Rob Storrs

Act II, page 20


MERRIMAN.  (Enters. Presents card on salver) Mr. Ernest Worthing has just driven over from the station. He has brought his luggage with him.

CECILY.    "Mr. Ernest Worthing, B4., The Albany, W."  Uncle Jack's brother! Did you tell him that Mr. Worthing was in town?

MERRIMAN. Yes, Miss. He seemed very much disappointed. I told him that you and Miss Prism were in the garden. He said he was anxious to speak to you privately for a moment.

CECILY.    Ask Mr. Ernest Worthing to come out here. I suppose you had better speak to the house keeper about a room for him.

MERRIMAN. Yes, Miss. (Exits.)

CECILY.    I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather frightened.  I am afraid he will look just like anyone else.

(Enter ALGY, very gay and debonaire. He is shown in by MERRIMAN.)

             He does!

ALGY.    You are my little cousin, Cecily, I'm sure.

CECILY.    You are under some strange mistake.  I am not little. In fact, I believe I am more than usually tall  for my age. (ALGY is taken aback.) But I am Cousin Cecily. You, I see from your card, are Uncle Jack's brother --my Cousin Ernest. My wicked Cousin Ernest.

ALGY.    I am not really wicked at all, Cousin Cecily. You mustn't think I am wicked.

CECILY.    If you are not, then you have certainly been deceiving us all in a very inexcusable manner. I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.

ALGY.    (Looking at her in amazement) Oh! Of course I have been rather reckless.

CECILY.    I am glad to hear it.

ALGY.    In fact, now you mention the subject, I have been very bad in my own small way.

CECILY.    I don't think you should be so proud of that, though I am sure it must have been very pleasant.

ALGY.    It is much pleasanter being here with you.

CECILY.    I can't understand how you are here at all. Uncle Jack won't be back till Monday afternoon.

ALGY.    This is a great disappointment, as I am obliged to go up by the first train on Monday morning.  I have a business appointment that I am anxious to miss.

CECILY.    Couldn’t you miss it anywhere but in London?

ALGY.    No.  The appointment is in London.

CECILY.    Well, I know, of course, how important it is not to keep your business engagements, if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life.  But still, I think you had better wait till Uncle Jack arrives.  I know he wants to speak to you about your emigrating.

ALGY.    About my what? (Startled.)

CECILY.    Your emigrating.  He has gone up to buy your outfit.

ALGY.    Oh, I certainly wouldn’t let Jack buy my outfit.  He has no taste in neckties at all!