Princess Ida


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Dialogue following No. 3

Enter Hilarion.

Hilarion. Well, father, is there news for me at last?
Hilarion (Charles Goulding) & King Hildebrand (Joseph Griffin), 1926
Hilarion & Hildebrand
Hildebrand. King Gama is in sight, but much I fear
With no Princess!
Hilarion.   Alas, my liege, I've heard,
  That Princess Ida has forsworn the world,
And, with a band of women, shut herself
Within a lonely country house, and there
Devotes herself to stern philosophies!
Hildebrand. Then I should say the loss of such a wife
Is one to which a reasonable man
Would easily be reconciled.
Hilarion.   Oh, no!
  Or I am not a reasonable man.
She is my wife — has been for twenty years!
  (Holding glass) I think I see her now.
Hildebrand.   Ha! Let me look!
Hilarion. In my mind's eye, I mean — a blushing bride
All bib and tucker, frill and furbelow!
How exquisite she looked as she was borne,
Recumbent, in her foster-mother's arms!
How the bride wept — nor would be comforted
Until the hireling mother-for-the-nonce
Administered refreshment in the vestry.
And I remember feeling much annoyed
That she should weep at marrying with me.
But then I thought, "These brides are all alike.
You cry at marrying me? How much more cause
You'd have to cry if it were broken off!"
These were my thoughts; I kept them to myself,
For at that age I had not learnt to speak.

Exeunt Hildebrand and Hilarion.

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