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I 






PLASTER SAINTS 

BY ISRAEL ZANGWILL 



PLASTER SAINTS 

A HIGH COMEDY IN THREE MOVEMENTS 

BY ISRAEL ZANGWILL 



LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN 
1914 



9 



TO 

MY FRIEND AND MANAGER 

GASTON MAYER 

IN RECOGNITION OF 
HIS GALLANT FIGHT FOR ART 



Copyright, London, by William Heinemann, and 
Washington, U.S.A., by the Macmillan Company 



THE CAST 

[As first produced at the Comedy Theatre, Saturday, May 23, 1914.] 

Rev. Dr. Rodney Vaughan Edward Sass 

Sir John Archmundham, Bart. Clifton Alderson 

John Archmundham, M.D., D.Sc, 

M.A. Harold Chapin 

Purvis H. K. Ayliff 

Hannah Vaughan Grace Lane 

Elsie Vaughan Ernita Lascelles 

Amy Archmundham Gillian Scaife 

Mrs. Morrow Inez Bensusan 

The Hon. Mrs. Anon Gwt;ndoline Hay 



The action passes in the Minister's study at Midstoke, between tea 
and dinner in the beginning of October, 191 2.] 



[The rights of performing or publishing this play in any country or 
language are strictly reserved by the author, from whom the stage-text, 
slightly curtailed towards the end of the second movement, together 
with complete stage-directions, can be obtained by lessees.] 



325171 



First Movement 

HANNAH VAUGHAN, a -provincial lady, with the beauty 
of a benign middle age, and the eyes of a mystic, 
is sitting in the study of her husband, the rev. 
DR. RODNEY VAUGHAN, Sorting old letters and papers 
at his writing-table and throwing some into the 
waste-paper basket. It is a solid room in a solid 
city, meant for solid work, comfortably done. Its 
outstanding impressions, besides the book-lined walls, 
are this large many-drawered writing-table along the 
right of the back wall, getting its light from the 
ceritral French window, which leads to the garden. 
By the left wall is a small bureau sustaining a belly 
two photographs of young women in standing frames, 
and a plaster bust of Purity. At back a large gaily- 
cushioned divan, strewn with large envelopes of 
varying colours. Near the table an arm-chair, by 
right wall library steps. The door near the steps 
leads to hannah's room, the door in the left wall to a 
passage. As hannah works with precise masterful 
movements, she has that air of arranging other 
peopWs lives natural to a female saint who is also 
a clergyman's wife. The clamorous continuous 
sound of a gong comes from the passage. She looks 
up, as if surprised at the flight of time, then goes on 
with her work. A moment later, purvis, an old 
family factotum of somewhat dour aspect, side- 
whiskered and wearing an old-fashioned morning 
coat and black tie, enters, carrying a little tray with 
tea and bread-and-butter. 



PURVIS 

Fve brought it In, mum. Dr. Vaughan and the lassie 
isn't back from the garden-party. 

HANNAH 

I know. Then why all this gong-beating ? 

PURVIS 

Habit, mum. It overcomes us — like sin. 

[He sets down the tray by her side.] 
Eh, but they'll get a grander spread at the Lord 
Mayor's. 

[He begins to go, but finding she ignores the tea he 

turns back.] 
Dusty work, redding up th' measter's papers. M'appen 
yo'U be glad o' yor tea. 

HANNAH 

Thank you. 

[Ignoring it still.] 

PURVIS [Choking and coughing] 
Makes a man feel like th' serpent. 

HANNAH [Absently] 
What serpent ? 

PURVIS [Amazed] 

There's only one serpent, mum. Him that beguiled 
th' woman and was doomed to eat dust a' the days of 
his life. [Coughs again.] 

z 



HANNAH 

Ah, yes — you'd better open the window. 

[Drifiks the tea as purvis throws open the French 
window, exhibiting a stretch of garden, and begins 
to go.] 

You can take it away. Crumble the bread for the 

birds. 

PURVIS [Feeding birds and then taking tray] 

Thy there's no ravens here. I always feel we owe 'em 

for feeding Elijah. 

[Js he goes out through the door elsie vaughan, 
the minister'' s daughter, dashes in through the window, 
putting down her parasol. She is still in her teens, 
with a strong face, both beautiful and intellectual, 
and is tastefully but economically clad. Behind her 
looms a young man, and behind him another girl^ 

ELSIE [Impetuous in speech as in movement] 

Oh, mother, you ought to have come. Fancy 
mugging indoors this divine day of Indian summer. 
The whole Church Conference was there. 

HANNAH 

I had my stock-taking. You know I count my year 

by the Conference. 

[Becoming vaguely aware of the others] 

Have you brought some of our clergy — ? 

[amy archmundham, the girl at the back, laughs 
as she lowers her parasol. She is older than elsie 
and more richly dressed ; pretty but pale, with a 
passionate and high-strung look.] 



AMY 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Oh brother John ! Fancy you being 
taken for a minister ! 

[jOHN ARCHMUNDHAM, M.D., D.SC, M.A., with d 

warning "5/6 / " to his sister hastens to greet mrs. 
VAUGHAN. He is a good,-looking youth of twenty- 
five, superior afid condescending in manner, and 
the mock-earnestness of his tone penetrates to 
Elsie's ears, despite his obvious desire to stand well 
with her mother.^ 

JOHN 

Sorry I only represent Science, Mrs. Vaughan. How 
do you do ? 

HANNAH [Surprised'] 
Mr. Archmundham ! 

JOHN 

Yes. We drove your daughter home, so dropped in 
to see you. 

HANNAH 

That was doubly kind of you. How do you do, Miss 
Archmundham ? 

[Shakes her hand. Then turns to elsie] 
But what have you done with father ? 

ELSIE 

I lost him in the squash. 

JOHN 

And our father has nobly driven back for him. 
4 



HANNAH 

That was very kind of Sir John. 

[To elsie] 
Don't say squash. 

[To the others'] 
Won't you sit down ? 

JOHN [Suavely defending elsie's slang\ 

Well, Mrs. Vaughan, the garden-party did suffer from 

jestion. 

[Sits.] 

AMY [Dropping on the divan] 

But not of the brain. It was simply black with 

shovel-hats. 

JOHN [Placating mrs. vaughan] 

Not so black as you paint it, Amy. Why, our own 

father's hat was white. 

ELSIE 

And think of the Mayoress's picture-hat ! Giant as 
the gourd that came up over Jonah. 

AMY 

Yes, and her Pompadour gown — quite the Scarlet 
Woman ! 

HANNAH 

You shouldn't jest children, with sacred things. 

AMY 

The Mayoress sacred ! 
5 



JOHN [PFarningly] 
Sh! 

HANNAH 

The Mayor and his wife have spent time and money 
in honouring our Church Conference. They are 
entitled to equal honour from us. 

JOHN 

A sentiment the more unimpeachable, Mrs. Vaughan, 
inasmuch as you personally do not appear to favour 
this mingling of gaiety and the Gospel. 

ELSIE [Flashing a resentful glance at him] 
Dad did thank them, mother. 

HANNAH 

I am very glad. And you ought to have kept close 

to him. 

AMY 

She couldn't, Mrs Vaughan. Dr. Vaughan was 
positively surrounded with palpitating parasols. 

JOHN [Blandly soothing] 

So many ladies took the opportunity of greeting the 

President of the Conference. 

[Diverting attention to the large envelopes on the divan] 

I wonder you sort your letters in that old-fashioned 

way. You want a proper file, such as I use for my 

potato-experiments. 

6 



ELSIE [Rising and pulling amy up\ 
Yes, and we had better leave mother to her stock- 
taking. Suppose we sit in the summer-house till 
your carriage comes back. 

HANNAH 

But wouldn't they like some tea ? 

AMY 

Tea ! After strawberry ices ! Oh, Mrs. Vaughan, 
you shouldn't jest with sacred things. 

JOHN [Hastily^ 

Good-bye Mrs. Vaughan. Ices always go to Amy's 

head- 

[Hurries her out by the window, elsie is following.'] 

HANNAH [A large envelope in her hand] 
One moment, Elsie. 

ELSIE 

Yes, mother ? 

HANNAH 

What is the matter with Miss Archmundham ? 

ELSIE 

So flippant you mean ? 

HANNAH 

So feverish. Her hand was burning. And her eyes 

were too brilliant. 

7 



ELSIE 

I have been feeling something's wrong. ... I 

wonder ... 

HANNAH 

Poor Amy ! She shall have my prayers. Such a nice 
girl, usually. 

ELSIE 

A perfect brick ! 

HANNAH [Rebuking the slang] 
Elsie ! 

ELSIE 

Well, when a girl's so beastly rich and yet so genuine — 

HANNAH 

I'm sure, dear, your slang sounds disrespectful to your 
father's position. 

ELSIE 

Why, dad uses slang himself ! 

HANNAH 

He catches it from you. That is why you should be 
particularly careful — especially with London members 
here, who may one day give him the longed-for call to 
the capital. I sometimes think, daughter, you don't 
quite appreciate that your father is one of the great 
spiritual figures of our Communion. 
8 



ELSIE 

Oh, yes I do, mother. But I don't see why one 

shouldn't be spiritual and slangy, too. 

HANNAH 

Can you imagine the Fathers of the Church using 
slang ? 

ELSIE 

But they weren't fathers at all, were they ? They 
don't seem hum.an. And father is so very human. 
That's the secret of his influence. I sometimes 
think, mother, you don't quite appreciate that your 
husband is one of the great human figures of our 
Communion. 

HANNAH [Wistfully] 

I appreciate that you are making fun of me. 

ELSIE 

Dear old mother Superior ! 

\Jhey embrace tenderly, john re-affears at the 

garden window. They move apart.] 

JOHN 

I'm so sorry to worry you, Mrs. Vaughan, but my 
sister seems to have a bad headache. Perhaps you've 
got something. 

HANNAH 

Certainly ! Poor girl ! Just what I feared. I'll 
get my salts. 

[Hurries to the door on the right, elsie is moving 

towards the garden.] 
9 



JOHN [Coming in] 

Best let her be, Miss Vaughan. 

ELSIE 

I thought something had upset her. 

JOHN 

Too many ices, I daresay. 

ELSIE 

Don't be so brotherly. . . . It's some mental trouble. 

JOHN 

Is it ? 

ELSIE 

Don't pretend. Perhaps I can help her. 

JOHN 

I can't give away Amy's secrets. 

ELSIE [Dropping on divan] 

Then we'll change the subject. . . . Did you know 

Hubert Morrow is of! to Australia ? 

JOHN [On arm of armchair] 
You . . . diplomatist ! 

ELSIE [Smiling] 

Then I've guessed it. There zvas something between 

your sister and Hubert Morrow. 



10 



JOHN 

There will be — the ocean. 

ELSIE 

They've quarrelled ? 

JOHN 

You really ought to have gone to the Bar. 

[mrs. vaughan passes through with smelling- salts. '[ 
She's in the summer-house. 

HANNAH 

Clear the couch ! 
[Exit to garden] 

[elsie and john collect the envelopes and heap 
them on the armchair, while talking.] 

ELSIE 

They must have quarrelled if she lets him go to 
Australia. 

JOHN 

How can she stop him ? They're not engaged. 

ELSIE 

Then why doesn't she propose ? 

JOHN [Shocked, dropping the envelopes] 
You'd consider that womanly ? 

ELSIE 

And if it's manly ! . . . Queen Victoria proposed. 
II 



And your sister is as rich as a queen compared with 
Hubert Morrow. 

JOHN [Sitting on table] 

You're all at sea. Hubert proposed. 

ELSIE 

And your sister refused ? 

JOHN 

No— father refused. There ! You've got it out of me. 

ELSIE 

Your father rejected him ! But why ? 

JOHN [Uneasily] 

I'd rather not go into it. 

ELSIE 

But why don't they marry without his consent ? 

JOHN 

And what has Hubert Morrow got to marry on ? 
Unpublished symphonies ? 

ELSIE 

He's got your sister's money to marry on. 

JOHN 

No — it's only hers at marriage if father consents. 
Same with mine. That's where the old generation's 
got us in its grip. 



ELSIE 

Well, I call it beastly — just because the man's poor, 
he must be robbed of your sister, too. 

JOHN 

It's not because he's poor. 

ELSIE [Hotly] 

What other excuse can your father have ? Aren't 
the Morrows a fine old family, finer even than yours ? 
And the way Hubert Morrow gave up Germany and 
music for an office-stool when his mother lost her 
money ! 

JOHN 

Was more virtuous than my giving up my medical 
practice to wallow in theory — I know. But the fact 
remains that my father is right ... for once. 

ELSIE 

Sir John is right ? 

JOHN 

Accidents will happen. 

ELSIE 

I call it wicked of him, not right. And you know it 
is. You are only laughing at him. 

JOHN 

I assure you 

13 



ELSIE 

As you laughed at my mother. 

JOHN 

I ? Why, I was as solemn as the Church Conference. 

ELSIE 

That's what I mean. You weren't real with her. 

JOHN 

Is she real ? I beg your pardon, but I mean, all her 
generation. Did they ever see things with their 
own eyes, feel things with their own nerves ? Can 
one fancy them in love ? Or fighting for some live 
ideal ? They seem merely . . . theological. 

ELSIE 

We can't all be bio\og\cd\. We can't all potter over 

potatoes. 

JOHN [^Rising indignantly'] 

That's your conception of my research work ! The 
potatoes I breed tell me more of life and death than 
all the theologies. 

ELSIE 

I don't mean to question the value of your experi- 
ments. But you're so hard on the old people. 

JOHN 

Hard ? What are they ? Marble ! 
H 



ELSIE 

Dad isn't marble. 

JOHN 

No, he^s a bit plastic, perhaps. But my father and 
your mother — what a blessing they didn't marr^. By- 
all the laws of Mendel, they'd have had a family of 
statues. 

HANNAH [Outside] 

Do, dear ! I'm sure you'd be better lying down. 

ELSIE 

That doesn't sound like marble. 

{Enter UAnnAKfrom the garden, supporting amy.] 

HANNAH 

And Dr. Vaughan has the most comfortable couch 
in the house. 

[Places AMY on it.] 
And it doesn't mind boots. 

[Puts amy's feet up. elsie adjusts cushions and takes 

amy's hat.] 

AMY [Feebly] 
You are very kind. 

[hannah tenders salts, amy waves them back.] 
No, not again, please — ^they're so strong. Haven' 
you got some eau-de-cologne ? 

HANNAH 

I'm afraid we never have that ! 

15 



ELSIE 

Oh yes, mother, there's some In the bureau. 

HANNAH 

In father's bureau ? 

ELSIE 

When I was looking for sealing-wax yesterday, I came 
upon a bottle — buried under old shorthand notes. 
[Goes to bureau, layi?ig down amy's hat on it.] 

HANNAH 

Ah, of course. Felicia Morrow must have left it. 

JOHN [Startled] 
Felicia Morrow ! 

[Recovering himself with a smile] 
Oh — in the days when she was Dr. Vaughan's secre- 
tary. 

HANNAH 

Yes. She had headaches, poor girl — I remember her 
once putting some on his forehead, too. 

ELSIE [Triumphantly producing a small bottle] 
There ! Just a wee drappie. 

HANNAH [Taking it] 
How providential ! 
[To amy] 

Will you have it on your handkerchief ? 
i6 



AMY [Clutching at the bottle] 
Thank you. / can do it. 

[She fours some on her handkerchief and applies it 

to her forehead.] 
I feel much better. 

[Surveys bottle lovingly] 
Felicia Morrow's, did you say ? I daresay her brother 
brought it back from Germany. 

JOHN [Smiling] 

Rather a far-fetched hypothesis, isn't it ? 

HANNAH 

I'm afraid Dr. Vaughan worked her too hard — and 
himself too. Her shorthand made his brain act twice 
as quickly, he said, but I'm sure it was the beginning 
of his insomnia. He's never been the same man since 
Felicia came. 

ELSIE [Sitting with legs tucked under her] 

It can't be the shorthand, mother, for he's slept worse 

since Felicia left. 

JOHN 

Because now he feels short-handed. 

ELSIE] 
AMY J 

Oh! Oh! 

[amy pretends to throw the bottle at him. He 
laughingly tries to take it from her but she clutches 
it tightly.] 

17 B 



AMY 

Let it be ! 

JOHN 

But it's empty. 

AMY [Blushing] 

There's the picture of Cologne Cathedral— reminds 

me of our one jaunt abroad. 

HANNAH [Misreading the blush] 
It's given her quite a colour again. 
[Enter purvis.] 

PURVIS 

A lady for Dr. Vaughan, mum. 

HANNAH 

But he's not back yet. What name ? 

PURVIS 

Didna give a name. Said she'd met Dr. Vaughan at 
th' garden-party and he asked her to call. 

HANNAH [Who has dropped into an armchair] 
H'm. 

[To elsie] 
Another secretary at last, I'm afraid. 

[Sighs] 
I wish shorthand wasn't so difficult. 

PURVIS [Grimly] 

Dunnot look a likely secretary. 

i8 



HANNAH 

Eh ? What then does she look like ? 

PURVIS 

More like Lady Macbeth. 

JOHN 

What ! Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Then you did go to Mac- 

heth ? 

PURVIS {Flustered 

A man canna help seeing th' posters ! 

JOHN \Laughingly\ 

Come now. Wasn't my father right ? You and our 

coachman 

PURVIS \_^ullenly\ 

The scandal folk will tell behind a man's back. 

HANNAH 

Never mind that now, Purvis. Is the lady old or 

young ? 

PURVIS 

I have my doubts. 

JOHN 

Shall / go and report on her ? 

HANNAH 

Why should we trouble you ? Elsie can go. That'll 
do, Purvis. 

\Ex\t PURVIS, ELSIE starts going!\ 
19 



JOHN 

I think a joint report would be safer. 
\_Starts to follow elsie.] 

ELSIE [Discouraging hini] 

I am not going to report. I shall either send her away 
or let her wait in the drawing room. 
[Exit.l 

JOHN 

But I'm sure Amy wants to be left with her kind nurse. 

\_FolloZVS ELSIE.] 

HANNAH 

How thoughtful your brother is ! . . . Perhaps you'd 
like me to go too, while you have a nap. 

AMY 

No, I can sit up now. There ! 

[Puts the cushion at her hack and sits up\ 
Do tell me more about Felicia Morrow. 

HANNAH 

About Felicia ? But you knew her before she went 
to London. 

AMY 

Yes, of course. Sweetly pretty, wasn't she ? 

HANNAH 

And most useful. That packet in her writing 

[Points to a large fink envelope on the armchair^ 

20 



includes reports on chanty cases, accounts, abstracts 
of serm ■ 

AMY [Impatiently] 

Yes, yes, but did her brother ever come when she was 

working here ? 

HANNAH 

Hubert ? He may have come once or twice in the 
winter evenings to see her home. Why ? 

AMY 

And did he look tired after all that horrid ofhce-work ? 

HANNAH 

I'm afraid I didn't notice. Of course he was sad 
at having had to give up his studies in Germany. 
Though why music is German I never could make 
out. You're crying again ! 

AMY 

No, I'm not. 

HANNAH 

I wish you would let me help you, Miss Archmundham. 

AMY 

You have helped me. 

HANNAH [Sitting down by her] 

Only physically. After all a motherless girl like you 

might talk to a woman old enough to be her mother. 

21 



AMY 

How do you know I could have talked to my mother ? 

HANNAH 

What are you saying ? 

AMY 

Don't be alarmed ! I only mean there's a gulf between 
my generation and yours. It's too wide to talk across. 
One can only shout. 

HANNAH 

What gulf, my dear ? What gulf is there that love 
cannot bridge ? 

AMY [Jumping up fretfully] 
Love ? Whose love ? 

HANNAH 

Your father's — to begin with 



AMY 

Father's ? 

[Laughs hysterically] 
Ha ! Ha 1 Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

HANNAH [Rising and going to her] 
Now do control yourself, dear. 

AMY 

I told you we could only shout. 



HANNAH 

You surely don't doubt your father loves you ? 

AMY 

And his love blights my womanhood as his religion 
blighted my childhood ! 

HANNAH [Frightened rather than shocked'] 
Do, do be calm. 

AMY 

How can I be calm when Hubert is sailing to Australia ? 

HANNAH [Astounded] 
Felicia's brother — and you ! 

[amy sobs] 
Oh, my dear ! 

[Gathers her to her arms.] 

AMY 

Just because he's got no money, father 

[Breaks down.] 

HANNAH 

But this is dreadful — putting money before everything. 
And so unlike your father. Are you sure it's that ? 

AMY 

A Morrow is no match for my daughter — that's all 
I can get out of him. And what else can he mean ? 

Oh, do you think you could speak to him ? 
23 



HANNAH 
I ? 

{Shrinks hack, releasing amy] 
What right should / have to interfere ? 

AMY 

You go round to the poor s^ck enough, telling them 
their duty. Why should the rich never hear ? 

[A burst of laughter from two men is heard from 

the garden.^ 

HANNAH [Relieved] 

There's Dr. Vaughan. Perhaps he'd have more 

authority. 

AMY 

No, no, not a man . . . 

[Hysterically] 
Please tell John I've gone home. 

[Abrupt exit to passage, still clinging to the eau- 

de~ cologne bottle.] 

HANNAH [Following her] 
But Amy ! 

[amy disappears, her sobs are heard.] 
Yes, yes, I will speak to your father. . . . My poor 
Amy ! 

[Exit.] 

[The genial stentorian laughing voice of the rev. 

DR. RODNEY VAUGHAN is heard from the garden^ 
24 



DR. VAUGHAN [From without] 

Good-bye, Judson. Good-bye, O man of little 

faith ! 

\l^he smilijig faces of dr. vaughan and sir john 
ARCHMUNDHAM becomc vistble at the o-pen French 
zvindozv. The minister, though of a narrow sect, 
suggests a Broad Churchman, both -physically and 
spiritually. His clerical costume and white tie only 
accentuate the sunniness of a full-blooded personality, 
whose magnetism is potent for men as well as women. 
But underneath there are signs of strain ; at times 
the eyes are haggard, he has almost a haunted look. 
Evidently a man cast in a large mould, for good or 
evil. SIR JOHN, the lay head of the congregation, 
has also an imposing personality — the provincial 
Puritan millionaire, hearty, portly, honest afid grey- 
whiskered. His white top-hat makes a sharp 
contrast with the clerical shovel hat. 

SIR JOHN 

Rather rough on Judson. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 
{fThey step in.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

All treasurers are croakers, Sir John — especially when 
one proposes to enlarge the work. 7'ou were the 
only ideal treasurer we ever had. 

SIR JOHN [Dropping into the chair by the bureau] 
What's your definition of an ideal treasurer — a cheerful 
spender ? 
25 



DR. VAUGHAN [Placing both their hats on table] 
A cheerful giver, I'm afraid. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! The 
ideal treasurer is the man who donates the fund which 
he administers. 

SIR JOHN 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! But that's just why I resigned. A 

wealthy treasurer makes everybody else so slack. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That's true. And Judson's croakings do stiffen up 
the stingy. 

SIR JOHN 

Poor old Judson ! You must admit that these 
crusades you've preached us into will play the dickens 
with his surplus. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

On the contrary, Sir John. Our campaigns against 
the African atrocities and the White Slave Traffic 
will touch every heart and every pocket. 

SIR JOHN 

Well, don't overwork, dear friend. I don't like your 
not sleeping. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

So long as I keep my congregation awake ! Ha ! Ha ! 
Ha! 

\T^urns to divan.] 
26 



Why, who has been lying on my bed ? said the big 
bear. 



SIR JOHN 

I'm serious, Doctor. Remember you are Judson's 
greatest asset. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

This won't be work. This'll be the joy of battle. 
Great God ! to think of all that villainy ! 

[Clenches hisjist] 
Every nerve in me tingles for the fight with these 
fiends. If we can't bring God's kingdom on earth 
yet awhile, at least we may destroy the Devil's kingdom. 

SIR JOHN 

God grant it ! [Rising] But I must collect my chicks. 
Thank you for making me stretch my legs. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Thank you for keeping my legs company. It's my 
best chance of sleep. I'll get your children. 
[Rings the bell on the bureau.] 

SIR JOHN [Looking out with unconscious patronage] 
Your garden's a tidy size. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Joining him at windozv] 
Yes, that's the advantage of moving a bit out. 
27 



SIR JOHN 

You won't get such a garden in London. 



DR. VAUGHAN [Eagerly] 

In London ? Am I to be called to- 



SIR JOHN [Evasively] 

Who knows ? Some day, I suppose . . . after your 
brilliant handling of the Conference. I remember 
when this quarter was all garden. Old Cobb, the 
Quaker, it was who first saw the town would grow 
this way. Picked up three hundred acres for an old 
song and built a meeting-house to attract his fellow 
fanatics. How such a clever man could be a Quaker — ! 



DR. VAUGHAN 

The spirit moved him, I presume. 

SIR JOHN 

The spirit of crankiness ! Every man his own minister 
indeed ! The meeting-house still exists, I suppose ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

As a cinematograph-hall. 

SIR JOHN 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Serve the cranks right. 

[Enter purvis, carrying a set of pyjamas.] 
28 



PURVIS [Perceiving sir john, mutters] 
Holy Moses ! 

[Retreats hastily and exit.] 

SIR JOHN 

What's the mountebank up to ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Ha! Ha! Ha! 

[Ri?igs the bell again] 
He was bringing in my pyjamas — I left them in the 
bath room, I suppose — and he didn't want you to 
know I sleep on this divan. 

SIR JOHN 

Do you ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

When I can't sleep. But that's a bull. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

I mean, not to disturb my wife. And there's the 

books to browse on. Those cushions turn into snowy 

pillows. 

[Lifts up cover and reveals pillow-cases.] 

SIR JOHN [Laughingly] 

Whited sepulchres ! Who would think anything in 

your house ever led a double life ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [JVith sudden gravity] 
Yes, who ? 

[His face grows haggard, he turns away. Enter 

PURVIS.] 
29 



SIR JOHN 

Ah, there you are again, you old rapscallion — looking 
as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. Mr. John 
and Miss Amy are here, I suppose. 

PURVIS 
Ay, Sir John. 

SIR JOHN 

And my carriage ? 

PURVIS 

No, Sir John. 

SIR JOHN 

No ? When we have walked 1 Why what's the 
rascal up to ? 

DR. VAUGHAN \S>mmng[ 

We've walked too fast — we've upset his calculations. 

SIR JOHN 

Dropped in to a music-hall, eh Purvis ? 

PURVIS 

Impossible, Sir. First house dunnot begin till 6.45. 

SIR JOHN 

You seem very well up in it all. And yet you deny 

the pair of you went to Macbeth I 

30 



PURVIS 

Always raklngs-up here — dust and dust. 
[Exit with dignity.'] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smilingly] 

Oh well, Sir John, it was only Shakespeare. 

SIR JOHN 

Only the devil ! Shakespeare's the thin end of the 
wedge. I sometimes think Satan never did a better 
day's work than when he wrote Shakespeare. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Not Bacon but Satan. Well, I'm 
afraid you'll have to wait for your coachman. Won't 
you browse a bit ? 

[Indicates books] 
Keep off that corner — William Satan ! 

SIR JOHN 

You may laugh, but if we had weeded our Training 
College Library of love-poetry, we might have escaped 
that student scandal. I think I'll go across and buck 
up Judson. His house is opposite, isn't it ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Three doors to the right. 

SIR JOHN [Taking his hat from the table] 
Good ! I'll see my carriage coming. 

[Goes right and -puts his hand on the door.] 
31 



DR. VAUGHAN [Laughifigly'] 

Whoa ! I didn't say 07ie door to the right. That's 

my wife's room. 



SIR JOHN 

I beg your pardon. My bump of locahty- 
[Smilingly goes out by the other door.] 



DR. VAUGHAN 
Ha! Ha! Ha! 

[As the door closes on sir john, his laughter ceases. 
His eyes wander uneasily round the signs of clearing 
up. Then he stoops to get his slippers under the 
table. As he rises, he catches sight of the pink 
envelope and reads the superscription.] 

" From FeHcia Morrow ! " 

[He drops the slippers in agitation and with every 
symptom of nervous apprehension rufis hastily 
through the cofite?its, his face relaxing as he nears 
the end, till at last he heaves a great sigh of relief 
as he stuffs them all back into their envelope.] 

Thank God ! 

[As he is putting the envelope hack, he suddenly 
alters his mind and tears the whole fiercely to pieces] 

Let it all be blotted out ! 

\H.e throws the fragments into the waste-paper basket 
and falls on his knees] 

The peace of Thy forgiveness, Lord, the peace of Thy 

forgiveness ! 

[fie remains on his knees, praying silently as in 
bitter remorse. Enter hannah from the passage. 

32 



She looks at him. reverently and turns to go. But 
he hears her and looks round with a guilty start and 
is about to rise.] 

HANNAH 

Don't let me disturb you, dear. We have much to 
thank God for. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Rising] 

I was just finished. How long have you been here ? 

HANNAH 

Only this instant. What have you done with Sir 
John ? I must speak to him about his daughter. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

He went across to Judson's — he'll be back. Such a 
pity, Hannah, you didn't come ! 

HANNAH 

After this morning's revelations about white slaves 
and black slaves, I didn't feel like garden-parties. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

So you said. But brooding over horrors won't mend 
them. And we must seek God in joy as well as in 
gloom. 

[Mystically] 
He smiles as well as scourges. I tell you, Hannah, 
looking at all those happy groups in a sort of Paradise, 
33 c 



I had a sudden sense of the meaning of that verse 
in Genesis : " The Lord God was walking in the 
garden." 

HANNAH 

I daresay you are right, Rodney. But God has given 
me joy enough all this godly week — pure, heavenly 
J07. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Lightly^ 

Even in that infernal debate over the Training College? 

HANNAH 

Weren't you presiding over it ? And to see you in 
the Chair — Captain of the hosts of the Lord — wasn't 
that my lifelong dream ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You haven't known me all your life. 

LIANNAH 

Don't tease. You know my girlish dream was to 
marry a servant of God. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Who should also be a master of men, eh old wench ? 
[Strokes her cheek/\ 

HANNAH 

A schoolmaster. The teaching priest ! Isn't that 
the design on your betrothal ring ? 

\Takes his handJ] 
34 



DR. VAUGHAN 
Dear queer old ring. 

[She kisses it J He draws his hand azuay.'\ 
I wish, Hannah, you wouldn't make me out such a 
. . . plaster saint ! I grow so afraid 

HANNAH 

Of losing your humility ? Never ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Afraid of hurting you — if ever I — you know, dear — • 

even the saints were always being tempted of the 
devil. 

HANNAH 

Yes, and your temptation is always to depreciate 

yourself 

[She smiles^ 
to hint at the seven deadly sins — for fear I should 
get too proud of you, I suppose. Oh Rodney, what 
have I done to deserve you ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Pained] 
Don't, Hannah. 

[Withdraws his hand and turfts away.] 
You've certainly left nothing undone. 

HANNAH [With sudden recollection] 

Oh, haven't I ? Why, I've forgotten the lady ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What lady ? 

35 



HANNAH 

In the drawing-room. I do hope you're not thinking 
of her for a secretary because according to Purvis — I 
haven't had time to see for myself — she's a most 
unsuitable person — very different from Felicia. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No lady is suitable for a secretary — except you. 
\_^akes her hand again.] 

HANNAH 

Dear Rodney ! You really are satisfied without 

shorthand ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Haven't I got along all these months ? What I 
gained in time I lost in style. 

HANNAH 

I'm so glad. Now I can confess that useful and 
delightful as Felicia was, it wasn't pleasant to see her 
take my place. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Starting] 
Take your place ? 

HANNAH 

Getting to know your books and sermons before I did. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I assure you the poor girl was much too pre-occupied 
36 



with the shorthand to think of the sense. Besides, 
it was you that originally suggested her. 

HANNAH 

Of course I wanted her to earn some money when her 
poor mother 

DR. VAUGHAN [Fidgeting towards the door] 

I know, but this unsuitable person, hadn't I better 

get rid of her ? 

HANNAH 

Just a moment, dear. She's got Elsie and young 
Archmundham to entertain her. I want to tell you 
about Amy Archmundham. It was she drove the 
lady out of my head. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What about Amy Archmundham ? 

[A knock at the door.] 
Come in ! 

\Enter john.] 

JOHN 

Ah, Doctor, you're back. I was sent to scout. Then 
may I send you down a beautiful lady who insists on 
seeing you ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smiling] 

If she insists ! 

37 



HANNAH 

Not with those slippers showing ! 
[Hides them.] 

JOHN 

But where's my father ? He did find you, I hope. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh yes — he's only at Judson's, waiting for his carriage. 



JOHN 

Why, 



where is the carriage ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hasn't got here yet. You see, we walked. Ha ! Ha ! 
Ha! 

JOHN 

Then I'll send you the lady. Good-bye. 

HANNAH 

Not good-bye to me. I shall be joining you and Elsie 
in the drawing-room. 

JOHN [His face falling] 
How delightful ! 
[E^:it.] 

HANNAH 

What a nice boy John is growing up ! 
38 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Is he ? Yes, I suppose he is an improvement on the 
medical student we used to hear tales of. 

HANNAH [Putting envelopes from chair on table] 
I never did believe the tittle-tattle about his frequent- 
ing playhouses. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Dropping into arm-chair'] 
His potatoes seem certainly to have steadied him. 
I shouldn't wonder now if he marries Lady Muriel as 
Sir John would like. 

HANNAH 

And a very proper match — with the two estates join- 
ing ! But I wish I could understand about these 
potatoes. What does he do with them ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What we've just been talking about. He marries them. 
A potato parson ! 

HANNAH 

Don't jest, dear. 

[^akes up books to replace tidily on shelves.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I'm not jesting — in fact it was a pious old priest that 
began it, the Abbe Mendel. You study the laws of 
heredity with pigs or fowls or strawberries — what- 
ever you please. Mendel did it with peas. Our 
young friend prefers potatoes. When two sorts are 
39 



blended, the type that triumphs in the issue is called 
the dominant. You, for example, are the dominant. 

HANNAH [Who has hee?i a hit shocked by all this] 
Me dominant ? Oh Rodney ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Why, only think of Elsie's good looks ! Ha ! Ha ! 

Ha! 

[Enter purvis, announcing] 

PURVIS 

The lady, sir ! 

HANNAH 

Oh, and I haven't told you about Amy ! 



[J lady, the flush of whose youth and beauty is 
only accentuated by her heavy veil enters, parasol 
in hatid. She is exquisitely gowned and of fashion- 
able manners, but evidently -passing through an 
emotional crisis. She bows, but looks constrained 
at the sight of hannah, who returns her bow.] 

HANNAH 

Don't shut the door, Purvis. 

[hannah goes, ?iot without having scrutinized the 
visitor. PURVIS closes the door upon himself.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Who has risen] 

Won't you sit down ? 

40 



LADY [Ignoring the chair ; throwing back her veil] 
You don't remember me — at the garden party — you 
said I might come. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh, ah, yes. But I thought you meant next week. 

LADY 

Next week? Next week I shall be back in London. 
Next week the impulse may be dead. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You wish to consult me ? 

LADY 

If you will forget all I say. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I will try. I have certainly forgotten your name. 

LADY 

I am so glad. I knew I could count on you. I knew 
it the moment you stepped on the platform amid that 
thunder of cheers. I knew then, that Providence, not 
chance, had led me to your strange smoky town. 

DR. VAUGHAN [S7niling] 

Oh, we are proud of our town. Do sit down. 

LADY 

Thank you. 

[She sits by the side oj his table, he at itJ] 
41 



You are the first man I ever felt could be a priest to 



me. 



[She struggles with her emotion.'] 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Shall I get you a glass of water ? 

LADY 

You give me the living water. . . . But turn your 
face away. . . . Thank you. 

[She bows her head.] 
There is a sin on my soul . . . the sin that in Christ's 
day was punished with stoning. . . . But nobody knows 
. . . least of all, my husband. . . so I go unpunished. 

\She wrings her hands.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [^urns back to her] 
Unpunished ? WTien you sit like that ? To go un- 
punished is, perhaps, the deepest punishment of all. 

LADY 

Is it ? My husband's love, my children's reverence, 
the world's respect, wealth, station — all are mine. 
For ironic cHmax I bear the title " Honourable." 
Where is the punishment ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You are enduring it now. 

LADY 

But I was learning to forget. It was only your eyes, 

your words, that pierced through. 

42 



DR. VAUGHAN 

The episode is closed, then ? 

LADY 

Absolutely. ... A brief madness. . . . He pur- 
sued me until I — Oh, how could I ? How could I ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Calm yourself. 

LADY [Sobbing] 

I had no excuse. My husband was always so good to 

me. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But suddenly — as under the spell of Satan — you 
seemed to see a world of beauty you had missed in 
the humdrum of duty and domesticity. 

LADY 

Yes, yes. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And in that strange transfiguration, when all the world 
grew golden, under the glamour of witchcraft, the 
sin seemed not in the loving, but in letting the love 
goby. 

LADY 

Ah, how you understand women ! 
43 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Because women are human. Because we are all 
sinners. 

LADY 

Please, please, not these fly-blown phrases. I came 
to you for real words. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Resentfully] 

And how could I give you real words unless I too 

were a sinner ? 

LADY [Turning to him apfealingly] 

You shall not put me off with phrases. It is for your 

sinlessness that I come to you — for the great white 

light that shines out from you, showing up all my 

evil. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Who has risen agitatedly] 

But surely you remember that no man dared cast 

the first stone, that only our Lord was sinless. 

LADY 

You are a parrot like the others. I'm sorry I troubled 
you. Good-bye. 

[She goes angrily towards the door, then turns] 
Oh, forgive me ! But don't you think I've read the 
passage in St. John a hundred times ? And where is 
the comfort of finding that some men are as bad as I ? 
There are plenty of good men, too. Suppose our 
Lord had bidden you cast the first stone ? 
44 



DR. VAUGHAN 

But our Lord himself said, " Neither do / condemn 

thee. Go and sin no more." 

LADY 

But did she tell her husband ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Tell her husband ? 

LADY 

Yes, unless she told her husband, she was surely un- 
purged of her sin. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Dropping back into his seat] 
I see. You feel you ought to tell your husband. 

LADY 

How could I not feel it ? But I haven't the strength 
to speak. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Has he the strength to hear ? 

LADY 

It would shatter his hfe. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

He is wrapped up in you ? 

45 



LADY 

To absolute blindness. To worship. I often sit and 
look at him as he sits so secure 

DR. VAUGHAN {Continuing eagerly] 
In the peace of love, in the happiness of the quiet 
evening, and you feel like a dynamiter w^ho with one 
spark could bring the whole house tumbling down 
with a hideous roar. 

LADY [Excitedly returning to him and her seat] 
Ah, you understand ! How you understand ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And in those grim moments, although you know the 
consequences, the ruin and the chaos, and although 
you still love the companion of your home 

LADY 

With all the passion of remorse 



DR. VAUGHAN 

With all the passion of remorse — yet your conscience 

pricks and urges you to speak the word that blasts 

LADY 

And you drop hints which are received with a worship- 
ful smile 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Until you can hardly keep from shrieking it ! 
46 



LADY 

Until it tears at your lips like a beast in a trap ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And in the night you dread lest it escape in your 
slumber ! 

LADY 

No — that was only at first. Not now. I told you 
I was learning to forget. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Rising] 

Then you are fortunate. Complete your education. 

LADY 

What ! You tell me to forget ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Striding about the room] 
Is it a good conscience that tempts us to torture those 
we love ? No, it is an evil conscience, I say. We 
must trample on it. 

LADY [Amazed, rising] 
You, a man of God, say that ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Turning on her] 
Yes, I, a man of God, say that — to you, a woman of 
God. Conscience was given us to keep us from sin, 
to scourge us after sin, not to dynamite the innocent. 

LADY 

Then I am — not to confess — ? 
47 



DR. VAUGHAN 

It would only be a second sin on top of 

LADY 

And you are a priest ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Come ! Come ! You say no cant, and when I give 

you real words 

LADY 

But is it not said, " If we confess our sins He will cleanse 
us from all unrighteousness ? " 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Assuredly. If we confess to ourselves ! That is 
what the Apostle is thinking of. For he goes on : 
" If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and 
the truth is not in us." Deceive ourselves^ you see. 
That is where the real horror lies — in saying we have 
no sin. But you and I 

LADY \Pu'LzXed'\ 
You and I ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You and I might deceive others. But our conscience 
could never deceive itself. And so the truth would 
still be in us. 

LADY \_mowly\ 

Then I have the truth in me ? 

48 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I say again, " Go and sin no more." 

[Hypnotised by his words she turns to go, then turns 
fiercely upon him.] 

LADY 

No ! No ! No ! It's not true ! There is no 
truth in me ! Every time my husband smiles at the 
child of sin, he seems to brand " Liar" all over my 
flesh. 

DR. VAUGHAN [In a strange half -whisper] 
There is a child ! ! 

LADY 

You are shocked at last. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Masterifig himself] 

No, no, only startled. . . . Then your husband does 

not suspect anything in the child ? 

LADY 

No — ^it has my colouring, my features 



DR. VAUGHAN [Muttering] 
Ah, the dominant. 

LADY 

What do you say ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Nothing . . . just thinking. 
49 



LADY 

But the child — don't you see that that makes my life 
a daily lie ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And would you gain truth at the child's cost ? Brand 
the innocent babe as a ? 

LADY [Covering her eyes] 
Don't ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Rather be thankful that you can protect it — give it 
the same home influence as your other children. 

[In low tones as if staring at an unseen vision] 
Think of a girl-mother condemned to secrecy in her 
agony ! 

LADY 

I should envy her — at least she'd have no husband to 
betray. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And no husband to make reparation to. You must 
make yours the happier for your sin, not the more 
miserable. 

LADY 

You change things so wonderfully, the monstrous 

blackness seems lifting. 

50 



DR. VAUGHAN 

And what's the use of living in a fog ? Either die or 
be happy. 

LADY 

You give me fresh Hfe. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Then use it more w^isely. 

LADY 

Ah, you beheve with Tennyson 

" That men may rise on stepping-stones 
Of their dead selves to higher things ! " 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I do. The fire that does not destroy us purifies us. 
Go then and purify others. 

LADY 

/ purify others ? But how ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

In the atmosphere of your London circle there is 
levity towards the deeper things of the race. Rebuke 
it by the radiance of your purity. 

LADY 

My -purity ! Oh, I am re-born ! 

[Bursts into tears.] 
51 



DR. VAUGHAN 

And re-baptized in your tears ! 

LADY 

My deliverer ! I could kneel to you. 
[Is sinking at his feet.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Perturbed] 

No, no, -please. [Raising her] Who am I ? 

LADY 

One who speaks as no man has spoken before. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Nonsense ! Read the eighteenth of Ezekiel : " When 
the wicked turneth away from his wickedness he 
shall save his soul alive." I only say what many 
have said. 

LADY 

No — you speak as one at the heart of things. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It is you that are at the heart of things. That is the 
only profit of our sins — to touch reality. 

[He rings, then opens the door.] 
Good-bye. 

[Holds out his hand.] 

LADY [Seizing and kissing it] 
Good-bye. . . . God bless you. 
[Exit.] 

52 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I need His blessing, indeed ! 

[H^ covers his eyes as in 'prayer and deep emotion. 
Enter hannah.] 

HANNAH 

Well, and what did the creature — what's the matter 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That poor woman ! 

HANNAH 

Why, she looked quite elated. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Because I helped her, thank God for that ! 

HANNAH 

Past helping she looked to me — a weak, neurotic — 

ugh ! 

[She shudders.^ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't be such a Pharisee, dear. She's in great 
distress. 

HANNAH 

There's distress nearer home. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Alarmed] 

Nearer home ? 

53 



HANNAH 

Amy Archmundham — I've been trying to tell you — 
she's at a nervous crisis. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Miss Archmundham ? Why, at the garden-party 
she looked brilliant. 

HANNAH [Sinking into the armchair] 
Men can never tell the difference betv^een the hectic 
and the healthy — any more than between the vicious 
and the deserving — she's really in a pitiful state. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But what's the matter with her ? 

HANNAH 

I've persuaded her to lie down in the spare room. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Sitting on the table] 
But what's the crisis about ? 

HANNAH 

It's all through Hubert Morrow. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hubert Morrow ? 

HANNAH 

Yes, Felicia's brother. He and Amy are in love. 
54 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Is it possible ? 

HANNAH 

It's all that's possible. That's why Hubert is going 
to Australia. Sir John won't give his consent, and 
Hubert, being as proud as he's poor, puts the globe 
between himself and Amy. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Poor things ! 

HANNAH 

It's no use saying " poor things ! " We must do 
something. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But what can tve do ? We can't find Hubert money. 
We haven't got enough of our own. 

HANNAH 

No, but we can make Sir John think less of money. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I never found Sir John a Mammon-worshipper. 

HANNAH 

We never saw him tested. He can have nothing else 
against young Morrow. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Uneasily] 

How can you be sure ? Many parents shy at musicians. 

55 



HANNAH 

But Hubert hasn't had a thing published yet, not 
even his setting of Elsie's verses. And everybody 
knows how^ strictly Mrs. Morrow has brought him and 
Felicia up. She may be a little unchristian with her 
family pride but even that one forgives her, now the 
poor thing has nothing else. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Well, anyhow, it's not our business. 

HANNAH 
It's my business. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Alarmed] 
Yours ? 

HANNAH 

Amy begged me to- 



\Enter purvis.] 

PURVIS 

Sir John Archmundham is in his carriage and wanting 
his childer. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You'll find them upstairs. 
[puRVis turns to go.] 

HANNAH 

Ask Sir John to oblige me and come in for a moment. 
56 



PURVIS 

Ay, mum. 

[Exit PURVIS.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You don't really mean to 

HANNAH 

I must, dear. I promised Amy. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Sir John will be very angry. 

HANNAH 

Do you think I have no tact ? I must tell him about 
Amy's illness — that gives me an opening. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Dearest Hannah, I seldom exercise my authority, but 
I feel so sure that harm will come of your meddling 
that 

HANNAH 

Please, please, don't make me break my promise. I 
feel so sure I shall make these two young people happy 

that I 

[Enter purvis, announcing] 

PURVIS 

Sir John Archmundham. 

[Enter sir john.] 
57 



SIR JOHN [Shaking hands with hannah] 
Ah, Mrs. Vaughan, we missed you at the garden- 
party. 

HANNAH 

It's a pity you took your daughter. She's quite ill. 

SIR JOHN 

111 ? Poor chick ! I thought she was off her feed. 

Where is she ? 

HANNAH 

Lying down. 

SIR JOHN 

I'll 'phone to Dr. Terrltt. 

HANNAH 

It isn't a doctor she wants. 

SIR JOHN 

Not a doctor ? You haven't joined the faith-healers ! 

HANNAH [Annoyed'] 

Of course not. I mean you know quite well how to 

cure her yourself. 

SIR JOHN 

Feed her up, d'you mean ? Roast-beef ? 

HANNAH [Disgusted] 

Roast-beef ! Don't pretend you 

58 



DR. VAUGHAN [Hurriedly] 

Talking of roast-beef, how are John's potatoes ? 

SIR JOHN [Incapable of the swift transition] 
Eh? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh, I hope it isn't still a sore subject. 

SIR JOHN 

John's potatoes ? Not at all. I've quite turned 
round about John's potatoes. 

HANNAH [Snatching at her opportunity] 
Then perhaps you'll turn round too about 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Do let us get to the end of this, Hannah. Why have 
you turned round about John's potatoes ? 

SIR JOHN 

Because they put such a stopper on all the silly new 
sex-theories. 

HANNAH 

We are talking of your daughter 



DR. VAUGHAN 

My dear ! You are interrupting Sir John's explana- 
tion. They put such a stopper on ? 

59 



SIR JOHN 

All that newfangled nonsense about love being every- 
thing. As if rotten tubers could yield prize potatoes I 
Freethinkers and Freelovers may spout and scribble 
but the grand old laws of God go on inexorably. 

HANNAH 

And one of those laws is 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I'm afraid my wife hardly follows science. 

[Takes SIR john's arm and draws him doorzvard.] 
Shall we go and collect your children ? 

SIR JOHN 

Yes, I've just robbed them of ten thousand pounds. 
Ha! Ha! Ha! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Doesn't sound a laughing matter. 
[Gets to door.] 

SIR JOHN 

Promised it to Judson for our crusades. Half for 

the African atrocities and half 

[Is going out with dr. vaughan.] 

HANNAH [Desperately] 

Sir John, you are positively heartless 1 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah ! 
60 



SIR JOHN [Frozcfi] 
Eh? 

HANNAH 

Talk of African atrocities ? The way you let that poor 
girl pine and fret when you're simply rolling in 
money ! 

SIR JOHN [Coldly] 
I beg your pardon. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah ! For heaven's sake ! 



HANNAH 

It is for heaven's sake. Is our Church Conference 
nothing but a babble .? Is everything to be meted 
with the measure of worldliness ? 

SIR JOHN 

I'm afraid I can't follow you. 

HANNAH 

Oh yes, you can. Better than I can follow science. 
Why is your daughter ill ? Why is Hubert Mor- 
row ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I forbid this. Come, Sir John, she's been upset by 

your daughter's illness. 

6i 



HANNAH 

You may stop my speaking openly to Sir John — you 
won't prevent other people speaking behind his back. 

SIR JOHN 

And pray, ma'am, what will they be saying ? 

HANNAH 

That your Mammon-worship broke your daughter's 
heart. 

SIR JOHN 

The devil they will ! Pardon me, Doctor, my one 
oath. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

People will say nothing of the kind, Hannah. They 
will believe in the righteousness of Sir John's motives. 

SIR JOHN 

Thank you, Dr. Vaughan. I wish, madam, you had 
a little of your husband's Christian charity. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Mammon-worship, forsooth ! \^TTLen Sir John has 
just given ! 

HANNAH 

Charity begins at home. 

SIR JOHN 

And Christian charity abroad ! 
62 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! A Roland for an Oliver. 

[Links his arm in sir John's.] 
Come along ! 

HANNAH 

If Sir John has anything against Hubert Morrow's 
character, I will beg his forgiveness — and God's ! 

SIR JOHN [Tur?iing to face her] 

I have nothing against Hubert Morrow's character. 

HANNAH 

Well, then ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah, we have not the right 



HANNAH 

The girl has no mother. Somebody must stand up 
for her ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Drawing sir john again doorzcard] 
Not against a father so honoured and loved. 

HANNAH 

" As many as I love I rebuke." That's in Revelation. 

SIR JOHN [Feerifig round and breaking away] 
Revelations, ma'am. If it's revelations you want — ■ — ! 
63 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't be profane, Sir John. 

SIR JOHN [Angrily] 

I'm not profane. But deuce take it, revelations you 

shall have. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Again trying to take his arm] 

We don't want them. Come, Sir John, take your 

daughter home. 

SIR JOHN 

The fact is, Mrs. Vaughan, I'm as sorry for Hubert 
Morrow as you are. It's his sister ! 

HANNAH [Startled] 
Felicia ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Dropping into burean-chair with a 

murmur] 
Miss Morrow 1 

SIR JOHN 

I couldn't tell Amy because I wanted to protect her 
innocence, I couldn't tell Hubert because it's for his 
mother to do that. And I couldn't tell my old friend 
[Lays his hand on dr. vaughan 's shoulder] 
because I hate spreading scandal — especially about 
his former secretary. 

HANNAH 

Scandal ! Scandal against Felicia ! I'll not believe it. 
64 



SIR JOHN 

At any rate let it go no further. You know that after 
leaving your husband Felicia Morrow went to London. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Pardon me. She was at another post in between. 

SIR JOHN 

What does that matter ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I merely recall that last Christmas she took a country 
post — for the sake of her health. 

SIR JOHN 

But the point is that in June she went off to London, 
away from all who knew her. 

HANNAH 

To take the secretaryship of a nursing home. 

SIR JOHN 

To take the services of a nursing home ! She went 
to have a child. 

HANNAH 

Felicia ! O my God ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [With ashen Up] 

It's not possible ! 

65 B 



SIR JOHN 

It was a bold stroke of concealment — a flash of genius 
almost. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That simple sweet girl ! 



SIR JOHN 

Had an affair. Precisely. While she was still your 
secretary ! 

HANNAH 

An affair ! O Rodney, say you don't believe it ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [As from a dry throat] 

I cannot find words. ... So that's why she left 

me . . . 

HANNAH [Her hand caresshigly on his shoulder'] 
But she was the flower of your flock. You knew her — 
how gentle and God-fearing. No, no. Sir John, this 
is some terrible mistake. How do you know ? Who 
told you ? 

SIR JOHN 

John told me. 

DR. VAUGHAN 
John ? 

HANNAH 

And who told John ? 
66 



SIR JOHN 

The doctor at the nursing home was his old fellow- 
student. They still correspond. The doctor tells 
him anything of interest bearing on birth-problems. 
Eugenics, they call it. And this child had — er — some 
Frenchman's finger. 

HANNAH 

Had what ? 

SIR JOHN 

A bend in his little finger called after the French 
surgeon who first cured it, I suppose. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Shuddering] 
Loathsome ! 

SIR JOHN 

Not at all. A mere contraction of the skin. Quite 
a fine little chap, John said, though rather under 
weight. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I mean the callousness of this cold-blooded science ! 

HANNAH 

And on this hearsay, Felicia's character is to be ruined, 
your daughter's life spoilt ! How did John know it 
was Felicia ? 

SIR JOHN 

Why, the brazen hussy gave her own name ! 
67 



HANNAH 

Precisely. A brazen hussy who had stolen Felicia's 
name. 

SIR JOHN ISarcastically] 

And who when they mistakenly thought she was dying 

stole Felicia's mother. 

HANNAH 

You mean, they wired here for Mrs. Morrow ? 

SIR JOHN [hnitating her] 
Precisely. 

HANNAH 

And Mrs. Morrow went ? 

SIR JOHN 

So it seems. 

HANNAH 

Now I know it is false. How could Mrs. Morrow 
hold up her head if it was true ? Why, she was at 
the Conference. She spoke against the new crusades — 
only this morning — don't you remember ? She feared 
they would divert us from our mission work. No, 
no, it is all some ridiculous blunder. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And even if it were true, aren't you visiting the sins 

of the sister on the brother ? 

68 



SIR JOHN 

I knew you were drifting to this modern sentimen- 
tality — you with your Shakespeare ! I've felt it in 
your sermons this last twelvemonth ! But I stick 
to my Old Testament. The sinner shall be cut off 
root and branch. Even John's potatoes preach that. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Never mind John's potatoes. Mendelism is not yet 
proved, and if it were, there's no proof that — that 
what cropped out in Miss Morrow will crop out in 
her brother. 

SIR JOHN 

It may in his progeny. John tells me that traits 
may skip a generation and re-appear in the next — Hkc 
this finger possibly. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Come ! Come ! You're not really thinking of here- 
dity — ^you're afraid of a scandal in your family. 

SIR JOHN 

And what if I am ! Our record is clean, thank God. 
Why should Amy marry a man who brings nothing 
to the cupboard except a family skeleton ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Risingl 

Ah, my wife is not so wrong — you are thinking of his 

poverty. 

69 



SIR JOHN 

No, by God I'm not — forgive me, but you 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But if the skeleton is safely buried ! 

SIR JOHN 

If it were buried as deep as the seducer's wickedness, 
I'd rather see Amy die than marry into diseased stock. 

HANNAH [Sinking on the divan] 
Oh, it is all a nightmare ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But one may recover from disease — even the disease 
of sin. God forgives. 

SIR JOHN 

But He cannot forget. Consequences are conse- 
quences. That's what you preachers ought to insist 
on most to-day when the air reeks with romantic 
pestilence. All these little poets v^th their soul- 
struggles and love-lyrics that end in hospitals or 
lunatic asylums. And these hysterical boys and girls 
with their problem-plays. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What do you know of problem-plays ? You won't 
eren read Shakespeare. 

SIR JOHN 

One can't escape the newspapers. Problem-plays 

70 



indeed ! Silly refusals to look life in the face — plays 
about marriage with the first cause for which matrimony 
was ordained left out ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You mean the child ! 

SIR JOHN 

Of course I mean what the marriage-service means. 
There are delicate fools who'd have even that touch 
of reality cut out. But the Almighty has given me 
a brave ancestry and with His blessing my grand- 
children shall carry no tainted blood. Good-bye, 
old friend. 

[Claps DR. vaughan's shoulder] 
I didn't mean to preach to you but the day England 
forgets her Puritanism she'll go down like a rotten ship. 

DR. VAUGHAN 
I quite agree. 

SIR JOHN 

I knew you'd come round. Good-bye, Mrs. Vaughan. 
Sorry I had to quote my Revelation. 

HANNAH 

I don't believe your Revelation. 

SIR JOHN 

That doesn't make it less gospel. I'll go up and get 
Amy, if I may. 

[mrs. VAUGHAN makes a move as if to rise] 
71 



No, don't trouble. Thank you for being so kind 
to her. 

HANNAH 

She's welcome to stay on. 

SIR JOHN 

I'll see how she is. Thank you again. 
[Exit. Door closes.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I told you not to interfere ! 

HANNAH [Rising aiid moving to bureau] 
It cannot be true. 
[She rings.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What are you going to do ? 

HANNAH 

I cannot accept such a ridiculous story without 
evidence. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You will meddle again ? Rake up more dust, as 
Purvis says ? 

HANNAH 

I shall lay this dust. Frenchman's finger^ forsooth ! 
I'm not going to stand by and see all these lives ruined 

— FeHcia, Amy, Hubert, Mrs. Morrow 

72 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Take care you don't ruin more. 

HANNAH 

How can I ruin ? 

[Enter purvis] 
Ring up Mrs. Morrow, and if you get her, let me know. 

PURVIS 

Yes, mum. 
[Exit.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Walking up and down] 

But this is more mischievous than ever ! To stir up 

a mother's agony. 

HANNAH 

There's no agony, I tell you. It's all a mare's nest. 
We'll save her the agony of parting with Hubert. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You're not going to discuss it by telephone ! 

HANNAH 

Of course not. I shall ask her to come about the 
mission-work. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And if she refuses ? 

HANNAH 

I shall go to her. 

73 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah — ^let it alone — for God's sake. 

HANNAH 

I cannot, dearest. I can't rest till I know the truth. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You seem to me driven along by some demon. 

HANNAH 

And I feel it is the guidance of God. 
[Enter purvis] 

PURVIS 

Mrs. Morrow is holding the line. 

HANNAH 

Thank you. 

\She follows PURVIS. The door closes^ dr. vaughan 
collapses on the divan.~\ 

DR. VAUGHAN [In an awed whisper'] 
The guidance of God ! 

[The Action Pauses.] 



74 



Second Movement 

Presently purvis enters^ hearing the -pyjamas afresh^ hut 
seeing dr. vaughan is sunk upon the divan, his 
head huried i?i his hands, he remains in comic 
perplexity. He turns to go as if baffled again, then, 
with a sudden resolution, he steals cautiously forward, 
lifts the covering and slips the pyjamas noiselessly 
beside the pillow-cases. Then, his harassed face 
relaxing, he ventures to cough, dr. vaughan 
looks up.'\ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What is it ? 

PURVIS [With bowed head of contrition'] 

Now you're alone, doctor, I'd like to tell you about 

Macbeth. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

About Macbeth ? 

PURVIS 

Yes, sir. You see, Sir John's coachman 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Not now, please. Another time. 

[purvis, with a sigh, turns to close the French 

window] 
No, no, it's so hot. 

[As PURVIS is going out silently, with still-bowed 

head, hannah re-enters] 
Well ? 
75 



HANNAH 

Mrs. Morrow can't come to- night — it's her last night 
but one with her boy. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Relieved] 
Ah! 

HANNAH 

But he's out this afternoon — so she'll come as soon as 
all the boarders have had their tea. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Perturbed] 
Oh, indeed ! 

[Takes his hat and goes towards garden.] 

HANNAH 

Where are you going ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I can't stand another of your scenes. 

HANNAH 

You needn't be present, dear — I'll see her in the 
drawing-room. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

With the Archmundhams about ? You see you drive 
me out of my own house ! 

HANNAH 

But, dearest, Felicia's good name ! 

[Exit DR. VAUGHAN into the garden, hannah 
76 



sighs, then sits at his table, and gets his pass-hook 
and cheque-book from a drawer, -pulls out the paid 
cheques and sets to work, checking the entries. After 
a moment elsie C07nes in.] 

ELSIE 

Will it disturb you if I look at the rhyming dictionary ? 

HANNAH 

No, dear. But why not keep it in. your loom. ? You're 
the only poet in the house. 

ELSIE [Smiling as she motmts the library-steps'] 

Am I ? Are you sure you know all father's secret 

sins ? WTiere is he, by the way ? 

HANNAH 

Gone for a stroll. Have you left the Archmundhams 
alone ? 

ELSIE 

Amy's got up now. I thought three was family and 
four society. 

[Consults book from her perch on top of steps.] 

HANNAH 

You were quite right, dear — there is a ... a domestic 
difhculty. 

ELSIE 
I know. 

[Reading] 

Haven, craven, shaven 

77 



HANNAH 

You know ? 

ELSIE 

About Amy ? Of course — Raven, graven — father 
trying to spoil her life. The old story. 

HANNAH [Wincing] 

You're not quite fair to Sir John. 

ELSIE 

That's what his son says — haven and graven, splendid ! 

[Shuts book and replaces it on shelf] 
But if it's not a money question, what other objection 
can the old growler have ? 

HANNAH 

Never mind — I've got a money-question of my own. 
Trying to check father's pass-book. . . . Perhaps we 
can dispose of Sir John's objection. 

ELSIE [Coming towards table] 

Oh, wouldn't that be ripping — ^jolly, I mean ! But 

how ? 

HANNAH 

Wait a bit. . . . Come here, you know father's 
writing — ^read me this counterfoil. 

ELSIE [Looking over her shoulder] 

Binks, Forty Pounds . . . 

78 



HANNAH 

But who is Binks ? 

ELSIE 

Haven't an idea. Wlaere's the cheque ? June 20. 

HANNAH 

Here it is. But that's pay " Self " and he's endorsed 
it. Look ! 



ELSIE [Studying counterfoil, carries it to window-light'] 
Perhaps it's Barks — or Borks. No, Books ! That's 
what it is — two o's. 



HANNAH [Taking it from her as she returns to table] 
Ah, of course ! That forty pounds he spent on books 
when I wanted money so badly for your clothes ! 

ELSIE [Smooths her frock] 

But you see we managed all right, mother — my little 

verses, and your embroidery work 

HANNAH 

Yes, but because I asked him to state on the counter- 
foil what the cheque was for, whenever he drew on 
"Self," he states what it's for but forgets " Self." 

ELSIE [Smiling] 

But isn't that what he preaches — to forget Self ? 

79 



HANNAH 

If vou had to clear up his muddles, you wouldn't find 
them so laughable. Here's a counterfoil not filled up 
at all ! 

ELSIE 

Only one ? 

HANNAH [Taki?ig it over to bureau] 
Go on laughing at me. 

ELSIE 

I'm laughing at him. If you would marry a genius — 
Don't look so tragic over trifles. 

HANNAH 

It's not about the cheques — it's because you make me 

afraid. Oh Elsie ! 

[Embraces her with sudden passion] 
You don't feel there is a gulf between us ? 

ELSIE 

Between you and father ? 

HANNAH 

Between you and me ! A great gulf fixed — as between 
Lazarus and the rich man ? 

ELSIE 

What do you mean, mother ? 
80 



HANNAH 

A gulf you have to shout across ? 

ELSIE 

What an idea ! 

HANNAH 

But that's what Amy Archmundham said — and it's 
been weighing upon me. You do love me ? 

ELSIE 

Darling mother ! 

[Kisses her as she sinks on the divan.] 

HANNAH 

And I could die for you ! . . . I wish God had let me 
die for your sisters. But His wisdom knew best. 
[Breaks down.] 

ELSIE [Kneeling on divan to embrace her] 

Don't cry, darling. They died, doing their duty. 

Look at their faces ! 

[Points to -photographs on bureau] 
One would say, they were smiling with pride. 

HANNAH 

I could bear Mary's death in the Red Cross Army, 
and Ruth's among her slum-people. But to lose a 
living daughter ! 

ELSIE [Rising and holding both her hands] 
Please don't talk so dreadfully. 

8l F 



HANNAH 

Ah, daughter, perhaps you'll realise it yourself some 
day. It seems so strange to remember you that tiny 
— so frail and helpless — sleeping at my breast — and 
to see you growing up tall and superior and aloof 

ELSIE [Sinking against her knees to embrace her] 

Oh never, mother, never ! I never did feel like Amy 

Archmundham. Besides, she has no mother. 

HANNAH 

And you do love me ? And you'll never feel I want 
to spoil your life ? And you'll always come to me, 
even if I don't always understand your little poems ? 

ELSIE [Smiling as they both rise] 
Always, mother. 

HANNAH 

Always, you said, remember. Even when you are 
gone from me ! 

ELSIE 

Oh, mother, you know I shall never leave you ! 

[They embrace more closely. There is a sound, at 
the door, they stand apart. It opens, revealing 

JOHN.] 

HANNAH 

Ah, you are going ! 

[She advances, holding out her hand.] 
82 



JOHN 

Not yet, please. Amy's bad again. 

HANNAH 
Oh dear ! 

JOHN 

Yes, father poured oil on the troubled flames — ^he told 
her he'd proved to you he's in the right. 

HANNAH 

That remains to be seen. Oh, do you think I could 
be of any use ? 

JOHN 

You are the one person who could 

[Makes way as for her exit.^ 

HANNAH 

Your poor sister ! 

[Exit. JOHN closes the door.] 

JOHN [Hastening towards elsie] 
At last we can go on with our talk ! 

ELSIE 

How can you think of yourself — with Amy In that 
state ? 

JOHN 

Perhaps I'm in that state too. 
83 



ELSIE 

What's the matter with you ? Potatoes diseased 
again ? 

JOHN 

Don't be so heartless. 

ELSIE 

Heartless ? When I pity your potatoes more than 
you pity your sister ! 

JOHN 

Who said I didn't pity Amy ? 

ELSIE 

You aren't half as concerned as that time your potatoes 
went bad. 

JOHN 

It wasn't their going bad— it was their having the 
wrong disease. 

ELSIE 

Are there right diseases, then ? 

JOHN 

Naturally — the ones I infect them with. If only 
they develop them properly — that is the real anxiety. 

ELSIE 

It must be very wearing for you. 
84 



JOHN 

All right, scoff away. But science is above sneers. 

ELSIE 

I'm not sneering. It quite touches me to think of 
you watching tenderly over your sick tubers. 

JOHN 

Go on ! 

[Folds his arms] 
This, I suppose, is payment in kind for my unreal 
remarks to your mother. 

ELSIE 

My remarks are real. Your superiority to humanity 
overawes me. But to think of you at a sick bed — if 
it's only a potato bed ! 

JOHN [Jpproaching her] 

You know I'm only too human 

[Re-enter hannah.] 

HANNAH 

She won't even have me in the room. Elsie, you are 
of her own generation. Perhaps 

ELSIE 

I'll try, mother. 

[Exit through open door, closing it.] 

HANNAH [Turning on john] 
I'm afraid this is all your fault. 
85 



JOHN 

Mine ? 

HANNAH 

If you hadn't told your father that ridiculous story 
about the Frenchman's finger ! 

JOHN 

Dupuytren's finger ? But the child did have it — 
my friend actuaUy operated for it, which Dupuytren 
himself couldn't have done at that age. Yes, and I 
only wish my friend could have settled the point 
whether it's hereditary or not. But though he took 
a scientific squint at the father's hand 

HANNAH 

The father's hand ? 

JOHN 

A burly clean-shaven man who came to see Miss 
Morrow the day after. 

HANNAH 

And how did he know it was the father ? 

JOHN 

Oh well — ^he naturally assumed 



HANNAH 

Assumed ! Just as you assumed it was FeUcia. And 

what foreigner's finger did the father have ? 

86 



JOHN 

Oh, there was nothing abnormal about his hand — 
except a queer signet-ring. But of course its heredi- 
tariness being dubious, that doesn't prove ! 

HANNAH 

I should think not indeed ! And on this basis of 

hearsay and guess-work your father — oh I have no 
patience with either of you ! 

JOHN 

Would you marry your daughter into a disgraced 
family, with a nameless brat hanging around ? I 
wouldn't — at least 

\Smiling\ 
I wouldn't marry my father^ s daughter into it. No, 
nor his son, either. 

HANNAH 

I dare say not. But you beg the question. It's your 
friend I consider disgraced. I always thought doctors 
had a code of honour — not to tell professional secrets. 

JOHN 

My friend only told me professionally — as a student 
of eugenics. And of course father and I won't blab, 
if you don't. 

HANNAH 

How can I blab as you call it, when I don't believe 

there's one iota ? 

^ [sir JOHN opens the door, leading amy.] 
87 



SIR JOHN 

May the little penitent come to apologise ? 

HANNAH 

What for ? 

AMY 

For turning you out of your own room. I forgot 
I wasn't at home. 

[Goes towards her] 
Do forgive me ! And thank you for trying 

HANNAH [Looking defiantly at the meni 
I haven't given up 

AMY [Eagerly] 

Then father didnH convert you ? 

HANNAH 

Wait ! Trust in God ! 

[Kisses her and leads her to the window] 
See what a sunset He has sent us. 

AMY [Vaguely comforted}^ 
And what a fairy moon ! 

[Becomes absorbed in skyscape. Telephone rings 

without.] 

SIR JOHN 

Never mind the moon, Amy — get on your things. 

John'll take you home. 

88 



JOHN 

Aren't you coming ? 

SIR JOHN 

You know I have to be back here at seven — don't look 
so horrified, Mrs. Vaughan, you shouldn't have such 
a popular husband. Now I've been kept so late, I'll 
ask Judson for a game of chess rather than drive to 
and fro. 

HANNAH 

Is it a committee meeting here ? 

SIR JOHN [Emharrassed]^ 
A sort of committee meeting. 

HANNAH 

My husband never mentioned it. 

SIR JOHN [Smilingi 
He didn't know. 

JOHN [Smiling from his -perch on the table] 
And there are people who call him a prophet ! 

HANNAH 

But suppose he's not back. 

SIR JOHN 

Has he gone out ? My gracious ! And our Lon- 
doners must catch the dining-train ! 



HANNAH 

He must be back for his own dinner. 

SIR JOHN 

That's what we reckoned on. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

JOHN 

You might let Mrs. Vaughan into the secret. 

SIR JOHN 

Well, if she'll keep it from her husband 



HANNAH 

Oh, I can't do that. Rodney and I have never had 
a secret from each other. 

SIR JOHN 

Well, anyhow, you mustn't tell him that we 

\Enter purvis.] 

PURVIS 

Please, mum, Mr. Hubert Morrow has telephoned 

[amy turns sharply at the name\ 
to say he was sorry he was out when Dr. Vaughan 
called just now 

HANNAH \pa7Le^ 

When Dr. Vaughan called just now ? 

PURVIS 

Ay, mum, I wrote it down — like a text. 

\Reads jrom a pafer^ 
90 



" And he begs to thank Dr. Vaughan for his kindness 
in coming to say good-bye." 

AMY 

Good-bye ? 

[Sways at window.'] 

SIR JOHN [Catching her] 
Steady, old girl. 

HANNAH [Recovering composure] 
Thank you, Purvis. 

[puRVis goes again to shut window.] 

AMY 

Don't shut out the sunset ! . . , 

[Turns to hannah] 
I beg your pardon, I'm always forgetting I'm not at 
home. 

HANNAH 

Leave it, Purvis. 

[puRVis goes out silently.] 
If you'd rather wait here, Sir John, I'll have the fire 
lit in the drawing-room. 

SIR JOHN 

Oh, I couldn't trouble you 



HANNAH 

No trouble — it's laid. 

[Enter elsie with a newspaper] 
91 



And here comes the " Evening Sentinel." 

l^^akes it from elsie and hands it to sir john.] 

SIR JOHN 

Thank you ! Amy, put on your things. 

JOHN 

I don't think Amy is fit to drive home yet. 

AMY 

What nonsense ! 

JOHN {Fitfjily'] 

Well, I won't take the responsibiHty — all alone. I'd 

rather v^ait with you, father. 

HANNAH 

It might be better for Amy — put a light to the drawing- 
room fire, Elsie. 

[elsie goes to the door.^ 

JOHN 

Here's matches ! 

[Produces a box and hastens after elsie. Exeunt.'\ 

HANNAH [fo SIR john] 

And you won't want to keep your coachman an hour 

on the box. 

SIR JOHN 

No, of course not. Judson has stables — he'll let us 

put up. I'll go and tell my rascal. 
92 



HANNAH 

Please, leave it to me. I want to give him some tea — 
he must be quite faint. 
[Goes to door.] 

SIR JOHN [Sinking on divan and unfolding news- 

-paper] 
Don't worry too much over that scallawag. . . . 
Bless my soul ! here's an account of the garden-party 
already ! 

AMY [In a hollow voice from the zvindozv] 
Written yesterday ! 

HANNAH [Jt door] 
You can't read by that light ! 
[Turns up electric lights.] 

SIR JOHN 

You brighten up everything ! 

[Exit HANNAH. SIR JOHN redds aloud] 
" Under the genial auspices of Sol and the Lord Mayor 
and his charming consort, all the beauty and fashion 
of Midstoke with all that is most distinguished in " — 
won't you catch cold ? 

AMY 

I hope so. 

[sir JOHN throws down paper, jumps up and draws 

her within.] 
93 



SIR 'JOHN 

Why, now I see you In the light, you look like a ghost. 

AMY 

I am a. ghost. 

SIR JOHN 
Then I'll lay it. 

[Puts her on divan] 
There, dear ! You'll soon get over this, I tell you . . . 

\She turns her head from him] 
Look here, lassie — you shall have your dream. I'U 
take you to Italy — if you won't expect me to do the 
Popish churches with you — I don't know which is 
worse, the Papists with too many priests and cere- 
monies or the Quakers with none at all. To Italy, 
do you hear ? 

AMY 

I don't want to go to Italy. 

SIR JOHN [Taken aback] 

Not to Italy ? Well, wherever you like ! 

AMY 

Then I'll go to Australia. 

SIR JOHN 

I meant this side of the globe. 

AMY 

This side is empty to me. 
94 



SIR JOHN 

It will fill up again. Nature abhors a vacuum. You 
are so young. 

AMY 

Young ? I'm a hundred ! 

SIR JOHN 

Older than her dad, eh ? The little puss ! 

AMY 

Don't talk baby-talk to me ! 

SIR JOHN 

Oh well, if you really are a centenarian, that's all 
right. It's the young man who'll cry ojff. He's only 
a quarter of a century. 

AMY 

Hubert will never cry off. 

SIR JOHN 

Then why doesn't he take you to the Antipodes ? I 
can't stop you. 

AMY 

I wanted to go. 

SIR JOHN 

So you just intimated. But he has more sense, eh ? 
95 



AMY 

He wouldn't drag me down to poverty. 

SIR JOHN 

That's decent of him. 

AMY 

Decent ? He's a Bayard and a genius. And if you 
had let me have my money, he could have stayed here, 
writing his symphonies without sordid cares. 

SIR JOHN [Per flexed, sits beside her] 

You must trust me, my child. You must trust my love. 

AMY 

I cannot trust you. You are cruel — cruel 

[She sobs"} 

[dr. vaughan comes in through the zoindow-l 

DR. VAUGHAN [Drawing back] 
Oh, I beg your pardon. 

SIR JOHN 

No, no, we mustn't drive you out of your own den. 
So glad you're back. Come, Amy ! 

[He tries to lift her Jrom the divan, but she sobs on] 
Perhaps you can help me to soothe this wild young 
thing. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

WTiat could / do ? 
96 



SIR JOHN 

We know your influence over the lambs of your flock. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Miss Archmundhara — Amy 



AMY 

I don't want your soothing syrup. 

SIR JOHN 

Don't be rude ! You think I'm cruel. Do you think 
Dr. Vaughan is ? 

AMY 

He is a human being. 

SIR JOHN {With a grimace] 

Oh, indeed ! Very well, then ! If Dr. Vaughan 
assures you that my objection is not a mere abuse of 
paternal power, will you give me back your trust ? 

AMY 

Dr. Vaughan will say what pleases you. 

SIR JOHN 

Will he, by George ! I only wish he made a practice 
of it. Come, Amy ! Don't wriggle out of it. 

AMY 

Then on his honour as a human being 

97 G 



SIR JOHN 

Dr. Vaughan ! You know the reason that compels me 
to reject Hubert Morrow. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I know what you told me. 

SIR JOHN 

Quite so. And is this reason weighty ? Or capri- 
cious ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Certainly not capricious. 

SIR JOHN 
There ! 

AMY 

But would you act like that in papa's place ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Hesitates] 
I_I 

AMY 

On your honour ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No! 

AMY 

Oh, you human being ! 

[Springs up and hugs him.] 



SIR JOHN 

Why, Doctor, you told me not twenty minutes ago 
that you agreed with me. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You misunderstood — you were saying that without 
Puritanism England would go down like a rotten ship. 
That's what I agreed with. 

AMY 

So that's it ! Hubert isn't Puritan enough ! Because 
he's musical ! Because God has given him the gift 
of melody ! Because 

SIR JOHN 

Don't be silly, Amy. Who was more musical than 

Milton ? Don't I take you to Oratorios ? 

AMY 

But Hubert writes love-music — that's what's the 
matter ! Love-music, and you all hate everything 
but your gloomy conventicle ! I wonder you don't 
pull that moon down out of heaven and turn it into 
a church lamp. But you shall hear Hubert's music — 
I'll give it you now ! 

[Runs out through the door] 

SIR JOHN 

Gloomy conventicle, indeed ! 

[Follows her.] 
That girl will die a Papist. 
99 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't stop her singing or strumming — it'll work off 
the hysteria. 

SIR JOHN 

Deuce take it all ! I wish the fellow had never come 
back from Germany ! 
[Exit.'] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

O God, when will this coil of consequence end ? 

[He picks up the newspaper and looks at it dis- 
tractedly. Enter hannah.] 

HANNAH 

Sir John told me you were back. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Has Mrs. Morrow been ? 

HANNAH 

Not yet. She can't afford taxis like you. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Flushing'] 
What do you mean ? 

HANNAH 

You must have taken a taxi straight to her. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Eh ? What makes you think that ? 

100 



HANNAH 

You didn't go to her ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Why should I go to her ? 

HANNAH [Horrified'] 

Rodney ! I know you went to her. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I went to Hubert — to say good-bye. 

HANNAH 

Forgive me ! Yes, that's what he said. . . . He 
'phoned to thank you. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ah! 

HANNAH [Rememberittg] 

But I told you he was out — why did you go ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I hoped he'd be back. And you see he was — almost 
immediately. 

HANNAH 

You didn't really rush there to stop Mrs. Morrow 
coming here ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Slowly] 

I don't say if I'd found Mrs. Morrow in I shouldn't 

lOI 



have tried to stop her — indeed, the more I think of it, 
the more dreadful it seems to me to let you hurt her 
feelings as you hurt Sir John's. 

HANNAH 

I know I lost my temper with Sir John. I haven't got 
much Christian patience, have I, dear ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I'm afraid not, darhng. Nor pagan tact, either. 
[Enter purvis.] 

PURVIS 

Mrs. Morrow for you, mum. Where shall I show 
her ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

In here. 

HANNAH 

But I don't want to turn you out — there's the dining- 
room. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Show her in here, Purvis. 

PURVIS 

Yes, sir. 

[Slow exit. As the door closes on him, dr. vaughan 
turns swiftly and masterfully to hannah and takes 
her smilingly by the shoulders.^ 

lot 



DR. VAUGHAN 

It's you that must be turned out, dear. 

HANNAH 

But surely she and I — two women — 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You forget that as her pastor I shall seem less intrusive. 

HANNAH 

Perhaps you are right. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Forcing her smilingly towards the 

garden'] 
Of course I'm right — one folly a day is all I can allow 
you. 

HANNAH 

Poor Rodney — I do bring troubles on you. 

[Kisses him and is pushed through the window as 
PURVIS ushers in mrs. morrow, and closes the door. 
MRS. morrow, a lady still with the traces of beauty 
and prosperity in her sorrowful face and shabby^ 
well-cut clothes, enters with a proud bearing.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [With his massive cordiality] 

How do you do, Mrs. Morrow ? Didn't see you at 

the garden-party. 

MRS. MORROW 

No. 
103 



DR. VAUGHAN 

You'll find that most comfortable. 
[Indicates chair.] 

MRS. MORROW 

Thank you. 
[Sits.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Fetching chair and sitting beside 

her] 
And what's the news of your dear daughter ? Still 
in London ? 

MRS. MORROW 

Still in London. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And getting on well in her post, I hope — let me see, 
a hospital, wasn't it ? 

MRS. MORROW 

No, not exactly. 

[Uneasily] 
Isn't Mrs. Vaughan in ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

She thought /'d best discuss the matter with you. 

MRS. MORROW 

But it isn't only the mission-work — I want to ask her 

something. 

104 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Can't you ask me ? 

MRS. MORROW \}Vith a faint smile'] 
It's hardly your department. 

DR. VAUGHAN [With a broader smile] 
Well, she intrudes enough on mine. 

MRS. MORROW 
It's about Felicia. 

DR. VAUGHAN \_Eis smile checked] 
About your daughter ? 

MRS. MORROW 

Yes — she is coming to-morrow. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Startled] 
Really ? Any particular reason ? 

MRS. MORROW 

To say good-bye to Hubert. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ah yes. But doesn't he sail from London ? 

MRS. MORROW 

No, from Plymouth . . . it's a cheaper line. Besides, 

/ get a glimpse of Felicia, too. 
105 



DR. VAUGHAN 

That's true. Quite a while since you've seen her, I 

suppose ? 

MRS. MORROW 

Well, you know when she left here — ^last Christmas. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Dear me, how time flies ! And she's feeling better, 
I hope. . . . Let me see, didn't she go to some little 
country place for her headaches ? 

MRS. MORROW 

Yes, Pinfold something — I never can remember. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And you didn't go and see her there ? 

MRS. MORROW [Curtly] 

I told you I haven't seen her since Christmas. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Relieved] 
So you did . . . 

[More cheerfully] 
And so she's coming back. 

MRS. MORROW 

Only for the night. She goes with Hubert as far as 
Plymouth — thence straight back to her London work. 
But 

[Embarrassed] 
the fact is, now I've had to take boarders, there's 
io6 



scarcely room for her to-morrow night. So, coming 
along, it occurred to me that perhaps you 

DR. VAUGHAN [Startled again] 

MRS. MORROW 

You and Mrs. Vaughan — you see Hubert's cab passes 
here on the way to the station — and with all you 
dear people it would be homelier for her than at an 
hotel 

DR. VAUGHAN [Perturbed] 

I'm afraid that is Mrs. Vaughan's department. 
[He goes to the door and opens it and calls] 

Purvis ! 

[amy's voice is heard from above in Hubert's 
setting of " I arise from dreams of thee "] 

Purvis ! Ah, there you are. Ask Mrs. Vaughan to 

come in. 

AMY [Heard singing from the drawing-room] 
And a spirit in my feet 
Hath led me — who knows how ? 
To thy chamber window, sweet ! 

[dr. vaughan stands listening as if hypnotised, till 

HANNAH comes in and closes the door.] 

HANNAH 

So good of you to come, Mrs. Morrow. 

[Shakes ha?ids.] 
107 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Mrs. Morrow asks if her daughter may sleep here to- 
morrow night. 

HANNAH [Startled] 
FeHcia ? 

MRS. MORROW 

You see we've let her room, and I thought she'd be 
less unhappy here than at 

HANNAH [Suspiciously] 
Less unhappy ? 

MRS. MORROW 

About Hubert's going to Australia. 

HANNAH 

Ah yes — and it must be a great wrench for you. 

MRS. MORROW 

He was all I had left — I mean at home. But God does 

all things for the best. 

HANNAH [Impulsively] 

But we mustn't always let Him, Mrs. Morrow. 

MRS. MORROW [Shocked] 

What do you say ? 

io8 



DR. VAUGHAN [With a forced smile] 

My wife expresses herself badly. She means, you 

ought to make an effort to keep your boy at home. 

HANNAH 

Yes, indeed ! I'm so glad you've mentioned Felicia 
because — but perhaps, Rodney, you have already 
disposed of that. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No. Under the new circumstances I left it for you. 

MRS. MORROW [Rising uneasily'] 
What is it about Felicia ? 

HANNAH 

Her staying here will be just splendid ! 

MRS. MORROW 

Oh, thank you. 

[She sits down in relief.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Perturbed] 

But, Mrs. Morrow, have you asked your daughter if 

she'd like to stay here ? 

MRS. MORROW 

I took it for granted. . . . She 
[Flushing] 

. . . she doesn't know I've had to let her room. 
109 



HANNAH 

You have been keeping the boarders from her ? 

MRS. MORROW 

It would only have added to her ... I mean, she's 
so proud . . . And sometimes they . . . they ring 
for me ! Oh, do you think I've done wrong ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Certainly not, Mrs. Morrow. Why make unnecessary 
pain ? 

HANNAH 

Well, it's got to come out now. Even white lies turn 
black by keeping. . . . But, anyhow, her staying here 
will be a splendid answer to Sir John ! 

MRS. MORROW [Half-rising] 
Why, what has Sir John ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Waving her down] 

Dear Mrs. Morrow, do try to be patient. Nobody 

knows better than I the blameless reputation of your 

family. 

HANNAH 

But there's a miserable scandal afoot 



MRS. MORROW [Jumping up indignantly] 

A scandal against Felicia ? 

no 



HANNAH 

Of course we none of us believe it. 

MRS. MORROW 

I have no patience even to hear it. 

HANNAH 

Then it isn't true ? 

MRS. MORROW 
It's an abominable lie. 

HANNAH 

What did I tell you ? 
[She rings. '[ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What are you ringing for ? 

HANNAH 

Sir John shall hear this denial. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Why, you haven't even told Mrs. Morrow what she's 
to deny ! 

MRS. MORROW 

I don't care what it is — there is nothing against 

Felicia ! 

Ill 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Nevertheless, before you face Sir John, you had 
better be prepared for what he may say. The accu- 
sation 

MRS. MORROW 

Accusation ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ridiculous, perhaps, but there it is. Tell her, Hannah ! 
[Retires to divan-seat.^ 

HANNAH 

They say she has had a child. 

MRS. MORROW [5/^^^m] 

my God ! And who dares ? 

[Enter purvis. amy's -passionate music swells out.] 

HANNAH 

Ask Sir John Archmundham to step down. 

PURVIS 

Ay, mum. 

[Exit PURVIS, shutting out the music] 

MRS. MORROW 

1 will not meet Sir John. 

[Goes towards garden.] . 

112 



HANNAH 

But, my dear Mrs. Morrow, you must ! 

MRS. MORROW 

Why must I ? What have I to do with Sir John ? 

HANNAH 

Don't you love Hubert ? Don't you want him to 
be happy ? 

MRS. MORROW 

What has that to do with it ? 

HANNAH 

That is why Sir John objects to the match. 

MRS. MORROW 

What match ? 

HANNAH 

You don't know Hubert is leaving England because 
he's not allowed to marry Amy Archmundham ? 

MRS. MORROW [Dazed] 

No — I know nothing — my children are always so 
reticent. O my poor Hubert. So that's it ! My 
poor martyred boy ! 

HANNAH 

But don't you see he needn't be martyred ? You've 

only got to show Sir John the story is false. 

"3 H 



MRS. MORROW 

I will not meet Sir John. If my family is not good 

enough 

[puRvis o-pens the door for sir john who comes 
through and bows coldly to mrs. morrow. She^ 
with a stiff return bow, tries to pass him and escape.'\ 

HANNAH [Firmly closing the door] 

Dear Mrs. Morrow, surely you wish to keep your boy — 

to make him happy — — 

SIR JOHN 

I see, Mrs. Vaughan you still doubt my revelation. 

HANNAH 

Not if she is silent. Mrs. Morrow, don't torture me 
like this ! 

MRS. MORROW [Fiercely] 
What torture is it of yours ? 

HANNAH 

What torture ? To think of Felicia sunk to that ! 
Look at my husband — don't you see it is torturing 
him, too ? Come, Mrs. Morrow . . . 

[mrs. morrow looks round with the hopeless eyes 

of a trapped animal] 
Why don't you speak ? 

MRS. MORROW 
O my God, why am I scourged thus ? 
[She breaks down in hysteric sobs.] 
114 



DR. VAUGHAN [Risitig and pressing her into chairl 
My poor Mrs. Morrow ! Calm yourself. 

SIR JOHN 

My poor Amy ! 

[He goes out sorrowfully.] 

MRS. MORROW 

Oh, you don't know what it has been ! She never 
said a word. When — to hide from you and me what 
must have happened here, she took that post at Pinfold 

— thirty miles away 

[Breaks down, choked with emotion.] 

HANNAH 

Pinfold ? — I thought my husband said Craddock. 

MRS. MORROW [Struggling for composure] 
Craddock — yes, that's the part I can never remember. 

DR. VAUGHAN [With forced lightness] 
Just as I can never remember the Pinfold part. 

HANNAH 

But if it's Pinfold Craddock, you went there this 
Spring ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [After an appreciable pause] 

So I did ! To take a funeral for old Rogers when he 

had the flue. A fearful cross-country journey ! 

"5 



MRS. MORROW 

Yes, she always said she had no time or money to come 
and see me — and then she wrote she had a new post 
in London — at a private nursing home — and then — 
end of June — a wire — she was dying ! So at least 
they thought. 

HANNAH [Stonily] 

And she wanted you to look after the child of sin. 

MRS. MORROW 

Don't look at me so pitilessly. I had to lie. 

HANNAH 

Nobody has to lie. 

MRS. MORROW 

I had a husband, money, children— now there is 
nothing. 

HANNAH 

There is always God. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Eagerly] 

But the little boy 

[Correcting himself] 
the child — has it lived ? Is it well ? 

MRS. MORROW 

It was rather small and had a bent finger, but other- 
wise 

[She falls fainting on her chair.] 
ii6 



DR. VAUGHAN 

You are too cruel to her. 

HANNAH 

I'll get my salts. 

[She rushes into her room. In the silence amy's 
renewed love- song faintly penetrates.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Murmuring] 

Love ! Love ! The great romantic cheat ! — O God ! 
Must I go on lying or must I break Hannah's heart ? 
[Re-enter hannah.] 

HANNAH 

I must have left the bottle in here. She's not come to ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No. But w^hen she does, pray remember it is for 
such crises wq are Christians. 

HANNAH [Finding the bottle on the divan] 
Ah, here it is ! I know I was harsh, dear, 
[She applies the salts to mrs. morrow] 
But you spoil me for people of this sort. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Turning away in bitter shame] 
We are all God's creatures. 

HANNAH 

I know, dear, but it's not so easy to copy your loving- 
kindness to liars and sinners. 
117 



MRS. MORROW [Opening her eyes] 
I will not meet Sir John ! 

HANNAH 

No, he is gone. Dear Mrs. Morrow, 

[Raising the -patienfs head^ 
you are all right again. 

MRS. MORROW 
Oh my poor children ! 

HANNAH [To her husband] 

Sir John's carriage must take her home. 

MRS. MORROW 

No, no — nothing of Sir John's I 

[She staggers to her feet] 
I can walk. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That's nonsense — I'll get you a cab. 

MRS. MORROW 

You know I cannot take cabs. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Recovering his bluff geniality] 
You can take one from me ! 

MRS. MORROW 
I can quite well walk. 

[Moves proudly] 
There ! 
ii8 



DR. VAUGHAN 

How unkind you are to me ! 

MRS. MORROW 

You shall give the fare to the mission-fund — in my 
name. 

[Turns toward door. dr. vaughan precedes hereto 

open it.^ 

HANNAH 

One moment, Mrs. Morrow. You may rely on our 
spreading the sad story no further. But 

MRS. MORROW 

But you can't have Felicia sleeping here — I know. 
Forgive me for trying to protect her. 

HANNAH 

It's my duty to forgive you. And perhaps it's my 
duty to have her here — more than ever. I will think. 
I will let you know. But that's not what I was going 
to say. 

DR. VAUGHAN [In renewed torture] 
Need any more be said ? Mrs. Morrow is so tired. 
[Puts his hand on the door-knob.] 

HANNAH 

Still, before we dismiss the subject for ever, oughtn't 

we to ask Mrs. Morrow the name of the man ? 

119 



MRS. MORROW 

But I don't know the name of the man. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And what good would revenge do ? 

HANNAH 

Who's thinking of revenge ? Reparation. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Reparation ? 

HANNAH 

Marriage ! Why should he not marry her ? 

MRS. MORROW [Clasping her hands'] 
Oh, if I could live to see it ! 

HANNAH [Eagerly] 

And then, perhaps. Sir John would relent ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But — but the man may be married. 

HANNAH 

Then he can be divorced. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I thought you were against divorce. 
12:} 



HANNAH 

I never realized that it might be the smaller of two 
evils. And the fifth of Matthew permits it ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But there's his present wife to consider 



HANNAH 

If there is a wife, she couldn't possibly live with him 
any longer. He belongs to Felicia — and Felicia's 
child. 

MRS. MORROW 

You will never get Felicia to give his name. Not if 

you cut her to pieces. 

HANNAH 

But surely you have some idea ? Nor you, Rodney ? 

DR. VAUGFIAN [Desperately defensive] 

Who was the man she worked for at Pinfold, what-is- 

it ? 

HANNAH 

Pinfold Craddock. 

MRS. MORROW 

It wasn't a man — it was an old lady, all but blind. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ha ! Blind ! The easier then 

121 



HANNAH [To her husband] 

But how do you know it zvas an old lady — ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Mrs. Morrow says so. 

HANNAH 

Blind, yourself, dear. Don't you see Mrs. Morrow 
had only Felicia's letters to go by ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That's true. Talk of the wisdom of the serpent ! 

HANNAH 

And when you saw Felicia in the nursing home, Mrs. 
Morrow, wasn't there any clue to the man ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You really mustn't exhaust Mrs, Morrow 

HANNAH 

No picture ? No keepsake ? 

MRS. MORROW 

Nothing ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

There ! She's quite worn out. Purvis must get a 
cab. 

HANNAH 

No letter came while you were with her ? 

122 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Really, Hannah ! Why should you try to ferret out 
Felicia's secret ? 

HANNAH 

For Felicia's salvation. He must marry her. 

MRS. MORROW 

I did take an opportunity, when she was under a drug, 
of opening her locket. 

HANNAH [Tensely] 
Well ? 

MRS. MORROW 

There was nothing. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Relieved] 
Ah! 

MRS. MORROW 

Only the pictures of her mother and her pastor. 

HANNAH 

Of my husband ? 

MRS. MORROW [With a faint smile] 
Felicia was always a hero-worshipper. 
[Tragic again] 

If she had only listened to your teachings instead ! 
123 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes. I hope the other young ladies who carry me 

about do better. 

HANNAH 

But how could she get a miniature ? I thought / 
was the only person who had one. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I suppose she got my photograph reduced. And, by 
the way, Lovell the bookseller has been telling me what 
a run there's been on it during the Conference. Like 
an actor's, he said — and then he begged pardon, poor 
man. Ha! Ha! Ha! 

HANNAH 

Rodney, when you went to Pinfold Craddock, did you 
call on Felicia ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Slozvly] 
Did I call on Felicia ? 

HANNAH 

No — I forgot — you didn't even know it was an old 
lady she was with. But I should have thought you'd 
have taken the opportunity of seeing how she was 
getting on. 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes, but — but, you see, I met her — by chance- 
post-office. 

HANNAH 

And didn't you notice anything ? 
124 



-at the 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I noticed she was looking pretty. 

HANNAH 

Is that all ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Didn't you say we men can never tell the difference 
between anything and anything ? 

HANNAH 

And you saw no clue to the man ? Nobody was with 
her ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [With a ghastly smile] 

I was with her — and a venerable gaffer drawing his 

old-age pension. 

MRS. MORROW 

But when exactly did you see her ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smiling] 
I never was good at dates. 

HANNAH 

The day you went to take the funeral was Mayday. 
I remember it because of the contrast of death and 
the Spring. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That thought struck me — the world In bridal white 

and the tragedy lurking 

125 



MRS. MORROW 

But by that date, Dr. Vaughan, you could surely see — 
Why anybody but the blind woman must have seen 

HANNAH [Paling with a now irresistible suspicion] 
My husband is right. This is fatiguing you inexcusably. 
Do let me get you a cab. 

MRS. MORROW 

Thank you, no. 

[dr. vaughan hurriedly throws open the door.] 

HANNAH 

Why not ? You were ready to let me entertain 
Felicia. 

MRS. MORROW 

I have entertained Elsie. Good-night. 
{Exit.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Good-night. 

[Follows her out in optimistic relief] 

Things will brighten — never lose hold of the goodness 

of God ! 

[hannah looks round wildly, her hands tremble. 
Mastering herself with a great effort, she sits down 
again to the pass-book. After an instant of quiet 
work she clutches suddenly at the salts, smells them 
then resumes work. Re-enter dr. vaughan.] 

126 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Well, dear 

[Touches her hair. She shudders and shakes off his 
hand.] 

HANNAH 

Don't — I want to finish your pass-book. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smilingly at ease again] 

So the old wench is afraid of being scolded, eh ? But 

there ! I won't say I told you so. 

HANNAH [Passionately] 

Yes, yes, scold me — I've had evil thoughts — silly, 
shameful thoughts. . . . You were right — I should 
have minded my own business. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Never mind, dear — go on minding mine. Have I 
been making great muddles ? 
[Befids over pass-book.] 

HANNAH [Smiling] 

Well, you forgot to fill in the . . . a — a — a — ^li ! 
[Screams suddenly.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You frighten me ! What is it ? 

HANNAH 

Those forty pounds — those mysterious forty pounds ! 
127 



DR. VAUGHAN [Looking over her shoulder in re- 
newed torment] 
That's filled in all right. Books ! 

HANNAH 

But where are the books ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh, all about. , 

HANNAH 

I don't see any new books. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I never said new. It's the old editions that cost the 
money. You see, not having got anybody to replace 
Miss Morrow, I thought I could afford 

HANNAH 

But coming just at that time ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What time ? 

HANNAH 

Felicia's time. 

[Points distractedly to the cheque."] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I don't understand you. 

128 



HANNAH 

And you went to London that June morning — I 
remember now. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

To buy the books. 

HANNAH 

And you would go in mufti. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It was too hot for black. 

HANNAH 

And the time I found you all smelling of eau-de- 
cologne ! You said Felicia had given it you for your 
headache. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And what else would she give it me for ? 

HANNAH 

And the burly, clean-shaven man ! God, how it all 
flies together ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

[With a desperate effort at self-comman<r\ 
I think, Hannah, you are losing your wits. 

HANNAH 

I shall lose them — O Father in heaven ! And Elsie 
129 



wanting clothes so badly. And the mission fund 
so 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Hush! 

[He doses the window.^ 

HANNAH 

And you never told me you had met her in Pinfold 
Craddock ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Why on earth should I ? 

HANNAH 

And you wouldn't let me see Mrs. Morrow, till you 
had made sure she didn't know. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah ! It comes on me suddenly what you mean. 
You surely can't think that I — that Miss Morrow 

HANNAH 

No — no — Mrs. Morrow has upset my nerves. . . . 
I had such faith in Felicia that now I feel anybody. . . . 
But no — not you ! That is impossible. 

[Struggling with herself she resumes her study of 

the -pass-book] 
But I do really wish you would fill in your counter- 
foils. 
130 



DR. VAUGHAN 

There are always the cheques to guide you. 

HANNAH 

Yes — but it's a worry. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I'm sorry. I do worry you, dear heart, don't I ? 

[Puts his face to hers'\ 
But I'll turn over a new leaf, I really will. 

HANNAH [S?nili7ig'\ 
Of the cheque-book ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [With a forced explosive laugh'] 
Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! I must send that to Punch, 

HANNAH [Smilimg on] 

It's all very well to laugh. But really, unless you re- 
form, I shall have to take away your cheque-book. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Gaily] 

And my latch-key, and stand me in the corner vnih a 

fool's cap. 

HANNAH 

Yes, and a sermon written on it. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ha! Ha! Ha! 
131 



HANNAH 

Look at this now — ^Thursday and no other date. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But it's between cheques for May 2 and May 7, so 
it's easy to find out. There you are — on the calendar ! 

[Points to it'\ 
Thursday, May 4. 

HANNAH 

Then May the first was Monday. 

DR. VAUGHAN [With ghastly facetiousness] 
" Which there's no deniging of it, Betsy ! " 

HANNAH 

But then — they don't pay Old Age Pensions on 
Monday. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And who said they did ? 

HANNAH 

Tou said — ^when you met Felicia in the post office 
at Pinfold Craddock on Mayday — a gaffer was drawing 
his Old Age Pension. But Friday is the day for that ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Well, it may have been his arrears — 

HANNAH 

That's true. 
132 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Or his savings. Only he looked so old I thought of 
the Pensions. And what a great thing they are for 
those little villages, Hannah, circulating the money 
and bringing grandparents back into respect. 

HANNAH 

Yes, I wish there could be State pensions for people 

like poor Mrs. Morrow. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Stroking her hair] 

I'm glad you're feeling kindlier to her, dear. 

HANNAH 

I do try, darling. 

\She takes his hand and rubs it against her cheek. 

Suddenly she utters a great agonised cry\ 
Ah! 

[She seizes the hand that caressed her, and stares 

at the ring that has rubbed her cheek.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What's up now ? 

HANNAH 

The strange ring ! ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But it's your own ring — my engagement ring with the 

device of the Teaching Priest. 

133 



HANNAH 

Yes, that is the horror of it ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Paling] 
Hannah ! 

HANNAH 

The man in the nursing home had a strange ring ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Your ring does not exhaust the oddities of annulation. 

HANNAH 

Don't give me arguments — I know each thing in itself 
is foohsh — but it's all the rings — they make a chain — 
a chain that is choking me. O God help us, God 
help us ! 

[Driven to bay, he looks at her for a moment as she 
twists her ha?ids, then he sighs wearily.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [In a matter-oj-jact voice] 
Ah well, I see I must confess. 

HANNAH [Huskily] 
Confess ! 

\^he stares at him.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

When I met her at the post ofhce in Pinfold Craddock 
I did find out what was the matter. In fact, Miss 
Morrow, overwhelmed with emotion at the sight 
of me, made me her priest, throwing herself on my 
134 



pastoral protection. What could I do ? I took up 
the burden. I found her the nursing home. I 
spent the forty pounds on her. 

HANNAH [Rising and coming to him] 
And the man — she told you his name ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Even his name I know. But I can't very well tell, 

can I ? 

HANNAH 

But you can make him marry her ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Mystically] 

That man is dead — it was he I buried at Pinfold 

Craddock. 

HANNAH 

Poor Felicia ! . . . But you only met her at the post 
ofhce, you said. 

Dr. VAUGHAN 

She could hardly be at his funeral. . . . That was part 
of her burden . .. , 

HANNAH 

Poor soul. . . . But you told me a lie about the books ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

That was part of my burden. I couldn't give away 
her secret, could I ? And it was books I bought in a 

135 



sense — a little cheque-book for her, a little pass- 
book 

\_Jlirily waves at his ozvfi] 
And with the remains of the money she was able to 
set up a little typing office, and keep herself and her 
child. 

HANNAH [Moved] 
My kind husband ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Turning uneasily from her] 
I wanted to be kind, believe me, Hannah — I always 
want to be kind. But it's been an awful strain. As 
you just said, even white lies turn black with time. I 
shall never have another secret from you, Hannah ! 

HANNAH 

My dear, my dear ! What were your white lies to 
my black accusations ? Oh, I could tear my tongue 
out ! See, I am so wretchedly repentant — and yet so 
terribly, terribly happy ! Oh ! Rodney ! 

[Sinks to her knees, and clings to him, sobbing 

hysterically.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, by God ! I can't stand this. Get up, get up, 
I tell you. It is all true — all true. 

HANNAH [Dazed— checking sobs] 

True ? What is true ? 

136 



DR. VAUGHAN 

You must get up. You must bear it. I tried to spare 
you. But you don't spare me. You kneel to me, 
and that's a worse hell for me than even the lies I've 
had to tell. 

HANNAH 

You've lied to me ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Lied till I felt my very tongue turning black. But I can't 
sink too low. I must keep some shred of self-respect. 

HANNAH 

Then it is true ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes. 

{Wipes the sweat from his forehead] 
I see now what a relief to the criminal to be caught ! 

HANNAH 

It is true ? You have broken God's commandment ! 
. . . You ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes. 

\JBozvs his head.'l 

HANNAH 

You have lied and deceived and committed adultery 

and ruined a girl 

137 



DR. VAUGHAN 

And shamed her child and borne false witness, and stolen 
the household money, and had other gods beside God, 
and taken His name in vain — everything, everything. 
Nigh the whole Decalogue stands by me desecrated. 

HANNAH 

And you can stand there ? And you do not sink into 
the earth ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Not so loud ! Nobody must hear. 

HANNAH [Rising in amaze] 
I am to shield you ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [His head bowed lower] 
To try and forgive my great sin against you. 

HANNAH 

What does it matter about me ? I feel degraded, 
sickened, crushed, but what do / count, compared 
with the degradation of your sacred ofhce ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Never mind my ofhce — I cry to you as human being 
to human being. 

HANNAH 

I can only think of your congregation. 
138 



DR. VAUGHAN 

They have only cause for rejoicing ! 

HANNAH [Dazed] 

Oh, my poor Rodney ! All this over-work 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And shall they not share the joy in heaven over the 
sinner that repenteth ? I give you the commonplaces 
of Christianity and you stare at me as if I were mad. 

HANNAH 

It is my last hope. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Dismiss it. I am very sane. My sin was madness, 
maybe. But now — I am perhaps the sanest man in 
this city. Because, what is sanity ? To know things 
as they are. Man as he is. God as he is ! I know 
now how man can fall — I know now how God can 
chastise and redeem. 

HANNAH [Sinking tragically into a chair] 
Then it is true ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't babble that again ! 

[Recovering his gentleness] 
Pull yourself together, dearest, and let us face facts. 

HANNAH [Moaning] 

O God ! O God ! . . . You ! ! 

139 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Pull yourself together — it's not so terrible as it looks 
now. 

HANNAH 

My husband ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And must it always be some other woman's ? Sin 
lieth at the door, you read in Genesis — shall it never 
come in ? Are the battles of the soul to be always 
elsewhere — like our British wars always on some far 
frontier ? 

HANNAH 

The husband I worshipped — next to God ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And who will always worship you ! 
{Touches her affectionately. 1 

HANNAH 

Don't put your hand on me — it is horrible, horrible. 
The sun gone out of heaven ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

The sun never goes out of heaven, Hannah. It is we 
who turn away from the sun. 

HANNAH [Hall to herself] 

When I saw you in the pulpit, I felt like Joshua when 
140 



he saw the angel with the drawn sword — and knew the 
hosts of the Lord must win 

DR. VAUGHAN 

My sword is still unsheathed ! 

\_She sobs tearlessly] 
Listen to me, dear wife. 

HANNAH 

I can't listen. I am your wife no longer. I must 
go away. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You would divorce me ? 

HANNAH [Rising] 

I must save your soul. The child must have a father ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And you — and Elsie ? 

HANNAH 

We must suffer for your sin. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And the congregation ? And the community ? And 
the scandal to the Church ? 

HANNAH 

You should have thought of that before. 
141 



DR. VAUGHAN 

And shall I not think of it now ? And the ribaldry 
of the masses ? And the gloating of the organs of 
Free-thought ? And the loss of faith among my flock ? 
And the 

HANNAH 

Don't ! Don't ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

The drunkards and drabs who love me and whom I 
love, and whom only my hand can drag up from the 
gutter — where you would now cast me ! 

HANNAH 
Don't, I tell you. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And God's work undone — the work I am thrilling to 

do! 

HANNAH 

You do God's work ! It is a sacrilege. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

An atonement ! I never so longed to save sinners. 

HANNAH 

Cease your blasphemies. You are unfit to mount the 

pulpit. 

142 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Unfit ? Unfit, Hannah ? I never was so fitted to 
preach God's word. 

HANNAH 

You ! Oh, if I could only laugh ! You — a minister 
of God ! 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes — now at last fitted to be His instrument- 
" Iron dug from central gloom, 
And heated hot wath burning fears. 
And dipt in baths of hissing tears " 



HANNAH 

Don't quote poetry now. This is real. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Then I assure you in prose, that when I look at my 
old sermons, I blush at the impudence and ignorance 
with which I, an innocent at home, dared to speak of 
sin to my superiors in sinfulness. 

HANNAH 

This jocosity is dreadful. A priest must be perfect. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ah, there's the jocosity that's dreadful. Perfect ! 
Beardless boys stuck up a ladder to preach to life- 
battered men and women ! 
H3 



HANNAH 

Didn't you dismiss those young men at the Training 
College on the mere breath of a scandal ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I did, God forgive me. I didn't know they might be 
qualifying better through sin than through the whole 
college curriculum. 

HANNAH [Putting her hands over her ears] 
A — a — a — h ! Satan has you indeed ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It is because I've known sin at first hand — known for 
myself all the dazzle of temptation and all the anguish 
of contrition — that I was able to comfort that poor 
woman. 

HANNAH 

Drowse her, I warrant, not comfort her, drug the 
remains of her conscience. Evil you call good and 
good evil. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

On the contrary. Now I know the difference between 
good and evil. It was through sin that Adam and Eve 
learnt it. Has that profound allegory no teaching 
for us ? O this fantastic hypothesis of perfection ! 
A sea captain who has never made a voyage — the per- 
fection of ignorance — and you trust him with the ship. 
You take a youth — the fool of the family for choice — 
144 



keep him in cotton-wool under a glass case, cram him 
with Greek and Latin, constrict his neck with a white 
choker, clap a shovel hat on his sconce, and lo ! he is 
God's minister ! But it is written, " He maketh His 
ministers flames of fire." 

HANNAH 

Then would you build a training college for sinners, 
a graduation college in iniquity ? Oh ! 
[Covers her eyes.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't caricature me. The seaman does not seek the 
storm, but he puts out to sea. The fledgling priest 
must face temptation, ay, and fight it to the bitter 
end. 

HANNAH 

Not such a very bitter end — for you and Felicia. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

If only that had been the end ! If there had been 
no after to the glamour of our romance 

HANNAH [Collapses on chair,murmuring] 
Romance ! O God ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes, I won't deny the uplift, the exultation, the stirring 
of dry bones — that's the bedazzlement and bedevil- 
I ment I've learnt to guard my flock against — but, oh 
my dear ! how it was all poisoned by the deceit we 
145 K 



had to practise on you ! But as we sow, we reap, and 
out of our suffering we must make our education. 

HANNAH 

I see Felicia's suffering — not yours. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And her suffering and yours and Amy's and Hubert's 
and Mrs. Morrow's — do I not suffer them all over 
again ? 

HANNAH \^^neerin^ 
Second-hand suffering ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And the scourge of sleeplessness ? 

HANNAH 

Fear of being found out. WTien it comes to facing 
exposure and losing your pride of place and your lust 
of power 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Hannah ! 

HANNAH 

Satan finds for you all these sophistries. 

DR. VAUGHAN \Passionately\ 

They are not sophistries. Every fibre in me longs to 

do God's work. Does He choose only perfect vessels 

to be His instruments ? He took Moses, the murderer 

146 



of the Egyptian, and used him to establish His people ; 
He took David, the beguiler of Bathsheba, and used 
him to estabhsh His Kingdom ; He took Paul, the 
stoner of Stephen, and used him to establish His 
Church. And shall I, tainted though I am, and worm 
though I am, compared with these, be utterly thrown 
away ? Wasted — when so much is crying out to 
be done ! Think of it — the sin and shame of the 
world ! 

HANNAH 

To which you have added. Oh, you sicken me vdth 
your hypocrisy. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I am not thinking of private sins, but of public sins — 
our commercial greeds, our organized injustices, our 
squalors and brutalities — our ghastly wars, all the 
sores of our civiHzation, all that goads us to our crusades. 
I tell you, Hannah, the sins we do as a people so out- 
weigh the sins we do as individuals, that I could almost 
cry : Each man as he pleases ! so long as the nation 
do right ! 

HANNAH 

Let each man do right and the whole nation is 
righteous. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Not so. One unrighteous war may wreak more 
misery than a myriad private crimes. Are there so 
H7 



many champions of national righteousness that you 
would paralyse this hand ? 

HANNAH 

How can I paralyse it ? I must do what is right. 
But you can always explain you are a skilled sea captain 
— A I at Lloyds, is that the phrase ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You know you would paralyse it. Even that sinful 
lady demanded sinlessness of me. It is one of the 
delusions of the modern world. 

HANNAH 

Then what an opportunity to correct it ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You know it can only be corrected by teachers not 
compromised. 

HANNAH 

Ah, sinlessness is necessary in a teacher ! 

[She sits at the table^ takes up her pen and writes.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 
What are you writing ? 

HANNAH 

What St. Paul wrote to Timothy : " That the man 

of God may be perfect." 

148 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't mock me. What are you writing ? 

HANNAH 

A letter to a lawyer, of course. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Snatching azaay her pen] 
You shall not kill my work ! 

HANNAH 

You are killing your soul — you must atone to Felicia. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It is you who would kill my soul by stifling its activities. 
Felicia asks no atonement. It was all I could do to 
make her take the few pounds to see her through. 
She's a free proud spirit. She demands her equal 
share of the blame, and would die rather than injure 
me. She saw how the double life was breaking me 
up. And she knew how I longed for the call to 
London — the real centre of energy. She knew my 
life-work was at stake, and it was she that said as 
Abram said to Lot, " Separate thyself, I pray thee, 
from me." • 

HANNAH 

And don't I say the same ? And yet you snatch my 
pen ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Spare me your mockery, I tell you. Listen ! Sir 

John hinted just before that the call to London was 
149 



imminent. Think of the activities you propose to 
kill. But you shan't. Take your pen. 
[Gives it back.~\ 

HANNAH 

WTiat will you do ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Go again through the hell of falsehood. 

HANNAH 

Lie, do you mean ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Terribly. 

HANNAH 

With your black tongue ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

With my white purpose. I have these crusades to 
lead — shall the slave traffickers rejoice over my broken 
sword ? Is it not enough that I admit to you and to 
my own, soul that I have done evil ? 

HANNAH 

Admit it to the world ! All else is hypocrisy. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smiting the table'] 

No ! If I teach my flock to hate sin, do I not feel 

and believe it down to the bleeding depths of my 

heart ? And suppose I did tear open my breast to 

150 



them, show them my spots and sores, would they 
understand ? No more than you understand. The 
Salvation Army understands. They raise the sinner 
from the dust. But your respectable classes — one 
stumble, and every foot, every hoof is trampling on him. 
But they sha'n't ! By heaven, they sha'n't ! I will 
lie — as Mrs. Morrow lied to protect Felicia. I have 
to protect you and my home and my daughter and 
my life-work. 

HANNAH 

You will fail as she failed. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And you will succeed only in stirring up a foul puddle 
— at which every filthy beast will rush to drink. Why, 
you can't even get a divorce, I suddenly remember. 

HANNAH 

Can't get a divorce ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, there's no cruelty. 

HANNAH 

This is not cruelty ? O God ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, nor desertion either. And even if you tried to 
get a judicial separation, what proofs have you that 
a judge and a jury wouldn't laugh at ? Was I at the 
nursing-home ? It was as the priest who held her secret. 
151 



Felicia will clear me, Felicia with her divine constancy 
of self-sacrifice. She, not you, is the Christian. 

HANNAH 

You would go into the witness-box and deny it ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Unflinchingly. 

HANNAH 

And add perjury to your other sins ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And add perjury to the sins I should understand. I 
should leave the court a plaster saint, a shining 
example of priestly perfection. All that is best in 
our church would rally round me, and you, my poor 
Hannah, would be branded as a morbid woman, 
crazed with jealousy. 

HANNAH 

I saw you as an angel — and you are a fiend. 
[Bursts into sobs.^ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I am neither — merely a man. 

[Sobbings HANNAH goes into her room, and the key 
is heard turning in the lock. dr. vaughan wipes 
his brow again, and throwing open the window 
draws a long breath of cool evening air. Then he 
turns out the lights and throws himself upon the 
divan in the moonlit darkness.^ 

[The Action Pauses.] 
152 



Third Movement 

Presently elsie opens the door and comes in. 

ELSIE 

Nobody here ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Wearily'] 

I'm here, Baby. Don't turn up the light. 

ELSIE 

Poor daddy ! Did I disturb your nap ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You know I don't nap so easily. But it rests me to lie 
in the moonlight. 

ELSIE 

Dear romantic old daddy ! And what a delicious 
smell from the garden ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But why aren't you in bed ? 

ELSIE 

Before dinner ! ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What am I thinking of ? 

ELSIE 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! You must have napped after all. 
153 



DR. VAUGHAN 

And night-mared ! The Archmundhams are gone, I 
suppose ? 

ELSIE 

Not yet. They're all in the drawing-room. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What are they hanging about for ? 

ELSIE 

I can't turn them out. And it looks so odd you and 
mother avoiding them. You might come up and 
pretend nothing was the matter. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Pretend ? Oh, about Amy's tantrums. 

ELSIE 

Yes, come along. We want livening up ! You shall 
give us one of your rattling songs. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Sing ? 

ELSIE 

Now, it's not a great tenor, so it needn't put on airs. 
And it hasn't got a cold. 

DR. VAUGHAN 
I can't, Elsie. 
154 



ELSIE 

Not even " The Death of Nelson ? " 

DR. VAUGHAN 
No! 

ELSIE 

Yes, you will. — Or else I shall ! 
[Sings] 

'Twas in Trafalgar Bay 

We saw the Frenchman lay 

Awful grammar, I know. But come along ! Amy'll 
play the accompaniment. 
[Trying to raise hint] 
What a sluggish parent it is ! Let us hear your rich 
manly voice troll it out. 
[Sings'] 

England expects that every man 
This day will do his duty, 

This day will do 

[A burst of hysteric sobbing comes from Hannah's 
room] 
What's that ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It sounded like Amy Archmnndham. 

ELSIE 

But it came from mother's room. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

One can't tell in the dark. 

[elsie moves towards room door] 
155 



No, don't go in. Mother's resting. 
[elsie knocks.'] 

HANNAH [Within] 
You can't come in. 

ELSIE 

But it's me — Elsie. 

HANNAH 

I can't see you now. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I told you so. Run upstairs. 

ELSIE 

But why does mother sound so cross ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

She's upset over Miss Archmundham. And Mrs. 
Morrow has been bothering, too. Cut along, Baby, 
and try to get rid of the Archmundhams. 

ELSIE 

They'd go quicker if you sang. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Springing up in mock anger, itself 

simulated] 
You malicious minx ! Why not try one of your 
poems ? 
156 



ELSIE 

Now, father ! You promised me never to mention 
them. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Be off then — or I'll recite one. 

[Strikes a drazai?ig-room reciter'' s attitude] 
" Dawn over the Factories," by George Rodney ! 

ELSIE [In mock terror] 
For heaven's sake ! 
[Rushes out] 
Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

[Js the door closes behind elsie, his laughter dies 
abruptly. He turns towards hannah's door] 

God ! how she suffers ! 

[He goes to her door and knocks. There is no answer] 

Hannah ! I must speak to you ! 

HANNAH [Withi7i] 
I'm too busy packing. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

For God's sake ! 

[Rattling the handle] 
Hannah ! 

[The key is heard turning, the door is slightly ofened, 

the light from hannah's room streams through. 

Her white face af pears in the illuminated patch.] 
^S7 



HANNAH 

What do you want ? Why are you in the dark ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Can I be in the Hght ? 

HANNAH 

No, indeed ! But that is what you must face.^ 

[She enters and turns it on. It shows him broken 
in body and spirit.^ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I know I must — ^if you insist on a judicial separation. 
Of course I couldn't fight against you or descend to 
perjury — forget my wild words. But you surely won't 
go away like this — without even a night for reflection ! 

HANNAH 

My duty needs no reflection. I must set you free. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But you can't, I tell you — unless we played a comedy. 

HANNAH 

Played a comedy ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Unless I refused you conjugal rights, for example. 

HANNAH [Outraged] 

What ! ! 

158 



DR. VAUGHAN 

You see, dear, even for a righteous end you would have 
to go a Httle crookedly. 

HANNAH [Passionately] 

I don't care. If that is man's law I can't take it 

seriously. You must be free to marry Felicia. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And bury the Rev. Rodney Vaughan ! And will that 

make yow any happier — I mean, my marrying Felicia ? 

HANNAH 

It will make you less sinful. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You madden me with your perfection — forgive me ! 
it's my own imperfection that maddens me. But what 
I want now is for you to consider yourself. 

HANNAH 

I am considering myself. How can I stay here ? 
Every room is profaned. To think that in this very 
sanctum — oh, I can't bear to look at it ! 
[Covers her eyes.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You would turn up the light. 

HANNAH 

I should see it all the more in the dark. Elsie and I 

must make a little home for ourselves. 

159 



DR. VAUGHN [Overzv helmed] 
Elsie, too ? 



HANNAH 

Do you think Felicia would want her about ? Oh, 
her sisters were lucky to die ! They shall not stay 
here ! 

[She seizes the photograph frames.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Let them be ! They are inscribed " To Dad ! " 

HANNAH 

Felicia won't want my children, too. 

[She takes the photographs out of the frames.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Give me my photographs ! 
[He takes hold of them.] 

HANNAH 

No! 

[He tries to wrest them from her. The door opens. 
She relaxes her hold., leaving them in his possession. 
Enter purvis, with a tray heaped high with letters 
and papers. He brings it to dr. vaughan, who 
motions him impatiently to place them on his writing- 
table. Exit PURVIS. DR. VAUGHAN penitently hands 

back the photographs to hannah.] 
160 



DR. VAUGHAN 

You are right ! I have forfeited even the dead. 

[He drops miserably into his chair at the writing- 
table^ while she places the photographs in her 
bosom.] 

But I love you, Hannah, despite everything. 

HANNAH 

Don't begin your lies again. Please ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It's not lies. We men can love in more ways than 

one. 

HANNAH 

Then you still love her ! 

DR. VAUGHAN \With a passionate sweep oj the hand 

that scatters the pile oj letters all over his table] 
WofiH you understand .? A hurricane whirled me 
from my moorings — no, you women saints will never 
understand that — but haven't I fought my way back 
in the teeth of the gale ? 

HANNAH 

For your career's sake — not for mine. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

For yours, too. Isn't every thought bound up with 
our joint life ? Can I sit at this table without remem- 
bering that we bought it together ? Can I walk in 
the garden and not feel who planted the irises ? Can 

l6l L 



I look at those frames, even thougli you have emptied 
them, and not think of the children we have loved and 
lost ? . . . You talk of divorce ! Can I shake off all 
our years together and begin a new life with a com- 
parative stranger ? 

HANNAH [Softened — moving towards him] 
You did begin it. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And end it. Since that day at the nursing home we 
have not exchanged a word, a look, a line ! 

HANNAH 

Are you sure — are you very sure ? 
[Approaches the writing-table.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I had a circular announcing her little type-writing 
estabhshment. That was the absolute last. 

HANNAH 

You dare tell me that when a letter from I 

[Points to one of the scattered letters.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Agitated] 
A letter from Felicia ! 

HANNAH 

Can't you smell the reek of her eau- de-cologne ? 
[dr. VAUGHAN extends his hand to take it, then draws 
back.] 
162 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Open it ! 

HANNAH 
I ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Yes ! Read it ! 

[hannah's hand goes slowly and doubtfully towards 
the letter. She picks it up.] 

HANNAH [Handing it to him] 
Ton take it ! I can't bear the scent. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Read it ! 

[hannah's trembling fingers fumble vainly at the 

envelope.'] 
You see — you tell me to marry her — and your hand 
trembles with jealousy. 

HANNAH 

It's not jealousy. It's the sense of a quicksand under 
my feet ; no solid foothold anywhere. Nothing I 
can believe. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't deny all flesh and blood ! Isn't the gulf 

between us wide enouph ? 

163 



HANNAH 

If I am jealous, all the more reason I should give her 
up to you. Take her letter ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No! 

[Puts his hands behind his back.] 

HANNAH [Opening the letter fumblingly, and reading] 
" Dear Pastor — As we may chance to meet to-morrow, 
when I must come up to say good-bye to Hubert, I 
had better — warn — " no, that's scratched out — " tell 
— better tell you I shall be accompanied by my 
husband." 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What ! ! 

[He turns agitatedly, and takes the letter from 

her and reads on] 
" I have married a rising young author, whose novel 
I had been typing. He is very good to me and fond 
of little Davie — 

[Pauses in emotion] 
— ^who ih gaining weight fast. Always in grateful 
goodwill — Felicia Venables." 

[He lets the letter flutter to the ground and stands 

miserable.] 



HANNAH [In mingled relief and horror] 
And she marries him without telling him- 
164 



DR. VAUGHAN 

She has obviously told him everything — except my 
name. 

HANNAH 

And men will marry Hke that ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

We are not so hard as you, you see. 

HANNAH 

And the child — he will pretend it is his ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Gloomily] 
It will pass as his — naturally. 

HANNAH 

Horrible ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Society has the shams it deserves. 

HANNAH 

How deserves ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

If it will recognize only two classes of persons — the 
perfect and the imprisoned. 

HANNAH 

It makes me feel Hke on a rocking ship. 
165 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Because you have never known the deeps of Hfe — 
you're only used to the harbour. One must get one's 
sea-legs. 

HANNAH 

Tou seem rather white. 

DR. VAUGHAN [With sudden fierceness] 

And isn't it ghastly to think of Felicia tied to a man 

she doesn't love ? 

HANNAH 

How do you know she doesn't love him } 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Don't say anything against Felicia. She couldn't 

change like that ! 

HANNAH 

Poor mother ! Then it's for the child she sacrificed 
herself. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

It's for me she has sacrificed herself ! God ! see 
where my scoundrelism has driven her ! She feared 
I wouldn't be strong enough — that I should be drawn 
back to her — her and my boy. So she puts an im- 
passable barrier between us. . . . She's a great 
creature, I tell you. . . . And perhaps she knew me 
better than I knew myself. . . . Anyhow, here's an 
end to your revelations and reparations. 
1 66 



HANNAH 

How an endj? 

DR. VAUGHAN [In amazed alarm] 

You don't want to divorce me all the same ? Publicly, 

at least. That's not your duty now. 

HANNAH 

It's your duty I'm thinking of. You can't go into 
your pulpit while your congregation remains ignorant 
that 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Good God ! You expect me to confess ? Now ? 
And ruin Felicia's position ! I tell you not a hair of 
her head 

HANNAH 

You needn't mention her name any more than she 
mentioned yours. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You ask me to shatter everything Felicia sacrificed 
herself to save ! 

HANNAH 

You can't go on preaching while you yourself are a 
whited sepulchre. You must make your peace with 

God. 
167 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Peace ! What a beautiful word ! Yes — the strength 

to fight seems snapped. Peace ! 

HANNAH [Eagerly] 
Then you will confess ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And do you think I have strength for claptrap con- 
fessions ? I am tired, I tell you — suddenly tired. 

HANNAH 

But there is only one road to peace and rest. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes — only one road. 

[elsie throws ofen the door and runs in excitedly, 
Jiourishifig a newspaper.] 

ELSIE 

Oh, father ! The Courier has such a lovely picture 
of the President of the ! 

Dr! VAUGHAN 

I wish you wouldn't rush so. 

ELSIE 

But it's so splendiferous ! 

\He motions her impatiently to leave it\ 
And you've dropped a letter. 

[Picks up Felicia's letter and puts it on his table] 
What an awful post ! Lucky it's the last. 
i68 



DR. VAUGHAN [Broodingly] 
Yes, the last post. 

ELSIE 

Can't I help you ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, Baby, you can't help me. 

ELSIE [Passing by the bureau] 

Why, who has taken away Ruth and Mary ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Do leave me in peace. 

{i.'LSi'E. files out] 
And you, too, Hannah. 

HANNAH 

If it is in peace with God ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

God understands the faults of His creature. He knows 
that my sin came out of the very glory of His world. 
If I could fall asleep in His arms ! 

[His head sinks on his breast in utter weariness. 

There is a double rat-tat at the house-door. He 

does not move.'] 

HANNAH [Vaguely terrified] 

You are drugged. Sin has drugged you. Come ! 

Face your sin. Be yourself. 

169 



DR. VAUGHAN 

This is myself. 

HANNAH. 

Then yourself is a man I have never known. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And whose acquaintance I am still making. 

[Enter purvis with a telegram, dr. vaughan still 
does not move.] 

HANNAH [Controlling her voice] 
Is that for me ? 

PURVIS [Sternly] 

No, mum, for Vaughan. Reply prepaid. 
[Gives it to her husband.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Reading it and crumpling it up 

angrily] 
Those pestering papers ! 

[Throws it into the waste-paper basket, purvis 

lifigers.] 
No answer ! 

HANNAH 

But you needn't waste the reply form. 

[She picks up the crumpled mass, and reads the wire 

aloud] 
"Kindly inform Herald^ s readers how propose start 
Crusades." Thirty-six words prepaid. 

[She sits at table and takes a pen.] 
170 



DR. VAUGHAN [To purvis] 
I told you no answer. 

PURVIS 

Yes, sir. But can't I tell you now about Macbeth ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What is this nonsense about Macbeth ? 

[purvis looks disconcerted^ 
Fire away, then ! 

PURVIS 

I did go to th' play-house with Sir John's coachman — 
we've had a searching of hearts over it just now — it's 
been weighing on us both. 

DR. VAUGHAN \With a faint smile] 
Macbeth hath murdered sleep, eh ? 

PURVIS 

I wouldna go so far as to say that. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And is that all that's on your conscience ? 

PURVIS 

Yes, sir. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And you could now look Sir John in the face ? 

PURVIS 

Like a man. 
171 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Even when carrying in my pyjamas ? 

PURVIS 

They werna very clean, sir. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Smiling] 
I see. So now you are perfect. 

PURVIS 

Oh no, Dr. Vaughan. No man was ever perfect — 
except Noah. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And he got drunk ! 

PURVIS 

That was after the flood, sir. M'appen he got tired 
of water. 

DR. VAUGHAN 
Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

HANNAH [Counting what she has written'] 
Thirty-five, thirty-six ! Here's the answer ! 

[Risings she gives it to purvis who starts to go. dr. 

VAUGHAN is taken aback but recovers himself.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

One moment ! 

[He takes it from purvis and scans it questioningly] 
Wants a word or two altered. You needn't wait. 

[purvis goes out. He tears the telegram in two] 



You expect me to tell the paper that I propose to 
start the Crusades against iniquity by proclaiming my 
own sin from the pulpit ! 

HANNAH 

And how else can you preach your new gospel ? 

DR. VAUGHAN [Puzzled] 

My new gospel ? 

HANNAH 

That repentant sinners make the best ministers. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh that ! 

[Throws pieces in wastepaper basket] 
Isn't that all a web of sophistry — spun just as you 
said — to cover up my sin ? 

HANNAH 

Not if you tear away the covering ! Not if you purge 
yourself by public confession ! That may be a re- 
baptising — so as by fire. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Kindled] 
Ha! 

HANNAH 

And then God might deign to use you again as His 
instrument. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Exalted hy her fervour] 

Then you believe in my idea ? 

173 



HANNAH 

It is for you to prove it to me. Show the world the 
triumph of conscience. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And if it proves our ruin ? 
[elsieJ?zVj" in.^ 

ELSIE 

You're v^^anted at the 'phone, mother — Oh, I'm sorry, 
father, I rushed so — but it's most urgent, she says. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Who says ? 

ELSIE 

Mrs. Morrow. 

HANNAH [Surprised] 
Mrs. Morrow ? 

[Goes towards door. With -parting admonition to 

her husband] 
Send that telegram ! 

[Exit.] 

ELSIE 

Shall / take it ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, no, it's not ready. 
J74 



ELSIE 

And you haven't looked at your picture in the Courier I 
[Picks it up reproachfully.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Not now, Baby. 

[He goes out to the garden^ elsie is following] 
Please ! I want to be alone. 

[Exit.] 

ELSIE 

Poor overworked Dad ! But I suppose you must pay 

for your pictures. 

[She stands at the open window^ gloating over the 
biography. With a little knock, unheeded by her, 
JOHN comes in, pausing at the door ; then, seeing 
she is rapt, he steals up behind her.] 

JOHN 

Another of your poems ? 

ELSIE [Startled] 

Oh ! . . . What poems ? I'm reading about father ! 

[Shows the picture of him] 
Why have you come down ? 

JOHN 

I was bored without you. Shall we go into the 
garden ? 

ELSIE 

What for ? We don't grow potatoes. 

175 



JOHN 

Don't tease. Do let us go. 

ELSIE 

No. 

JOHN 

Not with such a heavenly moon ? 

\He stands at the garden-zvindozv.] 

ELSIE 

Heavenly ? What else can the moon be ? 

JOHN 

Come along ! 

ELSIE [Shaking her head] 
Father is there ! 

JOHN [Eagerly] 

Oh, you want us to be alone. 

ELSIE 

No, I want father to be alone. 

JOHN 

Always pulling me down from heaven. 

ELSIE [Lookifig up] 

Ursa Minor seems still there. 
176 



JOHN [BitUrly] 

That's your idea of me — the Little Bear ! 

ELSIE [Roguishly] 

Well, you don't consider yourself the Great Bear ? 

That's your father. 

JOHN 

I should like to give you a great hug. 

ELSIE [Retreating a little] 

Don't be such a savage bear. Doesn't all this starry 

peacefulness soothe you ? 

JOHN 

No, it fires me — like your poem. 

ELSIE 

My poem ? 

JOHN 

In Saturday's Courier. 

ELSIE [Blushing, murmurs^ embarrassed] 
How do you know ? 

JOHN 

Well, it's signed " George Rodney," and in literature 
George is always a lady. And Rodney wasn't very 
difficult to place, was it, George ? 
^77 M- 



ELSIE 

Mr. Archmundham, you mustn't 

JOHN 

Mustn't call you by somebody else's Christian name ? 

ELSIE 

We must be going back to your people. 

JOHN 

Besides, I didn't need that clue — I saw your tender 
soul in every line. 

ELSIE 

What do y(9M know of tenderness ? 

JOHN 

Ah, you think me a bear because I can't take the old 
people seriously — this deity of theirs with his big 
beard and his eye on everything ! But between your 
poetry and my science there is no hostility. Truth 
and love — that's all we have for the certainties of our 
elders. Can't we make them enough ? 

ELSIE [Smilingly] 
Poetry and potatoes ? 

JOHN 

Isn't that all that really matters ? 

ELSIE 

But need we despise our elders ? 
178 



JOHN 

You shall teach me toleration. Only love me, Elsie 
love me, as I love you. . . . 

[She turns away\ 
Ah, I know you can't yet, but in time — perhaps — 

ELSIE 

But I do love you. 

JOHN 

Elsie ! 

ELSIE 

Why else did I detest you ? I have loved you — oh, a 
dreadful time, ever since you took those brilliant 
degrees. But you seemed so far away — so abominably 
clever — so disgustingly rich 

JOHN 

And you detested me for that ? 

ELSIE 

No, not for that — you couldn't help that. But you 
seemed so cruel, so cynical — I had to fight against 
myself. 

JOHN 

But now ? 

ELSIE 

Now I see you are good — good ! 

[She falls into his armsJ] 
179 



JOHN 

Oh, Elsie, I shall never be as good as you. 

ELSIE 

Oh, John, it has been terrible — this strange cruel 
aching towards you — this feeling that it could not be. 
Even now I feel this is only a dream. 

JOHN 

So long as we never wake ! 

[Their lips meet. Enter hannah.] 

HANNAH [Dazed'] 
Elsie ! 

ELSIE [Scarcely moving] 
Oh, mother, I am so happy. 

JOHN 

And I, too, mother. 

HANNAH 

You have got engaged ? 

JOHN 

Wasn't it clever of us ? 

HANNAH [Half to herself] 

My God ! Who could have foreseen this ? 

[Staggers, siftks into chair.] 
180 



ELSIE [Catching her] 
Mother ! 

HANNAH 

It is impossible — impossible. 
[Pushes ELSIE azvay.] 

JOHN 

You refuse your consent ? 

HANNAH 

Elsie is no fit match for you — we are only plain 
people 

JOHN 

Elsie plain ? Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

HANNAH 

You are so rich ! 

JOHN 

I am, indeed. 

[Clasps ELSIE.] 

HANNAH 

One day you will be titled. 

JOHN 

Don't rub it in. It may happen to you yet — with a 
husband like yours. ... So now we are through 
with the objections. 
i8i 



HANNAH 

No ! This marriage cannot take place. 

ELSIE [Tragically] 

What do you mean, mother ? 

HANNAH [Rising] 

It is impossible. It's a saving of pain to tell you so 

at once. 

JOHN 

But how impossible ? Here am I and here is Elsie. 

HANNAH 

And here was Amy and here was Hubert. 

JOHN 

I see ! You mean to pay us out for rejecting Hubert. 

HANNAH 

As if I would hurt Elsie for that ! 

ELSIE [Passionately] 

And why else would you hurt me ? 

HANNAH [To john] 
Please go ! 

JOHN 

Are you not going to give me a reason ? 
182 



HANNAH 

Your father will give you a reason — when he knows. 

JOHN 

Oh, that's what you think, is it ? Excuse me a 
moment, Elsie. 

\He runs out, hannah goes distractedly towards 

the garden.] 

ELSIE 

Where are you going ? 

HANNAH 

To tell father — I suppose he's out here. 

ELSIE 

But I want you to listen to me ! You must listen ! 

HANNAH [Dazed now throughout'] 
Yes — yes — ^what do you want to say ? 

ELSIE 

I love John. Do you understand ? 

HANNAH 

Yes, I understand. 

ELSIE 

And if you take John from me, I shall not carry on like 
Amy — but there will be a great gulf fixed between 
you and me. Do you understand ? 
183 



HANNAH 

Yes, yes. 

ELSIE 

And I shall just break my heart — do you understand ? 

HANNAH 
I understand. 

ELSIE 

You don't look as if you did ! You are not attending 
to me at all. 

HANNAH 

Wait ! Wait — don't be so impatient with me. Yes, 

it is all coming to me. If I take John away from you, 

you will go away from me — on the other side of a 

gulf- 

[She screams] 
No, no, Elsie ! Not you, too ! 

[Throws her arms round her, bursting into tears.] 

ELSIE 

Yes, I too. I have always stood up for the old genera- 
tion. But now I see how they crush the young, how 

they sacrifice us to their incomprehensible 

[sir JOHN opens the door, john behind him.] 

SIR JOHN [Radiant] 
May / have a look in ? 

[h ANN AH tries to sup-press her sobs] 
No, don't mind me, Mrs. Vaughan, I'm a bit choky 
184 



myself. But when you've done with my daughter, 
/'d like a hug at her. 

JOHN [Beaming] 

The Great Bear ! What did I tell you ? 

HANNAH 

Sir John, believe me, if I had dreamed of this 



SIR JOHN 

You'd have dreamed true. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

[Embraces elsie, who becomes as radiant as he.] 

HANNAH [Imperiously interrupting this dalliance] 
Sir John ! I must tell you. Ten minutes ago Mrs. 
Morrow rang me up. She is coming here to see you. 

SIR JOHN [Throwing up his hands] 
Not again to-night ! 

HANNAH 

I'm afraid I advised her to. She's got important 
news which she begged me to carry to you — but I 
persuaded her to jump into a taxi for once and tell 
you herself. 

SIR JOHN 

Bother ! Just when I thought we'd have a bit of a 
jollification ! 

JOHN [Shocked] 
Jollification ! 
185 



SIR JOHN 

Yes, you potato ! The night / got engaged there was 
a party and we all sang. 

JOHN 

Hymns ? 

ELSIE [Shaking her finger laughingly] 
John ! 

SIR JOHN 

Hymns are jollier than your drawing-room ballads. 
Think what Amy has been squalling. And now on 
top of her comes Mrs. Morrow. 

ELSIE \_Still laughing] 
She isn't going to sing ? 

SIR JOHN 

Worse! . . . John, would you mind taking Elsie away ? 

JOHN 

At such a moment, father, I can refuse you nothing. 
[Facetious exit with elsie.] 

SIR JOHN [burning sternly on hannah) 

I do hope Mrs. Morrow hasn't been working on your 

feminine weakness. Facts are facts. 

HANNAH 

And there is a new one. 
186 



SIR JOHN 

There is indeed — that I take a daughter from your 
hallowed home. You and I must combine now to 
guard our family honour. 

HANNAH [Huskily] 

Yes. . . . But suppose . . . 

SIR JOHN 

And your husband must help too. What's become of 
him ? 

HANNAH 

He was here just before. 

[Calling at garden-windozv\ 
Rodney ! . . . Rodney ! . . . He must have walked 
into the street. 

[Summons up all her strength)] 
But you mustn't speak, Sir John, as if this marriage 
was all settled. 

SIR JOHN 

Your husband may feel slighted, you mean ? 

HANNAH [Resolutely] 

I mean — if my husband opens his heart to you — 

[Her whole being seems agitated with a mental 

struggle. She ends weakly] 
objections may be revealed. 

SIR JOHN 

Fudge ! What objections can be revealed ? He'll be 

as delighted as I am. 

187 



HANNAH [Wavering] 
You really are delighted ? 

SIR JOHN 

Can you ask ? The offspring of such parents ! 

HANNAH [With a last flicker oj resistance] 

But surely John ought to do better — Lady Muriel 

Travers, for example. 

SIR JOHN 

I don't deny Lady Muriel would have brought more 
land ! But not more looks ! Eh ? And John has 
got quite enough land for his potatoes. What ? Ha ! 
Ha ! Ha ! I'm so glad the Dower House is just 
empty for them. And what an opportunity to work 
off my carriages on them as wedding-presents and get 
motors. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 
[Enter purvis.] 

PURVIS 

Mrs. Morrow for Sir John Archmundham. 

HANNAH 

Show her in here. 

[puRVis goes through door, hannah towards garden^ 

SIR JOHN 

Don't go — I want your moral support. The family 

must stick together. 

[hannah, obviously still distressed by her conscience, 
turns back, purvis ushers in mrs. morrow and 
exit. MRS. MORROW stands in stately -pride.] 



HANNAH [Apologetically] 

Sir John asks me to remain. Won't you sit down I 

MRS. MORROW 

Thank you. 

\Ig?iores chair] 
Sir John, I did not think I could ever face you again, 
but for my boy's sake — and your girl's 

SIR JOHN 

Please come to the new fact. 

MRS. MORROW 

Felicia is married ! 

[Holds out a letter] 
She's just written. 

SIR JOHN 

Eh ? The scoundrel has married her ? 

MRS. MORROW 
So it seems. 

SIR JOHN 

And who was he ? 

MRS. MORROW 

He's a young author. So you see 



SIR JOHN 

I shall see his works don't get into the pubHc Hbrary. 
189 



HANNAH [Agitated] 

But that would be unjust. ... I mean, the books 

mightn't be evil. 

SIR JOHN 

I know those books. I thought you were here to give 
me your moral support. . . . Well, Mrs. Morrow, 
I'm glad the thing's put right so far, and it's better 
for their child. But I don't see how it removes my 
objection. 

HANNAH 

But surely, Sir John ! 



SIR JOHN 

Tainted stock is tainted stock. 



HANNAH [Hotly] 
One flaw doesn't — 



MRS. MORROW [Proudly] 

Please, Mrs. Vaughan ! Good-bye, Sir John ! 

[Sweeps to the door. Turns] 
If you could see Hubert's condition you would under- 
stand how I could humble myself. But you and I will 
not meet again ! 

AMY [Appearing suddenly outside windozv] 

Oh yes, you will, mother ! 

190 



HANNAH 

Miss Archmundham ! 

SIR JOHN 

Amy ! 

MRS. MORROW 

Miss Archmundham ! 



together. 



AMY [Entering] 

You two are going to be great friends. 

SIR JOHN 

Eavesdropping ! 

AMY 

And who has the right to decide my hfe behind my 
back ? Was I to let the old Doge hold another 
Council of Three ? Elsie told me Mrs. Morrow was 
coming to it, and as she and John didn't seem anxious 
for my society, I thought I'd make a fourth. 

SIR JOHN 

The old Doge wished to spare your delicacy. 

AMY 

Then he should never have let me do district visiting. 
Felicia has only followed the local custom. Don't 
look so shocked ! You know our masses only marry 
afterwards. The torture you've put me to, guessing at 
Hubert's iniquities. And all the while he's a mar- 
tyred saint ! You ought to be ashamed of yourself. 
191 



SIR JOHN 

Tou ought to be ashamed to go by the masses. We 
Archmundhams have to set a standard. 

AMY 

Yes, of justice. Even Mrs. Vaughan, who's Hke the 
angel of judgment, was shocked at you. 

SIR JOHN [Contemptuously] 

Angelof judgment ! You women are all ahke. Three 
of you, and not one standing up for law and civiliza- 
tion. 

AMY 

Hurrah ! Votes for women ! 

SIR JOHN 

But John is on my side. 

AMY [Scornfully] 

John ! He thinks people are like potatoes. 

SIR JOHN 

So they are ! 

AMY 

Well, you can't boil us in our skins. That's a comfort. 

SIR JOHN 

But we can throw you into the dust-bin. I mean the 
bad ones. Women with pasts should be eliminated. 
J 92 



AMY 

Women have to marry men with, pasts. 

HANNAH 
Or futures. 

SIR JOHN 

Two wrongs don't make a right. 

[amy goes to the door] 
Where are you off to ? 

AMY 

To telephone to the shipping company. 

SIR JOHN 

What for ? 

AMY 

To cancel Hubert's passage. 

SIR JOHN 

Eh ? 

MRS. MORROW 

But the office will be closed, dear. 

AMY 

Bother ! Then I'll tell Hubert he's engaged. 

SIR JOHN 

What ! 

AMY [Going to him] 

The dear old Doge has withdrawn the embargo. 

193 



SIR JOHN 

No, I haven't 

[She kisses him cajolingly] 
at least, not till Dr. Vaughan does — I wish he'd come 
in. 

AMY 

Why Dr. Vaughan ? 

SIR JOHN 

John and Elsie told you they^ve. engaged, didn't they ? 
Well, then ! It all affects Dr. Vaughan's honour now 
— don't you see ? — and as we never consulted him 
about Elsie, we must leave somet\i\iig to him ! 

AMY [Shaking her head at him] 

Oh you men ! You must save your faces. Well, 

anyhow 

[Links her arm in mrs. morrow's] 
we can go and help Hubert unpack ! 

MRS. MORROW 

This relief is too much ! 

[She droops half-fainting on amy's arm.'] 

SIR JOHN [With a courtly bow] 

Mrs. Morrow \n\\ do me the honour of using my 

carriage. 

AMY 

I told you you two would be great friends ! Good- 
night, Mrs. Vaughan. You've been so kind. 
194 



MRS. MORROW 

Good-night, Sir John, thank you for your carriage. 

AMY 

A rivederci, Doge ! 

MRS. MORROW 

Good-night, Mrs. Vaughan. 
[Exit with AMY.] 

HANNAH 

Good-night ! 

[She stands like a statue,^ 

SIR JOHN 

You see how they desert me — both my chicks. 

HANNAH [Dully'] 

Yes — there's a gulf whatever one does. 

SIR JOHN 

Never mind — they get us the grandchicks. Cheer up, 
mother — don't look as if 'twas a funeral. 
[amy fops in a laughing head.] 

AMY 

Doge ! 

SIR JOHN 

Yes, darling. 
195 



AMY 

TouWe a pretty Grand Signor ! You offer Mrs. 
Morrow your carriage and it isn't there ! 

SIR JOHN [Roaring] 

Why, what has the rascal ? 



HANNAH 

You sent it to Judson's. 

SIR JOHN 
So I did. 

AMY 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

[h ANN AH is moving to the door.] 

SIR JOHN 

No, don't trouble. I'll see to it all. All these young 
people with their love-affairs send one's wits wool- 
gathering. 

[Exit. HANNAH moves like a sleep-walker to the 
table. She catches sight of Felicia's letter.] 

HANNAH [Startled into terror] 

Her letter ! 

[Tearing it into -pieces] 

How careless of Rodney ! 

[She throws the pieces into the waste-paper basket. 
Then she takes out the photographs from her bosom., 
and carefully replaces them in their frames. Enter 
DR. vaughan by the garden window. She utters a 
cry of relief .] 

Rodney ! Where have you been ? 
196 



DR. VAUGHAN [Who looks exalted] 

Up to the stars, I think. Your words hftcd me. 

HANNAH [Dazed] 

My words ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes. Not sleep, struggle. Not hypocrisy, truth. I 

shall fight. 

HANNAH 

Fight ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Sweep away this modern cant of the plaster priest ! 
All the saints and prophets of the world were sown 
in sin — as lilies are reared in peat. St. Augustine, 
St. Francis, Tolstoy — there isn't a church in the 
world, to-day, would have given any of 'em a post ! 
Well, let them take away mine ! 

HANNAH [Trembling] 

You are going to tell them ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes, dear. Without Felicia's name, of course. And 
if they cast stones at me, I will take those stones and 
of them I will build a new church — the church of 
reality. By God ! they shall not paralyse this hand ! 
... Is Sir John gone ? 
197 



HANNAH 

Yes — no — getting his carriage. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Good. Then let him cast the first stone ! 
[Goi?ig towards the door.l 

HANNAH 

No, no — not now — not to-night. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But I must — now, while I hold the vision beautiful ! 
To-morrow it may have faded. 

HANNAH 

The sooner it fades the better ! Oh, God help us ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Hannah ! What has come over you ? 

HANNAH 

Elsie — Elsie is engaged to John Archmundham ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Oz;erwhelmed] 

Elsie — my little Elsie ! Why, she's a baby ! 

HANNAH 

A woman with a will of iron, but a heart you can crush 
like a bird's. And don't you see that if Sir John 
knows that Elsie's father — oh, Rodney ! 

[Covers her eyes.] 
Even John himself was against Amy's marriage. 
198 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Wait ! Let me grasp this transformation ! Do you 
mean that Sir John has consented ? 

HANNAH 

Yes. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But he wanted John to marry Lady Muriel ! 

HANNAH 

He's dehghted John shall marry our Elsie. 

DR. VAUGHAN [Slowly] 

Then — I am not to confess ? Not to fight ? 

HANNAH 

It would break Elsie's heart — as Amy's was nigh 
broken. . . . Oh, I don't wonder you look at me hke 
that. To think that I dared to preach to you, to 
madden you with my perfection — I, a Pharisee, 
yes, you were right — a Pharisee who had never been 
tempted — ^who at the first temptation threw over 
everything. 

[Breaks down.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Soothingly] 
But for Elsie's sake not your own. 

HANNAH 

Don't try to comfort me. It was sheer maternal 
199 



weakness. It's not even as if I was thinking purely of 
Elsie's broken heart. Satan kept whispering, too, of 
the carriages she would drive in, the title she would 
one day bear. And how she would hate me if I kept 
her from everything. And all the mud and filth if 
you confessed and fought. And all the horrible 
burden and anxiety of the fight, which might end in 
our all starving, and which at heart I didn't even 
believe we had a right to win. 

[dr. vaughan makes a gesture of protest.~\ 
Oh, I know I talked fine about your new gospel, but I 
was so harrowed by the state you got into I daresay 
I'd have subscribed to any absurdity. And wasn't 
there a voice underneath all along, crying, what does 
anything matter but to make him happy again, but to 
have his arms around you again some day ? 

[Covers her face in shame] 
You said you were still making your own acquaintance. 
I've only begun to make mine. Oh, how ugly every- 
thing is ! I 

[Breaks down.] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And how beautiful ! Don't you see, dear, that all 
this brings us a little nearer again ? That it bridges, 
if only by a span, the gulf between us ? 

HANNAH 

Is there any gulf between us ? I shall have to stand 
by and connive at your career, as I had to stand by 
and hear Felicia's young husband slandered as her 
seducer. 
200 



DR. VAUGHAN [Eagerly-] 
They know she's married ? 



HANNAH 

Mrs. Morrow came back with the new fact. She 
hoped it would soften Sir John. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And did it ? 



HANNAH 

Hubert and Amy are practically engaged. 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Thank God ! That's one burden ofT my conscience. 
I know, dear, I've been a great disillusion to you, but 
in time — when you see how I use my pulpit to teach 
what my sin has taught me, you will not find it so 
degrading to . . . connive at my career. 



HANNAH 

Oh, I didn't mean to wound you — but I was so looking 
forward to your call to London. And now — I can 
never be proud of you again. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

But you can learn to despise me less, 
20 1 



HANNAH 

I haven't the right to despise you — ^weren't you ready 
to do the great thing ? It's myself I despise for 
stopping you. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

No, no. You sacrificed your ideal to Elsie, I sacrificed 
mine to myself. 

HANNAH [Wailing] 
Don't try to comfort me. 

[EnUr SIR JOHN. Half retreats apologetically.] 

SIR JOHN [Murmuring] 
Oh, I'm sorry. 

HANNAH [Deaf to his entry] 
Don't try to comfort me. 

SIR JOHN [Coming forward] 

But mother ! Elsie'll only be two miles off ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ah, Sir John ! 

[Shakes his hand] 
We're both really very glad about Elsie and your boy. 
And still gladder about Amy and Hubert. 

SIR JOHN 

Oh, you sentimentalists ! Well, after all, of course, 
it isn't as if Hubert's father had disgraced himself, 

202 



eh, Mrs. Vaughan ! A sister is rather a side issue. 
What ? 

[Vigorous rat- tatting and ringing at the street 

door] 
Ah, there theyjjare ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

There who are ? 

SIR JOHN [Smiling] 
Prepare to receive cavalry. 

HANNAH 

A deputation ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

At this hour ? I won't see them. 

SIR JOHN 

Oh, but my dear Doctor 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I'm tired out. I haven't even seen Elsie since she got 

engaged, and I 

[Enter purvis. Js the door opens a motley buzz 
of conversation and laughter is heard from the 
passage.] 

PURVIS 

The Elders ! 
203 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Ask them to come in the morning, Purvis, I'm too 
tired. 

[puRvis hesitates.] 

HANNAH 

Ask them into the drawing-room — 77/ see them. 

[puRVis closes the door behind him : the babble 
dwindles.] 

SIR JOHN 

But, Mrs. Vaughan, it's a testimonial. To the Presi- 
dent of the Conference ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 
I don't care. 



SIR JOHN 
Don't be absurd. 



DR. VAUGHAN 

I don't feel Hke taking testimonials. 

SIR JOHN 

Because you're tired ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Because I'm unworthy. 
204 



SIR JOHN 

Tut ! Tut ! That's what they all say. But they 
take 'em ! Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

[Claps DR. VAUGHAN oTt the shoulder] 
Come along. 

[puRvis re-apfears at the door, bearing a large and 

handsome silver salver.^ 

PURVIS 

Does th' tray go upstairs, too ? 

SIR JOHN 

Yes — but bring it over here. Let the Doctor see it ! 

DR. VAUGHAN [Waving it back] 
I don't want to see it. 

SIR JOHN 

Show it to Mrs. Vaughan. 

DR. VAUGPIAN 

Ah, trying to tempt Eve. 

HANNAH [Waving it back] 

But if my husband feels unworthy 



SIR JOHN [Getting exasperated] 

Stuff and nonsense ! Just hear the inscription. Read 

it, Purvis. 

PURVIS 

Ay, that will I. 

[Reads with unction] 

205 



" To the Rev. Dr. Rodney Vaughan, who combines 
the sainthness of the minister with the abihty of the 
statesman, this unworthy memento " 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Ugh ! Take it away ! 

PURVIS 

Ay, ay, blessed are the meek. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And say I don't feel able to see them or to take it. 

HANNAH 

But that the Doctor will acknowledge their kindness 
from the pulpit. 

PURVIS 

I understand, mum. 

[Exit, carrying salver, his lips still unctuously 

murmuring] 
" Who combines the sainthness of the minister with 
the ability " 

[Exit.] 

SIR JOHN [To DR. VAUGHAN] 

You really mean to insult them — and lose London ? 

HANNAH 

Lose London ? Has Dr. Edgeworth resigned ? 
206 



SIR JOHN 

I oughtn't to have said anything. But this presenta- 
tion is merely a prelude to our highest post — a thousand 
a year, remember. And work after your own heart for 
the glory of God ! Come ! 

[But DR. VAUGHAN ts looktug at the bureau with a 

strange intentness.'] 

DR. VAUGHAN 

You've put back the photographs ! 

HANNAH 

.Yes, dear. 

{Their eyes meetJ] 

SIR JOHN 

Don't go wool-gathering, man. Pull yourself to- 
gether. The Lord calls you. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

The Lord ! You and Judson and a pair of London 
tradesmen. No, no. 

[Mystically] 
I hear the call of the Lord — to sacrifice to Him. I 
shall give up even this post. 

SIR JOHN 

What! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I shall retire from the ministry. 

207 



HANNAH 

Thank God ! 

SIR JOHN [Turning on her] 
Eh ? Is this your idea ? 

HANNAH 

No, God be praised — it's his own. I never thought 
of it — I never dreamed he'd give up his work. 

SIR JOHN 

But how will you live ?■ 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Oh, don't be afraid ! I sha'n't sponge on Elsie's 
father-in-law. 

SIR JOHN [With dignity'] 

I never hoped you would, Rodney. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I beg your pardon, Sir John. 

SIR JOHN 

I beg yours. I only meant what will you do ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I only know what I won't do — make a profession of 

holiness. 

SIR JOHN 

Why, what's come over you, man ? 
208 



DR. VAUGHAN 

What ought to come over every man — a change of 

heart. 

SIR JOHN 

A change of air — that's what you want. The Con- 
ference has been too much for you. I quite under- 
stand, Mrs. Vaughan, your reHef at the idea of his 
pulling up. But — 

\Noisy voices of the descending deputation without^ 
There ! I told you they'd be angry. You won't 
send them away like this — you'll sleep over it. 

DR. VAUGHAN [With a wan smiled 

Not very likely. 

SIR JOHN [Gently] 

Ah, I know, dear Rodney, it's your insomnia that's 

behind all this. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Then won't you leave me in peace, dear friend ? 

SIR JOHN 

I'm sorry. 

[Going. Turns'] 
But what are we to do with the testimonial ? 

HANNAH [Smiling wanly] 

Judson won't ask that. 

209 o 



DR. VAUGHAN [Laughingly] 

No, indeed ! Melt it down for our Crusades. 

SIR JOHN 

For our Crusades ? Then you will work with us ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

Yes, 

[Clasps SIR John's hand] 
with the abihty of the statesman, if God has given it 
me. 

[Drops his hand] 
But not with the saintliness of the priest. 

SIR JOHN 

I don't quite follow. 

DR. VAUGHAN 

I am no monster of sanctity. I will work as a man 

among men. 

SIR JOHN 

Fiddlesticks 1 And where are we to find a saintlier 
successor ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

What do you want with successors ? Aren't we all 
children of God ? Didn't you preach to me this 
afternoon — and jolly sound doctrine ! And aren't we 
all sinners ? Why dress one up in black and stick him 
on a pedestal of perfection ? 

210 



SIR JOHN 

You'd abolish the clergy i 

DR. VAUGHAN 
As a profession. 

SIR JOHN 

And who would marry John and Elsie ? 

DR. VAUGHAN 

They would marry themselves. 

SIR JOHN 

You've turned Quaker ! This is sheer Quakery ! 

DR. VAUGHAN 

And everything else is sheer quackery. 

SIR JOHN 

You are overwrought. I'll come in the morning, 
.Get a good night's rest. 

[He goes out into the passage crying cheerily .•] 
Ah, Judson ! The fact is, gentlemen, the strain of 
the 

[The door closes.'] 

HANNAH [Opening her arms] 
Husband ! 

[He goes to her embrace. After an instant she 

raises her wet j ace] 
But you needn't have talked so much rubbish ! You 
know the clergy are a necessity. 

211 



DR. VAUGHAN 

Eut not a collection of plaster saints. 

[elsie appears radiant at the door — a bouquet in her 

hand. He utters a glad cry\ 
Elsie ! 

\She runs to his embrace.^ 

ELSIE [Laughingly"] 
Don't crush the flowers. 

[Holds them out of danger.] 

DR. VAUGHAN [Quizzingly] 
From John already ? 

ELSIE [Happily] 
Yes, but for mother. 

HANNAH 

Eor me ? How kind of him ! 

[elsie crosses to give the bouquet to hannah who 
takes it and folds her in a passionate embrace.] 

ELSIE 

Oh mother, isn't life wonderful ! 



Curtain. 



PRINTED AT 

THE BALLANTYNE PRESS 

LONDON 



" Many years hence it will be read as we read Montaigne and Sir Thomas Browne." 
HOLBROOK Jackson in The Bookman. 

ITALIAN FANTASIES 

BY 

ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

In One Volume, with Coloured Frontispiece. Demy %vo, price 88 6(1 net 

The Westminster Gazette says : 

" It touches life at every point ; it is concerned with all the great and 
essential and profound things ; it brings to bear on them an intelligence 
inflexible, incisive, immensely rich, and entirely unhesitant. Yet it is in 
no sense a cold, merely intellectual book, for every page of it is lit up with 
a peculiarly controlled imagination, lightened with a lambent humour, and 
warmed with a personality ardent and tender and charitable. . . , Beneath 
the eyes of Balaam lie spread out the motley hosts of the world ; he neither 
blesses nor bans : he broods and balances and picks his way. Nevertheless, 
in these pages we hear the ring of the woodman's axe in the forest of 
humanity. Many a ' green-robed senator ' trembles and nods, and yet, 
when the day's work is done, it becomes clear that all through it has been 
against decay and parasite and weakness, against the thick overgrowth and 
tangle that shuts out the noonday and haunts the mind's twilight with 
terrors and shadows and chimeras dire, that all Mr. Zangwill's craft and 
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the hope of mankind freed from the shackles of its own contriving, freed 
from bigotry, and tyranny and stupor and timidity, from the religions that 
lie strangled in the toils of their creeds, from a science that weighs the 
universe in the scales of an ology, from an art that panders or flatters or is 
a thing merely of cults and dilettantishness. . . . How to give some hint 
of the qualities and the allies of its reason ; how to reflect the ardour and 
flickering of its hope. For everything that angers or persuades, rouses and 
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extraordinarily wide and systematised knowledge of books and art and 
history, and, above all, of life, slaves like the Jinnee of the ring or the lamp, 
it springs up and vanishes instantly at its master's bidding." 

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p 



BLIND CHILDREN 

(Poems) 
BY 

ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

In One Volume. Square %vo, price 5S net 

The Spectator says : 

"There is so much poetry in Mr. Zangwill's prose, that we might 
readily put up with some admixture of prose in his poetry. Yet though 
he may not always move in the fetters of metre and rhyme with the 
assured ease of a master, and though at times a harsh note or a jarring 
phrase impairs the pleasure of the reader, there is such force, passion, and 
poignancy in the expression of his varying moods that one cannot choose 
but hear. At his best, and that is in his simplicity and irony, he reminds 
one irresistibly of the greatest modern singer of his race — Heine." 
The Daily News says : 

"This is the work of a sincere spirit, a true poet, and a great Jew. 
Mr. Zangwill loves his race, and in him that race has found its greatest 
utterance in English speech." 
The Academy says : 

" Our own feeling is that Mr. Zangwill, by perfectly natural means, 
reproduces much of Heine's spirit." 
The Evening Standard and St. James's Gazette says : 

"It is impossible to read these pages without feeling strong thought 
and due mental grasp in every line of them. There is nothing sham or 
vapid. And in many cases the execution is also delightful, and the verses 
have the breath and magical completeness of a true poem.'' 
The Bookman says : 

" Mr. Zangwill is not all poet, but an exceptionally full-minded 
writer of prose and verse, and taking the two together his contributions to 
the literature of this generation have been considerable. The insensibility 
of the ordinary man is not his, nor the pathetic morbidity of poets 
whose senses have played them false, so his place is with none of these, 
but with the constituents of that aristocracy to which the greatest of writers 
belong." 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN. 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON, W.C. 



NOVELS BY ISRAEL 
ZANGWILL 

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"A brave, eloquent, absorbing, and, on the whole, persuasive book." — W. E. 
Henley in The Outlook. 

GHETTO TRAGEDIES 

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THE MASTER 

"A veritable human document, in which the characters do exactly as they 
would in life." — The Queen. 

WITHOUT PREJUDICE [Essays] 

" Mr. Zangwill combines the biting wit of Shaw with the ripe wisdom of 
George Meredith." — Berliner Tageblatt. 

WITH LOUIS COWEN 

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WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON. W.C. 



THE MELTING POT 

A Play in Four Acts 
BY 

ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

SECOND EDITION 

Fortnightly Review. — " A wonderful play." 

Dailv Telegraph. — "The vignettes of a Jewish household in New York are 
delightful pieces of genre painting, rich in observation and knowledge of human 
nature, abounding in happy strokes of humour, and mellow with sympathy." 

T.P.'s Weekly. — " No one could be other than deeply moved by the splendid 
vision behind the play. ' The Melting Pot ' is one of those rare plays which spring 
not from idle desire, love of gain or fame, but from the deeper deeps of human 
consciousness. It is a prophetic play in the spirit of prophecy. This wonderful 
play stands in bold and splendid relief on our stage, and gives to Mr. Zangwill the 
same great place on the stage which he has held for so many years in the world of 
the novelist." 

Pall Mall Gazette. — " Alt the characters are built up with countless touches of 
tenderness, humour and truth." 

Truth. — " He is amongst our great, speaking with the voice of sincerity, 
informed by experience and inspired by understanding. ' The Melting Pot ' has 
impressed me until eternity." 

Daily Graphic. — "Mr. Israel Zangwill is far too great an artist to be a 
propagandist, and his sense of humour is keen. . . . The contrast of race and 
temperament has been drawn with infinite subtlety." 

Evening Standard. — "Big thoughts and strong utterances. . . . Jew and 
Gentile are given an equally just hearing." 

Westminster Gazette. — " Great material. . . . Mr. Zangwill is a man of genius. 
He has put his heart and its longings into this play and made it a song of the 
suffering and the hope of his race." 

G. K. Chesterton (Illustrated London News) —"Mr. Zangwill is a great artist." 

Sir Harry Johnston {The Daily Chronicle).— On& of the few really fine things 
that I had ever seen on the stage, and — one of the most educational. . . . Precious, 
indeed, is Mr. Zangwill's sense of humour, as precious as that of Dickens, and no 
one of his plays has been more deliciously infused with the realisation of the 
humorous aspect of all human emotions and doings than ' The Melting Pot '." 

H. W. Nevinson ( The Nation). — " Here is a new and vast idea presented with 
all the power of art, irony, tragedy, and dramatic situation. . , . To me the play 
is one of the greatest dramatic productions of our age ... a grand theme, treated 
with almost prophetic seriousness, and illustrated by all the clash and movement 
of human passion such as the noblest drama has always demanded." 

HoLBROOK Jackson (The Bookman). — "Not since Walt Whitman wrote 
' Leaves of Grass ' have we had so inspiring a picture of America." 

AthencBum. — " Mr. Zangwill is called an idealist, but the word ' prophet ' more 
fittingly describes the aspect in which he appears as the author of ' The Melting 
Pot'." 

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. — ' ' A great subject most greatly treated. 
Not merely enthralling as a play but will take its place in literature." 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21 BBDFORD ST., LONDON. W.C. 



THE NEXT RELIGION 

A Play in Three Acts 
BY 

ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

Small Demy 8vo, 2S 6d net 
SECOND EDITION 

Methodist Times : " There is a mighty sermon in it. The close of the 
last act is tremendous, and I feel that the Lord Chamberlain has done a 
wrong to religion by forbidding this play." 

George Bernard Shaw (T^f Nation): "Mr. Zangwill, regarding 
literature as before all things a spiritual force, writes a powerful and 
interesting play." 

William Archer {Morning Leader): "And now, to complete the 
evidence that the intellect of the country is setting towards the theatre, 
we have Mr. Zangwill's great play, ' The Next Religion.' It is a 
splendidly vivid epitome, one may almost say,'of the spiritual struggles 
of the age. It is noble as thought, it is powerful as drama — and of 
course it is mown down by the Censorship." 

W. L. Courtney {Daily Telegraph): "Mr. Zangwill has followed 
his very remarkable play, ' The War God,' by a drama very nearly as 
remarkable. It is of extreme significance, as showing how the modern 
dramatist claims the whole sphere of human ambition and faith as the 
material for his fearless art." 

Sir Harry Johnston {Daily Chronicle) : "One of the most remark- 
able dramas which have ever been put on the stage. The play was 
followed with a rapt attention, flattering alike to actors and author. I 
accorded the play a most careful and unwavering hearing, a feat ren- 
dered possible, not to say easy, by its unflagging interest and its vivid 
and natural dialogue. There is absolutely nothing said or done by the 
players in this remarkable piecewhich merits the playbeingpronounced 
by the Censor as unsuited for representation. I sincerely hope that 
some adjustment may take place which, without in any way marring the 
full force of The Next Religion,' may permit of its being acted every- 
where, inside and outside the Censor's sphere of influence." 

H. W. Massingham {The Nation) : " In the line of drama Mr. 
Zangwill is trying to do what Matthew Arnold, or Dr. Martineau, or 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON, W.C. 



THE NEXT RELIGION 

OPINIONS— coji tin iied 
Tolstoy, or Professor Harnack have tried to do in the line of literature. 
The Censorship grows daily a more palpably wicked institution." 

W. T. Stead {Review of Reviezvs) : "'A daring attempt to represent 
in dramatic form the confused conflict that is going on in the modern 
world on the subject of religion. Mr. Zangwillhas a gift of clear and 
almost scorching expression, and his latest play makes one furiously 
to think." 

A Fellow of the Royal Society {Glasgow Herald) : " I for one 
think better of the value of the stage after observing how the audience 
appreciated and how deeply it was moved by Mr. Zangwill's noble 
drama," 

Standard: " Mr. Zangwill will probably be acclaimed as one of the 
few men who have succeeded in portraying woman without grotesque 
exaggeration of her failings or her virtues. Mary Trame is a picture 
drawn with the most subtle strokes of humour and understanding." 

Manchester Guardian : "The play was so sincerely, logically, and 
clearly thought out and so vigorously expressed that it made an 
afternoon of a most stimulating kind." 

Athenaum : " More deeply religious than most sermons. A sincere 
and highly honourable piece of work. The wife is handled with 
poignancy, insight, and rare sympathy. The force of the play lies really 
in the dialogue of the first two acts — always trenchant, ironic, master- 
ful, and at times broadening into lofty and full-mouthed harmonies." 

H. W. Nevinson : " It was a great play and a great performance 
that the New Players' Society witnessed at the Pavilion for two after- 
noons last week. Mr. Zangwill, one of the wittiest of living writers, is 
one of the most sincere. Like Mr. Bernard Shaw, he has proved that 
laughter and irony can go side by side with intense earnestness of 
purpose. The reformer is not necessarily a stuft'y and solemn person. 
But in all Mr. Zangwill's best work and speeches there is a deep and 
prophetic note, seldom heard even in the greatest of his English- 
speaking contemporaries. It comes nearest to Tolstoy among the 
moderns ; but one may trace it, I think, to the inherited influence of 
a race greater in prophecy than any European race has been." 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN. 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON, W.C. 



'Of the original plays presented in London in 191 1 the finest was 
Mr. Israel Zangwill's ' The War God'."— Pall Mall Gazette. 

THE WAR GOD 

A Tragedy in Five Acts 
BY 

ISRAEL ZANGWILL 

Small Demy 8vo, 2S 6(| net 

SOME OPINIONS 

KfR. H. W. Massingham in the Nation : " I am very glad to see Mr, Zangwill's 
powerful play ' The War God,' published by Mr. Heinemann, for its production 
is by far the most important event of the dramatic season of 1911. . . . While we 
have been trying to pick the lock of the door which shuts out the English theatre 
from Ufe, Mr. Zangwill has blown the whole structure into the air." 

Mr. John Masefield : " It seems to me the only play of our time which makes 
modern life significant. I think it is splendid, altogether a fine and noble thing, 
with all the beauty and depth which one has wanted so much for so long. It is 
much the biggest thing done here for many years." 

Mrs. Alice Meynell : "A very great tragedy — full of genius. Its language 
moves in blank verse as the appropriate ritual of this momentous theme." 

Mr. James Douglas : " Mr. Zangwill is a man of genius. He has put on the 
stage a play which grapples with reality in its grimmest form. . . . The play is 
big with the fate of nations. . . . No play of our time cuts deeper into the flesh of 
reality." 

Mr. W. T. Stead : " I admire the courage which led Mr. Zangwill to essay this 
task of high emprise. ... It is a play which the large audience followed with 
intense interest and discussed with great earnestness between the acts." 

Mr. William Archer : " An admirable, even a noble, specimen of art. . . 
A very fine piece of symbolic drama." 

Miss Beatrice Harraden : " I go about thinking of nothing else. It stirs 
and holds one's brain, one's soul, one's imagination. We have indeed reason to be 
grateful for such a noble work." 

Mrs. Despard : "A wonderful play, which, in its strength of purpose and its 
courage verging on audacity, ready to meet all issues so that truth may be 
revealed, forces upon us the conviction that the drama has, in its hand, a great 
power." 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON, W.C. 



THE WAR GOD 

SOME OPINIONS— continued 

Mr. YoshiO Marking in the Westminster Gazette: "I have found out that 
every sort of human brain (that you can get at present moment) is condensed into 
three hours' play ! It is the real sketch of this world, and we are all living in it. 
. . . No better psychology have I ever seen." 

English Review. "Mr. Zangwill's play 'The War God' ... Is without 
question a thing of note and real intellectual distinction. ... It holds the 
audience from beginning to end. . . . The language is lofty, distinguished, at- 
times ringing with the true poetic note of tragedy, but always polished, fluent, 
graceful." 

Atheneeum ; " Can be warmly commended. It handles a great subject manfully ; 
it breathes a lofty idealism and faces opposing facts and arguments." 

Times : "The whole play was applauded and evidently kept the crowded house 
interested throughout." 

Daily Chronicle: "... does honour to our stage, honour to Mr. Zangwill, 
especial honour to Sir Herbert Tree. Here is the first serious, strenuous political 
play that has been produced for years and years, a play grappling with big 
problems in a big way." 

Globe: "We welcome the drama of war and peace among the works that 
have counted in 191 1." 

Daily Telegraph: "An extremely vigorous piece of work, full alike of thought 
and dramatic power." 

Morning Leader: "A wonderful piece of drama." 

Era: " A subject of infinite imagination and extent, a work of real genius." 

Church Times : "A vast audience heard the blank verse with breathless 
attention, and followed with pointed applause the sentiments which one might 
think were least likely to be applauded." 

Catholic Times: "The interest which has been aroused in Mr. Zangwill's 
remarkable play is fully justified. ... If the pens of the dramatic critics had been 
tempered by the true Catholic spirit, it would have been hailed as a memorable 
drama and one of a character never more necessary than in the present age of 
unrest. Its production should have an edifying influence upon the theatrical 
world." 

Methodist Times : " We are often told of the potentialities of the stage as a great 
moral teacher. If many plays were of the quality of ' The War God,' we might 
begin to believe in those potentialities." 

Pall Mall Gazette : " A work conceived and executed on the grand scale, and 
yet supremely successful as drama, for it roused every audience that saw it to 
unwonted heights of enthusiasm. It is a very big thing and will provoke an 
immense amount of discussion." 

Evening Times : "'The War God' is full of unforgettable lines. There are 
passages which haunt the memory and make us wonder whether Mr. Zangwill's 
mitier is really prose or verse." 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21 BEDFORD ST., LONDON, W.C. 



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