Signe—you are still a child; you know not what it means to have ever in your heart the dread of— [Suddenly breaking off.] Think, Signe, what it must be to wither and die without ever having lived.
[Looks at her in astonishment, and shakes her head.] Nay, but, Margit—?
Aye, aye, you do not understand, but none the less—
[They go up again, talking
to each other. GUDMUND and KNUT
come down on the other side.
Well, if so it be—if this wild life no longer contents you— then I will give you the best counsel that ever friend gave to friend: take to wife an honourable maiden.
Say you so? And if I now told you that ’tis even that I have in mind?
Good luck and happiness to you then, Knut Gesling! And now you must know that I too—
You? Are you, too, so purposed?
Aye truly. But the King’s wrath—I am a banished man—
Nay, to that you need give but little thought. As yet there is no one here, save Dame Margit, that knows aught of the matter; and so long as I am your friend, you have one in whom you can trust securely. Now I must tell you—
[He proceeds in a whisper as they go up again.
[As she and MARGIT again advance.] But tell me then Margit—!
More I dare not tell you.
Then will I be more open-hearted than you. But first answer me one question. [Bashfully, with hesitation.] Is there no one who has told you anything concerning me?
Concerning you? Nay, what should that be?
[As before, looking downwards.] You said to me this morning: if a wooer came riding hither—?
That is true. [To herself.] Knut Gesling—has he already—? [Eagerly to SIGNE.] Well? What then?
[Softly, but with exultation.] The wooer has come! He has come, Margit! I knew not then whom you meant; but now—!
And what have you answered him?
Oh, how should I know? [Flinging her arms round her sister’s neck.] But the world seems to me so rich and beautiful since the moment when he told me that he held me dear.