Scene V

SCENE V

A room in Vasavadutta’s apartments.

VASAVADUTTA
I govern no longer what I speak and do.
Is this the fire my mother spoke of? Oh,
It is sweet, it is sweet. But I will not be mastered
By any equal creature. Let him serve
Obediently and I will load his lovely head
With costliest favours. He’s my own, my own,
My slave, my toy to play with as I choose,
And shall not dare to play with me. I think he dares;
I do not know, I think he would presume.
He’s gentle, brilliant, bold and beautiful.
I’ll chide him harshly; he must not presume.
O, I have forgotten almost my father’s will,
Yet it was mine. Before I lose it quite,
I will compel a promise from the boy.
Will it be hard when he is all my own?

she calls

Umba! Bring Vuthsa to me front his tower.
His music is a voice that cries to me,
His songs are chains he hangs around my heart,
I must Vasavadutta, that he is
My house’s foe, and only Vuthsa feel,
Think Vuthsa only, while my captive heart
Beats in world-Vuthsa and on Vuthsa throbs.
This must not be.

Umba brings in Vuthsa and retires.

Go, Umba. Vuthsa, stand
Before me.

VUTHSA
It is my sovereign’s voice that speaks.

VASAVADUTTA
Be silent! Lower thy eyes; they are too bold
To gaze on me, my slave.

VUTHSA
Blame not my eyes,
They follow the dumb motion of a heart
Uplifted to adore thee.

VASAVADUTTA with a shaken voice
Dost thou really
Adore me, Vuthsa?

VUTHSA
Earth’s one goddess, yes.

VASAVADUTTA mildly
But, Vuthsa, men adore with humble eyes
Upon their deity’s feet

VUTHSA
Oh, let me so
Adore thee then, thus humble at thy feet,
Their sleeping moonbeams in my eyes, and place
My hands in Paradise beneath these flowers
That bless too oft the chill unheeding earth.
Let this not be forbidden to thy slave.
So let me worship, and the carolling of thy speech
So listen.

VASAVADUTTA
Vuthsa, thou must not presume.

VUTHSA
O even then faint thy voice, thy every word
Reaches my soul.

VASAVADUTTA
Wilt thou not let me free?

VUTHSA
Yes, if thou bid; but do not.

VASAVADUTTA bending down to caress his hair
If really
And as my slave thou adorest, nothing more,
I will not bid.

VUTHSA
What more, when this means all.

VASAVADUTTA
But if thou serve me, is not all thou hast
Mine, mine? Why dost thou, Vuthsa, keep from me
My own?

VUTHSA
Take all; claim all.

VASAVADUTTA collecting herself
Cowsambie first.

VUTHSA
It shall be thine, a jewel for thy feet.

VASAVADUTTA
Thy kingdom, Vuthsa, for my will to rule.

VUTHSA
It shall be thine, the garden of thy pomp.

VASAVADUTTA
Shall?

VUTHSA
Is it not far? We must go there, my queen,
Thou to receive and I to give.

VASAVADUTTA
I wish
To be there. But, that none else shall be
Cowsambie’s queen and thou my servant live
Vowed to obedience underneath my throne.

VUTHSA
Thou only shalt be over my heart a queen,
Yes, if thou wilt, the despot of my thoughts,
My hopes, my aims, but I will not obey
If thou command disloyalty to thee,
My sweet, sole sovereign.

VASAVADUTTA smiling
This reserve I yield.

hesitatingly

But Vuthsa, if as subject of my sire,
High Chunda Mahasegn, I bid thee rule?

VUTHSA
My queen, it will be void.

VASAVADUTTA
Void? And thy vow?

VUTHSA
Would it not be disloyalty in me
To serve another sovereign?

VASAVADUTTA vexed, yet pleased
O, thou play’st with me.

VUTHSA
No, queen. What’s wholly mine, that wholly take.
But his belongs to many other souls.

VASAVADUTTA
To whom?

VUTHSA
Their names are endless. Bharuth first
Who ruled the Aryan earth that bears his name,
And great Dushyanta and Pururavas’
Famed warlike son and all their peerless line,
Urjoona and Parikshit and his sons,
Whom God descended to enthrone, and all
Who shall come after me, and a great nation’s multitudes,
And the Kuru ancestors and long posterity
Who all must give consent.

VASAVADUTTA
Thy thoughts are high.
But if thy life must find a prison here?
My father is inflexible and stern.

VUTHSA
Dost thou desire this really in thy heart?
Vuthsa diminished, art thou not diminished too?

VASAVADUTTA
My rule thou hast vowed?

VUTHSA
To obey thee in all things
Throned in Cowsambie, not as here I must,
Thy father’s captive. There I shall be thine.

VASAVADUTTA
Leave, Vuthsa, leave. Take him, Umba, from me.

UMBA entering, in Vasavadutta’s ear
Who now is bribed? We are all traitors now.

She goes out with Vuthsa.

VASAVADUTTA
O joy, if he and all were only mine.
O greatness to be queen of him and earth.
I grow a rebel to my father’s house.

Curtain