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Lawrence Gilman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 47 pages of information about Debussy's Pellas et Mlisande.
It is late.  In an hour the great gates of the castle will be closed.  Pelleas tells her that it is perhaps the last time he shall see her, that he must go away forever.  She asks him why it is that he is always saying that.  “Must I tell you what you know already?” rejoins Pelleas.  “You know not what I am going to tell you?” “Why, no; I know nothing,” says Melisande.  “You know not why I must go?  You know not that it is because [he kisses her abruptly] I love you?” “I love you too,” says Melisande simply, in a low voice.  “You love me? you love me too?” cries Pelleas.  “Since when have you loved me?” “Since I saw you first,” she answers.  “Oh, how you say that!” cries Pelleas.  “Your voice seems to have blown across the sea in spring!...  You say it so frankly—­like an angel questioned.—­Your voice! your voice!  It is cooler and more frank than the water is!—­It is like pure water on my lips!—­Give me, give me your hands!—­Oh, how small your hands are!—­I did not know you were so beautiful!  I have never before seen anything so beautiful!—­I was filled with unrest; I sought everywhere; yet I found not beauty.—­And now I have found you!—­I do not believe there can be upon the earth a woman more beautiful!” Their love-scene is harshly interrupted.  “What is that noise?” asks Pelleas.  “They are closing the gates!—­We cannot return now.  Do you hear the bolts?—­Listen!—­the great chains!—­It is too late!” “So much the better!” cries Melisande, in passionate abandonment.  “Do you say that?” exclaims her lover.  “See, it is no longer we who will it so!  Come, come!” They embrace.  “Listen! my heart is almost strangling me!  Ah! how beautiful it is in the shadows!” “There is some one behind us!” whispers Melisande.  Pelleas has heard nothing.  “I hear only your heart in the darkness.”  “I heard the crackling of dead leaves,” insists Melisande.  “A-a-h! he is behind a tree!” she whispers.  “Who?” “Golaud!—­he has his sword!” “And I have none!” cries Pelleas.  “He does not know we have seen him,” he cautions.  “Do not stir; do not turn your head.—­He will remain there so long as he thinks we do not know he is watching us.—­He is still motionless.—­Go, go at once this way.  I will wait for him—­I will hold him back.”  “No, no, no!” cries Melisande.

“Go! go! he has seen everything!—­He will kill us!”

“All the better! all the better!”

“He is coming!—­Your mouth! your mouth!”

“Yes!  Yes!  Yes!”

They kiss desperately.

“Oh, oh!  All the stars are falling!” cries Pelleas.

“Upon me also!”

“Again!  Again!—­Give! give!”

“All! all! all!”

Golaud rushes upon them with drawn sword and kills Pelleas, who falls beside the fountain.  Melisande flees in terror, crying out as she goes, “Oh! oh!  I have no courage!  I have no courage!”

Golaud pursues her in silence through the forest.

ACT V

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