Act II, page 31


ALGY.    But, my dear child, do you mean to say you could not love me if I had some other name?

CECILY.    But what name?

ALGY.    Oh, any name you like- Algernon, for instance.

CECILY.    But I don't like the name of Algernon.

ALGY.    Well, my own dear, sweet, loving little darling, I really can't see why you should object to the name of Algernon. It is not at all a bad name. In fact, it is rather an aristocratic name.  Half the chaps that get into the bankruptcy courts are called Algernon.  But seriously, Cecily, if my name was Algy, couldn't you love me?

CECILY.    I might respect you, Ernest. I might admire your character, but I fear I would not be able to give you my undivided attention.

ALGY.    Ahem! Cecily!  Your rector here is, I suppose, thoroughly experienced in the practice of all the rights and ceremonials of the church?

CECILY.    Oh, yes. Doctor Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single book, so you can imagine how much he knows.

ALGY.    I must see him at once on a matter of important christening- I mean business.  I shan’t be away for more than half an hour.

CECILY.    Considering that we have been engaged since February fourteenth, and that I only met you today for the first time, I think it is rather hard of you to leave me for such a long a period as half an hour.  Couldn’t you make it twenty minutes?

ALGY.    I’ll be back in no time (Kisses her. Exit.)

CECILY.    What an impetuous boy he is!  I like his hair so much. I must enter his proposal in my diary. (Goes over and sits down at table.)

MERRIMAN. (Enters.) A Miss Fairfax has just called to see Mr. Worthing. On very important business, Miss Fairfax states.

CECILY.    Isn't Mr. Worthing in his library?

MERRIMAN. Mr. Worthing went over in the direction of the Rectory some time ago.

CECILY.    Pray ask the lady to come out here. Mr. Worthing is sure to be back soon. And you can bring tea.

MERRIMAN. Yes, Miss. (Exit.)

CECILY.    Miss Fairfax! I suppose one of the many elderly good women who are associated with Uncle Jack in some of his philanthropic work in London. I don't quite like women who are interested in philanthropic work. I think it is so forward of them.

MERRIMAN. (Enters.) Miss Fairfax. (Enter GWENDOLINE. Exit MERRIMAN.)

CECILY.    (Advancing to meet her.) Pray let me introduce myself to you. My name is Cecily Cardew.

GWENDOLINE.  Cecily Cardew! (Moving to her and shaking hands) What a very sweet name. Something tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say. My first impressions of people are never wrong.

Rob Storrs