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To plague the trunk it springs from. My poor boy!
Scene, the Wood.
Enter Zoa, leading ALMANZA. Foa. This is my habitation. Thou shalt sleep Sound and secure beneath its humble roof; Whilst, like a bird that circles round its young, I will keep danger from thee. [They go into the hut.
FERNANDEZ and FLORIO. Fern. Are you mad, Florio?
Flor. Not absolutely mad; but so desperately in love on a sudden, that I would give one of my eyes for a ten minutes tête à tête with her,
Fern. You are more likely to part with both your ears; that's the settled price for a lady's favours here.
Flor. Yes, for the favours of a married lady; but one may be decently civil to a maid, without losing any thing but one's heart.
Fern. True, but my sister has your heart, you know.
Flor. Well, and that's as much of a man as a reasonable woman can expect before marriage. Look'e, Fernandez, I love thy sister as a woman ought to be loved; but I am not one of those unmerciful gallants who think the best proof of their attachment to one lady is absolute rudeness to the rest of the sex. I should be in love with thy sister only, 'tis true, but then I may be in charity with all women. (Looking into the hut.) How unfortunate that there should be two of them. Well, there are two of us. If her friend, now, would only have the good breeding to by heavens, the very thing. Stand back, Fernandez, stand back, I say, and don't spoil the only opportunity that may ever offer us, of learning how the ladies like to be made love to in this part of the world.
Enter Zoa from the hut. Zoa. Yes, I will watch thee like the bird of night, That, having hous'd his victim, shrieks aloud, And in the drowsy twilight flaps his wings To scare away the lonely passenger.
Fern. She seems angry, I think.
Flor. Yes, they have been quarrelling for me : but as they have settled the point at last, you have only to follow your good fortune, and leave me to pursue mine.
Fern. Farewell, then. Yet, for heaven's sake remember, your life depends on your good conduct.
[Exit. Flor. I had much rather it depended upon any thing else. (Looks into the hut.) Not yet asleep; but certainly preparing for her siesta. She looks quite fatigued : has been buffalo hunting, I suppose : rather a powerful exercise for the fair sex. Pray, heaven, she be a spinster; for they tell me these Indians make no more ceremony of cropping a man's ears close to his head, than we do in trimming a terrier puppy. (Goes into the hut.)
The Interior of the Hut. Alm. If I well observed his looks, Florio would be shewing his gallantry. He shan't know me, however, till I see whether I'm my own rival.
Florio enters, she starts. Flor. Don't be frightened, lady: 'tis but a man; a very young one; who, being a stranger in this part of the world, and having an insurmountable curiosity to see the inside of an Indian hut, has taken the liberty to introduce himself. If I have offended, I'll retire.
Alm. Oh no. I'll see the extent of his curiosity, however.
(Aside.) Flor. Now to learn whether she be married. (Aside.) Perhaps I have chosen an unseasonable hour-you may expect the return of a jealous husband ?
Flor. My ears are safe, however. (Aside.) But still you may be waiting for some favour'd lover?
Alm. No, I did'nt expect him.
Flor. Inconstant ! here's an opening. (Aside.) And can he bear the pangs of absence ?
Alm, Oh, yes, without breaking his heart; for though he left me not an hour ago, and swore eternal truth and constancy (as they tell me you Spaniards do), yet I dare say, by this time, he's making love to the first woman he meets.
Flor. Your suspicions wrong him: those eyes — that shape - that complexion
· Alm. Complexion ! Oh, fye, fye; praise an Indian girl for her complexion ! I thought you Spaniards flatter'd with more judgment.
Flor. Then, as I hope to be saved, though the women of our country have some advantages, yet in point of complexion there's no comparison; you alone bear the original stamp of nature: the first women she made were precisely of your colour; but whether she exhausted her materials, or lost her art, I protest I can't tell, but she has ever since been blundering into the two opposite extremes, and has produced nothing but black and white ones.
Alm. Well, that's ingenious - what would you have said to me, had I been fair ?
Flor. Umph - You know we must say something civil upon these occasions - I should have talked of roses and lilies, and auburn and alabaster, and celestial blue; but, upon my soul, I should not have admired you half so much. But is it possible your lover can be inconstant ?
Alm. Even so -- what must I do with him?
Flor. Endeavour to reform him: if you find him incorrigible, you have nothing then left for it, but to follow his example.
Alm. Oh fie !