Puslapio vaizdai
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To leave you with less reason than the beasts,
Rolling upon the floor. Wherefore, my Lords,
He prays you with all love and courtesy
To hold His Grace excused, for he is young

And loves not quaffing.

ODO.

Will ye suffer this?

If rated thus for nothing, what 's your fate

When, standing for your liberties, ye check him?

If thus affronted at the festive board,

What in the Witenagemót awaits you?

He loves not quaffing !

TOSTY.

HARCATHER.

Rolling on the floor !

ATHULF.

Sirs, for His Majesty's too hasty message,
I grant it ill-advised; but, sirs, his youth,
If ye will temperately consider....

HARCATHER.

Youth!

Hath youth a privilege to maltreat the old ?

He loves not quaffing!

But what else loves he?

ECFRID.

Ah, my good Lord Athulf,

There are sins beside.

Say he had left us for a lady's bower

There is a revelling he impugns not.

DUNSTAN.

Ha!

ECFRID.

What lady she may be, my good Lord Athulf,

Concerns not us.

ODO.

Ho! some of you go forth,

And seek the King, and say to him from me,

That he, or willingly or not, perforce

Must instantly return; and see ye bring him.

ATHULF.

Whoso shall take that errand from this hall,

Let him take that therewith.

(Throws his glove on the floor. Three or four Earls start up in their seats. In the meantime GURMO has entered, and spoken apart to DUNSTAN.)

My Lords, sit still.

DUNSTAN (rising).

I'll bring the boy myself.

Here, varlets, sweep

this litter from the floor.

(Spurns the glove with his foot as he passes, and Exit.)

ATHULF (his hand on his sword).

Which of you here, that wears not frock nor hood,

Will this vile Abbot's vilest act avouch?

(Several Earls of the Monachal party lay their hands on their swords, and spring upon the floor. The company rises in disorder.)

THE SENESCHAL.

Peace, ho! My Lords, bethink ye where ye are ;

He that within the palace draws his sword

Doth forfeit an Earl's were.

Keep the King's peace!

Peace, peace, be still!

[blocks in formation]

Let him withdraw, and not pollute with blood

The precincts of the palace.

Withdraw! withdraw!

EADBALD.

Then withdraw.

MANY VOICES.

HARCATHER.

Keep the King's peace? If longer than three minutes I keep it, may I die in my bed like a cow!

[Exeunt omnes with tumult and confusion.

SCENE VII.

AN APARTMENT LEADING TO AN ORATORY IN THE ROYAL RESIDENCE AT SHEEN.

As the Scene opens, EDWIN and ELGÍVA are discovered before the Altar in the Oratory, and RICOLA, the King's Chaplain, is joining their hands. They all three then advance out of

the Oratory to the front.

RICOLA.

So be ye one from this time forth for ever,
And God for ever be your gracious guide

In love and peace to live! A hasty rite

Hath solemnized your nuptials; not the less

Be

ye observant of the sacred bonds

Wherein ye stand contracted for all time.
My sovereign Lord and Lady, ye are young,
And these are times, and yours beyond compare
Stations of trial: Be ye each to each

Helpful, and fullest of comfort, next to God.
And so, my blessing poured in tears upon you,
I bid you well to fare.

EDWIN.

My honoured friend,

We thank you for this service, one of

But of the many greatest. For awhile

many,

Our secret kept, the Queen abides with you.
I must return to Kingston; but ere midnight

Once more you'll see me here. Farewell till then.
Shortly the Queen shall follow you.

[Exit RicoLA.

Elgiva!

Oh, past expression beautiful and dear,

And now my own for ever! Let my soul

Be satisfied, for 'tis a joy so great

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