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Dialogue following No. 16



Locrine. Why, this is Lutin's mortal counterpart!
How quaint! How picturesquely rugged!
Leila.
  Yes!
  Such character and such expression!
All. (admiring him). Yes!
Lutin. (with conviction).
  It's Paradise! Mahomet's Paradise!
I'm comfortably dead, and all is well!
Neodie. Alas!
This is not Paradise, nor art thou dead,
Thou art in Fairyland! These are the clouds,
And there's the earth from which we summoned thee.
Lutin. Of course! I recollect it all! A mist
Enveloped me and whirled me safely here
Just as my fair but able-bodied wife
Began to lay my staff about my ears.
That's all I know. I'm much obliged to it!
Neodie. Oh, tell me, are there many men on earth
As fair and pleasant to the eye as thou?
Lutin. Not many — though I have met one or two
Who run me pretty close!
Locrine.
  Tell us their names.
Lutin. Well, let me see — Sir Phyllon has been thought
A personable man; then Ethais —
He's fairly well.
Neodie.
  But these are handsome men.
  We love thee for thy rugged, homely face;
Oh, we are sated with mere comeliness,
We have so much of that up here! I love
A homely face!
Lutin.
  I quite agree with you!
  What do a dozen handsome men imply?
A dozen faces cast in the same mould.
A dozen mouths, all lip for lip the same,
A dozen noses, all of equal length.
But take twelve plain men, and the element
Of picturesque variety steps in.
You get at once unlooked for hill and dale,
Odd curves and unexpected points of light,
Pleasant surprises, quaintly broken lines —
All very charming, whether seen upon
The face of Nature or the face of Man.

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