A Greek Slave
Dialogue Following Song No. 16 Act II
Iris: (Aside to princess) Well, Princess, has anything come of it?
Antonia: No, he looks the same god-like man he was yesterday. But he has no heart.
Iris: Perhaps the sculptor forgot to put one in!
Antonia: I am beginning to fear that he has given it away to some-one else. Here, Manlius
Antonia: Conduct my lord to his apartment.
(Diomed rises, bows and follows Manlius)
Iris: (To Diomed) You haven't kept it up very well.
Diomed: I have dome more than I ought. I have kept up the imposition I loathe, because I promised Maia to do so.
(Exit Diomed and Manlius)
Antonia: (Rising to go) And Iris, send someone at once with a hundred slaves to bring the necromancer to me I want him to commune again with Eros and make him more human. (on Exit) It's very nice to think of a god as a lover, but for a husband a girl wants something more real.
Iris: (Aloud) Send a hundred slaves for the necromancer! One can do that work. He and Maia have been prowling about the grounds ever since we came to Baiae I'll soon find them. (Looks about)
(Heliodorus' head appears above the parapet. He whistles. IRIS turns to him)
Iris: Oh there you are, Heliodorus! Well, you're wanted.
(Heliodorus disappears. Iris leans over parapet)
Iris: You needn't be afraid. Antonia only wants you to put more life into Eros. You've left too much of the marble in his system.
(Enter Heliodorus, climbing over parapet)
Heliodorus: (looking nervously around) I thought she was satisfied. She has a beautiful young man. He's much more useful about the house than a god.
Iris: Girls of high position don't expect a man to be of use about the house, and she's beginning to find out that this one is no use as a husband. Besides, Maia isn't satisfied.
Heliodorus: No, and she says that if I don't give her back her lover, she'll tell Antonia how we deceived her. I'm the victim of two disappointed women. I think I'd better go and confess to the Prefect.
Iris: He'll have you cut up into little bits to please Antonia.
Heliodorus: Then I'll go myself and confess to her.
Iris: She'll have you flogged into little bits to please herself.
Heliodorus: Oh dear!
(He goes to parapet and leans there in despair as he sings the first lines...
Page created 19 November 2001