The Gondoliers

   

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Dialogue following No. 4


Casilda. O Luiz, Luiz — what have you said? What have I done? What have I allowed you to do?

Luiz. Nothing, I trust, that you will ever have reason to repent. (Offering to embrace her.)

Casilda (Julia Goss) & Luiz
(Colin Wright), 1967
Click on picture to enlarge

Casilda. (withdrawing from him) Nay, Luiz, it may not be. I have embraced you for the last time.

Luiz. (amazed) Casilda!

Casilda. I have just learnt, to my surprise and indignation, that I was wed in babyhood to the infant son of the King of Barataria!

Luiz. The son of the King of Barataria? The child who was stolen in infancy by the Inquisition?

Casilda. The same. But, of course, you know his story.

Luiz. Know his story? Why, I have often told you that my mother was the nurse to whose charge he was entrusted!

Casilda. True. I had forgotten. Well, he has been discovered, and my father has brought me here to claim his hand.

Luiz. But you will not recognize this marriage? It took place when you were too young to understand its import.

Casilda. Nay, Luiz, respect my principles and cease to torture me with vain entreaties. Henceforth my life is another's.

Luiz. But stay — the present and the future — they are another's; but the past — that at least is ours, and none can take it from us. As we may revel in naught else, let us revel in that!

Casilda. I don't think I grasp your meaning.

Luiz. Yet it is logical enough. You say you cease to love me?

Casilda. (demurely) I say I may not love you.

Luiz. Ah, but you do not say you did not love me?

Casilda. I loved you with a frenzy that words are powerless to express — and that but ten brief minutes since!

Luiz. Exactly. My own — that is, until ten minutes since, my own — my lately loved, my recently adored — tell me that until, say a quarter of an hour ago, I was all in all to thee! (Embracing her.)

Casilda. I see your idea. It's ingenious, but don't do that. (Releasing herself.)

Luiz. There can be no harm in revelling in the past.

Casilda. None whatever, but an embrace cannot be taken to act retrospectively.

Luiz. Perhaps not!

Casilda. We may recollect an embrace — I recollect many — but we must not repeat them.

Luiz. Then let us recollect a few! (A moment's pause, as they recollect, then both heave a deep sigh.)

Luiz. Ah, Casilda, you were to me as the sun is to the earth!

Casilda. A quarter of an hour ago?

Luiz. About that.

Casilda. And to think that, but for this miserable discovery, you would have been my own for life!

Luiz. Through life to death — a quarter of an hour ago!

Casilda. How greedily my thirsty ears would have drunk the golden melody of those sweet words a quarter — well, it's now about twenty minutes since. (Looking at her watch.)

Luiz. About that. In such a matter one cannot be too precise.

Casilda. And now our love, so full of life, is but a silent, solemn memory!

Luiz. Must it be so, Casilda?

Casilda. Luiz, it must be so!

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