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Dialogue following No. 18


Enter DARINE, unobserved.

Locrine. And, Lutin, is thy wife as fair as thou?
Lutin. I thought her pretty till I looked on thee.
Zayda. Her hair —
Lutin.   Is bright, but not as bright as thine.
Locrine. Her figure?
Lutin.   Neat and graceful of its kind,
  But lacks that pleasant plumpness. Then besides
She has a long, loud tongue, and uses it;
A stout and heavy hand, and uses that;
And large expressive eyes, and uses them!
Zayda. And doth she know that thou art here with us?
Lutin. No, that's the joke!    
Zayda.   The joke?
Lutin.     Of course it is!
Zayda. What joke?
Lutin.   What joke? Why this: my lovely wife
  Is just as full of devil-born jealousy
As woman's soul can hold! A pretty girl
Who comes within a hundred yards of me
Runs a fair chance to lose both eyes and hair!
If I address a well-proportioned maid,
My bones will ache for it a month at least!
Only the crooked, the palsied, and the blear
Are held to be fit company for me,
And even they must mind their p's and q's.
This comes of being quaintly picturesque!
Neodie. (sighing).
  I understand — I'm not at all surprised.
I should be just the same were I thy wife!
Locrine. And how's the lady called?
Lutin.     Her name's Darine.
Locrine. (astonished).
  Darine?    
Lutin.   Darine.  
All.     How marvellous! Darine!

DARINE comes forward.

Darine. At last I've found thee, Lutin! Everywhere
I've sought thee, high and low!
Lutin. (who stares at her in blank astonishment).
      Merciful powers!
  Are all my senses muddled, or is this
A drink-engendered dream?
Darine.     A dream? Oh no!
Lutin. (staring incredulously).
  Art thou indeed Darine?
Darine.   Darine indeed!
  Come hither, I would have a word with thee.
Lutin. (to Fairies). You'd better go! There's going to be a scene.
    [Fairies retire up stage.
(in great terror). Darine, have mercy! Pray let me explain,
  These bold young girls, they are no friends of mine!
Nay, hear me patiently — I know them not;
They thrust themselves upon me 'gainst my will!
(crying).  Be merciful and hear before you strike!
Darine. I have no time to list to explanations.
Attend to me, for this is life or death!
Thy master Ethais — he fought with Phyllon
And he was sorely wounded in the fight —
Lutin. My master Ethais? Is he in the clouds?
Darine. He is, his wound is grave and he may die!
Thou hast a charm of wondrous efficacy
(So Ethais says) to heal e'en mortal wounds —
I bid thee give it me without delay!
Lutin. But tell me first — what means this strange disguise?
How camest thou up here? And, above all,
Why dost thou want to heal his wound thyself?
Darine. Why? Dost thou love thy master Ethais?
Lutin. Of course I do. What then?
Darine. (passionately).   Why, so do I!  [LUTIN horrified.
  Fiercely, unreasonably, recklessly!
With all the madcap torrent of a soul
That love has never kindled till to-day!
Lutin. (aghast).
  Thou lovest Ethais? Great heaven and earth!
Is the girl mad?
Darine.   She is! Mad as the moon!
  Hast thou no pity for a heart-wrung girl
Who pines for love that thou canst help her win?
Lutin. She must be mad! Oh, my beloved Darine! [Throwing himself at her feet.
  Don't break my heart — don't make my life a curse!
I've been a faithful husband — more or less!
And when I've earned a hearty cudgelling
As I have, now and then,
I've borne it meekly! Oh, Darine, my love,
Do not forsake me. Treat me as thou wilt,
I will bear it all. Be thou but true to me,
My masterful but well-beloved wife! (weeping).
Darine. (astonished).
  I am thy wife? Thy well-beloved wife?
Lutin.     Of course!
Darine. Oh monstrous! (suddenly). Stay! There has been mistake;
Some dreadful error! See, I've found the clue!
Her name's Darine. Here, set thy mind at rest —
No doubt I am her fairy prototype!
Lutin. (sobbing).
  Her prototype? And what's a prototype?
Darine. Why, all the mortals on that wicked world
Have prototypes up here, and I am hers —
In face resembling her, and that is all.
Lutin. Then you are not my wife?
Darine.   Not I indeed!
Lutin. You're sure of that?
Darine.   Quite sure!  
Lutin. (embracing her rapturously). My darling girl!
  And I'm permitted to disport myself
With these fair maids?
Darine.     Undoubtedly you are!
Lutin.

Kiss me again! [Embracing DARINE and giving her the phial.
Here — take the phial. Two spoonsful to the dose!
I never was so happy in my life!

[Exit DARINE triumphantly.  

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