Rob Storrs

Act II, page 38


ALGY.    That may be. But the muffins are the same.  (They change plates. ALGY goes to head of table.)

JACK.    Algy, I wish to goodness you would go.  (Puts tea-cake on table.)

ALGY.    You cannot possibly ask me to go.  That’s absurd!  I never go without my dinner.  No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.

JACK.    That’s nonsense.  You never talk anything but nonsense.

ALGY.    I have just made arrangements with Dr. Chasuble to be christened at a quarter to six, under the name of Ernest.

JACK.    My dear fellow, the sooner you give up that nonsense the better. (Pouring out tea) I made arrangements this morning with Doctor Chasuble to be christened myself at five-thirty, and I naturally will take the name of Ernest. Gwendoline would wish it. We can't both be christened Ernest. It would be absurd.  Besides, I have a perfect right to be christened if I like. There is no evidence at all that I ever have been christened by anybody. I should think it extremely probable I never was so, and so does Doctor Chasuble. It is entirely different in your case. You have been christened already.

ALGY.    Yes, but I have not been christened for years.

JACK.    Yes, but you have been christened. That is the important thing.

ALGY.    Quite so. So I know my constitution can stand it. If you are not quite sure about your ever having been christened, I must say I think it rather dangerous your venturing on it now.  It might make you unwell. (Business simultaneously) You can hardly have forgotten that someone very closely connected with you was very nearly carried off this week in Paris, by a severe chill.

JACK.    Yes, but you said yourself that a severe chill wasn’t hereditary.

ALGY.    Well, it didn’t used to be, I know.  But I dare say, it is now.  Science is always making wonderful improvements in things.

JACK.    All that’s nonsense, Algy!  (JACK eats muffins again.)  You’re always talking nonsense.

ALGY.    Jack, you are at the muffins again. I wish you wouldn't. There are only two left.  (Takes them)  I told you I was particularly fond of muffins.

JACK.    But I hate tea cake!

ALGY.    Why on earth then do you allow it to be served up to your guests?  What ideas you have about hospitality!

JACK.    Algy, l have already told you to go. I don't want you here. Why don't you go?

ALGY.    I haven’t quite finished my tea yet.  And there is still one muffin left.

(Ring curtain down.  ALGY sits back of table and takes JACK'S cup of tea and begins to drink it.)