Rob Storrs

Act I, page 11


JACK.    Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don't care much about the name of Ernest -I don't think the name suits me at all.

GWENDOLINE. It suits you perfectly. It is a divine name. It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.

JACK.    Well, really, Gwendoline, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.

GWENDOLINE. Jack! No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations. I have known several Jacks, and they all without exception were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.

JACK.    Gwendoline, I must get christened at once- I mean we must get married at once.

GWENDOLINE. (Surprised) Married, Mr. Worthing?

JACK.    (Astounded) Well, surely. You know that I love you, and you led me to believe, Miss Fairfax, that you were not absolutely indifferent to me.

GWENDOLINE. I adore you. But you haven't proposed to me yet. Nothing has been said at all about marriage. The subject has not even been touched upon.

JACK.    Well, may I propose to you now?

GWENDOLINE. I think it would be an admirable opportunity. To spare you any possible disappointment, Mr. Worthing, I think it only fair to tell you quite frankly beforehand that I am fully determine to accept you

JACK.    Gwendoline!

GWENDOLINE.  Yes, Mr. Worthing, what have you got to say to me?

JACK.    You know what I’ve got to say to you!

GWENDOLINE.  Yes, but you don’t say it!

JACK.    Then, Gwendoline, will you marry me? (Goes on his knees.)

GWENDOLINE. Of course I will, darling.  How long you have been about it! I am afraid you have had very little experience in how to propose.

JACK.    My own one, I have never loved anyone in the world but you.

GWENDOLINE. Yes, but men often propose for practice. I know my brother Gerald does; all my girl friends tell me.  Oh, Ernest, what wonderfully blue eyes you have. They are quite, quite blue. I hope you will always look at me just like that, especially when there are other people present.

LADY BRACKNELL. (Enters) Mr. Worthing! (JACK tries to get up. GWENDOLINE restrains him.) Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture. It is most indecorous.

GWENDOLINE. Mamma! (He tries to rise; she restrains him) I must beg you to retire. This is no place for you. (another movement from JACK) Besides, Mr. Worthing has not quite finished yet.

LADY BRACKNELL. Finished what, may I ask?

GWENDOLINE. I am engaged to Mr. Worthing, Mamma. (Rising and helping him up.)

LADY BRACKNELL. Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone.  When you do become engaged to anyone, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of