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RP6 05r

Tell me, instead, what happened in Bethlehem today. 
 
ABRAMIN 
 
What happened is something fit to make you detest Herod, for, on his orders, all the children aged two or younger were pitilessly massacred before their mothers' eves and in their arms.
 
SUSANNA, holding Dismas with terror.
 
Is it possible? .Ah! I can't believe such barbarity! Poor mothers, they will die of sorrow.... As for me. I'd already bedead if my treasure had been snatched from me....
 
ABRAMIN
 
I'm telling you the truth; besides, all these things I've brought ought to prove it. I was able to earn them off with no trouble, since no one was paying any attention to me.
 
SUSANNA
 
But what motive did the king have to do something so low. o criminal? Why has he struck dead all these innocents?
 
ABRAMIN
 
No one knows for sure the reason for this hideous act; everyone has his own explanation. There are those who say that some foreign kings were the cause of it, when they came to ask Herod where to find the newborn king of the Jews, because having seen his star, they wanted to worship him. Sensing a rival and wanting to be rid of him at all cost, Herod made useless searches for him, then decided to put all these children to death, as a sure way of exterminating David's descendant.
 
SUSANNA, in thought.
 
What an astonishing story! An infant who receives the adoration of foreign kings, who makes Herod tremble on his throne.... Wouldn't this be the Messiah awaited by the Jews?
 
ABRAMIN
 
I don't know; in any case, his empire will never exist, since he's just been massacred. The god who protects me is Mercury and I recognize no other; in his name and in his honor, I'm going to undertake new exploits. (Getting up, he takes his weapons and says to his companions:) Let's go, my friends, let's leave!.... (They exit.)
 
[Scene 3] 
 

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