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Dialogue following No. 18


Sultan (to Vizier, who has again prostrated himself). Dear, dear! Please stand up! I do think that even a Sultan's Court officials might occasionally be upright.

Vizier (rising). O King, the light of your countenance blinds me!

Sultan. Well, I'll turn my face away for a little, and you can get used to the notion comfortably. Understand, I want you to treat me as nobody of any consequence — quite
your own equal. Keep repeating that to yourself — you'll soon grow accustomed to the idea. (Turns his back.)

Vizier. O King, the idea is painful to me!

Sultan. Nonsense! Shut your eyes and keep repeating it.

Honey-of-Life appears, looking round entrance.

Honey (to Vizier). Vizzie-Wizzie! (Embraces Vizier.)

Vizier (embarrassed). Ahem! (Indicates presence of Sultan.)

Honey (entering and prostrating herself). O Commander of the Faithful! I did not recognize you, with your back turned and without your crown.

Sultan (turning to her). Eh? Get up, girl! (Raising her.) Dear me — a very pretty face. You are to treat me exactly as you would treat the Vizier.

Honey. Exactly as I would treat the Vizier? (Astonished.)

Sultan. Yes. He says the idea is painful to him.

Honey. I dare say. He is frightfully jealous.

Sultan. I don't see what jealousy has to do with it. All I want you to do is to treat me exactly as you would him; that will give him a lesson.

Honey. Do you really mean it, O King?

Sultan. Don't call me "O King." Address me as you would him.

Honey. Well — if I must, I must. Sit down, Vizzie-Wizzie!

Sultan (sitting on step of throne). Eh?

Honey (sitting beside him). There! (Kisses him.)

Sultan. Dear me! And what would the Vizier do?

Vizier (angrily). He would say, "Keep your place, naughty girl — and I will keep mine."

Sultan. A good idea. (to Honey-of-Life.) Keep your place, naughty girl — and er — yes — I will keep mine. Would the Vizier do this? (Kisses her.)

Vizier. Certainly not!

Sultan. Then he can have no objection to my doing it.

Kisses her as enter Dancing Sunbeam and Blush-of-Morning [followed by Heart's Desire.]

Sunbeam. That is exactly what I expected.

Sultan. Indeed, madam? Well — the other Vizier is disengaged. (Kisses Honey-of-Life.)

Sunbeam. You will both be disengaged very quickly, if you don't do as I bid you. Lead me to the Sultana's apartments.

Sultan. Who is this?

Honey. Oh, I came to announce them. They are a Deputation.

Blush. We are wives of the man called Hassan, who, we learned last night, is no other than the Sultan.

Sunbeam. And I claim my rights.

Sultan. Do you mean that you wish to be recognized as the Sultana?

Sunbeam. Precisely. I am the Sultana!

Vizier. She undoubtedly is — if Hassan is Sultan. What will Rose-in-Bloom say, eh? (Digs Sultan in ribs — Sultan rather annoyed.)

Sultan. And you consider yourself fitted to take exalted rank?

Sunbeam. Emphatically!


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