Act III, page 48


           And that was the result of the Indian climate and marriage and indigestion and other things of that kind.

JACK.    Algy, can’t you recollect what our father’s Christian name was?

ALGY.    My dear boy, we weren’t even on speaking terms.  He died before I was a year old.

JACK.    Miss-! (To Miss Prism, recoiling.)  His name would appear in the Army Lists of the period, I suppose, Aunt Augusta?

LADY BRACKNELL.  The general was essentially a man of peace, except in his domestic life.  But I have no doubt his name would appear in any military directory.

JACK.    The Army Lists of the last forty years are here.  (JACK goes to bookcase.)  These delightful records should have been my constant study.  “M” “Generals” “Mallon, Maxbohm, Mayfield”  What ghastly names they have!  “Marksby, Migsby, Mobbs…-  Moncrief!”  “Leftenant, 1840; Captain; Leftenant-Colonel; Colonel; General, 1869, Christian names, Ernest John!”  I always told you, Gwendoline, my name was Ernest, didn’t I?  Well, it is Ernest after all, I mean it naturally is Ernest.

LADY BRACKNELL.  I remember now that the General was called Ernest.  I knew I had some particular reason for disliking the name.

GWENDOLINE.  Ernest!  My own Ernest!  I felt from the first that you could have no other name.

JACK.    It’s a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he’s been speaking nothing but the truth!  Can you ever forgive me?

GWENDOLINE.  I can, for I feel that you are sure to change!

JACK.    My own, Gwendoline!

CHASUBLE.  I have come to the conclusion the primitive church was in error on certain points.  Miss Prism,-  Letitia, (going down on his knees) I beg to solicit the honor of your hand.

MISS PRISM.  Frederick, at last!

ALGY.    Cecily, at last!

JACK.    Gwendoline, at last!

LADY BRACKNELL.  My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality.

JACK.    On the contrary, Aunt Augusta.  I have now realized for the first time in my life the vital importance of being Ernest!     (Tableau)


Rob Storrs