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- Nathan the Wise - 20/43 -


Because you do not wish me to perceive You smile at my simplicity--You smile That I can think of nothing more important To ask about the holy hill of hills: Do you not?

TEMPLAR.

Must I meet those eyes again? And now you cast them down, and damp the smile - Am I in doubtful motions of the features To read what I so plainly hear--what you So audibly declare; yet will conceal? - How truly said thy father "Do but know her!"

RECHA.

Who has--of whom--said so to thee?

TEMPLAR.

Thy father Said to me "Do but know her," and of thee.

DAYA.

And have not I too said so, times and oft.

TEMPLAR.

But where is then your father--with the sultan?

RECHA.

So I suppose.

TEMPLAR.

Yet there? Oh, I forget, He cannot be there still. He is waiting for me Most certainly below there by the cloister. 'Twas so, I think, we had agreed, Forgive, I go in quest of him.

DAYA.

Knight, I'll do that. Wait here, I'll bring him hither instantly.

TEMPLAR.

Oh no--Oh no. He is expecting me. Besides--you are not aware what may have happened. 'Tis not unlikely he may be involved With Saladin--you do not know the sultan - In some unpleasant--I must go, there's danger If I forbear.

RECHA.

Danger--of what? of what?

TEMPLAR.

Danger for me, for thee, for him; unless I go at once. [Goes.

RECHA and DAYA.

RECHA.

What is the matter, Daya? So quick--what comes across him, drives him hence?

DAYA.

Let him alone, I think it no bad sign.

RECHA.

Sign--and of what?

DAYA.

That something passes in him. It boils--but it must not boil over. Leave him - Now 'tis your turn.

RECHA.

My turn? Thou dost become Like him incomprehensible to me.

DAYA.

Now you may give him back all that unrest He once occasioned. Be not too severe, Nor too vindictive.

RECHA.

Daya, what you mean You must know best.

DAYA.

And pray are you again So calm.

RECHA.

I am--yes that I am.

DAYA.

At least Own--that this restlessness has given you pleasure, And that you have to thank his want of ease For what of ease you now enjoy.

RECHA.

Of that I am unconscious. All I could confess Were, that it does seem strange unto myself, How, in this bosom, such a pleasing calm Can suddenly succeed to such a tossing.

DAYA.

His countenance, his speech, his manner, has By this the satiated thee.

RECHA.

Satiated, I will not say--not by a good deal yet.

DAYA.

But satisfied the more impatient craving.

RECHA.

Well, well, if you must have it so.

DAYA.

I? no.

RECHA.

To me he will be ever dear, will ever Remain more dear than my own life; altho' My pulse no longer flutters at his name, My heart no longer, when I think about him, Beats stronger, swifter. What have I been prating? Come, Daya, let us once more to the window Which overlooks the palms.

DAYA.

So that 'tis not Yet satisfied--the more impatient craving.

RECHA.

Now I shall see the palm-trees once again, Not him alone amid them.

DAYA.

This cold fit Is but the harbinger of other fevers.

RECHA.

Cold--cold--I am not cold; but I observe not Less willingly what I behold with calmness.

SCENE--An Audience Room in the Sultan's Palace.

SITTAH: SALADIN giving directions at the door.

SALADIN.

Here, introduce the Jew, whene'er he comes - He seems in no great haste.

SITTAH.

May be at first He was not in the way.

SALADIN.

Ah, sister, sister!


Nathan the Wise - 20/43

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