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Pamela Giraud

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ACT I SCENE FIRST(Setting is an attic and workshop of an artificial flower-maker. It ispoorly lighted by means of a candle placed on the work-table. Theceiling slopes abruptly at the back allowing space to conceal a man.On the right is a door, on the left a fireplace. Pamela is discoveredat work, and Joseph Binet is seated near her.)Pamela, Joseph Binet and later Jules Rousseau. PamelaMonsieur Joseph Binet!JosephMademoiselle Pamela Giraud!PamelaI plainly see that you wish me to hate you.JosephThe idea! What? And this is the beginning of our love—Hate me!PamelaOh, come! Let us talk sensibly.JosephYou do not wish, then, that I should express how much I love you?PamelaAh! I may as well tell you plainly, since you compel me to do so, thatI do not wish to become the wife of an upholsterer's apprentice.JosephIs it necessary to become an emperor, or something like that, in orderto marry a flower-maker?PamelaNo. But it is necessary to be loved, and I don't love you in any waywhatever.JosephIn any way! I thought there was only one way of loving.PamelaSo there is, but there are many ways of not loving. You can be myfriend, without my loving you.JosephOh!PamelaI can look upon you with indifference—JosephAh!PamelaYou can be odious to me! And at this moment you weary me, which isworse!JosephI weary her! I who would cut myself into fine pieces to do all thatshe wishes!PamelaIf you would do what I wish, you would not remain here.JosephAnd if I go away—Will you love me a little?PamelaYes, for the only time I like you is when you are away!JosephAnd if I never came back?PamelaI should be delighted.JosephZounds! Why should I, senior apprentice with M. Morel, instead ofaiming at setting up business for myself, fall in love with this younglady? It is folly! It certainly hinders me in my career; and yet Idream of her—I am infatuated with her. Suppose my uncle knew it!—Butshe is not the only woman in Paris, and, after all, Mlle. PamelaGiraud, who are you that you should be so high and mighty?PamelaI am the daughter of a poor ruined tailor, now become a porter. I gainmy own living—if working night and day can be called living—and itis with difficulty that I snatch a little holiday to gather lilacs inthe Pres-Saint-Gervais; and I certainly recognize that the seniorapprentice of M. Morel is altogether too good for me. I do not wish toenter a family which believes that it would thus form a mesalliance.The Binets indeed!JosephBut what has happened to you in the last eight or ten days, my dearlittle pet of a Pamela? Up to ten days ago I used to come and cut outyour flowers for you, I used to make the stalks for the roses, and thehearts for the violets; we used to talk together, we sometimes used togo to the play, and have a good cry there—and I was "good Joseph,""my little Joseph"—a Joseph in fact of the right stuff to make yourhusband. All of a sudden—Pshaw!...