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A Night in Avignon by Cale Young Rice

A NIGHT IN AVIGNON

A NIGHT IN AVIGNON

BY CALE YOUNG RICE

Author of "Charles Di Tocca," "David," "Plays and Lyrics," etc.

NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY MCMXIII

_Copyright, 1907, by_ CALE YOUNG RICE

Published, March, 1907

TO DONALD ROBERTSON

A NIGHT IN AVIGNON

CHARACTERS

FRANCESCO PETRARCA _A Young Poet and Scholar_

GHERARDO _His Brother, a Monk_

LELLO _His Friend_

ORSO _His Servant_

FILIPPA } } _Ladies of light life in Avignon_ SANCIA }

MADONNA LAURA

A NIGHT IN AVIGNON

SCENE: _A room in the chambers of PETRARCA at Avignon. It opens on a loggia overlooking, on higher ground, the spired church of Santa Clara and the gray cloisters of a Carthusian monastery. Beyond lie the city walls under glamour of the blue Provencal night._

_The room, faintly frescoed, is lighted with many candles; some glittering on a wine-table heavy with wines toward the right front. A door on the left leads to other rooms, and an arrased one opposite, down to the street. Bookshelves and a writing-desk strewn with a lute and writings are also on the left; a crimson couch is in the centre; and garlands of myrtle and laurel deck the wine-table._

_GHERARDO, the monk, is seated by the desk, following with severe looks the steps of PETRARCA, who is walking feverishly to and fro._

_Gherardo_ (_after a pause_). Listen. Another word, Francesco.

_Petrarca._ Aih! And then another--that will breed another.

_Gherardo._ Dote on this Laura still--if still you must: Woman's your destiny. But quench these lights and set away that wine.

_Petrarca._ And to no other lips turn? hers denied me? Never, Gherardo!

_Gherardo._ Virtue bids you.

_Petrarca._ Vainly! I've borne until I will not ... For it is Two years now since in the aisles Of Santa Clara yonder my heart first Went from me on mad wings. Two years this April morning Since it fell fluttering before her feet ... As she stood there beside our blessed Lady, Gowned as young Spring in green and violets!...


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