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Dialogue following No. 11
Rose. A maiden, and in tears? Can I do aught to soften thy sorrow? This apple – (offering apple).
Margaret. (Examines it and rejects it.) No! (Mysteriously.) Tell me, are you mad?
Rose. I? No! That is, I think not.
Margaret. That's well! Then you don't love Sir Despard Murgatroyd? All mad girls love him. I love him. I'm poor Mad Margaret – Crazy Meg – Poor Peg! He! he! he! he! (chuckling).
Rose. Thou lovest the bad Baronet of Ruddigore? Oh, horrible – too horrible!
Margaret. You pity me? Then be my mother! The squirrel had a mother, but she drank and the squirrel fled! Hush! They sing a brave song in our parts – it runs somewhat thus: (Sings.)
I forget what they sat down in, but so the song goes! Listen – I've come to pinch her!
Rose. Mercy, whom?
Margaret. You mean "who".
Rose. Nay! it is the accusative after the verb.
Margaret. True. (Whispers melodramatically.) I have come to pinch Rose Maybud!
Rose. (Aside, alarmed.) Rose Maybud!
Margaret. Strange! They told me she was beautiful! And he loves you! No, no! If I thought that, I would treat you as the auctioneer and land-agent treated the lady-bird – I would rend you asunder!
Rose. Nay, be pacified, for behold I am pledged to another, and lo, we are to be wedded this very day!
Margaret. Swear me that! Come to a Commissioner and let me have it on affidavit! I once made an affidavit – but it died – it died – it died! But see, they come – Sir Despard and his evil crew! Hide, hide – they are all mad – quite mad!
Rose. What makes you think that?
Margaret. Hush! They sing choruses in public. That's mad enough, I think. Go – hide away, or they will seize you! Hush! Quite softly – quite, quite softly!
Exeunt together, on tiptoe.
Page Created 26 August, 2011