Les Bijoux Indiscrets

conducted? It is generally so complicated, that it must be a miracle, that so many things should happen in so little time. The ruin or preservation of an empire, the marriage of a princess, the loss of a prince; all this is done with the turn of a hand. Is the subject a conspiracy? It is sketch'd out in the first act; it is connected and strengthened in the second; all the measures are taken, the obstacles removed, the conspirators are quite ready for action in the third; immediately there shall be a revolt, an engagement, perhaps a pitch'd battle; and you will call this conduct, interest, fire, verisimilitude: I can never excuse it, in you especially, who are not ignorant, what it sometimes costs to put an end to a pitiful intrigue; and how much time the smallest political affair absorbs in taking measures, in previous meetings, and in deliberations."

"I grant, madam," answered Selim, "that our pieces are a little overcharged; but it is a necessary evil: without

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