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No. 23: DUET (Margaret & Sir Despard)

"I once was a very abandoned person"

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Enter Despard and Margaret. They are both dressed in sober black of formal cut, and present a strong contrast to their appearance in Act I.

Despard.
Jessie Bond and Rutland Barrington as Margaret and Despard. (1887)
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I once was a very abandoned person –
Margaret.
Making the most of evil chances.
Despard.
Nobody could conceive a worse 'un –
Margaret.
Even in all the old romances.
Despard.
I blush for my wild extravagances,
But be so kind
To bear in mind,
Margaret.
We were the victims of circumstances!
Dance.
That is one of our blameless dances.

Aileen Davies as Margaret (1926)
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Margaret.
I was once an exceedingly odd young lady –
Despard.
Suffering much from spleen and vapours.
Margaret.
Clergymen thought my conduct shady –
Despard.
She didn't spend much upon linen-drapers.
Margaret.
It certainly entertained the gapers.
My ways were strange
Beyond all range –
Despard.
Paragraphs got into all the papers.
Dance.
We only cut respectable capers

Despard.
Kenneth Sandford as Despard (1960s)
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I've given up all my wild proceedings.
Margaret.
My taste for a wandering life is waning.
Despard.
Now I'm a dab at penny readings.
Margaret.
They are not remarkably entertaining.
Despard.
A moderate livelihood we're gaining.
Margaret.
In fact we rule
A National School.
Despard.
The duties are dull, but I'm not complaining.
Dance.
This sort of thing takes a deal of training!

Joyce Wright and Fisher Morgan perform a "Blameless Dance" (1953)
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