TRESHAM. And this you saw Once?--twice?--quick!
GERARD. Twenty times.
TRESHAM. And what brings you Under the yew-trees?
GERARD. The first night I left My range so far, to track the stranger stag That broke the pale, I saw the man.
TRESHAM. Yet sent No cross-bow shaft through the marauder?
GERARD. But He came, my lord, the first time he was seen, In a great moonlight, light as any day, FROM Lady Mildred's chamber.
TRESHAM [after a pause]. You have no cause --Who could have cause to do my sister wrong?
GERARD. Oh, my lord, only once--let me this once Speak what is on my mind! Since first I noted All this, I've groaned as if a fiery net Plucked me this way and that--fire if I turned To her, fire if I turned to you, and fire If down I flung myself and strove to die. The lady could not have been seven years old When I was trusted to conduct her safe Through the deer-herd to stroke the snow-white fawn I brought to eat bread from her tiny hand Within a month. She ever had a smile To greet me with--she... if it could undo What's done, to lop each limb from off this trunk... All that is foolish talk, not fit for you-- I mean, I could not speak and bring her hurt For Heaven's compelling. But when I was fixed To hold my peace, each morsel of your food Eaten beneath your roof, my birth-place too, Choked me. I wish I had grown mad in doubts What it behoved me do. This morn it seemed Either I must confess to you or die: Now it is done, I seem the vilest worm That crawls, to have betrayed my lady.