Have a care, Palomides.... Wilt thou that I go first?... Thy voice is trembling....
PALOMIDES (in the apartment).
No, no.... I see a ray of sunlight falling through the chinks of the shutters.
ONE OF THE SISTERS.
Yes; it is broad day out of doors.
[Rushing headlong from the room.] Come! Come!... I think she ...
Thou hast seen her?...
She is stretched out on the bed!... She does not stir!... I do not think she ... Come! Come! [They all go into the room.
ASTOLAINE AND THE SISTERS OF PALOMIDES.
[In the room.] She is here.... No, no, she is not dead.... Alladine! Alladine!... Oh! oh! The poor child!... Do not cry out so.... She has fainted.... Her hair is tied across her mouth.... And her hands are bound behind her back.... They are bound with the help of her hair.... Alladine! Alladine!... Fetch some water....
[ABLAMORE, who has waked, appears on the step of the door.]
There is my father!...
ABLAMORE (going to PALOMIDES).
Was it you who opened the door of the room?
Yes, it was I.... I did it—well, then?—well, then?... I could not let her die under my eyes.... See what you have done. Alladine!... Fear nothing.... She opens her eyes a little.... I will not ...
Do not cry out.... Do not cry out so....
Come, we will open the shutters.... You cannot
see here. Alladine!... She is already sitting
up. Alladine, come too.... Do you see, my
children, it is dark in the room. It is as dark
here as if we were a thousand feet under the ground.
But I open one of the shutters, and behold! All
the light of the sky and the sun!... It does
not need much effort; the light is full of good-will....
It suffices that one call it; it always obeys....
Have you seen the river with its little islands between
the meadows in flower?... The sky is a crystal
ring to-day.... Alladine! Palomides, come
see.... Draw both of you near Paradise....
You must kiss each other in the new light....
I bear you no ill-will. You did what was ordained;
and so did I.... Lean out a moment from the open
window, and look once more at the sweet green things....
[A silence. He closes the shutter without a word.]
Vast subterranean crypts. ALLADINE and PALOMIDES.
They have bound my eyes with bands; they have tied my hands with cords.
They have tied my hands with cords; they have bound my eyes with bands.... I think my hands are bleeding....