Princess Ida


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Dialogue following No. 24

Enter Gama.

Gama. Hilarion! Cyril! Florian! dressed as women!
Is this indeed Hilarion?
Hilarion.     Yes, it is!

Why, you look handsome in your women's clothes!
Stick to 'em! Men's attire becomes you not!
(to Cyril and Florian)
And you, young ladies, will you please to pray
King Hildebrand to set me free again?
Hang on his neck and gaze into his eyes,
He never could resist a pretty face!

Hilarion. You dog, you'll find, though I wear woman's garb,
My sword is long and sharp!
Gama.          Hush, pretty one!
  Here's a virago! Here's a termagant!
If length and sharpness go for anything,
You'll want no sword while you can wag your tongue!
Cyril. What need to waste your words on such as he?
He's old and crippled.
Gama.     Aye, but I've three sons,

Fine fellows, young, and muscular, and brave,
They're well worth talking to! Come, what d'ye say?

Arac. Aye, pretty ones, engage yourselves with us,
If three rude warriors affright you not!

Old as you are, I'd wring your shrivelled neck
If you were not the Princess Ida's father.


If I were not the Princess Ida's father,
And so had not her brothers for my sons,
No doubt you'd wring my neck – in safety too!
Come, come, Hilarion, begin, begin!
Give them no quarter – they will give you none.
You've this advantage over warriors
Who kill their country's enemies for pay, –
You know what you are fighting for – look there!

    (Pointing to Ladies on the battlements.)

Exit Gama. Hilarion, Florian, and Cyril are led off.

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