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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about The Feast at Solhoug.

BENGT.

  Nay, that is our firm resolve.

KNUT.

  [To MARGIT.] Have no fear.

BENGT.

  And what we have firmly resolved stands fast.

KNUT.

That I like well, Sir Bengt Gauteson.  I, too, say the same; and I have pledged myself at the feast-board to wed your kinswoman.  You may be sure that my pledge, too, will stand fast.—­God’s peace till to-night!

     [He and ERIK, with their men, go out at the back.
     [BENGT accompanies them to the door.  The sound of the bells
       has in the meantime ceased.

BENGT.

  [Returning.] Methought he seemed to threaten us as he departed.

MARGIT.

  [Absently.] Aye, so it seemed.

BENGT.

Knut Gesling is an ill man to fall out with.  And when I bethink me, we gave him over many hard words.  But come, let us not brood over that.  To-day we must be merry, Margit!—­as I trow we have both good reason to be.

MARGIT.

  [With a weary smile.] Aye, surely, surely.

BENGT.

Tis true I was no mere stripling when I courted you.  But well I wot I was the richest man for many and many a mile.  You were a fair maiden, and nobly born; but your dowry would have tempted no wooer.

MARGIT.

  [To herself.] Yet was I then so rich.

BENGT.

  What said you, my wife?

MARGIT.

Oh, nothing, nothing. [Crosses to the right.] I will deck me with pearls and rings.  Is not to-night a time of rejoicing for me?

BENGT.

I am fain to hear you say it.  Let me see that you deck you in your best attire, that our guests may say:  Happy she who mated with Bengt Gauteson.—­But now must I to the larder; there are many things to-day that must not be over-looked.

     [He goes out to the left.

MARGIT. [Sinks down on a chair by the table on the right.]

’Twas well he departed.  While here he remains
Meseems the blood freezes within my veins;
Meseems that a crushing mighty and cold
My heart in its clutches doth still enfold.
     [With tears she cannot repress.

He is my husband!  I am his wife! 
How long, how long lasts a woman’s life? 
Sixty years, mayhap—­God pity me
Who am not yet full twenty-three!
     [More calmly after a short silence.

Hard, so long in a gilded cage to pine;
Hard a hopeless prisoner’s lot—­and mine.
     [Absently fingering the ornaments on the table, and beginning
       to put them on.

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