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SIMON (exulting). Oh, wife, wife!

JOAN. Oh, good man! our child!

SIMON. Our child! (Rushing to LAINE.) To thy bed-chamber! Tear open thy bodice! (Pressing the stone into her hand.) Lay this upon thy poor breast! haste thee!

LAINE. Mother!

SIMON. Go! (He thrusts her from the room.) (embracing JOAN) Sweetheart!

JOAN (after a pause). Nay, good man, art certain we have done well?

SIMON. Wife?

JOAN. Something in this mislikes me. (Making for the door of LAINE's bed-chamber.) My child!

DEVIL (intercepting her). Woman, what wouldst thou?

JOAN. Pardon, father, but this miraculous stone may bring ill upon us rather than good. Stand aloof, I prithee.

DEVIL. Meddle not.

JOAN. Nay, but what if others learn what 'tis my girl carries upon her bosom?

DEVIL. Truly 'tis an object to be carefully guarded. For in sooth beauty is a possession man delighteth in stealing from woman, woman from man. H'm! yea, good people, you had best be discreet.

SIMON. And, father, I do bethink me — is this the only piece of beauty stone in mortal hands?

DEVIL. It is, my son.

SIMON. How long hast had it in thy keeping?

DEVIL. Sith thou wast pretty to look upon, weaver.

SIMON. And never bestowed it till now?

DEVIL. Aye, often.

JOAN (clinging to SIMON). Hear him!

SIMON. Then how come it in thy pouch to-day?

DEVIL. H'm, a sage question! I'll answer thee. In one odd fashion or another, this beauty stone, as thou hast dubbed it, hath always returned to my charge.

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