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Act II

part 2


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Nicolae Sirius - Time Weeps (Timpul plânge)


Act II - part 2

Personages:
Gregor The Emperor
Relina The Emperor's wife
Oramov The Rival
Papace The Violin Player
Gogore The Scribe
Pengo The Painter
Soldier 1
Soldier 2
Sedom The Old Man
Oront The Superintendent
The Nameless Soldier
Arat The Priest
Patrin The Treasurer
Dalario The Lawyer
Garot The General
Almon The Palmist
Three maids
The Chamber Orchestra

Scene 2

Interior of studio

(Relina, Pengo)

Relina: (Showing the silver bell.) I've stolen his silver bell.

Pengo: If the Emperor finds out...

Relina: He knows it... He is looking for it.

Pengo: And doesn't know His Majesty took it?

Relina: He knows... But gives the impression that he doesn't know it. As he pretended yesterday that he did not see...

Pengo: (Setting his easel.) What did the Emperor pretend not to see?

Relina: When you bowed in front of me and murmured "I am delighted". I cried all night.

Pengo: (Surprised.) How would Her Majesty cry...

Relina: Just like that. Thinking of what you said!

Pengo: (Timid.) Yes Your Majesty but...

Relina: I would not say that one could be delighted even with things one doesn't see... But then I lost myself... And this because it was for the first time in this castle, where every one speaks only of power and death, that you looked at me as if your eyes were weeping. I was worried... Worried that Gregor would take his revenge on you. But instead he called on the maids and you saw what followed. He did not know how otherwise to hide his furry...

Pengo: (Confused.) Majesty but I...

Relina: Only trough jealousy he tries to express his sentiments...

Pengo: (Surprised.) Who?

Relina:(Drawing near.) Even this you don't know?

Pengo: (Avoiding.) How would I dare, Your Majesty...

Relina: Don't you dare because my father sold me?

Pengo: (Doubtful.) Did he?

Relina: How otherwise? would Gregor buy me?

Pengo: Did he?

Relina: I was but a child...

Pengo: How could I believe that Your Majesty was bought...

Relina: That's the truth! This is why I offered him only what he bought?

Pengo: Only?

Relina: (Ironically.) Would I offer him my soul if he bought only my body?

Pengo: (Offering her a chair to pose for him.) Majesty...

Relina: Never!

Pengo: A portrait as for Your Majesty...

Relina:(Removing the canvas from the easel.) This would be a real torture for me.

Pengo: Torture?

Relina: Isn't it for you, too?

Pengo: No!

Relina: How come?

Pengo: To work for His Majesty Gregor would it be a torture?

Relina: (Taking the brushes from Pengos's hand.) Indeed!

Pengo: Can Your Majesty say this?

Relina: (Drawing him nearer ) If I would not have understood what you meant yesterday, you could accuse me today

Pengo: What is His Majesty Gregor going to say if he finds out?

Relina: His Majesty is in the dungeon...

Pengo: In the dungeon? What does Your Majesty mean by that?

Relina: He was betrayed!

Pengo: Betrayed? By whom

Relina: Last night he was betrayed...

Pengo: How could this be? His Majesty... the most important man...

Relina: Important?

Pengo: He could decipher even the deepest meaning of a dream.

Relina: This is why the nation suffered... Suffered because he has not deciphered her dreams! Didn't you hear last night when that nameless soldier brought him the news that he was betrayed?

Pengo: Yes, Majesty, I did, because Oront installed under my pillow, a receiver as big as my head, that I could hear even His Majesty's shoes squeak.

Relina: Then?

Pengo: Can I believe this?

Relina: Why not?

Pengo: That was a rehearsal... They tested the microphones and nothing more!

Relina: (Smiling.) Are you sure?

Pengo: At least I think so.

Relina: (Catching him in her arms.) Look into my eyes when you speak...

Pengo: (Trying to disengage himself.) Your Majesty...

Relina: I want to see if one is saying the truth...

Pengo: I can not...

Relina: What do you mean by that?

Pengo: (Almost crying.) When I think of His Majesty Gregor and...

Relina: Instead of being happy that you don't need to think of him...

Pengo: Even there, in the dungeon, filled with creatures who scare us, I will try to follow the Emperor.

Relina: (Angry.) You must wake up!

Pengo: Majesty I, a painter employed...

Relina: Exactly. As Papace has been employed to play for the dead. Oromav to remember how he conducted the Blue Orchestra, which played only at funerals, where those who died were worshiped, because they would arise in another world. Almon to decipher past and future which are hidden in the lines of our hands. Gogore to read what is of no benefit to the sound mind. (Short pause.) And this is Gregor!

Pengo: (Turning.) Where is His Majesty?

Relina: In all of you!

Pengo covers his eyes Papace comes in. He throws his violin on the floor, looks around absent-mindedly.

Relina: Don't be upset Papace! Better play something beautiful for us.

Papace: (Cold) If you were the Empress, I would have done it!

Pengo: How dare you speak like that?

Papace: Gregor has run away! He took with him everything he could...

(Pengo takes his easel and runs out the door. Relina picks up the violin and gives it to Papace. Papace throws the violin and leaves the room. Relina goes to the window. And the dark covers the room.)

Scene 3

Interior of dungeon.

(Gregor, Gogore)

Gregor: Gogore... Where are my boots?

Gogore: (Holding a lighted candle.) Here, Your Majesty.

Gregor: (Looking at his boots.) You didn't clean them for more then a year now...

Gogore: I can not see anything here, Your Majesty. And it is very narrow, too.

(Short pause)

Gregor: Did you take everything?

Gogore: I took everything I could...

Gregor: I asked you if you took everything... not if you took only what you could. (Short pause.) I can't believe my eyes! Plot overnight... (Short pause.) The situation would have been far different if you would have found the silver bell. I made use of it all the time, and exactly now, when the bandits jumped at my neck, I tried to find the bell and the bell is not to be found. (Short pause.) Did I ever ring once and no one come to carry out my orders? Is that true or not?

Gogore: It is true Your Majesty.

Gregor: Then? Who is guilty?

Gogore: I did not find it Your Majesty.

(Short pause.)

Gregor: I don't know why but I think that the silver bell is in your pocket. (Short pause.) Try and find it...

Gogore: (Reversing his pockets.) It's not here, Your Majesty.

Gregor: Who took my silver bell, soon they will make use of it! (Short pause.) I am surprised that you could not find a better place and brought me into this cave. I won't even be able to breathe my last (Short pause.) Try to do something don't look at me... Try to think, otherwise you'll become senile. (Gogore stands up and cleans the books of dust.) Did you take all of them?

Gogore: I did Your Majesty.

Gregor: Count them! Is something missing? (Short pause.) If we took the books we took everything! (Short pause.) Why did that soldier not return? Maybe they caught him...

Gogore: I don't think so.

Gregor: Why then does he not come to inform me at least in which tunnel I should go. (Short pause.) You said that the first tunnel is full of tanks...

Gogore: Yes, Your Majesty.

Gregor: Criminals! They got there, instead of us.

Gogore: Yes, Your Majesty.

Gregor: (Checking the baggage.) The clock Where is the clock, Gogore?

Gogore: (Checking carefully among the things.) It is not Your Majesty.

Gregor: (Furious.) Shouldn't you have taken the clock, first?

Gogore: (Guilty.) Yes, Your Majesty.

Gregor: Tell me what time it is now.

Gogore: I don't know Your Majesty.

Gregor: How long do you think we have been here?

Gogore: One hour.

Gregor: And at what time did we leave?

Gogore: I don't know... When Your Majesty called me the clock was already out of order. (Short Pause.) A real nightmare... (Short pause.) I woke up when the soldier was shouting "Plot, Your Majesty Plot!" and after I heard him complaining that Her Majesty had changed the flowing of time.

Gregor: Why didn't you come to tell me that everything I say or any news I receive is spied on and sent to air.

Gogore: I thought I was dreaming. How could I think that this might be true?

Gregor: (Lamenting.) Now everyone knows what the emperor thinks and does (Shot pause.) Why does that soldier why doesn't he come back?

Gogore: He must come...

Gregor: It is too humid and we can not stay here, forever. If he does not come soon we will die like rats. (Short pause.) Open the door and look carefully around.

Gogore: I don't have the key...

Gregor: What did you do with it?

Gogore: The soldier took it!

Gregor: The soldier?

Gogore: Yes, Your Majesty.

Gregor: How can you tell me that the soldier took the key. Is he not coming back after what happened to us?

Gogore: He said he would

Gregor: (Angry. Kicking around) What is with this bow?

Gogore: Is from Papace's violin

Gregor: And the violin?

Gogore: I could not pull it from his hands.

Gregor: And?

Gogore: And

Gregor: (Dropping the bow.) Would the sun rise? (Gogore looks silent.) Put your hand here... you will see that all is wet. (Short pause.) Soon, we will run out of candles and this is exactly what the rats are waiting for. (Short pause.) Have you ever dreamt of your childhood? (Gogore does not answer, starts to arrange the books, finishes and returns to the same place.) Oh, childhood... The only real thing! The only pure thing! (Short pause.) I can still see my father getting up before sunrise, praying and leaving to work in the field... and I, following him slowly. "If you plant a tree ", my father used to say, "and its fruit is eaten by somebody else, your soul will receive the benefit. But, if you plant hate in human souls, it would return to you a thousandfold. For even if you don't understand how these things come about... yet, this is the law of the universe at work, as has ever been." (Short pause.) That candle is burning low... Lit another one! (Gogore does not move.) I know that you don't want to answer because you are so sad but don't you want to carry out my order? (Short pause.) Don't make me feel that I am living with the dead! (The candle burns off.) Lit another candle! Gogore! (Angry while groping about) Gogore! Gogore!

Scene 4

Interior of a room furnished simply.

Sitting at a table, Arat, Dalario, Patrin and Garot.

Arat: (Worried.) Who's the soldier who was in the church and how could he get in?

Dalario: He could have killed you if you stayed in the church after I brought you the plate from the printer.

Arat: That's exactly what he said that it did not matter who might had been in the church then, he would have rammed his fist down his throat. Almost to lose my life! And you, mister general, don't you have a vague idea what solider was there... This, is simply, because you don't have a clear record of the soldiers under your command...

Garot: Evidence we have after all we work in the army. But when that soldier, you were referring to, spoke with Gregor, not even once did he mention his name it is as if that soldier were nameless.

Arat: Oront was hidden away Who would believe that he would return?

Garot: We will find him and release him don't worry.

Arat: Release him? You have just said that Gregor needed not more than a couple of minutes to throw his rival in the dungeon. And it looks as if he had never been the man that could oppose him.

Dalario: Who might be in the tunnel, General, if you can not open it?

Garot: I don't know. We tried to open it... but the main gate is blocked.

Arat: I am worried because there is a tunnel from the church to the castle<...p> Patrin: I told you not to make such an underground connection... And it did cost me an enormous amount of money.

Arat: (Stuttering.) Was it your money?

Patrin: It was from the government's pocket.

Arat: You speak as if the government is you.

Patrin: I know what I am speaking about!

Arat: You speak nonsense!

Patrin: At the time you used to kiss Gregor's hand, why didn't you say the same?

Arat: Look at this evil how he speaks!

Dalario: Let us not quarrel. In the end every penny spent was in conformity with governmental law.

Patrin: What law are you speaking about? Who could approve funds to Arat to build an underground path, from the castle to his church? I consented to this, privately. And this because of his friendship with Gregor.

Arat: (Raging.) Am I the only one who got money?

Patrin: The General received funds too.

Garot: Did I? The funds, as many as they have been, if someone could call them funds, were simply tips for the army. And this generosity came about when the government did not have time to spend even this small amount.

Dalario: Let's not take things so tragically! What it should be known is that the Law did not die!

Patrin: What law are you taking about? Myself, at least I have the courage to say that if I were to be judged in accordance with the law, I should have been investigated daily, condemned or imprisoned But to those who forced me to stuff their pockets and now condemned me for illegal matters I wish them not to be investigated, condemn or imprisoned, but simply killed at once!

Arat: Have you lost your mind! Look at the way he talks!

Dalario: Then let us set aside the legal matters and see how we can form a new govern.

Arat: I'm afraid he will ambush us...

Garot: Who would ambush us Your Holiness?

Arat: What do you mean? When you were not able even to open the main gate of the tunnel... No doubt Gregor with his people will fight back from there!

Dalario: How many soldiers, General, would Gregor have on his side?

Garot: I have no idea! Last night I was shocked when I heard that a soldier betrayed me.

Arat: He betrayed us! You've just been hoodwinked... How does it come that a soldier precisely followed us step by step?

Garot: Holiness I show my respect to you on every occasion even though my religious inclinations are limited!

Arat: So what! Was I the one to stop you from deepening them?

Garot: As long as I use the army's uniform

Arat: You use it but it is not yours!

Garot: Yet, the army protects the state.

Arat: What is a state? Today it is and tomorrow might vanish! While faith is not created for a period of time, it's eternal!

Patrin: How to stop myself jumping at Arat's neck when I hear how he speaks?

Garot: He will understand he was wrong...

Patrin: It does not make sense now to list all the other financial advantages I gave him!

Arat: Didn't you give financial advantages to Dalario, too? And now he tries to infer the permanent validity of the law! Stating that the law didn't die! (Furious.) Only faith is eternal!

Dalario: (Calm.) We just accuse ourselves Should we already say that among us there is no one who has been correct?

Patrin: Fortunately yes. But it happens that that person is not involved in politics.

Arat: That's why!

Dalario: Who is that person?

Patrin: Among those I know, only Relina did not show any interest in power and money.

Arat: The Empress? Gregor ran away, she must leave too!

Relina: (Enters the room followed by the nameless soldier, armed to the teeth.) I can not leave Your Holiness! Neither did Gregor! He is waiting for you. (Making a sign to all four to stand up.) I don't suggest you make use of your guns!

Arat: (Shocked.) Did I say before that we were betrayed? One of you did it! Either he, who said that the law didn't die or the one who said the army protects the state. (To Patrin.) Don't nudge me evil! Your are not clean either!

Garot: I am a respectful man...

Arat: (Angry.) Why are we here if you are so respectful?

Garot: I don't regret or cry for what I have done!

Arat: Not even I! If I had been protected! (To Relina.) We were wrong! This is it! (Relina lights a few candles and sets them in a chandelier.) Now we will not kill each other!

Dalario: I must repeat! The law did not die!

Arat: How can the law die? There would be anarchy everywhere!...

Dalario: (Standing up.) Let's see based on which acts are we incriminated? It is futile to add that this kind of trap would not hit back those who organized it. (Laughing.) Let's suppose that we will be killed... Would Relina remain in the history of mankind for this brave act? Or maybe she thought so! (To Garot.) Is it so hard for you to ask this rebel to come to his senses and surrender? Or do you want to see how I disarm him? I can do that in a second! (Sitting down.) I am not here to waste my time...

Patrin: (To Relina.) Majesty, the treasure house is not empty! I know that Gregor ran off... But Gregor is just an isolated case in the history of those who betray... Anyhow, as soon as I found out that he ran away and left you in this unpleasant situation I put aside what I thought would be appropriate for your position. Maybe I would have acted in the same manner if I had been in your situation. Yet, I repeat the things are just ready for you!

Relina: (The soldier turns off the light.) From that switch the radio station was connected. You must have known even this! I suppose that anything you wanted to, you said it openly. Anyhow... Gregor is waiting for you!

Garot: Soldier! Carry out the Empress order! Gregor is located in the tunnel, which makes the connection between the castle and the church.

The soldier salutes the general and makes sign to the three men to follow him. Patrin and Dalario look astonished.

Arat: (In despair.) I have said already who betrayed us!

Relina: Time betrayed you, not the general! You should have known that. The history of the world has no other alternative but to change!

THE END


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