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ACT V, SCENE i
POLIARCHUS, ARCHOMBROTUS. MELEANDER
NLESS I'm mistaken, we have arrived at Meleander's palace, the home of Argenis.
ARCH. Your words are true, Poliarchus. But look how many men and women with their children fill the windows!
POL. True, Archombrotus. Even though these people are not our countrymen, still it is a marvel how they they honor us as we enter.
ARCH. Their actions show you speak truly, Poliarchus.
POL. Archombrotus, who is that?
POL. There in the gate to the palace.
ARCH. It is certainly King Meleander standing there, unless my eyes deceive me.
MEL. Look, here is Poliarchus, here is Archombrotus. I will hurry to them on foot.
POL. He is coming to meet us. Let's dismount from our horses.
ARCH. I too think we should do this.
MEL. A thousand greetings, royal princes and most welcomed guests. Greetings, Poliarchus, and you too, Archombrotus, greetings.
POL. I give you greetings as well, O great King Meleander.
ARCH. Hail, unconquered King of Sicily!
MEL. Please do not attribute to any arrogance on my part that I did not meet you in person at the harbor. Your very ambassadors gave me the directions where I should go.
POL. O great King Meleander, please do not use such needless ceremony to us young men, who were once your guests.
MEL. Before anything else, my Poliarchus, I congratulate you for your victory, and you, Archombrotus, I congratulate for Sardinia. But I grieve that you, Poliarchus, allowed yourself, although a great King of France, to be reputed in Sicily a man of private condition. But now that you both have come to my palace, please, guests, sit on these chairs of state where we can converse.
POL. Now, Archombrotus, I think the time has come to accomplish our task.
ARCH. Yes, we will stand here, so that I can hand this to the king.
POL. I agree.
ARCH. O King Meleander of Sicily, first take this letter.
MEL. What letter?
2. ARCH. One written by my mother. I cannot rest until you read it right away.
POL. O King Meleander, I make the same request.
MEL. Guests, I wonder what this letter might contain that requires such haste. But since you wish it, I will break this seal, and since I see the letter is quite lengthy, I will read it while you wait, if you so wish.
ARCH. Just read it, o great king. We will withdraw over here.
MEL. I wonder what it is that has caused no small signs of anxiety to run over the worried faces of Poliarchus and Archombrotus. As far as I can see, both of them view these pages as holding their certain fate. But I'll read.
POL. But if things turn out otherwise than Queen Hyanisbe promised, if no reconciliation is offered, or only on unfavorable terms, I will certainly turn my spirits to the sword, to mad rage.
MEL. By the gods, Meleander, what are you reading? Was that one Archombrotus? I'll look at it again. Was it them? Ah, what does this little key mean? Of course, it is the one which should open the chest.
ARCH. do not know what this letter is supposed to mean, but the king is so fixed on reading it, and he grasps it so eagerly.
POL. Nothing is more certain than that this powerful letter reports something of great consequence.
MEL. I will withdraw to this table placed next to the wall, and investigate by myself what lurks in this chest, which I am now opening.
POL. He is opening the chest and he is taking out yet another letter. Now he is reading it. Look, he is kissing it with such sighs and tears!
MEL. O my Hyanisbe, how truly you wrote this. O ring, o secret tokens of my affair — how familiar you are to me! How trustworthy you are! Ah, what unexpected joys wash over my heart! How many sighs, how many tears fill my astonished soul! Poliarchus.
POL. I am here, great King Meleander.
MEL. I beg you, Poliarchus, to excuse me as I briefly pursue some important, but secret, matters. You, Archombrotus, come here, right here, and with me read your mother's letter.
POL. What does this mean that the king neglects me and so familiarly takes Archombrotus to the table? And he is putting Hyanisbe's letter right before his eyes! And he embraces Archombrotus as he reads the letter! And now the young man is prostrating himself at Meleander's feet, is much changed in countenance, and shows a style of respect other than what is usual. This sight does most trouble me. Will I see my envious rival in an embrace and entertained with all the signs of intimate love? Will I stand here all the while neglected by Meleander? Left alone here only to talk with Eurymedes — for he has gradually approached for the sake of politeness, so that I not stand here in unmannerly solitude in the middle of the court, while Meleander talks with Archombrotus.
MEL. Summon Argenis.
ACT V, SCENE ii
POLIARCHUS, ARGENIS, MELEANDER, ARCHOMBROTUS
Y the immortal gods! Argenis has now entered the room. I do not know what the king told her when she came in, since I cannot see from this remote spot. What? What is this? Argenis threw her arms around Archombrotus' neck as he sought a kiss from her. Now they are both weeping together! I know from their faces that these tears are tears of joy — and now she places her hand in Archombrotus', as he reaches for hers; this must be a pledge of indissoluble love. Alas, what rage is now overcoming my patience! Why do I not attack them and disturb these joys of theirs, so hateful to me! I do not know whom I should most curse: Hyanisbe, Melander, or Archombrotus! Or should I take at least vengeance on Argenis by killing myself. What a thought! In this moment of time what atrocities fill my mind! Has Hyanisbe then, after her preservation by the wounds of mine and my subjects, thus rewarded me? I, all unaware, exposed myself to her poisons and accepted her physician in my illness. But she would not have me die until I first found myself slighted and scorned to my face, and see Argenis not only given away from me, but so far bewitched as to hang upon her son's neck. Have you sent me, you witch, to so bitter an end? Is this your letter, these your promises, these your vows made in the hearing of your household gods? Fool that I was to hope for truth in Africa! But you shall not escape without vengeance for your treachery. I will have war with you. I will, by Hercules, have war to the utter ruin of your whole nation.
But why do I stand musing like a fool, as if I had a mind to live and console myself with hope of future comforts? Don't you see here before you some who should fittingly die, and yourself with them? I will go and take that hangman's breath from him, that man who obtained the crown of Sardinia by my conquest and now does not hesitate to forestall me in my marriage. I will make the shameless Argenis look red at and blush — at least with his blood. Then I will cut in pieces this mischievous old man, this goblin, this ghost, before any can come to his rescue, and as for Argenis, I say... But what good will it do to shed a maiden's blood? She will more fitly die with the memory of her own falsehood and my wounds. I will rip open my own heart, and when the blood shall gush out, cast myself upon her like a fury to affright her. If I were not resolved to die, I could raise my own soldiers, I could, with my own safety, pluck down these buildings upon my enemies' heads. But I will not live for fear to be reconciled to Argenis. Now while their first mutual loving feelings make Meleander, Archombrotus, and Argenis forget all other business, unyielding and resolute for my purpose I will draw my sword against myself!
ARG. Why is Poliarchus grasping his sword's hilt?
2. MEL. Pardon us, Poliarchus, my dear guest, that we have been prevented from giving you fit entertainment by an unexpected gladness, which perhaps will be no less pleasing to you than even now you perceived it to be to me and Argenis. Come, dearest of men and partner of our happiness, and see what this day has deserved of you.
POL I am upset and know not what to expect or to feel in such a range of emotions.
MEL. Truly, Poliarchus, stand here near Archombrotus and Argenis.
Pol. Meleander, I will not refuse to follow your lead.
MEL. O fruitful day! O day propitious to these years of mine, who heretofore content to solace myself with only one daughter, am now blessed with two, two such children! Let not the gods envy me. What mortal is now happier than I am? Or who should make more account of the poor remainder of life that is left him? Did then the Fates through so many crosses and threatening dangers prepare for me these aids and ornaments of my kingdom? Cease to be angry with Archombrotus, dearest guest, greatest of kings, and Poliarchus, the name which is more excellent than either. It is long since I perceived you were at difference. Both of you loved Argenis and both of you shall enjoy her. For he whom I have begotten shall love her as a sister, and to you — if you be not otherwise disposed — I give her for your wife. For although by finding a brother she has lost the inheritance of Sicily, yet nevertheless, if I be not deceived in you, you will love here and she shall be a queen for Sardinia, and whatsoever belonged to Radirobanes (which indeed is your gift to Archombrotus) shall be her dowry. Thus has my son agreed with me. Now, Archombrotus, renounce first all hatred and give your sister to King Poliarchus.
POL O gods and goddesses, who could have thought so much? Can it be that Poliarchus is invited to a marriage with Argenis, and Archombrotus is encouraging this?
ARCH. Now, my dearest sister Argenis, offer your right hand and do not blush. Poliarchus, why do you stand thus, as if in such change of fortune you can hardly believe your own happiness?
ARG. My dearest brother Archombrotus, I am one who was as bold as any man and rebellious against my father while wars and my father stood in my way, and I would follow Poliarchus wherever he directed, but now I remember that I am but a girl.
ARCH. So give your hand to the maiden, Poliarchus.
POL Give me yours first, Archombrotus.
ARCH. Here it is. What will you make of it?
POL. If you have any trust in me, brother, it grieves me that now when I am married, you should still be seeking a wife. I have a sister about twenty years of age, whose beauty and natural endowments would much commend on of meaner state. To make our friendship the stronger, I will, if you please, give her to you in marriage. And because by the law of our country no part of the kingdom can descend to her, her dowry shall be six hundred talents in ready money.
3.ARCH. What are you saying?
MEL. Son, I will be the judge of this proposal, for I wish you to agree to this, if the alliance pleases you.
ARCH. Father, I give you the right to make a decision about your daughter-in-law.
MEL. So, son-in-law, do you wish to make this agreement under these conditions?
POL. I do so wish, my father-in-law. And so, my Argenis, convince your brother to make this pact.
ARCH. I accept the agreement most heartily. Allow me to embrace you, brother Poliarchus. Most puissant king, you anticipated my wishes. What god has revealed to you the secret of my heart? Let me then be engaged to the absent lady, your sister, and you, dearest brother, shall take the oath for us both. And in turn you will wed my sister Argenis, who was destined to be your wife by long-standing decree of the fates.
POL. O Meleander, what eternal thanks I must give you you! Archombrotus, by what fate, what device of the gods have you suddenly become Argenis' brother?
ARCH. In the same way that you became Argenis' spouse.
POL. I beg, my king and dear father-in-law Meleander, what did Queen Hyanisbe write that so suddenly caused this lady, my Argenis, to find Archombrotus as her brother and me as her spouse? And for what reason do you now recognize Archombrotus as your son?
MEL. Poliarchus, if you wish, I will order Hyanisbe's letter to be recited aloud. You, herald, take the Moorish queen's letter and read it publicly in as loud a voice as you can.
ACT V, SCENE iii
HERALD, COUNSELLORS, THE REST
UEEN “Hyanisbe sends greetings to King Meleander. I know not whether to ascribe it to your merits or to your fault that I have not thought fit until this day to make you a sharer in that exceeding joy which now to your wonder I shall impart unto you. For I hold it your fault that you would neither acquaint me with your marriage to my sister, Anna, nor after her death ever make inquiry whether you had any issue by her. Yet I did so much honor your merits that I would not deliver you your own son until I had first made trial whether he would grow worthy of so great a father. But now finding his worth equal to his birth, I thought fit to reveal what I kept so long concealed.
“When at your departure for Sicily, you left my sister Anna here, whom you had not long before secretly married, and when the time was expired wherein she had, by many devices, sought to cover her great belly, at last she fell exceeding sick. Mistaking her disease, we gave her useless remedies, but she, finding her end to draw on, thus spoke to me in private: ‘Pardon me, dear sister, since I have not otherwise offended but in my silence. I am wife to Meleander, King of Sicily. I am now upon the point of my delivery, and my pains are such that (I fear me) I cannot escape death. If my child live, dear sister, I leave it to your choice whether you will keep it or send it to the father. Yet I wish to have this kept secret, so that the people may not know I was a mother before I was a wife. But we had several reasons to keep our marriage private: both because we stood in fear that Cyrrhus the Numidian, my unwelcome suitor, would use some violence; and because Meleander desired to be married in royal state and to that end hasted home; and lastly in respect of my reputation, which I am afraid (miserable woman!) I do now violate even with the telling you this story. See, sister, here on my pillow lie the conditions of our marriage under Meleander’s own hand, whereto for confirmation I also put mine.” At that she delivered me the writing. “But in this chest are certain private notes of our secret contract, such as letters, rings, and a bracelet made of both our hair. When you shall show him these, he will know I have imparted unto you the truth of all passages between us.’
“At these words, her speech failed her. I comforted her after a little recovery of strength, calling some of her most trusty women to her, and we all took care for things needful for her. Although her pains exceeded all our help, yet she was delivered of a son, whom we held to her while she was yet living. And then I asked of her if she could endure to write some few words, I know not what god putting me in mind to have her do that which is now so favorable to our present business. She did so at my request and wrote that she was then dying and left your son to my education. You will know her hand, excellent King, though through weakness and trembling, she could not well guide her pen nor draw her letters right. Not long after, she died in my arms. There were only four women with me. I delivered the infant to one Sophoneme, one whom I especially trusted with charge to take care of him, and found him out a nurse, who did not know whose child she was to keep. And fearing lest any of these four should prove blabs, I afterwards deceived them also, by the help of the same Sophoneme, making them believe the boy was dead. About the same time, my brother Juba died and left me his kingdom, and my husband, Syphax, as if the Fates had conspired against us, passed away.
“Being thus full of grief yet I forgot neither you, Meleander, nor my sister. I counterfeited myself with child, and with the same Sophoneme’s help gave out that I was delivered of a son after my husband’s death. But I could not then show your son as my own, for the child was too big to be new born. But Sophoneme filled his cradle with another newborn babe, whom afterwards she by my appointment put to nurse. Making show to fear the child might be bewitched, I gave charge that none but the nurses and Sophoneme alone should be suffered to see my son.
2. “And then after two years, it was easy to show your Hyempsal (for so his dying mother named him after his grandfather’s name) for my own son. And ever since, I have kept myself a widow for his sake and mean to leave him my kingdom. None of our neighbor kings could, with any suit, draw me to marriage. When he was three and twenty years old, I made report to him of your virtues and advised him to travel into Sicily to see the manner of your government and learn to rule by your example. And I said that he might compass this with more ease if he would go as a private man and it not be known that I was his mother, lest your favor and the flattery of others might carry him quite away from that fresh and real virtue which, being often denied to princes, ennobles the actions and estates of commoners. In obedience to my command he went thither, and it is wonderful that he should win so much upon your affection that you, being so great a king, should offer to bestow on him your daughter born of your last wife, having (as you thought) no more children.
“When he had written this news to me, though I was glad of his merits and your nature which drew you to love your yet unknown son, yet I trembled with the fear of the mention of such an incestuous marriage, lest the brother should marry his own sister. And I was frightened also with other dangers, for Radirobanes was coming to despoil of Africa with his army. I therefore wrote to our Hyempsal, whom you call Archombrotus, to put off the marriage which I hear is concluded between you and to request him to make all speed with his navy to my assistance. But his help had come too late, nor could he have found me to relieve me, if the storm had not cast King Poliarchus with his French forces upon our coast. By his valor are the spoils of Radirobanes now in our temple of Mars.
“But we were like to have had more fatal differences in peace than in war through the bitter emulation of Poliarchus and Archombrotus. Your Argenis was the cause of their hatred, whose marriage both of them seek beyond the common desire of men. Discovering your son’s error, I prevailed with them both to bridle their rage and abstain from fight till they had delivered you this letter and instantly each of them should be master of his wishes. Which will so come to pass if you be pleased to acknowledge your son and give your daughter to wife to King Poliarchus, since no man this day breathing comes nearer to the gods in noble achievements and heroical virtues than he does. I give you full power to make her a dowry either out of your estate or mine. Sicily, Mauritania, and the late-conquered Sardinia will be enough both for your son to reign in plenty and to bestow your daughter according to her birth and estate. In this chest, I send you whatsoever secret my sister left me on her deathbed, and amongst the rest, her last letter wherein she gives you to understand that she had a son of yours come into the world when she left it. All which were once lately lost; for (O mischief!) the pirates had robbed me of the chest. But King Poliarchus slew the thieves and brought it back to me untouched. So you are in part indebted to him for your son a nd I for my kingdom, whereto I have long ago designed your Hyempsal for my successor. No reward but Argenis can be sufficient for these his many merits. Farewell, and cheer your old age with these blessings bestowed upon you by the gods.”
3. POL. What am I hearing, King Meleander?
ΜEL. Is it not true that both of you have attained what you hoped for? I recognize Archombrotus as my son, and I give my daughter to you, Poliarchus, in marriage.
POL. Chief of the gods, what do I think of this?
ΜEL. Placed in this chest is whatever my once well-beloved wife left there at her death. Look, here is her last letter, in which she says she is dying, but her son yet lives.
POL. Is this really the very same chest which was almost lost this very year, seized by pirates, if I had not killed the pirates and miraculously restored it untouched to Queen Hyanisbe?
ΜEL. From what I hear, Poliarchus, that is the reason why I owe my son to you as well.
POL. O king, dearest father-in-law, I need no reward for this service other than Argenis.
ARCH. Poliarchus, how magnificently and suddenly the immortal gods have exalted us!
POL. Archombrotus, kinsman and brother, do you remember what mutual esteem was once foretold for us at Timoclea's palace?
ARCH. I am well aware of it, my Poliarchus.
ΜEL. Now, in my old age, I have regained my heart.
ARG. And my heart seems to have laid aside an Etna of grief. O, what promised joys my mind entertains, what feelings my heart conceives! Now I have the reward for my constancy. Now I have prevailed over so many troubles, and no one can seem more worthy of this glorious destiny than myself.
POL. Now I am forgetting my rivalry and distemper.
ΜEL. My most treasured son-in-law Poliarchus, I really cannot help making a jest against you whenever I think of how you begrudged the kisses which your Argenis just gave Archombrotus with sisterly affection. How does this all seem to you, son-in-law Archombrotus, or to you, my Theocrine?
ARCH. O sister Argenis, can you tell me what you were most glad of upon your first true knowledge of me: whether is were that you had me as a brother, or should not have me as a husband?
ARG. I will tell you inside; there is no need right now. But, my Poliarchus, will we not treat royally as a king this Aneroestus, who stands here in coarse garb, but who has laid aside his austerity and deigns to be merry?
POL. Yes, my Argenis, I think we should.
4. COUNSELLOR 1 Greatest Kings, with what applause should I acclaim your good fortune? Whom should I mention first, your loyalty, O greatest of kings Meleander, or you two heroes, you, Poliarchus, and you, Archombrotus? Or should I mention you first, O Queen Argenis, and your incomparable courage in the face of troubles? Such immense virtues shine in each of you that I know not which must be recounted first, which second. But in such congratulations towards all of you, I cannot be silent about you, unconquered Poliarchus. By what name shall I call you, most mighty King, whose gift it is that we live and reign? You freed King Meleander from slavery and the maid Argenis from all troubles when the villains sent by Lycogenes broke into their hearth and home. At the head of his army you led his soldiers to victory, and you alone vanquished the enemy. Afterwards, you left Sicily to our hurt and — however you would excuse it — to our shame. Neither could our injuries overcome your goodness. You were wronged and yet still loved Argenis. What shall I say about this: how by the conduct of the gods you found amongst the pirates these tokens whereby King Meleander has come to the knowledge of his son and he of his father, and redeemed them by your valor. And in Africa the loss of your blood, which still appears in the paleness of your face, well declares what a hard and glorious work it was to keep Radirobanes from conquest. O happy Argenis in so great a match! You have by your virtue showed us the folly of that cowardly policy of our ancestors, who did so much fear the greatness of the French that they strictly forbade our Sicilian princes to marry with you, as if so great and powerful alliance were to be held as a servitude. You have deserved that we should all, with one consent, abrogate this law. But the gods have so dealt with us as we have no need to break this ordinance. For they have restored a son to succeed to the rule in Sicily, and Argenis shall not be of meaner estate, for she shall have Sardinia and Liguria and unite them to France without breach of our laws.
5. COUNS. 2 O unconquered kings, although I see that I can extoll everyone together when I raise my praise of Argenis, still I will extoll her alone in my speech. Come, glorious spouse and great queen, Argenis, come and enjoy the fruits of your indomitable endurance. Resign yourself to hear praise, but never to the extent you deserve. Poliarchus is yours, Archombrotus is yours, and neither shall depart from you since they are joined to each other by your virtues. You could scarce wish them to be closer to the immortal gods. You could not wish for nor have a more regal husband or a brother more suited to you. I cannot tell, O queen, whether you are more worthy than they, or they more worthy than you. At time Poliarchus seems to excel Archombrotus, at times the latter excels the former, but you seem no less to excel them both. If I assess the loftiness of your descent, the talents of your heroic spirits, the qualities of your great merits, in short, all your aspects, you are not inferior to them nor they to you, but all excel in every respect, each has taken on the entire nature of the other in talents and abilities, in spirit and soul. Each bears the other's face, features, and merits in his own. The gods could scarcely fashion anything more kingly. Nature herself wanted to make her most magnificent attempt when she formed you all, and now willy-nilly she must confess that she can go no farther. You are the goal, the summit of creation. Hail, noble hearts, ineffable hearts, greatest hearts, hail, and know that from now on I will adore your glory and your divine essence not in words or speech, but in reverent and silent worship.
6. COUNS. 3 Hail, O kings, O by the special care of the gods heretofore used to crosses and afflictions, but now coming to find, by the gods’ mercy, that nothing brings more perfect felicity than virtue. Ah, happiest old man! Do not upbraid the gods, Meleander, for spending your time in war and the rebellion of your subjects. You shall yet enjoy many years of a strong and healthful life and neither fear foreign nor domestic violence. You shall sometimes visit Hyanisbe in Africa and sometimes entertain her in Sicily. All faction and treason shall be far from your reign. Your age and Archombrotus’s youth shall strike reverence and terror into all nations. You, happy father, shall see him returning with victory and triumph from your neighboring Brutians, Lucanians, and Epeireians, and his children shall grow to years in your embraces and leave a long succession of princes to the crown of Sicily. Neither is your daughter, who now must depart for France, dearer unto you than your daughter-in-law shall be who is to come from thence.
“But you, jewels of this age, you Poliarchus and Argenis, do not think at this time to hear of those rewards that are most certainly laid up in store for your constancy and virtue. Many things I know not, many things I must not speak. Yet take thus much from me: that love, which has this day joined you together, shall hold inviolate to the end. No difference, no loathing, no jealousy shall lessen it. You shall extend the bounds of empire. The Rhine on the one side and the ocean on the other shall behold you as conquerors. The neighboring nations shall admire your glory and power and not refuse to be conquered, to be governed by you. Wheresoever you go, safety herself shall attend you. Whatsoever you desire, the gods shall anticipate your wishes. And so that your felicity leave you not even in death, one night shall (after a long and happy age) close up both your eyes together and send you to increase the number of the stars. Never doubt of your fame. That shall be made eternal by the guardian spirit of your story, which hereafter shall be spread abroad among all nations, and no force, no time shall be able to extinguish it.
ΜEL. I really think that we have stood here long enough, for the time for feasting is at hand. We will invite the priests Aneroestus, Iburranes, and Dunalbius to it. Timoclea, you of all the matrons most like a mother, will bear the torch before my daughter as she marries. Accompany Argenis now.
7. ARCH. And so, Poliarchus, within the palace our chief discourse will be about Poliarchus: how he loved Argenis; how, forgetting his own estate, unknown, careless of himself and safe neither from fortune or his enemies, he had thrust himself into dangers; from whence did this ardor arise; on what grounds did he build so constant a love. How he conceived an earnest desire to see the beauty of Argenis. How, when he learned that Sicilian laws forbade any marriage with the French, that bar did so much the more inflame him. How, pretending a devotion to the gods of foreign nations and under color to visit their temples, he sailed accompanied only by Gelanorus into Sicily. How in vain he wished to see Argenis, who was shut up in a fortress. How in a woman's habit he pretended to be Theocrine, and with what courage and strength he had quelled the villains who had entered the fortress, and how from Theocrine, he had become the warrior goddess Pallas.
POL. Be sure that we will speak much about you, my Archombrotus. How you came to Sicily, which was in fact your inheritance; how you fashioned your mind after the mind of your father, who did not know you; with what services you won the marriage to Argenis, who was indeed your sister.
ΜEL. Instead I should reveal the whole story of my youth: how at my father's command I had earlier married the daughter of the prince of the Bruttians, who continued my wife for six years without a child, but died of a hurt she took by falling from her horse against a tree stump; how, to drive away the grief I had for the death of my wife, I set out to Mauritania to King Juba; how I secretly married Anna, Juba's younger daughter while Juba was still alive; how, when I heard of the death of Anna, I married a Sicilian lady, my uncle's daughter, by whom I had Argenis. But why should we cause such delay for ourselves? We will go in to dinner. I command all of you, as soon as the sun rises tomorrow, to come to the entrance of the palace. There shall both the people and the soldiers be assembled that none may be ignorant of the blessings of the gods, which I think they have more abundantly bestowed upon me than upon any other. There I will have Queen Hyanisbe's letter read to the people. From there we will proceed to the temple, and after praying to our nation's gods, we will spend the time that remains in the marriage ceremony. GIVE YOUR APPLAUSE