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PROLOGUE.

A

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,

Finished the feast not full but fitting,
Watch the light-leaping flames aspire.

Silent at first, in time we glow ;
Discuss eclectics,high and low ;

Inspect engravings, 'twixt us passing
The fancies of DETROY, MOREAU ;

Reveilsand Couchers," Balls" and " Fêtes; Anon we glide to crocksand plates,

Grow eloquent on glaze and classing, And half-pathetic over states."

E

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
The fragile figures smile and bow;

Divine, at length, the fable under . .
Thus grew the Scenes" that follow now.

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THE BALLAD À-LA-MODE.

Tout vient à point à qui peut attendre."

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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).

ARON, you doze.

BARON,

THE BARON (closing his book).

I, Madame? No.
I wait your order-Stay or Go.

THE COUNTESS.
Which

means, I think, that Go or Stay
Affects you nothing, either way.

THE BARON.
Excuse me,-By your favour graced,
My inclinations are effaced.

THE COUNTESS.
Or much the same.

How keen you grow!
You must be reading MARIVAUX.

THE BARON. Nay,—'twas a song of SAINTE-AULAIRE.

THE COUNTESS. Then read me one. We've time to spare: If I can catch the clock-face there, 'Tis barely eight.

The BARON.

What shall it be, A tale of woe, or perfidy?

THE COUNTESS.
Not woes, I beg. I doubt your woes:
But perfidy, of course, one knows. .

THE BARON (reads).
Ah, Phillis! cruel Phillis!

(I heard a Shepherd say,)
You hold me with your Eyes, and yet

You bid meGo my Way!'

"Ah, Colin! foolish Colin !

(The Maiden answered so,) If that be All, the Ill is small,

I close them— You may go!'

But when her Eyes she opened,

(Although the Sun it shone,) She found the Shepherd had not stirred

* Because the Light was gone!'

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' Ah, Cupid! wanton Cupid !

'Twas ever thus your Way: When Maids would bid you ply your Wings,

You find Excuse to stay!

THE COUNTESS.
Famous ! He earned whate'er he got :
But there's some sequel, is there not?

THE BARON (turning the page). I think not.-No. Unless 'tis this : My fate is far more hard than his; In fact, your Eyes

THE COUNTESS.

Now, that's a breach !
Your bond is--not to make a speech.
And we must start-so call JUSTINE.
I know exactly what you mean !
Give me your arm-

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