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Becket and other plays by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Part 3 out of 6

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ACT IV.

SCENE I.--_The Outskirts of the Bower_.

GEOFFREY (_coming out of the wood_).
Light again! light again! Margery? no, that's a finer thing there. How
it glitters!

ELEANOR (_entering_).
Come to me, little one. How camest thou hither?

GEOFFREY.
On my legs.

ELEANOR.
And mighty pretty legs too. Thou art the prettiest child I ever saw.
Wilt thou love me?

GEOFFREY.
No; I only love mother.

ELEANOR.
Ay; and who is thy mother?

GEOFFREY.
They call her--But she lives secret, you see.

ELEANOR.
Why?

GEOFFREY.
Don't know why.

ELEANOR.
Ay, but some one comes to see her now and then. Who is he?

GEOFFREY.
Can't tell.

ELEANOR.
What does she call him?

GEOFFREY.
My liege.

ELEANOR.
Pretty one, how camest thou?

GEOFFREY.
There was a bit of yellow silk here and there, and it looked pretty
like a glowworm, and I thought if I followed it I should find the
fairies.

ELEANOR.
I am the fairy, pretty one, a good fairy to thy mother. Take me to
her.

GEOFFREY.
There are good fairies and bad fairies, and sometimes she cries, and
can't sleep sound o' nights because of the bad fairies.

ELEANOR.
She shall cry no more; she shall sleep sound enough if thou wilt take
me to her. I am her good fairy.

GEOFFREY.
But you don't look like a good fairy. Mother does. You are not pretty,
like mother.

ELEANOR.
We can't all of us be as pretty as thou art--(_aside_) little bastard.
Come, here is a golden chain I will give thee if thou wilt lead me to
thy mother.

GEOFFREY.
No--no gold. Mother says gold spoils all. Love is the only gold.

ELEANOR.
I love thy mother, my pretty boy. Show me where thou camest out of the
wood.

GEOFFREY.
By this tree; but I don't know if I can find the way back again.

ELEANOR.
Where's the warder?

GEOFFREY.
Very bad. Somebody struck him.

ELEANOR.
Ay? who was that?

GEOFFREY.
Can't tell. But I heard say he had had a stroke, or you'd have heard
his horn before now. Come along, then; we shall see the silk here and
there, and I want my supper.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE II.--ROSAMUND'S _Bower_.

ROSAMUND.
The boy so late; pray God, he be not lost.
I sent this Margery, and she comes not back;
I sent another, and she comes not back.
I go myself--so many alleys, crossings,
Paths, avenues--nay, if I lost him, now
The folds have fallen from the mystery,
And left all naked, I were lost indeed.
_Enter_ GEOFFREY _and_ ELEANOR.
Geoffrey, the pain thou hast put me to!
[_Seeing_ ELEANOR.
Ha, you!
How came you hither?

ELEANOR.
Your own child brought me hither!

GEOFFREY.
You said you couldn't trust Margery, and I watched her and followed
her into the woods, and I lost her and went on and on till I found the
light and the lady, and she says she can make you sleep o' nights.

ROSAMUND.
How dared you? Know you not this bower is secret,
Of and belonging to the King of England,
More sacred than his forests for the chase?
Nay, nay, Heaven help you; get you hence in haste
Lest worse befall you.

ELEANOR.
Child, I am mine own self
Of and belonging to the King. The King
Hath divers ofs and ons, ofs and belongings,
Almost as many as your true Mussulman--
Belongings, paramours, whom it pleases him
To call his wives; but so it chances, child,
That I am his main paramour, his sultana.
But since the fondest pair of doves will jar,
Ev'n in a cage of gold, we had words of late,
And thereupon he call'd my children bastards.
Do you believe that you are married to him?

ROSAMUND,
I _should_ believe it.

ELEANOR.
You must not believe it,
Because I have a wholesome medicine here
Puts that belief asleep. Your answer, beauty!
Do you believe that you are married to him?

ROSAMUND.
Geoffrey, my boy, I saw the ball you lost in the fork of the great
willow over the brook. Go. See that you do not fall in. Go.

GEOFFREY.
And leave you alone with the good fairy. She calls you beauty, but I
don't like her looks. Well, you bid me go, and I'll have my ball
anyhow. Shall I find you asleep when I come back?

ROSAMUND.
Go. [_Exit_ GEOFFREY.

ELEANOR.

He is easily found again. _Do_ you believe it?
I pray you then to take my sleeping-draught;
But if you should not care to take it--see!
[_Draws a dagger_.
What! have I scared the red rose from your face
Into your heart. But this will find it there,
And dig it from the root for ever.

ROSAMUND.
Help! help!

ELEANOR.
They say that walls have ears; but these, it seems,
Have none! and I have none--to pity thee.

ROSAMUND.
I do beseech you--my child is so young,
So backward too; I cannot leave him yet.
I am not so happy I could not die myself,
But the child is so young. You have children--his;
And mine is the King's child; so, if you love him--
Nay, if you love him, there is great wrong done
Somehow; but if you do not--there are those
Who say you do not love him--let me go
With my young boy, and I will hide my face,
Blacken and gipsyfy it; none shall know me;
The King shall never hear of me again,
But I will beg my bread along the world
With my young boy, and God will be our guide.
I never meant you harm in any way.
See, I can say no more.

ELEANOR.
Will you not say you are not married to him?

ROSAMUND.
Ay, Madam, I can _say_ it, if you will.

ELEANOR.
Then is thy pretty boy a bastard?

ROSAMUND.
No.

ELEANOR.

And thou thyself a proven wanton?

ROSAMUND.
No.
I am none such. I never loved but one.
I have heard of such that range from love to love,
Like the wild beast--if you can call it love.
I have heard of such--yea, even among those
Who sit on thrones--I never saw any such,
Never knew any such, and howsoever
You do misname me, match'd with any such,
I am snow to mud.

ELEANOR.
The more the pity then
That thy true home--the heavens--cry out for thee
Who art too pure for earth.

_Enter_ FITZURSE.

FITZURSE.
Give her to me.

ELEANOR.
The Judas-lover of our passion-play
Hath track'd us hither.

FITZURSE.
Well, why not? I follow'd
You and the child: he babbled all the way.
Give her to me to make my honeymoon.

ELEANOR.
Ay, as the bears love honey. Could you keep her
Indungeon'd from one whisper of the wind,
Dark even from a side glance of the moon,
And oublietted in the centre--No!
I follow out my hate and thy revenge.

FITZURSE.
You bad me take revenge another way--
To bring her to the dust.... Come with me, love,
And I will love thee.... Madam, let her live.
I have a far-off burrow where the King
Would miss her and for ever.

ELEANOR.
How sayst thou, sweetheart?
Wilt thou go with him? he will marry thee.

ROSAMUND.
Give me the poison; set me free of him!
[ELEANOR _offers the vial_.
No, no! I will not have it.

ELEANOR.
Then this other,
The wiser choice, because my sleeping-draught
May bloat thy beauty out of shape, and make
Thy body loathsome even to thy child;
While this but leaves thee with a broken heart,
A doll-face blanch'd and bloodless, over which
If pretty Geoffrey do not break his own,
It must be broken for him.

ROSAMUND.
O I see now
Your purpose is to fright me--a troubadour
You play with words. You had never used so many,
Not if you meant it, I am sure. The child....
No.... mercy! No! (_Kneels_.)

ELEANOR.
Play!... that bosom never
Heaved under the King's hand with such true passion
As at this loveless knife that stirs the riot,
Which it will quench in blood! Slave, if he love thee,
Thy life is worth the wrestle for it: arise,
And dash thyself against me that I may slay thee!
The worm! shall I let her go? But ha! what's here?
By very God, the cross I gave the King!
His village darling in some lewd caress
Has wheedled it off the King's neck to her own.
By thy leave, beauty. Ay, the same! I warrant
Thou hast sworn on this my cross a hundred times
Never to leave him--and that merits death,
False oath on holy cross--for thou must leave him
To-day, but not quite yet. My good Fitzurse,
The running down the chase is kindlier sport
Ev'n than the death. Who knows but that thy lover
May plead so pitifully, that I may spare thee?
Come hither, man; stand there. (_To Rosamund_)
Take thy one chance;
Catch at the last straw. Kneel to thy lord Fitzurse;
Crouch even because thou hatest him; fawn upon him
For thy life and thy son's.

ROSAMUND (_rising_).
I am a Clifford,
My son a Clifford and Plantagenet.
I am to die then, tho' there stand beside thee
One who might grapple with thy dagger, if he
Had aught of man, or thou of woman; or I
Would bow to such a baseness as would make me
Most worthy of it: both of us will die,
And I will fly with my sweet boy to heaven,
And shriek to all the saints among the stars:
'Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of England!
Murder'd by that adulteress Eleanor,
Whose doings are a horror to the east,
A hissing in the west!' Have we not heard
Raymond of Poitou, thine own uncle--nay,
Geoffrey Plantagenet, thine own husband's father--
Nay, ev'n the accursed heathen Saladdeen--
Strike!
I challenge thee to meet me before God.
Answer me there.

ELEANOR (_raising the dagger_).
This in thy bosom, fool,
And after in thy bastard's!

_Enter_ BECKET _from behind. Catches hold of her arm_.

BECKET.
Murderess!

[_The dagger falls; they stare at one another. After a pause_.

ELEANOR.
My lord, we know you proud of your fine hand,
But having now admired it long enough,
We find that it is mightier than it seems--
At least mine own is frailer: you are laming it.

BECKET.
And lamed and maim'd to dislocation, better
Than raised to take a life which Henry bad me
Guard from the stroke that dooms thee after death
To wail in deathless flame.

ELEANOR.
Nor you, nor I
Have now to learn, my lord, that our good Henry
Says many a thing in sudden heats, which he
Gainsays by next sunrising--often ready
To tear himself for having said as much.
My lord, Fitzurse--

BECKET.
He too! what dost thou here?
Dares the bear slouch into the lion's den?
One downward plunge of his paw would rend away
Eyesight and manhood, life itself, from thee.
Go, lest I blast thee with anathema,
And make thee a world's horror.

FITZURSE.
My lord, I shall
Remember this.

BECKET.
I _do_ remember thee;
Lest I remember thee to the lion, go.
[_Exit_ FITZURSE.
Take up your dagger; put it in the sheath.

ELEANOR.
Might not your courtesy stoop to hand it me?
But crowns must bow when mitres sit so high.
Well--well--too costly to be left or lost.
[_Picks up the dagger_.
I had it from an Arab soldan, who,
When I was there in Antioch, marvell'd at
Our unfamiliar beauties of the west;
But wonder'd more at my much constancy
To the monk-king, Louis, our former burthen,
From whom, as being too kin, you know, my lord,
God's grace and Holy Church deliver'd us.
I think, time given, I could have talk'd him out of
His ten wives into one. Look at the hilt.
What excellent workmanship. In our poor west
We cannot do it so well.

BECKET.
We can do worse.
Madam, I saw your dagger at her throat;
I heard your savage cry.

ELEANOR.
Well acted, was it?
A comedy meant to seem a tragedy--
A feint, a farce. My honest lord, you are known
Thro' all the courts of Christendom as one
That mars a cause with over-violence.
You have wrong'd Fitzurse. I speak not of myself.
We thought to scare this minion of the King
Back from her churchless commerce with the King
To the fond arms of her first love, Fitzurse,
Who swore to marry her. You have spoilt the farce.
My savage cry? Why, she--she--when I strove
To work against her license for her good,
Bark'd out at me such monstrous charges, that
The King himself, for love of his own sons,
If hearing, would have spurn'd her; whereupon
I menaced her with this, as when we threaten
A yelper with a stick. Nay, I deny not
That I was somewhat anger'd. Do you hear me?
Believe or no, I care not. You have lost
The ear of the King. I have it.... My lord Paramount,
Our great High-priest, will not your Holiness
Vouchsafe a gracious answer to your Queen?

BECKET.
Rosamund hath not answer'd you one word;
Madam, I will not answer you one word.
Daughter, the world hath trick'd thee. Leave it, daughter;
Come thou with me to Godstow nunnery,
And live what may be left thee of a life
Saved as by miracle alone with Him
Who gave it.

_Re-enter_ GEOFFREY.

GEOFFREY.
Mother, you told me a great fib: it wasn't in the willow.

BECKET.
Follow us, my son, and we will find it for thee--
Or something manlier.
[_Exeunt_ BECKET, ROSAMUND, _and_ GEOFFREY.

ELEANOR.
The world hath trick'd her--that's the King; if so,
There was the farce, the feint--not mine. And yet
I am all but sure my dagger was a feint
Till the worm turn'd--not life shot up in blood,
But death drawn in;--_(looking at the vial) this_ was no feint then?
no.
But can I swear to that, had she but given
Plain answer to plain query? nay, methinks
Had she but bow'd herself to meet the wave
Of humiliation, worshipt whom she loathed,
I should have let her be, scorn'd her too much
To harm her. Henry--Becket tells him this--
To take my life might lose him Aquitaine.
Too politic for that. Imprison me?
No, for it came to nothing--only a feint.
Did she not tell me I was playing on her?
I'll swear to mine own self it was a feint.
Why should I swear, Eleanor, who am, or was,
A sovereign power? The King plucks out their eyes
Who anger him, and shall not I, the Queen,
Tear out her heart--kill, kill with knife or venom
One of his slanderous harlots? 'None of such?'
I love her none the more. Tut, the chance gone,
She lives--but not for him; one point is gain'd.
O I, that thro' the Pope divorced King Louis,
Scorning his monkery,--I that wedded Henry,
Honouring his manhood--will he not mock at me
The jealous fool balk'd of her will--with _him_?
But he and he must never meet again.
Reginald Fitzurse!

_Re-enter_ FITZURSE.

FITZURSE.
Here, Madam, at your pleasure.

ELEANOR.
My pleasure is to have a man about me.
Why did you slink away so like a cur?

FITZURSE.

Madam, I am as much man as the King.
Madam, I fear Church-censures like your King.

ELEANOR.

He grovels to the Church when he's black-blooded,
But kinglike fought the proud archbishop,--kinglike
Defied the Pope, and, like his kingly sires,
The Normans, striving still to break or bind
The spiritual giant with our island laws
And customs, made me for the moment proud
Ev'n of that stale Church-bond which link'd me with him
To bear him kingly sons. I am not so sure
But that I love him still. Thou as much man!
No more of that; we will to France and be
Beforehand with the King, and brew from out
This Godstow-Becket intermeddling such
A strong hate-philtre as may madden him--madden
Against his priest beyond all hellebore.

ACT V.

SCENE I.--_Castle in Normandy. King's Chamber_.

HENRY, ROGER OF YORK, FOLIOT, JOCELYN OF SALISBURY.

ROGER OF YORK.
Nay, nay, my liege,
He rides abroad with armed followers,
Hath broken all his promises to thyself,
Cursed and anathematised us right and left,
Stirr'd up a party there against your son--

HENRY.
Roger of York, you always hated him,
Even when you both were boys at Theobald's.

ROGER OF YORK.
I always hated boundless arrogance.
In mine own cause I strove against him there,
And in thy cause I strive against him now.

HENRY.
I cannot think he moves against my son,
Knowing right well with what a tenderness
He loved my son.

ROGER OF YORK.
Before you made him king.
But Becket ever moves against a king.
The Church is all--the crime to be a king.
We trust your Royal Grace, lord of more land
Than any crown in Europe, will not yield
To lay your neck beneath your citizens' heel.

HENRY.
Not to a Gregory of my throning! No.

FOLIOT.
My royal liege, in aiming at your love,
It may be sometimes I have overshot
My duties to our Holy Mother Church,
Tho' all the world allows I fall no inch
Behind this Becket, rather go beyond
In scourgings, macerations, mortifyings,
Fasts, disciplines that clear the spiritual eye,
And break the soul from earth. Let all that be.
I boast not: but you know thro' all this quarrel
I still have cleaved to the crown, in hope the crown
Would cleave to me that but obey'd the crown,
Crowning your son; for which our loyal service,
And since we likewise swore to obey the customs,
York and myself, and our good Salisbury here,
Are push'd from out communion of the Church.

JOCELYN OF SALISBURY.
Becket hath trodden on us like worms, my liege;
Trodden one half dead; one half, but half-alive,
Cries to the King.

HENRY (_aside_).
Take care o' thyself, O King.

JOCELYN OF SALISBURY.
Being so crush'd and so humiliated
We scarcely dare to bless the food we eat
Because of Becket.

HENRY.
What would ye have me do?

ROGER OF YORK.
Summon your barons; take their counsel: yet
I know--could swear--as long as Becket breathes,
Your Grace will never have one quiet hour.

HENRY.
What?... Ay ... but pray you do not work upon me.
I see your drift ... it may be so ... and yet
You know me easily anger'd. Will you hence?
He shall absolve you ... you shall have redress.
I have a dizzying headache. Let me rest.
I'll call you by and by.

[_Exeunt_ ROGER OF YORK, FOLIOT, _and_ JOCELYN OF SALISBURY.

Would he were dead! I have lost all love for him.
If God would take him in some sudden way--
Would he were dead. [_Lies down_.

PAGE (_entering_).
My liege, the Queen of England.

HENRY.
God's eyes! [_Starting up_.

_Enter_ ELEANOR.

ELEANOR.
Of England? Say of Aquitaine.
I am no Queen of England. I had dream'd
I was the bride of England, and a queen.

HENRY.
And,--while you dream'd you were the bride of England,--
Stirring her baby-king against me? ha!

ELEANOR.
The brideless Becket is thy king and mine:
I will go live and die in Aquitaine.

HENRY.
Except I clap thee into prison here,
Lest thou shouldst play the wanton there again.
Ha, you of Aquitaine! O you of Aquitaine!
You were but Aquitaine to Louis--no wife;
You are only Aquitaine to me--no wife.

ELEANOR.
And why, my lord, should I be wife to one
That only wedded me for Aquitaine?
Yet this no wife--her six and thirty sail
Of Provence blew you to your English throne;
And this no wife has born you four brave sons,
And one of them at least is like to prove
Bigger in our small world than thou art.

HENRY.
Ay--
Richard, if he _be_ mine--I hope him mine.
But thou art like enough to make him thine.

ELEANOR.
Becket is like enough to make all his.

HENRY.
Methought I had recover'd of the Becket,
That all was planed and bevell'd smooth again,
Save from some hateful cantrip of thine own.

ELEANOR.
I will go live and die in Aquitaine.
I dream'd I was the consort of a king,
Not one whose back his priest has broken.

HENRY.
What!
Is the end come? You, will you crown my foe
My victor in mid-battle? I will be
Sole master of my house. The end is mine.
What game, what juggle, what devilry are you playing?
Why do you thrust this Becket on me again?

ELEANOR.
Why? for I _am_ true wife, and have my fears
Lest Becket thrust you even from your throne.
Do you know this cross, my liege?

HENRY (_turning his head_).
Away! Not I.

ELEANOR.
Not ev'n the central diamond, worth, I think,
Half of the Antioch whence I had it.

HENRY.
That?

ELEANOR.
I gave it you, and you your paramour;
She sends it back, as being dead to earth,
So dead henceforth to you.

HENRY.
Dead! you have murder'd her,
Found out her secret bower and murder'd her.

ELEANOR.
Your Becket knew the secret of your bower.

HENRY (_calling out_).
Ho there! thy rest of life is hopeless prison.

ELEANOR.
And what would my own Aquitaine say to that?
First, free thy captive from _her_ hopeless prison.

HENRY.
O devil, can I free her from the grave?

ELEANOR.
You are too tragic: both of us are players
In such a comedy as our court of Provence
Had laugh'd at. That's a delicate Latin lay
Of Walter Map: the lady holds the cleric
Lovelier than any soldier, his poor tonsure
A crown of Empire. Will you have it again?
(_Offering the cross. He dashes it down_.)
St. Cupid, that is too irreverent.
Then mine once more. (_Puts it on_.)
Your cleric hath your lady.
Nay, what uncomely faces, could he see you!
Foam at the mouth because King Thomas, lord
Not only of your vassals but amours,
Thro' chastest honour of the Decalogue
Hath used the full authority of his Church
To put her into Godstow nunnery.

HENRY.
To put her into Godstow nunnery!
He dared not--liar! yet, yet I remember--
I do remember.
He bad me put her into a nunnery--
Into Godstow, into Hellstow, Devilstow!
The Church! the Church!
God's eyes! I would the Church were down in hell!
[_Exit_.

ELEANOR.
Aha!

_Enter the four_ KNIGHTS.

FITZURSE.
What made the King cry out so furiously?

ELEANOR.
Our Becket, who will not absolve the Bishops.
I think ye four have cause to love this Becket.

FITZURSE.
I hate him for his insolence to all.

DE TRACY.
And I for all his insolence to thee.

DE BRITO.
I hate him for I hate him is my reason,
And yet I hate him for a hypocrite.

DE MORVILLE.
I do not love him, for he did his best
To break the barons, and now braves the King.

ELEANOR.
Strike, then, at once, the King would have him--See!

_Re-enter_ HENRY.

HENRY.
No man to love me, honour me, obey me!
Sluggards and fools!
The slave that eat my bread has kick'd his King!
The dog I cramm'd with dainties worried me!
The fellow that on a lame jade came to court,
A ragged cloak for saddle--he, he, he,
To shake my throne, to push into my chamber--
My bed, where ev'n the slave is private--he--
I'll have her out again, he shall absolve
The bishops--they but did my will--not you--
Sluggards and fools, why do you stand and stare?
You are no king's men--you--you--you are Becket's men.
Down with King Henry! up with the Archbishop!
Will no man free me from this pestilent priest? [_Exit_.
[_The_ KNIGHTS _draw their swords_.

ELEANOR.
_Are_ ye king's men? I am king's woman, I.

THE KNIGHTS.
King's men! King's men!

SCENE II.--_A Room in Canterbury Monastery_.

BECKET _and_ JOHN OF SALISBURY.

BECKET.
York said so?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Yes: a man may take good counsel
Ev'n from his foe.

BECKET.
York will say anything.
What is he saying now? gone to the King
And taken our anathema with him. York!
Can the King de-anathematise this York?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Thomas, I would thou hadst return'd to England,
Like some wise prince of this world from his wars,
With more of olive-branch and amnesty
For foes at home--thou hast raised the world against thee.

BECKET.
Why, John, my kingdom is not of this world.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
If it were more of this world it might be
More of the next. A policy of wise pardon
Wins here as well as there. To bless thine enemies--

BECKET.
Ay, mine, not Heaven's.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
And may there not be something
Of this world's leaven in thee too, when crying
On Holy Church to thunder out her rights
And thine own wrong so pitilessly. Ah, Thomas,
The lightnings that we think are only Heaven's
Flash sometimes out of earth against the heavens.
The soldier, when he lets his whole self go
Lost in the common good, the common wrong,
Strikes truest ev'n for his own self. I crave
Thy pardon--I have still thy leave to speak.
Thou hast waged God's war against the King; and yet
We are self-uncertain creatures, and we may,
Yea, even when we know not, mix our spites
And private hates with our defence of Heaven.

[_Enter_ EDWARD GRIM.

BECKET.
Thou art but yesterday from Cambridge, Grim;
What say ye there of Becket?

GRIM.
_I_ believe him
The bravest in our roll of Primates down
From Austin--there are some--for there are men
Of canker'd judgment everywhere--

BECKET.
Who hold
With York, with York against me.

GRIM.
Well, my lord,
A stranger monk desires access to you.

BECKET.
York against Canterbury, York against God!
I am open to him.
[_Exit_ GRIM.

_Enter_ ROSAMUND _as a Monk_.

ROSAMUND.
Can I speak with you
Alone, my father?

BECKET.
Come you to confess?

ROSAMUND.
Not now.

BECKET.
Then speak; this is my other self,
Who like my conscience never lets me be.

ROSAMUND (_throwing back the cowl_).
I know him; our good John of Salisbury.

BECKET.
Breaking already from thy noviciate
To plunge into this bitter world again--
These wells of Marah. I am grieved, my daughter.
I thought that I had made a peace for thee.

ROSAMUND.
Small peace was mine in my noviciate, father.
Thro' all closed doors a dreadful whisper crept
That thou wouldst excommunicate the King.
I could not eat, sleep, pray: I had with me
The monk's disguise thou gavest me for my bower:
I think our Abbess knew it and allow'd it.
I fled, and found thy name a charm to get me
Food, roof, and rest. I met a robber once,
I told him I was bound to see the Archbishop;
'Pass on,' he said, and in thy name I pass'd
From house to house. In one a son stone-blind
Sat by his mother's hearth: he had gone too far
Into the King's own woods; and the poor mother,
Soon as she learnt I was a friend of thine,
Cried out against the cruelty of the King.
I said it was the King's courts, not the King;
But she would not believe me, and she wish'd
The Church were king: she had seen the Archbishop once,
So mild, so kind. The people love thee, father.

BECKET.
Alas! when I was Chancellor to the King,
I fear I was as cruel as the King.

ROSAMUND.
Cruel? Oh, no--it is the law, not he;
The customs of the realm.

BECKET.
The customs! customs!

ROSAMUND.
My lord, you have not excommunicated him?
Oh, if you have, absolve him!

BECKET.
Daughter, daughter,
Deal not with things you know not.

ROSAMUND.
I know _him_.
Then you have done it, and I call _you_ cruel.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
No, daughter, you mistake our good Archbishop;
For once in France the King had been so harsh,
He thought to excommunicate him--Thomas,
You could not--old affection master'd you,
You falter'd into tears.

ROSAMUND.
God bless him for it.

BECKET.
Nay, make me not a woman, John of Salisbury,
Nor make me traitor to my holy office.
Did not a man's voice ring along the aisle,
'The King is sick and almost unto death.'
How could I excommunicate him then?

ROSAMUND.
And wilt thou excommunicate him now?

BECKET.
Daughter, my time is short, I shall not do it.
And were it longer--well--I should not do it.

ROSAMUND.
Thanks in this life, and in the life to come.

BECKET.
Get thee back to thy nunnery with all haste;
Let this be thy last trespass. But one question--
How fares thy pretty boy, the little Geoffrey?
No fever, cough, croup, sickness?

ROSAMUND.
No, but saved
From all that by our solitude. The plagues
That smite the city spare the solitudes.

BECKET.
God save him from all sickness of the soul!
Thee too, thy solitude among thy nuns,
May that save thee! Doth he remember me?

ROSAMUND.
I warrant him.

BECKET.
He is marvellously like thee.

ROSAMUND.
Liker the King.

BECKET.
No, daughter.

ROSAMUND.
Ay, but wait
Till his nose rises; he will be very king.

BECKET.
Ev'n so: but think not of the King: farewell!

ROSAMUND.
My lord, the city is full of armed men.

BECKET,
Ev'n so: farewell!

ROSAMUND.
I will but pass to vespers,
And breathe one prayer for my liege-lord the King,
His child and mine own soul, and so return.

BECKET.
Pray for me too: much need of prayer have I.
[ROSAMUND _kneels and goes_.
Dan John, how much we lose, we celibates,
Lacking the love of woman and of child.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
More gain than loss; for of your wives you shall
Find one a slut whose fairest linen seems
Foul as her dust-cloth, if she used it--one
So charged with tongue, that every thread of thought
Is broken ere it joins--a shrew to boot,
Whose evil song far on into the night
Thrills to the topmost tile--no hope but death;
One slow, fat, white, a burthen of the hearth;
And one that being thwarted ever swoons
And weeps herself into the place of power;
And one an _uxor pauperis Ibyci_.
So rare the household honey-making bee,
Man's help! but we, we have the Blessed Virgin
For worship, and our Mother Church for bride;
And all the souls we saved and father'd here
Will greet us as our babes in Paradise.
What noise was that? she told us of arm'd men
Here in the city. Will you not withdraw?

BECKET.
I once was out with Henry in the days
When Henry loved me, and we came upon
A wild-fowl sitting on her nest, so still
I reach'd my hand and touch'd; she did not stir;
The snow had frozen round her, and she sat
Stone-dead upon a heap of ice-cold eggs.
Look! how this love, this mother, runs thro' all
The world God made--even the beast--the bird!

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Ay, still a lover of the beast and bird?
But these arm'd men--will you not hide yourself?
Perchance the fierce De Brocs from Saltwood Castle,
To assail our Holy Mother lest she brood
Too long o'er this hard egg, the world, and send
Her whole heart's heat into it, till it break
Into young angels. Pray you, hide yourself.

BECKET.
There was a little fair-hair'd Norman maid
Lived in my mother's house: if Rosamund is
The world's rose, as her name imports her--she
Was the world's lily.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Ay, and what of her?

BECKET.
She died of leprosy.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
I know not why
You call these old things back again, my lord.

BECKET.
The drowning man, they say, remembers all
The chances of his life, just ere he dies.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Ay--but these arm'd men--will _you_ drown _yourself?_
He loses half the meed of martyrdom
Who will be martyr when he might escape.

BECKET.
What day of the week? Tuesday?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Tuesday, my lord,

BECKET.
On a Tuesday was I born, and on a Tuesday
Baptized; and on a Tuesday did I fly
Forth from Northampton; on a Tuesday pass'd
From England into bitter banishment;
On a Tuesday at Pontigny came to me
The ghostly warning of my martyrdom;
On a Tuesday from mine exile I return'd,
And on a Tuesday--

[TRACY _enters, then_ FITZURSE, DE BRITO, _and_
DE MORVILLE. MONKS _following_.

--on a Tuesday----Tracy!

_A long silence, broken by_ FITZURSE _saying, contemptuously,_

God help thee!

JOHN OF SALISBURY (_aside_).
How the good Archbishop reddens!
He never yet could brook the note of scorn.

FITZURSE.
My lord, we bring a message from the King
Beyond the water; will you have it alone,
Or with these listeners near you?

BECKET.
As you will.

FITZURSE.
Nay, as _you_ will.

BECKET.
Nay, as _you_ will.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Why then
Better perhaps to speak with them apart.
Let us withdraw.

[_All go out except the four_ KNIGHTS _and_ BECKET.

FITZURSE.
We are all alone with him.
Shall I not smite him with his own cross-staff?

DE MORVILLE.
No, look! the door is open: let him be.

FITZURSE.
The King condemns your excommunicating----

BECKET.
This is no secret, but a public matter.
In here again!
[JOHN OF SALISBURY _and_ MONKS _return_.
Now, sirs, the King's commands!

FITZURSE.
The King beyond the water, thro' our voices,
Commands you to be dutiful and leal
To your young King on this side of the water,
Not scorn him for the foibles of his youth.
What! you would make his coronation void
By cursing those who crown'd him. Out upon you!

BECKET.
Reginald, all men know I loved the Prince.
His father gave him to my care, and I
Became his second father: he had his faults,
For which I would have laid mine own life down
To help him from them, since indeed I loved him,
And love him next after my lord his father.
Rather than dim the splendour of his crown
I fain would treble and quadruple it
With revenues, realms, and golden provinces
So that were done in equity.

FITZURSE.
You have broken
Your bond of peace, your treaty with the King--
Wakening such brawls and loud disturbances
In England, that he calls you oversea
To answer for it in his Norman courts.

BECKET.
Prate not of bonds, for never, oh, never again
Shall the waste voice of the bond-breaking sea
Divide me from the mother church of England,
My Canterbury. Loud disturbances!
Oh, ay--the bells rang out even to deafening,
Organ and pipe, and dulcimer, chants and hymns
In all the churches, trumpets in the halls,
Sobs, laughter, cries: they spread their raiment down
Before me--would have made my pathway flowers,
Save that it was mid-winter in the street,
But full mid-summer in those honest hearts.

FITZURSE.
The King commands you to absolve the bishops
Whom you have excommunicated.

BECKET.
I?
Not I, the Pope. Ask _him_ for absolution.

FITZURSE.
But you advised the Pope.

BECKET.
And so I did.
They have but to submit.

THE FOUR KNIGHTS.
The King commands you.
We are all King's men.

BECKET.
King's men at least should know
That their own King closed with me last July
That I should pass the censures of the Church
On those that crown'd young Henry in this realm,
And trampled on the rights of Canterbury.

FITZURSE.
What! dare you charge the King with treachery?
_He_ sanction thee to excommunicate
The prelates whom he chose to crown his son!

BECKET.
I spake no word of treachery, Reginald.
But for the truth of this I make appeal
To all the archbishops, bishops, prelates, barons,
Monks, knights, five hundred, that were there and heard.
Nay, you yourself were there: you heard yourself.

FITZURSE.
I was not there.

BECKET.
I saw you there.

FITZURSE.
I was not.

BECKET.
You were. I never forget anything.

FITZURSE.
He makes the King a traitor, me a liar.
How long shall we forbear him?

JOHN OF SALISBURY (_drawing_ BECKET _aside_).
O my good lord.
Speak with them privately on this hereafter.
You see they have been revelling, and I fear
Are braced and brazen'd up with Christmas wines
For any murderous brawl.

BECKET.
And yet they prate
Of mine, my brawls, when those, that name themselves
Of the King's part, have broken down our barns,
Wasted our diocese, outraged our tenants,
Lifted our produce, driven our clerics out--
Why they, your friends, those ruffians, the De Brocs,
They stood on Dover beach to murder me,
They slew my stags in mine own manor here,
Mutilated, poor brute, my sumpter-mule,
Plunder'd the vessel full of Gascon wine,
The old King's present, carried off the casks,
Kill'd half the crew, dungeon'd the other half
In Pevensey Castle--

DE MORVILLE.
Why not rather then,
If this be so, complain to your young King,
Not punish of your own authority?

BECKET.
Mine enemies barr'd all access to the boy.
They knew he loved me.
Hugh, Hugh, how proudly you exalt your head!
Nay, when they seek to overturn our rights,
I ask no leave of king, or mortal man,
To set them straight again. Alone I do it.
Give to the King the things that are the King's,
And those of God to God.

FITZURSE.
Threats! threats! ye hear him.
What! will he excommunicate all the world?

[_The_ KNIGHTS _come round_ BECKET.

DE TRACY.
He shall not.

DE BRITO.
Well, as yet--I should be grateful--
He hath not excommunicated _me_.

BECKET.
Because thou wast _born_ excommunicate.
I never spied in thee one gleam of grace.

DE BRITO.
Your Christian's Christian charity!

BECKET.
By St. Denis----

DE BRITO.
Ay, by St. Denis, now will he flame out,
And lose his head as old St. Denis did.

BECKET.
Ye think to scare me from my loyalty
To God and to the Holy Father. No!
Tho' all the swords in England flash'd above me
Ready to fall at Henry's word or yours--
Tho' all the loud-lung'd trumpets upon earth
Blared from the heights of all the thrones of her kings,
Blowing the world against me, I would stand
Clothed with the full authority of Rome,
Mail'd in the perfect panoply of faith,
First of the foremost of their files, who die
For God, to people heaven in the great day
When God makes up his jewels. Once I fled--
Never again, and you--I marvel at you--
Ye know what is between us. Ye have sworn
Yourselves my men when I was Chancellor--
My vassals--and yet threaten your Archbishop
In his own house.

KNIGHTS.
Nothing can be between us
That goes against our fealty to the King.

FITZURSE.
And in his name we charge you that ye keep
This traitor from escaping.

BECKET.
Rest you easy,
For I am easy to keep. I shall not fly.
Here, here, here will you find me.

DE MORVILLE.
Know you not
You have spoken to the peril of your life?

BECKET.
As I shall speak again.

FITZURSE, DE TRACY, _and_ DE BRITO.
To arms!

[_They rush out,_ DE MORVILLE _lingers_.

BECKET.
De Morville,
I had thought so well of you; and even now
You seem the least assassin of the four.
Oh, do not damn yourself for company!
Is it too late for me to save your soul?
I pray you for one moment stay and speak.

DE MORVILLE.
Becket, it _is_ too late. [_Exit_.

BECKET.
Is it too late?
Too late on earth may be too soon in hell.

KNIGHTS (_in the distance_).
Close the great gate--ho, there--upon the town.

BECKET'S RETAINERS.
Shut the hall-doors. [_A pause_.

BECKET.
You hear them, brother John;
Why do you stand so silent, brother John?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
For I was musing on an ancient saw,
_Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re,_
Is strength less strong when hand-in-hand with grace?
_Gratior in pulchro corpore virtus_. Thomas,
Why should you heat yourself for such as these?

BECKET.
Methought I answer'd moderately enough.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
As one that blows the coal to cool the fire.
My lord, I marvel why you never lean
On any man's advising but your own.

BECKET.
Is it so, Dan John? well, what should I have done?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
You should have taken counsel with your friends
Before these bandits brake into your presence.
They seek--you make--occasion for your death.

BECKET.
My counsel is already taken, John.
I am prepared to die.

JOHN OF SALISBURY
We are sinners all,
The best of all not all-prepared to die.

BECKET.
God's will be done!

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Ay, well. God's will be done!

GRIM (_re-entering_).
My lord, the knights are arming in the garden
Beneath the sycamore.

BECKET.
Good! let them arm.

GRIM.
And one of the De Brocs is with them, Robert,
The apostate monk that was with Randulf here.
He knows the twists and turnings of the place.

BECKET.
No fear!

GRIM.
No fear, my lord.

[_Crashes on the hall-doors. The_ MONKS _flee_.

BECKET (_rising_).
Our dovecote flown!
I cannot tell why monks should all be cowards.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Take refuge in your own cathedral, Thomas.

BECKET.
Do they not fight the Great Fiend day by day?
Valour and holy life should go together.
Why should all monks be cowards?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Are they so?
I say, take refuge in your own cathedral.

BECKET.
Ay, but I told them I would wait them here.

GRIM.
May they not say you dared not show yourself
In your old place? and vespers are beginning.
[_Bell rings for vespers till end of scene_.
You should attend the office, give them heart.
They fear you slain: they dread they know not what.

BECKET.
Ay, monks, not men.

GRIM.
I am a monk, my lord,
Perhaps, my lord, you wrong us.
Some would stand by you to the death.

BECKET.
Your pardon.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
He said, 'Attend the office.'

BECKET.
Attend the office?
Why then--The Cross!--who bears my Cross before me?
Methought they would have brain'd me with it, John.

[GRIM _takes it_.

GRIM.
I! Would that I could bear thy cross indeed!

BECKET.
The Mitre!

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Will you wear it?--there!

[BECKET _puts on the mitre_.

BECKET.
The Pall!
I go to meet my King! [_Puts on the pall_.

GRIM.
To meet the King?
[_Crashes on the doors as they go out_.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
Why do you move with such a stateliness?
Can you not hear them yonder like a storm,
Battering the doors, and breaking thro' the walls?

BECKET.
Why do the heathen rage? My two good friends,
What matters murder'd here, or murder'd there?
And yet my dream foretold my martyrdom
In mine own church. It is God's will. Go on.
Nay, drag me not. We must not seem to fly.

SCENE III.--_North Transept of Canterbury Cathedral. On the right hand
a flight of steps leading to the Choir, another flight on the left,
leading to the North Aisle. Winter afternoon slowly darkening. Low
thunder now and then of an approaching storm_. MONKS _heard chanting
the service_. ROSAMUND _kneeling_.

ROSAMUND.
O blessed saint, O glorious Benedict,--
These arm'd men in the city, these fierce faces--
Thy holy follower founded Canterbury--
Save that dear head which now is Canterbury,
Save him, he saved my life, he saved my child,
Save him, his blood would darken Henry's name;
Save him till all as saintly as thyself
He miss the searching flame of purgatory,
And pass at once perfect to Paradise.
[_Noise of steps and voices in the cloisters_.
Hark! Is it they? Coming! He is not here--
Not yet, thank heaven. O save him!
[_Goes up steps leading to choir_.

BECKET (_entering, forced along by_ JOHN OF SALISBURY _and_ GRIM).
No, I tell you!
I cannot bear a hand upon my person,
Why do you force me thus against my will?

GRIM.
My lord, we force you from your enemies.

BECKET.
As you would force a king from being crown'd.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
We must not force the crown of martyrdom.

[_Service stops_. MONKS _come down from the
stairs that lead to the choir_.

MONKS.
Here is the great Archbishop! He lives! he lives!
Die with him, and be glorified together.

BECKET.
Together?... get you back! go on with the office.

MONKS.
Come, then, with us to vespers.

BECKET.
How can I come
When you so block the entry? Back, I say!
Go on with the office. Shall not Heaven be served
Tho' earth's last earthquake clash'd the minster-bells,
And the great deeps were broken up again,
And hiss'd against the sun? [_Noise in the cloisters_.

MONKS.
The murderers, hark!
Let us hide! let us hide!

BECKET.
What do these people fear?

MONKS.
Those arm'd men in the cloister.

BECKET.
Be not such cravens!
I will go out and meet them.

GRIM _and others_.
Shut the doors!
We will not have him slain before our face.
[_They close the doors of the transept. Knocking_.
Fly, fly, my lord, before they burst the doors!
[_Knocking_.

BECKET.
Why, these are our own monks who follow'd us!
And will you bolt them out, and have _them_ slain?
Undo the doors: the church is not a castle:
Knock, and it shall be open'd. Are you deaf?
What, have I lost authority among you?
Stand by, make way!
[_Opens the doors. Enter_ MONKS _from cloister_.
Come in, my friends, come in!
Nay, faster, faster!

MONKS.
Oh, my lord Archbishop,
A score of knights all arm'd with swords and axes--
To the choir, to the choir!

[_Monks divide, part flying by the stairs on the
right, part by those on the left. The rush of
these last bears_ BECKET _along with them some
way up the steps, where he is left standing alone_.

BECKET.
Shall I too pass to the choir,
And die upon the Patriarchal throne
Of all my predecessors?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.
No, to the crypt!
Twenty steps down. Stumble not in the darkness,
Lest they should seize thee.

GRIM.
To the crypt? no--no,
To the chapel of St. Blaise beneath the roof!

JOHN OF SALISBURY (_pointing upward and downward_).
That way, or this! Save thyself either way.

BECKET.
Oh, no, not either way, nor any way
Save by that way which leads thro' night to light.
Not twenty steps, but one.
And fear not I should stumble in the darkness,
Not tho' it be their hour, the power of darkness,
But my hour too, the power of light in darkness!
I am not in the darkness but the light,
Seen by the Church in Heaven, the Church on earth--
The power of life in death to make her free!

[_Enter the four_ KNIGHTS. JOHN OF SALISBURY
_flies to the altar of St. Benedict_.

FITZURSE.
Here, here, King's men!
[Catches hold of the last flying MONK.
Where is the traitor Becket?

MONK.
I am not he! I am not he, my lord.
I am not he indeed!

FITZURSE.
Hence to the fiend!
[_Pushes him away_.
Where is this treble traitor to the King?

DE TRACY.
Where is the Archbishop, Thomas Becket?

BECKET.
Here.
No traitor to the King, but Priest of God,
Primate of England.
[_Descending into the transept_.
I am he ye seek.
What would ye have of me?

FlTZURSE.
Your life.

DE TRACY.
Your life.

DE MORVILLE.
Save that you will absolve the bishops.

BECKET.
Never,--
Except they make submission to the Church.
You had my answer to that cry before.

DE MORVILLE.
Why, then you are a dead man; flee!

BECKET.
I will not.
I am readier to be slain, than thou to slay.
Hugh, I know well thou hast but half a heart
To bathe this sacred pavement with my blood.
God pardon thee and these, but God's full curse
Shatter you all to pieces if ye harm
One of my flock!

FITZURSE.
Was not the great gate shut?
They are thronging in to vespers--half the town.
We shall be overwhelm'd. Seize him and carry him!
Come with us--nay--thou art our prisoner--come!

DE MORVILLE.
Ay, make him prisoner, do not harm the man.

[FITZURSE _lays hold of the_ ARCHBISHOP'S _pall_.

BECKET.
Touch me not!

DE BRITO.
How the good priest gods himself!
He is not yet ascended to the Father.

FITZURSE.
I will not only touch, but drag thee hence.

BECKET.
Thou art my man, thou art my vassal. Away!
[_Flings him off till he reels, almost to falling_.

DE TRACY (_lays hold of the pall_).
Come; as he said, thou art our prisoner.

BECKET.
Down!
[_Throws him headlong_.

FITZURSE (_advances with drawn sword_).
I told thee that I should remember thee!

BECKET.
Profligate pander!

FITZURSE.
Do you hear that? strike, strike.

[_Strikes off the_ ARCHBISHOP'S _mitre, and wounds
him in the forehead_.

BECKET (_covers his eyes with his hand_).
I do commend my cause to God, the Virgin,
St. Denis of France and St. Alphege of England,
And all the tutelar Saints of Canterbury.
[GRIM _wraps his arms about the_ ARCHBISHOP.
Spare this defence, dear brother.

[TRACY _has arisen, and approaches, hesitatingly,
with his sword raised_.

FITZURSE.
Strike him, Tracy!

ROSAMUND (_rushing down steps from the choir)_.
No, No, No, No!

FlTZURSE.
This wanton here. De Morville,
Hold her away.

DE MORVILLE.
I hold her.

ROSAMUND (_held back by_ DE MORVILLE, _and stretching out her arms)_.
Mercy, mercy,
As you would hope for mercy.

FlTZURSE.
Strike, I say.

GRIM.
O God, O noble knights, O sacrilege!
Strike our Archbishop in his own cathedral!
The Pope, the King, will curse you--the whole world
Abhor you; ye will die the death of dogs!
Nay, nay, good Tracy. [_Lifts his arm_.

FlTZURSE.
Answer not, but strike.

DE TRACY.
There is my answer then.

[_Sword falls on_ GRIM'S _arm, and glances from it,
wounding_ BECKET.

GRIM.
Mine arm is sever'd.
I can no more--fight out the good fight--die
Conqueror. [_Staggers into the chapel of St. Benedict_.

BECKET (_falling on his knees_).
At the right hand of Power--
Power and great glory--for thy Church, O Lord--
Into Thy hands, O Lord--into Thy hands!----
[_Sinks prone_.

DE BRITO.
This last to rid thee of a world of brawls! (_Kills him_.)
The traitor's dead, and will arise no more.

FITZURSE.
Nay, have we still'd him? What! the great Archbishop!
Does he breathe? No?

DE TRACY.
No, Reginald, he is dead.

(_Storm bursts_.) [Footnote: _A tremendous thunderstorm actually
broke over the Cathedral as the murderers were leaving it.]

DE MORVILLE.
Will the earth gape and swallow us?

DE BRITO.
The deed's done--
Away!

[DE BRITO, DE TRACY, FITZURSE. _rush out, crying
'King's men!'_ DE MORVILLE _follows slowly.
Flashes of lightning thro' the Cathedral_.
ROSAMUND _seen kneeling by the body of_ BECKET.

THE CUP

A TRAGEDY

_DRAMATIS PERSONAE_.

GALATIANS.

SYNORIX, _an ex-Tetrarch_.
SINNATUS, _a Tetrarch_.
_Attendant_.
_Boy_.
_Maid_.
PHOEBE.
CAMMA, _wife of Sinnatus, afterwards Priestess in the Temple of
Artemis_.

ROMANS.

ANTONIUS, _a Roman General_.
PUBLIUS.
_Nobleman_.
_Messenger_.

THE CUP.

ACT I.

SCENE I.--_Distant View of a City of Galatia_.

As the curtain rises, Priestesses are heard singing in the Temple. Boy
discovered on a pathway among Rocks, picking grapes. A party of Roman
Soldiers, guarding a prisoner in chains, come down the pathway and
exeunt.

_Enter_ SYNORIX (_looking round_). _Singing ceases_.

SYNORIX.
Pine, beech and plane, oak, walnut, apricot,
Vine, cypress, poplar, myrtle, bowering in
The city where she dwells. She past me here
Three years ago when I was flying from
My Tetrarchy to Rome. I almost touch'd her--
A maiden slowly moving on to music
Among her maidens to this Temple--O Gods!
She is my fate--else wherefore has my fate
Brought me again to her own city?--married
Since--married Sinnatus, the Tetrarch here--
But if he be conspirator, Rome will chain,
Or slay him. I may trust to gain her then
When I shall have my tetrarchy restored
By Rome, our mistress, grateful that I show'd her
The weakness and the dissonance of our clans,
And how to crush them easily. Wretched race!
And once I wish'd to scourge them to the bones.
But in this narrow breathing-time of life
Is vengeance for its own sake worth the while,
If once our ends are gain'd? and now this cup--
I never felt such passion for a woman.
[_Brings out a cup and scroll from under his cloak_.
What have I written to her?

[_Reading the scroll_.

'To the admired Gamma, wife of Sinnatus, the Tetrarch, one who years
ago, himself an adorer of our great goddess, Artemis, beheld you afar
off worshipping in her Temple, and loved you for it, sends you this
cup rescued from the burning of one of her shrines in a city thro'
which he past with the Roman army: it is the cup we use in our
marriages. Receive it from one who cannot at present write himself
other than 'A GALATIAN SERVING BY FORCE IN THE ROMAN LEGION.'

[_Turns and looks up to Boy_.

Boy, dost thou know the house of Sinnatus?

BOY.
These grapes are for the house of Sinnatus--
Close to the Temple.

SYNORIX.
Yonder?

BOY.
Yes.

SYNORIX (_aside_).
That I
With all my range of women should yet shun
To meet her face to face at once! My boy,
[_Boy comes down rocks to him_.
Take thou this letter and this cup to Camma,
The wife of Sinnatus.

BOY.
Going or gone to-day
To hunt with Sinnatus.

SYNORIX.
That matters not.
Take thou this cup and leave it at her doors.
[_Gives the cup and scroll to the Boy_.

BOY.
I will, my lord. [_Takes his basket of grapes and exit_.

_Enter_ ANTONIUS.

ANTONIUS (_meeting the Boy as he goes out_).
Why, whither runs the boy?
Is that the cup you rescued from the fire?

SYNORIX.
I send it to the wife of Sinnatus,
One half besotted in religious rites.
You come here with your soldiers to enforce
The long-withholden tribute: you suspect
This Sinnatus of playing patriotism,
Which in your sense is treason. You have yet
No proof against him: now this pious cup
Is passport to their house, and open arms
To him who gave it; and once there I warrant
I worm thro' all their windings.

ANTONIUS.
If you prosper,
Our Senate, wearied of their tetrarchies,
Their quarrels with themselves, their spites at Rome,
Is like enough to cancel them, and throne
One king above them all, who shall be true
To the Roman: and from what I heard in Rome,
This tributary crown may fall to you.

SYNORIX.
The king, the crown! their talk in Rome? is it so?
[ANTONIUS _nods_.
Well--I shall serve Galatia taking it,
And save her from herself, and be to Rome
More faithful than a Roman.
[_Turns and sees_ CAMMA _coming_.
Stand aside,
Stand aside; here she comes!
[_Watching_ CAMMA _as she enters with her Maid_.

GAMMA (_to Maid_).
Where is he, girl?

MAID.
You know the waterfall
That in the summer keeps the mountain side,
But after rain o'erleaps a jutting rock
And shoots three hundred feet.

CAMMA.
The stag is there?

MAID.
Seen in the thicket at the bottom there
But yester-even.

GAMMA.
Good then, we will climb
The mountain opposite and watch the chase.
[_They descend the rocks and exeunt_.

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