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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Road To Damascus: A Trilogy - Part 1 - Act 1 - Scene 14. By The Sea
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The Road To Damascus: A Trilogy - Part 1 - Act 1 - Scene 14. By The Sea Post by :merlins Category :Plays Author :August Strindberg Date :May 2012 Read :2325

Click below to download : The Road To Damascus: A Trilogy - Part 1 - Act 1 - Scene 14. By The Sea (Format : PDF)

The Road To Damascus: A Trilogy - Part 1 - Act 1 - Scene 14. By The Sea

PART I ACT I SCENE XIV. BY THE SEA

(The same landscape as before, but now winter. The sea is dark blue, and on the horizon great clouds take on the shapes of huge heads. In the distance three bare masts of a wrecked ship, that look like three white crosses. The table and seat are still under the tree, but the chairs have been removed. There is snow on the ground. From time to time a bell-buoy can be heard. The STRANGER comes in from the left, stops a moment and looks out to sea, then goes out, right, behind the cottage. The LADY enters, left, and appears to be following the STRANGER'S footsteps on the snow; she exits in front of the cottage, right. The STRANGER re-enters, right, notices the footprints of the LADY, pauses, and looks back, right. The LADY re-enters, throws herself into his arms, but recoils.)

LADY. You thrust me away.

STRANGER. No. It seems there's someone between us.

LADY. Indeed there is! (Pause.) What a meeting!

STRANGER. Yes. It's winter; as you see.

LADY. I can feel the cold coming from you.

STRANGER. I got frozen in the mountains.

LADY. Do you think the spring will ever come?

STRANGER. Not to us! We've been driven from the garden, and must wander over stones and thistles. And when our hands and feet are bruised, we feel we must rub salt in the wounds of the... other one. And then the mill starts grinding. It'll never stop; for there's always water.

LADY. No doubt what you say is true.

STRANGER. But I'll not yield to the inevitable. Rather than that we should lacerate each other I'll gash myself as a sacrifice to the gods. I'll take the blame upon me; declare it was I who taught you to break your chains. I who tempted you! Then you can lay all the blame on me: for what I did, and what happened after.

LADY. You couldn't bear it.

STRANGER. Yes, I could. There are moments when I feel as if I bore all the sin and sorrow, all the filth and shame of the whole world. There are moments when I believe we are condemned to sin and do bad actions as a punishment! (Pause.) Not long ago I lay sick of a fever, and amidst all that happened to me, I dreamed that I saw a crucifix without the Crucified. And when I asked the Dominican--for there was a Dominican among many others--what it could mean, he said: 'You will not allow Him to suffer for you. Suffer then yourself!' That's why mankind have grown so conscious of their own sufferings.

LADY. And why consciences grow so heavy, if there's no one to help to bear the burden.

STRANGER. Have you also come to think so?

LADY. Not yet. But I'm on the way.

STRANGER. Put your hand in mine. From here let us go on together.

LADY. Where?

STRANGER. Back! The same way we came. Are you weary?

LADY. Now no longer.

STRANGER. Several times I sank exhausted. But I met a strange beggar--perhaps you remember him: he was thought to be like me. And he begged me, as an experiment, to believe his good intentions. I did believe--as an experiment--and....

LADY. Well?

STRANGER. It went well with me. And since then I feel I've strength to go on my way....

LADY. Let's go together!

STRANGER (turning to the sea). Yes. It's growing dark and the clouds are gathering.

LADY. Don't look at the clouds.

STRANGER. And below there? What's that?

LADY. Only a wreck.

STRANGER (whispering). Three crosses! What new Golgotha awaits us?

LADY. They're white ones. That means good fortune.

STRANGER. Can good fortune ever come to us?

LADY. Yes. But not yet.

STRANGER. Let's go!

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