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Dialogue following No. 15


A space of uneven ground lying between the Castle and the North Gate of Mirlemont. On the right a road runs up to the castle, which is seen perched upon an eminence, and on the left stand the gate and a portion of the town-wall. Across the scene, in the middle distance, runs a ridge of rocky earth broken, on the left by the opening to a pathway; and beyond the ridge is shewn a wide expanse of country. It is dawn.

The DEVIL, squatting upon the ridge, is looking out into the open country. JACQUELINE,
with weary steps, comes along the pathway.

DEVIL. Ha! welcome, little Jacques! Hast kept thy watch?

JACQ. Oh, yes, master; (faintly) all the night through.

DEVIL. Come! account!

JACQ. Well, as thou didst bid me, I did go after the lady Saida, and the poor youth —

DEVIL. Youth! ho, ho, ho! They did not perceive thee?

JACQ. Not they; I cared for that.

DEVIL. Whither went they?

JACQ. Through the town, she enforcing him by a crook o' the finger, he following with fixed eye and open mouth like one planet-struck. And at last came they to the south gate; and there she did link her arm with his, and did lead him forth into the meadows, until she espied a pent-house under the east wall, warm and dry and overborne with climbing flowers. And when she had made him sit therein she did creep close to him, first bidding him, then entreating him, to yield his secret.

DEVIL. His secret?

JACQ. "Render me thy secret," cried she, "oh, render me thy secret"' And again, when he refused her with tears, still she cried, "Give me up thy secret!" and so the black hours grew grey, and the dawn showed rose-yellow; whereupon, unsatisfied, she left him, and I ran hither
to thee. Prithee let me to bed, dear master.

DEVIL. Bed!

JACQ. Why, thou didst promise me an easy life.

DEVIL. Shalt sleep anon, lazy-bones, when this merry coil is ended. (Catching her as she staggers from fatigue.) What! nay, sing, dance, drink, guzzle, (Pinching her arm.) but keep thine eyes open at need an' ye would please me.

JACQ. Oh, thy nails! I — I will please thee, dear master.

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