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Dialogue following No. 6.


ALFREDO. What shabby things a man will do when he's eaten up with jealousy! But what a comfort those shabby things are to him! To prevent Teresa joining the Tamorras with the other girls, I was mean enough to bribe a farm girl to lock her in her room! I'm disgusted with myself for having stooped to such a contemptible act. Still, I'm very glad I did it.

Enter TERESA.

ALFREDO. Teresa! You here?

TERESA. Didn't expect me, I fancy?

ALFREDO. No — I —

TERESA. Locked me in my room, didn't you? Well, I escaped through the window.

ALFREDO. Never thought of the window! However, you are too late — the Tamorras have gone. Ah! forgive me; I couldn't bear the thought of your spending the day with them.

TERESA. My dear Alfredo, now do you really think I am the sort of girl who would throw herself away upon a contemptible outlaw? Why, I'd much sooner marry you!

ALFREDO (delighted). You would? My darling! (Putting his arms round her.)

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TERESA. Infinitely. Don't.

ALFREDO. Why not?

TERESA. It's a liberty.

ALFREDO. But after the tender avowal you have just made, surely I may be permitted —

TERESA. My dear Alfredo, you jump at conclusions. I said I would rather throw myself away on a respectable young farmer than on a contemptible outlaw. But I haven't the smallest intention of throwing myself away on either.

ALFREDO. Teresa, have some pity on me; I am so desperately in love with you. I have founded my hopes of happiness upon you, for you are the very air I breathe, the very sunlight of my life!

TERESA. You are, of course, quite at liberty to profit by any light I may happen to emit; but without wishing to say a word that would hurt your feelings, it is only right to tell you that I look a great deal higher than a mere clod-hopper. For you do hop clods, you know.

ALFREDO. I have certainly hopped some in my time.

TERESA. It's not my own idea. To be quite candid with you, I have often wondered what people can see in me to admire. Personally, I have a poor opinion of my attractions. They are not at all what I would have chosen if I had had a voice in the matter. But the conviction that I am a remarkably attractive girl is so generally entertained that, in common modesty, I feel bound to yield to the pressure of popular sentiment, and to look upon myself as an ineffective working minority.

ALFREDO. But you used to like me.

TERESA. Decidedly. Personally, I entertain a great admiration for you. I think you extremely good-looking.

ALFREDO (delighted). Teresa!

TERESA. But the general opinion on the subject of your good looks is so entirely against me that (again regarding myself as an ineffective working minority) I feel bound to yield to the pressure of popular prejudice, and admit that you cannot be as good-looking as I feel sure you are.

ALFREDO (despondingly). Perhaps not.


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