The proposal

Leonora threw the ledger on the floor before the Lord:
“Don’t you know that I come here of my own accord?
You may take your noxious guilders and return them to your purse,
For I’ll not accept your lucre, no!, nor aught you might disburse!”

“Oh gentle Leonora, pray desist and stay your hand.
My actions speak to chivalry, or else I am unmanned!
Please don’t leap upon the fauteuil — it’s early Belle Epoque —
No, please don’t throw the Reynolds, — oh not the Wedgwood clock!”

“Now good my Lord, I know your japes, your saucy little caper!
To think that I would rub your plums for sheets of printed paper!
You know full well what you must do to alter my position.
Consider it well or bid farewell to Shakespeare, first edition.”

“I’m a man of steadfast honour, and my scutcheon bears no smirch.
The family name has known no shame since Cuthbert left the church.
Please don’t tear that priceless tome — I bought it from Paul Getty —
Yes, of course — I see it now — we can be amoretti!”

“You try to pawn me off with cake, or is it more a biscuit?
In any case I see your game and warn you not to risk it.
My honour cannot be restored with fancy amoretti.
I’m thinking more of diamond rings, and snowdrifts of confetti.”

“Of course, my dear, oh wondrous cheer! The bonds of happy wedlock!”

“Ok, I’ll put the Shakespeare back — and I’m sorry about the clock.”



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