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Dialogue following No. 10
Alexis. At last we are alone! My darling, you are now irrevocably betrothed to me. Are you not very, very happy?
Aline. Oh, Alexis, can you doubt it? Do I not love you beyond all on earth, and am I not beloved in return? Is not true love, faithfully given and faithfully returned, the source of every earthly joy?
Alexis. Of that there can be no doubt. Oh, that the world could be persuaded of the truth of that maxim! Oh, that the world would break down the artificial barriers of rank, wealth, education, age, beauty, habits, taste, and temper, and recognize the glorious principle, that in marriage alone is to be found the panacea for every ill!
Aline. Continue to preach that sweet doctrine, and you will succeed, oh, evangel of true happiness!
Alexis. I hope so, but as yet the cause progresses but slowly. Still I have made some converts to the principle, that men and women should be coupled in matrimony without distinction of rank. I have lectured on the subject at Mechanics’ Institutes, and the mechanics were unanimous in favour of my views. I have preached in workhouses, beershops, and Lunatic Asylums, and I have been received with enthusiasm. I have addressed navvies on the advantages that would accrue to them if they married wealthy ladies of rank, and not a navvy dissented!
Aline. Noble fellows! And yet there are those who hold that the uneducated classes are not open to argument! And what do the countesses say?
Alexis. Why, at present, it can't be denied, the aristocracy hold aloof.
Aline. Ah, the working man is the true Intelligence after all!
Alexis. He is a noble creature when he is quite sober. Yes, Aline, true happiness comes of true love, and true love should be independent of external influences. It should live upon itself and by itself – in itself love should live for love alone!
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