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Dialogue following No. 4
Sir Marmaduke. (to Alexis, who is in a reverie) Come, come, my son – your fiancèe will be here in five minutes. Rouse yourself to receive her.
Alexis. Oh rapture!
Sir Marmaduke. Yes, you are a fortunate young fellow, and I will not disguise from you that this union with the House of Sangazure realizes my fondest wishes. Aline is rich, and she comes of a sufficiently old family, for she is the seven thousand and thirty-seventh in direct descent from Helen of Troy. True, there was a blot on the escutcheon of that lady – that affair with Paris – but where is the family, other than my own, in which there is no flaw? You are a lucky fellow, sir – a very lucky fellow!
Alexis. Father, I am welling over with limpid joy! No sicklying taint of sorrow overlies the lucid lake of liquid love, upon which, hand in hand, Aline and I are to float into eternity!
Sir Marmaduke. Alexis, I desire that of your love for this young lady you do not speak so openly. You are always singing ballads in praise of her beauty, and you expect the very menials who wait behind your chair to chorus your ecstasies. It is not delicate.
Alexis. Father, a man who loves as I love–
Sir Marmaduke. Pooh pooh, sir! fifty years ago I madly loved your future mother-in-law, the Lady Sangazure, and I have reason to believe that she returned my love. But were we guilty of the indelicacy of publicly rushing into each other's arms, exclaiming – "Oh, my adored one!" "Beloved boy!" "Ecstatic rapture!" "Unmingled joy!" which seems to be the modern fashion of love-making? No! it was "Madam, I trust you are in the enjoyment of good health" – "Sir, you are vastly polite, I protest I am mighty well" – and so forth. Much more delicate – much more respectful. But see –Aline approaches – let us retire, that she may compose herself for the interesting ceremony in which she is to play so important a part.
Exeunt Sir Marmaduke and Alexis.
Page Created 15 May, 2005