James Branch Cabell.

The Jewel Merchants A Comedy in One Act online

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another, at least I will go at a noble price. Yet I do not think I am
quite worth the wealth and power which you have given up because of me. So
it will be necessary to make up the difference, dear, by loving you very
much.

_GUIDO takes her hands, only half-believing that he understands her
meaning. He puts an arm about her shoulder, holding her at a distance, the
better to see her face._

GUIDO
You, who had only scorn to give me when I was a kingdom's master! Would
you go with me now that I am homeless and friendless?

GRACIOSA
(_Archly._) But to me you do not seem quite friendless.

GUIDO
Graciosa - !

GRACIOSA
And I doubt if you could ever find your way through the forest alone.
(_But as she stands there with one hand raised to each of his shoulders
her vindication is self-revealed, and she indicates her bracelet rather
indignantly._) Besides, what else is a poor maid to do, when she is
burdened with a talisman that compels her to marry the man whom she - so
very much - prefers?

GUIDO
(_Drawing her to him._) Ah, you shall not regret that foolish preference.

GRACIOSA
But come! There is a path - (_They are gathering up the pack and its
contents, as GUIDO pauses by the DUKE._) Is he - ?

GUIDO
He will not enter Hell to-day. (_The DUKE stirs._) Already he revives, you
see. So let us begone before his attendants come.

_GUIDO lifts her to the top of the wall. He lifts up the pack._

GRACIOSA
My lute!

GUIDO
(_Giving it to her._) So we may pass for minstrels on the road to Venice.

GRACIOSA
Yes, singing the Duke's songs to pay our way. (_GUIDO climbs over the
wall, and stands on the far side, examining the landscape beneath._)
Horsemen!

GUIDO
The Duke's attendants fetching him new women - two more of those numerous
damsels that his song demands. They will revive this ruinous songmaker to
rule over Tuscany more foolishly than Eglamore governed when Eglamore was
a great lord. (_He speaks pensively, still looking down._) It is a very
rich and lovely country, this kingdom which a half-hour since lay in the
hollow of my hand. Now I am empty-handed.

GRACIOSA
(_With mocking reproach._) Empty-handed!

_She extends to him both her hands. GUIDO takes them, and laughs joyously,
saying,_ "Come!" _as he lifts her down._

_There is a moment's silence, then is heard the song and lute-playing with
which the play began, growing ever more distant:..._

"Knights as my serfs be given;
And as I will, let music go and come."

_... The DUKE moves. The DUKE half raises himself at the foot of the
crucifix._

THE DUKE
Eglamore! I am hurt. Help me, Eglamore!


(THE CURTAIN FALLS)











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Online LibraryJames Branch CabellThe Jewel Merchants A Comedy in One Act → online text (page 3 of 3)