Chapter 4

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Alroy, Edited by Sheila A. Spector


Part X

Chapter 4

ALROY entered the apartment of Schirene. ‘My soul! thou knowest all?’

She sprang forward and threw her arms around his neck.

‘Fear not, my life, we’ll not disgrace our Queen. ’Twill be quick work. Two-thirds of them have been beaten before, and for the new champion, our laurels must not fade, and his blood shall nourish fresh ones.’

‘Dearest, dearest Alroy, go not thyself, I pray thee. May not Asriel conquer?’

‘I hope so, in my company. For a time we part, a short one. ’Tis our first parting: may it be our last!’

‘Oh! no, no, no: oh! say not we must part.’

‘The troops are under arms; to-morrow’s dawn will hear my trumpet.’

‘I will not quit thee, no! I will not quit thee. What business has Schirene without Alroy? Hast thou not often told me I am thy inspiration? In the hour of danger shall I be wanting? Never! I will not quit thee; no, I will not quit thee.’

‘Thou art ever present in my thoughts, my soul. In the battle I shall think of her for whom alone I conquer.’

‘Nay, nay, I’ll go, indeed I must, Alroy. I’ll be no hindrance, trust me, sweet boy, I will not. I’ll have no train, no, not a single maid. Credit me, I know how a true soldier’s wife should bear herself. I’ll watch thee sleeping, and I’ll tend thee wounded, and when thou goest forth to combat I’ll gird thy sabre round thy martial side, and whisper triumph with victorious kisses.’

‘My own Schirene, there's victory in thine eyes. We’ll beat them, girl.’

‘Abidan, doubly false Abidan! would he were doubly hanged! Ere she died, the fatal prophetess foretold this time, and gloated on his future treachery.’

‘Think not of him.’

‘And the Karasmian; think you he is very strong?’

‘Enough, love, for our glory. He is a potent warrior: I trust that Abner will not rob us of our intended victory.’

‘So you triumph, I care not by whose sword. Dost go indeed to-morrow?’

‘At break of dawn. I pray thee stay, my sweet!’

‘Never! I will not quit thee. I am quite prepared. At break of dawn? ’Tis near on midnight now. I'll lay me down upon this couch awhile, and travel in my litter. Art sure Alp Arslan is himself in the field?’

‘Quite sure, my sweet.’

‘Confusion on his crown! We’ll conquer. Goes Asriel with us?’

‘Ay!’

‘That’s well; at break of dawn. I’m somewhat drowsy. Methinks I’ll sleep awhile.’

‘Do, my best heart; I’ll to my cabinet, and at break of dawn I’ll wake thee with a kiss.’

Published @ RC

January 2005