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Fortune And Men’s Eyes

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Fortune And Men’s Eyes

by Josephine Preston Peabody

Genre: Drama
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

Listen, then,

Turn not so blank a face. Thou hast my love.

I’ll tell thee so till thought itself shall tire

And fall a-dreaming like a weary child, …

Only to dream of you, and in its sleep

To murmur You…. Ah, look at me, love, lord …

Whom queens would honor. Read these eyes you praised,

That pitied, once,–that sue for pity now.

But look! You shall not turn from me–

THE PLAYER. Eyes, eyes!–

The darkness hides so much.

MARY. He’ll not believe….

What can I do? What more,–what more, you … man?

I bruise my heart here, at an iron gate….

[She regards him half gloomily without rising.]

Yet there is one thing more…. You’ll take me, now?–

My meaning…. You were right. For once I say it.

There is a glory of discovery [ironically]

To the black heart … because it may be known

But once,–but once….

I wonder men will hide

Their motives all so close. If they could guess,–

It is so new to feel the open day

Look in on all one’s hidings, at the end.

So…. You were right. The first was all a lie:

A lie, and for a purpose….

Now,–[she rises and stands off, regarding him abruptly],

And why, I know not,–but ’tis true, at last,

I do believe … I love you.

Look at me!

[He stands by the fireside against the chimney-piece. She crosses to him with passionate appeal, holding out her arms. He turns his eyes and looks at her with a rigid scrutiny. She endures it for a second, then wavers; makes an effort, unable to look away, to lift her arms towards his neck; they falter and fall at her side. The two stand spellbound by mutual recognition. Then she speaks in a low voice.]

MARY.

Oh, let me go!


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