A Greek Slave
Dialogue Following Song No. 4 Act I
Melanopis: (Goes to curtain and calls) Archias! Archias!
(Archias enters from statue gallery R)
Archias: (On steps) Oh, it's you! Well, what do you want?
Melanopis: Only to tell you that Iris has been here and is coming again. That cheers you up, eh? (Exit chuckling) Young lovers always amuse me. They are so fond of each other's society before they are married. (Exit)
Archias: (Coming center) ] Iris coming again to-day! I am glad. Though it's extraordinary that a man of my high artistic culture should care for a woman who is something like other women. But I must get on with my Eros. Where's my model? (Goes Right Center) Here Diomed, where are you?
Diomed: (From Right Center) Here I am, Archias. I thought you'd finished with me.
Archias: (Posing Diomed) ) Just another touch. It is the duty of a great sculptor to correct nature's defects. And you have a great many defects, Diomed. (Goes to work on statue in statue gallery, Right )
Diomed: That can't be helped. It's one of the misfortunes of a Slave to be tired. And we Greeks are always unfortunate. Especially when we fight we always get beaten.
Archias: (R. working on statue) Yes, that's how we become slaves. But I don't care for fighting.
Diomed: (Laughing) I'm afraid you are not a warrior Archias.
Archias: No, I said so, I'm a Greek. (Comes down from gallery to Right Center) Besides, I should be wasted in a battle. I should be forgotten after the first ten minutes. At least, I hope so. As a sculptor I shall be remembered forever through my beautiful work (turns to Gallery, right, admiring statues)
Diomed: You seem to be very much in love with your beautiful work. (Laughing)
Archias: Perhaps so! A slave has only two things to live for: Love and Art.
Diomed: Then I think I'd better try art. I haven't got on very well at love.
Archias: I have. My little Iris is the sweetest girl on earth and she adores me.
Diomed: Yes, and some day you may marry her while I I
Diomed: My love for Maia has been the one bright spot throughout all my captivity. But I can't help feeling that my love is hopeless.
Archias: Then why do you aspire to our master's daughter? You should forget Lydia. Love one of your own people. There are plenty of beautiful slave girls.
Diomed: Bah! If we loved where we ought to love, there wouldn't be any pleasure in loving. Come, finish your work.
Archias: (Turning up and surveying the statue) It is almost finished. Do you like yourself in marble?
Diomed: (Looking at statue) It is curiously unlike me. You've managed wonderfully to escape a portriat.
Archias: That's where the true artist shows himself. It's an original Eros.
Page created 7 October 2001