Salome: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the daughter of Herodias. For other uses, see Salome (disambiguation).
Coin of Salome (daughter of Herodias), queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor.

Salome (Greek: Σαλωμη, Salōmē), the Daughter of Herodias (c AD 14 - between 62 and 71), is known from the New Testament (Mark 6:17-29 and Matt 14:3-11, where, however, her name is not given). Another source from Antiquity, Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, gives her name and some detail about her family relations.

Name in Hebrew reads שלומית (Shlomit) and is derived from Shalom שלום, meaning "peace".

Christian traditions depict her as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, for instance depicting as erotic her dance mentioned in the New Testament (in some later transformations further iconised to the dance of the seven veils), or concentrate on her lighthearted and cold foolishness that, according to the gospels, led to John the Baptist's death.

A new ramification was added by Oscar Wilde, who in his play Salome let her devolve into a necrophiliac, killed the same day as the man whose death she had requested. This last interpretation, made even more memorable by Richard Strauss's opera based on Wilde, is not consistent with Josephus's account; according to the Romanized Jewish historian, she lived long enough to marry twice and raise several children. Few literary accounts elaborate the biographical data given by Josephus.

Contents

Biblical character

According to Mark 6:21-29, Salome was the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, danced before him and her mother Herodias at the occasion of his birthday, and in doing so gave her mother the opportunity to obtain the head of John the Baptist. According to Mark's gospel Herodias bore a grudge against John for stating that Herod's marriage to Herodias was unlawful; Herodias encouraged Salome to demand that John be executed.

And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6:21-29, KJV)

A parallel passage to Mark 6:21-29 is in the Gospel of Matthew 14:6-11:

But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
And his head was brought in a dish: and it was given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body, and buried it, and came and told Jesus. (Matt 14:6-11, D-R)

Some ancient Greek versions of Mark read "Herod's daughter Herodias" (rather than "daughter of the said Herodias") [1]. To scholars using these ancient texts, both mother and daughter had the same name. However, the Latin Vulgate Bible translates the passage as it is above, and western Church Fathers therefore tended to refer to Salome as "Herodias's daughter" or just "the girl". Nevertheless, because she is otherwise unnamed in the Bible, the idea that both mother and daughter were named Herodias gained some currency in early modern Europe.

This Salome is not considered to be the same person as Salome the disciple, who is a witness to the Crucifixion of Jesus in Mark 15:40.

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist by Titian, c 1515 (Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome)

Account by Flavius Josephus

The name "Salome" is given to the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas (unnamed in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark) in Josephus's Jewish Antiquities (Book XVIII, Chapter 5, 4):

Herodias, [...], was married to Herod[2], the son of Herod the Great, who was born of Mariamne, the daughter of Simon the high priest, who had a daughter, Salome; after whose birth Herodias took upon her to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod, her husband's brother by the father's side, he was tetrarch of Galilee; but her daughter Salome was married to Philip[3], the son of Herod, and tetrarch of Trachonitis; and as he died childless, Aristobulus[4], the son of Herod[5], the brother of Agrippa, married her; they had three sons, Herod, Agrippa, and Aristobulus;[6]

Salome in the arts

Salome has become a symbol for dangerous female seductiveness. Her dance before Herod, or with the head of John the Baptist on a charger have provided inspiration for Christian artists.

Despite Josephus's account, she was not consistently called Salome until the nineteenth century, when Gustave Flaubert (following Josephus) referred to her as Salome in his short story "Herodias".

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Painting and sculpture

Salome and the Apparition of the Baptist's Head, watercolor by Gustave Moreau

This Biblical story has long been a favourite of painters. Painters who have done notable representations of Salome include Titian, Henri Regnault, Georges Rochegrosse, Gustave Moreau, and Federico Beltran-Masses. Titian's version (illustration c.1515) emphasizes the contrast between the innocent girlish face and the brutally severed head. Because of the maid by her side, this Titian painting is also considered to be Judith with the Head of Holofernes. Unlike Salome who goes nameless in the Christian bible, Judith is a Judeo-Christian mythical patriot whose story is perhaps less psychological and being a widow, may not be particularly girlish nor innocent in representations. In Moreau's version (illustration, left) the figure of Salome is emblematic of the femme fatale, a fashionable trope of fin-de-siecle decadence. In his 1884 novel À rebours Frenchman Joris-Karl Huysmans describes, in somewhat fevered terms, the depiction of Salome in Moreau's painting:

No longer was she merely the dancing-girl who extorts a cry of lust and concupiscence from an old man by the lascivious contortions of her body; who breaks the will, masters the mind of a King by the spectacle of her quivering bosoms, heaving belly and tossing thighs; she was now revealed in a sense as the symbolic incarnation of world-old Vice, the goddess of immortal Hysteria, the Curse of Beauty supreme above all other beauties by the cataleptic spasm that stirs her flesh and steels her muscles, - a monstrous Beast of the Apocalypse, indifferent, irresponsible, insensible, poisoning.[7]

Salomé, by Henri Regnault (1870).

Theatre and literature

In 1877 Gustave Flaubert's Three Tales were published, including "Herodias". In this story full responsibility for John's death is given to Salome's mother Herodias and the priests who fear his religious power. Salome herself is shown as a young girl who forgets the name of the man whose head she requests as she is asking for it. Jules Massenet's 1881 opera Hérodiade was based on Flaubert's short story.

"The Peacock Skirt", illustration by Aubrey Beardsley for Oscar Wilde's play Salome, 1896

Oscar Wilde's play

Salomé's story was made the subject of a play by Oscar Wilde that premiered in Paris in 1896, under the French name Salomé. In Wilde's play, Salome takes a perverse fancy for John the Baptist, and causes him to be executed when John spurns her affections. In the finale, Salome takes up John's severed head and kisses it.

Because at the time British law forbade the depiction of Biblical characters on stage, Wilde wrote the play originally in French, and then produced an English translation (titled Salome).

Richard Strauss opera

The Wilde play (in a German translation of Hedwig Lachmann) was edited down to a one-act opera by Richard Strauss. The opera Salome, which premiered in Dresden in 1905, is famous for the Dance of the Seven veils. As with the Wilde play, it turns the action to Salome herself, reducing her mother to a bit-player, though the opera is less centered on Herod's motivations than the play.

Ballet

In 1907 Florent Schmitt composed the ballet La tragédie de Salomé. Another Salome ballet was composed by the Japanese composer Akira Ifukube in 1948. Danish choreographer Flemming Flindt's ballet Salome premiered in 1978.

Poetry

In "Salome" (1896) by the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, characterised by some critics as "neo-Pagan", Salome instigated the death of John the Baptist as part of a futile effort to get the interest of "a young sophist who was indifferent to the charms of love". When Salome presents to him the Baptist's head, the sophist rejects it, remarking in jest "Dear Salome, I would have liked better to get your own head". Taking the jest seriously, the hopelessly infatuated Salome lets herself be beheaded and her head is duly brought to the sophist, who however rejects it in disgust and turns back to studying the Dialogues of Plato.

Other Salome poetry has been written by among others Nick Cave (1988) and Carol Ann Duffy (1999).

Songs

Songs about Salome were written by, among others, Karel Kryl (1965), Drs. P (1974), John Cale (1978), Kim Wilde (1984), U2 (1990), Andrew Lloyd Webber (1993), Liz Phair (1993), Kurt Elling (1995), Susan McKeown (1995), Mark St. John Ellis as Elijah's Mantle (1995), Old 97's (1997), The Changelings (1997), The Residents (1998), Enrique Bunbury (1998), Chayanne (1999), Patti Smith (2000), Killing Miranda (2001), Gary Jules's "Pills" (2001), The Booda Velvets (2001), Xandria (2007), Pete Doherty (2009).

Film

Depictions

Wilde's Salome has often been made into a film, notably a 1923 silent film, Salome, starring Alla Nazimova in the title role and a 1988 Ken Russell play-within-a-film treatment, Salome's Last Dance, which also includes Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas as characters. Steven Berkoff filmed his stage version of the play in 1988.

IMDB lists at the very least 25 Salome/Salomé films, and numerous resettings of the Salome story to modern times. These films include:

Video game

The 2009 art game Fatale, by developer Tale of Tales, is a depiction of Salome in the context of an interactive vignette. The player begins by controlling John the Baptist prior and during his execution. The second section is a courtyard scene, where Salome stands in silence, next to the head. The player is invited to examine the scene. When they have examined it sufficiently, their view is changed again, this time to that of Herod during the dance.

See also

References

  1. ^ Taylor, V. (1966). The gospel according to St Mark, 2nd Edition. London: Macmillan (pp310ff.)
  2. ^ Herod Philip, according to William Smith (ed), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1870. Volume III, p. 698, 4.
  3. ^ Salome's uncle Philip, the tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis, according to William Smith (ed), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1870. Volume III, p. 698, 4.
  4. ^ her cousin Aristobulus, son of Herod king of Chalcis, according to William Smith (ed), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1870. Volume III, p. 698, 4.
  5. ^ Herod of Chalcis, according to William Smith (ed), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1870. Volume III, p. 698, 4.
  6. ^ W. Whiston translation at Project Gutenberg
  7. ^ Huysmans À rebours - Toni Bentley (2002) Sisters of Salome: 24
  • Gillman, Florence Morgan. Herodias: At Home in the Fox's Den. Interfaces. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2003. ISBN 0814651089

External links

  • Salome II entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
  • FATALE, the computer game by Tale of Tales about Salome

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to Salomé article)

From Wikisource

Salomé: A Tragedy in One Act
by Oscar Wilde
Salomé is a tragedy by Oscar Wilde. The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation by Lord Alfred Douglas was published.

Excerpted from Salome (play) on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Salome cover.jpg

The Persons of the Play

  • Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Judæa
  • Iokanaan, The Prophet
  • The Young Syrian, Captain of the Guard
  • Tigellinus, a young roman
  • A Cappadocian
  • A Nubian
  • First Soldier
  • Second Soldier
  • The Page of Herodias
  • Jews, Nazarenes, etc
  • A Slave
  • Namaan, the executioner
  • Herodias, wife of the Tetrarch
  • Salome, daughter of Herodias
  • The Slaves of Salome

Salome

(SCENE -- A great terrace in the Palace of Herod, set above the banqueting-hall. Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green bronze. The moon is shining very brightly.)

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
How beautiful is the Princess Salomé to-night!

THE PAGE OF HERODIUS
Look at the moon. How strange the moon seems! She is like a woman rising from a tomb. She is like a dead woman. One might fancy she was looking for dead things.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
She has a strange look. She is like a little princess who wears a yellow veil, and whose feet are of silver. She is like a princess who has little white doves for feet. One might fancy she was dancing.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
She is like a woman who is dead. She moves very slowly.
(Noise in the banqueting-hall.)

FIRST SOLDIER
What an uproar! Who are those wild beasts howling?

SECOND SOLDIER
The Jews. They are always like that. They are disputing about their religion.

FIRST SOLDIER
Why do they dispute about their religion?

SECOND SOLDIER
I cannot tell. They are always doing it. The Pharisees, for instance, say that there are angels, and the Sadducees declare that angels do not exist.

FIRST SOLDIER
I think it is ridiculous to dispute about such things.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
How beautiful is the Princess Salomé to-night!

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
You are always looking at her. You look at her too much. It is dangerous to look at people in such fashion. Something terrible may happen.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
She is very beautiful to-night.

FIRST SOLDIER
The Tetrarch has a sombre aspect.

SECOND SOLDIER
Yes; he has a sombre aspect.

FIRST SOLDIER
He is looking at something.

SECOND SOLDIER
He is looking at some one.

FIRST SOLDIER
At whom is he looking?

SECOND SOLDIER
I cannot tell.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
How pale the Princess is! Never have I seen her so pale. She is like the shadow of a white rose in a mirror of silver.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
You must not look at her. You look too much at her.

FIRST SOLDIER
Herodias has filled the cup of the Tetrarch.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
Is that the Queen Herodias, she who wears a black mitre sewed with pearls, and whose hair is powdered with blue dust?

FIRST SOLDIER
Yes; that is Herodias, the Tetrarch's wife.

SECOND SOLDIER
The Tetrarch is very fond of wine. He has wine of three sorts. One which is brought from the Island of Samothrace, and is purple like the cloak of Cæsar.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
I have never seen Cæsar.

SECOND SOLDIER
Another that comes from a town called Cyprus, and is as yellow as gold.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
I love gold.

SECOND SOLDIER
And the third is a wine of Sicily. That wine is as red as blood.

THE NUBIAN
The gods of my country are very fond of blood. Twice in the year we sacrifice to them young men and maidens: fifty young men and a hundred maidens. But I am afraid that we never give them quite enough, for they are very harsh to us.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
In my country there are no gods left. The Romans have driven them out. There are some who say that they have hidden themselves in the mountains, but I do not believe it. Three nights I have been on the mountains seeking them everywhere. I did not find them, and at last I called them by their names, and they did not come. I think they are dead.

FIRST SOLDIER
The Jews worship a God that one cannot see.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
I cannot understand that.

FIRST SOLDIER
In fact, they only believe in things that one cannot see.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
That seems to me altogether ridiculous.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
After me shall come another mightier than I. I am not worthy so much as to unloose the latchet of his shoes. When he cometh the solitary places shall be glad. They shall blossom like the rose. The eyes of the blind shall see the day, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened. The sucking child shall put his hand upon the dragon's lair, he shall lead the lions by their manes.

SECOND SOLDIER
Make him be silent. He is always saying ridiculous things.

FIRST SOLDIER
No, no. He is a holy man. He is very gentle, too. Every day when I give him to eat he thanks me.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
Who is he?

FIRST SOLDIER
A prophet.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
What is his name?

FIRST SOLDIER
Iokanaan.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
Whence comes he?

FIRST SOLDIER
From the desert, where he fed on locusts and wild honey. He was clothed in camel's hair, and round his loins he had a leathern belt. He was very terrible to look upon. A great multitude used to follow him. He even had disciples.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
What is he talking of?

FIRST SOLDIER
We can never tell. Sometimes he says things that affright one, but it is impossible to understand what he says.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
May one see him?

FIRST SOLDIER
No. The Tetrarch has forbidden it.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
The Princess has hidden her face behind her fan! Her little white hands are fluttering like doves that fly to their dove-cots. They are like white butterflies. They are just like white butterflies.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
What is that to you? Why do you look at her? You must not look at her . . . . Something terrible may happen.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
(Pointing to the cistern.)
What a strange prison!

SECOND SOLDIER
It is an old cistern.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
An old cistern! That must be a poisonous place in which to dwell!

SECOND SOLDIER
Oh no! For instance, the Tetrarch's brother, his elder brother, the first husband of Herodias the Queen, was imprisoned there for twelve years. It did not kill him. At the end of the twelve years he had to be strangled.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
Strangled? Who dared to do that?

SECOND SOLDIER
(Pointing to the Executioner, a huge negro.)
That man yonder, Naaman.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
He was not afraid?

SECOND SOLDIER
Oh no! The Tetrarch sent him the ring.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
What ring?

SECOND SOLDIER
The death ring. So he was not afraid.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
Yet it is a terrible thing to strangle a king.

FIRST SOLDIER
Why? Kings have but one neck, like other folk.

THE CAPPADOCIAN
I think it terrible.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
The Princess is getting up! She is leaving the table! She looks very troubled. Ah, she is coming this way. Yes, she is coming towards us. How pale she is! Never have I seen her so pale.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
Do not look at her. I pray you not to look at her.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
She is like a dove that has strayed . . . . She is like a narcissus trembling in the wind . . . . She is like a silver flower.
(Enter Salomé.)

SALOMÉ
I will not stay. I cannot stay. Why does the Tetrarch look at me all the while with his mole's eyes under his shaking eyelids? It is strange that the husband of my mother looks at me like that. I know not what it means. Of a truth I know it too well.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
You have left the feast, Princess?

SALOMÉ
How sweet is the air here! I can breathe here! Within there are Jews from Jerusalem who are tearing each other in pieces over their foolish ceremonies, and barbarians who drink and drink and spill their wine on the pavement, and Greeks from Smyrna with painted eyes and painted cheeks, and frizzed hair curled in columns, and Egyptians silent and subtle, with long nails of jade and russet cloaks, and Romans brutal and coarse, with their uncouth jargon. Ah! how I loathe the Romans! They are rough and common, and they give themselves the airs of noble lords.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Will you be seated, Princess.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
Why do you speak to her? Oh! something terrible will happen. Why do you look at her?

SALOMÉ
How good to see the moon! She is like a little piece of money, a little silver flower. She is cold and chaste. I am sure she is a virgin. She has the beauty of a virgin. Yes, she is a virgin. She has never defiled herself. She has never abandoned herself to men, like the other goddesses.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Behold! the Lord hath come. The Son of Man is at hand. The centaurs have hidden themselves in the rivers, and the nymphs have left the rivers, and are lying beneath the leaves in the forests.

SALOMÉ
Who was that who cried out?

SECOND SOLDIER
The prophet, Princess.

SALOMÉ
Ah, the prophet! He of whom the Tetrarch is afraid?

SECOND SOLDIER
We know nothing of that, Princess. It was the prophet Iokanaan who cried out.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Is it your pleasure that I bid them bring your litter, Princess? The night is fair in the garden.

SALOMÉ
He says terrible things about my mother, does he not?

SECOND SOLDIER
We never understand what he says, Princess.

SALOMÉ
Yes; he says terrible things about her.
(Enter a Slave.)

THE SLAVE
Princess, the Tetrarch prays you to return to the feast.

SALOMÉ
I will not return.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Pardon me, Princess, but if you return not some misfortune may happen.

SALOMÉ
Is he an old man, this prophet?

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess, it were better to return. Suffer me to lead you in.

SALOMÉ
This prophet . . . is he an old man?

FIRST SOLDIER
No, Princess, he is quite young.

SECOND SOLDIER
One cannot be sure. There are those who say that he is Elias.

SALOMÉ
Who is Elias?

SECOND SOLDIER
A prophet of this country in bygone days, Princess.

THE SLAVE
What answer may I give the Tetrarch from the Princess?

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Rejoice not, O land of Palestine, because the rod of him who smote thee is broken. For from the seed of the serpent shall come a basilisk, and that which is born of it shall devour the birds.

SALOMÉ

What a strange voice! I would speak with him.

FIRST SOLDIER

I fear it may not be, Princess. The Tetrarch does not suffer any one to speak with him. He has even forbidden the high priest to speak with him.

SALOMÉ

I desire to speak with him.

FIRST SOLDIER
It is impossible, Princess.

SALOMÉ
I will speak with him.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Would it not be better to return to the banquet?

SALOMÉ
Bring forth this prophet.
(Exit the Slave.)

FIRST SOLDIER
We dare not, Princess.

SALOMÉ
(Approaching the cistern and looking down into it.)
How black it is, down there! It must be terrible to be in so black a hole! It is like a tomb . . . . [To the soldiers.]
Did you not hear me? Bring out the prophet. I would look on him.

SECOND SOLDIER
Princess, I beg you, do not require this of us.

SALOMÉ
You are making me wait upon your pleasure.

FIRST SOLDIER
Princess, our lives belong to you, but we cannot do what you have asked of us. And indeed, it is not of us that you should ask this thing.

SALOMÉ
(Looking at the young Syrian.)
Ah!

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
Oh! what is going to happen? I am sure that something terrible will happen.

SALOMÉ
(Going up to the young Syrian.)
Thou wilt do this thing for me, wilt. thou not, Narraboth? Thou wilt do this thing for me. I have ever been kind towards thee. Thou wilt do it for me. I would but look at him, this strange prophet. Men have talked so much of him. Often I have heard the Tetrarch talk of him. I think he is afraid of him, the Tetrarch. Art thou, even thou, also afraid of him, Narraboth?

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
I fear him not, Princess; there is no man I fear. But the Tetrarch has formally forbidden that any man should raise the cover of this well.

SALOMÉ
Thou wilt do this thing for me, Narraboth, and to-morrow when I pass in my litter beneath the gateway of the idol-sellers I will let fall for thee a little flower, a little green flower.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess, I cannot, I cannot.

SALOMÉ
(Smiling.)
Thou wilt do this thing for me, Narraboth. Thou knowest that thou wilt do this thing for me. And on the morrow when I shall pass in my litter by the bridge of the idol-buyers, I will look at thee through the muslin veils, I will look at thee, Narraboth, it may be I will smile at thee. Look at me, Narraboth, look at me. Ah! thou knowest that thou wilt do what I ask of thee. Thou knowest it . . . . I know that thou wilt do this thing.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
(Signing to the third soldier.)
Let the prophet come forth . . . . The Princess Salomé desires to see him.

SALOMÉ
Ah!

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
Oh! How strange the moon looks! Like the hand of a dead woman who is seeking to cover herself with a shroud.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
She has a strange aspect! She is like a little princess, whose eyes are eyes of amber. Through the clouds of muslin she is smiling like a little princess. (The prophet comes out of the cistern. Salomé looks at him and steps slowly back.)

IOKANAAN
Where is he whose cup of abominations is now full? Where is he, who in a robe of silver shall one day die in the face of all the people? Bid him come forth, that he may hear the voice of him who hath cried in the waste places and in the houses of kings.

SALOMÉ
Of whom is he speaking?

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
No one can tell, Princess.

IOKANAAN
Where is she who saw the images of men painted on the walls, even the images of the Chaldæans painted with colours, and gave herself up unto the lust of her eyes, and sent ambassadors into the land of Chaldæa?

SALOMÉ
It is of my mother that he is speaking.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Oh no, Princess.

SALOMÉ
Yes: it is of my mother that he is speaking.

IOKANAAN
Where is she who gave herself unto the Captains of Assyria, who have baldricks on their loins, and crowns of many colours on their heads? Where is she who hath given herself to the young men of the Egyptians, who are clothed in fine linen and hyacinth, whose shields are of gold, whose helmets are of silver, whose bodies are mighty? Go, bid her rise up from the bed of her abominations, from the bed of her incestuousness, that she may hear the words of him who prepareth the way of the Lord, that she may repent her of her iniquities. Though she will not repent, but will stick fast in her abominations, go bid her come, for the fan of the Lord is in His hand.

SALOMÉ
Ah, but he is terrible, he is terrible!

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Do not stay here, Princess, I beseech you.

SALOMÉ
It is his eyes above all that are terrible. They are like black holes burned by torches in a tapestry of Tyre. They are like the black caverns where the dragons live, the black caverns of Egypt in which the dragons make their lairs. They are like black lakes troubled by fantastic moons . . . . Do you think he will speak again?

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Do not stay here, Princess. I pray you do not stay here.

SALOMÉ
How wasted he is! He is like a thin ivory statue. He is like an image of silver. I am sure he is chaste, as the moon is. He is like a moonbeam, like a shaft of silver. His flesh must be very cold, cold as ivory . . . . I would look closer at him.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
No, no, Princess!

SALOMÉ
I must look at him closer.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess! Princess!

IOKANAAN
Who is this woman who is looking at me? I will not have her look at me. Wherefore doth she look at me, with her golden eyes, under her gilded eyelids? I know not who she is. I do not desire to know who she is. Bid her begone, It is not to her that I would speak.

SALOMÉ
I am Salomé, daughter of Herodias, Princess of Judæa.

IOKANAAN
Back! daughter of Babylon! Come not near the chosen of the Lord. Thy mother hath filled the earth with the wine of her iniquities, and the cry of her sinning hath come up even to the ears of God.

SALOMÉ
Speak again, Iokanaan. Thy voice is as music to mine ear.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess! Princess! Princess!

SALOMÉ
Speak again! Speak again, Iokanaan, and tell me what I must do.

IOKANAAN
Daughter of Sodom, come not near me! But cover thy face with a veil, and scatter ashes upon thine head, and get thee to the desert, and seek out the Son of Man.

SALOMÉ
Who is he, the Son of Man? Is he as beautiful as thou art, Iokanaan?

IOKANAAN
Get thee behind me! I hear in the palace the beating of the wings of the angel of death.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess, I beseech thee to go within.

IOKANAAN
Angel of the Lord God, what dost thou here with thy sword? Whom seekest thou in this palace? The day of him who shall die in a robe of silver has not yet come.

SALOMÉ
Iokanaan!

IOKANAAN

 Who speaketh?

SALOMÉ
I am amorous of thy body, Iokanaan! Thy body is white, like the lilies of a field that the mower hath never mowed. Thy body is white like the snows that lie on the mountains of Judæa, and come down into the valleys. The roses in the garden of the Queen of Arabia are not so white as thy body. Neither the roses of the garden of the Queen of Arabia, the garden of spices of the Queen of Arabia, nor the feet of the dawn when they light on the leaves, nor the breast of the moon when she lies on the breast of the sea . . . . There is nothing in the world so white as thy body. Suffer me to touch thy body.

IOKANAAN
Back! daughter of Babylon! By woman came evil into the world. Speak not to me. I will not listen to thee. I listen but to the voice of the Lord God.

SALOMÉ
Thy body is hideous. It is like the body of a leper. It is like a plastered wall, where vipers have crawled; like a plastered wall where the scorpions have made their nest. It is like a whited sepulchre, full of loathsome things. It is horrible, thy body is horrible. It is of thy hair that I am enamoured, Iokanaan. Thy hair is like clusters of grapes, like the clusters of black grapes that hang from the vine-trees of Edom in the land of the Edomites. Thy hair is like the cedars of Lebanon, like the great cedars of Lebanon that give their shade to the lions and to the robbers who would hide them by day. The long black nights, when the moon hides her face, when the stars are afraid, are not so black as thy hair. The silence that dwells in the forest is not so black. There is nothing in the world that is so black as thy hair . . . . Suffer me to touch thy hair.

IOKANAAN
Back, daughter of Sodom! Touch me not. Profane not the temple of the Lord God.

SALOMÉ
Thy hair is horrible. It is covered with mire and dust. It is like a crown of thorns placed on thy head. It is like a knot of serpents coiled round thy neck. I love not thy hair . . . . It is thy mouth that I desire, Iokanaan. Thy mouth is like a band of scarlet on a tower of ivory. It is like a pomegranate cut in twain with a knife of ivory. The pomegranate flowers that blossom in the gardens of Tyre, and are redder than roses, are not so red. The red blasts of trumpets that herald the approach of kings, and make afraid the enemy, are not so red. Thy mouth is redder than the feet of those who tread the wine in the wine-press. It is redder than the feet of the doves who inhabit the temples and are fed by the priests. It is redder than the feet of him who cometh from a forest where he hath slain a lion, and seen gilded tigers. Thy mouth is like a branch of coral that fishers have found in the twilight of the sea, the coral that they keep for the kings! . . . It is like the vermilion that the Moahites find in the mines of Moab, the vermilion that the kings take from them. It is like the bow of the King of the Persians, that is painted with vermilion, and is tipped with coral. There is nothing in the world so red as thy mouth . . . . Suffer me to kiss thy mouth.

IOKANAAN
Never! daughter of Babylon! Daughter of Sodom! never!

SALOMÉ
I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan. I will kiss thy mouth.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Princess, Princess, thou who art like a garden of myrrh, thou who art the dove of all doves, look not at this man, look not at him! Do not speak such words to him. I cannot endure it. . . Princess, do not speak these things.

SAL0ME
I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan.

THE YOUNG SYRIAN
Ah! (He kills himself, and falls between Salomé and lokanaan.)

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
The young Syrian has slain himself! The young captain has slain himself! He has slain himself who was my friend! I gave him a little box of perfumes and ear-rings wrought in silver, and now he has killed himself! Ah, did he not say that some misfortune would happen? I, too, said it, and it has come to pass. Well I knew that the moon was seeking a dead thing, but I knew not that it was he whom she sought. Ah! why did I not hide him from the moon? If I had hidden him in a cavern she would not have seen him.

FIRST SOLDIER
Princess, the young captain has just slain himself.

SALOMÉ
Suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan.

IOKANAAN
Art thou not afraid, daughter of Herodias? Did I not tell thee that I had heard in the palace the beating of the wings of the angel of death, and hath he not come, the angel of death?

SALOMÉ
Suffer me to kiss thy mouth.

IOKANAAN
Daughter of adultery, there is but one who can save thee. It is He of whom I spake. Go seek Him. He is in a boat on the sea of Galilee, and He talketh with His disciples. Kneel down on the shore of the sea, and call unto Him by His name. When He cometh to thee, and to all who call on Him He cometh, bow thyself at His feet and ask of Him the remission of thy sins.

SALOMÉ
Suffer me to kiss thy mouth.

IOKANAAN
Cursed be thou! daughter of an incestuous mother, be thou accursed!

SALOMÉ
I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan.

IOKANAAN
I will not look at thee. Thou art accursed, Salomé, thou art accursed. (He goes down into the cistern.)

SALOMÉ
I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan; I will kiss thy mouth.

FIRST SOLDIER
We must bear away the body to another place. The Tetrarch does not care to see dead bodies, save the bodies of those whom he himself has slain.

THE PAGE OF HERODIAS
He was my brother, and nearer to me than a brother. I gave him a little box full of perfumes, and a ring of agate that he wore always on his hand. In the evening we were wont to walk by the river, and among the almond-trees, and he used to tell me of the things of his country. He spake ever very low. The sound of his voice was like the sound of the flute, of one who playeth upon the flute. Also he had much joy to gaze at himself in the river. I used to reproach him for that.

SECOND SOLDIER
You are right; we must hide the body. The Tetrarch must not see it.

FIRST SOLDIER
The Tetrarch will not come to this place. He never comes on the terrace. He is too much afraid of the prophet.
(Enter Herod, Herodias, and all the Court.)

HEROD
Where is Salomé? Where is the Princess? Why did she not return to the banquet as I commanded her? Ah! there she is!

HERODIAS
You must not look at her! You are always looking at her!

HEROD
The moon has a strange look to-night. Has she not a strange look? She is like a mad woman, a mad woman who is seeking everywhere for lovers. She is naked too. She is quite naked. The clouds are seeking to clothe her nakedness, but she will not let them. She shows herself naked in the sky. She reels through the clouds like a drunken woman . . . . I am sure she is looking for lovers. Does she not reel like a drunken woman? She is like a mad woman, is she not?

HERODIAS
No; the moon is like the moon, that is all, Let us go within . . . . We have nothing to do here.

HEROD
I will stay here! Manasseh, lay carpets there. Light torches. Bring forth the ivory tables, and the tables of jasper. The air here is sweet. I will drink more wine with my guests. We must show all honours to the ambassadors of Cæsar.

HERODIAS
It is not because of them that you remain.

HEROD
Yes; the air is very sweet. Come, Herodias, our guests await us. Ah! I have slipped! I have slipped in blood! It is an ill omen. It is a very ill omen. Wherefore is there blood here? . . . and this body, what does this body here? Think you I am like the King of Egypt, who gives no feast to his guests but that he shows them a corpse? Whose is it? I will not look on it.

FIRST SOLDIER
It is our captain, sire. It is the young Syrian whom you made captain of the guard but three days gone.

HEROD
I issued no order that he should be slain.

SECOND SOLDIER
He slew himself, sire.

HEROD
For what reason? I had made him captain of my guard!

SECOND SOLDIER
We do not know, sire. But with his own hand he slew himself.

HEROD
That seems strange to me. I had thought it was but the Roman philosophers who slew themselves. Is it not true, Tigellinus, that the philosophers at Rome slay themselves?

TIGELLINUS
There be some who slay themselves, sire. They are the Stoics. The Stoics are people of no cultivation. They are ridiculous people. I myself regard them as being perfectly ridiculous.

HEROD
I also. It is ridiculous to kill one's-self.

TIGELLINUS
Everybody at Rome laughs at them. The Emperor has written a satire against them. It is recited everywhere.

HEROD
Ah! he has written a satire against them? Cæsar is wonderful. He can do everything. . . . It is strange that the young Syrian has slain himself. I am sorry he has slain himself. I am very sorry. For he was fair to look upon. He was even very fair. He had very languorous eyes. I remember that I saw that he looked languorously at Salomé. Truly, I thought he looked too much at her.

HERODIAS
There are others who look too much at her.

HEROD
His father was a king. I drave him from his kingdom. And of his mother, who was a queen, you made a slave, Herodias. So he was here as my guest, as it were, and for that reason I made him my captain. I am sorry he is dead. Ho! why have you left the body here? It must be taken to some other place. I will not look at it, -- away with it! (They take away the body.)
It is cold here. There is a wind blowing. Is there not a wind blowing?

HERODIAS
No; there is no wind.

HEROD
I tell you there is a wind that blows . . . . And I hear in the air something that is like the beating of wings, like the beating of vast wings. Do you not hear it?

HERODIAS
I hear nothing.

HEROD
I hear it no longer. But I heard it. It was the blowing of the wind. It has passed away. But no, I hear it again. Do you not hear it? It is just like a beating of wings.

HERODIAS
I tell you there is nothing. You are ill. Let us go within.

HEROD
I am not ill. It is your daughter who is sick to death. Never have I seen her so pale.

HERODIAS
I have told you not to look at her.

HEROD
Pour me forth wine. (Wine is brought.)
Salomé, come drink a little wine with me. I have here a wine that is exquisite. Cæsar himself sent it me. Dip into it thy little red lips, that I may drain the cup.

SALOMÉ
I am not thirsty, Tetrarch.

HEROD
You hear how she answers me, this daughter of yours?

HERODIAS
She does right. Why are you always gazing at her?

HEROD
Bring me ripe fruits. (Fruits are brought.)
Salomé, come and eat fruits with me. I love to see in a fruit the mark of thy little teeth. Bite but a little of this fruit, that I may eat what is left.

SALOMÉ
I am not hungry, Tetrarch.

HEROD
(To Herodias)
You see how you have brought up this daughter of yours.

HERODIAS
My daughter and I come of a royal race. As for thee, thy father was a camel driver! He was a thief and a robber to boot!

HEROD
Thou liest!

HERODIAS
Thou knowest well that it is true.

HEROD
Salomé, come and sit next to me. I will give thee the throne of thy mother.

SALOMÉ
I am not tired, Tetrarch.

HERODIAS
You see in what regard she holds you.

HEROD
Bring me -- What is it that I desire? I forget. Ah! ah! I remember.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Behold the time is come! That which I foretold has come to pass. The day that I spake of is at hand.

HERODIAS
Bid him be silent. I will not listen to his voice. This man is for ever hurling insults against me.

HEROD
He has said nothing against you. Besides, he is a very great prophet.

HERODIAS
I do not believe in prophets. Can a man tell what will come to pass? No man knows it. Also he is for ever insulting me. But I think you are afraid of him . . . . I know well that you are afraid of him.

HEROD
I am not afraid of him. I am afraid of no man.

HERODIAS
I tell you you are afraid of him. If you are not afraid of him why do you not deliver him to the Jews who for these six months past have been clamouring for him?

A JEW
Truly, my lord, it were better to deliver him into our hands.

HEROD
Enough on this subject. I have already given you my answer. I will not deliver him into your hands. He is a holy man. He is a man who has seen God.

A JEW
That cannot be. There is no man who hath seen God since the prophet Elias. He is the last man who saw God face to face. In these days God doth not show Himself. God hideth Himself. Therefore great evils have come upon the land.

ANOTHER JEW
Verily, no man knoweth if Elias the prophet did indeed see God. Peradventure it was but the shadow of God that he saw.

A THIRD JEW
God is at no time hidden. He showeth Himself at all times and in all places. God is in what is evil even as He is in what is good.

A FOURTH JEW
Thou shouldst not say that. It is a very dangerous doctrine. It is a doctrine that cometh from Alexandria, where men teach the philosophy of the Greeks. And the Greeks are Gentiles. They are not even circumcised.

FIFTH JEW
No man can tell how God worketh. His ways are very dark. It may be that the things which we call evil are good, and that the things which we call good are evil. There is no knowledge of anything. We can but bow our heads to His will, for God is very strong. He breaketh in pieces the strong together with the weak, for He regardeth not any man.

FIRST JEW
Thou speakest truly. Verily, God is terrible. He breaketh in pieces the strong and the weak as men break corn in a mortar. But as for this man, he hath never seen God. No man hath seen God since the prophet Elias.

HERODIAS
Make them be silent. They weary me.

HEROD
But I have heard it said that Iokanaan is in very truth your prophet Elias.

THE JEW
That cannot be. It is more than three hundred years since the days of the prophet Elias.

HEROD
There be some who say that this man is Elias the prophet.

A NAZARENE
I am sure that he is Elias the prophet.

THE JEW
Nay, but he is not Elias the prophet.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Behold the day is at hand, the day of the Lord, and I hear upon the mountains the feet of Him who shall be the Saviour of the world.

HEROD
What does that mean? The Saviour of the world?

TIGELLINUS
It is a title that Cæsar adopts.

HEROD
But Cæsar is not coming into Judæa. Only yesterday I received letters from Rome. They contained nothing concerning this matter. And you, Tigellinus, who were at Rome during the winter, you heard nothing concerning this matter, did you?

TIGELLINUS
Sire, I heard nothing concerning the matter. I was but explaining the title. It is one of Cæsar's titles.

HEROD
But Cæsar cannot come. He is too gouty. They say that his feet are like the feet of an elephant. Also there are reasons of state. He who leaves Rome loses Rome. He will not come. Howbeit, Cæsar is lord, he will come if such be his pleasure. Nevertheless, I think he will not come.

FIRST NAZARENE
It was not concerning Cæsar that the prophet spake these words, sire.

HEROD
How? -- it was not concerning Cæsar?

FIRST NAZARENE
No, my lord.

HEROD
Concerning whom then did he speak?

FIRST NAZARENE
Concerning Messias, who hath come.

A JEW
Messias hath not come.

FIRST NAZARENE
He hath come, and everywhere He worketh miracles!

HERODIAS
Ho! ho! miracles! I do not believe in miracles. I have seen too many. (To the Page.)
My fan.

FIRST NAZARENE
This Man worketh true miracles. Thus, at a marriage which took place in a little town of Galilee, a town of some importance, He changed water into wine. Certain persons who were present related it to me. Also He healed two lepers that were seated before the Gate of Capernaum simply by touching them.

SECOND NAZARENE
Nay; it was two blind men that He healed at Capernaum.

FIRST NAZARENE
Nay; they were lepers. But He hath healed blind people also, and He was seen on a mountain talking with angels.

A SADDUCEE
Angels do not exist.

A PHARISEE
Angels exist, but I do not believe that this Man has talked with them.

FIRST NAZARENE
He was seen by a great multitude of people talking with angels.

HERODIAS
How these men weary me! They are ridiculous! They are altogether ridiculous! (To the Page.)
Well! my fan? (The Page gives her the fan.)
You have a dreamer's look. You must not dream. It is only sick people who dream. (She strikes the Page with her fan.)

SECOND NAZARENE
There is also the miracle of the daughter of Jairus.

FIRST NAZARENE
Yea, that is sure. No man can gainsay it.

HERODIAS
Those men are mad. They have looked too long on the moon. Command them to be silent.

HEROD
What is this miracle of the daughter of Jairus?

FIRST NAZARENE
The daughter of Jairus was dead. This Man raised her from the dead.

HEROD
How! He raises people from the dead?

FIRST NAZARENE
Yea, sire; He raiseth the dead.

HEROD
I do not wish Him to do that. I forbid Him to do that. I suffer no man to raise the dead. This Man must be found and told that I forbid Him to raise the dead. Where is this Man at present?

SECOND NAZARENE
He is in every place, my lord, but it is hard to find Him.

FIRST NAZARENE
It is said that He is now in Samaria.

A JEW
It is easy to see that this is not Messias, if He is in Samaria. It is not to the Samaritans that Messias shall come. The Samaritans are accursed. They bring no offerings to the Temple.

SECOND NAZARENE
He left Samaria a few days since. I think that at the present moment He is in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

FIRST NAZARENE
No; He is not there. I have just come from Jerusalem. For two months they have had no tidings of Him.

HEROD
No matter! But let them find Him, and tell Him, thus saith Herod the King, "I will not suffer Thee to raise the dead." To change water into wine, to heal the lepers and the blind . . . . He may do these things if He will. I say nothing against these things. In truth I hold it a kindly deed to heal a leper. But no man shall raise the dead . . . . It would be terrible if the dead came back.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Ah! The wanton one! The harlot! Ah! the daughter of Babylon with her golden eyes and her gilded eyelids! Thus saith the Lord God, Let there come up against her a multitude of men. Let the people take stones and stone her . . . .

HERODIAS
Command him to be silent!

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Let the captains of the hosts pierce her with their swords, let them crush her beneath their shields.

HERODIAS
Nay, but it is infamous.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
It is thus that I will wipe out all wickedness from the earth, and that all women shall learn not to imitate her abominations.

HERODIAS
You hear what he says against me? You suffer him to revile her who is your wife!

HEROD
He did not speak your name.

HERODIAS
What does that matter? You know well that it is I whom he seeks to revile. And I am your wife, am I not?

HEROD
Of a truth, dear and noble Herodias, you are my wife, and before that you were the wife of my brother.

HERODIAS
It was thou didst snatch me from his arms.

HEROD
Of a truth I was stronger than he was . . . . But let us not talk of that matter. I do not desire to talk of it. It is the cause of the terrible words that the prophet has spoken. Peradventure on account of it a misfortune will come. Let us not speak of this matter. Noble Herodias, we are not mindful of our guests. Fill thou my cup, my well-beloved. Ho! fill with wine the great goblets of silver, and the great goblets of glass. I will drink to Cæsar. There are Romans here, we must drink to Cæsar.

ALL
Cæsar! Cæsar!

HEROD
Do you not see your daughter, how pale she is?

HERODIAS
What is it to you if she be pale or not?

HEROD
Never have I seen her so pale.

HERODIAS
You must not look at her.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
In that day the sun shall become black like sackcloth of hair, and the moon shall become like blood, and the stars of the heaven shall fall upon the earth like unripe figs that fall from the fig-tree, and the kings of the earth shall be afraid.

HERODIAS
Ah! ah! I should like to see that day of which he speaks, when the moon shall become like blood, and when the stars shall fall upon the earth like unripe figs. This prophet talks like a drunken man, . . . but I cannot suffer the sound of his voice. I hate his voice. Command him to be silent.

HEROD
I will not. I cannot understand what it is that he saith, but it may be an omen.

HERODIAS
I do not believe in omens. He speaks like a drunken man.

HEROD
It may be he is drunk with the wine of God.

HERODIAS
What wine is that, the wine of God? From what vineyards is it gathered? In what wine-press may one find it?

HEROD
(From this point he looks all the while at Salomé.)
Tigellinus, when you were at Rome of late, did the Emperor speak with you on the subject of . . .?

TIGELLINUS
On what subject, my lord?

HEROD
On what subject? Ah! I asked you a question, did I not? I have forgotten what I would have asked you.

HERODIAS
You are looking again at my daughter. You must not look at her. I have already said so.

HEROD
You say nothing else.

HERODIAS
I say it again.

HEROD
And that restoration of the Temple about which they have talked so much, will anything be done? They say that the veil of the Sanctuary has disappeared, do they not?

HERODIAS
It was thyself didst steal it. Thou speakest at random and without wit. I will not stay here. Let us go within.

HEROD
Dance for me, Salomé.

HERODIAS
I will not have her dance.

SALOMÉ
I have no desire to dance, Tetrarch.

HEROD
Salomé, daughter of Herodias, dance for me.

HERODIAS
Peace. Let her alone.

HEROD
I command thee to dance, Salomé.

SALOMÉ
I will not dance, Tetrarch.

HERODIAS
(Laughing.)
You see how she obeys you.

HEROD
What is it to me whether she dance or not? It is nought to me. To-night I am happy. I am exceeding happy. Never have I been so happy.

FIRST SOLDIER
The Tetrarch has a sombre look. Has he not a sombre look?

SECOND SOLDIER
Yes, he has a sombre look.

HEROD
Wherefore should I not be happy? Cæsar, who is lord of the world, Cæsar, who is lord of all things, loves me well. He has just sent me most precious gifts. Also he has promised me to summon to Rome the King of Cappadocia, who is mine enemy. It may be that at Rome he will crucify him, for he is able to do all things that he has a mind to do. Verily, Cæsar is lord. Therefore I do well to be happy. I am very happy, never have I been so happy. There is nothing in the world that can mar my happiness.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
He shall be seated on his throne. He shall be clothed in scarlet and purple. In his hand he shall bear a golden cup full of his blasphemies. And the angel of the Lord shall smite him. He shall be eaten of worms.

HERODIAS
You hear what he says about you. He says that you shall be eaten of worms.

HEROD
It is not of me that he speaks. He speaks never against me. It is of the King of Cappadocia that he speaks; the King of Cappadocia who is mine enemy. It is he who shall be eaten of worms. It is not I. Never has he spoken word against me, this prophet, save that I sinned in taking to wife the wife of my brother. It may be he is right. For, of a truth, you are sterile.

HERODIAS
I am sterile, I? You say that, you that are ever looking at my daughter, you that would have her dance for your pleasure? You speak as a fool. I have borne a child. You have gotten no child, no, not on one of your slaves. It is you who are sterile, not I.

HEROD
Peace, woman! I say that you are sterile. You have borne me no child, and the prophet says that. our marriage is not a true marriage. He says that it is a marriage of incest, a marriage that will bring evils . . . . I fear he is right; I am sure that he is right. But it is not the hour to speak of these things. I would be happy at this moment. Of a truth, I am happy. There is nothing I lack.

HERODIAS
I am glad you are of so fair a humour tonight. It is not your custom. But it is late. Let us go within. Do not forget that we hunt at sunrise. All honours must be shown to Cæsar's ambassadors, must they not?

SECOND SOLDIER
The Tetrarch has a sombre look.

FIRST SOLDIER
Yes, he has a sombre look.

HEROD
Salomé, Salomé, dance for me. I pray thee dance for me. I am sad to-night. Yes, I am passing sad to-night. When I came hither I slipped in blood, which is an ill omen; also I heard in the air a beating of wings, a beating of giant wings. I cannot tell what that may mean . . . . I am sad to-night. Therefore dance for me. Dance for me, Salomé, I beseech thee. If thou dancest for me thou mayest ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. Yes, dance for me, Salomé, and whatsoever thou shalt ask of me I will give it thee, even unto the half of my kingdom.

SALOMÉ
(Rising.)
Will you indeed give me whatsoever I shall ask of you, Tetrarch?

HERODIAS
Do not dance, my daughter.

HEROD
Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, even unto the half of my kingdom.

SALOMÉ
You swear it, Tetrarch?

HEROD
I swear it, Salomé.

HERODIAS
Do not dance, my daughter.

SALOMÉ
By what will you swear this thing, Tetrarch?

HEROD
By my life, by my crown, by my gods. Whatsoever thou shalt desire I will give it thee, even to the half of my kingdom, if thou wilt but dance for me. O Salomé, Salomé, dance for me!

SALOMÉ
You have sworn an oath, Tetrarch.

HEROD
I have sworn an oath.

HERODIAS
My daughter, do not dance.
HEROD
Even to the half of my kingdom. Thou wilt be passing fair as a queen, Salomé, if it please thee to ask for the half of my kingdom. Will she not be fair as a queen? Ah! it is cold here! There is an icy wind, and I hear . . . wherefore do I hear in the air this beating of wings? Ah! one might fancy a huge black bird that hovers over the terrace. Why can I not see it, this bird? The beat of its wings is terrible. The breath of the wind of its wings is terrible. It is a chill wind. Nay, but it is not cold, it is hot. I am choking. Pour water on my hands. Give me snow to eat. Loosen my mantle. Quick! quick! loosen my mantle. Nay, but leave it. It is my garland that hurts me, my garland of roses. The flowers are like fire. They have burned my forehead. (He tears the wreath from his head, and throws it on the table.)
Ah! I can breathe now. How red those petals are! They are like stains of blood on the cloth. That does not matter. It is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. It makes life too full of terrors. It were better to say that stains of blood are as lovely as rose-petals. It were better far to say that . . . . But we will not speak of this. Now I am happy. I am passing happy. Have I not the right to be happy? Your daughter is going to dance for me. Wilt thou not dance for me, Salomé? Thou hast promised to dance for me.

HERODIAS
I will not have her dance.

SALOMÉ
I will dance for you, Tetrarch.

HEROD
You hear what your daughter says. She is going to dance for me. Thou doest well to dance for me, Salomé. And when thou hast danced for me, forget not to ask of me whatsoever thou hast a mind to ask. Whatsoever thou shalt desire I will give it thee, even to the half of my kingdom. I have sworn it, have I not?

SALOMÉ
Thou hast sworn it, Tetrarch.

HEROD
And I have never failed of my word. I am not of those who break their oaths. I know not how to lie. I am the slave of my word, and my word is the word of a king. The King of Cappadocia had ever a lying tongue, but he is no true king. He is a coward. Also he owes me money that he will not repay. He has even insulted my ambassadors. He has spoken words that were wounding. But Cæsar will crucify him when he comes to Rome. I know that Cæsar will crucify him. And if he crucify him not, yet will he die, being eaten of worms. The prophet has prophesied it. Well! Wherefore dost thou tarry, Salomé?

SALOMÉ
I am waiting until my slaves bring perfumes to me and the seven veils, and take from off my feet my sandals. (Slaves bring perfumes and the seven veils, and take off the sandals of Salomé.)

HEROD
Ah, thou art to dance with naked feet! 'Tis well! 'Tis well! Thy little feet will be like white doves. They will be like little white flowers that dance upon the trees . . . . No, no, she is going to dance on blood! There is blood spilt on the ground. She must not dance on blood. It were an evil omen.

HERODIAS
What is it to thee if she dance on blood? Thou hast waded deep enough in it . . . . .

HEROD
What is it to me? Ah! look at the moon! She has become red. She has become red as blood. Ah! the prophet prophesied truly. He prophesied that the moon would become as blood. Did he not prophesy it? All of ye heard him prophesying it. And now the moon has become as blood. Do ye not see it?

HERODIAS
Oh, yes, I see it well, and the stars are falling like unripe figs, are they not? and the sun is becoming black like sackcloth of hair, and the kings of the earth are afraid. That at least one can see. The prophet is justified of his words in that at least, for truly the kings of the earth are afraid . . . . Let us go within. You are sick. They will say at Rome that you are mad. Let us go within, I tell you.

THE VOICE OF IOKANAAN
Who is this who cometh from Edom, who is this who cometh from Bozra, whose raiment is dyed with purple, who shineth in the beauty of his garments, who walketh mighty in his greatness? Wherefore is thy raiment stained with scarlet?

HERODIAS
Let us go within. The voice of that man maddens me. I will not have my daughter dance while he is continually crying out. I will not have her dance while you look at her in this fashion. In a word, I will not have her dance.

HEROD
Do not rise, my wife, my queen, it will avail thee nothing. I will not go within till she hath danced. Dance, Salomé, dance for me.

HERODIAS
Do not dance, my daughter.

SALOMÉ
I am ready, Tetrarch.

HEROD
(Salomé dances the dance of the seven veils.)
Ah! wonderful! wonderful! You see that she has danced for me, your daughter. Come near, Salomé, come near, that I may give thee thy fee. Ah! I pay a royal price to those who dance for my pleasure. I will pay thee royally. I will give thee whatsoever thy soul desireth. What wouldst thou have? Speak.

SALOMÉ
(Kneeling.)
I would that they presently bring me in a silver charger . .

HEROD
(Laughing.)
In a silver charger? Surely yes, in a silver charger. She is charming, is she not? What is it that thou wouldst have in a silver charger, O sweet and fair Salomé, thou that art fairer than all the daughters of Judæa? What wouldst thou have them bring thee in a silver charger? Tell me. Whatsoever it may be, thou shalt receive it. My treasures belong to thee. What is it that thou wouldst have, Salomé?

SALOMÉ
(Rising.)
The head of Iokanaan.

HERODIAS
Ah! that is well said, my daughter.

HEROD
No, no!

HERODIAS
That is well said, my daughter.

HEROD
No, no, Salomé. It is not that thou desirest. Do not listen to thy mother's voice. She is ever giving thee evil counsel. Do not heed her.

SALOMÉ
It is not my mother's voice that I heed. It is for mine own pleasure that I ask the head of Iokanaan in a silver charger. You have sworn an oath, Herod. Forget not that you have sworn an oath.

HEROD
I know it. I have sworn an oath by my gods. I know it well. But. I pray thee, Salomé, ask of me something else. Ask of me the half of my kingdom, and I will give it thee. But ask not of me what thy lips have asked.

SALOMÉ
I ask of you the head of Iokanaan.

HEROD
No, no, I will not give it thee.

SALOMÉ
You have sworn an oath, Herod.

HERODIAS
Yes, you have sworn an oath. Everybody heard you. You swore it before everybody.

HEROD
Peace, woman! It is not to you I speak.

HERODIAS
My daughter has done well to ask the head of Iokanaan. He has covered me with insults. He has said unspeakable things against me. One can see that she loves her mother well. Do not yield, my daughter. He has sworn an oath, he has sworn an oath.

HEROD
Peace! Speak not to me! . . . Salomé, I pray thee be not stubborn. I have ever been kind toward thee. I have ever loved thee. . . It may be that I have loved thee too much. Therefore ask not this thing of me. This is a terrible thing, an awful thing to ask of me. Surely, I think thou art jesting. The head of a man that is cut from his body is ill to look upon, is it not? It is not meet that the eyes of a virgin should look upon such a thing. What pleasure couldst thou have in it? There is no pleasure that thou couldst have in it. No, no, it is not that thou desirest. Hearken to me. I have an emerald, a great emerald and round, that the minion of Cæsar has sent unto me. When thou lookest through this emerald thou canst see that which passeth afar off. Cæsar himself carries such an emerald when he goes to the circus. But my emerald is the larger. I know well that it is the larger. It is the largest emerald in the whole world. Thou wilt take that, wilt thou not? Ask it of me and I will give it thee.

SALOMÉ
I demand the head of Iokanaan.

HEROD
Thou art not listening. Thou art not listening. Suffer me to speak, Salomé.

SALOMÉ
The head of Iokanaan!

HEROD
No, no, thou wouldst not have that. Thou sayest that but to trouble me, because that I have looked at thee and ceased not this night. It is true, I have looked at thee and ceased not this night. Thy beauty has troubled me. Thy beauty has grievously troubled me, and I have looked at thee overmuch. Nay, but I will look at thee no more. One should not look at anything. Neither at things, nor at people should one look. Only in mirrors is it well to look, for mirrors do but show us masks. Oh! oh! bring wine! I thirst . . . . Salomé, Salomé, let us be as friends. Bethink thee . . . Ah! what would I say? What was't? Ah! I remember it! . . . Salomé, -- nay but come nearer to me; I fear thou wilt not hear my words, -- Salomé, thou knowest my white peacocks, my beautiful white peacocks, that walk in the garden between the myrtles and the tall cypress-trees. Their beaks are gilded with gold and the grains that they eat are smeared with gold, and their feet are stained with purple. When they cry out the rain comes, and the moon shows herself in the heavens when they spread their tails. Two by two they walk between the cypress-trees and the black myrtles, and each has a slave to tend it. Sometimes they fly across the trees, and anon they couch in the grass, and round the pools of the water. There are not in all the world birds so wonderful. I know that Cæsar himself has no birds so fair as my birds. I will give thee fifty of my peacocks. They will follow thee whithersoever thou goest, and in the midst of them thou wilt be like unto the moon in the midst of a great white cloud . . . . I will give them to thee, all. I have but a hundred, and in the whole world there is no king who has peacocks like unto my peacocks. But I will give them all to thee. Only thou must loose me from my oath, and must not ask of me that which thy lips have asked of me.
(He empties the cup of wine.)

SALOMÉ
Give me the head of Iokanaan!

HERODIAS
Well said, my daughter! As for you, you are ridiculous with your peacocks.

HEROD
Peace! you are always crying out. You cry out like a beast of prey. You must not cry in such fashion. Your voice wearies me. Peace, I tell you! . . . Salomé, think on what thou art doing. It may be that this man comes from God. He is a holy man. The finger of God has touched him. God has put terrible words into his mouth. In the palace, as in the desert, God is ever with him . . . . It may be that He is, at least. One cannot tell, but it is possible that God is with him and for him. If he die also, peradventure some evil may befall me. Verily, he has said that evil will befall some one on the day whereon he dies. On whom should it fall if it fall not on me? Remember, I slipped in blood when I came hither. Also did I not hear a beating of wings in the air, a beating of vast wings? These are ill omens. And there were other things. I am sure that there were other things, though I saw them not. Thou wouldst not that some evil should befall me, Salomé? Listen to me again.

SALOMÉ
Give me the head of Iokanaan!

HEROD
Ah! thou art not listening to me. Be calm. As for me, am I not calm? I am altogether calm. Listen. I have jewels hidden in this place -- jewels that thy mother even has never seen; jewels that are marvellous to look at. I have a collar of pearls, set in four rows. They are like unto moons chained with rays of silver. They are even as half a hundred moons caught in a golden net. On the ivory breast of a queen they have rested. Thou shalt be as fair as a queen when thou wearest them. I have amethysts of two kinds; one that is black like wine, and one that is red like wine that one has coloured with water. I have topazes yellow as are the eyes of tigers, and topazes that are pink as the eyes of a wood-pigeon, and green topazes that are as the eyes of cats. I have opals that burn always, with a flame that is cold as ice, opals that make sad men's minds, and are afraid of the shadows. I have onyxes like the eyeballs of a dead woman. I have moonstones that change when the moon changes, and are wan when they see the sun. I have sapphires big like eggs, and as blue as blue flowers. The sea wanders within them, and the moon comes never to trouble the blue of their waves. I have chrysolites and beryls, and chrysoprases and rubies; I have sardonyx and hyacinth stones, and stones of chalcedony, and I will give them all unto thee, all, and other things will I add to them. The King of the Indies has but even now sent me four fans fashioned from the feathers of parrots, and the King of Numidia a garment of ostrich feathers. I have a crystal, into which it is not lawful for a woman to look, nor may young men behold it until they have been beaten with rods. In a coffer of nacre I have three wondrous turquoises. He who wears them on his forehead can imagine things which are not, and he who carries them in his hand can turn the fruitful woman into a woman that is barren. These are great treasures. They are treasures above all price. But this is not all. In an ebony coffer I have two cups of amber that are like apples of pure gold. If an enemy pour poison into these cups they become like apples of silver. In a coffer incrusted with amber I have sandals incrusted with glass. I have mantles that have been brought from the land of the Serer, and bracelets decked about with carbuncles and with jade that come from the city of Euphrates . . . . What desirest thou more than this, Salomé? Tell me the thing that thou desirest, and I will give it thee. All that thou askest I will give thee, save one thing only. I will give thee all that is mine, save only the life of one man. I will give thee the mantle of the high priest. I will give thee the veil of the sanctuary.

THE JEWS
Oh! oh!

HERODIAS
Give me the head of Iokanaan!

HEROD
(Sinking back in his seat.)
Let her be given what she asks! Of a truth she is her mother's child. (The first soldier approaches. Herodias draws from the hand of the Tetrarch the ring of death, and gives it to the Soldier, who straightway bears it to the Executioner. The Executioner looks scared.)
Who has taken my ring? There was a ring on my right hand. Who has drunk my wine? There was wine in my cup. It was full of wine. Some one has drunk it! Oh! surely some evil will befall some one. (The Executioner goes down into the cistern.)
Ah! wherefore did I give my oath? Hereafter let no king swear an oath. If he keep it not, it is terrible, and if he keep it, it is terrible also.

HERODIAS
My daughter has done well.

HEROD
I am sure that some misfortune will happen.

SALOMÉ
(She leans over the cistern and listens.)
There is no sound. I hear nothing. Why does he not cry out, this man? Ah! if any man sought to kill me, I would cry out, I would struggle, I would not suffer . . . . Strike, strike, Naaman, strike, I tell you. . . . No, I hear nothing. There is a silence, a terrible silence. Ah! something has fallen upon the ground. I heard something fall. It was the sword of the executioner. He is afraid, this slave. He has dropped his sword. He dares not kill him. He is a coward, this slave! Let soldiers be sent. (She sees the Page of Herodias and addresses him.)
Come hither. Thou wert the friend of him who is dead, wert thou not? Well, I tell thee, there are not dead men enough. Go to the soldiers and bid them go down and bring me the thing I ask, the thing the Tetrarch has promised me, the thing that is mine. (The Page recoils. She turns to the soldiers.)
Hither, ye soldiers. Get ye down into this cistern and bring me the head of this man. Tetrarch, Tetrarch, command your soldiers that they bring me the head of Iokanaan.
(A huge black arm, the arm of the Executioner, comes forth from the cistern, bearing on a silver shield the head of lokanaan. Salomé seizes it. Herod hides his face with his cloak. Herodias smiles and fans herself. The Nazarenes fall on their knees and begin to pray.)
Ah! thou wouldst not suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan. Well! I will kiss it now. I will bite it with my teeth as one bites a ripe fruit. Yes, I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan. I said it; did I not say it? I said it. Ah! I will kiss it now . . . . But wherefore dost thou not look at me, Iokanaan? Thine eyes that were so terrible, so full of rage and scorn, are shut now. Wherefore are they shut? Open thine eyes! Lift up thine eyelids, Iokanaan! Wherefore dost thou not look at me? Art thou afraid of me, Iokanaan, that thou wilt not look at me? . . . And thy tongue, that was like a red snake darting poison, it moves no more, it speaks no words, Iokanaan, that scarlet viper that spat its venom upon me. It is strange, is it not? How is it that the red viper stirs no longer?. . .Thou wouldst have none of me, Iokanaan. Thou rejectedst me. Thou didst speak evil words against me. Thou didst bear thyself toward me as to a harlot, as to a woman that is a wanton, to me, Salomé, daughter of Herodias, Princess of Judæa! Well, I still live, but thou art dead, and thy head belongs to me. I can do with it what I will. I can throw it to the dogs and to the birds of the air. That which the dogs leave, the birds of the air shall devour . . . . Ah, Iokanaan, Iokanaan, thou wert the man that I loved alone among men! All other men were hateful to me. But thou wert beautiful! Thy body was a column of ivory set upon feet of silver. It was a garden full of doves and lilies of silver. It was a tower of silver decked with shields of ivory. There was nothing in the world so white as thy body. There was nothing in the world so black as thy hair. In the whole world there was nothing so red as thy mouth. Thy voice was a censer that scattered strange perfumes, and when I looked on thee I heard a strange music. Ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me, Iokanaan? With the cloak of thine hands, and with the cloak of thy blasphemies thou didst hide thy face. Thou didst put upon thine eyes the covering of him who would see his God. Well, thou hast seen thy God, Iokanaan, but me, me, thou didst never see. If thou hadst seen me thou hadst loved me. I saw thee, and I loved thee. Oh, how I loved thee! I love thee yet, Iokanaan. I love only thee . . . . I am athirst for thy beauty; I am hungry for thy body; and neither wine nor apples can appease my desire. What shall I do now, Iokanaan? Neither the floods nor the great waters can quench my passion. I was a princess, and thou didst scorn me. I was a virgin, and thou didst take my virginity from me. I was chaste, and thou didst fill my veins with fire . . . . Ah! ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me? If thou hadst looked at me thou hadst loved me. Well I know that thou wouldst have loved me, and the mystery of Love is greater than the mystery of Death.

HEROD
She is monstrous, thy daughter; I tell thee she is monstrous. In truth, what she has done is a great crime. I am sure that it is a crime against some unknown God.

HERODIAS
I am well pleased with my daughter. She has done well. And I would stay here now.

HEROD
(Rising.)
Ah! There speaks my brother's wife! Come! I will not stay in this place. Come, I tell thee. Surely some terrible thing will befall. Manasseh, Issachar, Ozias, put out the torches. I will not look at things, I will not suffer things to look at me. Put out the torches! Hide the moon! Hide the stars! Let us hide ourselves in our palace, Herodias. I begin to be afraid.
(The slaves put out the torches. The stars disappear. A great cloud crosses the moon and conceals it completely. The stage becomes quite dark. The Tetrarch begins to climb the staircase.)

THE VOICE OF SALOMÉ
Ah! I have kissed thy mouth, Iokanaan, I have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips. Was it the taste of blood? . . . Nay; but perchance it was the taste of love. . .They say that love hath a bitter taste. But what matter? what matter? I have kissed thy mouth, Iokanaan, I have kissed thy mouth.
(A ray of moonlight falls on Salomé and illumines her.)

HEROD
(Turning round and seeing Salomé.)
Kill that woman!
(The soldiers rush forward and crush beneath their shields, Salomé, daughter of Herodias, Princess of Judæa.)

(CURTAIN.)

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SALOME, in Jewish history the name borne by several women of the Herod dynasty. (r) Sister of Herod the Great, who became the wife successively of Joseph, Herod's uncle, Costobar, governor of Idumaea, and a certain Alexas. (2) Daughter of Herod by Elpis, his eighth wife. (3) Daughter of Herodias by her first husband Herod Philip. She was the wife successively of Philip the Tetrarch and Aristobulus, son of Herod of Chalcis. This Salome is the only one of the three who is mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. xiv. 3 sqq.; Mark vi. 17 sqq.) and only in connexion with the execution of John the Baptist. Herod Antipas, pleased by her dancing, offered her a reward "unto the half of my kingdom"; instructed by Herodias, she asked for John the Baptist's "head in a charger" 1 (see Herod Ii.

Antipas) .

Salome is also the name of one of the women who are mentioned as present at the Crucifixion (Mark xv. 40), and afterwards in the Sepulchre (xvi. r). Comparison with Matt. xxvii. 56 suggests that she was also the wife of Zebedee (cf. Matt. xx. 20-23). It is further conjectured that she was a sister of Mary the mother of Jesus, in which case James and John would be cousins of Jesus. In the absence of specific evidence any such identification must be regarded with suspicion.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Related to the Hebrew word shalom and the male given name Solomon, both meaning "peace".

Proper noun

Singular
Salome

Plural
-

Salome

  1. A name ascribed to the stepdaughter of Herod who asked for the execution of John the Baptist.
  2. (Biblical) A woman mentioned in Mark 16:1.
  3. A female given name; rarely used.

Anagrams


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: perfect.

(1.) The wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John (Mt 27:56), and probably the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus (Jn 19:25). She sought for her sons places of honour in Christ's kingdom (Mt 20:20f; comp. Mt 19:28). She witnessed the crucifixion (Mk 15:40), and was present with the other women at the sepulchre (Mt 27:56).

(2.) "The daughter of Herodias," not named in the New Testament. On the occasion of the birthday festival held by Herod Antipas, who had married her mother Herodias, in the fortress of Machaerus, she "came in and danced, and pleased Herod" (Mk 6:14ff). John the Baptist, at that time a prisoner in the dungeons underneath the castle, was at her request beheaded by order of Herod, and his head given to the damsel in a charger, "and the damsel gave it to her mother," whose revengeful spirit was thus gratified. "A luxurious feast of the period" (says Farrar, Life of Christ) "was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic representation; and doubtless Herod had adopted the evil fashion of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a princess, his own niece, a grand-daughter of Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon the high priest and the great line of Maccabean princes, a princess who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis and the mother of a king, honouring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer."

This article needs to be merged with Salome (Catholic Encyclopedia).
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

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