A Greek Slave
Dialogue Following Song No. 8 Act I
(Enter Heliodorus sees Diomed)
Heliodorus: That reminds me I must get rid of him. Well, if ever a man really lived in a atmosphere of love that man is a necromancer!
Melpanopis: Two queer old women demand an audience.
Heliodorus: I can't see anybody today but princesses. But there! We must not turn money away. Admit them. Summon the slaves.
(Melanopis exists and re-enters. Enter Nepia and Slaves. They arrange themselves.)
Melanopis: Two visitors, Heliodorus!
(Enter Antonia and Iris disguised as and with the gait of old women. Heliodorus goes to Iris)
Heliodorus: Salve! You are welcome here!
Iris: (Aside to Heliodorus)What do you think of this disguise? (Discloses herself) She's the Lady Antonia.
(Heliodorus goes to princess)
Heliodorus: Welcome lady. What would you with the Seer?
Antonia: (In assumed voice) Can you fortell the future of an old woman?
Heliodorus: If you are so very old there's not much future to foretell.
(Princess turns, annoyed)
Iris: (aside toHeliodorus) You'd better let Maia attend to this customer.
Heliodorus: All right. (To Antonia) Old lady, you shall consult the blind oracle from Memphis. Bring her forth.
(Melanopis and a Slave usher in Maia blindfolded. Heliodorus makes magical passes over her, and she takes her place on pedestal)
Heliodorus: (To Antonia) Question her, and she must answer.
Antonia: (Approaches Maia) I am old, yet happy and contented.
Maia: The happy and contented do not consult fortune-tellers.
Antonia: I have all I want save one thing.
Maia: (Aside to Iris) What does she want?
Iris: A nice young husband.
Maia: (To Antonia) And you ask the oracle is that one thing attainable? I answer...
Antonia: Yes, yes!
Maia: Not from this Earth.
Antonia: (Disappointed) - Oh! Am I then too old, too ugly for any man to love ?
Maia: Old and ugly surely you cannot be either. I see you young and fair and highly born. The gods are with me and I can see the blood of Cæsar everywhere around, you are a lady beloved of all men yet
Antonia: Yet what?
Maia: Yet loving no man. And the fates will disclose to me the reason why.
Antonia: (Excitedly) )'Tis true I love no man. I have never loved. I cannot love oh, tell me, Oracle, the reason.
Maia: The Oracle cannot commune with disguises. Avow yourself, Lady Antonia, or the gods will leave me and I must be silent.
Iris: (Helping Antonia her to take off her disguise) A pretty mess you have made of being an old woman.
Page created 15 November 2001