EXT: THE GARDEN OF A CASTLE
GENEVIEVE, a beautiful young maiden, comes running to greet the horse as her new husband, PRINCE ROBERT, returns home from his adventures across the sea.
Oh, tarry, Prince Robert, and let the sun slow its course till it falls back into the eastern horizon. Let the day become as still as my heart at the sight of you before me.
(Aside, to the audience)
Although to be honest, my heartbeat has rarely changed its pace much at Robert's approach, and if it did 'twere only to a trot and never a gallop. It was only that Jane said he was a dreamy, poetic sort and I felt that it would be good if he wanted me. Did I ever desire him, or did I only desire to be desired by someone so unapproachably desirable? Huh!—No telling, I suppose.
And if your kisses should replace every morsel to pass my lips, then let me starve in ecstasy! For food is tasteless to me now—your breath is the only spice on my tongue, the deep pools of your eyes the only water to slake this rasping thirst.
Well, obviously I still desire food. This is just the sort of nonsense you're supposed to say when men compare you to the scenery, is it not? If my lips are strawberries and my breasts are ripe peaches, how am I to respond? Honestly, the talk of fruit has me peckish, and his kisses are not nearly as sweet as the words we exchange.
Press me to you, my love, that I not starve to death for want of you.
I could really go for some mutton about now.
Speak to me fully of your travels, and of every obstacle that kept you from my side these many moonlit nights. Let your words drip like honey from your lips, and fill my ear with the sweetness of your tales.
I can't fathom why I say such things as that, as though I have nothing interesting to tell him myself. I could have said that the village watchtower burned to the ground last week, or that I delivered a live babe though he was breached and turning blue, or that I wrote another fanciful tale-this one of a maiden locked in a tower for years while a dragon spoke to her in a voice like masticated rock until she threw herself from the window.
I never say anything about myself. Perhaps there's not much to say.
He doesn't listen much in any case. But, Lord, he likes to talk. I say, he hasn't even noticed that I'm talking here with you instead. I ought to make an interjection.
How frightfully you know yourself in the turning of the world!
I don't even know what that means.
I suppose there are things a wife must never say if she wishes to please her husband. Though for a lack of an audience, we have only ourselves to amuse with every swallowed aside.
No, darling, I said nothing. Please, do go on.