A Gallery in Merlin's Palace
[Merlin is seated near Arielle, who is sleeping on the steps of a marble staircase. It is night.
You sleep, my Arielle, you my inner force, the neglected power which slumbers in every soul and which I alone, till now, awaken at will.... You sleep, my docile and familiar little fairy, and your hair, straying like a blue mist, invisible to men, mingles with the moon, the perfumes of the night, the rays of the stars, the roses that shed their petals, the spreading sky, to remind us thus that nothing separates us from any existing thing and that our thought does not know where the light begins for which it hopes, nor where the shadow ends which it escapes.... You are sleeping soundly and, while you sleep, I lose all my knowledge and become like my blind brethren, who do not yet know that on this earth there are as many hidden gods as there are hearts that throb.... Alas, I am to them the genius to be avoided, the wicked sorcerer in league with their enemies!... They have no enemies, but only subjects who know not where to find their king.... They are persuaded that my secret virtue, which is obeyed by the plants and the stars, by water, stone and fire and to which the future at times reveals some of its features: they are persuaded that this new and yet so human virtue is hidden in philtres, in horrible charms, in hellish herbs and awful signs.... No, it is in myself, even as it resides in them; it is in you, my frail Arielle, in you who were once in me.... I have taken two or three bolder steps in the dark.... I have done a little earlier what they will do later.... All things will be subject to them when they have learnt at last to revive your goodwill, even as I have revived it.... But it were vain for me to tell them that you are sleeping here and to point to your dazzling grace: they would not see you.... Each one of them must find you within himself; each one of them must open as I do the tomb of his life and come to awake you as I awake you now....
[He bends over Arielle and kisses her.
This is the hour, Arielle, when love must watch.... I shall often trouble your sleep in these coming days....
My sleep was so long that I am always relapsing into it; but I feel stronger and become happier at each new awakening that your thought imposes on me....
To be continue in this ebook