|Sullivan > Major Works > The Beauty Stone > Web Opera > Act II
PHILIP (never removing his eyes from LAINE's face). Thou hast tarried long.
LAINE. They did delay me, to make me fit to appear before thee. My lord —
PHILIP. Sayest thou?
LAINE. I do thank thee for thy goodness to a poor maid.
PHILIP. Poor! nay, thy perfect loveliness maketh thee vastly rich.
LAINE (passing her hand over her face). Ah! and yet this morning I was ugly and most despised.
PHILIP* (incredulously). 'Tis so reported.
LAINE. 'Tis very sooth, my lord — until the holy man wrought this miracle.
PHILIP. How wrought he the miracle?
LAINE. My lord, I may not tell. My mother and father have forbade me strictly to say aught save that 'twas in answer to a prayer to Our Lady.
DEVIL (to SAIDA). Heard you that?
SAIDA (to him). Aye. (They move away.)
PHILIP (to LAINE). No matter — sith thou art as thou art. (Pointing to a seat.) Sit ye down.
LAINE. Not whiles you stand, my lord.
PHILIP. Nay, then. (They sit.) Demoiselle, know you that the lady Catherine of Ninove, who dwells within this castle, will take you as a playfellow for her daughter Blanche, an' thou'rt willing.
LAINE. Oh, I am not suitable.
PHILIP (sternly). I do bid thee to do this.
LAINE (her eyes drooping before his). My lord — !
PHILIP. For, in very deed, I desire to gaze at thee with but little intermission day by day.
LAINE (wonderingly). Why, my lord?
PHILIP. Because thou art the ripe fulfilment of all my dreams of beauty.
LAINE (clasping her hands). Holy Mother, what if Thou hast made me over-beautiful! (To him.) My lord, such comeliness as I possess thou hast now seen and noted.
PHILIP. Truly, I see thee; yet I cannot see thee. Thy splendour turneth the air about thee into a mist. Therefore it behoves me to look on thee constantly, that custom may grave thy features upon my memory.
LAINE (in a low voice). That is strange. Why, my lord, when I had glimpse of thy face but once — it seemeth years agone — and thou wert riding right swiftly through the streets —
PHILIP (eagerly). Aye? then — then — ?
LAINE (abashed). Oh, pardon me.
PHILIP (drawing nearer to her). What, have radiant dreams sought thee out also?
LAINE (faintly). Our alley is too narrow, my lord.
PHILIP. A good answer, little heart! Yet not so narrow but Philip of Mirlemont hath strayed thither, in thy sleep?
LAINE (attempting to rise). Oh, my lord!
PHILIP (detaining her). Speak!
LAINE (helplessly). My lord, I am still but a weaver's daughter!
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