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WEB OPERA

At the end of song, enter GENERAL DEELAH. He is in evening dress, with opera hat under his arm. He is a hearty looking man with red face, very gray hair and moustache, and of over refined manners. MRS. W., who is kissing the saucer, hastily puts it away.

GEN. D. – Ah my dear Mrs. Worcester, my very dear Mrs. Worcester. How are you? (detains her hand.)

MRS. W. – Oh General. You completely surprised me.

GEN. D. – I assure you your charms have repeatedly surprised me.

MRS. W. (Shyly) Oh, General. You are quite too complimentary.

GEN. D. – Oh, no. Its impossible to be too – to be too –

MRS. W. – Pray be seated General!

GEN. D.(hands seat politely to MRS. W. L, and sits on another chair R. of table. Awkward pause, GENERAL taking off his gloves.) How fine it was to day.

MRS. W. – It was.

GEN. D. – It was.

MRS. W. – Yes, it was. (Pause).

GEN. D. – And yet yesterday was wet.

MRS. W. (Quickly.) It was.

GEN. D. – It was.

MRS. W. – Yes, it was. (Another pause.)

GEN. D. – Have you ever noticed –

MRS. W. – Oh, I have!

GEN. D. – So have I, frequently! How much we are alike. But although the rain is disagreeable, yet, I always think it makes the grass – and the fields and flowers look – look – wet.

MRS. W. – Oh it does, and increases the growth of the simple buttercups and saucers.

GEN. D. – What cups and saucers?

MRS. W. – How absurd. What will you think of me? I meant buttercups and daisies. (Aside.) He wont take the hint.

GEN. D.(Rising and speaking aside.) Will she never refer to that saucer? Lord Pekin declares she has it, and I wont propose till I know for certain. Why, after our marriage I could sell it for a fortune.

MRS. W. – General, you appear rather distant!

GEN. D.(Seating himself beside her again, and gazing at her with a comical fond expression.) Pardon my apparent rudeness. I was wondering upon what favoured object Mrs. Worcester was bestowing a kiss as I entered. I was vain enough, but for a moment, to imagine it was one of my letters.

MRS. W.(Tapping his shoulder playfully with her fan.) Oh, how can you, General – you conceited man.

GEN. D. – Was it not, really?

MRS. W. – Oh, no, General, how could you! You will smile perhaps. It was but a simple piece of china.

GEN. D.(Aside and eagerly.) She has got it. (Aloud, calmly.) A piece of china. Do you like old china?

MRS. W. – I adore it – do not you?

GEN. D. – I worship it. Have you a large collection?

MRS. W. – No, but one small piece.

GEN. D.(Aside.) That’s the one.

MRS. W. – You, I believe, have a very large collection.

GEN. D.(Endeavouring to evade the point.) Oh, ah! I have a large collection of china (aside) hundreds of miles away.

MRS. W. – Is it very old china?

GEN. D. – I have a large collection of china (aside) in China. (Aloud.) Would it surprise you to learn that I am related to the Chinese!

MRS. W. – Dear me – really General –

GEN. D. – Really! There is a legend of my relationship to Foo Choo Chan, which I will give you if it will not bore you.

MRS. W. – You could not bore me, General! (Bus.) Would you hand me my tea. (GENERAL DEELAH does so, and gives his opera hat in mistake while gazing at her. Bus. ad lib. During the song MRS. NANKEEN WORCESTER beats her cup with spoon at the refrain.

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