The House of Rimmon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 63 pages of information about The House of Rimmon.

REZON:  [Standing beside the altar.]
  The pledge, O King, this man must seal his pledge
  At Rimmon’s altar.  He must take the cup
  Of soldier-sacrament, and bind himself
  By thrice-performed libation to abide
  The fate he has invoked.

NAAMAN:  [Slowly.]
  And so I will.

[He comes down the steps, toward the altar, where REZON is filling the cup which TSARPI holds.  RUAHMAH throws herself before NAAMAN, clasping his knees.]

RUAHMAH:  [Passionately and wildly.]
  My lord, I do beseech you, stay!  There’s death
  Within that cup.  It is an offering
  To devils.  See, the wine blazes like fire,
  It flows like blood, it is a cursed cup,
  Fulfilled of treachery and hate. 
  Dear master, noble master, touch it not!

  Poor maid, thy brain is still distraught.  Fear not
  But let me go!  Here, treat her tenderly!

[Gives her into the hands of SABALLIDIN.]

  Can harm befall me from the wife who bears
  My name?  I take the cup of fate from her. 
  I greet the unknown powers; [Pours libation.]
  I will perform my vow; [Again.]
  I will abide my fate; [Again.]
  I pledge my life to keep Damascus free.

[He drains the cup, and lets it fall.]



TIME:  A week later

The fore-court of the House of Rimmon.  At the back the broad steps and double doors of the shrine:  above them the tower of the god, its summit invisible.  Enter various groups of citizens, talking, laughing, shouting:  RAKHAZ, HAZAEL, SHUMAKIM and others.

  Great news, glorious news, the Assyrians are beaten!

  Naaman is returning, crowned with victory.  Glory to our noble

  No, he is killed.  I had it from one of the camp-followers who saw
  him fall at the head of the battle.  They are bringing his body to
  bury it with honour.  O sorrowful victory!

  Peace, my good fellows, you are ignorant, you have not been rightly
  informed, I will misinform you.  The accounts of Naaman’s death are
  overdrawn.  He was killed, but his life has been preserved.  One of
  his wounds was mortal, but the other three were curable, and by
  these the physicians have saved him.

SHUMAKIM:  [Balancing himself before RAKHAZ in pretended admiration.]
  O wonderful!  Most admirable logic!  One mortal, and three curable,
  therefore he must recover as it were, by three to one.  Rakhaz, do
  you know that you are a marvelous man?

  Yes, I know it, but I make no boast of my knowledge.

  Too modest, for in knowing this you know what is unknown to any other
  in Damascus!

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The House of Rimmon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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