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The Rose of Persia
 

Dialogue following No. 1


Hassan. O Moon-upon-the-Waters!

Moon. I am here, O husband! (Advances to him.)

Hassan.O Song-of-Nightingales!

Song. I am here, O husband! (Advances to him.)

Hassan. O Whisper-of-the-West-Wind!

Whisper. I am here, O husband! (Advances to him.)

Hassan. O Blush-of-Morning!

Blush-of-Morning enters from house.

Blush. I am here, O husband! (Advances to him.)

Hassan. (counting girls). Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, O Dancing Sunbeam!

Blush. She is not here, O husband!

Hassan. Not here? Twenty-four, twenty-five — do you mean that Dancing Sunbeam is
twenty-six?

Blush. She says so, O husband. I say she is forty, if she is an hour.

Hassan. Twenty-six! Dear me! Who was the last lady I married?

Oasis. I was the last, Oasis-in-the-Desert.

Hassan. I fear you will have to be divorced, Oasis. I had no idea you made twenty-six.
It was careless of me to have married you; but there it is. (Kindly.) You can have a month's notice.

Oasis. I hear you and obey.

Hassan. Nice girl. Where is Dancing Sunbeam?

Enter Dancing Sunbeam.

Sunbeam. I am here, O husband.

Hassan. Ah! Is it you, O Dancing Sunbeam, who have told these girls that I am crazy?

Sunbeam. Even so.

Hassan. The odds were even so. (To Dancing Sunbeam.) Will you tell me what reason you have found for thinking that I have lost mine?

Sunbeam. O husband, you are indifferent to other people. For when I nag at you by the hour — and I can nag — you take no notice; but sit and smile and babble to yourself that you hear soft music in the air —

Blush. How do you manage that if you are not mad?

Hassan. Hush! That is a secret! Go on.

Sunbeam. Secondly, O husband —

Hassan. Don't say "O husband" every time. I shan't forget that I am married.

Sunbeam. Secondly, O foolish one, you are different from other people. For though you are naturally vulgar and unnaturally rich, you do not try to push your way into the best society.

Hassan. No. I prefer the worst. I am a rich man, and try to be charitable, but I prefer the society of beggars to the beggars of society.

Sunbeam. But when I married your money I meant to be in the best society, one day.

Hassan. We were in it one day. One day was enough for me.

Sunbeam. The ball was at our feet. I shall never forget that!

Hassan. The ball was at our house. I shall never forget that! Upper classes? I know 'em, however much they pretend not to know me. They took everything I gave them, and when there was nothing else for them to take, they took me for one of the waiters! No. The friendship of fashionable persons is the one thing you will have to do without — you can have everything else money can buy, except that. I have spoken.

Exit Hassan.

Sunbeam: The day I married that man I married an idiot!

Exit Dancing Sunbeam.

Blush. Yes, whatever he is now, on that day he cannot have been quite clear in his
mind.

Enter Abdallah .

Abdallah. Peace be upon this house!

Girls. And on you Peace!

Abdallah. Where is your eccentric husband?

Blush. O Priest, he has just left us.

Abdallah. Has he gone out to the streets to gather his crowd of beggars — the tagrag and bobtail of the city — of whom he nightly makes his boon companions?

Blush. Not yet. He has but gone into the house to fetch his hat.

Abdallah. Go and send him to me.

Blush. To hear is to obey.

Exit Blush-of-Morning.

Abdallah. It is unseemly that he should consort each night with tagrag and bobtail — it is more unseemly that his women-folk should be unveiled — it is most unseemly that his contempt for my daily exhortations should be unveiled. He is a doubting follower of the Faith, but Islam hath power of chastisement over her children!


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