Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/240

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Stella. You excel in love-making! That's good. But I must say, you act it well.

Festus. Yes—that is—I think that circumstances—occurring—which would make—circumstances—perfectly—that is, I mean to say that—circumstances—indeed—what were you saying?

Stella. Ha, ha, ha! O mighty Festus! you've lost your place; but, as you have a partiality for love-scenes, what is your next?

Festus. What say you to a scene from "The Hunchback"? "The secretary of my lord'? You know the scene,—"Julia" and "Sir Thomas Clifford."

Stella. Oh, yes! I am familiar with it; but I think, as an applicant for a situation, you are making me perform more than my share of work.

Festus. Oh! if you object—

Stella. Oh! but I don't object. Proceed. (Sits, l.of table. Festus exits, l.)


(Arranged for this piece.)

Julia, Stella. Sir Thomas Clifford, Festus.

Jul. (Alone.) A wedded bride?
Is it, a dream?
Oh, would it were a dream!
How would I bless the sun that waked me from it!
I am wrecked
By mine own act! What! no escape? no hope?
None! I must e'en abide these hated nuptials!
Hated!—ay, own it, and then curse thyself
That mad'st the bane thou loathest for the love
Thou bear'st to one who never can be thine!
Yes, love! Deceive thyself no longer. False
To say 'tis pity for his fall,—respect
Engendered by a hollow world's disdain,
Which hoots whom fickle fortune cheers no more!
'Tis none of these: 'tis love, and, if not love,
Why, then, idolatry! Ay, that's the name
To speak the broadest, deepest, strongest passion
That ever woman's heart was borne away by!
He comes! Thoud'st play the lady,—play it now!
(Enter Clifford, l.)
Speaks he not?
Or does he wait for orders to unfold