Katrina. O but you’ve had such practice in being caught, You’ll break away quite easily when you want. Tell me now who it is.
The man who spoke
When we were at the Scottish Gate that day. O, he’s a dapper boy! Did you mark his eyes?
Katrina. Nay, I saw nought but he was under-grown.
Jean. Pooh! He can carry me.
Jean, have you heard
Of Mary lately?—I vow she’s in love.
Jean. Never! with whom?
The thing’s a wonder, Jean.
She’ll speak to no one now, and every day,
Morning and evening, she’s at the gate
Gazing like a fey creature on that head
She was so stricken to behold—you mind it?—
I tell you she’s in love with it.
O don’t be silly.
How can you fall in love with a dead man?
And what good could he do you, if you did?
One loves for kisses and for hugs and the rest;
A spunky fellow,—that’s the thing to love.
But a dead man,—pah, what a foolery!
Katrina. O yes, to you; for Love’s a game for you. ’Twill turn out dangerous maybe, but still,—a game.
Yes, the best kind of game a girl can play,
And all the better for the risk, Katrina.
But where the fun would be in Love if he
You played with had not heart to jump, nor blood
To tingle, nothing in him to go wild
At seeing you betray your love for him,
Beats me to understand. You’ld be as wise
Blowing the bellows at a pile of stone
As loving one that never lived for you.
It isn’t just to make a wind you blow,
But to turn red fire into white quivering heat.
Whatever she’s after, ’tis not love, my girl:
I know what love is. But perhaps she saw
The poor lad living? Even had speech with him?
Not she; Mary has never known a lad
I did not know as well. We’ve shared our lives
As if we had been sisters, and I’m sure
She’s never been in love before.
Don’t talk such sentimental nonsense—
If Love-at-first-sight can mean anything,
Surely ’tis this: there’s some one in the world
Whom, if you come across him, you must love,
And you could no more pass his face unmoved
Than the year could go backwards. Well, suppose
He dies just ere you meet him; and he dead,
Ay, or his head alone, is given your eyes,
It is enough: he is the man for you,
All as if he were quick and signalling
His heart to you in smiles.
Believe me, dear,
You’ve no more notion of the thing called Love
Than a grig has of talking. But I have,
And I’m off now to practise with my notions.
Katrina. Now which is the real love,—hers or Mary’s?