Scene I

ACT FOUR

SCENE I

A room in the royal apartments.

Ungarica, Vasavadutta.

UNGARICA
Thou singest well; a cry of Vuthsa’s art
Has stolen into thy song.
She takes Vasavadutta on her lap.
Look up at me,
My daughter, let me gaze into thy eyes
And from their silence learn thy treasured thoughts.
Thou knowest I can read ‘twixt human lids
The secrets of the throbbing heart? I search
In Vasavadutta’s eyes by what strange skill
Vuthsa has crept into my daughter’s voice.
Thou keepst thy lashes lowered? Thou wilt not let me look?
But that too I can read.

VASAVADUTTA
O mother, mother mine,
Plague, me not; thou know’st all things; comfort me.

UNGARICA
Thou needest comfort?

VASAVADUTTA
Yes, against myself
Who trouble my own heart.

UNGARICA
Why? though I know.
Thou will not speak? I’ll speak then for thee.
Vasavadutta alarmed puts her hand
Over Ungarica’s mouth.
Off!
It is because thou canst no here control
What thy immortal part with rapture wills
And the mortal longingly desires; for yet
Thy proud heart cannot find the way to yield.

VASAVADUTTA
If thou knew’st, mother.

UNGARICA
No, thou hast the will
But not the art, Love’s learner. O my proud
Sweet ignorance, ’tis he shall find the way
And thou shalt know the joy of being forced
To what thy heart desires. Is it enough?

VASAVADUTTA
O mother!
She hides her face in Ungarica’s bosom.

UNGARICA
Thou hast done thy father’s will?
Thy husband shall be vassal to thy sire?

VASAVADUTTA
Have I a father or a house? O none,
O none, O none exists but only he.

UNGARICA
Let none exist for thee but the dear all thou lov’st.
I charge thee, Vasavadutta, when thou rul’st
In far Cowsambie, let this be thy reign
To heap on him delight and seek his good.
Raise his high fortunes, shelter from grief his heart,
Even with thy own tears buy his joy and peace,
Nor let one clamorous thought of self revolt
Against him.

VASAVADUTTA
Mother, thou canst see my heart;
Is this not there? Can it do otherwise,
Being thus conquered, even if it willed?

UNGARICA
Child ’tis my care to give thy heart a voice
And bind it to its nobler loving self.
Let this be now thy pride.

VASAVADUTTA
It is, it is.
But, mother, it is very sweet to rule,
And if I rule him for his good, not mine?

UNGARICA
Thou canst not be corrected! Queenling, rule.
Go now; thy brother comes.
Vasavadutta escapes towards her own apartments;
Vicurna enters from the outer door.
Why is thy brow
A darkness?

VICURNA
Wherefore was King Vuthsa brought
Into Ujjayinie? Why is captive kept?

UNGARICA
Thy father’s will, who knows?

VICURNA
But I would know.

UNGARICA
Him ask.

VICURNA taking her face between his hands
I ask thee; thou must answer.

UNGARICA
To wed thy sister.

VICURNA
Let him wed and be released.
Our fame is smirched; the city murmurs. War
Threatens from Vuthsa’s nation and our cause
Is evil.

UNGARICA
Wedding her he must consent
To be our vassal.

VICURNA
Thus are vassals made?
Thus empires built? This is a shameful thing.
Release him first, then with proud war subdue.

UNGARICA
Thou knowest thy father’s stern, unbending will
Whom we must all obey.

VICURNA
Not I, or not
In evil things.

UNGARICA
Respect thy father! He
Will not, unsatisfied, release his foe.
Demand not this.

VICURNA
I will release him then.

UNGARICA
Him by what right who is thy house’s peril?

VICURNA
He is a hero and he is my friend.

UNGARICA
Didst thou not help to bring captive here?

VICURNA
For Vasavadutta. It will bear them both
Out from the city in my chariot far
Into the freedom of the hills. I will hew down
All who oppose me.

UNGARICA
Rash and violent boy,
So wilt thou make bad worse. Await the hour
When Vuthsa shall himself demand thy aid.

VICURNA
The hour will come?

UNGARICA
He will be free.

VICURNA
Then soon,
Or I myself will act.
He goes out.

UNGARICA
This too is well
And most that the proud chivalries of old
Are not yet dead in all men’s hearts. O God
Shiva, thou mak’st me fortunate in my sons.