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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about Pllas and Mlisande.

PELLEAS

But I did not see it!...  The lantern no longer lighted me....

GOLAUD.

I made a misstep.... but if I had not held you by the arm....  Well, this is the stagnant water that I spoke of to you....  Do you perceive the smell of death that rises?—­Let us go to the end of this overhanging rock, and do you lean over a little.  It will strike you in the face.

PELLEAS.

I smell it already;... you would say a smell of the tomb.

GOLAUD.

Further, further....  It is this that on certain days has poisoned the castle.  The King will not believe it comes from here.—­The crypt should be walled up in which this standing water is found.  It is time, besides, to examine these vaults a little.  Have you noticed those lizards on the walls and pillars of the vaults?—­There is a labor hidden here you would not suspect; and the whole castle will be swallowed up one of these nights, if it is not looked out for.  But what will you have? nobody likes to come down this far....  There are strange lizards in many of the walls....  Oh! here ... do you perceive the smell of death that rises?

PELLEAS.

Yes; there is a smell of death rising about us....

GOLAUD.

Lean over; have no fear....  I will hold you ... give me ... no, no, not your hand ... it might slip ... your arm, your arm!...  Do you see the gulf? [Moved.]—­Pelleas?  Pelleas?...

PELLEAS.

Yes; I think I see the bottom of the gulf....  Is it the light that trembles so?...  You ... [He straightens up, turns, and looks at GOLAUD.]

GOLAUD (with a trembling voice).

Yes; it is the lantern....  See, I shook it to lighten the walls....

PELLEAS.

I stifle here;... let us go out....

GOLAUD.

Yes; let us go out....
          
                                            [Exeunt in silence.

SCENE IV.—­A terrace at the exit of the vaults.  Enter GOLAUD and
PELLEAS.

PELLEAS.

Ah!  I breathe at last!...  I thought, one moment, I was going to be ill in those enormous crypts; I was on the point of falling....  There is a damp air there, heavy as a leaden dew, and darkness thick as a poisoned paste....  And now, all the air of all the sea!...  There is a fresh wind, see; fresh as a leaf that has just opened, over the little green waves....  Hold! the flowers have just been watered at the foot of the terrace, and the smell of the verdure and the wet roses comes up to us....  It must be nearly noon; they are already in the shadow of the tower....  It is noon; I hear the bells ringing, and the children are going down to the beach to bathe....  I did not know that we had stayed so long in the caverns....

GOLAUD.

We went down towards eleven o’clock....

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