Rob Storrs

Act I, page 16


ALGY.    Women only do that when they have called each other a lot of other things first. Now, my dear boy, if we want to get a good table at Willis’s tonight, we really must go and dress.  Do you know, it’s nearly seven.

JACK.    It’s always nearly seven.

ALGY.    Well, I'm hungry.

JACK.    I never knew you when you weren't.

ALGY.    What shall we do after dinner? Go to a theatre?

JACK.    Oh, no!  I loathe listening.

ALGY.    Well, let us go to the Club?

JACK.    Oh, no! I hate talking.

ALGY.    Well, we might trot round to the Empire at ten.

JACK.    Oh, no! I can't bear looking at things.

ALGY.    Well, what shall we do?

JACK.    Oh, nothing.  What else is there to do?

LANE. (Enters.) Miss Fairfax.

(Enter GWENDOLINE.  Exit LANE, leaving door open.)

ALGY.    Gwendoline, upon my word.

GWENDOLINE. (Turning him round) Algy, kindly turn your back. I have something very particular to say to Mr. Worthing.

ALGY.    Really, Gwendoline, I don't think I can allow this at all.

GWENDOLINE. Algy, you always adopt a strictly immoral attitude towards life.  You’re not quite old enough to do that.  Pray oblige me by turning your back. (Turns him round again. ALGY turns away. Moving to JACK)  Ernest, we may never be married. From the expression on mamma's face I fear we never shall. Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is rapidly dying out.  Whatever influence I ever had over mamma I lost at the age of three. But though she may prevent us from becoming man and wife, and I may marry someone else, and marry often, nothing that she can possibly do can alter my eternal devotion to you.

JACK.    Dear Gwendoline!

GWENDOLINE. The story of your romantic origin, as related to me by mamma, with unpleasing comments, has naturally stirred the deeper fibres of my nature. Your Christian name is an irresistible fascination. The simplicity of your character makes you exquisitely incomprehensible to me. Your town address at the Albany I have. What is your address— (Taking out notebook ) —in the country?

JACK.    The Manor House, Woolton, Hertfordshire. (ALGY writes the address on shirt cuff, then picks up railway guide.)

GWENDOLINE.  There is a good postal service, I suppose.  It may be necessary to do something desperate.  That, of course, will require serious consideration.  I will communicate with you daily.

JACK.    My own one.