“Fondle and Lay with Her / Out of Nothing” (reprise)
I play my tricks, I play the fool. But cut out this tongue that speaks what others won’t, and behold a tongue like any other tongue. Cut out these eyes that see what others don’t, and behold the eyes like any other eyes.
SCRAPE OFF THIS FOOL’S MASK,
AND YOU WILL NOTE
A COMMON FIRE
OF RAW DESIRE!
(Eldora enters. Mundo continues, unaware of her.)
HOW SHALL I BE?
I HAVE A CHANCE
TO DREAM THE DREAM
OF A FOOL, OF A MAN.
WHY NOT JUST FONDLE AND LAY WITH HER?
(Suddenly he sees her.)
WHY NOT JUST DALLY AND PLAY WITH HER?
AND FORGET . . .
NO REGRET . . .
WHY BE SO SERIOUS?
WHY BE DELIRIOUS?
MOONSTRUCK AND AMOROUS?
OUT OF NOTHING, I SAY ‘I LOVE YOU.’
CAN THIS BE TRUE?
STANDING NOWHERE, I PRAY YOU LOVE
CAN LOVE UNDO?
STEP THROUGH THE DARK, THERE YOU ARE,
ALMOST NEAR, ALMOST FAR,
AND WE SWIRL AROUND EACH OTHER LIKE THE STARS.
MUST HARDEN MY HEART!
HERE I STAND,
FALLING FOR YOU
YES, I LOVE YOU!
No, this can’t be!
No, no, you can’t!
Yes, I love you!
Stop! It must not be! I am an Emperor’s daughter. I cannot be with a fool. I must do what an empress would do!.....
Then you will be a very ordinary empress. Every woman in the empire knows what an empress would do. But if you do what an empress would not do, that would be great.
I will judge that.
Most certainly. Judge – am I right? – I am a fool, but flesh like any man! Judge, there is no sin when two hearts understand!
(Slowly Mundo advances, intending to kiss her. Eldora almost lets him. The music swells. Eldora breaks away.)
NO! I CANNOT! NO! I AM CAUGHT!
(She runs off.)
How do men and women ever get together?