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Full text of "Lady Bountiful, a Story of Years: A Play in Four Acts"

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Ttalas the property- of WALTER H. BAKf-R & CO.. 

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LADY BOUNTIFUL 



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LADY BOUNTIFUL 



A STORY OF YEARS 



(^ ^t vn Sout (gete 



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BY 

ARTHUR W. PINERO 



•* My masters will you hear a simple tale ? 

No war, no lust, not a Comniandmcnt broke 

By sir or madam— but a history ^ 

To make a rhyme to speed a young maid s hour. 



' J • •• 



NOTICE. 






• ^^ "* •* ^ 



This play Is printed as iVIanuscript orrl);,, and is 
not published. The right of performance is reserved, and 
can be obtained only by arrangement with the author's 
agents, 

WALTER H. BAKER & CO. 

No. 23 Winter St., Boston, Mass. 



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Copyright, z892> by 
ARTHUR W. PINERO 



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INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

When Mr. Pinero set himself to write "Lady Boun- 
tiful" he evidently thought that a public which 
had patiently devoured Thackeray and Dickens in 
monthly numbers, which now was content to read 
even Mr. George Meredith in serial form, and made 
Mr. Mudie the autocratic guide to its literary taste, 
might be prepared to listen with interest to a story 
told in four acts which otherwise might have been 
narrated in three volumes. But the event proved 
that Mr. Pinero, in this instance, had not correctly 
gauged that unknown and very variable quantity, 
the British Public. It had been complained by the 
more captious of the newest critics that the stories 
of the plays written by even our best contemporary 
dramatists were such as no self-respecting novelist 
would condescend to handle. Be this as it may, the 
story of "Lady Bountiful" is, I venture to think, 
human and interesting enough to offer possibilities 
to the novelist ; whereas Mr. Pinero treated it, after 
his lights, in dramatic form. And he gripped the 
attention of his audiences, and made them laugh 
and made them cry, and yet " Lady Bountiful " can- 
not be described as a popular success, in London at 
all events. 

How is this comparative failure to be accounted 
for ? I cannot think that the public was much con- 
cerned as to whether it was or was not a novel in 
stage form, but the absence of any showy dramatic 
emotion may have exerted an adverse indfluence on 
the fortunes of the play. " Lady Bountiful " was 
produced at a moment when the palate of the play- 




8 IJ^TRODTTCTOMY NOTE. 

going public was being tickled by some very highly 
flavoured dramatic fare, and possibly, despite the 
gentle tyranny of " the young lady of fifteen," some 
resentment was felt that Mr. Pinero should have in- 
vited the great British Public to listen to " a history 
to make a rhyme to speed a young maid's hour." 
We are, of course, a very moral and respectable peo- 
ple ; but we do not necessarily wish our virtues to 
be dragged into our amusements. We prefer to 
keep them separate ; and when a dramatist deliber- 
ately seeks to entertain us with a play in which not / 
a single Commandment shall be broken, we — speak- 
ing as the public — say, "How nice of him, and what 
a sweet and pure and wholesome play to take young 
girls to ; " but, at the same time, we go, to see not 
his play, but something else, where, at least, the 
Seventh Commandment is not preserved in cotton- 
wool against fracture — and we send our girls to 
German Reed's. 

But there were also other reasons for the non- 
success of "Lady Bountiful." People who seek 
amusement at the theatre do not really like to be 
made to cry. Actual pathos, which strikes home 
by its simple truth, is not endurable as long as it 
involves men and women of modern life. That 
pathetic scene in which Meg Heron dies quietly in 
her chair, while her husband, at her bidding, is talk- 
ing to the baby in the cradle, was, I cannot help 
thanking, in a great measure accountable for the non- 
success of " Lady Bountiful." The audience was in 
tears in spite of itself, feeling the sadness of the 
episode with actual pain ; and people came away 
from the theatre saying, " A beautiful play, but I 
would not see it again for worlds ; it has made me 
30 miserable." That lasting impression of sadness 



INTBODUCTOBT NOTE. 9 

was the key-note to the fate of this play. Then, 
again, the respective characters of Camilla Brent 
and Dennis Heron appeared perplexing to many, 
and, being so, presented themselves in an unsym- 
pathetic light. The ^1 who endeavours to inspire 
the man she loves with ambition that shall impel 
him to perform a worthy part m life, who not un- 
naturally expresses her disappointment when she 
perceives no sign of the laudable ambition she had 
hoped to foster, was written down as " a priggish 
and inconsistent young woman." On the other 
hand, the young man who, in his sense of gi*atitude 
to the humble folk who have befriended him in his 
time of need, feels that the fault must be his, when 
he discovers that their daughter has fallen in love 
with him, and therefore his the reparation, at all 
costs to himself of happiness and prospects, was 
solemnly written of as an egotistical young cub, 
and a quixotic fool to boot. 

With a hero and heroine misunderstood like this 
by experienced playgoers, it is not surprising that 
the tone and significance of the whole play failed to 
appeal to the majority of the audiences. However, 
through the pubhcation of the work, freed from the 
uncertainties of representation, the public is now 
brought into more direct communion with the 
author's intentions, and may therefore, perhaps, be 
able to regard the play in a more sympathetic 
light. 

Mr. John Hare produced "Lady Bountiful" at 
the Garrick Theatre on March 7, 1891, and with- 
drew it on Friday, May 22, of the same year, after 
66 performances. The following is a copy of the 
programme on the occasion of the first representa- 
tion. 



10 INTROD UCTOR T NOTE. 

THE GARRICK THEATRE. 

Lessee and Manager, Mb. John Hare. 



THIS EVENING, SATURDAY, MARCH 7th, 1891. 

WILL BE ACTED 

LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

A NEW AND ORIGINAL PLAY IN FOUR ACTS. 

BY 

A. W. PINERO. 



Sm LuciAN Brent, Bart . Mr. Gilbebt Habe. 

(His First Appearance in London). 

SibRichabd Phtlliteb, Q. 

C. .... Mb. C. W. Somebset. 

RoDEBiCK Hebon. . . Mb. John Habe. 

Dennis Hebon . . . Mb. J. Fobbes-Robebtson. 

John Yeai.e. . . . Mb. Chables Gboves. 
Pedgbift (a Parish Clerk ajid 

Sexton.) . . . Mb. R. Cathcabt. 

Wimple Mb. JohnBybon. 

Floyce Mb. R. Power. 

A ViLLAGEB. . . . Mb. Henby Rivebs. 



Miss Bbent .... Miss Cablotta Addison. 

Camilla Bbent . . . Miss Kate Robke. 

Beatbix Bbent . . . Miss Beatbice Febbab. 

Mbs. Yeale .... Miss Dolobes Dbummond. 

Mabgabet Yeale . . Miss Mabie Linden. 
Mbs. Hodnutt (a Pew 

Opener) . • , Miss Caboline Elton. 

Amelia Miss Websteb. 

A YiLLAGEB. • . . Miss E. Tubtle. 



<• • • 



NoTB. — ^The Author desires to acknowledge the relationship of one of the 
characters of his play to the well-known family of the Skimpoles. 



" My masters, will you hear a simple tale ? 
No war, no lust, not a Commandment broke 
By sir or madam — ^but a history 
To make a rhyme to speed a yoimg maid's hour." 



INTBOBUCTOBT NOTE. 11 

ACT I. 

AUNT ANNE SPEAKS HER MIND. 

Peele-Lydgate. A Morning-room at " FauncourV^ 



ACT n. 

DENNIS SETS FOOT IN A NEW WORLD. 

London, Three Months After, 

** The Hyde Park Biding Academy,'*^ Trevor Row, Knights^ 

bridge. 



ACT III. 

MARGARET PREPARES FOR HER VOYAGE. 

London, Eighteen Months After. 
The Basement, 9 Pinch Street, Westminster, 



ACT IV. 



CAMILLA GOES TO THE ALTAR. 

Peele-Lydgate, Five Tears After, 
St, Eanswythe, Lydgate Old Church, 



The curtain will fall for a moment during Act IV., to repre- 
sent the lapse of a night. 



SCENERY BY MB. W. HABFOBD. 



On November 16, 1891, "Lady Bountiful" was 
produced simultaneously by Mr. Daniel Frohman at 
the Lyceum Theatre, New York, and by Mr. R. M. 



12 INTRODUCTORY NOTK 

Field at the Boston Museum, but the fortunes of the 
play differed very materially in the two great centres 
of American theatrical enterprise. In New York its 
success was far greater than had been anticipated, 
and it enjoyed quite a long career ; but in Boston 
the playgoing public turned an indifferent ear to it, 
in spite of the sympathy and praise of the critics, 
and it was withdrawn in a fortnight. The simplicity 
and gentleness of the storjr may have had something 
to do with this, as one writer pointed out, though in 
some quarters it was suggested that the play was 
not as happily cast in Boston as in New York. A 
curious fact in connection with the New York pro- 
duction was the changing of the hero's name from 
Dennis to Donald. Mr. Frohman did this because 
in that city, it appears, Dennis is used as the pro- 
verbial designation for a man who is always left 
behmd, and therefore it was not considered auspi- 
cious for the hero of a new play. In Boston the name 
was not changed. Herein, perhaps, is matter for 
the curious coUater of theatrical superstitions. 



Malcolm C. Salamai^. 



5;-;, 



^ 



yy-k^Ji' 



THE PERSONS OP THE PLAT 

Sib LuciAN Brent, Babt l/yv^^^*-^^ 
Camilla Bbbnt .(!?x-yrv*» v-, 
Beatrix Brent -- *^ ^. 

Miss Brent ^ "^^^^ yyaJ^crt/ , 

Roderick Heron - /^^ ' ^f * ^^ 

Dennis Heron -^ /c^C^^ 

John Veaub — ^'^ ^ 

Mrs. Vealb - ^^ 

Margaret Veaub S^ fi-^- 

Sir Richard Philliter, Q. C. 0^'^ ^'^'^ ' 

AnncT.TA 
WlMPLB 

Pbdgript 
Mrs. Hodnutt 
Floycb 



Note. — ^The Author desires to acknowledge the relation* 
ship of one of the characters of his play to the well-known 
family of the Skimpoles. 



,^.. \ ^ r \ \ 



.c 



i 



TBE FIRST ACT 

AUNT ANNE SPEAKS HER MIND 



THE SECOND ACT 

DENNIS SETS FOOT IN A NEW WORLD. 



THE THIRD ACT 

MARGARET PREPARES FOR HER VOYAGE 



THE FOURTH ACT 

CAMILLA GOES TO THE ALTAR 



I 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 



THE FIRST ACT. 

AUNT ANNE SPEAKS HER MIND. 

The scene is a litxuriouslj/ comfortable and elegant 
morning room, at Fauncourt^ the country seat of 
Camhxa Brent. Through the mullioned win- 
dows a beautiful garden is seen ; a little vestibule 
leads to the garden^ while a further room, is 
reached by a few oaken steps with balustrades. 
It is a bright morning in late summer. 

Bbatbix Brent, a healthy -looking^ rosy-cheeked child 
of about thirteen^ is standing by the window 
playing her violin. Sir Lucian Brent, her 
brother^ a handsome young man of over twenty^ 
passes outside smoking a pipe, and then enters 
through the vestibule, and lolls on the settle, 

Lucian. 
Good morning, Trix. 

Beatrix. 

Good morning. You may not smoke here, you 
know. We ladies don't like it. 



18 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

JjUCIAN. 

Oh. [^Jietuming his pipe to his case."] Well, we 
gentlemen, especially when we're reading for 
" Smalls," don't like immature fiddling. 

Floyce, a manservant^ enters with newspapers^ which 
* he places upon the tablCj except " The Times^^ 
which he hands to Lucian. 

Floyce. 
The papers. Sir Lucian. [Floyce goes out, 

Beatrix. 

Aunt Aline would be very indignant if she knew 
you had answered me. [Prow(%.] You know I 
am delicate. 

Lucian. 

No, I don't. I believe that's an impressive fic- 
tion, Trix. You always look sufficiently jolly. 

Beatrix. 
As a matter of fact I am extremely delicate. 

Lucian. 
Then you shouldn't let it make you so vain. 

Beatrix. 

{^Regarding Lucian with disgust,"] There ought 
to be no such relationship as brotner and sister. 
Families should be all girls or all boys. 

\_Approaching him^ she scrapes the bass string 
of her violin in his ear. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 19 

LXTCIAN. 

Be quiet, Trix, 

Bbatbix. 

Come into the next room and play my accompam- 
ment — ^there's a darling. 

LUCIAN. 

When Fve read the paper. 

Bbateix. 

Hateful Boy I [^Looking out of the window,! Hal- 
loa I Oh-h-hl 

[Miss Bbbnt is passing the windows out- 
side^ with Tier head down and her hands 
clasped behind her. 

LuciAN. 
Eh? 

Bbatbix. 
Just look I \In a whisper, "] Aimt Anne. 

LuciAN. 
Anything wrong ? 

Beatrix. , 

Whenever Aunt Anne stalks the garden in that 
way somebody is in for a scolding. 

LUCIAN. 

She was on the march before I was down. 



20 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Bbatbix. 

Do you think Lady Bountiful has been spending 
too much money, or something of that sort ? 

LUCIAN. 

Camilla is her own mistress. Aimt Anne is my 
guardian for a few months longer, but Lady Bounti- 
ful is over age. 

Bbatbix. 

Yes, but I know she still regulates Camilla's 
money-matters. 

LUCIAN. 

[^Tapping something on the jloor with his foot.'] 
What's that? 

Bbatbix. 

[^Picking up a chatelaine,'] Aimt Anne has 
dropped her chatelaine, Lucian, aunt always scrib- 
bles her day's business on this tablet. Shall we 
peep ? 

LUGIAN. 

i" couldn't do such a thing. You're different. 

Beatrix. 
K it's mean for you it's mean for me. 

Lucian. 

That doesn't follow. You're yoimg and far from 
strong. 

Beatrix. 
Hush! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 21 

[Miss Brent passes the windows again. As 
she walks away Bkatrix opens the tab- 
let and holds it before Lucian's eyes, 

LuciAN. 

\_Se reads it eagerly^ then turns away with indigna-' 
tion,'] Oh, Beatrix, 

Bbatbix. 

Did you see anything ? 

LxrciAN. 
How could I help it ? 

Beatbix. 
Tell Trixy. 

LuCIAN. 

« Sir Richard Philliter. Eleven-thirty." 

BSATBIX. 

Dear Sir Richard must be coming over from 
Baverstoke Park. I am glad ! Anything^ else? 

LUCIAN. 

Yes. "JohnVeale. Twelve o'clock." That's alL 

Beatrix. 
John Veale ? 

LuciAN. 
The horse-dealer at Baverstoke 

Beatrix. 
Oh, of course ; the man who sells horses to Uncle 



22 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Roderick and Dennis. [^Putting the chatelame on 
the table.'] That hasn't told us much^ 

\A marCa voice singing a chansonette gaily to 
a piano is heard from the other room, 

BSATBIX. 

There's TJncle Roderick! 

» \^She snatches up h&r violin and plays the 

tune he is singing. Roderick Heron, a 
pleasant-looking little gentleman of about 
ffty^ buoyant and effusive in manner^ 
appears on the steps and finishes his song. 

Roderick Heron. 

tShaldng his finger at Beatrix.] Ha, ha ! Quite 
f a tone flat. My little fairy I Lucian, your 
reading prospers ? \HeJK>ins them. 

Lucian. 
Moderately well, uncle. 

Roderick Heron. 

Grind, Lucian, grind. Youth is the seed-time, 
you know ; it really is. Don't neglect it. 

Lucian. 
I hope I shall not. 

Roderick Heron. 

Bravo I I recognise myself in you — I do indeed. 
I sometimes wish my own rascal of a son resembled 
me more, \tapping his forehead^ resembled me here, 
you know. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 23 

LUCIAN. 

Dennis is a rare fellow in the open air. 

Roderick Heron. 

Ah, the dear vagabond ! But gentlemen shouldn't 
be gipsies. However, if you do well, Lucian, I shall 
be consoled and you'll gain an invaluable friend in 
Roderick Heron — really an invaluable friend. 

Lucian. 
Thanks, uncle. 

Roderick Heron. 

Beatrix, my dear, I dislike the tone of that fiddle 
of yours — I really do — ^it grates on me. I've heard 
of a treasure in London — in Wardour Street, in fact 
— a Geronimo Amati of 1608, a perfect beauty. I'm 
going to town to-day and I shall open my purse- 
strings. 

Beatrix. 

Oh, uncle ! [ITneding beside him.'] Oh, uncle, what 
is it like to be as rich as you are and to be able to do 
just as you please ? 

Roderick Heron. 

Ha, ha ! it is exceedingly pleasant ! I own it — it's 
pleasant ! Especially when a man has an idle villain 
like dear Dennis, and a nephew and niece, all hun- 
gering for sugar plums. 

Beatrix. 

f[ Throwing her arms round him.] Dear Uncle 
Roderick! 



24 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

[ Thej/ all laugh cheerily. Miss Beent, a taU 
stately woman ofjifty-five with silvery 
hair^ and a sweet face and voice^ enters 
through the vestibule. 

EoDEBicK Heron. 
Ahem! my pets, here is Aunt Amie. 

Miss Bbent. 
I've lost my chatelaine^ children. 

LuoiAN. 
It's on the writing-table, aunt. 

Miss Brent. 
\Attajching the chatelaine to her hdtJ\ J^^ yes. 

Beatrix. 
[^m6% ^o LuciAN.] Looks solemn, doesn't she? 

LUCIAN. 

Jolly solemn. 

[Li7C3iAN and Beatrix steal up to the window 
and sit there^ looking out. 

Roderick Heron. 

You — ^ah — received my little note last night, dear 
Anne? 

Miss Brent. 
Yes. 

Roderick Heron. 
AU rights eh? 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 26 

Miss Bbent. 

Mr. Heron, you known your allowance is not due 
till Michaelmas. 

Rodebice: Hebon. 

[ Glancing quickly towards Lucian and Beatbix.] 
Sssh ! the young people. Know it ! My career is 
saddened by the necessity for counting the hours 
between one-quarter day and another. 

Miss Brent. 

Very weU. Then, I tell you plainly, I shall advise 
Camilla not to give you a single penny beyond that 
fixed and liberal allowance. 

Roderick Hebon. 

[ ThrvMing his hands into his pockets and walk- 
ing away reflectively.'] Really, you know, damn! 
[Miss Bbent takes up her knitting,'] I paid you 
a great compliment by confiding my little trouble 
to you. I ought to have gone direct to my dear 
niece. 

Miss Bbent. 

A compliment? It is my impression that you 
knew Camilla would consult me. 

RoDEBicK Hebon. 

Don't be spiteful, Anne; it's unbecoming — it 
really is. [Coaadngly,] Anne dear, upon my soul 
I couldn't change you a florin at this moment I'm as 
low as that, you know, really. 

Miss Bbent. 
I believe you. And yet you tell me that John 



26 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Veale, the Baverstoke horse-dealer, sends you 
his half-yearly account for four-hundxed-and-forty 
guineas. 

Roderick Hebon. 

Enormous, I admit — colossal. But look at the 
result — my son and I are the two best mounted men 
in the county. 

Miss Bbbnt. 

It's infamous ! How dare you buy such horses 
and depend upon Camilla's paying for them ? 

Roderick Heron. 

Confound it, Anne, dear Dennis and I must be 
kept in health. Men must ride, you know. The 
poor share one privilege with the rich — ^that of 
having livers. And I'm sure Camilla wouldn't 
like to see her relatives on indifferent cattle. 

Miss Brent. 

Poor Camilla! [^Laying her work asideJ] Poor 
wilful, capricious, large-hearted Camilla 1 The 
folks have named her Lady Bountiful for her 
liberality ; they should call her Lady Folly for her 
pains. For shame, Mr. Heron ! 

Roderick Heron. 

For shame ! I like that ! It's I who deserve 
pity, with a boy like dear Dennis to provide for 
— by the sweat of my brow, as it were. 

Miss Brent. 

If you were a good man you'd tell Dennis the 
truth. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 27 

Roderick Heron. 

I always tell the truth. Really, Anne, you're — 
you're libellous, you know. 

Miss Bbent. 

I mean, you would not keep him in the dark 
any longer. Let him know that his father is utterly 
^thout means, that both of you are the pen- 
sioners of a girl. 

Roderick Hj:ron. 

This is too bad, Anne. Recollect, please, I have 
Camilla's assent that not a soul shall know my un- 
happy position. Tell one, tell all. 5rou would rob 
me of my sole remaining consolation — the respect 
which people entertain for a well-to-do person. 

Miss Brent. 
Grant me patience ! 

Roderick Heron. 

Well, well, I really can't sympathise with your 
narrow views of family obligations. You always 
were a jarring note, Anne ; I am sorry to appear 
impolite, but you are a jarring note. [J?6 collects 
aU the newspapers in the room^ and tucks them under 
his arm. ] I'll glance through the papers in my 
room — ^the papers, you know. Send my niece to 
me the very moment she comes in ; I'll not trouble 
you further in this little matter. 

Miss Brent. 
[ Clenchinff her handsJ] Oh I 



28 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

RODBBICK. HeBON. 

[^As he is going.'] I go to town by the one-fifteen. 
May I buy you any little thing, Anne ? 

Miss Bbent. 
Oh, no, no. 

Rqderick Hebon. 

I shall open my purse-strings. Good for evil, dear 
Anne, good for e vH 1 

\_ffe goes out,, cheerfully. 

Miss Beent. 

Oh, this man I And, oh, poor foolish, blind Lady 
Bountiful! 

[Camilla Bbekt, a sweet graceful girl of two-and- 
twenty^ enters quickly^ arid looks around the 
room in agitation. 

Camilla. 

Lucian ! Lucian ! [^Ooing to Miss Beent and cling- 
ing to her."] Ah, aunty 1 

[Lucian and Beatrix approach her. 

Miss Bbent. 
You are trembling, child. 

Camilla. 

Dennis took me to the paddock to show me the 
two hunters Uncle Roderick bought from Veale of 
Baverstoke, and he is trying them at the six-barred 
gate. The mare clears it cleverly, but the black 
horse '' Strephon " has refused it again and again, 






LAD Y BO UNTIFUL, 29 

and I know it will end in harm to Dennis. Stop 
him, Lucian I [ Stamping her foot,'] Lucian ! 

LUCIAN. 

Stop him ! Dennis has never let a horse master 
him yet. 

Camilla. 

But it is dangerous. I — I can't bear it. 

\_8he drops into a chair y hiding her /ace in 
Miss Bbbnt's skirts. 

Miss Bbent. 

Gk), Lucian. [Lucian runs out.l My salts, Bea- 
trix. [Beatrix goes out. 

Lucian. 

[^ Outside.'] Camilla, here's Dennis! ICaUing] 

Dennis ! \ 

Dbnnis Heron, a handsome young man with a 

bronzed face^ an athletic frame^ and an air of 

good-humoured indolence^ saunters on / he is in 

riding dress. 

' Dennis. 
Who said that black devil wouldn't clear the bar ? 

Camilla. 

[^Xooking at him for a minute with eager gladness^ 
then^ recovering her self-possession^ and drawing her- 
self up] Who said so ? I did not. 

Dennis. 

Oh, why, Camilla, you 1 

Lucian re-enters. Miss Brent retires to the window* 
seat. 



30 LAD Y BO UNTIFUL. 

LUCIAN. 

Did you get over, Dennis ? 

Dennis. 
Clean. "Strephon" didn't know me— he does now. 

Camilla. 

' Are you such a very formidable person when onfe 
knows j/ouy may I ask ? 

Dennis. 
Ask "Strephon." [Camilla laughs lightly.'] Eh? 

Camilla. 

This display of horsemanship appears to have oc- 
curred after a certain credible witness left the scene. 

Dennis. 
Why, you saw 1 

Camilla. 

J only saw an obstinate horse canter up to a gate 
and shake his head at it with an angry snort. 
[Beatrix enters with a vinaigrette which she hands to 
Camilla ; who hastily slips it into her pocket,] The 
exhibition became monotonous and I withdrew. 

Dennis. 

Oh, I say, that's too bad ! Here, you youngsters, 
come into the paddock and watch me take that black 
horse over the old six-bar 1 

Camilla. 
No, no — ^Dennis! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 31 

BSATBIX. 

Oh, yes, we'll come. 

DEions. 
Camilla says I'm bragging. 

Camilla. 
How can you be such a child I 

Dennis. 

Ah, but you did. Come along, Lucian. Two 
credible witnesses! 

[Dennis, Beatrix, and Lucian go out. 
Camilla is following them. 

Miss Bbbnt. 
Camilla. 

Camilla. 
Yes, aunty ? 

I Miss Bkent. 

Stop here, dear. I want to speak to you. [Camilla 
sits looking anxiously out of the window.'] Mr. Heron 
has written me a note to tell me he is m debt again 
and wants more money. 

Camilla. 

Well, if Mr. Heron wants more money Mr. Heron 
must have it, I suppose. 

Miss Brent. 
And how long is this state of things to continue ? 

Camilla, 
Oh, aunty, let us be happy whUe we may. 



32 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Miss Bsbnt. 
So say I, dear. 

Camilla. 

Uncle Roderick was poor motlier's only brother, 
her favourite. 

Miss Brent. . 
Ah! 

Camilla. 

And what my mother loved, I must love. 

Miss Bbbkt. 

Your mother did more than her duty — ^left him a 
small fortune. 

Camilla. 

Which dribbled away, " positively dribbled, you 
know," Uncle Roderick says. 

Miss Brent. 

And afterwards, for your dead mother's sake, your 
father again provided for him. 

Camilla. 

That trickled, uncle says — ^*' absolutely trickled, 
you know, really." Ha, ha! Poor Uncle Roderick ! 

Miss Brent. 

And then a self-willed, thoughtless girl, who is 
imhappily her own mistress, assumed obligations 
which her parents had already sufficiently discharged. 
That's you, Camilla. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 38 

Camilla. 

That is I. Camilla the Heedless — Camilla the 
Spendthrift — Camilla the Wilfully- wealthy ! And 
that's just it, aunt Anne — Fm rich. And while I'm 
rich the dear pauper whose blood I carry in my veins 
must morally break his pile of stones, and pick his 
little heap of oakum, in the shelter of my home. The 
improvident rich must nourish the improvident 
poor. 

Miss Brent. 

J^^amestly'] Yes, Camilla, but what of the improvi- 
dent poor's able-bodied son ? [Camilla glances away 
in confysionJ] Come here, girlie. 

[Camilla kneels beside Miss Bbent. 

Camilla. 
Don't scold me — ^never scold me, dear aunt. 

Miss Brent. 
I am afraid you care for him, child. 

Camilla. 
[^Laying her head upon Miss Brent's hosomJl Oh ! 

Miss Brent. 

Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! [Camilla laughs softly, "] Ah, 
don't laugh! 

Camilla. 

Let me while I can. It is not every girl who can 
smile over an unrequited passion. 

Miss Brent. 
Unrequited fiddlesticks I 

Camh 

No — ^unrequited passion. Why, aunt Anne, 

3 



34 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis thinks much less of me than of " Strephon" 
the ugly black brute who wanted to pitch him over 
the gate. 

Miss Brent. 

But if one day he transferred his affections from 
his horse " Strephon" to his cousin Camilla ? 

Camilla. 

Hush ! then I should shake my head at him, be- 
cause, aunt, 

Miss Brent. 
Because ? 

Camilla. 
Because I could not marry poor Dennis. 

' Miss Brent. 

Ah ! tell me why. 

Camilla. 
I am so — disappointed. 

Miss Brent. 
Come, come, here's sense in the house at last 1 

Camilla. 

He is idle ; without an anxious thought and I fear 
with little pride ; with no occupation but to loiter in 
the stable-yard, no pleasure but in a gallop across 
country. And that is not my ideal of a husband. 

Miss Brent. 
Why, Camilla, that's well spoken ! 

Camilla. 
r Turning^ impetuously,'} Ah, don't triumph at it ! 



k 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 35 

Miss Bbent. 
[ Taking Camilla in her arms,'] Triumph I my dear ! 

Camilla. 

For, oh, I have so longed for something different 
from this. 

Miss Bbbkt. 
Different? 

Camilla. 

Aunty, I — I have beheved in Dennis. I have 
watched for a sign of an honest, worthy ambition, 
aQd there has been nothing but indolence and in- 
difference. I have hoped to see him go into the 
world and do good because he felt himself a man, 
and not because he found himself a beggar. And 
now I see my mistake, and I — I am disappointed. 

Roderick enters briskly with the newspaper. 

Roderick Heron. 

My dear Anne — Ah, here is my Camilla. Good- 
morning, darluig. 

Miss Brent. 

[ Quietly to CamiUa as she goes to Moderick."] Be 
firm with him ! I can do nothing. 

\_8he sits at the table writing. 

Roderick Heron. 

How sweet you look! Er — ^your aunt has men- 
tioned ^? 

Camilla. 
Yes, uncle. 

Roderick Heron. 

That's right. I am in great trouble, my dear — 
really in overwhelming trouble. 



36 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

> 

Caj£illa. 
I am very sony. 

Roderick Heron. 

I know you would be— you're so charmingly sym- 
pathetic. I'm sympathetic myself, you know. 

Camilla. 

Aunty tells me you are in debt again, Uncle Rod- 
erick. 

Roderick Heron. 

I am bound to say that conveys a fair idea of my 
position. 

Camilla. 

[ With a glance at Miss Brent.] I — ^I am a little 
vexed with you. 

Roderick Heron. 

My pet, I want you to be vexed with me, you 
know. There is nothing I desire more than that 
you should say to me — sternly if you will — " There, 
Uncle Roderick, there is the paltry cheque you ask 
for, and, mind, not another penny till your next 
quarter's allowance." I want you to say this to me 
[re/erring to his watch"], almost directly, in fact. 

Camilla. 

[^Bending over Miss Brent's ahoulderJ] What 
am I to do, aimty ? 

Miss Brent. 

Anything that's foohsh. I am angry with you. 

Roderick Heron. 
[Slipping his arm through Camilla's.] Poor 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 37 



Anne— a bitter disposition. Quite' as constant a 
church-goer as myself, but Heavens, what a disposi- 
tion ! Come into another room, and I'll tot up the 
few little items which are pressing upon me-— de- 
priving me of rest, you know. 

Beatrix. 

[^Hunning past the windows outside.^ Here is Sir 
Richard I 

LUCIAN. 

ELoohing through the open window.'] Sir Richard 
lere, aunt. [ J36 runs after Beatrix. 

Miss Brent. 

\JjOohing at her watch,] A boy-lover could not be 
more punctual. Heaven prosper him ! 

Camilla. 
[ To Roderick HeronJ] Aunt is cross with me. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ Quietly to her.] Never mind. I'll bring you some 
pretty httle object from Paris. Very likely I shall 
open my purse-strings there, you know. 

Camilla. 

[_Coaxingly to Mjqq Brent.] ^ Be friends with me, 
dear. 

Miss Brent. 

Ah I Lady Bountiful, I'll forgive you everything:, 
if you do one womanly, sensible act to-day. 

Camilla. 
What is that? 



38 LAD T BO UNTIFUL. 

f Miss Brent. 
Ck)me back to me here, and you shall know. 

Camilla. 

Of course I will. But don't forget, I must see 
dear Sir Kichard. 

Miss Brent. 

[JSjiaaing CamiUa.] Yes, you must see Sir Richard. 

Camilla. 

Now, Uncle Roderick ! I am going to scold you 
terribly. 

Roderick Heron. 

I desire it, my pet. I desire it, you know, really. 

[Roderick Heron and Camilla withdraw. 
LuciAN and Beatrix pass the windows 
with Sir Richard Philliter, then enter 
the room. Philliter is a genial man 
of fifty with a manner that is suave and 
precise. He is clean-shaven and hald^ 
with a fringe of almost white hair. His 
dress is that of a country gentleman^ but 
a little old-fashioned. 

Sir Richard. 
[^Shaking hands with Miss Brent.] I am here. 

Miss Brent. 

\_To Sir Richard.] You have walked over from 
Baverstoke? 

Sir Richard. 
Every yard. ^ 

[Beatrix goes to Sm Richard and hugs his 
arm closely. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 39 

Sm HlCHABD. 

And how's my little woman ? 

Beatrix. 

Only pretty well, thank you. Perhaps you haven't 
heard in London that I'm extremely delicate. 

LUCIAN. 

[^Derisivd^.'] Ho, ho ! 

Bbatbix. 
Aunt, pray speak to Lucian. 

Miss Bbent. 

Children, Fm very selfish, and I want to talk to 
Sir Richard alone. 

Beatrix. 
lGloomily.2 Oh! 

Miss Bbent. 

Lucian, amuse Trix for half an hour. 

Lucian. 
Oh, when Fm reading so jolly hard I 

Beatrix. 

Hear me play my violin before you go; I astonish 
everybody. 

Sm HiCHABD. 

My dear, if all goes well with me here, Fll stay to 
luncheon. 

Beatrix. 
K all goes well I If all what goes well ? 

[Lucian is going up the steps. 



40 LADY ^OUKTIFUL. 

Sm Richard.. 

TJm ! Ask Camilla at tea-time : perhaps she will 
tell you. 

Beatrix. 

[ Takings her violin and going lep the steps,"] Lu- 
cian, always let the lady precede you. 

\_She passes Lucian, and he follows her out. 

Miss Brent. 
Oh, Sir Richard, I am so anxious ! 

Sir Richard. 

Anxious ! 

Miss Brent. 

And you also, I know. 

Sir Richard. 
Camilla has no inkling of the object of my visit ? 

Miss Brent. 

Not the slightest. 

Sir Richard. 

No, no. Then, of course, you have nothing en- 
couraging to tell me? 

Miss Brent. 
Well — ^yes, I have. 

Sir Richard. 
My dear Miss Brent ! 

Miss Brent. 

Some obstacle which I feared might prove form- 
idable has shrunk almost to nothing. 



LADT BOTTNTIFUL. 41 

Sib Richabd. 

Bless me ! [ Wiping his broio with a silk hand" 
kerchief.'] Ah I May I ask if the obstacle was my 
junior? 

Miss Bbent. 

Now, come, come. If we were not acquaintances 
of twenty years' standing I could readily believe 
you to be a man of flve-and-thirty. 

Sm Richard. 

Then, ma'am, I have never before estimated your 
perception so lightly. 

Camilla. 
[^ffeard outsideJ] Sir Richard I 

Sib Richabd. 
[^Nervousl^,'] Ah I 

Miss Bbent. 
Bless you, dear friend ! 

[^She goes out quickly as Camilla enters, 

Camilla. 

[^Hunning to Philliteb with outstretched hands,"] 
They have left you alone ? . 

Sib Richabd. 
How are you, my dear? 

Camilla. 

Glad, glad to see you. [^JShe offers her cheek to him 
for his kiss^ hut finding he does not respond she draws 
back^ wonderingly^ and sees he has turned away from 
her.] What is the matter ? 



42 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Sir Richard. 

The matter I Sit down, Camilla. [ She sits^ with a 
perplexed look^ and he sits facing her.l My dear, I 
nave been thinking much — as one who had the confi- 
dence of yo^^ parents is, perhaps, privileged to do — 
of the changes which are likely to befall you. 

Camilla. 

Changes ? 

Sir Richard. 

Lucian comes of age shortly. 

Camilla. 
Oh, yes. 

Sir Richard. 

And it is settled that he will reside on his own 
property, at the Grange. 

Camilla. 
We go to the Grange with Lucian, Sir Richard. 

Sir Richard. 
But he will marry. 

Camilla. 

Marry I 

Sir Richard. 

My dear, everybody marries. 

Camilla. 

Not everybody. Aunt Anne doesn't marry, you 

do not m 

Sir Richard. 

One moment, one moment. Assuming that Lucian 
marries, such an event will involve your returning 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 43 

to Fauncourt — ^to all intents and purposes % lonely 
woman. 

Camilla. 
I am too well and happy ever to be lonely. 

Sm Richard. 

My dear, loneliness to your sex is what gout ts to 
mine. But a woman has this advantage over a man 
— she can share her loneliness with another, while he 
cannot share his gout. Camilla, walking here from 
Baver^toke I refreshed my memory from this little 
volume [producing a small book from his pocket and 
opening it at a tur^ied leaf]^ a companion of my 
college days. 

Camilla. 

What is it? 

Sm Richard. 

The Odes of Horace. I marked a passage. Look, 
dear. 

[He bends towards her^ handing her the book, 

Camilla. 

I see it. 

Sib Richard. 

Tell me if I know my lesson. 

" Desine, dulcium " 

" Mater sceva Cupidinum^ " [at a loss'\ TJm? 

Camilla. 

" Circa ^" 

Sir Richard. 
** Circa lustra decern flectere mollibus 
" Jam durum, imperiis : ^" 



44 LAD r BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 
What does it mean? 

Sm Richard. 

Camilla, it is a cry of entreaty from a man of fifty 
to the Mother of Love beseeching her to pity him 
and pass him by. My dear — I am fifty. 

Camilla. 
lln a whisper,'] Sir Richard I 

Sir Richard 

Perhaps, with Horace, I should send up another 
such a prayer. But, no — I come to you, an earthly 
goddess, to ask you not only to pity but to reward 
me. 

Camilla. 

I? 

Sir Richard. 

Camilla, if you could find it in your heart to return 
the affection I bear you, you would crown my life 
with a blessing greater, I think, than can ever have 
been bestowed upon man. \^She moves away and sits 
in amazement.'] Think, my dear, pray, thmk. 

[He walks away from her to conceal his agi-^ 
tationy she drops the Horace^ and cries. 

Camilla. 

Did Aunt Anne — ^know you were — ^to speak to 
me? 

Sir Richard. 

Yes — ^yes. 

Camilla. 
Ah, she should have spared us both. 



LAD Y BO UNTIFUL. 45 

Sm RiCHABD. 

[ Jw a low voice.'] It cannot be then ? [ SJie slowly 
sTiakes her head. Then goes to the further window 
where she stands with her hack towards him and her 
head bowed."] Ah ! [i<Vom the other room there come 
the sounds of a violin and a piano playing a tender 
melody. Sm Richabd takes up his hat and stick.] 
Is that Beatrix? 

Camilla. 

[ Turning.] Yes. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

I half promised the little woman to listen to her 
playing, but — I find I must be getting home. Will 
you makiB my excuse ? 

Camilla. 
Yes. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

[ To himself. ] Nero fiddled at the destruction of 
Rome — Beatrix is my Nero. [ Going to Camilla and 
gently touching Iter hand.] We shall meet again soon, 
my child — ^very soon. 

\_8he gives him a quick^ grateful look; he 
nods to her smilingly. Then as he isgo- 
ing out J he meets Denths coming in. At 
the same moment Miss Bbent walks 
slowly past the window. 

Dennis. 
How are you, Sir Richard ? 

Sm RiCHABD. 

Ah, Dennis, how are you ? Just as I am running 
away ! Don't stir 1 Gk)od-bye — ^good-bye 1 



46 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis. 
Gkx)d-bye I 

[Sm HicHABD, goes outj and meets Miss 
Brent, and they are seen to pass the 
windows and disappear together, 

Dennis. 

[_Picks up the book and glances at the title-page,"] 
Stupid old Horace 1 Halloa, Sir Richard left his 
book ! 

[ J3e is about to caU after Sib Richard wh^n 
Camilla takes thebook from him quickly. 

Camilla. 
No, no — I want to keep that. 

Dennis. 
Why, you've been crying ! 

, Camilla. 

Indeed, I — I — I am going to my room. 

\^8he goes towards the door and he foUows 
her. 

Dennis. 

I hate to see you bothered about anything. 

Camilla. 
Excuse me, Dennis. 

Dennis. 
Xiook here — ^Beatrix let out about you. 

Camilla. 
What do you mean ? 

Dennis. 
You were scared at my tussle with " Strephon," 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 47 

Camilla. 
Beatrix is becoming a very troublesome child. 

Dennis. 

Don't blame her. Besides, I — ^I like you to want 
me not to come to grief. 

Camilla. 
Poor, unhappy Dennis ! 

Dbnnis. 
Why do you call me that ? 

Camilla. 

Aren't very conceited people unhappy ? I think 
I will go out. 

Dbnnis. 
I'll come with you. 

Camilla. 
[^Putting on her hat"] No, thank you. 

Dennis. 
Fve nothing to do, you know. 

Camilla. 

^Contemptuously.^ Oh, I know. But Fm going 
to talk to some of my old people. 

Dennis. 
That'll do for me — awful fun. 

Camilla. 
[^JBi/eing him disdainfully.'] Fun I 

[^She is nervously trying to dcfjv^t the veil of 
her hat. 



48 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis. 
Here I I can do that ; that's what I can do. 

[J36 assists her ; she stamps her foot, 

Camilla. 
Toii are not to walk with me, I tell you. 

Dennis. 

I am though. [^Surveying her hat.'] . Jolly ! 

[^She takes off' her hat and throws it upon the 
table. 

Camilla. 
\_8itting down.'] I do not go out hefore luncheon. 

Dennis. 
Eh? 

Camilla. 

l^Imphatically.] I do not go out hefore luncheon. 

Dennis. 

Camilla, what has come between you and me? I 
can't make it out. We are — cousins. 

Camilla. 
Really ? 

Dennis. 

Nowadays, I don't know when you'll he pleased 
or when you'll be cross with me ; sometimes it's a 
smile and a black look at the same moment. I can't 
make it all out ; because we — ^we're cousins. 

Camilla. 
If our disagreements are painful, let us avoid each 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 49 

other. Why do you stay here just now, for m- 
stance? 

Dennis. 

[_Sitting on the other side of the table"]. Because I 
do not go out before luncheon. 

Camilla. 

\Ijaughing helplessh/"]. Ha, ha ! \^JEralf tearfully J] 
what a sunple fellow you are, Dennis ! 

Dennis. 

Ha, ha, ha ! that's like yourself. I don't mind 
being chaffed — ^go on. I s^, we haven't played 
chess for centuries. 

[-fie goes to the table and fetches chessboard 
and chessmen, 

Camilla. 
I don't care for chess any longer. 

Dennis. 
Oh, yes, you do. You're awfully keen on chess. 

[^She turns her back^ but not disconcerted he 
sits facing her^ pkunng the board upon 
their knees, 

Camilla. 

If I must be wearied with chess, we'll go back to 
the table, please. 

Dennis. 

No, no — it's jollier nursing it. 

[ They arrange the chessmen ; she quicTdy^ he 
deliberately, 

4 



60 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

Well not play like old gentlemen— a move a 
month. 

Dennis. 

Heaps of time. 

Cahella* 

OhI 

Dennis. 

Neither of us goes out before luncheon. Ha, ha I 

Camilla. 

You ride your joke as you do your horse, till it is 
subdued. ^Moving a (^saman.'] There ! 

\^Theyplayy both holding their heads doion, 

Dennis. 

\^Quietly'], Cam. \^She does not answer.'] Cam, 
you're not really turmng against me, are you ? 

Camilla. 
Of what consequence is it? 

Dennis. 

I don't believe I can get along if you turn against 
me. 

Camilla. 

I've heard of nothing which you make it neces- 
sary to get along with. 

Dennis. 
Fm an idler, you mean ? 

Camilla. 

{_Wat€hinff the board intently.'] You to move, 
Dennis. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 51 

Dennis. 

Yes, you're always telling me that, and, do you 
know, Cam, I've been thinking lately 

Camilla. 

Thinking! 

Dennis. 

Well, when there's no hunting a man must think. 
I've been thinking that it might be better for me if 
I were ridden with spurs— — 

Camilla. 

Spurs? 

Dennis. 

If I had firm lla^ds over me ; some one who would 
ride me out for the little I'm worth, to the end ; if I 
had — a friend. 

Camilla. 

Idle people cultivate one branch of industry as- 
siduously — ^the manufacture of excuses. You have 
friends. 

Dennis. 

Havel? IX^ooking at CamhajA wistfully,]^ You? 

Camilla. 
I — I am very well disposed towards you. 

Dennis. 

Yes. [^Zeaning towards her.'] But somehow I've 
hoped lately — I've hoped 

Camilla. 
[ Shrinking from him.'] Oh I 



62 LADT BOUNTIFUL., 

Dbnnis. 

Fve hoped you might grow to thmk of me — dif- 
ferently from that way. 

[^ There is a moment of irresolution on her part. 
Then^ with a quick shake of the head, she 
sweeps the chess-board to the ground and 
starts up. He rises with her. 

Camilla. 
DemiisI 

Dennis. 

Cam! 

Camilla. 

You've no right to speak to me like this I 

Dennis. 
No right ? Why, a man doesn't love by right. 

Camilla. 

A man should love by right ; by the right of some 
achievement which deserves reward, or some failure 
which earns consolation. But you ! 

Dennis. 

I know what you mean. Idle at school ; in the 
wrong set at college ; and now, if I startfed in the 
race a boy could head me. 

Camilla. 

[ To herself.'] Ah ! 

Dennis. 

And so I beg your pardon for dreaming you could 
stoop to pick up a weed from the bricks of your 
stable-yard. 

l^Me turns away^ she follows him a step or two. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 53 

Camilla. 

Dennis, it isn't great men women love dearest, or 
even fortunate men ; often I tell you, their deepest 
love goes out to those who labour and fail. But for 
those who make no effort, who are neither great nor 
little, who are the nothings of the world 

Dennis. 
Who are the Dennis Herons of the world ! 

Camilla. 

For those, a true woman has only one feeling — 
anger and contempt! 

Dennis. 

[^As if struck by a blow."] Contempt ! \She pauses^ 
startled^ seeing a strange look on his /ace,] Contempt I 

Camilla. 

Dennis I I am sorry. The wretched word spoke 
itself. Dennis ! [J2e is silent^ staring be/ore him.J 
Speak to me. 

Dennis. 

[In a stifled voiceJ] Contempt I 

[^His head drops upon his breast ; she looks 
at him appealingly^ then waits for him 
to speaky but he remains silent^ never 
moving, JShe goes out quietly. Floy ok 

enters. 

Floyce. 

I beg your pardon, Mr. Dennis — ^Mr. Veale, of 
Baverstoke. 

Dennis. 

To see me? 



54 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Floyce. 
An appointment with Miss Brent, I believe, sir. 

Dennis. 
You'd better bring him in here. 

• Floyce. 
He's with his — ^family, to all appearances, sir. 

Dennis. 
Find Miss Brent. [Floyce goes out. 

Floyce. 

[^Outside,'] This way, please. 

[Floyce shows in John Veale a good-look- 
ing^ hearty y " horsey " man ofjifty^ well 
dressed, according to the fashion of his 
class ; Mrs. Veale, a portly y well-preserved 
woman of three-and-forty attired in her 
^^hesty"* a/w7 Margaret, a handsome, com- 
monplace girl of twenty, dressed like her 
m^otherj a little too smartly. Floyce goes 
out. 

Veale. 

[^Shaking hands with Dennis heartily, 1 How d'ye 
do, Mr. 'Eron, how d'ye do ? Surprisea to see Mrs. * 
Veale and Margaret at Fauncourt, I dessay? 

Dennis. ' 

\^8h^king hands with Mrs. Veale.] How are you, 
Mrs. Veale ? 

Mrs. Veale. 
Nicely, thank you. 



LAD T BO UNTIFUL. 55 

Dennis. 
\_S7ia7cing hands with Mabgaset.] And you, Meg? 

Mabgabet. 
Thanks, Mr. Dennis. 

Ybalb. 

[ To Mbs. Vbale.] Mother. 

[Mbs. Vealb takes his hat from him^ un- 
buttons his coat, unusinds his muffler, and 
removes his gloves. The muffler and 
gloves she deposits in the hat, which never 
leaves her. 

Vbalb. 
Thank ye, mother. 

Dennis. 
Sit down, Mrs. Veale. 

Mbs Vbalb. 

Much obliged, Fm sure. 

[/S'Ae sits with some importance, nursing 
John's hat. Mabgabbt sits watching 
Dennis. 

Veale. 

The fact is, Mr. 'Eron, I had a telegram last night 
from Miss Brent askin' me to come over this morning 
without fail. Nothing amiss in the stables, I 'ope ? 

Dennis. 
Not that I'm aware of. 



66 LAD T BOUNTIFUL. 

Veale. 

No. "Well, sir — \looking under his chair and on 
the tahU—to Mbs. Veale.] Have you got my 'at, 
'Etty? 

Mss. Veale. 
Yes, John. 

Veale. 

Thank ye. Well, it put me in a bit of a fix, you 
see, for we're all packing off to town to-day, Mr. 
'Eron. 

Dennis. 
A holiday? 

Veale. 

Holiday I What d'ye think, sir ? — ^Tve sold the 
stables and goodwill at Baverstoke and bought a new 
business in London. 

Mbs. Veale. 
The West End of London. 

Veale. 

Ay, the West End. You see, Mr. 'Eron, Baver- 
stoke has been good enough for me, but it ain't quite 
appropriate for such as Mrs. Veale {_pointing to 
Mrs. Veale.] Mr. 'Eron, for years I've been 'iding 
that lady's light under a bushel. 

Mrs. Veale. 
Very good of you to say so, father. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 57 

Vealk. 

You mayn't know it, sir, but Mrs. Veale was Miss 
'Enrietta Wilcox— 'Etty for short. 

Dennis. 

Indeed? 

Veale. 

And two-and-twenty years ago she was as smart 
a Park rider as London could show. Many a 
London aristocrat owes her 'ands and seat to the 
teachin's of Miss 'Enrietta Wilcox, though I say 
it. 

Mrs. Veale. 
I can't deny t?iat. 

Veale. 

Well, sir. Miss Wilcox comes down to Baverstoke 
with her father, buying 'orses, sees a smart young 
fellow just starting trade, and falls mad in love with 
hhn. Heh, 'Etty? 

Mbs. Veale. 
The other way round, Fm thinking. 

Veale. 

Hah, mother ! 

Mbs. Veale. 

{^Nudging him with his hat. Go along ! 

\He laughs asthmatically. She takes a col- 
oured handkerchief from her haridbag 
and hands it to him. 



i 



58 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Vbale. 

Thank ye Imoppina his brow]. And so, sir, now 
that I can turn myself round, as the sayin' is, 'Etty's 
going to town to show 'em that fifteen stone can sit 
as graceful and elegant to-day as nine-stone-six did 
two-and-twenty years ago. 

Mbs. Vbale. 
Lor', John, how you do rattle on. 

Veale. 

\^Retum%ng his Tiandkerchief to Mbs. Veai*b who 
replaces it in the handbag, '\ Thank ye. [ To Dennis.] 
And that's how you see us, sir. As I lelt bound to 
obey Miss Brent^s honoured commands we drove over 
from Baverstoke intendin' to get the up train at 
Lydgate at one-fifteen. How's your father! A fine 
gentleman, your father. Your looking a bit out o' 
condition, if you'll excuse the liberty. 

Dennis. 
I? Oh, no. 

Veale. 
Tell me about them 'orses, Mr. 'Eron. 

[Dennis and Vbale talk together. 

Mabgabet. 

[ To Mbs. Veale — in an undertone."] Ma, you don't 
think Mr. Dennis is going to get into any scrape, do 
you? 

Mbs. Veale. 

Lor', how? 



V 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 69 

Mabgabet. 

Through nmning into debt to pa for that black 
hunter. 

Mbs. Veai^e. 

Why the hunter's a present from his own father. 

Mabgabet. 
Is it ? Then why does he look so different to-day ? 

Mbs. Veale. 
Different I 

Mabgabet. 

From when we've seen him laughing and chatting 
in our yard at Baverstoke. 

Mbs. Veale. 

Gracious, Meg, what eyes you have ! P'rhaps he's 
bilious. 

Mabgabet. 
Ma! 

[Miss Bbent enters.'] 

Miss Bbent. 
Gk)od-moming, Mr. Veale. 

Veale. 

Morning to you, ma'am. I hope you'll excuse the 
intrusion, but me and my folk are on our way to 
London which obleeges me to answer your telegram 
with self and family, so to speak. Mrs. Veale — my 
daughter, Margaret— Miss Brent. 



60 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mbs. Vealb. 
I hope I see you well, Fm sure. 

[Miss Brent inclines her head politely to 
Mbs. Vbalb, then rings the beU. 

Veale. 

J[ Seemingly disappointed.! Mrs . Veale was formerly 
Miss 'Eurietta Wilcox, well-known in the West End 
of London and all the principal 'orse-shows. 

Miss Brent. 

Indeed. While I speak a few words with you, Mr. 
Veale, your wife and daughter will, I hope, take some 
refreshment in another room. [Floyce appears."] 
Floyce [^Instructing him in an undertone."] 

Mrs. Veale. 

[To Veale.] I didn't know I was io be in the 
way, John ! 

Veale. 
No, 'Etty, my dear ; no, no. 

[Miss Brent looks at Mrs. Veale who sails 
across the roomy followed by Margaret. 

Mrs. Veale. 
[At the door.] John — ^remember I have your hat. 

[Mrs. Veale and Margaret go outy foUowed 
hy Floyce. 

Miss Brent. 
Sit down. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 61 

Vbalb. 
Thank ye. [Dbnnib is going <iway. 

Miss Brent. 

Dennis — ^you ought to hear what passes between 
Mr. Veale and myself. Forgive me ; you'll under- 
stand by-and-by. Mr. Veale, I may tell you at once 
that so far as Mr. Roderick Heron^s money-matters 
are concerned, I am — ^in his confidence. 

Veale. 
No gentleman could 'ave a better adviser, Fm sure, 



ma'am. 



Miss Bbent. 



Unhappily my advice has little weight — which 
brings me to the point. Mr. Veale, Mr. Heron tells 
me he owes you four-hundred-and-forty guineas. 

Veale. 

That's right, ma'am. But I heartily 'ope he won't 
let it worry him. 

Miss Bbent. 

He will not. 

Veale. 

Glad to hear it — ^because I've always found Mr. 
'Eron readier to overpay than to underpay, and as 
prompt as a prince. 

Miss Brent. 

Quite so — that is precisely Mr. Heron's character. 
Therefore I send for you, believing you to be an hon- 



62 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

est man, to make you this earnest, confidential re* 
quest. 

Vealb. 
Cert'nly, ma'aja, cert'nly. 

Miss Bbent. 

To request that, as Mr. Heron's liberality is apt 
to outrun his discretion, you will, in all future de^d- 
ings with him, first consult me. [Dennis looks from 
one to the otherJ] You consent, or decline ? 

Vbale. 

Neither, ma'am. You've come to the wrong 
party ; I've sold my business to Mr. Joseph Bat- 
tersby of Barcombe and I've cleared out of Baver- 
stoke for good and all. 

Miss Bbent. 
Ah. Thank you. [^She rings the hell. 

Vealb. 

[ To himself.'] Fancy that now ! I could a'took 
my oath he was a millionaire. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

[CaUing outside.'] Dennis! Dennis! [JIodbbick 
enters^ im^maculatefy dressed in London fashion^ and 
carrying a cheque hook.] I hunt everywhere for you, 
dear Dennis. Ah, Veale, I'm delighted with the 
hunters, you know — really delighted. By-the-by, 
look out for a match for my roan mare : I'm in want 
of a smart pair for driving — ^in terrible want, you 
know. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 63 

[Floycb entersJ] 

Miss Brent. 

Mr. Veale, the servant will take you to your wife 
and daughter. 

RODBKICK HeBON. 

Good-hye— good-bye. 

\ffe aits at the writing-table^ writing busily and 
humming a chansonette. Vbai:k glances 
at Dennis, who is standing with his head 
bowed in thought: at the door he turns 
and bows to Miss Bbbnt. 

Miss Bbbnt. 

Good-moming. 

Veale. 

[in a whisper."] There's some mistake. I could 
a'took my oath he was a millionaire ! 

\HefoUows Floycb out. 

RODBBICK HeEON. 

Fm writing you a cheque, my dear Dennis. You 
may want pocket-money while Fm gone ; I try to 
think of everybody. 

Dennis. 

\Ina whisper."] Miss Brent! [_She comes to him^l 
Tell me— is there any good reason for what you saia 
to Veale? 

Miss Bbbnt. 

Yes, Dennis. 



64 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis. 
You — ^you don't mean that dad is — ^hard up ? 

Miss Bbent. 

Yes, Dennis, I do. 

Dennis. 

[With a groan.'\ Oh! No wonder sJie despises me. 
He^s poor and I ^! 

[JBe drops into a chair leaning his head an 
his hands. 

Miss Brent. 

Dennis, you should have been told long since. 
Your father's fortune went years ago — ^he has no 
means — he is penniless. 

Dennis. 

What I It's not true — ^it's impossible I Why, 
how ? 

Miss Brent. 

Hush ! Dennis, he lives upon the bounty of Ca- 
milla. 

[Dennis remains quite stiU, Roderick Jumps 
up flourishing his chequs. 

Roderick Heron. 

{Looking out of window J] Ah, there's Camilla! 
[ daUing,'] My darling, come and say good-bye ! I'm 
]ust off to town, Canulla. 

Dennis. 
Camilla! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 65 

RODEBICK HbBON. 

[^JSTandingD^NNisthe cheqvsJ] My dear boy. [TFt^A 
a look at Rodebick, Dennis takes the cheqite and 
stands staring at it.^ Dennis ! 

[Camilla enters,] 

Camilla. 

[ To RoDEBicK.] Are you going, uncle ? 

Dennis. 

4 

I want to speak to Camilla, alone. 

Camilla. 

[^Looking at Dennis.] Ah! [7n a whisper."] What 
has happened ? 

Dennis. 
[JSarshly.'] I want to speak to Camilla, alone. 

RoDEBICK HeEON. 

Certainly, dear Dennis, certainly. 

Camilla. 

\_ Whispering to Miss Beent.] He knows — ^you 
have told him? 

Miss Brent. 

Tes. Mr. Heron — Mr. Heron. 

[Roderick joins Miss Bbent, and they go 
out together. 

Dennis. 

[Holding the cheque before Camilla.] My fathei 
has given me this money. 



66 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla* 
Yes, Dennis? 

Denitis. 

It is not h%8 money that he gives. It is yours. It 
is yours. 

Camilla. 
WeU? 

Dennis. 

I — I'm not ready at saying what I mean. I dare 
say I'm slow-witted. But, look here I God knows 
you're a generous woman — ^none can gain&ay that — 
but — ^in bringing me to this humiliation,^ you've done 
me— a wrong. 

[^He tears the cheque into pieces and lets them 
fiutter to her feet^ then he turns away. 

Camilla. 
Uncle desired to keep his position a secret 

Dennis. 
Ohl 

Camilla. 

But I meant to tell you, hereafter. Only I have 
been hoping to see you discontented with your still, 
dull life. I have thought you would one day form 
some plan for your future — some ambitious scheme 
such as comes to most men — and then you should 
have learnt my share in making your career. 

Dennis. 

And when the time passed and I remained what 
lam? 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 67 

Camilla. \ 

Then I waa-8orry. 

Dennis. 

Sorry ! Yes, and still kept me, as you'd keep a 
ragged boy, with the privilege of holding me in 
your contempt ! Your — contempt ! 

[ The music of the violin and piano is heard 
again, 

Camjllx, 
You're a little hard, Dennis. 

Dennis. 

Yes — on myself. But you — l_his voice breaking^ 
God bless you I We may not have another chance oi 
meeting before I get out of Fauncourt {^holding om 
his hand]^ so — Good-bye. 

Camilla. 

[^Starting ^ then drawing herself up with cold dignity,'] 
As you please. Good-bye. 

\^She taJces his hand and goes out, leaving him lean- 
ing against a table,'] 

BND OP THE FIRST ACT. 



68 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 



THE SECOND ACT. 

DENNIS SETS FOOT IN A NEW WORLD. 

[ The scene is a large living-room^ which serves also as 
an office^ at the Hyde Park Hiding Academy^ 
with sliding doors opening on to a gallery which 
overlooks the riding-schooL There is a cheerful^ 
^^ horsey^'* business-like look about the place. 
Three months have elapsed since the events of the 
previous act. 

John Yeale is busy with his account^books at a high 
desk ; while Mrs. Veale, in a riding-habit of not 
the latest fashion^ is sitting at the breakfast-table 
cutting bread and butter. 

Mrs. Yeale. 

John ! John ! [He makes no answer.'] Shut your 
books, father, and come to breakfast. 

Yeale. 

Comin', 'Etty. [^Approaching her."] What a 
picture you look I 

Mbs. Yeale. 
Go along, now I 

Yeale. 

The smartest woman Tve seen in London. Bless 
her I 



LADY BOVNTIFVL. 69 

\He hisses her^ as Amelia, a clean^ but in- 
significant servant-girl^ enters with some 
breakfast things on a tray. 

Mbs. Yeale. 

The gal ! \^Pushing him away, AwRi,ik places the 
things on the table ; then leaves a copy of the " Lon- 
don JoumaV* on another table."] [jTo Yeale.] You 
should be more mindful ; it does put such ideas in a 
young gal's head. 'Meha. 

Amelia., 
What say, m'm? 

Mbs. Yeale. 
Call Miss Margaret. 

Amelta. 

Yes, m'm ; she do lie late. Oh, and please, m'm, 
Wimple is wishful for to speak to master. 

Mbs. Yeale. 
Send him upstairs. 

Amella. 

Yes, m'm. [Amelia, goes out, 

Yeale. 

What's Wimple want ? Something's wrong again 
with that mare o' yours, I expect, 'Etty. 

\ Amelia. 

ICaUing outsideJ] Miss Marg'rit ! Miss Marg'ritl 



70 lADT BOtTNTlPtTl. 

Vbalb. 

I'm af eard " Starlight " isn't quite up to your 
weight, mother. 

Mbs. Vbale. 

Fpon mv word, Veale, it's most imfeeling in you 
to cast sucn reflections. 

Vbalb. 
Reflections, 'Etty, my darling ! 

[Marqaset^ with a bright /ace and rosy cheeksy and 
dressed in a smart riding-habit enters briskly, 

Margaret. 

Gk)od morning I ^IRssing Mrh, Ybaur.'] Ain't I 
lazy? [^Kissing Veale.] Oh, pa, how glum you 
look I 

Veale. 
I've gone and upset your mother, Meg. 

Margaret. 

Not you. What's to eat ? 

[Veale helps Margaret. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[Pouring out tea — bitterly, "] Your father's found 
out that " Starlight " isn't up to my weight ; that's 
the latest. 

Margaret. 
I don't think she is, ma, if you want the truth. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 71 

Veale. 
Be quiet ! Erritating your mother ! 

Mbs. Veai^. 

Oh, don't stop her I Now that Miss Margaret 
Veale's found fit to give lessons in the Hyde Park 
Riding Academy Miss Henrietta Wilcox may take a 
very back seat. 

Veale. 

Never, 

^ Mbs. Ybale. 

Though I have lost eighteen pounds solid weight 
since we came to Knightsbridge ; eighteen pounds in 
three months. 

Veale. 

[ Soothingly]. Don't overdo it, mother, don't over- 
do it. 

Mrs. Veale. 
I half starve myself, I know that. 

Veale. 
You do indeed, 'Etty. 

Mbs. Veale. 
I'll trouble you for some of that steak, John. 

[Amelia, enters,"]. 

Amella.. 
'Ere's Wimple. 

Wimple the groom^ enters in his shirt-sleeves^ but 
Amelia, assists him to put on his coat. 



72 LADY BOUNTIFUL. > 

WlMPIiB. 

Momin', missus — ^momin', guv'nor. [ To Amelia.] 
Private. 

[^Se shows Amelia to the door. 

Veale. 

What is it ? 

Wimple. 

Business interview. [Handing a small piece of 
soiled and crumpled paper to Mrs. Veale. Dooly 
written, I b'lieve. 

Mbs. Veale. 

\^Passing the paper to Veale.] I haven't got my 
spectacles. 

Veale. 
Whose scribble's this ? 

• 

Wimple. 
That's my sister-in-law's 'and. 

Veale. 

Can't make it out. [^Giving the paper to IklAR- 
GARET.] Here, Meg. 

Margaret. 

\8hrinking from it,"] Don't pa ! Tell pa what it 
is, Wimple, directly. 

Wimple. 

It is my notice for to quit and leave the 'yde Park 
Kdui' Academy at the week end. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 73 

Vealb. 
[ Violently.'} What for ? 

Mbs. Ybale. 

Now, John ! 

Wimple. 

I can no loAger stand, or put up with, the 'igh-and- 
mighty tone took towards me and them under me 
by the ridin'-master — ^this yer Mr. Dennison. 

Vealb. 
Oh I 

Mbs. Vealb. 
Well, I never I 

Mabgahet. 

What have you got to say to pa about Mr. Den- 
nison ? 

Wimple. 

Well, look 'ere, miss. In the old guv'nor's time 
the ridin'-masters and me was — ^well, chummy; 
friendly dooring work and takin' pleasure in each 
other's society after hours. 

Mabgabet. 
Very likely. But Mr. Dennison 

Mbs. Veale. 

Be quiet, Meg I 

Wimple. 

Now, with this yer Mr. Dennison, it ain't " Mr. 
Wimple, oblige me by doing this yer or that there," 



74 LALT BOUNTIFUL. 

but it's " Wimple, put a saddle on Bitty and look 
sharp about it ! " and I ^ave known him say " Wim- 
ple, when you go to your dinner leave word where 
a letter will find yer." 

Vbalb. 
Ahl 

Wimple. 

And so Fve made up my mind, guv'nor, as follows 
— either I go or this yer Dennison goes. 

Vbale, 

Very well, Wimple ; Fll meet your views with 
pleasure. 

Wimple. 

\^Beamingly.'\ Thank yer, guv'nor, I noo you 
would. You ken tear up that dockyment, miss. 
Don't be 'ard on this yer Dennison, guv'nor ; I don't 
ask that. 

Vbale. 
\^Eat%ngJ\ Thank ye. 

Mabgaset. 
[ Scornfully J\ Hah I 

Wimple. 

Give 'im a character. I never see his like on a 
'orse; it's 'is manner on terry-firmer what queers 
'im. Nice mornin', ain't it. 

Mabgabbt. 
[ To herself.'] Impudent fellow I 



LABY BOUNTIFUL. 76 

Wimple. 

[ Opening the door^ then returning quicJdy.'\ 'Ere I 
Look — 'erel Am I fallin' into any error? 1 said / 
go or this yer Dennison goes— didn't I ? 

Toudid. 

WlMPLB, 

Well, who goes ? 

Vealb. 
T^go. 

[Dennis Hebon enters in riding dress.'] 

Dennis. 

Wimple, the tan hasn't been raked over in the 
school yet. Don't fall asleep downstairs. 

Wimple. 
'Ere, I— I WeU— I— I Oh, crikey I 

[Wimple goes out. 
Dennis. 
Gkx)d-moming. 

Yeale and Mbs. Yealb. 
Good-morning. 

Yeale. 
'Ave a bit o' breakfast, sir? 

Dennis. 
Mrs. Yeale shall give me a cup of tea, if she will. 



J 



76 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mabgabbt. 

rooming to him^ offering to take his hat and coatJ] 
Take my place, Mr. Dennison ; I've finished. 

Dennis. 
Thank you, Meg — ^why should you trouble? 

[^Jle hangs up his hat and coat, 

Mabgabet. 
[ CaUing at the door."] Amelia I 

Dennis. 
Busy day, I hope, Veale? 

Veale, 
Pretty fair, sir ; pretty fair. 

[Amelia appears in the doorway, 

Mabgabet. 

A cup and saucer for Mr. Dennison. [i/j a whis- 
jper.] One of ma's best cups. 

[Amema disappears, Mabgabet sitSj and 
takes up the " London Journal " which 
she cuts with her fingers, 

Veale. 

You're the pimctualist young gentlemen we've 
ever had dealings with, Mr. Dennison. 

Dennis. 

\^Sitting at the table, Fm a new broom, Veale. 



LAD T BO UNTIFVL. 77 

Vbale. 
Not tired of a bit of work yet, sir? 

[Mabgabet looks up. 

Dennis. 

Tired ! I've a poor man's best encouragement — I 
can't afford to get tired. 

Yeale. 

[^ Standing on the hearthrug aridsmohing a cigarette.'] 
Ha, ha ! How your dear father would scold us if he 
'eared you describin' yourself as a poor man ! 

Dennis. 

I daresay ; there's a little difference between my 
father and me on that point, Veale. 

Veale. 

I know, sir, I know. But he's a very affable 
gentleman, your father, sir — one of the affablest 
gentlemen T*ve met. 

[Amelia enters with a cup and saucer,"] 

Mrs. Yeale. 
'Melia, this is my best china I 

Mabgabet. 
[ Under her breath.] Ma I 

Amelia. 
Miss Mar'grit — 



78 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mabgabet. 

[ To Amelia.] S-s-sh I 

[Ameua goes out. 

{^Pvshing another cup and saucer towards Mbs. 
Vbale.] Never mind ; this will do for me. 

Mabgabet. 
No — ^that's my cup ! 

Mbs. Vealb. 

[Pouring out tea.l Well, it won't poison Mr. 
Dennison, child. 

Mabgabet turns her face from the breakfast- 
table in confusion. 

Veale. 

'Ave you seen your poor dear father lately, Mr. 
Dennison ? 

Dennis. 

No, Veale. 

Veale. 

Thought he miffht 'ave called on you at your 
lodging. He 'asirt been near us for — ^'ow long, 
mother ? 

Mbs. Veale. 
More'n a week, John. 

Veale. 

Ah. One of the friendliest gentlemen we've ever 
known, your father, sir. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 79 

Dennis. 
Ted. What's the day's work, Veale ? 

Vbale. 

The day's work ? [ Going to the desky taking up a 
long parchment-covered hook^ and reading.'] Ten- 
thirty. 'Alf-an-hour on the road ; old gentleman o' 
the name of Trotman, 95a, Sloane Street. Mr. 
Dennison. 

Dennis. 

[^Making notes,"] All right. 

Yeale. 

Eleven-thirty. Class in school ; Miss Cheeseman's 
Yoimg Ladies. Mr. Dennison and Miss Veale. 

Dennis. 

All right. 

Mabgabet. 

All right. 

Vbale. 

Twelve o'clock. Hour on the road. Miss Car- 
delloe ; Miss Charlotte Cardelloe ; Miss Hubertina 
Cardelloe ; Master Philip Cardelloe. Cadogan Square. 
\Looki7ig at Mrs. Veale with pride,] Miss 'Enrietta 
Wilcox— Mrs. Veale I 

Mrs. Veale. 

Ah! 

Veale. 

The foregoing are a nervous family. 



80 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mes. Vbalb. 

Why don't you hire me out with a bath-chair, 
John? 

Veale. 

'Etty, my dear. \^Resuming,'\ Twelve-thirty. 9, 
Porchester Mansions ; Miss de V ere. Ridin'-master 
to wait if the yoimg person's not down. Mr. Den- 
nison. 

Mabgasbt. 
[ To Tier self ^ with a stamp ofherfootJ] Oh I 

Veale. 

Three o'clock. Hour in the Park. Lady Spilsbury 
and the Honourable Miss Bimce. Miss 'Enrietta 
Wilcox — ^Mrs. Veale. 

Mes. Veale. 

The Park. 

Veale. 

Hah, mother! Four o'clock. Class in school. 
Mr. Dennison and Miss Veale. 

Dennis. 

Sloane Street — ^ten-thirty. Pm off. 

[Mes. Veale rings the heU and removes some 
of the breakfast things, 

Veale. 

TThrowing hack the sliding doors and calling.'] 
Wunple I 

Mabgabet assists Dennis with his coat. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 81 



Thanks. 



TAmeija entersy carrying a tray^ and dears 
the tablej assisted by Mbs. v ealb. 

Vealb. 

[^Z/eaning over the balustrade of the gallery, 2 Now 
then, Wunple ! 

Wimple. 

[jPVom the riding-school below.'] Tessir ? 

Veale. 

Saddle " Juno " and « Sunshine" for Mr. Denni- 
son, d'rectly. 

Wimple. 
Bight, guv'nor. 

Rodebice: Heron. 

[ CaMing from the riding-school below.'] How do 
you do, dear Mr. Veale, how do you do ? 

Veale. 

Bless me, it's Mr. 'Eron. Come up them stairs, 
sir ! That's right ! Mind your 'ead, Mr. 'Eron ! 

Roderick Heron. 

\_Outside^ but nearer. "] A delightful morning — 
really a delightful morning. \^Entering and shaking 
hands with Veale.] The kind of morning whicn 
makes a man a better man, a more generous man. 
\^8haJcing hands with Dennis.] Ah, here is — [glanc- 
ing at Amelia] dear Mr. Dennison. \To Mab- 

6 




82 LAJ>r BOUNTIFUL. 

GABBT.] And Miss Yeale, looking prettier than 
ever. 

Mabgabet. 

Oh, Mr. Heron I 

Roderick Hebon. 

And Mrs. Yeale too — Mrs. Veale in her habit as 
she hves. Gk)od morning, Amelia, [dropping some 
silaer upon the tray she is carrying.'] A new ribbon 
for Sunday, Ameha. 

Amelia. 
Oh, thank you, sir. [Amelia does out. 

RoDEBicK Hebon. 

I never give myself the pleasure of dropping in 
here without realising gne pleasant fact — the Veale 
household is a happy household, a simple household, 
a delightful household. 

Veale. 
Much obliged to Mr. 'Eron; eh, mother ? 

Mbs. Veale. 
That we are, John. 

RoDEBicK Hebon. 

There is only one jarring note, if I may be per- 
mitted to observe i1> — [pointing to Dennis] — ^the 
curious spectacle of the son of — shall I say a weU- 
to-do parent? 

Dennis. 

[ To RoDEBicK.] Father I 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 83 

Roderick Heron. 

The son of a well-to-do and indulgent parent 
labouring under the Quixotic notion that a young 
man ought to do some kind of work, you know. 

Dennis. 

We won't talk about that, just now. Fm going 
out to give half an hour's lesson. 

Roderick Heron. 

Are you ? Now that amuses me, you know — ^the 
idea is so whimsical. Well, do your duty ; always do 
what you consider your duty. Dear Mrs. Veale will 
let me stay till you come back, I dare say. 

[Dennis goes out on to the gallery where 
Margaret is now standing. 

Dennis. 
\As he goes towards the stevs."] Grood-bye, Meg. 

Margaret. 
[^Looking after him."] Good-bye, Mr. Dennison. 

Roderick Heron. 

[^Quietly to Ye ale eyeing Margaret and Mrs. 
Veale.] Ahem ! my dear Veale. 

Veale. 

All right, sir. Meg, run away for a minute, my 
dear. 

Margaret. 
Yes, pa. [^She goes out. 



84 LAD T BO UNTIFUL. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ To John, looking at Mrs. Yeale whose back is 
turned towards them.'] Mrs. Veale, eh ? 

Yeale. 

Well, sir, I hope you'll excuse me, but I've taken 
the liberty of mentioning this little matter of busi- 
ness to Mrs. Yeale. 'Etty, my dear. 

Roderick Heron. 

ITo himself. 1 Really, you know, damn! [To 
Yeale.] Now I am quite charmed to hear that we 
have taken Mrs. Yeale into our confidence. I was 
about to suggest it — I really was. 

Mrs. Yeale. 
Lor', sir, he hasn't told me much. 

Roderick Heron. 

For shame, Yeale, for shame ! You should have 
no secrets from Mrs. Yeale. 

Yeale. 
Well, Mr. 'Eron, I 'adn't much to tell. 

Mrs. Yeale. 

Why, no, sir ; all John knows is that you've asked 
him to write his name to a — ^what is it, father ? ^ 

Yeale. 
Bill of Exchange, 'Etty. 

Roderick H^ron. 
Precisely — ^Bill of Exchange, you know. I open 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 85 

my heart to you, dear Mrs. Veale ; a woman's sym- 
pathy is very precious 

Mrs. Veale. 

IMovinff about with a duster.'] Much obliged Fm 
sure, sir. 

RoDEBiCK Heron. 

I'm sympathetic myself, you know. Now I in- 
tend this morning to exercise one of the privileges 
of a man of means ; I am going to shift a portion of 
a very considerable income from the future to the 
present. Men of imagination call this an act of pe- 
cuniary prophesy, but it is what is familiarly known 
as an advance. An advance, you know. 

Veale. 
Yes, sir, I know. 

Roderick: Heron. 

Now I mustn't boast, but by obtaining this advance 
from my friend, Mr. Benson of Burlington Street, I 
shall be able to make the approaching Christmas a 
joyous one for many persons ; in point of fact, I shall 
open my purse-strings rather wider this Christmas 
than usual. It's a delightful feeling, you know, 
really a delightful feeling. Veale, I am to present 
you to Mr. Benson in Burlington Street, at eleven o' 
clock. 

Veale. 
[^Looking inquiringly at Mrs. Veale.] Eh, 'Etty ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

ITm! you'll excuse me, I hope, Mr. Heron, for 
what I'm going to say 



86 LAT)Y BOUNTIFUL. 

Roderick Heron. 
Charmed, you know. 

Mrs. Yeale. 

I'm sure no one could be more sensible than me 
and John of the honour of being on such friendly 
terms with gentry — eh, father ? 

Yeale. 
We take it as a great compliment, sir — ^thatwe do. 

Roderick Heron. 

My good souls, you've been exceedingly indulgent 
to my mistaken boy, and I like you. There — ^now 
you have it — I like you. 

Yeale. 
Thank ye, sir. 

Mrs. Yeale. 

Thank you, Mr. Heron. Only neither John nor I 
understands much about this sort of business, and 
what little we do know of it frightens us. Now it's 
out. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ Taking Mrs. Yeale's hand gallantly,'] Then my 
dear Mrs. Yeale, let me acknowledge the honour 
you do me in entrusting your husband's welfare to 
my keeping. I regard this as a very precious re- 
sponsibility — and so will Mr. Benson. We'll start 
for Burlington Street in ten minutes. The matter 
is settled. 



', 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 87 

Mbs. Veale. 

Then, Til say no more, sir. I shouldn't have 
spoken to a gentleman in this way, only — only 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

Only what, my dear lady ? Tell me, you know, 
tell me. 

Mbs. Veale. 

Only John and I have been married, two-and- 
twenty years — and I daresay I'm vexing to him 
now and again — ^but we've faced our troubles to- 
gether — having laid three children to rest — and so 
— so [laying her hand on Ye ale's shoulder and speak- 
ing huskily [please don't let any harm come to my 
old man. 

Veale. 

Why, mother! 

Mbs. Veale. 

[Brushing the tears from her eyes."] All right, 
father, all right. [She goes out quickly. 

Veale. 

Bless my soul ! Something's upset Mrs. Veale, 
sir. [Dennis enters with a bunch of violets in his 
handT\ 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

Dennis ! 

Dennis. 

The old gentleman can't ride this morning, Veale ; 
he has gout in his knee. 



88 LAD T BOUNTIFUL. 

Vealb. 

[^Gotng to his desk.'] Oh. He must pay for his 
lesson if he's got it in his stomach. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

[ Talking apart with Dennis.] Well, dear Dennis ? 

Dennis. 

Well, father ? 

Roderick Heron. 

So you still herd with these common people, eh? 

Dennis. 
And you still live on my cousin Camilla, eh? 

RoDEBicK Heron. 

The — ah — ^pecimiary relations between Camilla 
and myself remain uninterrupted. 

Dennis. 
[iw disgust,"] Hah ! 

RoDEBicK Heron. 

. My dear Dennis ! My child ! You take a dis- 
torted view of our indebtedness to Camilla — ^you do 
really. 

Dennis. 
Oh, Fm ashamed ; that's all. 

Roderick Heron. 

Now that is a feeling I c2jmot understand. Why 
ashamed ? Camilla is wealthy — ^no credit to her 5 she 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 89 

can't help it. We're poor — ^no discredit to ns: we 
can't help it. Camilla has a large house, with empty 
rooms and beds in them — why on earth shouldn't we 
occupy those rooms and air those beds ? Camilla's 
cook prepares a dinner for four persons — a dinner for 
four is a dinner for six. Really, you know, an extra 
oyster in the oyster-sauce, or an additional pinch of 
curry in the Mullagatawny, represents — looked at 
in the right way — ^the extent of our obligations to 
Camilla. [Dennis turns away angrily, Yeale 
goes out^ Ah, our lower-class friend is considerate 
enough to leave us for a moment. Our lower-class 
friend is very h'less. 

Dennis. 

So's the word " honesty " ; we can speak of him as 
we find him. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

Good! capital! {_Poking the fire vigorously.'] 
What filthy fires you keep here ! Where do you 
sleep now, Dennis — in a cornbin? 

Dennis. 

Fve a little room close at hand. It's a poor place 
— I can't ask you to come and see me. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

[ Wiping the dust from his hands on the table cover. 
I couldn't do it, dear Dennis. It would pain me, 
you know. 

Dennis. 

Where are you ? 

RoDEBICK HeBON. 

I'm at Croome's Hotel in Jermyn Street. I'm 



90 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

fairly comfortaDle. I can ask you to call on me. 
So do, do, dear Dennis, abandon this crazy desire to 
earn your own living. It's not even original; so 
many men have it. And great heavens, you'll com- 
promise me — ^you really will ! If people leam that 
my son is a cad of a riding-master, they'll think I — 
I've no means, you know. 

Dennis. 

Look here — I don'^ think you and I quite under- 
stand one another. 

Roderick Heron. 

Let us do so ! 

Dennis. 

These common people, as you call 'em, are hard- 
working people, skicere people, good people. 

Roderick Heron. 

Confound 'em ! 

Dennis. 

No — God bless 'em ! Hark, father — one more 
word about this and then have done with it. When 
I left Lydgate I did think of how I might earn my 
bread-and-meat in what you'd call a gentlemanlike 
fashion. I walked London till I was lame ; I button- 
holed a few friends 

Roderick Heron. 

No, no, dear Dennis — ^you didn't do that! 

Dennis. 

Oh, don't be afraid ; I only told 'em I wanted to 
occupy my leisure. They grinned, and promised, 
and crossed the road when they met me next day. 
I tried strangers — ^they were candid at any rate. 



i 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 91 

And in. less than three weeks I realised that I was 
the worthless crock the world weeds out of its stables. 
And it was then — ^when I leamt to hate the thought 
of myself and yet couldn't think of anything but 
myself ; when my boots had begun to play a sort of 
rogues' march on the pavement—it was then that I 
remembered John Yeale. And so, like it as little as 
you may, I've come into a new world — ^the world of 
saddle and stirrups — and the people you sneer at 
and patronise are its inhabitants and my friends. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

Good gracious, you're not going to sit round the 
family pot with those genial gipsies for ever and 
ever I 

Dennis. 

Why not? Fm no better than they! I'm fit for 
nothing but to stick fast on a horse, and here — ^here 
they don't look down on me and despise me. So 
God bless John Yeale, I say again — God bless him 
and his ! 

[Vbale returns and resumes his seat at the 
desk. 

RODEEICK HeBON. 

\NudgingJ)is,TSTsi% with the end of his walking-cane,'] 
Ahem ! Dear Dennis, I thing perhaps I ought to 
mention it — Camilla is in town. 

Dennis. 
Camilla ! 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

[ Glancing at Yeale.] S-s-s-h ! Yes, they're all 
staying for a few weeks with Sir Richard Philliter 
in Wilton Street. 



92 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis. 
Rettiember, I have your promise. 

Roderick Heron. 
Certainly; /don't know where the devil you are. 

Dennis. 
Do they — ever — ask about me? 

Roderick Heron. 

Oh, yes. They believe I'm searching for you. I 
get a great deal of very pleasant sympathy, you 
know. You're sure you wouldn't like to meet Camilla 
— accidentally, eh ? 

Dennis. 

Meet her ! No, father, I — I wouldn't have Camilla 
set foot in my new world. 

Roderick Heron. 

But you may encounter one another by chance — 
in the street, perhaps, while you're giving the lead 
to a couple of fat girls on bony horses I 

Dennis. 

Then I must present her to her cousin, Mr. Denni- 
son — the cad of a riding-master. [Margaret entersJ] 
But you won't do anything to bring that chance 
about? Your word of honour ! 

Roderick Heron. 
My dear Dennis, my word of honour. 

Dennis. 

Thanks. [Joining Margaret.] Oh, Meg, I've 
been trading with your poor little lame flower-mer- 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 93 

chant at the cab-stand. [ Giving Tier the violetsJ] 
He's not making his fortune. 

Margabet. 
Oh, Mr. Dennison! 

Roderick Heron*. 

[7b himself^ watching Margaret and Denihs.] 
Really, you know, that's a dangerous companion- 
ship. Now I do hope that nothing will prevent the 
accidental meeting between dear Dennis and his 
relatives which I have so carefully plaimed. [Mrs. 
Yeale enters J\ Are you ready for Burlington Street, 
Veale ? 

Veale. 
Yes, sir. Dress me, mother. 

[John takes down his hat^ muffler^ and over- 
coat from, the hat-peg and Mrs. Veale 
assists him, Dennis and Margaret 
stroU away, 

Roderick Heron. 

[ To himself.'] I think I'll make things quite safe 
here. 

Veale. 
Thank ye, 'Etty. 

Roderick Heron. 

My good friends, I have reason to anticipate that 
some esteemed relations of mine will shortly inspect 
your admirable establishment. 

Veale. 

^Ettyl 



/ 



94 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Lor', Mr Heron, have they found out about the 
young gentleman? 

Roderick Hebon. 

Oh, no, no ; it's the purest coincidence, you know. 
My niece, Miss Beatrix Brent, who is in town, is to 
be permitted to take moderate exercise on horse- 
back ; and she is to receive instruction at some 
valuable institution of this kind. So I contrived 
that her brother's servant should become acquainted 
with the Hyde Park Riding Academy. 

Mrs. Veale. 
You call this a coincidence, Mr. Heron ! 

Roderick Heron. 
To all outward appearances, quite, you know. 

Veale. 
Well, sir, you'll excuse me 

Roderick Heron. 

[^Standing between Veale andMns. Veale taking 
their hands,'] Hah, hah ! you're going to scold me 
in your blunt, honest way for not respecting dear 
Dennis's foolish secret. But, my good souls, we are 
parents, and so you must help me to bring about 
a meeting between my naughty boy and a certain 
young lady whom he has treated — ^no, no, I will not 
tell you how he has treated a certain young lady. 

Veale. 
What, Mr. Dennis I 



LAD T BO UNTIFUL. 95 

Mbs. Veale. 

Why, rd as soon have thought ill of my John 
there ! 

Roderick Heron. 

I believe you, dear Mrs. Yeale — otherwise you 
would scarcely permit this terribly dangerous com- 
panionship to exist between your charming daughter 
and a — no, I won't say a wicked yoimg fellow; I'll 
say a weak, impressionable young fellow. 

Vealb. 
Mr. 'Eron ! 

Mbs. Yeale. 
Father I 

Roderick Heron. 

There, there, there ! I've sufficiently distressed a 
watchful mother. I feel quite a brute— I do really. 
Ck)me along, Veale. 

Veale. 
[ To Mrs. Veale.] 'Etty, my dear ! 

Mrs. Veale. 

\_Solemnlygiving Yeale his hatJ] John — ^there's 
your hat. You leave this to me. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ To Mrs. Veale.] Good-bye. Now don't be too 
hard on my boy. Inave spoUt him — it's my fault 
[taking Veale by the ami\ I blame myself, you 
know — ^I blame myself for many things. 

[Veale and Roderick go out. As they do 
80 Margaret enters and stands before a 



96 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

mirror^ fixing Dennis's violets in her habit 
and humming a song to 'herself quieUy 
and happily. Mbs. Veale, taking her 
spectacle-case from Jier pockeif puts on her 
glasses with deliberation and toatches 
Mabgabbt. 

Mbs. Veale. 
What have you got there, Meg? 

Mabgabet. 
Some violets. 

Mbs. Veale. 
Did your pa give 'em you ? 

Mabgabet. 
No, ma. 

Mbs. Veale. 
Who did give 'em you ? 

Mabgabet. 
Mr. Demiison. 

Mbs. Veale. 
Margaret. 

Mabgabet. 
[^Brushing her hat."] Well? 

Mbs. Veale. 

Your pa and I are thinking of making a bit of a 
change here, in the school. 

Mabgabet. 

Oh! [^Surveying herself in the mirror as she puts 
on her hatJ] What sort of a change ? 



LALT BOUNTIFUL. 97 

Mbs. Yealb. 
We're on the look-out for another riding-master. 

Mabgabet. 
Another riding-master ? To help Mr. Dennison ? 

Mbs. Vealb. 
No — ^in place of Mr. Dennison. 

Mabgabet. 
[^Turninff sharply.'] Why? 

Mbs. Veale. 

Well, dear, there seems to be something serious 
amiss between our young gentleman and his rela- 
tions. 

Mabgabet. 

What's that — ^to do — ^with us? 

Mbs. Yeale. 

That's just it. It ain't our place to take one side 
or another ; but by employing this yoimg fellow in a 
capacity he wasn't brought up to, and making his 
dear father vexed and uncomfortable, we are taking 
one side, Meg, and p'rhaps we're doing wrong. 

Mabgabet. 

We may be domg a bigger wrong by sending him 
away. \_Nervou8ly trying to button her glove."] 

Mbs. Veale. 

No, Meg, no ; because, take my word for it, this 
sort of thing never answers. Shall I button your 
glove, dear? 

Mabgabet. 

Thanks. •[Mbs. Yeale buttons Mabgabbt's glove 

7 



98 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

with the aid of a hairpin.^ What do you mean by 
"this sort of thing"? 

Mbs. Yealb. 
The mixing of gentry like him with people like us. 

Mabgabet. 
People like us. I suppose we are common. 

Mbs. Yealb. 

Common, Meg I No, no, my dear, we*re not common. 
I hope— we're ordinary. 

Mabgabet. 
[To herself. "] Ordinary. 

Mbs. Yeale. 

There's a good many fish between salmon and her- 
rings, Meg. I don't think we're quite herrings ; I 
should say we swim somewhere in the neighbourhood 
of the mackerel. [^Finishing with the glovej] There I 
Give me a kiss. 

[Mabgabet goes to kiss Mbs. Yeale ; then 
she breaks down and puts her arms round 
her neck. 

Mabgabet. 
Oh, mother! 

Mbs. Yeale. 

Why, Margaret! \^I>ropping h^r spectacles un- 
noticed."] 

Mabgabet. 

[PiteouslyJ] Mother, isn't it hard that we're 
not fit to associate with people who arQ gentle — and 



LADY BOUNTIFUL, 99 

refined — and kind — and considerate, like — ^like ibis 
MrJ Dennison? 

Mbs. Vealb. 

Ah ! , {Looking into Margaret' s/ac6.] You mustn't 
let your nead run on Mr Dennison, Meg ; you mustn't 
do that. 

r 

Margaret. 

{Drawing herself away ^\ know what you mean, 
niother ; but, if you imagine such a thing, it's not 
true — ^it's not true. I only think of him as the one 
real gentleman we have ever known who has made 
himself our friend and our equal, and who treats 
one — ^just as if — one wei*e — a lady. Oh, it's bet- 
ter to be bom a cripple than to be bom com- 
mon! 

{She throws herself into a chair and rocks h&r- 
self to and fro. 

Mrs. Vealb. 

{Standing by her and weeping."] How can you be 
so wicked, Meg — going on like fnis ? t'ather paid 
Miss Twibble a hundred-and-twenty a year for your 
accomplishments — quite an aristocratic boarding- 
school. 

Margaret. 

Yes! 

Mrs. Vealb. 

I wonder you're not afraid of being struck like it — 
an ungrateful child ! 

, Margaret. 

I am ungrateful. Why did father waste his 
money to make an imitation lady of me ? And what 



>177605A. 



100 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

did Tribble try to teach me? To sing, and play, 
and mince, and simper like those superior girls 
who wouldn't give me a nod now if they met me 
in the street! Hah! I only leamt the difference 
between the real and the sham ; I only leamt 
that they were born with quiet voices and easy 
ways, and that, mimic as I might, I could never be 
anything but a common young woman ! 

Mbs. Veale. 

It would break your father's heart if he heard you 
running down your education ! 

Margaret. 

You know it wouldn't, mother — ^but it's enough to 
break the hearts of girls like me to have such an 
education! It makes us think, and build castles, 
and hope ; and it tortures us — ^that's all such educa- 
tion does for us — ^it tortures us. 

[Dennis enters^ 

Dennis. 

[ To Margaret.] What'U you ride in the school 
this morning, Meg ? 

Margaret. i 
I— rU ride « Pearl." 

Dennis. 
Halloa, are you put out about anything ? 

Margaret. 

I! No. 

Mrs. Veale. 

May I have a few words with you, Mr. Dennison, 
before you go out ? 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. lOl 

Dennis. 

Certainly— now. I'll just tell Wimple to saddle 
the mare. 

Mabgabet. 

No — ^I'll saddle her myself ; perhaps it'll be for the 
last time. 

Dennis. 

For the last time, Meg ? 

Margaret. 

Yes, I'm thinking of not going into the school 
after to-day. I — ^I'm tired of it — I'm tired of it. 

[^She goes out, 

Dennis. 

[ To himself^ looking after herJ] What's the mat- 
ter? 

Mrs. Vealb. 

Mr. Dennison. \^He goes to her.'] Mr. Dennison, 
a woman — ^at any rate a woman who isn't a yomig 
woman — may speak out to a young man without 
offence, I hope; especially if she's honest and 
straightforward and means weU to aU parties. 

Dennis. 

Certainly, Mrs. Veale. Do I happen to be the 
young man ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

Yes, sir, you do so happen. Mr. Heron — excuse 
me for going back to the old name — are you sure 
you're contented with the life you're living ? 



102 LADY BOmrTIFUL. 

Dennis. 

Contented ? Well — ^I contrive sometimes to forget 
the dunce, the idler, the fool, who bore the name 

J'ou've just 'called me by; that contents me. And 
'm earning my bread, honestly. Yes — ^I'm con- 
tented. 

Mrs. Vbalb. 
Then, sir, I'm truly sorry to hear it — ^that I am I 

Dbnnis. 
Sorry, Mrs. Veale ? 

Mbs. Vealk. 

Because my husband and me are of one mind and 
that mind's made up. We've got to part company, 
sir — ^you and us. 

Dennis. 

Part company! You don't mean you want — ^to 
be rid of me? 

Mks. Veale. 

I'd rather you didn't put it quite like that, sir — 
but it's what I do mean. 

Dennis. 

What's the reason ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

raising.'] Well, sir, that's just what I can't ex- 
actly tell you, but you must be content, Mr. Dennis, 
to know that it's better for us that you should leave 
us — ^better for us and better for you. 

Dennis. 
Better ? 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 103 

Mrs. Yealb. 

Ever-so-much — ever-so-much better. And now, 
sir, I'm dreadfully busy this morning ; I — I prom- 
ised Veale I'd check his figures, that I did. 

[/S%6 bustles up to the desk ratJier uneasily 
and brings some heavy books down 
to the table. 

Dennis. 

But — but you've been so kind to me, you and your 
husband, and Margaret 

Mrs. Veale. 

Ahem ! [ Taking her spectacle-case from her pocket 
and finding it empty ^ Drat the thmg I where are 
my spectacles ? 

Dennis. 
And now you turn me away like a lazy stable-hand. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Look here, Mr. Dennis Heron, I'll tell you this ! 
The reason's one that any honest, right-minded man 
is bound to respect. Come, sir ! won't you trust an 
old — a middle-aged woman, and take her word ? 

Dennis. 
Oh, of course, I — ^I'll go. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[Laying a hand on his shoulder,'] Thank you, my 
dear. 

\_She turns from him and sits with the books 
be/ore her. 



104 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Dbnnis. 
[^To hirmelf.'] What is it? What is it? 
[Wimple enters with a note .] 

Wimple. 

[ Oiving Dennis the note,'] For the Missus. 

\_He goes out 
DE2ons. 

[^Handing the note to Mks. Vbale.] A note for you. 

Mks. Vealb. 

Thanks. \ Looking ahcmt her."] Have you seen 
my glasses, Mr. Dennison ? I'm d perfect bat with- 
out 'em. It's an order for the ofBce, I fancy. [i?e- 
tuming the note to Dennis.] Kindly tell me what 
it's about, sir — ^will you ? 

\^She resumes the search for her spectacles, 
Dennis reads the note, and his ea^ression 
alters to one of blank dismay,'] 

Dennis. 

\^To himself ] Meg! 

\^He turns to Mrs. Vealb, to speak to her^ 
when there is a knock at the door* 

Mrs. Vealb. 
Yes? 

Amelia enters, Dennis stares at the letter in a dazed 
manner, 

Amelia. 

Please, m'm. 



14I>T BOUNTIFUL, 105 

Mbs. Vbaue. 
What are you doing, 'MeKa ; leaving your work? 

Amelia. 

The clerk was wishful that I should look for you, 
m'm. 

Mbs. Vbalb. 
You've been gossiping with the clerk! 

Amelia. 

Oh, no, m'm. Me and 'im was meally passin' the 
time of day when a gentleman and some ladies come 
into the office and asked for to be showed over the 
school. 

Mrs. Veale. 
A gentleman and some ladies ? 

Amelia. 

Yes, m'm ; and the clerk was wishful to know if 
I would be good enough as to favour him by bein' so 
obligin' as k) kindly assytain where you was. It is 
not my 'abit nor am I wishful to be drawn off my 
'ousework. 

Mbs. Veale. 

[ Suddenly with a look at Dbknis and taking Amelia 
apart.'\ 'Melia ! 

Amelia. 

\J^n a whisper."] Yes, m'm ? 

Mbs. Veale. 
What are they like ? Describe 'em I 



106 LABT BOUNTIFUL. 

Amelia. 

Two young ladies of the age of my young sister 
and my married sister ; and a young gentleman of 
the age of my married sister's 'usband ; and a older 
lady something like Queen Elizabeth, speaking by 
'earsay. 

Mrs. Vbale. 

[To herself.'] Miss Brent of Fauncourt I [Zooking 
a^ I)bnnis.] Shall I — shall I ask 'em up here ? 

Amelia. 
What say, m'm ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

S-s-sh ! [ To Dennis.] Fll be back in two minutes, 
Mr. Dennison. 'Melia I 

[She goes out^ followed hy Amelia. 

Dennis. 

Meg! Meg I [He reads the note to himself] 
" Mother. I told you a lie. I do care for him — I 
do care for him with all my heart. I shall be hap- 
pier if you send him away." I — ^I understand. 
Meg! The child of these people^— these people 
who've been good to me — and trusted ine. Poor little 
Meg 1 What a shame — ^what a shame ! 

[Wimple appears in the gaUery^ carrying a 
bridle arid a Uath&r. 

Wimple. 

[Looking into the room.] Gettin' on for class time', 
Mister Dennison. 

Dennis. 

[Abstractedly.] Thank you. [Folding the note 
carefully andplacing it in his pocket.] It's my fault j 



LADT BOTTITTIFITL. 107 

it must be all my fault. Poor little Meg — what a 
shame ! [Se goes out in deep thought. 

Wimple. 

[Looking after Dennis.] Reclinin' in a armchair 
a'readin' Ms letters like a dook. Well, that chap 
beats me I The missus ! 

[He rubs the bridle energetically as Mbs. 
Veale enters^ looking rounds nervously, 

Mbs. Veale. 
[To Wimple.] Where's Mr. Dennison? 

Wimple. 

[ Olandng over the balustrade!] He's just walked 
into the stables — a'talkin' to Miss Marg'rit. 

Miss Bbent enters^ followed by Beatbix. Wimple 
strolls away. 

Miss Bbent. 

[To Mbs. Veale.] Thank you. 

Beatbix. 

[ To Camilla as she enters^ pale and sad-looking, ] 
Here's a fire, Cam. 

Camilla. 

[ With a shiver.] Oh ! 

[She goes languidly to the fire. 

Miss Bbent. 
[To M^s. Veale.] We are to wait here? 

[LuciAN enters!] 

Mbs. Veale. 

Well, I know my husband would feel honoured to 
show you over the school and the stables himself. 



108 LADT BOUNTIFVL. 

LUCIAN. 

As a matter of fact, our time is rather precious. 

tTo Miss Bbbnt.] I have to go to my hosiers, you 
now, aunt. 

Camilla. 

Pray allow me to get warm, Lucian. 

Mrs. Vbale. 
Mr. Veale won't be long, I'm sure. 

Miss Bsent. 
Mr. Veale of Baverstoke ? 

Mrs. Veale. 
Yes, miss. 

Miss Brent. 

Dear me ! I think you came with your husband to 
Fauncourt? 

Mrs. Veale, 
I did. 

Miss Brent. 

How do you do ? CamiUa, how strange I 

Lucian. 

Oh, of course ; my uncle, Mr. Roderick Heron, 
took " Strephon " and " Chloe," the two hunters, from 
your stable, didn't he ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

T-yes, sir. I hope they're doing well this sea- 
son. ^ 

Camilla. 

We do not hunt at Fauncourt this season. Mr. 
Dennis Heron has brought his stay at Fauncourt to 
a close. His horse " Strephon" now belongs to me. 
I prize him — ^highly. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 109 

Ltjciak. 

He's as fat as a pig ; does no work and is petted 
like a spaniel. 

Camilla. 

[^Angrily,'] Lucian! 

LuciAN. 

What's the matter, Cam? [Tohimielf, tooJcing at 
Camilla.] Temper ! [^Str oiling into the gallery and 
looking over the balitstrade. Halloa — ^the riding- 
school I 

Beatbix. 

Oh ! rZooking through the opening."] How delight- 
ful ! [ To Mrs. Vbalb.] It is I who am to ride. 

Mrs. Vbalb. 
Indeed, miss. 

Beatrix. 

When you were in business at Baverstoke I daresay 
you heard how delicate I was. 

Mrs. Vbalb. 
No, miss, I hadn't that pleasure. 

Beatrix. 

Oh, you must have heard and forgotten. You will 
feel extremely sorry when I tell you that I am still 
most fragile. 

Lucian. 

[^Mockingly.'] Ho, ho I 

Beatrix. 

[To Miss Brent.I Aunt, is Lucian to be allowed 
to Dehave quite in tnat way ? 



110 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Miss Bbent. 
Lucian! 

LUCIAN. 

All right. Only I^ve been obliged to come down 
from Cambridge because my head's given way; 
that's what I call being delicate. 

4 Beatbix. 

[In the goMery leaning over the baltistrade.l Shall 
I learn here ? 

Mbs. Yealb. 
Y-yes, miss. 

Beatrix. 

There are some people riding now, 

Mbs. Yealb. 

They are the young ladies from Mrs. Cheeseman's 
School, miss. [Lucian Joins Beatbix and looks down 
upon the riding-school.] They have an hour every 
Monday at eleven. 

Beatbix. 

It's nearly eleven. May we watch the lesson? 
Who will teach ? 

Mbs. Yeale. 

My daughter and — and — ^the riding-master. 

Beatbix. 

Oh! [Catting.] Aunty! 

[/SAe, Lucian and Mbs. Yeale watch aU that 
is going on below with interest. 

Miss Bbent. 

[ Tenderly to Camilla who fs sitting with her head 
thrown hack in thought] You look very lonely there. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. Ill 

Camilla. 
Dreaming, aunt. 

Miss Brent. 

Always in the clouds, dear. 

Camilla. 

Aunty, have you ever visited a strange spot and 
found it familiar to you ? I seem to know this queer 
place quite well. Do you think I lived here in my 
former existence, when I was a cat or something ? 

Miss Brent. 

It is the aspect of the stable in everything that 

recalls 

Camilla. 

That recalls what Fauncourt used to be. Yes — 
and Fauncourt is dull enough now for our pains. 
We drove the life out of it, you and I, when we sent 
— him away. How cruel we were. 

Miss Brent. 

Will you ever forgive me for my share in that, 
Camilla? 

Camilla. 

I love you. Aunt Anne, dearly; [drawings Miss 
Brent to her fondly] but, no — ^I will never forgive 
you, never, never, never. 

Miss Brent. 
l^Smiling sadly] Ah! 

Mrs. Veale. 

[To Beatrix,] If you stand over there, miss, at 
the end of the gallery, you'll get a better view of the 
riders. I — I must go downstairs to the office. 



112 LADY BOUNTIFUL, 

Beatrix. 
Point out your daughter to me, first. 

, Mrs. Vbalk. 

She's not there yet, miss. [The sounds of jingling 
bits and horses^ hoofs are heard. [Yes — ^here she 
comes, with ! Excuse me I [She goes away. 

Beatrix. 

[Looking into the room,'] Camilla 1 Aunt ! Come 
and watch 1 Oh, do 1 Lucian ! 

[Beatrix runs out followed by Luciait, 

Miss Brent 

Camilla ? 

Camilla. 

Let me wait here, please. [Miss Brent goes on to 
the gallery^ glances over the balustrade^ and follows 
the others, [Why do I stir out of doors when strange 
places and strange sounds tease me so ! The air of 
the stables — ^Dennis! The tread of the horses — 
Dennis ! [Dreamily^ Day, dusk, sunlight, firelight, 
shadow — all recallmg — our Dennis. [Closing her 
eyes,! Not our Dennis — ^nobody cared for him as I 
carea for him. My Dennis — my Dennis 

[27ie indistinct sound of Dennis's voice is 
heard directing the lesson, Camjujl^b eyes 
open; then she raises her head slowly^ 
staring before her^ with parted lips. His 
voice is heard again. With a faint cry 
Camilla rises. 

Lucian. 

[In the distance,"] Dennis ! Dennis I [Lucian 
appears in the gallery, 2 I say, Cam ! Look nere ! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 113 

Beatrix. 
\^Ilunning inJ] Camilla, here's Dennis ! 

[LuclAN and Beatbix run out again. 

Miss Bbent. 
[ Coining to Camilla.] Camilla ! 

Camilla. 
I know. 

\_She waJJca away^ and stands looking down into 
the fire, ^ 

Miss Brent. 

[Meeting Dennis who enters with Beatrix and 
LuciAN.] Dennis ! 

Dennis. 

{^Taking h^er hand."] Miss Brent. 

[Miss Brent, Lucian, and Beatrix glance 
towards Camilla ; Dennis's eyes follow 
theirs, 

Dennis. 
Camilla. 

\^Sfhe turns without speaking^ then she extends 
her hand, 

Camilla. 

\^In a low voice,"] Dennis. 

Dennis. 
I thank you. This is like you. I thank you. 

Camilla. 
Thank me? • 

Dennis. 

For thinking me worth recovering. 

8 



i 



114 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

You are mistaken, Dennis. We are here by 
chance. 

Dennis. 
Chance ! 

Camilla. 

Beatrix is to learn to ride 



Beatrix. 
Yes. 

Camilla. 

And we are looking for a riding-school 

Dennis. 
And a good riding-master ? 

Camilla. 
A — riding-master ! 

Dennis. 

Yes. Let me introduce myself. My name is 
Dennison and I teach riding here for a living. 

Camilla. 
\_Turning frornhirn reproachfully^ Oh! 

Beatrix. 

[ To Dennis affectionately^ Never mind ; we're so 
glad we've found you. 

Miss Brent. 
Beatrix I 

[Miss Brent and Lucian go on to the 
• gallery and standi with their hacks 

towards the room looking down into the 
school.'] 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 115 

Beatrix. 

Dennis — ^make Cam bring you home. 

[^She joins Miss Bebnt and Litcian and 
gradually they oM three disappear."] 

Camilla. 
Oh, Dennis ! And is this all you have done ? 

Deitms. 
AU. 

Camilla. 
Horrible! 

Dennis. 

Tou mean Fve declined in the social scale? 

Camilla. 
Hah! 

Dennis. 

Oh, yes, I admit I'm accustomed to polite society. 
I was once dependent upon a lady who fed me, 
clothed me, kept me, for longer than I care to reckon. 
But she knows that I've reached my proper level — I 
refer you to her for my character. 

Camilla. 

Ah, I am acquainted with the young woman you 
speak of. She is a person of few ideas, but one of 
them — a nice discernment of the difference between 
true pride and/a^^e — ^might commend itself to you. 

Dennis. 
False pride ? 

Camilla. 

Yes. And she has already furnished me with 
your character. In the mind of this yoimg woman 



116 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

you are a melancholy example of that race of beings 
who, having wronged themselves, behave with all 
the dignity and resignation of a child with a torn 
pinafore : who abandon friends when friends cease 
to be blind to foibles and foUies; and who plant 
upon their man's estate a solitary, ungainly tree — 
Pride, unreasoning, undignified, and, she thinks, 
heartless Pride I 

[^She turns from him, 
Denkis. 

[^Qently,'] Miss Brent. [^She looks at him quickly 
then turns away again,! A woman can always 
make a man appear a fool, and to defend himself 
from her — especially when she's really good ,and 
generous — ^is like using a stick. So I've nothing to 
answer, only — you are a little hard to please. Lady 
Bountiful. 

Camilla. 

You think I am inconsistent. Of course, I did 
urge you to work. 

Dennis. 
Yes. 

Camilla. 

But this uncomfortable enthusiasm is — is appal- 
ling I I couldn't suggest your living in such dread- 
ful surroimdings, and with such people. 

Dennis. 

Oh, you mustn't speak against them, please! 

\He stands leaning upon the chair with a set 
eoi^ression on his face, 

Camilla. 
I beg your pardon; I'm sure they're very nice 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 117 

in their way, but — ^Dennis — Glisten to my proposal. 
We always quarrel — ^let us quarrel under more 
genial circimistances. Fauncourt is still open house 
and remains so for some months 

Denkis. 
Oh, no! 

Camhjjl. 

Wait — ^you are so hasty! We — Zowe you some 
reparation. Give me an opportunity of making it. 

Dennis. 
Reparation ! 

Camilla. 

For never truly understanding you — ^for under- 
rating you. Ah, it is only my tongue that is shrew- 
ish, and now even that says — I am sorry. 

Dennis. 

Camilla! 

Camilla. 

Dennis, I fear I have never been quite candid 
with you, and — since you left us — ^the thought has — 
distressed me. 

Dennis. 
What do you mean ? 

Camilla. 

I don't think I told you tnithfully why I kept 
you ignorant of your poverty — and I am a little 
ashamed. 

Dennis. 

But you gave me two reasons 



/ 



118 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

Yes — ^but they were only half-truths, and two half- 
truths don't make a whole one. And, Dennis, I 
have found out lately that, deep down below all 
other reasons, I delayed telling you the secret 
of your position because I thought the know- 
ledge of it might send you far out into the world 
— and Fauncourt was dull — and we couldn't spare 
you. 

[ Turning from him, she covers her eyes with 
her hand /or a moment, 

Dennis. 
[ Watching her with a look of dismay."] Oh ! 

Camilla. 

And so, for everybody's sake, come back to the old 
house ; and there, by our cosy fireside, we will all 
sit, and plot, and plan out some appropriate career 
for the truant who has taught us how large, and 
cold, and cheerless home is without him ! WUl you, 
Dennis? 

Dennis. 

[i^i a low voice.] I thank you, with all my heart ; 
but — even if I would come home — ^it is too late. 

Camilla. 
[Tw a whisper.] Too late ? 

Dennis. 

Yes — ^it is too late. 

Margaret. 
[Calling outside.] Dennis ! Dennis I 



LAD T BO UNTIFVL. 119 

/ 

[Camilla and Dennis look straight at each 

other for a moment^ then she quickly draws 

aioay in agitation. 

Roderick Heron enters^ followed by Veale and Mrs. 
Veale, while Dennis goes out 

Roderick Heron. 

My dear niece, you have discovered our little 
secret in the strangest way! Dennis wouldn't 
let me tell you, he really wouldn't. It's his fault ; 
I hate concealment, you know. Eh? 

Camilla. 

^[^Faintly.'] Find — Aunt Anne ! 

Dennis returns with Margaret ; Miss Brent, who 
follows^ exchanges a word with Roderick and 
goes straight to Camilla. Lucian and Beatrix 
enter after Miss Brent. 

Dennis. 

[F'alteringly,] Camilla — ^this is Margaret, the 
daughter of *my good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Veale. 
I want to tell you all that Margaret has promised to 
be— my wife. 

[ There is a moment of silent surprise. 

Camilla. 

\^Looking at Margaret and advancing to her 
steadily. '\ I am Camilla Brent, Mr. Dennis Heron's 
cousin. [ Taking Margaret's hand.'\ Let me 

She falters^ turns to Miss Brent, and lean- 
ing upon her arm walks to the door^ 
followed by Lucian and Beatrix. 

END OF THE SECOND ACT. 



120 LAD T BO UNTIFUL. 



THE THIRD ACT. 

MARGARET PREPARES FOR HER VOYAGE. 

The scene is a humble room in the basement of a house 
in a poor street in Westminster. The windows 
look out into the area^ whence a flight of steps 
leads up to the pavement^ which together with the 
area railings are plainly seen from the room. 
An open door leads into the scullery^ through 
which the area is reached. The room is poorly 
furnished^ the fire is lighted^ a baby sleeps in its 
cradle on the floor, Eighteen months havepassed 
since the events of the previous act. 

It is a bright summer morning ; a barrel-organ is 
playing in the street, Mrs. Veale, looking grey 
and careworn^ is at work in the scullery. She 
peeps into the room and listens, 

s 

Mrs. Veale. 

Did I hear our little 'un? \^Sh>e crosses quietly to 
the cradle and kneels beside it, looking into it and 
arranging the coverlet,"] Ha! Do you know why 
the music's playing this fine morning, my precious ? 
It's because mother's coming down to-day. That's 
what the music tells us ! Mother's coming down- 
stairs this blessed morning ! Grandpa I [^jShe sees 
John Veale slowly descending the area steps, and 
goes to meet him as Jte enters through the scullery, 
carrying a brown paper pared* He is much altered 



LAJ>Y BOUNTIFUL. 121 

— his hair is white^ his step feeble^ and his manner 
that of a brokeU'doum manJ\ Father dear, I thought 
you'd got lost. 

Vbale. 
Did you, 'Etty? 

Mrs. Vealb. 

[ Taking his hat^ sticky and comforter from him."] 
I shan't send you out on any more errands if you 
keep me on pins and needles. 

Veale. 

There was so many crossin's, mother; Fm not 
what I was in traffic. [ Giving her the parcel.'] The 
young man at the draper's says this is all the rage 
just now — ^two-and-eleven-pence-ha'penny. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[ Opening the parcel and finding a common woollen 
shawl which she shakes out and puts round her shouU 
ders.] Capital I 

Veale. 

Just suits you, 'Etty. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[ Taking off the shmjol^ As if it was for me ! It's 
for Meg. 

Veale. 
Meg — oh, aye. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Dennis is going to carry Meg downstairs when he 
comes home to dinner. 

Veale. 

Lor' bless my soul I Is he ? Ha ! ha ! It'll seem 
like old times— our Meg running about again. 



122 LADT BOXTNTiriTL. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Don't, father ! It'll be a long while before we see 
Meg looking much like our Meg. Why, John dear, 
you forget everything nowadays. Meg's been eight 
weeks upstairs. 

Veale. 

Oh, aye — time flies. It's a year since my bank- 
ruptcy ; I reck'lect that — I reck'lect that. 

Mbs. Veale. 

\^LooJcing towards the cradle,'] Yes, father, the 
little gal's eight weeks old to-day at tea-time — ^but 
she hasn't been lying nearly so still and quiet as her 
mother has. Meg ! 

\_She goes to the fireplace and arranges the 
shawl over the back of the arm-chair 
which she turns towards the fire. 

Veale. 

[^Mumbling to himself, ] Meg comin' down I It'll 
all seem like old times afore the bankruptcy. It'll 
all seem like old times — afore the baby was — afore 
the baby was — made a bankrupt — made a bankrupt 
— ^made a bankrupt. 

Amell4 enters^ carrying a tray with breakfast things 
upon it. She has become wizen and slatternly, 

V 

Amelia. 

Please, m'm, ole Mr. 'Eron — ^he 'aven't touch his 
breakfast agin. 

Mbs. Veale. 
What's wrong now? 



LADT BOUNTIFUL, 12^ 

Veale. 

Mr. 'Eron — one of the affablest gentlemen we've 
ever known ! 

Amelia. 

I'm not wishful to repeat sech language, pi'm, but 
Mr. 'Eron 'ave been callmg his meal by low names. 

Mbs. Veale. 
No, 'Melia. 

Amelia. 

He says '15 toast is a injury and 'is kawfee a in- 
sult. 

[Amelia retires to the scuUery. 

Mrs. Veale. 

John, I can't endure that heartless old man much 
longer ! He's wearing me out ! 

Veale. 
You don't understand Mr. 'Eron, 'Etty, my dear. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Don't understand ! Why the old man's no more 
than we are now, and ought to be much less ! We 
give him the cream of everything — ^the bedroom with 
the new wall-paper, the quilt I was married with I 
'Melia valets him and keeps him repaired, and I 
scorch my eyes out cooking him luxuries ! And how 
does he treat us ? It's wicked ! 

Veale. 

Ah, I dessay Mr. 'Eron feels his fall in the world 
worse than we do, 'Etty. It's a shockin' reverse for 
a bom gentleman. [ Taking a spoon from the tray,] 
Look 'ere ! A metal spoon for a born gentleman. 
There's a reverse 1 



124 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Veale. 

A gentleman ! Who led us into all the mischief 
that finished up in the Bankruptcy Court with an 
old judge — ^whose face I could a slapped — asking 
you impudent questions ? 

Veale. 
[Mournfully.'] I know, 'Etty, I know. 

Mrs. Yeale. 

And still you're proud of being patronised, and 
slapped on the back, by a " gentleman " I You're 
not yourself, father, or I'd be ashamed of you. 

Veale. 

But Mr. 'Eron has explained everything in his own 
affable way — the friendliest gentleman we've ever 
known, 

Mrs. Veale. 

He'd explain the pattern of my gown. 

Veale. 

He's been forsook by his proud relations, and put 
in the hands of their lawyers, and now \looMng at 
the spoon] his own son don't give him a bit o' silver 
to stir his tea with ! 

[ The micsic of the street-organ is heard again, 

Mrs. Veale. 

His own son ! Ah, poor Dennis ! He's got enough 
to bear, with all us sparrows chirruping for bread- 
crumbs ! Come, I won't grumble at my share o' the 
burden ! [Seizing the poker vigorously and mending 
the fire.'] I'll think about the old vagabond's dinner, 
that I Willi 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 125 

Amelia. 

[Entering the room from the scullery. "] Fm ready 
for baby, m'm. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[ Taking the baby from, the cradle and placing it 
in Amelia's arms,^ fee careful, 'Melia ! 

Amelia. 

\^ Tenderly. 1 Lor', m'm, I'm used to it. There's 
two at 'ome I've reared. 

Roderick Heron enters. There is a faded and 
rather depressed air about him,^ but his manner 
towards the Veale's is magnificent and conde- 
scending. He stalks across to the fireplace. 

Roderick Heron. 
Veale, my dear fellow — the paper. 

[Amelia goes out with the baby. 

Veale. 

It's Mr. 'Eron! Good-momin', sir — a fine and 
pleasant momin' to you, Mr. 'Eron. [Taking the 
newspaper from the top of the bureau and cutting it^ 

[Roderick removes the woollen shawl from 
the back of the chair and throws it away^ 
then seats himself facing the fire. 

Mrs. Veale. 

\Picking up the shawl indignantly and placing it 
on a chair. Ah I 

Roderick Heron. 

Oh, my good woman, I've eaten no breakfast, you 
know. I'm quite faint-— I really am. 



126 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Vealb. 

yR^fyressing her anger,'] We mnst get you some* 
thing tempting for your dinner, sir. 

RoDEBiCK Heron. 

Fm glad you feel the necessity for a step of that 
kind I suggest a small bird of some sort — a pig- 
eon, for example. With a sauce — ^try a sauce, Mrs. 
Veale. s 

Mrs. Veale. 

[ Twitching her handsJ] A sauce. 

Roderick Heron. 

But, for heaven's sake, don't invent it! Buy a 
cookery book when you go out. I'll open my purse- 
strings and make you a present of one. Ask Dennis 
for the money. [Veale gives Roderick Heron tJie 
paper.'j Thank you, Veale — ^ypu are exceedingly 
attentive. I hope you know that I consider you ex- 
ceedingly attentive. 

Veale. 

Much obliged to ye, Mr. 'Eron, I'm sure. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Have you heard that Meg comes down to-day, Mr. 
Heron ? . 

Roderick Heron. 

[^Reading the paper with his back to the ^ fire cotide- 
scendingly,'] Does she ? Now I'm rejoiced to hear 
that — quite rejoiced, you know. 

Mrs. Veale. 
Ah, thank you, sir. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 127 

Roderick Hebon. 
She will be able to assist in ihe household duties. 

Mrs. Vbalb. 

What! 

Roderick Heron. 

I have lost all confidence in Amelia since I detected 
her using my comb. You are well-intentioned, Mrs. 
Veale ; but Margaret can now make me her special 
study. 

Mrs. Veaxe. 

Mr. Heron, while my gal has been lying upstairs, 
watched, on and off, by me and Dennis, there's been 
one belief that's kep' me, in a sort o' way, cheerful, 
sir. 

Roderick Heron. 
Indeed, indeed? 

Mrs. Veale. 

The belief that it couldn't be meant to snatch at 
the young and pretty under this roof and leave the 
old and selfish untouched. 

Roderick Heron. 

[^Looking at Veale.] Ah, and a very cruel thing 
to say before your poor husband, Mrs. Veale — ^a very 
heartless thing I [Mrs. Veale, with a look of in- 
dignation^ goes into the scullery carrying the trayJ] 
Veale, have you any money in your pocket ? 

Veale. 

[tumbling in his pockets."] A little change of 
mother's, sir. 



128 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

BODBBICEL HbBOK. 

Buy me a bunch of primroses when you go out. 
Margaret will be gratified by some attention from 
me on her coming downstairs, you know. I try to 
think of everybody. 

Amelia, dressed J^or walking, enters, weighed down 
by the baby in its bonnet and robe, Mbs. 
V BALE returns to the room. 

Amelia. 

[ To Mrs. Veale.] Master's come in, m'm ; he's 
run upstairs to the young missus. 

Mrs. Veale. 
It's early for Dennis ; he's so excited about Meg. 

RoDEBicK Hebok. 

I really hope he is not neglecting those disgusting 
stables of his. The business of a Jobmaster is pain- 
fully degrading, but when a young man has respon- 
sibilities 

Mrs Veale. 

\^Attiring Veale in his hat^ gloves, and comforter.'] 
Here's your hat, father. Go into the park with 
'Melia and sit in the sun. [ The music of the street- 
organ is resumed. Amelia goes out and ascends the 
area-steps, followed by Veale. Watching their 
departure from the area, and calling after them.'] 
Don't look about you, 'Melia! John, hold on to 
'Melia's jacket at the crossings ! [^A letter is handed 
to her through the railings,] Good-morning, post- 
man. \^Itetuming to the room and throwing the letter 
on to the table.] Letter for you, Mr. Heron. She 
retires to the scuUery. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 129 

Roderick Heron. 

Eh? Oh I [Taking up the letter.] Camilla's law- 
yers! [Openings the letter.] No euclosiire. Really, 
you know, this is infamous ! [Heading.] " Great 
George Street, Westminster. Sir. Yourself and 
Miss Camilla Brent. In answer to your further 
communication, we are again compelled to inform 
you that we can do nothing but act upon the posi- 
tive instructions of Miss Camilla Brent and her ad- 
visers given us previous to her leaving England a 
year ago." Now, how deceived we have all been in 
this young woman ! " The large sum of money then 
paid you by Miss Camilla Brent, to enable you to 
discharge your obligations to Mr. John Veale, was a 
final gift on the part of our client and we regret to 
find that it was misapplied." Really, you know, 
this is libellous ! " It is, of course, open to you to 

directly address Miss Camilla Brent " Ah ! " but 

as that lady is moving about Europe we are our- 
selves unacquainted with her precise whereabouts." 
Oh ! " We note your assurance that you are now the 
sole support of your son and his numerous family 
connections. Maule & Craddock." 

Dennis enters guickly^ carrying a large bouquet^ a 
basket of fruity and a parcel of books. Rod- 
erick Heron shujffles his letter into his pockety as 
Mrs. Veale also enters. 

Dennis. 
Good-moming, father ! 

Mrs. Veale. 

Ah, Dennis, my dear ! 

9 



130 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Roderick Heron. 

You neglect your employment at a very critical 
hour of the day, Dennis. 

Dennis. 

I'm of no use at the Mews this morning I Meg is 
coming downstairs ! [/Showing the flowers,'] Look 
here, father ! 

Roderick Heron. 
For your wife, I presume ? 

Dennis. 

Yes. Aren't they beautiful ? [^To Mrs. Veale.] 
Put 'em in the gayest jug we have. [Mrs. Vealb 
takes the flowers and retires to the scullery. Selecting 
a bunch of grapes from the basket and holding it tip.] 
There's a picture f 

Roderick Heron. 

I'm always grievecj to see extravagance, you know. 
Grapes at this season of the year — ^for your wife ; 
it's a little painful to me. 

Dennis. 

Extravagance! Extravagance! Meg is coming 
down to day ! [^Handing the parcel of books to Rod- 
brick.] Here, father — some new books. 

Roderick Heron. 

Ah, dear Dennis, that's thoughtful — ^now that's 
really thoughtful. 

Dennis. 

Spread 'em all out on the table. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 131 

[ Tucking the parcel under his arm.'] No, no, I 
won't unpack 'em here. 

Dennis. 

Yes, yes. Let her catch sight of the bright covers 
directly I carry her into the room. 

[Dennis goes up to the scullery-door and 
gives the fruit to Mrs. Veaue. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ To himself.'] Meg ! Pish ! [ Throwing the books 
on the table.] Really, you know ! 

[in disgust, he sits reading his paper. Dennis 
wheels down a big arm-chair and arranges 
it beside the table. 

Dennis. 

Just the thing ! Not tbo near the fire — out of the 
draught. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[Hetuming^ with the flowers in a jug.] Look at 
this fine yellow rose ! It's Meg's pet fliower. 

Dennis. 

Ha, ha ! of course it is. [ Turning thejug.^ We'll 
turn it this way, mother, so that, when she sits here, 
the big yellow chap stares her in the face. There! 

[.ffe opens the parcel of books ; he and Mrs. 
VEAiiE arrange them about the table.] 

Mrs. Veale. 
How splendid ! [Mcamining the books.] Dennis. 

Dennis. 
Eh? 



132 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mes. Vkalk. 
There's no pictures in 'em I 

Dennis. 

Don't you think — Meg will — care for 'em — ^with- 
out ? 

Mrs. Veale. 

Why, Dennis, you know her taste in reading by 
this time. 

Dennis. 
I — I quite forgot. 

Mrs. Veale. 

Never mind I Come and set out that fruit. 

[ They go together into the scuUery. 

Roderick Heron. 

The soot is falling here ; I am half smothered, you 
know. Phew I [^He rises, and crosses to the table,"] 
Ugh! I had better rejoice with the rest of 'em. 
{^Sinking into the arm-chair comfortably.'] Now, I 
suppose, to a girl of her class these domestic events 
are as bank-holidays to a common young man. But 
confound her and her baby I 

[Se selects the yellow rose from the bouquet 
and fastens it in his coat. Mrs. Veale 
comes to the table with the fruit in a 
dish. Dennis picks up the hassock and 
places it on the floor by the arm-chair ; 
Roderick puts his feet on it. Dennis 
and Mrs. Veale stare at Roderick 
blankly. 

Roderick Heron. 

[ Gaily, pointing to the rose in his coati\ You see 1 
You see I 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 133 

Dbnnis. 

Why, father, you -I 

RoDSBicK Hbbok, 
Dear Dennis, I decorate in honour of the occasion. 

[Dennis walks away. 

Mrs. Vbale. 

\^FoUow8 him aympathetically,'] Don't he down, 
Dennis! Cheer up I He's a well-meaning gentle- 
man, your father. 

RODBBICK HbBON. 

[ Taking some grapes from the dish and munching 
them complacently^ Towards all these pretty family 
celebrations I am really sympathetic— quite sympa- 
thetic, you know. 

Mbs. Vealb. 

Dennis, my dear, don't you think this is a capital 
opportunity to — ^let him know? 

Dennis. 
\In a whisper."] To tell him ? 

Mbs. Vbale. 

About the future — now. 

[DBira^is, taking an auctioneer's catalogue 
from his pocket J advances to Roderick. 

Dennis. 

Father, there's some important news I want to 
break to you. [ Griving him the catalogue.] Perhaps 
you'd better glance over that. ^ 

Roderick Heron. 
Certainly, dear Dennis, certainly. 



134 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Dennis* 

Fve kept it from you till the matter was quite 
settled ; there's no good, that I can see, in arguing 
about what's got to be. 

Roderick Heron. 

Grood gracious. [^Beading the catalogue,"] Without 
any reserve I Saturday the 11th I Messrs. Chepmell 
have instructions to dispose of — Horses, carts, car- 
riages — general stock of a Livery Stable ! Propri- 
etor leaving England I On view after Wednesday ! 
\_To Dennis.] You really don't suggest that tms 
refers to your, I may say our^ business ? 

Dennis. 
Yes, father, I do. 

Roderick Heron. 
Proprietor leaving — no, dear Dennis, no ! 

Dennis. 

Proprietor leaving England. It might have said 
that he hopes to do it in a week's time, and that he's 
going to the shipping-agent this very day. 

Roderick Heron 
Proprietor leaving Eng ^? Alone. 

Dennis. 

Alone ! \^Layiny his hand owMrs. Veale's shoulder 
— she looking up at him kindly.] Alone— no. Mr. 
and Mrs. Veale go with me. Meg — my wife — and 
our little girl go with me. Please, heaven, health 
and good fortune go with us all! 



lAi>Y BOVl^TIFUL. 135 

» 

RODEEICK HeBON. 

[ Taking up an important position before the fir e^ 
Really, Dennis, I am almost ashamed that such a 
question should arise — nay, that it should be abso- 
lutely vital — ^but what arrrangements do you propose 
with reference to myself, you know? 

Dennis. 

Well, we are willing you should share the rough 
and smooth with us. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

The rough ! 

Dennis. 

I'm content to work for you as I do now, father, 
and those about me will do their best to make you 
happy. 

Mes. Veale. 

Yes, that we will ! 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

[ Wamng her away,"] One moment, Mrs. Veale — 
please, please! Tms is purely a private matter 
[Mrs. Veale goes to the window. Sulkily to Den- 
nis.] Where the devil are We going? 

Dennis. 

A good friend — Mr. Ericson — a rich American, 
who's had dealings with me and taken a liking to me, 
owns a large cattle-farm out in Nebraska. 

RoDEEiCK Heron. 
Great powers, cattle I 



136 LADY BOVNTlFUL. 

Dennis. 

And he has an idea that I'm the man to manage 
it. By Jove, I'm the man to try ! 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

Nebraska I I demand to know what has induced 
you to commit yourself to — to — ^to this most inconve- 
nient scheme ! 

Dennis. 

I'll tell you. The chance of some day finding my- 
self able to restore ease and comfort to the two old 
people we ruined by our coming amongst 'em. The 
prospect of taking my wife out of the drudgery and 
meanness of this sort of life, and seeing the colour 
come back to her face and the strength to her poor 
little body I And the hope of watching our child 
grow up to be a woman among sturdy, independent 
people who won't let her feel ashamed of a rough, 
grey-haired father I If it all comes to pass, why — I 
— why Ah, if it only comes to pass ! 

[-ffc breaks down a little and sits leaning his 
head upon his hand. 

Mrs. Veale. 

[ Coming to him and touching his shoulder^ sooth- 
ingly?^ Dennis I 

^ Roderick Heron. 

[ To himself reflectively']. After all, thfere are gentle- 
men farmers ! And it may move Camilla to a sense 
of duty. [ To Dennis.] I began to feel sympathetic 
towards this scheme, dear Dennis — quite sympathetic, 
you know. 

[Amelia, carrying the hahy^ is seen descending 
the area-steps quickly^ followed by John« 



V 



ZADT BOtTNTIFni. 137 

Amelia. 

[ Outside excitedly. "} Oh, m'm I Oh, m'm I If you 
please, m'm. 

Mbs. Vealb. ^ 

Why, here's 'Melia back ! and father ! [She hurries 
to the door and admits Amelia and Vealb.] Gracious, 
'Meha ! whatever has happened ? 

Amelia. 

[^Breathlessly.'] Oh, m'm, if you'd 'old baby till I git 
my breath! [Coming down.] W^ 'ave 'erried along, 
me and Mr. Veale. 

Mbs. Vealb. 

[Taking the hahy.] Sit down a minute, 'Melia. 
Father, what is it ? 

Vealb. 

'Melia '11 tell you, 'Etty, my dear. Fm reether 
blown, mother. 

Amelia sirJes into a chair with her hand to 
her heart. 

Amelia. 

Me and Mr. Veale, m'm, went straight up Little 
Cowper Street, bein' the nearest way to the Park 
gate, and along Peel Row, and no one could a' been 
carefuller o' cabs and busses than me, 'oldin' baby 
in one arm as I did and leadin' Mr. Veale by the 
other 'and, my jacket not being one to place confidence 
in. 

Mrs. Vealb. 

Well, 'Melia ? 

Amelia. 

Well, m'm, jest as we was crossin' of Great George 
Street, bein' wishful to shift baby from my lef to my 



138 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

right, I let go Mr. Veale and I see 'im stragglin' 
across the road for all the world as if he was goin' 
under a milk-cart. 

Mbs. Vealb. 
Father I 

Amelia. 

So I gives a shriek and calls out, " Mr. Veale ! 
come to 'Melia ! Mr. Veale I " and at that very 
moment a lady and gentleman walks straight out 
of a 'ouse in George Street, and the lady lay9 
'old o' me and says, "Did you say Mr. Veale, 
child ? " and not bein' wishful to tell a untruth I 
owned it. 

Mrs. Veale. 

A lady and gentleman ! 

Amelia. 

Yes, m'm, a old gentleman with as nice a way with 
'im as I'm wishfm to see, and a young lady with 
sech eyes and 'air and teeth. And I reckernised 
her, m'm — ah, I reckernised her the minute I see 
her I 

Mbs. Veale. 

You recognised her, 'Melia ! 

Amelia. 

Yes, m'm — ^the ^oung lady who came one day along 
of others to the Ridin' Academy. 

Mbs. Veale. 
Why, Dennis! 

RODEBICK HeEON. 

Really, you know, this is very interesting! Den- 
nis ! [Dennis turrfs his back upon the group and 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. 139 

toalks slowly away^ then stands^ with his head bowed 
listening.'] Go on, my good, girl, go on ! 

Amelia. 

Well, m'm, and when the young lady found out 
who Mr. Veale was she gives a sharp look at baby 
and she says, says she, "Tell me this child's name," 
she says, " quick ! " " She ain't christened yet," I 
says, " her mother 'avin been at death's door ; but 
it will be — if we all live — " I says "It will be Mar- 
garet." And then she looks at me in a sort o' startled 
way and says, " Margaret — Heron f " she says. And 
I jest nodded. And, oh, m'm, it was sweet the way 
she be'aved towards baby. 

Roderick Hebon. 
Why, why, why, why ? 

Amelja. 

She jest lifts baby's veil, m'm, as careful as if the 
child was made o' gold, and she looks in its face and 
stares at it without seemin' to breathe. And then I 
see a big tear creepin' down her cheek, and she 
brushed it away with her 'and, but another come to 
quick for her and fell on baby's robe. And then 
she turned away and whispered to the old gentle- 
man, and he gives her a gold pencil and a leaf out 
of his pocket-book, and she writes on it ; and I see 
her 'and all shakin' and tremblin', m'm, as she 
pinned the paper on to baby's frock — 'jest 'ere. 
Look m'm ! 

[Amelia turns hack the hahy*s robe^ showing 
a scrap of paper pinned to the frock, 

Mbs. Veale. 
[Looking round towards Dennis.] Dennis. 



140 LADY BOtTlTTIFtTL. 

RoDEBicK Heron. 

[ Gaily. "]. Dennis, my dear boy ! Dennis coming 
slowly down and^ bending over the haby^ reads in a 
low voice.'] " The child carries this message to its 
mother asking her not to refuse to see Camilla 
Brent." 

[^There is a knock at the door, Amelia 
opens ity and Sm Richakd Philliteb 
t^ seen on the threshold* 

Sib Richard. 

The person living on the floor above has been good 
enough to admit me. Mr. Dennis Heron ? 

Mrs. Yeale. 
Come in, sir — do, pray. 

Sir Richard. 

Thank you. \_Advancing to Dennis and taking 
his hand warmly.] My dear Dennis, how do you do ? 

Dennis. 
Sir Richard. 

Roderick Heron. 

Now, this is really a delightful visit — a gratifying 
visit you know. 

[Dennis makes way for Roderick who ad- 
vances to Philliter but the latter bows 
stiffly and does not accept Roderick's 
hxnd. 

Sir liicHARD. 

{^Turning to the flowers on the table.] Dennis, 
what bright and cheerful flowers. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 141 

Roderick Hebon. 

Quite so. 

Mbs. Yeale. 

[in a whisper.'] John ! 'Melia I 

[Mbs. Veale carrying the hahy^ withdraws 
quietly y followed by Amelia and Vbaxe. 

RoDEBiCK Hebon. 

Dear Dennis, pray entertain Sir Richard while I 
smoke my cigarette in the — ah — ^in the little front 
garden. This is really a memorable meeting, you 
know. \As he goes out,] Where the devil is Cam- 
illa? 

\He goes into the area where he is seen walk- 
ing to and/rOy smoking. 

Sib Richabd. 

Well, Dennis, my dear fellow ! " Confound him ! " 
you're saying to yourself, "what's he doing here? 



5> 



DENijas. 
No, no — ^indeed. 

Sir* Richabd, 

How well you're looking! I ought to tell you — 
Camilla returned suddenly to England, for a few 
hours, last night and, finding I was free, sent me a 
line begging me to escort her to her lawyers this 
morning, and as we were leaving Maule & Crad- 
dock's we fell* upon your little maid and the baby, 
and heard of your wife's grave illness. All right 
now, eh? 

DENins. 

Yes, thank God I 



142 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

Good — good. But you know what women are. 
Directly Camilla leamt the facts she said to me, 
" Richard — ^" I've taught her to call me Richard, at 
last — " Richard, I know that Dennis has grown away 
from his old friends and companions, and that he 
and I have become strangers ; but his wife has been 
lying at the point of death, and I must — I must 
nurse that baby ! " [Dennis turns slightly away 
from Philliter.] And this accounts for my shame- 
less intrusion. 

Dennis. 

And — ^where — ^is Camilla — ^now? 

Sib Richard. 

Camilla ? Oh, Camilla is upstairs, with Mrs. 
Heron. 

Dennis. 

She is — ^very good. She was — always — ^very good. 

[-ffe stands looking into the fire. 

Sir Richard. 

[ To himself^ eyeing Dennis.] There are different 
kinds of heroes ; the hero who bangs a drum, or 
waves a flag, or spouts, or bullies, or prays to God, 
with a newspaper reporter at his back — and there's 
another sort. This man is of the other sort. 

Camilla enters noiselessly^ carryiny the baby divested 
of its bonnet and robe, 

Camilla. 

\_Softly,'\ Dennis. [Dennis turns and advances to- 
wards her looking down upon the bahy,'] Hush ! 

[ Ooing down on her kness she places the 
baby in its cradle. The two men watch 
her. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 143 

Sib Richabd. 

[Jn an undertone^ laying his hand on Dennis's 
arm.'] Bless me! Dennis, I've seen her, a little 
child, playing with her doU— like that. 

[RoDEBicK looks in at the window^ then 
hastily enters. 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

My dear niece! 

[Camilla rises quickly and confronts him 
with an altered manner. 

Camilla. 
TJncle ! 

RODEBICK HeBON. 

N'ow this is an affecting family reunion — ^it really 
is! 

Camilla. 

TJncle Roderick, I am here to see Dennis, and his 
wife and child. It may be years before they and I 
meet again — ^we may never meet again. But, for all 
that, I will go out of this house without another 
word if you do not leave this room at once. 

RODEBICK HebON. 

I think I imderstand, Camilla. I am the victim 
of tale-bearing, of false report. I had hoped, you 
know, for a general exchange of toleration and for- 
giveness — ^but I am mistaken. [Zoftily,'] I am 

mistaken in you, my sister's child ^Ah ! And I 

am mistaken, I regret to find, in Dennis. It's a 
terrible shock — really a terrible shock — ^to me to 
realise that in every action of his life, in the selec- 
tion of his associates, in the choice of a career, my 



144 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

son has been actuated solely by considerations of 
self. [ Openings the door.'] I shall remain upstairs 
— ^the front room on the second fioor, you know. 

\_£[e goes out. 

Camilla. 

[ Gently^ to Dennis.] Never mind. She is ready 
— fetch her. Dennis nods to Camilla and silently 
goes out. , As he disappears^ Cx^nLLxputs her hand- 
kerchief to her eyes.] Oh, dear ! oh, dear I How 
poor they are ! How poor they are ! 

Sm Richard. 
Don't, Camilla, pray don't ! 

Camilla. 
Richard. 

Sm RiOHABD. 

My dear ? 

Camilla. 

[ With little stifled sobs.] You — you — do-n't think 
I've wronged — ^Uncle Roderick, do you ? 

Sm Richard. 
Wronged him ! 

Camilla. 

Fm not clever at analysing character. Richard, 
do you believe Uncle Roderick knows he's so shock- 
ingly wicked? 

Sm Richard. 

No. 

Camilla. 

Oh ! then what have I done ? 



, LADY BOUNTIFUL. 145 

Sm Richard. 

No, I don't think he knows he's a scoundrel — ^but 
I imagine he half suspects it. 

Camilla. 

Ah, thank you. Richard, poor Dennis is leaving 
England, to farm, in America. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

Bless me ! By himself ? 

Camilla. 

No — ^with everybody belonging to him. They're 
enough to found a colony. 

Sib Richard. 
Yes — ^they might start the jail with Roderick. 

Camilla. 

Mrs. Heron tells me that Dennis is going to the 
shipping-agent to-day. Richard, do something for 
me. 

Sir Richard. 
My dear child. 

Camilla. 

Make some excuse for taking him there at once, 
find out the name of the vessel, and then we'll enter 
into an underhand arrangement with the agent for 
their comfort — shall we? 

Sir Richard. 
Even for Roderick's comfort ? 

Camilla. 

Yes. Even — TJncle — Roderick. 

10 



146 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Sib Richard. 
Ah, bless you, Lady Bountiful ! 

Mabgaret. 
[ Outside^ calling softly, 1 Miss Brent ! Miss Brent ! 

Camilla. 

That's Mrs. Heron. [She runs to the door and 
throws it open,'] Mrs. Heron. 

[Veale entersy looking behind him,] 

Veale. 

[ With feeble gaiety,] Meg coming down — seems 
like old times — afore the ba^ruptcy ! 

[Dennis enters carrying Margaret who looks pale 
and fragile. He puts her in the arm-chair ^ and 
arra^iges the hassock and shawl^ while Mr. and 
Mrs. Veale look on,] 

Margaret. 

[^Smiling,] Ah Miss Brent, ain't I silly not to 

run down stairs? I Seeing the flowers,] Oh! \_She 

^passes her hand over the blossoms then picks up one 

of the booksy looking up into his face gratefully,] 

Dennis! 

Camilla. 

\^Advaricing with Philliter.] Mrs. Heron, this is 
my friend. Sir Richard Philliter. 

Margaret. 
[ Timidly,] How do you do, sir ? 

Sir Richard. 

[ Taking Margaret's hand,] Mrs. Heron, there ig 
no one apart from your own family, more rejoiced 
to see you recovered. And such a fine boy ! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 147 

Camilla. 
[ Quietly to him,'] Girl. 

Sir Richabd. 
Girl. [4 little disconcerted,] Ah ! 

[ J2« ffoes to Dennis. 

Mrs. Vbalb. 

[ To Mabgabet.] Father and me won't be long 
doing our shopping, Meg. Come along, John, i 

Veale. 
Seems like old times — afore the 



Mrs. Veale. 

Hush, father ! Here's your hat. 

[John and Mrs. Veale go out and ascend 
the area steps. 

Camilla. 
[Quietly to Philliter.] Now ! 

Sir Richard. 

Dennis, I know you've some business out of doors. 
I think we can be spared for a little while. My cab's 
outside. 

Camilla. 

IBemovinff her hat.] Go, go, go — I'll take care of 
Mrs. Heron. 

Dennis. 
Meg? 

Margaret. 

\^8oftly to him.] I want to speak to Miss Brent 
with nobody by. Go to the shipping-office, and find 
out — ^the day. 



148 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Deitnis. 
It's a long voyage for you, Meg. 

Mabgabbt. 
I'm ready. 

Dennis. 

With hope— ah, but with uncertainty at the end 
of it. 

Mabgabet. 

I'm ready. 

[Dennis and Philliteb go out together, 
Mabgabet tums^ and watchea their going, 

Camilla. 

How courageous of those two men to leave us 
together. Three wicked gossips ! [Placing her chair 
by Mabgabet.] You, I, [looking towards the cradle'] 
and that little magpie in her nest. 

Mabgabet. 
[In a low voice,] Miss Brent. 

Camilla. 
Yes? 

Mabgabet. 

Sick folks are always humoured and spoilt. Will 
you stand over there, away from me, and let me look 
at you well ? 

Camilla. 

Of course I will. Here? 

Mabgabet. 

There. [Looking eagerly at Camilla.] Fm going 
to stare at you, to take you into my memory — ^your 
face, your dress, your ways — ^may I? 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 149 

Camilla. ^ 

Certainly. 

[^A/ter a little while Mabgasbt looks cmay^ 
passing her hand over her eyes with a 
sigh. 

Mabgabet. 
Ah! 

Camilla. 
WeU? 

Mabgabet. 

Do you wonder why I'm trying to get you by 
heart? 

Camilla. 

To remember me kindly ? 

Mabgabet. 
Ah, yes — ^yes. I'll tell you. Miss Brent ! 

Camilla. 
[^Sitting beside h£rJ] Hush ! What's the matter ? 

Mabgabet. 

Miss Brent, I know — I've known for ever so long 
—that you and Dennis loved each other. [Camilla 
shrinks from her,"] Don't go away from me. I'm not 
jealous any longer. 

Camilla. 
Jealous ! 

Mabgabet. 

Perhaps if I'd known you always as I do now I 
might have been spared the agony of that sort o' feel- 
ing. For, oh, it was strong on me at first I It was 
bitter to me at first I 



/ 



150 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

I — ^I mustn't deny it. It is true, Dennis and I were 
attached to each other once, in a strange kind of way. 
Who — ^who told you? 

Mabgabet. 
Mr. Roderick Heron told me. 

Camilla. 
[ With indignatiwi.'] Mr Heron 1 

Mabgabet. 

It was one day, when the crash first came at home, 
and I reproached Mr. Heron with what he'd done for 
us — and he turned on me and let me have the 
truth. 

Camilla. 

And what was his notion of the truth ? 

Mabgabet. 

[^Her hands clasped^ staring straight before her.l 
That Dennis missed his chance with you ojid picked 
me up out of pity. 

Camilla. 
Oh! 

[Camilla is about to rise — ^Mabgabet stays 
her. 

Mabgabet. 

It was the truth ! Somehow I knew it was the truth ! 
He might a' told me in softer words, or only half told 
me — ^but there it was, Miss Brent, and it came home 
to me as if I had been caught by the throat and horse- 
whipped 1 



\ 



LADT BOTTNTIFITL. 151 

Camilla. 
Oh, don't speak like that ! 

Mabgaret. 

Every kind f eeUng in me was torn by it and set 
bleeding. I hated the thought of you ! I hated the 
sight of him — my husband ! It brought out o' me all 
the bad qualities that common people have, and I 
hated myself worst of all ! 

Camilla. 
Why didn't you ask Dennis to tell you his story ? 

Margaret. 

Oh, he told it me. But what did it seem to me — a 
jealous, ignorant young wife ? I saw it all so clear, 
I could a' made a tale out of it ! I saw him leaving 
your fine house after a lovers' tiff ; I saw how he 
came to console himself with me, just the sort o' 
poor thing to deaden a man's trouble for a time 1 
And I saw why you'd left England before our wed- 
ding I 

Camilla. 

l^ainth/,^ What do you mean ? 

Margaret. 

It was because you still loved him and wanted to 
drive him out of your head ! 

[Camilla rises — ^Margaret rises with her, 

Camilla. 
[ With a cry of distress,"] Ah ! 

Margaret. 

And do you know, do you know what I did when 
all this came on me ? 



152 LAI>T BOVNTIFtJL. 

Camilla. 
[Appealingly,'] Be silent ! you are ill ! 

Margabet. 

I prayed that in some foreign place you'd fall sick, 
of a fever, and waste under it, that you'd live — live 
to meet my husband again in England, showmg him 
a plain, altered face to compare with my rosy cheeks 
and bright eyes ! I prayed that — God forgive me 
for it ! — and now, look at me ! Ah, if I coiild have 
seen myself as I was to be. Miss Brent ! If I could 
only have seen myself as I was to be I 

[Camilla takes her in her amis. 

Camilla. 

Hush ! hush ! Mrs. Heron, Mrs. Heron I You're 
all right with me now, aren't you — ^you're all right 
with me now ? 

Mabgaret. 

Yes, yes. It's all done with now. 

[Camilla places her tenderly in the chair and 
kneels by her side. 

Camilla. 
That's right — ^that's right. 

Margaret. 

Ah, but you don't know what a cruel wife Fve 
been to him. 

Camilla. 
Because of me f Not because of me ? 

Margaret. 

Yes, I couldn't help it. The thought of you — ^you, 
a lady, so much higher than me — ^used to send me 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 153 

crazy ; and for months, while he was struggling hard 
to keep a roof over us, and when I should a' heen 
cheering and consoling him, I never opened my 
mouth hut to torture hrni with a taunt or a sneer. 

Camilla. 

Oh! Tell me again it's different now I It's 
different now, isn't it ? 

Mabgabet. 
Oh, yes. Miss Brent, it's different now. 

Camilla. 
I — Fm so glad. I am — so glad 1 

Mabgaset. 

Slowly enough, the horrible jealousy seemed to 
bum itself out [putting her hand to her bosoni] here. 
It's his love that's made me a better woman. He's 
been so good to me. Miss Brent — my husband's been 
so good to me I 

Camilla. 
Ah, yes. 

Mabgabet. 

Always patient — always tender — seeming not to 
hear when I've blurted out ignorant things, instead 
of wincing under 'em — always remembering me in a 
hundred small ways as if he'd been born to it. And 
as I've b^en lying upstairs, through long days and 
long nights, thinking, and thinking, and thinking, 
I've come to know him better and to love him truly. 

Camilla. 

Ah, heaven bless you both! Heaven bless and 
prosper you both 1 



154 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Margaret. 

And now, Miss Brent, there's something I want to 
put on paper and give into your hands before I start 
on this voyage. 

CAMnXA. 

Into my hands ? 

MaIigaret. 

I've got it by heart. It's come to me, bit by bit 
at odd times ; and I meant to send it to you somehow 
before I sailed, never expecting the strange luck of 
knowing you to talk to. {Loohing towards the bureau,'] 
I'll get my blotting-book and pen and ink. 

Camilla. 

No, no — let me bring them to you. [ Going to the 
bureau,'] Are they here ? 



Yes. 



Margaret. 

[Camilla opens the lid of the bureau and 
takes out a small inkstand and blotting- 
book. While Camilla's back is turned^ 
Margaret rises^ and stands looking down 
upon the cradle thoughtfully, 

Camilla. 

[^Placing the writing materials upon the table, see- 
ing Margaret.] Mrs. Heron! \Going quickly to 
Margaret and looking into her face,] Mrs. Heron ! 

Margaret. 

[7/1 a low, awed voice.] Miss Brent, the idea's come 
to me lately that p'rhaps it isn't meant for me to 
get well and strong again. 



LAI>T BOUNTIFUL. 156 

Camilla. 
Oh, hush ! What makes you say that ? 

Mabgabet. 

Spending towards the cradle,'] It's my baby that 
s me so. I seem to have given all the life I had 
to my httle child. 

Camilla. 
[in a whisper."] No, no ! 

Margaret. 

I dread to frighten mother and Dennis — ^but often, 
when my weary fits are on me, I drop into a sort of 
sleep that isn't like sleep. And it makes me think 
that one day they'll come to wake me, and that 
they'll find the sleep too heavy, and know they^re 
not to hear me laugh, nor scold, nor see me running 
about the house any more. 

Camilla. 

These are the sad fancies of a young mother, 
dear Mrs. Heron. 

Margaret. 

P'rhaps — ^p'rhaps — ^but still I'm going to give you 
this letter Fve thought of. 

Camilla. 
A letter ? 

Margaret. 

Sealed up — addressed to Dennis. 

Camilla. 
Dennis? 



156 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mabgabet. 

Yes. Because if it should so happen Fm taken 
away from him, and he wanders back to England 
some day without me, likely enough you and he'll 
meet and chat over old times and old faces. 

CAMnXA. 

But it won't happen ! 

Mabgabet. 

Well, just take this letter and keep it by you — 
it's only a kind word that I dearly want to reach 
him through you — and, if what I say should come 
to pass, give it Dennis with your own hands. 
Promise ! 

Camilla. 

When Dennis comes back he'll bring you with 
him, with all the roses in youj* cheeks again ! 

Mabgabet. 

P'rhaps — ^but promise what I ask. I'll go away 
the happier for it. Promise. 

Camilla. 
Yes, yes, I'll promise. But, Mrs. Heron 



Mabgabet. 

Thank you. I'll write it. 

[^She sits in the arm-chair and, opening the 
hlotting-hook, finds a sheet of paper and 
writes. At the same moment Dennis 
and Philliteb are seen combing down 
the area-steps talkingJ] 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 157 

Camilla. 
Sir Richard and Dennis have come back I 

Mabgabet. 

Keep 'em away till I've written this. Just a 
moment — ^please, Miss Brent I 

[Camilla goes to the window and opens it, 

Camilla. 

[ Wiping the tears from her eyes — with assumed 
brightness,'} Richard — Dennis — come and talk to me 
here. I forbid your coming in. 

Sib Richabd. 
Why, what have we done, pray ? 

Camilla. 

Sullied your considerate act of going away by re- 
turning a little too soon. Mrs. Heron is writing some- 
thing — ^for me— and I won't have her disturbed till 
it's finished. 

Dennis. 

[_Advancing to the window — looking in at Mabgaret 
fondly,'] By Jove, she looks like her old self again, 
as she sits there ! 

Camilla. 
Take care of her, Dennis. 

Dennis. 

Take care of her ! Yes. Why, it puts life into a 
fellow — only just to see her sitting there. And Dr. 
Mordaunt says the voyage will work wonders. 



158 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

Of course — of course. Have you been to the 
shipping-agent? 

SmRlCHABD. 

Yes. 

Camilla. 

Ah ! when is it to be ? 

Dbnnis. 
Thursday, the 16th — from Liverpool. 

Camilla. 

I sha'n't forget it. I shall think of you all, from 
among the pines, in my dull little chalet in Switzer- 
land. Tell me the name of the ship. 

Dbnnis. 

The " Orion." 

Camilla. 

The " Orion." Bless the " Orion ! " 



Amen I 
Amen I 



Sib Richabd. 
Dbnnis. 



Camilla. 

There ! Fm forgetting the open window. I'll 
come out to you. [ Closing the window and going to 
the door."] Call me, Mrs. Heron. 

[^She joins the tuoomen outside, 

[Maegabet finishes her letter carefully^ then 
looks over her shoulder to assure herself 
that she is alone and reads it* 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 159 

Mabgabet. 

"Dennis. Something tells me that — ^if — ^you — 
lose me — ^you and Miss Camilla Brent will meet 
again, and marry. She's the lady whose place I 
took — and it's only natural — and I've taught myself 
to think of it without feeling wretched. So I want 
you to be sure that no shadow of mine comes be- 
tween you — and that — I wish it." That's all — that's 
all. [/SAe encloses the letter in an envelope and seals 
and addresses it,'] "Mr. — Dennis — Heron. With — 
my — love." \Going to the window and tapping at it] 
Miss Brent — ^Dennis ! 

[Camilla, Philliter, and Dennis enter,] 

Dennis. 

[ To Margaret.] Beginning to rim before you've 
learnt to walk. Ill tell Dr. Mordaunt. 

Margaret. 

Ah, no tales, and I won't disobey again ! 

[Dennis arranges the chair in its former posi- 
tion. As he does so Margaret slips her 
letter into Camilla's hand. 

Dennis. 

Meg, dear. [Places the shawl around her,] 

Margaret. 
Is it settled? 

Dennis. 

A week from to-morrow. 

Margaret. 
I am ready. [^ITeputs her in the arm-chair.] 




160 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

And now, as Mrs. Heron looks fatigued it is very 
lucky that I have to run away with Miss Brent. 
She Jaas a night journey before her, to Paris. Ca- 
milla, Aunt A^e is pacing the room impatiently at 
the hotel. 

Camilla. 

Yes — ^I'm forgetting. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

My dear Mrs. Heron, please remember an old 
friend of your husband's. 

Mabgabet. 
[ Timidly.'] Good-bye, sir. 

Sib RiCHABD. 

I know I shall hear frequently of your health, 
your happiness, and your welfare in the bright, new 
country you have chosen. [^Tuming to Dennis, 
heartily,'] Dennis. 

Camilla. 

[ To Mabgabet.] I shall write to you from Paris, 
to-morrow. Think of me always, and I'll think 
much of you. 

Mabgabet. 

Ah, indeed I will. 

Camilla. 
Yes — ^but whom /will you think of? 

Mabgabet. 
Miss Brent. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 161 

Camilla. 
Miss Brent is my aunt. Try again — ^Meg. 

Mabgaret. 
Camilla. 

Camilla. 

That's right. [ The two women kiss silently/. 

Sir Richard. 
Camilla, my dear. 

Camilla. 
Yes, yes. 

[Margaret is sitting in deep thought. 
With a quick movement, Camilla, un- 
observed, takes a simple necklace from, 
her throat and drops it into the cradle. 

Camilla. 

IJETurriedly,'] No, no, we'll not take Dennis from 
Margaret. Follow me, Richard ! No farewells ! 

[^jShe goes guickly out without looking 
hack. 

Sir Richard. 

{^Following her, cheerily, '] Ha, ha ! We always 
humour her. No farewells, my dear Dennis, no fare- 
wells! 

[Camilla and Sir Richard ascend the steps^ 
and disappear. 

Denihs. 

[ Watching their going from the window, then com- 
ing down to Margaret.] They wouldn't let me take 
'em to the door — ^they've run up the steps. 

11 



162 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mabgabet. 

Fancy, Dennis ! A gentleman and a lady going 
up our poor steps ! That's like the fairies who al- 
ways prefer the chimney. Dennis. 

Dbnihs. 
Yes Meg? \_Se sits beside her. 

Mabgabet. • 

I've made friends with her now, and talked to her. 
She's a good woman. 

Dennis. 

Yes — she's a good woman. 

Mabgabet. 
And, Dennis dear, I — I've told her. 

Dennis. 
Told her ? 

Mabgabet. 

About my jealousy, and how I once hated her 
because she'd been your sweetheart. 

Dennis. 
There was no need, dear one — ^there was no need. 

Mabgabet. 

Ah, but there was — ^because Fm so much easier 
for it now. She's kissed me, and let me call her 
Camilla. Camilla. I wonder whether — our child — 
will ever learn — ^to love her. 

Dennis. 

Why, you shall teach the little one to do that, if 
you like, Meg. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 163 

Margaret. 
[^Leaning back with a sorrowful sigh.'] Ah ! 

Dennis. 

You're very tired. I must carry you upstairs 
again. 

Margaret. 

Ah, not yet ; it's like sending me back to prison. 
Keep me here a little longer. 

Dennis. 
But what will Dr. Mordaunt say ? 

Margaret. 

He won't mind — ^will he — if we pay his bill before 
we leave. 

Dennis. 

[^Laughing,'] Ha, ha ! 

Margaret. 

Ah, now I've made you laugh I know I'll have my 
own way. Go and smoke your pipe while I shut my 
eyes and rest. 

[-06 rises and arranges the shaiol about her 
shoulders. 

Dennis. 

\ Softly r\ That's a good Meg — a very good Meg ! 
\Jt'illing his pipe he bends over the cradle. Margaret 
opens her eyes watching him.'] 



Dennis. 
Yes, Meg ! 



Margaret. 
Dennis. 



% 



166 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

you? Well, look here! You're going to a new 
country, you are — do you know that? To a fine, 
new country where your mother will soon be a 
strong mother again. And you've got to spring up 
into a tall, young woman — mother's companion, 
mother's right-hand ; loving me a little, but think- 
ing and believing that nothing in the world is so 
good and sweet as your mother is. Ah, you hear 
that, do you ? [Z?6 moves the cradle gently.'] What 
are you staring at ? The clock ? That 11 tick for 
us in our new home through many a happy day, 
please God ! \_Raising his head^ listening,] Doesn't 
it tick, eh? [//i a whisper^ wonderingly.'] How 
loudly it ticks ! \^IIe tums^ looking at Marga^ret. 
She is lying in the position in which he left her but 
with her eyes closed. He listens to the clock again^ 
then rises and creeps over to Margaret. Looking 
into her face in a whisper,] Meg! Meg dear! He 
touches her hand^ which lies across the arm of the ' 
chair — the hand falls into her lap, \^He goes back a 
little^ staring at her^ then throws himself at her feet 
with a piteous cry,'] Meg ! dont leave me like that ! 
don't leave me hke that ! 



END OF THE THIRD ACT. 



LABT BOUNTIFUL. 167 



THE FOURTH ACT. 

CAMILLA GOES TO THE ALTAR- 

The scene is the interior of an old country churchy with 
plain stonewalls andpiUars. The nave is sepa^ 
rated from the aisle by three pillars spanned by 
arches. The church is decorated with flowers. It 
is late in the afternoon and the light is fading. 
Fiveyears have passed since the death of Margaret. 

Mrs. Hodnutt, a little old woman^ dressed in blacky 
enters and as she does so, Pedgript, a withered, 
bald-headed old man, ascends the spiral stair which 
leads from the crypt, carrying apiece of flat orna- 
mental brass which he is anxiously rubbing with a 
rag. 

Mrs. Hodntitt. 

I didn't know you was in the cryp', Mr. Pedgrift. 

Pedgrift. 

. {^Glancing at her under his brows."] TJgh! Fm alius 
at work, Mrs. Hodnutt, ma'am — alius at work. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
To be sure — on them brasses. 

Pedgript. 

Aye. I've lighted on some more bits under the 
rubbidge in the Hethelbert chapel. If I were schol- 
ard enough to 'cipher the 'scriptions I could piece 
'em together. Lovely brasses ! Beautiful brasses ! 



168 LABT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
Can I be of 'elp, Mr. Pedgrift? 

Pbdgript. 

\_SUpping the brass under his coatJ] Nay. I don't 
require no women folk a' interferin' and reaping my 
glory. So, 'old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt 1 

Mbs. Hodnutt. 

[ With asperity.'] Oh, to be sure ! Turning away 
and arranging two chairs.] I wouldn't waste my 
precious time. 

Pbdgript. 

Waste o' time ! In discoverin' and preservin' the 
splendidest monyments ever set up to mortal men 1 
'Old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt ! It's a cheap age we 
live in, ma'am, and soft stone's good enough for noo 
folk. But it's brasses what perpetuates the days o' 
England's greatness, and it's old Pedgrift what per- 
petuates brasses ! 

Mrs. Hodnutt, 

[ Contemptuously.'] Oh, to be sure I 

Pbdgript. 

What are you doin' 'ere at six o'clock in the arter- 
noon, Mrs. Hodnutt ? 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Pm expectin' Miss Camilly, and her good gentle- 
man as is to be, to step down fromth' Grange to view 
the school-children's flowers. 

Pedgrift. 

I thought the children was to show their decora- 
tions to Miss Camilla and th' Grange party at mid- 
day? 



LAD T BOUNTIFUL. 169 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

So they was to, the noisy imps! And, after 
bringing all their mess and muddle into my church, 
away comes a groom to say as Miss Camilly's got a 
sick 'ead but 'opes to stroll down durin' the a'rter- 
noon, [Mysteriously.'] A sick 'ead, Mr. Pedgrift! 
Ahhh ! to be sure ! 

Pedgript. 

If Miss Camilly gives her mind to a sick 'ead let 
her enj'y it. You 'old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt ! 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

It's a sad sight to see a young 'ooman aihn' and 
frettin' the day before the weddin', Mr. Pedgrift. 

Pedgrift. 

[Polishing and breathing on the hrassJ] It's a sad 
enough sight to see a young 'ooman anyways, 'cept- 
ing they be carved on brasses. 

- Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Though, to be sure, I guess what's amiss wi' Miss 
Camilly. 

Pedgrift. 
'Old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt I 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Not but what Sir Richard's a fine, well-kep' gentle- 
man; but I don't fancy bright eyes and red lips 
comin' to my church wi' white 'air and wrinkles. 
He's ripening for sixty, Sir Richard is. 



170 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Pedgmft. 
Aye — ^time he was thinkin' of his final brasses. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

To be sure! No, Mr. Pedgrift, Miss Camilly 
missed her match when we lost yoimg Dennis Heron 
out of Lydgate. 

Pedgrift. 

'Old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Mrs. . Hodnutt. 

Many a time I've watched 'em standing together 
in the Brent pew, both singin' out o' the one book 
though they'd just knelt on a box full, and I've said 
to myself, " there's man and wife for ye, and a gay 
weddin' for St. Eanswythe ! " Ah, to be sure, that's 
the man we ought to a' seen in our old church to- 
morrow mornin'. 

Pedgrift. 

Aye, Mrs. Hodnutt, and don't 'ee be over certain 
as 'ow you wont see young Dennis Heron in our 
church to-morrow marnin'. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Eh ? Why, the young man run away to Lunnon, 
and then sailed for Ameriky fortune seeking, five 
year ago, folks say. He's in Ameriky, Samuel 
Pedgrift. 

Pedgrift. 

Well, he warn't in Ameriky at ha'-past-f ower this 
artemoon. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

You've seen 'im 1 Here in Lydgate ! 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 171 

Pedgbtpt. 
'Old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt ! 

Sir Tjuculs Brent and Beatrix enter through 
the porch, LirciAN is now a young man with 
an important manner and a moustache, 
Beatrix is a fashionably-dressed ^^ grown- 
up " girl^ bright and unaffected, 

LirciAN. 

Good afternoon, Mrs. Hodnutt ! Afternoon, Ped- 
grif 1 1 

Beatrix. 
Well, Granny ! Well, Samuel, how are you? 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Good arternoon to you, Sir Looshan ! Bless you, 
Miss Be'tric ! 

Pedgrift. 

\ Pushing his brass up his waistcoat, "^ Arternoon, 
sir! Arternoon, miss I 

LUCIAN. 

My sister and Sir Richard are coming over the 
meadow 

Beatrix. 

They so want to look at the decorations, Granny 
Hodnutt. Of course they will see them to-morrow 
morning ; but that will be different, wont it ? [Look- 
ing round,! And is this all the school-children's 
handiwork r How delightful ! 



172 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
They 'ad my 'elp, the dear pets — ^my willin' 'elp. 

Beatrix. 

What a terrible disappomtment for them, my 
sister's bad headache this morning ! Lucian, see! 
How charming ! 

LirciAN. 

[ With dignity.'] Very tasteful. The spread of 
education among the masses engenders an apprecia- 
tion of the beautiful. 

Pedgrift. 

[^Edging up to Lucian and whispering.] Sir Loo- 
shan, Sir Looshan. 

Lucian. 
Eh? 

Pedgript. 

[^Producing the brass from beneath his waistcoat.] 
I've got some bits o' brasses down below in my cry p' ; 
like this ere bit. 

Lucian. 
Indeed ? 

Pedgrift. 

If you gave me a 'elpin 'and wi' the Latin that's 
on 'em I could piece 'em together, Sir Looshan. 

Lucian. 
[ Uncomfortably/.] Latin inscriptions ? 

Pedgrift. 

I know you was a college gentleman. Sir Loo- 
shan — 



LABY BOUNTIFUL. 173 

LUCIAN. 

Exactly — ah — ^but my Latin, Pedgrift, is modem 
Latin. [^Pointing to the brass!] That's old Latin — 
different thing altogether. [Litcian walks towards 
the porch.] 

Pedgrift. 

[Disappointed.] Oh, lor, yah, nah ! 

Beatrix. 

Granny Hodnutt, do you think Pedgrift would let 
me have the key of the organ ? 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
[^ShaJcing her head negatively.] Ahhh ! 

Beatrix. 

Oh! l^SJie goes to Pedgrift.] Samuel, I should 
like to make friends again witn the dear old organ 
of St. Eanswythe. Lend me the key. 

Pedgrift. 

Nay, nay, Mr. Fletcher don't fancy strange 'ands 
on the organ. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

\To Beatrix who has moved away from Pedgrift.] 
Bide a bit, missy. [To Pedgrift.] I want to open 
the West Door, Mr. Pedgrift. 

Pedgrift. 
[Still contemplating his brass."] Yah ! nah 1 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
D'ye hear me, Samuel Pedgrift? 



1 74 LAD T BOUNTIFUL. 

Pbdgeipt. 

[ Taking his hunch of keys and passing them to 
Mrs. Hodnutt.] 'Old 'ee tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt ! 

[Mrs. Hodnutt selects a key and hands it to 
Beatrix with a courtesyJ\ 

Beatrix. 
Dear Granny ! 

LUCIAN. 

k Looking out through the porch.] Here are Camilla 
Richard. 

Beatrix. 
Lucian, come and blow for me. 

LirciAN. 
[ With dignity,] My dear Beatrix! Really! 

[Beatrix takes him off^ he protesting. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Tell me now — do'ee, Mr. Pedgrift! Where did 
ye see Mr. Dennis ? 

Pedgrift. 
Oh, lor ! nah, nah ! 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
Quick ! 

Pedgrift. 

Well, as I was runnin' up to Maister Taplin's, the 
grocer's, to buy a morsel o' sweet ile to rub my 
brasses wi', I see the folk wand'rin' down from rail- 
way station. 



LADT BOUNTIFUL. ^ 175 

Mbs. Hodnutt. 

To be sure! 

Pedgrtpt. 

And mongst 'em I observed Maister Dennis Heron ! 
'Twas him, changed though he be. 

[ The sound of the church organ is h^eard. 

Pedgrtpt. 

Why theer's Maister Fletcher come in, on tfie quiet 
like. 

Mbs. Hodnutt. 

Pedgrift, some'ow I don't believe th' Grange folks 
know as Mr. Dennis is in Lydgate. Shall we ^? 

Pbdgeipt. 

[ Turning upon her sharply,"] Us I You 'old 'ee 
tongue, Mrs. Hodnutt ! Fine folk's business beant 
yower business ! Maister Dennis may be goin' to be 
guest at weddin' to-morrow, or he mayn't ! Grange 
folk may know he's in Lydgate, or they mayn't ! 
Maister Dennis may know Miss Camilly's about to 
wife Sir Richard, or he mayn't ! But don't 'ee be a 
busybodyin' sort of a elderly woman, Mrs. Hodnutt ; 
and 'old 'ee tongue — d'ye 'ear me? — 'old 'ee tongue! 

[Mrs. Hodnutt and Pedgrift separate as 
Miss Brent enters^followed by Camilla 
and Philliter. They all look older. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

[ With many courtesy s,] Our duty to you. [ To 
Miss Brent.] And to you, ma'am, and I hope the 
rheumaticks have left you. \To Sir Richard.] 
And all good luck to bride and bridegroom — and 
better late than never to yow, Sir Richard, if I may 
pass the compliment. 



176 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

[Xaw^Ai/i^.] Ha, ha I Um — ^thank you. 

Miss Brbnt. 

You must not talk too much this afternoon, Mrs. 
Hodnutt. My niece's headache has hardly left her. 
No wonder — the winds are sharp for harvest-time. 

ptf iss Brent gfoes up the aisle looking at the 
flowers through her pince-nez. Pbdgrift 
/ollows her. 

Camilla. 

[ To Mrs. Hodnutt.] I was so miserable at not 
meeting the children this morning. Were they 
grieved? 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
Ah, the lambs, that they was I 

Miss Brent. 

* 

Mrs. Hodnutt I 

[Mrs. Hodnutt goes to Miss Brent. 

Camilla. 

J^Going to the font, then turning to Philliter with 
a smile,"] Here 1 was christened. 

Sir Richard. 

Bless me ! [Camella Joins Miss Brent and Mrs. 
HoNDUTT. Sir Richard goes to the font and examines 
it closely through his spectacles — to himself,'] My dear 
Camilla ! Here she was christened — actually chris- 
tened! 

[Pedgrift, hugging his brass^ approaches 
Sir Richard stealthily. 



LAD r BO UNTIFUL. 177 

Pbdgbift. 
Tour honour — Sir Richard 

Sib Richasd. 
Eh? 

Pbdgbift. 
'Bleege me wi' a private word, sir. 

[Pbdgbift exhibits his piece of brass to 
Phillitbb; they talk in dumb show. 
Miss Bbent and Mbs. Hodnxjtt are 
looking at Camilla who is standing 
in deep thought^ with her hands clasped 
before her^ staring into the chancel. 
Th^ light of the setting sun illumines 
Camilla's ^^wre. . 

Mbs. Hodnxjtt. 
[ To Miss Brent,"] Look, ma'am I Look'ee there I 

Miss Bbbnt. 

Ah! 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

She's thinking of to-morrow momin', ma'am, when 
she'll stand there, wedded. 

Miss Bbbnt. 
My niece will be very happy, Hodnutt. 

Mbs. Hodnittt. 

Most like, ma'am, — ^but the sun's a-settin' on Miss 
Camilly. The sun's a-settin' on Miss Camilly. 



V. 



178 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

[Miss Brbnt and Mrs. Hodnutt still talk' 
ing disappear through porch, 

Sm RiCHASD. 

[ To Pedgript.] Bring your brass to me here, Ped- 
grift — I won't go down into the crypt. One can't 
be too careful of a cold at my age — at any age. 

Pedgript. 

[ Going,"] Yes, sir. \^Betuming,'] But, your hon- 
our — Sir Richard — ^is your Latin noo Latin, or hold 
Latin? 

Sir Richard. 

I fear it is rather old Latin, Pedgrift. 

Pedgript. 

[6?^%.] Ah I ' 

[Se disappears down the stairs. Sir 
Richard walks over to Camilla. 

Camilla. 
Ah, Richard ! Do you see the flowers ? 

Sir Richard. 

[_Zooking into Tier face,'] Um ! Too much of the 
lily and not enough of the carnation. 

Camilla. 

Now you mean my face. I'm always pale, Rich- 
ard. 

Sir Richard. 

You are happy, Camilla? 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 179 

Camilla. 
Tes. I ougfht to be. 

Snt RiCHAED. 

And not doubtful, eh ? Not doubtful ? 

Camilla. 
Doubtful? 

Sib Richard. 
About the future, my dear — our future. 

Camilla. 
One must be doubtful, however hopeful. 

Sib Richabd. 
No, no — ^no, no. 

Camilla. 

Ah, Richard, a man dies but once, a woman twice 
— ^the first time when she marries, and then, as at the 
last, wondering at the thereafter. 

Sib Richabd. 

Then we begin our married life — doubtful, 
Camilla? 

Camilla. 

And hopeful — ^I said that. 

Sib Richabd. 

[Brightening.'] Of course you did, my dear. Hope- 
fully, eh ! Hopefully ! Hopefully ! [ They walk back 
to the aisle,"] There's but one regret. 

Camilla. 
One regret ? 



180 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Sm Richard. 

To-morrow might have been six years old to-day, 
had you willed it so, my dear. 

Camilla. 
You mean ^ 

Sm RlCHABD. 

You could have married me more than six years 
ago, Camilla — six precious years. 

Camilla. 
Ah, it is better now. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

IPkaaed.'] Is it, eh? Is it? 

Camilla. 
Six years ago I did not know 

Sm RiCHABD. 

Now you're going to say something about my 
watchful patience, Camilla. 

Camilla. 
Yes. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

And my imtiring constancy ? 

Camilla. 
Yes. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

And my good heart? And my many other excel- 
tent qualities. 

Camilla. 
Yes — ^yes. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 181 

4 

Sib Richard. 

I knew it I But I won't endure it ! It always 
embarrasses me, my dear, and I can't allow it — so 
don't, don't ! 

Camilla. 
But you like me to think you good ? 

Sir Richard. 
{_After a moment'^ s pause,"] Yes — I do. 

Camilla. 
And yet never to say it, never to say it ? 

Sir Richard. 

Ah, I'll always tell you the truth, my dear — I 
dearly love to have to stop your saying it. 

[ The music of the organ, soft and low^ is heard 
again. The warm glow of sunset now fills 
the church, hut from this m^oment the light 
shows the gradual combing of eveni9ig. 

Camilla. 
[ Timidly,"] Richard. 

Sir Richard. 
My dear? 

Camilla. 

There is something I wish to give you — ^no, to 
restore to you — ^while we are alone. 

Sir Richard. 
To restore to me ? 

Camilla. 

Something I robbed you of long ago and kept as a 
memorial of your friendship. [jShe takes from her 



182 ZADT BOUNTIFUL. 

pocket the little volume of Horace seen in the First 
Acty holding it behind Ther,"] But now — ^we are going 
to be married, and so I pass the little token back to 
you thinking you will care to cherish it in recollec- 
tion of your wife's girlhood. There, Richard I 

[^She places the little book in his hands. 

Sib Richard. 

Dear me! what's this? [-06 opens the book at 
the title-page.'} My Horace I 

Camilla. 

[^Ifauffhingly.} Horace. 

Sm Richard. 
I knew I'd mislaid him I 

Camilla. 

It has slumbered in my desk for over six years. 
That is what I ran back to the house for ; I wanted 
this chance of giving it to you. 

Sir Richard. 

I must have left it behind me at Fauncourt 
when 

Camilla. 

Yes. 

[^/See turns away andy leaning against the 
pence-boXy looks out through the porch. 

Sir Richard. 

Bless me, here's the leaf still turned down ! How 
every action comes back to one! There's nothing 
final in life — ^nothing final. 

[JBfe is endeavouring to find the ribbon of 
his pince-nez, when, unperceived by him^ 



LADT BO UNTIFUL. 183 

a letter falls from between the pages of 
the booh ana lies on the ground at his 
feet. The music of the organ ends softly. 

Sir Richapd. 

Of course-^f course. [^JReading, 

" Desine^ dulcium 
** Mater sceva Cupidinum ^" 

Camilla. 
" Circa lustra decern, ^" 

Sib Richabd. 
You know it I 

Camilla. 
I learnt it afterwards. 

Sib Richabd^ 

[ Clasping the book,"] This is more than precious 
to me! It has been with you six years. To think 
of it — to think of it ! [He pauses^ seeing she is still 
turning from him,'] Camilla! [^She comes to him^ 
her expression is altered^ her eyes full of tears. It 
is now twilight, 

Camilla. 

Oh, Richard, you have been so patient. I will try 
to be a good wife to you ! 

Sib Richabd. 
My dear I 

Miss Bbent enters with Lucian and Bbatbix^ followed 
by Mbs. Hodnutt. 

Miss Bbekt. 
[^Calling softly,'] Camilla; I. ^Approaching TbjL' 



/ 



184 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

MTEB.] The church is a little chilly, Richard. We 
are unwise in allowing Camilla to remain so long. 

Sm RiCHABD. 

Ah, Fm very thoughtless. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

[Joining them.'\ Sir Richard's kerridge 'ave come 
for him, ma'am — it's at the West Door. [Luoian 
gives his arm to Miss Brent and they all follow Mrs. 
HoDNUTT up the aisle,"] Follow me, please — ^I'U save 
you all an ugly walk round the churchyard, that I 
will. Granny Hodnutt'U open the West Door for 
you, that she will ! Follow Granny Hodnutt ! [In 
the distance,! Jest a minute, my pretty ladies, while 
Granny Hodiiutt unlocks the West Door. Blessin's 
on you. Sir Looshan, and you, your honour, if I may 
pass the compliment ! 

[Pedgrift comes up from the crypt laden 
with some pieces of brass. 

Pedgrift. 

[Listening."] Gone. Gone — and not a scrap o' 
Latin out of him ! [ There is a sound of bolting 
doors]. 

Yah, nah, nah! [JSe discovers the letter on the 
ground and picks it up with a grunt.] Ugh I [JETold- 
ing the letter close to his eyes,] Theer's writin'^ on it. 
Grange party must ha' dropped that. [Putting it 
in his pocket,] I'll walk up to Grange wi' it arter 
tea. Ugh ! [Picking up his brasses,] Who's that ? 

Dennis Heron, a robust-looking man with hair 
turning grey^ enters through the porch. 

Pedgrift. 
Maister Dennis. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL, 185 

Dennis. 

Thank goodness I [ Wringing Pbdgbipt's hand."] 
It's Pedgrif t ! 

PeDGRE3'T. 

Aye — ^not dead yet, Maister Dennis. 

Dennis. 
Fm so glad to see a familiar face. 

Pedgrift. 

[ Grimly,'] Were you wand'rin' about churchyard 
thinkin' to nnd old friends theer^ Maister Dennis ? 

Dennis. 

I strolled into the churchyard, I — Fm killing time. 
Fve come all the way from America, Pedgrift — 
arrived yesterday — ^got down this afternoon, and 
turned into the " George." 

Pedgrift. 

Ah, the " George " beaint the house it used to be, 
Maister Dennis. 

Dennis. 

No. A new landlord, new faces indoors, new 
faces in the stables — ^not a soul knew me from Adam. 
But I've sent a note to Sir Lucian, telling him where 
I am, and I'm waiting for an answer. I know he's 
at the Grange — ^I heard his name mentioned at the 
station. 

Pedgrift. 
Aye, Sir Looshan's at the Grange right enough. 

Dennis. 
Have they — a full house at the Grange, Pedgrift ? 



186 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Pbdgbift. 
Aye. 

Dennis. 
Miss Anne Brent — and — Miss Beatrix ? 

Pedgbift. 
Aye — ^they're theer. 

Dennis, 
And — and Miss Camilla ? 

Pbdgbift. 
Aye. 

Dennis. 
All— all well ? 

Pedgbift, 
Aye — ^they be all wonderful surprisin' welL 

Dennis. 

Ah ! [^Looking about him,'] Flowers — English 
flowers. Harvest — eh? Pedgrift, why don't you 
talk to me I A good harvest ? 

Pbdgbift. 
Sodden wi' rain. 

Dennis. 

Dear old Lydgate ! [ To Pedgbift, who is collect^ 
ing his brasses.] What on earth have you got there ? 

Pedgbift. 

Maister Dennis, you was a college gentleman, 
wasn't ye, eh ? 

Dennis. 
Ha ! yes. 



LApr BOUNTIFUL, 187 

Pedgript. 

Theer's some durned Latin on my bits o' precious 
brasses. If I could 'cipher it I coidd piece 'em to- 
gether. 

Dennis. ^ ^ 

The Vicar 

Pedgrift. 

I dursn't trust th' old Yicar, M aister Dennis ; he'd 
rob me of all the credit, he would. If you'd lend me 
a 'elping 'and wi' the Latin 

Dennis. 

I? 

Pedgript. 

Come down into my cryp', Maister Dennis — I've 
got a lantern theer. fCfoing to the head of the stair,'] 
Do'ee come, Maister Dennis ! Do'ee come ! 

Dennis. 

[^Following him,] 1 can't promise you much 
assistance, Pedgrift. 

Pedgrift. 

IDescending slowly,] Do'ee best, Maister Dennis. 
Bless ye ! bless ye ! 

Dennis. 
Be quick ! I want to get back to the " George." 

Pedgrift. 

Guide yourself by wall, sir — that's right, that's 
right. 

[ TTieg descend the stair. As they disappear^ 
Mrs. Hodnutt enters. The faint light of 
the moon enters, and spreads itself over 
the church. 



188 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
[ CaUingf.'] Pedgrift. 

Pedgbift. 
[JFrom below.] Yah ! nah ! 'old 'ee tongue I 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

[ Calling.] The keys are on the font. ^Placing 
the keys on the font.] I am gomg home to my tea. 
[ There is a sound of knocking outside.] Eh ? That's 
somebody at the West Door. \^TKe knocking is 
repeated impatiently.] Nay, I'll not open the west 
door again to-night, whoever ye may be, that I'll 
promise ye. You must come the way round if ye' Ve 
business at St. Eanswythe this night, and quick 
about it. Late enough for an old woman's tea, to be 
sure, to be sure ! 

[Camilla enters hurriedly^ through the porch. 

Camilla. 
Ah, granny I 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 
Miss CamiUy I 

Camilla. 

Something has been lost — a letter. Have you 
seen it ? 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Not to my knowledge, Miss Camilly; though, to 
be sure 

Camilla. 

[JOooking upon the ground.] Granny, it must be 
found. It s an old letter — I placed it between the 
leaves of a book years ago, and this afternoon I hur- 



LAD r BOUNTIFUL. 189 

riedly took the book from my desk and gave it to 
Sir Richard, here — ^just here. 

Mes. Hodniitt. 
May be Sir Richard's carryin' it about with him. 

Camilla. 

No — for, as I left the church, the thought of the 
letter came to me suddenly ; it was no longer in the 
book. [She goes up the aisle searching for the letter, 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Well, well, like enough I'll find it in the morning, 
^ome, come, missy. I'll see ye home across the 
meadow. 

Camilla. 

No, thank you. I've told my brother ; he is com- 
ing back to fetch me. [Metuming to the nave,'] 1 
can't find it. Ah, it was written by a poor friend, 
who died. Suppose I never find it, dear Granny! 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

Now, dont'ee, now! dont'ee! There, there! Sit 
ye down a bit, and Granny Hodnutt'll search in the 
West Porch. 

[^She disappears up the aisle. It is now 
bright moonlight. 

Camilla. 

How could I have forgotten it ! To have hoarded 
it for five years and then, in one minute of forgetful- 
ness, to let it go from me! [She sits by the font,] 
It was a trust. " If he wanders back to England 
some day without me," poor Margaret said, " give it 
to him, with your own hands." And now, if ever 
he returns — ^if — ever Oh, I mustn't think about 



190 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

that! No ! God bless me and Richard! God bless 
me — and Richard ! 

[Dennis ascends the steps. He passes 
Camilla, not seeing her^ and walks 
across towards the porch. She rises 
with a faint cry of fright^ at which he 
turns sharply and faces her. They 
stand staring at each other silently. 

Camilla. 
[^In a frightened whisper,"] Dennis! 

Dennis. 

Ah ! [ Going to her with outstretched hands, ] Ca- 
milla! [^She stares at him^ still frightened — then 

takes his hand for support, Mrs. 
HoDNUTT comes down the aisle,] 

Camilla. 

You — ^you — ^frightened me. \^Faintly stooping over 
his hand,] Ah! [^She droops^ and he gently places her 
in a chair. 

Dennis. 

Why, Granny Hodnutt ! 

Mrs. Hodnutt, 
Mr. Dennis ! Ah, to be sure ! 

Dennis. 

I've been in the crypt with Pedgrif t, burrowing 
among his brasses. Coming up rather silently I fear 
I alarmed my cousin ^ 

Mrs. Hodnutt, 
To be sure 1 to be sure I 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 191 

Camilla. 
[^Passing^ her hand over her eyes."] Granny, 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

My deary ? 

Camilla. 

I — I am very glad to see Mr. Dennis Heron. But 
I didn't expect to meet him — ^to-night — and I — was 
startled. Wait in the church, Granny, till my 
brother returns for me. 

Mrs. Hodnutt. 

That I will, Miss Camilly . [ Going to the head of 
stairaJ] I'll borrow the old marr s lantern, sir, and you 
can chat quite cheerful and comfortable, \_8he de- 
scending, 

Camilla. 

Dennis. 

Dennis. 
My dear cousin. 

Camilla. 
You cannot — ^have received — my letter. 

Dennis. 

I've had no letter from you for many a day, 
Camilla ! 

Camilla. 

I wrote — some weeks ago. 

Dennis. 

It has missed me. And I wrote home — I mean, to 
you — just before starting. But, at this time o' year, 
I was sure you were in Switzerland. So that has 
missed you ? 



192 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

Camilla. 

Yes. [J^atw%.] I have not gone aboard this 
summer — ^because Ah 1 

Dennis. 
You are still trembling. I am so sorry, 

[/SAe riaes^ commanding Iter self. 

Camilla. 
Why have you come back to England? 

Dennis, 
To see — my friends. 

Camilla. 
Is everything — well with you — ^in America ? 

Dennis. 

Everything. I have prospered, Camilla — ^prospered 
beyond my furthest hope. 

Camilla, 
I am so thankful, Dennis. 

Dennis. 
[ OratefuUy.'\ Ah ! 

Camilla, 

Are those around you well — ^the two old people you 
have so generously cared for? 

Dennis. 

Well — ^well and happy. 

Camilla. 
Your father ? 

Dennis. 

Why — strangely enough- 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 198 

Camilla. 
What is strange, Dennis ? 

Dennis. 

Well, father has revealed capabilities we hardly 
suspected in England. The simple, rough people up- 
country were — ^rather — ^impressed by him. 

Camilla. 
Ah, Uncle Roderick! 

Dbnnis. 

Now he's the leading spirit of a big mining con- 
cern, and is making money fast— and— he's not Uvihg 
with us now. 

Camilla. 

[ To herself.'] Poor Dennis ! And last — ^but first 
— ^your little girl ? 

Dennis. 

She ! She's beautiful ! It's foolish of me to say 
that, perhaps, but — ^no, it isn't! She's beautifid! 

Camilla. 
Dear, dear little Margaret ! That is her name ? 

Dennis. 
Yes — ^her first name. 

Camilla. 

^In a low voice,'] Her second ? 

Dennis. 
Camilla. 

Mes. Hodnutt. 

& Ascending the stairs,] I'm coming, Mr. Dennis, 
trouble enough to wean a light from Mr. Ped- 

13 



194 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

grift. Fve news for ye, Miss Camilly — Granny's got 
news for ye. [^Appearing with a lighted lantern and 
the lost letter.'^ To think that th' old man should 
stand chattermg here to you, sir, and, all the time 
[^looking at the letter by the light of the lanteml a letter 
with Mr. Dennis Heron's name on it in his coat- 
pocket. 

Camilla. 
Ah! \ 

Dennis. 
My name? 

Mbs. Hodnittt. 

To be sure! [To Camilla.] It's Pedgrift as 
found the letter, 'alf a blind man as he is. 

Camilla. 

{Loohinq at the letter^ hesitatingly^ without taking 
Give it to Mr. Dennis, Granny. 

Mbs. Hodnutt. 

[Sanding the letter to Dennis with a courtesy."] To 
be sure I will, Miss Camilly. [^Depositing the lantern 
on the font. There's a light, sir and missy. [ Going 
up the aisle.! Call Granny if it needs snuffing. 
Granny's within caU. 

[jShe disappears. The moonlight is gradu^ 
ally diminishing. 

Dennis. 

[Loohing at the letter by the lantern light."] Mar- 
garet ! [ Turning to Camilla.] Meg ! 

Camilla. 
Poor Meg gave me that, Dennis, on the morning 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 195 

1 sat with her in Westminster — ^the morning — 
she 

Dennis. 
Yes, 

^ Camilla. 

She believed she was not to live, and begged me 
to keep that letter by me imtil you came back to 
England alone — and then I was to give it to you 
with my own hands. 

Ah, then ! 

[i36 offers the letter to Camilla^ who takes it. 

Camilla. 

It's a kind word from her, she said, that she 
dearly wanted to reach you through me. For five 
years it has lain between the leaves of a book; 
bringing the book into the church, the letter fell 
from it, here. And now, we do meet — for the first 
time since that day — and — [returning the letter'] — ^I 
give it you with my own hands. 

\_JBe takes the letter^ with his head bowed, and 
she walks away from him. He opens 
the letter and reads it by the light ofjhe 
lantern. r^ 

Dennis. 

{Reading to himself.'] " Dennis. Something tells 
me that, if you lose me, you and Miss Camilla Brent 
will meet again, and — marry. She's the lady whose 
place I took, and it's only natural, and I've taught 
myself to think of it without feeling wretched. So 
I want you to be sure that no shadow of mine comes 
between you, and that I — ^wish it." [Bousing him- 



196 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

self and turning to Camilla.] Camilla. ' \^Ab %he 
comes to him he gives her the letter.l It's for you, as 
well as for me — she meant it. 

[^She sits by the side of the font reading 
under the light of the lantern. He leaves 
her till she has read the letter. Then 
shehides her eyes with her hand and he 
returns and stands before her with his 
hands clasped, 

Dbitnis. 

[in a whisper, "] Camilla. [/S%6 gives a little sob. 
Let it be so — ^let it be so. 

\^She removes her hand from her eyes and 
sits staring at Aim.] 

Camilla. 
Demiis! 

Dennis. 

My motherless girl laughs and plays alone in my 
home— the one young Ufe near me— but every chUd- 
like sound seems to beg that she may know a living 
mother. -Ajid I — Zam solitary. I've come back to 
England thinking to discharge a debt. Be I^ady 
Bountiful to me still and take the remaining years 
of my life for it — the thought, the care, the service 
of my life ! 

Camilla. 

[^Rising and facing him^ like a woman in a 
dreamJ] Dennis. Dennis — ^Heron. You — don't— 
know? No one has — ^told you? 

Dbnnis. 
What? 

\^8he looks round the churcTi^ he following 
her gaze, > 



-1:. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 197 

• '. * 

Camilla. 
\y These flowers — ^placed here by the school-children, 

Dennis. 
Why ? 

Camilla. 
The — the marriage. 

Dennis. 

Marriage ? 

Camilla. 

To-morrow — ^to-morrow. [She stands trembling^ 
with her hands tightly clasped and her eyes downJ] 
Richard's long friendship — growing out of that — 
. into affection — ^years ago. His — untiring — solicitude 
^ —his — deep — devotion — the prospect of a useful — 
calm — good — life! My aunt— her dearest wish! 
To-morrow — ^to-morrow — to-morrow. 

Dennis. 
Oh, forgive me — ^forgive me ! 

Camilla. 
Yes. You did not know. Yes. 

Dennis. 

Ah, may Grod bless you and your husband, 
Camilla ! To this church, where [you and I have 
knelt together, I come back to worship once more 
by our side ; and my prayer is — ^God bless you and 
your husband ! 

Camilla. 
That is right — and good. Everything else we 



198 LADY BOUNTIFUL. 

will forget. [^Jletuming^ him the letter J] Poor Mar- 
garet! 

[^Se places the letter reverently in the 
breast of his coat, 

Camilla. 

Mind there are some things to forget ! \_Loo7eing 
at him steadily,'] Dennis — forget I 

Dbnnis. 

Yes. Forget ! 

[Lucla^n's voice is heard in the distance. 

[ Calling.'] Camilla ! Cam ! Cam ! Are you 
there ? 

Dennis. 

[ Catting.] Holloa ! Lueian ! 

[Camilla goes up the aisle. 

LUCIAN. 

[^Nearer.] Dennte ! [JSJntering quickly and seiz- 
ing Dennis by the shoulders.] My dear old chap ! 
My dear fellow ! After all these years ! Jolly, eh ? 
Jolly? 

Dennis. 
Lueian. 

LUCIAN. 

Your scribble was waiting for me when I got 
home, and I took the " Greorge " on my way here. 
My dear old chap ! You've found Cam. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 199 

Dennis. 

Yes — I strolled into the church 

LUCIAN. 

So you know all our news — about to-morrow? 

Dennis. 

Yes, yes — ^yes, yes. 

LuCIAN. 

You'll be my guest, Dennis. I've sent a man to 
the " George " to fetch your baggage. The Grange 
is your home here, you know. 

Dennis. 
Ah, Lucian ! 

LUCIAN. 

[ To Camilla.] Cam ! [Camilla comes and takes 
Lucian' s arm,'} St. Eanswythe is not very inspirit- 
ing at this hour. What fancies you have ! [ Going 
toward the porch.\^ Come along, Dennis ! 

Dennis. 

Go on — I — I'll follow you. I must go back into 
the village. 

Lucian. 

What a fellow you are ! \^In the porch.'] Ugh ! 
cold and cloudy !] He disappears^ with Camilla, his 
voice getting gradually distant.] Be quick, Dennis ! 
Dine at eight! No ladies to-night. Ha, ha, ha! 
Men — gossip — smoke — good health to Richard — old 
times 1 Dear old Dennis ! Dear old Dennis ! 

\^As Lucian' s voice dies away Dennis sinJcs 
into a chair burying his head in his hands. 
After a momenCs stillness^ there comes the 



200 LADT BOUNTIFUL. 

faint sound of apecU of church heUa a long 
way off. Mbs. Hodnutt comes down the 
aisle and at the same moment Pedgbift 
ascends the crypt stairs. 

Mbs. Hodnutt, 

[^Seeinff Dennis — to herself.] Ah, deary me I To 
be sure, to be sure ! [Aside to Fbdgbift— pointing 
to Dennis.] Samuel Pedgrift, look'ee there ! 

[ They stand watching Dbnnis for a moment 
silently. 

Pedgeipt. 

[GWmZy.] Ah! You 'old 'ee tongue. Mrs. Hod- 
nutt! 

[i3e closes and locfcs the crypt door. 

Dennis. 

[^XfOoking up at them and raising."] What bells 
are those ? 

Pedgrift. 

St Paul's at Baverstoke — Sir Richard's own parish. 
They're beginnin' their rejicin's^ hover night— we 
don't ring here till marnin'. 

Dennis. 

Ah I [^Nbdding to Pedgeipt and Mbs. Hodnutt.] 
Good night. 

Pedgeipt and Mbs. Hodnutt. 
Good night to ye, Mr. Dennis. 

Mbs. Hodnutt. 
Shall we see your kind face at the weddin', sir? 

Dennis. 
Yes. Good-night. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 201 

[He waUca out through the porch, Mbs* 
HoDNUTT and "Pedqioft sIowIt/ follow- 
ing. Then there is the sound of the 
shutting of a heavy door and the grat- 
ing of a lock. The curtain faUs, 



After a few moments the curtain rises^ showing the 
church in bright sunlight. The pews are oc- 
cupied by the village folk and the tradespeople^ 
a soldier^ a policeman^ grooms and other ser- 
vants. In front of the pews are some children 
carrying nosegays. OtJier village folk and 
ladies and gentlemen are coming in, andMR&. 
HoDNUTT is fussily directing them to their 
places. The wedding party is assembled — 
Sir Richard, his best man and some guests 
in one group^ Miss Brent, Beatrix, dressed 
as a bridesmaid , together with the rest of the 
bridesmaids in another. Miss Brent is 
greeting guests as they arrive. Some chil- 
dren carrying flowers are waiting in the porch ; 
Pedgript and two villagers are pulling the 
bell ropes. The clergymen can just be seen 
through a small arched opening. 

A Man. 

\ Turning to a woman in front of him.'] The sun 
shines on her marryin', if that be owt of a good 
sign. 

A Woman. 

Aye, they be rich folk — 'twere rainin* and blowy 
when I were wed. Lordsakes! here's Gran'fer 
Pilbeaml 



202 LADY BOUNTIFUL, 

[-4 very old man is led in through the porch 
by a little girl, Mrs. Hodnutt beckons 
him angrily^ then assists him into the 
marHs place^ who makes way for him. 
Dennis comes down the aisle^ and stands 
by the font talking to a gentleman. 

A Woman. 
Look'ee theer ! Theer's young Heron. 

A Man. 
Young Heron ! 

A Woman. 
Back t' Lydgate, grey-haired. 

A Man. 

Aye. He were Miss Camilly's fancy once't, they 
do declare. 

A Woman. 

She's well saved. Why, he went rakey and ruined 
his own f eyther — that be known for true. 

[ The organ is played^ there is a general move- 
ment of expectation, A little girl runs in 
to speak to the bridesmaids^ who go out 
excitedly through the porch. 

A Man. 
She's comin' ! 

A Woman. 
She beaint ! 

A Man. 

I tell'ee she's comin ! \^Looking across,"] Eh, but 
she's sorry looking'. When my gel were wed she 
were flamin' red i' th' face. 



LADY BOUNTIFUL. 203 

A Woman. 

Thy gel wedded a lad. Sir Bichard be a elderly 
man, and theer's now't to be 'shamed at. 

[Camilla and LuclAlN enter through theporch 
she leaning upon his arm, Beatrix and 
the other bridesmaids follow. The porch 
is then filled up by the children ana some 
footman wearing wedding favours. As 
Camilla passes Dennis, who is standing 
by thefont^ she looks at him, m,omentarily. 
Snt RiCHABD advances to m,eet Camilla, 
they stand at the chancel rails^ the rest 
taking their proper positions, Pbdgbipt 
and his men cease their bell-ringing and 
the organ stops. There is a m^oment of 
silence^ then Camilla totters back with her 
hxind to her brow. 

Camilla. 

\Almost inaudibly,"] Dennis ! 

[^She sinks into a ch>airby the font^ with her 
head bowed and her hands covering her 
face. There is a movement ofconstemor^ 
tionfrom aU^ then complete stillness. 

Miss Brent. 
[ Coming to Camilla's side,^ Camilla 1 

[Camilla does not stir. 

Sir Richard. 

[_ Slowly approaching Miss Brent and touching her 
arm,"] Anne. \^She turns to him,"] There shall 
be no marriage to-day. I think I know — ^I think I 
know. 

the end. 






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