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Dialogue following No. 16
Aline. How joyful they all seem in their new-found happiness! The whole village has paired off in the happiest manner. And yet not a match has been made that the hollow world would not consider ill-advised!
Alexis. But we are wiser – far wiser – than the world. Observe the good that will become of these ill-assorted unions. The miserly wife will check the reckless expenditure of her too frivolous consort, the wealthy husband will shower innumerable bonnets on his penniless bride, and the young and lively spouse will cheer the declining days of her aged partner with comic songs unceasing!
Aline. What a delightful prospect for him!
Alexis. But one thing remains to be done, that my happiness may be complete. We must drink the philtre ourselves, that I may be assured of your love for ever and ever.
Aline. Oh, Alexis, do you doubt me? Is it necessary that such love as ours should be secured by artificial means? Oh, no, no, no!
Alexis. My dear Aline, time works terrible changes, and I want to place our love beyond the chance of change.
Aline. Alexis, it is already far beyond that chance. Have faith in me, for my love can never, never change!
Alexis. Then you absolutely refuse?
Aline. I do. If you cannot trust me, you have no right to love me – no right to be loved by me.
Alexis. Enough, Aline, I shall know how to interpret this refusal.
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