Puslapio vaizdai
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EDWIN (kneeling).

Oh God!
I pray Thee that Thou shorten not my days,
Ceasing to honour this disnatured flesh
That was my mother !

ELGIVA.

Never was she that:

A mother vacant of a mother's heart

Is in the sight of Nature none.

DUNSTAN.

Thou darest!

And seest thou in what presence ? Be thou warned !
Thy witcheries that inflame this carnal King
Far other fires shall kindle in the Church-
The channel as of mercies, so of wrath.
Thou stand'st before its excellent Archbishop,
And
me,

its humblest minister : men both
Dead to the flesh and loathing from their souls
Το
company
with women.

To us thy charms Are flat and futile, as thy sins are sharp,

spur us to that vengeance God inflicts Through us on scorners.

And

EDWIN.

Heed them not, Elgiva.

ELGIVA.

Content thee! never were they heeded less
By God or by his Angels than by me.

EDWIN

Insolent Churchmen!

You renounce the World !

All in it that is loving, or can be loved,
You'll teach yourselves and others to renounce,
Because cold vanities with meagre heats
Alternate, have consumed you to the core,
And given your hearts the dry-rot. Meddlesome Monks !
The love it is not in you, or to feel
For women, or from womankind to win,
You ostentatiously deny yourselves
As atrophy denies itself to fatten.

ELGIVA.

What worth are you to us, that set no store
By you or by your threats ? I tell thee, Priest,
I do make no account of thee.

DUNSTAN.

Fly hence, Pale Prostitute! Avaunt, rebellious Fiend, Which speakest through her!

ELGIVA.

And I tell thee more,

I am thy Sovereign Mistress and thy Queen.

EDWIN.

My lawful wedded wife.

THE QUEEN-MOTHER.

Ah, woe is me!

ODO.

Thy lawful wife ! How lawful ? By what law ?
Incest and fornication !

DUNSTAN.

Who art thou ? I see thee, and I know thee-yea, I smell thee ! Again 'tis Satan meets me front to front, Again I triumph! Where, and by what rite, And by what miscreant Minister of God And rotten member, was this mockery, That was no marriage, made to seem a marriage ?

RICOLA.

Lord Abbot, by no

DUNSTAN.

What then, was it thou ? The Church doth cut thee off and pluck thee out! A Synod shall be summoned ! Chains for both !

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Chains for that harlot, and for this dog-priest !
Oh wall of Jezreel !

EDWIN.

Villains, stand ye back ! Stand from the Queen Oh, had I but a sword ! What-felons! Ye shall hang for this ere long. Loose me or I will....

ODO.

Sir, be calm, and know 'Tis for your own behoof and for

your

Crown's.

ELGIVA.

Be of good comfort, Edwin

;

we shall meet Where none can part us.

Are ye men? Hold off! I will not put you to that shame to force me.

[She is taken out.

ODO.

Thou Queen! Go, get thee gone! A crown for thee ! No, nor a head to put it on to-morrow.

THE QUEEN-MOTHER.

Alack! the law is sharp. But Gurmo, run,
See she have Christian burial ; speed thee, Gurmo.

DUNSTAN.

Madam, your pardon. Gurmo, wait on me.

EDWIN.

Elgiva, oh Elgiva! Oh, my wife!
I'll find thee friends,

ough now .... Oh, traitors! slaves!

Yes,

When I have raised my force, I'll bring you bound
With halters round your necks, to lick the dust
Before her footstool. I will have you scourged
By hangmen's hands in every market town-

-O woman, get thee hence !
I cast thee from me, and I curse the fate
That made thy hateful womb my habitation
Ere
my

blind soul could chuse. Perfidious Monk ! Smilest thou! Villain ! But I will raise a force

[Exit.

you, my Lords !

DUNSTAN.

Lord Primate, thou hast crowned a baby's brow.
May it please you follow, lest he come to harm.

[Exit Odo. Friends, quit not my Lord Primate. Follow all. [Exeunt all but HARCATHER, who stays behind on a sign

from Dunstan.
Harcather, haste ; convey Elgiva hence
With speed to Chester, and in strictest ward
Confine her there ; but keep her life untouched.

[Exit HARCATHER.
So shall we brandish o'er the enamoured King
A trenchant terror.See we next what friends
Will stead us in the Synod.-Break, thou storm!
My soul is ready. Try thy strength against me.

[Exit. 1 2

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