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Dialogue following No. 2


Exeunt Chorus. Enter Hassan.

Hassan: Peace be on you!

Abdallah: And on you Peace! I am here to threaten you with chastisement.

Hassan: Won't you sit down? (Going to exit.)

Abdallah: You are going out? (Detaining him.)

Hassan: Yes. But you needn't.

Enter Dancing Sunbeam.

Abdallah: You are going to collect beggars and cripples and worthless characters, and make night hideous with the riff-raff of the town. Therefore you are either mad or bad.

Sunbeam: Both.

Abdallah: I am empowered by my office to say that you are possessed of an evil spirit. And I will recite to you a rhyming recipe for the casting out of devils, written by the most eminent Poet-Priest in Persia — myself.

Hassan: Don't trouble.

Abdallah: It is a pleasure. Listen. A man is mad — some spirit bad has probably possessed him; And we proceed at once to bleed him — after we have blessed him; When he's so weak he cannot speak — our efforts do not falter; We tie his hands with leather bands, and hang him on a halter; When he almost gives up the ghost, we cut him down and kick him.

Hassan: What for?

Abdallah: To drive out the evil spirits. (Continuing.) And afterwards with knives and swords we lacerate and prick him; And then, to make that spirit vile dislike its human domicile, and deem possession not worth while — With towels wet we flick him!

Hassan: Thank you!

Abdallah: And you intend to apply that prescription to him?

Abdallah: At once. (To Dancing Sunbeam.) If you will provide me with a few strong cords, swords, whips, and perhaps a pitchfork, I will give him the first dose without delay.

Abdallah: With joy and alacrity.

Exit Dancing Sunbeam.

Hassan: A good, kind creature! (To Abdallah.) Will you excuse me if I make my will? (Drawing parchment and pen from pocket.)

Abdallah: It would not be worth the parchment you write it on. You are mad.

Hassan: Ah! My will would only be valid providing I am perfectly sane?

Abdallah: Yes.

Hassan: The reason I ask is, that I intended making a will absolutely in your favour. Now, you see, if I am mad, such a will would mean nothing; but if it means anything, it means that you inherit my fortune, and that I am perfectly sane. As an expert, which would you say I am — mad or sane?

Abdallah: My son, such a deed as you propose would prove conclusively that evil spirits have left you — and I would leave you in possession of as good spirits as my own.

Hassan: Then that's settled. Go in peace.

Abdallah: I will tarry a little until the will is written in case the evil spirits return to you.

Hassan: Oh, very well. (Commencing to write.) You are not afraid of my making another will revoking this?

Abdallah: No. For the laws of the Medes and the Persians is unalterable, and therefore as a Persian will is a Persian legal document, it cannot be altered.

Hassan: I never thought of that.

Abdallah: I did. (Hassan continues to write. Drums heard in the distance.) Hark! The royal drums! The Sultan has returned two days before he was expected.

Hassan: Oh! I take no interest in court and society.

Abdallah: Yet the Sultan takes an interest in you; for the other day I complained to him of you and your evil life.

Hassan: Oh, did you? Now look here, it is understood between us that when I have signed this, my evil life, as you call it, is nothing to anybody; it is a thing of the past — wiped out, eh?

Abdallah: Yes. When you have signed that, you can count your evil life as a thing of the past.

Enter Blush-of-Morning carrying ropes, swords, etc.

Hassan: There! (Handing document.)

Blush: Oh, if you please, Dancing Sunbeam says are these what you require for casting out the evil spirit, and she is borrowing a chopper and a garden roller from next door.

Hassan: We don't require them now, thank you. (Enter Dancing Sunbeam.) I'm cured.

Abdallah: Cured? How was the cure effected?

Hassan: By will power.

Exit Hassan.

Blush: (to Abdallah). You must be in possession of a remarkable will.

Abdallah: I am. (Pocketing will.)

Dancing Sunbeam: Hearken, Abdallah! The cure is not complete. Let our husband have this treatment; even if he succumb to it. We understand each other?

Abdallah: I think there is a chance of his perishing suddenly in a few hours.

Blush: Oh, dear!

Abdallah: Tush, girl! If misfortune take him, we shall take his fortune. Our cloud would have a golden lining.

Dancing Sunbeam: I am like Bluebeard's little Fatima. Social position is the one door closed against me; but some day I mean to open it, cost what it may!


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