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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

THE DYNASTS                  ACT n
lawn. The moving torches throw bizarre lights and shadows into the apartment, where only a remote candle or two are burning.
Enter JOSEPHINE and NAPOLEON together, somewhat out of breath. With careless suppleness she slides down on a couch and fans herself. Now that the candle-rays reach her they show her mellow complexion, her velvety eyes with long lashes, mouth with pointed corners and excessive mobility beneath its duvet^ and curls of dark hair pressed down upon the temples by a gold band.
The EMPEROR drops into a seat near her, and they remain in silence till he jumps up, knocks over some nicknacks with his elbow, and begins walking about the boudoir.
NAPOLEON (with sudden gloom)
These mindless games are very well, my friend; But ours to-night marks, not improbably, The last we play together.
JOSEPHINE (starting)
Can you say it!
Why raise that ghastly nightmare on me now, When, for a moment, my poor brain had dreams Denied it all the earlier anxious day ?
NAPOLEON
Things that verge nigh, my simple Josephine, Are not shoved off by wilful winking at. Better quiz evils with too strained an eye Than have them leap from disregarded lairs.
JOSEPHINE
Maybe 'tis true, and you shall have it so! Yet all joy is but sorrow waived awhile.
NAPOLEON
Ha, ha!    That's like you.    Well, each day by day I get sour news.    Each hour since we returned From this queer Spanish business at Bayonne, I have had nothing else ; and hence my brooding.
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