All of the maidens in the town are besotted with Reginald Bunthorne,
ANGELA. There is a strange magic in this love of ours! Rivals as we all are in the affections of our Reginald, the very hopelessness of our love is a bond that binds us to one another!
SAPHIR. Jealousy is merged in misery. While he, the very cynosure of our eyes and hearts, remains icy insensible – what have we to strive for?
ELLA. The love of maidens is, to him, as interesting as the taxes!
SAPHIR. Would that it were! He pays his taxes.
ANGELA. And cherishes the receipts!
(Enter LADY JANE.)
SAPHIR. Happy receipts!
JANE. (suddenly) Fools!
ANGELA. I beg your pardon?
JANE. Fools and blind! The man loves – wildly loves!
ANGELA. But whom? None of us!
JANE. No, none of us. His weird fancy has lighted, for the nonce, on Patience, the village milkmaid!
SAPHIR. On Patience? Oh, it cannot be!
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