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Sultan. Is this Hassan the eccentric?
Vizier (aside). O King, live for ever! It is.
Hassan (regarding the Sultan, etc.). You are — let me see — four or eight — no four Dogs of Dervishes!
Sultan. True, O Hassan!
Hassan (with an air of condescension). You don't know what I am. I didn't know myself, till quite lately. I am the one man in all Persia who doesn't care a fig for the Sultan!
Hassan. Or his Executioner. (Eating Bhang.)
Sultan. (aside). Does he know me?
Executioner. O King, I don't see how he can!
Physician. O Commander of the Faithful! This man is mad from the effects of an overdose of Bhang.
Sultan. You are sure?
Physician. I know the symptoms, O King! He will consider himself a person of more and more importance, until he suddenly falls unconscious. Then he will sleep for ten hours.
Hassan. If the Royal Executioner were to come here and try to execute me, I'd wring
Sultan. And why do you care nothing for the Sultan?
Hassan. Why, dog? Because I am his equal in birth, breeding, education, and personal
appearance. I see you are sniggering. (To Yussuf.) Will you go away? (To
Sultan. I should say that you were not quite your own self.
Hassan. Well, I am not really myself — I am the Sultan! You are sniggering again! If
Yussuf. Fool — what are you saying?
Hassan. You must be very deaf. I said, if I am not the Sultan, why is the Sultana in
Sultan. Do not joke of her. It is dangerous!
Hassan. Joke? (A short pause — then quickly.) I will fetch her.
Yussuf. He is mad! —
Yussuf (aside). What can I say to them? (Aloud.) It is a dancing girl that his mad
Sultan. A sorry jest for the girl to call herself my Rose-in- Bloom — to bring
contempt upon the Queen! She shall be punished. And this Hassan too shall be
cured of Bhang- eating. (To Vizier, etc.) Go, all of you, change your disguise
for your official dress, and return hither at once with the Royal Guards.
Accept this madman's story — treat him as if he were the Sultan — confirm
his statement that Hassan and the Sultan are the same — and conduct him to
the palace, willy-nilly. Leave me here, and leave the punishment of this
All. We hear you and obey.
Exeunt Vizier, Physician, and Executioner.
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