SCENE I.—The gate of the castle.
Open the gate! Open the gate!
Who is there? Why do you come and wake me up? Go out by the little gates; there are enough of them!…
A MAIDSERVANT (within).
We have come to wash the threshold, the gate, and the steps; open, then! open!
ANOTHER MAIDSERVANT (within).
There are going to be great happenings!
THIRD MAIDSERVANT (within).
There are going to be great fêtes! Open quickly!…THE MAIDSERVANTS.
Wait! wait! I do not know whether I shall be able to open it;… it is never opened…. Wait till it is light….FIRST MAIDSERVANT.
It is light enough without; I see the sunlight through the chinks….PORTER.
Here are the great keys…. Oh! oh! how the bolts and the locks grate!… Help me! help me!…MAIDSERVANTS.
We are pulling; we are pulling….SECOND MAIDSERVANT.
It will not open….FIRST MAIDSERVANT.
Ah! ah! It is opening! it is opening slowly!PORTER.
How it shrieks! how it shrieks! it will wake up everybody….SECOND MAIDSERVANT.
[Appearing on the threshold.] Oh, how light it is already out-of-doors!FIRST MAIDSERVANT.
The sun is rising on the sea!PORTER.
It is open…. It is wide open!… [All the maidservants appear on the threshold and pass over it.]FIRST MAIDSERVANT.
I am going to wash the sill first….SECOND MAIDSERVANT.
We shall never be able to clean all this.OTHER MAIDSERVANTS.
Fetch the water! fetch the water!PORTER.
Yes, yes; pour on water; pour on water; pour on all the water of theFlood! You will never come to the end of it….SCENE II.—A forest. MÉLISANDE discovered at the brink of a spring.
I shall never be able to get out of this forest again.—God knows where that beast has led me. And yet I thought I had wounded him to death; and here are traces of blood. But now I have lost sight of him; I believe I am lost myself—my dogs can no longer find me—I shall retrace my steps….—I hear weeping…. Oh! oh! what is there yonder by the water's edge?… A little girl weeping by the water's edge? [He coughs.]—She does not hear me. I cannot see her face. [He approaches and touches MÉLISANDE on the shoulder.] Why weepest thou? [MÉLISANDE trembles, starts up, and would flee.]—Do not be afraid. You have nothing to fear. Why are you weeping here all alone?MÉLISANDE.
Do not touch me! do not touch me!GOLAUD.
Do not be afraid…. I will not do you any…. Oh, you are beautiful!MÉLISANDE.
Do not touch me! do not touch me! or I throw myself in the water!…GOLAUD.
I will not touch you…. See, I will stay here, against the tree. Do not be afraid. Has any one hurt you?MÉLISANDE
Oh! yes! yes! yes!… [She sobs profoundly.]GOLAUD.
Who has hurt you?MÉLISANDE.
Every one! every one!
GOLAUD. What hurt have they done you?MÉLISANDE.
I will not tell! I cannot tell!…GOLAUD.
Come; do not weep so. Whence come you?MÉLISANDE.
I have fled!… fled … fled….GOLAUD.
Yes; but whence have you fled?MÉLISANDE.
I am lost!… lost!… Oh!...