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.
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. In truth, yes
I know it.
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: You have just left the feast, Princess?
SALOMÉ: How sweet the air is 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 twisted coils, and silent, subtle Egyptians, with long
nails of jade and russett 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
THE YOUNG SYRIAN: Will you be seated, Princess?
THE PAGE OF HERODIAS: Why do you speak to her? Why do you
look at her? Oh! something terrible will happen.
SALOMÉ: How good to see the moon. She is like a little
piece of money, you would think she was a little silver flower.
The Moon is cold and chaste. I am sure she is a virgin, she has
a virgin's beauty. Yes, she is a virgin. She has never defiled
herself. She has never abandoned herself to men like the other
THE VOICE OF JOKANAAN: The Lord hath come. The son of man
hath come. The centaurs have hidden themselves in the rivers,
and the sirens have left the rivers, and are lying beneath the
leaves of the forest.
SALOMÉ: Who was that who cried out?
SECOND SOLDIER: The prophet, Princess.
SALOMÉ: Ah, the prophet! He of whom the Tetrarch is
SECOND SOLDIER: We know nothing of that, Princess. It was
the prophet Jokanaan 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
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
SALOMÉ: I will not go back.
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