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SSUME that we are friends. Assume
A common taste for old costume,
Old pictures,-books. Then dream us sitting,— Us two,-in some soft-lighted room.
Outside the wind;-the "ways are mire."
We, with our faces towards the fire,
Silent at first, in time we glow;
Inspect engravings, 'twixt us passing
The fancies of DETROY, MOREAU;
"Reveils" and "Couchers," "Balls" and "Fêtes";
Anon we glide to "crocks" and plates,
Grow eloquent on glaze and classing,
And half-pathetic over states."
Then I produce my Prize, in truth ;
Six groups in SÈVRES, fresh as Youth,
And rare as Love. You pause, you wonder, (Pretend to doubt the marks, forsooth !)
And so we fall to why and how
Divine, at length, the fable under
Thus grew the "Scenes" that follow now.
THE BALLAD À-LA-MODE.
"Tout vient à point à qui peut attendre."
SCENE. A Boudoir Louis-Quinze, painted with Cupids shooting at Butterflies.
THE COUNTESS. THE BARON (her cousin and suitor).
THE COUNTESS (looking up from her work).
Which means, I think, that Go or Stay
Excuse me,-By your favour graced,
My inclinations are effaced.
Or much the same. How keen you grow!
You must be reading MARIVAUX.
Nay, 'twas a song of SAINTE-Aulaire.
Then read me one.
We've time to spare:
If I can catch the clock-face there,
'Tis barely eight.
What shall it be,
A tale of woe, or perfidy?
Not woes, I beg. I doubt your woes:
THE BARON (reads).
"Ah, Phillis! cruel Phillis!
"Ah, Colin! foolish Colin!
"But when her Eyes she opened,
(Although the Sun it shone,)
She found the Shepherd had not stirred-
"Ah, Cupid! wanton Cupid! 'Twas ever thus your Way:
When Maids would bid you ply your Wings, You find Excuse to stay!"
Famous! He earned whate'er he got :-
THE BARON (turning the page).
I think not.-No. Unless 'tis this:
Now, that's a breach!
Your bond is--not to make a speech.