MERTOUN. Wait and ponder that great word! Because, if you forgive me, I shall hope To speak to you of--Mildred!
TRESHAM. Mertoun, haste And anger have undone us. 'Tis not you Should tell me for a novelty you're young, Thoughtless, unable to recall the past. Be but your pardon ample as my own!
MERTOUN. Ah, Tresham, that a sword-stroke and a drop Of blood or two, should bring all this about Why, 'twas my very fear of you, my love Of you--(what passion like a boy's for one Like you?)--that ruined me! I dreamed of you-- You, all accomplished, courted everywhere, The scholar and the gentleman. I burned To knit myself to you: but I was young, And your surpassing reputation kept me So far aloof! Oh, wherefore all that love? With less of love, my glorious yesterday Of praise and gentlest words and kindest looks, Had taken place perchance six months ago. Even now, how happy we had been! And yet I know the thought of this escaped you, Tresham! Let me look up into your face; I feel 'Tis changed above me: yet my eyes are glazed. Where? where? [As he endeavours to raise himself, his eye catches the lamp.] Ah, Mildred! What will Mildred do? Tresham, her life is bound up in the life That's bleeding fast away! I'll live--must live, There, if you'll only turn me I shall live And save her! Tresham--oh, had you but heard! Had you but heard! What right was yours to set The thoughtless foot upon her life and mine, And then say, as we perish, "Had I thought, All had gone otherwise"? We've sinned and die: Never you sin, Lord Tresham! for you'll die, And God will judge you.
TRESHAM. Yes, be satisfied! That process is begun.
MERTOUN. And she sits there Waiting for me! Now, say you this to her-- You, not another--say, I saw him die As he breathed this, "I love her"--you don't know What those three small words mean! Say, loving her Lowers me down the bloody slope to death With memories... I speak to her, not you, Who had no pity, will have no remorse, Perchance intend her... Die along with me, Dear Mildred! 'tis so easy, and you'll 'scape So much unkindness! Can I lie at rest, With rude speech spoken to you, ruder deeds Done to you?--heartless men shall have my heart, And I tied down with grave-clothes and the worm, Aware, perhaps, of every blow--oh God!-- Upon those lips--yet of no power to tear The felon stripe by stripe! Die, Mildred! Leave Their honourable world to them! For God We're good enough, though the world casts us out. [A whistle is heard.]
TRESHAM. Ho, Gerard! Enter GERARD, AUSTIN and GUENDOLEN, with lights No one speak! You see what's done. I cannot bear another voice.
MERTOUN. There's light-- Light all about me, and I move to it. Tresham, did I not tell you--did you not Just promise to deliver words of mine To Mildred?
TRESHAM. I will bear those words to her.