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Dialogue following No. 20


Enter ETHAIS from bower. He is very weak and ill.

Darine. (tenderly).    
  How fares Sir Ethais?
Ethais.   Why grievously!
  I am no leech and cannot dress my wound.
I'm sick and faint from pain and loss of blood!
Darine. (aside).    
  Now for my plan!    
(aloud)  Sir Ethais, if Phyllon's words be true,
Thy wound is but a scratch!
Ethais. (indignantly).   A scratch, forsooth!
  The devil's claws could scarcely scratch as deep!
Darine. He says — I don't believe him — but he says
That thou hast magnified its character
Because thou fearest to renew the fight!
He says thou art a coward!
Ethais. (furious). By my blood
  He shall atone for this! Oh, Phyllon, coward!
Why, a dozen times
We two have fought our battles side by side,
And I'm to quail and blanch, forsooth, because
We two are fighting face to face!
Black curses on this wound! Were Lutin here,
My sword arm soon would be in gear again!
Darine. Lutin is here!    
Ethais. (amazed). Here? Lutin?  
Darine.     Yes, behold! (shows phial).
  I have obtained this precious charm from him.
Now, knight, to show thy mettle!
Ethais. (furiously).   Give it me!
  Give me the flask!
Darine.   One moment, Ethais!
  This flask is precious, and it hath a price!
Ethais. Name thou thy price, and I will give it thee —
Take money, jewels, armour, all I have
So that thou leavest me one trusty sword!
Darine. Nay, Ethais, I do not want thy wealth;
I want thy love — yes, Ethais, thy love!
That priceless love that thou has lavished on
My worthless sister!
Ethais.   On Selene?  
Darine.     Aye,
  Thou lovest her, and dost thou think that I
Will save thy life for her?
Ethais.     Selene? Bah!
  True, she is fair. Well, thou art also fair.
What does it matter, her fair face or thine?
What matter either face, or hers or thine,
When weighed against this outrage on my honour?
Darine. Give me that ring, and thou shalt have the charm!
Ethais. 'Tis thine. (gives ring and receives phial).
    And now, Sir Phyllon, take good heed!
[Swallows contents of phial and is at once restored to health and vigour.

Enter SIR PHYLLON.

Phyllon. Why, Ethais —
Ethais. (furiously).
  So I'm a cur, Sir Liar, and my wound
Is but a scratch that I have magnified
That I might shun the terrors of thy sword!
Phyllon. Hands off, thou drunken madman! Set me free!
I never said these things!
Ethais.     Thou craven cur!
  Dost thou then fear to reap before my face
The crop that thou hast sown behind my back?
Phyllon. (contemptuously).
  I am not wont
To weigh the words I speak to such as thou!
No need to taint thine honour with a lie;
Why, Ethais, the truth is black enough!
I know thee for a brawling tavern-bully,
A hollow friend, a cruel unsparing foe,
A reckless perjurer, a reprobate,
The curse of women and the scourge of men —
Is not the truth enough, that I should grudge
The one brute-virtue of thy satyr-soul —
The instinct courage of a hungry dog?
[ETHAIS is about to fly at PHYLLON, but checks himself and turns to DARINE.
Ethais. Didst thou not tell me he had said these things?
Darine. 'Twas but an artifice to gain thy love! (turns to Phyllon).
Forgive me Phyllon.
Phyllon.   Bah! Release my hand —
  Thou shameless woman, I have done with thee!

Exit PHYLLON. DARINE turns to ETHAIS imploringly. Enter SELENE.

Selene. Darine! Thou here alone with Ethais?
No, no — I will not doubt!
Darine.     Doubt whom thou wilt,
  Thou hypocrite! Thou shameless hypocrite!
Thou craven victim of thy own designs!

Enter all the fairies.

Selene. Darine, what dost thou mean?
Darine.     Doubt all of us,
  For we are false to thee, as thou to us.
I am as thou hast made me, hypocrite!
Selene. Thou art to me as thou hast ever been,
Most dearly loved of all these dearly loved!
Darine. Away! Thou art the source of all our ill.
Zayda. Oh, miserable woman, get thee hence!
Thou art no Queen of ours!
Darine.   Away with her!
  Down with the traitress Queen!

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