xt7j9k45r01n https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7j9k45r01n/data/mets.xml Dargan, Olive Tilford, 1869-1968. 1912  books b92-200-30751986 English C. Scribner's sons, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Mortal gods and other plays  / by Olive Tilford Dargan. text Mortal gods and other plays  / by Olive Tilford Dargan. 1912 2002 true xt7j9k45r01n section xt7j9k45r01n 





























BOOKS BY OLIVE TILFORD DARGAN

PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS



THE MORTAL GODS and Other Plays. I2mo, net, 1.50

LORDS AND LOVERS and Other Dramas. i2mo, net, 1.50

SEMIRAMIS and Other Plays . . . . . I2mo, net, 1.00

 

















THE

AND



MORTAL GODS

OTHER PLAYS

 This page in the original text is blank.

 

THE MORTAL



AND



OTHER



PLAYS



BY



OLIVE TILFORD



DARG AN



     NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S
        1912



SONS



GODS

 





Copyright, 1      b12, by Charles Scribner's Sons

               All rights reserved


           Published Norember, 1912-


 

















              CONTENTS


TILE TMORTAL GODS                         1

A SON OF HERMES                      107

K ID AIR                             221

 This page in the original text is blank.


 


















THE MORTAL GODS
A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS

 








CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY



HIUDIBRAND, King of Assaria
IIERNDA, his daughter
CIAIRTRIEN, a Prince of Assaria
BORDUC, Prime Minister
COUNT DORKINSKI, Court Chamberlain

CORDIAZ, King of Goidusan
AIEGARIO, Governor of Peonia, a province of Goldusan
REJAN LEVAL, a revolutionist
SENORA ZIRALAY, his sister
ZIRALAY
IRUBIREZ I
GOLIF'ET       nobles of Goldusan
M-NAZARAN j'
GUILDAMOUR

MA.-SIO    
G;.kRZA\  
GONZALO      I
YSOBEL      of Megario's hacienda
GRIJA
COQURIEZ
IPARRO J
          Guests, officers, musicians, peons, c.

             TIME: Begins February, 1911
             PLACE: Assaria; Goldusan


 









ACT I



  'SENE: A vast room in the palace of JIndibrand. As the
     curtai(n rises the place is in darlkiess save for a cir-
     clef of golld apparently suspended in mid-air near fthe
     centre of the room. As the light increases, the outline
     of a mn's figure becomes distinguishable, and the cir-
     clet is seen to b)e resting on hlis head. Gradually the
     riun of gold fades to invisibility, wXhile the figure of the
     man a2d th/e contents of the room become clear to tf/e
     eye. The maan might be mistaken for an American citi-
     zen 'in customary evening dress. He is Hudibrand.
At f/ie left are twvo entrances, upper and lower.  Rear, left.
    large wrindows.  The wall rear mwakes a rig/it atngle about
    centre, the apex of which is cut off by a wvindow.  Right
    of centre the room seems to eXtend endlessly rearward,
    and is arranged to suggest an 'upland grove in tf/e deli-
    c(ute, venturinlg days of spring.  The ground, rising a.
    little toward right, is covered iwith winter moss and tufts
    of short silvered grass.  The trees are young birch,
    slig/it maples in coral leaf, cornel in flower, and an oc-
    casioiial dark foil of cedar. AI brooklet ripples (1o0
    the slope and off rear. Birds chirp and flit, and now
    and then a breeze stirs the grore as if it were one tender
    body.  The lights ure arranged to give the effect of night
    or d(a1y as one wishes.
It is 'winter without, thie climate of Assaria's capital city
    being tsimilar to that of New York.
Double doors lowcer rig/it, through which Count Dorkin ski
    enters to Fludibratid.
                             3

 

THE MORTAL GODS



  Dor. Your majesty, Sir Borduc has arrived.
  Hudi. Hot-shod, We'll let him cool.
  Dor.                          Where shall he wait,
My lord
  Hud. His usual corner. Keep him off
My Delhi rug.
                  [Exit Dorkinski]
     Poor Bordy's fuming ripe.
                 [Re-enter the Count]
  Dor. His Excellency calls, your majesty.
  Had. Which Excellency They are thick as hops.
  Dor. The Governor of Peonia.
  Hud.                      In time arnd tune.
We'll see him here.
                  [Exit Dorkinski]
                  A pawn of mine who'd push
Beyond his square, and I must humor him
'Neath meditative thumb.
                  [Erter Megario]
  Hud. Welcome, Megario.
  Meg.                  I've travelled far
To press your hand.
  Hud.           We made appointment here,
Knowing your visit to Assaria touched
Nothing of state or office.
  Meg. [Accepting his cue] Nothing, sir.
                                 [Looks about him]
I thought I left the springtide in my rear,
Three thousand miles or so, but here it greets me.
  Hud. A gimcrack of my daughter's. She would freak
With sun and time. My toyshop has no walls.
I juggle too with seasons, climates, zones,
But in the open where there's warrior room,
And startled Fate may spring against my will,
Giving an edge to mastery when I wrest



4

 

'I' IIE MO R T A L G O D S



The whip from Nature, turn it on herself,
And set her elemental slaves to filch
H1er gold for mc. That, friend, is play.
  hey.                              For gods
And not as thief, but as divinity,
You take from crouching Nature.
  1111(1.                      Men have said
I pile up gold because its glitter soothes
A fever in my eyes. The elacking fools!
I amn no Cheop.s making warts on earth.
No munmny brain! God built my pyramids,
Slaving through dark and chaos till there rose
My iron-lhearted hills, and mountains locked
(On age-unyielded treasure waiting me.
There slept my gems till longing became fire
And broke the grip of stone,-there lay my gold,
Be-purged each thousand years till baited Timnc
G(ave up the master's hour.
  [HIernda has come from the grove and moves up to his
    side]
  Her. [.I(oringly] And you the master!
  Hiid. D)aighter, you owe my lord Megario
Sonie pretty thanks.
  11er.           I give them, sir.
  Meg.                           No, nlo!
I pray your Highness, no! M1y thanks to earth
T'hat bears the flower of you, anl(l to the light
That makes my eyes your beauty's treasurer,
But thanks from you to me, as jewels hung
IUpon a beggar's neck, would set my rags
Unkindly in the sun.
  Her.             Then I am not
Your debtor
  Meg.      Mine the debt, that mounts too fast
For feeble payment from thin purse of words.

 

ETHpound;E MORTAL GODS



Ah, every moment adds a suitor hope
To th' bankrupts in my heart.
  11er.                   I fear, my lord,
Your coiner's name is Fancy, and I like
Truth's mintage best. [To herfather]
                   What is this debt of mine,
So languished that a word of thanks may be
Its slender cover
  Meg.         A word, if beauty speak it,
May mantle a bare world.
  Hud.                 His Excellency
Is Governor of Peonia-
  Her.                 In Goldusan!
  Hud. And smoothed my road there
  Mfeg.                          Nay, your majesty,
My aid was but a garnish on the might
That moves with your own name.
  Hud.                       Between us then,
We saved my holdings through a bluster there,
And what they brought me I've tossed here to make
This smile on winter.
  Meg.            What   You gave her all
  Her. How, sir One word of mine would robe a world,
And my whole self not worth a little spot
Twitched from Spring's garment
  Meg.                       Oh, I'd grind the stars
To imperial dust that you might trample them,-
But this-this was a fortuine!
        [To Hudibrand] Sir, 'tis true
You care not for the gold.
  Had.                I care for it
As men of hero times held dear the sword
That made them lords of battle.
  1e1r.                     You are lord
Of Peace!



6

 

TIHE MORTAL GODS



  Meg. Write that upon the clouds, that eyes
Of men and angels may contending claim
The truth for earth and heaven!
  Hud.                      Tush, sir, tush!
  Meg. Can I forget how at your kingly touch
My fair Peonia, paling in treason's grip,
Thrilled from her (leathward droop, renewed her heart
Through safe, ease-lidded nights, and woke once more
The rose of fortune
  Hud.            There's no rumble now
Of riot
  Meg. Not a sound comes to our ears
But from the toiling strokes that steadily
Uproll Peonia's wealth.
  Hud.              Yet those who led
The last revolt are free.
  Meg.               Not all, your Highness.
A few crossed to Assaria, but expedition
W'arnms on their trail. Rejan LeVal is tracked
To your own capital.
  Hud.            Nay, mend that, sir.
We're safe here from such ruck.
  Mlleg.                    The startled eel
Will make for muddy waters,-and 'tis sure
LeVal found murky welcome here.
  Hud.                        My city!
What mutinous bolt turns here for him
  Meg.                              His friends
Are friends of power. How else could he elude
The thousand eyes in search
  Hud. [M11using]         Treason at court .
  Meg. We'll mouse LeVal to 's cranny, do not doubt.
Then we shall ask Assaria's great seal
For his delivery to Goldusan.
Hud. That is assured you.



7

 

THE MORTAL GODS



  Meg.                   But your minister,
Sir Borduc, warns
  Hud.             Ha! Warns
  Meg.                         He urges that
The extraditing power is at pause,
Blocked by the people's will.
  Hud.                   I've given my word,-
A word that mobbish din ne'er added to,
Nor yet stripped of one letter that I chose
Should spell authority. You ask for more
  Meg. Pardon, your majesty! It is enough,
Beyond all stretch of need.
  Hud.                 I call to mind
That Borduc waits,-and primed for tongue-work too.
The princess will content your Excellency
  Meg. [With obeisance to Hernda] 'Tis Heaven's honor!
                I have left the earth!
  Hud. You waste your art. She's in the milk-maid
                humor.
Would marry Hob. [Exit, lower right]
  M1eg. The Sefior Hob He says
You'll marry him [Hernda laughs]
                You care not if I die!
  Her. You'll live, my lord.
  Meg. You'll marry Hob. I die!
  Her. lIe is not Hob. That is my father's mock
Because he's poor.
  Meg. [In hope] Ah, poor
  Her.                  A beggarly
Ten millions,-not a penny more.
  Meg.                       Ten millions!
  Her. But that's my joy. I would not wed for gold.
  Meg. 0, pity me! I love you, senorita!
  Her. No, no! I must not hear that.



8

 

THIlE MlOR1TAL GODS



  Meg.                            Ihen I'll pray
Silence to l)e my friend and speak my dumb
Unuttered heart.
  I-ICr.       You must. not love me, sir.
But you may love-my father. When you praised him,
You too seemed fair to me.
  Meg.                   I'll sing him till
The stars lie at our feet, if you Will listen!
  11er. He gave your country peace
  Meg.                            His royal name
Is dear as Cordiaz' in the grateful heart
Of Goldusan. That proud land lay unkept,
Her ores intomled, her vales Without a plough,
Her rivers wasting down to shipless seas,
11er people starving, while her nobles strove
For shreds of power,-the clouted thing we called
A government. Then on our factions fell,
Strong as a god's, the hand of Hludibrand;
And nowv, com-pact, we stand by Cordiaz.
XWhile every mountain groans with golden birth,
And every river turns its thousand wheels,
And every valley buried is in bloom.
  11er. My dearest father! But I knew 'twas so!
And they who starved are fed and happy now
They reap the bloom and share the golden flood
  Meg. All will be well when once we've scourged the land
Of rebels that drip poison from their tongues,
Stirring the meek and unambitious poor,-
Who sought no life but saintly, noble toil,-
With strangest rage, till maddened they would bite
The fostering hand of God.
  Her.                   We've prisons where
We put such troublers. Has your land no jails
  Meg. 'Tis full of them! 1 mean-ah, we have jails,
But foes like these are wary, slip all watch,-



9)

 

THlE MORTAL GODS



Flee and dart back, our weariness their charter
To tread with havoc's hoof. If I could find
Rejan LeVal, then might I rest from guard,
But not while he-unlassoed warrigall!-
May canter from his thicket and paw up
Peonia's fields!
  Her.       I'll lend an adjutant.
Ask Chartrien, who knows each foggy nook
And smirched corner of the capital,-
Having once made his pastime serve a quest
For such drab knowledge,-ask him help you find
This traitor.
  Meg.     Chartrien! Nay, the fox is safe
When th' hound too wears a brush.
  Her.                          You mean the pi
Speak, sir! Who hints me calumny,
Shall make the drum his chorus. I'll hear all.
  Meg. A rumor drifts through Goldusan.
  Her.                                     Is th
An oddity Here rumors are too thick
For ears to gather them.
  Meg. But this-O, princess. .
Fairest of earth, forgive me that I speak!
  Her. You do not speak. And that I'll not forgive
  Meg. Ah, then,-but first,-is Chartrien near the
  Her. No nearer than his heart.
  Meg.                        I do offend.
  Her. Offence now lies in silence. Speak, my lord.
  Meg. When I left Goldusan, 'twas said-and with
No muffled hesitance Prince Chartrien aids
The rebels there, and lays a train to rend
The State apart, that Cordiaz may drop
Into the gap,-then he with plausive cleat
Will make the fissure stanch, and seat himself
In unoppugnMd power.



rince



at



king



10

 

TIlE MORTAL GODS



Why he is lob!
          [Silence.



They both risc]



A mad and sorry tale, you see.
  Meg.                      I see.
Ile's in the capital
  11er.          Beneath this roof.
The- palace is his home. AMy father holds
llis meagre millions guarded, nursing them
To a p)rinceIs portion.
  Meg.              We shall meet
  11er.                          To-night.
Ile's with a friend-a Spanish gentleman,-
u3tit not from Goldusan.
  Meg.                I made no guess.
  I1cr. Deny that with your eyes. Your tongue's cx-
                 emn1pt.
  Megl. And may I meet the Spanish gentleman
  11er. That's as he chooses. I may not command him.
               [Re-enter Count Dorkinski]
  Dor. His Highness, sir, is pleased to bid you join him.
  .lMeg. His pleasure is his marshal. [To Hlernda, softly]
        I've your leave
To love your father. That I go from you
To hilni, is heaven's proof I do.
             [Exit M-egario and the Count]
  7ler.                      The proof
I seck, and w-ould not find, is locked in Hell,
Not Heaven. Alegario lied. Oh, Chartrien!
  [Retreats slowly into grore a(ld passes o0t of sight, rear.
    Enter, upper left, C(hartrien and LeVal]
  LeV. No,
  ( ha.        Prudence, dear LeVal!
  LeV'.                             I shall go mad
ShIt in this gilded den,-this stifling hold
Of banditry.



7Ier.



11

 

TIlE MORTAL GODS



   (1a.     Peace, friend!
   LeV.                 I'd rather crouch
With brats of grime upon an unswept hearth
And claw my bread from cinders, than draw breath
In this gold-raftered house of blood!
  C(ha.                         Come, come!
Your wits fly naked, stripped of every caution,
And beat suspicion up that else might keep
Untroubled bed. Whist! We must move rose-shod
Through these next hours, not clack in passion's clogs.
  LeV. I'll out of this! There's surge in me no fear
Can put in bonds.
  C/ha.         Nay, here and here alone
Your life is safe. The hounds of Goldusan
Sniff through the cellars. They'll not scent you in
The royal shadow. That's more brilliancy
Than ever lit a rush in houndom. This
My home, I share with you. for mine it is
Till I've secured my gold from Hudibrand.
  LeV. Ay, but Megario! While he's here these walls
Pen me in fire.
  Cha.        His visit is too brief
To be a danger.
  LeV.        Danger! To me, or him
If we should meet, his fate as mine would be
In that encounter. These are hands would see to 't!
  C/ha. LeVal, forget-
  LeV.                 Forget CUleste My wife
Forget she died of blows while he stood by
And smiled, because she was my wife!
Oh, God! Breathe air with him while this arm hangs
A limp discretion!
  C(ha.         Peace! This mood unpent
Will wreck us. Keep your room if it must swell.
The princess gazes yonder, and your face



1 2'

 


THE -MORTAL GODS



Is badged exposal. Go. I'll meet her question.
'Twill not f ash honor if a lie or two
Must be our guard.
  [Exit LeVal upper left. Hernda emierges fromn grove.
    Chartrieii wtaits for her as she comiies circuiitouisly, lightliy
    harering and hesitating]
  Her. [A-It his side] What lover's this-dreams still
When love is by. Were he an olden knight
He'd ride to tourney and forget his spurs!
  Cha. lIe would forget the world and fame and God
To see your eyes like this!
  Her.                  You tremble, Chartrien.
Love so cmuch-vet stood here just-a stumip-
  Cha. That felt you conming, coming like a bird,
And watched and waited, envying every bough
Where you paused doubting, till you fluttering lit,
I)own in the old stunmp's heart-
  11er.                       There, I've forgot!
This is my lover ere that lure crept up
From Goldusan. Since you came back, I've felt
The shadow of a difference, and I've heard
The maids of Goldusan can draw men's souls
Out of their bodies for a dance in hell.
  Cha. My love!
  11er.        0, Clhartrien, are you mine I feel
A question in your worship. WNheni your eyes
Are warmest, love lies on them like
The shallow moon-gleam on a deel), dark sea
That is not kin with it. A sea that once
Was mine, and I could go, wvith circling arms,
Love-lanterned to its depth. But now the dark
Is round me fathomless-
  Cha.                   My own!
  Her.                           I try to rise,
To find my wings-and feel the air again
Without your drowning touch upon me-



13

 


THE MORTAL GODS



  Cha.                                 IIernda!
11ave I so nearly lost you  Come, l)eloved,
Sit here, and let me vow me yours again
T ill in each word you feel my beating heart.
  Her. -lly stars shall hear these vows.
  [Changes the light to pale, evening glowv. Rear, right, are
    glimpses of sky with frail, moving clouds. faint stars
    and a new moon]
                                   And see, my moon,
Intent and virginal.
  [She sits, and C(hartrien lies on the ground, his breast cov-
    ering her feet]
                 Now, now my heait
Holds not another thing hut love and you!
  C/ha. No thought of those dread wings
  hIer.                       None, none! And you
                                      [Bends over hAiti]
All mine. I hold you now, fast in my world.
Sometimes you enter, come witlin my door,
And then I can not shut it for a wind
That clings about you from a farther sky.
  Cha. [Rises and takes herface between his hands] IThere's
                but one sky!
  Her.                     A shud(ldering breath,
As from a planet strange, where you have walked
And I shall never go.
  Cha.             0, shut me in,
Rose of a heart! I'll not go out though Life
Beat at the door, and call her giant storms
To knock upon 't.
  1er. Is this not life And this
The only world
  Cha.        The only world. MNy habitat
One perfect hour.
  Her.         One hour   Forever, love.



14

 


THE MORTAL GODS



  C/ha. 0, vow it for me, sweet,-again, again!
Till I believe once more in Arcadies
Born of a silken purse. In sunsets caught
In tinted tapestries, w ith jaciuth heart
(Gold-bleeding through the w -oven breath of (Iream.
In soft moon-hours that drop from painted skies,
In fairy woodlands aye unwinteringg,
In love's elf-ring no boding star may cross,
And you, my Hernda, sceptrel in joy's name,
Tossing the apple J)lanets in your hands-
These little, sovereign bands-as (G(od might do,
IHad lie, poor God, your power.
  Her.                      Love, you hurt.
  C/ha. Al, tears in Arcady
  11er.                   Oh, wshat is this
Has come between us
  (Cha.             What   The universe.
I catn not reach you even when my lih)s
Are on your heart.
  Her.          WMay I not come to you
  (ha. From this moon-wNorld No hope of that.
  Her.                                      See then,
The day! [Changes the light to sunrise]
        Now may I come
  C/ha.                 Forever playing!
The way lies here.
  [Steps to window and opens it. A tsnowry blast rushes in]
  lHer.         Stop, Chartrien! Shut it' Oh,
You've killed my Spring!
  (,'ha.              You will not come
  Her.                                   You're mad.
  [Struggles with the window until she closes it, Chartrien
    watching her]
  Cha. You do not like that road. But it is mine.
And children walk it. I have met them there.



15

 

THE iMORTAL GODS



  Her. Oh, I am frozen ! See!
  C/ha.  [With sudden contrition, pressing her to hiS breast]
                           No, you are fire.
A fire that I will clasp, though it should burn
My holiest temple and betray my soul
To ashes!
  Her.  0, my love, what secret curbs
Your nature to this chafe  It rubs even through
Your ardor,-stabs nme on your breast.
May 1 not know it Is not confidence
I)ear blood and life of love Without it, ours
Must pale, ghost-cold, a chill between locked arms.
  Cha. Is trust not love's prerogative
More royal sweet than any burdened share
Of secrecy
  Her.    Not to the strong!
  Cha. [Smiling]          You strong
By what brave test dost know it
  1er.                        And by what
Dost know me weak:
  C(ha.            The proof awaits. But now,-
Emilio needs me,-
  Her. Go!
  C'ha.   Sweet, friendship too
Has bonds. Not all are love's.
  Her.                     He's ill,--your friend
  Cha. As plague-bit life,-no worse.
  Her.                           You'll wait upon
My father  Bid him but good-night
  C/ha.                           No, Hernda.
  11er. You shun him, Chartrien. I have watched you
                keep)
A curious distance,-ay, as though your heart
Removed itself while your unwarind eyes
Made invoice of its treasure. Once you rushed



16

 

            TIHE 'MORTAL GODS                      17

Into his counsel as security
hlived in his word, ancl vou, denied, were lost.
Are those hours gone  If you have grown too large
For his shrunk wisdom, blindl you to his need.
Age unsuslected crowns him, and you take
Your young armi out of his.
  (ha.                   Ile wants no staff.
  11er. You'll go no more to Goldusan
  C(ha.                             I mnust.
  11er. A\nid soon
  ('Ca. W hen Il(dibrand is pleased to free
My fortune from his ward.
  11er.                 You want it all
  (C11a. Yes, all.
  11er.       For Goldusan
  ('ha.                    AMy greatest need
Is there.
  1ler. What is that need
  ('1C.                 You question me
  1Her. May love not ask
  (ha.                 If love could understand.
  11er. Ihave I grown dull  I do not know you, Chartrien.
You're so unfeatured by that Spanish cloud,
You're lowering friend. Hie is the universe
Bet-ectn our hearts. Ill  No. I saw himi here,-
A tropic threat. 'Twas rage broke his suave guard,
Not illness.
  ('ha. Hernda!
  71er.       The Lord Megario
hlas asked to compliment a brother guest.
Alay he be seen  Does his unmannered storm
Spare ole a;menity
  ('ha.          Alegario knows
  71er. Knows what
  C'ha.            Oh !-nothing.

 

THE MORTAL GODS



  Her.                    So much more than naught
Your cheek is pale with it.
  Cha.                 No matter, Hernda.
  Her. An ashen matter truly, yet not light
As nothing. But your answer. AMay our guests
Exchange the roof-tree greeting
  (ha.                      No.
  1er.                         Why not 
That "no" trails consequence. It can not be
Your period.
  C(h1. They are enemies.
  Her.                I knew!
  (ha. Megario dealt my friend a bitter wrong,-
The foulest wrong that man may put on man.
  Her. He's loyal to niy father. I know that
Of him,-and of Emilio-nothing.
  C'ha.                      Sweet,
I beg one day!
  Her.      One day What's hatching here
That's one day short its time
   [Enter, lower right, Hudibrand, Megario, and Borduc]
   C'ha. [Drawing Hernda aside] To-morrow, love!
   1e1r. To-night !
   Hud.         You've won your suit, Mlegario.
If by our presence in your Goldusan
We can advance that sister country's peace,
The journey's naught. We'll count it done.
  3lI eg.                             MINy lord,
All revolution will dispel as air
Before your eye. Our Cordiaz is great,
But his familiar subjects are too near
To take his height, while you they know to be
Of giant measure; and when once they see
Your majesties are brothered, Cordiaz
Will grow your twin in stature.



18

 

TIlE 'MORTAL GODS



  find.                      You've our word.
  Meg. I treasure it,-and lest repeated thanks
Stale their sincerity, I beg to say
(iood-night.
  Had. You have our leave. Good-night, my lord.
  [Megairio boi's impre.ssirely to lHudibratnd, slightly to Bor-
    duc, (Iawl is passing out when Hernda, who hasI( cro.ssed
    right, iWtercepts him]
  71er. You leave us early, Lord Megario.
  Meg. I (lo not leave, your Highness. I amn driven.
I go to dlrU(lgery with my secretaries,
Foregoing even the slee) that might have brought
Xour drcanid face to me.
  7Ier.                 Is't still your wish
rto meet our Spanish guest
  Meg.                   Ile grants me that
  11Hr. Ile has refused a meeting.
  Meg.                         Ali!. . . Refused.
  11er. 1hut there's a way, my lord. When you have
                 p)assed
The second door without, turn to the left.
You'll find a vaulted p)assage,-at the end
Ain entrance to my wood. Come in, and wait.
  Mleg. You grace ie so
  11er.                It is not grace that breaks
fl'e covenanit of salt. But who keeps faith
With traitors  lie is one, by every sign.
An evil thinig l)lown to our royal hearth
Tlirotgh C(hartrien's open love that lets all winds
PoLir in. And I'll have proof of it.!
  Mcy. [Orer her hand]          You shall.
                                     [Exit, lowrer right]
  C/ha. [Crossinig to Hernda] A long-spun courtesy, and
                with one merit,-
It ended in good-night.



19

 


THE MORTAL GODS



  Her. [Ga yly] Unruly yet
A truce until to-morrow!
  (Cha.              You believe me
  her. I would not doubt you for a world compact
Of virtues only, but it's no unreason
To fear you are deceived.
  (ha.                Dear Hernda
  Her.                               Conmc!
I love you, Chartrien. Let us have an hour
As light as joy, as sweet as peace, and call
Your friend to share it. He shall smile for me.
I vow it, by his most ungentle frown!
  C(ha. 'Twill take your deepest magc, for his heart
Holds naught that smiles are made of.
  Her.                           Bring him here.
I'll make that heart my wizard bowl and mix
Such sweet and merry potions in't, his griefs
Must doff their gray for motley. You shall see!
  Cha. Art such a witch  [Exit, upper left]
  her.              What's this I do My soul
Leans shameward, but I'll trounce it up. The man,
If innocent, keeps so, untouched and clear.
If he aims darkly, creeps a weaponed hate
Upon my noble father, do I worse
Than cancel so the unwrought half of 's crime,
And make him less a villain
  Bor.                    May I speak
Against this southward jaunt
  Hud.                    Loud as you please,
My Bordy, but I go.
  Bor.            Your Highness makes
Assaria bow too low.
  Hud.            The State shall have
No name in this. I go as Cordiaz' friend,
Not as Assaria's king. I've interests there

 

THlE MORTAL GODS  21



Trhat sort with quiet venture. Give it out
Tlhis move in part concerns my health.
  Bor.                            That much
I welcome. You should rest, my lord.
  HIud.                           Ha  Rest
The twin of death! I'll rest when I am dust.
Nay, then I hope that storm and hurricane
Will keep me whirling. No,-I'll not go lame
E'ven in report. Say that this move concerns
MIy pleasure solely,-solely, Borduc.
  Her.                           Father,
I have a suit. May I not go with you
I long to make that land where you are loved,
More vivid than the dream that now it is.
  Hud. And find what lodestar there draws Chartrien
From constancy Well, you shall go.
  Bor.                            Tut, tut!
  Her. Dear father!
  HIud. This will give domestic screen
And color to our tack.
  Bor.              A gadding throne-
  THud. Good Borduc, we will leave the throne at home.
I)o not you stay
  Bor. I've some authority,
You'll not dispute, my lord. Much as may go
With broad election. My investiture
Lies in the people's choice.
  HJud. Ay, you're their bark
Of freedom, where their pride may hoist full sail,
But who wots better, Bordy, that 'tis puffed
With winds that know my port
  Bor. They think their choice
Is free. Sincere in that, they give my post
A dignity not even your majesty
May mock me out of.



21

 

THE MIORTAL, GODS



  Hud.             Fools are noted most
For their sincerity,-a virtue that
Must stand a cipher if uncertified
By wit or wisdom.
  Bor.          Sir, Assarians
Are not the fools you think them. They are men
Who have the patriot's heart, and on their flag
Where you write "power" their love reads "liberty."
  Bud. It does, praise be! And they may keep their flag
To wear around their eyes long as they will.
For then I dance my measure, while they bump
In hither-whither hoodman blind and pay
My fiddler too!
  Bor.       And what's my part in this
  Hud. The fiddler's, Borduc.
  Bor.                    Sir
  Hud.                       And your next tune
Is Goldusan. Come, let's rehearse.
  Bor.                         My lord,-
  (Exeunt, lower right, as Chartrien and Lef'al enter left]
  Her. You've come, dear Sehor! Was it savagery
To wrest the hour from you
  LeV.                   Too kindly done
For such a name,-though I was deep in bond
To sober thoughts, your Highness.
  Her.                        Be so still.
We would not force our humor on your heart,
But share your own.
  LeV. [Smiling] Can you be sad
  Her.                        As rains
That drench October. As the gray
That fringes twilight on the dark of moons.
As seas that sob above a swallowed ship,
Repenting storm. [Leads to seat, right]
               Come, sir,-and I'll be sad



922

 

TIIE MORTAL GODS



In what degree you choose, though I could wish it
Nearer a smile than rheum, and not so heavy
Beit that its sigh may float upon a song,
A gentle song that might be sorrow's garland
When moan wears down. Wilt hear one now, my lord
I have a music-maker yon whose lute
Was nectared in a poet's tears the hour
Ile lost his dream. Say you will hear himn! Nay,
That courtier "yes" can not o'ertake the "no"
Sped from your eyes. We'll have no music. Yet
The soul must love it ere one can be sad
To th' very sweet of sadness. 0, I know!
  LeV. I love it, but not here.
  Her.                    What here forbids
My bower! The eye translates its tenderness
rTlo fairy sound, nor need of pipe or strings.
  LeV. I can not hear the bells of fairydom
When life is making thunder's music 'gainst
This bauble house of play
  11er. [Rising]           Sir, you forget
  Le V. Nay, I remember!
  11er.                What do you remember
  LeV. Ah! . . . Pardon, princess!
  C/ia.                      May I mend this peace
  Her. [Sitting again by LeVal] It is not broken yet.
  LeV.                               Your gentleness
tas saved it, not my manners.
Her.                     Oh, my lord,
Would I had grace to cover sorrow's breach
As smoothly as a gap in courtesy!
Then you should smile!
LeV.              I have a happiness
That makes it thievery in me to take
Your pity. You've a sadder need.

 

TH E 'MORTAL GODS



  11er.                        I'll yield
No jocund vantage to that brow of yours.
You hear this sombre braggart, Chartrien
Speaks as I were Despair's own fosterling!
  LeV. You are. As I am Hope's. Do you not gaze
On earth's foul spots and cry "A sad world this!"
"We must endure!"   "The dear God wills it so!"
And such and such like seed of misery
Till hopelessness sprouts chronic-building then
Your house of life amid its smelling weeds,
Where you may dance-or pray-till you forget
Your creed keeps earth in tears
  Her.                       And yours, my lord
  LeV. Gives her a singing and forefeeling heart
Whose courage cleaves renunciation's cloud
That swathes her splendor and would sighing keep
Her livi