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FIFTH ACT.


SCENE I.

(An apartment in the Castle. Arkel, Golaud and the physician discovered in a corner of the room. Melisande is extended on her bed).


The Physician.

It is not from this little wound that she can die; a bird would not die from it…thus it is not you who have killed her, my good lord; do not take on so... And it is not said that we will not save her…


Arkel.

No, no; it seems to me that we are too silent, in spite of ourselves, in her room… It is not a good sign… Look how she sleeps…slowly, slowly…one would think her soul was cold forever…


Golaud.

I killed without reason. Is it not enough to make the stones weep?… They were embracing each other like little children… They were brother and sister… And I, I at once!… I did it in spite of myself, you see… I did it in spite of myself…


The Physician.

Attention; I think she awakes…


Melisande.

Open the window…open the window…


Arkel.

Do you wish me to open this one, Melisande?


Melisande.

No, no; the great window… it is that I may see…


Arkel.

Is not the sea air too cold to-night?


The Physician.

Do it, do it…


Melisande.

Thank you. Is it the sun that is sinking?


Arkel.

Yes; it is the sun that is sinking in the sea ; it is late.—How do you find yourself, Melisande?


Melisande.

Well, well.—Why do you ask that? I was never in better health.—It seems to me, however, that I know something…


Arkel.

What do you say?—I do not understand…


Melisande.

I do not understand all that I say either, you see… I do not know what I say… I do not know what I know… I do not say any more what I want to…


Arkel.

Yes, you do… I am quite happy to hear you speak in this way; you have had a little delirium these past days, and we no longer understood you… But now, all that is long past.


Melisande.

I do not know…—Are you all alone in the room, grandfather?


Arkel.

No; there is also the physician who cured you…


Melisande.

Ah…

 

Arkel.

And then there is someone else…


Melisande.

Who is it?


Arkel.

It is…you must not get frightened… He does not wish you the least harm, be sure of that… If you are afraid he will go away…he is very unhappy…


Melisande.

Who is it?


Arkel.

It is…it is your husband…it is Golaud…


Melisande.

Golaud is here? Why does he not come close to me?


Golaud (dragging himself toward the bed).

Melisande… Melisande.


Melisande.

Is it you, Golaud? I hardly recognized you at all… It is because I have the evening sun in my eyes… Why do you look at the walls? You have grown thin and older… Is it long since we have seen one another?


Golaud (to Arkel and the physician).

Will you go away a little, my poor friends… I will leave the door wide open… A moment only… I would like to tell her something; without it I shall not be able to die… Will you?—You can come back at once… Do not refuse me this… I am an unfortunate. (Arkel and the physician go out.) Melisande, have you pity on me as I have pity on you?… Melisande?…do you forgive me, Melisande?…


Melisande.

Yes. yes. I forgive you. ..what shall I forgive?


Golaud.

I have done you so much harm, Melisande… I cannot tell you the harm I have done you… But I see it, I see it so clearly today…since the first day… And all is of my fault, all that has happened, all that will happen… If I could tell it, you would see it as I see it… I see all, I see everything… But I loved you so much… I loved you so much… 'Tis I who will die… And I would like to know… I want to ask you… You will not be angry with me? The truth must be told to one about to die… He must know the truth, with out that he could not sleep… Do you swear to tell me the truth?


Melisande.

Yes.


Golaud.

Did you love Pelléas?


Melisande.

Why, yes; I loved him. Where is he?


Golaud.

You do not understand me?—You will not understand me.—It seems to me…it seems to me… Well, then, here: I ask you if you loved him with a forbidden love?… Have you…have you both been guilty? Say it, say it, yes, yes, yes?


Melisande.

No, no: we have not been guilty.—Why do you ask that?


Golaud.

Melisande!…tell me the truth for the love of God!


Melisande.

Why, have I not told the truth?


Golaud.

Do not lie thus any more, at the moment of dying!

 

Melisande.

Who is going to die?—Is it me?


Golaud.

You, you! and me, too, after you… And we must have the truth… We must at last have the truth, do you hear? Tell me all, tell me all. I forgive you everything…


Melisande.

Why am I about to die.—I did not know it…


Golaud.

You know it now! It is time, it is time… Quick! quick!… The truth, the truth!…


Melisande.

The truth…the truth…


Golaud.

Where are you?— Melisande! where are you?—It is not natural! Melisande! (Seeing Arkel and the physician of the door of the room.) Yes, yes, you can come back… I know nothing: it is useless… She is already far from us… I shall never know!… I shall die here like a blind man!…


Arkel.

What have you done? You will kill her…


Golaud.

I have killed her already…


Arkel.

Melisande…


Melisande.

Is it you, grandfather?


Arkel.

Yes, my daughter… What do you wish me to do?


Melisande.

Is it true that winter begins?


Arkel.

Why do you ask that?


Melisande.

Because it is cold and there are no more leaves…


Arkel.

You are cold?—Do you wish the windows closed?


Melisande.

No, no…until the sun is at the bottom of the sea.—It goes down slowly, then it is the winter that begins?


Arkel.

Yes.—You do not like the winter?


Melisande.

Oh, no. I am afraid of the cold.—Ah, I am afraid of the great colds…


Arkel.

Do you feel better?


Melisande.

Yes, yes; I no longer have all those anxieties…


Arkel.

Do you wish to see your child?


Melisande.

What child?


Arkel.

Your child, your little girl…


Melisande.

Where is she?

 

Arkel.

Here…


Melisande.

It is strange… I cannot lift my arms to take her…


Arkel.

It is because you are still very weak… I will hold her myself; look…


Melisande.

She does not laugh… She is little… She will also weep… I pity her…

(The room is invaded, little by little, by maid-servants of the Castle, who range themselves in silence along the walls and wait).


Golaud (rising suddenly).

What is it? What are all these women doing here?


The Physician.

It is the maid servants.


Arkel.

Who called them?


The Physician.

It was not me…


Golaud.

Why do you come here? Nobody asked you… What do you come to do here?—But what is it? Answer!

(The servants do not answer.)


Arkel.

Do not speak so loud… She is about to sleep; she has closed her eyes…


Golaud.

It is not?…


The Physician.

No, no; look, she breathes…


Arkel.

Her eyes are full of tears.—Now it is her soul that weeps… Why does she stretch her arms this way? What does she want?


The Physician.

It is toward the child, no doubt. It is the struggle of the mother against death…


Golaud.

At this moment?—At this moment? You must say it, speak, speak!


The Physician.

Perhaps…


Golaud.

At once?… Oh, oh! I must tell her…—Melisande! Melisande!… Leave me alone, leave me alone with her!…


Arkel.

No, no; do not approach… Do not trouble her. Do not speak to her any more… You do not know what the soul is…


Golaud.

It is not my fault, it is not my fault!


Arkel.

Attention…attention… We must speak low.—Do not annoy her any more… The human soul is very silent… The human soul likes to go away alone… It suffers so timidly… But the sadness, Golaud… but the sadness of all one sees!… Oh, oh, oh!…


(At this moment all the servants fall suddenly on their knees at the end of the room).

 

Arkel (turning).

What is the matter?


The Physician (approaching the bed and feeling the body).

They are right…

(A long silence.)


Arkel.

I have seen nothing—Are you sure?…


The Physician.

Yes, yes.


Arkel.

I heard nothing… so quick, so quick… All at once… She goes away saying nothing…


Golaud (sobbing)

Uh, oh, oh!…


Arkel.

Do not remain here, Golaud… Now she needs silence… Come, come… It is terrible, but it is not your fault… It was a little being so quiet, so timid, and so silent… It was a poor little being, mysterious, like everybody… She is there, as if she were the big sister of her child… Come; it will not do for the child to stay here in this room… It must live, now, in her place…

It is the turn of the poor little one…

(They go out in silence.)


THE END.