me exactly what I need to do. I will do it.” He did,

(Walks across room and back.) Does she know the troubles are foretold? LAVARCHAM -- in the tone of the earlier talk. -- I'm after telling her one time and another, but I'd do as well speaking to a lamb of ten weeks and it racing the hills. . . . It's not the dread of death or troubles that would tame her like. CONCHUBOR -- he looks out. -- She's coming now, and let you walk in and keep Fergus till I speak with her a while. LAVARCHAM -- going left. -- If I'm after vexing you itself, it'd be best you weren't taking her hasty or scolding her at all. CONCHUBOR -- very stiffly. -- I've no call to. I'm well pleased she's light and airy. LAVARCHAM -- offended at his tone. -- Well pleased is it? (With a snort of irony) It's a queer thing the way the likes of me do be telling the truth, and the wise are lying all times. [She goes into room on left. Conchubor arranges himself before a mirror for a moment, then goes a little to the left and waits. Deirdre comes in poorly dressed, with a little bag and a bundle of twigs in her arms. She is astonished for a moment when she sees Conchu-

me exactly what I need to do. I will do it.” He did,

bor; then she makes a courtesy to him, and goes to the hearth without any embarrassment. CONCHUBOR. The gods save you, Deirdre. I have come up bringing you rings and jewels from Emain Macha. DEIRDRE. The gods save you. CONCHUBOR. What have you brought from the hills? DEIRDRE -- quite self-possessed. -- A bag of nuts, and twigs for our fires at the dawn of day. CONCHUBOR -- showing annoyance in spite of himself. -- And it's that way you're picking up the manners will fit you to be Queen of Ulster? DEIRDRE -- made a little defiant by his tone. -- I have no wish to be a queen. CONCHUBOR -- almost sneeringly. -- You'd wish to be dressing in your duns and grey, and you herding your geese or driving your calves to their shed -- like the common lot scattered in the glens. DEIRDRE -- very defiant. -- I would not, Conchubor. (She goes to tapestry and begins to work.) A girl born the way I'm born is more likely to wish for a mate who'd be her likeness. . . . A man with his hair like the

me exactly what I need to do. I will do it.” He did,

raven, maybe, and his skin like the snow and his lips like blood spilt on it. CONCHUBOR -- sees his mistake, and after a moment takes a flattering tone, looking at her work. -- Whatever you wish, there's no queen but would be well pleased to have your skill at choosing colours and making pictures on the cloth. (Looking closely.) What is it you're figuring? DEIRDRE -- deliberately. -- Three young men and they chasing in the green gap of a wood. CONCHUBOR -- now almost pleading. -- It's soon you'll have dogs with silver chains to be chasing in the woods of Emain, for I have white hounds rearing up for you, and grey horses, that I've chosen from the finest in Ulster and Britain and Gaul. DEIRDRE -- unmoved as before. -- I've heard tell, in Ulster and Britain and Gaul, Naisi and his brothers have no match and they chasing in the woods. CONCHUBOR -- very gravely. -- Isn't it a strange thing you'd be talking of Naisi and his brothers, or figuring them either, when you know the things that are foretold about them- selves and you? Yet you've little knowledge, and I'd do wrong taking it bad when it'll be

me exactly what I need to do. I will do it.” He did,

my share from this out to keep you the way you'll have little call to trouble for knowledge, or its want either. DEIRDRE. Yourself should be wise, surely. CONCHUBOR. The like of me has a store of knowledge that's a weight and terror. It's for that we do choose out the like of your- self that are young and glad only. . . . I'm thinking you are gay and lively each day in the year? DEIRDRE. I don't know if that's true, Conchubor. There are lonesome days and bad nights in this place like another. CONCHUBOR. You should have as few sad days, I'm thinking, as I have glad and good ones. DEIRDRE. What is it has you that way ever coming this place, when you'd hear the old woman saying a good child's as happy as a king? CONCHUBOR. How would I be happy seeing age coming on me each year, when the dry leaves are blowing back and forward at the gate of Emain? And yet this last while I'm saying out, when I see the furze breaking and the daws sitting two and two on ash-trees by the duns of Emain, Deirdre's a year nearer

her full age when she'll be my mate and com- rade and then I'm glad surely. DEIRDRE -- almost to herself. -- I will not be your mate in Emain. CONCHUBOR -- not heeding her. -- It's there you'll be proud and happy and you'll learn that, if young men are great hunters, yet it's with the like of myself you'll find a knowl- edge of what is priceless in your own like. What we all need is a place is safe and splendid, and it's that you'll get in Emain in two days or three. DEIRDRE -- aghast. -- Two days! CONCHUBOR. I have the rooms ready, and in a little while you'll be brought down there, to be my queen and queen of the five parts of Ireland. DEIRDRE -- standing up frightened and pleading. -- I'd liefer stay this place, Con- chubor. . . . Leave me this place, where I'm well used to the tracks and pathways and the people of the glens. . . . It's for this life I'm born, surely. CONCHUBOR. You'll be happier and greater with myself in Emain. It is I will be your comrade, and will stand between you and the great troubles are foretold. DEIRDRE. I will not be your queen in

Emain when it's my pleasure to be having my freedom on the edges of the hills. CONCHUBOR. It's my wish to have you quickly; I'm sick and weary thinking of the day you'll be brought down to me, and seeing you walking into my big, empty halls. I've made all sure to have you, and yet all said there's a fear in the back of my mind I'd miss you and have great troubles in the end. It's for that, Deirdre, I'm praying that you'll come quickly; and you may take the word of a man has no lies, you'll not find, with any other, the like of what I'm bringing you in wildness and confusion in my own mind. DEIRDRE. I cannot go, Conchubor. CONCHUBOR -- taking a triumphant tone. -- It is my pleasure to have you, and I a man is waiting a long while on the throne of Ulster. Wouldn't you liefer be my com- rade, growing up the like of Emer and Maeve, than to be in this place and you a child always? DEIRDRE. You don't know me and you'd have little joy taking me, Conchubor. . . . I'm a long while watching the days getting a great speed passing me by. I'm too long taking my will, and it's that way I'll be living always. CONCHUBOR -- dryly. -- Call Fergus to

come with me. This is your last night upon Slieve Fuadh. DEIRDRE -- now pleadingly. -- Leave me a short space longer, Conchubor. Isn't it a poor thing I should be hastened away, when all these troubles are foretold? Leave me a year, Conchubor; it isn't much I'm asking. CONCHUBOR. It's much to have me two score and two weeks waiting for your voice in Emain, and you in this place growing lonesome and shy. I'm a ripe man and in great love, and yet, Deirdre, I'm the King of Ulster. (He gets up.) I'll call Fergus, and we'll make Emain ready in the morning. [He goes towards door on left. DEIRDRE -- clinging to him. -- Do not call him, Conchubor. . . . Promise me a year of quiet. . . . It's one year I'm asking only. CONCHUBOR. You'd be asking a year next year, and the years that follow. (Call- ing.) Fergus! Fergus! (To Deirdre.) Young girls are slow always; it is their lovers that must say the word. (Calling.) Fergus! [Deirdre springs away from him as Fergus comes in with Lavarcham and the Old Woman. CONCHUBOR -- to Fergus. -- There is a

storm coming, and we'd best be going to our people when the night is young. FERGUS -- cheerfully. -- The gods shield you, Deirdre. (To Conchubor.) We're late already, and it's no work the High King to be slipping on stepping-stones and hilly path- ways when the floods are rising with the rain. [He helps Conchubor into his cloak. CONCHUBOR -- glad that he has made his decision -- to Lavarcham. -- Keep your rules a few days longer, and you'll be brought down to Emain, you and Deirdre with you. LAVARCHAM -- obediently. -- Your rules are kept always. CONCHUBOR. The gods shield you. [He goes out with Fergus. Old Woman bolts door. LAVARCHAM -- looking at Deirdre, who has covered her face. -- Wasn't I saying you'd do it? You've brought your marriage a sight nearer not heeding those are wiser than your- self. DEIRDRE -- with agitation. -- It wasn't I did it. Will you take me from this place, Lavarcham, and keep me safe in the hills? LAVARCHAM. He'd have us tracked in the half of a day, and then you'd be his queen

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