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Dialogue following No. 18


Martyn Green & Muriel Dickson as Point & Elsie, 1932
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Point. (to Elsie, who is weeping) Nay, sweetheart, be comforted. This Fairfax was but a pestilent fellow, and, as he had to die, he might as well die thus as any other way. 'Twas a good death.

Elsie. Still, he was my husband, and had he not been, he was nevertheless a living man, and now he is dead; and so, by your leave, my tears may flow unchidden, Master Point.

Fairfax. And thou didst see all this?

Point. Aye, with both eyes at once — this and that. The testimony of one eye is naught — he may lie. But when it is corroborated by the other, it is good evidence that none may gainsay. Here are both present in court, ready to swear to him!

Phœbe. But art thou sure it was Colonel Fairfax? Saw you his face?

Point. Aye, and a plaguey ill-favoured face too. A very hang-dog face — a felon face — a face to fright the headsman himself, and make him strike awry. Oh, a plaguey, bad face, take my word for it. (Phœbe and Fairfax laugh.) How they laugh! "Tis ever thus with simple folk — an accepted wit has but to say "Pass the mustard," and they roar their ribs out!

Fairfax. (aside) If ever I come to life again, thou shalt pay for this, Master Point!

Point. Now, Elsie, thou art free to choose again, so behold me: I am young and well-favoured. I have a pretty wit. I can jest you, jibe you, quip you, crank you, wrack you, riddle you —

Fairfax. Tush, man, thou knowest not how to woo. 'Tis not to be done with time-worn jests and thread-bare sophistries; with quips, conundrums, rhymes, and paradoxes. 'Tis an art in itself, and must be studied gravely and conscientiously.

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