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Enter KING, QUEEN, and Tostig.
In heaven signs ! Signs upon earth! signs everywhere !
your Priests Gross, worldly, simoniacal, unlearn'd! They scarce can read their Psalter ; and
your churches Uncouth, unhandsome, while in Norman
land God speaks thro' abler voices, as He
dwells In statelier shrines. I say not this, as
being Half Norman-blooded, nor as some have
held, Because I love the Norman better-no, But dreading God's revenge upon this
realm For narrowness and coldness : and I say it For the last time perchance, before I go To find the sweet refreshment of the
Saints. I have lived a life of utter purity: I have builded the great church of Holy
Peter : I have wrought miracles—to God the
gloryAnd miracles will in my name be wrought Hereafter.—I have fought the fight and
goI see the flashing of the gates of pearlAnd it is well with me, tho' some of you Have scorn'd me—ay—but after I am
gone Woe, woe to England ! I have had a
vision ; The seven sleepers in the cave at Ephesus Have turn'd from right to left.
Harold. My most dear Master, What matters? let them turn from left to
right And sleep again.
Tostig. Too hardy with thy king! A life of prayer and fasting well may see Deeper into the mysteries of heaven Than thou, good brother.
Aldwyth (aside). Sees he into thine, That thou wouldst have his promise for
the crown? Edward. Tostig says true; my son,
thou art too hard, Not stagger'd by this ominous earth and ,
heaven : But heaven and earth are threads of the
same loom, Play into one another, and weave the web That may confound thee yet. Harold.
Nay, I trust not, For I have served thee long and honestly. Edward. I know it, son ; I am not
thankless : thou Hast broken all my foes, lighten'd for me The weight of this poor crown, and left
me time And peace for prayer to gain a better one. Twelve years of service! England loves
thee for it.
Aldwyth (aside). So, not Tostig!
a boon, my king, Respite, a holiday : thyself wast wont To love the chase : thy leave to set my
On board, and hunt and hawk beyond
the seas ! Edward. What with this flaming
horror overhead ? Harold. Well, when it passes then. Edward.
Ay if it pass. Go not to Normandy-go not to Nor
mandy. Harold. And wherefore not, my king,
to Normandy ? Is not my brother Wulfnoth hostage there
Then Tostig too were wiser than he seems. • I love the man but not his phantasies.
For my dead father's loyalty to thee?
other messenger. Harold. And why not me, my lord,
to Normandy? Is not the Norman Count thy friend and
mine? Edward. I pray thee, do not go to
Normandy. Harold. Because my father drove the
Normans out Of England ?—That was many a summer
goneForgotten and forgiven by them and
thee. Edward. Harold, I will not yield thee
leave to go. Harold. Why then to Flanders. I
will hawk and hunt In Flanders. Edward. Be there not fair woods and
fields In England ? Wilful, wilful. Go-the
Saints Pilot and prosper all thy wandering out And homeward. Tostig, I am faint
this. When' from thee? Leave me alone, brother, with my
Northumbria : She is my mistress, let me look to her ! The King hath made me Earl; make me
not fool ! Nor make the King a fool, who made
me Earl ! Harold. No, Tostig-lest I make
myself a fool Who made the King who made thee,
make thee Earl. Tostig. Why chafe me then? Thou
knowest I soon go wild. Gurth. Come, come ! as yet thou art
not gone so wild But thou canst hear the best and wisest
of us. Harold. So says old Gurth, not I :
yet hear ! thine earldom, Tostig, hath been a kingdom. Their old
crown Is yet a force among them, a sun set But leaving light enough for Alfgar's
house To strike thee down by-nay, this ghastly
glare May heat their fancies.
Tostig. My most worthy brother, Thou art the quietest man in all the
world— Ay, ay and wise in peace and great in
Son Harold, I will in and pray for thee.
[Exit, leaning on Tostig, and
followed by Stigand, Morcar, and
Courtiers. Harold. What lies upon the mind of
our good king That he should harp this way on
he seems; And Tostig knows it; Tostig loves the
king. Harold. And love should know; and
-be the king so wise,
Pray God the people choose thee for
But all the powers of the house of Godwin Are not enframed in thee.
Harold. Thank the Saints, no ! But thou hast drain'd them shallow by
thy tolls, And thou art ever here about the King: Thine absence well may seem a want of
Cling to their love ; for, now the sons of
Godwin Sit topmost in the field of England, envy, Like the rough bear beneath the tree,
good brother, Waits till the man let go.
Tostig. Good counsel truly! I heard from my Northumbria yesterday. Harold. How goes it then with thy
aught else than well ?'
with mine earldom, Leofwin's and Gurth’s.
Tostig. Ye govern milder men.
by just government.
own good word. Leofwin. An honest gift, by all the
Saints, if giver And taker be but honest! but they bribe Each other, and so often, an honest world Will not believe them.
Harold. I may tell thee, Tostig, I heard from thy Northumberland to-day. Tostig. From spies of thine to spy
my nakedness In my poor North !
Harold. There is a movement there, A blind one-nothing yet. Tostig.
Crush it at once With all the power I have !-I must-I
Crush it half-born! Fool still? or
wisdom there, My wise head-shaking Harold ? Harold.
Make not thou The nothing something. Wisdom when
in power And wisest, should not frown as Power,
but smile As kindness, watching all, till the true
must Shall make her strike as Power : but
when to strikeO Tostig, o dear brother-If they
prance, Rein in, not lash them, lest they rear and
run And break both neck and axle. Tostig.
Good again! Good counsel tho' scarce needed. Pour
not water In the full vessel running out at top To swamp the house.
Leofwin. Nor thou be a wild thing Out of the waste, to turn and bite the hand Would help thee from the trap.
Tostig. Thou playest in tune.
wilt not dance However wisely charm’d. Tostig.
No more, no more ! Gurth. I likewise cry ‘no more.'
Unwholesome talk For Godwin's house ! Leofwin, thou hast
a tongue ! Tostig, thou lookst as thou would'st
spring upon him. St. Olaf, not while I am by! Come,
come, Join hands, let brethren dwell in unity; Let kith and kin stand close as our shieldTostig
wall, Who breaks us then? I say, thou hast a
And Tostig is not stout enough to bear it. Vex him not, Leofwin.
Tostig. No, I am not vext, Altho' ye seek to vex me, one and all. I have to make report of my good earldom To the good king who gave it-not to
youNot any of you.—I am not vext at all. Harold. The king? the king is ever
at his prayers ; In all that handles matter of the state I am the king.
Tostig. That shalt thou never be If I can thwart thee. Harold. Brother, brother !
[Erit Tostig. Queen. Spite of this grisly star ye
three must gall Poor Tostig.
Leofwin. Tostig, sister, galls himself; He cannot smell a rose but pricks his nose Against the thorn, and rails against the
rose. Qrieen. I am the only rose of all the
stock That never thorn'd him ; Edward loves
him, so Ye hate him. Harold always hated him. Why—how they fought when boys—and,
Harold. Why, boys will fight. Leofwin would often fight me, and I beat
him. Even old Gurth would fight. I had
much ado To hold mine own against old Gurth.
Old Gurth, We fought like great states for grave
cause ; but TostigOn a sudden-at a something-for a
The boy would fist me hard, and when
we fought I conquer'd, and he loved me none the
less, Till thou wouldst get him all apart, and
tell him That where he was but worsted, he was
wrong'd. Ah! thou hast taught the king to spoil
him too; Now the spoilt child sways both. Take
heed, take heed ; Thou art the Queen ; ye are boy and girl
no more : Side not with Tostig in any violence, Lest thou be sideways guilty of the
violence. Queen. Come fall not foul on me. I
leave thee, brother.
[Pointing to the comet. Gamel. War, my dear lady, War, waste, plague, famine, all maligni
ties. Aldwyth. It means the fall of Tostig
from his earldom. Gamel. That were too small a matter
for a comet ! Aldwyth. It means the lifting of the
house of Alfgar. Gamel. Too small ! a comet would
not show for that! Aldwyth. Not small for thee, if thou
canst compass it. Gamel. Thy love ? Aldwyth. As much as I can give
thee, man ; This Tostig is, or like to be, a tyrant ; Stir up thy people : oust him !
And thy love? Aldwyth. As much as thou canst bear. Gamel.
I can bear all, And not be giddy.
Aldwyth. No more now : to-morrow.
SCENE II.-IN THE GARDEN. THE KING's House NEAR LONDON. SUNSET.
Edith. Mad for thy mate, passionate
nightingale ... I love thee for it-ay, but stay a moment; He can but stay a moment : he is going. I fain would hear him coming!... near
me . . near, Somewhere—To draw him nearer with a
charm Like thine to thine.
(Singing.) Love is come with a song and a smile, Welcome Love with a smile and a song : Love can stay but a little while. Why cannot he stay? They call him
away : Ye do him wrong, ye do him wrong; Love will stay for a whole life long.
Edith. Leaving so many foes in
Edward's hall To league against thy weal. The Lady
Aldwyth Was here to-day, and when she touch'd
on thee, She stammerd in her hate; I am sure
she hates thee, Pants for thy blood. Harold. Well, I have given her
causeI fear no woman.
Edith. Hate not one who felt Some pity for thy hater ! I am sure Her morning wanted sunlight, she so
praised The convent and lone life-- within the
paleBeyond the passion. Nay—she held with
A lesson worth Finger and thumb—thus (snaps kis
fingers). And my answer to itSee here--an interwoven H and E! Take thou this ring ; I will demand his
ward From Edward when I come again. Ay,
would she? She to shut up my blossom in the dark ! Thou art my nun, thy cloister in mine
Harold. The nightingales at Havering
in-the-bower Sang out their loves so loud, that
Edward's prayers Were deafen'd, and he pray'd them dumb,
and thus I dumb thee too, my wingless nightingale !
[Kissing her. Edith. Thou art my music ! Would
their wings were mine To follow thee to Flanders ! Must thou
go? Harold. Not must, but will. It is,
but for one moon.
Edith (taking the ring). Yea, but
That's a truer fear! For if the North take fire, I should be back; I shall be, soon enough.
Edith.. Ay, but last night An evil dream that ever came and wentHarold. A gnat that vext thy pillow
Had I been by