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Dialogue following No. 22.


TERESA. 'Tis but a silly song, and passing dear at the ducat I paid for it. They think anything is good enough for a mad maiden to sing; but though the maid be mad, her ducats are sound, and good gold should buy good wares, and there are none so made that they want value for cash!

ALFREDO. Teresa!

TERESA (not recongnising him). My lord Duke, is it not? My service to your Grace and your Grace's bravery. (Kissing his cloak.) In good sooth, these are find trappings, but they'll not trap me, for I love a lad who will none of me! My song says he's my duck-a-deary, which is true, in fact; but the expression is weak, and I am not yet made enough for it. But I shall be soon — I shall be, soon!

ALFREDO. Teresa! — do you not know Alfredo, who used to love you so dearly?

TERESA. Alfredo! Alfredo! It is — it is — ha! ha! ha! (About to embrace him.)

ALFREDO. Don't. That I cannot permit. Under the circumstances, it would be in the last degree unbecoming.

TERESA. Oh, I had forgotten! Thou lovest another now — a plain girl, compared with me. Me thinks thou too must be mad to take up with such a one! But we are all mad — all — all mad.

ALFREDO. I sometimes think so too. But take heart, little one; it is true I love thee not, for I have a bride, and no married man ever loves anybody but his wife.

TERESA. I am not so mad but that I know that. Why, I learnt it at school! But thou art like the rest — thou thinkest that any truism is good enough for a mad girl!

ALFREDO. As I was saying, take heart, for although you are nothing to me now, yet I have ascertained that this spell under which we all labour will be removed in an hour, and I shall then love you as dearly, as passionately as heretofore!

TERESA. Is this indeed so? In one brief hour? No, no; I dare not believe it!


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