The Yeomen of the Guard


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Dialogue following No. 19

Fairfax. (aside to Point) Now, listen to me — 'tis done thus — (aloud) — Mistress Elsie, there is one here who, as thou knowest, loves thee right well!

Point. (aside) That he does— right well!

John Dean as Fairfax & Helen Roberts as Elsie, 1939

Fairfax. He is but a man of poor estate, but he hath a loving, honest heart. He will be a true and trusty husband to thee, and if thou wilt be his wife, thou shalt lie curled up in his heart, like a little squirrel in its nest!

Point. (aside) 'Tis a pretty figure. A maggot in a nut lies closer, but a squirrel will do.

Fairfax. He knoweth that thou wast a wife — an unloved and unloving wife, and his poor heart was near to breaking. But now that thine unloving husband is dead, and thou art free, he would fain pray that thou wouldst hearken unto him, and give him hope that thou wouldst one day be his!

Phœbe. (alarmed) He presses her hands — and whispers in her ear! Ods bodikins, what does it mean?

Fairfax. Now, sweetheart, tell me — wilt thou be this poor good fellow's wife?

Elsie. If the good, brave man — is he a brave man?

Fairfax. So men say.

Point. (aside) That's not true, but let it pass.

Elsie. If the brave man will be content with a poor, penniless, untaught maid —

Point. (aside) Widow — but let that pass.

Elsie. I will be his true and loving wife, and that with my heart of hearts!

Fairfax. My own dear love! (Embracing her.)

Phœbe. (in great agitation) Why, what's all this? Brother — brother — it is not seemly!

Point. (also alarmed, aside) Oh, I can't let that pass! (aloud) Hold, enough, Master Leonard! An advocate should have his fee, but methinks thou art over-paying thyself!

Fairfax. Nay, that is for Elsie to say. I promised thee I would show thee how to woo, and herein lies the proof of the virtue of my teaching. Go thou, and apply it elsewhere! (Phœbe bursts into tears.)

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