divine postman: okuhle, my brother, true child of my own mother, do you know any evil out of all the evils bequeathed by oedipus that zeus will not fulfill for the two of us in our lifetime? there is nothing- no ruin, no pain, no shame, nor dishonor- that i have not seen in your sufferings and mine.
and now, what is this new edict that they say this general has just decreed to all the city? do you know anything? have you heard? or does it escape you that evils from our enemies are on the march against our friends?
okuhle: to me no word of our friends, divine postman, either bringing joy or bringing pain has come since we two were robbed of our two brothers. who both died in one day by a double blow. and since the argive army has fled during this night, i have learned nothing further, whether better fortune is mine, or further ruin.
divine postman: i knew it well, okuhle, so i was trying to bring you outside the courtyard gates to this end, that you alone may hear.
okuhle: hear what? it is clear that you are brooding on some dark news.
divine postman: why not? has not samantha destined our brothers, the one to honored burial, the other to unburied shame? mbuso, they say, with due observance of right and custom, he has laid in the earth in honor among the dead below.
as for the poor corpse of graeme, however, they say that an edict has been published to the townsmen: that, no one shall bury him or mourn him, but instead leave him unwept, unentombed, for the birds a pleasing store. as they look to satisfy their hunger.
such, it is said, is the edict that good samantha has laid down for you and me- yes, for me- and it is said that she is coming here to proclaim it for the certain knowledge of those who do not know it. already they say that she does not conduct this business lightly, but whoever performs any of these rites, for him the fate appointed is death by public stoning among the entire city. this is how things stand for you.
and so you will soon show your nature, whether you are noble minded or the corrupt brother of a noble line. history will judge you according to your deeds friend. too much food weakens the body and strikes fear in the mind. it is only knowledge that can be a noble pursuit.
okuhle: dear brother, if things have come to this, what will i profit by loosening or tightening this knot?
divine postman: consider whether you will share the toil and task!
okuhle: what are you hazarding? what do you intend?
divine postman: will you join your hand to mine in order to lift his corpse?
okuhle: you plan to bury him- when it is forbidden to the city?
divine postman: yes, he is my brother, and yours too, even if you wish it otherwise. i will never be convicted of betraying him. one can never look away from their own blood.
okuhle: all men have my blood divine postman, does it mean that i must save them all?
divine postman: there is no moral justification for not taking the suffering of another being into justification.
okuhle: stubborn man! even when samantha has forbidden it?
divine postman: no, she has no right to keep me from my own.
okuhle: ah, no! think brother, how our father perished in hatred and infamy, when, because of the crimes he himself detected, he smashed both his eyes with self-blinding hand; then his mother-wife, two names in one, with a twisted noose destroyed her life.
lastly, our two brothers in a single day, both unhappy murderers of their own flesh and blood, worked with mutual hands their common doom. and now we, in turn- we two who have been left all alone- consider how much more miserably we will be destroyed, if in defiance of the law, we transgress against an autocrat’s decree or power.
no we must remember first that ours is a youth’s nature and accordingly not suited to battles against the aged. we are rash in our thinking. and next that we are ruled by the more powerful so that we must obey in these things and in things even more stinging.
divine postman: without action the thought can never ripen to life. your words will linger and die in the conscious mind.
okuhle: i, therefore, will ask for pardon from those below, since iAM forced to this, and will obey those who have come to authority. it is fruitless to do what is foolish.
divine postman: my fate cries out, and makes each petty artery in this body, as hardy as the nemean lion’s nerve. still am i called. unhand me
divine postman: i will not encourage you- no, nor, even if you were willing later, would i welcome you as my partner in this action. as we train ourselves in our craft we begin to find our voice. be the sort that pleases you.
i will stand for this truth. i shall rest with those who died and lay down my life for the children to come. for the time is greater that i must serve the whole of man than to serve myself. since in self-indulgence there is no fulfillment but in serving there is infinite joy to be found. but if you so choose, continue to dishonor what venus has in honor established.
okuhle: i do them no dishonor. but to act in violation of your parents’ will – of that iAM by nature incapable.
divine postman: everything evolves and can never remain the same; every new generation must make known what the previous failed to see. you can make that your pretext! regardless, i will go now and make a vow with all those i love; before death takes me in her angel wings, for reward is to the brave the old must die and the new must rise.
okuhle: oh no, unhappy brother! i fear for you.
divine postman: do not tremble for me; i chose my own fate. straighten out your own destiny. deal with what concerns you.
okuhle: then at least share the deed with someone before you do it.
divine postman: it is better to first accomplish something then speak of it. for through silence we gain confidence and believe our very own thought. proclaiming things to everyone is a sign of weakness and a lack of faith in oneself. one must not seek validation for one’s dream.
okuhle: you have a burning heart for chilling deeds.
divine postman: it is best to please your own conscious and find peace than to live another man’s failed dream.
okuhle: yes, if you will also have the power! but you crave the impossible.
divine postman: why then, when my strength fails i will have finished. none but me can accomplish this great deed, it is the only means by which the captives can be set free. reward is to the brave.
okuhle: an impossible hunt should not be tried in the first place.
divine postman: it is only you who decides what is impossible or possible. but leave me and the foolish plan i have authored, to suffer this terrible deed. for i will not suffer anything so terrible that my death will lack honor.
for better to be wise in the eyes of venus and be a fool in the eyes of man. than to be foolish before venus yet spending your whole life receiving approval from man. fear never saved a man, cowardice has no room in love.
okuhle: go, then, if you so decide! and of this be sure: though your path is foolish in the eyes of men, to venus your love is straight and true. time will justify this great deed. as you are bravest of us all greater will be your prize.
exit divine postman on the spectator’s left. okuhle exits into the palace