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shame come to their enemies, or of

ALCIMUS.

There be none such in Phthia, old man ! And if
the dead should wake, your prating would soon set
them to sleep again.

[Laughter, in which PYRRHUS slightly joins.

PYRRHUS.

'Tis well said, Alcimedon. These women and
priests !

PRIEST.

Nay, but I will speak !

[Talks to PYRRHUS, round whom a group gathers,
leaving ANDROMACHE alone, and ORESTES
near ALCIMEDON.

ORESTES.

(Apart to ALCIMEDON.) Old man, you have seen
Helen. Was she more beautiful than your Queen ?



ANDROMACHE 59

ALCIMUS.

(Looking towards HERMIONE, then brightening,') Nay,
this is a woman like another ; Helen was goddesslike,
deathless and ageless for ever.

ORESTES.

(To himself.) For Helen I could have done it !
Alcimedon, did yonder woman ever do Helen any
great wrong, anything meet for vengeance ?

ALCIMUS.

Andromache ? Why, 'twas Helen did her all the
wrong.

ORESTES.

Even so ; and therefore she must have hated her.
Did she never seek, think you, to have Helen slain ?

ALCIMUS.

I trow not. Why, she gave her home and shelter
when the folk of Troy sought to stone her.

ORESTES.

(Brooding.} If she had ever plotted against Helen,
I could have done it.

PYRRHUS.

(Shaking off the PRIEST.) Enough, enough ! Is
your stranger in the hall, Andromache ?



60 ANDROMACHE

ANDROMACHE.

He is here, my lord ; a man of good counsel,
methinks, and like to be faithful to his guest-oath.

PYRRHUS.

He is happily come to a night of festival. Stranger,
you stand far from the fire.

[ORESTES and HERMIONE have been trying to
read one another's faces. Here ORESTES
turns bitterly, looks to the suits of armour on
the wall, and chooses a seat near one.

ORESTES.
Nay, I have a good seat.

PYRRHUS.
We will call the bard and be merry.

ORESTES.
I have heard your bard but now.

PRIEST.

The stranger makes minstrelsy himself, as many
chieftains may.

ORESTES.

Ay, give me a goblet, and I will sing. I am but
a rude singer, but my songs may perchance be new.



ANDROMACHE 61

PYRRHUS.
Take him the wine. {They bring wine and a lyre.

ORESTES.

There are two songs running in my ears this hour
past ; and I know not fully even yet which of the
two is better.

PYRRHUS.
Let it be something joyful, meet for a feast-day.

ORESTES.

I fancied before that one of my songs was very
joyful ; but now methinks there is no joy at all in
either.

PYRRHUS.

{After looking at him questioningly for a moment.')
Then give us a good straight battle-piece, with no
cowards in it, and no slaying by stealth.

ORESTES.

(Excitedly.} That it shall be. No cowards, no
slaying by stealth, and a clean, hard fight ! Ay, and
it is the easier too.

PRIEST.
You will call first upon the god, stranger.



62 ANDROMACHE

ORESTES.

Assuredly ; and the god can choose the end of the

lay. [Chanting.

" Lord of Man's hope, whom no man worshippeth,
Heart of his fears, and burthen of his breath,

Queller of hate and love, hear, O Most Strong,
Most Wrathful and Unrighteous, hear, O Death ! "

MEN-AT-ARMS.
(Alarmed.) Good words ! Good words !

PRIEST.

God avert the omen !

[He goes and does purifications at the fire.

ALCIMEDON.

On his own head ! By Thetis ! this stranger has
run over with evil words ever since he came.

PYRRHUS.

Choose another song, Sir Stranger ! Men like not
the name of Death in a prayer.

ORESTES.

Not death ! Shall I sing of women, then ? They
come nearest. [Chants.

" O Light and Shadow of all things that be,
O Beauty, wild with wreckage like the sea,

Say who shall win thee, thou without a name ?
O Helen, Helen, who shall die for thee ? "



ANDROMACHE 63

ALCIMEDON.

(Starting up.) Now, by Thetis, stranger, in shape
God has made you kinglike, but within a very fool !

HERMIONE.

(Piteous/y.) My mother Helen never wished the
men to die.

ORESTES.

My singing mislikes you, old man ? Or is it
women that like you not ?

PYRRHUS.

Stranger, some gayer song would better suit a day
of rejoicing. Are the songs of Acarnania all so grim ?

ORESTES.
Do the men of Phthia wince at the name of death ?

ALCIMEDON.

We have our own bard, who can sing to our liking ;
and his lays will tell whether we fear death.

ORESTES.

Your own bard will sing your own valour, belike ?
That I can ill do ; for I have heard but little of the
deeds of Pyrrhus.

ALCIMEDON.

The name of Troy has been heard, perchance, even
in Acarnania ?



64 ANDROMACHE

ORESTES.

But the praise of your ancestors I could make into
something something gayer, you said ? Was ^Eacus
the first of your house ?

ALCIMEDON.
./Eacus, son of Zeus.

ORESTES.

[Twanging the lyre carelessly and improvising.
" Great were our sires, and feeble folk are we.
A strong king and a wise was ^Eacus,
And Zeus his father helped him in his need,
And Pelops, Lord of Hellas, loved him well."

ALCIMEDON.
(Grumbling.) /Eacus was no vassal of Pelops !

ORESTES.

" The son is weaker, weaker than the sire.
And Peleus he begat, a goodly king ;
Albeit he stabbed his brother on the sand,
And wandered from his house, and begged, and lied,
And vowed a goddess loved him : and men laughed."
[Murmurs in the hall. ORESTES pauses and
drinks.

PYRRHUS.
( Under his breath.) Does the man seek for strife ?

ORESTES.
" The son is falser, falser than the sire."



ANDROMACHE 65

HERMIONE.

Perchance his wine likes him not. (Goes down to
ORESTES, pours him fresh wine, and whispers.} Are
you mad ?

ORESTES.

(In the same tone, looking in her face.} Knew you
not that, long ago ?

[Continuing, while she goes back to the throne.

" Achilles, Peleus' son, was swift of foot,
And slew by guile great Hector, and was slain.
And, though he hid from war in woman's weeds,
And though he kept his tent while others fought,
Yet gat he from his loins one son true born,
And craved not mercy, gave not gifts for blood."

PYRRHUS.
What does the dog mean ?

ORESTES.
" The son is viler, viler than the sire."

PYRRHUS.

(Starting up.) By all my fathers together, this is
the end ! Ho, Myrmidons !

\H.e snatches up the spear and shield <?y r MoLOSsus.
The other men take arms and growl.
HERMIONE starts up, clasping her head with
both hands, and staring in terror before her.
ORESTES stays quietly seated,

E



66 ANDROMACHE

ANDROMACHE.

(Rushing before PYRRHUS.) Your oath, O King !
Your pledged hand ! He is our guest.

PYRRHUS.

(Checking himself suddenly, then turning upon her.)
Whose guest ? You brought him here you gave
the barb to his mocking. (To the men.) Back, men !
(To ANDROMACHE.) Who taught him to revile my
house ?

ANDROMACHE.
I have told him nothing.

MAID OF HERMIONE.

He has been talking hours and hours with the Lady
Andromache.

ANDROMACHE.
I know him not. I think he is mad.

BOTH MAIDS OF HERMIONE.

Bewitched, perchance !

[Afurmurs of assent and dissent .

PYRRHUS.

Peace, hounds! (To ORESTES.) Sir Guest, this
woman has saved you, else, oath or no oath, had I
slain you where you stand.



ANDROMACHE 67

HERMIONE.

(Starting from her stupefaction.) What is that in the
bowl ?

PYRRHUS.
What bowl ?

HERMIONE.
The bowl of your blood-gifts. [Pointing to it.

PYRRHUS.

My blood-gifts ! (Goes to the bowl ; then turns fiiri-
ously on ANDROMACHE.) Woman, who gave you this
gold ?

ANDROMACHE.

No man gave me gold. The stranger cast a pen-
dant of his chain to add to the blood-gifts, for pity,
lest the boy should be slain.

PYRRHUS.

Pity of the boy ! 'Tis a plot a plot to shame me
past all enduring !

FIRST MAID.
She witched the gold out of him.

PRIEST.

King, King, hear me ! She has witched the Queen's
womb long ago, and witched the whole harvest. She
has this day witched your own boy to consent to



68 ANDROMACHE

your dishonour ; she has witched this mad stranger
to give her gold worth twenty oxen ; yea, she has
witched both him and you, so that he stands up and
flouts you in your hall. You are stripped naked, O
King, for men and dogs to walk upon, that Hector
in his grave may be merry. Judgement, O son of
Achilles, judgement !

ANDROMACHE.

Yea, judgement, my King ! I, too, crave judge-
ment. Only let not these be my judges.

PRIEST.
Who is she to say how she shall be judged ?

ANDROMACHE.

Judge me yourself, O Pyrrhus, son of Achilles !
even now, in your anger ; and I fear not. Oh, my
King, you who know me, say if I have hated you !

PRIEST.

A witch has no right to speak. Let her be bound
outside at the gate till she is judged.

ALCIMEDON.
Not speak ? What law is this, Priest ?



ANDROMACHE 69

PRIEST.

Not a witch ! She will bind the King's heart, so
that he cannot judge her.

PYRRHUS.

(After a moment's hesitation.] By Zeus in heaven, it
is the truth ! I cannot judge her while she stands
looking at me. Begone, woman ! Nay, touch her
not ! Let her go to her own house.

ANDROMACHE.

I go, my King. Yet if you slay me and to-morrow
wake sorrowful, remember there is no cure for that
sorrow. . [Exit ANDROMACHE.

MOLOSSUS.
Mother, I will come too.

ALCIMEDON.

(Stopping MOLOSSUS at the door.} To sanctuary !
Not to your own house ! Take sanctuary, both, at
the altar of Thetis, till his fury is over.

[Exit MOLOSSUS.

ORESTES.

\Who during the interruption has mounted on
the bench , taken the suit of arms from the
wal^ and armed himself^ here leaps down,
picks up the lyre^ and sings again

" The son is viler, viler than the sire ! "



70 ANDROMACHE

ALCIMEDON.
The man is armed !

ORESTES.

[Continuing amid general confusion.

" Achilles' son slew women and slew babes,
But quailed before the blood-wrath of a churl ;
And stole another's bride ; and fled, fled, fled ! "

[Tumult in hall.

ALCIMEDON.
Down with him !

PYRRHUS.

Slay him not ! Break his spear and thrust him
out!

ORESTES.

Will nothing sting you ? Lo, mine was the bride
he stole, and from me he fled ! For he dared not face
the wrath of Orestes, nor the spear of Agamemnon's
son. [He stands with spear poised.

PYRRHUS.
Orestes !

PRIEST.
Is it Orestes ?

ALCIMEDON.

He must have men behind him. To the watch-
tower, quick ! [Two retainers run out, R.



ANDROMACHE 71

HERMIONE.
He lies, he lies ! Do I not know Orestes ?

PYRRHUS.
Is it not Orestes ? Who is it ?

HERMIONE.

This is some poor half-mad, wandering minstrel-
man. I know him not. He is not Orestes.

A VOICE FROM THE WATCH-TOWER.

There are no men near the castle.

ALCIMEDON.
Well, strike him down !

HERMIONE.

What profit to break the guest-oath for such as he ?
He is not Orestes.

PYRRHUS.

Now, the Furies that haunt Orestes dog you,
woman, if you lie !

[ORESTES gives a cry, and lowers his spear.

PRIEST.

If he be mad, it were a great sin to slay him. And
the god has been strong in him to-day.



72 ANDROMACHE

HERMIONE.

(After gazing at ORESTES steadily.} May the Furies
that haunt Orestes be ever with me if I lie. (Reck-
lessly.} Is that enough ? If you would have another
oath, behold, I will go this night to the altar of
Thetis

PYRRHUS.
Hush, Queen, lest the goddess hear !

HERMIONE.

(Continuing.} And there by the altar I will swear
oaths, and Thetis may work upon me what she will.

PYRRHUS.

Nay, daughter of Helen, no such wild words ! I
mistrust you not. Guest, get you gone in peace.

ORESTES.

(Subdued by mention of the Furies.} I go, not fearing
you, but lest I see Them. I am no guest of yours.
(Throwing down armour.} Take back your shield and
helmet. Aught else I have had from your hands, my
gold will more than repay. (With horror!) Apollo,
Averter of Evil ! keep them back ! Oh, why did
you not slay me while you might ?

[Exit ORESTES.

A RETAINER.
Shall we not stone him from the Court ?



ANDROMACHE 73

PRIEST.

He is possessed. Stricken of God. Touch him
not if you fear the gods' anger.

HERMIONE.

(Terrified^ staring in front of her.) No, no, I see
nothing.



END OF THE SECOND ACT.



THE THIRD ACT

SCENE : As in Act I. Night. ANDROMACHE on the
steps of the altar of Thetis^ with MOLOSSUS asleep.
Enter from the back, one after another , three armed
men, with bows and arrows as well as spears ; they
pass silently behind rocks or bushes and disappear.
Enter ORESTES, armed, by path at back : a MAN
comes from behind a rock to meet him.

ORESTES.
Is the watch set ?

MAN-AT-ARMS.
Everywhere.

ORESTES.
And the path to the ship safe ?

MAN-AT-ARMS.

Yes. We have but to wait till they arc drawn off
from the castle.

ORESTES.
Which way will Pylades lure them ?

74



ANDROMACHE 75

MAN-AT-ARMS.

He will feign flight northwards, to leave our way
clear to the ship.

ORESTES.

Good. One thing more. If I be stricken here,
waste no men's lives for me. Make your way back
to the ship.

MAN-AT-ARMS.

Prince, we have our orders for this night's work
from Pylades. We leave you not.



ORESTES.

Nay, what worth is a dead body, or who can
hurt it ?

MAN-AT-ARMS.

Hush ! What was that ?

[Steals back to his ambush. ANDROMACHE has
made some movement. ORESTES peers towards
Castle^ L., in darkness ; then, turning, sees that
there is a woman at the altar.



ORESTES. ^

Daughter of Helen, why at the altar ? Whom do
you fear so sore ? (No answer. He comes nearer and
sees MOLOSSUS lying.) What does the boy here ?



76 ANDROMACHE

ANDROMACHE.

The stranger ! Come you to seek me y or what
more has chanced ?

ORESTES.

Is it you ? You ? Is the boy asleep ?

ANDROMACHE.

We have waited here so long, and have heard no
word, good or evil.

ORESTES.
But why hide you here ?

ANDROMACHE.

We have taken sanctuary from the wrath of the
King and Queen, my guest ?

ORESTES.
Call you me still your guest ?

ANDROMACHE.

You are still my guest till you leave the land ;
and the King's wrath will perchance be cooled to-
morrow.

ORESTES.

Why did you not let them slay me in the hall ?
'Twas your own folly. I sought no hurt to you.



ANDROMACHE 77

Speak, think you an altar will hold me back, or your
blood stain deeper than my mother's blood ?



ANDROMACHE.

Who are you that speak like this ? And what will
my death profit you ?

ORESTES.

Spoke I not loud enough in my enemy's hall ? I
am Orestes.

ANDROMACHE.

{Amazed.) Clytemnestra's son ! (Coming towards
him.] Oh, now I understand your face. Give me
your hand. Whether that old stain be yet purged or
no

ORESTES.

"Tis hidden and buried, rather, with much new
blood over it. [Keeping hack his hand.

ANDROMACHE.

It is such a one as you I have long prayed for, to
be a friend to my child and me.

ORESTES.
Why should I be your friend ? I want no friends.

ANDROMACHE.

Listen. You and I have had more grief than
others. We have seen beyond the glory of battle,



78 ANDROMACHE

beyond the joy of the conqueror and the shame of
the conquered as Priam and Hector saw before they
died.

ORESTES.

I know the battle, and I know the shame. I have
seen nought else.

ANDROMACHE.

The King has had but little sorrow ; he has con-
quered always, and taken glory in his manslaying.

ORESTES.
Belike he will soon taste the other side of glory.

ANDROMACHE.

It may be. But none here, save old Alcimus,
know aught of suffering. I have long prayed that
some man should come here who had suffered from
the hurts he had done, and learnt to pity men and
women. And if the King's feet are set fast and
cannot be turned, at least there is my son.

ORESTES.
Woman, I am come to slay the King and your son.

ANDROMACHE.
(Calmly.) Slay them ? But why ? Why ?

ORESTES.
To take their kingdom, as others have taken mine.



ANDROMACHE 79

ANDROMACHE.

But is all the grief wasted that the gods have sent
you ? Can you not forget past evils and live in peace ?

ORESTES.

In storm I can forget them. Peace is all anguish
to me.

ANDROMACHE.
And what will a kingdom profit you ?

ORESTES.
I am a king's son ; I must have my kingdom.

ANDROMACHE.

Oh, you kings and kings' sons, you dwell like
wolves in your castles. I have heard many a plough-
man at his ploughing sing with gladness, but seldom,
seldom, a king's son.

ORESTES.

Wolves must live in the wolves' way ; and they
have their own gladness, too.

ANDROMACHE.

You may know them by the howling of their
misery in the night. God grant my boy may never
be a king !



8o ANDROMACHE

ORESTES.

Shall I slay him, then, as they bid me ? Or would
you that I should take him away where there are no
kingdoms ? My ship is in the bay, and lacks not for
plunder.

ANDROMACHE.
Better you should slay him now, where he lies.

ORESTES.

Is he asleep ? (He bends tenderly over MOLOSSUS ;
then recovers himself, and speaks in a harsh troubled
voice.) Why is it that you fear me not ?

ANDROMACHE.
Why should I fear you ?

ORESTES.

Do you trust to these gods ? For I reck little ot
them.

ANDROMACHE.

Nay, my gods are vanished and powerless long ago,
and these are but my enemies' gods.

ORESTES.
Then what defence have you against me ?

ANDROMACHE.
I need no defence. You and I are friends.



ANDROMACHE 81

ORESTES.
How, friends ? I am charged to slay you also.

ANDROMACHE.
You will not slay me.

ORESTES.
How can you know what I myself know not yet ?

ANDROMACHE.

You have no peace to see your own heart ; but I
can see it.

ORESTES.

How have you learnt it ? Woman, they may well
speak of your sorceries.

ANDROMACHE.

I have no sorceries. This is a simple thing. We
slaves learn to read men's moods in their eyes and
voices, because their moods bring life or death to us.

ORESTES.

Then why do you not fear me the more ? (Roughly.')
You have never seen my heart !

ANDROMACHE.

He who has seen beyond the glory of bloodshedding
may soon see beyond the hardness of man's heart.

F



82 ANDROMACHE

ORESTES.
(Troubled roughly.} I know my own heart.

ANDROMACHE.

The gods' hearts may be hard, but man's is tender ;
only very hungry, and sore afraid, and wild as a
hunted beast on the mountain.

ORESTES.
Know you your Queen's heart ?

ANDROMACHE.

Not hard, but starving. And she thinks, perchance,
that the grief of others will feed it.

ORESTES.

(Absently bending and touching the boy's hands.} He
is very cold.

Enter HERMIONE, hooded and wrapped^ hurriedly.

HERMIONE.

(To herself.} Is there no one ? Oh, I dare not !

[ORESTES steps quickly out from behind the trees.
HERMIONE starts in terror.



ANDROMACHE 83

ORESTES.

Welcome, daughter of Helen !

[HERMIONE does not answer y but stands y breath-
ing hard with relief.

ORESTES.

Throw back your hood. Ye gods, she is passing
beautiful !

HERMIONE.
Take me quick to the ship. Quick, quick !

ORESTES.

It is not yet time. My men must draw Pyrrhus
away from the castle.

HERMIONE.
He has gone. Nay, take me quick Orestes



ORESTES.
Why do you tremble so ? What is it ?

HERMIONE.
That oath I swore

ORESTES.
You have not heard Them ?



84 ANDROMACHE



HERMIONE.

I know not. There seemed shapes at the edge of
the trees.

x

ORESTES.

Shapes ! (Looks at her close.) No ; you have not
seen them.

HERMIONE.

(With horror.) Is the sight of them written on
men's faces ?

ORESTES.

Speak not of them ! You have neither seen nor
heard.

HERMIONE.

It is only now, and here, that I am afraid. Take
me to the ship ; and when once it is over



ORESTES.
When Pyrrhus is slain ?

HERMIONE.

And the other (clinging to him) oh, then we
shall be safe and at peace.

ORESTES.
The boy ? Why do you fear him ?



ANDROMACHE 85

HERMIONE.

(Absently.) The boy ? He is the king's son.

ORESTES.

But why do you fear him ?

HERMIONE.
It is not the boy I fear.

ORESTES.
Who, then ?

HERMIONE.
It is the woman.

ORESTES.

(Repelled.) And what fear you from her ? I care
not to slay a woman and a child.

HERMIONE.
I can never breathe in peace while she is there.

ORESTES.
(Sternly.) What has she done ?

HERMIONE.

(Speaking in vague, troubled tones.) When she is near
me, even if I know it not, her breath runs in my
blood and makes me tremble. [She is trembling.



86 ANiDROMACHE



ORESTES.

Be still ! Say what she has done. If she has done
you a wrong I will slay her.



HERMIONE.

(In the same way.) I might have borne her eyes
perchance in my own country, with friends near me ;
but here, all alone



ORESTES.
What has she done ?

HERMIONE.

(In the same way.) I meant no hurt to her for her
sharing the king's bed. But when first I saw her
and she looked straight into me, there was something
that turned my heart sick and dimmed my eyes.

ORESTES.

How can I slay her for dreams like these ? I know
nought of your heart, but I can see your beauty.
She has not hurt that.

HERMIONE.

Can you not see a dimness over my face, where it
once was bright and a radiance in hers ?



ANDROMACHE 87

ORESTES.

(Reflecting.) There is a radiance, although she is so
sad.

HERMIONE.

Where got she that radiance ? It is not hers. It
is the joy and sunlight she has sucked out of me.

ORESTES.

(Looting at her coldly.) I can see no cloud in your
face.

HERMIONE.

(Passionately.) No, no, you cannot see. I am rot-
ting, shrivelling, dying within ; and only she can see
how I die.

ORESTES.

All flesh must decay. Tell me one deed of hate
she has done, and I will slay her.

HERMIONE.

She has made me childless, that her child may be
king.

ORESTES.
(To himself.) And Helen never faded at all.

HERMIONE.

Childless, barren barren of womb and of heart !
I had courage and strength to bear good sons, till she
sapped it from me to feed her son. Nay, there is
another thing



88 ANDROMACHE

ORESTES.
(Coldly,) What?

HERMIONE.
No, no"; you do not believe me. I cannot say it.

ORESTES.

You speak such wild things.

HERMIONE.

I know not why I am so wild now, and anger
you. When she is near, it makes me wild and
cruel ; but now, I know not why this should come
over me.

ORESTES.

Great Zeus, if it should be true ! Andromache,
Andromache, speak and answer her !

HERMIONE.

Is she here ? (ANDROMACHE comes out from the trees
by the altar.) Averter of Evil, what is that ?

ANDROMACHE.
I am but your handmaid, I have done you no hurt.



HERMIONE.
Nay, now you can see it the thing I dared not



say.



ANDROMACHE 89

ORESTES.
What is it ?

HERMIONE.

She is no live woman. See ! she is dead, and sucks
the blood of the living. Why is she never afraid,
like a live woman ?

ORESTES.

(Troubled.} She is deathly white. Why she has no
fear I know not.

ANDROMACHE.

What can I answer ? The King might slay me,
but not this man.

ORESTES.

It was the same but now, when I held death over
her.

HERMIONE.

She has passed through death. She has no fear,
no anger, as the living have. Why does she never
ask for anything ? (Almost beside herself with terror.}
Faugh ! the smell of death clings about all her gar-
ments ! Kill her, kill her ! (ORESTES looks at
HERMIONE with a shudder. HERMIONE, breaking
down, continues.} Oh, friend, friend, I was not like this
in Sparta.

ANDROMACHE.

*

Queen, I know my heart is with the dead of Troy.
Why should that anger you ?



90 ANDROMACHE



ORESTES.

(Looking at HERMIONE.) In very truth there is a
shadow come over you. You seem to be shrunken,
and scarce so wondrous beautiful.



HERMIONE.
(In a weary frightened voice.) Kill her, kill her !

ORESTES.
I know not

HERMIONE.

You have eyes. Can you not see there is a fiend
working in me ?

ANDROMACHE.

There is no fiend. Queen, Queen, why are you
so full of hate ?

HERMIONE.

'Tis your spells have done it. Before I came here
I never hated any one.

ORESTES.

(To ANDROMACHE.) Know you not any cause why
she should hate you ?

ANDROMACHE.
Nay, stranger, why do men hate ?



ANDjROjMACHE 91

HERMIONE.

She has made me feel that I am vile. Slay her, or
I go back to the King.

ORESTES.

Pyrrhus most like is dead. If I do slay her will
you come away with me ?

HERMIONE.

To the ship ? Yes ; till we come back and take
the kingdom.

ORESTES.
I will not take your kingdom.

HERMIONE.
Is it the boy you fear to slay ?

ORESTES.

My kingdom must be an ever-changing kingdom.
I dreamed for an hour that I might stay and rest like
other men.

HERMIONE.
And why not ?

ORESTES.

There be Those watching that will not let me
rest.



92 ANDROMACHE

HERMIONE.

Those watching ? But you have not seen them ?
/ have not seen anything. [To herself.

ORESTES.

Not now. Few men have ever seen them ; but I
hear their wings on the wind. And perchance if I
stayed long in one place

HERMIONE.

I hear nothing. (Listening.} No, it cannot be
wings on the wind ! Oh !

ANDROMACHE.
Nay, there is no sound at all. Be not so terrified.

HERMIONE.

I cannot stay here alone. Oh, I care not for the


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Online LibraryGilbert MurrayAndromache, a play in three acts → online text (page 3 of 4)