Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/242

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I'll read the letter, sir. 'Tis right you mind
His lordship's orders. They are paramount.
Nothing should supersede them. Stand beside them!
They merit all your care, and have it! Fit,
Most fit, they should. Give me the letter, sir.

Clif. You have it, madam.
Jul. So! How poor a thing
I look! so lost while he is all himself!
Have I no pride?
If he can freeze, 'tis time that I grow cold.
I'll read the letter. (Opens it, and holds it as about to read it.)
Mind his orders! So!
Quickly he fits his habits to his fortunes!
He serves my lord with all his will! His heart's
In his vocation. So! Is this the letter?
'Tis upside down, and here I'm poring on't!
Most fit I let him see me play the fool!
Shame! Let me be myself! (She sits a while at table, vacantly
gazing on the letter, then looks at Clifford.)
How plainly shows his humble suit!
It fits not him that wears it. I have wronged him!
He can't be happy—does not look it—is not!
That eye which reads the ground is argument
Enough. He loves me. There I let him stand,
And I am sitting! (Rises, and points to a chair.)
Pray you, take a chair. (He bows as acknowledging and declining
the honor. She looks at him a while.)
Clifford, why don't you speak to me? (Weeps.)
Clif. I trust
You're happy.
Jul. Happy? Very, very happy!
You see I weep I am so happy. Tears
Are signs, you know, of naught but happiness.
When first I saw you, little did I look
To be so happy. Clifford!
Clif. Madam?
Jul. Madam!
I call thee Clifford, and thou call'st me madam!
Clif. Such the address my duty stints me to.
Thou art the wife elect of a proud earl
Whose humble secretary sole am I.
Jul. Most right! I had forgot! I thank you, sir,
For so reminding me, and give you joy
That what, I see, had been a burthen to you
Is fairly off your hands.
Clif. A burthen to me?
Mean you yourself? Are you that burthen, Julia?
Say that the sun's a burthen to the earth!
Say that the blood's a burthen to the heart!
Say health's a burthen, peace, contentment, joy,
Fame, riches, honors, everything that man
Desires, and gives the name of blessing to!—