Woman. Poor soul! she wanders!
Con. Wanders, fool? her madness
Is worth a million of your paters, mumbled
At every station between—
Eliz. Oh! thank God
Our eyes are dim! What should we do, if he,
The sneering fiend, who laughs at all our toil,
Should meet us face to face?
Con. We’d call him fool.
Eliz. There! There! Fly, Satan, fly! ’Tis gone!
Con. The victory’s gained at last!
The fiend is baffled, and her saintship sure!
O people blest of Heaven!
Eliz. O master, master,
You will not let the mob, when I lie dead,
Make me a show—paw over all my limbs—
Pull out my hair—pluck off my finger-nails—
Wear scraps of me for charms and amulets,
As if I were a mummy, or a drug?
As they have done to others—I have seen it—
Nor set me up in ugly naked pictures
In every church, that cold world-hardened wits
May gossip o’er my secret tortures? Promise—
Swear to me! I demand it!
Con. No man lights
A candle, to be hid beneath a bushel:
Thy virtues are the Church’s dower: endure
All which the edification of the faithful
Makes needful to be published.
Eliz. O my God!
I had stripped myself of all, but modesty!
Dost Thou claim yet that victim? Be it so.
Now take me home! I have no more to give Thee!
So weak—and yet no pain—why, now naught ails me!
How dim the lights burn! Here—
Where are you, children?
Alas! I had forgotten.
Now I must sleep—for ere the sun shall rise,
I must begone upon a long, long journey
To him I love.
Con. She means her heavenly Bridegroom—
The Spouse of souls.
Eliz. I said, to him I love.
Let me sleep, sleep.
You will not need to wake me—so—good-night.
[Folds herself into an attitude of repose. The scene closes.]
SCENE I. A.D. 1235.
A Convent at Marpurg. Cloisters of the infirmary. Two aged monks sitting.
1st Monk. So they will publish to-day the Landgravine’s canonisation, and translate her to the new church prepared for her. Alack, now, that all the world should be out sight-seeing and saint-making, and we laid up here, like two lame jackdaws in a belfry!
2d Monk. Let be, man—let be. We have seen sights and saints in our time. And, truly, this insolatio suits my old bones better than processioning.
1st Monk. ’Tis pleasant enough in the sun, were it not for the flies. Look—there’s a lizard. Come you here, little run-about; here’s game for you.
2d Monk. A tame fool, and a gay one—Munditiae mundanis.
1st Monk. Catch him a fat fly—my hand shaketh.
2d Monk. If one of your new-lights were here, now, he’d pluck him for a fiend, as Dominic did the live sparrow in chapel.