
    If she would love me!

    _Hub._                Do not weep.

    _La. Alb._                        You think
    I do not suffer.

    _Hub._ I've no wish to think so.

    _La. Alb._ I'm nearly mad at times! But I must go.

    _Hub._ [_Hesitating_] How is--the princess?

    _La. Alb._                          Margaret? O, well,
    But every day more full of starts and whims.
    Last night the king was with us----

    _Hub._                               Ah, the king?

    _La. Alb._ She gave him stinted welcome. Then my lord
    Came in with news of the advancing fleet,
    And danger to the throne, concluding with
    Your aim to put to sea, and at that point
    She swooned quite prettily and pleased the king.

    _Hub._ She swooned?

    _La. Alb._         Most properly, the king being by
    To know it was for him.

    _Hub._                  O--ay, for him!

    _La. Alb._ Who else? I hope they'll soon be wed.

    _Hub._                                 Be wed?
    Henry is young.

    _La. Alb._ But old enough being king.
    And Albemarle is pressing for the marriage.
    'Tis now ten years since Margaret came from Scotland
    To be his charge. A pretty child--do you
    Remember? But now grown from beauty, pale
    And fanciful. You've seen the change?

    _Hub._                                To me
    She never changes but to show herself
    More beautiful.

    _La. Alb._ You have not seen it? Pah!
    Now I must go. Good brother, fare you well.
    You've given me comfort.        [_Kisses him_]

    _Hub._                   Farewell, Eleanor.

                           [_Exit lady Albemarle_]

    Art gone, my sister, and no word of love
    For one who looks on death? It is the fear
    That keeps so constant with her makes her hard
    And unlike woman--unlike Margaret.
    ... Last night the king was with her--and she swooned.
    But not for him. By Heaven, 'twas not for him!

       [_Sits by table, bowing his head upon it_]

    O Margaret! Not one dear word? Not one?

                [_Enter Margaret, veiled_]

    _Mar._ Ah! [_Steps toward him, throwing off her veil_] Hubert?

    _Hub._ [_Starting up_] Princess! Here? You here?

    _Mar._ Couldst think I'd let thee go till I had said
    "God save thee" to thy face?

    _Hub._                       You risk too much!

    _Mar._ Risk, Hubert?

    _Hub._              O, what have you done?

    _Mar._                             What done?

    _Hub._ The king will think----

    _Mar._                 The king will think as I do,
    That 'tis most natural to pay adieu
    To friends.

    _Hub._      But Albemarle----

    _Mar._                 Approves our friendship.
    I do not understand.

    _Hub._ Yet you came veiled.

    _Mar._ 'Twas early--and the air was pricking chill.
    I--thought--do you go soon?

    _Hub._                   That you should come!

    _Mar._ Soon, Hubert?

    _Hub._              Ay, at once.

    _Mar._                       At once. Why then,
    Farewell.

    _Hub._ Stay! Ah--I mean--why did you come?

    _Mar._ My soul! I think I came that you might wish
    Me back again. Was it so wrong of me?
    Are we not friends? And if I came in hope
    To ease adieu with unction of a tear
    I know none else would shed----

    _Hub._                          O, Margaret!
    Pray God that I deserve this! Now I go
    So light I'll hardly need my ship's good wings
    To bear me.

    _Mar._ The earl doubts not your victory.
    How many ships go with you?

    _Hub._                      All we have.
    The ports hold not a single vessel from me.

    _Mar._ And the enemy's? I hope they are enough
    To make your victory noble.

    _Hub._                      I've no doubt
    They count up bravely.

    _Mar._                 Not too many, sir!

    _Hub._ The battle will not shame me.

    _Mar._                              But how many?

    _Hub._ As yet we have no word but rumor's.

    _Mar._                                     Ah!
    Tell me you'll win.

    _Hub._              Then help me by not doubting.

    _Mar._ I must not doubt--for if--I did----

    _Hub._                                    What then?

    _Mar._ Nay, I'll not stay to tell you. I must go.
    I keep you from the battle and your fame.
    You have forgiven me my morning ride?
    Faith, but you frowned!

    _Hub._                  I thought how many eyes
    Were on the king's betrothed.

    _Mar._                        Choose better words,
    My friend. I am not yet the king's betrothed,
    And I--had you the time----

    _Hub._                      Nay, all my life
    Is yours.

    _Mar._ Hear then. I will not wed the king.

    _Hub._ A princess can not choose.

    _Mar._                           Then I'll not be
    A princess!

    _Hub._      Margaret!

    _Mar._               A princess? Nay,
    I'll be no more a woman, if that means
    To cage my soul in circle of a court
    And fawn on turnkey humor for my life!
    Scotland is lost to me. I'll not go there
    To meet my dangerous brother's wrath. No, no!
    But there are forests--I can fly to them,
    And dig my food from Nature's generous earth,
    Thrive on her berries, drink from her clear streams,
    Sleep 'neath the royal coverlet of her leaves,
    And make some honest friends 'mong her kind creatures
    That we call dumb because, forsooth, they speak
    By eye and touch and gibber not as we!
    ... So silent, sir? Come, will you not advise me?...
    There was a day before the day of kings
    When maidens looked where'er their hearts had sped
    And found them mates who had no need of crowns
    To make them royal, and such a day the world
    May see again, but I, alack, must breathe
    The present time, and crave the help of state
    And craft and gold to get me married! O,
    The judgment angel gathering up our clay
    Will know this period by its broken hearts!
    ... Hast not a word? Now should I wed the king?

    _Hub._ He is a gentle youth, and in your care
    Would blossom brave in virtues.

    _Mar._                          Nay----

    _Hub._                                 All hope
    For this poor land lies in your grace.

    _Mar._                                 Ah, Hubert,
    Where is there woman strong enough to save
    Fair Henry from his flatterers? Not here.
    Wouldst cast me to the pool where he must drown?

    _Hub._ Where canst thou hide thy beauty, Margaret?
    This is wild talk of forests. Where couldst flee?
    What land would shelter thee from England's love
    And Scotland's rage? My own--my Margaret--
    Where could we go?

    _Mar._ O, Hubert, we?

    _Hub._               I'm mad.
    Peace to thee, maiden. I go to my ships.

    _Mar._ Forgive me! I'll be gone.

                  [_Re-enter Gersa_]

    _Hub._                          What! Not aboard?

    _Ger._ Your pardon, sir. We have confirmed reports
    The French outnumber us by triple count.
    Eighty large ships, the double of our own,
    Besides two score of galleons and small vessels
    That in themselves would match us. And 'tis sure
    Le Moine, the pirate, leads the fleet.

    _Hub._                                 Are all
    Now ready?

    _Ger._      Ay, we wait for you.

    _Hub._                          Grant me
    A bare half hour--no--not so much. I shall
    O'ertake you ere you reach your ship.

     [_Exit Gersa. Hubert turns to Margaret and finds that she has
     fainted_]

                                          My lady!
    Is this, too, for the king?

    _Mar._ [_Reviving_]           You shall not go!

    _Hub._ I must--and now. Let me but press your hand----

    _Mar._ No, no, my lips! Hubert, let us be true.
    Death watches now and will report all lies
    To Heaven. Now I must see you go from me,
    Out of my eyes as stars go from the sky,
    And never, never see you come again,
    Let me once hear you say you love me, Hubert,
    And all the years that I must weep for thee
    I'll keep the words as a sweet golden bell
    To sound whene'er my ears want music.

    _Hub._ Thou art the king's.

    _Mar._                     Nay, I will lay my head
    Upon the block, ere pillow it by his.

    _Hub._ Then we'll be mad together, Margaret.
    To go one step in this is to go farthest.
    Ah, yesterday I saw a knight I loved
    Sink in his blood; but when he called the name
    Of his dear bride, and died as it made sweet
    His lips, I thought of you and envied him.
    And now, so soon, his fortune is my own.
    [_Calls_] Come, father! [_To Margaret_] Art afraid?

    _Mar._                                Ah, yes, afraid
    That I may lose thee!

    _Hub._                Is it hell, or Heaven?

                [_Re-enter friar Sebastian_]

    Good father, when two souls have kissed so close
    They in each other lose the form of self,
    And neither body knows its own again,
    Wouldst join them mortally, that being one
    They can not go amiss?

    _Fr. Seb._             If they be free,
    My son, to take the vows.

    _Hub._                    Thou knowest us.

    _Fr. Seb._ I've blessed ye both as children.

    _Mar._                                   I am free
    By my soul's right, and though a princess born,
    Here choose my lord.

    _Fr. Seb._            My daughter, thou art noble,
    And must be written fair though envy keep
    The beadroll of thy faults, but 'tis poor rank
    Not thee stoops to this choice.

    _Mar._                          I know it, father.
    Though it should cost my fortune, name and place,
    I'd give them all to be his wife one hour.

    _Fr. Seb._ Then, by my sacred vows, as I believe
    Love is from Heaven, and 'tis God himself
    Who fosters its sweet growth through all the blood
    Till action, thought, yea, life, do hang upon it,
    I'll bind ye in the dear eternal bonds,
    And bless your union with the holy feast.
    Come in with me.                [_Exit, rear_]

    _Hub._ [_Embracing her_] 'Tis Heaven, Margaret!

                        [_Curtain_]



ACT II

     SCENE 1. _Within Dover castle. Same room as in act first. Enter
     Glaia followed by Eldra._


_Eld._ O, my lady, up all night, and now 'tis barely day you must be
going!

_Gla._ My good Eldra, you would teach my shadow constancy, for you
follow me without let or leave from the sun.

_Eld._ I follow not you but my orders, mistress. Sir Roland says that I
must not leave you.

_Gla._ The gates are all locked. Does he think me a bird to fly over
the walls?

_Eld._ That he does! The bonniest bird that ever sang in Greenot woods.
Isn't Sir Roland a man, my lady?

_Gla._ By his cap and feather, I should not doubt it.

_Eld._ But a man you may look at, my lady!

_Gla._ Pray God I may, madam, for 'tis sad to be young and blind.

_Eld._ Ay, but when I look at Sir Roland I could sing again the song
that got me a husband.

_Gla._ What song? I think you got him with your fair face and honest
mind, and he took the song by way of grace with meat.

_Eld._ True, mistress, I was a fair, canny lass over the border.

_Gla._ And a fair, canny dame you are now, Eldra. But what was the
song?

_Eld._ It was back summat ten jaunts o' the sun from Lammas to Lammas.
I was standing on the rock hills over Logan frith wi' the green woods
behind me an' lookin' out to sea. The waves were runnin' high, and the
brine in my face gave me such a spirit that in a minute my bonnet was
off and I was singing at the top of my voice--

    O braw, braw knight, come down the glen
      And awa' to kirk wi' me!
    And Heaven send us seven stout sons
      To fight for our king on the sea!

It's a long ballad, but it's out o' my mind now, and who should come up
behind me but my man that was to be, and 'twas set then and there we
must go to the kirk come Sunday. Ay, it got me a husband, but never a
son, for only six months away he was drowned at sea--the very sea that
I'd sung so brave t-to----

_Gla._ Don't cry. He will come sailing back some day with a fortune in
his pocket. I don't believe he was drowned.

_Eld._ I care not what's in his pocket, ma'am, if he bring me love in
his heart.

_Gla._ That he will, I am sure. Where is Orson?

_Eld._ Bathing his knees in gooseoil, my lady. You kept him at prayers
all night for Sir Hubert.

_Gla._ Why, did we not share his watch?

_Eld._ Yes, mistress, but when you fell asleep we had not the heart to
wake you.

_Gla._ O, ho! I fell asleep, did I?

_Eld._ I should hope you did, my lady. For my part I winked but once,
and when I woke up you were----

_Gla._ Asleep?

_Eld._ No, but you were praying so chipper that I knew you were just at
it.

_Gla._ O, false woman! Do you think I could sleep when Hubert is on the
sea? Call Orson to me.

_Eld._ Orson! Orson!

      [_Enter Orson, walking stiffly_]

_Gla._ Why, Orson, you carry as much dignity as a watchman that has
just let in a duke.

_Ors._ Mock not affliction got in your service, my lady.

_Gla._ My service? When did I tell you to sleep all night on your knees?

_Ors._ Sleep? Sleep, lady?

_Gla._ Ay, sleep. You are a knave. Bring me my lute.

_Ors._ [_Muttering_] Sleep! There's thanks for you!

                                               [_Exit_]

_Eld._ Mistress, you must not play your lute here. The king's men are
not like Sir Hubert's, and your voice will quick tell 'em there's a
bird in the bower.

_Gla._ I am not afraid. What are men but creatures like ourselves?

_Eld._ Like ourselves? La, my lady!

_Gla._ There's no harm in them. You are a foolish dame.

                  [_Re-enter Orson_]

[_Taking lute_] Good Orson, I am sorry if your knees are stiff. You may
have the unguent that Sir Roland brought me from Palestine. Go, Eldra,
and get it for him.

_Eld._ [_Aside_] An I give him not gooseoil with a dash of cinnamon,
I'm no good servant to my mistress.

                [_Exeunt Eldra and Orson_]

_Gla._ I do not like this castle with Hubert away. Sir Roland makes it
a prison. If I could get out I should try to find my way to Greenot
woods. The doves are nesting now, and the little brown fawns are
specked with snow.

          [_Plays lute and sings_]

    O, lady, let the roses blow
      In thy pale cheeks for this--
    That I may to that garden go
      And pluck them with a kiss.

    My roses are all plucked, she said,
      No more shall ever grow,
    For cold is he and low his head
      Whose dear love made them blow.

    Then lay she down where slept her lord
      Upon the silver heather;
    Then sighed the knight, nor said he word,
      But left the twa together.

      [_Enter the king, dressed in black. He gazes at Glaia_]

    _Gla._ What is your name, boy?

    _Hen._ Henry.

    _Gla._ Henry? That is the king's name. Are you his soldier?

    _Hen._ I fight for him.

    _Gla._ Ah, me!

    _Hen._ Is it not brave to fight?

    _Gla._                        But kings are wicked
    To buy their kingdoms with their subjects' lives.
    Two days ago they brought a noble knight
    Into the castle, bloody and quite dead,
    And when I cried, my Hubert whispered "Hush,
    'Tis for the king." Hubert is now at sea--
    Mayhap this moment dies--and for the king.
    And 'twas last night I heard Sir Roland say
    "We'll hold the castle till each man is down,"
    All for the king. And now _you_ fight for him.
    I hate the king!

    _Hen._ O, do not say that.

    _Gla._             Why?

    _Hen._ Because he loves you.

    _Gla._                    He has never seen me.
    You're merry, boy.

    _Hen._       But good kings love their subjects
    Before they know them.

    _Gla._                 O! Is Henry good?

    _Hen._ He prays to be so.

    _Gla._                   Let him pray, lest he
    Grow old in evil like his father, John.
    Who is your father, Henry?

    _Hen._                    He is dead.

    _Gla._ Ah! But you have a mother.

    _Hen._                           Far away,
    And one who loves me little.

    _Gla._                       Now I'll sigh
    No more for parents, since I know that they
    May die, or prove unkind. I have no kin.
    But Hubert loves me.

    _Hen._               Lady----

    _Gla._                        I am Glaia.
    That is all I know, but Hubert says
    Some day he'll tell me more. I do not care.
    I love to be a mystery to myself.

    _Hen._ [_Aside_] She's nobly born, and kept from her estate;
    But how should she be honest Hubert's charge?

    _Gla._ What say you, Henry?

    _Hen._                     'Tis so strange to find
    An angel housing in this black-browed castle,
    Converting war's grim seat to paradise.
    Hast always lived here?

    _Gla._                  O, behind these walls?
    No, I've a home deep in the happy forest.
    I do not like this place--these huge black rocks
    Piled up so high, with caves i' the ground, and holes
    To shoot out arrows. I walk on tiptoe here,
    Afraid I'll wake the ghosts that sleep i' the corners.
    But in the forest I can shout and run,
    And everything I wake will laugh and sing.

    _Hen._ Where is this happy place?

    _Gla._                           I can not tell.
    'Twas night when we came here, and Hubert says
    That none must know the way. I wonder why.
    Do you live in a castle?

    _Hen._             When I'm not
    At wars.

    _Gla._ O me, I would not live in one
    To please----

    _Hen._ The king?

    _Gla._          No, not to please the king.

    _Hen._ If he were lonely, Glaia?

    _Gla._                          Lonely? O,
    He is to wed the princess Margaret.
    Are you not glad? He'll not be lonely then.
    She's fair and good, they say.

    _Hen._                   But not as you.
    Her princess feet like well the solid earth.
    She is a flower that sips of sun and dew.
    But feedeth most from root-cups firm in ground;
    While you are made of music, love, and air,--
    A being of the sky--a lover's star,
    Although he be a king. The grace of heaven
    About your beauty plays, and drops as soft
    Upon my eyes as light from the lark's wing.
    But I must leave you now. Sweet, take this gift.

                  [_Gives her his jewelled belt_]

    And know my name and place are worthy yours,
    Though you should be a princess, as I think.
    See, here's a jewel in this belt. I dare
    To part with it, though wise men say my life
    Is safe but when I wear it. 'Tis the stone
    Of Wales, and blessed by magic of the seers
    That in that country dwell.

    _Gla._                Then keep it. Ay,
    You must.

    _Hen._ No, no! I have a fear some harm
    Will touch you, me away. Keep you the charm,
    And I will take your lute. In lonely hours
    I'll touch the chords and think thou'rt listening.

                                         [_Exit_]

    _Gla._ A lovely boy! O me, these dreadful wars!
    Eldra's a goose to call the king's men rude.
    I wish he had not gone. I'll play again
    And see who'll come. Ah, now I have no lute.
    No matter, I will sing.

                [_Sings_]

            O, sweet the day and fair the May,
            But Love he laid him down to weep----

                [_Enter Gregory_]

    _Greg._                      A pixy sure!
    Sweet apparition, wilt fly if I approach?
    Then here I'll stand, and from this point remote
    As frosty Hebrid from the golden East,
    Adore thy seeming substance! Ah, no answer?
    Advance then, valiant Gregory, and explore.
    Flesh? 'S light, 'tis flesh! A very woman, too.
    A silent woman. Heavenly miracle!
    With lips like twin strawberries 'neath one leaf.
    The very manner of them begs a kiss.
    I' faith, they shall not beg.

    _Gla._ You would not kiss me!

    _Greg._ You wrong me, duck. Why, I'm a man of mirth
    A soldier, sweet. And would not kiss? Now, now!
    You take me for a ghost--or starve-bone saint.
    I am not padded--I fill out my coat
    And owe but for the cloth. A man, my chick!
    Shalt have a kiss.

    _Gla._              O, help me, Eldra! Help!

      [_Stephen runs in, seizes Gregory and shakes him about_]

    _Ste._ [_Pricking him with his sword_] Shalt have a kiss,
                   he shall! A man, my chick!
    I fill my coat, I do.'

    _Greg._                 Hold, sir! I am
    An officer of the king!

    _Ste._                   Why then, shalt have
    More kisses! 'S blood! I thought thee but a scrub.
    A king's man, sir, shall have more ceremony.

     [_Pricks him around the room. Enter Roland_]

_Rol._ Stephen! Brawling here? You know the orders.

_Ste._ Orders, I take it, sir, don't count in such a case extraordinary.

_Rol._ Your extraordinary cases have become quite usual, Stephen.

_Ste._ Be you the judge, sir. This gay blood here was troubling the
lady----

_Rol._ Glaia! Then he dies! [_Drawing his sword_]

_Ste._ Orders, orders, sir!

_Gla._ He did not touch me, Roland.

    _Rol._                             Touch thee? If he
    No more than looked at thee death is enough.
    But had he touched thee----

    _Gla._                       Art thou cruel, Roland?
    I thought thee gentle. Wouldst thou make me hate thee?

    _Rol._ You shall not hate me, Glaia. [_Sheathes his sword_]
           Let him live.
    But take him from my sight.

                   [_Exeunt Stephen and Gregory_]

    _Gla._                       O, Roland, now
    I love thee!

    _Rol._   Love me, Glaia?

    _Gla._                  Next to Hubert.

    _Rol._ O, next to Hubert.

    _Gla._                  And the boy.

    _Rol._                             The boy?

    _Gla._ Henry his name is. Such a pretty youth!
    He gave me this,--and see, this jewel here
    Is all so precious that it guards the life
    Of whoso wears it. He must like me well
    To give it me. Dost think he likes me, Roland?

    _Rol._ [_Aside_] O God, the king! ... Give me the baldric, Glaia.
    I will return it, for I know the youth.
    In truth, I've seen him wear this very belt.
    'Twas wrong to take it, Glaia. He belongs
    So wholly to the king that you can have
    No portion of his love, lest he betray
    Himself and thee. Go, get you ready, child,
    To leave this place. For you 'tis full of dangers.

    _Gla._ Back to the woods? O happiness! But I--
    Ah, must we go so soon?

    _Rol._                  It was your prayer.

    _Gla._ But then--I had not--strange! Why is it, Roland,
    'Tis not so merry going as I thought?
    Is't not a little lonely in the woods?
    And yet it never seemed so. Will you come
    To see me, Roland?

    _Rol._             Do you want me, Glaia?

    _Gla._ O, yes, dear Roland! And you'll bring the boy?
    I want to ask if he will be my brother.

    _Rol._ You must not see him. Go and get you ready.
                                   [_Exit Glaia_]
    O, wretched me, to love so frail a thing!
    Fragile and pure, thou art not for this world,
    Where the same winds that bring thee breath must blow
    Thy gentle life out.

                [_Re-enter the king_]

    Sovereign liege,
    Count it not boldness if I dare to guess
    Your presence here. You come, my lord, to find
    This precious property.    [_Gives him the belt_]
    I know 'tis prized,
    And hold me happy that it met my eye
    Before another's.

    _Hen._ Gentle Roland, thanks.
    I need not ask if you found aught with this
    More precious still.

    _Rol._ Nothing that majesty
    Might without blushing claim.

    _Hen._ Thank you again.
    [_Aside_] I've found the lover! ... Is there news from sea?

    _Rol._ Uncertain news, that I was on my way
    To give to you. Report cries victory
    For Hubert, but 'tis chance improbable
    That he should win, so take a breath, your highness,
    Ere you believe.

    _Hen._ The lords must know of this!

    _Rol._ Your majesty, I have a suit to thee.

    _Hen._ A victory!

    _Rol._ If you do hold him dear
    Who, by report, has won this doubtful battle,
    That saves your kingdom and sets fast your crown,
    I beg you hear me!

    _Hen._ Speak, but be not slow,
    Good Roland.

    _Rol._ Sire, De Burgh has enemies
    Who seek his downfall, for his honesty
    Stands rock-like 'tween the throne and treachery.
    'Twas they who wrought to send him feebly forth
    'Gainst odds so great they left no chance of life
    Save by God's love and favor. If he wins,
    The victor's garland and his king's reward
    Will further urge their hate to villainy.

    _Hen._ Who are these foes?

    _Rol._          The earl of Albemarle,
    Pembroke and Winchester.

    _Hen._        My very staff!
    What proof hast thou?

    _Rol._ I've nothing for your eye.
    But in my heart there is a testament
    That makes me bold to name them. I would risk
    All but my soul to save you such a friend
    And virtuous servant as De Burgh, You may
    Condemn me----

    _Hen._ First, I'll watch these lords.
    But be they false, where, where shall I find friends?

    _Rol._ 'Mong those who fight your battles, sire, nor fear
    To die to save a king.

                               [_Exit_]

    _Hen._  [_Seating himself in an alcove_]
                           I see a king
    Must take some thought to keep his crown on 's head.

                [_Re-enter Stephen and Eldra_]

_Eld._ Dear man, you can't deny it! 'Twas you saved my mistress. But
for my good man drowned at sea I'd love you, sweeting.

_Ste._ And if you love me it must be by way of kiss and part, for my
good wife is still in the world, I've reason to think, and some day I
shall run plumb into her bonny white arms. But a kiss, my lass, with a
penny to the priest, can do a soldier no harm, and you'll always find
me obliging in everything except matrimony.

_Eld._ Out! Away! You old father Longbeard! You Johnny Hump-back!

_Ste._ Hump! 'Tis the squint in your eye, my dearie! I'm as straight as
a poplar in the king's court.

_Eld._ Squint, sir? May be so, for I'm thinkin' o' my braw handsome
man, an' 'twould make a straight eye squint to see you standin' in his
place, it would.

_Ste._ An' I'm thinkin' o' my bonny little girl, as plump and tender as
a partridge at her first nest, and out upon you, my fine, fat waddler!

_Eld._ An my man were here you'd drop to your fours and go like a beast
for shame, you would. The prettiest figure 'tween here and Jerusalem!
He had an arm! He could sling a sword! And such a leg! Dick Lion-heart
never shaped a trimmer stocking. Hair like a raven fannin' the wind!
An eye like Sallydeen's! For all the world a black coal with a fire in
the middle. No watery peepers like present company's. An his eyes were
stars in heaven I could point 'em out!

_Ste._ O, my sweet wench that's a waitin' for me! When shall I see her
comin' with her head up like a highland doe, an' cheeks as red as my
grandam's nightcap? I think o' her now as she stood on the high rocks
over Logan's frith singin' the song that made the sugar-water start in
my heart. And straight I must gallop wi' her to the kirk-- Hey, what's
the matter, old lady?

_Eld._ Nothin'--nothin', sir,--just one o' my qualms.

_Ste._ Do you have 'em ordinary? A pity now. My lass, an she lived a
thousand years, would not he qualmsy.

_Eld._ [_Aside_] 'Tis Stephen, my own man! And he doesn't know me! O, I
am changed from his ain lassie! He despises me! Waddler! O!

_Ste._ Chirk up, old duck. When I find my lass----

    [_Re-enter Orson_]

_Ors._ Mistress Eldra, what do you gabbling here and my lady calling
you?

    [_Exit Eldra with Orson_]

_Ste._ Eldra? By Pharo's ghost! Let me see--ten years. It might
be--yes--her very complexion--the pert eye--the little foot--the canny
twitch to her lips--and her man drowned at sea. Well, I'm pickled. She
has built up such a Solomon's glory picture o' me that plain Stephen
Godfrey will never get another chance. _He_ had an arm! Ha! Did I? An
eye like Sallydeen! A leg like Lion-heart! Ha! [_Struts up and down_]
But now I'm father Longbeard. Well, I'll shave off this weeping willow
tree anyhow.

    [_Re-enter Eldra_]

_Eld._ Good sir, are you here yet?

_Ste._ [_Aside_] Good sir! Methinks I grow in favor. Ay, sweet madam.

_Eld._ [_Aside_] He's lookin' softer now. Well a day, this is a world.
Here they brought me and the lady Glaia to make sure we would be safe,
and now they're taking us back for the same reason. Ay me, and a
lonely, dreary place it is we're goin' to, with never a civil gentleman
like yourself to sit out the night wi' a stoop o' ale an' cakes o' my
own raisin'.

_Ste._ My good madam, if you will give me the tip o' the road, I'll not
be a slow traveller when the business of war will let an honest soldier
course to his liking.

_Eld._ O, 'tis secret, sir. My lady is hid away for some reason of God
or the devil, and I'll not be so false as to let a stranger on the
track.

_Ste._ Am I a stranger, madam? Did not my good arm no more than an hour
ago procure me warrant for better treatment? Come! As you say, there'll
be lonely times, and a discreet companion who knows how to keep his
tongue behind his teeth will not come amiss on a rainy day.

_Eld._ [_Aside_] How can it be harm to tell my own man when the good
priest said we were one flesh? 'Twill only be tellin' my own ears.
Well, sir, if you'll swear by St. Peter's thumb and the crucifix
you'll never let anybody know----

_Ste._ By St. Peter's thumb and the crucifix--and your black eyes,
too--I swear!

_Eld._ Then take the straight road to--O, I'm afraid!

_Ste._ Courage, my pretty! There's not a cricket to hear you.

_Eld._ The straight road to Greenot woods, and two miles in the forest
where the brook crosses, ride up the stream half a mile to a tall red
ash standin' alone, and three miles by the path to the right brings you
to the place you'll find me. Now I've done it! No, don't thank me for
bein' a fool.

_Ste._ Nay, a woman, dearie.

_Eld._ I must run to my mistress.

                [_Exit Eldra, Stephen following_]

    _Hen._ [_Coming forward_] Go, Stephen with the Lion's leg. You'll haste
    If I be not before you. Am I bound
    To Margaret? By others' mouths, perhaps.
    But certain not at all by oath of mine.

                [_Enter friar Sebastian_]

    What holy gloom comes here? Friar Sebastian,
    One time the counsellor to Isabel.
    Do you not know me, father?

    _Fr. Seb._ [_Kneeling_] Gracious king!

    _Hen._ Nay, rise and bless me.

    _Fr. Seb._              Hear, my sovereign.
    This meeting is not chance. I sought thee here
    To tell what palsies me to think on.

    _Hen._                   Speak,
    Then think of it no more.

    _Fr. Seb._          'Tis said De Burgh
    Has gained the victory 'gainst all expectance.
    I know that he was sure he went to death,
    Else had he never put unto his lips
    The rose that bloomed for one so high above him.
    But dreaded death is yet full gracious, sire,
    And sanctions rights too bold for life to claim.

    _Hen._ Did Hubert wrong me, father?

    _Fr. Seb._           Alas, my king!

    _Hen._ Come, drop your burden even to my heart
    That I may know its weight.

    _Fr. Seb._      Sire, in the hour
    That he spent last on land, I married him
    To a most noble lady.

    _Hen._     Married? Ha!
    Nor asked consent of me? Not one
    "By your good leave, my king"?

    _Fr. Seb._        If in my words
    So soon you find affront to majesty,
    I dare not tell you more.

    _Hen._      Nay, I'll forgive him.
    Remembering his service 'twere too stern
    To make contention of his marriage.

    _Fr. Seb._ Though he should banish all the woes of England,
    Make sorrow alien, and a tear unknown,
    Yet has he wronged a king. Though happy mothers
    Drop on their knees and let no hour pass by
    Without its prayer for him, still has he wronged
    A king!

    _Hen._ Wilt never speak because you speak
    So much?

    _Fr. Seb._ Here let me lie, and pray your grace
    For two long troubled hearts. When I have spoken
    Then set thy foot upon my priestly head,
    But spare them, spare them, sire!

    _Hen._          Up! Rise, I say,
    From this debasement. We shall take good care
    To shield your holiness. Now speak!

    _Fr. Seb._           One word
    Will tell you--one.

    _Hen._ [_Taking a seat_] And how much time will 't take
    To say that word?

    _Fr. Seb._   It is the name of her
    Whom knightly Hubert made his wife.

    _Hen._                        Is it
    A long name, father?

    _Fr. Seb._ [_On his knees_] It is Margaret.

    _Hen._ [_Rising_] Of Scotland?

    _Fr. Seb._ [_Covering his head_] Ay, my liege.

    _Hen._ [_Aside_]          Deliverance!
    Rise, father, rise, and learn that even a king
    Is noble enough to suffer and forgive.

    _Fr. Seb._ Have I my ears? Are these your words, my lord?
    Or does some pitying angel alchemize
    Them into sounds more fit to reach my weak
    And trembling age?

    _Hen._         You hear even as I speak.
    'Tis true that Hubert pitched his love full high.
    Good manners had not o'ershot the royal bow;
    But take my word no harm shall come to him.

    _Fr. Seb._ He'll need a friend, my liege, for dangers stride
    In wake of this rash marriage.

    _Hen._                   Leave them
    To me. I'll try my fledgling wit in this.
    Where is the cardinal?

    _Fr. Seb._    I' the western hall.

    _Hen._ Here come the lords. But first I'll speak with Gualo.

     [_Exeunt Henry and friar Sebastian, left. At right, enter
     Albemarle, Winchester and Pembroke_]

    _Pem._ [_To Albemarle_] He has not yet confirmed you chancellor?

    _Alb._ No need, so short his reign.

    _Win._          We should have news.
    By this the battle's done. I wonder now
    How far is Hubert's head on its long journey
    To ocean's bottom?

    _Alb._     May it please your grace,
    We think 'tis best that you stay with the king.
    If all desert him 'twill look foul in us,
    And it will take an honest English face
    To keep the people with us.

    _Win._        True, my lord.
    And I will stay with him, for I have gone
    A little deeper in his heart than you,
    And can best turn him to advance our plot.

    _Pem._ While we ride forth to call men to defence--
    In truth to give them hand and foot to Louis--
    You wait here with the king----

    _Win._               I understand.
    And you not coming up, perforce be taken.
    Then Henry may lay by his crown, or keep 't
    To please his jailer's peeping mammets, or bribe
    His turnkey for a slug of meat.

    _Alb._                   The jail
    Where he must lie is small and needs no keeper;
    For who go in so well contented are
    They're never known to set foot forth again.

    _Win._ Must go so far? Well, as you please, my lords.

      [_Re-enter Henry, with Cardinal Gualo and attendants_]

    _Alb._ God save your majesty!

    _Hen._         My faithful friends,
    Well met.

    _Win._ Ah, still in black, my liege?

    _Hen._                        Why not,
    My lord? When my poor father in the flesh
    Was struck by death they dressed me in this hue;
    And heavier cause have I to wear it now,
    When he who gave my soul its dearest light--
    My father in nobility above
    The blood or happy chance of birth--is gone
    To come no more.

    _Win._         But, good, my liege, am I
    So little worth that with a strange misfit
    I wear his dignity?

    _Hen._            The worthier
    You are to wear 't you'll teach me to regret
    His goodness lost, and be more pleased to see
    How I prize virtue dead, guessing thereby
    How dear is living virtue to my soul.

    _Pem._ [_Aside to Albemarle_] Does he suspect?

    _Alb._             'Twould trouble us. There are
    Some captains in the fort would make a way
    For his escape.

    _Hen._        You've had no news, my lords?

    _Alb._ We yet wait word, but rest you easy, sire.
    Our fleet is safe and proudly bearing home.

    _Hen._ Your faith is strong.

    _Alb._                     I have no doubt, my lord.

    _Hen._ Were it not well to take this time to plan De Burgh's reward?

    _Alb._           Ay, 'twere, your majesty.

    _Hen._ What say you, my lord cardinal? You first.
    How should we grace his triumph? With what honor?

    _Gualo._ None is too great. I'd place him next the throne.
    What think your lordships?

    _Alb._                   As yourself, my lord.
    [_Aside to Pembroke_] Best humor him.

    _Gualo._                   Then further I may speak.
    The earl of Kent, who lately met his death,
    Has left no heir to his vast lands and name.
    I think that God did so provide this place
    For honor of De Burgh. And more than this,
    Let him be made the great lord chancellor,
    And chief justiciary of this troubled realm.

    _Alb._ [_Aside to Pembroke_] Agree. No matter. Gualo's eye is on us.

    _Win._ You speak in happy time, lord cardinal,
    And we embrace your meaning heartily.

    _Hen._ This easy payment of so great a debt
    Inclines me to forget the dangerous way
    De Burgh comes by his honor. We must keep
    That ever in our hearts, my worthy lords,
    Lest we grow jealous of his climbing fortune.

    _Alb._ I hope we've memories, sire, and honest ones.

    _Hen._ Well, to forfend the bating of his praise
    In my poor mind, I'll give a lasting proof
    Of how I hold him, and here forfeit right
    To Margaret's hand in favor of De Burgh.

    _Alb._ My liege! The princess?

    _Hen._         He is now an earl;
    And if I not complain, should any here?

    _Alb._ But, sire----

    _Pem._ [_Aside to Albemarle_] Submit! 'Tis only for an hour.

    _Alb._ Pardon me that I thought to save you, sire
    From such dear sacrifice.

    _Hen._       'Tis fit we make it,
    And ask your fair approval, Albemarle.

    _Alb._ And here I give it, my too gracious king.
    [_To an attendant_] Whist! Are the horses saddled?

    _Att._            Ready, sir.

                [_Enter Gregory_]

    _Hen._ Well, captain, well?

    _Greg._        The princess Margaret
    And lady Albemarle are at the gates.

    _Alb._ My countess gads for news of her brave brother.

    _Hen._ A worthy quest. [_To Gregory_] See them refreshed and lodged,
    But bid them keep their chamber for a time.

                                 [_Exit Gregory_]

    _Alb._ [_To Pembroke_] Where are our messengers?
    Can they be lost?

    _Pem._ We should have heard by now. There's something wrong.

                [_Enter an attendant_]

    _Att._ Your majesty, a messenger!

    _Hen._          From sea?

                [_Enter Gersa_]

    _Ger._ The king! Where is the king?

    _Alb._            Pray use your eyes.

    _Ger._ [_Kneeling_] Your majesty.

    _Hen._ Arise. Your message?

    _Ger._          Sire,
    Hubert de Burgh is at the port.

    _Alb._ [_Aside_]      How now?

    _Ger._ With all his ships but five.

    _Pem._ [_To Winchester_] But five? What's here?

    _Win._ A witch i' the pot, your lordships.

    _Ger._             For those five
    There's fifty of the French gone to the bottom.
    The rest are scattered wide, with crippled sails
    Begging the winds for mercy.

    _Hen._        Hark, my lords!
    Divinity is here. [_To Gersa_] How was this done?
    What know you of the battle?

    _Ger._        When we met
    The opposing fleet, we crept by swift and silent,
    As to escape the fight. So near we coursed
    We heard the jeers cast on us as we passed.
    Well by, we turned, and with the wind at back,
    Bore down full sail and grappled.

    _Hen._                         Here were men!

    _Ger._ Then, sire, we cut the lime-sacks on our decks----

    _Hen._ Lime-sacks?

    _Ger._ Which gave out smarting clouds that rose----

    _Hen._ Now here were fools!

    _Ger._                    Sire, you forget the wind.
    The sweeping breeze took up the stinging lime,
    Clearing our decks, but wrapping round our foes,
    Blinding all eyes.

    _Hen._           St. George!

    _Ger._                     'Twas easy then
    To hook our vessels to the great French ships,
    Cut down their rigging and make way at will
    O'er the wallowing crew.

    _Pem._                 Must we believe this tale?

    _Hen._ Goes it against your wish?

    _Pem._                          Nay, but 'tis strange.

    _Ger._ [_To Henry_] One hundred knights, eight hundred officers,
    Now wait their doom from you. Le Moine was found
    Hid in his ship, and offered mighty sums
    For his vile life, but Fitzroy closed the parley
    By striking off his head.

    _Alb._                  What? Le Moine dead?

    _Hen._ Why so amazed, my lord of Albemarle?
    Did you not prophesy a victory?

    _Alb._ True, true, my liege, but this surpasses all
    My hope of it. Call it a miracle,
    Not victory.

    _Gualo._   Call it whate'er you will,
    The Lord of Hosts was with this noble knight.

    _Hen._ Not knight, but the right noble earl of Kent,
    And for his life our grand justiciary.
    [_To Gersa_] Thou art the mavis to a happy dawn.
    Come, sing again.
                         [_Talks aside with him_]

    _Win._ [_To Albemarle and Pembroke_] Your lordships, do you ride?

    _Alb._ What tone is this?

    _Win._                  A tone you'll tune to, sir.
    Didst think me such a fool to stay and fall
    With Henry into Louis' hands? Nay, I've
    No wish to enter that small cell of earth
    Which needs no turnkey, as you say.

    _Alb._                              What, sir?

    _Win._ No, by the Lord! At the first castle where
    You planned to stop I had my servants laid
    To take you prisoners. It stirs my blood
    That you should think I came to the bishopric
    By a fool's wit. Now Rome is at my back,
    And Henry king! But I'll make peace with you,
    For I foresee a power in De Burgh
    That warns me not to scorn even traitor strength.

    _Alb._ Ay, we've no fear you'll let this sudden turn
    Cut off our fortunes.

    _Hen._                Come, my lords. Come, all!
    We'll to the gates to greet the earl of Kent!

                              [_Exeunt. Curtain_]



ACT III

     SCENE 1. _Same as in act second. The king, Pembroke, Albemarle,
     Winchester, and other lords entering._


    _Hen._ The barons are assembling. On to London,
    And call the council. I will join you there.
    The revenues long promised shall be paid.
    At last I am a king! Will post, my lords?
    Night shuffles toward the morn.

    _Pem._                       You'll not forget
    Your barons' suit, my liege.

    _Hen._                     Bring the petition.
    I'll look at it, and then--will what I will.

                                         [_Exit_]

    _Alb._ What new-gown cock is this?

    _Pem._                            Will what I will!
    And post you, sirs!

    _Win._            The child that hung at knees
    Now stands on the great shoulders of De Burgh,
    And ports himself a giant o'er our heads.

    _Pem._ Ha, so! This wedge of love 'twixt you and Henry
    Quite thrusts you out.

    _Win._                True, sir, but I've in mind
    A plot will reach as high as Kent's new head,
    Which, with your sworn and loyal aid, I'll push
    To fullest stature.

    _Pem._ You have my oath, my lord.

    _Win._ And bond more sure--your spurring need to prick
    Kent's swelling strength. But you, lord Albemarle--
    The mighty Kent is brother to your wife,
    Which now may count somewhat to lift your fortunes.

    _Alb._ And when didst see my fortunes lie so low
    As need the hoisting hand of friend or kin?
    Nay, our ambitions swear us enemies!
    I stand as free, my lord, as any here.

    _Win._ Then hear my plan. You know I carry all
    With the archbishop.

    _Pem._          True. If Winchester would
    Trust Canterbury to find way.

    _Win._                      Through him
    We'll call this council in the name of Rome,
    To kill the canker in the bud of peace
    So lately ventured in the track of war,
    And sound abroad that on this holy day
    All weapons, armor, and gross sign of blood
    Shall be laid by. I will persuade the king
    His dignity is touched to be so quick
    To fill his purse before he says his prayers,
    And that 'tis wise to throw this goodly bait
    To hook the common love. Now to this meeting
    Let every prelate bear most righteous arms,
    And every baron look well to his sword;
    Then when the unsuspecting king appears,
    Close companied no doubt by his new earl,
    That mushroom minion we will dare accuse
    And crop his power as we prize our safety.

    _Pem._ But will not Kent oppose this swordless worship?

    _Win._ Nay, he's afflicted with true piety,
    And in the addling flush of high success
    Is mellow with the good love of the world.
    All men are honest now! Trust me, he'll bait
    At what his judgment yesterday had scorned.

    _Alb._ But what have we t' advance with show of right
    Against him?

    _Win._ Gualo brings the axe--although
    He knows it not--that shall behead De Burgh.
    Trust me, my lords, and soon you shall know more.

    _Alb._ Work as you will, for while he is in power
    We are but puppets and I dance not well.

    _Win._ I'll ride with Gualo, and begin our move.
    Then on to Canterbury. Fare you well,
    Till morning bring our bold designs together.

                                         [_Exit_]

    _Alb._ How, Pembroke? Seest the gull in this?

    _Pem._                                       It needs
    No second sight, my lord. The barons' arms
    Outnumber all the feeble prelacy.

    _Alb._ Thinks we'll stop with Kent when Henry stands
    Defenceless 'fore us? Come! We too must ride.

    _Pem._ Proud Poitevin! He plots to lose his head,
    And give this land a king indeed!

    _Alb._                       My Pembroke!

     [_Exeunt. An attendant opens the large doors, rear, lady Albemarle
     and the princess Margaret enter_]

    _La. Alb._ What! no one here? We have not seen a soul
    But the poor fool who brought us food and wine.
    I'll not endure it! Are we prisoners?
    Mewed up these hours, when all about there's stir
    As Fate changed hands and rumbled destiny.
    Such clattering, shifting, revel, and "To horse!"
    And we mope here like toothless dames that long
    Have lost the world!

    _Att._          Your ladyship, the king
    Will see you here.

    _La. Alb._     That's better. He shall beg
    My pardon.
                                [_Seats herself_]

    _Mar._ How canst think of things so slight
    When even now your brother may be lost?

    _La. Alb._ I lose no kingdom with him. That's your theme,
    And, lord, you don't neglect it.

    _Mar._ [_Walking away from her_] O, for word!
    Surely some word has come!

    _La. Alb._                   Would I were home!
    'Twas you, my lady, put this journey on me
    With prating of my duty to my brother.
    But I know why you came.

    _Mar._                     O me, you know?

    _La. Alb._ That does not mark me wise. A fool might guess.

    _Mar._ O, I am lost! Dear lady, be my friend!

    _La. Alb._ Why such a fluttering like a lass in folly?
    The king was here, and 'twas mere wit in you
    To follow after, making me your foil.

    _Mar._ The king?

    _La. Alb._     Ay, ay, the king! I understand
    Your cry about my brother.

    _Mar._                       O!

    _La. Alb._                    Why such an "O!"
    As though you'd swallow all the air i' the room
    And kill me with vacuity.

    _Mar._                      Ah, madam!

    _La. Alb._ You'll not have long to wait. He'll be here soon.

    _Mar._ O, then you think he's safe?

    _La. Alb._                        I think he's safe?
    Why should he not be safe?

    _Mar._                  Could I believe it!

    _La. Alb._ His truest lords are with him. Albemarle
    Himself is guard sufficient.

    _Mar._                         Albemarle?
    He is not with your brother!

    _La. Alb._                     Brother? Pah!
    How you draw off and on, as 'twere a shame
    To love a king!

    _Mar._          The king? Ah--I----

    _La. Alb._                          You ask
    If he is safe, and I say safe enough,
    Then drops the curtain of your modesty,
    And you cry of my brother. Faith, you'll have
    Me set about with this till I believe
    My brother is the king of England!

    _Mar._                             O,
    I'm wretched, wretched!

    _La. Alb._ Patience! He'll be here.
    True, 'tis most beggarly of him to lag,
    But do not doubt he'll come.

    _Mar._                       He will not come.
    O, never, never, never!

    _La. Alb._              Foolish lass!
    He can not stay away from you--his wife.
    I might as well be out with 't soon as late.

    _Mar._ O, lady--countess--if you e'er had need
    Of gentle friends----

    _La. Alb._            I know not what to do
    With this strange piece of daintiness. Up, mistress!
    How will you blush when Henry calls you wife,
    If I, in play, can throw you on your knees?

    _Mar._ Henry? God pity me! I am so racked!

    _La. Alb._ Thou art a fool! Up, girl, there's some one comes.
    If 't be the king! Quick now, and smooth your face.
    If he should wonder at this trace of tears,
    I'll tell him why you wept.

    _Mar._                      You could not be
    So cruel!

    _La. Alb._ Cruel? How? 'Twill please him well
    To hear you wept for him.

    _Mar._              For him?

                [_Enter attendant_]

    _Att._              The king.

    _La. Alb._ Now, now, be still. He comes.

                [_Enter Henry_]

    _Hen._                  My duty to
    My fair and honored guests. And my first suit
    Is for your pardon that I come so late;
    My next is still for pardon I must haste
    Unto my third, and pray the lady Margaret
    For word with her alone.

    _La. Alb._               I will withdraw,
    My lord.

    _Hen._ [_To attendants_] Attend the countess.

    _Mar._                             O! dear Heaven!

    _Hen._ Are you at prayers, sweet lady?

    _Mar._                                Say I am,
    Can women pray too much, who need so oft
    The soft protection of the holy skies?

    _Hen._ Have I been slack in care? Ah, Margaret,
    Let youth excuse neglect the past may know.
    In future----

    _Mar._ O, thou hast been all I wish!

    _Hen._ All? All, Margaret? You've been in England
    Ten years or more, and understand, I think,
    Why you, a child, were sent unto our court.

    _Mar._ My lord, when peace was made with Scotland's king,
    I was included in the arbitrament,
    But am uncertain of the precise terms,
    Though I dare think there was no mention made
    Of marriage.

    _Hen._ There was a dowry paid
    To English coffers.

    _Mar._ Dowry? Ah, was 't not
    A dainty serving of too humble pie?
    Mere specious covering for indemnity
    Proud Scotland would not pay by such a name?

    _Hen._ May be, but 'twas held wise to join the kingdoms
    By current of our blood.

    _Mar._                   True at that time
    'Twas best for England to make closer ties
    Wi' the north, but now is Scotland on her knees,
    And you have naught to fear if you should choose
    To set aside my claim.

    _Hen._                 The people's eyes
    Are on you as their queen.

    _Mar._                     They will approve
    As readily if you make other choice.

    _Hen._ Then 't seems we both are free to follow love
    In any court we please.

    _Mar._                  In truth, my lord!

    _Hen._ And you reject me?

    _Mar._                         I am not so bold----

    _Hen._ But, lady, in the world's mouth you will be
    My cast off love, for who is there so wise
    As to believe you would refuse a king?

    _Mar._ I care not, sir! What is the world to me?
    O, let it think as 'twill, if only----

    _Hen._                                  Ah,
    If only you are saved from me? But, madam,
    I can not flip the world away as you.
    It is my field of tourney where I joust
    For fame and tender reputation.
    I must not let men point to you and say
    "See Henry's fool!" You shall be wed at once
    Unto the lord most powerful in England
    Who yet is free.

    _Mar._           O, sir----

    _Hen._                      The earl of Kent.

    _Mar._ Your majesty, be merciful!

    _Hen._                           I am.

    _Mar._ My knees were bending to you thankfully,
    But you have changed their purpose to a prayer
    For veriest pity. The earl of Kent, my lord?
    An old, fierce man, who scorns the name of love?

    _Hen._ To you he will be kind. I'll stake my crown,
    Once wed to him you'll thank me for this day,
    And swear you'd choose him yours from all the world.
    He's in the castle now. I'll send him here,
    For I'm in haste to bring the marriage on.
    Wait here, sweet Margaret.

       [_Opens doors rear, and she passes slowly through_]

    _Mar._                     Kill me, my lord!

    _Hen._ Now, by these tears, you'll live to bless me yet,
    For from my heart I swear you're better wed
    Than if you chose the king.
             [_Closes doors and calls attendant_]
                              Ho, there!

                [_Enter attendant_] I'll see
    The earl of Kent. Bid him come in.

                [_Exit attendant_] 'Tis cruel,
    But right they should be punished who forgot
    A king to please themselves.

                [_Enter Hubert_]

    _Hub._                Your majesty!

    _Hen._ How now, my chancellor? Methinks this day
    Should mark the high note of thy singing heart.
    But thou art gloomy, as weighing still thy chance
    Against the flocking French. Canst not be merry
    If Henry bids thee, Hubert?

    _Hub._                      Ah, my lord,
    I little thought to have escaped the foe.

    _Hen._ Is that to grieve on, man? By Heaven, I'll think
    It would have pleased you better to have sunk
    My fleet and not the enemy's. Come, come!
    What think you of the fortune we've assigned you?
    Art satisfied?

    _Hub._ O, 'tis not to be borne!

    _Hen._ I' faith, thou 'rt plain.

    _Hub._ O, dear my liege, I mean----

    _Hen._ Well, sir, I have another blessing for thee
    May prove more welcome. How wouldst like a wife
    Of royal blood? I will not tell her name,
    But take my word that were my heart not bound
    I'd look her way for fetters. She is fair,
    Ay, perfect as the lily plucked to grace
    A Lord's day altar, yet is proud enough
    To hold your new-dropped dignities above
    The mire and brambles of the common way;
    And all this, sir, shall be your wedded wife.

    _Hub._ My lord----

    _Hen._ Nay, do not thank me. Ah, at last
    I've touched the key of gratitude. Indeed,
    My Hubert, you are pale with this new joy.
    I almost, fear to tell you she is there--
    Within that room--and waiting your approach.

    _Hub._ My royal lord--I beg----

    _Hen._                         No, not a word
    Of thanks.

    _Hub._     Not thanks! There's something else to say!

    _Hen._ What, sir? Wouldst still play hang-lip at thy fortune?

    _Hub._        Hear me, your majesty!

    _Hen._              Nay, I will speak.
    Sir, I have done what monarchs seldom do,
    Proclaimed my general worthy of his hire,
    And paid it, too, and these sour looks from you
    Are as the poisonous leaves in a fair garland
    Marking it for decay. I've yielded much
    Unto your noble merit, but no more
    Will yield to your proud humor!

    _Hub._                          Hear, my lord----

    _Hen._ No words! There is the door. Go in and find
    The lady that must be your wife, or down
    Come all your brave new honors to the ground!

     [_Opens door and forces him through. Margaret is lying on the
     floor, her face hidden_]

    _Hub._ O, Heaven! 'Tis Margaret!

    _Mar._ O! [_Leaps up, gazes at Hubert and runs to his arms_] Hubert,
    Hubert!

          [_The king closes the doors upon them_]

    _Hen._ The midnight's past. I must away to Glaia,
    And by the sunrise at her window sing.
    My lords are set toward London. None shall know,
    Save Cupid's self, how far I ride to-night.

                                      [_Curtain_]



ACT IV

     SCENE 1. _Near the cottage in Greenot woods. Henry, with lute,
     singing._


    Ope, throw ope thy bower door,
      And come thou forth, my sweet!
    'Tis morn, the watch of love is o'er,
      And mating hearts should meet.
    The stars have fled and left their grace
    In every blossom's lifted face,
    And gentle shadows fleck the light
    With tender memories of the night.
    Sweet, there's a door to every shrine;
    Wilt thou, as morning, open thine?
    Hark! now the lark has met the clouds,
      And rains his sheer melodious flood;
    The green earth casts her mystic shrouds
      To meet the flaming god!
    Alas, for me there is no dawn
    If Glaia come not with the sun.

      [_Enter Glaia_. _The king kneels as she approaches_]

    _Gla._ 'Tis you!

    _Hen._ [_Leaping up_] Pardoned! Queen of this bowerland,
    Your glad eyes tell me that I have not sinned.

    _Gla._ How cam'st thou here? Now who plays Hubert false?
    Nay, I'm too glad thou 'rt come to question so.
    'Tis easy to forgive the treachery
    That opes our gates to angels.

    _Hen._                      O, I'm loved?

    _Gla._ Yes, Henry. All the morn I've thought of you,
    And I rose early, for I love to say
    Good-by to my dear stars; they seem so wan
    And loath to go away, as though they know
    The fickle world is thinking of the sun,
    And all their gentle service of the night
    Is quite forgot.

    _Hen._ And what didst think of me?

    _Gla._ That could you come and see this beauteous wood,
    Fair with Spring's love and morning's kiss of grace,
    You'd be content to live awhile with me,
    Leave war's red step to follow living May
    Passing to pour her veins' immortal flood
    To each decaying root; and rest by springs
    Where waters run to sounds less rude than song,
    And hiding sibyls stir sweet prophecies.

    _Hen._ The only springs I seek are in your eyes
    That nourish all the desert of myself.
    Drop here, O, Glaia, thy transforming dews,
    And start fair summer in this waste of me!

    _Gla._ Poor Henry! What dost know of me to love?

    _Hen._ See yon light cloud half-kirtled with faint rose?
    What do I know of it but that 'tis fair?
    And yet I dream 'twas born of flower dews
    And goes to some sweet country of the sky.
    So cloud-like dost thou move before my love,
    From beauty coming that I may not see,
    To beauty going that I can but dream.
    O, love me, Glaia! Give to me this hand,
    This miracle of warm, unmelting snow,
    This lily bit of thee that in my clasp
    Lies like a dove in all too rude a cote--
    Wee heaven-cloud to drop on monarch brows
    And smooth the ridgy traces of a crown!
    Rich me with this, and I'll not fear to dare
    The darkest shadow of defeat that broods
    O'er sceptres and unfriended kings.

    _Gla._                              Why talk
    Of crowns and kings? This is our home, dear Henry.
    For if you love me you will stay with me.

    _Hen._ Ah, blest to be here, and from morning's top
    Review the sunny graces of the world,
    Plucking the smilingest to dearer love,
    Until the heart becomes the root and spring
    Of hopes as natural and as simply sweet
    As these bright children of the wedded sun
    And dewy earth!

    _Gla._         I knew you'd stay, my brother!
    You'll live with me!

    _Hen._              But there's a world not this,
    O'er-roofed and fretted by ambition's arch,
    Whose sun is power and whose rains are blood,
    Whose iris bow is the small golden hoop
    That rims the forehead of a king,--a world
    Where trampling armies and sedition's march
    Cut off the flowers of descanting love
    Ere they may sing their perfect word to man,
    And the rank weeds of envies, jealousies,
    Push up each night from day's hot-beaten paths----

    _Gla._ O, do not tell me, do not think of it!

    _Hen._ I must. There is my world, and there my life
    Must grow to gracious end, if so it can.
    If thou wouldst come, my living periapt,
    With virtue's gentle legend overwrit,
    I should not fail, nor would this flower cheek,
    Pure lily cloister of a praying rose,
    E'er know the stain of one despoiling tear
    Shed for me graceless. Will you come, my Glaia?

    _Gla._ Into that world? No, thou shall stay with me.
    Here you shall be a king, not serve one. Ah,
    The whispering winds do never counsel false,
    And senatorial trees droop not their state
    To tribe and treachery. Nature's self shall be
    Your minister, the seasons your envoys
    And high ambassadors, bearing from His court
    The mortal olive of immortal love.

    _Hen._ To man my life belongs. Hope not, dear Glaia,
    To bind me here; and if you love me true,
    You will not ask me where I go or stay,
    But that your feet may stay or go with mine.
    Let not a nay unsweet those tender lips
    That all their life have ripened for this kiss.
                                   [_Kisses her_]
    O ruby purities! I would not give
    Their chaste extravagance for fruits Iran
    Stored with the honey of a thousand suns
    Through the slow measure of as many years!

    _Gla._ Do brothers talk like that?

    _Hen._                            I think not, sweet.

    _Gla._ But you will be my brother?

    _Hen._                            We shall see.

    _Gla._ And you will stay with me? No? Ah, I fear
    All that you love in me is born of these
    Wild innocences that I live among,
    And far from here, all such sweet value lost,
    I'll be as others are in your mad world,
    Or wither mortally, even as the sprig
    A moment gone so pertly trimmed this bough.
    Let us stay here, my Henry. We shall be
    Dear playmates ever, never growing old,--
    Or if we do 'twill be at such a pace
    Time will grow weary chiding, leaving us
    To come at will.

    _Hen._          No, Glaia. Even now
    I must be gone. I came for this--to say
    I'd come again, and bid you watch for me.
    A tear? O, love! One moment, then away!

                              [_Exeunt. Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _A street in London. Citizens, friars, priests, pass in
     devout manner, some bearing crucifixes._

_First Cit._ A day, a day, O, such a day!

_Second Cit._ 'Twill make a new page in our chronicles, the like ne'er
read before.

_Third Cit._ Nay, when Saxon Edward came back from conquered Wales----

_Fourth Cit._ Ay, 'twas such a day of holy joy!

_Second Cit._ But not so general.

_First Cit._ And guards with arms kept order in the streets.

_Third Cit._ But now there's no authority abroad save that comes from
our hearts. Surely the air is charged with drug of peace, and all men
breathe it.

_First Cit._ Where meets the council? In the Tower chamber?

_Third Cit._ Nay, at Westminster palace.

    _Second Cit._                           That's three miles.
    We must push on if we would see them enter.
                                [_They move off_]

    _First Friar._ How meanly does it speak for this proud world
    That when the devil lays his weapons by
    And peace and love for one day reign o'er all,
    That it should wonder at itself, and cry
    "A miracle!"

    _Second Friar._      In holy Edward's time,
    The nuns of Beda joined the council in
    Concerted praise, for 'twas their prayerful fast
    Kept Heaven with the king and gave us Wales;
    And 'twas decreed that ever on such days
    The nuns from this most blest and ancient abbey
    Should with the great assembly kneel in praise.

    _First Friar._ And so they do this day. The legate, Gualo,
    Sent invitation from the king.

    _Second Friar._               The king?
    This shows most well in him.

    _First Friar._              If we haste on,
    We'll see the sisters passing toward the palace.

    _Second friar._ Let's forward then. God save so good
    a king!

                              [_Exeunt. Curtain_]


     SCENE 3. _The great hall in Westminster. Barons and prelates
     assembled. Rich surcoats open, revealing arms. Enter Henry and the
     earl of Kent._

    _Hen._ My lords, is this the faith you keep with kings?
    Then Heaven save me from it! Was 't not your will
    This day all arms should hang upon the wall?
    Yet you come here as though the trump had called
    To sudden battle.

    _Canterbury._      Hear, your majesty,
    The cause for which we laid upon our souls
    This seeming perjury, and you'll forgive
    As Heaven, calling it no stain.

    _Hen._                         Sir, let
    The movers of this saintly shift speak first.
    You, Winchester? You, Albemarle? Canst preach
    The lie away?

    _Alb._       My honored liege, these swords,
    Surer than bended knees, bespeak your safety.
    Knowing that treachery oft defames the ranks
    Of those who shine as the highpriests of God,
    I and my brother barons came thus armed,
    Thinking it better so to break our oaths
    Than that false hands should break your kingly staff.

    _Hen._ For my protection then you do offend?

    _Alb._ For that alone, my liege, we wear this armor.

    _Hen._ And you, lord bishop, guardian of our person
    By prayer and Heavenly counsel,--who even in war
    Should wear no sword but that of righteousness,--
    Confess you with these warlike blades thy Lord
    Unable to defend his own?

    _Win._                   My liege,
    'Tis in His name, to work His equal justice,
    We bear these weapons, sacred by our cause.

                [_Enter Gualo_]

    _Gua._ Your majesty, the nuns of Beda's abbey
    Would enter now.

    _Cant._         The nuns? What do they here?

    _Hen._ You know, your grace, since blessed Edward's time
    'T has been their privilege on days of prayer
    To join their voices with the court and state.

    _Cant._ A privilege, but never yet in practice.

    _Hen._ The more is England's shame that has not seen
    For so long past a day of general prayer
    And utter peace. Not in our time, nor John's,
    Nor Richard's 'fore him, nay, nor greater Henry's,
    Might Beda's sisters claim this privilege.
    Lord Cardinal, bid them in.        [_Exit Gualo_]

    _Alb._                     Nay, nay, my liege,
    This is no place for women.

    _Hen._                     Are they not
    Forever foremost in both prayer and peace?
    By Heaven's King, they've more right here than we!

      [_Enter nuns, led by the abbess, who kneels before the king_]

    _Hen._ Rise, holy abbess.

    _Abb._                   Sovereign of England,
    May Heaven's Sovereign protect thy youth!
    And as thy hand is on thy sceptre laid
    Feel there the Hand invisible from whence
    Thy power comes, and know thy way as His.

     [_Henry bows his head. The abbess and nuns pass to a station apart
     and kneel_]

    _Hen._ Say on, lord bishop. Let us hear how priests
    May break an oath and Heaven smile upon it.

    _Win._ These papers, dearest liege, are warrant for us.
    There is one here so steeped in guilt, the pope
    Commands his sentence by our Spiritual Court;
    And knowing crime so deep makes fierce defence,
    We came thus armed.

    _Hen._ Who of my subjects is so basely given
    The pope must urge the sword of justice 'gainst him?

    _Win._ He is so high in your esteem, my liege----

    _Hen._ Now were he next ourself, our very love,
    Excepting one, the noble earl of Kent,
    Whom only calumny dare censure, we
    Should yield him to thee.

    _Win._                   So? Then we did well
    To wear these arms, for 'tis no less than Kent
    Whom we accuse.

    _Hen._         Kent? Ha! We'll hear your tale
    That we may laugh at it.

    _Win._                  You'll sooner weep,
    I fear. The princess Adelais, of France,
    Is free of the infliction that impaired
    Her noble mind, and through the pope makes suit
    For the recovery of a son--her child
    And the great Henry's. Gualo brings this letter,
    Beneath the pope's own seal, to England's primate,
    His grace of Canterbury. It is signed
    By Geoffrey de Burgh, the father of your Kent,
    And written five years back to Adelais,
    In care of 's Holiness, with the request
    That it be given her should she recover.
    The purport is--her child has lived to be
    A grace to manhood, but that he himself
    Approaches death, and from his worthy son,
    Hubert de Burgh, she may in proper time
    Learn all a mother's heart would know.

    _Hen._                                Well plotted!

    _Win._ And here's another paper that great Pembroke,
    Dying, laid in my hands. It bears the seal
    Of Henry Second, and tells how his son
    And Adelais' is given to the charge
    Of Geoffrey de Burgh, lord keeper of the Tower
    And Dover Castle.

    _Hen._           Keep your paper, sir!
    Dost think that I'll believe these parchment tales
    Of one whose stainless past the world may read?

    _Win._ That precious past, sire, is the bed whereon
    This deed's embossed. All he has done that's noble
    Now serves to make this foul. Look at him now!
    He has no word, but stands as one made stiff
    By sin's confrontment.

    _Hen._                Rather like the god
    Was caught 'twixt the burning and the frozen worlds,
    For so my too-warm love and your deep hate
    Engulf him.

    _Win._       Hear the end, my liege.

    _Hen._                              Go on,
    If there's an end.

    _Win._            This says that Henry's son,
    Arrived at thirty years, shall take his place
    'Mong English nobles as the Duke of Bedford,
    And hold in fief five castles, herein named
    Rockingham, Harle, Beham and Fotheringay,
    With strongest Bedford as his ducal seat;
    But if the child should die, his great estate
    Shall to the church, and in the church's name
    I call De Burgh to show the heir, or prove
    That he is dead and by no hidden means.

    _Kent._ The devil, sir, must pay you bounteous hire,
    You sweat so in his service. Naught I know
    Of ghostly Bedford, or ever heard of him,
    Or that my father held a ward in charge.

    _Hen._ We know you innocent.

    _Win._                      Then let him prove
    His claim to these five castles. Two he holds,
    And three were given in dowry with his sister
    When she became the wife of Albemarle.
    These must he yield, or show that Bedford lives,
    Else will the church by force possess its own.

    _Alb._ Mad Winchester! You plot too heavy here.
    You know there are no stronger forts in England
    Than these three castles that the countess brought me.
    And you'd command their strength in wars against
    The power of the barons! Yield these forts?
    Not while I've breath to fight for what's my own!
    Geoffrey de Burgh received them from great Henry
    For secret, valiant service, such as knights
    Have rarely given kings. Talk you of force?
    My sword shall answer you. I will not yield,
    And here declare a war! What say you, barons?

    _Pem._ Your cause is ours, and here we draw our swords!

    _Alb._ You hear, lord bishop. Moreover we must take
    The person of the king, nor longer risk
    His majesty with traitors. Come, my liege.

    _Cant._ What! Take the king?

    _Alb._              Ay, take the king!

    _Win._                                While grace
    In Heaven lives, we'll keep him from your clutch!

    _Alb._ While we are barons and can lift a sword,
    We will defy you and protect the king!

    _Hen._ I am a monarch, and will go or stay
    As I do please. Lord barons, not with you.

    _Pem._                Ah, must we force you, sir?

    _Win._                          Not from our hands!

    _Alb._ An you do stir, my lord of Winchester,
    We'll wash these floors with blood!

    _Cant._                            The king is ours!

    _Alb._ Swords write our title! Strike, my friends!

    _Hen._                                     God, no!

    _Win._ Stay, Albemarle! We do not well to waste
    The life of England. If we yield the king,
    Will you give up the castles?

    _Pem._ [_To Albemarle_] Say you will.
    The king once ours we'll keep the castles, too.

    _Alb._ [_To Winchester_] Then rest it there. Give us the king, and take
    The castles. [_Aside_] If you can. Ay, there'll be wars
    Will make each stone of England mine. The rocks
    And cliffs I'll mark with name of Albemarle!

    _Win._ [_To Henry_] Think not I risk your dear and royal life.
    I'll call out troops till trees do seem to walk
    And cry for God and Henry! [_To barons_] To your care
    We yield the king.

    _Pem._ Then, Henry, come with us.

    _Hen._ Plain Henry, now thy crown is gilt

    _Pem._                                  We'll put
    No pressure on your liberty save that
    We must t' enforce our charter rights.

    _Win._                                De Burgh
    Must to the Tower, there to await our judgment.
    Lords Goly and De Vere, conduct him thither.

    _Goly._ Come, sir. You will not move?

    _Kent._                               O, Margaret,
    Your love divined too well! Now for the sword
    You bade me bring, and he who first should lay
    A hand upon me----

    _De Vere._ Come!

    _Pem._ [_To the king_] And you with us.

    _Kent._ Hark, lamb, the wolves are at thee!

    _Goly._                                   Must we move you?

    _Abb._ [_Coming down_] Off with your hands, in warrior
                    Michael's name!
    Touch not De Burgh! And you--lord barons--you
    Who blow the gentle fires of this new peace
    With wind of your hot tempers--free the king,
    And wait as fathers on his tender years!

    _Alb._ I said, my lords, we should have prating here.

    _Abb._ The midnight vision and long hours of prayer
    Give us strange powers, and we see thoughts burn
    In your intent would strike their fire against
    The stars of war and light disaster o'er
    A shuddering world. But you----

    _Alb._                         Back to your beads!

    _Abb._ We'll count our heads in your fast dropping blood!
    Wouldst try our swords and see if they be keen?
    And if you scorn mine in a woman's hand,
    Here is the hand shall bear it to your woe.

     [_Takes sword from under her cloak and gives it to Kent. All the
     nuns rise, drop their cloaks and show themselves to be armed men.
     The abbess throws off her hood and stands revealed as Margaret_]

    _Hen._ My guards!

    _Kent._          My soldiers!

    _Mar._                         Kent will not to Tower
    While Margaret of Scotland is his wife.

    _Cant._ Princess, the day is yours, and I, for one,
    Thank Heaven 'tis so.

    _Win._               And I.

    _Mar._                     Contentious lords,
    Forget one hour that ye are baron-peers,
    And churchmen clambering to the pinnacle
    Topped with a cardinal's cap. Think ye are men
    Of England, whose dear duty is to her,
    And swear ye brothers as ye are her sons.
    Down on your knees! Ask pardon of your king!

    _Win._ [_Kneeling_] O, sovereign liege, in all I said and did
    My conscience led me and my God did counsel.
    If 'tis a sin to seek the punishment
    Of one whom we believe has wronged your blood,
    Then have we sinned indeed.

    _Hen._                     Wilt swear to drop
    This charge 'gainst noble Kent, whose honest soul
    Will cloak such guilt when north winds blow their frost
    From bosom of the sun?

    _Win._                I swear, my lord,
    That your own lips shall be the first to make
    Renewal of this charge.

    _Hen._                 Rise, Winchester.
    You are forgiven, but not yet may take
    Your old place in our heart.
                 [_Albemarle and Pembroke kneel_]

    _Alb._                      Were thoughts of men
    Writ on the heart's red walls, this sword, my liege,
    Should open mine that you might read me clear
    Of all intent save truest care for thee.

    _Pem._ And I, my king, sought but the good of England
    In all too harshly crying for the rights
    Of your long loyal barons.

    _Hen._                    Rise, my lords.
    We hold you not attainted, but awhile
    Must look with careful coldness on your love,
    Till by your lives we test this swift repentance.

    _Alb._ O sovereign merciful, we ask no more
    Than thus to prove us true.

    _Hen._                     Now let this day
    Be given as we intended, to His praise
    Whose eye doth search the closet of the dark
    As freely as the dayplains of the sun,
    And reads the minds of men where kings must trust.

                                      [_Curtain_]



LORDS AND LOVERS

PART II



_CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY_


    HENRY III, _King of England_
    EARL OF KENT
    EARL OF ALBEMARLE
    EARL OF PEMBROKE
    ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
    BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
    LORD WYNNE
    COUNT DE ROUILLET, _attending Adelais_
    STEPHEN GODFREY, _a soldier_
    ORSON, _a servant to Glaia_

    ADELAIS, _a princess of France_
    MARGARET, _wife of Kent_
    ELEANOR, _wife of Albemarle_
    GLAIA, _ward of Kent_
    ELDRA, _servant to Glaia_

     _Lords and ladies of the court_, _barons_, _prelates_, _guards_,
     _attendants_, _&c._

    TIME: _13th Century_
    SCENE: _England_



ACT I

     SCENE 1. _Autumn in Greenot woods near Glaia's cottage. Table,
     seats, mugs and ale. Enter Eldra with a plate of cakes._


_Eld._ [_Putting plate on table_] It's the very day and hour he'll be
coming, and he's not the man to count leaves by the roadside. He likes
my cookin', as I've had proof, and he looks so cunnin' at me lately
I could swear he was fallin' in love all over again. And I'm picking
up my looks, I must say. Ay, there's nothin' like a soft tongue for
keepin' a woman young. I feel 'most like a lassie, though he did say
some words at first that made my heart sore, not knowing me after ten
years away. And he's that handsome yet,--since he's shaved off the
beard that got so between us I didn't know my own good man that married
me in Dummerlie kirk on as sweet a Sunday morn as you ever see, and
the priest in a new frock from Wappington, as the housekeeper told me
herself--La, I forgot my lady!

    [_Runs out. Stephen steps from behind a shrub_]

_Ste._ So, mistress, you've known me all the time, have you? And me
playin' the fool courtin' my own wife that was ready to jump into my
arms at the drop o' a hat! But I'll play you a game, my lady!

    [_Re-enter Eldra_]

_Eld._ O, Mr. Stephen!

_Ste._ Ho, Madam Prune-face! A sweet mornin', now ain't it, but a bit
briskish as suits the season.

_Eld._ Prune-face! By my lady's glass, I've not a wrinkle yet as big as
the hair on a bat's wing! Plague take the eyes o' him that says it as
shouldn't!

_Ste._ Well, well, I meant no harm, but mickle it takes to pinch a
bruise. I brought a message to your lady from Sir Roland----

_Eld._ Sir Roland? He's a lord now----

_Ste._ Ay, 'tween the king and Hubert they've made him a lord.

_Eld._ _Hubert!_ You mean his grace, the earl of Kent?

_Ste._ He's still my friend, Meggy. The earldom is nothing between
Hubert and old friends. And I'm a-climbing too. I've had an
advancement, which I don't mind telling you about, but I'll have a bit
o' your brew first and a dozen or so o' them cakes, seein' you took the
trouble. I could never disappoint a woman as had put herself out for
me. [_Sits at table_]

_Eld._ [_Pouring ale_] It has been a long stretch since you were this
way, sir.

_Ste._ Eh? Has it? Well, I don't wonder you think so in this sort o'
a place. Not much goin' or comin' round here! But time don't hang wi'
Stephen. There's ridin' and fightin' an' the lassies to comfort----

_Eld._ I thought you were honest. You've bragged enough!

_Ste._ As honest as a soldier, my dear,--and that ought to content any
woman. [_Eldra sits at table_] Yes, sit if you like. I'm not overproud,
though your place is behind a man o' my rank when he's at table. I know
I've eaten wi' you and drunk wi' you, but I've had an advancement,
Meggy, I've had an advancement. [_Takes sip of ale and puts it down_]
Costmary! Well, let 'em as likes it drink it.

_Eld._ 'Tis nice and balsamy. I thought you'd like it, and saved it o'
purpose.

_Ste._ Dose me wi' tansy and be done!

     [_Eldra turns her head to wipe away a tear and Stephen gulps the
     ale_]

_Ste._ [_Bites a cake and puts it down_] Poh!

_Eld._ Don't you like it?

_Ste._ If I don't mind a lie for manners' sake, I do, but if I've more
respect for truth than manners, I don't. Ain't your hand a little out?

_Eld._ I thought they were extra nice, sir. I'm sure they rose like
feathers.

_Ste._ And may blow away for me! But come, don't hang your head, Meggy.
You're too old for that.

_Eld._ My name is Eldra, sir.

_Ste._ I know, I know, but I told you that was the name o' my dear lass
that's dead and gone----

_Eld._ Dead and gone?

_Ste._ That's what I said. If she ain't dead, she's where I can't get
her, which is all the same to a soldier, so I've about made up my mind
to give over lookin' for her. Lord, don't cry, little chicken! You are
a soft one. Cryin' to think I've lost such a jewel o' a lass, but I'll
tell you something to make you think better of it. There is somebody
up in old Scotland that I think I'll fetch down for the comfort o'
Stephen--as bonny a woman as a man need want, wi' enough siller laid up
from her old daddy to make a soldier a gentleman. Lizzie o' Logan----

_Eld._ Oh-h!

_Ste._ The qualms again? Now devil take a woman as gets queasy just
when a man wants to be friendly and talk things over.

_Eld._ [_Aside_] Liz o' Logan! My cousin as was always jealous and
wanted my Stephen!

_Ste._ Hey, Meggy! [_She runs out, left_] Ha, ha, ha! Poor little
woman! I'm a villain. I'm twenty villains. [_Eldra steals back unseen
and hears him_] To treat my bonny sweet wife so! The cunningest darling
that ever said yes to a soldier! I'll make it all right when she comes
back, and won't there be a smackin' o' lips! [_Eldra makes signs of joy
and revenge and disappears_] Where has she gone? Run off to cry her
sweet eyes out, I'll warrant! I'll go find her.

    [_Exit, left. Eldra and Orson come on, rear_]

_Ors._ O, is it true? My faithful heart is blest at last? My rival
indeed vanquished? And I--I am your adored one?

_Eld._ Yes, but don't be a bigger fool than you can help.

_Ors._ Fool, ma'am?

_Eld._ There, there, I mean don't forget that you are a man of
dignity----

_Ors._ Ah! Don't trouble yourself.

_Eld._ And cosset me before folks, like a bumpkin with his first lass.

_Ors._ I'll be patient--before company. Though I should just like to
show that man of blood what my rights are now. But you mean it, Eldra?
This is not another jade's trick?

_Eld._ 'Tis true--always barring that my man don't come back to claim
me.

_Ors._ The fishes keep him! [_Re-enter Stephen_] Ah!

_Eld._ [_Whispers sweetly to Orson, then discovers Stephen_] O, here
he is! Now, Orson, I know you'll be friends wi' Mr. Stephen. Just to
please me now. You see, sir, Orson's been courtin' me many a year,
and I had just about give in like a weak woman, when you came and got
me all upset somehow, lookin' so much like my man who was drowned at
sea, an' his own name too. I did lose my head so at times I could
'a' sworn you were my very man, but what you said about Liz o' Logan
brought me to my right mind again, and Orson is willing to make up, and
I'm sure we can all be friends, only me and Orson won't be presumin',
an' shame take me to think I ever looked so high as a king's man wi'
an advancement--though Orson is a man of dignity now--and--sit down,
Orson! [_Sits at table and pours ale for herself and Orson_] We take
a snip together about this time every mornin'. Orson's got no quarrel
with the ale cost, and he does love my raisin' o' bread and cake.

_Ors._ And who doesn't let him starve in a ditch! We don't ask you to
sit, Mister Stephen. We know our place, and hope you know yours.

_Eld._ Ay, a king's man must keep his head high.

_Ors._ High, my love?

_Eld._ I mean with an advancement.

_Ors._ 'Tis well. You know me, Eldra.

_Eld._ I hope I do, Orson.

_Ors._ And you must own, my dear, that you came to your right mind in
very good time.

_Eld._ I'm reasonably thankful, Orson. I know what it is to be a
soldier's wife.

_Ors._ They lie not between linen, I warrant you.

_Eld._ Linen? An they get muslin without begging it, they may thank
fortune!

_Ors._ With never a silk smock for the fair.

_Eld._ Silk smock? An a new one comes before the old one drops off they
may say their prayers for it!

_Ors._ But we'll be snug enough, my dear.

_Eld._ That we will!

_Ors._ And winter coming on. Ah!

_Eld._ True enough.

_Ors._ A good fire.

_Eld._ Yes, my love.

_Ors._ A little mulled sack, if the night be wet.

_Eld._ Indeed, my dear! And a hot posset for your cold, curdled with
sweet wine.

_Ors._ Humph! A little tart, I beg you, to give it spice.

_Eld._ Well, our tastes won't quarrel. I know a wife's place.

_Ors._ By my life, you do! O, 'tis a merry day! Would I were not a man
of dignity now! [_Pats her_]

_Eld._ Orson!

_Ors._ I mean--O, come! 'Tis a merry day! Give us a song, mister
soldier!

_Ste._ I'll give you the devil!

_Ors._ How, sir? You seem disturbed. Perhaps your reflections are not
so happy as mine. It may be your mistress has not such an adoring
and adorable eye--can not feast you with her cheeks--[_kisses
Eldra_]--regale you with her lips--[_kisses her_]

_Ste._ Scoundrel! Kiss my wife? [_Takes him by collar and throws him
aside_]

_Eld._ My Stephen!

_Ste._ My Eldra!

_Eld._ [_Running to his arms_] I knew it was you!

_Ste._ I knew it was you!

_Eld._ Why didn't you tell me?

_Ste._ Why didn't you tell me?

_Ors._ As a man of dignity now, I should like to ask why you didn't
tell _me_!

_Ste._ [_Dancing up and down stage with Eldra_] Ay, Orson, 'tis a merry
day! Come, come! Here's a good ale for all. To you, Orson! [_Drinks_]
And let the song go 'round!

              [_All sing_]

    Ho, Autumn time, O, Autumn time,
      When every wind is jolly,
    And pip and pear drop in their prime
      For tooth of fun and folly!

    When Hobnail's store is ripe for raids,
      And grapes go to the pressing,
    And apple checks are like a maid's
      When Jack would be a-kissing!

    Ho, hips and haws for vagabonds,
      With russets for who'll dare,
    And hazels by the meadow ponds,
      Brown-sweet for barefoot's fare!

    The pettychaps beflit the larch,
      The rocks from barn-top scold,
    And summer rogues are on the march
      For quarters 'gainst the cold.

    Ho, Autumn time, O, Autumn time!
      When every wind is jolly,
    And pip and pear drop in their prime
      For tooth of fun and folly!

_Eld._ Hist! My lady is coming with her knight.

_Ste._ What knight? Nobody should be coming here but the earl of Kent
and my lord of Wynne. Come, lass, what knight?

_Eld._ O, now it's out, you must be as mum as a dumb man's grave. My
lady has a lover, and a sweet young knight he is, too, who rides out
every week just for a peep at her. List! You can hear them now, just
over the hedge.

_Ste._ And the master doesn't know! By Heaven, the man's a villain, and
I'm a traitor to my lord of Kent if I don't wring his neck!

_Eld._ Stephen! Stephen!

_Ors._ Hold, sir!

_Ste._ Off with you! I'd drag him out an 'twere the king himself!
[_Leaps through the hedge and pulls the king through_] God's mercy! I
am dead! It is the king!

    [_All kneel to the king. Glaia comes through the hedge_]

    _Gla._ The king?

    _Hen._ 'Tis true. I am that wretched man,
    Your sovereign. [_Kneels_]

    _Ste._ [_Aside_] Kneel to a woman! Nay,
    Not Stephen! [_Rises_]

    _Hen._ Speak, sweet, and say that I'm forgiven!

    _Gla._ My Henry I'll forgive, but not the king.

    _Hen._ No pity for the king? O, take him, too,
    Fair Glaia, crown and all! [_Rises_] Look not away,
    Nor down, nor up, nor anywhere but here.
    Say thou'lt forgive, we'll instantly to court,
    For there's a spirit sits within this hour,
    Like silent wisdom in a lovely face,
    That gives me confidence. We'll to the court!
    I know thou art a maid of noble blood.
    For thou'rt indexed with rank's unerring sign,
    And dearly limned by Nature for a queen.
    Weep not, my sweet, thy lover is a king,
    And by my soul, and these dear wildered eyes,
    And by the life in these blue wandering veins,
                             [_kissing her hand_]
    These azure rivers in a lily field--
    I'll lift thee high as is the English throne!

      [_Exeunt the king and Glaia_]

_Ste._ Now there'll be a broil at court to please all the witches on
the island.

_Eld._ And 'twas you dropped the devil's meat into the pot. O, woe,
woe, woe! That I should live to see my lady wed the king!

_Ste._ Well, worse could 'a' happened. The king might have had me hung,
and it's bad luck to be a widow twice to the same man. I'm for the
court to keep both eyes open for what sport befalls.

_Eld._ Sport? O, the poor lord of Wynne! What will he do now? May be
'tis sent on him for worshippin' my lady like the Holy Virgin. Sport?
O, that you should be my husband and a villain! Up with you, Orson!
There's work for such poor servants as we be.

_Ors._ Servant, ma'am? Dost not think that this high connection of my
lady's will make me lord chamberlain to----

_Eld._ Ay, thou'lt get thy right place, I hope, though it be lord
footman to a donkey! Come along with you both!

          [_Exeunt. Re-enter the king and Glaia_]

    _Gla._ I can't believe it yet, your majesty.

    _Hen._ Nay, Henry, love. The name you gave me first.
    By that alone I'll live upon your lips.

    _Gla._ I should be gay,--alack, I am half sad.
    A sort of music here is gone. Mayhap
    I loved my brother better than the king.

    _Hen._ Thy brother? Call me that no more. My bride!
    The sleeping angel I would kiss awake,
    For waking thou art human and can love.
    Ah, Glaia, none doth know how I have dreamed,
    For kings must give up all just to be kings--
    How oft at night I've left the palace world
    To find me lodging in the sweeter air
    Where spirits hold their gentle pageantries,
    And meet the winds that blow from destiny
    Pregnant with fortune for my famished soul,--
    While they who stood about the royal bed,
    Whose stealthful eyes held me in silken jail,
    Knew not my body lay untenanted
    And they but guarded clay. And everywhere
    'Twas thee I sought, my Glaia. When you came,
    I looked, and knew that I need dream no more.

    _Gla._ And thou art no more sad? I make thee happy?

    _Hen._ When I am with thee 'tis continual Spring,
    For in my heart is such sweet jugglery
    Each winter-ragged month doth put on May.

    _Gla._ It makes me fear to be so much to thee.
    O, Henry, leave me,--leave me here a child
    That never shall be woman,--ne'er shall seek
    The bitter knowledge of the human world.

      [_A fawn comes to her from the wood. She fondles it_]

    See, brother! I would ope no book less pure
    Than these large eyes. Ah, me, was ever soul
    So full of earth as mine? I can love nothing
    But woods and streams, and these unspeaking things
    That reasonless may build no dream of God.
    My Henry, why this fear that if I go
    From this dear world I'll come to it no more?

    _Hen._ Cast off the doubt--and here I trample it.
    We shall come often to this home of peace.
    But, Glaia, let us go. The hours run fast,
    And eve must find me at the court.

    _Gla._                            The court?
    There does my rival in my lover speak.
    There speaks my enemy, for in the court
    I shall find that will make these fears all plain.

    _Hen._ Fear nothing now! I see thou knowest how
    To please me best, making me woo thee o'er
    And o'er again, for naught could be more sweet!

                              [_Exeunt. Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _Room in Westminster palace. The earl of Kent and
     countess of Albemarle talking._

    _Kent._ Why do you doubt? You've ever trusted me.

    _La. Alb._ Ay, while you were all man.

    _Kent._                              So am I now.

    _La. Alb._ Nay, you are one half woman, being married.
    A wife's the key may ope her husband's heart
    To all the world. She is the pick and pry
    To every lock of trust, and weasels through
    His secrets spite all seals. Swear, Hubert, swear
    That Margaret shall not know!

    _Kent._                      Have I not sworn?
    How many times will you demand my oath?

    _La. Alb._ A thousand thousand will not bring me peace!

    _Kent._ Ah, Eleanor, why desolate your days
    With this wild fear? 'Tis Heaven you've sinned against,
    Not man. Look thou above for condemnation.
    The world is harsh to virtue, not to sin.
    See how the daughter of the earl of Valence,
    John's one-time mistress, proudly holds her head,
    Nor lacks for fawning followers? And mark
    How Rosamond's two sons have fixed their line
    Fast 'mong our English peers. If you would dare
    To bring sweet Glaia forth, I do not doubt
    The court would welcome her as princess born.

    _La. Alb._ But Albemarle! He never would forgive!
    Christine of Valence was not wife to him,
    Else would her mimic court be dungeon close,
    And racks, not lovers, kiss her dainty fingers.
    You've never seen his rage! O, swear again
    You'll set securest watch on act and tongue,
    Nor let----

    _Kent._ Here is your lord with Winchester.

    _La. Alb._ O!

    _Kent._      Come, I'll satisfy you, Eleanor.

      [_Exeunt, right. Winchester and Albemarle enter rear_]

    _Win._ The name of Kent erases church and state
    And king. Fortune grows doting, and would make
    A darling of this man.

    _Alb._                   She'll change her love,
    Doubt not.

    _Win._ 'Tis time. New favors upon him light
    As birds on fruity branches. Castles and estates
    Are but as feathers every wind brings in.
    Dost not begin to fear him?

    _Alb._                     You are pleasant.
    I fear? When I could lend him half my power,
    And yet o'erbear him? In the north there are
    One thousand leaders holding swords of me!

    _Win._ I'm answered then?

    _Alb._                    Ay, sir. Though not from love
    To Kent, nor hate to you, do I deny you.
    But I'll not stand the champion of a wanton,
    Though royal daughter of a royal sire.
    The knightly Albemarles have never stooped
    To lift adultery from its miry bed
    And set its colors on their virtuous helm.

    _Win._ Now, by your leave, the half of England comes
    Into the world by left hand of the priest,
    Yet fight and pray as well as you or I,
    Nor bates a jot their honor in men's eyes.

    _Alb._ You have my answer. When I'm ready for 't,
    I'll tumble Kent to earth in my own fashion,
    And not by means that sets French Adelais
    On virtue's pinnacle, a star of gilt
    To falsely glitter in the eye of dames
    And set them wandering with their vanities
    Till they forget the way to their true lords.

    _Win._ [_Musing_] I'm writing a court history, your grace.
    'Twas John, I think, who set your countess' father
    On fortune's road.

    _Alb._            Nay, 'twas the king before him,
    Henry the Second.

    _Win._ [_Going_]     Well, my wary lord,
    I have no bruise to nurse, and meet the blow
    Befalls from any point.

    _Alb._                 What do you say?

    _Win._ I say, my lord, I'll strike as pleases me,
    And you keep cover as you will.      [_Exit_]

    _Alb._                         A bruise?
    Keep cover? Gods! And I stood still! The dog!
    I'll after him and take him by the throat!

                [_Re-enter lady Albemarle, right_]

    _La. Alb._ What said our ancient enemy?

    _Alb._                                Enough!
    He angered me!

    _La. Alb._      But what the cause, my lord?

    _Alb._ He'll quash the claim the church makes to my castles
    If I will aid in bringing Kent to trial
    On charge of Adelais, who sojourns here
    To push her old appeal. I will not do 't!

    _La. Alb._ Thanks that you shield my brother, by whose rise
    You droop.

    _Alb._ I shield your brother? When his name
    Is Kent? Nay, you mistake me. I refused
    Because this princess was no more nor less
    Than Henry Second's mistress, and the son,
    Whose death is laid to Kent, was the vile fruit
    Of wantonness. A princess! I'd forgive
    A milkmaid false, but error in the great
    Is so bestarred by its exalted place
    That those beneath mistake what is so lustered
    For the true sun.

    _La. Alb._        Hast seen the king, my lord?

    _Alb._ I say 'tis guilt of such a heinous sort,
    So foully odorous and so far bestrewn,
    The sea o'errunning Britain could not wash
    The island free of it!

    _La. Alb._       'Tis very wrong.

    _Alb_ What! Set this princess over all your heads
    As she were halo-browed, that you might pray
    Her saintly patronage for your loose hopes?

    _La. Alb._ Indeed, it is not well.

    _Alb._                           Well? By my life,
    Our English dames are running mad enough,
    And must be duchesses because--look ye--
    They're wantons to a king! Out on your kind!
    [_Aside, slowly_] "'Twas John, I think, who set your countess' father
    On fortune's road." You've been a handsome woman--
    Could foot right well on Venus' heels. My soul,
    There's beauty in you yet to draw an eye
    O'er the picket of defence!

    _La. Alb._                 My lord, I pray you----

    _Alb._ 'Tis well that our young Richard has my eye,
    And trick of walk, and way of sudden speech,
    Else I'd suspect a cuckoo in the nest,
    For all your dainty strictures and high head!

    _La. Alb._ For Christ's sake, Albemarle----

    _Alb._                                  Ay, had he not
    My very shoulder hitch and swelling neck
    This night I'd drag him to the eastern tower
    And hurl him to the Thames!

    _La. Alb._                 My God!

    _Alb._                            For you
    I'd pay out my estate in hire of men
    To spend their lives devising drawn-out pains
    That death might feed and grow upon itself!

    _La. Alb._ Ah, sir, no need. I'm dead now with your words.

    _Alb._ The king is entering. Look up, my dame.
    I rage to think you could be false, and not
    Because you are. Come, where's your blood, my lady?
    Those frosted cheeks are not the royal color.
    Smile and I'll pardon you. I know you true.
    [_Aside_] But when we're home again we'll talk somewhat
    Of those same favors granted to your father.

     [_Enter Pembroke, Winchester, and others. Pembroke and Winchester
     talk apart_]

    _Pem._ But where is Gualo? He is friend to Kent.

    _Win._ Shipped back to Rome.

    _Pem._                      Well done!

    _Win._                          That is made sure.
    And now I'll push the claim of Adelais
    With all the power pillared by the church.

    _Pem._ Henry will never yield. He wraps the earl
    So close in love 'twill shake the throne to part them.
    There's no path to the king not barriered
    By Kent's unceasing watch.

    _Win._                    I'll drop a canker
    Will eat a way for us. Ah, here they come.

    _Pem._ Arm-locked as king and king; and eye to eye,
    Like lovers changing souls.

     [_Enter Henry_, _Kent_, _Lord Wynne_. _Lords and ladies, among
     whom is Margaret, enter behind them_]

    _Hen._ [_To Kent_] I fear to tell you, Hubert, even you.

    _Kent._ I do not fear to hear it, whate'er you do
    So well becomes a throne.

    _Hen._                   You promise then
    Your fullest pardon?

    _Kent._             Your open deeds, my lord,
    Bear such a noble front I should not fear
    To clap a lusty "ay" to all you've done
    In secret.

    _Hen._ Thank you, Kent. And Roland, too,--
    Our good lord Wynne--must echo you with pardon,
    For I have touched him when he felt me not,
    And shortly he must look upon his wound.

    _Wynne._ I do not fear to see it. You've taught me, sir,
    The wounds you give me carry their own heal.

    _Hen._ But this is deep.

    _Wynne._               The richer then the balm.

    _Hen._ Then out, poor Henry, with thy heart's misdeed.
                           [_Turns to the court_]

    Listen, my lords,--my gracious court,--to you
    I make appeal. Is any here who holds
    Me in such wintry and removed regard
    He would not grant my heart its choice in love?
                         [_Surprise and silence_]

    _Win._ Your wisdom, sire, that sets the cap of age
    Upon the curls of youth, gives us excuse
    To bid you choose at will your royal mate.
    If I speak not for all, we'll hear dissent.
                                      [_Silence_]

    This silence warrants you to woo and speed.

    _Hen._ That I have done, and now can show to you
    This jewel of my choice that late I found
    Deep hidden from the world. So fixed my love,
    I can not wait to wander through the ways
    A king comes to betrothal, and shall win
    Your quick assent, even now, by bringing her
    To your commending eyes.
                                   [_Exit Henry_]

    _A lord._                What does he mean?
    Is this some princely revel?

    _Another lord._             It may be,
    And our part is to smile.

    _Win._ [_To Pembroke_] Mark you earl Kent?
    He changes face.

    _Pem._          And his pale friend, lord Wynne,
    Turns corpse on 's feet.

    _Win._                  Ha! Is it possible
    They were not privy to this kingly move?

                [_Re-enter Henry, leading Glaia_]

    _Hen._ Here, dear my lords! Look on my choice and say
    That here might come Rome's vestals to repair
    Their tapers dim. Is she not royal, friends?
    See how her eyes look bravely into yours,
    Though on her cheek a sweet timidity
    Doth couch in coral. Now commend me, all!
    And Hubert, earl of Kent, say whence is she,
    And what her parentage? For all I know
    Is that I found her bowered in Greenot woods.

    _Kent._ My God!

    _Hen._ O, Hubert, muffle up the storm
    Rides on your brow, and smile upon my love!

    _Kent._ Believe me, sire, she can not be your wife.

    _Hen._ Not be my wife? Unsay the words, dear Hubert.
    You mean, perhaps, she's humbler born than I--
    The daughter of a duke--an earl--a lord--
    Ay, say a knight that bravely bore his shield,
    And all the gap 'twixt her degree and mine
    Her native graces will bridge o'er and make
    Her way unto my throne.

    _Kent._ [_Kneeling_] O, king beloved,
    You must believe me! She can not be yours!

    _Hen._ Then, Heaven, turn foul, thou dost not shine for me!
    Rise, Hubert, rise, for I must love you still,
    Though you have robbed me of the sun and stars.

    _Kent._ [_Rises_] My noblest sovereign!

    _Hen._                                Now let me hear
    Why this ne'er mated dove can not be mine,
    And I'll attend thee patient as the dead
    Do list their requiem.

    _Kent._               Sire, I am pledged.
    Such sacred oaths are warders at my lips
    That angels would turn pale in Heaven to hear
    Their violation.

    _Hen._          Oaths? We must not hear?

    _Kent._ Not from my lips. It may be from another's
    In better time.

    _Hen._         In better time? By Heaven,
    You shall uncover here her history,
    And I myself shall say if she may be
    My own or no!

    _Kent._       Thy mercy on a man
    In one hour old!

    _Hen._          You are the torturer!
    O, Hubert, Hubert, I am on my knees!

    _Kent._ Sire, give me leave to go, and take this maid,
    So long my care that I must keep her still.
    Come, Glaia--child--'tis Hubert takes thy hand.
    My sovereign lord, I go with sorrow hence.
    I would my tongue were torn from its curst root
    Than speak you woe,--but do not hope, my liege,
    Your husband hand can ever touch this maid.
    The thought to ague shakes my soul!

     [_Exit Kent with Glaia. Margaret would follow, but is detained by
     lady Albemarle, who is half swooning. Winchester kneels and kisses
     the king's robe_]

    _Win._                             My king,
    Thou'rt still beloved.

    _Hen._                Ah, what canst say to one
    So pinioned by distress that he must lose
    His dearest friend or dearest love?

    _Win._ My lord, if friendship may have leave to speak
    As fits its holy bond and name----

    _Hen._                            O, speak!
    Say anything!

    _Win._        Too long you have been wronged.
    Did not Kent win by stealth the Scottish princess,
    Your promised bride? Consorting his base blood
    With royalty?--which was his secret aim,
    And all his burning love for Margaret
    But feigned and politic to gain your pity.
    Again he's at your heart! And hopes once more
    To bear himself to high success. If not,
    With face assumed and sorrowing he'll melt
    You to forgiveness.

    _Mar._             Listen not, my liege!

    _Hen._ [_To Winchester_] Is this your comfort?

    _Mar._                               Sire, he slanders love
    As true as God's to men, who says my lord
    Is false!

    _Win._ Her pride would say as much, my liege.
    As for this maid,--whom majesty might choose,
    And all the kingdom feel itself adorned,--
    She's either heir to vast and rich estates,
    Or Kent dotes on her with such jealous love
    He will not yield her even to his king.
    And both these reasons, sire, I urge as one
    T' explain his stout refusal to make known
    What honesty would haste to shout aloud.

    _Wynne._ Who says that Kent, in friendship or in love,
    E'er sought his gain, doth foully lie!

    _Win._                                This man
    Is Kent's own creature.

    _Hen._                 Ah, that's not his sin.
    He loves my Glaia, and would make her his.

    _Wynne._ Yes, sire, I love her,--you are right so far,--
    But, sovereign lord, I would expect as soon
    To pottle with an angel at an inn
    As make her mine. Though Hubert spurred my suit----

    _Hen._ He favored you!

    _Wynne._ He set no bars between us.

    _Hen._ Ah, you could wed her--let the king go beg!

    _Alb._ Away, you perked-up villain! Out of this!

    _Wynne._ When you come with me, sir, that I may slit
    The tongue that fouls my name!

    _Alb._                        My hot-mouthed sir,
    I'll leave his majesty to teach you better manners.

    _Hen._ And here I do, with a ne'er-ending lesson.
    Roland de Born, so lately lord of Wynne,
    Thou'rt banished from our realms, not to return,
    Though thou shouldst live to see more years than yet
    Man ever numbered his.

    _Wynne._              Is this your will?

    _Hen._ In truth, 'tis nothing else!

    _Wynne._                           Then, sire, farewell.
    Some men are fashioned men by circumstance--
    Shaped by what wind blows on them. In their veins
    The heavens croak or sing. Does the sky frown,
    They're muddy and befouled,--it smiles, and straight
    Fair weather's in their blood, sporting its flag
    In their new countenance. Not I, my lords!
    Nay, on the winds my soul shall leave its shape,
    And where I venture I am what I am,
    A knight of England, loyal to his king.       [_Exit_]

    _Alb._ Death to his arrogance!

    _Pem._                        This judgment, sire,
    Is much too modest.

    _Win._             Hear us now, my liege,
    For you have heard too little these months past.

    _Hen._ My lords, I am too faint and troubled now
    To understand if you be friends or foes,
    Or if the earl of Kent be false to me;
    But come, and what you choose to speak, I'll hear.
    ... Glaia, art gone from me? Ah, who would live?
    The winds of doom are sold by Lapland witches,
    Who mix the compass points and blow us foul
    When we have paid our fortune to go fair.

     [_Exeunt Henry and lords. Lady Albemarle and Margaret are left
     alone_]

    _Mar._ Why do you keep me so?

    _La. Alb._                  Where would you go?

    _Mar._ Where else but to my lord?

    _La. Alb._                      You shall not go.
    O, stay with me! One moment, Margaret!

    _Mar._ Another? Nay, you're better. I must go.
    O, Eleanor, didst hear that Winchester?
    Foul murderer of honor--Hubert's honor!
    Can these be tongues of men?... And Roland banished!

    _La. Alb._ Canst think of him?

    _Mar._ He's Hubert's friend. Who now
    Will stand by him?

    _La. Alb._        You, Margaret, and I.

    _Mar._ Yes--let me go!

    _La. Alb._           What will you say to him?

    _Mar._ Beg him not let his bitter thoughts usurp
    Quite all his heart, but leave a little room
    That e'er so small will make me ample heaven.

    _La. Alb._ You will not ask of Glaia?

    _Mar._                              Ask? Dost think
    That I must ask?

    _La. Alb._ He will not tell thee!

    _Mar._                           Not?
    I am his heart. His veins run not with health
    Except as I know how they course, and beat
    Concordantly. Doubt not he'll tell me all.

    _La. Alb._ He shall not tell thee!

    _Mar._                           Madam, you are strange.

    _La. Alb._ Ay, Margaret, and strangest to myself.
    O, he is true! Dear God, I know he's true!

    _Mar._ Make it no question then. For by the sun,
    And heaven's starry clock that now goes by,
    You shall not say he's false to Margaret!

    _La. Alb._ To you? Ha! false to you? Dost think my thoughts
    Must ever web round you?

    _Mar._ [_Going_]          You are his sister.

    _La. Alb._ What, are you gone? Forgive me, Margaret.

    _Mar._ Ah, you forget that I am suffering too.

    _La. Alb._ You suffer? You?

    _Mar._                     You have a husband, madam.

    _La. Alb._ I have. Let me remember him. Ha, ha!
    You suffer, icicle? What do you know of pain
    But as the lookers on about a pit
    See one at bottom dying? As curious eyes
    Regard the writhing heretic at stake?
    Or say, as angels flying heavenward turn
    To give one grudged tear unto the damned?
    That is your pain, you pure, proud Margaret!
    ... O, madness, seize me!

    _Mar._                   By my fears you have
    No need to pray for 't.

    _La. Alb._             Conscience, where dost sleep?
    Let me tread by nor rouse thee.

    _Mar._                         Eleanor?

    _La. Alb._ Whence are those floods of fire? O, Hubert, save me!

    _Mar._ Dear Eleanor, be calm. I did not think
    You loved your brother so.

    _La. Alb._                What's that you say?
    Ah, yes, 'tis Margaret. Go to him now.
    Ask of this maid--then blazon all--all--all!

    _Mar._ Come with me, Eleanor.

    _La. Alb._                   Drive home the knife
    Now threats his heart!

    _Mar._                Come with me, come!

    _La. Alb._                               'Tis fit
    His wife should do it!

    _Mar._      Come, dear Eleanor.

     [_Exeunt, right._ _Henry_, _Winchester_, _Albemarle_, _Pembroke_,
     _enter rear_]

    _Win._ We're glad you are convinced, my lord.

    _Hen._                                      Glad, sir?
    Glad that one half my heart is mottled, foul,
    Diseased, and must be cut away, though I
    Die with the cleaving? Ay, I am convinced.

    _Win._ And give consent that Kent be made to answer
    The charge of Adelais?

    _Hen._                Be 't as you please.

    _Pem._ 'Twere best to haste in this, ere all the shires
    Misled in love by Kent, hear of his danger.

    _Win._ I have the warrant here. It lacks your seal,
    My liege.

    _Hen._ [_Quickly sealing it_] Now it does not. Here splits
                                   my heart,
    And half falls with thee, Hubert.

       [_Winchester comforts him. Albemarle and Pembroke talk apart_]

    _Pem._                          In fewest words,
    What purpose you?

    _Alb._           To ride at once to north,
    And through my agents stir up a rebellion
    Against the king, whom we must make appear
    Kent's sole remover, for he now 's become
    The idol of the witless multitude,
    With whose hot sanction we may move 'gainst Henry
    And roll his head as fast as Kent's to hell.

    _Pem._ But you must see the trial.

    _Alb._                            So I aim.
    But if I'm blocked therein, I look to you
    To keep me stationed in my feudal rights,
    And what you venture for me I'll make good
    With forty thousand men, or horse or foot.

    _Hen._ Where is lord Wynne? Inquire if he has gone?

    _Alb._ He'll trouble you no more, for if my servants
    Be to me loyal they've set him toward the sea.

    _Hen._ You're pert in my own matters. I bethought me
    I would recall his sentence. He is noble,
    And I have done him wrong. Why press about me?
    Ye are devils all! Call me the earl of Kent.

    _Win._ He is not here, my lord.

    _Hen._                        Give me the warrant.
    Quick, sir! I'll have it back! I'll take more time!

    _Win._ 'Tis gone, my liege.

    _Hen._                    Gone? Is the devil your post?

    _Pem._ We pray your pardon, sire.

    _Hen._                          Could you not give
    One little hour to old friends taking leave,
    Though one is a poor king? Away from me!

    _Win._ Dear majesty, beloved above all kings,
    Let not your frown unpay again the service
    Your smile even now rewarded. 'Tis too much,
    Howe'er we have endured, to ask our silence
    While Kent doth rob thee of a fairer queen
    Than ever made a court seem gaudy poor
    By her rich self. Must we stand humbly back,
    That he may please his bosom with her beauty,
    And bury in his lust what forth should shine
    Thine and a happy England's constant sun?

    _Pem._ No doubt, my liege, we shall remove each bar
    That shuts you from your love, and please ourselves
    The most in pleasing you.

    _Hen._                   O, make her mine,
    And all you wish, if kings have power o'er fate.
    Will come to pass. I trust you--yet--and yet--
    Who can be true when Huberts are found false?

                     [_Curtain_]



ACT II

     SCENE 1. _A room in the earl of Kent's palace. An inner room rear,
     cut off by curtains. Kent alone._


    _Kent._ Now, Eleanor, wilt prove thee saint, or devil?
    Wilt mend this breach, or must I perish in it?
    Too well I know that soul's dark history
    To think it may breed light. The moment globes
    The years' full character; a whole life's face
    Peeps out in smallest deeds. Yet wonders are.
    And Eleanor may prove false to herself
    To once keep faith with Heaven.
                       [_Listens_] Glaia? Ay!

         [_Goes to curtains rear, parts them softly,
                         looks within and returns_]

    She did not call. I'll watch all night. 'Twill be
    No added task since there's no sleep for me.
    My Margaret is safe. They dare not touch
    A princess of the blood. But I am down.
    'Tis said and sung there is no greater pain
    Than wrenches Fortune's nurslings when she flies.
    Not so. False lady of the wheel, take all!
    But O, to see my king yield to the wolves
    Now fang-close to his heart--there is my death!

     [_Sits on a couch, his head bowed. Margaret enters, advances
     softly and embraces him. He looks up, returning her caress_]

    Now let the world go on, I'll rest me here.
    Why should I keep my hand proud on the helm,
    War with the unsated surge, nor know the pause
    That is the spirit's silent growing time?
    Ah, Margaret, how little will content thee?
    No more nor less than love and poorest me?

    _Mar._ No more, my lord. Nor will aught less make full
    My greedy cup. Thou wert the king's, but now
    Thou art all mine. All mine, my love? Or is
    That little "all" my greatest flatterer?

    _Kent._ You know my heart. Where have you been so long?

    _Mar._ With Eleanor. I brought her home with me.

    _Kent._ She's here?

    _Mar._ Yes, Hubert. Ah, she loves you well.

    _Kent._ She loves me?

    _Mar._               Better than you thought.

    _Kent._ [_In sudden hope_] Then ... Speak!
    What has she told you?

    _Mar._                 Nothing. What, my lord,
    Should she have told me?

    _Kent._ [_Dully_] Nothing.

    _Mar._                   I have heard
    So much of this--this nothing.

    _Kent._                         Margaret,
    Thou hast my soul. Wilt keep it true for me?

    _Mar._ I keep it? No, I doubt myself.

    _Kent._                              Thyself?
    Then trust my trust in thee, which meets thy love
    As swallows meet the waking winds of Spring
    And know where life is.

    _Mar._                   Doubt or trust, I love thee!
    O Hubert, let us go this night to lands
    That know how to be kind and smile on lovers.

    _Kent._ Dost hope by flying England to fly pain,
    That everywhere encircles man as fire
    To shape his soul in fashion of his God?

    _Mar._ For love and life I beg! Why do I say
    For love and life, since there's no life for me
    Without thy love? O, you will go with me!
    Leave thy ungrateful king to wed at will----

    _Kent._ Leave Glaia to the king? The thought is flame!

    _Mar._
          [_Standing before him, suddenly tense_]
    Who is this maiden that you guard as she
    Were the one drop of blood that in your heart
    Makes living centre? Who?

    _Kent._ [_After a pause_] You heard my answer.

    _Mar._ Ay, to the king, but not to me--thyself--
    Nay more, for when thou takest away thyself,
    Though in the smallest part, so much I die,--
    And by this secret that divorces us
    Am wholly slain. But tell it to me, Hubert,
    And 'twill become another blessed bond,
    To second union closer than the first
    Re-sanctioning our souls.
         [_He is silent. Her rage overcomes her_]

                              Unseal thy lips,
    Or by the fires that flit now through my brain,
    By the ancestral wrongs within my blood
    That start suspicion where there is no foe,
    I shall begin to doubt thee! Who is she
    To thee who art my husband?

    _Kent._                    Margaret,
    Go to the maiden lying yon and look
    Once more upon her vestal face, then ask
    If she know aught of guilt.
      [_Margaret looks silently toward the curtains_]

    _Mar._ [_In subdued tone_] She's there?

    _Kent._                                Poor child!
    I thought you'd be her gentle, elder sister,
    And help me still her woeful flutterings.
                                   [_Turns away_]
    Where's now the proud, sure strength that made discount
    Of Heaven's arm? O, reed-propped vanities,
    Swelling usurpful till ye seem our life,
    Ye must come down that we may find ourselves
    And God.

    _Mar._ O, take me back! I did not know
    This spirit dwelt in me. One of my race,
    A woman, long ago, stabbed through a heart
    That played her false, yet she was gentle too,
    And died for what her hand had done. May be
    The unquiet dead come back to live in us.
    O, it was she stirred this strange passion in me.
    Twas not myself. Speak to me, Hubert! Say
    'Twas not myself.

    _Kent._ [_Embracing her_] Sole angel of my love!

    _Mar._ You'll take me back? Let Time begin his count
    One minute past, and leave the last one out.
    O, say a word will sponge it from the day,
    Or all my future must turn back its face
    And live with gazing on that minute's point.

    _Kent._ It was not you, my heart. But say it were,
    Should I pull down my heaven because a bird
    Makes flying blot against it? 'Tis the doubts
    That darkly flitting show love's constant sky
    Forever radiant.

    _Mar._           O me! O me!
    And this is shame!

    _Kent._          Nay, sweet! Weep, if you must,
    But let thy tears be rain upon the soul
    Making a fair new season.

    _Mar._                 Let me die!

    _Kent._ So overwrought? Thou who hast been my strength?

    _Mar._ If I were dead then you----

    _Kent._                           Should be as thou!
    'Tis not thy death but Glaia's that would be
    The sad solution of these woes.

    _Mar._                    Not her,
    So fair ... and dear to us.

    Kent. [_Kissing her_] My gentle love!
     ... 'Twere best she died, who now must drink the cup
    That makes death sweet in coming. I myself
    Almost could guide the knife unto her heart
    And cut off ruder visitors.

    _Mar._                O, veil
    The thought. Its nakedness has chilled my soul.

    _Kent._ Ay, she is God's, not mine. Leave her to him.
    And now, my life, you, too, must go to rest.

    _Mar._ You'll not to bed?

    _Kent._                  The king may send for me.
    He will not sleep, for in his face was woe
    Will quiet not to slumber.

    _Mar._                O, my love,
    How can I leave thee now? If thou wert held
    By softest sleep on pillows of content
    I could no less than weep to go from thee,
    And yet these tears are all I have when thou
    Art left to sad, despairing watch. I'll stay,
    For I've no words to part with, none to tell
    How breaks my heart in going.

    _Kent._                  Nay, I must work,
    And you will call my wits to otherwheres;
    Then in the morn these eyes, undewed with sleep,
    Will show me not the light that must be mine.

    _Mar._ Dost toy with words to me? Not in my eyes,
    But in my heart burns thy unfailing torch,
    And if you find it dim it is thy secret
    Casts shade between us, not a lack in me.

    _Kent._ If I should speak then oaths were straws in fire.

    _Mar._ O, no, I would not have thee speak. That's past.
    'Tis our misfortune that we are divided
    In this most pitchy hour that in itself
    Were nothing if our hearts could meet and melt
    In unreserved touch. In every life
    There comes a watch the soul must keep alone.
    The hour has struck for thine. And mine I feel
    Is not so far away. Now, now I go,
    My lord. Because I help you best in going.
    Our hearts would rush together, and the pain
    Grows in them baffled. Dearer than life, good night.
    I leave my prayers like candles set about you,
    And as they fail think of me on my knees
    Renewing them from Heaven.        [_Exit, right_]

    _Kent._         Margaret!

     [_Pauses, slowly takes up the light and goes off, left, leaving
     the room in darkness. Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _The same room in darkness. Margaret enters, right,
     carrying a taper._

    _Mar._ I'll look upon her. When sleep slips the rein
    The soul plays in the face unguarded. Then
    The conscious warder holding up the mask
    Before the secret self bares all defence
    Unheedful of approach. I'll look, and pray
    To find the lineaments so pure by day
    Still guileless fair. O, that 'twere yesterday--Sweet
    yesterday--when I knew not nor guessed
    The sad division 'tween my soul and Hubert's!
    O, knowledge, rude defiler of our dreams,
    How oft we'd give thy hard, substantial store
    To build again with bright illusion's eye
    Our happy towers on the inconstant clouds:
                [_Sees a light through curtains_]
    She's up! No ... who is there?

     [_Veils her taper. Kent comes from the inner room. He carries a
     candle_]

    _Kent._          She does not move.
    O, Eleanor, how could thy heart give blood
    To one so pure that he who loves her best
    Would send her back to Heaven?

    _Mar._ [_Unheard by Kent_] Eleanor!
    Her child! Her child!

    _Kent._      Fair Glaia, may'st thou rest,
    Not ever wake till angels call thee up.
    [_Looking back_] Ay, ay, she sleeps.
                                   [_Exit, left_]

    _Mar._        How gracious art thou, God,
    To bless me so! O, wicked Eleanor!
    This was the fire that maddened thee to-night.
    Not fear for Hubert. How couldst make his life
    The priceless cloak of thy own worthless shame?
    But I can save him! I will make thee speak,
    Unsistered woman!

    [_Draws back the curtains, leaving them open, showing
    the inner room and bed on which Glaia lies_]

    Glaia, now I'll look,
    Nor all thy grace shall hide the lines that mark
    Thy cruel mother. Can this be the face
    That breeds such misery? Fair heaven-case
    Of innocence!... My Hubert's niece, so mine.
    How lily-cold in sleep! And still ... so still.
    A kiss will not awake thee--one as light
    As my own heart. So cold? O, cold as death!
                      [_Draws back the coverlet_]

    Blood! Blood! A dagger here! O Heaven,
    That this smooth coverlet should hide so much!
             [_Stands a moment in silent horror_]

    And Hubert thought she slept. "Rest well," he said,
    "Nor ever wake till angels call thee up."
    Nor wilt thou wake till then, poor Glaia. O,
    How can I call him here to look on this!
                          [_Takes up the dagger_]
    Strange that the slayer left his dagger here.
    He in whose heart the thought of murder lives
    Has more of cunning in him.
                        [_Drops dagger suddenly_]
                                  Hubert's! O!

     [_Staggers away from bed and holds herself up by the curtains.
     Buries her face for an instant, then looks up blanched and
     determined_]

    I must act quickly. O, at once--at once!
    One pause may be the grave of resolution.
                 [_Starts toward bed, but stops_]
    "She does not move," he said ... and "ay, she sleeps,"
    As though she slept eternally.
         [_Goes to bed, and takes up the dagger_]
                                   His dagger.
    Oft has it pleased me to regard this hilt.
    Pearls winding like a milky way about
    A turquoise heaven. Even then my fate
    Lurked in the blade. Why do I talk, and beg
    A vile delay? Pain is sole merchant here,
    And with each moment amplifies his profit.
    ... I will not pray, for prayer is softening,
    And I must be too stern to pity self.
    I was a princess. I'll not think of that,
    For now I am a wife. And for my lord
    Must die. They'll find me here, and say the deed
    Was mine. My jealous hand avenged my wrong.
    ... O gentle Heaven, he is not worthy this!
    Nay, nor no man, and yet for every man
    There lives a woman who would die for him.
       [_Lifts the dagger_]
    I can not strike. [_Drops her arm_] I must ... ere I go mad
    And leave the event to chance.

     [_Lifts dagger, grows faint and falls with a cry to the floor.
     Kent enters, left_]

    _Kent._      Twas Margaret's voice. My love?
      [_Advances and sees Margaret on the floor_]
                       O, life of mine!
                             [_Looks toward bed_]
    Glaia! Uncovered--bleeding--dead! Put out
    My eyes! Out ... out. What cruelty yet lives
    In Heaven to show me this? O, Eleanor,
    Come, come and see how thy one sin has grown
    To widest hell! Thy Glaia dead ... even cold ...
    And Margaret ... not dead ... but would she were!
                               [_Bends over her_]
    Yea, I could love thee then. My Margaret,
    Couldst do this thing? Thy hand was ever tender,
    And oft thou coveredst even guilt with mercy.
    ... She could not do it.... Ay, she could ... she could.
    For her ancestral steps are marked with blood,
    And but to-night her eye flashed with a look
    That like an evil star did point to this.
       [_Knocking without, and opening of gates_]
    My summons from the king. Ho, Rufus?
    [_Draws coverlet
    over Glaia's form_]     Glaia,
    Thou wert the bud of earth; infinity
    Shall wear thy blossom and be proud.

                [_Enter attendant_]

    _Att._                           My lord?

    _Kent._ Your mistress faints. Call up her women. Haste!

     [_Exit attendant. Kent takes Margaret in his arms and_ _bears her
     off, right. Re-enters, goes to curtains and draws them, concealing
     Glaia's bed_]

    O, Henry, _now_ thy heart is struck.

                [_Enter an attendant_]

                                              Who comes?

    _Att._ Your grace, I do not know. Strange men who give
    No name, but say that they must see you.

    _Kent._                             Must?
    Admit them.

    _Att._ Here, your grace?

    _Kent._       Ay, here.

    [_Exit attendant. Kent picks up dagger from the
    floor_]                     'Tis mine.
    I'll wear my own. [_Hangs dagger at his belt_]
                     Now is the earl of Kent
    A murderer. How feels it with you, sir?

                [_Enter officers and attendants_]

    _Officer._ My lord of Kent, you are our prisoner.

    _Kent._ By whose command?

    _Off._                    The king's.

    _Kent._                               O, April heart,
    Dost think 'twill ne'er be winter? What the crime?

    _Off._ You're charged, on pain of death, to show the son
    Of Adelais, of France.

    _Kent._      That sin is old
    And faded now. I know another blots
    O'er that. I'll burn your ears with 't as we go.

                              [_Exeunt. Curtain_]



ACT III

     SCENE 1. _A small altar room, adjoining the king's apartment.
     Henry bowed and kneeling. Enter Winchester and attendant._


    _Att._ Since morning he has knelt, and sees no one.
    You are the first admitted.

    _Win._                  Dear my lord----

    _Hen._ [_Rising and turning to Winchester_]
    Will you, too, tell me she is dead?

    _Win._                         Alas----

    _Hen._ O, not that word--the pretty mask of woe.
    That never hid a tear. If she is dead,
    Weep and be dumb, or find some word that rends
    The heart in uttering it.

    _Win._ My lord----

    _Hen._             My lord!
    You're too polite a mourner, by my faith!
    O, Glaia, Glaia, Glaia, art thou dead?
    Canst thou then sleep, O, God?

    _Win._                   That he does sleep
    This deed is proof.

    _Hen._         What deed? 'Tis false! She lives.
    'Twas blessed yester morn I held her here,
    And heard her laugh and say my kisses were
    Like Maythorn blossoms dropping on her hair.
    And can her voice be still? Nay, fiends themselves
    Love music, and would spare to put so much
    To silence. O, in her tongue the nightingale
    Was dead, having no sweeter cause to live.
    She could not die. A thousand thousand angels
    Would rush to save her and with silvery wings
    Beat back the assaulting devil.

    _Win._                    Would I could say
    She lives! You drain my heart with every tear
    You drop upon this woe. Loved majesty,
    Look up and weep no more.

    _Hen._               Stop not my tears.
    They shall pour sea-like till my body lies
    An isle o'erwhelmed. My eyes could lend the skies
    Another flood yet lack not moisture.... Glaia!
    It was my kiss that slew thee. But for me
    Thou hadst been living still. So Winter springs
    To clasp his blushing Autumn love, then spends
    His weary season burying her dead leaves.

    _Win._ Rouse you, my lord. The creature is alive
    That slew her.

    _Hen._    He is found?--and lives--and you
    Stand here to tell me?

    _Win._            Hear my story, sire.
    When we arrested Kent----

    _Hen._               Arrested Kent?
    You could not wait? Well, we shall see, my lord,
    My Glaia loved him and he shall not die.

    _Win._ The moment he was taken he confessed
    That he had slain the maid----

    _Hen._                    What is 't you say?
    Now, by my life, I thought you said that Kent--
    I'll not repeat it--'twas so strange a thing--
    I'm numb since this dark news, and what I hear
    By insurrection of my wits becomes
    What I hear not.

    _Win._      Recall yourself, my lord.
    Your wits are loyal, and inform you rightly.
    I said 'twas Kent----

    _Hen._           Ha! Now the devil speaks
    In his own person. You've thrust the cloven foot
    Too far from 'neath the bishop's gown.

    _Win._                           My lord----

    _Hen._ Now I read back and take the hellish measure
    Of all your lies!

    _Win._       Your majesty----

    _Hen._ Sir, I have loved this man, and when I felt
    Too weak for England's throne, I laid my head
    Upon his breast and there grew strong as he.
    And you dare say----

    _Win._           I do not say, my liege,
    The crime is his, but he confessed it so.
    Here are the words in which he damns himself.
                       [_Gives the king a paper_]

    _Hen._ Drop from the world, O sun! Make all the air
    Dark as my heart, that from this hour shall know
    No re-ascending star! Leave me, my lord.
    All's as you please. Do what you will. The world
    No more shall draw me forth to look upon it.
    Yet I am young, and had but learned to smile.

                [_Enter attendant_]

    _Att._ The earl of Pembroke begs to see my lord
    Of Winchester.

    _Hen._   Admit him here. I'll pray.
                [_Turns to altar. Enter Pembroke_]

    _Win._ What news, your grace?

    _Pem._ 'Tis strange enough, my lord.
    Kent's wife, the princess Margaret, now swears
    'Twas she who took the maiden's life, and speaks
    With so much care and proof of circumstance
    I scarce can doubt her.

    _Win._      Margaret!

    _Pem._                No other.
    She says 'twas she alone, and not her husband.

    _Win._ This fortune wears our colors. Give it welcome.
    I feared she'd rouse all England,--Scotland, too,--
    In Kent's defence. You know her blood of old.
    But now her hands are bound.

    _Pem._                 Then you've no doubt
    'Twas she?

    _Win._ I wish to have none, that's enough
    To shape my looks by.
            [_Henry rises and comes toward them_]
                          Ah, my liege, we hear
    That Margaret is author of the crime
    We now bewail, not Kent.

    _Hen._              That it was either
    I can not whip my senses to believe.

    _Win._                          She has confessed.

    _Hen._              Why, so did Kent. This shows
    A gap in proof.

    _Win._      Kent thought to shield his wife.

    _Hen._ Then he must love her well, and yet your tongue
    Struck hard another way. Nay, it is she
    Who thinks to save her lord. Poor Margaret,
    Thou hadst done better to have wed the king.

    _Win._ My lord, we can not doubt Kent loved this maid.
    'Twas as apparent as the light to eyes;
    And he would pause ere put her from his arms
    To bed with worms; but this same love would be
    Poor Margaret's bitter cause to wish her dead;
    And Jealousy, we know, is page to Murder,
    Holding the candle for the hellish stroke.

    _Hen._ But why should Kent confess?

    _Win._                             With all his sins,
    He has the grace of chivalry, and thought
    By his confession to save Margaret,
    Not caring for his fate since he was doomed
    For other crime.

    _Hen._ I'll hear no more, my lord.
    A woman ... and that woman--Margaret.

    _Win._ My liege----

    _Hen._ No more. Here is my seal. 'Tis yours.
    And now I beg you go. Nothing is dear
    But grief, sole link 'tween me and love. Leave me,
    I pray.                    [_Turns to altar_]

    _Win._ [_Aside, gloating_] Weep, fool, my star is in my hand!

    _Pem._ God send you comfort, sire.

               [_Exeunt Winchester and Pembroke_]

    _Hen._ [_To attendant_] Let none approach me.

                                   [_Exit attendant._]

            _Henry sings_]

    I laid a rose upon my heart,
        Ay me!
    Soon 'gan its beauty to depart,
        Ay, ay me!
    I nursed it with desire,
        Still did its beauty go.
    For O, my heart was fire,
            Cruel fire!
        Ay me, I did not know,
            I did not know.

      [_Enter a friar through panel door behind altar_]

    Art thou a shadow come to say
    All men are shadows and naught living is?

    _Friar._ I come to give God's help and ask for thine,
    My son and king.

    _Hen._    'Tis death, sir, thus to steal
    Into my presence.

    _Friar._     So I prove my love
    For thee, your highness, venturing life to reach
    Thine ear's seclusion.

    _Hen._      What wouldst tell me, father?
    I've heard your voice before and found it honest.
    By that, mayhap, we'll prove old friends. Come in.

                                       [_Exeunt_]


     SCENE 2. _A prison corridor. Kent alone._

    _Kent._ Is this the end of Kent? The block and axe
    His porters to throw ope the sealed gate?
    I thought a good wife's prayers had ushered me,
    And weeping peers had held my garments back
    Until the soul disdained to hide therein.
    ... What value's in this world that men will buy 't
    With so much groaning? This strange human chaos
    Where vice is often merit, merit vice,
    Or if they be themselves so change deserts
    That wisdom is clapped to gallows, folly to thrones.
    And innocence lifts up thin, fettered hands
    While guilt walks angel free. Where palsy shakes
    The pen from the seer's hand, and crowing health
    Bids fools to write; where Fame forgets to blush
    At Flattery's board, and Honor, pendulous
    'Twixt bribe and faith, dwindles inert and like
    A withered finger shames the hand of state.
    ... Where Margarets can stripe their souls' pure white
    With guileless blood. She, she that was a dove
    To falcon turn and rend a fledgling's breast!
    It casts a doubt on Heaven, makes of faith
    A leper scourged from man's hale faculties,
    And love a monster of diseased minds!
    Come, dearest Death, and mis-shaped world away!
     [_Margaret is admitted, left, by a turnkey_]

    _Turnkey._ You're honest? All your jewels, ma'am?

    _Mar._                                         Ay, all!
    They have been praised, but had no worth till now
    When each one buys a minute with my lord.

                 [_Exeunt turnkey, locking door_]

         [_Margaret comes down corridor toward Kent,
             her hands behind her_]

    _Kent._ [_Looking up_] What devil drove you here?

    _Mar._            Did Hubert speak?

    _Kent._ What do you want? Why hold away your hands?
    Fear not that I'll embrace thee!

    _Mar._                     What art thou?

    _Kent._ Nothing to thee, whatever else I am.
    Away! For Death and I have just locked hands.
    One moment more and I had cozened him
    Of all his pain. But you, dear, damned foe,
    Take up his weapons and re-gash my wounds.

    _Mar._ Is this my lord?

    _Kent._                  Go. I command you. Go!
    Eternity drops on me, and lightfoot Time
    Hies like a ghost to nothing. What dost here?

    _Mar._ I die.

    _Kent._ You die? No fear of that. You are
    Too great a lover of this life that vaunts
    A bloated bubble 'twixt immortal shores.

    _Mar._ If once 'twere true--if once I loved this world--
    Thy bitter words have sucked desire to live
    From all my senses. As a god I held thee,
    Now mocking gods bid me look on whilst thou
    Deport'st thyself 'neath mortal. Sir, what plague
    Hast met? What conjuration of the skies
    Disfigures thee?

    _Kent._   The same that made thyself
    A woman. Back unto your world!

    _Mar._                    O, true
    I loved this life, and held a heart not dead
    To music, beauty, sweet and warm delights,
    An interest in the season-robing earth,
    An entertained eye for fortune's chance,
    And too pretentiously I sighed to leave
    The unfollowed steps of fair and flying Truth,
    And last, poor woman, shrank to change thine arms
    For the cold circlet of Elysian clouds;
    But you, pervert and monstrous, work my peace,
    Unto my eyes deforming all the world
    And making the unknown more dear than dream.

    _Kent._ I monstrous? O, thou shame! To've died for you
    Were scarcely more than's done each day for love;
    But I for you have heaped my name with crime,
    Crime that will damn my reputation's snow
    While lasts the world and men recount old tales!

    _Mar._ 'Twas for my sake you did it! Ah, I know.
    You loved me well. Would you had known me better,
    Or loved me less! O, how couldst think my life
    Would flower with happiness when sacrifice
    Of one as dear to Heaven as myself
    Lay burning at its root? Nay, I must wither
    Unto this world, but as I fall thy name
    Grows fairer, for I have confessed 'twas I.
    For love of me you sinned. The punishment
    Is mine.

    _Kent._ Confessed? You have confessed? No, no!

    _Mar._ I shall be soon forgot, but your great name
    Will live, and since it must, or dark or bright,
    I would remove as much of foulness from it
    As blood of mine will cleanse.

    _Kent._                 You have confessed!
    O, God of truth, let man trust to thy mercy,
    Not hope to cheat thy justice! You confessed?
    Already I was doomed, but you--you might
    Have lived. Ay, and you shall!

      [_Comes near her and sees that her hands are fettered_]

                                  In fetters? You?
    By holy Heaven, though giants forged these on
    I'd strip them off!       [_Breaks her fetters_]

    _Mar._    O, let me wear them, sir!
    My bond of blessedness--for I am blest
    In dying for your sin!

    _Kent._          That word again?
    My sin?

    _Mar._ Forgive me, Hubert. 'Twas no sin.
    Indeed, 'twas none. For you were not yourself.
    'Twas madness. Heaven must forgive it thee.

    _Kent._ God help thee, Margaret! Wouldst say I did it?

    _Mar._ Not you, but heavy, secret woe that bred
    A demon in your blood to strike poor Glaia,--
    And too-dear love of me which vainly hoped
    To give me peace where never peace could be.
    O, look not so! At God's own throne 'twill be
    Forgiven thee, for surely thou wert tried
    As Heaven tries its own.

    _Kent._             Art mad at last?
    Thy crime confessed to all the world, and yet
    Denied to me, the only heart that knows?
                 [_She gazes at him, bewildered_]
    Poor soul, her madness has been slow enough.
    Come, bruised darling, with thy blood-stained hands!
    Thou 'rt mine, my only love!
            [_Embracing her. She moves from him_]

    _Mar._                 'Tis you that speak
    Wild words. My blood-stained hands? They're free of blood
    As the pure angel's who writes golden down
    The saintliest deeds of men!

    _Kent._                     Whate'er thy words,
    Thine eyes are true, and there's no madness in them.
    But, Margaret, I found thee by her side----

    _Mar._ 'Twas there I swooned----

    _Kent._                  The dagger in thy hand----

    _Mar._ Yes, in my hand, but, Hubert--hear me, Hubert!
    I saw you come from Glaia's curtained bed,
    Slow and despairing, murmuring "She sleeps,"
    As though you said she slept to wake no more.
    I entered, saw her pale, drew back the coverlet--
    There ran the stream that drained her beauty's rose--
    There lay your dagger--yours. And then I thought
    By dying there to save your life and name,
    But fainted, O, too soon----

    _Kent._                My heart, my heart!
    O, had I done such deed would I have left
    My dagger to confess it? Glaia called--
    Not so--I dreamed she called--and going there,
    Found her in deepest sleep--or thought I found
    Her so--and touched her not lest she should stir
    And know her woes again.

    _Mar._             It was not you?

    _Kent._ That question makes your tongue a dagger's point,
    And yet my doubt of you was deeper wrong,
    Measuring all the difference between
    Man's grosser soul and woman's altar-lit.
    O, Margaret, some serpent heart planned well
    To do this deed and leave the guilt with me.

    _Mar._ Who--who, my Hubert? Nay, it matters not,
    Since 'twas not you--not you! In two small words
    My heaven is built again!

    _Kent._             We ne'er shall know.
    I've foes enough, and one of them perhaps
    So sought to cast me deeper by this crime,
    And we shall wear his foul and scarlet mark
    Even unto our graves,--for we must die.

    _Mar._ Enough that we die sinless.

    _Kent._                           O, my love,
    Who would have died for me!

    _Mar._                 And you, dear lord,
    Who took such shame upon you for my sake!

    _Kent._ Death was already on me, and 'twas naught
    To make addition to my guilt. But you,
    Your heart not pausing, leapt from safety's shore
    Into the flood. O, might I live for thee!
    A blessed bondman to thy merest wish,
    From hour to hour to watch thy graces bloom
    As various as Flora when she loves,
    And in each furrow of thy brow that writ
    Thee mortal set a new April mocking Time!
    Then when no more I could dispute his doom,
    Enter with thee a star-lit, sweet old age,
    The fane of rest, and sanctuary where
    All sorrows take their ease.

    _Mar._                  Think thou of Heaven.

    _Kent._ But O, how dear this life! The immortal world
    Is shrunk to shadow of a single thought,
    And this contemned earth is sudden grown
    Past circumscription of the mind's fond eye.
    No-no--we must not die!

    _Mar._            Wouldst tremble now?
    When thou hast love beside thee? Nay, my lord,
    Be yet the man of men, whose virtue drew
    My wild resisting heart into its sun.

    _Kent._ O, must we leave it all?--the gracious earth
    Where we have loved, and heard the robins sing,
    And built our nest that song might never cease?
    Ah, I am weak, my sweet, and shine but in
    The doting tear that dims a true wife's eye.

    _Mar._ 'Tis not my love that paints thee radiant,
    But thy own light illumes my eyes to love,
    O, lord of mine, the kings of earth in vain
    May hope to be thy shadowy parallel,
    And where we go, in any court of air
    Or cloud or heaven, still must thou be the one
    Excelling star.

    _Kent._ [_Clasping her_] Heart of the sun, beat here!
    O, thy immortal fire will make Death warm
    Ere he can make thee cold.
      [_The turnkey opens door at end of corridor_]

    _Mar._            My life, my soul!

    _Kent._ O, God! Celestial marshaller of chance
    To some far end of good, let me believe
    Thy hand is here, and even on our heads.

                       [_The turnkey comes down_]

    Ah, kiss me, kiss me, Heaven's Margaret.
    Could I my life concentrate in one beat
    I'd dwarf it so and give it in this kiss.

                                      [_Curtain_]


     SCENE 3. _A room in the earl of Albemarle's palace. A friar, and
     the king in friar's dress, but uncowled, waiting._

    _Hen._ This is a fitting room for Death's cold jest;
    So proudly hung, and filled with comfort's chattels,
    As though its owner hoped long respite from
    A clayey bed. Where is the tenant, father?

    _Friar._ She'll enter presently,--ah, even now.

     [_Henry puts on cowl. Enter lady Albemarle, bearing a small box
     which she holds to her bosom_]

    _La. Alb._ Father, hast brought the holy man? The saint
    Whose prayer may save the soul already damned.

    _Fr._ Good daughter----

    _La. Alb._ Ha! Good devil! That were better!
    He's here? Well, send him back. I've changed my mind.
    I will not see him,--no, nor you!

    _Fr._                       Farewell.

    _La. Alb._ Nay, do not go! Wouldst leave a soul in hell
    For humor of the tongue?
        [_Friar returns to her_] My soul? Pah, sir!
    You think a priest can save it? I want not
    Your prayers, but your good service to set right
    A wrong. Don't mumble over me! I speak
    Because I'm dying. Had I hope to live,
    Then right might shift for itself. And you call this
    Repentance! Pah! Who can keep mum when death
    Turns the last screw? You know the earl of Kent?
    My brother?

    _Fr._   Yes, my daughter.

    _La. Alb._                I know that
    Will make his peace with Henry--foolish king!
    I must go back to tell you--years and years.
                      [_Turns away as if musing_]

    _Fr._ Speak, lady, in God's name.

    _La. Alb._         I'll tell you all.
    But I'll not kneel. I've lived too much on knees.
    ... See? Albemarle! He has as many bodies
    As he has wishes to keep spy on me.
    ... He's gone, and did not speak. He never speaks,
    But there's a sort of beast sits in his heart
    That growls and I do hear it.

    _Fr._         Peace, good lady.

    _La. Alb._ Ah, good again. Foul, foul and villainous!
    Come here, thou holy man. To you I'll speak.
    Dost think that ever I was beautiful,
    And these long locks once bound a king to me?

    _Hen._ A king?

    _La. Alb._ Ay, royal John. A king indeed!
    Angel to me though devil to the world.
    None loved him but his Eleanor,--none, none!
    The rest were mistresses unto his throne.
    I gave my heart, he took me up to his.
    Ah, father, do you think that is my sin?
    That is my joy, my glory, my one pride.
    I'll ne'er repent it until I repent
    That e'er I smiled or felt myself alive.
    Repent? Nay, father, not till I believe
    That marble women are more dear to God
    Than we whose hearts are warm with the same love
    That beat in His when worlds leapt from His joy.
    Come back, O golden summer, when there dwelt
    Two happy beings in a magic wood,
    Treading not earth but soft enchantment's air,
    Until the beast came! There, do you not see him?
    Away, black Albemarle! O, mercy, Heaven!
    ... Then there was Glaia, bud of our true love----

    _Hen._ Glaia!

    _La. Alb._ O, happy I, when he my king
    Bent over me and said, "Sweet, she is ours!"

    _Hen._ My sister!

    _La. Alb._ What dost say? Thy sister? Ha!
    Base monk, I tell thee that her blood was royal
    As Henry's own! Ay, nobler! Who shall say
    My spirit leapt not o'er pale Isabel's?

     [_Retreats to couch by which is a small table. Puts box on table
     and lays her head upon it, weeping_]

    _Hen._ Then Glaia was my sister. Did you hear?

    _Fr._ I heard what I well knew before
    By my heart's guess, but had no proof of it.

    _La. Alb._ [_Starting up_] Hear, father! You've heard
                    nothing yet. Last night
    I killed her. Do you hear? I killed her.

    _Hen._                               O!

    _La. Alb._ You hear? Ay, for you gasp and mutter prayers.
    I thought to go and watch her while she slept,
    And walked a devil with me who held close
    A dagger--Hubert's--that's my brother, monk.
    Still, still, ye swirling fiends that in my brain
    Keep your hot dance! Be still!... She lay asleep,
    Pain in her heart and beauty on her brow;
    Her curls--her father's curls--around her face.
    One fell upon my wrist--and see, a burn,
    As though its gold were fire. She turned to me,
    And murmured as her father did in sleep;
    Then, in my hand the knife arose, and fell,
    And as my brain rocked sick I heard him say,
    My lover, bending o'er me, "She is ours."   [_Pauses_]

    _Hen._ And then?

    _La. Alb._ What next I know not, but I think
    Some cunning led me to conceal the deed
    And make escape. I left the dagger there.
    'Twas Hubert's. You had best be quick, or harm
    Will come to him. The world is such a fool!
    But wait--O, wait till I am dead! I am
    A coward born, and life has bred me such.
    Hark! Albemarle is coming! Lock the door!
       [_Runs to the table and takes up the box_]
    Look--in this box--my lover's letters--see!
    I have the key. I'll give it to the devil,
    And Albemarle may look for it in hell.
    O, I am dying! Hide them for me, priest.
    My letters from my king. I'll burn them all.
    Nay, nay, sweet, pretty words, lie down with me.
    Together we'll grow cold. Ye'd fire enough,
    God wot! [_Lies on couch_]
             Glaia is dead. Be quiet now.
    Hast heard I was her mother? There's a secret--
    No--no--I must not speak it--but 'twill out
    By doomsgate, so they say. You are a priest;
    Canst tell how far 'tis from the grave to hell?
    You think they'll let me lie a little first
    And see how 'tis to sleep? 'Tis a long walk,
    I'll lie quite still, and give no trouble--none.
                                         [_Dies_]

    _Hen._ Help! Something to revive her.

    _Fr._                               It were vain.
    Earth has not such restorative.

    _Hen._                     Not dead?

    _Fr._ The heavenly amaranth alone can dew
    Her brow with life.

    _Hen._         O, Hubert! What am I?
    Let me crawl to thy feet, cast off my crown
    As I cast off this cowl, and lie in dust
    Before thee! O, too late!        [_To friar_]
                              'Tis as you guessed.
    And each confessed in sacrificial love
    Hoping to save the other. Tell me now
    Who plays the angel here?

    _Fr._                My liege, one who
    Would not be here but that he fears no death.
                             [_Removes his cowl_]

    _Hen._ Roland!

    _Wynne._   My king!

    _Hen._       Not king, but friend,
    And equal in this woe. Rise! 'Tis no time
    To kneel. What must we do? Now Margaret
    Is safe--but Hubert? Even now they doom him.
    Barons and church are leagued to prove him guilty,
    Nor have I power against their proof to pardon
    And keep my throne.

    _Wynne._ Take courage. Thou art king.

    _Hen._ To th' tower then. If majesty is yet
    A word of might, we'll dare them all.

    _Wynne._                        Now speaks
    Yourself.

    _Hen._ I'll be the king!

    _Wynne._                You fill my heart
    With singing prophecies.

    _Hen._              But first we'll give
    An order for the noble burial
    Of this poor woman. Glaia's mother, Roland.
    She called me brother, and would have it so.
    Ah, little sister, did the angels tell you?
    You lived so much with them.... 'Twas I who killed her.
    My very hand, and not this poor mad woman's.
    I slew them both. Oh, oh, oh!

    _Wynne._                 Dear my lord,
    Leave grief unto the grave, that it best decks;
    The living call us now.

    _Hen._             You talk so, sir,
    Who did not love her.

    _Wynne._        O, my lord!

    _Hen._                      You did.
    Forgive me, friend, that I forgot your heart.

    _Wynne._ If constancy past sacrifice of hope
    Is love, I loved her, sire. If to be true
    To every wish that rises from her grave
    Is love, I love her still. But you, my liege,
    Cloud your fidelity, wasting in tears
    The moments now devoted by the stars
    To rescue one she loved.

    _Hen._              Shame me no more.
    We'll give an order here, then to the tower!

                                       [_Exeunt_]



ACT IV

     SCENE 1. _The council chamber in the Tower of London. Barons and
     prelates assembled. Archbishop of Canterbury presiding. Princess
     Adelais present, attended by several French nobles and her women.
     She advances before the archbishop._


    _Ade._ Ye peers of England, and ye men of God,
    Humbly I make my suit. Not as a princess
    With vassal pomp and power to awe the eye
    And judgment take fore-captive, though a score
    Of buried kings have dowered me with veins
    Of high regality; nor sue I with
    The holy potency of Heaven's pontiff,
    Though his own mouth would speak if I were silent,
    As speak the skies when tempests chasten earth.
    But here, my lords, a lonely woman kneels;
    A weary mother weeping her lost son.
    You know how all my better years were spent
    In that dark wild where wander minds dethroned.
    When the dear world came back to me, my cry
    Was for my babe--no more a babe, but up
    To manhood shot as in a single hour.
    And as the hunger takes some starving wretch,
    Desire upon me seized to know his love,
    And on his breast to die. My lords, mayhap
    I am as old as is the oldest here,
    But O, so poor in time. I've but that youth,
    Brief youth that held its morning roses up
    And fled, and this bare, aged now that drops
    But aching moments till I've found my son.

    _Cant._ Rise, royal Adelais! Believe that we
    Have hearts of men, and know the love of mothers.
    But to give back your son belongs to Him
    Whose voice doth open graves and call the dead.

    _Ade._ My heart cries that he lives! O, he was here
    Five years ago--five little years. Why, 'twas
    But yesterday! This letter tells you, sirs.
    "Brave and right royal. Great Henry's worthy son."
    This letter from the man who guarded him,
    Geoffrey de Burgh, an honest, good old man,
    And faithful to his king. He could not have
    A son so cruel as to kill my son,
    Or rob the world of what did so adorn it
    And yet none know.

    _Cant._       In grief I say 'tis so;
    And England lies in shame that her chief lord,
    Raised to administer her vaunted justice,
    Should prove so base, so foul, that----

    _Ade._                             O, my lord,
    He must be nobler than you think, else would your king
    Lift him so high?--make him his friend,
    And with an earldom top his risen fortune?
    May be he overcapped too many whom
    His guilt would please more than his innocence.

    _Cant._ We've given him fair and open trial. Urged him
    In name of God and England to declare
    His knowledge of the precious living charge
    His father left to him. But he is brazen
    In flat denial.

    _Ade._   O, your eminence,
    May I not see him? Let me plead for truth
    With a poor mother's tears.

    _Cant._                   You will but hear
    The unblushing lie which we have sought to spare you.

    _Ade._ O, let me see him!

    _Cant._                 Kent, step forth and tell
    This suffering princess what you will.

    _Kent._ [_Coming out from guards_] Dear madam,
    Your tears are suitors to my pity----

    _Ade._                                 Henry!

    _Kent._ Each drop a supplicant that I would ease
    Were such sweet power mine. But, by my soul,
    And by the mother's love I never knew
    Though dreamed on, I am innocent of blood,
    Nor did I ever see or know your son.

    _Ade._ Ah, I have found him, lords! O, you old men,
    If any here be old, do you not hear
    The mighty Henry speak in this young voice?
    My grandsire, Louis, bends that brow on me,
    That eye has flashed such light from 'neath a crown.
    [_To Kent_] Be not amazed; thou art my only born.
    Thy mother's heart could not so falsely beat
    As to deny thee! England, be glad with me!

    _Count de Rouillet._ O, pity, Heaven! She is mad again.

    _Win._ Take her away.

    _Ade._ Away? When I have found him?
    By those blest stars that drew my feet to his,
    I'll not go hence till he may go with me!

    _Kent._ Dear lady, go. I'll come to thee in time.

    _Ade._ I am thy mother. Wilt not call me so?
    I've cleared my vision with a sea of tears
    And can not be deceived.

    _Cant._ Wouldst call a villain son? A man condemned?
    Whose headsman waits even now?

    _Ade._                         What has he done?
    God does not lie, and 'twas his hand that writ
    This countenance to mark a noble mind,
    And not to be a villain's fair decoy.
    Ah, murder him, but the same axe will strike
    My life away, for never shall he go
    From out my arms!

    _One of her women._ Come, dearest lady.

    _Win._                                  Ay,
    She must depart. [_To Rouillet_] Pray, lead her off, my lord.
    She interrupts the court.

    _Ade._               You'd force me, sir?
    Ah, true, I am in England. O, my lords,
    I beg you let me stay! I'll not disturb you,
    But sit as quiet as the stone I am.
           [_Takes a seat. Her women attend her_]
    You see, my lords, I'm calm. I have no son.

    _Win._ [_To Canterbury_] This time is poorly spared.
                       Pray you, proceed.

    _Cant._ Hear then your sentence, Hubert, earl of Kent,
    And Margaret, his wife, stand forth with him.
    Unto the block you both shall go forthwith----

    _A guard at door._ The king!

    _Win._ The king? The doors are closed to all!

    _Hen._ [_Entering_] All but the king, lord bishop. Margaret,
    I bring a gift--your freedom. Ah, you sinned
    When you confessed your guilt, but not before.
    Our dearest Glaia died not by your hand,
    Nor yet by Kent's. First, lords, know you
    The maiden was the daughter of my father--
    Ay, ay, there's proof. She was the child of John
    And a fair lady of his court and ours,
    Who, dying, made confession to her priest----

    _Win._ A priest? We know, my lord and king, that priests
    Oft sell reports unto the devil's purse.

    _Hen._           That from a churchman?

    _Win._                     Would an honest priest
    Betray confession?

    _Hen._     This was given, sir,
    For open use in Kent's defence. In short,
    I was that priest, my lord, and played the monk
    To better purpose than I've played the king.

    _Cant._ Your majesty----

    _Hen._                Is pleased to speak, your grace
    This then, my lords, proves Kent had holy reason
    For thwarting my vain love.

    _Alb._               Could this be true
    And Kent not speak when a bare word had saved him?

    _Hen._ Have you been home to-day, my lord?

    _Alb._                                   My liege,
    Since morn I've ridden hard, and was much pushed
    To arrive in season for the trial.

    _Hen._         What news
    From north?

    _Alb._ 'Twas south I rode, your majesty,
    About my shore estates.

    _Pem._            Sire, I informed you----

    _Hen._ Ay, so.

    _Alb._ What should I do at home, my liege?

    _Hen._ Comfort your lady, who fast droops to death.

    _Alb._ My wife? But she was well when I set forth.

    _Hen._ You'll find her changed! But we must speak of Kent.
    My lords, he was close pledged not to betray
    The maiden's parentage for this good reason.
    Her mother was his sister, living in dread
    Of her harsh present lord, and she besought,
    Past power to resist, his oath to die
    Ere he should make it known. I know not who
    Of you would prove so true to oaths if death
    Lay in the keeping, or what hearts are here
    Would drain themselves to guard a sister's life.

    _Cant._ Who is this sister, sire?

    _Alb._                    This shows that kings
    May even be duped like poorer men. All know
    That Kent's sole sister is my countess.

    _Hen._                             Sir,
    We've no mind to deny you. It is she
    We mean,--the lady Albemarle.
                           [_Albemarle staggers_]

    _Pem._                  My lord----

    _Alb._ Air! Stand from me! Give way! I must be gone!

    _Hen._ We must command you stay.

    _Alb._                          This air is poison!

    _Hen._ Stay, sir!

    _Alb._ I say not to the king 'tis false,
    But to each British lord who hears I swear
    'Tis a foul lie!

    _Hen._ My ears, sir, registered
    Her last confession, that 'twas her hand struck
    Her daughter's heart, her child and John's.

    _Alb._                                Let go!
    It was her malady that spoke. I'll to her
    And rival death in tortures! God, I will----

    _Hen._ Death has outstripped you, sir. Her breath is gone.

    _Alb._ Then I'll inflict her body till her ghost
    Comes back to shriek in it!

    _Hen._                You're yet too late.
    We've given orders for her due interment
    As mother of our sister.

    _Alb._ Ha! My servants!
    You guard my house?

    _Hen._        We do, my lord.

    _Win._ [_Aside to Canterbury_]   Haste, sir,
    Or Kent will yet escape.

    _Cant._           Your majesty,
    The lady Margaret, thanks to Heaven and you,
    Is now at liberty, but the life of Kent
    Is forfeited. He must at once to doom.

    _Hen._ Already sentenced, sir? You're hasty reaching
    Your black conclusion. Stay a little----

    _Cant._                           Sire,
    We moved with deference, respecting him
    Who for a time had lived within your bosom.
    To longer stay his death would tempt the skies
    To draw their mercy from us, seeing it were
    So basely used. Guards here for Kent!

    _Hen._                          O, stay
    One moment, please your eminence. My lord
    Of Winchester, I'd see again the papers
    First gave excuse to put this guilt on Kent.

    _Win._ And here they are, my liege.
                             [_Gives him papers_]
                                     There you will read
    Of the great trust consigned by Henry Second
    To Geoffrey de Burgh, and by him to his son,
    As Adelais brings proof.

                [_Enter Wynne, carrying a small box_]

    _Wynne._            Your majesty----

    _Hen._ [_Reading_] Your patience! Presently we'll hear you.

    _Pem._         What!
    The lord of Wynne returned?

    _Alb._                Returned! I doubt
    If he has seen salt water.

    _Pem._              But I hope
    He has not bent a wizard's eye upon
    Our secrets.

    _Hen._     Hear, my lords, this paper given
    By dying Pembroke to our Winchester,
    Signed, ay, and written, by our grandsire king.
    [_Reads_] "And for we know that envious ills assail
    The nobly born when not by wedlock blest----"

    _Win._ Nay--'tis not that! My lord, I beg--it is
    The other paper!

    _Hen._ [_Reading_] "Till he be a man
    And cast a weighty spear, let him be called
    De Burgh, and known as Geoffrey's son----"

    _Win._                                    Hear me----

    _Hen._ Peter des Roches, here's matter for your death,
    Which at your humble suit we'll moderate
    To banishment.

    _Win._        O, blasted be this hand----

    _Wynne._ Curse not the unlucky hand that bared thy sin,
    For we have other proof of Kent's high birth.
    Within this box where lady Albemarle
    Treasured the tokens from her kingly love,
    I found a paper of another tenor,--
    A letter from her father, old De Burgh,
    To be delivered at his death to one
    Called Hubert, his supposed son, wherein
    He tells him of his birth and bids him claim
    Name and estate as his great father willed.
    You know the words, my fallen Winchester,--
    "Rockingham, Harle, Beham and Fotheringay,
    With strongest Bedford as his ducal seat."
    This letter, as we know, was kept from Kent,
    And where 'twas found best tells the why thereof.

    _Ade._ [_Rising_] Who will deny me now? Must I keep still,
    Ye lords of England? Have I yet your leave
    T' embrace my son?

    _Kent._ [_Crossing to her_] We'll ask no leave, my mother.
    Do dreams take flesh, and prayers become alive?
    For I have dreamed and prayed to see your face,
    Though but in vision, thinking you in Heaven;
    And all my life your voice like far off singing
    Has followed me. Sometimes it seemed 'twould near
    If I might wait in silence, wooing it,
    But life that waits no longing pushed me on
    With the old loss new in my heart.

    _Ade._                            My son!
    My only son! O, twice thou'rt born to me!

    _Kent._ And I must double yet thy joy, for see
    Thy daughter too.       [_Presents Margaret_]

    _Mar._ [_To Adelais_] If thou wilt call me so.
                    [_Adelais embraces Margaret_]

    _Hen._ Those castles, Albemarle, which were your boast,
    Must now revert to their right lordly owner,
    The earl of Kent.

    _Alb._           Take them, my liege, take all,
    But leave me this good sword which I would wear
    As your most loyal subject.

    _Hen._                     Nay, my lord,
    Your service past but illy recommends you.
    You are our prisoner. Guards for Albemarle!

    _Alb._ What does this mean? You cast your crown by this!

    _Hen._ It means, proud man, you are a traitor proved.
    You galloped hard last night, and 'twas to death.
    Those troops you called on pretence to avenge
    The death of Kent will be by Kent commanded.

    _Alb._ [_To Wynne_] 'Tis you who've brought this hell
                        upon me, villain!

    _Hen._ By your good patience, he is not a villain!
    I know not all his merit, but enough
    To make him my chief general; asking first
    His guard against this plotting Poitevin--
    This unfrocked bishop--should he e'er attempt
    To make new friends and land upon our shores.

    _Wynne._ Sire, in my arms he'll find a barrier
    High as the devil sealed to enter Heaven.

    _Alb._ [_To Pembroke_] Be lightning in my cause, if you
                  would save me!

    _Pem._ I go at once to raise what power I can.

    _Hen._ Out, guards, with Albemarle, and keep him close
    Till he go forth to death.

       [_Exit Albemarle under guard. Pembroke is hurrying out_]

                              Stay, Pembroke. You
    Have been too close his brother. 'Tis a pity
    To sever you in death, but for the sake
    Of your great father dead we're lenient
    And banish you the kingdom.

    _Pem._                     Sire, I go.

                                         [_Exit_]

    _Hen._ [_To officer_] Follow him, sir, and see him straightway shipped.

                                 [_Exit officer_]

    Now Kent may ask and have. What gift shall speak
    My great affection? What thy dearest wish?

    _Kent._ Let him not ask for more, who has the love
    Of Margaret, his mother, and his king.

                       [_Curtain_]



THE SHEPHERD

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS



_CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY_


    ADRIAN LAVROV, _the Shepherd of Lonz_
    PETER VETROVA, _an old peasant_
    CATHERINE, _Vetrova's wife_
    VASIL, _grandson of Peter and Catherine_
    VERA, _sister to Vasil_
    KORELENKO, _betrothed to Vera_
    PRINCESS SOPHIE TRAVINSKI
    KALUSHKIN, SIMEON, GREGORI, UGO, _peasants of Lonz_
    ANNA, ULIANA, _neighbors to the Vetrovas_
    GREGORIEF, _an ex-prisoner_
    GALOVKINE, _a doctor_
    MANLIEF, _a student_
    COLONEL ORLOFF, _of the Czar's army_
    IRTENIEFF, ZARKOFF, _officers_

    _Soldiers_, _revolutionists_, _peasants_, _&c._

    SCENE: _A peasant home in Russia_
    TIME: _June, nineteen hundred and five_

NOTE.--The song episode in Act II is adapted from "The Green Book," by
Maurus Jokai.



ACT I

     SCENE 1. _A room in Peter Vetrova's cottage. Door opens centre
     rear into a little yard beyond which is the village street. Centre
     right, door into Lavrov's room. Right second entrance leads to
     kitchen and garden. Between the two doors right a large brick
     stove whitewashed and at present unused. Shelf above stove. A loom
     stands in right hand corner rear. A window in rear wall between
     loom and door. Before window a small table on which are student's
     books and papers. On left side of door a small, rude cabinet is
     built in the wall about six feet from floor. A wide bench stands
     under cabinet. A small high window in left wall. Near front, very
     high up on wall left, hangs a half length portrait of the Saviour._

     _A table left of centre. Bench before loom. Two or three stools,
     one or two plain chairs; and a larger chair, of peasant make, near
     table centre._

     _Glimpses of grass and a fruit-tree in bloom seen through open door
     and window rear._

     _Vetrova discovered, making bark shoes. Catherine sits near him in
     the large chair, sewing. Vera at loom. Vasil in door rear with
     violin. He ceases playing as curtain rises._


_Vetrova._ That brings back young days, mother.

_Catherine._ The summer is getting into your head, Petrovich.

_Vet._ My heels too. If the boy plays any more I shall forget my broken
bones and be off to the forest.

_Vasil._ I'll keep on forever if I can play your crutch away,
grandfather.

_Cath._ [_Hastily, as Vasil raises the bow_] No! Enough for to-day.

_Vera._ [_To herself, as she weaves_] Rags--rags--_rags_! O, if I could
make some of those beautiful things I saw at the bazaar! [_Softly_] Or
just a sweet white coverlet for me and Sasha. [_Turns from the loom to
the others_]

_Vasil._ [_Who has crossed to Catherine_] If I can please but one it
shall be you, little grandmother.

_Vera._ [_Running to Vetrova, and sitting on his knee_] And if _I_
could please but one it should be you, little grandfather!

_Cath._ [_Removing Vasil's arm from her shoulder_] There, go to your
book, lad. The Shepherd will be coming back.

_Vasil._ [_Smiling_] I am ready for him.[_Crosses to small table rear,
sits by it, and begins studying. Vera follows him, and they look over
the book together, Vasil explaining, Vera teasing_]

_Vet._ [_Taking up his work_] I wish you loved the music, Catherine. It
makes things different somehow ... while it lasts.

_Cath._ 'Tis your spirit, Petrovich. You were never like the rest of
us. The others called you queer, but I knew it was just spirit.

_Vet._ Eh--yes. Don't you remember the gypsy ring in the forest
forty-five years----

_Cath._ How you talk, Petrusha! 'Tis evil times [_looks guardedly at
the young people_] and we are old.

_Vet._ Yes ... old. We may gather acorns in the woods, mother, but
we shall never find any more flowers. Well enough. The trees would
grow wrinkled with laughter to see an old man dancing beneath them.
Eh--yes, let him stoop, and pick up brush.

_Cath._ [_Comfortingly_] We have the children, Petrusha.

_Vet._ [_Sullenly_] We had their father and mother, too.

_Cath._ We've fared better than others. We've always had our home.

_Vet._ Because you served in the barin's house and the mistress liked
you. Just chance! And then the barin died and Travinski got hold of
everything.

_Cath._ But the Shepherd came.

_Vet._ Another chance! Life oughtn't to owe itself to that. It isn't
living. Those two awful years before the Shepherd came--when Andrei
died--they were real. A part of what _is_. We were like our neighbors
then. Yes. [_Stops talking as Vera crosses to her grandmother_]

_Vera._ [_Leaning affectionately against Catherine_] How you must love
Vasil, grandmamma, to make him an embroidered blouse out of a piece of
your best blanket!

_Cath._ He is leaving us, my child.

_Vera._ You said I should have this if I married Alexander.

_Cath._ Perhaps these bad times will be over then, and we may be able
to get something new.

_Vera._ O, these bad times! They will never be over. I've been waiting
for that ever since I was born.

_Cath._ And we waited before you, child.

_Vera._ [_Repentant_] I didn't mean it, grandmamma! Can't I help you
make the blouse? But it may not be the fashion in Berlin. I will ask
Sasha what the students wear. [_Takes up a piece of the stuff_] And how
can you sew on winter things in summer time? Winter is so far away,--a
thousand years away. Vasil will never live till winter time.

_Cath._ [_Shocked_] Vera!

_Vera._ Well, you know he can't live a thousand years.

_Cath._ Why does winter seem so far off, dear?

_Vera._ O, I don't know. [_A slight pause_] Alexander says we can not
be married before winter.

_Cath._ [_Smiling and laying down her work_] Do you love him so much?
[_Vera buries her face in her grandmother's lap_] And he is right,
dear. You should wait a long time. What can a young man do now?
Everything is uncertain. Nothing is sure but hunger and children.

_Vera._ [_Looking up_] Isn't it the strangest thing in the world?

_Cath._ What, dear?

_Vera._ That he should love me.

_Cath._ And that you should love him?

_Vera._ O, no! I couldn't help loving _him_!

_Cath._ [_Shaking her head and taking up her work_] My thread, child. I
left it in the kitchen.

    [_Exit Vera, second entrance, right_]

_Vet._ [_Looking after her_] She is like her mother, Catherine.

_Cath._ Yes ... dear Polya. I thought she was going to have a wilful
heart, but she is just a woman.

_Vet._ [_Moodily_] I wish they were both with their parents in the only
safe place in Russia, the grave.

_Cath._ [_Looking at Vasil_] Hush! He will be safe enough soon. The
Shepherd is good to send him away, and he so poor himself. Buy him from
the army, and all.

_Vet._ Send an innocent lad out of his own country to be safe.

_Cath._ He is to be a musician as well as a scholar. Berlin is the
place. The Shepherd knows. He could not keep out of trouble at our
universities. You know what you were in your youth, Petrovich.

_Vet._ I wanted to be a scholar too. But they beat me back.

_Cath._ You have been a good peasant. You might have been a poor
scholar. And we have had the teachers. Don't you remember the first
night-class in our cottage, and the noble's daughter who wore peasant
clothes and taught grown men to read? That was thirty years ago.

_Vet._ And she went to Kara for it ... to the mines ... for teaching
men to read.

_Cath._ But others came.

_Vet._ And went ... as she did.

_Cath._ God bless them! We can all read our Bibles now. And the lad is
going to a university.

_Vet._ 'Tis far, Berlin. I am old. The Shepherd is needed everywhere.
He may go any time. Vasil ought to stay with his sister.

_Cath._ She has Alexander.

_Vet._ How long will he keep out of prison with that big heart and hot
head?

_Cath._ God will protect her.

_Vet._ As he did her mother! Yes.

_Cath._ You are hardening your heart, Petrovich. [_Turns toward icon,
crossing herself_]

_Vera._ [_Re-entering_] Grandmamma! [_Stands in door_]

_Cath._ The thread, child.

_Vera._ O, I forgot. Uliana is in the kitchen.

_Cath._ [_Rising quickly_] Uliana!

_Vera._ It's bad news, I'm afraid. She keeps wiping her eyes pretending
she isn't.

_Cath._ Did she tell you anything?

_Vera._ No, grandmamma. I couldn't make her.

     [_Catherine hurries across to kitchen entrance. Vetrova takes up
     his crutch and hobbles after her_]

_Cath._ [_Sternly_] Stay with the children, Petrovich. [_Exit, closing
door behind her_]

_Vera._ [_Opening door for Vetrova_] Go on, grandfather. [_Laughs and
kisses him_] Are you afraid? I promise you Vasil and I will stay here.
She wants _you_, I know.

_Vet._ [_Lifting her chin_] A good child, but too pretty, too pretty.
[_Exit_]

_Vera._ [_Turns and looks at Vasil, who is absorbed in his book.
Crosses to him_] Vasil?

_Vasil._ [_Looking up reluctantly_] Ten pages beyond Adrian's mark. He
will be pleased.

_Vera._ Is there anything you like better than to please Adrian?

_Vasil._ [_Listening_] Who is in the kitchen?

_Vera._ Uliana.

_Vasil._ And you don't want to hear the gossip?

_Vera._ No. I want to stay with you. [_Guilefully_] You are going away,
you know.

_Vasil._ [_Rising_] There may be news from----

_Vera._ Don't go! I promised.

_Vasil._ Then it _is_ from Petoff.

_Vera._ Adrian doesn't want you to hear about such things.

_Vasil._ [_Sitting down_] Haven't I ears and eyes? They think I don't
know ... but see here. [_Takes up a tablet_] You may read it, Vera.
[_She glances over tablet_] I wrote it this morning.

_Vera._ It is gay and sad too. But it is not like a June song. There
are no birds and flowers in it.

_Vasil._ Don't you know who the "Summer Maid" is, Vera?

_Vera._ Summer herself, isn't she?

_Vasil._ No, stupid. She is Freedom--Liberty.

_Vera._ O, Vasil! And the old, dead Winter is----

_Vasil._ Yes, the Czar.

_Vera._ O, I'm afraid! Let me burn it, Vasil.

_Vasil._ [_Taking it from her_] No.

_Vera._ Suppose somebody should find it--a spy?

_Vasil._ He wouldn't understand it. You didn't yourself.

_Vera._ But I'm a stupid.

_Vasil._ [_Catching her in his arms_] Are you, little sister?

_Vera._ Let me have it, Vasil.

_Vasil._ [_Tears sheet from tablet, folds it and puts it into his
pocket_] No. It's as safe as any piece of paper.

_Vera._ Adrian won't like it. He says your mind must be free from--all
that. Free for what, Vasil? We want to be free only to do things.

_Vasil._ [_Laying his hand on his book_] For this,--and this [_softly
touching his violin_],--and this. [_Lifting his pen_]

_Vera._ O, what a slave! You will have three masters. I want to be free
too, but not for such things. I want to make Sasha happy.

_Vasil._ A woman's freedom. Free to wear fetters. Have you seen him
to-day?

_Vera._ No, but----

_Vasil._ What? And the sun so high?

_Vera._ I am waiting for him now. I shall tease him about the great man
who fell in love with me at the bazaar.

_Vasil._ Who was it wanted to make Sasha happy?

_Vera._, He ought to be glad that such a splendid officer even looked
at me!

_Vasil._ And were you glad, Vera?

_Vera._ No. I ran away.

_Vasil._ What did Madam Korego say to that?

_Vera._ [_As Korelenko enters unseen by her_] She said she would never
take me again, and I told her I didn't care, I was going to many Sasha,
who was finer than any officer in the world.

_Vasil._ Good-morning, Alexander Korelenko.

_Vera._ [_Whirls about and sees Alexander_] Now I can't tease him!
[_Vasil returns to his book_]

_Korelenko._ About what, little bird?

_Vera._ O, I found a new lover at the bazaar.

_Kore._ [_Smiling_] I told Madam Korego it would never do to take you.

_Vera._ A fine gentleman, all covered with gold lace.

_Kore._ And he gave you a piece to weep over when you are only poor
little madam Korelenko?

_Vera._ A very great man--General Petrizoff!

_Kore._ [_Starting furiously_] Has that--has _he_ looked at you?
[_Walks from her_]

_Vera._ [_Imploring_] Sasha!

_Kore._ [_Turning back to her_] My little one! I'm a jealous fool! He
will not hunt out you, poor little you. [_Holds her to him, and shakes
a clenched fist behind her back. Adrian enters by street door and goes
up to Korelenko_]

_Adrian._ You would hold love in your heart and hate in your hand,
Alexander?

_Vera._ [_Freeing herself_] O, Adrian! [_Takes his hat and stick_] You
are tired. I will bring you some tea.

_Adr._ No, little sister. Lay the table in the garden. It makes one
hungry to walk from Petoff.

_Vera._ So far! Sit down, you bad little brother! [_Leads him, to the
large chair, and goes toward kitchen_] In three minutes! [_Listens at
door and says softly_] Uliana is gone.

    [_Exit_]

_Kore._ What of Petoff?

_Adr._ [_Looks about and sees Vasil at his book_] Vasil, lad, a cup of
water from the garden well. The roads are unusually dusty for the first
of June.

    [_Exit Vasil, kitchen way_]

_Kore._ You are wrong, Adrian. It is time for him to know man's work.
This is not a day for dreamers.

_Adr._ For dreamers, no,--but a dreamer, yes. Can we not spare _one_ to
step out of the days to a place in the ages? We shall die, indeed, if
there is none to sing us.

_Kore._ He must know his theme then.

_Adr._ He shall know it,--when he knows art so well that life can not
tempt him to die. I will save his youth, his enthusiasm, and then ...
he may please himself.

_Kore._ No use. Our prisons are full of buried enthusiasms. He must
take his fate with the rest of us. This is the world, not a fairy's
cockle-shell. You can't save him.

_Adr._ I must. In him Heaven has given me back my own youth. I shall
not surrender it a second time.

_Kore._ He belongs to himself, and he will soon find out that he is a
man and a Russian. But Petoff? What did you find there?

_Adr._ Despair, desolation, death. That is all they have gained by
revolt.

_Kore._ No! They have gained the name of men. To have submitted to be
stripped and turned bleeding under the skies would have proved them
lower than beasts.

    [_Enter Vetrova, right, with cup of water_]

_Vet._ I begged the cup of Vasil. Let me die when I can not serve
Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ [_Advancing to him and taking the cup_] Thank you, Petrovich. I
would rather serve you. [_Drinks_]

_Vet._ Are we safe, Adrian Lavrov? Is Lonz at peace?

_Adr._ Yes, Petrovich. I have Prince Travinski's word that we shall not
be molested so long as we are patient under the law.

_Kore._ The law? Under robbery and the rod! Patience under the foot of
your master!

_Adr._ The slave can always rise above the master by forgiving him.
Go among our neighbors, Petrovich, and let them know they need fear
nothing while they themselves keep the peace.

_Vet._ Heaven, and the Shepherd of Lonz, be praised!

    [_Places cup on table and goes out street door_]

_Kore._ You saw Travinski? How did you manage it? He has steadily
refused to see any one from the people.

_Adr._ And he refused to see me at first, but as I was coming away I
met a lady who interceded for me.

_Kore._ His daughter? The princess Sophie?

_Adr._ No. Sophie Remon. One of the Red Cross workers.

_Kore._ Remon? I don't know her.

_Adr._ Her district is farther north, but she comes here occasionally.

_Kore._ She must have great influence.

_Adr._ Yes. I was surprised to meet her in the palace.

_Kore._ Naturally. In the enemy's camp. A spy on one side or the other.

_Adr._ [_Sternly_] I, too, was in the palace, Korelenko.

_Kore._ [_Looking at him closely, after a surprised start_] All right.
I suppose she explained her presence there.

_Adr._ I asked nothing. She is probably a friend of the princess.

_Kore._ I hope not. She can't be her friend and yours too.

_Adr._ Why not?

_Kore._ I learned to-day that the princess Sophie is one of Petrizoff's
spies. She has a wager with him, a luck-piece against a tiara, that she
will secure evidence to convict you.

_Adr._ Petrizoff need not be at so much trouble. He can imprison me
without evidence when he pleases.

_Kore._ Not you. That may do for other poor devils, but you have
friends all over Russia. It would make too much of a stir even for
Petrizoff. He would have to show the papers----

    [_Re-enter Vera, right_]

_Vera._ Have you forgotten you were hungry?

_Adr._ Come, Sasha.

     [_They go out, right, with Vera, as Vetrova and princess Sophie
     Travinski appear at street door. She wears a_ _long gray ulster
     marked with a red cross, and a plain, drooping hat with veil_]

_Sophie._ Thank you, sir. I might have missed the house.

_Vet._ [_As they enter_] Bless you, no! There's not a child in the
village out of its cradle that couldn't tell you where the Shepherd
lives.

_Soph._ [_Looking about the room_] And he lives here?

_Vet._ As I've told you, lady,--with me, old Vetrova. Ten years since
he came in at that door to be a son to me and Catherine.

_Soph._ He has lived here ten years?

_Vet._ Not all of that, for he is often called away. But he always
comes back. 'Tis never too far to come back. [_Draws up the large
chair_] Will you sit here, madam?

_Soph._ You have a granddaughter? [_Sitting_]

_Vet._ Little Vera,--and a grandson, too. Twins, though not a bit
alike, as you may see for yourself before you go. 'Twas Vasil, my
grandson, who brought the Shepherd to us. He was just seven years old
then, and a fine lad. We can say that about our grandchildren, ma'am.
The Shepherd loved him at first sight, and a father he's been to him
ever since. His own father, my Andrei, died under the rod one bad year
when taxes couldn't be paid, and his wife--the little mother--died too
when they brought him in. She dropped like that. But we don't tell
the children. They'll not have to dig up graves for trouble. [_Going
right_] I'll let the Shepherd know you are here.

_Soph._ [_In sudden confusion_] Wait--I mean--yes--tell him I am here.

_Vet._ 'Tis luck you have found him at home, for these bitter days keep
him at work. Shall I tell him your name, lady?

_Soph._ Sophie Remon.

    [_Exit Vetrova_]

_Soph._ His home! What a place! But I could kneel here. [_Rises and
walks nervously, but becomes suddenly composed at sound of a step.
Enter Adrian, right. He stands reservedly at some distance from her_]

_Adr._ May I help _you_ this time? But I hope it is not trouble of your
own that brings you.

_Soph._ No.

_Adr._ Then I am glad to see you again. We had so little time this
morning, and my surprise was so great when I recognized you----

_Soph._ You knew me?

_Adr._ I should know you anywhere.

_Soph._ But you will keep my secret? It is important. No one must
suspect that I am Sophie Travinski.

_Adr._ [_Starts_] Ah!... I did not know----

_Soph._ You said you recognized me!

_Adr._ As Sophie Remon. We had not met for some time.

_Soph._ O----

_Adr._ But have no fear, your highness----

_Soph._ [_Approaching and offering her hand_] Not to you. To you I am
still the same.

_Adr._ [_Not seeing her hand_] Let me thank you again for being my kind
divinity this morning.

_Soph._ I did nothing.

_Adr._ Everything. The people are crazed out of their dulness. They
fear new, unknown horrors. I did not know what might happen; but the
assurance of Prince Travinski will renew their endurance. That was what
I needed--his word.

_Soph._ [_Uneasily_] You can not need it. You who have such power over
the people. 'Tis not because Travinski said it but because you repeat
it that they believe. You are a great man, Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ [_Smiling_] Not great enough to be flattered as great.

_Soph._ O, I have seen--[_checks herself, changing her words_] men with
men, and I know a king from a subject.

_Adr._ Then you are wiser than I. But what is your wish, your highness?
You say you have not come for yourself.

_Soph._ No. For Vera Vetrova. She is in danger.

_Adr._ Vera? How can such a child be in danger?

_Soph._ You ask that in Russia?

_Adr._ She lives at home--she goes nowhere.

_Soph._ Where was she yesterday?

_Adr._ I was away all day.

_Soph._ And Vera was in Yaltowa, at the bazaar to raise funds for the
wounded.

_Adr._ I remember now. Madam Korego asked permission to take her.

_Soph._ She is not a wise woman.

_Adr._ What has happened?

_Soph._ Petrizoff saw her. You know the man he is.

_Adr._ Yes--O----

_Soph._ She escaped him, but madam was pleased to give all information.

_Adr._ What can I do? Where will she be safe?

_Soph._ Not in the Czar's dominions. Petrizoff----

_Adr._ I know! Something must be done at once. I must think!

_Soph._ I have already thought. Will you trust me?

_Adr._ [_Gazing at her_] Absolutely.

_Soph._ O, thank you!

_Adr._ You have a plan?

_Soph._ A friend of mine leaves for Odessa to-morrow to embark for
America. Vera can travel with her, taking her maid's passport. She will
be safe until to-morrow. The officers' ball, and some other matters,
will keep Petrizoff occupied. I will arrange everything and send for
her in the morning.

_Adr._ Poor little girl! It will be hard for her, and her grandparents
are very feeble. Dear old Petrovich! It will kill him to lose his
darling.

_Soph._ [_With concealed anxiety_] You--you are very fond of her?

_Adr._ Yes.

_Soph._ [_Bravely_] Perhaps you love her.

_Adr._ I do.

_Soph._ O! Then----

_Adr._ But it will be hardest for Korelenko. She is betrothed to him.

_Soph._ Betrothed! Ah, to----

_Adr._ Alexander Korelenko. He is headstrong, and does not always
understand. I'm afraid he will want to brave things out here.

_Soph._ O, he can't! He must understand that he can't. That would mean
the destruction of both. Could he not go with her?

_Adr._ Perhaps.

_Soph._ I can arrange that too, if he wishes. My friend was to be
accompanied by a brother. He can go later. Tell Korelenko, and let me
know before to-morrow.

    [_Re-enter Vetrova, right_]

_Vet._ [_Respectfully_] Will the lady take a cup of tea in the garden
with Catherine and my little granddaughter?

_Soph._ Gladly. [_To Adrian_] She must know me.

    [_Vetrova holds the door open for her_]

[_Vera's voice without_] O, you have come! This way to the garden.

     [_Vetrova closes the door and crosses to Adrian, who stands
     motionless, apparently not seeing Vetrova_]

_Vet._ A sweet lady.

_Adr._ [_To himself_] The princess!

_Vet._ Eh, yes, she steps like one. But not so pretty as our Vera.

_Adr._ [_Catching the last word_] Vera! Ah,--Petrovich, I've been
thinking that the children ought not to be parted.

_Vet._ You are right, Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ And you would be willing to let Vera go with Vasil to Berlin?

_Vet._ [_Astounded_] Go with him? My Vera? My little girl? Go away?
Leave her old grandfather? I don't understand you, Adrian Lavrov. Let
the boy stay with his sister.

_Adr._ [_Putting his hand on Vetrova's shoulder_] That must not be,
Petrovich. He ought to go. He _must_ go. He will be a great musician.
God means it. There is no mistake about _him_. [_Leaves Vetrova and
crosses to table where Vasil has been studying. Turns over the papers
meditatively, forgetting Vetrova_] He will never write. He feels too
much to articulate. But music--through that his divinity can flow.
[_Takes up the book_] Bless the lad! He learns by leaps. [_Drops book_]
And I must send him from me--my youth--my dreams.

_Vet._ But not Vera! Not her!

_Adr._ If she stays she will marry, Petrovich. And she must leave you
then.

_Vet._ No, no! Alexander has promised me that she may live with me till
I die. [_Pleadingly_] Only till I die, Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ [_Hiding his emotion_] Well, Petrovich, sufficient unto the day.
Let us be happy till to-morrow.

    [_Re-enter Korelenko, right_]

_Kore._ Vera is calling you, Petrovich. [_Vetrova hobbles off, right_]
Who is this woman, Adrian?

_Adr._ You heard the name.

_Kore._ I heard what she calls herself, but who is she?

_Adr._ I shall not tell you.

_Kore._ You needn't. I know enough.

_Adr._ What do you know?

_Kore._ What my eyes tell me. She is helping Vera with the dishes--and
such hands! Remember I have warned you against the princess Sophie.

_Adr._ Forget that slander, Korelenko.

_Kore._ Slander! I believe that this woman is the friend and accomplice
of the princess.

_Adr._ [_Smiling_] You do?

_Kore._ [_Looking at his watch_] I must hurry to Yaltowa. Do me this
favor, Adrian. Don't leave Vera alone with this--Sophie Remon. At the
best she is not what she pretends to be, and for some reason she is
trying to win Vera's friendship.

_Adr._ Alexander, I must speak to you about Vera.

_Kore._ [_Going_] Not a second to spare. I am already late, and
Gregorief----

_Adr._ Gregorief! He will ruin you, Sasha. You are half a terrorist
now. He will complete the work.

_Kore._ He is getting at the bottom of a big reactionary plot. I can't
stay to explain, and we don't know enough yet----

_Adr._ Keep away from him!

_Kore._ Can't now. We must root this out. It is a terrible thing. I
shall be back by midnight.

    [_Exit_]

_Adr._ And Vera must go to-morrow.

    [_Re-enter Vetrova, right_]

_Adr._ What is wrong, Petrovich?

_Vet._ The lady is a good lady. Yes. But why does she want to take Vera
from the old man? She has stolen the child's heart. And to-morrow she
is going to send a carriage----

    [_Distant cries are heard from without_]

_Adr._ What is that? It sounds like--Petoff yesterday. [_Uliana hurries
in, street door_] What is it, Uliana?

_Uliana_ [_Crossing herself toward icon as she enters_] O, sir, the
soldiers have come!

_Adr._ The soldiers? Well, they are only passing through the village.

_Uli._ They have stopped, sir! And they are Cossacks.

_Adr._ Do not be alarmed. They-- [_Enter two peasants_] Simeon? Gregori?

_Simeon._ What do they want--the soldiers?

_Adr._ Nothing.

_Gregori._ We are ordered to line up in the street. They are dragging
some of the men out. Does that mean nothing, Shepherd of Lonz?

_Adr._ I will find out what it means. Stay here. You have done no
wrong. You will not be harmed. [_Enter another peasant_] Ugo?

_Ugo._ Is it flogging, sir?

_Adr._ No! It can't be! [_Goes toward door. Cries of "The Shepherd, The
Shepherd," heard without_]

_Adr._ [_In door_] I am here.

_A voice without._ We have followed your counsel, Shepherd of Lonz. We
have kept the peace. We have borne the taxes. We have given our sons to
the war. Why are the soldiers here?

_Adr._ I do not know. But I have the word of Prince Travinski, your
little father, that no outrage will be committed. Come in, friends.

     [_A dozen or more peasants enter._ _Catherine_, _Sophie_, _Vera
     and Vasil come on, right_]

_A peasant._ [_Doggedly_] I gave the Czar my two sons. He gives me the
rod.

_Another._ My children have no bread. But the taxes are paid.

_Adr._ You have done your best, and I can not believe that you will be
harmed.

_A peasant._ It makes no difference how we do. There were good men at
Petoff.

    [_A man staggers in_]

_Adr._ Kalushkin!

_Uli._ [_Rushing to him_] My Petrov! Out of your bed! Why did you come?

_Kalushkin._ We are to be lined up in the street and every tenth man
flogged.

    [_Silence. Then a woman hurries in_]

_Adr._ Anna!

_Anna._ [_Kneeling before Adrian_] My lad--they have taken him! His
father died last night. You know how he died. He was starved. He
left the bread for me and the lad. And now they have taken him--my
boy--[_sobbing_]

    [_Adrian lifts her up in silence_]

_A peasant._ [_Starting up from bench where he has sat as if stunned_]
Flogging! [_Relapses into silence_]

_Kalush._ We are weak, we are starved, we can not bear the blows.

_Adr._ Whatever happens we will not forget that the blow we receive
falls on our bodies only; the blow we give falls back upon our souls.
We will be patient even unto death; we will not league with our enemy
against our immortal selves.

    [_Groans, and mutters of remonstrance_]

What have our neighbors at Petoff gained by striking back? Put out your
hands and feel the ashes of their homes. And they have lost not only
their homes, their children, and themselves, but an eternal triumph, a
triumph for the spirit of peace in the world.

_A voice at door._ Here they come!

     [_Enter Orloff, with soldiers. Others are seen crowding into the
     yard_]

_Orloff._ We want the men of this house.

_Adr._ I am one.

_Orl._ [_Looking him over_] Not you. We know you. We want the peasants.
There are two here. [_Glancing at paper in his hand_] Peter Vetrova,
Vasil Vetrova.

_Adr._ For what are they wanted? This is a peaceful village.

_Orl._ And we intend to see that it remains so.

_Adr._ I can assure you of that. My word is worth something.

_Orl._ Not in the army, friend.

_Adr._ The men of Lonz are men of peace.

_Orl._ A warning not to get bad habits from their neighbors won't hurt
them. Revolt is catching, and Petoff has given us a deal of trouble.

_Adr._ Does this mean flogging?

_Orl._ Only every tenth man. The same as for taxes. They get off light,
but we've heard no thanks yet.

_Adr._ Prince Travinski gave me his word this morning----

_Orl._ Travinski! It was this morning that he sent to Petrizoff asking
him to warm up Lonz a little and be quick about it.

_Adr._ This morning?

Orf. You see, my friend, your word won't pass in the army. And you
can't blame Travinski for wanting to take things in time here after all
his bother about Petoff. [_Loudly_] Peter Vetrova!

_Adr._ [_Pushing Vetrova forward_] One blow would kill this old man.
Have you a warrant for murder?

_Orl._ Let him go. Death will take care of him. [_Laughs_]

    [_Adrian draws Vetrova back_]

_Orl._ Vasil Vetrova!

    [_Vasil steps out, his face white, his eyes blazing_]

_A voice._ Adrian Lavrov, do you still say submit?

_Adr._ [_Blanching_] Submit.

_Orl._ [_To Vasil_] Come!

_Adr._ [_Stepping between them_] I will take his lot. Put me in his
place.

_Orl._ You are not a peasant.

_Adr._ I live as one, work as one. We are not born to a class; we
choose it. It is the lad who is no peasant.

_Orl._ What is he then?

_Adr._ A student.

_Orl._ Ha! In the University of Lonz! No. He must come with us.

_Adr._ If I can not stand for him I will stand for myself. I am one of
these people.

_A voice._ No!

_Adr._ You live by my counsel. I too must live by it. If I shun the
fate it brings I can not ask you to believe me again.

    [_Sophie moves appealingly forward, then back unnoticed_]

_Orl._ I can't oblige you with a flogging,--I am sorry to say,--even to
keep you in favor with your converts. Forward! To the line!

_Soph._ [_Stepping out_] Release the boy!

_Orl._ Who are _you_?

_Soph._ [_Taking off her hat_] You know, Count Orloff.

_Orl._ I salute your highness.

_Soph._ Release him.

_Orl._ Again I salute your highness, but my orders are from Petrizoff.

_Soph._ Mine also. Read this. [_Holds an open locket before him_]

_Orl._ [_Reads_] "The bearer is in my service. Petrizoff." [_Softly_]
Ah,--the tiara?

_Adr._ O God!

_Orl._ We release Vasil Vetrova. [_To princess, in low tone_] When may
I see you?

_Soph._ To-night, at the ball.

Orl. [_Bending over her hand_] Till then--silence. [_To the men_]
Forward!

_A voice._ Must we go, Shepherd of Lonz? We have hands as well as they!
Must we go?

_Adr._ Go. The millennium is no lie, and the man who suffers wrong for
the eternal right's sake is the man who brings it nearer. Go! And God
give you strength to be true to yourselves--to the future--to Him!

     [_Orloff, soldiers and peasants pass out. Adrian is following when
     Sophie comes toward him hesitatingly_]

_Adr._ I must go with the people.

_Soph._ I have not deceived you in the way you think.

_Adr._ [_Passing her_] I must go.

_Soph._ You will return here?

_Adr._ This is my home.

_Soph._ I shall wait for you.

_Adr._ Farewell! [Exit]

     [_Sophie stands looking after him. Vasil approaches and kneels
     before her. She gives him her hand, which he kisses reverently.
     Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _Same room several hours later. Sophie alone, standing by
     the small, high window, left._

_Soph._ Almost sunset. [_Turns from window_] And he knows I am
waiting.[_Hears a step in the yard and turns again to window. Adrian
enters, pauses in door, and sees Sophie gazing out. He advances_]

_Adr._ Your highness?

_Soph._ [_Turning her head_] You have made no haste.

_Adr._ I have been with the people.

_Soph._ [_Looking at him_] You are tired. I, too, went out, but it was
so terrible.... You are very tired. Sit down, please. I want to stand.
[_Takes a few nervous steps and goes back to window_]

_Adr._ [_Breaking the silence_] Is there anything to say?

_Soph._ [_Not turning_] The horrible thing you think of me is not true.

_Adr._ We will not talk about that.

_Soph._ [_Turns, eagerly_] You have forgiven me?

_Adr._ Yes.

_Soph._ As the saints forgive, or for love of me?

_Adr._ For love of God, not you!

_Soph._ [_Smiling_] It's the same thing, isn't it?

_Adr._ [_In embarrassment_] I--what did you mean?

_Soph._ Come, sit down. [_She takes a seat. He does not move_] Do rest.
You will drop. [_He is silent_] So you do not love me?

_Adr._ I have not time to amuse your highness----

_Soph._ [_Rising_] Nor I to be amused. I know the truth. You do love
me. I saw it in your face when you thought I had been false. I knew
then that I was more than a mere traitor. I was beloved. And in spite
of the suffering--the sadness--the shame--I was glad.

_Adr._ [_Trembling_] Glad?

_Soph._ First, let me tell you that I _am_ Petrizoff's spy. [_He drops
to a seat_] He wanted to convict you. You are so important, it seems,
that proof from a high source was necessary. I offered to supply
it. [_Smiles_] Don't you see? I was afraid some one else might be
successful.

_Adr._ [_Rising_] I see. You are only false to Petrizoff.

_Soph._ [_Hotly_] I am only his good angel. I have kept him from doing
terrible things by not finding the means----

_Adr._ Forgive me. I don't understand yet. Why did you do this--for me?

_Soph._ You were doing a noble work.

_Adr._ [_Turns away_] Yes, it was my work you wanted to save.

_Soph._ Adrian! [_He faces her. She stands in the light from the
window_] You came to the Travinski palace two years ago. It was June,
like this--[_motioning out_]--and sunset--like this. Do you remember?

_Adr._ I remember.

_Soph._ You talked to my father. I was in the room. You did not see me,
a mere princess,--but I saw you--heard you. I could not leave--I could
not turn away. Your words were like new dreams to me.... And after
that Petrizoff appealed to my father to furnish evidence against you.
He consented because he feared your power over the peasants. I begged
him to trust the matter to me, and it was then that I made the foolish
wager with Petrizoff. My light manner deceived him, but all the time my
heart was dying within me for fear I should fail.

_Adr._ [_Falteringly_] Your highness----

_Soph._ O, not that! I have called you Adrian for two years. [_He is
silent, and she continues_] The Red Cross work gave me opportunities
to see you. At first perhaps I was only trying to save you--and win
you. But now I know that I am true. I am ready to die for the things
that you would die for, not for your sake but the things' sake. Though
I do not love you less. My love has grown with my spirit. When we met
this morning I dared to put into my eyes all that I felt. You looked
as though you had suddenly met a being out of Heaven, but it was not
Heaven's light upon my face; it was my love for you.

_Adr._ Sophie ... let it be the light from Heaven, not poor human love.

_Soph._ [_Drawing back_] Have I--am I--mistaken?

_Adr._ No. I love you as I have prayed never to love in my life.

_Soph._ And I love you as I have prayed all my life I might love.

_Adr._ There are greater things--than this.

_Soph._ I know. It is because of those greater things that I love you.
[_Touching him gently_] And how can love be anything but a help--a
blessing?

_Adr._ By taking no second place; by making itself master, as it always
does; as it is doing now.

[_Moves from her in agitation, which he suppresses, and speaks
steadily_] Years ago I gave myself to mankind. A poor gift, but the
surrender was hard, for I loved myself and believed in giants, if not
gods, who shoulder above the race. But the surrender was complete. And
now shall I take another self in you? One that I could never give up?

[_She is silent. A woman approaches without, moaning. Adrian goes to
the door_] Anna?

_Anna._ [_Appearing at door_] My lad is dead, sir. He wanted to see you
again, but there was none to send. Each is busy with his own.

_Adr._ Dear Nikola! God's rest is his.

_Anna._ Yes. Heaven is a good place for our children. 'Tis better with
me than Uliana. Her Petrov may live, but he will never walk. Can you
come to-night and sit a bit by the lad? I'm almost thinkin' he would
know it, sir.

_Adr._ I will come, Anna.

_Anna._ Just a bit. I wouldn't keep you from the living. God bless you,
sir! [_Goes. Adrian remains in door until her footsteps die away, then
returns to Sophie_]

_Adr._ You know what my work means. The daily offering up of the body
to prison and death. That does not matter now, but if you were in
danger, as my wife would always be, do you doubt that I would try to
save you at the risk of all for which I have lived? And I have lived
for it because it was the one righteous way for me.

_Soph._ I should never come between you and your work.

_Adr._ I gave up ambition--I would rather move with the multitude
one step nearer the light than with my two hands catch at the sun. I
gave up art--what right had I to retreat into the beautiful while my
brothers lay blind without? Burnish my spirit to reflect gleams beyond
the stars, while children were without bread? But love? O, I thought
God would spare me this!

_Soph._ Adrian--you don't understand--I should not be in your way--your
work would be mine----

_Adr._ O, _you_ don't understand--you can't, for you are a woman, whose
natural breath is the incense of sacrifice. But in me there is no
angel. If you were mine, I would risk everything to hold you--one bit
of rosy flesh that I might kiss!

_Soph._ [_Softly_] I know you better than that.

_Adr._ Even now I am trembling for you, thinking more of your safety
than of the poor people who are waiting for me as their only hope. You
must leave here at once--cease trying to protect me--what you have done
for Vasil may arouse the suspicions of Petrizoff----

_Soph._ He will not hear of it. I spoke to Orloff. [_Answering his
look_] I can take care of myself, Adrian. [_Taking his hand_] It is you
who need----

_Adr._ [_Withdrawing his hand_] Don't! Who lets in love, lets in his
master, and I must be free--free! You will despise me, but that perhaps
is the better way. O, I long to deceive myself, to say that it would
make no difference, that I could see the chains fastened about you,
see you dragged away, and go on unfalteringly with no dimming of the
vision. But it would be a lie.

_Soph._ The truth. You could do it.

_Adr._ No. And you would not want me to do it Forgive me. You do not
believe it now, but you would want me to love you first.

_Soph._ Yes. But I should not let you. You say yourself that sacrifice
is woman's breath. I could give up even my desire to be first. But why
make a question of the impossible? No woman could be first with you,
Adrian.

_Adr._ O you don't _know_!

     [_A man comes to door, rear, makes sign of the cross toward icon,
     and stands waiting_]

_Adr._ What now, Nico?

_Nico._ Petrov Kalushkin is worse, sir. Can you come before night?

_Adr._ In ten minutes.

_Nico._ The Holy Mother bless you, sir! [_Exit_]

_Soph._ [_As Adrian turns silently to her_] I have only this to say,
Adrian. I understand, and I am ready.

_Adr._ And I am not. I know the man in me too well. I can not trust
him. While you are safe, and I am free, go.

_Soph._ [_Paling and gathering up her pride_] I am sorry that I waited
for the command. [_Moving to right_] I will speak to the Vetrovas, and
obey you.

_Adr._ [_As she opens door_] Sophie!

_Soph._ [_Turning_] Princess Travinski! [_Exit_]

_Adr._ Ah, pride will not help _her_. I don't know what has
happened--what I have done----

    [_Enter Vasil, centre right, carrying his violin_]

_Vasil._ O, has she gone?

_Adr._ No, but she is going.

_Vasil._ She will come back?

_Adr._ Why should she? Isn't it enough that she has given herself to us
for one day?

_Vasil._ She has given herself to me forever--by saving my life. She
may forget you and the others, but she can't forget me, Adrian. O, I
have been so happy to-day!

_Adr._ To-day?

_Vasil._ I have finished "The Joy of the Stars."

_Adr._ [_Exultantly_] Your sonata finished? To-day!

_Vasil._ You have been right, Adrian. This life shall not touch
me. I could never understand it. When I think of it I grow
blind--blind--blind! I shall sing--just sing till my head goes off,
nor ask why. The people are good, honest, work from light to dark,
yet they starve, bleed, die. And I, who pray to harm nothing, I--this
morning--[_stops_, _shudders_, _crosses to table_, _rear_, _lays his
violin upon it_, _and sits despairingly_. _Adrian follows and puts his
arm over the boy's shoulders_]

_Adr._ That is over, lad. You will soon be in Berlin with your music,
and you will forget. Think of it as a dream that will not come again.

_Vasil._ But it will be coming to others. Always somewhere there are
people suffering, in prison, mad, tortured----

_Adr._ You can not help them now, Vasil. And to let sympathy destroy
your power for work will rob them of the joy you may bring them
hereafter. Forget them for awhile that you may come again with help,
not tears, that ease your heart rather than theirs.

_Vasil._ No, I shall not forget--not for a minute--but I shall work
and be blithe of soul, for what has the soul to do with the tearing
of the heart, unless it be to show its free wings above it? If I
were imprisoned, racked, dying, I should want the music to go on, I
should try even then to help it, to turn my cries into a song. That
is why I can sing while they suffer--because happiness is the right
thing--because I am ready to suffer while _they_ sing,--not because I
forget. O, you can trust me, Adrian! And [_with sudden appeal_] I want
to be at the meeting to-night.

_Adr._ [_Hastily_] No.

_Vasil._ Yes, Adrian.

_Adr._ You are too young.

_Vasil._ As old as the morning star. Do not be afraid. Whatever touches
me, nothing shall touch my song.

_Adr._ Your song can be saved only with your life, Vasil, and this
meeting is dangerous. In a few days you are going away. We will not
uselessly waste your heart to-night.

_Vasil._ I do not want to go just now, Adrian. Let me stay here a
little longer. There is so much you can teach me yet.

_Adr._ [_Smiling_] You make better music than I can dream. No, it is
time to go.

_Vasil._ But I _want_ to stay!

_Adr._ [_Quickly_] You must have no wishes. [_More gently_] Aside from
your art.

_Vasil._ Art can breathe only through life. I must live! Art is for
men and women. If I do not understand them, how can they understand my
music? I shall not play to sheep, nor rocks, nor stars, nor God, nor
angels!

_Adr._ You know what I mean, Vasil. In heart the true artist is all
man, all woman; but in genius, as impersonal as the universe.

_Vasil._ I know it! Have I not proved it to-day? Petrov Kalushkin is
lying over yonder bleeding from a hundred lashes, but I--[_taking up
his violin_]--listen to "The Joy of the Stars!"

_Adr._ [_Laying his hand on the bow_] Stop--no--I mean--[_silence.
Vasil puts down the violin and looks at Adrian_] I am not a genius,
Vasil. You will be what I can not.

_Vasil._ And you will trust me? I may be at the meeting?

_Adr._ [_Taking his hat_] Yes. This once. And then Berlin.

_Vasil._ You are worn out, Adrian. Must you go again?

_Adr._ Again and again. You may say good-by to the princess for me.

_Vasil._ Wait! She is coming! [_Exit Adrian, street door, as Sophie and
Vera enter left. Sophie has on hat and ulster_]

_Vera._ You kissed me this morning, and you were a princess.

_Soph._ And I will kiss you again, dear Vera. You will be ready in the
morning for the visit you have promised me?

_Vera._ O, yes!

    [_They cross toward Vasil_]

_Vera._ I shall love you always for saving my Vasil. It would have
killed him. Adrian has guarded him always. [_Lifting Vasil's hand_]
See----

_Vasil._ [_Offended, drawing away his hand_] I am not a child, Vera.

_Vera._ [_Hurt_] O, Vasil!

_Vasil._ [_Embracing her_] There! The princess will think we are _two_
babies.

_Vera._ [_With dignity_] I am betrothed.

_Soph._ Happy Alexander!

_Vasil._ [_Jealously, as she caresses Vera_] Princess, may I play to
you before you go?

_Soph._ O, will you?

_Vera._ Sit here, princess.

     [_Sophie takes the large chair, Vera sits on stool beside her.
     Vasil gets his violin from table, comes over and stands ready to
     play. Drops the bow in desperation_]

_Soph._ What is the matter?

_Vasil._ How can I play to that ugly coat and hat?

_Soph._ [_Laughing and removing hat and ulster_] Is that all?

_Vasil._ Now you are my princess!

_Soph._ Yours?

_Vasil._ Yes. You have sold yourself to me.

_Soph._ I have?

_Vasil._ By doing me a favor--the most binding of bargains. As long
as you live your thoughts will come back to me. Could you forget me,
princess?

_Soph._ No, Vasil. But you must not care so much.

_Vasil._ Don't you like me to care?

_Soph._ Yes, but----

_Vasil._ Then I will. O, it is glorious to dream and know why! To sing
and know to whom the song belongs!

_Soph._ My boy, make your country your goddess, not a woman.

_Vasil._ My country! What is it? The thing that raised a knout above my
shoulders?

_Soph._ My dear Vasil----

_Vasil._ Adrian is right. I must find that which is not country, nor
home, nor people,--the eternal in the hour.

_Soph._ But Adrian cares for country, home, people.

_Vasil._ No. He cares only for the soul. These other things are shadow
boundaries in the mind that vanish when the soul looks on them. Here,
I'll show you how little he cares. [_Unfastens a chain from his neck
and draws a medal from his bosom_] He gave me this, because I wanted it
to play with. I was only a boy then. And he forgot all about it. Have
you noticed how Adrian forgets? I would not give it back because he was
going to bury it. [_Holding out medal_] See? [_Drawing it back_] You
love him, don't you?

_Soph._ Why--yes--you strange boy.

_Vasil._ Then you may see it.

_Soph._ [_Turning away_] No.

_Vasil._ But I want you to look. The name is on it--his
grandfather's--great-grandfather's--O, I don't know how far back. But I
am sure he was a great prince.

_Soph._ [_Looking at medal_] Donskoi!

_Vasil._ Wasn't he a great prince?

_Soph._ Yes. But a greater man.

_Vasil._ And Adrian could be a prince too. [_Re-fastening chain_] But
he doesn't care at all. When I asked him if this was a piece of the
sun, he said "No, the last of a great shadow." I know what he meant
now. Why are you sad, princess?

_Soph._ Because I have been unkind to Adrian.

_Vasil._ Don't mind. He will forgive you. He forgives everybody
everything.

_Soph._ But it isn't pleasant to be forgiven that way, as if we were
anybody else. I want to be forgiven because I am myself.

_Vasil._ You can't with Adrian. His star is the soul, and in its light
we are all alike.

_Soph._ And what is your star, Vasil?

_Vasil._ Mine? It is the same, only I call it love instead of soul. The
great love--that makes one heart beat in another's body--that makes me
faint in Russia when a beggar starves in India--that fades your cheek
with the girl's at an English loom--that turns the comfortable American
out of doors with the driven Jew--that gives one color to every flag,
and makes the might of the strongest nation the right of the Kaffir
babe. This is my star, as Adrian's, only I see it warm and golden
instead of cold and white.

_Soph._ [_Softly_] It may not be always cold and white to him.

_Vasil._ [_Thoughtfully_] Perhaps not, or he would not know so well----

_Soph._ How others see?

_Vasil._ [_Nods, and takes up his violin_] Shall I play now, princess?

_Soph._ Yes, but do not think of me,--think of----

_Vasil._ I know. The great love.

     [_He plays, standing by window. Vera sits leaning against Sophie's
     lap. The princess gazes toward the door, and her look meets
     Adrian's as he enters. He crosses and stands by her chair. She
     reaches up and gives him her hand, which he clasps. Curtain_]



ACT II

     SCENE 1. _Same room at night. A score or more of peasant men and
     women, and half as many revolutionists assembled. They are singing
     as the curtain rises._


    Hark, brothers, hark!
       [_Knock, knock, knock!_]
    What do you here,
    Knocking in the cold?
    Red are your hands,
    Frozen are your feet,
       [_Knock, knock, knock!_]
    What do you here,
    Knocking in the cold?

    A prison we build,
       [_Knock, knock, knock!_]
    Here the Czar knelt,
    Blessing the stones;
    But when it is finished
    The gates will unfold
    And swallow the builders.
       [_Knock, knock, knock!_]
    They who labor not,
    The rich and the idle,
    Will imprison the workers
    Who make the babe's bread.
    Despair drives our hammer,
    The hearts of the toilers
    Lie under the blow;
    We will throw down the hammer,
    We will labor no more.

    No, brothers, no!
    Build ye the prison,
    Be willing of heart;
    And when it is finished,
    Your heavy oppressors
    Through the dark gates
    In terror shall pass.
    Weeping to dungeon
    The rich and the idle
    Then shall descend,
    While above ye shall sing,
    Swinging your hammers
    In the broad light.
    Knock, brothers, knock!
       [_Knock, knock, knock!_]

    [_At close of song Adrian rises. Silence_]

_An old man._ Speak, Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ Brothers, we have met to talk matters over.

_Manlief._ We have talked for seventy-five years!

_A student._ The lash spoke the last word to-day.

_Old man._ Speak, Adrian Lavrov.

_Adr._ Friends, the truth that was clear to you before the enemy's blow
fell to-day is no less true now that the blow has fallen.

_Manl._ Not on your back, Lavrov.

_A peasant._ The lash of the Czar goes deeper than the words of the
preacher.

_Another._ We have obeyed you until now, shepherd of Lonz.

_Adr._ [_Gently_] And you will obey me again.

_Manl._ You will obey the voice of your own manhood!

_Adr._ You will remember that you bear the leaven of the race, that you
carry in your blood the universal peace.

_Manl._ Every beat of your hearts is telling you now to be men!

_Adr._ Submission is the only death-answer to violence. The world for
very shame must cease to crucify Christ!

_Gregorief._ [_Leaping up_] Move your Sunday-school to the dungeons of
Schlusselburg! Yes, I have been there. I was twenty years under the
storm-waves of Lake Ladoga, and if your words could have reached me
through the damp walls they would have received their true answer--a
madman's answer. For torture does not give men the serenity of gods
or preachers, Lavrov. Twenty years of the silence that welcomes the
silence of death--twenty years of the loneliness that makes men pray
for the joy of weeping together--twenty years with starving eyes
on naked walls, while above me the great, wide seasons were going
by--twenty years of void and gloom with the windy waters whipping
my prison island, and all the more maddening because I could not
hear them, because they too were a silent guard. I was like this boy
[_touching Vasil, who is leaning toward him listening intently_] when
they put me in, and I came out--as you see. [_Laughs ironically_] But
I am fortunate. I left others behind me to whom those dark doors will
never open, while I have the privilege of--_dying_ above ground.

_Adr._ It makes no difference which side of a prison door the
conquering spirit is on, Gregorief.

_Greg._ Ha! I wasn't a spirit then. They put me in while I was still
in this life, where the flesh throbs and the blood sings. I was like
this boy, I say, and I came out two months ago a broken consumptive
wretch. You see me, Lavrov. Am I fit to leaven the race? _I_ am
what oppression makes, not the meek angels you dream about. Into my
children will go the bitterness of the wronged to come out in hate, the
feebleness of the broken man to come out in cunning, the stinging for
revenge to come out in murder----

_Adr._ But if you had triumphed--the immortal you--what a soul you
could bequeath to your country! O, one such could almost save her!

_Greg._ One! She has them by the thousand, everywhere thwarting
us--their holy tears putting out our living fire as fast as we kindle
it! [_Laying his hands on Vasil_] Ah, here is a spirit worth all your
saints, Lavrov. Son, take up my torch as I drop it--my torch and sword,
lad----

_Vasil._ [_Eager and trembling_] I am a singer, not a fighter.

_Greg._ Songs are good weapons. Write them for us, boy. Give us one
to-night before the fire dies there. [_Knocking Vasil's breast_] A
war-song----

_Vasil._ [_Springing up_] I will! A song from Schlusselburg!

    [_Rushes out, street door_]

_Adr._ Are you the devil, Gregorief?

_Greg._ [_Laughing_] If I am I must have my legions. Did you intend
my recruit for a saint, Lavrov? [_Fervidly_] I have sworn to level my
prison before I die----

_Adr._ You have laid another stone upon it. There is but one power
before which the prisons will forever fall--the power of the soul.
Strike them down, and the blows that lay them low will raise them again
for your children.

_Greg._ Fanaticism! You can not fit the laws of Heaven to the energies
of earth, Lavrov! I tell you----

_Galovkine._ Leave this. We've no time. The burning of Yaltowa is fixed
for to-morrow night.

_Adr._ [_Dazed_] The burning of Yaltowa!

_Greg._ Yes, Lavrov. Petrizoff intends to burn the town in our name.
We are moving too fast toward the favor of the world, and must be
repainted as red ogres.

_Adr._ Burn the town!

_Manl._ [_Bitterly_] That is not so bad a matter. What are a few
thousand homes more or less in a country where no house is safe? The
terrible part is the blow to the cause. Our great parties were never
more united, never so ready for a telling stroke, and this horrible
crime laid at the door of the revolutionists----

_Adr._ It must be prevented! We must act at once----

_Manl._ And get clapped into prison a little sooner. There is not time
now for general action.

_Adr._ Burnt? The horror of it!

_Greg._ [_Looking at Adrian_] It _can_ be prevented.

_Adr._ How?

_Greg._ Petrizoff is the whole plot, and he is not immortal.

_Adr._ [_After a cold silence_] You are a fool to say this to me,
Gregorief.

_Greg._ Reserve your judgment till you know yourself better. Your heart
is with us, Lavrov, in spite of your preaching.

_Adr._ Do you suppose I would quietly permit this murder?

_Greg._ Will you quietly permit Petrizoff's ten-thousand murders?

_Adr._ There is a difference.

_Greg._ Yes. We put one assassin to righteous death, he murders
thousands of honest men.

_Adr._ [_In same tone as before_] There is a difference.

_Greg._ _Your_ difference!

_Adr._ God's difference. The wicked may do their worst and the world
still hope, but if the children of light borrow their weapons----

_Greg._ There is but one way to fight the devil!

_Adr._ If you use his own fire you must live in hell to do it.

_Greg._ And we don't live in hell now, I suppose!

_Adr._ Not an everlasting one. You have the selfishness of the living
generation, Gregorief, that consumes as its candle the sun of the
unborn.

_Greg._ Bah! Each generation must fight for its own breath.

_Adr._ Who conquers with a club will rule with a club. It is only
through the enduring righteousness now taking deepest root in the
night of oppression that true liberation will come, pushing upward to
flower in the conscience of every man. When we are free from within,
government will of itself fall away----

_Greg._ Anarchy!

_Adr._ Yes. Anarchy of the soul, not of the blood. The anarchy that
Christ saw when he said the meek shall inherit the earth. This is the
vision before me, the vision that I held before the bleeding bodies in
Lonz to-day----

_Greg._ To the devil with your visions! Man will always be a worm while
he crawls! It is those who have remembered their stature that have done
most for the race. And I--from under their feet--with Death's hand upon
me--I will remember mine!

     [_Galovkine, who is watching at the door, steps forward,
     lifting his hand in signal. Instantly the scene becomes one of
     merrymaking. A man who sits on shelf above stove begins fiddling,
     and a peasant dances a clog in the middle of the floor. Orloff
     enters, followed by two or three guards. Vetrova rises to meet
     them_]

_Vet._ You are welcome.

_Orl._ A jolly ending to the day, good people.

_Vet._ We've reason to be merry, sir, as you know, who spared my lad
this morning.

_Cath._ And you too, Petrovich.

_Vet._ Eh, but I don't count, mother.

_Orl._ 'Tis sporting time with us too. We are on our way to the
officers' ball at Yaltowa. A little gayety after the hard work at
Petoff. Glad to find you are not making more trouble for us.

_Vet._ We've had our lesson, sir.

_Orl._ [_Suspiciously_] And this happy meeting is to encourage
yourselves in good intentions?

_Vet._ Sir, we are true men.

     [_Vasil suddenly appears in door, rear, waving a paper_]

_Vasil._ I have it: The song is ready!

_Adr._ [_Looking meaningly at Vasil_] Don't be so sure of your first
effort, my boy. Better let it get cold.

_Orl._ No, we'll hear it. That paper looks interesting.

_Vasil._ Pardon me. [_Folds paper and puts it into his pocket_]

_Orl._ I insist upon hearing it.

_Vasil._ [_Taking paper out reluctantly_] 'Tis merely a song, sir,
and will hardly bear reading. I will sing it for you. [_Unfolds paper
slowly_] A Welcome to Summer, friends. 'Tis an old chorus, and you can
help me with it. [_Sings_]

     Come out, come out with me
     To meet the summer maid!
     A queen, a queen is she,
     Whose love is as the sea
     That would all lands caress,
     Whose loves are many as the sands,
     And each a sovereign is,
     For whom her arms enring
     Is royal by her kiss,
    Forevermore a king, a king, a king!

    Come, dance, dance, dance, and welcome the summer maid!
    Who has looked into her eyes is nevermore afraid!
    We will gather our hearts together, we will mingle our
      feet on the grass,
    We will hold her with kisses, nor ever, nor ever let her pass!

            [_The peasants join in chorus_]

      Her free step is the dawn
      No darkness can waylay,
      Her laugh is the wild waterfall
      By winter never chained,
      Her hair the winds unreined,
      Her eyes unbridled sun,
      And all the waves are in her call
      That heard is never still,
      Her breath the clouds that hie
      Free as they list or will,
    And in her bosom find a greater sky!

      Ye mothers, come, forsake
      Dead fire and frozen hearth;
      The bones ye call your babes, awake,
      For in her lap she bears
      Sweet grain and golden ears
      That warming in their veins shall make
      The ruddy might of men;
      Your daughters that now lie
      Blanched, broken, still, shall then
    Lift up rose faces and forget to die.

      Old Winter in his snows
      Is covered, covered deep,
      For all above him lie his slain,
      And not until his breath
      Has warmed them out of death
      May he arise from his cold sleep.
      Good-by, good-by, good-by,
      Old Winter dead and white,
      No more meet you and I,
    A last and long, a long and last good-night!

     [_As the chorus is sung the last time, Vasil dances out among the
     peasants, who join hands with him and all move in a ring, singing_]

_Orl._ I congratulate you. And now will you favor me with the copy?

_Vasil._ [_Seeming to hesitate_] 'Tis hardly worthy----

_Orl._ [_Taking it_] Leave that to me. [_Glances disappointedly
at song, repeating the first line_] Humph! Yes ... [_Puts it into
his pocket_] So you are all true men enjoying yourselves? I've no
objection. On the contrary. I'm in the humor to join you if my lady
Bright-eyes [_looking at Vera_] will honor me.

     [_Vera rises, curtsies, and couples spring up, forming a dance,
     Orloff and Vera leading_]

_Orl._ [_At close of the dance_] Thank you, Bright-eyes. I shall find
no fairer partner at the ball, whither I must be going. And here,
young man. I will leave you your song. It may be your _only_ copy.
[_Brings out several papers from his pocket and looks them over_] Here
is the song, but ... [_Assumes sudden sternness_] A serious matter.
I have lost an important paper since I came into this room. [_Looks
searchingly at their faces_] An important paper on official business.
[_All are silent, betraying no emotion. He turns his gaze to Vera,
who is sitting by her grandfather_] Ah, my little lady, perhaps your
fingers were busy in the dance. Come forward, please.

    [_Vera steps out, bewildered_]

_Vera._ I did not touch it.

_Orl._ Of course not. Now will you shake your scarf, please? Yes, I
will do it for you. [_Shakes her scarf and a paper drops to the floor.
Orloff picks it up_] Ah, found! Good, but rather a sad affair for you,
little one. Even fingers so dainty as yours must not meddle with the
Czar's papers.

_Vera._ I did not touch them!

_Orl._ Of course not. But you must come with me. [_Mutterings from the
men_] I hear you, friends. If any of you want to come along just make
it known. Our prisons are well stuffed, but we can manage to pack away
all present.

_Adr._ [_After a second of silence_] The child is innocent.

_Orl._ O, you want to go, do you? But you happen to be the one we don't
want--yet. Anybody else?

_Vera._ [_Sobbing_] I did not touch it.

_Orl._ You may tell that to Petrizoff. He is always kind to beauty.

_Vera._ [_In terror_] Am I going to him?

_Orl._ He will not be far away, I imagine.

_Adr._ You can not take this child. The paper was not stolen.

_Orl._ You saw it drop from her scarf.

_Adr._ Where you put it.

_Orl._ [_In a rage_] Your mouth will soon be shut! If I could have had
my way this morning your hide wouldn't hold shucks to-night!

     [_Noise of a carriage at door. Sophie enters in ball dress. She
     draws back in astonishment at sight of Orloff_]

_Soph._ [_Faintly_] You here?

_Orl._ And you?

_Soph._ [_Composed_] May I speak to you, Count Orloff?

_Orl._ At your service, your highness.

     [_They draw aside, left, front. The peasants talk in low tones.
     Guards stand by Vera_]

_Soph._ Of course I know why you are here, but I had to simulate
surprise.

_Orl._ You were very successful.

_Soph._ Since the exposure of this morning the people are ready to
suspect me, and I must retain their confidence or my usefulness is at
an end.

_Orl._ Quite.

_Soph._ They heard to-day of the girl's danger, and were planning
her escape, so I, not knowing whether you would arrive in time,
stopped--to----

_Orl._ Yes?

_Soph._ Quiet their fears and assure them of her safety. Are there any
prisoners besides the girl?

_Orl._ No, but I would give something to take this insolent Shepherd.
I've only a few hours to wait though.

_Soph._ A few hours?

_Orl._ Yes--ah, you _don't_ know everything then!

_Soph._ Dear man, I know everything but one,--that is, how much _you_
know. If you will go to the ball in my carriage we may find out how far
we can trust each other.

_Orl._ Angel!

_Soph._ Don't! The people--you must pretend to oppose me. They think I
am interceding for the girl.

_Orl._ [_As if suddenly recalling something_] Why did you save the boy
this morning?

_Soph._ I will explain that too--in the carriage. We must go now. I
first, so they will not know we leave together.

_Orl._ [_Crestfallen_] I promised Petrizoff not to leave the girl till
I had her safe in prison. There have been so many escapes----

_Soph._ [_With a glance at Vera_] She _is_ pretty. Good-evening then.

_Orl._ Wait--I will go with you!

_Soph._ [_Melting_] Will you? Then you sha'n't. You shall take no risks
for me.

_Orl._ Risk! I would risk anything. Ah, you can't deprive me now.

_Soph._ Can you trust the guards?

_Orl._ I _will_ trust them!

_Soph._ Very well. I will wait for you. [_Going, stops before Adrian_]
I have not been able to obtain her release, but I am sure there is
hope. At least I have touched Colonel Orloff's heart. Have I not, Count?

_Orl._ You have indeed!

_Soph._ [_Looking steadily at Adrian_] And you will hear news of great
importance before morning. [_To Orloff_] Will he not?

_Orl._ Without doubt, your highness.

_Soph._ [_Going, again turns to Adrian_] The Count will give you his
word that _I am to be trusted_.

_Orl._ To be sure, your highness.

_Soph._ Good-night. [_Exit_]

_Orl._ [_After following Sophie's departure with a fatuous look_] Come,
lady-bird, we must be moving. [_Starts out, the guards following with
Vera. Vetrova, who has seemed quite stunned, suddenly rushes after them
and beats guards with his crutch_]

_Orl._ [_Seizing him by the collar and throwing him to the floor_] You
old fool! We don't want to bother with you!

     [_Exeunt Orloff, guards and Vera. Vetrova, lying on floor, lifts
     his fist and curses_]

_Adr._ [_Bending over him_] Petrusha!

_Vet._ Let me be, Adrian Lavrov! I have held my peace all my life to
die cursing at last! I was dumb when they broke my bones under the
rod. I was dumb when my son died under the lash. But Vera, my little
girl--dragged to that--O God, send thy fires upon him! Curse him--curse
him--curse----[_Dies. The peasants cross themselves. Some kneel before
the icon, praying. Catherine gazes at Vetrova in hopeless terror.
Galovkine kneels and examines the body_]

_Galovkine._ Dead.

_Cath._ Dead--and a curse on his lips. My Petrusha--dead--and a curse
on his lips.

     [_Two men pick up the body and bear it off right centre, Adrian
     opening the door. Catherine follows with several women. The other
     peasants go off silently, street door, leaving only Adrian, Vasil
     and the revolutionists_]

_Greg._ As I was saying when--the Czar interrupted us--Petrizoff must
die. And you will help us, Lavrov. Yes--you must! You say yourself that
our best hope lies in sympathy and sentiment----

_Adr._ Which the bomb utterly destroys.

_Greg._ Not when the Shepherd throws it. Wait! I do not mean that
literally, for this [_raising his hand_] is the consecrated hand. But
your name as our leader would sanctify the deed.

_Adr._ Your leader?

_Greg._ Yes. Not only for this, but for our army. Your name is a divine
word in every peasant home in Russia. It is cheered by every body of
workmen gathered together to-night, and in the army who would not
surrender the colors of Romanov to the hero line of Donskoi?

_Adr._ [_Starting_] Gregorief----

_Greg._ Wait! They are all ready now. The peasantry, inspired
by the teaching of our martyrs for the last thirty years,--the
nobility with awakened conscience,--the workmen, one great body with
suspended arms,--the army of the Czar ready to become the army of the
people,--all await their leader--you! [_A pause_] Russia is looking but
one way--to freedom. To-day you may lead us to victory almost without
blood. Let Petrizoff commit this crime in the name of liberty, and
to-morrow we shall be like the scattered limbs of a dissevered body.
You will not let this be, Lavrov. You will----

_Adr._ No! Let civilization wait another century rather than deliver
her flag to the hands of murderers!

_Greg._ And where is it now if not in the hands of murderers?

_Adr._ It is not in _their_ hands, Gregorief, but in ours, that are
yet clean. Do this thing, and it is you, not Petrizoff, who give the
greatest blow to freedom. The world is just beginning to understand
us----

_Greg._ Yes! Where is that understanding growing strongest? In America.
And how does the autocracy propose to meet this new influence? By a
secret commercial treaty with the United States. Give any government
a pocket interest in the security of another and to the winds with
sympathy! Petrizoff has his agents there now, and the burning of
Yaltowa is only a part of his scheme to chill the hearts that are
warming to us. But he shall not live to do it. You will not let him
live, Lavrov. My God, don't you see that your opportunity has come?

_Adr._ Yes. My opportunity to point once more to where the sun shall
rise.

_Greg._ The sun never rises on the blind. You would throw us back into
night for another thousand years!

_Adr._ What are a thousand years to the soul of man on the right path
to the right thing?

_Galovkine._ [_Plucking at Gregorief_] Come away. We lose time here.

_Greg._ Not until I tell this fool where he stands! You imagine,
Lavrov, that you are a friend to freedom, but a greater enemy does
not tread Russian soil. Why does the government leave you at work?
Because of your power to subdue the spirit in men. It is you--such as
you--who forget our shackles and fill the prisons. But thank the Powers
that keep the race alive, there are still some of us who believe in
manhood--in the virtues of the heart as well as the soul--in courage,
honor, justice! [_To the others_] Come up to Breshloff's. We will
finish there.

    [_Enter Korelenko hurriedly_]

_Greg._ [_Grasping his hand_] Korelenko! The word? What is it?

_Kore._ What you wished. We needed only the consent of the Social
Democrats to Petrizoff's death----

_Greg._ Yes, yes!

_Kore._ And I have brought their sanction----

_Greg._ [_Almost sobbing_] Thank God!

_Kore._ If it is done under the leadership of the Shepherd of Lonz.

    [_Adrian staggers back against loom_]

_Greg._ [_Clutching Korelenko_] Take back that infernal proviso!

_Kore._ I thought you wished it.

_Greg._ I did, when I believed the man there was human.

_Kore._ He is. The most human of us all. You don't know him. Adrian,
you see that all depends upon you----

_Adr._ [_Waving him away_] Begone--all of you!

_Manl._ Come! God gave us good right arms. We need not wait for
Lavrov's.

_Kore._ But can we do without the Social Democrats?

_Greg._ Yes! We have the others. Come to Breshloff's!

     [_All go except Korelenko, who lingers in the door. Adrian sits
     exhausted on bench before loom_]

_Adr._ Sasha?

_Kore._ [_Turning back quickly_] Well?

_Adr._ You have chosen?

_Kore._ Between my friends and my enemies? Yes.

_Adr._ Between the body and the soul.

_Kore._ Soul! There is none in Russia. When we get possession of our
bodies we may be permitted to cultivate souls!

_Adr._ If you would wait a little, Sasha. Reforms are coming. The Czar
will grant a constitution----

_Kore._ He will grant what we take, no more. And what do we gain if he
gives us a constitution and keeps his army? If he gives us schools
and exiles the teachers? If he gives us freedom and denies it to the
men who have won it--our brothers in the dungeons? No, we want _our_
constitution, not the Czar's--a constitution with law and justice
behind it, not an army.

_Adr._ Is it time? There is so much ignorance yet----

_Kore._ Ignorance! Where is it greater than among our masters? We
suffer as much from their stupidity as their oppression. I hate the
ass's head more than the tyrant's!

_Adr._ But the poor, illiterate peasants. Are they ready----

_Kore._ Viatka and Perm answer that! There, where they have been let
alone, they have established the best governed provinces in Russia. But
here, where ignorance is _protected_--do you know what will happen if
Yaltowa is burnt? The peasants of Karitz will be led into the town to
pillage and slaughter in the name of Christ.

_Adr._ [_In horror_] Karitz! My poor people! I must go there at once.

_Kore._ There? It is only because you are here that Lonz will not be
led into it. [_Ironically_] Since you can't be everywhere, hadn't we
better devise some other means for the protection of the people?

_Adr._ O, it is horrible!

_Kore._ More horrible than you dream. A good man can not know how bad
the world is, for he can never get away from himself.

    [_Re-enter Manlief_]

_Manl._ Come, Korelenko. We shall be too late.

_Adr._ He is not going.

_Manl._ No? I'll stiffen his heart. You don't know, do you, that your
little Vera has been taken to Petrizoff?

_Kore._ [_Stares in amazement, and clutches Adrian_] Is this a lie?

_Adr._ She has been arrested.

_Kore._ You let her be taken?

_Adr._ I had no choice.

_Kore._ There is always a choice. You could have killed her. [_Breaks
down_]

_Manl._ [_Touching him_] Come.

_Kore._ Yes! Go on! I'll come!

_Manl._ At Breshloff's. [_Exit_]

_Kore._ [_Savagely, starting up_] You would save his life knowing that!

_Adr._ What has Vera's misfortune--yours--mine--to do with an eternal
principle?

_Kore._ Damn your principle! It will put us all into hell!

_Adr._ The princess may be able to do something for her. She----

_Kore._ You still believe in that spy? [_Adrian is silent. Korelenko
looks at him_] Forgive me. You love her. No! If you knew what love is
you would help me!

_Adr._ [_Going to him as he reaches the door_] Wait. I do know. I love
her even as you love Vera, and I swear to you that if she stood in
Vera's place my answer would be the same.

_Kore._ [_Abstractedly_] You love her. [_Starts suddenly away_]

_Adr._ You will stay now, Sasha?

_Kore._ Now? No. There is something to do now.

    [_Exit_]

_Adr._ Light, light, O my God!

[_Door opens, right centre, and a woman appears_]

_Woman._ Can you come to Catherine Vetrova now, sir?

     [_Adrian bows his head and follows her out. Vasil, who has been
     sitting behind the little table rear, at times listening eagerly,
     at times overcome, rises and moves slowly forward, carrying his
     violin_]

_Vasil._ [_Repeats softly_] "As impersonal as the universe."

[_Strikes two or three notes on the violin and stops, terrified. Dashes
the instrument down and throws himself to the floor, sobbing_] O, Vera!
Vera! Vera!

    [_Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _The same. Vasil still lying on the floor. Adrian enters
     right, crosses and attempts to rouse him._

_Adr._ You must go to bed, my son. There is nothing for you to do.

_Vasil._ [_Rising_] Nothing for me to do? Why am I in the world then?

_Adr._ To be our light--our song--to find our angels for us.

_Vasil._ [_Looking down at his violin_] It is broken.

_Adr._ [_Picking it up_] You will mend it.

_Vasil._ And the heart too? [_Goes to table, left front, and sits by
it, despondent and thoughtful_] We were wrong to-day, Adrian. I was
wrong. No one has a right to happiness while others are suffering
because of things that are in the _power of man_ to help. The _good_
people who forget what is out of sight, as if misery--or duty--were a
question of eyes and ears, they are the most to blame. [_Rises_] If
they would all help--just all of the good. [_Goes to door, rear, and
stands a moment looking out_] The princess dances at the ball to-night.

_Adr._ My boy!

_Vasil._ [_Coming back to Adrian_] But they will not all help--not yet.
Perhaps the world of peace must come before the world of love, not out
of it ... as war has come before peace. The law of Moses was once the
best law. His race saved itself by it. Has the day of its necessity
passed, Adrian? Are we sure?

_Adr._ It has passed for the man.

_Vasil._ But humanity is so far behind the man.

_Adr._ [_Gently_] That is what made Christ.

_Vasil._ And that is what killed him!

    [_Enter a priest, street door_]

_Priest._ Blessed be this house.

_Adr._ Welcome, father.

_Priest._ Is death here?

_Adr._ Yes, father. [_Crosses to right and opens door for priest to
enter_] You have many visits to make to-night.

_Priest._ Many, my son. [_Stops before Adrian_] I have a message for
the Shepherd of Lonz.

_Adr._ [_Taking letter_] Thank you, father.

_Priest._ Thank her that sent it, and God who made her heart. [_Passes
into room, right_]

_Adr._ [_After looking over letter_] The princess has danced to some
purpose, my boy. Vera is free. She will be on her way to Odessa by
morning.

_Vasil._ Free? The princess saved her? My princess! Did she write it?
[_Taking letter_] I will read it with kisses!

_Adr._ It must be burnt.

_Vasil._ No, let me keep it--a little while.

_Adr._ We must be careful. Hush--some one is coming.

     [_Vasil retreats to table, rear. Enter Korelenko in great
     agitation_]

_Kore._ Yaltowa is on fire! We are one night too late! They must have
heard----

_Adr._ On fire? Now?

_Kore._ I waited with Gregorief at Breshloff's, the others went on to
Yaltowa, where----

_Adr._ You waited for Petrizoff?

_Kore._ This ball was only to cover their scheme----

_Adr. You_ waited with Gregorief for Petrizoff?

_Kore._ He will pass through the village about four o'clock.

_Adr._ But now--O, you are saved from that thing!

_Kore._ Yes. If we kill him now the fire will seem only a part of the
deed. It will help them fix the lie upon us.

_Adr._ Too late, thank God!

_Kore._ You think of nothing but Petrizoff! What of the people
now dying in Yaltowa? Dying because he lives? Go see the horrors
there! The reactionists are everywhere in the streets, disguised as
revolutionists, looting and murdering! Your Karitz peasants are being
turned into beasts----

     [_Adrian gives a deep groan and sits overcome, by table front,
     left_]

_Kore._ It is not too late! Our friends--Russia--freedom--yet may
live if you will help us! Your name will justify Petrizoff's death to
the world. With the loss of their chief the reactionists will be in
confusion, before they can recover you can organize the great leagues
into a militia----

_Adr._ You are mad to think such power is in me.

_Kore._ You don't know your power! You can do it--you only--and it must
be done now--before the war in the East is over--before the Czar can
make new promises--give us the mockery of a constitution, and fool half
of us back to allegiance--before----

_Adr._ [_Rising, shaken_] It can not rest with me. One man can not make
destiny.

_Kore._ Yes, when that man is you--when the time is now! Absolutism is
at its ebb. Will you wait till the tide gathers and flows over us again
in waves of blood?

_Adr._ [To _himself, walking_] Are there then two codes? One for the
man, one for the race? And when they conflict, the man must yield?

_Kore._ Codes! The question of a man's right to his breath is settled
outside of ethics! O, Adrian, brother, be a man to-night and not a
preacher! Never in the history of the world has there been a revolution
so ripe, so terrible, without a leader to march at its head.

_Adr._ Humanity has dropped the club. It will drop the gun. Even the
soldiers are throwing it down. And shall I pick it up----

_Kore._ Only for a day! Petrizoff alone stands between us and the army.
Vitelkin, the next in power, is ready to join us. But he is suspected
already, and must soon resign--or be poisoned. If we remove Petrizoff
_now_ thirty regiments will come to us with Vitelkin, and others will
follow until the Czar is without an army. In a month--a fortnight--the
revolutionists will be masters of the nation----

_Adr._ _Masters_ of the nation! [_Walks away, and returns, much calmer,
to Korelenko_] If it is true that only the life of Petrizoff stands
between the revolutionists and triumph, he can not long be the sole
barrier. He must see his folly and change his----

_Kore._ [_Furious]_ Were he to turn angel now, he should die for his
past sins!

_Adr._ [_Sadly_] I see. We should unfetter the avenging lion, not
loosen the dove of peace, with Petrizoff's death.

_Kore._ I did not mean that. You know it was the anger of a moment.
[_Kneeling_] For the last time I beg you--in the name of all that
redeems man from the beast----

_Adr._ [_Very pale_] Rise, Korelenko. Heal ye first yourselves. Out of
your differences, your divisions, you make your master. If for one day
enmity should sleep, if for one day every lover of freedom should love
his neighbor, in that day the oppressor would fall. Rise! I will not do
it.

_Kore._ [_Springing up_] You will!

_Adr._ Will?

_Kore._ Yes. The princess Sophie Travinski is betrayed to Petrizoff. I
hoped to prevail without telling you, and spare your heart what mine
suffers.

_Adr._ Betrayed?

_Kore._ She has aided to-night in the escape of a prisoner taken by
Petrizoff's order. He will know all by morning _if he lives_.

_Adr._ This lie will not tempt me, Sasha. I can hardly believe you have
uttered it. [_Fearfully_] I might have believed you.

_Kore._ I am prepared for your doubt. Gregorief waits outside. He will
support my word [_going to door_].

_Adr._ No! I will not see him again. It is true. [_Crosses uncertainly
and sits on bench before loom_] O, is there no end to this night?

_Kore._ A princess Ghedimin went to Yakutsk for a lesser offence.

_Adr._ Don't--don't speak.

_Kore._ [_After watching him a moment_] If Petrizoff dies he will never
know.

_Adr._ There is no time to warn her.

_Kore._ Then the evidence will go to Petrizoff at once.

_Adr._ You would do that?

_Kore._ No, but Gregorief would. He is waiting for your answer.

_Adr._ My answer?

_Kore._ You know how to save her.

_Adr._ [_Rising_] How?

_Kore._ Join us.

_Adr._ [_Sinking down again_] You might be merciful now, Korelenko.

_Kore._ [_Unbelievingly_] You will not save her?

_Adr._ Not that way.

_Kore._ There is no other.

_Adr._ Then she----

_Kore._ Adrian, I can not believe you. You will save her!

_Adr._ How can I now? The struggle is over. For a heavenly motive I
refused to join you; I can not consent now for an earthly one. O, if
you had not told me! If you had pleaded a little longer--[_Realizes
what he is saying, and looks at Korelenko with a bitter smile_] You see
it is impossible.

_Kore._ [_Raging_] I will kill you!

_Adr._ Do, Sasha.

_Kore._ [_Turning from him_] Vera! My little girl!

_Adr._ [_Rising suddenly_] O, I have not told you----

_Kore._ What? Quick!

_Adr._ Vera is free. Read this--where--Vasil, the letter!

     [_Vasil, who sits by the small table, silently lays the letter
     upon it. Korelenko crosses and snatches it up_]

_Adr._ [_As Korelenko reads_] You see they will wait for you on the
Petoff road until two o'clock. You must go at once. The princess
has arranged for you to journey with Vera if you wish, and you must
now, for to remain here means imprisonment on the Yaltowa charge.
[_Korelenko is dumb, looking at the letter_] Don't lose hope, Sasha.
You can still help us in America--perhaps do more for the cause there
than here--and you will have Vera----

_Kore._ [_Strangely_] You _must_ save her now, Adrian.

_Adr._ She is saved. Haven't you read? Don't you see?

_Kore._ Not Vera, the princess. It was I who betrayed her. And it was
Vera she saved. I was so sure of you. You said----

_Adr._ I am sorry for you, Korelenko. You have sold the angel in your
service.

_Kore._ No! You did it! You deceived me! You swore you loved her!

_Adr._ I swore the truth.

_Kore._ Bah! Such love! Prove it! Prove it! [_Hurries to the little
cabinet in wall, rear, unlocks it, takes out a bomb from his pocket,
places it in the cabinet, locks the door and returns to Adrian with
key_] Prove it! I am going to Vera. Gregorief will wait at Breshloff's.
Send him this key within an hour and he will know what to do. [_Offers
key to Adrian, who looks at him silently. Korelenko throws key to the
floor_] There it is! Send it, or her fate will be on your soul, not
mine! [_Exit_]

_Adr._ O, Infinite Love, why didst make us as men to try us as gods?...
And I might have saved her. Might? ... [_Goes slowly to the key, stoops
and picks it up. As he raises his head his glance falls on the portrait
of the Saviour on wall in front of him_] Unto seventy times seven. [_He
drops the key and takes a step or two toward the picture_] Thou too
wert man!... [_As he gazes at the portrait Vasil comes softly forward,
takes up the key, returns to table, and sits looking at the key as if
fascinated. Curtain_]



ACT III

     SCENE 1. _Same room. Vasil asleep on bench, rear, left. Adrian
     watching by him._


_Adr._ If I had saved him this day ... this night! But now ... what
peace can heal him? [_Rises and walks_] Lord, Lord, from out these
burning days, let one, just one, go free! As thou lovest thy world, let
him be spared, let him be spared!

     [_Enter Sophie, street door. Adrian looks at her
     uncomprehendingly. She crosses to him_]

_Adr._ Why have you come?

_Soph._ To warn you!

_Adr._ The boy--do not wake him.

     [_Sophie crosses to left, rear, Adrian following. She looks down,
     at Vasil, stoops and tenderly kisses him, then moves away with
     Adrian. Vasil opens his eyes and looks after them_]

_Adr._ The last two hours have been terrible, but he rests now.

_Soph._ You must take him with you.

_Adr._ With me?

_Soph._ I have come from the ball.

_Adr._ I see.

_Soph._ Orloff is a very weak man. I found out that you are to be
arrested to-night.

_Adr._ It has come then.

_Soph._ Is Korelenko going with Vera?

_Adr._ I hope so. He has gone to meet her.

_Soph._ Then you can't take his place. We must think of some other
way--and quickly.

_Adr._ Not for me. It is you who must go. You are betrayed to Petrizoff.

_Soph._ I hoped you wouldn't hear that. I am in no danger.

_Adr._ [_Between fear and relief_] No danger?

_Soph._ [_With a half smile_] By and by you will believe that I can
take care of myself.

    [_Enter Korelenko with Vera_]

_Soph._ Not gone?

_Adr._ You are lost.

_Soph._ Why did you bring her back? You have no right to destroy _her_
life!

_Vera._ I would not go. My place is with Alexander. [_Softly_] You
ought to understand that, princess.

_Soph._ [_To Korelenko_] She is a child. She did not know. You should
have gone with her.

_Kore._ Your highness, that was impossible.

_Soph._ It was not! All was prepared----

_Kore._ [_To Adrian_] Does she know?

_Soph._ That I am betrayed? Yes, but the man entrusted with the
evidence happened to be a devoted servant of my own--[_Alexander
groans_] He will fall! And you--Adrian--what is the matter?

_Kore._ [_Steadying himself against the loom and clasping Vera_] I have
thrown our lives away--mine and Vera's--that is all.

_Soph._ Why couldn't you go with her?

_Kore._ Because it was I who betrayed you. And could I accept life and
love at your hands?

_Soph._ [_Shrinking_] You? But why----

_Kore._ I can not answer. Come, Vera, to your grandmother.

    [_Exeunt Korelenko and Vera, right, centre_]

_Soph._ O, why did he do it?

_Adr._ I can tell you.

_Soph._ Then why?

_Adr._ Because he believed--O, Sophie, beloved, before I speak, look at
me with the love in your eyes as I saw it first. I did not know it was
for me then. Let me see it now while I know you are mine--mine! Yes,
yes, you love me!

_Soph._ Ah, Adrian, I am afraid I love nothing else.

    [_Vasil covers his eyes with his arm_]

_Adr._ And you will kiss me once?

_Soph._ Once?

_Adr._ As if we were parting forever, Sophie. [_She embraces and kisses
him. He moves away from her_] Now I will tell you why Alexander could
not answer you, and why I can. He betrayed you believing that I could
and would save you.

_Soph._ And you----

_Adr._ Could, but would not.

_Soph._ [_Moving back_] What are you saying, Adrian?

_Adr._ I could have saved you but I would not. Isn't it clear?

_Soph._ [_Moving back till she stands in dim light_] No--I don't----

_Adr._ I would not consent to Petrizoff's death.

_Soph._ [_Lifting her head_] O! [_Regarding him steadily_] You refused
your consent when you knew that his death would save me?

_Adr._ [_Lowering his eyes_] I did.

_Soph._ He, a murderer, whose death has been justly due a thousand
times, and I, innocent, the woman you say you love----

_Adr._ [_Bowing his head, not meeting her look_] I have told you the
truth.

_Soph._ And that is why we part forever?

_Adr._ That is why.

_Soph._ Because I could not forgive you?

_Adr._ No. I should want more than forgiveness. I should want you to
understand.

_Soph._ That you were right?

_Adr._ Yes.

_Soph._ And I couldn't understand?

_Adr._ [_Still hopelessly, not looking at her_] No.

_Soph._ [_Coming nearer_] And we part forever? [_He makes no answer.
She comes nearer_] Forever? [_He is still silent. She comes near enough
to turn his face to hers_] Forever, Adrian?

_Adr._ Sophie! [_Takes her in his arms_]

_Soph._ O, do you think I will ever leave you now?

_Adr._ You _do_ understand!

_Soph._ [_Smiling_] That I can never be in your way? You will always
sacrifice me first? Yes, I knew that all the time, but you didn't.

_Adr._ And it makes no difference?

_Soph._ How can it when I love you?

_Adr._ I wonder if _God_ understands women.

_Soph._ O, some of them. The rest He made to puzzle over when eternity
hangs on His hands.

_Adr._ [_Kissing her_] Heaven-heart!

_Soph._ [_Releasing herself_] That must wait. We haven't a minute----

     [_They hear steps outside, and stand waiting. Orloff and two
     guards enter_]

_Orl._ It is my turn to be surprised, your highness. I suppose you are
here to assure _this_ prisoner of safety.

_Soph._ What prisoner?

_Orl._ Adrian Lavrov.

    [_Guards put fetters on Adrian's wrists_]

_Adr._ For what crime am I arrested?

_Orl._ [_To guards_] Keep him here until I return.

_Adr._ For what crime?

_Orl._ For crime sufficient.

_Adr._ I insist upon knowing.

_Orl._ You will know soon enough--in the next world. They say
everything is known there.

_Soph._ He is ashamed to tell you. You are arrested as chief instigator
in the burning of Yaltowa.

_Adr._ Is it possible?

_Soph._ More than possible. It is so. That is the crime you will die
for unless you are rescued by a rising of the people.

_Adr._ That must not be!

_Orl._ Don't worry. We are giving your friends enough to think about.

     [_Sophie has gradually neared the door. Orloff steps before her_]

_Orl._ Pardon me, your highness. You invited me into your carriage a
few hours ago. I beg to return the courtesy.

_Soph._ Let me pass!

_Orl._ You will leave here only under my escort.

_Soph._ I know where I shall die then.

_Orl._ You have cost me one prisoner.

_Soph._ What proof have you?

_Orl._ None--yet. But I know it.

_Soph._ O wonderful sagacity!

_Orl._ And I shall lay my reasons before Petrizoff.

_Soph._ I suppose you believe, too, that I would rescue the Shepherd of
Lonz?

_Orl._ I shall at least not lose sight of him until he is in prison.
[_Sophie turns her back upon Orloff_] You must come with me or stay
here under guard. I don't promise you as pleasant a journey as you gave
me, for I shall not be at so much trouble to please. I shall not even
ask you to let me repeat the little kiss----

_Soph._ Sir!

_Orl._ On your hand, which you so kindly permitted. [_Sophie again
attempts to pass him_] Will your highness take my arm to the carriage?
We have only a short distance to drive before meeting Petrizoff.
[_Looking at his watch_] He ought to be almost here.

_Soph._ I will stay here.

_Orl._ In shackles?

_Soph._ [_Holding out her arms_] Yes.

_Orl._ Stay then. But I will not bind you.

_Soph._ No, I might not forgive you _that_ if it turns out that you
have made a fool's mistake.

_Orl._ There is no mistake, as you will learn after I have seen
Petrizoff. [_To guards_] No conversation between prisoners. [_To
Sophie_] Let me assure you that _these_ guards can be trusted. [_Exit_]

     [_Adrian sits in the large chair, a guard stationed on each side
     of him. Sophie sits on low stool before him, and lays her head
     upon his knees_]

_A guard._ [_Anxiously_] It is not permitted to communicate----

_Soph._ Then don't, sir!

     [_Silence for a moment, then the noise of horses approaching_]

_Soph._ Ah--Petrizoff!

     [_Vasil rises cautiously. The guards have their backs to him and
     the door. He stands on the bench, unlocks cabinet, takes out the
     bomb, puts it under his blouse, and goes softly out_]

_Adr._ Sophie--Sophie--you do not regret----

_Soph._ No, no! Don't, Adrian! Forget all but love--love--love! This is
the last--the last----

     [_Sound of trampling without, shrieks and noises. They start
     and listen. Korelenko runs through the room from right and out
     at street door. Vera comes on after him. Adrian and Sophie rise
     and look questioningly at each_ _other. The guards lift their
     weapons. Adrian looks toward bench and sees that Vasil is gone_]

_Adr._ Vasil! [_To Vera_] Is he in there?

_Vera._ No, Adrian.

_Adr._ He has gone out. He will be hurt. [_Looks suddenly at cabinet,
which is open_] Who has been here? Gregorief? [_Stares at cabinet.
Sophie's gaze follows his. He turns to her, speaking slowly_] There was
a bomb in that cabinet. Could it be possible--that----

_Soph._ [_Gently_] I am afraid it is true.

_Adr._ Never! Not him!

_Soph._ Adrian! Beloved!

_Adr._ [_Not heeding her_] Vasil! Vasil! [_Staggers to seat by table,
front, left. Guards keep by him. Enter Korelenko followed by Gregorief
and others_]

_Vera._ [_Running to Korelenko_] Vasil--where is he?

    [_Korelenko is silent_]

_Soph._ Is he hurt?

_Kore._ The boy--or----

_Soph._ The boy.

_Kore._ Not hurt, but taken.

     [_Adrian throws his fettered arms upon the table and lays his face
     upon them_]

_Soph._ Is Petrizoff dead?

_Kore._ Only a wound. This night belongs to hell. O, if it could have
been as we planned!

_Soph._ No one is killed?

_Kore._ No one but Orloff.

_Soph._ Orloff dead! [_Under her breath_] Then I am safe.

_Kore._ Gods, if only it had been Petrizoff! His escape is
unbelievable. [_Turning to Adrian_] What says the preacher now?

_Soph._ Don't! See his fetters?

_Kore._ Ah! When----

_Greg._ [_Crossing to Adrian_] Fortunate man! Now he may develop his
soul!

_Soph._ How can you?

_Greg._ How could _he_, madam? How could _he_? Do you know what he
has done? He has killed every man that died in Yaltowa to-night--he
has slaughtered every child--he has outraged every woman! What else?
Freedom offered him her hand and he struck her to earth! He has
scattered her forces--he has strengthened her oppressor--and the rivers
of blood that must now drench Russia shall flow from his door! But--ha!
ha! he has saved his soul!

    [_Enter Irtenieff, attended_]

_Irtenieff._ I want the prisoner, Adrian Lavrov. [_No one answers. He
sees Adrian and crosses to him_] What is your crime? [_Adrian does not
raise his head_]

_Soph._ None.

_Irten._ You are arrested for the burning of Yaltowa? All prisoners
taken on that charge are free by the order of Petrizoff.

_Soph._ Take off his chains!

     [_At a sign from Irtenieff guards unfetter Adrian, who does not
     seem to know what they are doing_]

_Kore._ Such an order from Petrizoff? What does it mean?

_Irten._ It means that he is frightened into saying his prayers for a
day or two.

_Soph._ Adrian, my dear one, look up!

_Irten._ [_To Korelenko_] And if you've a particular regard, as I've
heard, for the little beauty there, you'd better get her out of Russia
before his scare rubs off.

_Kore._ Thank you, sir.

     [_Exeunt Irtenieff, men, and guards left by Orloff. Dawn has been
     gradually breaking, showing through door and window, rear. Sophie
     continues to talk softly to Adrian and finally he raises his head_]

_Adr._ They will bury the sunshine of the world--shut up his golden
years in darkness----

_Soph._ We will free him, Adrian. We will live to set him free.

    [_Zarkoff, and Vasil guarded, appear at door_]

_Zarkoff._ [_Stepping in_] Now show your accomplices. [_Vasil stands on
the threshold, silent, looking eagerly at the faces in the room_] You
swore you would tell who helped you if we brought you here.

_Vasil._ I will.

_Zar._ [_Pointing to Gregorief_] Is he one?

_Vasil._ Let me take my time. You wouldn't hurry on your way
to Schlusselburg, would you? I must speak to my friends first.
Adrian--father, brother, master--the songs have all come back. When I
only looked on, doing nothing to help, the music stopped, but now----

_Zar._ Too many words, sir!

_Vasil._ Now I am doing my part, I have a right to my song. They will
take me to----

_Zar._ Stop that!

_Vasil._ And under the stormy waters my heart will be singing----

_Zar._ Say your good-bys, and be done!

_Vasil._ Put your ear to my violin, and you will hear----

_Zar._ Come!

_Vasil._ You must yield something too, Adrian. Step back to the law of
Moses for vantage if you can leap to Christ with the world in your arms.

_Zar._ You have broken your oath!

_Vasil._ I have not. I will tell you.

_Zar._ Speak then. Who are your confederates?

_Vasil._ There is but one.

_Zar._ Who? Where is he?

_Vasil._ He is here--in this room--he is in every prison in Russia--he
is in every heart that knows the meaning of love--but if you want to
arrest him [_stepping back into the sunlight and pointing upward_] you
must go up there, for he is God.

_Zar._ That for your blasphemy! [_Strikes Vasil on the mouth with his
sword_] Off with him!

     [_Guards take Vasil off. Zarkoff follows. Silence broken by a
     groan from Adrian_]

_Soph._ Beloved, beloved, he shall be free! The whole world shall help
us!

_Greg._ May we knock down the prisons now, Lavrov?

_Adr._ O God, in all thy ages can this be justified?

_Kore._ _You_ can justify it in a moment. Adrian Lavrov, this is your
call to war. If you respond, his life is well lost.

_Adr._ War? [_Staggers up_] Yes. And I will use the strongest of
earthly weapons, the arms of peace. The powers that upbuild are as
invincible as the universe. By them it stands. Only by their toleration
do the forces of destruction live. Toleration? Only by the _support_ of
the powers of peace do the powers that destroy exist. Is not the army
of the Czar fed by us, clothed by us, paid by us? And if we refuse to
give, must it not beg of us? If he who works not shall not eat, what
is the doom of the destroyer? The sower shall not sow for him, the
reaper shall not reap for him, the builder shall not build for him,
the physician shall not heal him, the scholar shall not teach him, the
lawyer shall not plead for him, no trade shall supply him, no craft
shall assist him, no art shall amuse him. The mills shall be silent,
the wheels shall not turn, the wires shall be dumb, until he cries out
"Peace, thou art master: let me be so much as thy servant!"

_A revolutionist._ Right! This, too, is war!

_Adr._ Yes. The new war of a new day. Not in madness hurling bombs, but
giving our pity as we take our right.

_Man._ And who will pay your soldiers of peace? Must not their women
and children eat?

_Adr._ The money we now pay to our brothers to strike us shall put
bread in our mouths.

_A revolutionist._ Keep the taxes!

_Man._ You join us at last!

_Adr._ No. We join each other ... under the only unconquerable power.
Gather an army and go forth with guns, and you may be laid in the dust.
But the gathered forces of peace are as the fingers on God's hand, one
with His strength, one with His will. Friends, friends, we have been
searching earth for the weapon already in our grasp. The woman at the
loom, the mujik in the field, the workman on the housetop, the man at
the wire, the throttle, the wheel, hold it in their hands. To know its
might--to use it together--that is all. _Together!_ O, they must see
it--as I do now! I will gather my disciples, we will knock at every
door and preach the gospel of united peace until all our unions are one
union, all our bodies one body, with one breath, one heart, one head.
In barin and peasant, mechanic and noble, Christian and Jew, Finn,
Pole, Czech, Serb, Georgian, Tatar, must be born as in one man the
conscious strength of peace. And to its deliverance I give my life, my
soul! [_Sits down. Sophie leans over him_] ... Yes ... he shall be free.

_Greg._ [_Who has been searching Vasil's violin, comes forward with a
paper in his hand_] They shall _all_ be free! We will make no terms,
we will accept no constitution, till every dungeon door be open, till
we hold in our arms the brothers who have made freedom no longer a
dream of the night but a song of the morning! To them we owe the
liberty that is dawning, and shall we tread the earth they give us
while they perish beneath it? Hear our latest martyr--the youngest of
us all. Hear the "Voice of Schlusselburg!"

            [_Reads_]

    We are deep, we are deep
      Beneath your swift feet
    That pass and yet pass
      With unfaltering beat;
    But life has no sound
      That can deaden our moans,
    And no measure of ground
      Can bury our bones,
      Can bury our bones.

    We have given ye all
      But our lingering breath,--
    The light from our eyes,
      The prayer at our death.
    The wine of the days,
      Drink it up, drink it up!
    But our hearts, as the grape,
      We pressed for the cup,
      We pressed for the cup.

    Through the measureless sun
      Your seasons shall sway.
    Pluck the fruit as your own,
      Ye have nothing to pay;
    For your summers of bloom
      Are the summers we've lost,
    And we in our tomb,
      We pay the red cost,
      We pay the red cost.

    Your youths shall be wed
      And the maids shall be fair,
    But the tears we have shed
      Are the pearls they shall wear;
    Your bride ye shall seek
      As never we could,
    But the rose on her cheek,
      It is dyed with our blood,
      It is dyed with our blood.

    The lips of your child
      Shall be warm on your own,
    But 'tis cold, it is cold,
      Where our babes lie alone.
    The hand of your friend
      In yours ye shall take,
    But look ye!--the scar
      Ours wear for his sake,
      Ours wear for his sake.

    The feast shall be spread
      And the world shall be there,
    But set at the head
      Our invisible chair.
    Ay, the banquet is ours,
      For our dishes make room!
    Each baked by the fires
      Of a smouldering home,
      Of a smouldering home.

    We are deep, we are deep
      Beneath your swift feet
    That pass and yet pass
      With unfaltering beat;
    But life has no sound
      That can deaden our moans,
    And no measure of ground
      Can bury our bones,
      Can bury our bones.

          [_Curtain_]



THE SIEGE

A DRAMA IN FIVE ACTS



CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY


    DIONYSIUS, _the Younger, tyrant of Syracuse_
    DION, _a Syracusan noble_
    ARISTOCLES, _the Athenian friend of Dion_
    OCRASTES, _a young lord, attached to Dion_
    HERACLIDES, _admiral of Syracuse_
    PHILLISTUS, _an ambitious courtier_
    CALLORUS, ÆGISTHUS, _friends of Heraclides_
    SPEUSIPPUS, _from Athens, friend of Aristocles_
    PANTHUS, _captain of Dion's Grecian guards_
    DOMENES, _captain of the tyrant's guards_
    TIMOLEON, ASCANDER, _lords of Syracuse_
    GYLIPPUS, MENODES, DRACON, _citizens_
    BRENTIO, _slave to Dion_
    TICHUS, _slave to Aristocles_

    ARATEA, _wife of Dion_
    NAURESTA, _a noble lady_
    THEANO, _daughter of Nauresta_
    METHONE, _woman to Nauresta_

    _Soldiers_, _citizens_, _messengers_, _dancers_, _&c._

    SCENE: _Syracuse, Sicily_
    TIME: 356 _B.C._



ACT I

     SCENE 1. _A pavilion in vineyard near Dion's house. Enter Dion and
     Aristocles, followed by Brentio and Tichus._


    _Dion._ That Dionysius bends the neck of pomp
    To do you honor, shows an eye yet false
    To your true merit.

    _Aris._            But 'tis better, Dion,
    Than to have found his frowning archers planted
    Point to our landing ship.

    _Dion._                   He'd not have dared
    To greet you so, but this vain, strutting show
    Wrongs you no less.

    _Aris._            Himself far more.

    _Dion._                             Ay, friend.
    The mines of earth into one coffer poured
    Would not enrich a spendthrift or insure
    Him linen for a shroud. If you can not
    Prevail with him--If? Nay, you will. All ifs
    Lie down before your wooing argument.

    _Aris._ I knew his father when the years had stripped
    His agued soul, and his untutored age
    Looked from a crabbed eye upon the world.
    For him I would not have a second time
    Foregone Athenian groves, but youth that keeps
    An open door to Wisdom as to Folly,
    May even of Virtue make at last a guest.

    _Dion._ My hope is born again, now you are here.
    When I have seen pick-thank philosophers
    At ear of Dionysius, seeding his mind--
    Wherein my toil had set fair Ceres' garden--
    With foul and flaunting weeds to overrun
    My country, I have been tempted to forego
    The idle reaping, uplay the soil itself,
    And with some few and trusted followers
    Rouse a new Spring to breed us gracious harvest.

    _Aris._ But he who strikes at heritage gives riot
    Fair leave to play above his trampled grave,
    And rather than usurp a wrong with right,
    You bend your strength to make the wrong a virtue.

    _Dion._ Ay, so the young tyrant has my knee, but thus
    To keep my mind at bow and flexure proves
    My patience 'fore the gods. Welcome the day
    When I may honor Truth in honoring
    The head of rule in my belov�d city!
    But now no more of state austerities;
    I would be glad one hour and nurse the joy
    Of seeing thee. Thou'st brought me half my heart
    That kept with thee in Athens.

                [_Enter Brentio_]

                                  Well?

    _Bren._                           My lord,
    The mistress comes.

    _Dion._            In happy season.

    _Aris._                            Mistress?

    _Dion._ My wife.

    _Aris._         Art married, Dion?

    _Dion._                           Since you sailed;
    To Aratea, Dionysius' sister,
    But as unlike him as the eternal sky
    To moody ocean.

    _Aris._        Married? That the word?

    _Dion._ Fast bound, indeed, to one who will not break
    Our souls' knit circle. She is Virtue's servant,
    And wears her fairest flower, beauty.

    _Tich._ [_Aside, as Dion looks off left to see if Aratea
    approaches_]                        Ha!
    A beauty! I will warrant it. There be
    Some ugly wives i' the world but no man married 'em.

    _Dion._ [_To Brentio_] Come, sir. What entertainment is provided?

                [_Dion talks aside with slave_]

    _Aris._ So goes my friend. He who was happiest lost
    In the vast solitude of a noble book,
    Or Truth's deep-pathed discourse. A wife. Is this
    My journey's end? That little haven whence
    No harbored sail dares sea? Port of delay,
    And pocket of emprise, whose shallows oft
    Have sunk the mightiest hope of greatest states!

                [_Enter a servant_]

    _Ser._ [_To Dion_] My lord, the captain of the harbor
                                waits.

    _Dion._ [_To Aristocles_] One moment, friend.
                                  [_Exit, right_]

    _Aris._            That lordly soul a-dream
    In woman's arms! That heaven-cleaving mind
    At fireside tattle with a gossip dame!
    Now comes the sunward ranging eagle down
    To sit by nest, a tame prudential spouse.
    Where sped the proud ambassador of morn
    On wings that clipped the burning orient,
    Hovers the cautious mate at pains to find
    A youngling's breakfast.

                [_Re-enter Dion_]

    _Dion._                Come, my friend. You're skilled
    In harbor matters, and I need your word.

                    [_Exeunt Dion and Aristocles, right_]

    _Bren._ Is your wise man married?

    _Tich._ That's a fool's question.

_Bren._ True, but--Peace! Yonder comes the mistress. I must be off.
"Entertainment," quoth my lord. Which means a gentle sally of honest
nymphs, and a sort of mild, virtuous music at hide-and-seek in the
vineyard. You must to court if you would know how wenches can trip in
Sicily. Come, brother stranger. I'll take care o' your enjoyments. You
shall see us with both eyes, I promise you.

     [_Exeunt Brentio and Tichus._ _Enter_, _left_, _Aratea_, _Theano_,
     _Nauresta_, _Ocrastes and Phillistus_]

    _Ara._ I'm not convinced, Phillistus. Who may search
    The wreckage 'neath a smile, or count the tears
    Deep in a stoic eye? Let us believe
    Aristocles is not in nature cold
    As his philosophy.

    _Oc._             I'll freeze my sword
    A winter night, then warm his heart by 't. Cold!

    _The._ You've seen him?

    _Oc._                  At the landing.

    _The._                                Now we hear!
    What is this marvel like?

    _Oc._                    A frozen god.
    Apollo cast in snow.

    _Phil._             Sicilian suns
    Are warm.

    _Oc._ He's proof 'gainst sun. Why, he doth cool
    His liver with his blood,--hath not a stir
    Of whetted sense, be 't anger, love or pain,
    To prick him mortal.

    _Ara._              He is young to be
    So true a sage.

    _The._         They come. Prepare, O eyes,
    To wonder!

                [_Re-enter Dion and Aristocles_]

    _Ara._ [_Advancing_] Welcome, noble Athenian.
    Your fame has oft made voyage to our shore,
    And we rejoice that now you follow it.
    Please know my friends.

    _Dion._ [_To Aratea, as Aristocles greets the others_]
                           Why is Phillistus here?
    Are we so poor, my dame, the enemy
    Must sauce our feast? Nay, nay!

    _Ara._                         I hope, my lord,
    My brother's subjects are not enemies.

_Phil._ [_Who has stood apart, approaches Aristocles_] Welcome to
Sicily, although your breath is somewhat frosty for our warmer
pleasures.

_Ara._ [_As Dion frowns_] The frost that draws the poison, saves the
flower, you mean, my good Phillistus.

_Aris._ A fair interpreter!

_Phil._ Ay, when we know not our meaning, let a woman find it.

_Oc._ Which she will do the more readily if we mean nothing.

_The._ True, her wit is generous. She'll always bait a hook that angles
painfully.

_Oc._ Though she, good soul, must hang herself upon it.

     [_Theano and Ocrastes move aside, bantering. Aratea turns to
     Phillistus and Nauresta_]

    _Dion._ [_To Aristocles_] Ocrastes is a youth full dear to me.
    Orphaned at birth, I've bred him from a babe.
    He is of bravest heart, and must leap high
    Although he fall o'er heaven.

    _Aris._                      And the maid?

    _Dion._ The daughter of my brother some years dead.
    Her bloom might make e'en priestly blood forget
    To pace with vows, but she is true, and kneels
    To wisdom's star. Hast yet no eye for woman?

    _Aris._ For all things fair. That is my staff 'gainst age.
    We're young so long as we love beauty.

     [_Aratea moves to Dion and Aristocles, leaving Nauresta and
     Phillistus together_]

    _Nau._                                See
    This feathered snuggery?

    _Phil._                 A vine-lark's nest.

    _Nau._ Touch 't not. We'll lose a song by you. 'Tis strange
    These dare-wings build about our heads, when they
    So fear us.

    _Phil._      Farther. Birds are not my study.

                [_They move aside_]

    _Nau._ Frowning again, my lord?

    _Phil._                        And reason for it.
    I like not yonder pairing.

                [_Looks at Theano and Ocrastes_]

    _Nau._                    Would that your plans
    Might leave them happy!

    _Phil._                False? I'll not believe it
    Of thee, Nauresta. I've given thee confidence
    As open as the ungated dawn; unlocked
    My secrets; fixed within your breast, as in
    My own, my darling purpose!

    _Nau._                    'Twas my counsel
    In Aratea's ear that brought you hither.
    And why these dark reproaches where I hoped
    To see the color of your gratitude?

    _Phil._ What's done, though ne'er so well, but makes a way
    For what's to do, Nauresta.

    _Nau._                     Ah, my lord,
    I know not how to please you.

    _Phil._                      Learn. To me
    Be wax, and adamant to all touch else.
    Mad Dionysius is in revels lost;
    Dion is far too stern for common love;
    Between the two my hope makes fair ascent
    Above the clouds of state. 'Tis I must reign.
    Then we, my queen, must see our daughter wed
    To some strong noble who will prop our power.
    Ocrastes' love is bound inseverably
    To Dion. Keep him from Theano, sweet.
    Look on them now. See how she bends to him?

    _Nau._ Nay, she is modest, sir.

    _Phil._                        But mark! He speaks,
    And crimson runs her cheek, as though his voice
    Did paint it magically, which bids him fair,
    For know you not that love on blushes feeds
    As plundering bees on roses? He is sure!
    'Twill task you hard to ward from port who bears
    So bold a sail.

    _Nau._         But I will do it. Ay!

    _Phil._ Again you are all mine! [_Nauresta moves to
    Theano and Ocrastes_]                   Thus do I woo
    The mother, with the daughter in my eye.

    _Ara._ [_To Aristocles_] Ah, yes, I know you'll cast fond
                   sighs toward Athens,
    And in the night look through the dark to her--
    A myrtle-crown�d bride without her lord--
    But yet our land, too poor in Ceres' smile
    To outwoo Acad�me, may show some charm
    To ease your banishment.

    _Aris._                 O, 'tis an isle
    That 'neath the eye of Zeus might bloom nor blush
    Save at his praise; yet holds within itself
    Treasure that ornaments its cruder worth
    As gems make eyes in stone,--a friend whose hand
    Leads Virtue's own, and woman's beauty crowned
    By starry mind as I ne'er hoped to see
    Till at the port of the immortal world
    My eyes should meet my dreams.

    _Dion._                       What now? So soon,
    Aristocles?

    _Ara._      My lord?

    _Dion._              I knew she'd find
    The gate to your forgiveness.

    _Phil._ [_Aside_] My tongue creaks
    Amid this piping.

    _Dion._          True, she's fair enough
    For praise, but I'm a plain prose lover, friend,
    Nor, like a doting osier o'er a brook,
    Pore on her features, wasting oil of time
    That should burn high in task of gods and state.

    _Phil._ [_Aside_] I'll cast a pebble in this summer pool.
    [_To Aristocles_] Sir, you will find our Dionysius worthy,
    The proud descendant of a prouder sire,
    Upholding well his shining heritage.

    _Aris._ Worthy I hope he is, but even kings,
    My lord, may wrap them in humility,
    Nor boast descent, when demigods of earth
    But bastards are in heaven.

    _Dion._                    Ay, some of us
    Should curvet not so high, bethinking of
    Our audience in the clouds; for this brave world
    Is but a theatre whereto the gods
    For pastime look, and whoso makes most show
    Of plumes careering and proud-lifting stride
    Is but the greatest anticker of all
    To their high eyes. A little music, friends.

    _Phil._ And in good time! A sermon then a song.

     [_Enter dancers, the two in advance bearing urns which they place
     on a small altar, singing_]

    Bring cedar dark,
      And ruby-wood,
    Bring honeyed-bark,
      The Naiad's food,
    Till altar flame
      And incense rise
    In friendship's name
      To seek the skies.

        [_Chorus by maidens bearing wreaths of olive and laurel_]

    Myrtle leave on Venus' tree,
    Nor the Bacchic ivy see;
    Olive bring, and laurel bough.
    And may hours that gather now
    Of his years fair token be!

        [_They bow before Aristocles and continue dancing_]

    _Aris._ [_Watching Aratea_] The sun has made a shrine of
                        her bright hair
    Where eyes would worship, but her fairer face
    Lures their devotion ere they gaze one prayer.

    _Phil._ [_Crossing to Aristocles_] Aristocles, I swear yon
                           dancer's foot,
    Curving the air, marks beauty of more worth
    Than all the fantasies of dream you write
    On heavens conjectural.

    _Dion._ [_Angrily to Phillistus_] It suits you well
    To treat the theme deific with bold tongue.
    No thought so high but you would trick it out
    In shrugging sophistry!

    _Phil._ [_Going_] Farewell. The court
    Has always welcome for me.

    _Dion._                   Farewell, my lord.
    And Ceres send you grace!

    _Phil._ [_Turning_] Beware, proud Dion!
    The topmost limb makes an uneasy seat.
    Who perches there must take account of winds,
    Lest dignity go forfeit to surprise.
    By Jaso, sir, your cause is fallen sick,
    Nor Athens emptying all her wits may heal it!

                                         [_Exit_]

    _Ara._ My lord, a little patience----

    _Dion._                              Patience, madam!
    Would words were meat for swords! I'd had his crop!

                [_Enter a royal messenger_]

    _Mess._ Most noble Dion, greeting from the king.
    He begs you'll bring the Athenian sage to banquet,
    And see some shows within the royal gardens.

    _Dion._ More revels! More? This cracks the very glass
    Of our fair prospect, wherein we saw him sit
    With listening ear to wisdom.
    [_To messenger_]             No!

    _Ara._                          My lord----

    _Dion._ Say to the tyrant I'll not feast with him.

                               [_Exit messenger_]

    _Ara._ May I be bold to say this is not well?
    I fear, my lord, your stern, imperious port
    Is much against you in our easeful city.
    If on occasion you would smooth your brow
    To patient lenience you in time would win
    All hearts to wear the livery of your purpose,
    That now shows cold and sober for their mood.

    _Dion._ Not so! The bending tree ne'er kissed the clouds.
    I will not stoop! What? Flaunt his sport before
    A sage's eye, who comes at his own suit
    To teach him truth?

    _Aris._            Yet we must not forget
    Discourteous truth is hated; vehemence,
    The whip of argument, but frights conviction.
    Pardon so stale a word.

    _Ara._                 But 'tis so true!
    The winding zephyr, not the hurrying gale,
    Finds out the hidden rose. My brother's heart
    Has yet a grain of good, which gentleness
    May find and touch to life.

    _Dion._                    It was the slight,
    The unseemly slight to you, Aristocles,
    So chafed me.

    _Aris._ Think but of our charge, my friend,
    Fair Syracuse.

    _Dion._       So, so! I say no more.
    Your wisdom be to me Athene's shield
    Whereby I'll see to strike this head of wrong
    Nor be devoured. Come, we will walk abroad.
    But not to court.

    _Aris._ [_To Aratea_] My wishes wait on thee.
    May Fortune dress thee for a second self
    Till eyes mistaking seek thy face for hers.

    _Ara._ Nay, let her wed thee, and like loving wife
    Give all her portion, then empty-handed pluck
    New grace from heaven to adorn thee still.

                [_Exeunt Dion and Aristocles_]

_Nau._ Now, Aratea, the song of praise! Which of the gods is he most
like?

_Ara._ Like none of them. Jove is long-bearded, Neptune has forgot to
walk, Mercury is boyish, Apollo like a woman, and Mars so heavy-footed
he would stumble mocking the grace of Aristocles!

_Nau._ 'Tis plain a curious eye will never take you to Olympus, since
you've seen the Athenian.

    _Ara._ I own I have a sudden comfort from this gentle sage.

    _Nau._ What is it?

    _Ara._ You know my Dion has one only fault.

    _Nau._ O, all but perfect man!

    _Ara._ He is so true that he is stern as truth.

    _Nau._ That's truth indeed!

    _Ara._ So just that he is harsh as Justice' self.

    _Nau._ Another truth!

    _Ara._ So good that----

    _Nau._ What! More of this singular fault?

    _Ara._ This Athens' tongue, so sweetly mediate,
    Will lead the people's love unto my lord,
    Who now upholds the state in thankless sort.
    They honor and admire, but keep their hearts
    For those who woo them! Ah, I blame them not.

    _Oc._ Dion need borrow no Athenian tongue
    To speak for him.

    _Nau._ You'll hear no voice denies
    Him perfect praise.

    _Oc._              Who would deny it?

    _The._                               None,
    Ocrastes, none. How like a gem unpriced
    His rich simplicity doth shine amid
    The purpled show of lords! It is as though
    The sovereign alkahest, weary of law,
    Had given the scorn�d pebble leave to glow
    The fairest eye of all the pearl�d shore.

    _Ara._ They'll sing us deaf, Nauresta, on this theme.
    But come. [_Draws Nauresta away_] Come, madam, come! We must prepare
    Some good-wife pleasure for my lord's return.

                [_Exeunt Aratea and Nauresta, left_]

    _Oc._ [_Embracing Theano_] My love! At last! O goddess Patience, how
    Thou muffledst me! Time crept on thousand legs
    And each one crippled.

    _The._                Ay, so slow the hour
    Moved to this golden now I thought each moment
    Turned back to seek some loss and spent itself
    A second time.

    _Oc._         Now all the world's at morn.
    How young we are, Theano! O, 'tis true
    Life is at tick of dawn when love begins.

    _The._ I'm older then than you, for I 'gan love
    The day you won the laurel from proud Carthage.
    In the wild race how like a shooting star
    You made a heaven of earth's grosser air!
    And 'twas that day I heard old warriors say
    Your lance would dare prick ope the clouds till Mars
    Looked forth to combat. Ah, I scarce believe
    Our island's easy lap did bear you, and thank
    The gods that wealth, whose poison-pampered tooth
    Likes best the marrow-sweet of youth, has left
    You still a man.

    _Oc._            Truth weeps when lovers talk,
    But where is sound more sweet? All that I am
    I owe to Dion. Give to him the praise,
    If praise is due, and you would please me best.

    _The._ Thy approbation is my glass of merit,
    And there alone am I array�d fair,
    Yet for his sake, not yours, I love lord Dion.
    'Tis wonder's hour in wonder's day he should
    So fit his life, despite the careless time,
    To please the gods.

    _Oc._              When shall we tell him, love,
    Of this new joy of ours?

    _The._                  My mother first.

    _Oc._ Didst note her frown?
    What has so changed her, sweet?

    _The._ I find her troubled late, as she would soothe
    Her breast above some panting mystery.

    _Oc._ She must disclose the cause, and show if 't has
    An honest face. I'll have no mincing doubts
    And ghostly secrets peering on our love.

    _The._ She is our gentle mother. Wait, my heart!

    _Oc._ Phillistus is too often at her ear.
    Have guard against him. In his smoothest words
    He'll subtly seat a devil to confound you.
    'Tis pity. Eloquence is the flute o' the soul,
    Which virtue alone should play, for good or bad
    It has immortal consequence.

    _The._                      He was
    My father's friend, and well may be my mother's.

    _Oc._ Ah, but he coos too near her widowed nest.

    _The._ Ocrastes! Can you dare? My noble mother!
    Whose sorrows sit like shadows in her eye?
    Whose loyal breast asks no embrace less chill
    Than the cold tomb where my dear father lies?

    _Oc._ 'Twas but a word.

    _The._                 Unsay it, O, unsay it!

    _Oc._ Ay, by our island's god, 'twas never spoken!

    _The._ I've scarce a breath, Ocrastes.

    _Oc._                                 And that breath
    This kiss must drink. You will forgive? Speak not.
    These clinging lips have told me. A kiss, Theano,
    Unseals all secrets but to be their grave.
    Then we know all, and all we know's forgot.
    'Tis saying true, a kiss is worth the world,
    When, having it, there's no world but a kiss.

                [_Re-enter Nauresta and Aratea, left_]

    _Nau._ [_Crossing to Theano_] Still here, my daughter?

                [_Enter Brentio, right_]

    _Bren._ O, mistress, the master is coming with Dionysius.
    Since he would not take the Athenian to court, the court
    is coming hither.

    _Oc._ Here? 'Tis a strange declension of his pride.

    _Ara._ I fear 'tis cover for a thrust 'gainst Dion.

    _Oc._ No! Virtue such as his is heavened above
    The reach of sceptres.

    _Ara._ But he was too bold
    In his refusal to attend the feast.
    They come! And Dionysius' brow is like
    A new, unclouded sun. No eyes for us!

     [_Enter Dionysius_, _Aristocles_, _Dion_, _and lords_]

    _Diony._ [_To Aristocles_] Speak on, nor cease t' enchant
        my rous�d ear,
    Although thy words, like honey from the isle
    Where Ate fell, are something mixed with bitter.
    But give me not to virtue suddenly,
    Lest she disdain the greening, unripe fruit,
    And from her sun I do forever fall.

    _Dion._ Heed then his counsel, Dionysius.
    A ruler is the state's bountificer,--
    High warden at the gates of happy good,--
    And when he turns unto himself the stream
    That should make fair his country, he is damned
    As oft a robber as his subjects count.
    Each man he meets may claim his golden coat!

    _Diony._ What's your rough meaning, sir?

    _Aris._                                 'Tis this, my lord.
    Here is a land born in a dream of Nature,
    And given to man to please her waking eyes
    Until she thinks that yet she dreams. His task
    To build the adorning temple, turn groves retired
    To happy shades where wisdom meets with youth,
    And with triumphant art set statued thought
    To gleam abroad from every favored spot
    Till e'en the flattered gods be tempted here
    In marble fair to wait on mortal eyes,
    And genius roam in generation free,
    Breathing the constant good of mind aspiring,
    Till not a clod, be it or earth or human,
    But knows a smile to make itself more fair.
    How should it grieve thee then to see the pomp
    Of one, sole, only man heave with the weight
    Of all the state, and wear in barren pride
    The fertile beauty of his golden isle?

    _Diony._ Divine Athenian, if I be that man,
    Be thou the master of my realm till I
    Have learned what 'tis to be one. Teach me here
    My first new duty.

    _Dion._           Check debauching riot
    That sluices now the palace! Cease these feasts
    That fume to heaven like Hecate's brewing-vats!
    Nay, sir, those scowls unwrite your waterish vow.

    _Aris._ Our Dion means, my lord, that virtue wanes
    As revels wax; and yet an hour of rest
    The gods allow us. I myself have trained
    Young figures for the dance that wreathes with grace
    The needful, idle hour.

    _Diony._                You leave us music?

    _Aris._ Ay, 'tis the angel 'tween the sense and soul,
    A hand on each, that one may feel the touch
    Of purest heaven mid rosy revelling,
    The other catch sweet trembles of a wave
    That shake her calm till white cheek meets the rose.

    _Diony._ And feasting, sir?

    _Aris._                     Nay, there's the soul's expense
    For what o'erdims her fair, majestic visions;
    But fruits of sheltered vales grow lush for man,
    And awny grasses droop with sugared grains,
    And wine, tempered to reason's flow, oft lights
    The questing mind.

    _Diony._          Enough! No groaning board
    That shifts its burden to the spirit! No revel
    To pleasure Pleasure! Naught but what is meet
    For fair philosophy's relaxive hour!
    Adrastus, see 'tis done. Go instantly!
                                  [_Exit Adrastus_]
    Dion, you're for the harbor?

    _Dion_                      With your leave.

    _Diony._ Which we must grant. Your business is our own.

    _Oc._ With you, my lord?

    _Dion._                  Most welcome son. Adieu.

                [_Exeunt Dion and Ocrastes_]

    _Ara._ Brother, 'tis long since you have visited me.
    I hold a magnet now in our new friend
    Will draw you to my house.

    _Diony._                   Nay, I must rob you.
    The palace is his home.

    _Ara._                 O, not to-day!

    _Diony._ I'll yield to-day, but not an hour beyond
    To-morrow's sun. Adieu, Aristocles.
    Give me thy love; I'll give thee Syracuse.

                [_Exeunt Dionysius and lords_]

    _Ara._ [_To Aristocles_] We have some statues in the garden, sir,
    May please an eye from Athens. Will you come?

                [_Exeunt Aratea and Aristocles_]

    _The._ Mother, why look so darkly on Ocrastes?

    _Nau._ Darkly, my daughter?

    _The._                      Has he not a soul
    As truly virtuous as his face is fair?

    _Nau._ True, but he's not for you. Believe it.

    _The._                                        Ah!

    _Nau._ Nor grieve my heart with pleading to know more.
    Some day I'll speak, but now my bosom's locked
    With key not in my hands.

    _The._                   Mother, I pray
    You'll give no more a flattered, willing ear
    To lord Phillistus' tongue.

    _Nau._                   What do you mean?

    _The._ I do not know. I am disturbed by him.
    I scarce can tell you how.

    _Nau._                    To call him friend
    But proves my loyalty to the loved dead.

    _The._ I do not doubt my mother! No, no, no!
    But him I fear. His eye speaks muddily,
    And echoes not his words.

    _Nau._                   No more of this!
    You prattle, child. Say that he loves me----

    _The._                                      Ah,
    Not that!

    _Nau._ Yet were he villain, is not love
    The soul's sweet cleanser and redeeming incense?

    _The._ The serpent and the bee make food and venom
    Of the same flower's sweetness; so fair minds
    In love enlarge with merit, while villainy,
    Sucking such sweet, swells rank and poisonous.

    _Nau._ No more, my daughter!

                [_Enter courtiers, right_]

_Nau._ Good-day, my lords! You are early from the play. Did it not
please you?

_First courtier._ Tame, tame. I'd not have left my couch at the bath
for such. And Dracon's tongue was middle of a pretty tale.

_Nau._ But the banquet--why stayed you not for that?

_Second courtier._ Have you not heard? The seven evil winds have struck
the feast, and left but fruit and wine. My wife's as good a cook. Can
serve a plate of figs!

_Nau._ What's this?

_First courtier._ As we say. Our delectable gardens are smit with
sudden prudent frost. The mullein and the plantain shortly will grow
where we have plucked luxuriance' rose.

    [_Enter Aratea and Aristocles_]

_Nau._ What do you mean, my lord?

_First courtier._ [_Looking at Aristocles_] The wind is all too near
that wrought this havoc.

_Aris._ Nay, have no fear for Dion. You wrong this hour of promise.
Your brother yields us much.

_Ara._ Indeed too much! These sudden born desires are to be feared in
him. Ah, here's Ocrastes.

    _Nau._ He's much disturbed. I know that brow.

    [_Re-enter Ocrastes, right_]

    _The._ Ocrastes?

    _Oc._ Now heavens shake for what mine eyes have seen!
    I followed Dion to the southern shore
    Where the new pinnace floats beneath the castle,
    And there Domenes held him in close talk,
    When suddenly ere wink could question it,
    The soldiers had him bound within a boat
    Outrowing to the pinnace, which took him up
    And bent to sea like an embodied wind.
    But that a score of traitor arms enforced me
    The waves had kept me not on hated land!
    Surprise so stormed him Dion scarce could call
    "Revenge me not, but seek to calm the city!"
    Then from the pinnace a relenting boat
    Brought this short writing. 'Tis for Aratea.

    _Ara._ Read--read--Ocrastes--I--I can not see.

_Oc._ [_Reads_] Aristocles will be thy comfort. Bid him not forget
Syracuse to think of me. Now that the thorny counsellor is plucked
from court, he can do much with Dionysius. Ocrastes will be to thee a
brother of more love than ever was the tyrant. Sweet, farewell. 'Tis
from thine eyes I'm banished, not thy heart.

    _Ara._ O Dion, Dion! My unhappy lord!

    _Aris._ Abate thy grief, dear lady. Affliction is
    The night of man where stars his lustrous soul
    That in a happy sun would pale unseen.

    _Ara._ My brother! 'Tis his treacherous hand! O, me!
    Now heaven and earth be naught, I care not!

          [_Exeunt Aratea, Nauresta, Theano and attendants_]

    _A courtier._                              Come!
    There's more to this.

    _Another._           Ay, friends, let's to the streets.

      [_Courtiers hurry away. Ocrastes and Aristocles alone_]

    _Oc._ I'll rouse the populace!

    _Aris._                       No, you will calm it.

    _Oc._ Sir, I was knit in heat and tempered mortal!
    Your natal star was cold when you were born,
    Dead in the heavens, had long forgot its fire,
    And could not give one twinkle's warmth to you!
    I've blood, and know my friends!

    _Aris._                         Dost think that sorrow
    Lives only in hot brows? No angers be
    That rage not on the tongue?

    _Oc._                       O, you can feel?

    _Aris._ Here sweep the tides that prove it.

    _Oc._                                      Yet so calm?

    _Aris._ Who keeps his heart astir with his own woe
    Has never room for others. Let us put
    Our paltry love aside and seek the good
    Of all the city, not of one because
    He is our friend. Think not a man may leave
    Life's reefed and breakered straits behind and reach
    Philosophy's still-waved almighty sea
    With selfish sorrow's mottled pilot eye.

    _Oc._ And you've a mortal pulse? Can love and die?

    _Aris._ I am as you, Ocrastes,--heart and limb,--
    But I have given my kingdom to my soul,
    And throned secure above the body's chance
    Rock not with its misfortune.

    _Oc._                         Who can keep
    Such sovereign state, my lord? Art never torn
    Or shaken?

    _Aris._ What hap of winds, think you, may shake
    The monarch towers of the soul?

    _Oc._                          Forgive me,
    Aristocles. Thou sun immovable!
    How like Hyperion fixed in calm you shine,
    And riot's faction in my blood grows still
    With looking on thee. I'll to court and strive
    With sober measure to effect repeal
    Of Dion's banishment. And failing that,
    I yet may save for him his untouched wealth.
                                 [_Going, turns_]
    Is it not lonely on the serene height,
    My lord?

    _Aris._   The gods are sometimes there.
                                [_Exit Ocrastes_]
                                                The gods?
    Vain words on vainer tongue. O, man, man, man!
    Weak child of limit and unwinged desire,
    Coping with deity in daring bout,
    And drowned at last within a woman's tear!
    ... Hyperion fixed in calm. Ay, true it is
    That in the heaven of my sphering mind
    I've reached the pause solstitial. And would fain
    Take comet course on new, unbidden track
    Than traverse o'er the stale appointed route.
    Ay, break the orbit's fond and placid round,
    And swim a wonder to the staring suns!
    The end is death,--and yet a comet's death.
    The rushing wings are round me, bear me up,
    And drive me like a meteor charging doom,
    When Aratea veils me with her eyes.

                [_Enter Tichus_]

_Tich._ [_Aside, noting Aristocles' groan_] Ho, for ill that's past and
ill that is to come, philosophy has ever a saw, but in a present pinch
speaks not for groaning!... My lord, the lady Aratea asks for word with
you.

    _Aris._ [_Hesitating_] Tell her ... I come.

                     [_Curtain_]



ACT II

     SCENE 1. _An outer court, Dioniysius' palace. Two entrances to
     palace on the right. Columns rear. Sea and sky seen between them.
     Behind columns a street. At left a garden. Speusippus and lords
     pass from street toward garden._


    _Speu._ Dion, my lords, has gathered friends in Athens,
    And waits your invitation to set sail
    With power for your relief. Six circled moons
    Have risen from the sea since he was banished
    And you are dumb as you were staring yet
    Upon the marvel of his taking off.

    _First lord._               What is his life with you?

    _Speu._                                He walks a mark
    For Athens' eye,--a breathing virtue, sir,
    Making the good in other men stand still
    To gaze at what in him is better.

    _Second lord._                   This
    Is his true color.

    _Speu._           True? By Pallas, sir,
    Apollo purges not more ardently
    The earth of humors than he iniquity
    From man and state! Divinity has made
    His heart her brooding place to bring forth deeds
    So like her own complexion that men read
    The book of Heaven in them and grow wise
    Without the aid of schools.

    _First lord._              We know our loss.

    _Third lord._ The tyrant sends him his great revenues.

    _Speu._ Which Dion casts like sweet and general rain
    On parching poverty. His charity
    Is a perpetual summer where bruised merit
    Lifteth in flower.

    _Second lord._    So was it here.

    _Speu._                          And you
    Could have him home had you some brave Greek blood
    At heart. Please you, I've heard a shepherdess
    Combed wool on Dardan plain when Troy was burning
    Methinks Sicilian sires bred from that dame.

    _First lord._ By Zeus, this is bold rating.

    _Second lord._                           'Tis our due.
    'Twixt caution's pause and the delay of shame
    Lies but one step, and Syracuse is on it.
    Courage grows agued and hunches at the hearth
    Forefearing enterprise.

    _Speu._                Can you be still?

    _Third lord._ No more, my lord. Here's Dionysius.

     [_They move into garden as Dionysius enters from street with
     Aristocles and other lords, and turns toward palace_]

    _First lord._ He's well attended.

    _Second lord._                   Ay, let tattered vice
    Step out o' door and contemnation hoots
    It home again, while silken viciousness
    May march as 't will 'tween meek uncovered polls,
    With Flattery's footmen running neck and neck
    To open any gate.

    _First lord._      True! true!

    _Speu._                        Talk! talk!
    A sword's the tongue for me!

    _Third lord._               The tyrant speaks.
    Hark, friends!

    _Diony._        Aristocles, excepting thee
    No man alive might teach me hate myself.
    Say what thou wilt, I'll love thee!

    _Third lord._                        Fair enough.

    _Second lord._ Fair in the flower, but no fruit, my lord.
    The fragrance sickens. A sound wholesome deed
    Were pungent sniffing!

    _Aris._                Sir, upon the soil
    Of this fair courtesy I'd lodge a seed
    Might bloom with Dion's pardon.

    _Diony._                        Pardon Dion!
    By Delos' horned altar, no! My tongue
    Compound my own destruction?

    _Aris._                     Sir, your tongue
    Is bound to you, but I could wish it had
    A wiser master.

    _Diony._        Roast me in the bull
    Of Phalaris, if I be such a fool!
    Thou know'st that he conspired against me!

    _Aris._                                   Nay----

    _Diony._ With honey breath you steal into my heart
    But to betray it!

    _Aris._          I pray your leave to sail
    From Sicily. Greece hath a place for me
    Above insult.

    _Diony._       Go when you will. To-day!
    Our admiral shall bear you.
              [_To Heraclides_] Hear you, sir?
    Choose out your ship. Aristocles, farewell.
    Talk not of me i' the Acad�me.

    _Aris._                       My lord,
    The gods take care we've no such dearth of matter.
    Farewell.

    _Diony._ [_As Aristocles turns to go_] Dost mean it?
                                         Nay! Spoil not my jest.
    Canst take offence from one who loveth thee?
    In truth wouldst go?

    _Aris._ The winds that fan me hence
    Will be as welcome as the breeze that lifts
    The sail of calm-bound mariners that long
    Have in mid-ocean rocked and dreamed of food.

    _Diony._ No, no, my friend! Thou shalt not go from me!
    Dost call thyself philosopher, and take
    First chance to fly thy duty here? Hear you,
    Lord admiral. Watch every gate nor let
    This bold man pass. Sink the Sicilian fleet
    Ere you do spare a ship for hire or pity
    To grant him sail and beggar me of friends,
    For all my friends are corporate now in him.
    [_To Aristocles_] Talk not of parting while you have my love.
    Cold yet? Go seek my sister. She will bring
    Your high look to sweet friendship's level. Go.
    Yours is the only tongue can draw her from
    Her tearful reticence. Tell her the stars
    Will find me with her. I have news too new
    For pale indifference. 'Twill rouse her wrath
    Or pleasure.
      [_Speusippus and companions pass from garden to street
          and off left_]
                Ha, what Greekish stranger there?

    _Phil._ Speusippus, sir.

    _Diony._                      Methought his acid look
    Had turned my purple cloak a pauperish yellow.

    _Phil._ Aristocles best knows him. An Athenian.

    _Aris._ [_Who is slowly going into palace by smaller entrance,
    front, turns_] And worthy of his birth. He is my friend,
    And brings me Dion's love.

    _Diony._                  That name again!
    ... Well, thou 'rt my soul.

     [_Aristocles goes into palace. Dionysius turns to larger entrance
     rear_]

    _Phil._ [_Detaining Heraclides_] A word with you, my lord.

        [_Dionysius and attendants enter palace_]

    _Her._ What's urgent, friend?

    _Phil._                      Marked you Speusippus?

    _Her._                                             Ay.

    _Phil._ He comes to stir a war in Dion's name.
    Already there's a rumbling 'mong the people
    That warns us to be swift.

    _Her._                    My fears have caught it.

    _Phil._ The tyrant's mood is ripe. See how he loves
    And hates Aristocles? This is the hour
    To move him to the Athenian's death.

    _Her._                              You're right.
    When friendship oars 'tween choler and regard,
    A crafty hand may steer which wish�d way
    Sets wind of secret business, and he
    That rides be none the wiser.

    _Phil._                      The Athenian
    Removed, then Dionysius is our own.

    _Her._ Well have short need of him. The tyrant's guards
    Are envious of the Greek to murder's pitch,
    Because he counsels Dionysius
    To cast them off and rule by love alone.
    The captain stands our friend, his sword aloft
    To fall as turns the hair.

    _Phil._                   The guards must do 't.
    The people hold them privileged in humors,
    And say not yea or nay to them. But does
    Callorus join us?

    _Her._           He yet hesitates.

    _Phil._ Then cease your suasion and to his easy state
    Clap screws will cramp. Pain is the orator
    Can clinch his case and drive the question home.

    _Her._ You'll to �gisthus?

    _Phil._                     Ay, though we've a difference.
    A trifle that his vanity may stand on.

    _Her._ Make your excuse, but study how you do it.
    Faults oft are none till clapped conspicuous
    With an apology.

    _Phil._         I've learned of you.
    None has a tongue more apt to come at love
    'Neath what ill cover hides it. Dionysius
    I leave to you. My name use as 'twere yours.
    My sum of wisdom is to know your own
    And trust you wholly.

    _Her._               That you may, Phillistus.
    My fame rests on this move.          [_Exit_]

    _Phil._                    Your fame, good sir,
    Has naught to do with what I close intend.
    By Victory's wings, I'll reach the top of power,
    Or from her golden ball knock Fortune's foot
    And steer her course myself! Now to Nauresta.

     [_Goes into palace, front entrance. Brentio, Tichus and Methone
     enter merrily from garden. Brentio carries a large harp. They sit
     on benches left_]

_Bren._ These are merry days since Dionysius brought us to the palace.
I would weep for my poor banished master, for they say a far country
makes a weary foot, but there's so much laughing matter here--the
singing and the rhyming, and the pretty wenches tripping your eyes up
at every corner, that my tears are no more out than I've good reason to
whip them in again.

_Meth._ O Venus! There's no laughing here save of your dreaming. Dost
see how the courtiers scowl? They say the scholars and philosophers
leave them no dancing room in the palace; the halls are full of sand
for the pleasure of the students that come to draw those foolish
figures--plates, they call em----

_Tich._ Geometry.

_Bren._ That's your master's doing. Thank the wise man for that!

_Meth._ It suits our mistresses well enough. They blink at a smile as
an owlet at the sun. Troth, I've seen them weep so much that I feel
wrapped in a fog with the vapor of their tears.

_Tich._ But let us be merry. No more sad airs, my sweet Methone.

_Bren._ [_Aside_] I like not this sugary possessive.... Play, my own
sweetest Methone, and I'll sing you a song out of head.

_Meth._ Pray you, sing it not out of feet too, for a limping line is
past carrying.

_Bren._ 'Tis a song of you and will go fast enough, I warrant.

_Meth._ [_Scornfully_] Of me?

_Bren._ Nay, of your jewels!

_Meth._ An you mock me, I'll----

_Bren._ [_Touching his lips_] Your rubies [_pointing to his eyes_],
your diamonds [_grinning to show teeth_], your pearls.

_Tich._ You may sing that song when diamonds wink tears, rubies pucker
for kisses, and pearls bite figs i' the morning.

_Bren._ Well, I've a better one. [_Sings_]

    Her voice is like the birds that wive
      When blossoms swing in April trees,
    And from her bosom's honey hive
      Sighs come and go like bees.
    Her smile----

_Meth._ Nay, I'm no farm-house sweet for loutish Corydon! How would you
sing me, master Tichus, were I in Athens where every maid is fair?

_Tich._ With more truth and less boast.

_Meth._ Your song, sir.

                [_Tichus sings_]

    Heigh-ho, my star of love
      Has left its heaven high,
    And all the beauteous court above,
      To dwell in fair Methone's eye.
    And now, alas, unlucky bliss,
      It finds a home so bright
    That all its beauty buried is
        Within that fairer, cruel light.

    No more, no more it shines for me
      But as she gives it leave!
    O, bid thy stars, sweet maid, agree----

_Bren._ Ho, if heaven had no stars save those left by lovers after
fitting up their mistress' eyes, Erebus would stumble for want of
candles!

_Meth._ [_Jumping up_] Go! I hear my mistress!

     [_Tichus walks leisurely into garden, Brentio following_]

_Meth._ Brentio, take the harp!

    [_Brentio returns and picks up harp_]

_Bren._ So! I'm an excellent dromedary, if I can't flute it like Apollo.

_Meth._ Run, snail!

_Bren._ Not I, by Vulcan's limp!

    [_Theano appears at smaller entrance of palace_]

_The._ Methone?

                [_Brentio runs into garden_]

    _The._ [_Coming out_] You here, Methone? Attend the lady Nauresta.
    I fear your pleasure and your duty lie
    Too far apart. [_Exit Methone, right_]
                  Ocrastes, come! My love!
    Fair clos�d flowers that wait the royal dawn
    Ere they will sport with beauty's open face
    Are as my heart that caseth up its joy
    To wait thy voice.

     [_The day darkens to dusk. Theano looks into the garden, suddenly
     eager_]

                       He's coming! No, he stops
    To talk with Brentio. How close they whisper!
    What is 't he gives the slave? For shame, bold eyes,
    To spy upon a lord so true! What was 't
    Phillistus said? No matter. It was false.

        [_She moves aside as Brentio crosses to palace_]

    _Bren._ [_Jingling coins_] O sweet, sweet gold! Art mine--all
              mine--my love?
    And will I do it? Ay! I'd sell my soul
    To such a brave paymaster.

                [_Enters palace_]

    _Oc._ [_Coming on right, not seeing Theano_]
                              Vile, too vile!
    Let me not think of it.

    _The._                 Ocrastes?

    _Oc._                           Ah,
    My never-setting star!

    _The._                But you are troubled.
    Hast news?

    _Oc._      Rumors, my girl. They're in the air
    Like floating poisons. O that Syracuse
    Had one man in 't!

    _The._            Look in my eyes and see him.

    _Oc._ One sword in one right hand!

    _The._                            Here, in my eyes.

    _Oc._ I see a dallying, damn�d temporizer,
    Who stops to count the threatening dragon's teeth
    Ere reaving him of head.

    _The._                  My love, what is it?

    _Oc._ Still Dion lingers, playing the game of wits
    In idle Athens, while scandal eats his name----

    _The._ Ocrastes!

    _Oc._           Yes, I said it.

    _The._                        Ah, you mean----

    _Oc._ I mean----

    _The._          Aristocles.

    _Oc._                      O, Dion, Dion!

    _The._ Speusippus says he comes.

    _Oc._                           Too late he comes
    That should be here already.

    _The._                     Dear my love,
    He is not young as you, and years are cautious.
    While age makes ready to resent affront
    The blows of youth are given and forgot.

    _Oc._ Ah, my Theano, I've but one place of peace--
    Nay, I've not that--your pity-housing bosom.
    Though �olus' thirty sons made centre round me,
    There should I rest as on a summer cloud
    Rose-covered by the toil of flying doves
    To keep off heaven's tears. And you deny it!

    _The._ My own!

    _Oc._ You do not love me!

    _The._                   Hear him not,
    O patient Heaven!

    _Oc._            Come to me, Theano.

    _The._ Not while my mother lives to suffer for it.

    _Oc._ My love, as nature runs, she must die first.
    Forgive my rudest tongue--but will you then--
    When so she goes--bring all this heart to me?
    I'm tortured lest her bitter will against me
    Should reach back from the tomb.

    _The._                           Ah, my beloved,
    The wounds we give the dead must fall unfelt.
    Then why should senseless graves wound life? Ay, then--
    Unhappy happy then--I'll be all yours.

                [_Enter Methone, right_]

    _Meth._ Mistress Theano, your mother is strangely ill.
    I pray you, come.

    _The._           O me, my fatal word!

    _Oc._ Nay, 'twas our watchful star moved me to urge it.
    Let me go with you, love, and strive once more
    To win the picket of her bluff regard.

    _The._ Not now. Wait here until I come again. [_Exit Theano_]

    _Oc._ The silken bud that holds a treasured world
    Uncaskets nothing in the hour of bloom,
    But fans the air with its own waste of leaves.
    Even so my hope, that with the swelling year
    Pressed to a summer crown, unfolds on naught
    And prodigal of self to naught is come.

     [_Goes into garden. Stars appear in the sky visible beyond
     columns, rear. Servants come out of the palace and set lights
     about the court. Enter Aratea and Aristocles from palace, front.
     They cross to rear and sit between two of the columns_]

    _Ara._ Aristocles--my Dion's friend and mine--
    rest upon your soul and feel encirqued
    By silent potence, like the quietude
    Of heaven when gods are still,--when prayers come not,
    And enters no desire. So strange--this peace.
    My infant eyes oped on a shaking isle,
    And I was cradled in my father's wars.
    O soon, too soon, I knew woe's touch of death!
    But these are living days--days to be wreathed
    With memory's stars, and circled new each morn
    With pearls iridian from regretful eyes
    That they--such days--can pass.

    _Aris._                        Eternity
    Looked once upon the world, where lingers yet
    Some brightness of her eye that we call Time.
    Can aught so fleet hold value of thy tear?
    Thou who hast the immortal heritage?

    _Ara._ I can not say. Your mind in heaven sleeps,
    And by the day you but recall your dreams;
    While I, my lord, couch not so gloriously,
    And from the earth must speak.

    _Aris._                       O, not from earth----

                [_Re-enter Ocrastes_]

    _Ara._ [_To Ocrastes_] Will you not sit with us?

    _Oc._                             Nay, I'll rest here.

          [_Lies down on one of the long seats_]

    I know you talk of Dion, and one who loves him
    Brings no intrusive ear,--or if it is,
    'Tis deaf with weariness.

    _Ara._ [_To Aristocles_] He's tempest-racked
    Between his love and friend. Ay, me, the world!

    _Aris._ I'll leave you now. No more of my poor thoughts.
    You're wearied with long listening. [_Rises_]

    _Ara._                             O, sir,
    Your thoughts are flowers and your words their fragrance;
    I do not hear but breathe them. Pray you, stay!

     [_He slowly resumes his seat. She looks silently at the sky. He
     writes on tablet_]

    _Ara._ Aristocles, thou wilt be god of gods
    When thou 'rt among those stars; but now, O friend,
    Come nearer earth. Be mortal for my sake.
    I'm fearful when you're gone, or when your soul
    Keeps court so far above me.

    _Aris._                     I'll read to you.

    _Ara._ What you have written there?

    _Aris._                             No--no--'tis nothing.

    _Ara._ Ah, do not read to-night. I am so lonely
    That even with a book I would not share thee,
    Though it should tempt with the most wondrous hap
    Of bard or lover caught in liquid line.
    You've travelled much; tell me an Egypt tale.
    I'm weary of nymphs, and piping shepherd songs,
    And the ever-wrangling gods of blue Olympus.

    _Aris._ Then hear the tale of Isis as 'tis told
    By the prophet-cradling Nile when Lotus buds
    Upbreathing blow new seasons of old dreams.
    Not e'en our Venus, dove-led, invisible,
    More softly moves to Paphos wood than she
    O'er sleeping earth. Her wings lead on the light,
    And when she lifts them dawn awakes.

    _Ara._                              Fair Isis!

    _Aris._ She seeks her brother, self-created, slain
    By his own pride, for he was God of All.
    Her tears, like weeping music, sweeten earth,
    Nor rests she till she finds him.

    _Ara._                           Sister Isis!

    _Aris._ And then--none knows how hid in solitude
    She suckles death with life till he new rises
    The God of All, too great for pride, too just
    For death; the sire of Beauty, breathing Life
    Through Love,--soul of the nurturing sun--
    The mother-breast of fields--the parent thrill
    Of birds, of trees, of flowers--of all that makes
    Most sweet the fair world's mortal pageantry,--
    Yea of the eternal, vital glow that throbs
    Within humanity's deep-rubied heart.
    So runs the myth, dear Aratea.

    _Ara._                        Ah!
    How runs the rubric of thy thought that sets
    The symbol plain? Read that to me, I pray thee.

    _Aris._ The lonely mind may not uprafter stars,
    And vain, adventurous man who of himself
    Createth Heaven must see it fall. Then doth
    The woman spirit, girdle of the worlds,
    Above the ruins cry,--his mate forgot
    Who from his flesh by love's divinity
    Calls forth the beauteous eternities
    To star the globe of life.

    _Oc._ [_Rising_]          Which is to say,
    As simple people speak in Sicily,
    A man must wed!

    _Ara._         Ocrastes, talk not so!
    Like stars that may not range below the zenith,
    His meaning keeps the orbit of high thought,
    And will not dwell in gross and simple words.

    _Oc._ Ho, mistress Dion, you too would like to spin
    Your cobwebs round the moon! [_To Aristocles_] Get you to Athens,
    While you may say to Dion she is true!

            [_Aristocles tries to speak_]

    O, ay, I know what you would say, my lord.
    You would not love Aurora though she dropped
    Her morning mantle at your feet and blushed
    Herself revestured. No! But Aratea!
    She has a human heart,--eyes that can fill
    With tears,--soft hands that love the thing they touch,--
    A body that might be the ivory cup
    Delight doth use to dip and measure out
    The rose-flood of her pleasure. Go, I say!
    Take to the sea, and leave no track my sword
    May follow. [_Rushes into garden_]

    _Ara._ Sir, forgive his madness! Ah,
    He is distracted by these wrongs to Dion.
    I have not told you, friend, that Dionysius
    To-day seized all possessions of my lord,
    And stopped all moneys to him. In this deed
    Ocrastes reads the preface to new woes,
    Which shakes his mind's security and gives
    A living color to his fantasies.

         [_Aristocles stands gazing out, not showing his face_]

    But Heaven and I know your white soul, my lord----

     [_Enter Callorus, from palace, larger entrance, with guards_]

    _Callo._ Your pardon, worthy sage and fairest lady.
    I come from Dionysius, whose care
    Has bared a plot against Aristocles,
    Whom he for safety bids repair at once
    To the castle fort, where he must rest to-night
    In sure protection of the royal guards.

    _Ara._ The guards? The royal guards?

    _Callo._                             You will make haste,
    My lord? Before the people move against you.
    Hearing that Dion has set sail with troops
    To level Syracuse, they think 'tis by
    Your aid and counsel. Pray you, lose no time.

    _Aris._ I'll go with you, Callorus. Not from fear,
    But to keep riot down that else might shake
    The city's peace. [_To Aratea_] Farewell.

         [_Exeunt Aristocles, Callorus and guards, by street_]

    _Ara._                  Farewell? I could not speak.
    The tyrant's guards! They hate Aristocles.
    My fears have now a shape and short will show
    Their foulest face. I must take means at once
    To learn the truth. My careful Dionysius,
    I will be vigilant too.

              [_Turns to go in. Picks up a bit of paper_]

                               'Tis what he wrote
    And said 'twas nothing. O,--a pretty rhyme!

                [_Reads_]

    _Thine eyes are on the stars, my Star!
      Would I might be
    That heaven far
      With thousand eyes on thee!_

    He is a poet. Ay, 'tis but a rhyme.
    And yet--'tis very pretty--I will keep it.

     [_Re-enter Ocrastes from garden. He approaches Aratea as if he
     would speak, but she hurries into palace, entrance front, without
     seeing him. He retires in gloom_ _as Dionysius and a train of
     lords come out of palace, large entrance, rear_]

    _Diony._ Come, friends! Now is the sweetest garden hour,
    When day's dust-foul�d trail is passed, and night
    Has not yet donned her moist and heavy cloak.

                [_They cross to garden_]

    Here let us wait the lords. We've summoned all
    Of golden purse and of right noble line.
    Now that we've stopped all revenues to Dion,
    And this night give our sister to a husband
    Of our own choosing----

    _Oc._                   Dionysius!

    _Diony._ Ha! You, Ocrastes? Know to whom you speak!

    _Oc._ My lord, you would not dare----

    _Diony._                              Not dare? That word
    Is strange to me. Will some good scholar here
    Tell me its meaning?

    _Oc._                Pardon, mighty lord.
    I sought to warn you that the wife of Dion----

    _Diony._ Your blood moves hotly off in Dion's cause,
    And warning from our chief suspected foe----

    _Oc._ This arm has fought your battles, sir!

    _Diony._                                    Ay, so.
    Would we might rank your famous valiancy
    Once more with us, but while we doubt your heart
    You are our enemy.

    _Oc._             What proof, my lord----

    _Diony._ We'll find it soon enough. Till then have care,
    And dainty walk 'tween wolf and precipice!

                [_Dionysius and lords go into garden_]

    _Oc._ No cry this wrong would give the sea new tongue,
    And mend the winds with utterance! But now
    No time for sighs and groans. The tyrant's brow
    Is hung with murder's cloud. I must be quick
    Or lose the breath ties me to upper earth.
    Action must take the vantage now of thought,
    And reason follow after.

                [_Re-enter Theano, from palace_]

    _The._                   I was long.
    ... She's better now, and quiet.

    _Oc._                            Better? Who?

    _The._ Who?--O! My mother.

    _Oc._                     Fie, does she yet live?

    _The._ O gentle gods!

    _Oc._                All women now should die.

    _The._ Ocrastes!

    _Oc._            Do not stare. Thine eyes are not
    The only home of agony. Farewell!

    _The._ Farewell? No, no! [_Clinging to him_]
                                 You'll tell me first! What is it?
    Will you not trust me?

    _Oc._                 'Tis thy trust I want.

    _The._ Thou hast it.

    _Oc._                Swear 'tis mine.

    _The._                                My lover!

    _Oc._                                          Swear!
    Thy trust! Thy perfect trust!

    _The._                       'Tis thine. I swear it.

    _Oc._ Though fiends of doubt hail thee on every side,
    Venting their slander from the mouth of winds.
    Yet wilt thou trust me?

    _The._                 Ay, my lord, I will!

            [_Lords begin to enter from the garden_]

    _Oc._ Once more to-night I'll see thee. Go!

    _The._                                      My love!

    _Oc._ Go, go!

     [_Theano goes into palace. Dionysius comes from garden. Ocrastes
     moves aside and stands in shadow_]

    _Diony._       'Tis time our sister should be told
    Our happy purpose.

    _A lord._         She is here.

        [_Aratea re-enters, and hastens across to Dionysius_]

    _Ara._                         My brother,
    I came to seek you. Lord Aristocles----

    _Diony._ Ay, troubles press upon us, dearest sister,
    And much is trembling in adventure's hand.
    Now do we need your husband's strength to meet
    Ill fortune's tide.

    _Ara._             Then you have sent for Dion?
    O, you forgive!

    _Diony._       Speak not that traitor's name!
    He is the foe 'gainst whom I must go forth.
    You are to wed a lord whose might shall be
    My own. To-night! Dost hear?

    _Ara._                       Ay, Dionysius.

    _Diony._ And art not pleased? No thanks that I provide
    For your forsaken state? Now, now! One word.
    Stand not so fixed, as I had ordered you
    To instant death.

    _Ara._           You make me marble, sir.
    Unloose my soul's locked torture with the key
    Of one retracting word, or I must seek
    In kinder stone my sole relief from pain.
    O, say it is not so! This is a jest
    Will make you weep when you----

    _Diony._                        Jesting to fools!
    Not thron�d skies can change what we've determined.
    This rebel brow shocks my fond heart that toils
    In your ungracious service. Come, my friends.
    All to the council hall! With me, my sister.

    _Ara._ O, brother, not one moment to look back
    And say farewell to Heaven? Not one to gaze
    Into the darkness ere I plunge to hell?

    _Diony._ And let the hour 'tween my intent and deed
    Lay meddling finger on my purpose? Nay,
    You know me better, madam. On my lords!
    Delay's the whetstone sharpens best the blades
    Of enemies.

    _Ara._ Go, sir! I am myself.
    I will not move. If you will tear me hence,
    And drag your father's daughter at your feet,
    Then you may take me to the council hall.

    _Diony._ Your pleasure, sister. Here we'll hold our court.
    Go, Clitus, to the steps and turn all hither.

    _Ara._ Art thou my brother, Dionysius? Nay!
    We are of different mothers. Now I know
    We are of different fathers, too.

    _Diony._                         You dare!
    Silence thy slanderous tongue!

    _Ara._                        I say thou 'rt not
    My royal father's son!

    _Diony._              His sword is mine!

     [_Seizes her in a rage, threatening her with his weapon;
     then slowly releases her and she sinks to bench by pillar of
     the colonnade. Lords assemble, some talking excitedly but in
     undertone, others cool and scoffing. Speusippus and friends enter,
     taking inconspicuous place. Ocrastes keeps in shade, motionless
     and unnoticed._]

_A lord._ Ha, Calisthenes, you need not come to bite at this bait. 'Tis
a dainty morsel and only goldfish are allowed to nibble.

_An old lord._ I mislike this marriage. 'Twill bring us woe, let it
reach Dion's ears.

    _Another._ Ay, wars beyond our guess will come of it.

    _Young lord._ The admiral against �gisthus!

    _Second young lord._ Heraclides? He is much wived already.

    _Third young lord._ The easier to take another.

    _Second young lord._ �gisthus bids most fair. I take you.

    _Diony._ My friends, would that I had for each of you
    So fair a sister, and were not thus forced
    To choose among you. Who is first to speak?

    _Her._ I pray this gift, my lord.

    _Diony._                        Brave admiral,
    You would stand high, perhaps the highest with us,
    Were't not that old wives make new enemies.

    _Icetes._ I'm free to give my undivided heart.

    _Diony._ But, good Icetes, age is creeping on you.
    We want a fighting arm as well as heart.
    Who else? No voice? Must we then hawk her up?
    Look on her, gentlemen! Even tears may not
    Disfigure her. This fit of sorrow past
    You'll see her smile again, those wondrous smiles
    You've longed in secret to make all your own.
    A week, a day, will put some spirit in her.

    _Ara._ [_Rising_] To you, my lords of Syracuse! Think not
    To wed the wife of Dion as she stands.
    You'll pluck no rose in me. This face I'll sere
    With constant travelling tears, till Beauty here
    Shall search in vain for memory of herself.
    My wealth I'll fling upon the air to birds
    And beggars. Ay, my palace shall take wings!
    My costly robes I'll cast into the street
    That common women may adorn themselves.
    I am no princess. I refuse the name
    Of aught that makes me sister to that wretch.
    Go seek some linen washer by a brook
    And find a wealthier and a prouder wife.

    _Diony._ Spoke I not truth, my lords? You see how fast
    Her spirit grows. Hear her sweet names for me?
    Now we'll have bidders plenty. Thanks, my sister.
    She'll sing, my lords, when once she's neatly caged.

    _�gisthus._ I beg----

    _Callorus._          My lord----

    _Diony._                   'Tis fit you both should speak
    At once, for both alike sit in my favor.
    �gisthus' lands are broad, but you, Callorus,
    Have proved a mightier leader in the field,
    And all in all you do deserve alike.
    There's none may rank above you.

    _Oc._ [_Stepping out_]          One, my lord.

    _�g._ There's none!

    _Callo._           Let him come forth!

    _Diony._ Who, sir? His name.

    _Oc._ Ocrastes.

    _Diony._       You?

    _�g._              Ha, ha!

    _Oc._                     Why not, my lord?

    _Diony._ You're Dion's heart. You cast him off?

    _Oc._                                          You ask
    For proof? I take his wife. Were I to warm
    My fingers in his blood, I'd have more hope
    That he would rise and bless me than to keep
    His love while she lies on my bosom.

    _Ara._                              O!

    _Oc._ I challenge any here to match my claim.
    This is the sword, my lord, that held the city
    Against the Tarentines when these brave nobles
    Trembled behind their fast shut doors.

    _�g._                                 'Tis false!

    _Oc._ All know 'tis true. Since boasting now's a virtue,
    I'll do it well. Who wore the laurel wreath
    That saved all Sicily a spreading blush
    The day the Carthaginian youths were sent
    Defeated home? You ask for wealth? My vineyards
    Run to the wilderness. My corn now greens
    On �tna's slope and yellows by the Gela.
    My father's coffers are unopened yet,
    And ships are sailing here will fill my own.
    My slaves might meet an army, and I'll put
    A sword in every hand for Syracuse.
    In rank I bow to none. The blood of Pollis,
    First king of Syracuse, runs yet in me,
    And even Dionysius' royal self
    Yields to my line the birthright courtesy.

    _Diony._ Enough. Now Dion's cause falls down. Enough!
    Come to our heart, Ocrastes! There's not one
    We'd rather win to us.

    _Speu._ [_Aside_] O, Dion, now all
    Forsake thee but calamity, that like
    A covetous ill wife hangs on thy fortune!

    _Diony._ By Pluto, no more fear! Our throne is safe!

    _Oc._ My lord----

    _Diony._         Nay, brother!

    _Oc._                         Pray be warned by one
    Who knows too well your need. Not all the troops
    Of broadest Sicily may keep you safe
    When Dion comes from Greece. Men swarm to him
    As he were golden Saturn giving off
    New fortunes with each breath. Send me with speed
    To Italy. There I have friends shall be
    Your own, and pour a fleet into your harbor
    Will turn lord Dion pale when next his eye
    Scans Syracusan waters.

    _Diony._               Italy?
    We'll think of it. You're the true warrior stuff,
    Planning campaigns with the same breath you win
    A royal bride. We like you better for it,
    But she may like you less. Give her a word.

    _Oc._ O, fairest woman that ever made the earth
    More sweet and beauteous to live upon,
    You'll find in me a true and gentle lord.
    These tears I'll teach to run a smiling race
    And in a happy death forget their birth.

                [_Attempts to embrace her_]

    _Ara._ Open the prisons, call some convict forth,
    And I will wed him, but not you! These lords
    Have hated Dion, have not lived upon
    His constant kindness. You have drunk his love
    Like flowing wine, and lived by it!

    _Oc._                              Rail on,
    If railing pleases you. In aftertime
    You'll love the better for it.

    _Diony._                      Right! Give her leave,
    And she will stroke you where she meant to strike.

    _Ara._ You love Theano!

    _Oc._                  Ah,--I did, perhaps,
    A thousand years ago. All now's forgot
    But that thou mayst be mine.

    _Ara._                      O, false----

    _Oc._                                   O true!
    What was scarce fair to unpossessing eyes,
    Perfection is when gods have made it ours.
    Thou wilt forgive me that I loved thee not
    While thou wert Dion's, for my eyes were sealed
    By loyalty to him. But this divorce
    That frees thee gives me sight. I see, and love.
    And by that love still dost thou grow more fair.
    For is not love a second, truer eye,
    Finding out beauty where the first could not?
    No more! We'll plead hereafter. 'Tis an hour
    To win, not woo. Swords must be burnished, sails
    Must meet the wind!

    _Ara._             Are you Ocrastes? No!
    O, no! He is the son of Dion's love,
    And you would wed his wife. He was a poor
    Forsaken babe, his mighty heritage
    Plunder for any thief. 'Twas Dion then
    Became his father, gave him life and wealth,
    And that sweet breeding that till now did show
    So fair in him. Ocrastes owes him all----

    _Oc._ Ay, all! E'en wisdom. He would call me fool
    Stayed I from market when thy richest self
    Courts any passing bid. Since he must lose----

    _Ara._ Nay, every touch will be a three-fold shame
    Robbing a husband, benefactor, friend.
    My eyes will mirror those reproachful days
    When Dion's care was fond about us both.
    His kisses guard my lips. His praise of you
    Will block your words in my assaulted ears.

    _Oc._ You know me not. My words shall be love's fire
    Burning the track of Dion's pale discourse.
    My kisses on your lips hold festal war
    With his till they, poor ghosts, shall flee. And dews
    Of happiness shall wash all pictures out
    From your fair eyes but my enthron�d own
    Which hourly I'll new-set in their fair glass!

    _Ara._ I called you brother!... O, my lords, I beg--
    Some one of you--to take me for--your--wife.

              [_Faints. Ocrastes supports her. Curtain._]



ACT III

     SCENE 1. _A chamber in the palace. Nauresta on bed asleep.
     Phillistus watching._


    _Phil._ This poison's swift. Here is her cup. Why palter?
    A drop will do it. [_Gazes at her_]
                      'Tis when we sleep the touch
    Of life is gentlest. Even affliction's kiss
    Falls like a rose upon the sense-shut lid.
    Then he most miserable is as the happy,
    And who so happy that is not then more blest?
    And since that death is sleep's eternal sum,
    Why should I pause, nor grant this precious good?
    O, I could moralize me to a god
    Who holds the cup of bliss for lip beloved.
    Nauresta, drink, and in this little drop
    Sip everlasting ease. [_Pours poison_]
                         'Tis done. I've reached
    From mortal shores and opened Hades' gate.
    Ay, with the gesture of a hand have hooked
    Eternity.

    _Nau._ [_Waking_] Phillistus, you?

    _Phil._                                'Tis I,
    Beloved Nauresta.

    _Nau._            Flowers! You have brought them?

    _Phil._ Can I forget you love them?

    _Nau._                             Ah, my friends!
    They wear no frown to dash down hearts; nor chide
    When ears are sick for quickening praise; but yield
    Their royal payment for each passing care;
    No vagrant dew gives them its moistening heart
    But they must pay it thrice in perfumed beauty,
    And bury it as never king shall lie.
    O human faces, might ye turn to flowers,
    How many broken hearts would live again!

    _Phil._ This is a covert chiding of my faults,
    So deep repented, love. I'll make thee happy.

    _Nau._ My gentle daughter--she that I could call
    A sister to this rose--her mute complaints
    Cry like dumb, wounded birds to my sore heart,
    And I pass by nor help. For what, Phillistus?
    That you may wear a crown in Syracuse.
    A crown that is the golden nest of cares,
    Brooded by every dismal wing may hatch
    An enemy to peace.

    _Phil._          And when didst grow
    So wise, Nauresta?

    _Nau._             Midnight hours teach well.
    Some sleepless nights would help you too, I think.
    Wise? Ay, and not too late! I'll be no more
    Your shield while you make thrust at brave Ocrastes.
    I'll give him my Theano.

    _Phil._                 Does he know?

    _Nau._ Not yet. I weakly thought to pay old love
    The grace of first confession.

    _Phil._ [_Kissing her hand_] Thanks for that.
    This sudden turning of a heart long loyal
    Has left me numb. You know how dear my purpose
    That she should wed a lord of my own faction.
    Give me an hour, but one, before you speak.
    You break the bough that held my care-built nest,
    And old wings go not blithely after straw.

    _Nau._ They've learned to wait, and who would count an hour
    Before the long day of unbroken love?
    ... I'm weary now, Phillistus.

    _Phil._                        Rest thee, sweet. [_She sleeps_]
    Ah, not too soon I spiced her cup. The way
    Grows perilous, and I must mount with care
    To my high seat, lest I should rise to fall;
    For though the path to crowns be long and slant,
    There's no way down but by a precipice.

     [_Enter Theano bearing an urn which she places on table by cup_]

    _The._ You're faithful, sir. [_Bends over Nauresta_]
                                Her brow is calm again.

    _Phil._ Now were I ill 'twould quickly make me well
    To have so fair a face above my bed.

    _The._ Hear, my lord, you'd die ere mine should be there!

    _Phil._ Surely 'tis no offence to call you fair.

    _The._ Beauty lives not upon your commendation,
    Nor with your silence dies. Spare me, my lord,
    The cymbal clap of words that add no jot
    To fairness.

    _Phil._     Pardon me, dear girl. I was
    Your father's friend----

    _The._ I strive not to forget it.

    _Phil._ And could I have your love----

    _The._                                All that is good
    In you I love. Now thou'st the measure, sir,
    For my affection. Is it small enough?

    _Phil._ By heaven, you do not mince it!

    _Nau._ [_Waking_] Is that my daughter?

    _The._ See, mother, I have brought this drink for you.

            [_Pours beverage into cup and offers to Nauresta_]

    There's health in 't. Is there not, Phillistus?

    _Phil._                            Ay,
    Health and long life.  [_Nauresta drinks_]

    _Nau._               There's virtue in the cup.
    Even now I'm better.

    _The._              Now?

    _Nau._                  O, I could rise!

                [_Sits up_]

    _The._ No, dear. Be patient yet.

    _Nau._                          Nay, I'll be up!
    Pray call Methone, love, to dress me.... Ah,
    Whence comes this lighter heart? How good to have it!
    I feel like a new-pardoned prisoner
    Tasting the air. Smile, sweet! Those lily lids
    Shall droop no more with woe I lay upon them.

                [_Enter Methone with robes_]

    Now, now, Methone, make me young again.
    O, not that robe! Tis for a grandame that.
    My sky-gray mantle with its falling softness
    Broidered like sunset clouds!

                                 [_Exit Methone_]

    _The._                  I beg you, sweet----

    _Nau._ Wilt smooth my hair? Nay, let it be as 'tis.
    This way. Ah--now--[_Falls back_] O! Help me! Help;
    Let go, ye furies!

    _The._            Mother!

    _Meth._ [_Entering_]          Mistress! mistress!

    _Nau._ 'Tis poison! poison! I am murdered. O!
    My daughter--tell her--tell her--ah--Ocrastes----[_Dies_]

    _The._ Have mercy, Heaven! O, Phillistus, help her!

                [_Faints. Phillistus holds her_]

    _Phil._ [_To Methone_] Go call your comrades here.

                                 [_Exit Methone_]

                                 Even now you're mine.
    Ocrastes! Ha! Her last word was his name.
    I'll turn this crook of fortune to account,
    And make a god of accident.

    _The._ [_Reviving_]                O! O!
    Misfortune makes my heart her sanctuary.
    So many woes take shelter there.

    _Phil._                         One woe
    You have escaped. Ocrastes' wicked love.
    O villainous! I dare not think of it!
    That he would poison one so dear to you----

    _The._ Man, man, care for your soul! There is no stain
    So black as when the gall of calumny
    Breaks on the snow of virtue! You must rate
    Your precious life at naught. Ocrastes, sir,
    Will have your slanderous heart for this!

    _Phil._                                  He may,
    If 'tis your wish. You heard her cry his name
    As though she saw her murderer.

    _The._                         She cried--
    Ah, yes--I heard-- What did she mean?

    _Phil._                              The truth.

    _The._ Make me not mad!--He's never entered here.

    _Phil._ Why should he when a little gold will buy
    A hand for any deed?

    _The._              The gold--the gold
    He gave to Brentio! Dear Juno, help!
    My mind strays from me.

    _Phil._                Hast not found him changed?
    Full of quick passions--contradictions--words
    Of broken point? Seen shadows on his face
    As though his mind were brooding darker matter
    Than could be kept within 't? Bethink thee well,
    For memory's eye reflective oft repeals
    The confirmation of the grosser sight,
    And what so pleased the entertain�d sense
    Shows in her studied glass a fearful front.

    _The._ O, stop thy tongue of death! My promise to him--
    So strangely asked--so strangely given! O!----

    _Phil._ Thy mother's word----

    _The._                        O, let me die, die, die!

    _Phil._ My girl, all things that be may be endured.
    Death does not come for this or that affliction,
    But when 'tis time to knock. Up, sweet Theano!
    By fortune's rudder, wheel and horn of bounty,
    You shall rise fair above this foul mischance!

                [_Re-enter Methone_]

    _Meth._ My lady, lord Ocrastes begs to see you.

    _The._ No, no! Not now.

    _Phil._                Ay, see him now, Theano.
    Show him the burden of this bed, nor let
    The damn�d simulation of his eye
    Deceive you. Bravely tell him to his face
    None better knows the gate she came by death.

    _The._ You lie!... And yet I can not see him now.
    Though he is innocent, my wicked promise
    Burns like accusing fire by this dear form.

    _Meth._ Mistress, he comes!

    _Phil._                    I'll leave you with him. Courage!

       [_Phillistus retreats to curtains, left. Enter Ocrastes_]

    _The._ You dare come here?

    _Oc._                     I dare?

    _The._                           O, see, Ocrastes,
    What lieth here! The shell of what even now
    Was she who gave me birth.

    _Oc._                     Not dead? Ah, love!

    _The._ Call me not love! Not here--and now. O, go!

    _Oc._ Theano!

    _The._       Touch me not! My doubt will make
    Your hand a thing of fire!

    _Oc._                     Dear heart, fend off
    This sea of woe or 'twill sweep reason with it.
    I could be wild with strange things that I know,
    And came to tell you of, but for your sake
    I'm calm.

    _The._ Dost know, sir, she was poisoned?

    _Oc._                                   Poisoned?
    Forgive me, love. Be mad now as thou wilt,
    Still thy distraction will be stinted measure
    For grief so dark. Poisoned! O, who----

    _The._                                 Who? Who?
    That is the question thrusts me like a sword.
    All loved her--all. She had no enemy.

    _Oc._ [_Calmly_] You spoke of doubt. What did you mean, Theano?

    _The._ Leave me, Ocrastes! Go!

    _Oc._                         Phillistus----

    _The._                                       No!
    He loved her well. That was his touch of Heaven.
    O, who had cause but----

    _Oc._                   Do not say it. I go.
    Not deity descending from the skies
    To make our peace could now unite us. Ay,
    Thou 'rt dead to me as that cold body.

    _The._                        Oh-h!      [_Swoons_]

    _Oc._ And in that bosom did I come to set
    A purpose I'd not whisper now to death
    Lest his dumb lips should tattle. Alone--alone,
    To grapple in the dark the beast of chance!
    ... Affection on my track shall ache to death,
    Friendship in blood lie mute, and love I'll tear
    From its high heaven to plunge like Ate's coals
    On Pluto's fire!                     [_Exit_]

    _Phil._ [_Comes forward and revives Theano_]
                     Sweet girl, he's gone.

    _The._ [_Rising_]                  Where is he?

    _Phil._ He'll trouble thee no more.

    _The._                       Heat me the irons!
    This tongue shall be burnt out that dared accuse him!

    _Phil._ She's mad indeed!

    _The._ Nay, sir, the cloud of pitch
    That blinded me is gone. [_Enter maids_] Touch her not yet.
                                  [_Maids stand aside_]
    Methone, hasten Brentio to find
    The noblest lord in Syracuse.

    _Meth._                      Who, mistress?

    _The._ Who but Ocrastes? Go!

    _Phil._ [_Approaching her_] Theano----

    _The._                                     Sir.
    We have no need of you. I pray you, go. [_Kneels by bed_]
    He will forgive, then I will die with thee!

    _Phil._ Nay, by the gods, should you so die, my maid,
    Then Sicil' will have groaning cause 'gainst one
    Who robs her country to make rich her grave.
    Immortal Beauty must herself go wronged
    Should you so break her living mould in you,
    And drain her veins to your fair body trusted
    For warm and deathless passage.

    _The._ [_Springing up_]        Are you man
    Or monster that you foul this hour with thought
    So gross?

    _Phil._ A man--no more, no less--who loves
    Your mother's daughter. Hate me as you will,
    I here adopt your grief,--with oath and tear
    Take it to love as my own child of woe,
    And swear you faith to death.

    _The._                       The gods, my lord.
    Record not oaths of men till they've received
    The confirmation of an act. I'll wait
    Their seal on yours.

    _Phil._             This night----

    _The._                             Sir, will you go?
    Stay not to rouse Ocrastes' rage.

    _Phil._                          You think
    He'll come?

    _The._      I've sent for him.

    _Phil._                       You're proudly sure.
    Will coo your loves by this forbidding bed?

    _The._ Ay, for her hovering shade knows now the truth.

                [_Enter Heraclides_]

    _Her._ Pardon, my lord, that I have sought you out.
    The hour like an unbridled courser needs
    Strong hands upon it. Ah,--death here?

    _Phil._                              There lies
    Delay's excuse,--and yet 'tis none, for woe
    Whose feast is but a heart should lift no head
    Beside the large calamity that makes
    A morsel of a state. How goes our matter?

    _Her._ Aristocles is locked within the castle,
    In care of Dionysius' guards.

    _Phil._                      Ah, then
    He's safe.

    _Her._ As safe as we could wish, my lord.
    And I've yet fresher news. Ocrastes joins us,
    With wealth and courage like an Atlas back
    To bear our venture.

    _Phil._             He revolts from Dion?
    Ocrastes?

    _Her._   He, my lord.

    _Phil._              What works this change?

    _Her._ A lady's morning cheek and golden hair.
    He now is wed to absent Dion's wife.

    _Phil._ What say you, sir?

    _Her._                    The lords were in debate
    Of who should have her, when out comes Ocrastes,
    And cries his claim with such o'er-riding proof
    That Dionysius claps a quick assent
    And all the court confirm him sullenly.
    Ocrastes goes to Italy for troops
    To meet the force which Dion brings from Greece----

    _Phil._ But this new marriage! Tell us more. Belike
    I've missed some sport.

    _Her._                 Sport? Ha! It was a scene.

    _Phil._ But went the lady to him willingly?

    _Her._ O, she was modest, played chameleon
    And chang�d color rhythmically, as though
    A music of sweet shades sat on her cheek,
    Then coyly swooned, but her reviving eye,
    Methinks, looked kindly on his youthful beauty.

    _Phil._ [_Watching Theano_] And the young lord? Did not
             his countenance
    Play hers a blushing match?

    _Her._                     Ay, shame and will
    Mapped out his face between 'em, but short met
    In love's red constancy.

    _The._                  O! O!

    _Her._                       Once more
    The lady fainted, but 'twas in his arms.
    Ha, ha!

    _The._   And yet I live!

    _Phil._                 How long, my lord,
    Since this bold comedy?

    _Her._                 'Tis now two hours
    Behind us.

    _Phil._ [_To Theano_] Ah, before he came to you!
    What shameless shame!

    _The._               He loved me! How--O, why?

    _Phil._ Nay, ask not why. As well essay to trace
    The legend that the soft and curling foam
    Writes on the shaken wave as fix love's path
    With steady eye or his vagaries mark.
    Farewell an hour. I'll come again to-night
    To serve your grief. You'll learn at last to trust me,
    And in my heart seek comfort.

                [_Exeunt Phillistus and Heraclides_]

    _The._                       Oh, oh, oh!
    He does not love her. Would he did! I then
    Might honor him that dared dishonor truth
    For love's almighty sake,--but 'twas to save
    His life. Ah, me, his life that sav�d thus
    Abates all value and becomes as clay.

    _Meth._ Sweet mistress!

    _The._                 O, O me!

    _Meth._                        Stay this hot flood.
    Tears bring no lover back. Ay, not though maids
    Should weep until their cheeks were but a mead
    For two salt brooks to play.

    _The._                      O, leave me!

    _Meth._                                 Nay----

    _The._ Leave me, I say! Away!     [_Exit Methone_]
                                      O death! O life!--
    Which wears the darker face? Here is my choice.

                [_Falls by Nauresta's body_]

                       [_Curtain_]


     SCENE 2. _A bare room in the castle fort. Aristocles alone._

    _Aris._ They said a bed would be provided me,
    But nothing's here. And nothing's all he needs,
    Who holds himself a soul stripped of the world
    And its necessities. [_Lies down_]
                         That fellow took
    My cloak. Good luck to him. Philosophy,
    Thou art the only sail no wind may drive
    Into misfortune's port. How still the world!
    The silence like a great Accuser stares,
    Full of dumb curses looking from large eyes.

                [_Rises and walks_]

    ... I will not see her more. O, quickly come,
    Ye stoic angels wont to wait on me,
    And with the cords of resolution stout
    Bind ye my purpose to the throne of Zeus
    That it may shake but with Olympus' self!
    ... Will she not think me harsh to leave her so?
    She who is made of all earth's gentle things--
    The scent of morn, the first green on the bough,
    The valley dews where infant blossoms drink,
    The going light with rose heart yearning back,--
    Yet brave, and like a new Hippolita
    Might wear the belt of Mars. O, flower of heaven,
    Yet wrapped in soft and strange delirium
    Of odors once Elysian! Naught to me,
    Who will not see her more. Now is she dead,
    And I know but a grave. I'll sleep ... sleep ... sleep.

     [_Lies still. Enter Aratea. She is veiled, and her unbound hair
     falls about her form_]

    _Ara._ [_Drawing inner bolt to door_] I scarce could bribe
        the guard to let me pass!

                [_Looks about room and sees Aristocles_]

    Asleep? [_Crosses to him. Unveils_] Rise, friend!

    _Aris._ [_Starting_] My dream.

    _Ara._                             Aristocles!

    _Aris._ [_Rising_] You? you?

    _Ara._                                I, friend.

    _Aris._                       'Tis you--and yet 'tis not.
    A stranger soul, disordered and unknown,
    Looks from your eyes.

    _Ara._                 My brother's false to thee.
    This castle's murder's trap, and you are caught in 't!

    _Aris._ I've had some thought 'twas so. I die to-night?

    _Ara._ No, no! dear Heaven! See!
               [_Opens door, left_] This inner room.
    It has a hidden stairway to the sea
    Where waits a boat will bear you to a sail
    New-spread for Greece, with crew that know the wave
    As though begot of mermaids.

    _Aris._                     No! To make
    Presumptuous end of life is an offence
    To Heaven, but gracious gods may offer death
    For honorable choice--as they do now--
    And here I choose it.

    _Ara._               Thy choice then must be mine.
    My hope was you would fly and hasten Dion
    To my deliverance. For I am sold.
    The cords of bondage cut in very flesh.
    But ask not now of this. This letter here
    Will tell my lord what I have spared you. Go,
    Or I've no hope, and then--by this bright blade--
                                [_showing a dagger_]
    I die.

    _Aris._ Ah, what you will! Command me.

    _Ara._ [_Moving left_]                 Come!
    Into this chamber!

                [_Exeunt, and in a moment re-enter_]

                      O, the door new-sealed!
    Apollo help us now!... Did you not see
    The narrow window in that chamber?

    _Aris._                           Ay,
    The stars looked on us as we passed, as though
    They smiled to see how man would measure time
    With periods clept death.

    _Ara._ [_Fearfully_] If you--could leap----

    _Aris._ I will.

    _Ara._         Tis not far down--but O, the rocks
    Jut up like monsters. No! You shall not do it.
    'Twere death with treble pain.

    _Aris._                       Then I'll die here.
    To go from your fair presence to the gods
    Is hardly change.

    _Ara._           'Twould change the world that lost thee.
    Then would this isle uncrown herself of joy,
    And palsying shake beauty from her lap.
    The flowers would die in pain, and every leaf
    Fast wither, fade and fall, as those that moan
    O'er Thracian Phyllis' grave. I will not stay
    Without my friend. Ah no, 'twould not be life.

    _Aris._ The longest days are breaths, quick-drawn and short,
    The longest life a day to be forgot.
    Thou soon wouldst come.

    _Ara._                 I could not find the way.
    'Tis with your eyes, not mine, I catch the light
    Unalterable upon immortal brows
    And keep my course.

    _Aris._            Nay, thou'st no need of guide.
    Shine out, bright soul, and dim thy troubling stars.

    _Ara._ [_Turns aside, weeping_] You do not know!

    _Aris._                            Be true unto the calm
    Of Heaven in you set. Who trust to aught
    That's of their souls externe but give themselves
    As feathers to the wind.

    _Ara._ [_Slowly_]    My lord, this night,
    By Dionysius' force, my hand was given
    In marriage to Ocrastes. Dost thou hear?
    Ocrastes sails this hour for Italy.
    Ere he returns----

    _Aris._          Thou'st whirled away my soul!
    O stroke of Dis! O faithless Heaven! He?
    Not he! Such mid-hell treachery is out
    Of mortal meaning!

    _Ara._            He is mad, I think.
    He loves me not.

    _Aris._         I'd sport a madman too!
    Wear lunacy as doth a king his purple,
    If that would draw a goddess from the skies
    To quiet in my arms! Did it not strain
    Forbearance to the snap that Dion--whose wisdom
    Humbles the mouth of Zeus--whose justice is
    The boast of shades when Rhadamanthus blunders--
    Should wear the chiefest pearl to mortals cast--
    Sweet Beauty's sole extravagance--as 'twere
    A something to be stained with human love
    And gods not question it? Who then could see
    It made the common booty of a thief,
    Nor break the cable of a mind controlled
    And lose the shore of reason? Who?

    _Ara._ [_Kneeling_]               Be calm
    If thou wouldst help me.

    _Aris._ [_Not heeding_] Pity, weep, weep, weep!
    O, from thy woeful heaven cast a dew
    As universal as the East when she
    To every herb throws pearls!

    _Ara._ [_Leaping up_]       The guards! They come!
    But I go with thee, sir. 'Tis not farewell.

    _Aris._ [_Calm_] Not you. I die because Elysian mates
    Now summon me. No need excuses there
    The guest intrusive. Stay thee for thy call,
    Nor but to save an hour of painful breath
    Cut ever off the never ending day
    We two shall walk the clouds too happy e'en
    To love. Give me that hope, and dying now
    I live. Deny it, and 'tis you, not swords,
    That wound. They slay poor flesh, that gauzy breath
    Sole guards from wormy ravage. You would strike
    My never-healing soul! Those steps of doom----

    _Ara._ Hark! Ah--they pass! Dear gods, is there no way?

    _Aris._ The window.

    _Ara._             No!

    _Aris._               I'll make the leap and live
    To set you free!

    _Ara._          No, no! The rocks would gash
    More cruelly than swords. Wait--O! Blest Heaven!
    Thou 'rt saved! Wait here!

                [_Runs into inner room_]

    _Aris._                   Go, spirit beautiful!
    Her hair enrobes her like a parted cloud
    That opes to show us Heaven.... Give now my flesh
    To swords, ye gods, but save me from the death
    That has no end!...

     [_Re-enter Aratea, shorn of her locks, which she lays at
     Aristocles' feet. Her veil is draped about her, concealing her
     loss_]

                        O! Maimed, my goddess?

    _Ara._                                     See?
    I knew you'd say me nay. But now 'tis done.

    _Aris._ Those locks of Venus' gold.

    _Ara._                             The dagger served.

    _Aris._ Too well!

    _Ara._ [_Weaving the locks_] Not so. Now, now a rope to bridge
    Eternity for thee! More strands! Lend me
    Your lightnings, blessed skies, to weave this chain!

    _Aris._ Your flying fingers need them not.

    _Ara._                                    More, more!
    A thousand hairs, they say, will hold a man.

    _Aris._ Ay, one will do it.

    _Ara._                  Merry, my lord? Why not?
    Apollo, smile upon us! I know we dream.
    See how I make this fast? It is your life
    I lengthen.

    _Aris._    O, 'tis bought too preciously!
                      [_Takes up a lock and kisses it_]
    What waste of sun and gold!

    _Ara._                     Nay, when you're safe,
    I'll cast it to fair Venus on the sea,
    A votive offering. Look now! 'Tis done.

    _Aris._ So soon?

    _Ara._          And you must go.

    _Aris._                         Art sure 'tis done?

    _Ara._ Afraid, my lord?

    _Aris._                Afraid!

    _Ara._                        You see 'tis finished.

    _Aris._ Ay, 'tis.

    _Ara._           The window--come! We'll make this fast--
    And then--farewell!

    _Aris._            Till I return with Dion.

    _Ara._ Return? No, no, my lord! O, come no more
    To this cursed land. Be happy in thy Athens.
    And Plenty bless thee as thou wert her child,
    Swelling thy measure till prosperity
    Hang on thy look like fruit invisible
    Dropping to whom thou wilt.

    _Aris._                    And you--and you--
    My heart is dumb. What gods wish for themselves
    Become a human fortune and befall thee!

     [_Exeunt. Guards approach and beat door. Re-enter Aratea_]

    _Ara._ Strike, dogs! Some say Apollo fathered him.
    O, god of melody, guard thou the life
    That beats a perfect song!

              [_Door falls and Domenes enters with guards_]

    _Dom._                     What! Who is this?

    _Ara._ A princess, sir.

    _Dom._                 Where is the prisoner?

    _Ara._ He's gone.

    _Dom._           Gone! How? Where?

    _Ara._                             Did not Zeus himself
    Steal Ganymede? Why not Aristocles?

                              [_Curtain_]



ACT IV

     SCENE: _The grove of Ceres on the right, a temple partly visible.
     The island of Ortygia in rear, separated from mainland by a very
     narrow channel with wall on the Ortygian side running off stage
     left, to channel bridge where the ensuing conflict is supposed to
     centre. The island extends down to the Lesser Harbor, centre rear,
     which widens to a sea-glimpse at right. On the island shore in
     the farthest distance is outlined the temple of Artemis. Part of
     the Ortygian castle is shown on an island, left, the lower part
     concealed by channel wall._


     _At extreme left, front, the entrance to Phillistus' dwelling is
     seen. Between dwelling and channel a road leads toward the bridge.
     At front of stage a road runs left toward the Greater Harbor, and
     right toward Epipolai, the outermost portion of the city._

     _On the right, toward rear, terraces lead up to the heights of
     Achridina. Various statues are seen, the largest being a Victory
     at entrance to grove. Off the stage, left front, over Greater
     Harbor, the sun is setting, throwing gradually softening tints and
     increasing shadows._

     _Troops of soldiers, laughing and talking with citizens in holiday
     costume, come up the road from the Greater Harbor and pass off
     toward Epipolai. Speusippus, Ascander, and Timoleon, enter from
     grove and stand near the Victory. At right front enter young men
     arrayed for banqueting, bearing wreaths, torches, etc. They turn
     to rear and pass up terraces toward Achridina, singing._

            O, pleasure is the wing of Time,
              Care his limping, leaden foot!
            Too late, too late, for laugh and rhyme
              When old Winter's at the root
                  Of desire,
                  And no fire
            Can thaw the frost where we lie mute.

            Then come all and feast ye now!
              Come catch Love, the pretty rover!
            Not a maiden bind her brow
              With a rose unkissed by lover!
                  As a flower
                  Is Cupid's hour,
            And where he flies none can discover.

          [_Exeunt toward the heights of Achridina_]

    _Timolean._ So turns our war into a holiday.
    Here Dion lands, and swift the tyrant flies
    With all his boasted guard into the castle,
    While Syracuse throws open gate and arms
    To welcome her besieger.

    _Ascander._             By Artemis!
    Didst see him marching in?--Calippus on
    One side, Aristocles on t'other--their corselets white
    Fair shining in the sun, and each with locks
    Bright garlanded?--close treading them the guards--
    The hundred Grecian guards that watch by Dion,
    Then all his men in battle order placed?

    _Tim._ But when his trumpeter blew from the gate,
    And all the people upward looked in silence
    While he declared them subjects but of Heaven,
    No wonder that each eye turned fount and flowed.

    _Asc._ Then 'twas the wet cheek marked the noble heart,
    And the unwatered eye was shame.

    _Tim._                             And now
    His soldiers rove throughout the city, while
    The people lean from walls like branching trees
    And shake a crop of blessings.

    _Asc._                         Kisses too!
    E'en in the streets the women set their tables,
    And from their wreath�d urns pour Cretan wine
    For Dion's men.

    _Tim._          What says my lord Speusippus?
    The only sour-face in all Syracuse.

    _Speu._ And cause enough. A pretty soldier, sir,
    Who'd choose to march with flowers in his hand
    Like smirking virgin on Diana's day!
    I thought the tyrant would show tooth of war
    And not turn tail and kennel.

    _Tim._          [_Starting_] What noise is that?
    It cuts the air unlike a feasting cry.

    _Speu._ By Mars, I pray our swords will yet have airing,
    And good fresh drink too!

    _Tim._                    Here's a man, Ascander.
    He courts dame Trouble as she were his wench.

    _Speu._ Tut, tut, my friends, I've but a soldier's relish
    For an honest fight. What's there to fear? Besides,
    I have a trick to dodge misfortune's blows.

    _Tim._ What's that, Speusippus?

    _Speu._                         Why, if breaks my cup,
    I think what now an it had been my vase
    From Phelas' shop? I break my vase, and straight
    I cry ho! ho! now had my house been burnt
    That were a woe! But burns my house indeed,
    I think of wife and child who perished not;
    When dies my wife or son, I thank the gods
    That Death crept all so near and touched not me.
    And when his certain hour to clutch me comes
    I'll think of famines, plagues, of earthquakes, floods,
    And nations swept away. And still I'll cure
    Such broad affliction with the thought of how
    The Universe itself is but a shell
    To crackle when it please the hand that made it.
    So, friends, I mend each woe with its own cloth
    Till all looks well again.

    _Tim._                    Ay, but the patch
    Is greater than the garment.

                [_Enter Calippus, hurrying_]

    _Speu._                     Ho, Calippus!

    _Cal._ Hail, friends! But stay me not. I run to join
    The general without the city gates.

    _Asc._ What? Dion?

    _Cal._            Ay!

    _Tim._               Without the gates?

    _Cal._                                 'Tis so.
    Phillistus and the admiral have seized
    Excitement's topping hour to turn all hearts
    With fear's mad eloquence,--saying that Dion
    Comes to avenge his wrongs and set up rule
    More cruel than Dionysius dared. And so
    This gay and garlanded humanity
    Troop to these traitors, while lord Dion camps
    Without the city.

    _Speu._          Gods! Did he go mildly?
    By Erebus' black daughter, I'd have turned
    And beat them to subjection. Not a blow?

    _Cal._ He came to lift their yoke, not add another,
    And struck to heart with their ingratitude
    Gave them their choice, nor made warlike retort
    Beyond to warn them, with his finger lifted
    To yonder frowning castle, that the tyrant
    Was bayed, not conquered.

    _Tim._                   Conquered? No!
    The city never knew a woe till now.

    _Speu._ Ay, Syracuse should with one general bray
    Cry ass to Heaven. O, mullets of Abdera,
    Would ye be kings, come reign in Sicily!

    _Asc._ Phillistus has no force to meet the foe
    Will belch from that black fort.

    _Speu._                         Haste, friends, to Dion!

    _Cal._ You'll go?

    _Speu._ What else? There'll be some good play yet.
    Bray, Syracuse, thou populated ass!

     [_Exeunt. The sunlight fades into twilight, and the full moon
     rises, right, rear, where the Lesser Harbor widens to the sea.
     Theano comes out of Phillistus' house and places fresh verbenas on
     the entrance altar. An Amazon follows her_]

    _The._ Though gods forget me I'll remember them.
    [_Sees the Amazon_] Stand back! I'll not be dogged!

     [_The Amazon advances, folds her arms and takes station near
     Theano, who turns wearily from her and looks out upon the scene_]

                              Well for this earth
    That Beauty keeps her court for gods not men,
    Nor clouds for mortal mourning! O, fair city,
    And fairer night, how strange and cold your smile
    Upon my heart!... The slave is gone. That means
    Phillistus comes.

     [_Phillistus enters opposite and stands in shadow, gazing at
     Theano_]

    _Phil._ I've little hope to cheat her more. Her eyes
    Are at the windows of my heart and read
    Each dark recess. Well, let love go if 't must.
    The joys of hate are no less deep,--and she
    Is mine! [_Approaches_] Theano? I am here.

    _The._                                         I see.

    _Phil._ My day of days has come! One kiss to crown it.
    Art still unkind? Ah, sweet, where is the smile
    Should dress thee in a fairer light than gilds
    The crystal Thetis when Hyperion woos?
    What! not a kiss.

    _The._           This statue's sculptured lips
    Are warmer, sir.

    _Phil._         To me!

    _The._                Though on your brow
    Yon Victory should drop her high-held wreath
    You'd be no more nor less than now. Who wears
    The unseen chaplet given of spirit hands
    To him whose soul is virtue, needeth not
    Ambition's leafy handful that oft makes
    The mortal brow vaunt as it grew the trees
    Of all Olympus.

    _Phil._        What a welcome here
    For Sicily's new king! Know, my Theano,
    That Dionysius is to castle beaten,
    And treacherous Dion from the city thrust,
    While Heraclides with me shares the power
    Soon to be mine alone, for his fall, too,
    Already is assured.

    _The._             Then thou hast topped
    The very summit of thy bold desire.

    _Phil._ True! Aspiration now, lit like a lark
    On Fortune's steeple, sings above all hazard.
    My loved Theano, thou 'rt queen of Syracuse;
    We'll sleep to-night like happy royalty
    In honor's bed.

    _The._         The stone of Sisyphus
    Will gather moss ere that may be, Phillistus.
    You gave the safety of your stable house
    To my bewildered grief. 'Twas noble, sir,
    Though mine was woe would make a lion sheathe
    His hungry claws and pass on softest foot.
    But not for gold or throne will I be yours.
    Not for all sapphires that have kissed in crowns,
    All rubies that in deepest caves make day,
    Would I be wife to you, or take your hand
    Though to be plucked into Elysium!

    _Phil._ So? By the fires of Dis, I'll end this play!
    Dost think me your poor slave to sweat for naught?
    An ass to bear your pack for chaff and straw?

    _The._ My lord?

    _Phil._ Did I risk all to play the nurse
    Unto your tedious grief for a false lover?
    All Syracuse knows you his fool, and yet
    You'd play Penelope, and hope to sit
    With tears of twenty years upon your cheeks!
    O stare and wonder, gasp, and sir! and ho!
    Weep if you will, and pray your baby prayers.
    I've done with ah's and oh's and niceties!

    _The._ O now this monster shows its head!

    _Phil._                                 Go in!...
    Wilt have me call the slave?

    _The._                       Beware, Phillistus!

    _Phil._ Of what, or whom?

    _The._                  Of Heaven, sir!

    _Phil._                               Ha! ha!
    What powers there owe not their reign to man?
    The mind at holiday makes gods for sport
    And gives them us for masters. When I'm crowned
    I'll banish all these idle, meddling wits,
    These boggy brains that spring with toadstool thrones
    Decked with a deity.

    _The._               And yet the gods
    Now hear thee!

    _Phil._       Say they do, love rules 'mong gods
    As men. Doubt not they'll wink at my warm suit.

    _The._ O, thy black soul will be the scorn of devils
    When hell has claimed thee!

    _Phil._                     Know me blacker still!
    Since hate must be the bond between our hearts,
    I'll burn this into thine--thy father's death
    Was by my hand made sure, that I might woo
    Your foolish mother, who drank in turn my cup.
    Yet shall I wear the blossom of your love
    Fair on my bosom, and the fruit shall grow
    To propagate my house. So silent, madam?
    Is not this news? You would not coo for me;
    May I not hear you rave?

    _The._                  Who, who could speak?
    Now swirling harpies pluck away my soul,
    And leave me here a shell that yet can breathe!

    _Phil._ Ah, you shall breathe and live for me--for me!

    _The._ O lust, whose sovereign heel treads life
    As destiny had given bond and stamp for 't!

    _Phil._ Ay, my desire would charter hell for breath
    And blow her fires to desolate the world
    Ere lose thee now!

                [_Enter a messenger from the bridge road_]

    _Mess._ Sir, Heraclides begs your instant aid!
    The castled enemy have darted forth----

    _Phil._ How? Where?

    _Mess._ Behind the wall--across the bridge!
    Like adder's tongue they've struck the sleeping city.
    Now Heraclides calls for men to guard
    The channel crossing.

    _Phil._              Say I'll join him there.
    At once! Away!

                               [_Exit messenger_]

    _Phil._ [_Calls_] Ragunda! Amazon!
               [_Ragunda comes out of Phillistus' house_]
    Take in your charge, and keep a closer watch.
    Your life, as hers, is short or long.
                           [_To Theano_] In, madam!

    _The._ Here dies my faith. O chance-made world, upheaved
    By Demiurgus turning in his sleep!

             [_Goes in with Ragunda. Enter second messenger_]

    _Mess._ O, sir----

    _Phil._ Pray put your periods after news,
    Not 'fore.

    _Mess._   My lord, the tyrant's guards have made
    A second murderous sally from the castle,
    And with great brands of flame have fired the city!
    Now Dionysius, knowing he must forego
    The tyranny, would utterly destroy us,
    And wipe from earthly chronicle the name
    Of Syracuse!

    _Phil._ I'll come ... when I have turned
    A bolt within. [_Goes in_]

                [_Enter third messenger_]

    _Third mess._ Where is Phillistus?

    _Second mess._ [_Pointing to house_] There.

    _Third mess._ The people rage against him, and have sent
    Again to Dion, praying his return.

                [_Re-enter Phillistus_]

    _Phil._ Dion! He'll come. Then farewell crown and life!
    Where, men?

    _Third mess._ The fight is hardest where the wall
    Runs to the channel.

    _Phil._             On! That is the place.

     [_Exeunt toward bridge. The sky darkens, clouding the moon. On the
     road from the Greater Harbor enter men, women, and children, who
     run about confusedly in the darkness_]

    _First voice._ Where is the lord Phillistus?

    _Second voice._ Heraclides is wounded.

    _Third voice._ Dogs! They brought this hell on us!

    _Voices shrieking._ The guards! The guards!

     [_Soldiers of Dionysius rush on, road left, front, carrying brands
     which they cast about. They seize the people and put all to the
     sword_]

    _Soldiers._ To Achridina! To the heights! Burn all!

     [_Exeunt, right, rear, scattering brands, one of which lights the
     temple of Ceres seen through the trees, left. Enter citizens,
     left, front. They carry arms. Burning brands reveal the dead_]

    _First citizen._ See, friends! Here lie our pictures as we'll be
    A moment hence.

    _Second cit._ No hope now but in Dion!

    _Third cit._ [_As Dracon enters_] Dracon!

    _Dracon._ All lost--all lost. Put up your swords.
    The Carthaginian fleet lies in the bay,
    And by the sea-gate to the castle fort
    Empties her men into the tyrant's hand!

    _Second cit._ O Syracuse!

    _Dracon._                And next upon this news
    Phillistus and the admiral desert us,
    Flying to Dionysius.

    _Voices._           Traitors! dogs!

    _Dracon._ And now though Dion should forgive our baseness----

    _Voices._ He will! he will!

    _Dracon._                  His force and ours united
    Can not make stand against the strengthened foe.

    _Voices._ O woeful night! O bloody, bloody night!

    _Third cit._ Now sword and fire will make such havoc 'mong us
    There'll not be breath enough in all the city
    To say good-morrow to the sun.

     [_Cheers without, right, front. Enter a warrior at the head of
     troops. He wears helmet and carries shield_]

    _Warrior._                     Shame, shame!
    O, Syracusans, shame! If ye be men,
    Let battle take the garb of order, and death
    Array itself in decency! I've brought
    A band of noble Leontines to strike
    With who shall prove no coward! Lift your swords
    Till Victory sees them shining through the night
    And knows which way to bend her doubtful wings!
    On, on, my men! On, Syracusans, on!

     [_All go off left, cheering. Enter Gylippus, right, rear, wounded_]

    _Gylippus._ I'll drop me here till flame or steel o'er-take me.
                                             [_Falls down_]

    _Menodes._ [_Entering_] Gylippus? Wounded?

    _Gy._                                Deep enough. No matter.
    Wounds are Bellona's favors. Do you bleed?

    _Men._ I lose an arm. 'Twas a warm kiss that took it.

    _Gy._ Hast seen the stranger and his Leontines?
    He goes through fire as 'twere a pastime loved,
    Shaking the burning timbers from his back
    As they were flies.

    _Men._             Thrice has he formed
    The citizens for charge, though night and flame
    War on confusion's side.

    _Gy._                   Ocrastes comes
    With ships that treble all sent out from Carthage.

    _Men._ Then Dion to the rescue speedily,
    Or Syracuse is ashes! [_Shouts without_]

    _Gy._                Dion! He's here!
    Now Mercy cloister close, and stern Revenge,
    Long patient, take the sword!

    _Men._                       Ho, who are these?

      [_Enter the warrior in combat with Phillistus, left, rear_]

    _Gy._ The stranger with Phillistus! Here's my blow!

                [_Attempts to rise_]

    _Men._ No need! He falls!

    _Phil._ [_Down_]         Your mercy!

    _Warrior._                              Take it--death!
    Thou single confine of all men's corruption,
    Die--die--and poison ghosts in hell!

     [_Flames issue from Phillistus' house. Servants rush out,
     shrieking_]

    _Phil._ [_Half rising and looking at the flames_] My house
    In flames! Thanks, gods, for this! Proud mistress, burn
    Behind your bars, and to your black remains
    Be your Ocrastes welcome!

    _Warrior._               Aid me, Heaven!

                [_Rushes into house_]

    _Phil._ That voice--O traitor! He will save her! Ay
    He'll tread through hell nor burn his feet!
    I die now as they kiss! Ocrastes--O!
    The rest I'll tell to gaunt and gibbering shades.

                [_Dies_]

     [_Curtain falls and rises upon the same scene in ruins, several
     hours later. Wrecks smoulder in foreground, In rear the flames
     from Achridina throw light on the untouched castle and island.
     Noise of battle comes from left. Enter from bridge road Dion,
     Panthus, Calippus, Aristocles, Speusippus, and others_]

    _Dion._ Thanks for my life. 'Twas bravely rescued, friends.

    _Cal._ My lord, you do us wrong so to expose the arm
    That props our hope.

    _Dion._             Nay, not with me, Calippus,
    The battle rests, but with the unknown warrior
    Gods lend our fainting cause. Where'er he strikes
    The gash�d enemy look on their wounds
    And turn like death-met fear to seek a cover.

    _Aris._ Ay! Once he fell, but rose with such new might
    He seemed like Mars who, tripped on Trojan field,
    Uprising threw his shoulders 'gainst the clouds
    And darkened heaven.

    _Panthus._          By Zeus, he'd dare to hale
    Rhamnusia from her wing�d car and turn
    Her gryphons to the winds!

    _Dion._                   Back to his aid!

    _Pan._ Your wound, my lord.

    _Cal._                     Give valor space to breathe.
    There'll be brave puffing ere the wall is down.
    The channel banks it close, but we may breach it.

    _Speu._ It must be done, and must, sir, captains may
    In war.

    _Dion._ Then to it! We waste breath.

    _Pan._                               Stay, sir!
    We go--not you--for when our general bleeds
    Each man afield bleeds with him. See, your wound!
    By Thaumas' claw-foot maids, 'tis past a scratch!

    _Dion._ I feel not this--but O, fair Syracuse!
    Rock in thy fiery cradle till the sea
    Gets up to weep, and bending gods pour down
    Remorseful tears to drown the reddening shame
    That blushes o'er the moon and writes the name
    Of hell upon the stars!

         [_A sudden burst of noise and flame from the heights
             of Achridina_]

                            Art gone, my city?...
    Ah, fallen Dionysius, must thou
    Lose all, then cast thy soul to swell the loss?
    It is thy kingly reputation burns,
    With all that thou mightst own in fair Elysium!

                [_Shouting, left_]

    _Speu._ The wall! the wall! They charge!

    _Pan._                                  The stranger leads!
    Ho, come, Speusippus!

    _Dion._              On! on, on, my friends!

     [_Exeunt, left. The flames from Achridina die down. Semi-darkness.
     Men enter and creep about the blackened ruins. Soft light in the
     East_]

    _First man._ Now Ceres mend our bones! Will 't e'er be light?

    _Second man._ Ay, yonder winks the dawn.

    _First man._                            This blindfold war
    Is Horror past familiar--her leper cheek
    Bowsing both cheeks like mistress privileged.

    _Third man._ Gods keep us! Many a man has died this night
    Upon his dear friend's sword. The treacherous torch
    And threatening glare of flames too oft betrayed
    The panic-glaz�d eye.

        [_Domenes rushes on from left. Speusippus following_]

    _First man._         Domenes?

    _Second man._                Ay,
    The captain of the tyrant's guards. The Greek
    Is on him!

    _Third man._ Down!

    _Dom._            Spare me! I'll give you news!

    _Speu._ Live while your tongue wags. Speak! What of the fleet
    From Italy?

    _Dom._ All lost but one poor sail
    That brings the desperate news. The tyrant mad
    With this is bound for flight with what is left
    Of Carthage.

    _Speu._     Ah, Ocrastes dead?

    _Dom._                        Drowned, sir.

    _Speu._ And Dion's wife?

    _Dom._                  She's in the castle--safe.

    _Speu._ And flies with Dionysius? Speak, man!

    _Dom._ She begs to stay, but he may force her off.

    _Speu._ Then we must stop this play and take the castle!
    Drag off! You're past all harm. [_Going off, left_] Now
              one charge more!           [_Exit_]

                [_Light breaks over Lesser Harbor_]

    _Voices._ Light! light!

    _First man._ O blessed Zeus! And yet I fear
    The babe-eyed Dawn will sicken with what's here
    And creep back into night.

    _Second man._             No, day comes on,--
    The red-capped nurse that in her bosom hides
    The cherub Dawn, while her broad smile
    Goes round the world.

    _Third man._         A smile on this?

    _Second man._                        Ay, ay,
    Her stomach's for all sights, and ulcerous earth
    She'll kiss as close as fountain-laughing vales.

    _First man._ By Ares' bloody dame, here's work enough
    To keep the gods a year from holiday!

     [_Shouts without, left. Enter citizens and soldiers in joyful
     confusion_]

    _Voices._ 'Tis down! The wall is down! The castle's taken!

    _A voice._ The tyrant has fled by sea!

    _Another._                            And none too soon!

    _Another._ He'd pay his head else!

    _Cries without._                  Dion! Dion! Dion!

             [_Enter Dion with friends and citizens_]

    _Dion._ Shout not my name, for 'twas the noble stranger
    Who won this night. Seek him, Calippus,--beg
    His presence here with brow unhelmeted,
    That we may look where valor hath her home.

    _Cal._ He's gone, my lord.

    _Dion._                    Gone?

    _Cal._                         Vanished, as the sea
    Had lapped him up.

    _Dion._           More like the gods have stooped
    To draw him home again.

                [_Looks about at the desolation and groans_]

    _Cal._                 Your wound, my lord?

    _Dion._ No, no. I weep for dying Syracuse.
    Now is her glory like a weary star
    Withdrawn from fortune's heaven. O fairest city,
    Whose beauty drew the feet of farthest kings,
    And set a value in the poorest eye
    To be a storied heritage to sons
    When sires who saw had passed! Even thou hast won
    From cold oblivion but an ashen cloak!

    _Aris._ 'Tis tyranny lies here, not Syracuse.
    Ay, from these mourn�d ashes, friend, will spring
    A brighter glory than they bury now,
    And this night's woe bear fruitage of a peace
    When Time shall hang as thick with happy hours
    As Flora's breast with buds.

    _Speu._                     By Hector's spur,
    It pricks to think this valor-breasted night,
    Bristling with action's pikes toward charging death,
    Should e'er beg life of tolerant memory,
    Thankful for so much breath as may endow
    A musty adage in the mouth of peace,
    Or shepherd song piped by an idle rill
    To meek-eared violets in noonday shade!
    O! O! my lady Fame must have her nap.
    Soft, Mars, put on thy slippers!

                [_Enter soldiers dragging Heraclides_]

    _Dion._                         Who is this?

    _First soldier._ My lord, a prisoner.

    _Second sol._                        'Tis Heraclides,
    My lord.

    _Voices._ Death! Death to Dion's enemy!

    _Dion._ What? Heraclides?

    _Pan._    Ay! [_Drawing his sword_] The blow is mine!

    _Dion._ Put up your sword, brave Panthus. Nay, put up!

    _Pan._ [_Dropping weapon_] 'Twere better used, sir.

    _Dion._                                  Heraclides, speak.
    What would you say? Do you repent this night?

    _Her._ All men, my lord, repent the step that brings
    Their cloud-high foreheads to earth. I lie so low
    That Fortune's sun-bent eye will find no more
    My sunken ruin,--and but one comfort left,
    I can descend no further.

    _Pan._                   Ay, to hell!

    _Her._ Ambition knows no hell but failure. Strike!
    You put me out of torture, not send me to it.

    _Dion._ Life only dreams her hells till death's be found.

    _Her._ 'Tis easy thus to speak from victory's height
    Whence all looks fair,--so fair misfortune seems
    Sole lie o' the world. We bite truth with the dust,
    My lord.

    _Voices._ His sentence! Death! The traitor! Death!

    _Dion._ Peace, friends.

    _Voices._              Death! Seize him! Kill him!

    _Cal._                                      Dion speaks!

    _Voices._ Hear Dion!

    _Dion._             Not alone in martial venture
    Do victors win their bays. Let each of us,
    Trampling on anger and contending malice
    That from our natures thrust out serpent heads,
    Forgive this captive foe, and crown our brows
    With wreaths of victory outshining all
    That shake from war-decked temples. Hear, my lord.
    By the power I hold in the true hearts and minds
    Of noble Syracusans, I forgive thee.

    _Voices._ No, no!

    _Cal._           My lord, he warned. He has a tongue
    Would flatter Zeus from heaven, and common minds
    He calls as flies to honey.

    _Dion._                    Nay, his sweet
    Is wormwood now. Because this foolish man
    Has walked in sin, shall I too blemish virtue?

    _Voices._ Revenge! Revenge!

    _Dion._                    Who offers injury,
    And who revenges it, ply the same thread
    Of Nature's scarlet. Heraclides, go.
    Thou'rt free.

    _Her._ I do not kneel to you--a man--
    But to the god that houses in your shape.
    O noble Dion, what deed may speak my thanks
    Too great for tongue?

    _Dion._ Arise, go forth, and where
    You once betrayed a thousand hearts lead one
    To safety.

            [_Exit Heraclides, rabble following_]

    _Cal._ [_To Speusippus_] Sir, what think you?

    _Speu._                                'Tis gross error.
    He'll breathe a life into the stones o' the street
    Ere lack for followers.

    _Cal._                 Come, let us see.

        [_Exeunt Calippus and Speusippus, others following_]

    _Dion._ [_To his Grecian guards_] Go nurse your wounds,
               brave friends. I need no more
    Your arms, but ever need your love. You with them,
    Panthus. You know my wishes.

    _Pan._                     Ay, my lord.

      [_Exeunt Panthus and guards. Aristocles remains with Dion_]

    _Dion._ My friend! [_They embrace_] No tears! We'll
              water joy hereafter.
    Now there is much to do. Wilt seek Calippus for me
    And make him governor of the castle?

    _Aris._                   Ay.   [_Exit_]

    _Dion._ [_Alone_] Now red revolt with opened veins lies low
    Fast paling to her death; and silence deep
    As takes the mother's ear who waits the step
    Of her dead soldier son, creeps o'er the world.
    And to my lonely eye the universe
    Shrinks to a monument writ with one grief.
    Ocrastes, couldst, when locked within my love--
    Ay, bedded in the core--to vermin turn
    And gnaw the heart thou breathedst in?... O youth,
    Among life's strangely flowering hopes thou art
    The blossom of deceit! When we have watched
    Thy tender green peer up--thy opening buds
    That wrap their silken promise round our fears--
    And spent our prayers like nurturing rains upon thee
    That thou mayst bloom above our pride and hang
    The rose or spring upon our frosty age,
    How dost thou droop, till o'er thy cankered wreck
    We dew thy fall with tears!... O beauteous bud,
    What deadly aconite cast its foul shade
    Upon thy blowing grace? My son, my son,
    I am no warrior when I think of thee,
    Else would my sword be out. A father's eye
    Is turned upon thy sin, and all the wrong
    Thou didst to me half righted with a tear ...
    ... The sun comes flaming from the sea as though
    Another Syracuse burnt on the waves ...
    Why stand I here? The castle doors are open,
    And therein waits the fairest face of earth
    To shine for me To shine? O human sun,
    Unlike thy skyey peer, thy light is dimmed
    With what thou'st looked upon. Thy beams have drunk
    Pollution deep that now detested falls
    Upon my soul.

                [_Re-enter Aristocles_]

    _Aris._ All's well, my lord.

    _Dion._                    All's well?
    That's strange news for my heart. Wilt go with me?

    _Aris._ Whither, my lord?

    _Dion._                  Into yon castle.... Come.

                [_Exeunt. Curtain_]



ACT V

     SCENE: _A room in the castle. Brentio alone._


_Bren._ By Hector, we've had a night of it. I must stop now and count
my fingers and toes, for I'm sure there's some of me missing. First,
my gold! [_Counts gold_] All here. But poor mistress Theano that I
promised to carry through fire and flood for this same sweet gold was
burnt up last night. Well, my lord Ocrastes is dead too, so I'll not be
called to account. Had it been flood now I might have kept my promise,
but fire--I never could abide a singed beard.

    [_Enter Tichus_]

Ho, Tichus! These are wars, sir! These are wars! Have you killed your
man this night?

_Tich._ A score, I hope.

_Bren._ Well, I've naught to say. Let deeds talk. A bragging tongue is
Fame's best grave-digger, though it wag i' the mouth of Hercules. But I
spared some, I'll say that. They cried so for mercy, poor fellows! Not
a man of 'em was ready to die, by his own count.

_Tich._ If you wait for that you'll die swearing blood is green for all
you'll even draw of it. When the gods promised that no man should die
till he was ready old Charon sold his boat.

_Bren._ There's a stick-penny for you. What was his bargain?

_Tich._ A feather bed, that he might sleep off idleness.

_Bren._ Ah, but you should have seen me when a villain pitted at me
with three pikes. A murderous three-handed deformity, by the truth o'
my eyes he was!

_Tich._ Then you shook your sword, I warrant!

_Bren._ No, bless me, I shook my feet.

_Tich._ Man, you didn't run?

_Bren._ No, I flew. I wore Mercury's feathers, I tell you.

_Tich._ Shame, Brentio! A coward's leg will never overtake Fame.

_Bren._ Ay, but when a man must leap the grave to catch her, let take
her who will! I'm done. Have you been through the castle?

_Tich._ No.

_Bren._ Come then. There are sights to be seen. Mostly in the cellars,
where every soldier gets a bottle for his song.

                [_Sings_]

    Who will not be merry then let him go drown,
                          Let him go drown,
    In as rosy a bumper as ever went down,
                          As ever went down,
    And he'll bob up, he'll bob up, by Bacchus, he will,
    As hail a good fellow as ever wet gill!

Here are our masters! I'm gone. A hero may drink, but work--never!
[_Exit_]

_Tich._ There's more trouble ahead than the claw o' my wit can scratch.
Ocrastes' death makes one less in the pother, but I've eyes in my head,
and there's no doubt my master is in love with the lady Aratea, and one
lover can make more trouble than a score of extra husbands. Well, well,
when thy cares bewilder thee take time and wine for thy counsellors.
So let it work out. [_Exit. Aristocles and Dion appear in hall partly
visible through wide open doors, rear. Aristocles enters and comes
front. Dion remains without, gazing down, moody and meditative_]

    _Aris._ Deep, deep, my thoughts, dive to some bed of death
    In my wide-regioned self, nor come again
    Like sea-return�d corpse, with livid grin
    And foul, accreted horror, to beg anew
    For burial.

      [_Dion comes in and walks slowly across to Aristocles_]

              You'll see her now?

    _Dion._                       See whom?

    _Aris._ Your wife.

    _Dion._            My wife? Have I a wife?

    _Aris._                                    She waits
    Your summons by Diana's altar.

    _Dion._                        Ah!
    So near?

    _Aris._ Theano waits with her.

    _Dion._                        My niece?
    She's safe?

    _Aris._ By miracle. The unknown knight
    Bore her from out Phillistus' burning house.

    _Dion._ Still swells our debt to him.

    _Aris._                             You'll see her now?

    _Dion._ See whom, my friend?

    _Aris._                      Your wife, sir,--Aratea.

    _Dion._ When you repeat the name I half believe
    I have a wife. Your voice was ever true,
    Nor fed me with the rifled husks of speech.
     ... Was she not fair?

    _Aris._          My lord?

    _Dion._                  How fair, think you?

    _Aris._ Who, sir, could say? Such beauty scorns all words
    And writes itself but in the wondering eye.

    _Dion._ You shift. You shift. Your tongue is beauty's pencil.
    Did heaven lack a goddess you might limn
    A fairer than a Venus for the place.
    Speak on. Tell me her sum to the last doit.
    The balance of a hair--a smile unborn--
    I'd not strike off.

    _Aris._ [_Coldly_] You know her worth, my lord.

    _Dion._ Nay, the appraising eye when fixed too near
    The thing it loves distorts the sweet proportion.
    You can adjust your gaze, take stand to bring
    Her beauty to perfection's single-point.

    _Aris._ What matter? All is yours.

    _Dion._                           Ah, if 'twere mine
    I'd care not, happy then to know 'twas mine.
    But when we've lost we're moved to question, sir,
    Else are we crippled twice in our estate,
    Once in the loss, again to know it not.

    _Aris._ Strange speech, my lord. I hardly know your tongue.

    _Dion._ You can not understand, for you've no wife.
    No more have I. But once.... Yes, yes, I'll see her.
    Wilt bring her here?

    _Aris._        I bring her? Here? To you?

    _Dion._ If 'tis too sad a service----

    _Aris._             Nay, I go.  [_Exit_]

    _Dion._ I am forgot in his great pity of her.

                [_Enter Calippus_]

    _Cal._ Lord Dion, Heraclides begs to see you.

    _Dion._ Is he alone?

    _Cal._              �gisthus comes with him.

    _Dion._ Bid them into the banquet hall.

    _Cal._                               My lord,
    You will not see them?

    _Dion._          Ay, there's naught to fear.
    Tell them I'll join them soon.

                                [_Exit Calippus_]

    Now riven heart,
    Close firm as mountain bulwark that beats off
    The Thracian wind.

                [_Enter Aristocles with Theano and Aratea_]

    _Dion._ [_To Theano_] Good welcome, niece.

       [_He embraces Theano, and looks silently at Aratea_]

    _Ara._ [_Falteringly_]                    My lord----

    _Dion._ Your friend, your lover--ay, your slave,--but not
    Your lord, sweet Aratea.

    _Ara._             O! Condemned!

    _Dion._ Not that--but----

    _Ara._                   Then you'll hear me?

    _Dion._                              No! Your voice
    Renews in me the battle that I thought
    Was fought to end.

    _Ara._       But I could say, my lord----

    _Dion._ Ay, you could say what would revoke the sun,
    Turn back into his heart his golden spears,
    And from the sapphire battlements make pour
    Surpris�d night! How easy then to shake
    The scarce-sworn vow from my unfended breast
    To melt like snowflake caught in lap of June!

    _Ara._ O, sir----

    _Dion._          You've that in you defeats resolve,
    And casts in broil the mind's high chancery.
    I will not hear a word! 'Tis my defence,
    Not cruelty. All honor shall be thine
    Apart from me.

    _Ara._    What honor may be mine
    Apart from thee?

    _Dion._    Nay, question not my justice!

    _Ara._ You think me vile, my lord?

    _Dion._                           Mayhap I do!
    Were there no poisons left in Sicily?
    No rank, night-sweating herbs whose bane might work
    Proud honor's choice? Were daggers grown too blunt
    To pierce fair flesh? What, not a rope--nor cord?
    No garters--strips of silken robes----

    _Aris._                          O, spare
    To accuse a soul who erred that she might still
    Be true to Heaven.

    _Dion._      True? By Pallas! True?

    _Aris._ Sir, she obeyed the gods who bid us wait
    And work on earth our destiny.

    _Dion._                  The gods
    Sometimes write in our fates that to seek death
    Is what will solely please them.

    _Aris._                    Must I see
    The sun of justice in you set?

    _Dion._                  Ah, friend,
    Do you not see 'tis my desire that cries
    To keep her still? 'Tis passion weighing doubts,
    Hoping to find them light as rising vapors.

    _Aris._ Though she had struck at life within her heart,
    Swart Atropos had dropped her shears for pity,
    Nor helped so fair a woe to death. Yet you----

    _Dion._ O, she is pure, but not to me! 'Tis stamped
    Upon my soul that she is dark to me
    Though fair to Heaven!

    _The._           Hear her, sir. She took
    No vows. Her lips were dumb----

    _Dion._                   O, vows! You speak
    Of words?

    _The._ But----

    _Dion._       Silence, niece!

    _Aris._                      Receive her, sir.

    _Dion._ Never, my friend! What can you know of this?

    _Aris._ I know she is Pandora without taint!
    The secret pattern lost in mourning heaven
    When rapt Hephaistos shaped the perfect clay
    By Pallas' breath made vital! Sir, receive her!
    Let me implore it by our years of love.

    _Dion._ Thou'rt dear to me as man may be to man,
    But wert thou dear as god may be to god,
    I could not grant thy wish.

    _Aris._              Then she is mine!
    And, could I snatch a tear from Dian's cheek
    When bowed at secret altar she renews
    Her vestal sanctity, 'twould not be less
    Unspotted to my love! O, Aratea,
    Wilt come? My wife? Say not thou lov'st, but cling
    Unto my breast as trusting bud to bough,
    Or but uplook with eyes whose shaken sea
    Is calmed in mine.

    _Dion._      Ye powers that rule my being,
    Stop every conscious note but wonder!

    _Aris._                         Ah,
    I've heard it said Apollo loved my mother,
    And I could wish it true, that god-descended
    I might embrace thyself, who surely art
    Of high Olympus born--whose mortal part
    Wears beauty as the night her stars.

    _Dion._                        Behold
    Me desolate, ye gods! Is this my friend?
    Nay, thou hast given friendship such a blow
    She dies from earth, nor in eternal groves
    May she be healed.

    _Aris._      Not mine, but yours, the blow.

    _Dion._ Ocrastes struck me, and I rose again.
    My wife was taken, and I lived to sigh.
    But you--O, now the quick of life is seized
    With mortal ill. Now shakes my earth to centre,
    And on me falling bow her peak�d tops.
    Even here and now I die. All fellowship
    Forego with gallant breath, and lay me down
    Like forest trunk that pours its wasting heart
    From every lopp�d limb.

              [_Theano attempts to comfort him_]

                           Go from me, girl.
    My wounded senses shrink away from life
    Till gentlest touches are as brands of pain.
    Dumb be my lips. I'll speak no more on earth.

    _Ara._ Keep you that word! Thy silence is my speech!
    Know, Dion, though the knowing now is naught,
    Ocrastes left me ere his marriage vow
    Was cold in air, nor took one bridal kiss.
    Nor have these eyes beheld him since that hour,
    Nor will the eye of mortal see him more.
    The sea now holds him to her buried heart.
    Some shelly couch washed with a Nereid's tears
    Is his last bed.

    _Dion._    And you untouched ... untouched.

    _Ara._ I grieve you did not know me better, sir.
    You too, my lord Aristocles. Those cords--
    Those daggers--poisons--had been quickly found----

    _Dion._ Untouched! No bridal kiss! My blindness goes.
    But Heaven, in pity, shut me dark again,
    For I have wronged Ocrastes--who is dead.
    How could your woman heart not know the truth--
    That he thus saved you from a baser touch
    To be restored all perfect, pure to me?
    And he is dead. Give me your pity, gods!
    Now we will mourn, Theano. Here, my daughter.
    Our griefs let marry in our kissing tears.

                [_Embraces Theano_]

    But there's a brightness yet in this dark woe.

                [_Advances to Aratea_]

    Once more, my love, my wife, you are all mine.

              [_Aristocles steps before Aratea_]

    What mean you now?

    _Aris._           To guard my own. For you
    The pearl of opportunity is lost.
    Briareus' hands could not now snatch it back
    Where 't pales on time's retreating wave.

    _Dion._                                  By Mars,
    I'll pass you, sir!

    _The._             Let Aratea speak.
    Is 't not for her to choose?

    _Dion._                     A wedded woman
    Can have no choice.

    _The._             O, Dion, be a god,
    Not man, and grant it.

    _Aris._               Choose thine own. As free
    As new created star, fix where thou wilt.

    _Diem._ Ay, choose! Thou art my wife. Thy holy truth
    Will fail thee not. Speak! End this bitter folly
    From which the gods would turn shame-burning face!

    _The._ Not if all tale be true.

    _Dion._                        You speak too much!

    _Ara._ First swear, my lords, however I may choose,
    You'll still be friends, as honored and as true
    As though this face I loathe had never come
    Between your loves.

    _Aris._            I swear to you my friend
    Shall be my friend.

    _Ara._             You, sir?

    _Dion._                     I will forgive him,
    For love has made him mad.

    _Ara._                    Swear it by Heaven.

    _Dion._ By Heaven. Now wilt speak?

    _Ara._                            Such sacred oaths
    Need sacrificial rite, and here I give
    My blood.

     [_Suddenly draws a dagger and attempts to stab herself.
     Aristocles, watching eagerly, seizes dagger, and supporting her
     speaks wildly_]

    _Aris._ Think not that you can fly me now!
    Though thou wert dead still wouldst thou live for me
    In such dear semblance of remembered show
    That I would seek to woo thy houseless spirit
    E'er give thee o'er unclasped to Heaven!

    _Ara._                        Ah! [_Releases herself_]

    _Dion._ But now she lives, and living she is mine.

    _Aris._ Her lips, not yours, shall say!

    _Dion._                        Lost man, thou'rt crazed.
    I pity thee. Speak, wife.

    _Ara._                   O, blow me, winds,
    To some unpeopled sphere, and find me peace
    As sweet as his who cropped the first day fruits
    Of green unharrowed earth!

    _Dion._                   This is no answer.

    _Ara._ My lord, if 't be my prayers can save my soul,
    In some far fane I'll serve the priestess' cup
    Till Death is kind and calls me.

    _Dion._ [_Seizing her arm_] Answer me!
    Art mine, or his?

    _Ara._           Till truth no more is truth
    Thou art my lord.

     [_Aristocles turns and moves apart, covering his face with his
     mantle. Aratea sinks feebly and Theano supports her_]

    _Dion._ [_To Aristocles_] Now you've your answer! Niece,
    Lead out my wife.

     [_Theano takes Aratea from the room, through curtained entrance,
     left_]

                     Aristocles--my friend--
    I pity and forgive thee. When Love drives,
    His chariot reins are veins of mortal men,
    Who fain must course the bright god's destiny
    Nor reck the road. 'Tis strange--not that you loved her--
    But that I did not dream it must be so,
    She being the top and bloom of all her sex,
    As you, my lord, of yours. A mortal judge
    Would grant you her, but God gave her to me,
    And I doubt not He blundered to a purpose
    Beyond our dream. Ah me, the night's red eyes
    Looked fatal on the sail that bore you hither.
    Cursed be my prayers that drew you from your Athens!
    Farewell! For you must go. Small Sicily
    No more may hold us both.

                [_Re-enter Theano_]

    _The._                   She's better, sir.

    _Dion._ That's well.

                [_Enter Calippus, through hall, rear_]

                        Your news?

    _Cal._                        Our saviour of the night
    Now waits to see you.

    _Dion._              The warrior? Ask him in!

                                [_Exit Calippus_]

    _The._ I'll speak the thanks he waited not to hear,
    Although my heart gives none for this poor life.

      [_Enter warrior, rear, still in arms and helmeted_]

    _Dion._ Thou'rt welcome as the gods. As lightning makes
    The world now bright, now dark, you fill and void
    The circle of our sense, but, here or there,
    'Tis ours to grant you what you will if power
    Be in us.

    _Warrior._ [_Kneeling_] For one thing I sue--forgiveness.
                                    [_Removes helmet_]

    _Dion._ Ocrastes!

    _Oc._            Ay.

    _Dion._                       How couldst be hid from me
    Though veiled in seven-fold steel?

    _The._                             Not dead--not dead----

    _Oc._ [_Embracing Theano_] My heart, look up. The long
               tale of my sins
    Will be as virtue's song when in love's ear
    'Tis whispered. Nay, weep not. Those woes are sealed.

    _The._ O, canst forgive me?

    _Oc._                      It is I must sue.
    Nay, nay, my sweet, no liquid gem drop now
    On misery's broken altar, too long rich
    With these eyes' jewels.

    _The._                    Ah, thou'rt mine ... still mine.

    _Oc._ Ere I have done your constancy shall hear
    Such music of true love you'll think those birds
    That move the gentle concords of the night
    In these bright locks make bower continual.
                                        [_Kisses her hair_]
    For every hour of your ungracious star,
    With the full circuit of a smiling moon
    I'll pension you, till covetous of time
    You'll wish your sorrows had been more, not less.

    _Dion._ Not one embrace for me?

    _Oc._                          Before I make
    My plea for pardon?

    _Dion._              That may wait, my son,
    For empty hours. This is too full of joy.

    _Oc._ I did not go to Italy, my lord,
    But to the Leontines----

    _Dion._                   O, go not back
    To read the bloodprints of bewildered feet.
    Now as the soft life-wooing breath that moves
    So swift upon the track of orient storms
    That ere the woeful people dry their tears
    Earth is new-clad in garments of the sun
    And balm is in the air like blessings winged,
    Fanning delight in every lifted cheek,
    So treads this hour at heel of flying woe.

                [_Enter Brentio, rear_]

_Bren._ My lord, the people in the banquet hall are drinking all the
cellars dry. You'd weep to see it, sir. [_Sees Theano and Ocrastes.
Looks in bewilderment from one to the other, claps hand to his purse
and runs out_]

_Dion._ The slave's beset.

_Oc._ He's drunk, my lord.

_Dion._ I had forgot Heraclides. [_Going_] Ocrastes, come. We'll not
so soon be parted. You to my wife, Theano. [_Exeunt Dion and Ocrastes,
rear; Theano through curtains, left_]

    _Aris._ [_Alone_] Dion, how oft hast sworn I was thy dearest,
    Yet go to happiness while I droop here
    As to my grave. Nor dost thou need me more
    Than quickest life its century-buried dead.
    Yet one is yon, behind those curtains close,
    Who starves even as you feed. Her love is mine.
    By Heaven, I know 'tis mine! Yet I must go--
    Leave her to perish. Ay, her flower soul
    Not long will bear the weight of unloved love.

        [_Soldiers enter hall, rear, drinking and singing_]

        O, Helen had a rosy lip,
          And only one might kiss it,
        But all of mistress wine may sip
          And she will never miss it.

            Ho, brothers all are we,
              Brothers all are we!
            We've sworn to the last red drop,
            Be it found in a heart or found in a cup,
              And brothers all we be!

        A soldier's trade it is to die,
          And what poor fools are they
        Who for a soldier's death will sigh--
          'Tis all in a business way.

            Ho, brothers all are we, &c.

                [_Exeunt drunkenly_]

    _Aris._ O, I am wounded in the character
    I sought to build so giant-like that as
    A figure on the skies all men would see
    And longing upward scorn their baser state!
    Now am I grown deform�d with a scar
    That all eternity can not make fair.
    ... To go ... nor say farewell. To go ... to go,
    And see no more her face ... that face which is
    Imagination sighing in a word.
    That face where Beauty with her mysteries
    Sits listening to Magi of the air,
    Or ocean lapping on eternal sands.
    'Tis as a star should to a flower turn,
    And yet remember heaven.

              [_Approaches curtains and kneels_]

                            Fare thee well!
    O thou whose body is a living urn
    Full of distill�d sweets from every mead
    Where Love hath set a flower! Whose soul compacts
    All earth's divinity, and leaves profane
    All space where it is not!

     [_Arises and starts out slowly. At the door he looks back. Aratea
     appears at curtains, but does not see him_]

                              O, I must fly ...
    Must fly ... nor hear again her voice that lures
    As it would draw the fallen golden world
    O'er desert ages to man's memory.

    _Ara._ [_Sees him and advances_] You here, Aristocles?

    _Aris._                    Wilt say farewell?

    _Ara._ [_Going back_] Farewell.

    _Aris._                                 No word but that?

    _Ara._                                  That is too much.

    _Aris._ [_Approaching_] Too much?

    _Ara._                   I--faint again. Nay, touch me not!

    _Aris._ Am I so perilous to thee? My hand
    Has had no commerce yet with cruelty.

    _Ara._ The moon with silver foot steps not more soft
    Among the tears of night than falls thy touch
    On me, who, poorer than the night, must go
    Uncomforted. Thou'lt leave this place at once
    If thou hast pity.

    _Aris._           Ah, had I a heart
    Great-swelling as the sad Molurian mount,
    Or pil�d peaks that wreck the sailing moon,
    'Twere not enough to melt upon this woe!

    _Ara._ Wretched, O wretched me! To be the curse
    Of what is best on earth!

    _Aris._                  Peace, unjust lips!
    Thou art a rose that, rooted in Elysium,
    Leans sorrowing to the world that it may see
    What beauty is and know then how to dream.
    O, close those other worlds, your eyes, that I
    May live in this! [_She moves back_]
                      Stay, I must speak!

    _Ara._                                   No, no!

    _Aris._ And you must hear me.

    _Ara._                       Silence, sir, is best.
    In her deep bosom let our woes be buried,
    As Night doth shepherd all the cares of day
    Till Heaven think the world asleep, though 'neath
    The dark are hot and staring eyes.

    _Aris._                           Nay, nay,
    Put courage in thy heart to gender wings
    That we may dart as swallows to the sun
    And tread the rosy air where love may breathe!

    _Ara._ My lord----

    _Aris._          Come! come! Greece is our home of light.
    There you, my wife, shall rule a lesser heaven
    And tutor souls for God's. [_She turns to go_]
                               One moment hear me!
    You love me, Aratea.

    _Ara._              Fare you well.

    _Aris._ [_Against the curtains_] First say thou lovest me!
                         Dost thou not hear
    A voice at night when calm Eirene leads
    Sleep to all eyes but thine?

    _Ara._                      Have mercy, sir!

    _Aris._ What leap of soul or dream of sense hast thou
    That is not sweeter for you hold me dear?
    When Theia's daughter, priestess gray, unhoods
    Her morning face, and all her clouds of rose
    With flying petals light the waking world,
    Does not your ecstasy swim on the flood
    Of my remembered eyes, and their delight
    Re-jewel beauty's diadem?

    _Ara._                   I beg----

    _Aris._ When throbbing wonders of a dying sun
    Trail off their glories like escaping souls,
    And Night with lustred heaven round her neck
    Lures up immensities, whose spirit longs
    Through all your longings till it leads your own
    To crowned and still content?

    _Ara._                       Will you not go?

    _Aris._ And when thy gaze is on the sibyl sea,
    Striving to read her ancient wave-writ script,
    And break the seal a differing language sets
    Upon her mighty tongue, whence cometh peace
    Like full and silent answer to your heart?

    _Ara._ If this be love, then let it be mine still.
    For it may be without a touch of hands.
    Ay, though in Athens you must live and move
    Still are you mine in mysteries and joys.
    I thank you, sir, for having taught me love
    That is forever holy, wronging none.

    _Aris._ Nay, Aratea, man can not be God
    And pipe all Heaven through a mortal reed!
    Come to my arms, O life and soul of me!
    As chaste verbenas on an altar kiss,
    As streamlets join in soft approving shade,
    As clouds immingle in the glancing sun,
    So shall our loves unchided of the skies.
    Not leafy choirs that anthem Flora in,
    Or those sweet songs that in day's virgin hour
    Their hymeneal pour from feathery pipes
    That stale Apollo's lute, shall win more smiles
    From the consenting gods!

    _Ara._                   O, music, breath
    Of sin!

    _Aris._ Not so! To love thee not were sin!
    The adoration of so fair a soul
    Would save me were I damned! And thou art mine.
    By stars that knit their motions with our fates,
    The season-childing sun, great Heaven itself----

    _Ara._ O, not by Heaven!

    _Aris._                And Heaven's all-greater Lord,
    Who gives us souls that we may love all beauty,
    And gives us beauty that our souls may love it,
    I swear thee mine!

    _Ara._            Your oath--your oath to Dion!

    _Aris._ Thou 'rt mine above all vows! Thou canst not let
    A mock-enthron�d custom speak to God?
    An atom fettered with nice consequence
    Bar up the gates of love that are as wide
    As His earth-belting arms?

    _Ara._                    No pity, none.

    _Aris._ My heart, say thou wilt come.

    _Ara._                              'Tis death.

    _Aris._                                       'Tis life!
    Come now, O now, else are we cast apart
    Far as the dismal Night heaves her vast sigh,
    Far as the laboring Chaos breathing blows,--
    Perchance to hurl eternally about
    The farthest stars that from oppos�d heavens
    Dart fiery scouts that die ere they have met,
    So long their journey is. Or, gloomier fate,
    Condemn�d sit like stones that once could weep
    Forever in the cave of ended things
    That deep in some immortal Lemnos lies
    Nor ever opens its dank gates to day!
    O, come ere we are lost! Be thy fair arms
    The rainbow girdle to this longing storm
    And its rude breast will pillow thee as soft
    As Leda when, cool-rocked on lily couch,
    The great down-bosomed god swam to her love!
    Come, Aratea, heart of life! O now
    This pulse speaks back to mine--this bosom throbs
    Like heaven's Artemis unto her own!
                                             [_Kisses her_]
    O kiss that holds the mornings of all time,
    And dewy seasons of the ungathered rose,
    Plant once again thy summer on my lips!

    _Ara._ How dear is death that kisses with such breath!
    Thine eyes are seas where sighing ardors blow
    Love's argosies from island bowers of dream
    Into my heart. Save me, Aristocles!
    O me, I'm netted in these golden curls
    With web as sure as that the crafty god
    Once wove round Aphrodite's blushing bed
    And trapped great Ares, sport for gazing heaven!
    O, I am lost! [_Casts him off_]
                 Away! away! Nor may
    My lips move more on earth but in a prayer
    To cleanse this moment's madness from our souls!

    _Aris._ Wouldst leave me now to death?

    _Ara._                                Ay, unto death,
    Lest Truth and Honor die! Thy way's not mine.
    My aspen soul would shake its house of fear,
    Imagine thunder in the bee's soft hum,
    And mountain-rocking winds in harmless air
    That would not move the purple down of clouds.
    To so great compass now my horror grows
    That I myself seem Chaos. 'Tis as I stood
    'Mong heaps of ruined destinies with life
    Still mourning in them. I am still for fear
    Another world will crumble as I stir.

    _Aris._ Move, Aratea! Speak!

    _Ara._                      Dost hear that sound?
    It is the rustle of tear-dropping gods
    Who gather all the golden virtues up
    Vouchsafed to earth and trampled low by man.
    See how they rise with their immortal store,
    A moving radiance like the march of light,
    And leave us dark for want of what they bear?
    Far, far till stars must upward look to see--
    A sapphire trail through the ethereal rose!
    Now--earth and darkness--and you call it love!
                                             [_Sinks down_]

    _Aris._ [_Lifting her_] Fair soul, be mortal yet!

    _Ara._ [_Going from him_]        Who leaps for stars
    Must fall a million leagues too short, or else
    Take vantage not of earth. [_Goes to curtains_]
                             Farewell--till death.

    _Aris._ 'Twill not be long to wait. Thou canst not live
    In Dion's arms.

    _Ara._    Nor thine. As well to hope
    The air-winged seed will root in vacancy,
    And high mid-nothing hang with lob�d bloom,
    As that the rose of love will flower from
    The wreck of men and gods.

      [_He kneels and kisses her robe. She goes out_]

    _Aris._                   Before I die
    I've touched divinity.

      [_As he rises a slave rushes in, rear, and kneels_]

    _Slave._              My lord!

    _Aris._                       You serve
    Lord Heraclides, do you not?

    _Slave._               I do,
    And know his heart--his traitor heart.

    _Aris._                               Speak, man.

    _Slave._ You love the noble Dion?

    _Aris._ [_Starts_]                    Dion? Ay,
    I love him well.

    _Slave._         Sir, Heraclides comes
    To slay him. Dion, the good! But you will save him!
    �gisthus and Callorus aid my master.
    They're bringing Dion here.

    _Aris._                      Here? Haste! Bring you
    Ocrastes and Calippus! Freedom! Go!

     [_Slave runs out. Aristocles steps back unseen as Dion,
     Heraclides, �gisthus and Callorus enter. The slave running out
     meets them_]

    _Her._ What do you, sirrah?

      [_The slave runs by without answer_]

                                    Go! You'll not outrun
    The hangman!

     [_�gisthus and Callorus keep in rear of Heraclides, who walks with
     Dion_]

    _�g._ [_To Callorus_] We're betrayed.

    _Callo._ [_To Heraclides_] Do not delay
    The blow.

    _Her._ [_To Dion_] You like our plan, my lord?

    _�g._ [_To Heraclides_] Strike now.

    _Dion._ 'Tis balm to Syracuse. Your hand upon it,
    And pardon me my left.

    _Her._                  With all my heart!

     [_Stabs at Dion, whose sword arm is still in bandage. Aristocles,
     watching, springs out and knocks the weapon aside. Heraclides
     engages with him. Callorus rushes at Dion, who has loosened his
     right arm, and his foe, meeting unexpected defence, is slain.
     As Callorus falls, �gisthus strikes at Dion and disarms him,
     sending his weapon against the curtains, left. Dion, unarmed and
     suffering, falls back. Aristocles presses before Dion, fighting
     desperately with Heraclides and �gisthus, Aratea appears at
     curtains_]

    _Ara._ [_Taking up Dion's weapon_] O heart of Mars,
                                 beat here!

     [_She advances suddenly and draws upon �gisthus, who falls back
     in momentary astonishment, and Aristocles, relieved, slays
     Heraclides. Ocrastes and Calippus rush in rear, followed by guards
     and slaves. Theano and women, enter left. �gisthus kneels and
     surrenders his sword to Aratea_]

    _Cal._            No mercy now!
    [_To guards_] To prison with �gisthus!

              [_Guards lead off �gisthus_]

    _Oc._                                   Dion! Safe?

    _Dion._ [_Rising_] My wife--and friend--can tell you.
                                        Ask of them.

    _Oc._ [_Picking up bandage_] My lord, your scarf.

    _Dion._     Let 't be, my son. Let 't be.
    I shall not need it any more.

    _Oc._                    O joy,
    My lord!

    _Cal._ And joy for Heraclides' death!

    _Aris._ Poor man! His flattery so soon found friends
    That he himself was caught by it, and thought
    To gain a crown by Dion's death. E'en while
    They talked--O ne'er was friendly speech so punctured--
    His sword was out and aimed at Dion's bosom.

    _Oc._ Your blade is purple, but it should be black,
    So vile his blood!
                                   [_Dion sinks to a seat_]

    _Cal._ My lord!

    _Oc._ Your wound! He bleeds!
    O see! This stream is gushing as 'twould fill
    An ocean. Help! A surgeon!

    _Dion._ Nay, too late.
    Olympus' power alone is potent here.
    There's not enough of life in me to wish
    For life.

    _Ara._ O, Dion!

    _Dion._        Kneel here, my wife.

              [_Aratea kneels at Dion's side_]

                                              And you,
    Aristocles, come close to me.

        [_Aristocles kneels on the other side of Dion_]

                                 Two faces
    Where more of heaven is writ than I have seen
    In all the world beside. Ay, ye will pair
    Like twin divinities, and haply by
    The sweet conjunction of your beauteous stars
    Make a new influence in the skies may draw
    The world to heaven.
                        ... Ocrastes, son, on you
    Now falls the heavy weight of government.
    ... Farewell, all hearts. My way is new and long,
    And strange may be the fortunes of my shade,
    But somewhere I shall lay me down in peace,
    For death's unmeasured sea must own a strand,
    And e'en eternity beat to a shore.

                [_Dies._ _Curtain_]

    +--------------------------------------------------------------+
    |                Transcriber notes:                            |
    |                                                              |
    | Fixed up various punctuation.                                |
    |                                                              |
    | P. 40. '...fit to reach y weak'; changed 'y' to 'my'.        |
    |                                                              |
    | Note: text surrounded by _this_ indicates italics.           |
    | Text surrounded by =this= indicates bold.                    |
    |                                                              |
    +--------------------------------------------------------------+





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