(The Banquet Hall. It is still night. The hall is but dimly lighted by a branch-candlestick on the table, in front, on the right.)
(Lady Inger is sitting by the table, deep in thought.)
Lady Inger. (after a pause). They call me keen-witted beyond all others in the land. I believe they are right. The keenest-witted —— No one knows how I became so. For more than twenty years I have fought to save my child. That is the key to the riddle. Ay, that sharpens the wits! My wits? Where have they flown to-night? What has become of my forethought? There is a ringing and rushing in my ears. I see shapes before me, so life-like that methinks I could lay hold on them.
(Springs up.) Lord Jesus — what is this? Am I no longer mistress of my reason? Is it to come to that ——? (Presses her clasped hands over her head; sits down again, and says more calmly:) Nay, ’tis nought. It will pass. There is no fear; — it will pass. How peaceful it is in the hall to-night! No threatening looks from forefathers or kinsfolk. No need to turn their faces to the wall. (Rises again.) Ay, ’twas well that I took heart at last. We shall conquer; — and then I am at the end of my longings. I shall have my child again. (Takes up the light as if to go, but stops and says musingly:) At the end? The end? To get him back? Is that all? — is there nought further? (Sets the light down on the table.) That heedless word that Nils Lykke threw forth at random —— How could he see my unborn thought? (More softly.) A king’s mother? A king’s mother, he said —— Why not? Have not my forefathers ruled as kings, even though they bore not the kingly name? Has not my son as good a title as the other to the rights of the house of Sture? In the sight of God he has — if so be there is justice in Heaven. And in an hour of terror I have signed away his rights. I have recklessly squandered them, as a ransom for his freedom. If they could be recovered? — Would Heaven be angered, if I——? Would it call down fresh troubles on my head if I were to ——? Who knows; who knows! It may be safest to refrain. (Takes up the light again.) I shall have my child again. That must suffice me. I will try to rest. All these desperate thoughts — I will sleep them away. (Goes towards the back, but stops in the middle of the hall, and says broodingly:) A king’s mother!
(Goes slowly out at the back, to the left.)
(After a short pause, Nils Lykke and Elina GYLDENLOVE enter noiselessly by the first door on the left. Nils Lykke has a small lantern in his hand.)
Nils Lykke. (throws the light from his lantern around, so as to search the room). All is still. I must begone.
Elina. Oh, let me look but once more into your eyes, before you leave me.
Nils Lykke. (embraces her). Elina!
Elina. (after a short pause). Will you come nevermore to Östråt?
Nils Lykke. How can you doubt that I will come? Are you not henceforth my betrothed? — But will you be true to me, Elina? Will you not forget me ere we meet again?
Elina. Do you ask if I will be true? Have I any will left then? Have I power to be untrue to you, even if I would? — you came by night; you knocked upon my door; — and I opened to you. You spoke to me. What was it you said? You gazed in my eyes. What was the mystic might that turned my brain and lured me, as it were, within a magic net? (Hides her face on his shoulder.) Oh, look not on me, Nils Lykke! You must not look upon me after this —— True, say you? Do you not own me? I am yours; — I must be yours — to all eternity.
Nils Lykke. Now, by my knightly honour, ere the year be past, you shall sit as my wife in the hall of my fathers.
Elina. No vows, Nils Lykke! No oaths to me.
Nils Lykke. What mean you? Why do you shake your head so mournfully?
Elina. Because I know that the same soft words wherewith you turned my brain, you have whispered to so many a one before. Nay, nay, be not angry, my beloved! In nought do I reproach you, as I did while yet I knew you not. Now I understand how high above all others is your goal. How can love be aught to you but a pastime, or woman but a toy?
Nils Lykke. Elina — hear me!
Elina. As I grew up, your name was ever in my ears. I hated the name, for meseemed that all women were dishonoured by your life. And yet — how strange! — when I built up in my dreams the life that should be mine, you were ever my hero, though I knew it not. Now I understand it all — now know I what it was I felt. It was a foreboding, a mysterious longing for you, you only one — for you that were one day to come and glorify my life.
Nils Lykke. (aside, putting down the lantern on the table). How is it with me? This dizzy fascination —— If this it be to love, then have I never known it till this hour. — Is there not yet time ——? Oh horror — Lucia!
(Sinks into a chair.)
Elina. What ails you? So heavy a sigh ——
Nils Lykke. O, ’tis nought — nought! Elina — now will I confess all to you. I have have beguiled many with both words and glances; I have said to many a one what I whispered to you this night. But trust me ——
Elina. Hush! No more of that. My love is no exchange for that you give me. No, no; I love you because your every glance commands it like a king’s decree.
(Lies down at his feet.) Oh, let me once more stamp that kingly message deep into my soul, though well I know it stands imprinted there for all time and eternity. Dear God — how little I have known myself! ’Twas but to-night I said to my mother: “My pride is my life.” And what is my pride? Is it to know that my countrymen are free, or that my house is held in honour throughout the lands? Oh, no, no! My love is my pride. The little dog is proud when he may sit by his master’s feet and eat bread-crumbs from his hand. Even so am I proud, so long as I may sit at your feet, while your looks and your words nourish me with the bread of life. See, therefore, I say to you, even as I said but now to my mother: “My love is my life;” for therein lies all my pride, now and evermore.
Nils Lykke. (raises her up on his lap). Nay, nay — not at my feet, but at my side is your place — should fate set me never so high. Ay, Elina — you have led me into a better path; and if it be granted me some day to atone by a deed of fame for the sins of my reckless youth, the honour shall be yours as well as mine.
Elina. Ah, you speak as though I were still the Elina that but this evening flung down the flowers at your feet. I have read in my books of the many-coloured life in far-off lands. To the winding of horns the knight rides forth into the greenwood, with his falcon on his wrist. Even so do you go your way through life; — your name rings out before you whithersoever you fare. — All that I desire of your glory, is to rest like the falcon on your arm. I too was blind as he to light and life, till you loosed the hood from my eyes and set me soaring high over the leafy tree-tops; — But, trust me — bold as my flight may be, yet shall I ever turn back to my cage.
Nils Lykke. (rises). Then I bid defiance to the past! See now; — take this ring, and be mine before God and men — mine, ay,though it should trouble the dreams of the dead.
Elina. You make me afraid. What is it that ——?
Nils Lykke. It is nought. Come, let me place the ring on your finger. — Even so — now are you my betrothed!
Elina. I Nils Lykke’s bride! It seems but a dream, all that has befallen this night. Oh, but so fair a dream! My breast is so light. No longer is there bitterness and hatred in my soul. I will atone to all whom I have wronged. I have been unloving to my mother. To-morrow will I go to her; she must forgive me my offence.
Nils Lykke. And give her consent to our bond.
Elina. That will she. Oh, I am sure she will. My mother is kind; all the world is kind; — I can feel hatred no more for any living soul — save one.
Nils Lykke. Save one?
Elina. Ah, it is a mournful history. I had a sister ——
Nils Lykke. Lucia?
Elina. Have you known Lucia?
Nils Lykke. No, no; I have but heard her name.
Elina. She too gave her heart to a knight. He betrayed her; — and now she is in Heaven.
Nils Lykke. And you ——?
Elina. I hate him.
Nils Lykke. Hate him not! If there be mercy in your heart, forgive him his sin. Trust me, he bears his punishment in his own breast.
Elina. Him I will never forgive! I cannot, even if I would; for I have sworn so dear an oath ——
(Listening.) Hush! Can you hear ——?
Nils Lykke. What? Where?
Elina. Without; far off. The noise of many horsemen on the high-road.
Nils Lykke. Ah, it is they! And I had forgotten ——! They are coming hither. Then is the danger great; — I must begone!
Elina. But whither? Oh, Nils Lykke, what are you hiding ——?
Nils Lykke. To-morrow, Elina ——; for as God lives, I will return then. — Quickly now — where is the secret passage you told me of?
Elina. Through the grave-vault. See — here is the trap-door.
Nils Lykke. The grave-vault! (To himself.) No matter, he must be saved!
Elina. (by the window). The horsemen have reached the gate ——
(Hands him the lantern.)
Nils Lykke. Well, now I go ——
(Begins to descend.)
Elina. Go forward along the passage till you reach the coffin with the death’s-head and the black cross; it is Lucia’s ——
Nils Lykke. (climbs back hastily and shuts the trap-door to). Lucia’s! Pah ——!
Elina. What said you?
Nils Lykke. Nay, nought. It was the scent of the grave that made me dizzy.
Elina. Hark; they are hammering at the gate!
Nils Lykke. (lets the lantern fall). Ah! too late ——!
(Biörn enters hurriedly from the right, carrying a light.)
Elina. (goes towards him). What is amiss, Biörn? What is it?
Biörn. An ambuscade! Count Sture ——
Elina. Count Sture? What of him?
Nils Lykke. Have they killed him?
Biörn. (to Elina). Where is your mother?
Two. House-Servants (rushing in from the right). Lady Inger! Lady Inger!
(Lady Inger GYLDENLOVE enters by the first door on the left, with a branch-candlestick, lighted, in her hand, and says quickly:)
Lady Inger. I know all. Down with you to the courtyard! Keep the gate open for our friends, but closed against all others!
(Puts down the candlestick on the table to the left. Biörn and the two House-Servants go out again to the right.)
Lady Inger. (to Nils Lykke). So that was the trap, Sir Councillor!
Nils Lykke. Inger Gyldenlöve, trust me ——!
Lady Inger. An ambuscade that was to snap him up, as soon as you had got the promise that should destroy me!
Nils Lykke. (takes out the paper and tears it to pieces). There is your promise. I keep nothing that can bear witness against you.
Lady Inger. What will you do?
Nils Lykke. From this hour I am your champion. If I have sinned against you — by Heaven I will strive to repair my crime. But now I must out, if I have to hew my way through the gate! — Elina — tell your mother all! — And you, Lady Inger, let our reckoning be forgotten! Be generous — and silent! Trust me, ere the day dawns you shall owe me a life’s gratitude.
(Goes out quickly to the right.)
Lady Inger. (looks after him with exultation). It is well! I understand him!
(Turns to Elina.) Nils Lykke ——? Well ——?
Elina. He knocked upon my door, and set this ring upon my finger.
Lady Inger. And he loves you with all his heart?
Elina. My mother — you are so strange. Oh, ay — I know — it is my unloving ways that have angered you.
Lady Inger. Not so, dear Elina! You are an obedient child. You have opened your door to him; you have hearkened to his soft words. I know full well what it must have cost you for I know your hatred ——
Elina. But, my mother ——
Lady Inger. Hush! We have played into each other’s hands. What wiles did you use, my subtle daughter? I saw the love shine out of his eyes. Hold him fast now! Draw the net closer and closer about him, and then —— Ah, Elina, if we could but rend his perjured heart within his breast!
Elina. Woe is me — what is it you say?
Lady Inger. Let not your courage fail you. Hearken to me. I know a word that will keep you firm. Know then —— (Listening.) They are fighting outside the gate. Courage! Now comes the pinch! (Turns again to Elina.) Know then, Nils Lykke was the man that brought your sister to her grave.
Elina. (with a shriek). Lucia!
Lady Inger. He it was, as truly as there is an Avenger above us!
Elina. Then Heaven be with me!
Lady Inger. (appalled). Elina ——?!
Elina. I am his bride in the sight of God.
Lady Inger. Unhappy child — what have you done?
Elina. (in a toneless voice). Made shipwreck of my soul. — Good-night, my mother!
(She goes out to the left.)
Lady Inger. Ha-ha-ha! It goes down-hill now with Inger Gyldenlöve’s house. There went the last of my daughters. Why could I not keep silence? Had she known nought, it may be she had been happy — after a kind. It was to be so. It is written up there in the stars that I am to break off one green branch after another, till the trunk stand leafless at last. ’Tis well, ’tis well! I am to have my son again. Of the others, of my daughters, I will not think. My reckoning? To face my reckoning? — It falls not due till the last great day of wrath. — That comes not yet awhile.
Nils Stensson. (calling from outside on the right). Ho — shut the gate!
Lady Inger. Count Sture’s voice ——!
Nils Stensson. (rushes in, unarmed, and with his clothes torn, and shouts with a desperate laugh). Well met again, Inger Gyldenlöve!
Lady Inger. What have you lost?
Nils Stensson. My kingdom and my life!
Lady Inger. And the peasants? My servants? — where are they?
Nils Stensson. You will find the carcasses along the highway. Who has the rest, I know not.
Olaf Skaktavl. (outside on the right). Count Sture! Where are you?
Nils Stensson. Here, here!
(Olaf Skaktavl comes in with his right hand wrapped in a cloth).
Lady Inger. Alas Olaf Skaktavl, you too ——!
Olaf Skaktavl. It was impossible to break through.
Lady Inger. You are wounded, I see!
Olaf Skaktavl. A finger the less; that is all.
Nils Stensson. Where are the Swedes?
Olaf Skaktavl. At our heels. They are breaking open the gate ——
Nils Stensson. Oh, Jesus! No, no! I cannot — I will not die.
Olaf Skaktavl. A hiding-place, Lady Inger! Is there no corner where we can hide him?
Lady Inger. But if they search the castle ——?
Nils Stensson. Ay, ay; they will find me! And then to be dragged to prison, or strung up ——! Oh no, Inger Gyldenlöve — I know full well — you will never suffer that to be!
Olaf Skaktavl. (listening). There burst the lock.
Lady Inger. (at the window). Many men rush in at the gateway.
Nils Stensson. And to lose my life now! Now, when my true life was but beginning! Now, when I have so lately learnt that I have aught to live for. No, no, no! — Think not I am a coward. Might I but have time to show ——
Lady Inger. I hear them now in the hall below.
(Firmly to Olaf Skaktavl.) He must be saved — cost what it will!
Nils Stensson. (seizes her hand). Oh, I knew it; — you are noble and good!
Olaf Skaktavl. But how? Since we cannot hide him ——
Nils Stensson. Ah, I have it! I have it! The secret ——!
Lady Inger. The secret?
Nils Stensson. Even so; yours and mine!
Lady Inger. Christ in Heaven — you know it?
Nils Stensson. From first to last. And now when ’tis life or death —— Where is Nils Lykke?
Lady Inger. Fled.
Nils Stensson. Fled? Then God help me; for he only can unseal my lips. — But what is a promise against a life! When the Swedish captain comes ——
Lady Inger. What then? What will you do?
Nils Stensson. Purchase life and freedom; — tell him all.
Lady Inger. Oh no, no; — be merciful!
Nils Stensson. Nought else can save me. When I have told him what I know ——
Lady Inger. (looks at him with suppressed excitement). You will be safe?
Nils Stensson. Ay, safe! Nils Lykke will speak for me. You see, ’tis the last resource.
Lady Inger. (composedly, with emphasis). The last resource? Right, right — the last resource stands open to all. (Points to the left.) See, meanwhile you can hide in there.
Nils Stensson. (softly). Trust me — you will never repent of this.
Lady Inger. (half to herself). God grant that you speak the truth!
(Nils Stensson goes out hastily by the furthest door on the left. Olaf Skaktavl is following; but Lady Inger detains him.)
Lady Inger. Did you understand his meaning?
Olaf Skaktavl. The dastard! He would betray your secret. He would sacrifice your son to save himself.
Lady Inger. When life is at stake, he said, we must try the last resource. — It is well, Olaf Skaktavl — let it be as he has said!
Olaf Skaktavl. What mean you?
Lady Inger. Life for life! One of them must perish.
Olaf Skaktavl. Ah — you would ——?
Lady Inger. If we close not the lips of him that is within ere he come to speech with the Swedish captain, then is my son lost to me. But if he be swept from my path, when the time comes I can claim all his rights for my own child. Then shall you see that Inger Ottisdaughter has metal in her yet. And be assured you shall not have long to wait for the vengeance you have thirsted after for twenty years. — Hark! They are coming up the stairs! Olaf Skaktavl — it lies with you whether tomorrow I shall be a childless woman, or ——
Olaf Skaktavl. So be it! I have one sound hand left yet. (Gives her his hand.) Inger Gyldenlöve — your name shall not die out through me.
(Follows Nils Stensson into the inner room.)
Lady Inger. (pale and trembling). But dare I——?
(A noise is heard in the room; she rushes with a scream towards the door.) No, no — it must not be! (A heavy fall is heard within; she covers her ears with her hands and hurries back across the hall with a wild look. After a pause she takes her hands cautiously away, listens again and says softly:) Now it is over. All is still within —— Thou sawest it, God — I repented me! But Olaf Skaktavl was too swift of hand.
(Olaf Skaktavl comes silently into the hall.)
Lady Inger. (after a pause, without looking at him). Is it done?
Olaf Skaktavl. You need fear him no more; he will betray no one.
Lady Inger. (as before). Then he is dumb?
Olaf Skaktavl. Six inches of steel in his breast. I felled him with my left hand.
Lady Inger. Ay — the right was too good for such work.
Olaf Skaktavl. That is your affair; — the thought was yours. — And now to Sweden! Peace be with you meanwhile! When next we meet at Östråt, I shall bring another with me.
(Goes out by the furthest door on the right.)
Lady Inger. Blood on my hands. Then it was to come to that! — He begins to be dear-bought now.
(Biörn comes in, with a number of Swedish men-at-arms, by the first door on the right.)
One of the. Men-at-Arms. Pardon me, if you are the lady of the house ——
Lady Inger. Is it Count Sture you seek?
The. Man-at-Arms. The same.
Lady Inger. Then you are on the right scent. The Count has sought refuge with me.
The. Man-at-Arms. Refuge? Pardon, my noble lady — you have no power to harbour him; for ——
Lady Inger. That the Count himself has doubtless understood; and therefore he has — ay, look for yourselves — therefore he has taken his own life.
The. Man-at-Arms. His own life!
Lady Inger. Look for yourselves. You will find the corpse within there. And since he already stands before another judge, it is my prayer that he may be borne hence with all the honour that beseems his noble birth. — Biörn, you know my own coffin has stood ready this many a year in the secret chamber. (To the Men-at-Arms.) I pray that in it you will bear Count Sture’s body to Sweden.
The. Man-at-Arms. It shall be as you command. (To one of the others.) Haste with these tidings to Jens Bielke. He holds the road with the rest of the troop. We others must in and ——
(One of the Men-at-Arms goes out to the right; the others go with Biörn into the room on the left.)
Lady Inger. (moves about for a time in uneasy silence). If Count Sture had not said farewell to the world so hurriedly, within a month he had hung on a gallows, or had sat for all his days in a dungeon. Had he been better served with such a lot? Or else he had bought his life by betraying my child into the hands of my foes. Is it I, then, that have slain him? Does not even the wolf defend her cubs? Who dare condemn me for striking my claws into him that would have reft me of my flesh and blood? — It had to be. No mother but would have done even as I. But ’tis no time for idle musings now. I must to work.
(Sits down by the table on the left.) I will write to all my friends throughout the land. They rise as one man to support the great cause. A new king — regent first, and then king —— (Begins to write, but falls into thought, and says softly:) Whom will they choose in the dead man’s place? — A king’s mother ——? ’Tis a fair word. It has but one blemish — the hateful likeness to another word. — King’s mother and king’s murderer.*— King’s mother — one that takes a king’s life. King’s mother — one that gives a king life.
* The words in the original are “Kongemoder” and “Kongemorder,” a difference of one letter only.
(She rises.) Well, then; I will make good what I have taken. — My son shall be king! (She sits down again and begins writing, but pushes the paper away again, and leans back in her chair.) There is no comfort in a house where lies a corpse. ’Tis therefore I feel so strangely. (Turns her head to one side as if speaking to some one.) Not therefore? Why else should it be? (Broodingly.) Is there such a great gulf, then, between openly striking down a foe and slaying one — thus? Knut Alfson had cleft many a brain with his sword; yet was his own as peaceful as a child’s. Why then do I ever see this —(makes a motion as though striking with a knife)— this stab in the heart — and the gush of red blood after? (Rings, and goes on speaking while shifting about her papers.) Hereafter I will have none of these ugly sights. I will work both day and night. And in a month — in a month my son will be here ——
Biörn. (entering). Did you strike the bell, my lady?
Lady Inger. (writing). Bring more lights. See to it in future that there are many lights in the room
(Biörn goes out again to the left.)
Lady Inger. (after a pause, rises impetuously). No, no, no; — I cannot guide the pen to-night! My head is burning and throbbing ——
(Startled, listens.) What is that? Ah, they are screwing the lid on the coffin in there. When I was a child they told me the story of Sir Age, who rose up and walked with his coffin on his back. — If he in there were one night to think of coming with the coffin on his back, to thank me for the loan? (Laughs quietly.) Hm — what have we grown people to do with childish fancies? (Vehemently.) But such stories are hurtful none the less! They give uneasy dreams. When my son is king, they shall be forbidden.
(Goes up and down once or twice; then opens the window.) How long is it, commonly, ere a body begins to rot? All the rooms must be aired. ’Tis not wholesome here till that be done.
(Biörn comes in with two lighted branch-candlesticks, which he places on the tables.)
Lady Inger. (who has begun on the papers again). It is well. See you forget not what I have said. Many lights on the table! What are they about now in there?
Biörn. They are busy screwing down the coffin-lid.
Lady Inger. (writing). Are they screwing it down tight?
Biörn. As tight as need be.
Lady Inger. Ay, ay — who can tell how tight it needs to be? Do you see that ’tis well done.
(Goes up to him with her hand full of papers, and says mysteriously:) Biörn, you are an old man; but one counsel I will give you. Be on your guard against all men — both those that are dead and those that are still to die. — Now go in-go in and see to it that they screw the lid down tightly.
Biörn. (softly, shaking his head). I cannot make her out.
(Goes back again into the room on the left.)
Lady Inger. (begins to seal a letter, but throws it down half-closed; walks up and down awhile, and then says vehemently:) Were I a coward I had never done it — never to all eternity! Were I a coward, I had shrieked to myself: Refrain, ere yet thy soul is utterly lost!
(Her eye falls on Sten Sture’s picture; she turns to avoid seeing it, and says softly:) He is laughing down at me as though he were alive! Pah! (Turns the picture to the wall without looking at it.) Wherefore did you laugh? Was it because I did evil to your son? But the other — is not he your son too? And he is mine as well; mark that! (Glances stealthily along the row of pictures.) So wild as they are to-night, I have never seen them yet. Their eyes follow me wherever I may go. (Stamps on the floor.) I will not have it! (Begins to turn all the pictures to the wall.) Ay, if it were the Holy Virgin herself ——— Thinkest thou now is the time ——? Why didst thou never hear my prayers, my burning prayers, that I might get back my child? Why? Because the monk of Wittenberg is right. There is no mediator between God and man! (She draws her breath heavily and continues in ever-increasing distraction.) It is well that I know what to think in such things. There was no one to see what was done in there. There is none to bear witness against me. (Suddenly stretches out her hands and whispers:) My son! My beloved child! Come to me! Here I am! Hush! I will tell you something: They hate me up there — beyond the stars — because I bore you into the world. It was meant that I should bear the Lord God’s standard over all the land. But I went my own way. It is therefore I have had to suffer so much and so long.
Biörn. (comes from the room on the left). My lady, I have to tell you —— Christ save me — what is this?
Lady Inger. (has climbed up into the high-seat by the right-hand wall). Hush! Hush! I am the King’s mother. They have chosen my son king. The struggle was hard ere it came to this — for ’twas with the Almighty One himself I had to strive.
Nils Lykke. (comes in breathless from the right). He is saved! I have Jens Bielke’s promise. Lady Inger — know that ——
Lady Inger. Peace, I say! look how the people swarm.
(A funeral hymn is heard from the room within.) There comes the procession. What a throng! All bow themselves before the King’s mother. Ay, ay; has she not fought for her son — even till her hands grew red withal? — Where are my daughters? I see them not.
Nils Lykke. God’s blood! — what has befallen here?
Lady Inger. My daughters — my fair daughters! I have none any more. I had one left, and her I lost even as she was mounting her bridal bed. (Whispers.) Lucia’s corpse lay in it. There was no room for two.
Nils Lykke. Ah — it has come to this! The Lord’s vengeance is upon me.
Lady Inger. Can you see him? Look, look! It is the King. It is Inger Gyldenlöve’s son! I know him by the crown and by Sten Sture’s ring that he wears round his neck. Hark, what a joyful sound! He is coming! Soon will he be in my arms! Ha-ha! — who conquers, God or I.
(The Men-at-Arms come out with the coffin.)
Lady Inger. (clutches at her head and shrieks). The corpse! (Whispers.) Pah! It is a hideous dream.
(Sinks back into the high-seat.)
Jens Bielke. (who has come in from the right, stops and cries in astonishment). Dead! Then after all ——
One of the. Men-at-Arms. It was himself ——
Jens Bielke. (with a look at Nils Lykke). He himself ——?
Nils Lykke. Hush!
Lady Inger. (faintly, coming to herself). Ay, right; now I remember it all.
Jens Bielke. (to the Men-at-Arms). Set down the corpse. It is not Count Sture.
One of the. Men-at-Arms. Your pardon, Captain; — this ring that he wore round his neck ——
Nils Lykke. (seizes his arm). Be still!
Lady Inger. (starts up). The ring? The ring?
(Rushes up and snatches the ring from him.) Sten Sture’s ring! (With a shriek.) Oh, Jesus Christ — my son!
(Throws herself down on the coffin.)
The. Men-at-Arms. Her son?
Jens Bielke. (at the same time). Inger Gyldenlöve’s son?
Nils Lykke. So it is.
Jens Bielke. But why did you not tell me ——?
Biörn. (trying to raise her up). Help! help! My lady — what ails you?
Lady Inger. (in a faint voice, half raising herself). What ails me? I lack but another coffin, and a grave beside my child.
(Sinks again, senseless on the coffin. Nils Lykke goes hastily out to the right. General consternation among the rest.)
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Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51