Pelléas et Mélisande

Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 30,497 / 102 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 90.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,235
Added to site: 2004.11.13 9028
Genre: Drama

le. ARKËL and GENEVIÈVE discovered.


Here is what he writes to his brother Pélléas: "I found her all in tears one evening, beside a spring in the forest where I had lost myself. I do not know her age, nor who she is, nor whence she comes, and I dare not question her, for she must have had a sore fright; and when you ask her what has happened to her, she falls at once a-weeping like a child, and sobs so heavily you are afraid. Just as I found her by the springs, a crown of gold had slipped from her hair and fallen to the bottom of the water. She was clad, besides, like a princess, though her garments had been torn by the briers. It is now six months since I married her and I know no more about it than on the day of our meeting. Meanwhile, dear Pélléas, thou whom I love more than a brother, although we were not born of the same father; meanwhile make ready for my return.... I know my mother will willingly forgive me. But I am afraid of the King, our venerable grandsire, I am afraid of Arkël, in spite of all his kindness, for I have undone by this strange marriage all his plans of state, and I fear the beauty of Mélisande will not excuse my folly to eyes so wise as his. If he consents nevertheless to receive her as he would receive his own daughter, the third night following this letter, light a lamp at the top of the tower that overlooks the sea. I shall perceive it from the bridge of our ship; otherwise I shall go far away again and come back no more...." What say you of it?


Nothing. He has done what he probably must have done. I am very old, and nevertheless I have not yet seen clearly for one moment into myself; how would you that I judge what others have done? I am not far from the tomb and do not succeed in judging myself.... One always mistakes when one does not close his eyes. That may seem strange to us; but that is all. He is past the age to marry and he weds like a child, a little girl he finds by a spring.... That may seem strange to us, because we nev

Cover image for


show mobile phone QR code

Donate a small amount via Paypal below or read about some other ways that you can support ManyBooks.