Rob Storrs

Act II, page 37


ALGY.    Well, one must be serious about something, if one wants to have any amusement in life. I happen to be serious about Bunburying. What on earth you are serious about I haven't got the remotest idea. About everything, I should fancy. You have such an absolutely trivial nature.

JACK.    Well, the only small satisfaction I have in the whole of this wretched business is that your friend Bunbury is quite exploded. You won't be able to run down to the country quite so often as you used to do, Algy. And a very good thing, too.

ALGY.    Your brother is a little off color, isn't he, dear Jack? You won't be able to disappear to London quite so frequently as your wicked custom was. And not a bad thing either.

JACK.    As for your conduct toward Miss Cardew, I must say that your taking in a sweet, simple, innocent girl like that is quite inexcusable.  To say nothing of the fact that she is my ward.

ALGY.    I can see no possible defense at all for your deceiving a brilliant, clever, thoroughly experienced young lady like Miss Fairfax. To say nothing of the fact that she is my cousin.

JACK.    I wanted to be engaged to Gwendoline, that is all. I love her.

ALGY.    Well, I simply wanted to be engaged to Cecily. I adore her.

JACK.    There is certainly no chance of your marrying Miss Cardew.

ALGY.    I don't think there is much likelihood, Jack, of you and Miss Fairfax being united. (Takes muffin.)

JACK.    That is no business of yours.

ALGY.    Well, if it was my business, I shouldn’t talk about it.  It is very vulgar to talk about one’s business.  Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties.

JACK.    How can you sit there, calmly eating muffins, when we are in this horrible trouble, I can't make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.

ALGY.    Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.

JACK.    I say it is perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all under the circumstances.

ALGY.    (JACK sits after pouring tea) When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am really in great trouble, as anyone who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins. (Picks muffin dish up.)

JACK.    Well, that is no reason why you should eat them all in that greedy way. (Takes muffin from ALGY.)

ALGY.    (Picks up tea-cake dish, offering tea-cake, rising) I wish you would take tea-cake instead. I don't like tea-cake.

JACK.    Good heavens! I suppose a man may eat his own muffins in his own garden.

ALGY.    But you have just said it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins.

JACK.    I said it was perfectly heartless of you under the circumstances. That is a very different thing.