The Saint's Tragedy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about The Saint's Tragedy.

Lewis.  No, not my purse:—­stay—­Where is all that gold
I gave you, when the Jews came here from Koln?

Eliz.  Oh, those few coins?  I spent them all next day
On a new chapel on the Eisenthal;
There were no choristers but nightingales—­
No teachers there save bees:  how long is this? 
Have you turned niggard?

Lewis.  Nay; go ask my steward—­
Take what you will—­this purse I want myself.

Eliz.  Ah! now I guess.  You have some trinket for me—­
You promised late to buy no more such baubles—­
And now you are ashamed.—­Nay, I must see—­

[Snatches his purse.  Lewis hides his face.]

Ah, God! what’s here?  A new crusader’s cross? 
Whose?  Nay, nay—­turn not from me; I guess all—­
You need not tell me; it is very well—­
According to the meed of my deserts: 
Yes—­very well.

Lewis.  Ah, love!—­look not so calm—­

Eliz.  Fear not—­I shall weep soon. 
How long is it since you vowed?

Lewis.  A week or more.

Eliz.  Brave heart!  And all that time your tenderness
Kept silence, knowing my weak foolish soul. [Weeps.]
O love!  O life!  Late found, and soon, soon lost! 
A bleak sunrise,—­a treacherous morning gleam,—­
And now, ere mid-day, all my sky is black
With whirling drifts once more!  The march is fixed
For this day month, is’t not?

Lewis.  Alas, too true!

Eliz.  Oh break not, heart!

[Conrad enters.]

Ah! here my master comes. 
No weeping before him.

Lewis.  Speak to the holy man: 
He can give strength and comfort, which poor I
Need even more than you.  Here, saintly master,
I leave her to your holy eloquence.  Farewell! 
God help us both! [Exit Lewis.]

Eliz [rising].  You know, Sir, that my husband has taken the cross!

Con.  I do; all praise to God!

Eliz.  But none to you: 
Hard-hearted!  Am I not enough your slave? 
Can I obey you more when he is gone
Than now I do?  Wherein, pray, has he hindered
This holiness of mine, for which you make me
Old ere my womanhood? [Conrad offers to go.]
Stay, Sir, and tell me
Is this the outcome of your ‘father’s care’? 
Was it not enough to poison all my joys
With foulest scruples?—­show me nameless sins,
Where I, unconscious babe, blessed God for all things,
But you must thus intrigue away my knight
And plunge me down this gulf of widowhood! 
And I not twenty yet—­a girl—­an orphan—­
That cannot stand alone!  Was I too happy? 
O God! what lawful bliss do I not buy
And balance with the smart of some sharp penance? 
Hast thou no pity?  None?  Thou drivest me
To fiendish doubts:  Thou, Jesus’ messenger?

Con.  This to your master!

Eliz.  This to any one
Who dares to part me from my love.

Con.  ’Tis well—­
In pity to your weakness I must deign
To do what ne’er I did—­excuse myself. 
I say, I knew not of your husband’s purpose;
God’s spirit, not I, moved him:  perhaps I sinned
In that I did not urge it myself.

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The Saint's Tragedy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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