Open main menu

ACT III.


SCENE I.


(One of the towers of the Castle. A watch path passes under a window of the tower).


Melisande (at the window, as she combs her loosened hair).

My long hair hangs unto the base of the tower.
My hair awaits thee all the length of the tower.
And all the length of the day!
And all the length of the day!
Saint Daniel and Saint Michael.
Saint Michael and Saint Raphael,
I was born on a Sunday,
A Sunday at noon!

(Enter Pelléas by the watch path).


Pelléas.

Hola! Hola! Ho!


Melisande.

Who is there?


Pelléas.

Me, me, and me! What are you doing at the window singing like a bird that is not of this place?


Melisande.

I am arranging my hair for the night…


Pelléas.

It is that which I see on the wall! I thought that it was a ray of light…


Melisande.

I opened the window. It is too hot in the tower, it is fine to-night.


Pelléas.

There are innumerable stars; I have never seen so many as to-night;…but the moon is still on the sea… Do not remain in the shadow, Melisande, lean forward a little, that I may see your loosened hair.

(Melisande leans out of the window.)


Melisande.

I am frightful this way.


Pelléas.

Oh, Melisande! oh, how beautiful you are… You are beautiful thus… Lean over, lean over…let me come nearer to you…


Melisande.

I cannot come nearer to you… I am leaning over as much as I can…


Pelléas.

I cannot mount any higher…give me at least your hand to-night…before I go away…I start to-morrow…


Melisande.

No, no, no.


Pelléas.

But yes, yes: I go, I shall start to-morrow…give me your hand, your hand, your little hand on my lips…


Melisande.

I won't give you my hand if you go…


Pelléas.

Give, give, give…


Melisande.

You will not go?…


Pelléas.

I will wait. I will wait.

 

Melisande.

I see a rose in the darkness…


Pelléas.

Where? I only see the branches of the willow which surmount the wall…


Melisande.

Lower down, lower down, in the garden; over there in the dark greenery.


Pelléas.

It is not a rose.—I will go and see by and bye, but give me your hand first; first your hand…


Melisande.

There, there;… I cannot bend over farther…


Pelléas.

My lips cannot reach your hand…


Melisande.

I cannot bend over farther… I am on the point of falling. Oh, oh, my hair descends from the tower!…

(Her hair suddenly revolutes, as she bends over thus, and covers Pelléas.)


Pelléas.

Oh, oh, what is it?… Your hair, your hair comes down toward me!… All your hair, Melisande, all your hair is fallen from the tower… I hold it in my hands, I hold it in my mouth… I hold it in my arms, and I put it around my neck. I shall not open my hands again to-night…


Melisande.

Let me go, let me go! You will make me fall!…


Pelléas.

No, no, no; I have never seen hair like yours, Melisande… Look, look, look, it comes from so high and it inundates me to the very heart. It inundates me more, even to the knees… It is so soft, it is soft as if it fell from heaven! I no longer see the sky through your hair. You see. you see, my hands can no longer hold it. It even reaches to the branches of the willow. It lives as a bird in my hands, and it loves me, it loves me a thousand times more than you!


Melisande.

Let me go…let me go…someone might come…


Pelléas.

No, no, no; I will not deliver you to-night… You are my prisoner this night; all the night, all the night.


Melisande.

Pelléas! Pelléas!


Pelléas.

You shall not go away any more… I tie it, I tie it to the branches of the willow, your hair. I suffer no longer in the midst of your hair. You hear my kisses through the length of your hair. They go up through your hair. Each particular one must carry some. You see, you see, I can open my hands… You see, I have my hands free and you cannot abandon me…

(Two doves come out of the tower and fly about them in the night).


Melisande.

Oh, oh! you hurt me. What is it, Pelléas? What is it that flies around me?


Pelléas.

It is the doves that come out of the tower. I frightened them. They fly away.

 

Melisande.

They are my doves, Pelléas.—Let us go, leave me; they would not return…


Pelléas.

Why would they not return?


Melisande.

They will be lost in the obscurity… Let me lift my head… I hear a noise of footsteps… Leave me!—It is Golaud… I think it is Golaud… He has heard us…


Pelléas.

Wait, wait!… Your hair is around the branches… It has got caught in the darkness. Wait, wait!…It is black…

(Golaud enters by the watch path.)


Golaud.

What are you doing here?


Pelléas.

What I am doing here?… I…


Golaud.

You are two children… Melisande, do not lean that way from the window, you will fall… You do not know it is late?—It is nearly midnight.—Do not play thus in the dark.—You are two children. (Laughing nervously.) What children, what children!…

(He goes out with Pelléas.)

 

SCENE II.


(The Vaults of the Castle. Enter Golaud and Pelléas.)


Golaud.

Take care: this way, this way.—You have never been in these vaults?


Pelléas.

Yes, once, a while ago; but it is a long time.


Golaud.

Well, then, here is the stagnant water of which I spoke to you…Do you smell the odor of death that rises? Let us go to the end of this rock that overlooks it and lean over a little. It will come and strike you in the face. Lean over; do not be afraid… I will hold you…give me…no, no, not your hand…it might slip…your arm… Do you see the abyss? Pelléas, Pelléas?…


Pelléas.

Yes, I think I see the bottom of the abyss… Is it the light that trembles in that way?…You…


Golaud.

Yes; it is the lantern… See, I was swinging it to light up the walls.


Pelléas.

I suffocate here… Let us go out.


Golaud.

Yes, let us go out…

(They leave in silence.)

 

SCENE III.


(A Terrace at the exit of the Vaults.)


Pelléas.

Ah, at last I breathe! I believed for a moment that I was going to be faint in these enormous vaults; I was on the point of falling… There is there a damp and heavy atmosphere like a dew of lead and a thick darkness like a poisoned paste. And now all the air of all the sea! There is a fresh wind, see; fresh as a leaf that has just opened, on the little green blades. Ah! they have just watered the flowers at the foot of the terrace and the smell of the verdure and of wetted roses rises this far… It must be nearly noon, they are already in the shadow of the tower. It is noon; I hear the bells ring and the children descend to the shore to bathe.

Ah, there are our mother and Melisande at a window of the tower.


Golaud.

Yes, they have taken refuge in the shade. On the subject of Melisande, I heard what took place and what was said last night. I know it well, those are children's games; but it must not be repeated. She is very delicate and we must be careful about her, all the more that she may perhaps soon be a mother and that the least emotion might bring about a misfortune. It is not the first time I notice that there might be something between you. You are older than she; it will suffice to have told you…avoid her as much as possible; but besides, without affectation; without affectation.

(They go out.)


SCENE IV.


(In front of the Castle. Enter Golaud and little Yniold.)


Golaud.

Come, we will seat ourselves here, Yniold; come on my knees; we can see from here what goes on in the forest. I don't see you at all for some time past. You abandon me also. You are always with little-mother. Ah, here we are just exactly seated under the windows of little-mother.—She is, perhaps, saying her evening prayer at this moment… But tell me, Yniold, she is often with your uncle Pelléas, is she not?


Yniold.

Yes, yes; always, little-father; when you are not there.


Golaud.

Ah! hallo, someone passing with a lantern in the garden.—But I was told that they did not like each other… It seems that they often quarrel… No? Is it true?


Yniold.

Yes, it is true.


Golaud.

Yes?—Ah, ha!—But about what do they quarrel?


Yniold.

About the door.


Golaud.

How, now? about the door? What are you telling there? But come, explain yourself. Why do they quarrel about the door?


Yniold.

Because it cannot be opened.

 

Golaud.

Who is it wishes that it should not be opened?—Let us see, why do they quarrel?


Yniold.

I do not know, little-father, because of the light.


Golaud.

I am not talking of the light: I am talking to you of the door… Do not put your hand that way in your mouth…come…


Yniold.

Little father, little-father… I will not do it again.

(He cries.)


Golaud.

Come; why do you cry? What has happened?


Yniold.

Oh, oh, little-father, you hurt me…


Golaud.

I hurt you?—Where did I hurt you? It was without intending to…


Yniold.

Here, on my little arm.


Golaud.

I did not mean it; come, do not cry any more, I will give you something to-morrow…


Yniold.

What, little-father?


Golaud.

A quiver and some arrows; but tell me what you know about the door.


Yniold.

Great big arrows?


Golaud.

Yes, very large arrows.—But why did they not wish that the door should be open?—Come, are you going to end by answering?—no, no, do not open your mouth to cry. I am not angry. What do they talk about when they are together?


Yniold.

Pelléas and little-mother?


Golaud.

Yes; what do they talk about?


Yniold.

Of me: always of me.


Golaud.

And what do they say of you?


Yniold.

They say that I will be very big.


Golaud.

Ah! misery of my life! I am here like a blind man who seeks his treasure at the bottom of the ocean… I am here like one newly born, lost in the forest and you… But, come, Yniold, I was absent minded; we will talk seriously. Do Pelléas and little mother never speak of me when I am not there?


Yniold.

Yes. yes, little-father.


Golaud.

And… What do they say of me?


Yniold.

They say that I will become as big as you.


Golaud.

You are always near them?


Yniold.

Yes, yes; always, little-father.

 

Golaud.

They never tell you to go and play elsewhere?


Yniold.

No, little-father; they are afraid when I am not there.


Golaud.

They are afraid?… By what do you see that they are afraid?


Yniold.

They always weep in the darkness.


Golaud.

Ah, ah!


Yniold.

That makes one weep also…


Golaud.

Yes, yes…


Yniold.

She is pale, little-father.


Golaud.

Ah, ah!…patience, my God, patience…


Yniold.

What, little-father?


Golaud.

Nothing, nothing, my child.—I saw a wolf pass in the forest.—They embrace each other sometimes—No?


Yniold.

They embrace each other, little father?—No, no.—Ah, yes; once…once that it was raining…


Golaud.

They embraced each other? how, how did they embrace other?—


Yniold.

This way, little-father, this way. (He gives him a kiss on the mouth; laughing.) Ah, ha, your beard, little father! It prickles, it prickles. It is becoming all grey, little-father, and your hair also; all grey, all grey… (The window, under which they sit, lights up at this moment and its reflection falls on them.) Ah, ah. little mother has lighted the lamp. It is light, little-father; it is light.


Golaud.

Yes; it begins to be light…


Yniold.

Let us go there also, little-father…


Golaud.

Where would you go?

Yniold.

Where it is light, little-father.


Golaud.

No, no, my child; let us remain a little in the shadow…one does not know, one does not yet know… I think that Pelléas is mad.


Yniold.

No, little-father, he is not mad, but he is very good.


Golaud.

Do you want to see little-mother?


Yniold.

Yes, yes; I want to see her.


Golaud.

Do not make a noise; I am about to hoist you up to the window. It is too high for me, though I am tall… (He lifts the child.). Do not make the least noise; little-mother would be terribly frightened… Do you see her?—If she in the room?

 

Yniold.

Yes…oh, it is light.


Golaud.

She is alone?


Yniold.

Yes…no, no, my uncle Pelléas is there too.


Golaud.

He!…


Yniold.

Ah, ah! little-father, you hurt me…


Golaud.

It is nothing; be quiet; I will not do it again; watch, watch, Yniold! I stumbled; speak lower. What are they doing?—


Yniold.

They are doing nothing, little-father.


Golaud.

Do they speak?


Yniold.

No, little, father; they do not speak.


Golaud.

But what are they doing?


Yniold.

They look at the light.


Golaud.

Both of them?


Yniold.

Yes, little-father.


Golaud.

They say nothing?


Yniold.

No, little-father; they do not close their eyes.


Golaud.

They do not come near one another?


Yniold.

No, little-father; they do not stir, they never close their eyes… I am terribly afraid…


Golaud.

Of what are you afraid? Look, look!


Yniold.

Little-father, let me down.


Golaud.

Look!


Yniold.

Oh! I am going to cry out, little-father. Let me down, let me down!


Golaud.

Come! we will go and see what has happened.

(They go out.)