Count: Ah, bon jour, mon colonel. Fair lady, I kiss your hand.
(Amelia curtsies and returns no answers)
Baron: Good morning! Good morning! But, My Lord, it is almost noon. In the country, you must learn to rise at an earlier hour.
Count: Pardonnez, mon Colonel. I rose soon after your great clock struck six? But my homme de chambre was guilty of a betise, which has driven me to absolute despair; a loss, which pour le moment cannot be repaired...
(Amelia presents tea to the Count)
Count (As he takes it.) -- Your most obedient and submissive slave! Is it Hebe herself, or Venus in her place.
(Amelia moves with a smile)
Baron: (somewhat peevishly.) Neither Venus nor Hebe, but Amelia Wildenhain, with your permission. May one know what you have lost?
Count: Oh, mon dieu! Help me to banish from my thoughts the triste recollection! I am lost in a labyrinth of doubts and perplexities. I am as it were, envelopé. I believe I shall be obliged to write a letter on the occasion.
Baron: Come, come! It is not so very sad a misfortune, I hope.
Count: (As he sips his tea.) Nectar I vow! Nectar positively, angelic lady. But, how could I expect anything else from your fair hands?
Bar: This nectar was sold to me for Congo tea.
Amelia: You have still not told us what you have lost, my Lord.
Bar: (Aside) -- His understanding.
Count: You command -- your slave obeys. You tear open the wounds which even your fascinating society had scarcely healed. My homme de chambre, the vaut rien! Oh, the creature is a mauvais sujet! When he packed up my clothes the day before yesterday, I said to him "Henri, in that little window stands the little pot de pommade" You comprehend me, lovely Miss Amelia? I expressly said "don't forget it: pack it up" I dare say I repeated this three or four times. "You know Henri, I cannot exist without this pot de pommade" For you must know most amiable Amelia, this pommade cannot be made in Germany. The people here don't understand it. They can't give it the odeurs. Oh, I do assure you it is incomparable; it comes tout droit from Paris. The manufacturer of it is parfumeur du roi. More than once, when I have attended as dèjour to Her Royal Highness the Princess Adelaide, she has said to me, "Mon Dieu, Comte," "the whole antichambre is parfumé when you are my dèjour." Now only conceive accomplished Miss Amelia - only conceive, my Lord - completely forgotten is the whole pot de pommade -- left in the window as sure as I am a cavalier.
Baron: Yes, unless the mice have devoured it.
Amelia (Smiling.) Unpardonable neglect!
Count: It is, indeed! The mice too! Helas! Voila, mon Colonel, une autre raison for desespoir. And could you conceive now that this careless creature, this Henri, has been thirty years in our service? Thirty years he has been provided with everything necessary for a man of his extraction, and how does he evince his gratitude? How does the fellow behave? He forgets the pot de pommade! Leaves it standing in the window as sure as I am a cavalier, and -- oh, ciel! perhaps the vulgar German mice have swallowed the most delicate parfum ever produced by France! But it was impossible to moderate my anger. Diable! -- It was impossible. Therefore I discharged the fellow on the spot."
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