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Chastelard, a tragedy   By: (1837-1909)

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Chastelard, a tragedy .

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Boston: E.P. Dutton, 1866.

(author's edition)

PERSONS.

MARY STUART. MARY BEATON. MARY SEYTON. MARY CARMICHAEL. MARY HAMILTON. PIERRE DE BOSCOSEL DE CHASTELARD. DARNLEY. MURRAY. RANDOLPH. MORTON. LINDSAY. FATHER BLACK.

Guards, Burgesses, a Preacher, Citizens, &c.

Another Yle is there toward the Northe, in the See Occean, where that ben fulle cruele and ful evele Wommen of Nature: and thei han precious Stones in hire Eyen; and their ben of that kynde, that zif they beholden ony man, thei slen him anon with the beholdynge, as dothe the Basilisk.

MAUNDEVILE'S Voiage and Travaile, Ch. xxviii.

I DEDICATE THIS PLAY, AS A PARTIAL EXPRESSION OF REVERENCE AND GRATITUDE, TO THE CHIEF OF LIVING POETS; TO THE FIRST DRAMATIST OF HIS AGE; TO THE GREATEST EXILE, AND THEREFORE TO THE GREATEST MAN OF FRANCE; TO VICTOR HUGO.

ACT I.

MARY BEATON.

SCENE I. The Upper Chamber in Holyrood.

The four MARIES.

MARY BEATON (sings):

1. Le navire Est a l'eau; Entends rire Ce gros flot Que fait luire Et bruire Le vieux sire Aquilo.

2. Dans l'espace Du grand air Le vent passe Comme un fer; Siffle et sonne, Tombe et tonne, Prend et donne A la mer.

3. Vois, la brise Tourne au nord, Et la bise Souffle et mord Sur ta pure Chevelure Qui murmure Et se tord.

MARY HAMILTON. You never sing now but it makes you sad; Why do you sing?

MARY BEATON. I hardly know well why; It makes me sad to sing, and very sad To hold my peace.

MARY CARMICHAEL. I know what saddens you.

MARY BEATON. Prithee, what? what?

MARY CARMICHAEL. Why, since we came from France, You have no lover to make stuff for songs.

MARY BEATON. You are wise; for there my pain begins indeed, Because I have no lovers out of France.

MARY SEYTON. I mind me of one Olivier de Pesme, (You knew him, sweet,) a pale man with short hair, Wore tied at sleeve the Beaton color.

MARY CARMICHAEL. Blue I know, blue scarfs. I never liked that knight.

MARY HAMILTON. Me? I know him? I hardly knew his name. Black, was his hair? no, brown.

MARY SEYTON. Light pleases you: I have seen the time brown served you well enough.

MARY CARMICHAEL. Lord Darnley's is a mere maid's yellow.

MARY HAMILTON. No, A man's, good color.

MARY SEYTON. Ah, does that burn your blood? Why, what a bitter color is this read That fills your face! if you be not in love, I am no maiden.

MARY HAMILTON. Nay, God help true hearts! I must be stabbed with love then, to the bone, Yea to the spirit, past cure.

MARY SEYTON. What were you saying? I see some jest run up and down your lips.

MARY CARMICHAEL. Finish your song; I know you have more of it; Good sweet, I pray you do.

MARY BEATON. I am too sad.

MARY CARMICHAEL. This will not sadden you to sing; your song Tastes sharp of sea and the sea's bitterness, But small pain sticks on it.

MARY BEATON. Nay, it is sad; For either sorrow with the beaten lips Sings not at all, or if it does get breath Sings quick and sharp like a hard sort of mirth: And so this song does; or I would it did, That it might please me better than it does.

MARY SEYTON. Well, as you choose then. What a sort of men Crowd all about the squares!

MARY CARMICHAEL. Ay, hateful men; For look how many talking mouths be there, So many angers show their teeth at us. Which one is that, stooped somewhat in the neck, That walks so with his chin against the wind, Lips sideways shut? a keen faced man lo there, He that walks midmost.

MARY SEYTON. That is Master Knox. He carries all these folk within his skin, Bound up as 't were between the brows of him Like a bad thought; their hearts beat inside his; They gather at his lips like flies in the sun, Thrust sides to catch his face... Continue reading book >>




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