Rob Storrs

Act II, page 24


CECILY.    Your brother Ernest. He arrived here half an hour ago.

JACK.    What nonsense! I haven't got a brother.

CECILY.    Oh, don't say that! However badly he may have behaved to you in the past, he is still your brother. You couldn't be so heartless as to disown him. I'll tell him to come out. And you will shake hands with him, won't you, Uncle Jack? (Exits)

CHASUBLE.  These are very joyful tidings.

MISS PRISM.  After we had all been resigned to his loss, his sudden return seems to me peculiarly distressing.

JACK.    My brother is in the dining-room? I don't know what it aIl means. I think it is perfectly absurd.

(Enter ALGY and CECILY.) 

            Good heavens!  Go away.

ALGY.    Brother John, I have come down from town to tell you that I am very sorry for all the trouble I have given you, and I intend to lead a better life in the future.

JACK.    (Glares at him and does not take his hand)  Go away.

CECILY.    Uncle Jack, you are not going to refuse your own brother's hand?

JACK.    Nothing will induce me to take his hand. I think his coming down here is disgraceful. He knows perfectly well why.

CECILY.    Uncle Jack, do be nice. There is some good in everyone. Ernest has been telling me about his poor invalid friend, Mr. Bunbury, whom he goes to visit so often.  And surely there must be much good in one who is kind to an invalid and leaves the pleasures of London to sit by a bed of pain.

JACK.    He’s been telling you about Bunbury, has he?

CECILY.    Yes, he has told me all about poor Mr. Bunbury and his terrible state of health.

JACK.    Bunbury.  Well, I won’t have him talk to you about Bunbury, or about anything else.  It’s enough to drive one perfectly frantic.

ALGY.    Of course I admit that the faults were all on my side. But I must say that I think brother John's coldness to me is peculiarly painful. I expected a more enthusiastic welcome, especially considering it is the first time I have come here.

CECILY.    Uncle Jack, if you don't shake hands with Ernest I will never forgive you.

JACK.    Never forgive me?

CECILY.    Never, never, never.

JACK.    Well, this is the last time I shall ever do it.

CHASUBLE. It's pleasant, is it not, to see so perfect a reconciliation?  You have done a beautiful action here today, my dear child.

MISS PRISM.  We must not be premature in our judgments.

CECILY.    I feel very happy.

MERRIMAN.  (Enters with card on salver.)  I beg your pardon, sir, but there is an elderly gentleman wishes to see you.  He has just come in a cab from the station.

ALGY.    To see me?

MERRIMAN.  Yes, sir.