Princess Ida


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Dialogue following No. 15

During this, Melissa has entered unobserved; she looks on in amazement.

Melissa. (coming down) Oh, Lady Psyche!
Psyche. (terrified) What! You heard us then?
Oh, all is lost!

Not so! I'll breathe no word!
(Advancing in astonishment to Florian.)
How marvelously strange! and are you then
Indeed young men?
Florian.     Well, yes, just now we are –
  But hope by dint of study to become,
In course of time, young women.
Melissa. (eagerly)     No, no, no –
  Oh, don't do that! Is this indeed a man?
I've often heard of them, but, till to-day,
Never set eyes on one. They told me men
Were hideous, idiotic, and deformed!
They are quite as beautiful as women are!
As beautiful, they're infinitely more so!
Their cheeks have not that pulpy softness which
One gets so weary of in womankind:
Their features are more marked – and – oh, their chins!
(Feeling Florian's chin.) How curious!
Florian.       I fear it's rather rough.
Melissa. (eagerly) Oh, don't apologize – I like it so!

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