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Full text of "Society and Caste. Edited by T. Edgar Pemberton"

SECTION III 

THE ENGLISH DRAMA 

FROM ITS BEGINNING TO THE PRESENT DAY 



GENERAL EDITOR 

GEORGE PIERCE BAKER 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH 
IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY 




E. C. Barnes Etched by R. W. Macbeth 

T. W. ROBERTSON 



SOCIETY 

AND 

CASTE 

BY T. W. ROBERTSON 



EDITED BY 

T. EDGAR PEMBERTON 

AUTHOR OF " THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF T. W. ROBERTSON,' 
"JOHN HARE, COMEDIAN," "THE KENDALS," ETC. 




BOSTON, U.S.A., AND LONDON 

D. C. HEATH & CO., PUBLISHERS 
1905 



COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY 
D. C. HEATH & CO. 



" Society " and " Caste " are reprinted by arrangement with 
Samuel French, Limited, London. 



XV tf 7 



WILLIAM ROBERTSON, the father of T. W. Robert- 
son, was articled to Mr. Whitson, a lawyer in Derby, 
but (being a Robertson!) he abandoned the study of the 
law, in which he evinced much promise, in order that he 
might become an actor, and he ultimately found a home 
in his uncle's Lincoln Circuit Company, of which he 
afterwards became manager. In this company he met 
Miss Marinus, a charming young actress, to whom he was 
married in 1828. They became the parents of a very large 
family : Thomas William Robertson (born at Newark- 
upon-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on January 9, 1829) being 
the eldest, and Margaret Shafto Robertson (Mrs. Kendal, 
born at Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire, twenty years later), 
being the youngest. 

Almost as soon as they could walk and talk the young 
Robertsons were made familiar with the mysteries of the 
theatre, playing children' s parts, and in many ways mak- 
ing themselves useful. Constant journeying from town 
to town, and the waning fortunes of the once profitable 
"Circuit" days, rendered their early education a matter of 
difficulty, but luckily for them their father was a man of 
high culture, a constant reader, and a deep thinker, 
and in him they found the kindest and most earnest of 
tutors. 

But other efforts at education were made, and when 
" Tom " was about seven years of age, he was sent to 
the Spalding Academy, and during the four or five years 
that he remained there, he was exceedingly popular both 
with his masters and his school-fellows. Often some 



v 

quaint and apropos quotation from a part he had played 
in his childhood would "set the schoolroom in a roar." 
From Spalding he was sent to a school at Whittlesea, 
and there he remained until his father's theatrical under- 
taking became so profitless that economy compelled, 
rather than suggested, Robertson' s return to the stage. 

After a time he became weary of a state of things 
that he knew must end in disaster, and, restless and 
ambitious, he determined to make a new departure on 
his own account. During all his hard-working "Cir- 
cuit" days he had not for one moment relaxed his 
studies. From his father he received abundant assistance, 
and he had especially perfected himself in the French 
language, which he spoke as if to the manner born. 
His desire to read and write and to add to his education 
was insatiable, and it was this that induced him, in 1848, 
to engage himself as an English-speaking usher in a 
school at Utrecht, in Holland. The experience proved 
miserably disappointing, and, having squandered his 
small savings in his outfit and the journey, he had to 
apply to the British Consul and avail himself of his 
kindly help to rejoin his family at his own birthplace 
Newark. Then he recommenced the old and unremun- 
erative work. This he continued until the disbanding 
of his father's company threw him upon his own re- 
sources, when he went to London. The amount of work 
that he did there during his early struggling days was 
prodigious. In addition to writing and adapting plays 
he contributed stories, essays, and verses to many maga- 
zines : dramatic criticisms to several newspapers : and 
ephemeral work to numerous comic journals. But those 
were the days of Grub Street, and Grub Street pay, and 
do what he would he could scarcely earn a living when 
he fell in love with a charming young actress, Miss 



v 

Elizabeth Burton, a beautiful girl of nineteen, and on \ 
August 27, 1856, married her. Thus the foundation 
stone for a happy wedded life was laid, and the joys and 
anxieties of a troubled and so far sadly disappointed 
existence were doubled. " Marriage is one of those 
blessings that cannot be avoided," said Robertson speak- 
ing through the mouth of one of his characters in Ours, 
and apparently that is exactly what he found it. That 
it was a blessing to him is beyond all doubt, for he had 
a most devoted wife, but, alas! she was not permitted 
to share in his triumphs. They were so poor that, even 
when she was in delicate health, she continued to act in 
order to do her share towards keeping their little house- 
hold (it soon contained two children) together. Three 
months before the success of Society in London told Rob- 
ertson that he had won his goal she died (on August 14, 
1865), and it was said among his most intimate friends of 
those days that his anguish was a terrible thing to witness. 
He had won the fame for which he longed, the fortune 
that might have saved the life of his dearly loved wife 
was within his grasp, and she, the loving helpmate of 
his stormy days, could take no share of the one or of the 
other. It was thought that from that grim hour he was 
never in actual health, and it was with this great sorrow 
rankling in his mind that he was wont to say, with the 
bitter satire of which he was a master, that he would 
like " to have the world as a ball at his feet that he 
might kick it." 

Society was followed by the brilliant series of comedies 
that became world-famous, and fame and fortune were 
at last secured. x In the course of time he became the vic- 
tim of an intense sense of loneliness, and on October 1 7, 
1867, he married Miss Rosetta Feist, a young German 
lady from Frankfort-on-Main. 

i For the titles and dates of Robertson's plays, see Bibliography. 



v 

A period of prosperity and contentment followed, but 
all too soon his fragile health broke down, and the hitherto 
untiring pen fell from his hand. The end was as swift as 
it was sad. He had written a play for the St. James's 
Theatre entitled War. Ill at home, he awaited its pro- 
duction with feverish impatience, knowing that it had 
neither the benefit of his care at rehearsals nor the style 
of stage-management that his pieces demanded. Produced, 
January 16, 1871, at a time when, in connection with 
\ the Franco-Prussian war, party feeling ran high, the play 
was undoubtedly a dangerous one, and in the rough and 
much-to-be-deplored English fashion it was too hastily 
condemned. 

The poor sick author had arranged to have an account 
of the reception of the piece sent to him after each act : 
but, anticipating disaster, and fearing that if things did 
not go well he would not be told the whole truth, he 
gave particular instructions that his young son should be 
one of the party occupying the box set aside for his repre- 
sentatives. The next morning he easily drew from his 
artless lips a graphic account of the scene of vulgar mas- 
sacre. After hearing it all, he lay back on his pillow and 
said with a sigh, " Ah, Tommy, my boy, they would n't 
be so hard if they could see me now. I shan't trouble 
them again." 

On February 3, 1 87 1, he passed peacefully away, and six 
days later he was laid to rest with his first wife in Abney 
Park Cemetery. 



3jtttroDwctiott 



IN the history of the English stage the name of Thomas 
William Robertson will always live, but the value of his 
work can only be truly appreciated by those who were 
familiar with the state of things prevalent in our little the- 
atrical world before he obtained a long deferred hearing. 
Ijjn the late fifties and early sixties the condition of affairs 
at the London theatres was indeed deplorable. Good 
actors we no doubt had. Steeped in stage tradition, and 
with a love for what they called the " legitimate " side of 
their art, they could give a good if somewhat stilted ac- 
count of Shakespeare, and it must be admitted that they 
played the comedies of Sheridan, Goldsmith, Holcroft, 
O 1 Keefe, Bickerstaff, and the rest of the 1 8th century 
dramatists, with a breeziness and breadth of style lacking 
in present-day comedians. Moreover they wore the cos- 
tumes of bygone periods as if to the manner born, and 
carried themselves so bravely that audiences overlooked the 
poverty-stricken, slovenly way in which the pieces wre 
placed upon the stage. To be sure impudent galleries 
and facetious pits were wont to amuse themselves by jeer- 
ing at the footmen who, clad in crimson plush breeches, 
white stockings, and embroidered coats and waistcoats, 
used to come on to remove the furniture from a front- 
scene in order that one of greater pretensions might be 
exhibited, but it was in a spirit of good-humoured banter, 
not of resentment. Those poor stage footmen ! Happily 
their day has gone. One of them once told the writer that 
he was "up" in all the leading Shakespearean and other 
well-known parts, and had followed his menial vocation 
for more than twenty years in the vain hope that some 



x 2flntroimctton 

great actor would suddenly fall ill and request him to 
take his place. Throughout those twenty years he had 
been the recipient of nightly derision, and probably the 
grand opportunity never came. But well though the act- 
ors of this period could render the work with which long 
apprenticeship in those invaluable dramatic schools, the 
stock-companies of such centres as Edinburgh, Dublin, 
Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Bristol, had 
made them familiar, when they came to the modern 
comedy of their day they completely broke down. Prob- 
ably they rather despised it. The writer has often heard 
actors of the old school speak with consummate contempt 
of what they called "trousers" parts, and their sister 
actresses doubtless had an equally strong predilection for 
the costume play. Even Charles Mathews, the most 
mercurial and delightful of comedians, seemed to patter 
through his parts with an artificial rather than a natural 
manner. It was diverting beyond measure, but it was 
redolent of the footlights. Except in melodrama, where 
some attention had to be paid to spectacular effect, the 
scenery and appointments were disgracefully meagre, and 
dramatists were so poorly paid that very few writers of 
the first rank thought of turning their attention stage- 
wards. 

Writing of this distressing state of affairs the late Mr. 
Clement Scott said : 

T"I can scarcely describe the slovenliness with which 
plays were performed, or the ludicrous managerial methods 
adopted to illustrate modern comedy. Such a thing as 
nature was scarcely known on the stage. Old men of 
sixty played lovers of twenty-one, and the costumes of 
ladies of fashion came out of the theatrical rag-bag. The 
stage wardrobe supplied the dresses, so the ingenue ap- 
peared in tumbled tarlatan, the leading lady in green or 



^Introduction xi 

orange satin, and the dowager in the black velvet and 
ermine of Lady Macbeth."] 

Mr. Scott was one of those who took a leading part in 
rejuvenating the drama as it was then played in London, 
and the pride that he took in his share of the work was 
thoroughly justified. 

"I suppose you know," he wrote in another of his 
rernrrk, " that it was Mr. W. S. Gilbert who invented 
the name of < Adelphi Guests, 1 in the admirable bur- 
lesques of popular plays that were printed every week in 
Fun when under Tom Hood's direction; but perhaps you 
do not know that it was mainly through these articles 
and the vigorous attacks made by the young literary and 
journalistic lions of the Arundel and Savage Clubs that 
' was started the ' renaissance ' of dramatic art at the old 
' Prince of Wales Theatre in the Tottenham Court Road, 
resulting, as every one knows, in the birth of the Robert- 
sonian plays and the founding of the fortunes of the 
, Bancrofts. Anything more slovenly than the stage adorn- 
ments of those days was surely never seen, and it may 
be imagined that the dramatic critics of the renaissance 
period were cordially detested by the Websters, Ansons, 
Churchills, Chattertons, and Kinlochs, who were content 
to allow matters on the stage to get from bad to worse, 
and did their best, but unsuccessfully, to pare the claws 
of the young lions of journalism who advocated the study 
of French dramatic art, then at its best, 1 deprecated the 
absurd theory that to see a French play well acted was 
to * take the bread out of the mouth of the English actor,* 
and secured the desirable end by which stage decoration 
and stage dressing were properly attended to. The dress- 

i In connection with this it is interesting to note that in later days Mr. 
Scott was one of the first to admit that England and America had fairly 
beaten France " at her own game." 



xii 31tttro&uction 

ing of Mr. John Hare, Mr. Bancroft, and others, at the 
old Prince of Wales Theatre, in the early days, was 
quite a revelation." 

One thing the actors of thirty-five years ago could do 
far better than those of to-day. They could play bur- 
lesque with a truer spirit of legitimate fun, and by their 
delightfully humorous impersonations made us forget the 
tawdry way in which the genuinely witty works of H. J. 
Byron, F. C. Burnand, Robert Brough, and other clever 
writers were staged. 

Another injury from which the poor theatres suffered 
was the icy indifference of the press. Such a thing as a 
" first night " notice was rarely seen, and, again to quote 
Mr. Clement Scott, newspapers "looked upon the drama 
as a matter of as little importance to the public as a dog 
fight," and devoted mere brief paragraphs to theatrical 
novelties. 

While in London things were in this most unsatisfac- 
tory condition, Robertson was studying his art in one of 
those rough schools known as the English " circuits," a 
development of the conditions under which the old stroll- 
r ing players were wont to act. Students of stage history 
will remember that Roger Kemble and his wife, the par- 
ents of the famous Mrs. Siddons, and of John Philip and 
Charles Kemble, travelled from town to town and village 
to village, after the manner and under the disadvantages 
and difficulties of their time, at some places being 
received with gracious favour, and at others treated like 
lepers, and threatened with the stocks and whipping at the 
cart's tail, according as those in authority were liberal- 
minded or puritanical. One of the earliest successes of 
Sarah Kemble, who as Mrs. Siddons subsequently made 
London wild with enthusiasm, who caused one of the 
greatest critics of his day to say she had " like a resistless 



3IntroUuction xiii 

torrent borne down all before her," and whose merit 
seemed "to have swallowed up all remembrances of pre- 
sent and past performers," who was painted as the Tragic 
Muse by the immortal Sir Joshua Reynolds with the 
inscription of his name on the hem of her dress, one 
of her earliest successes was made as Ariel in a room, or ! 
barn, behind the King's Head Inn at Worcester, which! 
boasted no other theatre. Some fifty years later the taste I 
for dramatic art had so far increased that each county town] 
or market town of importance had its own proper if prim- 
itive playhouse, and the districts in which these were 
situated were mapped out into so-called " circuits," each 
division being controlled by a fairly responsible manager 
who travelled at the head of 'his own little company, 
which often included many members of his own family. 

Charles Dickens saw all that was ludicrous in these 
peripatetic and inclined to be puffed-up players, and 
dealt with it inimitably in his account of Mr. and Mrs. 
Vincent Crummies, their progeny and supporters ; but / 
they were for the most part painstaking and praise- 
worthy people, taking deep interest in their work and 
great pride in their rendering of the Shakespearean and 
"legitimate" drama. Although the stock-companies in 
the larger towns and cities formed the best schools, many 
good actors sprang from their ranks, and in their day 
they served a useful purpose. 

For many years the Lincoln circuit was in the hands of 
the always artistic but by no means opulent Robertson 
family, and at a very early age the subject of this sketch 
found himself working for his father (who then con- 
trolled the enterprise), in the busy little world behind the 
scenes : working, too, in so many different ways that he 
soon mastered the rudiments of every branch of the com- 
plex art for which he was to do so much. It is well to 



xiv 31ntrotiuction 

dwell a little on this, because it will show why he grew 
so dissatisfied with the existing state of things, and longed 
to take part in their reformation. 

Certainly he worked under primitive conditions. The 
towns visited were Lincoln, Boston, Grantham, Newark, 
Stamford, Wisbech, Peterborough, Whittlesea, Hunting- 
don, and others in the English eastern counties. The com- 
pany stayed for three or four weeks in each town, return- 
ing for any special occasion, such as a fair or a race week. 
Talking of those days, Robertson 1 s sister and early com- 
rade, Miss Fanny Robertson, said to the writer, "In 
the summer the journeys were very pleasant, and we 
youngsters greatly enjoyed them. At many a wayside 
inn where we used to stay to refresh on ham and eggs, 
and bread and cheese (delicious fare when one is really 
hungry), our coming used to be eagerly anticipated, and 
I have often heard a landlord say, * I thought you 
would be here soon j I have been expecting you.' We 
were always welcomed with a smile, and we children 
were allowed to gather flowers and fruit. In the winter 
it was not so agreeable. We had to rise in the dark, 
and very often had to get out of our conveyance to 
walk up the hills in the snow. I remember once going 
up a hill close by Grantham; we were * stuck fast,' 
and all had to alight, the gentlemen of the company 
literally ' putting their shoulders to the wheel.' ' 

She had many anecdotes to tell of her brother's early 
achievements as an actor, and the presence of mind he 
would show at necessarily scrambled performances, when 
in stage dilemmas more experienced people would lose 
their heads. From her the writer learned, too, how soon 
Robertson began to write the then popular low-comedian' s 
entr'acte songs, and even in that poor, not to say hu- 
miliating form of stage work, attempted reforms. 



3|ntroDuction xv 

"Tom," Miss Robertson said, "was always clever 
with his pen, and as soon as he could write he was at 
work at plays for us to act as children. Later on he 
wrote for the company. As soon as the book was pub- 
lished (he was then seventeen 'years of age), he dramatised 
Charles Dickenis's story, 'The Battle of Life, and two 
years later he produced a stage version of T"he Haunted 
Man. I remember our waiting very anxiously for the 
earliest possible copies of these Christmas books, and how 
we at once went with them to the theatre, I acting as 
amanuensis, and he walking about with the story in his 
hand and dictating to me. When the, manuscript was 
finished, it was taken home to be altered or approved by 
our father. Both plays were produced in Boston." 

Thus early, in spite of himself, and in accordance 
with the barbarous piratical custom of his time, the author 
of Caste was set to work. It is certain that he must have 
hated it, for if ever soul of honour breathed it lay near 
the heart of Thomas William Robertson. Throughout 
his long struggles and disappointments, and in the days 
of his triumphs, he might well have taken for his motto 
the well-known lines : 

" The world has battle room for all. 
Go ! fight and conquer if ye can j 
But if ye rise, or if ye fall, 
Be each, pray God, a gentleman." 

With certain intervals for education, and one great 
struggle for emancipation to which I shall allude here- 
after, he continued to write, act, manage, prompt, paint, 
and perform every conceivable duty, in the theatres on 
the Lincoln circuit, and it can be gathered that, as far as 
he was concerned, his famous remark of being " nursed 
on rose-pink and cradled in properties" had abundant 



xvi 31ntroDuction 

foundation. But times were changing, and hard and 
conscientious work could do nothing for the numbered 
days of the Lincoln circuit. Every season became worse 
and the once faithful audiences no longer supported the 
time-honoured and industrious little company. Railways 
had sprung up and destroyed the comparative isolation of 
the small from the larger towns, and local interests be- 
came absorbed in the now accessible wonders to be seen 
in the great world outside the little circle to which they 
had been accustomed. Speedily and disastrously the end 
came ; the company had to be disbanded, and the familiar 
and historical Lincoln circuit became a thing of the past. 
Left to his own resources, Robertson then about twenty 
years of age naturally sought the bustling world of 
London, and, to use his own words, " ceased to live and 
began to exist." 

He spoke bitterly, for everywhere he met with disap- 
pointment. In the eastern counties he could at least 
claim friends ; in London he was forlorn, and quickly 
found that the experience he had gained, and which he 
thought would serve him well, was very cheaply ap- 
praised. He was amazed, also, to find that in the 
vaunted metropolitan theatres pieces were so poorly pro- 
duced, and so cheaply staged. Qualified and anxious to 
work with his pen, he was wholly unable to meet with 
encouragement or remunerative employment, and, in 
order "to keep body and soul together," the poor fellow 
was compelled to hover about the playhouses, hoping to 
secure such paltry acting engagements as chance placed 
in his way. These sometimes took hirn into the country, 
sometimes kept him in London ; but they were always 
of the briefest duration, and were generally under the 
management of a gentleman who " had been occasionally 
known to pay half-salaries, but full ones never." 



3jntrotmction 



XVII 



In such leisure as he could command he continued to 
write, and to his over- weening joy he at length had a 
two-act comic drama accepted by Mr. William Farren, 
then manager of the Olympic Theatre. This was entitled 
A Night's Adventure, or Highways and Bynvays, and it 
was produced on August 25, 1851. Alas! for the san- 
guine young dramatist, it did not prove his much longed 
for and eagerly anticipated rescue from oblivion. By the 
management it was advertised as "a great success," but 
it was condemned by the critics, and had a brief and 
inglorious run. 

Poor Robertson' s disappointment cut him to the quick, 
and when Farren, chagrined by the loss and vexation 
consequent upon failure, angrily declared that it was " a 
damned bad play," Robertson unwisely sealed his fate 
at the Olympic by retorting (unluckily Robertson was 
ever too ready with a retort) that it was "not so bad as 
the acting." 

He was incensed, too, at the careless way in which his L- 
piece was staged. Until he (thanks to the Bancrofts) was 
very wisely allowed to have his own way at the Prince 
of Wales Theatre this was a constant source of irritation 
to him, not only in his own plays, but in those of other 
authors. Our leading English dramatist of to-day, Mr. -" 
Arthur Wing Pinero, who always avows himself one of 
Robertson's stanchest disciples and admirers, evidently is 
able to enter into his feelings ; for in his four-act comedi- 
etta, Trelaiuney of the Wells, the action of which is laid in 
the "early sixties," he gives, in the character of the am- 
bitious young actor-author, Tom Wrench, a sympathetic 
portrait of his master in the days before he could speak 
with authority. Finding himself in Sir William Gower' s 
substantially furnished house in Cavendish Square, poor 
Wrench, impersonating Robertson, says, "This is the 






xviii 31ttttOtmCttOtt 

kind of chamber I want for the first scene of my comedy. 
... I won't have a door stuck here, there, and every- 
where j no, nor windows in all sorts of impossible places ! 
. . . Windows on the one side, doors on the other 
just where they should be architecturally. And locks on 
the doors, real locks, to work ; and handles, to turn. 
Ha, ha! you wait! wait! " Mr. Pinero's lines have fallen 
in pleasanter places, and yet in some of the best West- End 
theatres of to-day he has had to exercise his authority as to 
some of these small but by no means unimportant details. 

What the failure of A Night's Adventure meant to 
Robertson, and how he suffered under the disaster, no 
tongue can tell. It was not a bad play, and he knew it, 
but its untoward fate set managers against his work, and 
with a heavy heart he resumed his calling as a theatrical 
"jack of all trades." He had to earn his own living, 
and so took any hack work that came in his way. In de- 
spair of obtaining a hearing for his original conceptions 
he adapted a great number of plays from the French, and 
disposed of them for what he could get to Thomas Hailes 
Lacy, the well-known theatrical book-seller and publisher. 
Many of them are still on the list of Lacy's successor, 
Samuel French. 

The rebuffs he was in the daily habit of receiving at 
this period, and the manner in which he chafed under 
them, were, in more prosperous times, described by him 
in a satirical speech put into the mouth of Rudolph Harf- 
thal, a character in the comedy entitled Dreams. 
Harfthal, who is a gifted young composer, 1 thus speaks 
of the trials and troubles experienced by the novice 
anxious to obtain a hearing in London : " In England," 
he says bitterly, " yesterday is always considered so much 
better than to-day ; last week is superior to this ; and 

i Of course Robertson had the playwright rather than the composer in 
his eye. 



3|ntrolmction xix 

this week so superior to the week after next ; thirty years 
pago is much more brilliant an era than the present ; 
the moon that shone over the earth in the last century so 
llmuch brighter and more grand than the paltry planet 
that lit up the night last past! I shall explain myself 
better if I give my own personal reasons for making 
a crusade against age. In this country I find age so re- 
spected, so run after, so courted, so worshipped, that it 
becomes intolerable. I compose music ; I wish to sell it. 
I go to a purchaser and tell him so ; he looks at me, and 
says: * You look so young,' in the same tone that he 
would say, * You look like an imposter or a pickpocket.' 
I apologise as humbly as I can for not having been born 
fifty years earlier j and the publisher, struck by my con- 
trition, thinks to himself, * Poor young man ! after all, 
he cannot help being so young,' and addressing me as if 
I were a baby, says, * My dear sir, very likely your com- 
position may have merit I do not dispute it but you 
see, Mr. So-and-So, aged sixty, and Mr. Such-an-one, 
aged seventy, and Mr. T'other, aged eighty, and Mr. 
Somebody-else, aged ninety, write for us ; and the pub- 
lic are accustomed to their productions ; and we make it 
a rule never to give the world anything written by a man 
under fifty-five years old. Go -away now j keep to your 
work for the next thirty years ; during that time exert your- 
self to grow older you will succeed if you try hard 
turn gray, be bald ; it' s not a bad substitute lose your 
teeth, your health, your vigour, your fire, your freshness, 
your genius in one short word, your terrible, abominable 
youth j and some day or other, if you don't die in the 
interim, you may get the chance of being a great man. ' ' 

Poor soul-tormented Robertson! If he had lived until 
to-day he would find that in comedy such a long speech 
as the foregoing would be condemned as hopelessly old- 
fashioned ; and that it is the man of forty who is sup- 



xx 31tttrOt)UCttOtt 

I 

posed to have exhausted the best part of his life, and who 
finds it difficult to convince others that he is still capable 
of doing good work. 

No doubt Robertson found the theatrical world of Lon- 
don not only conservative but stagnant. Happily a change 
was at hand, and he, being ready for it, was in due course 
able to take his place as one of its foremost leaders. His 
aim, absolutely natural acting in perfectly staged plays, 
was a high ideal, but proved, when the chance was given 
him, attainable. 

The change came with the advent in 1860 of Fechter. 
He had been heralded by Charles Dickens, who, having 
seen him in a minor Parisian theatre, liked to describe- 
his experience. "He was making love to a woman," he 
said, "and he so elevated her as well as himself by the 
sentiment in which he enveloped her, that they trod in a 
purer ether, and in another sphere, quite lifted out of the 
present. * By Heavens ! ' I said to myself, * a man who 
can do this can do anything.' I never saw two people 
more purely and instantly elevated by the power of love." 

But in England the new and natural actor was to meet 
with opposition. Of Fechter' s earliest appearances in 
London Mr. Clement Scott said : " Ruy Bias succeeded 
beyond anticipation, but when the next move was an- 
nounced there was a perfect howl of execration. Fechter, 
the Frenchman, was advertised to play Hamlet, to play 
the Prince of Denmark in a flaxen wig, to discard the 
black velvet, the bugles, and the funereal feathers, to 
make Hamlet a man, and not a mouthing mountebank. 
The old playgoers raved and stormed, and would not be 
comforted. The new generation applauded with both 
hands, not for the mere sake of opposition, but because 
they were really interested in the new Hamlet. It is too 
late now to revive the old discussion. I was very young 
at the time, but I own I was one of the fascinated Fecht- 



31ntroDuction xxi 

erites. I had been through a course of Shakespeare under 
Charles Kean and Samuel Phelps, at the Princess's and 
Sadler's Wells ; but with all its false intonation, all its 
occasional levity, all its melodramatic trick, I sat spell- 
bound under Fechter, and seemed to understand Hamlet 
for the first time. ... I for one am not sorry, in the 
interest of English art, not only that Fechter came among 
us, but that he dared to play Shakespeare in a natural 
manner. From that moment the tide changed. We be- 
gan to visit Paris, and to see different phases of art ; we 
welcomed foreign artists to our shores without a murmur; 
we, who wrote about plays and players, were not hustled 
out of our employment because we would not be the 
slaves of a set of effete and incompetent fossils ; news- 
papers began to devote important space to the daily record 
of the drama. From the early success of Fechter, the 
French actor, I venture to date what I have heard called 
the birth-time of natural acting in England, the renais- 
sance of English dramatic art. ' ' 

Among those who noted with satisfaction the growing 
change in taste no one rejoiced more than poor slighted 
Robertson. 

In connection with Fechter and his new critics the 
editor cannot refrain from re-telling the following anec- 
dote. Said a playgoer to his companion between the acts 
of Hamlet: "It isn't Shakespeare's Hamlet; it's all 
wrong. The fellow doesn't accentuate the part properly. 
It's a foreigner's Hamlet ; that's what it is." 

"Well, but Hamlet was a foreigner, wasn't he?" 
asked his friend doubtfully. 

" Well, yes, of course I know that," said the crit- 
ical gentleman, "but confound it, it's an English play, 
and ought to be acted from that point of view. ' ' 

Of such stuff were theatre-goers made in the year of 
grace 1860 ! 



3|ntroJ)u(tton 

In 1 86 1 E. A. Sothern, who had served his apprentice- 
ship at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, and graduated 
in America, came to the Haymarket. Lord Dundreary, 
the part in Our American Cousin with which he opened, 
was of course mere caricature, but the consummate ease 
with which it was played seemed to make it true to life, 
while the little one-act plays in which from time to time, 
during the long period that his lordship held the stage, 
Sothern appeared, proved that in him another absolutely 
natural actor had been found. 

Robertson's heart warmed towards Sothern, and he 
sent him his play, David Garrick, adapted from the 
French comedy, Sullivan, which had "slumbered in a 
drawer for about seven years. ' ' To his intense joy it was 
accepted. It followed Our American Cousin, became 
a great success, and, thanks to Sir Charles Wyndham 
(who succeeded Sothern as Garrick), holds the stage to 
the present day. 1 

From this time Robertson's path became comparatively 
clear, although he had some obstacles to face before he 
could walk freely in the highway that leads to fame 

I Robertson was so fascinated with his theme that he had expanded it 
in narrative form. It makes a charming story, is instinct with knowledge 
of the stage as it was in Garrick's day, and should not have been allowed 
to die. For reasons that are only too apparent, the novel did not find a 
publisher until the success of the play had made the name of its author 
famous. It was brought out by S. O. Beeton in 1865, and contained the 
following graceful dedication to the creator of Robertson's favourite char- 
acter : 

" My dear Sothern, 

" I dedicate this little book to you for reasons which will be obvious to 
those readers who do me the honour to peruse the preface. Though the 
offering be small, it is made with as much kindly feeling as if the matter 
contained in this single volume were as weighty and well arranged as the 
contents of a large dictionary. 

" Accept it then, my dear Sothern, with all its faults, though they are 
neither few nor far between ; a circumstance which should not surprise 
you when you remember that it is the work of 

" Your very sincere friend THE AUTHOR." 



31ntroUuction 

and fortune. Sothern, delighted with his new triumph, 
suggested that its author should write him an original 
comedy in which his part, that of a gentleman of the day, 
with a strong dash of Bohemianism in his nature, should 
have a scene in which, overwrought by nerves and a little 
champagne, the hero would become sentimentally and 
heroically intoxicated. When finished, Society, as the 
comedy was called, was read to Sothern, who was de- 
lighted not only with the play but with his part, which 
was of course that of Sidney Daryl. But before the 
piece could be produced at the Haymarket it had to be 
submitted to its manager, that very amusing comedian, 
but decidedly conservative and obstinate old gentleman, 
John Baldwin Buckstone. To the dismay of the eager 
author and sanguine actor that authority scribbled on the 
manuscript his opinion of it in the one word, " rub- 
bish," and contemptuously returned it to them. In vain 
Sothern argued with him. Buckstone would have no- 
thing to do with Society, and as Sothern was bound by 
an agreement to act for a long period at the Haymarket, 
the case was a hopeless one. Under the unfortunate cir- 
cumstances Sothern did the best he could. He induced 
Robertson to accept a retaining fee for the piece, declar- 
ing that he would appear in it on the earliest possible 
opportunity, but at the same time advising him to find 
it another London home. l 

So, with Buckstone' s unjustifiable word " rubbish" 
blotted out by an angry hand, Society was hawked about 
among all the leading London managers, and by one 
and all rejected. But it so happened that a new manage- 
ment, that commenced under what seemed to be very 

I Sometime after Robertson's death the original manuscript of Society 
fell into the hands of the writer of these lines. Feeling it to be an item of 
interest in the history of the stage, he gave it to the Shakespeare Memorial 
Library, Stratford-on-Avon, and there, with " blot " complete, it may be 



xxiv ^Introduction 

poor auspices, yet was destined to cast all others in the 
shade, was just springing into life. Miss Marie Wilton, 
the darling of the Strand Theatre, and the life and soul 
of the merry and really witty burlesques (what a contrast 
to the vapid * ' musical comedies ' ' of to-day !) that then 
formed the staple fare at that popular little playhouse, 
was anxious to spread her wings and try her strength in 
comedy. With that object in view she had taken the old 
Prince of Wales Theatre, hard by Tottenham Court 
Road, a place of amusement that had fallen into such 
disrepute that it was sneeringly nicknamed "The Dust- 
bin." Robertson's life-long friend H. J. Byron recom- 
mended Society to this courageous young manageress. 
So different in treatment was it from the plays with which 
theatre-goers were then apparently well pleased that Miss 
Wilton's friends and admirers frankly warned her that iti 
uction was "dangerous." The supposed danger 
lay in the simplicity of the play. True to nature it might 
be, but audiences accustomed to theatrical types verging 
on the border-land of caricature would (so managers 
thought) be hardly likely to accept a mere photograph 
of human life. It was the old tale of actors' portraits 
" Penny plain and tuppence coloured." The coloured 
articles had the readiest sale in the shops, ergo they could 
not be made too florid in the theatres. Miss Wilton, 
however, having in common with Sothern estimated 
Society at its true worth, declared that danger was better 
than dulness, selected her supporters, and under the now 
delighted author's superintendence, commenced rehears- 
als. After some preliminary difficulties it was produced, 
first in Liverpool and then in London. 

Having been very favourably received in the Lan- 
cashire city, Society was produced in the metropolis on 
November n, 1865, and on the following day Robertson 



prod 

' lav r 



^Introduction 

awoke to find himself famous. The success of the piece 
was, indeed, instantaneous, and soon became the talk of 
the town. Not to have seen Marie Wilton as Maud 
Hetherington, Bancroft as Sidney Daryl, John Hare as 
Lord Ptarmigant, John Clarke as John Chodd, junior, 
Fred Dewar as Tom Stylus, and Sophie Larkin as Lady 
Ptarmigant, was to argue yourself unknown j and so at 
one and the same moment the fortunes of a luckless 
theatre and a hitherto misunderstood dramatist were made. 
How much of this success was due to Robertson may be 
told in Mr. Bancroft's own words : " As the part I first 
played in Society, " he says, "was a very important one to 
intrust to so young an actor as I then was, bearing as 
it does much of the burden of the play, I should like to 
note how much of the success I was fortunate enough 
to achieve was due to the encouragement and support 
I received from the author, who spared no pains with me, 
as with the others, to have his somewhat novel type of 
characters understood and acted as he wished." 

He might have added but perhaps he hardly realised 
it that the triumph of the whole play owed much to 
the tact and the liberality of the clever lady who allowed 
Robertson to have his own way with the stage-manage- 
ment and (as far as was then possible) with the mounting 
of his work. In connection with that epoch-making first 
night of Society, Mr. Clement Scott wrote : 

" There was a great gathering of the light literary 
division at the little Theatre in Tottenham Court Road 
on the first night of Tom Robertson' s new play. It was 
our dear old Tom Hood, who was our leader then, who 
sounded the bugle, and the boys of the light brigade 
cheerfully answered the call of their chief. I remember 
that on that memorable night I stood for there was no 

I Mr, and Mrs. Bancroft on and off the Stage. Vol. I. Note, p. 202 



^Introduction 

sitting room for us on such an occasion by the side of 
Tom Hood at the back of the dress circle. The days 
of stalls had not then arrived for me. Suddenly there 
appeared on the stage what was then an apparition. 
Bancroft had delighted us with his cheery enthusiasm and 
boyish manner, for he was the lover in this simple little 
play, well dressed and, for a wonder, natural. Think 
what it was to see a bright, cheery, pleasant young fellow 
/ playing the lover to a pretty girl at the time when stage- 
^ lovers were nearly all sixty, and dressed like waiters at 
\ a penny ice-shop ! Conceive a Bancroft as Sidney Daryl 
in the days when W. H. Eburne played young sparks at 
the Adelphi, and old Braid was the dashing military offi- 
cer^aTtHeTTaymarket ! But what astonished us even more 
than the success of young Bancroft was the apparition 
that I have spoken of just now. A little delightful old 
gentleman came upon the stage, dressed in a long, beau- 
tifully cut frock coat, bright-eyed, intelligent, with white 
hair that seemed to grow naturally on the head no 
common clumsy wig with a black forehead-line and 
with a voice so refined, so aristocratic, that it was music 
to our ears. The part played by Mr. Hare was, as we all 
know, insignificant. All he had to do was to say nothing, 
and to go perpetually to sleep. But how well he did[ 
nothing ! how naturally he went to sleep ! We could not 
analyse our youthful impression at the time, but we knew 
instinctively that John Hare was an artist. Had Society 
been accepted at the Haymarket which, luckily for 
Tom Robertson, it was not the part of Lord Ptarmigant 
would have been played by old Rogers, or Braid, or 
Cullenford, Chippendale and Howe would certainly 
have refused it as a very bad old man. No ; Tom 
Robertson's lucky star was in the ascendant when Society 
was refused by the Haymarket management with scorn. 



3|nttoOuction 

Had it failed there, I believe my old friend would have 
* thrown up the sponge ' and never worked for the stage 
any more. The refusal of Society by Buckstone, and the 
keen and penetrating intelligence of Marie Wilton, who 
was determined that Tom Robertson should succeed and 
that his plays should be acted, were the turning-points in 
the doubtful career of a broken-hearted and disappointed 
man. I don't think I ever remember a success to have 
been made with slighter material than that given to Mr. 
Hare. And it was a genuine success. We of the light 
brigade could not work miracles. We might have written 
our heads off, and still have done no good for the new 
school. Luckily there was at that time as critic to the 
Times a man of keen and penetrating judgment. John 
Oxenford knew what was good as well as any man, and 
he knew how to say it into the bargain. He was not a 
slave to old tradition, and when he had a good text what 
a wonderful dramatic sermon he could preach ! Luckily, 
also, the new school had the constant support and en- 
couragement of the Daily Telegraph, whose leading pro- 
prietor and director, Mr. J. M. Levy, never missed a 
first night in the company of his artistic and accomplished 
family. All that was liberal and just and far-seeing was 
in favour of the new Robertsonian departure of a dram- 
atist who was not old-fashioned and dull, and of actors 
so new, so fresh, so talented, as Bancroft, Hare, and their 
companions. The heavy brigade of influential writers, 
led by John Oxenford, patted the new movement on the 
back ; the light division, led by Tom Hood and others, 
lent their enthusiasm to the good cause. Gilbert, Prowse, 
Leigh, Millward, Archer, all of us, in fact, who knew 
Robertson and appreciated his talent were the first to step 
forward and back up our friend's success in every way 
that was possible." 



3flntrotiuctton 

In view of the contemptuous manner in which Society 
had hitherto been treated by London managers, and 
Robertson's firm and even touching faith in the value of 
his own original work (a faith so amply justified by his 
subsequent productions), it would be pleasant, if space 
/ permitted, to quote the opinions of the leading critics on 
x what may be definitely called "a new departure." Suf- 
fice it to say that success was proclaimed all along the 
line, and that the public gladly endorsed the verdict of 
the critics. 

The writer has dwelt at some length on this produc- 
tion because it should be clearly understood that Marie 
Wilton, Bancroft, John Hare, and others who believed \ 
in natural acting could not have gained their goal without 
being provided with natural material. Robertson was the 
only writer of that day prepared to supply it, and it must 
/ never be forgotten that he was not only author but stage- 
manager, and that the comedy was produced under his per- 
sonal superintendence. He was allowed to deal with his 
own play in accordance with his own ideas ; he was blessed 
with a company of brilliant young actors willing to listen 
to him ; and at a time when the London theatres sorely 
needed it he was able to hold the mirror up to nature. 

Whatever its faults Society took the town by storm, and 
was the forerunner of improved conditions for the English 
drama and stage. That is why Robertson's name must 
ever take a place in the front ranks of the history of our 
English drama. When all is said and done the pioneer 
deserves a higher place in our esteem than those who 
follow in his footsteps, take advantage of, and mayhap 
widen the pathway he has made. 

To those who read Society after the lapse of nearly forty 
years it is sure to seem somewhat old-fashioned not only 
in dialogue and characterisation but construction. Instead 



2flturo&uetion 

of the one "set" for each act to which we are now ac- 
customed there are two scenes in the first act, two in the 
second, and three in the third j while such long "asides " 
as that given to Chodd Junior in the final scene of the last 
act would not be permitted to-day. It is odd to note that 
in 1865 the scene in a London square was thought to be 
such a daring attempt at realism that it caused quite a 
sensation. If Robertson had re-written the piece towards 
the close of his too brief career he would not have made 
Sidney Daryl say in response to Maud's. " Isn't it a funny 
name? Chodd?" "Yes, it's a Chodd name I mean 
an odd name," but he had lived hi the days when the \ 
pun raised a laugh, and the more outrageous the pun was, / 
the more cordially it was received. The election customs, 
as shown at the Wells at Springmead-le-Beau, with its 
speeches from the hustings, and so forth, are of course 
obsolete ; and it is satisfactory to know that that libel on 
an ancient and honoured race, the comic stage Jew, as 
depicted in Moses Aaron (the descendant of an old theat- 
rical tribe among whom Sheridan' s Moses in The School 
for Scandal was permitted to take a prominent but 
ignoble place), vanished with arrests for debt and similar 
unsatisfactory legal proceedings. 

A supposed "dangerous" element in Society existed 
in the "Owl's Roost" scenes. Here Robertson drew the 
life of the little world he knew and loved, and in which 
he was a prime favourite, the literary and theatrical 
" Bohemia" of his day, the land of which his companion, 
poor Geoffrey Prowse, affectionately wrote: 

" The longitude's rather uncertain, 
The latitude's equally vague ; 
But that person I pity who knows not the city, 
The beautiful city of Prague. ' ' 

Robertson causes Sidney Daryl and Tom Stylus to 



3flntro&uctiott 

meet their comrades in the " Parlour of a Public-house," 
and no doubt he had himself attended many festive 
gatherings in the old-fashioned and cosy taverns that used 
to exist in and about the Strand and Fleet Street where 
journalists and stage-folk were wont to congregate ; but 
he and his brother "Bohemians" had their clubs, too, 
such as the Arundel, the Reunion, and the Savage, and 
of one and all he was a welcome and prominent member. 
Such establishments were conducted on a more primitive 
scale then than they are now, and if their gatherings were 
a little less orderly, they were possibly more jovial. It 
was said that the scene in the "Owl's Roost," where 
the incident of borrowing the five shillings is so humour- 
ously introduced, was founded upon fact. However that 
may be, it is a very fair example of the way in which 
forty years ago the brethren of the pen and palette, sock 
and buskin, were ever ready to help one another to the 
very utmost of their slender means. 

Oddly enough, the very thing that was dreaded as a 
danger proved an attraction. 

The influential John Oxenford in his criticism in the 
Times wrote: "The scenes in which the 'Owls' figure 
are indeed the best in the piece, not only because they are 
extremely droll, but because they constitute a picture of 
the rank and file of literature and art, with all their attri- 
butes of fun, generosity, and esprit de corps painted in 
a kindly spirit. A report has reached us which, if true, 
is only the more absurd on that account, that some thin- 
skinned gentlemen have objected to these scenes as deroga- 
tory to the literary profession. Never was < snobbery ' more 
misplaced. The * Owls' are emphatically described as 
'good fellows,' who are unable to rise in the world and 
have nothing whatever to do with the men who are recog- 
nised as magnates of the republic of letters. If on Saturday 



3|ntrotiuction 

last the world learnt for the first time that there are still 
persons connected with literature and art who prefer grog 
to Clos Vongeot, and long clays ' to choice Havannahs, 
the world is in a state of appalling darkness, and a larger 
field is open to missionary enterprise than was ever antici- 
pated even at Exeter Hall." 

In speaking of Robertson, Mr. W. S. Gilbert has said: 
" I frequently attended his rehearsals and learnt a great 
deal from his method of stage-management, which in those 
days was quite a novelty, although most pieces are now 
stage-managed on the principles he introduced. I look 
upon stage-management, as now understood, as having 
been absolutely < invented * by him. ' ' 

To which Mr. John Hare, a master of this delicate and 
all-important part of modern theatrical art, adds, " My 
opinion of Robertson as a stage-manager is of the very 
highest. He had a gift peculiar to himself, and which I 
have never seen in any other author, of conveying by some 
rapid and almost electrical suggestion to the actor an in- 
sight into the character assigned to him. As nature was 
the basis of his own work, so he sought to make actors 
understand it should be theirs. He thus founded a school / 
of natural acting which completely revolutionized the then 
existing methods, and by so doing did incalculable good 
to the stage. 1 ' 

Of course there were plenty of prejudiced people (and 
foremost amongst them were the actors who had been 
trained in the stilted old ways) to sneer at the new hand. 
They called it the " tea-cup-and-saucer " and "bread- 
and-butter" school ; but it triumphed, and its influence 
has never diminished. Pinero and other prominent dram- 
atists of to-day gladly own their indebtedness to Robert- 
son, although they have groped farther along the intricate 
and thorn-set pathway that leads to perfection. 



^Introduction 

How he saw through and detested the old but until 
the advent of Fechter and Sothern universally accepted 
style of acting cannot be better shown than by quoting 
from the footnotes appended by him to the manuscript of 
his comedy entitled War, in which he drew an English 
naval officer} a gallant French soldier 5 and a genial Ger- 
man merchant. Of the French Colonel de Rochevannes 
he said: " The Author requests this part may be played 
with a slight French accent. He is not to pronounce his 
words absurdly, or duck his head towards his stomach 
like the., conventional stage. ,.F_renghman. Colonel de 
Rochevannes is to be played with the old pre-Revolution- 
ary politeness, knightly courtesy with a mixture of cere- 
mony and bonhomie.'''' 

Of the German, Herr Karl Hartmann, he noted: " This 
part to be played with a slight German accent, and not 
to be made wilfully comic. Herr Karl Hartmann is to 
be a perfect gentleman, with a touch of the scholar and 
pedant in his manner but always a gentleman." 

And of Captain Sound, R. N., he wrote: "Captain 
Sound is not to be dressed in uniform, but in the morning 
dress of a gentleman. His manner is to be hearty, but not 
rough ; in every respect that of a captain of a man-of-war, 
and not of the master of a halfpenny steam-boat." 

To the West End of London manager of to-day such 
author's directions would, of course, be deemed super- 
fluous if not impertinent, but Robertson lived in different 
times, and knew from bitter experience what the drama- 
tist might expect. How that experience was gained I have 
endeavoured in this brief introduction to show. The 
perception that enabled him to detect glaring faults and 
inconsistencies where others were content to accept recog- 
nised stage types can only be explained in the words 
Poeta nascitur, non fit. 



^Introduction 

Although it was written and acted as long ago as 1867, 
Caste still holds the stage, and seems likely to do so for 
many years to come. Of its revival in London in the 
spring of 1903 a keen critic said: 

"Of all Robertson's plays Caste, it may be asserted 
with tolerable safety, is the only one likely to possess 
enduring vitality. Even Caste, however, begins to show 
signs of age in one direction. For, so far as the comic 
scenes and comic characterisation are concerned, the piece 
is manifestly and indubitably out of touch with present 
times. Sam Gerridge and Polly Eccles, the Marquise and 
old Eccles we can accept, perhaps, as interesting relics of 
a period when the duty of the stage to hold the mirror 
up to Nature was less freely recognised by dramatists 
than it is to-day ; but as genuine types of humanity they 
have for us ceased to exist. The laughter they evoke, and 
unquestionably there is still amusement to be drawn from 
their doings, is rather that produced by a study of an early 
Victorian caricature than of some quaint portrait founded^ 
on genuine life and reality. Very good company they 
are, nevertheless, provided one is in the mood to acqui- 
esce in the incongruities and exaggerations which serve to 
remove them from the sphere of actuality. But there is 
another standpoint judged from which Caste offers matter 
for reflection of a more satisfying description. The story 
of George D'Alroy's love for Esther, of his sudden 
departure for the war, of his reported death, and of his 
return to find his wife mourning his loss, and himself the 
father of a boy, strikes to the root of true pathos, and 
can never grow stale or unimpressive while human nature 
remains what it is. This element it is which is destined to 
keep Robertson's comedy alive and to insure it unfailing 
popularity with the public." 

Right though this judge is in the latter part of his sum- 



^Introduction 

ming up, he is wrong in the former. If he were as famil- 
iar as the writer of these lines happens to be with the 
English working-classes, he would know that in certain 
parts of London, and in every manufacturing town, you 
may jostle against a bustling Sam Gerridge at any street 
corner, and descry a loafing Eccles at the entrance of 
every public house an Eccles who would pawn his very 
soul for drink, who is the popular pot-house orator on 
the rights of the labouring man, and who declares, while 
he idles through his besotted days, that there is " Nothing 
like work for the young. I don't work so much as 
I used to myself, but I like to see the young 'uns at it. It 
does me good, and it does them good too." He would 
learn, too, how an honest, hard-working, right-minded, 
albeit almost offensively plebeian Gerridge can hate and 
despise an Eccles. Yes, Eccles was drawn from the life, 
though the part was never acted to the life until it was 
undertaken by John Hare, the original and most admir- 
able interpreter of Sam Gerridge. The earlier representa- 
tives of Eccles were low comedians (very excellent ones), 
who, following traditional lines, created laughter out of 
comic drunkenness. Mr. Hare, with the instinct of a true 
artist, made him, without losing one ounce of comedy, a 
semi-pathetic picture of a man conscious of, and trying 
to conceal, a horrible infirmity. The new reading added 
a hundredfold to the characters of his distressed but still 
dutiful daughters. But how much there is in the acting 
of a character! Even the artificial and generally ultra- 
theatrical Marquise de St. Maur became a natural and 
sympathetic being when portrayed at the recent revival at 
the Haymarket Theatre by Miss Genevieve Ward. 

From the date of the production of Society, the world- 
famous little Prince of Wales Theatre required no other 
author, and the brilliant series of comedies ran on with 



3|ntroUuction 

undiminished prosperity until poor Robertson's untimely 
death brought them to an end. But the Bancrofts 
Miss Marie Wilton soon changed her name for that by 
which she has been for so many years affectionately known 
continued his good work, and it was to the part they 
took in the re-juvenescence of the English stage that they 
owe their well-won and worthily borne honours. In their 
happy retirement Sir Squire and Lady Bancroft, looking 
back at the past, its anxieties and labours, freely acknow- 
ledge that their first stepping-stone to feme and fortune 
was laid on the day when they bravely resolved to pin their 
faith on poor neglected Robertson. 

T. EDGAR PEMBERTON. 



THE TEXTS 

Society is printed from the English acting edition published by 
Samuel French, which was taken from the prompt copy used 
by the Bancrofts and Robertson's son. It embodies, except for a 
few trivial exceptions which crept in at rehearsals, the original 
MS., dated Aug. 12, 1864, now in the Shakespeare Memorial 
Library at Stratford-on-Avon as a gift of the editor. Caste is reprinted 
from the English acting edition of French. The MS. is the pro- 
perty of Sir Squire and Lady Bancroft. The texts of the two plays 
printed in the Principal Works of T. W. Robertson (1889) vary 
slightly in punctuation and wording from the English acting editions. 
The variations probably did not originate with Robertson himself. 
The few of any significance are given in the Notes to the two 
plays. The American acting edition of Caste, evidently printed from 
a MS. surreptitiously obtained by W. J. Florence, markedly differs 
from the English edition in punctuation, thereby changing the 
meaning at times, omits, neglects dialect, and cuts out character- 
istic stage directions. The play is so clearly garbled that its variations 
from the English acting editions are not worth noting. 

All existing editions are really for acting purposes, and are, there- 
fore, thickly strewn with R., L., C., and other technical stage 
directions. Following the custom of Mr. Pinero and Mr. Jones in 
their published plays, the editor has, as far as possible, struck these 
out, for they would be an annoyance rather than a help to most 
readers. These elisions have made it necessary to change the word- 
ing and the punctuation slightly in some of the stage directions, and 
abbreviated names have been filled out, but no attempt has been 
made to soften the abruptness of phrasing. Without comment a 
few obvious errors in punctuation have been corrected and some 
stage directions placed at the beginning rather than the end of a 
speech. In numbering the lines, a speaker's name followed by 
a full line of stage direction is counted as a line. 

The notes necessary for the two plays are so few that they have 
been placed together after the text of Caste. 



To 

MY DEAR FRIEND 
TOM HOOD 

THIS PLAY 
IS DEDICATED 



SOCIETY 



Produced at the Prince of Wales's Theatre, Liverpool (under the manage- 
ment of Mr A. Henderson), on May 8th, 1865 ; afterwards performed at 
the Prince of Wales's Theatre, London (under the management of Miss 
Marie Wilton), on November nth, 1865. 



CAST OF CHARACTERS 



LORD PTARMIGANT 
LORD CLOUDWRAYS M. P. 
SIDNEY DARYL 

(a Barrister) 

MR. JOHN CHODD, SEN. 
MR. JOHN CHODD, JUN. 
TOM STYLUS 
O'SULLIVAN 
MACUSQUEBAUGH 
DOCTOR MAKVICZ 
BRADLEY 

SCARGIL 

SAM STUNNER P. R. 

(alias the Smiffel Lamb) 
SHAMHEART 
DOODLES 
MOSES AARON 

(a bailiff) 

SHERIDAN TRODNON 
LADY PTARMIGANT 
MAUD HETHERINGTON 
LITTLE MAUD 
MRS. CHURTON 
SERVANT 



Liverpool London 

Mr. Blakeley Mr. Hare 

Mr. F. Cameron Mr. Trajford 

Mr. Edward Price Mr. Bancroft 

Mr. G. P. Grainger Mr. Raj 

Mr. L. Brough Mr. J. 

Mr. E. Saker Mr. F. 

Mr. C. Swan 

Mr. Chafer 

Mr. Smith 

Mr. W. Grainger 

Mr. Waller 



Clarke 

Mr. F. Dewar 
Mr. H. W. Montgomery 
Mr. Hill 
Mr. Bennett 
Mr. Parker 
Mr. Lawson 



Mr. Hill 



Mr. Davidge 
Mr. Bj-acewell 
Miss Larkin 
Miss T. Furtado 
Miss F. Smithers 
Miss Procter 



Mr. J. Tindali 
Mr. G. Odell 
Mr. Burnett 

Mr. G. Atkins 
Mr. Macart 
Miss Larkin 
Miss Marie Wilton 
Miss George 
Miss Merton 
Miss Thompson 



Act I. Scene i. Sidney Daryl's Chambers. Scene 2. A West End 

Square. 

Act II. Scene i. A Parlour at the " Owl's Roost." Scene 2. A Re- 
tiring Room at Sir Farintosh Fadileaf 's. 

Act III. Scene I. Same as 1st Scene, Act II. Scene 2. An Apartment 

at Lord Ptarmigant's. Scene 3. Exterior at Springmead-le- 
Beau. 




ACT I 

SCENE I. Sydney DaryTs chambers, in Lincoln 9 s Inn ; 
set dear-piece on each side (to double up and draw 
off) ; the room to present the appearance of belong- 
ing to a sporting literary barrister ,- books, pictures, 
whips ; the mirror stuck full of cards (painted on 
cloth) ; a table, chairs, etc. As the curtain rises 
a knock heard, and Daddies discovered opening door at 
left. 

Tom (without). Mr. Daryl in ? 

Doddles. Not up yet. 

Enter Tom Stylus, Chodd Jun. and Chodd Sen. 

Chodd Jun. (looking at watch). Ten minutes to 
twelve, eh, guv.? 

Tom. Late into bed; up after he oughter; out 
for brandy and sobering water. 

Sidney (within). Doddles. 

Dodd. (an old clerk). Yes, sir ! 

Sidney. Brandy and soda. 

Dodd. Yes, sir. 

Tom. I said so. Tell Mr. Daryl two gentle- 
men wish to see him on particular business. 



Cbodd Jun. (supercilious bad swell ; glass in eye ; 
hooked stick ; vulgar, and uneasy]. So this is an 
author's crib, is it ? Don't think much of it, eh, 15 
guv ? Crossing behind. 

Cbodd Sen. (a common old man y with a dialect). 
Seems comfortable enough to me, Johnny. 

Cbodd Jun. Don't call me Johnny. I hope 
he won't be long. (Looking at watch.) Don't seem 20 
to me the right sort of thing for two gentlemen 
to be kept waiting for a man they are going to 
employ. 

Cbodd Sen. Gently, Johnny. (Cbodd Jun. 
looks annoyed. ) I mean gently without the Johnny. 25 
Mister 

Tom. Daryl Sidney Daryl. 

Cbodd Sen. Daryl didn't know as we was 
coming. 

Chodd Jun. (rudely to Tom). Why didn't you 3 
let him know ? 

Tom (fiercely). How the devil could I ? I 
didn't see you till last night. ( Chodd Jun. retires 
into himself.) You'll find Sidney Daryl just the 
man for you j young full of talent what I 35 
was thirty years ago ; I'm old now and not full of 
talent, if ever I was ; I've emptied myself; I've 
missed my tip. You see I wasn't a swell he is ! 

Chodd Jun. A swell what, a man who 
writes for his living ? 40 



SCENE I.] 

Doddles enters. 

Dodd. Mr. Daryl will be with you directly ; 
will you please to sit down ? 

Chodd Sen. sits. Tom takes chair by 
table ; Cbodd Jun., waiting to have one 
given to him, is annoyed that no one does 
so, and sits on table. Doddles goes round 
to left. 

Chodd Jun. Where is Mr. Daryl ? 
Dodd. In his bath ! 

Chodd Jun. (jumping off table'). What ! You 45 
don't mean to say he keeps us here while he's 
washing himself? 

Enter Sidney, in morning jacket. 
Sidney. Sorry to have detained you ; how are 
you, Tom ? 

Tom and Cbodd Sen. rise ; Chodd Jun. sits again on 
table and sucks cane. 

Chodd Sen. Not at all. 5 

Chodd Jun. (with watch). Fifteen minutes. 

Sidney (crossing, handing chair to Chodd Jun.). 
Take a chair. 

Chodd Jun. This'll do. 

Sidney. But you're sitting on the steel pens. 55 

Tom. Dangerous things ! pens. 

Cbodd Jun. takes chair. 

Sidney. Yes ! loaded with ink, percussion 
powder's nothing to 'em. 



8 &OCiet [ACT i. 

Chodd Jun. We came here to talk business. 
( To Doddles. ) Here, you get out ! 60 

Sidney {surprised). Doddles I expect a lot 
of people this morning, be kind enough to take 
them into the library. 

Dodd. Yes, sir. {Aside, looking at Cbodd Jun.) 
Young rhinoceros ! Exit. 65 

Sidney. Now, gentlemen, I am 

Crossing behind table. 

Tom. Then I'll begin. First let me intro- 
duce Mr. Sidney Daryl to Mr. John Chodd, 
of Snoggerston, also to Mr. John Chodd Jun. 
of the same place ; Mr. John Chodd of Snog- 70 
gerston is very rich he made a fortune by 

Chodd Sen. No my brother Joe made the 
fortune in Australey, by gold digging and then 
spec'lating j which he then died, and left all to 
me. 75 

Chodd Jun. (aside). Guv ! cut it ! 

Chodd Sen. I shan't, I ain't ashamed of 
what I was, nor what I am ; it never was my 
way. Well, sir, I have lots of brass. 

Sidney. Brass? 80 

Chodd Sen. Money. 

Chodd Jun. Heaps! 

Chodd Sen. Heaps ; but having begun by being 
a poor man without edication, and not being 
a gentleman 85 



SCENE I.] 

Chodd Jun. (aside). Guv ! cut it ! 

Chodd Sen. I shan't I know I'm not, and 
I'm proud of it, that is, proud of knowing I'm 
not, and I won't pretend to be. Johnny, don't 
put me out I say I'm not a gentleman, but 9 
my son is. 

Sidney (looking at him). Evidently. 

Chodd Sen. And I wish him to cut a figure in 
the world to get into Parliament. 

Sidney. Very difficult. 95 

Chodd Sen. To get a wife. 

Sidney. Very easy. 

Chodd Sen. And in short, to be a a real 
gentleman. 

Sidney. Very difficult. 100 

Cbodd Sen. 

Chodd Jun. 

Sidney. I mean very easy. 

Chodd Sen. Now, as I'm anxious he should 
be an M. P. as soon as 

Sidney. As he can. 105 

Chodd Sen. Just so, and as I've lots of capi- 
tal unemployed, I mean to invest it in 

Tom (slapping Sidney on knees}. A new daily 
paper ! 

Sidney. By Jove ! no 

Chodd Sen. A cheap daily paper, that could 
that will What will a cheap paper do ? 



io feorietp [ACT i. 

Sidney. Bring the " Court Circular " within 
the knowledge of the humblest. 

Tom. Educate the masses raise them mor-iis 
ally, socially, politically, scientifically, geologic- 
ally, and horizontally. 

ChoddSen. (delighted). That's it that's it, 
only it looks better in print. 

Tom {spouting}. Bring the glad and solemn 120 
tidings of the day to the labourer at his plough 

the spinner at his wheel the swart forger 
at his furnace the sailor on the giddy mast 
the lighthouse keeper as he trims his beacon lamp 

the housewife at her pasteboard the mother 125 
at her needle the lowly lucifer seller, as he 
splashes his wet and weary way through the damp, 
steaming, stony streets, eh ? you know. 

Slapping Sidney on knee. Both laugh. 

Cbodd Sen. (to Cbodd Jun.). What are they 
laughing at ? 1 30 

Tom. So my old friend, Johnny Prothero, who 
lives hard by Mr. Chodd, knowing that I have 
started lots of papers, sent the two Mr. Chodds 

or the Messrs. Chodd which is it ? 
you're a great grammarian to me. I can find 135 
them an efficient staff, and you are the first man 
we've called upon. 

Sidney. Thanks, old fellow. When do you 
propose to start it ? 



SCENE I.] &QtlttV II 

Chodd Sen. At once. 140 

Sidney. What is it to be called ? 

Chodd Sen. We don't know. 

Ckodd Jun. We leave that to the fellows we 
pay for their time and trouble. 

Sidney. You want something 145 

Chodd Sen. Strong. 

Tom. And sensational. 

Sidney. I have it. Rising. 

Tom. ) 

Chodd Sen. VWhat? 

Chodd Jun. J 

Sidney. The " Morning Earthquake " ! 150 

Tom. Capital ! 

Chodd Sen. (rising}. First-rate ! 

Chodd Jun. (still seated). Not so bad. 

Goes up during next speech. 

Sidney. Don't you see ? In place of the clock, 
a mass of houses, factories, and palaces tumbling 155 
one over the other j and then the prospectus ! 
" At a time when thrones are tottering, dynasties 
dissolving while the old world is displacing to \ 
make room for the new " 

Tom. Bravo ! 160 

Chodd Sen. (enthusiastically). Hurray! 

Tom. A second edition at 4 o'clock p. m. 
The " Evening Earthquake," eh ? Placard the 
walls. u The Earthquake," one note of admi- 



12 g>OCtrt [ACT i. 

ration ; " The Earthquake," two notes of admi-i65 
ration ; " The Earthquake," three notes of ad- 
miration. Posters : u The Earthquake delivered 
every morning with your hot rolls." " With cof- 
fee, toast and eggs, enjoy your Earthquake." 

Cbodd Sen. (with pocket-book). I've got your 170 
name and address. 

Cbodd Jun. (who has been looking at cards stuck in 
glass). Guv. 

Takes old Cbodd up stage and whispers to him. 

Tom {to Sidney). Don't like this young man. 

Sidney. No. , 7 ^ 

Tom. Cub. 

Sidney. Cad. 

Tom. Never mind. The old un's not a bad 
*un. We're off to a printer's. 

Sidney. Good-by, Tom, and thank ye. jgo 

Tom. How's the little girl ? 

Sidney. Quite well. I expect her here this 
morning. 

Chodd Sen. Good-morning. 

Exeunt Cbodd Sen. and Tom. 

Sidney {filing pipe, etc.). Have a pipe? 185 

Chodd Jun. {taking out a magnificent case). I al- 
ways smoke cigars. 

Sidney. Gracious creature ! Have some bitter 
beer ? Getting it from locker. 

Chodd Jun. I never drink anything in the 190 
morning. 



SCENE I.] &>*titty 13 

Sidney. Oh! 

Chodd Jun. But champagne. 

Sidney. I haven't got any. 

Chodd Jun. Then I'll take beer. (They sit.} ^ 
Business is business so I'd best begin at 
once. The present age is as you are aware ti 
a practical age. I come to the point it's my 
way. Capital commands the world. The capi- 
talist commands capital, therefore the capitalist 200 
commands the world. 

Sidney. But you don't quite command the 
world, do you ? 

Chodd Jun. Practically I do. I wish for the 
highest honours I bring out my cheque-book. 205 
I want to go into the House of Commons 
cheque-book. I want the best legal opinion in 
the House of Lords cheque-book. The best 
house cheque-book. The best turn-out 
cheque-book. The best friends, the best wife, 210 
the best-trained children cheque-book, cheque- 
book, and cheque-book. 

Sidney. You mean to say with money you 
can purchase anything ? 

Chodd Jun. Exactly. This life is a matter 215 
of bargain. 

Sidney. But " honour, love, obedience, troops 
of friends " ? 

Chodd Jun. Can buy 'em all, sir, in lots, as at 
an auction. 22 



14 

Sidney. Love, too ? 

Chodd Jun. Marriage means a union mutu- 
ally advantageous. It is a civil contract, like a 
partnership. 

Sidney. And the old-fashioned virtues of hon-225 
our and chivalry ? 

Chodd Jun. Honour means not being bank- 
rupt. I know nothing at all about chivalry, and 
I don't want to. 

Sidney. Well, yours is quite a new creed to 230; 
me, and I confess I don't like it. 

Chodd Jun. The currency, sir, converts the 
most hardened sceptic. I see by the cards on 
your glass that you go out a great deal. 

Sidney. Go out ? 235 i 

Chodd Jun. Yes, to parties. (Looking at cards 
on table.) There's my Lady this, and the Coun- 
tess t'other, and Mrs. Somebody else. Now, 
that's what I want to do. 

Sidney. Go into society ? 240 

Chodd Jun. Just so. You had money once, 
hadn't you ? 

Sidney. Yes. 

Chodd Jun. What did you do with it ? 

Sidney. Spent it. 245 ] 

Chodd Jun. And you've been in the army ? 

Sidney. Yes. 

Chodd Jun. Infantry ? 



SCENE I.] &Qtitty 15 

Sidney. Cavalry. 

Chodd Jun. Dragoons ? S 

Sidney. Lancers. 

Chodd Jun. How did you get out ? 
Sidney. Sold out. 

Chodd Jun. Then you were a first-rate fellow, 
till you tumbled down ? 255 

Sidney. Tumbled down ? 
Chodd Jun. Yes, to what you are. 

Sidney, about to speak, is interrupted by 

Moses Aaron, without. 
Moses (without}. Tell him I musht shee him. 

P Enter Moses Aaron with Doddles. 

Moses (not seeing Chodd Jun., going round behind 
table). Sorry, Mister Daryl, but at the shoot of 260 
Brackersby and Co. Arrests him. 

Chodd Jun. Je hosophat ! Rising. 

Sidney. Confound Mr. Brackersby ! It hasn't 
been owing fifteen months. How much ? 

Moses. With exes, fifty-four pun* two. 265 

Sidney. I've got it in the next room. Have 
some beer ? 

I Moses. Thank ye, shir. Sidney pours it out. 

Sidney. Back directly. Exit. 

Chodd Jun. This chap's in debt. Here you ! 270 
Moses. Shir? 
Chodd Jun. Mr. Daryl does he owe much ? 



1 6 g>octet [ACT i. 

Moses. Shpeck he does, shir, or I shouldn't 
know him. 

Cbodd Jun. Here's half a sov. Give me your 275 
address. 

Moses (gives card). " Orders executed with 
punctuality and despatch." 

Cbodd Jun. If I don't get into society now 
I'm a Dutchman. * 

Enter Sidney. 

Sidney. Here you are ten fives two two's 
and a half-crown for yourself. 

Moses. Thank ye, shir. Good-morning, shir. 

Sidney. Good-morning. 

Moses (to Cbodd Jun). Good-morning, shir. 285 

Cbodd Jun. Such familiarity from the lower 
orders ! (Exit Moses Aaron. ) You take it coolly. 

Sitting at table. 

Sidney (sitting). I generally do. 

Chodd Jun. (looking round). You've got lots 
of guns. 290 

Sidney. I'm fond of shooting. 

Cbodd Jun. And rods. 

Sidney. I'm fond of fishing. 

Cbodd Jun. And books. 

Sidney. I like reading. 295 

Chodd Jun. And whips. 

Sidney. And riding. 

Chodd Jun. Why, you seem fond of every- 
thing. 



SCENE I.] &0titty 1 7 

Sidney (looking at him'). No, not everything. 300 
Daddies enters with card. 

Sidney (reading}. " Mr. Sam Stunner P. R." 

Chodd Jun. P. R." ? What's P. R." 
mean ? Afternoon's P. M. 

Sidney. Ask him in. Exit Daddies. 

Chodd Jun. Is he an author ? or does P. R. 305 
mean Pre-Raphaelite ? 

Sidney. No ; he's a prize-fighter the Smiffel 
Lamb. 

Enter the Smiffel Lamb. 
How are you, Lamb ? 

Lamb. Bleating, sir, bleating thank ye 310 
kindly. 

Chodd Jun. (aside to Sidney}. Do prize-fighters 
usually carry cards ? 

Sidney. The march of intellect. Education 
of the masses, the Jemmy Masseys. Have 3315 
glass of sherry. 

Lamb. Not a drain, thankee sir. 

Chodd Jun. (aside}. Offers that brute sherry, 
and makes me drink beer ! 

Lamb. I've jist been drinking with Lankey32o 
Joe, and the Dulwich Duffer, at Sam Shoulder- 
blows. I'm a goin' into trainin' next week to 
fight Australian Harry, the Boundin' Kangaroo. 
I shall lick him, sir. I know I shall. 

Sidney. I shall back you, Lamb. 3 2 5 



i8 



[ACT I. 



Lamb. Thankee, Mr. Daryl. I knew you 
would. I always does my best for my backers, 
and to keep up the honour of the science ; the 
Fancy, sir, should keep square. (Looks at Chodd 
Jun. , hesitates, then walks to door, closes it, and walks 
sharply up to Sidney Daryl Chodd Jun. leaping up in 
alarm, and retiring to back leaning on table and 
speaking close to Daryl's ear.) I jist called in to 3 3^ 
give you the office, sir, as has always been so 
kind to me, not to put any tin on the mill be- 
tween the Choking Chummy and Slang's Novice. 
It's a cross, sir, a reg'lar barney. 

Sidney. Is it? Thank ye. 335 

Lamb. That's what I called for, sir ; and 
now Fm hoff. ( Goes to door. Turning. ) Don't putt 
a mag on it, sir Choking Chummy is a cove 
as would sell his own mother ; he once sold me^ 
which is wuss. Good-day, sir. 340 

Exit Lamb. Chodd Jun. reseats himself. 

Chodd Jun. As I was saying, you know lots 
of people at clubs and in society. 

Sidney. Yes. 

Chodd Jun. Titles, and Honourables, and 
Captains, and that. 345 

Sidney. Yes. 

Chodd Jun. Tip-toppers. (4f fer a pause.) 
You're not well off? 

Sidney (getting serious). No. 



i.] &octet 19 

Cbodd Jun. I am. I've heaps of brass. Now 350 
I have what you haven't, and I haven't what 
you have. You've got what I want. That's 
logic, isn't it ? 

Sidney (gravely}. What of it ? 

Cbodd Jun. This; suppose we exchange 01355 
barter. You help me to get into the company 
of men with titles, and women with titles; swells, 
you know, real 'uns, and all that. 

Sidney. Yes. 

Cbodd Jun. And I'll write you a cheque for 360 
any reasonable sum you like to name. 

Sidney rises indignantly, at the same moment 
Little Maud and Mrs. Churton enter. 

Little Maud (running to Sidney}. Here I am, 
uncle ; Mrs. Churton says I've been such a 
good girl. 

Sidney (kissing her}. My darling. How d'ye 365 
do, Mrs. Churton. (To Little Maud.} I've got a 
waggon and a baalamb that squeaks for you. 
( Then to Chodd. ) Mr. Chodd, I cannot entertain 
your very commercial proposition. My friends 
are my friends; they are not marketable com- 370 
modities. I regret that I can be of no assistance 
to you. With your appearance, manners, and 
cheque-book, you are sure to make a circle of 
your own. 

Cbodd Jun. You refuse, then 375 



20 >OW t [ACT I. 



Sidney. Absolutely. Good-morning. 

Chodd Jun. Good-morning. (Aside.) And if 
I don't have my knife into you, my name's 
not John Chodd, Jun. 

Exeunt Sidney, Little Maud, and Mrs. Chur- 
ton on one side, Cbodd Jun. on the other. 

SCENE II. The Interior of a Square in the West 
End. Weeping ash over a rustic chair centre / trees, 
shrubs, walks, rails, gates, etc.; houses at back. 
Time evening effect of setting sun in windows of 
houses ; lights in some of the windows, etc.; street 
lamps. Maud discovered in rustic chair, reading ; 
street band heard playing in the distance. 

Maud. I can't see to read any more. Heigh- 
ho ! how lonely it is ! and that band makes me so 
melancholy sometimes music makes me feel 
(Rising.) Heigh-ho! I suppose I shall see no- 
body to-night ; I must go home. (Starts.) Oh! 
( Sidney appears at left gate. ) I think I can see to 
read a few more lines. Sits again and takes book. 

Sidney (feeling pockets). Confound it ! I've left 
the key at home. ( Tries gate. ) How shall I get 
in ? (Looking over rails.) I'll try the other. 

Goes round at back to opposite gate. 
Maud. Why, he's going ! He doesn't know 
I'm here. (Rises, calling.) Sid No, I won't, 
the idea of his (Sees Sidney at gate.) Ah ! 

Gives a sigh of relief, reseats herself and reads. 



SCENE II.] >0tltty 21 

Sidney (at gate). Shut, too! (Trying gate.) 
Provoking ! What shall I (Seeing Nursemaid 15 
approaching with child drops his hat into square.) 
Will you kindly open this ? I've forgotten 
my key. ( Girl opens gate. ) Thanks ! ( Sidney 
enters square ; Girl and child go out at gate ; Life 
Guardsman enters and speaks to Girl ; they exeunt. 
Sidney sighs on seeing Maud. ) There she is ! 
(Seats himself by Maud.) Maud ! 

Maud (starting). Oh! is that you? Who 20 
would have, thought of seeing you here ! 

Sidney. Oh come don't I know that you 
walk here after dinner ? and all day long I've 
been wishing it was half-past eight. 

Maud (coquetting). I wonder, now, how often 25 
you've said that this last week ? 

Sidney. Don't pretend to doubt me, that's 
unworthy of you. (A pause.) Maud? 

Maud. Yes? 

Sidney. Are you not going to speak ? 30 

Maud (dreamily). I don't know what to say. 

Sidney. That's just my case. When I'm 
away from you I feel I could talk to you for 
hours ; but when I'm with you, somehow or 
other, it seems all to go away. (Getting closer to 35 
her and taking her hand. ) It is such happiness to 
be with you, that it makes me forget everything 
else. ( Takes off" his gloves and puts them on seat. ) 



22 >0net [ACT I. 

Ever since I was that high, in the jolly old days 
down at Springmead, my greatest pleasure has 40 
been to be near you. (Looks at watch.") Twenty 
to nine. When must you return ? 

Maud. At nine. 

Sidney. Twenty minutes. How's your aunt ? 

Maud. As cross as ever. 45 

Sidney. And Lord Ptarmigant ? 

Maud. As usual asleep. 

Sidney. Dear old man ! how he does doze 
away his time. (Another pause.) Anything else 
to tell me ? 50 

Maud. We had such a stupid dinner ; such 
odd people. 

Sidney. Who? 

Maud. Two men by the name of Chodd. 

Sidney (uneasily). Chodd? 55 

Maud. Isn't it a funny name Chodd ? 

Sidney. Yes, it's a Chodd name I mean an 
odd name. Where were they picked up ? 

Maud. I don't know. Aunty says they are 
both very rich. 60 

Sidney (uneasily). She thinks of nothing but 
money. (Looks at watch.) Fifteen to nine. (Stage 
has grown gradually dark.) Maud ! 

Maud (in a whisper). Yes? 

Sidney. If I were rich if you were rich 65 
if we were rich. 






SCENE II.] g>0tiet 2 3 

Maud. Sidney ! Drawing closer to him. 

Sidney. As it is, I almost feel it's a crime to 
love you. 

Maud. Oh, Sidney. 7 

Sidney. You, who might make such a splendid 
marriage. 

Maud. If you had money I couldn't care 
for you any more than I do now. 

Sidney. My darling ! (Looks at watch. ) Ten min- 75 
utes. I know you wouldn't. Sometimes I feel 
mad about you, mad when I know you are out a 
smiling upon others and and waltzing. 

Maud. I can't help waltzing when I'm asked. 

Sidney. No, dear, no ; but when I fancy you go 
are spinning round with another's arm about 
your waist (bis arm round her waist.} Oh ! I 
feel 

Maud. Why, Sidney (smiling*), you are jealous ! 

Sidney. Yes, I am. 85 

Maud. Can't you trust me ? 

Sidney. Implicitly. But I like to be with you 
all the same. 

Maud (whispering*). So do I with you. 

Sidney. My love ! (Kisses her, and looks at watch.) 90 
Five minutes. 

Maud. Time to go ? 

Sidney. No ! (Maud, in taking out her handker- 
chief, takes out a knot of ribbons. ) What's that ? 



24 g>odeti? [ACT i. 

Maud. Some trimmings I'm making for our 95 
fancy fair. 

Sidney. What colour is it ? Scarlet ? 

Maud. Magenta. 

Sidney. Give it to me ? 

Maud. What nonsense ! 100 

Sidney. Won't you ? 

Maud. I've brought something else. 

Sidney. For me ? 

Maud. Yes. 

Sidney. What ? 105 

Maud. These. 

Producing small case which Sidney opens. 

Sidney. Sleeve-links ! 

Maud. Now, which will you have, the links 
or the ribbon ? 

Sidney (after reflection). Both. no 

Maud. You avaricious creature ! 

Sidney (putting the ribbons near his heart) . It's not 
in the power of words to tell you how I love 
you. Do you care for me enough to trust your 
future with me will you be mine? 115 

Maud. Sidney ? 

Sidney. Mine, and none other's ; no matter 
how brilliant the offer how dazzling the posi- 
tion ? 

Maud (in a whisper, leaning towards him). Yours 120 
and yours only ! Clock strikes nine. 



SCENE II.] $tltty 25 

Sidney (with watch). Nine ! Why doesn't time 
stop, and big Ben refuse to toll the hour ? 

Lady and Lord Ptarmigant appear and open 
gate at right. 

Maud (frightened). My aunt ! 

Sidney gets to back round left of square. 
Lord and Lady Ptarmigant advance. 

Lady Ptarmigant (a very grand, acid old lady). 125 
Maud! 

Maud. Aunty, I was just coming away. 

Lady P. No one in the square ? Quite im- 
proper to be here alone. Ferdinand ? 

Lord Ptarmigant {a little old gentleman}. My 130 
love ? 

Lady P. What is the time ? 

Lord P. Don't know watch stopped 
tired of going, I suppose, like me. 

Lady P. (sitting on chair throws down gloves 1$$ 
left by Sidney with her dress). What's that ? 
( Picking them up. ) Gloves ? 

Maud (frightened). Mine, aunty. 

Lady P. Yours ! You've got yours on ! 
(Looking at them. ) These are Sidney Daryl's. 1 140 
know his size, seven-and-a-half. I see why 
you are so fond of walking in the square; for 
shame ! ( Turning to Sidney , who has just got the 
gate open, and is going out.) Sidney! (Fiercely.) I 
see you ! There is no occasion to try and sneak 145 






26 >0tiet [ACT I. 

away. Come here. {Sidney advances. With ironical 
politeness.} You have left your gloves. 

All are standing except Lord Ptarmigant, 
who lies at full length on chair and goes 
to sleep. 

Sidney {confused). Thank you, Lady Ptarm 
Lady P. You two fools have been making 
love. I've long suspected it. I'm shocked with 150 
both of you ; a penniless scribbler, and a depend- 
ent orphan, without a shilling or an expecta- 
tion. Do you {to Sidney) wish to drag my niece, 
born and bred a lady, to a back parlour, and 
bread and cheese? Or do you {to Maud) wish 155 
to marry a shabby writer, who can neither feed 
himself nor you ? I can leave you nothing, for 
I am as well bred a pauper as yourselves. 
{To Maud.) To keep appointments in a public 
square! your conduct is disgraceful worse 160 
it is unladylike ; and yours {to Sidney) is dis- 
honourable, and unworthy, to fill the head of a 
foolish girl with sentiment and rubbish. {Loudly.) 
Ferdinand ! 

Lord P. {waking up). Yes, dear? 165 

Lady P. Do keep awake ; the Chodds will 
be here directly ; they are to walk home with 
us, and I request you to make yourself agree- 
able to them. 

Lord P. Such canaille ! 170 



SCENE II.] &Qtttty 27 

Lady P. Such cash ! 

Lord P. Such cads ! 

Lady P. Such cash ! Pray, Ferdinand, don't 
argue. Authoritatively. 

Lord P. I never do. Goes to sleep again. 175 

Lady P. I wish for no esclandre. Let us have 
no discussion in the square. Mr. Daryl, I shall 
be sorry if you compel me to forbid you my 
house. I have other views for Miss Hether- 
ington. Sidney bows. 180 

The two Cbodds, in evening dress enter. 
Lady P. My dear Mr. Chodd, Maud has 
been so impatient. ( The Cbodds do not see Sidney. 
To Cbodd Sen. ) I shall take your arm, Mr. Chodd. 
{Very sweetly.) Maud dear, Mr. John will escort 
you. 185 

Street band beard playing tf Fra Poco " in 
distance ; Maud takes Cbodd JunS s arm ; 
tbe two couples go off; as Maud turns, 
sbe looks an adieu at Sidney, wbo waves 
tbe bunch of ribbon, and sits down on 
cbair in a reverie, not perceiving Lord 
Ptarmiganf s legs ; Lord Ptarmigant 
jumps up with pain / Sidney apologises. 

Curtain quick. 
END OF ACT I 



ACT II 

SCENE I. Parlour at the " Owl's Roost." Public 
bouse. Cushioned seats all round the apartment ; gas 
lighted on each side over tables ; splint boxes, pipes, 
newspapers, etc., on table; writing materials on 
table (near door) ; gong bell on another table ; 
door of entrance centre; clock above door (hands 
set to half -past nine) ; bat pegs and bats on walls. 
In chair at table bead on the left is discovered 
O' Sullivan ; also, in the following order, Mac- 
Usquebaugh, Author, and Dr. Makvicz ; also at 
the other table Trodnon (jat head), Shamheart, 
Bradley, Scargil ; the Reporter of " Belgravian 
Banner ' ' is sitting near the bead of the frst table, 
and with bis back turned to it, smoking a cigar. 
The Characters are all discovered drinking and 
smoking, some reading, some with their hats on. 

Omnes. Bravo ! Hear, hear ! Bravo ! 

O' Sullivan {on bis legs, a glass in one band, and 
terminating a speech, in Irish accent). It is, there- 
fore, gintlemen, with the most superlative fe- 
licitee, the most fraternal convivialitee, the 
warmest congenialitee, the most burning friend- 
ship, and ardent admiration, that I propose his 
health ! 

Omnes. Hear, hear ! etc. 



SCENE I.] &>Qtitty 2 9 

O'Sull. He is a man, in the words of the di- 10 
vine bard 

Trodnon (Jin sepulchral voice). Hear ! Hear ! 

O'Sull. Who, in " suffering everything, has 
suffered nothing." 

Trod. Hear, hear ! 15 

O'Sull. I have known him when, in the days 
of his prosperitee, he rowled down to the House 
of Commons in his carriage. 

Mac Usquebaugh. 'Twasn't his own, 'twas 
a job. 20 

Omnes. Silence ! Chair ! Order ! 

O'Sull. I have known him when his last 
copper, and his last glass of punch, has been 
shared with the frind of his heart. 

Omnes. Hear, hear ! 25 

O'Sull. And it is with feelings of no small 
pride that I inform ye that that frind of his heart 
was the humble individual who has now the 
honour to address ye ! 

Omnes. Hear, hear ! etc. 3 

O'Sull. But, prizeman at Trinity, mimber of 
the bar, sinator, classical scholar, or frind, Des- 
mind MacUsquebaugh has always been the same 
a gintleman and a scholar that highest type 
of that glorious union an Irish gintleman and 35 
scholar. Gintlemen, I drink his health Des- 
mond, my long loved frind, bless ye ! {All rise 



30 >oeiet [ACT ii. 

solemnly and drink " Mr. MacUsquebaugh."') Gin- 
tlemen, my frind, Mr. MacUsquebaugh, will 
respond. 4 

Omnes. Hear, hear ! 

Enter Waiter, with glasses, tobacco, etc., and receives 
orders changes O' Sullivan' s glass and exit. Enter 
Tom Stylus and Chodd Jun. Tom has a greatcoat 
on, over evening dress. 

Chodd Jun. Thank you ; no, not anything. 
Tom. Just a wet an outrider or ad- 
vanced guard, to prepare the way for the 
champagne. 45 

Chodd Jun. No. 

As soon as the sitters see Tom Stylus they give 
him a friendly nod, looking inquiringly at 
Chodd and whisper each other. 
Tom. You'd better. They are men worth 
knowing. (Pointing them out.} That is the cele- 
brated Olinthus O'Sullivan, Doctor of Civil 
Laws. 50 

O'Sullivan is at this moment reaching to the 
gas-light to light his pipe. 

Chodd Jun. The gent with the long pipe ? 

Tom. Yes : one of the finest classical scholars 
in the world : might have sat upon the woolsack, 
if he'd chosen, but he didn't. ( O' Sulliva n is now 
tossing with MacUsquebaugh.) That is the famous 55 
Desmond MacUsquebaugh, late M. P. for Kill- 



SCENE I.] *tltty 31 

cracks'kullcoddy, county Galway, a great patriot 
and orator ; might have been Chancellor of the 
Exchequer if he'd chosen, but he didn't. (Scar- 
gil reaches to the gas-light to light his pipe. ) That's 60 
Bill Bradley (jointing to Bradley, who is reading paper 
with double eyeglass}, author of the famous ro- 
mance of u Time and Opportunity " ; ran 
through ten editions. He got two thousand 
pounds for it, which was his ruin. 65 

Chodd Jun. How was he ruined by getting 
two thousand pounds ? 

Tom. He's never done anything since. We 
call him " one book Bradley." That gentleman 
fast asleep (looking towards Author at table} has 70 
made the fortune of three publishers, and the 
buttoned-up one with the shirt front of beard, 
is Herr Makvicz, the great United German. 
Dr. Scargil, there, discovered the mensuration 
of the motive power of the cerebral organs. 75 

Scargil takes a pinch of snuff from a box on 
the table. 

Chodd Jun. What's that ? 

Tom. How many million miles per minute 
thought can travel. He might have made his 
fortune if he'd chosen. 

Chodd Jun. But he didn't. Who is that mild- 80 
looking party, with the pink complexion, and the 
white hair ? Looking towards Shamheart. 



32 >0ttet2 [ACT II. 

Tom. Sam Shamheart, the professional phil- 
anthropist. He makes it his business and profit 
to love the whole human race. (Shamheart puff's 85 
a huge cloud of smoke from bis pipe.) Smoke, sir; all 
smoke. A superficial observer would consider 
him only a pleasant oily humbug, but I, having 
known him two and twenty years, feel qualified 
to pronounce him one of the biggest villains 90 
untransported. 

Chodd Jun. And that man asleep at the end of 
the table ? 

Tom. Trodnon, the eminent tragedian. 

Trodnon raises himself from the table, 
yawns, stretches himself, and again drops 
head on table. 

Chodd Jun. I never heard of him. 95 

Tom. Nor anybody else. But he's a confirmed 
tippler, and here we consider drunkenness an 
infallible sign of genius we make that a rule. 

Chodd Jun. But if they are all such great 
men, why didn't they make money by their iod 
talents ? 

Tom. Make money ! They'd scorn it ! they 
wouldn't do it that's another rule. That gen- 
tleman there (looking towards a very seedy man with 
eyeglass in his eye) does the evening parties on the 105! 
u Belgravian Banner." 

Chodd Jun. (with interest). Does he? Will 



SCENE I.] &>OttttV 33 

he put my name among the fashionables to- 
night ? 

Tom. Yes. no 

Cbodd Jun. And that we may know who's 
there and everything about it your going 
with me ? 

Tom. Yes. Pm going into society ; thanks to 
your getting me the invitation. I can dress up an 115 
account, not a mere list of names, but a pictur- 
esque report of the soiree, and show under what 
brilliant auspices you entered the beau-monde. 

Cbodd Jun. Beau-monde ? What's that ? 

Tom {chaffing hint}. Every man is called aizo 
cockney who is born within the sound of the 
beau-monde. 

Cbodd Jun. (not seeing if). Oh ! Order me 
two hundred copies of the " Belgravian " 
What's its name ? 1*5 

Tom. " Banner." 

Cbodd Jun. The day my name's in it and 
put me down as a regular subscriber. I like to 
encourage high-class literature. By the way, 
shall I ask the man what he'll take to drink? 130 

Tom. No, no. 

Chodd Jun. I'll pay for it. I'll stand, you 
know. Going to bim t Tom stops bim. 

Tom. No, no, he don't know you, and 
he'd be offended. 135 



34 OWt [ACT n. 

Chodd Jun. But I suppose all these chaps are 
plaguey poor? 

Tom. Yes, they're poor ; but they are gen- 
tlemen. 

Chodd Jun (grinning). I like that notion 140 

a poor gentleman it tickles me. Going up. 

Tom {crossing into left corner}. Metallic snob ! \ 

Cbodd Jun. I'm off now. ( Going up. ) You'll 

come to my rooms and we'll go together in the 

brougham. I want to introduce you to my 145 

friends, Lady Ptarmigant and Lord Ptarmigant. 

Tom. I must wait here for a proof I expect 

from the office. 

Chodd Jun. How long shall you be ? 

Tom (looking at clock}. An hour. i 5 | 

Chodd Jun. Don't be later. 

Exit Chodd Jun. The Reporter rises, gets 
paper from table at left, and shows it to 
Shamheart, sitting next him on his left 
hand. 

O'Sull. Sit down, Tommy, my dear boy. 
Gintlemen, Mr. Desmond MacUsquebaugh will 
respond. 
Tapping with hammer. Enter Waiter and gives Bradley 

a glass of grog. 
MaclJ. (rising}. Gintlemen. i<| 

Torn, taking his coat ojf, shows evening dress. 
Tom. A go of whiskey. 



SCENE I.] Ot\ttV 35 

Walter. Scotch or Irish ? 

Tom. Irish. 

Exit Waiter. All are astonished at Tom's 
costume. They cry, "By Jove! there's 
a. swell.'" etc. 

O'Sull. Why, Tom, my dear friend are ye 
going to be married to-night, that ye're got upi6o 
so gorgeously ? 

MacU. Tom, you're handsome as an angel. 

O'Sutl. Or a duke's footman. Gintlemen, 
rise and salute our illustrious brother. 

All rise and make Tom mock bows. 

Bradley. The gods preserve you, noble sir. 165 

Sham. May the bill of your sublime high- 
ness's washerwoman be never the less. 

MacU. And may it be paid. A general laugh. 

O'Sull. Have you come into a fortune? 

Dr. Makvicz. Or married a widow? 170 

Sham. Or buried a relation ? ( A general laugh. ) 
By my soul, Tom, you look an honour to hu- 
manity. 

O Suit. And your laundress. A general laugh. 

Brad. Gentlemen, Mr. Stylus's health and 175 
shirt-front. A general laugh. All drink and sit. 

Tom. Bless ye, my people, bless ye. 

Sits and takes out short pipe and smokes. 

O'Sull. Gintlemen, (rising) my frind, Mr. 
Usquebaugh, will respond. 



36 



[ACT ii. 



Omnes. Hear, hear ! 

MacU. (rising). Gintlemen 



iSc 



Enter Sidney in evening dress and wrapper. Enter 
Waiter with Tom's grog. 

Omnes. Hallo, Daryl ! 

Sidney. How are ye, boys ? Doctor, how goes 
it? (Shaking bands.) M<ac. How d'ye do, O'Sul- 
livan ? Tom, I want to speak to you. 185) 

O'Sull. Ah, Tom, this is the rale metal 
the genuine thing; compared to him you are 
a sort of Whitechapel would-if-I-could-be. ( To 
Sidney.) Sit down, my gorgeous one, and drink 
with me. 190) 

Sidney. No, thanks. 

Sidney and Tom sit at table bead near door. 

O'Sull. Waiter, take Mr. Daryl's orders. 

Sidney. Brandy cold. Exit Waiter. 

Mac U. Take off your wrap, rascal, and show 
your fine feathers. 195 

Sidney. No ; I am going out, and I shall 
smoke my coat. 

Tom extinguishes bis pipe and puts it in bis 
dress-coat pockety then puts on bis great- 
coat with great solemnity. 

(ySull. Going? 

Tom. No. 

O'Sull. Got the rheumatism ? j 



SCENE I.] &Qtltty 37 

Tom. No ; but I shall smoke my coat. 

General laugh. 

Enter Waiter. He gives glass of brandy and water 
to Sidney, and glass of grog to Shambeart. 

O'Sull. What news, Daryl ? 

Sidney. None, except that the Ministry is to 
be defeated. O' Sullivan pays Waiter. 

All No! *o 5 

Sidney. I say, yes. They're whipping up 
everything to vote against Thunder's motion. 
Thunder is sure of a majority, and out they go. 
Capital brandy. {Coming forward.} Tom! {Tom 
rises ; they come down stage.) I am off to a soiree. 210 

Tom {aside). So am I; but I won't tell 
him. 

Sidney. I find I've nothing in my portmon- 
naie but notes. I want a trifle for a cab. Lend 
me five shillings. 2I5 

Tom. I haven't got it, but I can get it for 
you. 

Sidney. There's a good fellow, do. 

Returns to seat. 

Tom {to MacUsquebaugby after looking around). 
Mac, {whispering) lend me five bob. 220 

Mac U. My dear boy, I haven't got so much. 

Tom. Then don't lend it. 

MacU. But I'll get it for you. {Crosses to 



38 g>OCtet2 [ACT n. 

Bradley whispers. ) Bradley, lend me five shil- 
lings. 225 

Brad. I haven't it about me, but I'll get it 
for you. ( Crosses to O' Sullivan whispers. ) O'Sul- 
livan, lend me five shillings. 

O'SulL I haven't got it, but I'll get it for 
you. (Crosses to Scargil whispers.} Scargil, lend 230 
me five shillings. 

Scarg. I haven't got it, but I'll get it for you. 
(Crossing to Makvicz whispers.} Doctor, lend 
me five shillings. 

Dr. M. I am waiting vor change vor a zov-235 
eren ; I'll give it you when the waiter brings it 
to me. 

Scarg. All right! ( To O' Sullivan. ) All right! 

O'Sull. All right ! ( To Bradley. ) All right ! 

Brad. All right ! ( To Mac Usquebaugh. ) All 240 
right ! 

MacU. All right! (To Tom.) All right! 

Tom (to Sidney). All right ! 

O'Sull. (tapping). Gintlemen, my friend, 
Mr. MacUsquebaugh will respond to the toast 24^ 
that 

MacU. (rising). Gintlemen 

Sidney. Oh, cut the speechifying, I hate it. 
You ancients are so fond of spouting; let's be 
jolly, I've only a few minutes more. 2,5 

Brad. Daryl, sing us " Cock-a-doodle-doo." 



SCENE I.] g)OCiet^ 39 

Sidney. I only know the first two verses. 
Tom. I know the rest. 

Enter Waiter. Gives glass of grog to Makvicz. 
Sidney. Then here goes. Waiter, shut the 
door, and don't open it till I've done. Now 255 
then, ready. Exit Waiter. G* Sullivan taps. 

Sidney (giving out}. Political : 
(Sings) When Ministers in fear and doubt, 

That they should be from place kicked out, 

Get up 'gainst time and sense to spout z6o 

A long dull evening through, 
What mean they then by party clique, 
Mob orators and factions weak ? 
'Tis only would they truth then speak 

But cock-a-doodle-do ! 265 

Cock-a-doodle, cock-a-doodle, cock-a-doodle- 
doo. 

Chorus (gravely and solemnly shaking their heads}. 
Cock-a-doodle, etc. 

Sidney (speaking). Commercial : 
(Sings} When companies, whose stock of cash 270 

Directors spend to cut a dash, 
Are formed to advertise and smash, 
And bankruptcy go through ; 

2.69 Commercial. The Ms. here reads : Journalism : 
When papers speak with puff and praise, 
Of things and people nowadays, 
Of rings, quack medicine, railroads, plays, 
Of laws, inventions new; 
Alliterative words and fuss, 
Big adjectives, terms curiow/, 
Sound, fury, what's all this tous 
But Cock-a-doodle-doo f " 



40 g>OCtetp [ACT ii. 

When tradesfolk live in regal state, 

The goods they sell adulterate, 275 

And puff in print, why what' s their prate 

But-cock-a-doodle-doo ? 
Cock-a-doodle, cock-a-doodle, etc. 

Chorus (as before). Cock-a-doodle, etc. 
Enter Waiter. 

O'Sutt. How dare you come in and interrupt 280 
the harmony ? 

Walter. Beg pardon, sir, but there's some- 
body says as he must see Mr. Stylus. 

'Tom. Is he a devil ? 

Waiter. No, sir, he's a juvenile. 285 

A general laugh. 

Tom. Send in some whiskey Irish and 
the devil. 

Waiter. Hot, sir ? A general laugh. 

Tom nods to Waiter, who exits. 

Sidney. Why can't you see your proofs at the 
office ? 490 

Tom. I'm in full fig, and can't stew in that 
atmosphere of steam and copperas. 
Enter Printer* s Boy ; he goes up to Tom at head of 

table. Enter Waiter, with tray, hot-water jug, etc.; 

he gives change in silver to Makvicz, who crosses to 

Stargil. Waiter puts hot-water jug and whiskey 

before Tom, and exits. 

Dr. M. Here ! (Giving two half-crowns to Scar- 
gil. ) Scargil ! 



SCENE I.] g>OCiet 41 

Scarg. (crossing in same manner to O* Sullivan). 295 
Here, O'Sullivan ! 

O'Sull. (crossing to Bradley). Here, Bradley. 

Brad, (crossing to MacUsquebaugh). Here, Mac. 

MacU. (crossing to Tom). Here, Tom. 

Printer's Boy (to Tom). Please sir, Mr. Duva^oo 
said would you add this to it ? 

Giving Tom a proof -slip. 

Tom. All right wait outside I'll bring it 
to you. Exit Boy. 

Tom (draws writing pad towards him, takes his 
grog, and is about to pour hot water from pewter jug 
into it, when be burns bis fingers, starts up and dances). 
Confound it ! 305 

All. What's the matter ? 

Tom. I've scalded my fingers with hot water. 

Sidney (taking up pen). Here, I'll correct it for 
you. 

Tom. Thank you. 310 

O'Sull. Gintlemen, proceed with the harmony. 
Mr. Stylus 

Tom. One minute. (To Sidney.) Just add this 
to it. (Sidney sits down to write, Tom standing over 
him, reading slip.) "Fashionable Intelligence 3*5 
We hear a marriage is on the tapis between Mr. 
John Chodd Jun., son of the celebrated million- 
aire, and Miss Maud Hetherington, daughter of 
the late Colonel Hetherington." Sidney starts. 

Tom. What's the matter ? 320 



42 *&OCiet [ACT II. 

Sidney. Nothing. 

He goes on writing. O y Sullivan taps hammer. 
Tom (speaking). Amatory: 
(Sings) When woman, lovely woman sighs, 

You praise her form, her hair, her eyes j 

Would link your heart by tenderest ties, 325 

And vow your vows are true. 
She answers tenderly and low, 
Though from her lips the words that flow, 
So softly sweet, are naught we know 

But cock-a-doodle-doo ! etc., etc., etc. 330 
Tom throws five shillings to Sidney, which 
rattle on the table. Sidney gives him back 
the proof ; his face is deadly pale ; as his 
head falls on the table the Chorus is sing- 
ing, "Cock-a-doodle-doo" etc. Closed in. 

SCENE II. A Retiring Room at Sir Farintosh Fadi- 
leaf s ; large archway or alcove at left, with curtains 
drawn or doors leading to the ballroom ; small arch 
or alcove at right leading to supper-room, with drawn 
curtain ; centre opening curtains drawn ; the room 
is decorated for a ball ; candelabra, flowers, etc. 

( The lines between inverted commas can be omitted. ) 
" Lady Ptarmigant (without). Very pretty 

very pretty indeed, Sir Farintosh ; all very 

nice." 

327-330 She answers . . . doodle-doo. The MS. reads: 
She answers with a loving kiss, 
Swears your [sic] life's chiefest, highest bliss, 
And plights herself, why what's all this 
But cock-a-doodle-doo ? 



SCENE II.] &>*t\tty 43 

Lady Ptarmigant enters with " Sir Far in tosh," 

Lord Ptarmigant, and Maud, all in evening dress. 

" Sir Farintosh (an old beau}. So kind of you, 
" Cousin Ptarmigant, to take pity on a poor old 5 
" widower, who has no womankind to receive 
" for him, and all that. 

u Lady P. Not at all not at all ; I am 
"only too glad to be useful." 

Lord Ptarmigant (speaking off}. Bring chairs. 10 

Lady P. Ferdinand, you can't want to go to 
sleep again ! 

Lord P. I know I can't, but I do. 

Servant brings two chairs and a small table. 

Lady P. Besides, I don't want chairs here ; 
young men get lolling about, and then they 15 
won't dance. ( Lord Ptarmigant sits and closes his 
eyes. ) " Farintosh, ( knocks heard} the arrivals are 
u beginning. 

" Sir F. But, Lady Ptarmigant, if 

u Lady P. Remember, that the old Dowager ao 
" Countess of Mcswillumore has plenty of whis- 
" key toddy in a green glass, to make believe 
" hock. 

" Sir F. But if 

Lady P. "Now go. Oh dear me! (Almost 15 
forces Sir Farintosh off. )" Now, Maud, one word 
with you ; you have been in disgrace all this last 
week about that writing fellow. 



44 g>OCtet1? [ACT ii. 

Maud {indignant}. What writing fellow . ? 

Lady P. Don't echo me if you please. You 30 
know who I mean Daryl ! 

Maud. Mr. Daryl is a relation of your lady- 
ship's the son of the late Sir Percy Daryl, 
and brother of the present Baronet. 

Lady P. And when the present Baronet, that 35 
precious Percy, squandered everything at the 
gaming table, dipped the estates, and ruined 
himself, Sidney gave up the money left him by 
his mother, to reinstate a dissolute beggared 
brother ! I don't forget that. 4 

Maud (with exultation). \ do not forget it, I 
never shall. To give up all his fortune, to ruin 
his bright prospects to preserve his brother, and 
his brother's wife and children, to keep unsul- 
lied the honour of his name, was an act 45 

Lady P. Of a noodle, and now he hasn't 
a penny save what he gets by scribbling, a 
pretty pass for a man of family to come to. 
You are my niece, and it is my solemn duty 
to get you married if I can. Don't thwart me, 5 
and I will. Leave sentiment to servant wenches 
who sweetheart the policemen ; it's unworthy of 
a lady. I've a man in my eye a rich one 
young Chodd. 

Maud (with repugnance}. Such a commonplace 55 
person. 



SCENE II.] >OCtet^ 45 

Lady P. With a very uncommonplace purse. 
He will have eighteen thousand a year. I have 
desired him to pay you court, and I desire you 
to receive it. 60 

Maud. He is so vulgar. 

Lady P. He is so rich. When he is your 
husband put him in a back study and don't show 
him. 

Maud. But I detest him. 65 

Lady P. What on earth has that to do with it ? 
You wouldn't love a man before you were mar- '1 
ried to him, would you ? Where are your princi- ' 
pies ? Ask my lord how I treated him before our 
marriage. (Hitting Lord Ptarmigan t with her fan.) 7 
Ferdinand ! 

Lord P. (awaking). My love ! 

Lady P. Do keep awake. 

Lord P. 'Pon my word you were making such 
a noise I thought I was in the House of Com- 75 
mons. (With fond regret.) I used to be allowed 
to sleep so comfortably there. 

Lady P. Are you not of opinion that a match 
between Mr. Chodd and Maud would be most 
desirable ? 80 

Lord P. (looking at Lady Ptarmigant). Am I not 
of opinion my opinion what is my opinion? 

Lady P. (bitting him with her fan). Yes, of 
course. 



46 >0Ctet [ACT n. 

Lord P. Yes, of course my opinion is yes, 85 
of course. {Aside, crossing with chair.) Just as it 
used to be in the House. I always roused in 
time to vote as I was told to. 

Maud. But, uncle, one can't purchase happi- 
ness at shops in packets, like bon-bons. A 9 
thousand yards of lace cost so much, they can 
be got at the milliner's ; but an hour of home 
or repose can only be had for love. Mere 
wealth 

Lord P. My dear, wealth, if it does not bring 95 
happiness, brings the best imitation of it pro- 
curable for money. There are two things 
wealth and poverty. The former makes the 
world a place to live in ; the latter a place to 
go to sleep in as I do. 100 

Leans back in chair -and dozes. 

f( Enter Sir Farintosh, Colonel Browser, and Lord 
Cloudwrays. 

" Sir F. Have you heard the news ? The 
u division is to come off to-night. Many men 
u won't be able to come. I must be off to vote. 
u If the Ministry go out 

" Col. B. They won't go out there'll be 105 
u a dissolution. 

u Sir F. And I shall have to go down to be 
"re-elected. Cloudwrays, will you come and 
" vote ? 



SCENE II.] g>OCtet 47 

" Lord C. (languidly"). No. IIO 

Sir F. Why not ? 

" Lord C. I'm dying for a weed. 

u Sir F. You can smoke in the smoking- 
" room ! 

" Lord C. So I can, that didn't occur to me ! 115 

" Sir F. Ptarmigant, Cousin, you do the 
" honours for me. My country calls, you know, 
" and all that. Come on, Cloudwrays; how slow 
" you are. Hi, tobacco ! 

" Cloudwrays rouses himself. Exeunt Sir 
" Farintosb and Lord Cloudwrays. Lord 
" Ptarmigant dozes. 

u Col. B. (who has been talking to Lady Ptarmigant y 120 
" turns to Lord Ptarmigant}. As I was saying to 
" her ladyship 

u Lady P. Ferdinand, do wake up. 

" Lord P. Hear, hear ! (Waking.) My dear ! " 

Enter Servant. 

Page. Mr. Chodd, Mr. John Chodd, and Mr. 125 
Stylus. 

Enter Chodd Jun., Chodd Sen. and Tom. Exit Servant. 

Lady P. My dear Mr. Chodd, how late you 
are ! Maud dear, here is Mr. Chodd. Do you 
know we were going to scold you, you naughty 
men ! 130 

Chodd Sen. (astonished, aside"). Naughty men ! 



4 8 

Johnny, her ladyship says we're naughty men ; 
we've done something wrong. 

Cbodd Jun. No, no it's only her lady- 
ship's patrician fun. Don't call me Johnny. 135 
I'm sure I hurried here on the wings of 
(crossing, falls over Lord Ptarmigan?* feet, who 
rises and turns bis chair the reverse way. Cbodd 
seeing Maud y repellant} a brougham and pair. 
Lady Ptarmigant, let me introduce a friend of 
mine. Lady Ptarmigant Mr. Stylus, whom I 
took the liberty of 140] 

Lady P. Charmed to see any friend of yours ! 
Tom advances from back, abashed ; as he is 
backing and bowing he falls over Lord 
Ptarmigan? s legs / Lord Ptarmigant rises 
with a look of annoyance ; they bow ; Lord 
Ptarmigant again turns chair and sits. 

" Lady P. Mr. Chodd, take me to the ball- 
" room. ( Chodd Sen. offers his arm. ) You will 
"look after Maud, I'm sure. (To Chodd Jun. y 
ft who smilingly offers his arm to Maud. Maud with a 
tf suppressed look of disgust takes it. ) Mr. Si-len-us. 145 

" Tom. Stylus ma'am my lady. 

" Lady P. Stylus pardon me will you be 
" kind enough to keep my lord awake ? ( Signi- 
"Jtcantly.} Maud! Now, dear Mr. Chodd. 

u Chodd Jun. Guv ! 1 50 

" Exeunt Lady Ptarmigant, Maud and the Chodds. 



SCENE II.] ^CCltt^ 49 

u Tom (aside). These are two funny old 
" swells ! 

" Col. B. Odd looking fellow. (To Tom.) Nice 
" place this ! 

" Tom. Very. 155 

u Col. B. And charming man, Fadileaf. 

" Tom. Very. I don't know him, but I 
" should say he must be very jolly. 

" Col. B. (laughing). Bravo! Why you're a 
" wit ! 1 60 

" Tom. Yes. (Aside. ) What does he mean ? 

" Col. B. (offering box). Snuff? Who's to win 
"the Leger? Diadeste ? 

u Tom. I don't know not in my depart- 
" ment. 165 

u Col. B. (laughing). Very good. 

u Tom (innocently). What is? 

" Col. B. You are. Do you play whist ? 

u Tom. Yes ; cribbage, and all fours, like- 
" wise. 170 

" Col. B. We'll find another man and make 
u up a rubber. 

" Tom (pointing to Lord Ptarmigant asleep). 
" He'll do for dummy. 

" Col. B. (laughing). Capital! 175 

u Tom. What a queer fellow this is he 
" laughs at everything I say. Dance music. 

" Col. B. They've begun. 



50 ^octets [ACT ii. 

" Tom (waking up Lord Ptarmigant). My lady 
a said I was to keep you awake. 180 

" Lord P. Thank you. 

" Col. B. Come and have a rubber. Let's go 
" and look up Chedbury. 

Lord P. Yes. 

" Col. B. (to Tom). You'll find us in the card- 185 
room. 

" Exeunt Lord Ptarmigant and Col. Browser." 

(Note. If preceding lines be omitted, the following 
sentence and business. ) 

Lady P. Ferdinand ! ( Going up to Lord Ptarmi- 
gant who wakes. ) Do rouse yourself, and follow 
me to the ballroom. 

Exeunt all but Tom. Lord Ptarmigant re- 
turns , and drags chair off after him. 

Tom. Here I am in society, and I think 50-1901 
ciety is rather slow ; it's much jollier at the 
" Owl," and there's more to drink. If it were 
not wicked to say it, how I should enjoy a glass 
of gin and water ! 

Enter Lady Ptarmigant. 

Lady P. Mr. Si-len-us ! 195 

Tom {abashed). Stylus, ma'am, my lady! 
Lady P. Stylus! I beg pardon. You're all alone. 
Tom. With the exception of your ladyship. 
Lady P. All the members have gone down 
to the House to vote, and we are dreadfully in 200 



I SCENE II.] &Qtltty 51 

want of men I mean dancers. You dance, of 
course? 

Tom (abashed'). Oh ! of course I 

Lady P. As it is Leap-year, I may claim the 
privilege of asking you to see me through 3205 
quadrille. 

Tom (frightened) . My lady ! I 

Lady P. (aside). He's a friend of the Chodds', 
and it will please them. Come, then. (She takes 
his arm, sniffing.) Dear me! What a dreadful 210 
smell of tobacco ! (Sniffing.) 

Tom (awfully self-conscious, sniffing). Is there? 

Lady P. (sniffing). Some fellow must have been 
smoking. 

Tom (sniffing). I think some fellow must, or 21 5 
some fellow must have been where some other 
fellows have been smoking. (Aside.) It's that 
Beastly parlour at the u Owl." 

In taking out his pocket-handkerchief, his 
pipe falls on fioor. 

Lady P. What's that ? 

Tom (in torture). What's what ? 220 

Turning about, and looking through eyeglass 
at the air. 

Lady P. (pointing). That! 

Tom (as if in doubt). I rather think it is 
a pipe ! 

219 What's that. "This incident is taken from M. Emile 
Augier's admirable comedy of ' Les Effrontes.' T. W. R." 



[ACT II. 

Lady P. I'm sure of it. You'll join me in the 
ballroom. Going up. 

Tom. Instantly, your ladyship. (Exit Lady 
Ptarmigant. Looking at pipe , be picks it up.) If ever 
I bring you into society again (drops it.) 
Waiter! (Enter Page.) Somebody's dropped 
something. Remove the Whatsoname. ( Quadrille a| 
music in ballroom ; Page goes off and returns with tray 
and sugar-tongs, with which he picks up pipe with an 
air of ineffable disgust and goes off. ) Now to spin 
round the old woman in the mazy waltz. (Splits 
kid gloves in drawing them on.) There goes one- 
and-nine ! Exit Tom. 

Enter Sidney. He is pale and excited ; one of the gold 
links of his wristband is unfastened. 

Sidney. I have seen her she was smiling, J| 
dancing, but not with him. She looked so 
bright and happy. I won't think of her. How 
quiet it is here ; so different to that hot room, 
with the crowd of fools and coquettes whirling 
round each other. I like to be alone alone ! 
I am now thoroughly and to think it was 
but a week ago one little week I'll forget 
her forget, and hate her. Hate her Oh, 
Maud, Maud, till now I never knew how much 
I loved you; loved you loved you gone;^| 
shattered ; shivered ; and for whom ? For one 
of my own birth ? For one of my own rank ? 



SCENE II.] ^0Ctft 53 

No ! for a common clown, who confound 
this link ! but he is rich and it won't 
hold. ( Trying to fasten it, his fingers trembling. ) I've 2 5 
heard it all always with her, at the Opera 
and the Park, attentive and obedient and she 
accepts him. My head aches. (Louder.) I'll try 
a glass of champagne. 

Tom (without}. Champagne! here you are! 255 
( Draws curtain. Enter Tom with champagne-glass from 
supper-room ; portion of supper-table seen in alcove ; 
seeing Sidney. ) Sidney ! 

Sidney. Tom ! you here ! 

Tom. Very much here. {Drinking.) I was 
brought by Mr. Chodd. 

Sidney. Chodd? 260 

Tom. Don't startle a fella. You look pale 
aren't you well ? 

Sidney {rallying). Jolly, never better. 

Tom. Have some salmon. 

Sidney. I'm not hungry. 265 

Tom. Then try some jelly; it's no trouble 
to masticate, and is emollient and agreeable to 
the throat and palate. 

Sidney. No, Tom, champagne. 

Tom. There you are. 270 

Fetching bottle from table. 

Sidney. I'll meet her eye to eye. (Drinks.) 
Another, Tom and be as smiling and indiffer- 



54 ^OCiet [ACT ii. 

ent. As for that heavy-metalled dog thanks, 
Tom. (Drinks.} Another. 

Tom. I've been dancing with old Lady Ptar-a/i 
migant. 

Sidney. Confound her. 

Tom. I did. As I was twirling her round I 
sent my foot through her dress and tore the skirt 
out of the gathers. 2 

Sidney (laughing hysterically). Good! Good! 
Bravo, Tom ! Did she row you ? 

Tom. Not a bit. She said it was of no con- 
sequence ; but her looks were awful. 

Sidney. Ha, ha, ha ! Tom, you're a splendid 
fellow, not like these damned swells, all waist- 
coat and shirt-front. 

Tom. But I like the swells. I played a rubber 
with them and won three pounds, then I showed 
them some conjuring tricks you know I 'm a 
famous conjuror (taking a pack of cards out of bis 
pocket). By Jupiter ! look here, I've brought the 
pack away with me ; I didn't know I had. I'll 
go and take it back. 

Sidney ( taking cards from him absently ) . No, 
never mind, stay with me, I don't want you to go. 

Tom. I find high life most agreeable, everybody 
is so amiable, so thoughtful, so full of feeling. 

Sidney. Feeling ! Why, man, this is a flesh 
market where the match-making mamas and 300 



SCENE II.] fOCi0t 55 

chattering old chaperons have no more sense 
of feeling than drovers the girls no more | 
sentiment than sheep, and the best man is the ! 
highest bidder ; that is, the biggest fool with 
the longest purse. 305 

Tom. Sidney, you're ill. 

Sidney. You lie, Tom never better ex- 
cellent high spirits confound this link ! 
Enter Lord Cloudwrays and " Sir Farintosh." 
Lord Cloudwrays. ~\ By Jove ! Ha, Sidney, 
" Sir F." f heard the news ? 3 i 

Sidney. News ? There is no news ! The times 
are bankrupt, and the assignees have sold off the 
events. 

u P. ,' I The Ministry is defeated. 

Tom. No. 315 

Lord C. \ v , . . ff 

" o- r f * es ; by a majority of forty-six. 

Sidney. Serve them right. 
Lord C. 



Sidney. I don't know ! Why, what a fellow 
you are to want reasons. 320 

Lord C. Sidney ! 

Sidney. Hullo, Cloudwrays ! my bright young 
British senator my undeveloped Chatham, 
and mature Raleigh. 



56 &OCtet [ACT II. 

Tom. Will they resign ? 325 

Sidney. Why, of course they will ; resignation 
is the duty of every man, or Minister, who can't 
do anything else. 

Tom. Who will be sent for to form a Gov- 
ernment ? 330 

Sidney. Cloudwrays. 

Lord C. How you do chaff a man ! 

Sidney. Why not ? Inaugurate a new policy 
the policy of smoke free trade in tobacco ! 
go in, not for principles, but for Principes 335 
our hearth our homes, and 'bacca boxes ! 

Tom. If there's a general election ? 

Sidney. Hurrah for a general election ! eh, 
Cloudwrays ? " eh, Farintosh " ? What 
speeches you'll make what lies you'll tell, and 340 
how your constituents won't believe you ! 

Sir F."} H W dd y U are ! 

Lord C. Aren't you well ? 

Sidney. Glorious ! only one thing annoys me. 

What's that? 345 

Sidney. They won't give me more cham- 
pagne. 

" Enter Colonel Browser." 
Lord C. Lady Ptarmigant sent me here to say 



SCENE II.] ^OCtet^ 57 

" Col. B" Farintosh," the ladies want part- 
ners. "Colonel and Sir Farintosb go off." 350 

Sidney. Partners ! Here are partners for them 
long, tall, stout, fat, thin, poor, rich. ( Cross- 
ing* ) Cloudwrays, you're the man ! ( Enter Chodd 
Jun. Sidney sees and points to him.) No; this is the 
man ! 355 

Chodd Jun. (aside). Confound this fellow! 

Sidney. This, sir, is the " Young Lady's Best 
Companion," well-bound, Bramah-locked, and 
gilt at the edges. Mind ! gilt only at the edges. 
This link will not hold. (Sees pack of cards in his 360 
hand. ) Here, Chodd take these no, cut for 
a ten-pound note. Puts cards on small table. 

Chodd Jun. (quickly). With pleasure. (Aside.) 
I'll punish this audacious pauper in the pocket. 

Crossing to table. 

Lord C. You mustn't gamble here. 365 

Sidney. Only for a frolic ! 

Chodd Jun. I'm always lucky at cards. 

Sidney. Yes, I know an old proverb about 
that. 

Chodd Jun. Eh? 370 

Sidney. Lucky at play, unlucky in This 
link will not hold. 

Chodd Jun. (maliciously). Shall we put the 
stakes down first ? 

Sidney (producing portmonnaie). With pleasure. 375 



58 g>oeiet2 [ACT ii. 

Lord C. But I don't think it right 

Advancing Cbodd Jun. stays him with 
bis arm* 

Tom. Sidney ! 

Sidney. Nonsense ! hold your tongue, Cloud- 
wrays, and I'll give you a regalia. Let's make 
it for five-and-twenty ? 380, 

Cbodd Jun. Done ! 

Sidney. Lowest wins that's in your fa- 
vour. 

Cbodd Jun. Eh? 

Sidney. Ace is lowest. (Tbey cut. ) Mine 1385] 
Double the stakes ? 

Cbodd Jun. Done ! They cut. 

Sidney. Mine again ! Double again ? 

Cbodd Jun. Done! They cut. 

Sidney. You're done again ! I'm in splendid 39 
play to-night. One hundred, I think ? 

Cbodd Jun. I'd play again (banding notes), but 
I've no more with me. 

Sidney. Your word's sufficient you can 
send to my chambers besides, you've got 395 
your cheque-book. A hundred again ? 

Cbodd Jun. Yes. They cut. 

Sidney. Huzzah ! Fortune's a lady ! Again? 
(Cbodd Jun. nods they cut.) Bravo! Again? 
(Cbodd Jun. nods they cut.) Mine again ! 4 oo 
Again ? ( Cbodd Jun. nods they cut. ) Mine 



SCENE II.] fyttitty 59 

again ! Again ? ( Chodd Jun. nods they cut. ) 
Same result ! That makes five ! Let's go in for 
a thousand ? 

Cbodd Jun. Done ! 45 

Lord C. (advancing). No ! 
Chodd Jun. (savagely). Get out of the way ! 
Lord Cloudwrays looks at him through eye- 
glass in astonishment. 

Sidney. Pooh ! ( They cut. ) Mine ! Double 
again ? 

Chodd Jun. Yes. 410 

Lord C. (going round to back of table and seizing 
the pack). No; I can't suffer this to go on 
Lady Ptarmigant would be awful angry. 

Going off, 

Sidney. Here, Cloudwrays ! What a fellow 
you are. (Exit Lord Cloudwrays. Turning to Cbodd 41 5 
Jun. ) You owe me a thousand ! 
Chodd Jun. I shall not forget it. 
Sidney. I don't suppose you will. Confound 
(trying to button sleeve-link, crossing.) Oh, to jog 
your memory, take this. 420 

Gives him sleeve-link, which he has been 
trying to button, and goes off after Lord 
Cloudwrays. 

Chodd Jun. And after I have paid you, I'll 
remember and clear off the old score. 



60 &Qtitty [ACT ii. 

Tom (taking bis arm as be is going). Going into 
the ball-room ? 

Chodd Jun. (aghast at bis intrusion). Yes. 425 

Tom. I'll go with you. 

Chodd Jun. (disengaging bis arm). I'm engaged. 
Exit Cbodd Jun. Music till end. 

Tom. You've an engaging manner ! I'm like 
a donkey between two bundles of hay. On one 
side woman lovely woman ! on the other, 430 
wine and wittles. ( Taking out a sovereign. ) Heads, 
supper tails, the ladies. ( Tosses at table. ) Sup- 
per ! sweet goddess, Fortune, accept my thanks ! 

Exit into supper-room. 
Enter Maud and Cbodd Jun. 

Maud [aside~\ . This dreadful man follows me 
about everywhere. 435 

Chodd Jun. My dear Miss Hetherington ! 

Maud. I danced the last with you. 

Chodd Jun. That was a quadrille. 

Enter Sidney. 
This is for a polka. 

Sidney (advancing between them). The lady is 440 
engaged to me. 

Chodd Jun. (aside). This fellow's turned up 
again. ( To him. ) I beg your pardon. 

Sidney. I beg yours. I have a prior claim. 
(Bitterly.) Ask the lady or perhaps I had bet- 445 
ter give her up to you. 



SCENE II.] &Qtltty 6 1 

Maud. The next dance with you, Mr. Chodd; 
this one 

Chodd Jun. Miss, your commands are Acts of 
Parliament. (Looking spitefully at Sidney as he crosses. )^Q 
I'll go and see what Lady Ptarmigant has to say to 
this. Exit Cbodd Jun. Music changes to slow waltz. 

Sidney. Listen to me for the last time. My 
life and being were centred in you. You have 
abandoned me for money! You accepted me; 455 
you now throw me off, for money ! You gave 
your hand, you now retract, for money ! You 
are about to wed a knave, a brute, a fool, 
whom in your own heart you despise, for money ! 

Maud. How dare you ! 460 

Sidney. Where falsehood is, shame cannot be. 
The last time we met (producing ribbon} you gave 
me this. See, 'tis the colour of a man's heart's 
blood. ( Curtains or doors at back draw apart. ) I 
give it back to you. 465 

Casting bunch of ribbon at her feet. 

Lord Cloudwrays, " Sir Farintosb 3 Colonel Browser," 
Tom, Lord Ptarmigant, and Lady Ptarmigant, 
Cbodd Jun. and Chodd Sen. appear at back. Guests 
seen in ball-room. 

And tell you, shameless girl, much as I once 

loved, and adored, I now despise and hate you. 
Lady P. (advancing, in a whisper to Sidney). 

Leave the house, sir ! How dare you go ! 



62 g>OCiet [ACT II. 

Sidney. Yes ; anywhere. 470 

Crash of music. Maud is nearly falling, 
when Chodd Jun. appears near her ; she 
is about to lean on his arm, but recognising 
him, retreats and staggers. Sidney is seen 
to reel through ball-room full of dancers. 
Drop. 

END OF ACT II 



ACT III 

SCENE I. The " Owl's Roost" (same as Scene I, 
Act II). Daylight. The room in order. Tom 
discovered writing at table at right. Boy sitting on 
a table at left and holding the placard on which is 
printed " Read the ' Morning Earthquake* a 
Jirst-class daily paper," etc. On the other [placard] , 
" ' The Evening Earthquake ' a Jirst-class daily 
paper Latest Intelligence ," etc. 

Tom. Urn ! It'll look well on the walls, and 
at the railway stations. Take these back to the 
office (Boy jumps down) to Mr. Piker, and tell 
him he must wait for the last leader till it's 
written. (Exit Boy. Tom walks to and fro, smok- 5 
ing long clay pipe.} The M. E. that is the 
" Morning Earthquake" shakes the world for 
the first time to-morrow morning, and everything 
seems to have gone wrong with it. It is a crude, 
unmanageable, ill-disciplined, ill-regulated earth- 10 
quake. Heave the first Old Chodd behaves 
badly to me. After organising him a first-rate 
earthquake, engaging him a brilliant staff, and 
stunning reporters, he doesn't even offer me the 
post of sub-editor ungrateful old humbug! *5 
Heave the second no sooner is he engaged 



64 >OCtet [ACT in. 

than our editor is laid up with the gout ; and 
then Old Chodd asks me to be a literary warm- 
ing-pan, and keep his place hot till colchicum 
and cold water have done their work. I'll be 
even with Old Chodd, though ! I'll teach him 
what it is to insult a man who has started eight- 
een daily and weekly papers all of them fail- 
ures. Heave the third Sidney Daryl won't 
write the social leaders. (Sits at end of table at ^$\ 
left. ) Poor Sidney ! ( Takes out the magenta ribbon 
which he picked up at the ball. ) I shan't dare to 
give him this I picked it up at the ball, at 
which I was one of the distinguished and illus- 
trious guests. Love is an awful swindler 
always drawing upon Hope, who never honours 
his drafts a sort of whining beggar, continu- 
ally moved on by the maternal police. But 'tis 
a weakness to which the wisest of us are sub- 
ject a kind of manly measles which this flesh 
is heir to, particularly when the flesh is heir 
to nothing else even I have felt the divine 
damnation I mean emanation. But the lady 
united herself to another, which was a very good 
thing for me, and anything but misfortune for 40 
her. Ah ! happy days of youth ! Oh ! flowing 
fields of Runnington-cum-Wapshot where 
the yellow corn waved, our young love ripened, 
and the new gaol now stands. Oh, Sally, when 



SCENE I.] &Qtitty 65 

I think of you and the past, I feel that {looking 45 
into bis pot} the pot's empty, and I could drink 
another pint. (Putting the ribbon in bis pocket.) 
Poor Sidney ! I'm afraid he's going to the bad. 

Enter Sidney. He strikes bell on table at left, and sits at 
the bead, bis appearance altered. 

Ha ! Sid, is that you ? Talk of the how 
d'ye do ? 5 

Sidney. Quite well how are you ? 

Tom. I'm suffering from an earthquake in my 
head, and a general printing office in my stomach. 
Have some beer ? 

Enter Waiter. 

Sidney. No, thanks brandy 55 

Tom. So early ? 

Sidney. And soda. I didn't sleep last night. 
Tom. Brandy and soda, and beer again. 

Exit Waiter with pint pot off table at right. 
Sidney. I never do sleep now I can't sleep. 
Tom. Work hard. 60 

Enter Waiter. 

Sidney. I do it is my only comfort my 
old pen goes driving along, at the rate of 

( Waiter, after placing pint of porter before Tom, 
places tray with brandy and soda before Sidney. ) 
That's right ! ( Waiter uncorks, and exit. ) What 
a splendid discovery was brandy. Drinks. 



66 g>OCiet [ACT in. 

Tom. Yes, the man who invented it deserves 65 
a statue. 

Sidney. That's the reason that he doesn't get 
one. 

Tom (reading paper). "Election Intelligence." 
There's the general election why not go in for 7 
that ? 

Sidney. Election pooh ! what do I care 
for that ? 

Tom. Nothing, of course, but it's occupation. 

Sidney (musing). I wonder who'll put up for 75 
Springmead ? 

Tom. Your brother's seat, wasn't it ? 

Sidney. Yes, our family's for years. By-the- 
way, I'd a letter from Percy last mail ; he's in 
trouble, poor fellow his little boy is dead, and 80 
he himself is in such ill-health that they have 
given him sick leave. We are an unlucky race, we 
Daryls. Sometimes, Tom, I wish that I were 
dead. 

Tom. Sidney ! 85 

Sidney. It's a bad wish, I know ; but what to 
me is there worth living for ? 

Tom. What ! oh, lots of things. Why, 
there's the police reports mining intelligence 

hop districts the tallow market ambition 90 

Society ! 

Sidney (heartily). Damn Society! 



SCENE I.] ?3)Qtttty 67 

Tom. And you know, Sid, there are more 
women in the world than one. 

Sidney. But only one a man can love. 95 

Tom. I don't know about that ; temperaments 
differ. 

Sidney (pacing about and reciting}. " As the hus- 
band, so the wife is." A 

-'' te*p^~ 
" Thou art mated to a clown: ^ w^ w*^ 100 

And the grossness of his nature \^ 

Shall have power to drag thee down } 

He will hold thee when his passion 

Shall have spent its novel force, 

Something better than his dog, and <x/ 105 

Little dearer than his horse." 

I'm ashamed of such a want of spirit 
ashamed to be such a baby. And you, Tom, are 
the only man in the world I'd show it to ; but I 
I can think of nothing else but her and and 1 10 
of the fate in store for her. 

Sobs, and leans on table with bis face in bis bands. 

Tom. Don't give way, Sid ;. there are plenty 
of things in this world to care for. 

Sidney. Not for me, not for me. 

Tom. Oh yes! there's friendship j and n s 
and the little girl, you know. 

Sidney. That reminds me, I wrote a week ago 
to Mrs. Churton, asking her to meet me with 
Mau with the little darling in the square. I 



68 >OCiet [ACT in. 

always asked them to come from Hampstead toiao 
the square, that I might look up at her window 
as I passed. What a fool I've been I can't 
meet them this morning. Will you go for me ? 

Tom. With pleasure. 

Sidney. Give Mrs. Churton this. (Wrapping 125 
up money in paper from Tom? 'j case. ) It's the last 
month's money. Tell her I'm engaged, and can't 
come and {putting down money} buy the baby a 
toy, bless her ! What a pity to think she'll grow 
to be a woman! 130; 

Enter MacUsquebaugb, O' Sullivan, and Makvicz. 

Mac Usquebaugh (entering). A three of whiskey, 
hot! 

O' Sullivan. The same for me neat. 

Dr. Makvicz. A pint of stoot. All sit. 

O'Sull. Tom, mee boy, what news of the 135 
" Earthquake " ? 

Enter Waiter with orders, and gives Tom a note. 

Tom. Heaving, sir heaving. ( Tom opens note, 
Sidney sits abstracted. ) Who's going electioneering? 

Dr. M. I am. 

O'Sull. And I. 140 

MacU. And so am I. 

Tom. Where? 

MacU. I don't know. 

O'Sul/. Somewhere anywhere. 



SCENE I.] g>OCirt 69 

Tom (reading note}. From Chodd, Senior the 145 
old villain ! (Reads. ) Dear Sir Please meet 
me at Lady Ptarmigant's at eleven p. m." ( Sud- 
denly. ) Sidney ! 

Sidney (moodily). What ? 

Tom (reading). "I am off to Springmead-le-i5 
Beau by the train at two-fifty. My son, Mr. 
John Chodd, Jun. is the candidate for the seat 
of the borough." 

Sidney (rising). What! that hound! that 
cur ! that digesting cheque-book represent 155 
the town that my family have held their own for 
centuries. I'd sooner put up for it myself. 

Tom (rising). Why not ? Daryl for Spring- 
mead here's occupation here's revenge ! 

Sidney. By heaven I will ! 160 

Crosses and returns. 

Tom. Gentlemen, the health of Mr. Daryl, 
M. P. for Springmead ! Sidney crosses. 

Omnes (rising and drinking). Hurrah ! 

Tom. We'll canvass for you. (Aside.) And 
now, Mr. Chodd Sen. I see the subject for the 165 
last leader. I'll fetter you with your own type. 

Comes down stage. 

Sidney (crosses). I'll do it ! I'll do it! When 
does the next train start ? 

MacU. (taking " Brads haw" from table at 
right). At two-fifty the next at five. 170 



yo &OCiet [ACT in. 

Sidney (crossing). Huzza! (With excitement.) 
I'll rouse up the tenants call on the tradesmen ! 

Crossing. 

O'Sull. But the money ? 

Sidney. Til fight him with the very thousand 
that I won of him. Besides, what need has 
Daryl of money at Springmead ? 

Tom. We can write for you. 

O'Sull. And fight for you. 

Sidney. I feel so happy. Call cabs. 

MacU. How many ? 180 

Sidney. The whole rank ! Goes up. 

Tom. Sidney, what colours shall we fight 
under ? 

Sidney. What colours ? ( Feels in his breast and 
appears dejected ; Tom hands him the ribbons ; he 
clutches them eagerly. ) What colours ? Magenta ! 185 

Omnes. Huzza ! Closed in as they go up. 

SCENE II. An Apartment at Lord Ptarmigan? s. 

Lady Ptarmigant (without). Good-bye, dear 
Mr. Chodd. A pleasant ride, and all sorts of 
success. ( Enter Lady Ptarmigant. ) Phew ! there's 
the old man gone. Now to speak to that stupid 
Maud. (Looking ojf.) There she sits in the sulks 
a fool ! Ah, what wise folks the French 
were before the Revolution, when there was a 



SCENE II.] &>Qtitty 7 1 

Bastille or a convent in which to pop danger- 
ous young men and obstinate young women. 
( Sweetly. ) Maud, dear ! I'll marry her to young 10 
Chodd, I'm determined. 

Enter Maud, very pensive. 

Lady P. Maud, I wish to speak to you. 

Maud. Upon what subject, aunt ? 

Lady P. One that should be very agreeable to 
a girl of your age marriage. 15 

Maud. Mr. Chodd again ? 

Lady P. Yes, Mr. Chodd again. 

Maud. I hate him ! 

Lady P. You wicked thing ! How dare you 
use such expressions in speaking of a young ao 
gentleman so rich ? 

Maud. Gentleman ! 

Lady P. Yes, gentleman at least he will be. 

Maud. Nothing can make Mr. Chodd 
what a name ! anything but what he is. 25 

Lady P. Money can do everything. 

Maud. Can it make me love a man I hate ? 

Lady P. Yes ; at least if it don't, it ought. I 
suppose you mean to marry somebody ? 

Maud. No. 30 

Lady P. You audacious girl ! How can you 
talk so wickedly ? Where do you expect to go to ? 

Maud. To needlework ! Anything from this 
house ; and from this persecution. 



72 >OCtet1? [ACT III. 

Lady P. Miss Hetherington ! 35 

Maud. Thank you, Lady Ptarmigant, for 
calling me by my name ; it reminds me who I 
am, and of my dead father, " Indian Hethering- 
ton," as he was called. It reminds me that the 
protection you have offered to his orphan daugh- 40 
ter has been hourly embittered by the dreadful 
temper, which is an equal affliction to you as to 
those within your reach. It reminds me that the 
daughter of such a father should not stoop to a 
mesalliance. Crossing. 45 

Lady P. Mesalliance ! How dare you call 
Mr. Chodd a mesalliance ! And you hankering 
after that paltry, poverty-stricken, penny-a-liner ! 

Maud. Lady Ptarmigant, you forget yourself; 
and you are untruthful. Mr. Daryl is a gentle- 50 
man by birth and breeding. I loved him I 
acknowledge it I love him still. 

Lady P. You shameless girl ! and he without 
a penny ! After the scene he made ! 

Maud. He has dared to doubt me, and I 55 
have done with him for ever. For the moment 
he presumed to think that I could break my 
plighted word that I could be false to the love 
I had acknowledged the love that was my 
happiness and pride all between us is over. 60 

Lady P. (aside). That's some comfort. 
( Aloud. ) Then what do you intend to do ? 



SCENE II.] &OCtet 73 

Maud. I intend to leave the house. 

Lady P. To go where ? 

Maud. Anywhere from you ! 65 

Lady P. Upon my word! {Aside.} She has 
more spirit than I gave her credit for ! ( Aloud. ) 
And do you mean to tell me that that letter is 
not intended for that fellow Daryl ? 

Maud (giving letter). Read it. 7 

Lady P. (opens it and reads'). "To the Editor 
of the l Times.' Please insert the inclosed adver- 
tisement, for which I send stamps. 'Wanted a 
situation as governess by ' " (embracing Maud. ) 
Oh, my dear dear girl! you couldn't think of 75 
such a thing and you a lady, and my niece. 

Maud (disengaging herself). Lady Ptarmigant 

please don't. 

Lady P. (thoroughly subdued). But my love, 
how could I think 80 

Maud. What Lady Ptarmigant thinks is a 
matter of the most profound indifference to me. 

Lady P. (aside). Bless her ! Exactly what I was 
at her age ! ( Aloud. ) But my dear Maud, what 
is to become of you ? 85 

Maud. No matter what ! welcome poverty 
humiliation insult the contempt of fools 

welcome all but dependence ! I will neither 
dress myself at the expense of a man I despise, 
control his household, owe him duty, or lead a 90 



74 OtetE [ACT in. 

life that is a daily lie ; neither will I marry one 

I love, who has dared to doubt me, to drag him 

into deeper poverty. Crossing. 

Enter Servant. 

Servant. My lady, there is a gentleman in- 
quiring for Mr. Chodd. 95 

Lady P. Perhaps some electioneering friend. 
Show him here. ( Exit Servant. ) Don't leave the 
room, Maud dear. 

Maud. I was not going why should I ? 

Servant shows in Tom with Little Maud. 

Lady P. It's the tobacco man ! 100 

Tom (to Child}. Do I smell of smoke ? I beg 
your ladyship's pardon, but Mr. Chodd, the old 
gentleman, wished to meet me here. 

Lady P. He has just driven off to the station. 

Tom. I know Pm a few minutes behind time ioj 

there's the young lady. Good morning, Miss 

Miss I don't know the rest of her I 
I have been detained by the this little girl 

Lady P. A sweet little creature, Mr. Silenus. 

Tom. Stylus. no 

Lady P. Stylus, pardon me. 

Tom (aside}. This old lady will insist on call- 
ing me Silenus ! She'd think me very rude if I 
called her Ariadne ! 

Lady P. Sweet little thing! Come here, myud 
dear ! ( Little Maud crosses to her. ) Your child, 
Mr. Stylus ? 



SCENE II.] >Qtitty 75 

Tom. No, my lady, this is Mr. Sidney DaryPs 
protege. 

Lady P. (moving from Little Maud). Whose? 120 

Tom. Sidney DaryFs. Maud advances. 

Lady P. Nasty little wretch ! How do you 
mean ? Speak, quickly ! 

Tom. I mean that Sidney pays for her educa- 
tion, board, and all that. Oh, he's a splendid 125 
fellow a heart of gold ! (Aside. ) I'll put in a 
good word for him as his young woman's here. 
I'll make her repent. 

Maud. Come to me, child! (Little Maud 
crosses to her.) Who are you ? 130 

Little Maud. I'm Mrs. Churton's little dar- 
ling, and Mr. Daryl's little girl. 

Crosses to Tom as Maud moves away. 

Lady P. His very image. Goes to Maud. 

Tom. Bless her little tongue ! I took her from 
the woman who takes care of her. She's going 135 
down with me to Springmead. I've bought her 
a new frock, all one colour, magenta. (Aside.) 
That was strong. 

Lady P. Did I tell you Mr. Chodd had gone ? 

Tom. I'm one too many here. I'll vamose ! 140 
Good morning, my lady. 

Lady P. Good morning, Mr. Bacchus. 

Tom. Stylus ! Stylus. I shall have to call her 
Ariadne. U-m ! They might have asked the child 



76 >0cietp [ACT in. 

to have a bit of currant cake, or a glass of currant 145 
wine. Shabby devils ! 

Exeunt Tom and Little Maud. A pause. 

Lady P. (aside). Could anything have hap- 
pened more delightfully ? 

Maud (throwing herself into Lady Ptarmigant's 
arms). Oh, aunty, forgive me I was wrong 150 
I was ungrateful forgive me ! Kiss me, and 
forgive me! I'll marry Mr. Chodd anybody 
do with me as you please. 

Lady P. My dear niece ! (Affect ed. ) I I feel 
for you. I'm I'm not so heartless as I seem. 15 J 
I know I'm a harsh, severe old woman, but I 
am a woman, and I can feel for you. 

Embracing her. 

Maud. And to think that with the same 
breath he could swear that he loved me, while 
another this child, too ! (Bursts into a flood of \(>A 
tears.') There, aunt, I won't cry. I'll dry my 
eyes I'll do your bidding. You mean me 
well, while he oh ! (Shudders.) Tell Mr. 
Chodd I'll bear his name, and bear it worthily. 

Sternly. 

Lady P. (embracing kissing her at each stop). 16$^ 
Men are a set of brutes. I was jilted myself 
when I was twenty-three and oh, how I 
loved the fellow ! But I asserted my dignity, 
and married Lord Ptarmigant, and he, and he 



SCENE III.] &Qtttty 77 

only, can tell you how I have avenged my sex ! 170 ? 
Cheer up, my darling ! love, sentiment, and 
romance are humbug ! but wealth, position, 
jewels, balls, presentations, a country house, a 
town mansion, society, power that's true, , 
solid happiness, and if it isn't, I don't know 175 
what is ! Exeunt. 



SCENE III. The Wells at Springmead-le-Beau. An 
avenue of elms, sloping off on left. House with 
windows, etc. , on to lawn ; railings at back of stage. 
Garden seats, chairs, lounges, small tables, etc., dis- 
covered near bouse. Lord Ptarmigant discovered 
asleep in garden chair against bouse, his feet resting 
on another. 

Enter Cbodd Sen. down avenue. 

Chodd Sen. Oh dear, oh dear ! What a day 
this is ! There's Johnny to be elected, and I'm 
expecting the first copy of the " Morning Earth- 
quake " my paper ! my own paper ! by the 
next train. Then here's Lady Ptarmigant says 5 
that positively her niece will have Johnny for her 
wedded husband, and in one day my Johnny is 
to be a husband, an M. P. and part proprietor of 
a daily paper. Whew ! how hot it is ! It's 
lucky that the wells are so near the hustings 10 



78 >OtietE [ACT in. 

one can run under the shade and get a cooler. 
Here's my lord ! ( Waking him. ) My lord ! 

Lord Ptarmigant (waking}. Oh ! eh ! Mr. 
Chodd good morning ! how d'e do ? 

Chodd Sen. {sitting on stool). Oh, flurried, and 15 
flustered, and worritted. You know to-day's the 
election. 

Lord P. Yes, I believe there is an election 
going on somewhere. ( Calling. ) A tumbler of 
the waters No. 2. 20 

Enter Waitress from bouse, places tumbler of water 
on table y and exit. 

Chodd Sen. Oh, what a blessing there is no op- 
position ! If my boy is returned Rising. 
Enter Cbodd Jun. agitated, a placard in bis band. 

Chodd 'Jun. Look here, guv ! look here ! 

Chodd Sen. What is it, my Johnny ? 

Chodd Jun. Don't call me Johnny ! Look 25 
here. 

Shows electioneering placard, "Vote for Daryt!" 

Cbodd Sen. What! 

Cbodd Jun. That vagabond has put up as 
candidate ! His brother used to represent the 
borough. 30 

Cbodd Sen. Then the election will be con- 
tested ? 

Chodd Jun. Yes. 

Cbodd Sen. sinks on garden chair. 



in.] g>odet 79 

Lord P. ( rising and taking tumbler from table ) . 
Don't annoy yourself, my dear Mr. Chodd ; these 35 
accidents will happen in the best regulated con- 
stituencies. 

Chodd Jun. Guv, don't be a fool ! 
Lord P. Try a glass of the waters. 

Chodd Sen. takes tumbler and drinks, and 
the next moment ejects the water with a 
grimace, stamping about. 

Chodd Sen. Oh, what filth ! O-o-o-o-h ! 40 

Lord P. It is an acquired taste. ( To Waiter. ) 
Another tumbler of No. 2. 

Chodd Sen. So, Johnny, there's to be a con- 
test, and you won't be M. P.' for Springmead 
after all. 45 

Chodd Jun. I don't know that. 

Chodd Sen. What d'ye mean ? 

Chodd Jun. Mr. Sidney Daryl may lose, and, 
perhaps, Mr. Sidney Daryl mayn't show. After 
that ball 50 

Chodd Sen. Where you lost that thousand 
pounds ? 

Chodd Jun. Don't keep bringing that up, 
Guv'nor. After that I bought up all Mr. 
Daryl's bills entered up judgment and left 55 
them with Aaron. I've telegraphed to London, 
and if Aaron don't nab him in town, he'll catch 
him here. 



8o g>OCiet [ACT in. 

Chodd Sen. But Johnny, isn't that rather 
mean ? 

Chodd Jun. All's fair in love and Parliament. 

Enter Country Boy with newspaper. 

Boy. Mr. Chodd ? 

Cbedd Sen. 

Chodd Jun. 

Boy. Just arrived. 

Chodd Jun. The " Morning Earthquake " ! 6d 
Both clutch at it eagerly ; each secures a 
paper, and sits under tree. 

Chodd Sen. {reading). Look at the leader. "In 
the present aspect of European politics " 

Chodd Jun. " Some minds seem singularly 
obtuse to the perception of an idea." 

Chodd Sen. Johnny ! 70 

Chodd Jun. Guv ! 

Chodd Sen. Do you see the last leader ? 

Chodd Jun. Yes. 

Chodd Sen. (reading). "The borough of 
Springmead-le-Beau has for centuries been re- ydj 
presented by the house of Daryl." 

Chodd Jun. (reading}. "A worthy scion of 
that ancient race intends to offer himself as can- 
didate at the forthcoming election, and, indeed, 
who will dare to oppose him ? " 80 

Chodd Sen. " Surely not a Mister " 



SCENE III.] >OCtet 8 1 

Choddjun. "Chodd." 

They rise and come down. 

Cbodd Sen. " Whoever he may be." 

Cbodd Jun. " What are the Choddian ante- 
cedents ? " 85 

Cbodd Sen. " Whoever heard of Chodd ? " 

Cbodd Jun. " To be sure, a young man of 
that name has recently been the cause of con- 
siderable laughter at the clubs on account of his 
absurd attempts to become a man of fashion." 90 

Crossing by each other. 

Cbodd Sen. " And to wriggle himself into So- 
ciety." Crossing again. 

Chodd 'Jun. Why, it's all in his favour. 

In a rage. 

Cbodd Sen. In our paper, too ! Oh, that vil- 
lain Stylus ! Crossing. 95 

Chodd Jun. (crossing}. There are no more of 
these in the town, are there ? 

Boy. Yes, sir; a man came down with two 
thousand ; he's giving them away everywhere. 

Chodd Jun. Confound you ! 100 

Pushes him off ; follows. 

Chodd Sen. Oh dear ! oh dear ! oh dear ! Now, 
my lord, isn't that too bad ? ( Sees him asleep. ) 
He's off again ! ( Waking him. ) My lord ! here's 
the " Earthquake." 

Half throwing him off seat. 



82 >OCtet [ACT in. 

Lord P. Earthquake ! Good gracious ! 1 105 
didn't feel anything ! Rising. 

Chodd Sen. No, no, the paper. 
Lord P. Ah, most interesting. ( Drops paper, 
and leisurely reseats himself. ) My dear Mr. Chodd, 
I congratulate you! no 

Chodd Sen. Congratulate me ? ( Looks at watch. ) 
I must be off to the committee. Exit Chodd Sen. 
Lord P. Waiter ! am I to have that tumbler 
of No. 2 ? 

Band heard playing " Conquering Hero," 
and loud cheers as Lord Ptarmigant goes 
into house, and enter Sidney, O' Sullivan, 
MacVsquebaugh, and Dr. Makvicz, 
Sidney lowing off as he enters. Cheers. 
Sidney. So far so good. I've seen lots of 115 
faces that I knew. I'll run this Dutch-metalled 
brute hard, and be in an honourable minority 
anyhow. 

Enter Tom, hastily. 
Tom. Daryl ? 

Sidney. Yes? ' 

Tom. Look out. 
Sidney. What's the matter ? 
Tom. I met our friend, Moses Aaron, on the 
platform. He didn't see you, but what does he 
want here? 125 

Sidney (musing}. Me, if anybody. This is a 



SCENE III.] ^OCt^ 83 

shaft from the bow of Mr. John Chodd Jun. 
I see his aim. 

Tom. What's to be done ? The voters are 
warm, but, despite the prestige of the family 130 
name, if you were not present 

Sidney. Besides, I couldn't be returned from 
Cursitor Street, M. P. for the Queen's Bench. 
( Thinking. ) Did the Lamb come down with us ? 

Tom. Yes second class. 135 

Sidney. Let him stop the bailiffs Aaron is as 
timid as a girl. I'll go through here, and out by 
the grand entrance. Let in the Lamb, and 

Tom. I see. 

Sidney. Quick ! Exit Tom. 140 

O* Sullivan. Daryl, is there any fighting to 
be done ? 

MacUsquebaugh. Or any drinking? 

Dr. Makvicz. If so, we shall be most happy. 

Sidney. No, no, thanks. Come with me 145 
I've a treat for you. 

Omnes. What? 

Sidney {laughing}. The chalybeate waters. 

Exeunt Omnes into house. 
Enter Chodd Jun. and Aaron. 

Chodd Jun. You saw him go in arrest 
him. The chaise is ready take him to the 150 
next station, and all's right. I'll stay and see 
him captured. Chodd in great triumph. 



8 4 



[ACT III. 



Aaron. Very good, shur do it at vunsh. 

Is going into the house, when the Lamb 
springs out ; Aaron staggers back; the 
Lamb stands in boxing attitude before the 
door ; Tom and six or eight Roughs enter 
by avenue. 

Lamb {with back half turned to audience}. Now, 
then, where are you a-shovin' to? 151 

Aaron. I want to passh by. 
Lamb. Then you can't. 
Aaron. Why not ? 

Lamb (doggedly). 'Cos I'm doorkeeper, and 
you haven't got a check. 160 

Aaron. Now, Lamb, dooty'sh dooty, and 
Lamb (turning face to audience, and bringing up 
the muscle of his right arm}. Feel that ! 
Aaron (alarmed). Yesh, shur. 

Feels it slightly. 

Lamb. You can't come in. 165 

Chodd Jun. (crossing to Lamb, fussily). Why not? 
Lamb (looks at him, half contemptuously, half 
comically). 'Cos that says I mustn't let you. Feel 
it ! Taps muscle. 

Chodd Jun. Thank you, some other time. 170 
Crossing. The Roughs surround him, jeer, 
and prepare to hustle him. Tom mounts seat. 
Tom. Vote for Daryl ! 

Lamb {making up to Aaron in sparring attitude, 
who retreats in terror). Are yer movin' ? 



SCENE III.] ^OCtet^ 85 

Cbodd Jun. Do your duty. Roughs laugh. 

Aaron. I can't they are many, I am a few. 175 

Cheers without. 

Chodd Jun. ( losing his presence of mind ) . Partic- 
ular business requires me at the hustings. 

Goes off midst jeers and laughter of Roughs. 
Lamb (at same time advancing on Aaron). Are ye 
movin' ? 

Aaron. Yesh, Mr. Lamb. 180 

By this time he has backed close to Tom, 

perched upon the seat y who bonnets him. 
Tom. Vote for Daryl ! 

Aaron is hustled off by Mob, followed leisurely 

by Lamb. 

Tom (on chair). Remember, gentlemen, the 
officers of the law the officers of the sheriff 
are only in the execution of their duty. (Shouts 
and uproar without.) Don't offer any violence. 185 
( Shouts. ) Don't tear him limb from limb. 

Shouts, followed by a loud shriek. Tom leaps 

from chair, dances down stage, and exit. 
Enter Lady Ptarmigant and Chodd Sen. Lady Ptar- 
migant is dressed in mauve. Chodd Sen. escorts her 
to house. 

Chodd Sen. But if he is absent from his post ? 
Lady P. His post must get on without him. 
Really, my dear Mr. Chodd, you must allow me 
to direct absolutely. If you wish your son 10190 



86 >0Ctetl? [ACT in. 

marry Miss Hetherington, now is the time, 
now or never. 

Exit into house. Chodd Sen. exit. 

Enter Chodd Jun. , and Maud dressed in mauve. 

Chodd Jun. Miss Hetherington, allow me to 
offer you a seat. ( She sits under tree. Aside. ) Devil- 
ish awkward! Lady Ptarmigant says, "Strike 195 
while the iron's hot " ; but I want to be at the 
hustings. I've made my speech to the electors, 
and now I must do my courting. She looks aw- 
fully proud. I wish I could pay some fellow to 
do this for me. Miss Hetherington, a a a 200 
[aside] I got the speech I spoke just now off by 
heart. I wish I'd got this written for me, too. Miss 
Hetherington, I I am emboldened by the 
by what I have just been told by our esteemed 
correspondent, Lady Ptar I mean by your 205 
amiable aunt. I I (boldly) I have a large 
fortune, and my prospects are bright and bril- 
liant bright and brilliant. I I am of a 
respectable family, which has always paid its 
way. I have entered on a political career, which 210 
always pays its way ; and I mean some day to 
make my name famous. My lady has doubtless 
prepared you for the hon I offer you my 
humble hand, and large I may say colossal 
fortune. 215 

Maud. Mr. Chodd, I will be plain with you. 



SCENE III.] 

Chodd Jun. Impossible for Miss Hethering- 
ton to be plain. 

Maud. You offer me your hand ; I will accept 

it. 220 

Chodd Jun. Oh, joy ! Oh- 

Endeavouring to take her hand. 

Maud. Please hear me out. On these condi- 
tions. 

Chodd Jun. Pin money no object. Settle as 
much on you as you like. 225 

Maud. I will be your true and faithful wife 
I will bear your name worthily ; but you must 
understand our union is a union of convenience. 

Chodd Jun. Convenience ? 

Maud. Yes ; that love has no part in it. 230 

Chodd Jun. Miss Hetherington may I say 
Maud ? I love you I adore you with my 
whole heart and fortune. (Aside. ) I wonder how 
they are getting on at the hustings. 

Maud. I was saying, Mr. Chodd 235 

Chodd Jun. Call me John your own John. 
Seizing her hand ; she shudders and with- 
draws it. 

Maud (struggling with herself). \ was saying 
that the affection which a wife should bring the 
man she has elected as Cheers without. 

Sidney (speaking without). Electors of Spring- 240 
mead 



88 *&oeiet [ACT HI. 

Maud. We hardly know sufficient of each 
other to warrant 

Sidney (without). I need not tell you who 
I am. Cheers. Maud trembles. 245 

Maud. We are almost strangers. 

Sidney. Nor what principles I have been 
reared in. 

Chodd Jun. The name of Chodd, if humble, 
is at least wealthy. 250 

Sidney. I am a Daryl ; and my politics those 
of the Daryls. Cheers. 

Chodd Jun. (aside). This is awkward ! ( To 
Maud. ) As to our being strangers 

Sidney. I am no stranger. (Cheers.) I have 255 
grown up to be a man among you. There are 
faces I see in the crowd I am addressing, men 
of my own age, whom I remember children. 
( Cheers. ) There are faces among you who re- 
member me when I was a boy. ( Cheers. ) In the 260 
political union between my family and Spring- 
mead, there is more than respect and sympathy, 
there is sentiment. Cheers. 

Chodd 'Jun. Confound the fellow ! Dearest 
Miss Hetherington Dearest Maud you 265 
have deigned to say you will be mine. 

Sidney. Why, if we continue to deserve your 
trust, plight your political faith to another ? 

Maud (overcome). Mr. Chodd, I 



SCENE III.] fyttltty 89 

Chodd Jun. My own bright, particular Maud ! 270 

Sidney. Who is my opponent ? 

Tom (without}. Nobody. A loud laugh. 

Sidney. What is he ? 

Tom. Not much. A roar of laughter. 

Sidney. I have no doubt he is honest and 275 
trustworthy, but why turn away an old servant 
to hire one you don't know ? ( Cheers. ) Why 
turn off an old love that you have tried and 
proved for a new one ? ( Cheers. ) I don't know 
what the gentleman's politics may be, (laugh) 280 
or those of his family. ( Roar of laughter. ) I've 
tried to find out, but I can't. To paraphrase 
the ballad : 

I've searched through Hansard, journals, 

Books, De Brett, and Burke, and Dodd, 285 

And my head my head is aching, 

To find out the name of Chodd. 

Loud laughter and three cheers. Maud 

near fainting. 

Chodd 'Jun. I can't stand this ; I must be off 
to the hustings, Miss Heth ! Oh ! she's faint- 
ing ! What shall I do ? Lady Ptarmigant ! Oh, 290 
here she comes. Waiter, a tumbler of No. 2. 

Runs off". 

Sidney (without}. And I confidently await the 
result which will place me at the head of the poll. 

Cheers. 



90 gwietl? [ACT in. 

Enter Lord and Lady Ptarmigant, from house. Lady 
Ptarmigant attends to Maud. 

Maud. 'Twas nothing a slight faintness 
an attack of 295 

Lord P. An attack of Chodd, I think ! ( Aside. ) 
What a dreadful person my lady is, to be sure ! 

Sits. 

Lady P. (to Maud). Have you done it? 
Maud. Yes. 

Lady P. And you are to be his wife ? 300 

Maud. Yes. Cheers. 

Enter Sidney, O' 'Sullivan, MacUsquebaugh, and 

Dr. Makvicz. 

Sidney (coming down). Tom, I feel so excited 
so delighted so happy so ( Sees Maud, 
stops; takes his hat off; Maud bows coldly.) In my 
adversary's colours ! 35 

Lady P. That fellow Sidney ! 
Maud (aside). It seems hard to see him 
there, and not to speak to him for the last time. 
Is about to advance when Tom brings on 
Little Maud, dressed in magenta, Maud 
recedes. Lord Ptarmigant goes to sleep in 
garden seat. 

Lady P. The tobacco man ! 
Tom. Ariadne! 3 

Sidney kisses Little Maud. Enter Cbodd 
Jun. 



SCENE III.] 

Lady P. {with a withering glance at Sidney). 
Maud, my child, here's Mr. Chodd. 

Chodd Jun., crossing, gives his arm to 
Maud. Sidney stands with Little Maud. 
All go off, except Lady Ptarmigant, Sid- 
ney, Little Maud, Tom, and Lord Ptar- 
migant. 

Sidney. On his arm ! Well, I deserve it ! I 
am poor ! 

Lady P. Mr. Daryl ? Sidney bows. 315 

Tom. Ariadne is about to express her feelings; 
I shall go. Exit. 

Lady P. I cannot but express my opinion of 
your conduct. For a long time I have known 
you to be the associate of prize-fighters, betting 320 
men, racehorses, authors, and other such low 
persons ; but despite that, I thought you had 
some claims to be a gentleman. 

Sidney. In what may I have forfeited Lady 
Ptarmigant's good opinion ? 325 

Lady P. In what, sir ? In daring to bring me, 
your kinswoman, and a lady in daring to 
bring into the presence of the foolish girl you 
professed to love that child your illegiti- 
mate offspring ! Lord Ptarmigant awakes. 330 

Sidney ( stung ) . Lady Ptarmigant, do you know 
who that child is ? 

Lady P. (with a sneer). Perfectly ! 



92 g>OCirt [ACT in. 

Sidney. I think not. She is the lawful daugh- 
ter of your dead and only son, Charles. 3 35 

Lady P. What ! 

Sidney. Two days before he sailed for the 
Crimea, he called at my chambers, and told me 
that he felt convinced he should never return. 
He told me, too, of his connection with a poor 340 
and humble girl, who would shortly become the 
mother of his child. I saw from his face that 
the bullet was cast that would destroy him, and 
I begged him to legitimatise one who, though 
of his blood, might not bear his name. Like a 343 
brave fellow, a true gentleman, on the next day 
he married. 

Lady P. How disgraceful ! 

Sidney. Joined his regiment, and, as you know, 
fell at Balaclava. 35 

Lady P. My poor poor boy ! 

Sidney. His death broke his wife's heart 
she, too, died. 

Lady P. What a comfort ! 

Sidney. I placed the child with a good motherly 355 
woman, and I had intended, for the sake of my 
old friend, Charley, to educate her, and to bring 
her to you, and say : Take her, she is your 
lawful grandchild, and a lady par sang ; love her, 
and be proud of her, for the sake of the gallant 360 
son, who galloped to death in the service of his 
country. 



SCENE III.] 



93 



Lady P. (affected). Sidney ! 

Sidney. I did not intend that you should know 
this for some time. I had some romantic notion 365 
of making it a reason for your consent to my 
marriage with ( Lady Ptarmigant takes Little 
Maud) with Miss Hetherington that is all 
over now. The ill opinion with which you 
have lately pursued me has forced this avowal 370 
from me. 

Lady P. (to child). My darling! Ah! my 
poor Charley's very image ! My poor boy ! My 
poor boy ! 

Lord P. (who has been listening, advancing). Sid- 3 75 
ney, let my son Charley's father thank you. 
You have acted like a kinsman and a Daryl. 

Affected. 

Lady P. Sidney ! forgive me ! 

Sidney. Pray forget it, Lady Ptarm 

Lady P. I will take care that Miss Hethering-38o 
ton shall know 

Sidney (hotly). What! Did she suspect, too! 
Lady Ptarmigant, it is my request nay, if I 
have done anything to deserve your good opinion, 
my injunction that Miss Hetherington is not 385 
informed of what has just passed. If she has 
thought that I could love another she is free to 
her opinion. 

Goes up, and comes down with the child. 



94 ^oeietp [ACT HI. 

Lord P. But / shall tell her. 

Lady P. (astonished}. You! {Aside.) Don't 390 
you think, under the circumstances, it would be 
better 

Lord P. I shall act as I think best. 

Lady P. (authoritatively). Ferdinand ! 

Lord P. Lady Ptarmigant, it is not often I 
speak, goodness knows ! but on a question that 
concerns my honour and yours, I shall not be 
silent. 

Lady P. (imploringly}. Ferdinand ! 

Lord P. Lady Ptarmigant, I am awake, and 
you will please to follow my instructions. 
(Crossing.) What is my granddaughter's name ? 

L. Maud. Maud. 

Lord P. (playfully). Maud, Maud is it 
Maud ? 

Lord Ptarmigant lifts her in his arms and 
is carrying her off. 

Lady P. My lord! consider people are 
looking. 

Lord P. Let 'em look they'll know I'm a 
grandfather. 

Lord Ptarmigant exits with Little Maud, 
and Lady Ptarmigant, by avenue. Tom 
runs on. 

Tom. It's all right, Sid ! Three of Chodd's 4 i< 
committee have come over to us. They said 



SCENE III.] >OCtft 95 

that so long as a Daryl was not put up, they 
felt at liberty to support him, but now (see- 
ing that Sidney is affected, ) What's the matter ? 

Sidney. Nothing. 415 

Tom. Ah, that means love ! I hope to be able 
to persuade the majority of Chodd's committee to 
resign ; and if they resign, he must, too, and 
we shall walk over the course. ( Sidney goes up 
and sits. Aside.) Cupid's carriage stops the way 420 
again. Confound that nasty, naughty, naked 
little boy ! I wonder if he'd do less mischief 
if they put him into knickerbockers ! Exit. 

Sidney. Mr. Chodd shall not have Spring- 
mead. 425 
Enter Maud, lea ding Lit tie Maud by the band. Sidney* s 
face is buried in bis bands on the table. 

Maud (kissing the child, then advancing slowly to 
Sidney}. Sidney! 

Sidney (rising}. Maud Miss Hetherington. 

L. Maud. Uncle, this is my new aunt. She's 
my aunt and you're my uncle. You don't seem 430 
pleased to see each other, though, ain't you ? 
Aunt, why don't you kiss uncle ? 

Maud (after a pause). Sidney, I have to beg 
your forgiveness for the the mistake 
which 435 

Sidney. Pray don't mention it, Maud Miss 
Hetherington, it is not of the 



96 >OCietE [ACT in. 

Maud. It is so hard to think ill of those we 
have known. Child goes up. 

Sidney. I think that it must be very easy. 440 
Let me take this opportunity of apologising per- 
sonally, as I have already done by letter, for my 
misconduct at the ball. I had heard that you 
were about to to 

Maud. Marry ! Then you were in error. 445 
Since then I have accepted Mr. Chodd. Pause. 

Sidney. I congratulate you. 

Turns bis face aside. 

Maud. You believed me to be false be- 
lieved it without inquiry ! 

Sidney. As you believed of me. 45 

Maud. Our mutual poverty prevented. 

Sidney (bursting out). Oh, yes, we are poor! 
We are poor ! We loved each other, but we 
were poor. We loved each other but we 
couldn't take a house in a square ! We loved 45 
each other but we couldn't keep a carriage ! 
We loved each other but we had neither gold, 
plate, purple, nor mansion in the country ! You 
were right to leave me, and to marry a gentleman 
rich in all these assurances of happiness. 460 

Maud. Sidney, you are cruel. 

Sidney. I loved you, Maud ; loved you with 
my whole heart and soul since we played together 
as children, and you grew till I saw you a 



SCENE III.] fyttitty 97 

lovely blushing girl, and now pshaw! this is 465 
folly, sentiment, raving madness ! Let me wish 
you joy let me hope you will be happy. 

L. Maud (coming down}. Uncle, you mustn't 

make my new aunt cry. Go and make it up 

with her, and kiss her. 470 

Lady Ptarmiganty Lord Ptarmigant, and 

Lord Cloudwrays have entered during last 



Maud. Farewell, Sidney. 

Holding out her band. 

Sidney. Farewell. 

Lady P. (advancing). Farewell! What non- 
sense; two young people so fond of each other. 
Sidney Maud, dear, you have my consent. 475 

Sidney (astonished). Lady Ptarmigant! 

Lady P. I always liked you, Sidney, though 
I confess I didn't always show it. 

Lord P. I can explain my lady's sudden con- 
version at least, Cloudwrays can. 480 

Lord Cloudwrays. Well, Sid, I'm sorry to be 
the bearer of good news I mean of ill news ; 
but your brother poor Percy he 

Sidney. Dead! 

Lord C. The news came by the mail to the 48 5 
club, so as I'd nothing to do, I thought I'd 
come down to congratulate I mean condole 
with you. 



98 >OCiet2 [ACT in. 

Lord P. Bear up, Sidney; your brother's 
health was bad before he left us. 49 

Sidney. First the son, and then the father. 

Maud. Sidney ! 

Sidney {catching her hand). Maud ! 

Maud. No, no, not now you are rich, 
and I am promised. 495 

Lady P. Why, you wicked girl ; you wouldn't 
marry a man you didn't love, would you ? Where 
are your principles ? 

Lord Ptarmigant sits on garden seat with 
Little Maud. 

Maud. But but Mr. Chodd ? 

Lady P. What on earth ['s the] consequence 5( 
[of] Mr. Chodd ? 

Enter Chodd Sen. and Chodd Jun. by avenue. 

Chodd Sen. My lady, it's all right, Johnny 
has been accepted. 

Maud goes up and sits. Sidney and Lord 
Cloudwrays also go up with her. 

Lady P. By whom ? 

Chodd Sen. By Miss Hetherington by 
Maud. 

Lady P. Why, you must be dreaming, the 
election has turned your brain my niece marry 
a Chodd ! 

Chodd Sen. \ 

Chodd Jun. } 

500 earth's ...of. All editions : earth consequence is. 



SCENE III.] g>OCtet 99 

Lady P. Nothing of the sort ; I was only jok- 
ing, and thought you were, too. ( Aside. ) The 
impertinence of the lower classes in trying to 
ally themselves with us ! Going up. 

Chodd Jun. Guv. 5 J 5 

Chodd Sen. Johnny ! 

Chodd Jun. We're done ! Crosses. 

Loud cheering. Enter Torn, who whispers 

and congratulates Sidney. Enter a gen- 

tleman, who whispers to Chodd Sen. con- 

dolingly, and exit. 

Chodd Sen. (shouting). Johnny! 

Chodd Jun. Guv ! 

Chodd Sen. They say there's no hope and 520 
advise us to withdraw from the contest. 

All congratulate Sidney up stage. 

Lady P. Sir Sidney Daryl, M. P., looks like 
old times. ( To Lord Ptarmigant. ) My lord, con- 
gratulate him. 

Lord P. (waking, and shaking Chodd Jun. by the $ 
hand). Receive my congratulations. 

Lady P. Oh ! it's the wrong man ! 

Chodd Sen. Mr. Stylus, I may thank you for 
this. 

Tom. And yourself, you may. I brought out 530 
your journal, engaged your staff, and you tried 
to throw me over. You've got your reward. 
Morning paper ! Throws papers in the air. 



ioo >OCtet [ACT in. 

Enter Aaron with hat broken and head bound up. 

Aaron (to Sidney). Arresht you at the shoot 
of The Chodds rub their hands in triumph. 535 

Tom. Too late ! too late ! He's a member 
of Parliament ! 

Chodd Sen. and Chodd Jun. turn into op- 
posite corners. 

Sidney (to Tom). I haven't taken the seat or 
the oaths yet. 

Tom. They don't know that. 54 

Sidney. We can settle it another way. ( Tak- 
ing out pocket-book and looking at Chodd Jun.). Some 
time ago, I was fortunate enough to win a large 
sum of money ; this way, if you please. 

Goes up with Aaron, and gives money, notes, etc. 

Chodd Jun. Pays his own bills, which I'd 545 
bought up, with my money. 

Chodd Sen. (crossing). Then, Johnny, you 
won't get into Society, 

Lady P. (coming down). Never mind, Mr. 
Chodd, your son shall marry a lady. 550 

Chodd Sen. 

Chodd Jun. 

Lady P. I promise to introduce you to one of 
blue blood. 

Chodd Jun. Blue bl I'd rather have it the 
natural colour. 555 

Cheers. Enter O' 'Sullivan, and Committee. 
Stage full. Church bells heard. 



SCENE III.] ^OCfetl? IOI 

O'Sull. Sir Sidney Daryl, we have heard the 
news. In our turn we have to inform you that 
your adversaries have retired from the contest, 
and you are member for Springmead. ( Cheers. ) 
We, your committee, come to weep with you 560 
for the loss of a brother, to joy with you on 
your accession to a title and your hereditary 
honours. (With intention and Irish gallantry.} Your 
committee most respectfully beg to be introduced 
to Lady Daryl. 5 6 5 

Sidney shows Maud the magenta ribbon; 

she places her hand in his. 

Sidney. Gentlemen, I thank you ; I cannot in- 
troduce you to Lady Daryl, for Lady Daryl does 
not yet exist. In the meantime I have permis- 
sion to present you to Miss Hetherington. 

Tom {leaping on chair and waving handkerchief}. 570 
Three cheers for my lady ! 

All cheer. Church bells; band plays 
" Conquering Hero." Girl at window 
of bouse waves handkerchief t and Child 
a stick with magenta streamer attached. 
Countrymen , etc. , wave hats ; band plays, 
etc. 

CURTAIN. 



Casste 



SOURCES 

Caste was founded on a short story that Robertson wrote in 1866 
for Rates and Taxes, a Christmas volume edited by Tom Hood, and 
entitled The Poor Rate Unfolds a Tale. No doubt he had this in his 
mind when he made Sam Gerridge reply to the saucy retort of 
Polly Eccles, " You never kill Sepoys " " No, I pay rates 
and taxes." 

In this play,Mr^.. Clement Sf.olt maintains,, and no-doubt he is 

right, that we find fhp echo of ths SpJ r ^ Qr * T*harlreray whirh hag/ 
_oft?H,bejen detected in Robertson's works. 

In the story Robertson wrote : " Fairfax Daubray [the George 
D'Alroy of the subsequent play] was a brave, stupid, good-natured 
young man, and adored by the men under his command. A finer- 
hearted gentleman, or a more incapable officer never buckled on a 
sword-belt. He fought gallantly at Alma, and wrote after the battle. 
His wife, who was again in the little house in Stangate, read parts of 
his letter to her sisters, who cheered, and wept, and hurrahed as she 
read. She took them all with her to Church on the following Sunday. 

" It was in a hot skirmish that Ensign Daubray found himself in 
command of his company. His captain had been shot, and the 
lieutenant borne wounded to the rear. He saw the enemy above 
him. He knew that it was a soldier's duty to fight, and he led on 
his men up the hill-side. * Dib ! Dib ! come back ! ' shouted two 
or three old officers from the main body of the troops behind him. 
Daubray turned round to them. ' Come back be damned ! ' answered 
he, waving his sword above his head, 'you fellows come on!' . . . 
The wounded man smiled again, pressed his friend's hand, sank 
back, and died, as the general of division galloped up and said to a 
bleeding major ' Beautiful ! beautiful ! Like men, by God ! ' . . . 
Major Swynton [afterwards called Captain Hawtree] returned to 
England with one of his coat sleeves empty." 

Commenting on story and play Mr. Clement Scott has said : 
" How thoroughly all this is in the very spirit of Thackeray ! and 
who can wonder that Robertson's favourite ' bit' in Vanity Fair, 



106 

which he was never tired of reading to his friends, was the picture 
of the Battle of Waterloo, and ' Amelia praying for George, who 
was lying dead with a bullet through his heart' ? We seem in Caste 
to be reading of Becky, and Jos, and Amelia, and George, and 
Dobbin, not of Polly, and D'Alroy, and Hawtree, and Esther. That 
incident of Hawtree returning from the Crimea with his ' coat- 
sleeve empty ' is very characteristic of the writer, who was so pas- 
sionately attracted by soldiers and their English pluck. Mr. Bancroft, 
as he tells us in his Memoirs, wanted to introduce a maimed Hawtree 
with an empty coat-sleeve in the last act of Caste. Why has it never 
been done ? ' ' 

No doubt Robertson originally intended that the character of 
D'Alroy should be played from the "heavy" or " stupid" point 
of view, showing a true heart and invincible courage under a dense 
exterior. Frederick Younge, who first interpreted the part, acted it 
after that fashion, and made a great impression. Subsequently the 
part fell into the hands of the more fascinating " lover" of stage 
romance. 

For Robertson's story in full see Appendix. 

In Caste there is one passage that reads strangely like a remini- 
scence of Dickens. It will be remembered that when Mr. Perker 
(accompanied by Mr. Pickwick) visited the White Hart Inn in 
the Borough, and finding Sam Weller cleaning boots, addressed 
that worthy, saying, "This is a curious old house of yours," the 
reply was, u If you'd sent word you was a coming, we'd ha' had 
it repaired. ' ' Similarly, when the Marquise first visited the home of 
the Eccles family in the " Little House in Stangate," its lord and 
master retorted to her semi-aside "What a hole!" " If 
we'd a know'd your ladyship 'ad been a-coming we'd a' 'ad the 
place cleaned up a bit. ' ' 



To 

MISS MARIE WILTON 

(Mrs. Bancroft) 

THIS COMEDY IS DEDICATED 

BY 
HER GRATEFUL FRIEND 

AND 
FELLOW LABOURER 

THE AUTHOR 



CAST OF CHARACTERS 

Prince of Wales'" Theatre, London, 
April 6 y 1867 

HON. GEORGE D'ALROY MR. FREDERICK YOUNGE 

CAPTAIN HAWTREE MR. BANCROFT 

ECCLES MR. GEORGE HONEY 

SAM GERRIDGE MR. HARE 

DlXON 

MARQUISE DE ST. MAUR Miss LARKIN 
ESTHER ECCLES Miss MARIE WILTON 

POLLY ECCLES Miss LYDIA FOOTE 

ACT I. The Little House at Stangate. COURTSHIP 

ACT II. The Lodgings in Mayfair. MATRIMONY 

ACT III. The Little House in Stangate. WIDOWHOOD 

A lapse of eight months occurs between the first and the second Act, 
and a lapse of twelve months between the second and the third. 



Cajste 



ACT I 

SCENE I. A plain set chamber, paper soiled. A window, 
with practicable blind; street backing and iron rail- 
ings. Door practicable, when opened showing street 
door (practicable). Fireplace ; two-hinged gas- 
burners on each side of mantel-piece. Sideboard 
cupboard, cupboard in recess; tea-things, tea-pot, tea- 
caddy, tea-tray, etc., on it. Long table, before jire ; 
old piece of farpet and rug down ; plain chairs ; book- 
shelf, back ; a small table under it with ballet-shoe 
and skirt on it ; bunch of benefit bills hanging under 
book-shelf. Theatrical printed portraits, framed, 
hanging about ; chimney glass clock ; box of lucifers 
and ornaments on mantel-shelf; kettle on hob, and 
jire laid ; do or- mats on the outside of door. Bureau 
in lower right-hand corner. Rapping heard at door, 
the handle is then shaken as curtain rises. The door 
is unlocked. Enter George D' Alroy. 

\ George D* Alroy. Told you so ; the key was 
leftunder the mat in case I came. They're not 
back from rehearsal. (Hangs up hat on peg near 
door as Hawtree enters.) Confound rehearsal ! 

Crosses to fireplace. 



no Caste [ACT i. 

Hawtree (back to audience y looking round}. And S 
this is the fairy's bower ! 

Geo. Yes; and this is the fairy's fireplace; 
the fire is laid. I'll light it. 

Lights fire with lucifer from mantel-piece. 

Haw. (turning to George}. And this is the 
abode rendered blessed by her abiding. It is here il 
that she dwells, walks, talks, eats and drinks. 
Does she eat and drink ? 

Geo. Yes, heartily. I've seen her. 

Haw. And you are really spoons ! case of 
true love hit dead. 1 5 

Geo. Right through. Can't live away from her, 
With elbow on end of mantel-piece, down stage. 

Haw. Poor old Dal ! and you've brought me 
over the water to 

Geo. Stangate. 

Haw. Stangate to see her for the same *o 
sort of reason that when a patient is in a dan- 
gerous state one doctor calls in another for 
a consultation. 

Geo. Yes. Then the patient dies. 

Haw. Tell us all about it you know I've 2 Si 
been away. Sits at table, leg on chair. 

Geo. Well then, eighteen months ago 

Haw. Oh cut that ! you told me all about 
that. You went to a theatre, and saw a girl in 
a ballet, and you fell in love. 3 



SCENE I.] Cat III 

Geo. Yes. I found out that she was an ami- 
able, good girl. 

Haw. Of course ; cut that. We'll credit her 
with all the virtues and accomplishments. 

Geo. Who worked hard to support a drunken 35 
father. 

Haw. Oh ! the father's a drunkard, is he ? 
The father does not inherit the daughter's vir- 
tues ? 

Geo. No. I hate him. 40 

Haw. Naturally. Quite so ! Quite so ! 

Geo. And she that is, Esther is very 
good to her younger sister. 

Haw. Younger sister also angelic, amiable, 
accomplished, etc. 45 

Geo. Um good enough, but got a temper 
large temper. Well, with some difficulty, I 
got to speak to her. I mean to Esther. Then 
I was allowed to see her to her door here. 

Haw. I know pastry-cooks Richmond 5 
dinner and all that. 

Geo. You're too fast. Pastry-cooks yes. 
Richmond no. Your knowledge of the world, 
fifty yards round barracks, misleads you. I saw 
her nearly every day, and I kept on falling in 55 
love falling and falling, until I thought I 
should never reach the bottom ; then I met you. 

Haw. I remember the night when you told 



112 



Caste 



[ACT I. 



me ; but I thought it was only an amourette. 
However, if the fire is a conflagration, subdue 60 \ 
it ; try dissipation. 

Geo. I have. 

Haw. What success ? 

Geo. None ; dissipation brought me bad 
health and self-contempt, a sick head and a sore 65! 
heart. 

Haw. Foreign travel ; absence makes the 
heart grow (slight pause} stronger. Get leave 
and cut away. 

Geo. I did get leave, and I did cut away ; and 70 
while away I was miserable and a gone-er coon 
than ever. 

Haw. What's to be done ? 

Sits cross-legged on chair y facing George. 

Geo. Don't know. That's the reason I 
asked you to come over and see. 75 

Haw. Of course, Dal, you're not such a 
soft as to think of marriage. You know what 
your mother is. Either you are going to behave 
properly, with a proper regard for the world, 
and all that, you know ; or you're going to do 80 
the other thing. Now, the question is, what 
do you mean to do ? The girl is a nice girl, no 
doubt ; but as to your making her Mrs. D'Alroy, 
the thing is out of the question. 

Geo. Why ? What should prevent me ? 85 



SCENE I.] CfUttf 113 

Haw . Caste ! the inexorable law of caste, y 
The social law, so becoming and so good, that 
commands like to mate with like, and forbids 
a giraffe to fall in love with a squirrel. 

Geo. But my dear Bark 90 / I 

Haw. My dear Dal, all those marriages of^ 
people with common people are all very well in 
novels and plays on the stage, because the real 
people don't exist, and have no relatives who 
exist, and no connections, and so no harm's 195 
done, and it's rather interesting to look at ; but j 
in real life with real relations, and real mothers i 
and so forth, it's absolute bosh ; it's worse, I 
it's utter social and personal annihilation and J 
damnation. 10 

Geo. As to my mother, I haven't thought 
about her. Sits corner of table. 

Haw. Of course not. Lovers are so damned 
selfish ; they never think of anybody but them- 
selves. 105 

Geo. My father died when I was three years 
old, and she married again before I was six, and 
married a Frenchman. 

Haw. A nobleman of the most ancient fami- 
lies of France, of equal blood to her own.no 
She obeyed the duties imposed on her by her 
station and by caste. 

Geo. Still, it caused a separation and a divi- 



1 14 Caste [ACT i. 

sion between us, and I never see my brother, 
because he lives abroad. Of course the Mar-uc 
quise de St. Maur is my mother, and I look 
upon her with a sort of superstitious awe. 

Moves chair with which he has been twist- 
ing about during speech from table to 
left corner. 

Haw. She's a grand Brahmin priestess. 

Geo. Just so; and I know I'm a fool. Now 
you're clever, Bark, a little too clever, I think. laqjf 
You're paying your devoirs that's the correct 
word, isn't it to Lady Florence Carberry, the 
daughter of a countess. She's above you 
you've no title. Is she to forget her caste ? 

Haw. That argument doesn't apply. A man nj'. 
can be no more than a gentleman. 

Geo. 

" True hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Norman blood." 

Haw. Now, George, if you're going to con- 
sider this question from the point of view of 130 
poetry, you're off to No-Man's Land, where I 
won't follow you. 

Geo. No gentleman can be ashamed of the 
woman he loves. No matter what her original 
station, once his wife he raises her to his rank. 135! 

Haw. Yes, he raises her ; her ; but her 
connections her relatives. How about them ? 



SCENE I.] Ca0t0 1 15 

Eccles enters. 

Eccles (outside'}. Polly ! Polly ! Polly ! (Enters.') 
Why the devil 

George crosses to Hawtree, who rises. Eccles 
sees them and assumes a deferential manner. 
Eccles. Oh, Mr. De-Alroy ! I didn't see you, 140 
sir. Good afternoon ; the same to you, sir, and 
many on 'em. Puts hat on bureau and comes down. 
Haw. Who is this ? 
Geo. This is papa. 

Haw. Ah ! 145 

Turns up to book -shelf, scanning Eccles 
through eye-glass. 

Geo. Miss Eccles and her sister not returned 
from rehearsal yet ? 

Eccles. No, sir, they have not. I expect 'em 
in directly. I hope you've been quite well since 
I seen you last, sir ? 150 

Geo. Quite, thank you ; and how have you 
been, Mr. Eccles ? 

Eccles. Well, sir, I have not been the thing at 
all. My 'elth, sir, and my spirits is both broke. 
I'm not the man I used to be. I am not accus-i55 
tomed to this sort of thing. I've seen better 
days, but they are gone most like for ever. It 
is a melancholy thing, sir, for a man of my time 
of life to look back on better days that are gone 
most like for ever. 160 



n6 CatftC [ACT i. 

Geo. I daresay. 

Eccles. Once proud and prosperous, now poor 
and lowly. Once master of a shop, I am now, 
by the pressure of circumstances over which I 
have no control, driven to seek work and not to 16$ 
find it. Poverty is a dreadful thing, sir, for a 
man as has once been well off. 

Geo. I daresay. 

Eccles {sighing}. Ah, sir, the poor and lowly 
is often 'ardly used. What chance has the work- 170 
ing-man ? 

Haw. None when he don't work. 
/Eccles. We are all equal in mind and feeling, j 
V Geo. (aside). I hope not. 

Eccles. I am sorry, gentlemen, that I cannot i 
offer you any refreshment 5 but luxury and me : 
has long been strangers. 

Geo. I am very sorry for your misfortunes, 
Mr. Eccles. (Looking round at Haw tree who turns ? 
away.) May I hope that you will allow me toi8o 
offer you this trifling loan ? 

Giving him half a sovereign. 

Eccles. Sir, you're a gentleman. One can tell j 
a real gentleman with half a sov I mean half 
an eye a real gentleman understands the nat- 
ural emotions of the working-man. Pride, sir, 185 
is a thing as should be put down by the strong 
'and of pecuniary necessity. There's a friend 



SCENE I.] C30C0 1 17 

of mine round the corner as I promised to meet 
on a little matter of business ; so if you will 
excuse me, sir 190 

Geo. With pleasure. 

Eccles (going up). Sorry to leave you, gentle- 
men, but 

Geo. Don't stay on my account. 

Haw. Don't mention it. 195 

Eccles. Business is business. ( Goes up. ) The 
girls will be in directly. Good afternoon, gen- 
tlemen, good afternoon (going out). Good 
afternoon. Exit. 

George sits in chair, corner of table, right. 

Haw. (comifjg down left of table). Papa is not 200 
nice, but (sitting on corner of table down stage) 

" True hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Norman blood." 

Poor George ! I wonder what your mamma 

the Most Noble the Marquise de St. Maurzos 

would think of Papa Eccles. Come, Dal, 
allow that there is something in caste. Conceive 
that dirty ruffian that rinsing of stale beer 
that walking tap-room, for a father-in-law. 
Take a spin to Central America. Forget her. 210 

Geo. Can't. 

Haw. You'll be wretched and miserable with 
her. 

Geo. I'd rather be wretched with her than 



n8 



Caste 



[ACT I. 



miserable without her. (Haw tree takes out cigar 215 
case. ) Don't smoke here ! 

Haw. Why not ? 

Geo. She'll be coming in directly. 

Haw. I don't think she'd mind. 

Geo. I should. Do you smoke before Lady 2, 
Florence Carberry ? 

Haw. (closing case). Ha ! You're suffering 
from a fit of the morals. 

Geo. What's that ? 

Haw. The morals is a disease, like the 22 
measles, that attacks the young and innocent. 

Geo. (with temper). You talk like Mephisto- 
pheles, without the cleverness. 

Goes up to window and looks at watch. 

Haw. (arranging cravat at glass). I don't pre- 
tend to be a particularly good sort of fellow, a 
nor a particularly bad sort of fellow. I suppose 
I'm about the average standard sort of thing, 
and I don't like to see a friend go down hill to 
the devil while I can put the drag on. ( Turning, 
with back to fire.) Here is a girl of very humble 235 
station poor, and all that, with a drunken 
father, who evidently doesn't care how he gets 
money so long as he don't work for it. Mar- 
riage ! Pah ! Couldn't the thing be arranged ? 

Geo. Hawtree, cut that ! (At window.) She's ^ 
here ! Goes to door and opens it. 



SCENE I.] Ca#t 119 

Enter Esther. 

Geo. (/lurried at sight of her). Good morning. 
I got here before you, you see. 
Esther. Good morning. 

Sees Hawtree slight pause, in which 

Hawtree has removed his hat. 

Geo. I've taken the liberty I hope you 245 
won't be angry of asking you to let me pre- 
sent a friend of mine to you ; Miss Eccles 
Captain Hawtree. 

Hawtree bows. George assists Esther in 

taking off bonnet and shawl. 
Haw. (aside). Pretty. 

Esther (aside). Thinks too much of himself. 250 
Geo. (hangs up bonnet and shawl on pegs). You've 
had a late rehearsal. Where's Polly ? 

Esther. She stayed behind to buy something. 

Enter Polly. 

Polly (head through door). How de do, Mr. 
D'Alroy ? Oh ! I'm tired to death. Kept at 255 
rehearsal by an old fool of a stage manager. 
But stage managers are always old fools, 
except when they are young. We shan't have 
time for any dinner, so I've brought something 
for tea. 260 

Esther. What is it ? 

Polly. Ham. (Showing bam in paper. Esther sits 



I2O a#t0 [ACT I. 

right, at window. Crossing. Seeing Hawtree.) Oh! 
I beg your pardon, sir. I didn't see you. 

Geo. A friend of mine, Mary. Captain Haw- 265 
tree Miss Mary Eccles. 

George sits at window. Polly bows very 
low, to left, to right, and to front, half 
burlesquely, to Hawtree. 
Haw, Charmed. 

Polly (aside). What a swell ! Got nice teeth, 
and he knows it. How quiet we all are ; let's 
talk about something. 270 

Hangs up her hat. She crosses to fire round 
table, front. Hawtree crosses and places 
hat on bureau. 

Father. What can we talk about ? 
Polly. Anything. Ham. Mr. D'Alroy, do you 
like ham ? 

Geo. I adore her (Polly titters) I mean 
I adore it. 275 

Polly ( to Hawtree, who has crossed to table watch- 
ing Polly undo paper containing ham. She turns the 
plate on top of the ham still in the paper, then throws 
the paper aside and triumphantly brings the plate under 
Haw tree's nose, Hawtree giving a little start back. ) 
Do you like ham, sir ? ( Very tragically. ) 
Haw. Yes. 

Polly. Now that is very strange. I should 
have thought you'd have been above ham. 280 

Getting tea-tray. 



SCENE I.] aStf 121 

Haw. May one ask why ? 

Polly. You look above it. You look quite 
equal to tongue glazed. (Laughing.) Mr. 
D'Alroy is here so often that he knows our 
ways. 285 

Getting tea-things from sideboard and plac- 
ing them on table. 

Haw. I like everything that is piquante and 
fresh, and pretty and agreeable. 

Polly (laying table all the time for tea). Ah! you 
mean that for me. (Curtseying.) Oh! (Sings.) 
Tra, la, la, la, la, la. (Flourishes cup in his face; 290 
he retreats a step. ) Now I must put the kettle 
on. ( George and Esther are at window. ) Esther 
never does any work when Mr. D'Alroy is here. 
They're spooning; ugly word, spooning, isn't 
it? reminds one of red-currant jam. By the 295 
bye, love is very like red-currant jam at the 
first taste sweet, and afterwards shuddery. Do 
you ever spoon ? 

Haw. {leaning across table). I should like to do 
so at this moment. 300 

Polly. I daresay you would. No, you're too 
grand for me. You want taking down a peg 
I mean a foot. Let's see what are you 
a corporal ? 

Haw. Captain. 305 

Polly. I prefer a corporal. See here. Let's 



122 Ca0tf [ACT I. 

change about. You be corporal it'll do you 
good, and I'll be " my lady." 
Haw. Pleasure. 

Polly. You must call me " my lady," though, 310 
or you shan't have any ham. 

Haw. Certainly, u my lady " ; but I cannot 
accept your hospitality, for I'm engaged to dine. 
Polly. At what time ? 

Haw. Seven. 3*5 

Polly. Seven ! Why, that's half-past tea-time. 
Now, Corporal, you must wait on me. 
Haw . As the pages did of old. 
Polly. " My lady." 

Haw. " My lady." 320 

Polly. Here's the kettle, Corporal. 

Holding out kettle at ami* s length. Haw- 
tree looks at it through eye-glass. 
Haw. Very nice kettle. 
Polly. Take it into the back kitchen. 
Haw. Eh! 

Polly. Oh, I'm coming too. 325 

Haw. Ah ! that alters the case. 

He takes out handkerchief and then takes 
hold of kettle crosses as George rises and 
comes down, slapping Hawtree on back. 
Hawtree immediately places kettle on the 
floor. Polly throws herself into chair by 
fireside up stage, and roars with laugh- 
ter. George and Esther laugh. 



SCENE I.] CaSt* 123 

Geo. What are you about ? 

Haw . I'm about to fill the kettle. 

Esther (going to Polly}. Mind what you are 
doing, Polly. What will Sam say ? 33 

Polly. Whatever Sam chooses. What the 
sweetheart can't see the husband can't grieve at. 
Now then Corporal ! 

Haw. " My lady ! " Takes tip kettle. 

Polly. Attention! Forward! March! and 335 
mind the soot don't drop upon your trousers. 

Exeunt Polly and Haw tree, Hawtree first. 

Esther. What a girl it is all spirits ! The 
worst is that it is so easy to mistake her. 

Geo. And so easy to find out your mistake. 
( They cross down stage , Esther frst. ) But why won't 34 
you let me present you with a piano ? 

Following Esther. 

Esther. I don't want one. 

Geo. You said you were fond of playing. 

Esther. We may be fond of many things 
without having them. (Leaning against end ^345 
table. Taking out letter. ) Now here is a gentleman 
says he is attached to me. 

Geo. (jealous). May I know his name ? 

Esther. What for ? It would be useless, as his 
solicitations Throws letter into fire. 35 

Geo. I lit that fire. 



124 Caste [ACT i. 

Esther. Then burn these, too. ( George crosses 
to fire. ) No, not that. ( Taking one back. ) I must 
keep that ; burn the others. 

George throws letters on fire, crosses back of 
table quickly takes hat from peg and 
goes to door as if leaving hurriedly. Es- 
ther takes chair from table and goes to 
centre of stage with it, noticing George 1 s 
manner. George hesitates at door. Shuts 
it quickly, hangs his hat up again, and 
comes down to back of chair in which 
Esther has seated herself. 

Geo. Who is that from ? 355 

Esther. Why do you wish to know ? 

Geo. Because I love you, and I don't think 
you love me, and I fear a rival. 

Esther. You have none. 

Geo. I know you have so many admirers. 3 6o 

Esther. They're nothing to me. 

Geo. Not one ? 

Esther. No. They're admirers, but there's 
not a husband among them. 

Geo. Not the writer of that letter ? 365 

Esther (coquettishly). Oh, I like him very much. 

Geo. (sighing}. Ah ! 

Esther. And I'm very fond of this letter. 

Geo. Then, Esther, you don't care for me. 

Esther. Don't I ? How do you know ? 37 



SCENE I.] *8tt 125 

Geo. Because you won't let me read that letter. 

Esther. It won't please you if you see it. 

Geo. I daresay not. That's just the reason 
that I want to. You won't ? 

Esther (hesitates). I will. There ! 375 

Giving it to him. 

Geo. (reads). " Dear Madam." 

Esther. That's tender, isn't it ? 

Geo. u The terms are four pounds your 
dresses to be found. For eight weeks certain, 
and longer if you should suit. (In astonishment.) 3 g 
I cannot close the engagement until the return 
of my partner. I expect him back to-day, and 
I will write you as soon as I have seen him. 
Yours very," etc. Four pounds find dresses. 
What does this mean ? 3 g^ 

Esther. It means that they want a Columbine 
for the Pantomime at Manchester, and I think 
I shall get the engagement. 

Geo. Manchester; then you'll leave London ? 

Esther. I must. ( Pathetically. ) You see this 390 
little house is on my shoulders. Polly only earns 
eighteen shillings a week, and father has been 
out of work a long, long time. I make the bread 
here, and it's hard to make sometimes. I've 
been mistress of this place, and forced to think 395 
ever since my mother died, and I was eight years 



i26 Caste [ACT i. 

old. Four pounds a week is a large sum, and I 
can save out of it. 

( This speech is not to be spoken in a tone 
implying hardship. ) 

Geo. But you'll go away, and I shan't see you. 

Esther. P'raps it will be for the best. (Rises and^oo 
crosses. ) What future is there for us ? You're a 
man of rank, and I am a poor girl who gets her 
living by dancing. It would have been better that 
we had never met. 

Geo. No. 405 

Esther. Yes, it would, for I'm afraid that 

Geo. You love me? 

Esther. I don't know. I'm not sure; but I 
think I do. Stops and turns half-face to George. 

Geo. ( trying to seize her hand). Esther ! 410 

Esther. No. Think of the difference of our 
stations. 

Geo. That's what Hawtree says ! Caste ! 
caste ! curse caste ! Goes up. 

Esther. If I go to Manchester it will be 415 
for the best. We must both try to forget each 
other. 

Geo. (comes down by table). Forget you! no, 
Esther ; let me Seizing her hand. 

Polly (without}. Mind what you're about. Oh 420 
dear ! oh dear ! 

George and Esther sit in window seat. 



SCENE I.] Ca$t0 

Enter Polly and Hawtree. 

Polly. You nasty, great clumsy corporal, you've 
spilt the water all over my frock. Oh dear! 
( Coming down. Hawtree puts kettle on ham on table. ) 
Take it off the ham ! ( Hawtree then places it on the 
mantel-piece.} No, no! put it in the fireplace. 425 
{Hawtree does so.) You've spoilt my frock. 

Sitting. 
Haw. Allow me to offer you a new one. 

Grossing. 

Polly. No, I won't. You'll be calling to see 
how it looks when it's on. Haven't you got a 
handkerchief? 430 

Haw. Yes. 
Polly. Then wipe it dry. 

Hawtree bends almost on one knee, and wipes 
dress. Enter Sam, whistling. Throws cap 
into Hawtree* s hat on drawers. 

Sam (sulkily). Arternoon yer didn't hear me 
knock! the door was open. I'm afraid I in- 
trude. 435 

Polly. No, you don't. We're glad to see you 
if you've got a handkerchief. Help to wipe this 
dry. 

Sam pulls out handkerchief from slop, and 
dropping on one knee snatches skirt of 
dress from Hawtree, who looks up sur- 
prised. 



128 Caste [ACT i. 

Haw. I'm very sorry. ( Rising. ) I beg your 
pardon. Business / Sam stares Haw tree out. 440 

Polly. It won't spoil it. 

Sam. The stain won't come out. Rising. 

Polly. It's only water. 

Sam (to Esther}. Arternoon, Miss Eccles. 
(To George.} Arternoon, sir! (Polly rises. To 445 
Polly. ) Who's the other swell ? 

Polly. I'll introduce you. Captain Hawtree 
Mr. Samuel Gerridge. 

Haw. Charmed, I'm sure. (Staring at Sam 
through eye-glass. Sam acknowledges Haw tree's recog- 
nition by a " chuck" of the head over left shoulder ; 
going up to George. ) Who's this ? 450 

Geo. Polly's sweetheart. 

Haw. Oh ! Now if I can be of no further 
assistance, I'll go. 

Comes over back down to drawers. 

Polly. Going, Corporal ? 

Haw. Yaas ! (Business ; taking up hat and stick$$$ 
from bureau he sees Sam's cap. He picks it out care- 
fully, and coming down stage examines it as a curiosity , 
drops it on the floor and pushes it away with his stick, 
at the same time moving backwards, causing hi?n to 
bump against Sam, who turns round savagely. ) I beg 
your pardon. ( Crossing up stage. ) George, will 
you ( George takes no notice. ) Will you ? 

Geo. What? 

Haw. Go with me ? 460 



SCENE I.] CHSt* 1 29 

Geo. Go? No! 

Haw. {coming down to Polly). Then, Miss 
Eccles I mean " my lady." 

Shaking bands and going ; as he backs away 
bumps against Sam, and business repeated, 
Haw tree close to door keeping his eye on 
Sam, who has shown signs of anger. 

Polly. Good-bye, Corporal ! 

Haw. (at door). Good-bye ! Good after- 465 
noon, Mr. Mr. er Pardon me. 

Sam (with constrained rage). Gerridge, sir 
Gerridge. 

Haw. (as if remembering name). Ah! Gerridge. 
Good-day. Exit. 47<> 

Sam (turning to Polly in awful rage). Who's 
that fool ? Who's that long idiot ? 

Polly. I told you ; Captain Hawtree. 

Sam. What's 'e want 'ere ? 

Polly. He's a friend of Mr. D'Alroy's. 475 

Sam. Ugh ! Isn't one of 'em enough ! 

Polly. What do you mean ? 

Sam. For the neighbours to talk about. 
Who's he after ? 

Polly. What do you mean by after? You're 4 8 
forgetting yourself, I think. 

Sam. No, I'm not forgetting myself I'm 
remembering you. What can a long fool of a 
swell dressed up to the nines within an inch of 
his life want with two girls of your class ? Look 48 5 



130 Caste [ACT i. 

at the difference of your stations ! 'E don't come 
'ere after any good. 

During the speech, Esther crosses to fire 
and sits before it in a low chair. George 
follows her and sits on her left. 

Polly. Samuel! 

Sam. I mean what I say. People should stick 
to their own class. Life's a railway journey, 490 
and Mankind's a passenger first class, second 
class, third class. Any person found riding in 
a superior class to that for which he has taken 
his ticket will be removed at the first station 
stopped at, according to the bye-laws of the 495 
company. 

Polly. You're giving yourself nice airs ! What 
business is it of yours who comes here ? Who 
are you ? 

Sam. I'm a mechanic. 500 

Polly. That's evident. 

Sam. I ain't ashamed of it. I'm not ashamed 
of my paper cap. 

Polly. Why should you be ? I daresay Cap- 
tain Hawtree isn't ashamed of his fourteen-and- 55 
sixpenny gossamer. 

Sam. You think a deal of him 'cos he's a 
captain. Why did he call you " my lady " ? 

Polly. Because he treated me as one. I wish 
you'd make the same mistake. 5 



SCENE I.] 

Sam. Ugh! 

Sam goes angrily to bureau. Polly bounces up 
stage y and sits in window seat. 

Esther (sitting with George, tete-a-tete y by fire). 
But we must listen to reason. 

Geo. I hate reason ! 

Esther. I wonder what it means? 5 r 5 

Geo. Everything disagreeable. When people 
talk unpleasantly, they always say listen to 
reason. 

Sam (turning round). What will the neighbours 
say ? 5 20 

Polly. I don't care ! Coming down. 

Sam. What will the neighbours think ? 

Polly. They can't think. They're like you, 
they've not been educated up to it. 

Sam. It all comes of your being on the stage 

Going to Polly. 

Polly. It all comes of your not understanding 
the stage or anything else but putty. Now, 
if you were a gentleman 

Sam. Why then, of course, I should make up 
to a lady. 53 

Polly. Ugh! 

Polly flings herself into chair by table. 

Geo. Reason's an idiot. Two and two are 
four, and twelve are fifteen, and eight are twenty. 
That's reason ! 




I 3 2 



Caste 



[ACT I. 



Sam (turning to Polly}. Painting your cheeks {535 

Polly (rising). Better paint our cheeks than 
paint nasty old doors as you do. How can you 
understand art ? You're only a mechanic ! 
You're not a professional ! You're in trade. 
You are not of the same station as we are. When 540 
the manager speaks to you, you touch your hat, 
and say, u Yes, sir," because he's your superior. 
Snaps fingers under Sam's nose. 

Geo. When people love there's no such thing 
as money it don't exist. 

Esther. Yes, it does. 545 

Geo. Then it oughtn't to. 

Sam. The manager employs me same as he 
does you. Payment is good anywhere and 
everywhere. Whatever' s commercial, is right. 

Polly. Actors are not like mechanics. They 550 
wear cloth coats, and not fustian jackets. 

Sam (sneer ingly in Polly' s face). I despise play 
actors. 

Polly. I despise mechanics. 

Polly slaps bis face. 

Geo. I never think of anything else but you. 555 

Esther. Really? 

Sam (goes to bureau, misses cap, looks around, sees it 
on floor, picks it up angrily, and comes to Polly, who is 
sitting by the table). I won't stay here to be in- 
sulted. Putting on cap. 560 



SCENE I.] Ca0t0 133 

Polly. Nobody wants you to stay. Go ! Go ! 560 
Go! 

Sam. I will go. Good-bye, Miss Mary Ec- 
cles. ( Goes off and returns quickly. ) I shan't come 
here again ! At door half-open. 

Polly. Don't ! Good riddance to bad rubbish. 565 
Sam (rushing down stage to Polly}. You can go 
to your captain ! 

Polly. And you to your putty. 

Sam throws his cap down and kicks it 
then goes up stage and picks it up. Polly 
turns and rises, leaning against table, 
facing him, crosses to door, and locks it. 
Sam, hearing click of lock, turns quickly. 
Esther. And shall you always love me as you 
do now ? 5?o 

Geo. More. 

Polly. Now you shan't go. (Locking door, taking 
out key, which she pockets, and placing her back against 
door. ) Nyer ! Now I'll just show you my power. 
Nyer! 

Sam. Miss Mary Eccles, let me out ! 575 

Advancing to door. 
Polly. Mr. Samuel Gerridge, I shan't ! 

Sam turns away. 

Esther. Now you two. (Postman's knock.} 
The postman ! 

Sam. Now you must let me out. You must 
unlock the door. 5 8 



134 Ca$te [ACT L 

Polly. No, I needn't. ( Opens window, looking 
out. ) Here postman. ( Takes letter from postman at 
window.} Thank you. (Business ; flicks Sam in the 
face with letter. ) For you, Esther ! 

Esther (rising). For me ? 5 8 5 

Polly. Yes. 

Gives it to her, and closes window, and re- 
turns to door triumphantly. Sam goes to 
window. 

Esther (going down). From Manchester ! 
Geo. Manchester ? Coming down back of Esther. 
Esther (reading}. I've got the engagement 
four pounds a week. 590 

Geo. (placing his arm around her). You shan't go. 
Esther stay be my wife ! 

Esther. But the world your world ? 
Geo. Hang the world ! You're my world. 
Stay with your husband, Mrs. George D* Alroy. 595 
During this Polly has been dancing up and 

down in front of the door. 
Sam. I will go out ! 

Turning with sudden determination. 
Polly. You can't, and you shan't ! 
Sam. I can I will ! 

Opens window and jumps out. 
Polly (frightened). He's hurt himself. Sam 
Sam, dear Sam ! 6oo 

Running to window. Sam appears at win- 
dow. Polly slaps his face and shuts win- 
dow down violently. 



SCENE L] %&tt 135 

Polly. Nyer! 

During this George has kissed Esther. 

Geo. My wife ! 

The handle of the door is heard to rattle, 
then the door is shaken violently. Esther 
crosses to door ; finding it locked, turns to 
Polly sitting in window seat, who gives 
her the key. Esther then opens the door. 
Eccles reels in, very drunk, and clings to 
the corner of the bureau for support. 
George stands pulling his moustache. 
Esther, a little way up, looking with shame 
first at her father, then at George. 
Polly sitting in window recess. 

ACT DROP 

For call. George, hat in hand, bidding Esther 
good-bye. Eccles sitting in chair, nodding before fire. 
Sam again looks in at window. Polly pulls the blind 
down violently. 



ACT II 

SCENE I. D* Alrofs lodgings in Ma fair. A set 
chamber. Folding-doors opening on to drawing- 
room. Door on the right. Two windows, with 
muslin curtains. Loo-table. Sofa above piano. 
Two easy-chairs, on each side of table. Dessert 
claret in jug ; two wine-glasses half full. Box of 
cigarettes, vase of flowers, embroidered slipper on 
canvas, and small basket of coloured wools, all on 
table. Foot-stool by easy-chair. Ornamental gilt 
work-basket on stand in window. Easy-chair. Piano. 
Mahogany-stained easel with oil-painting of D* Alroy 
in full dragoon regimentals. Davenport with vase 
of flowers on it; a chair on each side ; a water- 
colour drawing over it, and on each side of room. 
Half moonlight through window. Esther and George 
discovered. Esther at window. When curtain has 
risen she comes down slowly to chair right of table, 
and George sitting in easy-chair left of table. George 
has his uniform trausers and spurs on. 

Esther. George, dear, you seem out of spirits. 
George (smoking cigarette). Not at all, dear, not 
at all. Rallying. 

Esther. Then why don't you talk ? 
Geo. I've nothing to say. 
Esther. That's no reason. 



SCENE I.] Ca0tf 137 

Geo. I can't talk about nothing. 

Esther. Yes, you can ; you often do. ( Cross- 
ing round back of table and caressing him. ) You 
used to do before we were married. 10 

Geo. No, I didn't. I talked about you, and 
my love for you. D'ye call that nothing ? 

Esther {sitting on stool left of George}. How 
long have we been married, dear ? Let me see ; 
six months yesterday. {Dreamily.} It hardly 15 
seems a week ; it almost seems a dream. 

Geo. {putting his arm around her}. Awfully 
jolly dream. Don't let us wake up. {Aside and 
recovering himself. ) How ever shall I tell her ? 

Esther. And when I married you I was 20 
twenty-two, wasn't I ? 

Geo. Yes, dear; but then, you know, you 
must have been some age or other. 

Esther. No ; but to think I lived two and 
twenty years without knowing you ! 25 

Geo. What of it, dear ? 

Esther. It seems such a dreadful waste of 
time. 

Geo. So it was awful. 

Esther. Do you remember our first meeting ? 30 
Then I was in the ballet. 

Geo. Yes ; now you're in the heavies. 

Esther. Then I was in the front rank now 
I am of high rank the Honourable Mrs. 



138 Caate [ACTH. 

George D'Alroy. You promoted me to be your 35 
wife. 

Geo. No, dear, you promoted me to be your 
husband. 

Esther. And now I'm one of the aristocracy ; 
ain't I ? 40 

Geo. Yes, dear ; I suppose that we may con- 
sider ourselves 

Esther. Tell me, George ; are you quite 
sure that you are proud of your poor little hum- 
ble wife ? 45 

Geo. Proud of you ! Proud as the winner of 
the Derby. 

Esther. Wouldn't you have loved me better 
if I'd been a lady ? 

Geo. You are a lady you're my wife. 5 

Esther. What will your mamma say when 
she knows of our marriage ? I quite tremble at 
the thought of meeting her. 

Geo. So do I. Luckily she's in Rome. 

Esther. Do you know, George, I should like 55 
to be married all over again. 

Geo. Not to anybody else, I hope ? 

Esther. My darling ! 

Geo. But why over again ? Why ? 

Esther. Our courtship was so beautiful. It 60 
was like in a novel from the library, only bet- 
ter. You, a fine, rich, high-born gentleman, 



SCENE I.] Wtt 139 

coming to our humble little house to court poor 
me. Do you remember the ballet you first saw 
me in ? That was at Covent Garden. " Jeanne 65 
la Folle ; or, the Return of the Soldier." ( Goes 
up to piano. ) Don't you remember the dance ? 

Plays a quick movement. 

Geo. Esther, how came you to learn to play 
the piano ? Did you teach yourself ? 

Esther. Yes. ( Turning on music-stool. ) So did 70 
Polly. We can only just touch the notes to 
amuse ourselves. 

Geo. How was it ? 

Esther. I've told you so often. 

Rises and sits on stool at George* s feet. 

Geo. Tell me again. I'm like the children 75 
I like to hear what I know already. 

Esther. Well, then, mother died when I was 
quite young. I can only just remember her. 
Polly was an infant ; so I had to be Polly's mo- 
ther. Father who is a very eccentric man 80 
( George sighs deeply Esther notices it and goes on 
rapidly all to be simultaneous in action} but a very 
good one when you know him did not take 
much notice of us, and we got on as we could. 
We used to let the first floor, and a lodger took 
it Herr Griffenhaagen. He was a ballet mas- 85 
ter at the Opera. He took a fancy to me, and 
asked me if I should like to learn to dance, and 



14 Ca0t [ AcT II. 

I told him father couldn't afford to pay for my 
tuition; and he said that (imitation'] he did not 
vant bayment, but dat he would teach me for 90 
noding, for he had taken a fancy to me, because 
I was like a leetle lady he had known long years 
ago in de far off land he came from. Then he 
got us an engagement at the theatre. That was 
how we first were in the ballet. 95, 

Geo. (slapping his leg}. That fellow was a great 
brick; I should like to ask him to dinner. What 
became of him ? 

Esther. I don't know. He left England. 
( George fdgets and looks at watch. ) You are rest-ioo 
less, George. What's the matter ? 

Geo. Nothing. 

Esther. Are you going out ? 

Geo. Yes. ( Looking at his boots and spurs. ) That's 
the reason I dined in 105 

Esther. To the barracks ? 

Geo. Yes. 

Esther. On duty ? 

Geo. (hesitatingly). On duty. (Rising.} And, 
of course, when a man is a soldier, he must go no 
on duty when he's ordered, and where he's 
ordered and (aside) why did I ever enter 
the service ? Crosses. 

Esther ( rises, crosses to George and twining her 
arm round him). George, if you must go out to "5 



SCENE I.] Catftf 141 

your club, go; don't mind leaving me. Somehow 
or other, George, these last few days everything 
seems to have changed with me I don't know 
why. Sometimes my eyes fill with tears, for no 
reason, and sometimes I feel so happy, for no 120 
reason. I don't mind being left by myself as I 
used to do. When you are a few minutes be- 
hind time I don't run to the window and watch 
for you, and turn irritable. Not that I love you 
less no, for I love you more ; but often when 125 
you are away I don't feel that I am by myself. 
( Dropping her head on his breast. ) I never feel alone. 
Goes to piano and turns over music. 

Geo. (watching Esther). What angels women 
are ! At least, this one is. I forget all about the 
others. ( Carriage-wheels heard off. ) If I'd known 130 
I could have been so happy, I'd have sold out 
when I married. Knock at street door. 

Esther (standing at table). That for us, dear ? 

Geo. (at first window). Hawtree in a hansom. 
He's come for (aside) me. I must tell henss 
sooner or later. (At door.) Come in, Hawtree. 
Enter Hawtree y in regimentals. 

Hawtree. How do ? Hope you're well, Mrs. 
D' Alroy ? ( Coming down. ) George, are you com- 
ing to 

Geo. (coming down left of Hawtree). No, I've 140 
dined (gives a significant look) we dined early. 
Esther plays scraps of music at piano. 



142 



Caste 



[ACT II. 



Haw. (sotto voce). Haven't you told her? 

Geo. No, I daren't. 

Haw. But you must. 

Geo. You know what an awful coward I am. 145 
You do it for me. 

Haw. Not for worlds. I've just had my own 
adieux to make. 

Geo. Ah, yes, to Florence Carberry. How 
did she take it? 150 

Haw. Oh, (slight pause} very well. 

Geo. (earnestly). Did she cry ? 

Haw. No. 

Geo. Nor exhibit any emotion whatever ? 

Haw. No, not particularly. 15! 

Geo. (surprisedly). Didn't you kiss her ? 

Haw. No ; Lady Clardonax was in the room. 

Geo. (wonderingly). Didn't she squeeze your 
hand ? 

Haw. No. 1 60 

Geo. (impressively). Didn't she say anything? 

Haw. No, except that she hoped to see 
me back again soon, and that India was a bad 
climate. 

Geo. Umph ! It seems to have been a tragic 165 
parting (serio-comically) almost as tragic as 
parting your back hair. 

Haw. Lady Florence is not the sort of per- 
son to make a scene. 



SCENE I.] C80t 143 

Geo. To be sure, she's not your wife. I wish 170 
Esther would be as cool and comfortable. {After 
a pause. ) No, I don't, no, I don't. 

A rap at door. 
Enter Dixon. 

Geo. (goes tip to Dixon). Oh, Dixon, lay out 
my 

Dixon. I have laid them out, sir; everything 1 75 
is ready. 

Geo. (going down to Hawtree after a pause 
irresolutely). I must tell her mustn't I ? 

Haw. Better send for her sister. Let Dixon 
go for her in a cab. 180 

Geo. Just so. I'll send him at once. Dixon ! 
Goes up and talks to Dixon. 

Esther (rising and going to back of chair, left of 
table). Do you want to have a talk with my 
husband ? Shall I go into the dining-room ? 

Haw. No, Mrs. D'Alroy. 185 

Going to table and placing cap on it. 

Geo. No, dear. At once, Dixon. Tell the 
cabman to drive like (exit Dixon) like a 
cornet just joined. 

Esther (to Hawtree). Are you going to take 
him anywhere ? 19 

Haw. (George comes down and touches Haw tree 
quickly on the shoulder before he can speak). No. 
( Aside. ) Yes to India. ( Crossing to George. ) 
Tell her now. 



144 Catfte [ACT ii. 

Geo. No, no. I'll wait till I put on my uni- 195 
form. Going up. 

Door opens and Polly peeps in. 
Polly. How d'ye do, good people, quite 
well ? Polly get shack of table kisses Esther. 

Geo. Eh ? Didn't you meet Dixon ? 
Polly. Who? 200 

Geo. Dixon my man. 
Polly. No. 

Geo. Confound it ! he'll have his ride for 
nothing. How d'ye do, Polly ? Shakes hands. 
Polly. How d'ye do, George. *5 

Esther takes Polly* s things and goes up stage 
with them. Polly places parasol on table. 
Esther returns left of Polly. 

Polly. Bless you, my turtles. (Blessing them, 
ballet fashion.) George, kiss your mother. (He 
kisses her. ) That's what I call an honourable 
brother-in-law's kiss. I'm not in the way, am I ? 

Geo. (behind easy- chair right of table}. Not at 210 
all. I'm very glad you've come. 

Esther shows Polly the new music. Polly 

sits at piano and plays comic tune. 
Haw. (back to audience, and elbow on easy-chair, 
aside to George}. Under ordinary circumstances 
she's not a very eligible visitor. 

Geo. Caste again. (Going up.} I'll be backus 
directly. Exit George. 



SCENE I.] %&tt 145 

Haw. (looking at watch and crossing). Mrs. 
D'Alroy, I 

Esther (who is standing over Polly at piano). 
Going ? Z2o 

Polly (rising). Do I drive you away, Captain ? 
Taking her parasol from table. Esther gets 
to back of chair left of table. 

Haw. No. 

Polly. Yes, I do. I frighten you, I'm so ugly. 
I know I do. You frighten me. 

Haw. How so ? "5 

Polly. You're so handsome. ( Coming down. ) 
Particularly in those clothes, for all the world 
like an inspector of police. 

Esther (half aside). Polly! 

Polly. I will ! I like to take him down a bit. 230 

Haw. -(aside). This is rather a wild sort of 
thing in sisters-in-law. 

Polly. Any news, Captain ? 

Haw. (in a drawling tone). No. Is there any 
news with you ? 435 

Polly (imitating him). Yaas; we've got a new 
piece coming out at our theatre. 

Haw. (interested). What's it about? 

Polly (drawling). I don't know. (To Esther.) 
Had him there ! (Hawtree drops his sword from his^^Q 
arm j Polly turns round quickly, hearing the noise, and 
pretends to be frightened.) Going to kill anybody 
to-day, that you've got your sword on ? 



146 Caste [ACT ii. 

Haw. No. 
Polly. I thought not. 
(Sings) "With a sabre on his brow, 245 

And a helmet by his side, 
The soldier sweethearts servant-maids, 

And eats cold meat besides." 
Laughs and walks about waving her parasol. 

Enter George in uniform, carrying in bis hand his sword, 
sword-belt, and cap. Esther takes them from him, 
and places them on sofa, then comes half down. 
George goes down by Hawtree. 

Polly ( clapping her hands). Oh ! here's a beauti- 
ful brother-in-law ! Why didn't you come in 250 
on horseback as they do at Astley's ? gallop in 
and say {imitating soldier on horseback and prancing 
up and down stage during the piece), Soldiers of 
France ! the eyes of Europe are a-looking at 
you! The Empire has confidence in you, and 255 
France expects that every man this day will do 
his little utmost ! The foe is before you 
more's the pity and you are before them 
worse luck for you! Forward! Go and get 
killed; and to those who escape the Emperor 260 
will give a little bit of ribbon ! Nineteens, about ! 
Forward ! Gallop ! Charge ! 

Galloping to right, imitating bugle, and giv- 
ing point with parasol. She nearly spears 
Hawtree* 's nose. Hawtree claps his hand 



SCENE I.] Ca$t0 H7 

upon his sword-hilt. She throws herself 
into chair, laughing, and clapping Haw- 
tree 1 s cap {from table"] upon her head. 
All laugh and applaud. Carriage-wheels 
heard without. 

Polly. Oh, what a funny little cap, it's got no 
peak. ( A peal of knocks heard at street door. ) \Vhat's 
that ? 26 

Geo. (who has hastened to window). A carriage ! 
Good heavens my mother! 

Haw. (at window). The Marchioness ! 
Esther (crossing to George). Oh, George! 
Polly (crossing to window). A Marchioness ! 270 
A real, live Marchioness! Let me look ! I never 
saw a real live Marchioness in all my life. 

Geo. (forcing her from window). No, no, no ! 
She doesn't know I'm married. I must break it 
to her by degrees. What shall I do ? *75 

By this time Hawtree is at door right. 

Esther at door left* 

Esther. Let me go into the bedroom until 
Haw. Too late ! She's on the stairs. 
Esther. Here, then ! 

At centre doors, opens them. 
Polly. I want to see a real, live March 

George lifts her in his arms and places her 
within folding-doors with Esther then 
shutting doors quickly, turns and faces 
Hawtree, who, gathering up his sword, 




I 4 8 



Caste 



[ACT II. 



faces George. They then exchange places 
much in the fashion of soldiers ' ( mount- 
ing guard. ' ' As George opens door and 
admits Marchioness, Hawtree drops down 
to left. 

Geo. (with great ceremony'}. My dear mother, 2 g I 
I saw you getting out of the carriage. 

Marchioness. My dear boy (kissing his forehead}. 
I'm so glad I got to London before you em- 
barked. ( George nervous. Hawtree corning down. ) 
Captain Hawtree, I think. How do you do ? 285 

Haw. (coming forward a little}. Quite well, I 
thank your ladyship. I trust you are 

Mar. (sitting in easy-chair). Oh, quite, thanks. 
( Slight pause. ) Do you still see the Countess and 
Lady Florence ? 290 

Looking at him through her glasses. 
Haw. Yes. 

Mar. Please remember me to them ( Haw- 
tree takes cap from table, and places sword under his 
arm. ) Are you going ? 

Haw. Yaas Compelled. (Bows, crossing 
round back of table. To George who meets him. ) I'll 295 
be at the door for you at seven. We must be 
at barracks by the quarter. ( George crosses back of 
table. ) Poor devil ! This comes of a man marry- 
ing beneath him. 

Exit Hawtree. George comes down left of table. 



SCENE I.] C3fl>t0 149 

Mar. I'm not sorry that he's gone, for 1300 
wanted to talk to you alone. Strange that a wo- 
man of such good birth as the Countess should 
encourage the attention of Captain Hawtree for 
her daughter Florence. ( During these lines D 1 Alroy 
conceals Polly* s hat and umbrella under table. ) 
Lady Clardonax was one of the old Carberrys3S 
of Hampshire not the Norfolk Carberrys, but 
the direct line. And Mr. Hawtree's grandfather 
was in trade something in the City soap, 
I think. Stool, George ! (Points to stool. George 
brings it to her. She motions that he is to sit at her 
feet. George does so with a sigh. ) He's a very nice 310 
person, but parvenu, as one may see by his 
languor and his swagger. My boy ( kissing his 
forehead}, I am sure, will never make a mesalli- 
ance. He is a D'Alroy, and by his mother's 
side Planta-genista. The source of our life 31 
stream is royal. 

Geo. How is the Marquis ? 

Mar. Paralysed. /I left him at Spa with 
three physicians, fle is always paralysed .at 
this time of the year: it is in the family. 




paralysis is not personal, but hereditary. I came 
over to see my steward ; got to town last night. 

Geo. How did you find me out here ? 

Mar. I sent the footman to the barracks, 
and he saw your man Dixon in the street, and 325 



150 Caste [ACT ii. 

Dixon gave him this address. It's so long 
since I've seen you. ( Leans back in chair. ) You're 
looking very well, and I daresay when mounted 
are quite a " beau cavalier." And so, my boy 
(playing with his hair), you are going abroad for 3 3 
the first time on active service. 

Geo. (aside). Every word can be heard in the 
next room. If they've only gone upstairs. 

Mar. And now, my dear boy, before you go 
I want to give you some advice; and you 335 
mustn't despise it because I'm an old woman. 
We old women know a great deal more than 
people give us credit for. You are a soldier 
so was your father so was his father so 
was mine so was our royal founder ; we were 340 
born to lead ! The common people expect it 
from us. It is our duty. Do you not remem- 
ber in the Chronicles of Froissart ? ( With great 
enjoyment.) I think I can quote it word for 
word ; I've a wonderful memory for my age. 345 
( With closed eyes. ) It was in the fifty-ninth 
chapter u How Godefroy D'Alroy helde the 
towne of St. Amande duryng the siege before 
Tournay." It said u the towne was not closed 
but with pales, and captayne there was Sir Amory 350 
of Pauy the Seneschall of Carcassoune 
who had said it was not able to hold agaynste 
an hooste, when one Godefroy D'Alroy sayd 



SCENE I.] 

that rather than he woulde depart, he woulde 
keepe it to the best of his power. Whereat the 355 
souldiers cheered and sayd, c Lead us on, Sir 
Godefroy.' And then began a fierce assault ; 
and they within were chased, and sought for 
shelter from street to street. But Godefroy 
stood at the gate so valyantly that the souldiers 360 
helde the towne until the commyng of the Earl 
of Haynault with twelve thousande men." 

Geo. (aside}. I wish she'd go. If she once gets 
onto Froissart, she'll never know when to stop. 

Mar. When my boy fights and you will 365 
fight he is sure to distinguish himself. It is 
his nature to (toys with his hair) he cannot 
forget his birth. And when you meet these 
Asiatic ruffians, who have dared to revolt, and 
to outrage humanity, you will strike as your 370 
ancestor Sir Galtier of Chevrault struck at 
Poictiers. ( Changing tone of voice as if remembering. ) 
Froissart mentions it thus : " Sir Galtier, with 
his four squires, was in the front, in that battell, 
and there did marvels in arms. And Sir Galtier 375 
rode up to the Prince, and sayd to him 'Sir, 
take your horse and ryde forth, this journey is 
yours. God is this daye in your handes. Gette 
us to the French Kynge's batayle. I think verily 
by his valyantesse, he woll not fly. Advance 380 
banner in the name of God and of Saynt George ! ' 



152 Caste [ACT ii. 

And Sir Galtier galloped forward to see his 
Kynge's victory, and meet his own death." 

Geo. (aside). If Esther hears all this ! 

Afar. There is another subject about which 381 
I should have spoken to you before this ; but 
an absurd prudery forbade me. I may never 
see you more. I am old and you are going 
into battle (kissing his forehead with emotion) 
and this may be our last meeting. (Noise heard ^ 
within folding- doors.) What's that? 

Geo. Nothing my man Dixon in there. 

Mar. We may not meet again on this earth. 
I do not fear your conduct, my George, with 
men ; but I know the temptations that beset 395 
a youth who is well born. But a true soldier, a 
true gentleman, should not only be without fear, 
but without reproach. It is easier to fight a 
furious man than to forego the conquest of a 
love-sick girl. A thousand Sepoys slain in battle 400 
cannot redeem the honour of a man who has 
betrayed the confidence of a trusting woman. 
Think, George, what dishonour what stain 
upon your manhood to hurl a girl to shame 
and degradation! And what excuse for it? 405 
That she is plebeian ? A man of real honour 
will spare the woman who has confessed her 
love for him as he would give quarter to an 
enemy he had disarmed. ( Taking his hands. ) 



SCENE I.] %$tt I S3 

Let my boy avoid the snares so artfully spread ^410 
and when he asks his mother to welcome the 
woman he has chosen for his wife, let me take 
her to my arms and plant a motherly kiss upon 
the white brow of a lady. (Noise of a fall heard 
within folding-doors. Rising.) What's that ? 415 

Geo. (rising). Nothing. 

Mar. I heard a cry. 

Folding-doors open ; discovering Esther with 
Polly, staggering in, fainting. 

Polly. George ! George ! 

George goes up and Esther falls in his arms. 
George places Esther on sofa. George on 
her right, Polly on her left. 

Mar. (coming down). Who are these women? 

Polly. Women ! 420 

Mar. George D'Alroy, these persons should 
have been sent away. How could you dare to 
risk your mother meeting women of their stamp ? 

Polly (violently'). What does she mean ? How 
dare she call me a woman ? What's she, I'd 4*5 
like to know ? 

Geo. Silence, Polly ! You mustn't insult my 
mother. 

Mar. The insult is from you. I leave you, 
and I hope that time may induce me to forget 43 
this scene of degradation. Turning to go. 

Geo. Stay, mother. ( Marchioness turns slightly 
away. ) Before you go ( George has raised Esther 



154 Ca0te [ACT ii. 

from sofa in his arms) let me present to you Mrs. 
George D'Alroy. My wife ! 435 

Mar. Married ! 
Geo. Married. 

Marchioness sinks into easy-chair ; George 
rep/aces Esther on sofa, but still retains 
her hand. Three hesitating taps at door 
' heard. George crosses to door, opens it, 
discovers Eccles, who enters. George drops 
down back of Marchioness' s chair. 
Eccles. They told us to come up. When 
your man came Polly was out ; so I thought I 
should do instead. (Calling at door.) Come up,44o 
Sam. 

Enter Sam in bis Sunday clothes, with short cane and 
smoking a cheroot. He nods and grins Polly points 
to Marchioness Sam takes cheroot from his mouth 
and quickly removes bis bat. 

Eccles. Sam had just called; so we three 
Sam and I, and your man, all came in the 
'ansom cab together. Didn't we, Sam. 

Eccles and Sam go over to the girls, and Eccles 

drops down to front of table - smilingly. 
Mar. (with glasses up, to George}. Who is this? 445 
Geo. (coming left of Marchioness). My wife's 
father. 

Mar. What is he ? 
Geo. A nothing. 
Eccles. I am one of nature's noblemen. 450 



SCENE I.] aStf 155 

Happy to see you, my lady {turning to her) 
now, my daughters have told me who you 

are ( George turns his back in an agony as Eccles 
crosses to Marchioness) we old folks, fathers and 
mothers of the young couples, ought to make 45 5 
friends. Holding out bis dirty hand. 

Mar. {shrinking back). Go away ! {Eccles goes 
back to table again, disgusted. ) What's his name ? 
Geo. Eccles. 

Mar. Eccles ! Eccles ! There never was an 460 
Eccles. He don't exist. 

Eccles. Don't he, though? What d'ye call this? 
Goes up again to back of table as Sam drops 
down. He is just going to take a decanter 
when Sam stops him. 

Mar. No Eccles was ever born ! 

Geo. He takes the liberty of breathing not- 
withstanding. {Aside.) And I wish he wouldn't. 465 

Mar. And who is the little man ? Is he also 
Eccles ? 

Sam looks round. Polly gets close up to him, and 
looks with dejiant glance at the Marchioness. 

Geo. No. 

Mar. Thank goodness ! What then ? 

Geo. His name is Gerridge. 47 

Mar. Gerridge ! It breaks one's teeth. Why 
is he here ? 

Geo. He is making love to Polly, my wife's 
sister. 






156 Ca0te [ACT ii. 

Mar. And what is he ? 47 

Geo. A gasman. 

Mar. He looks it. ( George goes up to Esther. ) 
And what is she the the sister ? 

Eccles, who has been casting longing eyes at 
the decanter on table, edges towards it, 
and when he thinks no one is noticing, fills 
wine-glass. 

Polly {asserting herself indignantly). I'm in the 
ballet at the Theatre Royal, Lambeth. So was 480 
Esther. We're not ashamed of what we are ! 
We have no cause to be. 

Sam. That's right, Polly ! pitch into them 
swells ! who are they ? 

Eccles by this time has seized wine-glass, 
and turning his back, is about to drink, 
when Hawtree enters. Eccles hides glass 
under his coat, and pretends to be looking 
up at picture. 

Haw. {entering). George! {Stops suddenly, 485 
looking round. ) So, all's known ! 

Mar. (rising). Captain Hawtree, see me to 
my carriage ; I am broken-hearted. 

Takes Hawtree* 's arm and is going up. 
Eccles ( who has tasted the claret, spits it out with 
a grimace, exclaiming). Rot! 490 

Polly goes to piano sits on stool Sam, 
back to audience, leajiing on piano. Eccles 
exits through folding- doors. 



SCENE I.] Catftf 157 

Geo. (to Marchioness). Don't go in anger. 
You may not see me again. 

Esther rises in nervous excitement, clutch- 
ing George 1 s hand. Marchioness stops. 
Esther brings George down. 

Esther (-with arm round his neck). Oh, George ! 
must you go ? They come to front of table. 

Geo. Yes. 495 

Esther. I can't leave you. I'll go with you ! 

Geo. Impossible ! The country is too unset- 
tled. 

Esther. May I come after you ? 

Geo. Yes. 5 

Esther (with her head on his shoulder). I may. 

Mar. (coming down, Haw tree at door). It is his 
duty to go. His honour calls him. The honour 
of his family our honour. 

Esther. But I love Turn so! Pray don't be 505 
angry with me ! 

Haw. (looking at watch and coming down). 
George ! 

Geo. I must go, love. 

Hawtree goes up to door again. 

Mar. (advancing). Let me arm you, George 510 
let your mother, as in the days of old. There 
is blood and blood, my son. See, your wife 
cries when she should be proud of you ! 

Geo. My Esther is all that is good and 



158 Caste [ACT ii. 

noble. No lady born to a coronet could be 515 
gentler or more true. Esther, my wife, fetch me 
my sword, and buckle my belt around me. 
Esther (clinging to him). No, no ; I can't ! 
Geo. Try. ( Whispers to Esther. ) To please my 
mother. ( To Marchioness.) You shall see. (Est&ers*t 
totters up stage y Polly assisting her, and brings down his 
sword. As Esther is trying to buckle his belt, he 
whispers. ) I've left money for you, my darling. 
My lawyer will call on you to-morrow. For- 
give me ! I tried hard to tell you we were ordered 
for India ; but when the time came, my heart 
failed me, and I 5*5 j 

Esther, before she can succeed in fastening 
his sword-belt, reels, and falls fainting 
in his arms* Polly hurries to her. Sam 
standing at piano, looking frightened ; 
Hawtree with hand upon handle of door ; 
Marchioness looking on, at right of George. 

ACT DROP 

For call George and Hawtree gone. Esther in chair 
fainting; Polly and Sam each side of her, Polly hold- 
ing her hands, and Sam fanning her with his red 
handkerchief. The folding-doors thrown open, and 
Eccles standing at back of table offering glass of 
claret. 



ACT III 

SCENE : The room in Stangate (as in Act /). Same 
furniture as in Act I, with exception of piano, with 
roll of music tied up on it, in place of bureau. Map 
of India over mantel-piece. Sword with crape knot, 
spurs, and cap, craped, hanging over chimney-piece. 
Portrait ofD* Alroy (large) on mantel-piece. Berceau- 
nette, and child, with coral, in it. Polly* s bonnet and 
shawl hanging on peg. Small tin saucepan in fender, 
jire alight, and kettle on it. Two candles (tallow} 
in sticks, one of which is broken about three inches 
from the top and hangs over. Slate and pencil on 
table. Jug on table, bandbox and ballet skirt on table. 
At rise of curtain Polly discovered at table, back of 
stage. Comes down and places skirt in bandbox. She 
is dressed in black. 

Polly (placing skirt in box, and leaning her chin upon 
her band}. There there's the dress for poor 
Esther in case she gets the engagement, which 
I don't suppose she will. It's too good luck, 
and good luck never comes to her, poor thing. 5 
( Goes up to back of cradle. ) Baby's asleep still. 
How good he looks as good as if he were 
dead, like his poor father ; and alive too, at the 
same time, like his dear self. Ah ! dear me ; it's 
a strange world. (Sits in chair right of table, feel- 10 



160 C&t [ACT in. 

ing in pocket for money. ) Four and elevenpence. 
That must do for to-day and to-morrow. Esther 
is going to bring in the rusks for Georgey. ( Takes 
upstate.) Three, five eight, and four twelve, 
one shilling father can only have twopence. 15 
( This all to be said in one breath. ) He must make 
do with that till Saturday, when I get my salary. 
If Esther gets the engagement, I shan't have 
many more salaries to take ; I shall leave the 
stage and retire into private life. I wonder if I 20 
shall like private life, and if private life will like 
me. It will seem so strange being no longer Miss 
Mary Eccles but Mrs. Samuel Gerridge. 
( Writes it on slate. ) " Mrs. Samuel Gerridge." 
{Laughs bashfully.) La! to think of my being Mrs. a$ 
Anybody ! How annoyed Susan Smith will be ! 
(Writing on slate.) "Mrs. Samuel Gerridge presents 
her compliments to Miss Susan Smith, and Mrs. 
Samuel Gerridge requests the favour of Miss 
Susan Smith's company to tea, on Tuesday 30 
evening next, at Mrs. Samuel Gerridge's house." 
(Pause.) Poor Susan ! (Beginning again.) " P. S. 
Mrs. Samuel Gerridge " 

Knock heard at room door ; Polly starts. 

Sam (without). Polly, open the door. 

Polly. Sam! come in. 35 

Sam (without). I can't. 

Polly. Why not ? 



SCENE I.] Cflfi-te Io1 

Sam. I've got somethin' on my 'ead. 

Polly rises and opens door. Sam enters, 
carrying two rolls of wall-paper, one in 
each hand, and a small table on his head, 
which he deposits down stage, then puts 
roll of paper on piano, as also his cap. 
Sam has a rule-pocket in corduroys. 
Polly (shuts door). What's that ? 
Sam (pointing to table with pride). Furniture. 40 
How are you, my Polly ? ( Kissing her. ) You 
look handsomer than ever this morning. ( Dances 
and sings. ) " Tid-dle-di-tum-ti-di-do." 

Polly. What's the matter, Sam? Are you mad? 
Sam. No, 'appy much the same thing. 45 
Polly. Where fiave you been these two days ? 
Sam (M excitement). That's just what I'm 
goin' to tell yer. Polly, my pet, my brightest 
batswing and most brilliant burner, what do yer 
think ? 50 

Polly. Oh, do go on, Sam, or I'll slap your 
face. 

Sam. Well, then, you've 'card me speak of 
old Binks, the plumber, glazier, and gasfitter, 
who died six months ago ? 55 

Polly. Yes. 

Sam (sternly and deliberately). I've bought 'is 
business. 
Polly. No! 
Sam (excitedly). Yes, of 'is widow, old Mrs. 60 



1 62 Caste [ACT m. 

Binks so much down, and so much more at 
the end of the year. 

( Dances and sings. ) Ri-ti-toodle 
Roodle-oodle 
Ri-ti-tooral-lay. 65 

Polly. La, Sam. 

Sam (pacing stage up and down}. Yes ; I've 
bought the goodwill, fixtures, fittin's, stock, 
rolls of gas-pipe, and sheets of lead. ( Jumps on 
table t quickly facing Polly.) Yes, Polly, I'm a 7 o 
tradesman with a shop a master tradesman. 
( Coming to Polly seriously. ) All I want to complete 
the premises is a missus. 

Tries to kiss her. She pushes him away. 
Polly. Sam, don't be foolish. 
Sam (arm round her waist). Come and be Mrs. 75 
Sam Gerridge, Polly, my patent-safety-day-and- 
night-light. You'll furnish me completely. 

Polly goes up, Sam watching her admiringly ; 
he then sees slate, snatches it up and looks 
at it. She snatches it from him with a 
shriek, and rubs out the writing, looking 
daggers at him, Sam laughing. 
Sam. Only to think now. 

Putting arm round her waist. Polly pouting. 
Polly. Don't be a goose. 

Sam (going towards table). I spent the whole 80 
of yesterday lookin' up furniture. Now I bought 
that a bargain, and I brought it 'ere to show you 



SCENE I.] Mtt 163 

for your approval. I've bought lots of other 
things, and I'll bring 'em all 'ere to show you 
for your approval. 85 

Polly. I couldn't think what had become of 
you. Seated right of table. 

Sam. Couldn't yer? Oh, I say, I want yer 
to choose the new paper for the little back-par- 
lour just behind the shop, you know. Now what 90 
d'yer think of this ? 

Fetching a pattern from piano and unrolling it. 

Polly. No, I don't like that. (Sam fetches the 
other, a flaming pattern.) Ah ! that's neat. 

Sam. Yes, that's neat and quiet. I'll new- 
paper it, and new-furnish it, and it shall all be 95 
bran-new. Puts paper on top of piano. 

Polly. But won't it cost a lot of money ? 

Sam (bravely). I can work for it. With cus- 
tomers in the shop, and you in the back-parlour, 
I can work like fifty men. (Sits on table, beckons 100 
Polly to him ; she comes left of table, Sam puts his arm 
round Polly, sentimentally. ) Only fancy, at night, 
when the shop's closed, and the shutters are up, 
counting out the till together ! ( Changing his man- 
ner. ) Besides, that isn't all I've been doin'. I've 
been writin', and what I've written, Fve got 105 
printed. 

Polly. No! 

Sam. True. 




1 64 Catfte [ACT HI. 

Polly. You've been writing about me ? 

Delighted. 

Sam. No about the shop. (Polly disgusted.}* 
Here it is. (Takes roll of circulars from pocket of bis 
canvas slop.} Yer mustn't laugh yer know 
it's my first attempt. I wrote it the night before 
last ; and when I thought of you the words 
seemed to flow like red-hot solder. (Re ads.} us 
Hem ! " Samuel Gerridge takes this opportunity 
of informin' the nobility, gentry, and inhabitants 
of the Borough-road " 

Polly. The Borough-road ? 

Sam. Well, there ain't many of the nobility o 
and gentry as lives in the Borough-road, but it 
pleases the inhabitants to make 'em believe yer 
think so (resuming) " of informin' the nobility, 
gentry and inhabitants of the Borough-road, and 
its vicinity" and "its vicinity." (Looking atiz$ 
her. ) Now I think that's rather good, eh ? 

Potty. Yes. (Doubtfully.) I've heard worse. 

Sam. I first thought of saying neighbour'ood ; 
but then vicinity sounds so much more genteel 
(resuming) " and its vicinity, that 'e has en- 130 
tered upon the business of the late Mr. Binks, 
'is relict, the present Mrs. B., 'avin' disposed to 
'im of the same " now listen, Polly, because 
it gets interestin' " S. G. " 

Polly. S. G. Who's he? 135 



SCENE I.] CH0te 165 

Sam (looking at Polly with surprise'). Why, me. 
S. G. Samuel Gerridge me, us. We're S. 
G. Now don't interrupt me, or you'll cool my 
metal, and then I can't work. U S. G. 'opes that, 
by a constant attention to business, and" 140 
mark this- "by supplyin' the best articles at 
the most reasonable prices, to merit a continu- 
ance of those favours which it will ever be 'is 
constant study to deserve." There! (Turning 
on table triumphantly. ) Stop a bit, there's a 145 
little bit more yet. " Bell-'angin', gas-fittin', 
plumbin', and glazin', as usual." There! and 
it's all my own ! 

Puts circular on mantel-piece, and crossing 
contemplates it. 

Polly. Beautiful, Sam. It looks very attractive 
from here, don't it ? 150 

Sam. (Postman's knock.) There's the postman. 

I'll go. I shall send some of these out by post. 

Goes off and returns with letter. 

Polly (taking it). Oh, for Esther. I know who 
it's from. (Places letter on mantel-piece. At chair 
left of table. Sam sits corner of table, reading circular. 
Seriously.) Sam, who do you think was here last 155 
night ? 

Sam. Who? 

Polly. Captain Hawtree. 

Sam (deprecatingly). Oh, 'im ! Come back 
from India, I suppose. 160 



1 66 Catfte [ACT HI. 

Polly. Yes, luckily Esther was out. 

Sam. I never liked that long swell. He was 
a 'uppish, conceited 

Polly (sitting at end of table). Oh, he's better 
than he used to be he's a major now. He's 165 
only been in England a fortnight. 

Sam. Did he tell yer anything about De 
Alroy ? 

Polly (leaning against table end). Yes; he said 
he was riding out not far from the cantonment, 170 
and was surrounded by a troop of Sepoy cav- 
alry, which took him prisoner, and galloped off 
with him. 

Sam. But about 'is death ? 

Polly. Oh! (biding her face) that he said was 175 
believed to be too terrible to mention. 

Sam (crossing to Polly at table). Did 'e tell yer 
anything else ? 

Polly. No ; he asked a lot of questions, and 
I told him everything. How poor Esther had 1 80 
taken her widowhood and what a dear good 
baby the baby was, and what a comfort to us all, 
and how Esther had come back to live with us 
again. 

Sam (sharply). And the reason for it? 185 

Polly (looking down). Yes. 

Sam. How your father got all the money that 
'e'd left for Esther ? 



SCENE I.] CaStf 167 

Polly {sharply). Don't say any more about 
that, Sam. 19 

Sam. Oh ! I only think Captain 'Awtree 
ought to know where the money did go to, and 
you shouldn't try and screen your father, and 
let 'im suppose that you and Esther spent it all. 

Polly. I told him I told him I told him. 195 

Angrily. 

Sam. Did you tell 'im that your father was 
always at 'armonic meetin's at taverns, and 'ad 
'arf cracked 'isself with drink, and was always 
singin' the songs and makin' the speeches 'e 
'card there, and was always goin' on about 'is 200 
wrongs as one of the workin' classes ? 'E's a 
pretty one for one of the workin' classes, 'e is ! 
'Asn't done a stroke of work these twenty 
year. Now, I am one of the workin' classes, 
but I don't 'owl about it. I work, I don't spout. 205 

Polly. Hold your tongue, Sam. I won't have 
you say any more against poor father. He has 
his faults, but he's a very clever man. Sighing. 

Sam. Ah ! What else did Captain Hawtree 
say ? 210 

Polly. He advised us to apply to Mr. D'Alroy's 
mother. 

Sam. What ! the Marquissy ? And what did 
you say to that ? 

Polly. I said that Esther wouldn't hear of it. 215 



i68 Catfte [ACT in. 

And so the Major said that he'd write to 
Esther, and I suppose this is the letter. 

Sam. Now, Polly, come along and choose the 
paper for the little back-parlour. 

Going to table and taking it up to wall be- 
hind door. 

Polly (rising). Can't. Who's to mind baby ?aao 
Sam. The baby ? Oh, I forgot all about 'im. 
( Goes to cradle. ) I see yer ! ( Goes to window cas- 
ually.) There's your father comin' down the 
street. Won't 'e mind 'im ? 

Polly (going up). I daresay he will. If \^^$ 
promise him an extra sixpence on Saturday. 
(Sam opens window.) Hi! Father! 

Polly goes to cradle. 

Sam (aside). 'E looks down in the mouth, 'e 
does. I suppose 'e's 'ad no drink this morning. 

Goes to Polly. 

Enter Eccles in shabby black. Pauses on entering, 
looks at Sam, turns away in disgust , takes off bat, 
places it on piano, and shambles across stage. Taking 
chair, places it, and sits before fire. 

Polly (goes to Eccles). Come in to stop a bit, 430 
father ? 

Eccles. No ; not for long. ( Sam comes down. ) 
Good morning, Samuel. Going back to work ? 
that's right, my boy, stick to it. (Pokes fire.) 
Stick to it nothing like it. 235 



SCENE I.] C30te 169 

Sam {aside). Now, isn't that too bad? No, 
Mr. Eccles. I've knocked off for the day. 

Eccles {waving poker}. That's bad, that's 
very bad ! Nothing like work for the young. 
I don't work so much as I used to, myself, but MO 
I like to (Polly sitting on corner of table up left) see 
the young 'uns at it. It does me good, and it 
does them good, too. What does the poet say ? 
Rising, impressively, and leaning on table. 

' A carpenter said tho' that was well spoke, 

It was better by far to defend it with hoak. 245 

A currier, wiser than both put together, 

Said say what you will, there is nothing like labour. 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Your ribbon, gown and a' that, 

The rank is but the guinea stamp, 250 

The working man's the gold for a' that." 

Sits again, triumphantly wagging bis head. 
Sam (aside). This is one of the public-house 
loafers, that wants all the wages and none of the 
work, an idle old 

Goes in disgust to piano, puts on cap, and 

takes rolls of paper under bis arm. 
Polly (to Eccles). Esther will be in by-and-by.255 
(Persuasively.') Do, father. 

Eccles. No, no, I tell you I won't ! 
Polly (whispering, arm round his neck). And I'll 
give you sixpence extra on Saturday. 

Eccles's face relaxes into a broad grin. Polly 
gets bat and cloak. 



170 



Caste 



[ACT III. 



Eccles. Ah! you sly little puss, you know 260 
how to get over your poor old father. 
Sam (aside). Yes, with sixpence. 
Polly (putting on bonnet and cloak at door). Give 
the cradle a rock if baby cries. 

Sam (crossing to Eccles). If you should J appen 2 6s 
to want employment or amusement, Mr. Eccles, 
just cast your eye over this. (Puts circular on 
table, then joins Polly at door. ) Stop a bit, I've 
forgot to give the baby one. 

Throws circular into cradle. Exeunt, Polly 
first. Eccles takes out pipe from pocket, 
looks into it, then blows through it making 
a squeaking noise, and finishes by tenderly 
placing it on table. He then hunts all his 
pockets for tobacco, finally finding a little 
paper packet containing a screw of tobacco 
in his waistcoat pocket, which he also 
places on table after turning up the corner 
of the tablecloth for the purpose of empty- 
ing the contents of his pocket of the few 
remnants of past screws of tobacco on to 
the bare table and mixing a little out of 
the packet with it and filling pipe. He 
then brushes all that remains on the table 
into the paper packet, pinches it up, and 
carefully replaces it in waistcoat pocket. 
Having put the pipe into his mouth, he 
looks about for a light, across his shoulder 
and under table, though never rising from 



SCENE I.] Ca0tt 

the chair ; seeing nothing, his face assumes 
an expression of comic anguish. Turning 
to table he angrily replaces tablecloth and 
then notices Sam's circular. His face re- 
laxes into a smile, and picking it up he 
tears the circular in half, makes a spill 
of it, and lighting it at fire, stands, with 
his back to fireplace, and smokes vigor- 
ously. 

Eccles. Poor Esther! Nice market she's 270 
brought her pigs to ugh ! Mind the baby in- 
deed ! What good is he to me ? That fool of 
a girl to throw away all her chances ! a hon- 
our able-h ess and her father not to have on 
him the price of a pint of early beer or a quart- 275 
ern of cool, refreshing gin ! Stopping in here to 
rock a young honourable ! Cuss him ! 

Business, puffs smoke in baby* 's face, rocking 

cradle. 

Are we slaves, we working men ? ( Sings savagely. ) 
" Britons never, never, never shall be " (Nod- 
ding his head sagaciously, sits by table. ) I won't 280 
stand this, I've writ to the old cat I mean 
to the Marquissy to tell her that her daughter- 
in-law and her grandson is almost starving. 
That fool Esther is too proud to write to her 
for money. I hate pride it's beastly ! ( Rising. ) 285 
There's no beastly pride about me. (Goes up, 
smacking his lips.) I'm as dry as a lime-kiln. 




172 Ca0te [ACT in. 

( Takes up jug.) Milk ! (with disgust) for this 
young aristocratic pauper. Everybody in the 
house is sacrificed for him ! ( At foot of cradle, 290 
with arms on chair back.) And to think that a 
working man, and a member of the Commit- 
tee of Banded Brothers for the Regeneration 
of Human Kind, by means of equal diffusion 
of intelligence and equal division of property, 295 
should be thusty, while this cub ( Draws aside 
cur tain , and looks at child. After a pause ) That 
there coral he's got round his neck is gold, real 
gold ! ( With hand on knob at end of cradle. ) Oh, 
Society ! Oh, Governments ! Oh, Class Legis-3 00 
lation ! is this right ? Shall this mindless 
wretch enjoy himself, while sleeping, with a 
jewelled gawd, and his poor old grandfather 
want the price of half a pint ? No ! it shall not 
be ! Rather than see it, I will myself resent 35 
this outrage on the rights of man ! and in this 
holy crusade of class against class, of the weak 
and lowly against the powerful and strong 
(pointing to child ) I will strike one blow for 
freedom! (Goes to back of cradle.) He's asleep. 3 10 
It will fetch ten bob round the corner; and if 
the Marquissy gives us anything it can be got 
out with some o' that. (Steals coral.) Lie still, 
my darling ! it's grandfather a-watchin' over 
you 315 



SCENE I.] Catftt 1 73 

" Who ran to catch me when I fell, 
And kicked the place to make it well ? 

My grandfather ! " 

Rocking cradle with one band ; leaves it 
quickly, and as be takes bat off piano 
Esther enters. She is dressed as a widow, 
her face pale, and her manner quick and 
imperious. She carries a parcel and paper 
bag of rusks in her band ; she puts parcel 
on table, goes to cradle, kneels down and 
kisses child. 

Eccles. My lovey had a nice walk ? You 
should wrap yourself up well, you are 50320 
liable to catch cold. 

Esther. My Georgy ? Where's his coral ? 
( Ecc/es, going to door, fumbles with lock nervously, 
and is going out as Esther speaks. ) Gone ! Fa- 
ther ! (Rising Eccles stops. ) The child's coral 
where is it ? 325 

Eccles (confused). Where's what, duckey ? 
Esther. The coral ! You've got it, I know 
it ! Give it me ! (Quickly and imperiously.') Give 
it me ! (Eccles takes coral from his pocket and gives 
it back.) If you dare to touch my child 33 

Goes to cradle. 

Eccles. Esther ! ( Going quickly to piano and 
banging hat on it.) Am I not your father ? 

Esther gets round to front of table. 
Esther. And I am his mother ! 



1 74 Caste [ACT in. 

Eccles (coming to her}. Do you bandy words 
with me, you pauper, you pauper ! ! ! to whom 335 
I have given shelter shelter to you and your 
brat ! I've a good mind 

Raising bis clenched fist. 

Esther (confronting him}. If you dare! I am 
no longer your little drudge your frightened 
servant. When mother died (Eccles changes 340 
countenance and cowers beneath her glance} and I 
was so high, I tended you, and worked for you 
and you beat me. That time is past. I am 
a woman I am a wife a widow a mother ! 
Do you think I will let you outrage him ? 345 
Touch me if you dare ! Advancing a step. 

Eccles (bursting into tears and coming down}. And 
this is my own child, which I nussed when 
a babby, and sang " Cootsicum Coo " to afore 
she could speak. (Gets bat from piano, and ret urns 350 
a step or two.} Hon. Mrs. De Alroy (Esther 
drops down behind chair by table}, I forgive you for 
all that you have said. I forgive you for all 
that you have done. In everything that I have 
done I have acted with the best intentions. 355 
May the babe in that cradle never treat you as 
you have this day tret a grey 'aired father. May 
he never cease to love and honour you, as you 
have ceased to love and honour me, after all 
that I have done for you, and the position to 360 



SCENE I.] &%&* 175 

which I have raised you by my own industry. 
(Goes to door.} May he never behave to you 
like the bad daughters of King Lear ; and may 
you never live to feel how much more sharper 
than a serpent's {slight pause as if remembering ^^ 
quotation) scale it is to have a thankless child ! 

Exit. 

Esther (kneeling back of cradle}. My darling ! 
(Arranging bed and placing coral to baby* s lips, then 
to her own. ) Mamma's come back to her own. 
Did she stay away from him so long ? (Rises, and 
looks at sabre, etc. ) My George ! to think that 370 
you can never look upon his face or hear his 
voice. My brave, gallant, handsome husband ! 
My lion and my love ! ( Comes down, pacing stage. ) 
Oh ! to be a soldier, and to fight the wretches 
who destroyed him who took my darling from 375 
me ! ( Action of cutting with sabre. ) To gallop 
miles upon their upturned faces. ( Crossing with 
action, breaks down sobbing at mantel-piece; sees letter. ) 
What's this ? Captain Hawtree's hand. (Sitting 
in chair, reads, at left hand of table. ) " My dear 
Mrs. D'Alroy, I returned to England less 3 80 
than a fortnight ago. I have some papers and 
effects of my poor friend's, which I am anxious 
to deliver to you, and I beg of you to name a 
day when I can call with them and see you ; at 
the same time let me express my deepest sym-385 




176 Ca0te [ACT in. 

pathy with your affliction. Your husband's loss 
was mourned by every man in the regiment. 
( Esther lays the letter on her heart, and then resumes 
reading. ) I have heard with great pain of the 
pecuniary embarrassments into which accident 
and imprudence of others have placed you. 1390 
trust you will not consider me, one of poor 
George's oldest comrades and friends, either in- 
trusive or impertinent in sending the enclosed 
( she takes out a cheque}, and in hoping that, should 
any further difficulties arise, you will inform me 395 
of them, and remember that I am, dear Mrs. 
D'Alroy, now, and always, your faithful and 
sincere friend, Arthur Hawtree." (Esther goes to 
cradle and bends over it. ) Oh, his boy, if you could 
read it ! Sobs, with head on head of cradle. 400 

Enter Polly. 

Polly. Father gone ! 

Esther. Polly, you look quite flurried. 

Polly laughs and whispers to Esther. 

Esther (near head of table, taking Polly in her 
arms and kissing her) . So soon ? Well, my dar- 
ling, I hope you may be happy. 405 

Polly. Yes. Sam's going to speak to father 
about it this afternoon. (Crosses round table, put- 
ting rusks in saucepan.) Did you see the agent, 
dear ? 

Esther ^its by table). Yes; the manager didn't 410 
come he broke his appointment again. 



SCENE I.] <L%$tt 1 77 

Polly {sits opposite at table*}. Nasty, rude fellow ! 

Esther. The agent said it didn't matter, he 
thought I should get the engagement. He'll only 
give me thirty shillings a week, though. 415 

Polly. But you said that two pounds was the 
regular salary. 

Esther. Yes, but they know I'm poor, and 
want the engagement, and so take advantage of 
me. 420 

Polly. Never mind, Esther. I put the dress 
in that bandbox. It looks almost as good as 
new. 

Esther. I've had a letter from Captain Haw- 
tree. 425 

Polly. I know, dear ; he came here last night. 

Esther. A dear, good letter speaking of 
George, and enclosing a cheque for thirty 
pounds. 

Polly. Oh, how kind ! Don't you tell father. 430 
Noise of carriage-wheels without. 

Esther. I shan't. 

Eccles enters, breathless. Esther and Polly rise. 

Eccles. It's the Marquissy in her coach. 
{Esther puts on the lid of bandbox.} Now, girls, do 
be civil to her, and she may do something for us. 
{Places hat on piano.) \ see the coach as I was 43 5 
coming out of the " Rainbow." 

Hastily pulls an old comb out of his pocket, and 
puts his hair in order. 



Caste 



[ACT III. 



Esther. The Marquise ! 

Esther comes down to end of table, Polly hold- 
ing her hand. 

Eccles (at door). This way, my lady up them 
steps. They're rather awkward for the likes o* 
you; but them as is poor and lowly must do 38440 
best they can with steps and circumstances. 

Enter Marquise. She surveys the place with aggressive 

astonishment. 

Marquise (going down, half aside). What a hole ! 
And to think that my grandson should breathe 
such an atmosphere, and be contaminated by 
such associations ! ( To Eccles, who is a little up. ) 445 
Which is the young woman who married my 
son? 

Esther. I am Mrs. George D'Alroy, widow 
of George D'Alroy. Who are you ? 

Mar. I am his mother, the Marquise de 81.450 
Maur. 

Esther (with the grand air). Be seated, I beg. 
Eccles takes chair from right centre, which 
Esther immediately seizes as Sam enters 
with an easy- chair on his head, which he 
puts down, not seeing Marquise, who in- 
stantly sits down in it, concealing it com- 
pletely. 

Sam (astonished). It's the Marquissy ! (Looking 
at her. ) My eyes ! These aristocrats are fine 



SCENE I.] ,%$tt 1 79 

women plenty of 'em (describing circle) qual-455 
ity and quantity ! 

Polly. Go away, Sam ; you'd better come back. 
Eccles nudges him and bustles him towards 
door. Exit Sam. Eccles shuts door on him. 
Eccles (coming down right of Marquise, rubbing his 
hands). If we'd a know'd your ladyship 'ad been 
a-coming we'd a' 'ad the place cleaned up a bit. 460 
With hands on chair back, in lower right 
corner of stage. He gets round to right, 
behind Marquise, who turns the chair 
slightly from him. 
Polly. Hold your tongue, father ! 

Eccles crushed. 

Mar. (to Esther). You remember me, do you 
not? 

Esther. Perfectly, though I only saw you once. 
(Seating herself en grande dame.) May I ask what 465 
has procured me the honour of this visit ? 

Mar. I was informed that you were in want, 
and I came to offer you assistance. 

Esther. I thank you for your offer, and the 
delicate consideration for my feelings with which 470 
it is made. I need no assistance. 

Eccles groans and leans on piano. 
Mar. A letter that I received last night in- 
formed me that you did. 

Esther. May I ask if that letter came from 
Captain Hawtree ? 475 



i8o Ca0te [ACT in. 

Mar. No from this person your father, 
I think. 

Esther (to Eccles}. How dare you interfere in 
my affairs ? 

Eccles. My lovey, I did it with the best- inten~48o 
tions. 

Mar. Then you will not accept assistance 
from me ? 

Esther. No. 

Polly (aside to Esther, holding her hand}. 61688485 
you, my darling. Polly standing beside her. 

Mar. But you have a child a son my 
grandson. With emotion. 

Esther. Master D'Alroy wants for nothing. 

Polly (aside}. And never shall. 490 

Eccles groans and turns on to piano. 

Mar. I came here to propose that my grand- 
son should go back with me. 

Polly rushes up to cradle. 

Esther (rising defiantly}. What ! part with my 
boy ! I'd sooner die ! 

Mar. You can see him when you wish. As 495 
for money, I 

Esther. Not for ten thousand million worlds 
not for ten thousand million marchionesses ! 

Eccles. Better do what the good lady asks 
you, my dear ; she's advising you for your own 500 
good, and for the child's likewise. 



SCENE I.] Cat l8l 

Mar. Surely you cannot intend to bring up 
my son's son in a place like this ? 

Esther. I do. Goes up to cradle. 

Eccles. It is a poor place, and we are poor 505 
people, sure enough. We ought not to fly in 
the faces of our pastors and masters our 
pastresses and mistresses. 

Polly (aside}. Oh, hold your tongue, do! 

Up at cradle. 

Esther ( before cradle). Master George D' Alroy 5 10 
will remain with his mother. The offer to take 
him from her is an insult to his dead father and 
to him. 

Eccles (aside). He don't seem to feel it, stuck- 
up little beast. 515 

Mar. But you have no money how can 
you rear him ? how can you educate him ? 
how can you live ? 

Esther (tearing dress from bandbox). Turn col- 
umbine, go on the stage again and dance. 520 

Mar. (rising). You are insolent you forget 
that I am a lady. 

Esther. You forget that I am a mother. Do 
you dare to offer to buy my child his breath- 
ing image, his living memory with money ? 525 
( Crosses to door and throws it open. ) There is the 
door go ! Picture. 

Eccles (to Marquise, who has risen, aside). Very 



1 82 Caste [ACT in. 

sorry, my lady, as you should be tret in this way, 
which was not my wishes. 53 

Mar. Silence ! ( Eccles retreats, putting back 
chair. Marquise goes up to door.} Mrs. D'Alroy, if 
anything could have increased my sorrow for the 
wretched marriage my poor son was decoyed into, 
it would be your conduct this day to his mother. 5 35 

Exit. 

Esther (falling into Polly's arms}. Oh, Polly! 
Polly ! 

Eccles (looking after her}. To go away and not 
to leave a sov. behind her ! (Running up to open 
door. ) Cat ! Cat ! Stingy old cat ! 54 o 

Almost runs to fire, and pokes it violently ; 

carriage-wheels heard without. 
Esther. I'll go to my room and lie down. 
Let me have the baby, or that old woman may 
come back and steal him. 

Exit Esther, and Polly follows with baby. 
Eccles. Well, women is the obstinatest devils 
as never wore horse-shoes. Children ? Beasts ! 545 
Beasts ! 

Enter Sam and Polly. 

Sam. Come along, Polly, and let's get it over 
at once. (Sam places cap on piano, and goes to table. 
Polly takes bandbox from table, and places it up stage. ) 
Now, Mr. Eccles (Eccles turns suddenly, facing 
Sam}, since you've been talkin' on family mat- 550 



SCENE I.] Cfltfttf 183 

ters, Fd like to 'ave a word with yer, so take 
this opportunity to 

Eccles (waving bis hand grandly}. Take what 
you like, and then order more (rising and leaning 
over table), Samuel Gerridge. That hand is 3555 
hand that has never turned its back on a friend, 
or a bottle to give him. Sings, front of table. 

I'll stand by my friend, 

ril stand by my friend, 

I'll stand by my friend, 560 

If he'll stand to me me, gentlemen ! 

Sam. Well, Mr. Eccles, sir, it's this 

Polly (aside, coming down to Sam). Don't tell 
him too sudden, Sam it might shock his feel- 
ings. S 6 5 

Sam. It's this ; yer know that for the last four 
years I've been keepin' company with Mary 
Polly. 

Turning to her and smiling. Eccles drops 
into chair as if shot. 

Eccles. Go it ! go it ! strike home, young man ! 
Strike on this grey head! (Sings.) "Britons, 5 7 
strike home!" Here (tapping his chest), to my 
heart ! Don't spare me ! Have a go at my grey 
hairs. Pull 'em pull 'em out ! A long pull, 
and a strong pull, and a pull all together ! 

Cries, and drops his face on arm on table. 

Polly. Oh, father ! I wouldn't hurt your feel- 575 
ings for the world. Patting his head. 



1 84 Caste [ACT in. 

Sam. No, Mr. Eccles, I don't want to 'urt 
your feelin's, but I'm a-goin' to enter upon a 
business. Here's a circular. Offering one. 

Eccles (indignantly). Circ'lars. What are cir-sSo 
c'lars ? compared to a father's feelings ? 

Sam. And I want Polly to name the day, sir, 
and so I ask you 

Eccles. This is 'ard, this is 'ard. One of my 
daughters marries a soger. The other goes 585 
a-gasfitting. 

Sam (annoyed). The business which will en- 
able me to maintain a wife is that of the late 
Mr. Binks, plumber, glazier, etc. 

Eccles (rising , sings. Air, "Lost Rosabelle' 1 ). 590 

" They have given thee to a plumber, 

They have broken every vow, 
They have given thee to a plumber, 

And my heart, my heart is breaking now." 

Drops into chair again. 

Now, gentlemen ! 59 5 

Sam thrusts circulars into bis pocket, and 

turns away angrily. 

Polly. You know, father, you can come and 
see me. Leans over him. 

Sam (sotto voce). No, no. Motions to Polly. 

Eccles (looking up). So I can, and that's a com- 
fort. (Shaking her hand.) And you can come and 600 
see me, and that's a comfort. I'll come and see 



SCENE I.] Catftt 185 

you often very often every day {Sam turns 
up stage in horror), and crack a fatherly bottle 
(rising), and shed a friendly tear. 

Wipes eyes with dirty pocket-handkerchief, 
which he pulls from breast pocket. 

Polly. Do, father, do. 605 

Goes up and gets tea-tray. 

Sam (with a gulp). Yes, Mr. Eccles, do. 

Goes to Polly and gesticulates behind tray. 

Eccles. I will. {Goes to centre of stage.) And 
this it is to be a father. I would part with any 
of my children for their own good, readily if 
I was paid for it. (Goes to right corner ; sings. )6io 
" For I know that the angels are whispering to 
me " me, gentlemen ! Polly gets tea-things. 

Sam. I'll try and make Polly a good husband, 
and anything that I can do to prove it (lowering 
his voice), in the way of spirituous liquors and 615 
tobacco (slipping coin into his hand, unseen by Polly) 
shall be done. 

Eccles (lightening up and placing his left hand on 
Sam's head). 

" Be kind to thy father, 

Wherever you be, 620 

For he is a blessing 

And credit to thee" thee, genlemen. 

( Gets to centre of stage. ) Well, my children 
bless you, take the blessing of a grey-'aired father. 



1 86 Ca$te [ACT m. 

(Polly looking from one to the other.) Samuel Ger-g^ 
ridge, she shall be thine. ( Mock heroically, looking 
at money.) You shall be his wife (looking at Polly) 
and you (looking at Sam) shall be her husband 
for a husband I know no fitter no " gas-fitter " 
man. (Runs to piano and takes bat; goes to door,^ Q 
looks comically pathetic at Sam and Polly, puts on hat 
and comes towards centre of stage. ) I've a friend 
waiting for me round the corner, which I want 
to have a word with ; and may you never know 
how much more sharper than a serpent's tooth 
it is to have a marriageable daughter. 535 

(Sings.) " When I heard she was married, 

I breathed not a tone, 
The heyes of all round me 

Was fixed on my h'own j 
I flew to my chamber 6 4O 

To hide my despair, 
I tore the bright circlet 

Of gems from my hair. 
When I heard she was married, 
When I heard she was married " 645 

Breaks down. Exit. 

Polly (drying her eyes). There, Sam. I always 
told you that though father had his faults, his 
heart was in the right place. 

Breaks doivn. Exit. This exit was afterwards abandoned with 
the author's permission, being somewhat of an anti-climax. The 
exit is usually made at the words " marriageable daughter," Eccles 
breaking down in a comically hysterical manner and going out 
quickly. 



SCENE I.] C3$te 187 

Sam. Poor Polly. 

Crosses to fireplace. Knock at door. 
Polly (top of table). Come in. 650 

Enter Hawtree. 

Polly. Major Hawtree. 

Sam turns away as they shake hands. 
Hawtree. I met the Marquise's carriage on 
the bridge. Has she been here ? 

Sam at fire, with back to it. 
Polly. Yes. 

Haw. What happened ? 655 

Polly. Oh, she wanted to take away the child. 

At bead of table. 
Sam. In the coach. Polly sets tea-things. 

Haw. And what did Mrs. D'Alroy say to 
that ? 

Sam. Mrs. D'Alroy said that she'd see 'er66o 
blowed first! {Polly pushes Sam} or words to 
that effect. 

Haw. I'm sorry to hear this ; I had hoped 
however, that's over. 

Polly (sitting at table). Yes, it's over ; and 1665 
hope we shall hear no more about it. Want to 
take away the child, indeed like her impu- 
dence ! What next ! ( Getting ready tea-things. ) 
Esther's gone to lie down. I shan't wake her up 
for tea, though she's had nothing to eat all day. 670 



1 88 Ca0te [ACT in. 

Sam {head of table). Shall I fetch some 
shrimps ? 

Polly. No. What made you think of shrimps ? 

Sam. They're a relish, and consolin' at 

least I always found 'em so. 675 

Check lights, gradually. 

Polly. I won't ask you to take tea with us, 
Major, you're too grand. 

Sam motions approbation to Polly, not want- 
ing Hawtree to remain. 

Haw. {placing hat on piano). Not at all. I shall 
be most happy. {Aside.) 'Pon my word, these 
are very good sort of people. I'd no idea 680 

Sam (points to Hawtree). He's a-goin' to stop 
to tea, well, I ain't. 

Goes up to window and sits. Hawtree crosses 

and sits opposite Polly at table. 
Polly. Sam ! Sam ! (Pause he says Eh ?) Pull 
down the blind and light the gas. 

Sam. No, don't light up ; I like this sort of 685 
dusk. It's unbusiness-like, but pleasant. 

Sam cuts enormous slice of bread and hands 
it on point of knife to Hawtree. Cuts 
small lump of butter and hands it on point 
of knife to Hawtree, who looks at it 
through eye-glass, then takes it. Sam then 
helps himself. Polly meantime has poured 
out tea in two cups, and one saucer for Sam, 
sugars them, and then hands cup and sau- 
cer to Hawtree, who has both hands full. 



SCENE I.] CfttftC 189 

He takes it awkwardly and places it on table. 
Polly, having only one spoon, tastes Sam's tea, 
then stirs Haw tree's, attracting bis attention 
by doing so. He looks into bis tea-cup. Polly 
stirs her own tea, and drops spoon into Haw- 
tree* s cup, causing it to spurt in bis eye. He 
drops eye-glass and wipes bis eyes. 
Polly (making tea). Sugar, Sam ! (Sam takes tea 
and sits facing fire.) Oh, there isn't any milk 
it'll be here directly, it's just his time. 

Voice (outside ; rattle of milk-pails). Mia-oow ! 690 
Polly. There he is. (Knock at door.) Oh, I 
know; I owe him fourpence. (Feeling in her 
pocket. ) Sam, have you got fourpence ? 

Knock again, louder. 

Sam. No (bis mouth full), I ain't got no 
fourpence. 695 

Polly. He's very impatient. Come in ! 

Enter George, bis face bronzed, and in full health. He 
carries a milk-can in his hand, which, after putting 
his hat on piano, he places on table. 

George. A fellow hung this on the railings, so 
I brought it in. 

Polly sees him, and gradually sinks down under 
table on one side. Then Sam, with his mouth 
full, and bread and butter in hand, does the 
same on the other. Hawtree pushes himself 
back a space, in chair ; remains motionless. 
George astonished. Picture. 
Geo. What's the matter with you ? 



190 Casfte [ACT m. 

Haw. (rising}. George! 7 oo 

Geo. Hawtree ! You here ? 

Polly (under table). O-o-o-h ! the ghost! the 
ghost ! 

Sam. It shan't hurt you, Polly. Perhaps it's 
only indigestion. 705 

Haw. Then you are not dead ? 

Geo. Dead, no. Where's my wife ? 

Haw. You were reported killed. 

Geo. It wasn't true. 

Haw. Alive ! My old friend alive ! 710 

Geo. And well. (Shakes hands.) Landed this 
morning. Where's my wife ? 

Sam (who has popped his head from under the table- 
doth-). He ain't dead, Poll, he's alive. 

Polly rises from under table slowly. 

Polly (pause ; approaches him, touches him, re- 715 
treats). George! (He nods.) George! George! 

Geo. Yes ! Yes ! 

Polly. Alive ! My dear George ! Oh, my bro- 
ther ! ( Looking at him intensely. ) Alive ! ( Going to 
him. ) Oh, my dear, dear brother ! ( In his arms) 720 
how could you go and do so? Laughs hysterically. 
S^am goes to Polly. George places Polly in Sam's 
arms. Sam kisses Polly's hand violently. 
Hawtree comes up, stares business. Sam 
with a stamp of his foot moves away. 

Geo. Where's Esther? 

Haw . Here, in this house. 



SCENE I.] C30C0 IQI 

Geo. Here ! doesn't she know I'm back ? 

Polly. No, how should she ? 725 

Geo. (to Hawtree). Didn't you get my tele- 
gram ? 

Haw. No j where from ? 

Geo. Southampton ! I sent it to the Club. 

Haw. I haven't been there these three days. 730 

Polly (hysterically}. Oh, my dear, dear, dear 
dead-and-gone, come-back-all-alive-oh, brother 
George ! George passes her. 

Sam. Glad to see yer, sir. 

Geo. Thank you, Gerridge. (Shakes hands.) 735 
Same to you but Esther ? 

Polly (back to audience, and 'kerchief to her eyes'). 
She's asleep in her room. 

George is going ; Polly stops him. 

Polly. You mustn't see her. 

Geo. Not see her ! after this long absence ! 740 
why not ? 

Haw. She's ill to-day. She has been greatly 
excited. The news of your death, which we all 
mourned, has shaken her terribly. 

Geo. Poor girl ! Poor girl ! 745 

Polly. Oh, we all cried so when you died ! 
(crying) and now you're alive again, I want 
to cry ever so much more. Crying. 

Haw. We must break the news to her gently 
and by degrees. 75 

Crosses behind, to fire, taking his tea with him. 



192 Ca0t [ACT in. 

Sam. Yes, if you turn the tap on to full 
pressure, she'll explode. 

Sam turns to Haw tree, who is just raising cup 
to his lips and brings it down on saucer with 
a bang ; both annoyed. 

Geo. To return, and not to be able to see 
her to love her to kiss her ! Stamps. 

Polly. Hush ! 755 

Geo. I forgot I shall wake her ! 

Polly. More than that, you'll wake the baby. 

Geo. Baby ! what baby ? 

Polly. Yours. 

Geo. Mine ? mine ? 7 6o 

Polly. Yes, yours and Esther's. Why, 
didn't you know there was a baby ? 

Geo. No! 

Polly. La ! the ignorance of these men ! 

Haw. Yes, George, you're a father. 765 

At fireplace. 

Geo. Why wasn't I told of this ? Why didn't 
you write ? 

Polly. How could we when you were dead ? 

Sam. And 'adn't left your address. 

aks at Hawtree, who turns away quickly. 

Geo. If I can't see Esther, I will see the child. 770 
The sight of me won't be too much for its nerves. 
Where is it ? 

Polly. Sleeping in its mother's arms. ( George 



SCENE I.] C3$te 1 93 

goes to door she intercepts him.} Please not! 
Please not ! 775 

Geo. I must ! I will ! 

Polly. It might kill her, and you wouldn't like 
to do that. I'll fetch the baby ; but, oh, please 
don't make a noise. ( Going up. ) You won't make 
a noise you'll be as quiet as you can, won't 780 
you ? Oh ! I can't believe it ! 

Exit Polly. Sam dances break-down and 
finishes up by looking at Hawtree, who 
turns away astotiished. Sam disconcerted; 
sits on cbair by table ; George at door. 
Geo. My baby my ba It's a dream ! 
( To Sam. ) You've seen it What's it like ? 

Sam. Oh! it's like a like a sort of in- 
fant white and milky, and all that. 785 

Enter Polly with baby wrapped in shawls , George shuts 
door and meets her. 

Polly. Gently ! gently, take care ! Esther 
will hardly have it touched. 

Sam rises and gets Jiear to George. 

Geo. But I'm its father. 

Polly. That don't matter. She's very particu- 
lar. 79 

Geo. Boy or girl ? 

Polly. Guess. 

Geo. Boy! (Polly nods. George proud.} What's 
his name ? 



194 Catfte [ACT in. 

Polly. Guess. 795 

Geo. George? (Polly nods.} Eustace? (Polly 
nods.) Fairfax? Algernon? (Polly nods ; pause.) 
My names ! 

Sam (to George). You'd 'ardly think there 
was room enough in 'im to 'old so many names, goo 
would yer ? 

Haw tree looks at him turns to fire. Sam 
disconcerted again. Sits. 

Geo. To come back all the way from India to 
find that Fm dead, and that you're alive. To 
find my wife a widow with a new love aged 
How old are you ? I'll buy you a pony to- 805 
morrow, my brave little boy ! What's his 
weight ? I should say two pound nothing. My 
baby my boy ! ( Bends over him and kisses 
him. ) Take him away, Polly, for fear I should 
break him. Polly takes child, and places it in cradle. 810 

Haw. ( crosses to piano. Passes Sam, front 
stares business. Sam goes round to fireplace, fiings 
down bread and butter in a rage and drinks his tea out 
of saucer). But tell us how it is you're back 
how you escaped ? Hawtree leans against piano. 

Geo. (coming down). By and by. Too long a 
story just now. Tell me all about it. (Polly gives 815 
him chair. ) How is it Esther's living here ? 

Polly. She came back after the baby was born, 
and the furniture was sold up. 



SCENE I.] Ca*t0 1 95 

Geo. Sold up ? What furniture ? 

Polly. That you bought for her. 8ao 

Haw. It couldn't be helped, George Mrs. 
D'Alroy was so poor. 

Geo. Poor ! But I left her ;6oo to put in 
the bank ! 

Haw. We must tell you. She gave it to her 825 
father, who banked it in his own name. 

Sam. And lost it in bettin' every copper. 

Geo. Then she's been in want ? 

Polly. No not in want. Friends lent her 
money. 8 3 o 

Geo. (seated}. What friends ? (Pause; he looks 
at Polly, who indicates Hawtree. ) You ? 

Polly. Yes. 

Geo. (rising and shaking Hawtree* s hand). Thank 
you, old fella. Haw tree droops his head. 835 

Sam (aside). Now who'd a thought that long 
swell 'ad it in 'im ? 'e never mentioned it. 

Geo. So Papa Eccles had the money ? 

Sitting again. 

Sam. And blued it. Sits on corner of table. 

Polly (pleadingly). You see father was very un-84o 
lucky on the race-course. He told us that if it 
hadn't been that all his calculations were upset 
by a horse winning who had no business to, he 
should have made our fortunes. Father's been 
unlucky, and he gets tipsy at times, but he's 3845 



196 



Caste [ACT m. 

if you only give him scope 



very clever man 
enough. 

Sam. I'd give 'im scope enough ! 

Geo. Where is he now ? 
v~ Sam. Public-house. 

Geo. And how is he ? 




850 



Polly pushes bim off table. Sam sits at fre- 
place up stage. 

Geo. (to Hawtree). You were right. There is 

something" in caste. (Aloud.) But tell us all 

about it. Sits. 855 

Polly. Well, you know, you went away ; and 
then the baby was born. Oh ! he was such a 
sweet little thing, just like your eyes your 
hair. Standing by George, who is sitting. 

Geo. Cut that ! 860 

Polly. Well, baby came ; and when baby was 
six days old, your letter came, Major (to Haw- 
tree). I saw that it was from India, and that it 
wasn't in your hand (to George); I guessed what 
was inside it, so I opened it unknown to her, 865 
and I read there of your capture and death. I 
daren't tell her. I went to father to ask his ad- 
vice, but he was too tipsy to understand me. 
Sam fetched the doctor. He told us that the 
news would kill her. When she woke up, she 870 
said she had dreamt there was a letter from you. 
I told her, No j and day after day she asked for 



SCENE I.] CaStf 197 

a letter. So the doctor advised us to write one 
as if it came from you. So we did. Sam and I 
and the doctor told her told Esther, I mean 875 
that her eyes were bad and she mustn't read, and 
we read our letter to her ; didn't we, Sam ? But, 
bless you ! she always knew it hadn't come from 
you ! At last, when she was stronger, we told 
her all. 880 

Geo. (after a pause). How did she take it ? 

Polly. She pressed the baby in her arms, and 
turned her face to the wall. (A pause.) Well, 
to make a long story short, when she got up, she 
found father had lost all the money you had left 885 
her. There was a dreadful scene between them. 
She told him he'd robbed her and her child, and 
father left the house, and swore he'd never come 
back again. 

Sam. Don't be alarmed, 'e did come back. 890 

Sitting by fire. 

Polly. Oh, yes ; he was too good-hearted to 
stop long from his children. He has his faults, 
but his good points, when you find 'em, are 
wonderful ! 

Sam. Yes, when you find 'em. 895 

Rises, gets bread and butter from table, and 
sits at corner of table. 

Polly. So she had to come back here to us, and 
that's all. 



198 Caste [ACT HI. 

Geo. Why didn't she write to my mother ? 

Polly. Father wanted her; but she was too 
proud she said she'd die first. 900 

Geo. (rising, to Hawtree). There's a woman ! 
Caste's all humbug. ( Sees sword over mantel-piece. ) 
That's my sword (crossing round) and a map of 
India, and that's the piano I bought her I'll 
swear to the silk. 905 

Polly. Yes ; that was bought in at the sale. 

Geo. (to Hawtree). Thank ye, old fella. 

Haw. Not by me I was in India at the 
time. 

Geo. By whom, then ? 910 

Polly. By Sam. ( Sam winks to her to discontinue. ) 
I shall ! He knew Esther was breaking her heart 
about anyone else having it, so he took the money 
he'd saved up for our wedding, and we're going 
to be married now ain't we, Sam? 915 

Sam (rushing to George and pulling out circulars 
from bis pocket). And hope by constant atten- 
tion to business, to merit 

Polly pushes him away. 

Polly. Since you died it hasn't been opened, 
but if I don't play it to-night, may I die an old 920 
maid! 

Goes up. George crosses to Sam, and shakes 
his hand, then goes up stage, pulls up 
blind, and looks into street. Sam turns 
up and meets Polly by top of table. 



SCENE I.] C80t0 199 

Haw. (aside}. Now who'd have thought that 
little cad had it in him ? He never mentioned 
it. (Aloud.} Apropos, George, your mother 
I'll go to the Square, and tell her of 925 

Takes hat from piano. 

Geo. Is she in town ? At cradle. 

Haw. Yes. Will you come with me ? 

Geo. And leave my wife ? and such a 
wife! 

Haw. I'll go at once. I shall catch her be- 930 
fore dinner. Good-bye, old fellow. Seeing you 
back again, alive and well, makes me feel quite 
that I quite feel (Shakes George's band. 
Goes to door, then crosses to Sam, who has turned 
Polly* '/ tea into his saucer, and is just about to drink ; 
seeing Hawtree, he puts it down quickly, and turns his 
back.} Mr. Gerridge, I fear I have often made 
myself very offensive to you. 935 

Sam. Well, sir, yer 'ave. 

Haw. (at bottom of table}. I feared so. I didn't 
know you then. I beg your pardon. Let me 
ask you to shake hands to forgive me, and 
forget it. Offering his hand. 940 

Sam (taking it}. Say no more, sir; and if 
ever I've made myself offensive to you, I ask 
your pardon; forget it and forgive me. (They 
shake hands warmly ; as Hawtree crosses to door, re- 
covering from Sam's hearty shake of the hand, Sam 
runs to him.} Hi, sir! When yer marry that 



200 Ca0t [ACT in. 

young lady as I know you're engaged to, if 945 
you should furnish a house, and require any- 
thing in my way 

He brings out circular ,* begins to read it. 
Polly comes down and pushes Sam away y 
against Hawtree. Sam goes and sits on 
low chair by fireplace, down stage, dis- 
concerted, cramming circulars into his 
pocket. 

Haw. Good-bye, George, for the present. 
{At door.) Bye, Polly. (Resumes his Pall Mall 
manner as he goes out. ) I'm off to the Square. 950 

Exit Hawtree. 

Geo. (at cradle). But Esther? 
Polly (meets George). Oh, I forgot all about 
Esther. I'll tell her all about it. 

Geo. How ? By door. 

Polly. I don't know; but it will come. Provi- 9 55 

dence will send it to me, as it has sent you, my 

dear brother. (Embracing him.) You don't know 

how glad I am to see you back again ! You must 

f). ( Pushing him. George takes hat off piano. ) 
sther will be getting up directly. (At door with^fo 
George, who looks through keyhole. ) It's no use 
looking there ; it's dark. 

Geo. (at door). It isn't often a man can see 
his own widow. 

Polly. And it isn't often that he wants to ! 965 
Now, you must go. Pushing him off. 



SCENE I.] Ca0tf 201 

Geo. I shall stop outside. 

Sam. And I'll whistle for you when you may 
come in. 

Polly. Now hush ! 97 o 

Geo. (opening door wide). Oh, my Esther, when 
you know I'm alive ! Til marry you all over 
again, and we'll have a second honeymoon, my 
darling. Exit. 

Polly. Oh, Sam, Sam ! ( Commencing to sing and<)j$ 
dance. Sam also dances ; they meet in centre of stage, 
join bands, and dance around two or three times, 
leaving Sam on tbe left of Polly, near table. Polly 
going down. ) Oh, Sam, I'm so excited, I don't 
know what to do. What shall I do what 
shall I do ? 

Sam (taking up Haw tree's bread and butter). 
'Ave a bit of bread and butter, Polly. 9 8o 

Polly. Now, Sam, light the gas; I'm going 
to wake her up. ( Opening door. ) Oh, my dar- 
ling, if I dare tell you ! ( Whispering. ) He's 
come back ! He's alive ! He's come back ! 
He's come back ! Alive ! Alive ! Alive ! Sam, 985 
kiss me ! 

Sam rushes to Polly, kisses her, and she 
jumps off, Sam shutting the door. 

Sam (dances shutter-dance). I'm glad the swells 
are gone ; now I can open my safety-valve, and 
let my feelings escape. To think of 'is comin' 



202 Cfflttl C AcT IIL 

back alive from India just as I am goin' to open 990 
my shop. Perhaps he'll get me the patronage of 
the Royal Family. It would look stunnin' over 
the door, a lion and a unicorn, a-standin' on their 
hind legs, doin' nothin' furiously, with a lozenge 
between 'em thus. ( Seizes plate on table, puts 99-5 
bis left foot on chair by table, and imitates the picture 
of the Royal arms.) Polly said I was to light up, 
and whatever Polly says must be done. (Lights 
brackets over mantel-piece, then candles ; as he lights the 
broken one, says. ) Why this one is for all the world 
like old Eccles ! (Places candles on piano and sits on 
music-stool. ) Poor Esther ! to think of my know- 1000 
in' her when she was in the ballet line, then in 
the 'onourable line ; then a mother no, bon- 
ourables is "mammas," then a widow, and 
then in the ballet line again ! and 'im to come 
back (growing affected) and find a baby, with 1005 
all 'is furniture and fittin's ready for immediate 
use ( crossing back of table during last few lines, sits in 
chair left of table) and she, poor thing, lyin* 
asleep with 'er eye-lids 'ot and swollen, not 
knowin' that that great big, 'eavy, 'ulkin', over-ioio 
grown dragoon is prowlin' outside, ready to fly 
at 'er lips, and strangle 'er in 'is strong, lovin* 
arms it it it 

Breaks down and sobs, with his head on the 
table. 



SCENE I.] %&tt 203 

Enter Polly. 

Polly. Why, Sam ! What's the matter ? 
Sam (rises and crosses). I dunno. The water's 1015 
got into my meter. 

Polly. Hush ! Here's Esther. 
Enter Esther. They stop suddenly. Polly down stage. 

Sam (singing and dancing). " Tiddy-ti-tum," 
etc. 

Esther (sitting near fire y taking up costume and ^-1020 
ginning to work). Sam, you seem in high spirits 
to-night ! 

Sam. Yes ; yer see Polly and I are goin' to 
be married and and 'opes by bestowing a 
merit to continue the favour 1025 

Polly (who has kissed Esther two or three times). 
What are you talking about ? 

Sam. I don't know, I'm off my burner. 

Brings music-stool. Polly goes round to chair, 

facing Esther. 

Esther. What's the matter with you to-night, 
dear? (To Polly.) I can see something in your 1030 
eyes. 

Sam. P'raps it's the new furniture ! 

Sits on music-stool. 

Esther. Will you help me with the dress, 
Polly ? 

They sit, Esther upper end, back of table, 
Polly facing her, at lower end. 



204 Caste [ACT in. 

Polly.. It was a pretty dress when it was new 1035 
not unlike the one Mdlle. Delphine used to 
wear. (Suddenly clasping her bands.} Oh! 

Esther. What's the matter ? 

Polly. A needle ! ( Crosses to Sam, who examines 
finger. ) Pve got it ! 1040 

Sam. What the needle in your ringer ? 

Polly. No ; an idea in my head ! 

Sam (still looking at her finger). Does it 'urt ? 

Polly. Stupid ! ( Sam still sitting on stool. Aloud. ) 
Do you recollect Mdlle. Delphine, Esther ? 104$ 

Esther. Yes. 

Polly. Do you recollect her in that ballet that 
old Herr Griffenhaagen arranged ? Jeanne la 
Folle, or, the Return of the Soldier ? 

Esther. Yes ; will you do the fresh hem ? 1050 

Polly. What's the use ? Let me see how 
did it go ? How well I remember the scene ! 
the cottage was on that side, the bridge at the 
back then ballet of villagers, and the entrance 
of Delphine as Jeanne, the bride tra-lal-lala-ioss 
lala-la-la (tings and pantomimes, Sam imitating her). 
Then the entrance of Claude, the bridegroom 
( To Sam, imitating swell. ) How-de-do ? how-de- 
do ? 

Sam (rising). J Ow are yer ? 1060 

Imitating Polly, then sitting again. 

Polly. Then there was the procession to 



i.] Caste 205 

church the march of the soldiers over the 
bridge (swgs &nd pantomimes} arrest of 
Claude, who is drawn for the conscription 
(business ; Esther looks dreamily}, and is torn from 1065 
the arms of his bride, at the church-porch. 
Omnes broken-hearted. This is Omnes broken- 
hearted. Pantomimes. 

Esther. Polly, I don't like this ; it brings back 
memories. I0 7 

Polly (going to table and leaning her hands on it. 
Looks over at Esther}. Oh, fuss about memories ! 
one can't mourn for ever. ( Esther surprised. } 
Everything in this world isn't sad. There's bad 
news and there's good news sometimes 1075 
when we least expect it. 

Esther. Ah ! not for me. 

Polly. Why not? 

Esther ( anxiously ) . Polly ! 

Polly. Second Act. ( This to be said quickly, start- 1080 
ling Sam, who has been looking on the ground during last 
four or five lines. ) Winter the Village Pump. 
This is the village pump (pointing to Sam, seated by 
piano, on music-stool, Sam turns round on music-stool, 
disgusted.} Entrance of Jeanne now called 
Jeanne la Folle, because she has gone mad on 
account of the supposed loss of her husband. 1085 

Sam. The supposed loss ? 

Polly. The supposed loss ! 



206 Caste [ACT in. 

Esther (dropping costume). Polly ! 

Sam (aside to Polly}. Mind ! 

Polly. Can't stop now ! Entrance of Claude, 1090 
who isn't dead, in a captain's uniform a cloak 
thrown over his shoulders. 

Esther. Not dead ! 

Polly. Don't you remember the ballet ? Jeanne 
is mad, and can't recognise her husband; and 1095 
don't, till he shows her the ribbon she gave him 
when they were betrothed. A bit of ribbon ! 
Sam, have you got a bit of ribbon ? Oh, that 
crape sword-knot, that will do. 

Crosses down. Sam astonished. 

Esther. Touch that ! Rising, coming down, uoo 

Polly. Why not ? it's no use now. 

Esther (slowly, looking into Polly's eyes). You 
have heard of George I know you have I 
see it in your eyes. You may tell me I can 
bear it I can indeed indeed I can. Tell me 1105 

he is not dead ? Violently agitated. 
Polly. No! 

Esther. No? 
Polly. No ! 

Esther (whispers). Thank Heaven! (Sam mo 
turns on stool, back to audience. ) You've seen him, 

I see you have ! I know it ! I feel it ! 
I had a bright and happy dream I saw him 
as I slept ! Oh, let me know if he is near ! 



SCENE I.] C30t0 2Oy 

Give me some sign some sound (Polly opens 1115 
piano) some token of his life and presence ! 

Sam touches Polly on the shoulder, takes hat, 
and exit. All to be done very quickly. Polly 
sits immediately at piano and plays air softly 
the same air played by Esther ', Act II, on 
the treble only. 

Esther (in an ecstasy). Oh, my husband! 
come to me ! for I know that you are near ! 
Let me feel your arms clasp round me ! Do 
not fear for me ! I can bear the sight of you ! uao 

(door opens showing Sam keeping George back) it 
will not kill me ! George love ! husband 

come, oh, come to me ! 

George breaks away from Sam, and coming down 
behind Esther places his hands over her eyes ; 
she gives a faint scream, and turning, falls 
in his arms. Polly plays bass as well as 
treble of the air, forte, then fortissimo. She 
then plays at random, endeavouring to hide 
her tears. At last strikes piano wildly, and 
goes off into a jit of hysterical laughter, to 
the alarm of Sam, who, rushing down as Polly 
cries ' ( Sam ! Sam!" fa Us on his knees in front 
of her. They embrace, Polly pushing him con- 
temptuously away afterwards. George gets 
chair, sits, and Esther kneels at his feet he 
snatches off Esther* s cap, and throws it up 
stage. Polly goes left of George, Sam brings 
music-stool, and she sits. 



208 Caste [ACT in. 

Esther. To see you here again to feel your 
warm breath upon my cheek is it real, or am 1125 
I dreaming ? 

Sam (rubbing his bead}. No; it's real. 

Esther (embracing George). My darling ! 

Sam. My darling ! (Polly on music-stool, which 
Sam has placed for her. Sam, kneeling by her, imi- 
tates Esther Polly scornfully pushes him away. ) But 1 1 30 
tell us tell us how you escaped. 

Geo. It's a long story, but I'll condense it. 
I was riding out, and suddenly found myself 
surrounded and taken prisoner. One of the 
troop that took me was a fella who had been 1135 
my servant, and to whom I had done some lit- 
tle kindness. He helped me to escape, and hid 
me in a sort of cave, and for a long time used 
to bring me food. Unfortunately, he was 
ordered away; so he brought another Sepoy 101140 
look after me. I felt from the first this man 
meant to betray me, and I watched him like a 
lynx, during the one day he was with me. As 
evening drew on, a Sepoy picket was passing. 
I could tell by the look in the fella's eyes, he 1145 
meant to call out as soon as they were near 
enough ; so I seized him by the throat, and 
shook the life out of him. 

Esther. You strangled him ? 

Geo. Yes. ji 5 o 



SCENE I.] CSBl* 2O 9 

Esther. Killed him dead ? 

Geo. He didn't get up again. 

Embraces Esther. 

Polly (to Sam). You never go and kill Se- 
poys. Pushes him over. 

Sam. No ! I pay rates and taxes. 1155 

Geo. The day after, Havelock and his Scotch- 
men marched through the village, and I turned 
out to meet them. I was too done up to join, so 
I was sent straight on to Calcutta. I got leave, 
took a berth on the P. & O. boat ; the passage n 60 
restored me. I landed this morning, came on 
here, and brought in the milk. 

Enter the Marquise ; she rushes to embrace George. 
All rise, Sam putting stool back. 

Marquise. My dear boy, my dear, dear 
boy! 

Polly. Why, see, she's crying ! She's glad 101165 
see him alive and back again. 

Sam (profoundly). Well ! There's always some 
good in women, even when they're ladies. 

Goes up to window. Polly puts dress in box, 
and goes to cradle ; then beside Sam. 

Mar. (crossing to Esther). My dear daughter, 
we must forget our little differences. (Kissing ujo 
her.} Won't you ? How history repeats itself! 
You will find a similar and as unexpected a re- 



2io Ca#t [ACT in. 

turn mentioned by Froissart in the chapter that 
treats of Philip Dartnell 

Geo. Yes, mother I remember 1175 

Kisses her. 

Mar. (to George, aside). We must take her 
abroad, and make a lady of her. 

Geo. Can't, mamma ; she's ready-made. 
Nature has done it to our hands. 

Mar. (aside to George). But I won't have then 80 
man who smells of putty ( Sa m y business at back. 
He is listening, and at the word "putty" throws his 
cap irritably on table. Polly pacifies him, and makes 
him sit down beside her on window) nor the man 
who smells of beer. 

Goes to Esther, who offers her chair, and 
sits in chair opposite to her. Marquise 
back to audience, Esther facing audience. 

Enter Hawtree, pale. 

Haw. George ! Oh, the Marchioness is here. 

Geo. What's the matter ? 1185 

Haw. Oh, nothing. Yes, there is. I don't 
mind telling you. I've been thrown. I called 
at my chambers as I came along and found 
this. Gives George a note. Sits on music-stool. 

Geo. From the Countess, Lady Florence's 1190, 
mother. ( Reads. ) " Dear Major Hawtree, I 
hasten to inform you that my daughter Florence 



SCENE I.] C30C0 211 

is about to enter into an alliance with Lord 
Saxeby, the eldest son of the Marquis of Loam- 
shire. Under these circumstances, should you 1195 
think fit to call here again, I feel assured " 
Well, perhaps it's for the best. (Returning let- 
ter. ) Caste ! you know. Caste ! And a mar- 
quis is a bigger swell than a major. 

Haw. Yes, best to marry in your own rank 1200 
of life. 

Geo. If you can find the girl. But if ever you 
find the girl, marry her. As to her station, 

True hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Norman blood." 1205 

Haw. Ya-as. But a gentleman should hardly 
ally himself to a nobody. 

Geo. My dear fella, Nobody's a mistake 
he don't exist. Nobody's nobody ! Everybody's 
somebody! iaio 

Haw. Yes. But still Caste. 

Geo. Oh, Caste's all right. Caste is a goc 
thing if it's not carried too far. It shuts the 
door on the pretentious and the vulgar; but it 
should open the door very wide for exceptional 1215 
merit. Let brains break through its barriers, 
and what brains can break through love may 
leap over. 

Haw. Yes. Why, George, you're quite in- 




212 Ca$te [ACT .il. 

spired quite an orator. What makes you 501220 
brilliant ? Your captivity ? The voyage ? What 
then ? 

Geo. I'm in love with my wife ! 

Enter Eccles, drunk, a bottle of gin in bis band. 

Eccles {crossing to centre of stage). Bless this 
'appy company. May we 'ave in our arms what 1225 
we love in our 'earts. ( Goes to bead of table. Esther 
goes to cradle, back to audience. Polly and Sam, half 
amused, half angry. Marquise still sitting in chair, 
back to audience. Hawtree facing Eccles. George up 
stage, leaning on piano in disgust. ) Polly, fetch 
wine-glasses a tumbler will do for me. Let 
us drink a toast. Mr. Chairman (to Marquise), 
ladies and gentlemen, I beg to propose the 1230 
'ealth of our newly returned warrior, my son-in- 
law. (Marquise shivers.) The Right Honour- 
able George De Alroy. Get glasses, Polly, and 
send for a bottle of sherry wine for my lady- 
ship. My ladyship ! My ladyship ! M' lad'ship ! 1235 
(She half turns to him.) You and me'll have a 
drain together on the quiet. So delighted to see 
you under these altered circum circum 
circum stangate. 

Polly, who has shaken her head at him to 
desist, in vain, very distressed. 

Sam. Shove 'is 'ead in a bucket ! 1240 

Exit in disgust. 



SCENE I.] C30t0 213 

Haw. (aside to George). I think I can abate 
this nuisance at least, I can remove it. 

Rises and crosses to Ecclesy who has got 
round to side of table, leaning on it. He 
taps Eccles with his sticky jirst on right 
shoulder y then on lefty and finally sharply 
on right. Eccles turns round and falls on / 

point of stick Hawtree steadying him. 
George crosses behindy to Marquise f who 
has gone to cradle puts his arm round 
Esther and takes her to mantel-piece. 
Haw. Mr. Eccles, don't you think that, 
with your talent for liquor, if you had an allow- 
ance of about two pounds a week, and went 101245 
Jersey, where spirits are cheap, that you could 
drink yourself to death in a year ? 

Eccles. I think I could I'm sure I'll try. 

Goes up by table t steadying himself by it, 
and sits in chair by fire t with the bottle 
of gin. Hawtree standing by fire. Esther /o 
and Polly embr 
from each other 



and Polly embracing. As they turn away \? 




1248 ril try. In the MS. of the play the following lines occur 
at this point: 

Esther (aside). And she will live in a back room behind a shop. Well 
I hope she will be happy. 

Po//7 (aside). And she will live in a fine house, and have a carriage, 
and be a lady. Well 1 hope she will be happy. 

When the comedy was first printed, this footnote was inserted 
by Robertson : 

" These last two speeches of Esther and Polly were omitted in 
representation. For what reason on earth or behind the foot- 
lights, the author cannot imagine." 



214 Caste [ACT in. 

Geo. (coming across with Esther). Come and 
play me that air that used to ring in my ears 381250 
I lay awake, night after night, captive in the 
cave you know. 

He bands Esther to piano. She plays the air. 
Afar, (bending over cradle y at end). My grand- 
son ! 

EC c/es falls off the chair in the last stage of 
drunkenness, bottle in band. Hawtree, 
leaning one foot on chair from which 
Eccles has fallen, looks at him through 
eye-glass. Sam enters , and goes to Polly, 
behind cradle, and, producing wedding- 
ring from several papers, holds it up be- 
fore her eyes. Esther plays until curtain 
drops. 



to ^>ociet? and Caste 



10, 113. "Court Circular." The official tide of court 
news published daily in the newspapers. 

IO, 129. they laughing, Works, they a laughing. 

13, 217. "honour . . . friends." 

" And that which should accompany old age, 
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, 
I must not look to have." 

Macbeth, v, iii. 

*7> 3 X 5- Jemmy Masseys. Punning on Jem Mace, fa- 
mous pugilist of the sixties and seventies. 

*8, 337-38. putt a mag. Bet a halfpence. 

33, 120-22. Every man . . . within the sound of 
the beau-monde. Persons born within sound of the bells of St. 
Mary Le Bow in Cheapside have long been called cockneys. 

38,251. Cock-a-doodle-doo. This song was set by Rob- 
ertson to an adaptation of an old air, " As Mars and Bellona," given 
in Chappel' s f ' Old English Melodies. ' ' A burlesque version of this, 
narrating the Battle of Waterloo, was frequently sung at the Savage 
Club with the refrain of " Cock-a-doodle-doo." Memoir, p. xlvii, 
of Principal Dramatic Works of T. W. Robertson. For an account 
of the origin of the half-crown episode see the same page. 

43, 1 6. won't dance. Works, don't dance. 

49, 169. all-fours. Also known as high-low-jack, old- 
sledge, or seven up. 

56,346. more champagne. Works, anymore champagne. 

57,358. Bramah-locked. A form of lock so named from 
its inventor, Joseph Bramah, of London ( 1 749-1 814). The pre- 
sent Yale lock resembles it. 

67, 98-106. "As the . . . horse." Robertson slightly 
misquotes. 
" As the husband is, the wife is : thou art mated with a clown, 

And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee 
down. 



"He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel 
force, 

Something better than his dog, a little nearer than his horse." 

Locksley Hall. 

75, 140. vamose. Depart, go away. Western ranch slang 
from Spanish vamos. 

82, 1 1 6. Dutch-metalled. A kind of brass alloy, used as 
a cheap imitation of gold. 

96, 457-58. gold, plate, and purple. Gold, purple, and 
plate in the Works, evidently to avoid the misleading collocation, 
gold, plate. 

1 08. This cast of characters is printed from Mr. and Mrs. 
Bancroft On and Off the Stage, 1889 ed., p. 107. 

For reference the original American cast of characters at the 
Broadway Theatre, New York, August 5, 1867, is given : 
Hon. George D'Alroy . . . Mr. W. J. Florence. 
Captain Hawtree .... Mr. Owen Marlowe. 

Eccles Mr. Wm. Davidge. 

Samuel Gerridge .... Mr. Edward Lamb. 
Marquise de St. Maur . . . Mrs. G. H. Gilbert. 

Polly Eccles Mrs. W. J. Florence. 

Esther Eccles Mrs. S. F. Chanfrau. 

" The author, when he read his comedy, by way of describing 
George D'Alroy and his friend Captain Hawtree, [said] he wished 
one of them to be fair and the other dark." Mr. and Mrs. Ban- 
croft On and Off the Stage, 1889 ed., p. 10. 

I08. Esther Eccles. The first name was originally Polly. 
Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft On and Off the Stage, 1888 edition, vol. I, 
p. 321. 

1 08. Stangate, in which the Little House of the Eccles 
group was supposed to be situated, is a sort of yard at the rear of that 
famous place of entertainment in the Westminster Bridge Road 
which for so many years was known as Astley's Amphitheatre. It 
was there, no doubt, that Esther Eccles danced, and the place was 
sadly associated in Robertson's mind with the fact that it was on 
those very boards that (strongly against his inclination) his first 
wife fulfilled the trying engagement that preceded her fatal illness. 
Probably Robertson knew every stone of squalid Stangate. Though 



217 

Polly speaks of the "Theatre Royal, Lambeth," such a place 
never existed. 

112, 67-68. absence . . . grow. 

' ' Absence makes the heart grow fonder j 
Isle of Beauty, fare thee well." 
Isle of Beauty. Thomas Haynes Bailey (1797-1839). 

114, 127-28. True hearts . . . Norman blood. 
The original, in Tennyson's Lady Clara Vere de Vere, reads : 
" Kind hearts." Corrected in Works. 

115, 138. Eccles (outside). That is, he is inside the 
street door, but outside the door opening into the room. See the 
set as given on p. 109. 

123, 332. Can't see. Work, don't see. 

135, 573- Nyer! There! 

I 37> 3 2 - n w you're in the heavies. D'Alroy is 
playing on heavy parts, didactic, serious parts, theatrically speaking, 
and heavy cavalry, to which he belongs. 

140, 100. are restless. Works, very restless. 

151, 374. front, in that battell. Works, front of that 

battell. 

l6l, 49. batswing. A form of gas-burner in which gas 
issues at a slit so proportioned as to give to the flame the shape of 
a bat's wing. 

178, 454- My eyes ! Works, My eye ! 

184, 580-81. What are circ'lars compared to a 

father's feelings ? Works, What are circ'lars compared to 
a father's feelings ? 

190, 718. my brother! Works, my dear brother. 

I95> 8 39- blued it. To gamble away, dissipate. 

198, 905. I'll swear to the silk. In the sixties the 
front cover of pianos was often faced with silk. 

201, 984. He's alive ! Works omit. 

201, 987. shutter-dance. Strictly, a double-shuffle dance 
on the cellar trap-door in a public house used for dancing be- 
cause of its resonance. Here the term apparently means no more 
than double-shuffle, breakdown. 

204, 1045. Do you recollect Mdlle. Delphine, 
Esther ? " The expedient in the last act of breaking the news to 



218 

Esther that her husband was not dead, by means of a mock ballet, 
grew from our impromptu entertainments at Waterloo of the pre- 
vious summer." Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft On and Off the Stage, 
1889 ed., p. 106. 

207. Esther's cap. Evidently a widow's cap. 



THE POOR-RATE UNFOLDS A TALE 
T. W. ROBINSON 

"THE feet is, my poor dear old Daubray, you're 
spoons case of true love dead ! ' ' 

" But what would you have me do ? " spluttered Dau- 
bray. 

"Do ? get leave and cut away," was the reply. 

"But I have got leave, and I ha<ve cut away and 
while I was away I was miserable, and when I came 
back I was a gone-er coon than ever ! ' ' 

" And do you mean to tell me, my dear old Dib " 
Ensign Daubray was familiarly called Dib by his friends 
"do you mean to tell me that your passion is incur- 
able?" 

"Dashed if I know j I think so!" answered Dau- 
bray. 

Captain Swynton lit a cigar, and there was a pause in 
the conversation. Captain Swynton then asked his friend 
what he meant to do, and there was another pause in the 
conversation. 

1 This is the fourth story in the collection, Rates and Taxes, published 
in 1866 by Tom Hood, Jr., as one of his Christmas annuals. Reprinted, by 
kind permission, from a copy owned by Professor Brander Matthews. 



220 SppenDtj: 

" What do you mean to do, Dib ? " repeated the cap- 
tain. 

"Dashed if I know," replied the puzzled ensign j "I 
don't know what to do." 

"Of course, Dib, you're not such a soft as to think 
of marriage ?" said the captain eyeing his friend keenly. 

The ensign made no reply. 

"That is quite out of the question," continued Swyn- 
ton ; " you know what your mother is." 

Ensign Daubray sighed and nodded as if he knew what 
his mother was but too well. 

Captain Swynton rose from his arm-chair, stirred the fire, 
and looking down upon his young friend like a benevolent 
Mephistopheles, said, 

" Couldn't the thing be arranged ? " 

"Swynton," said Ensign Daubray, rising and helping 
himself to a cigar, " cut that." 

"Look here, Dib, if you're going to mount a moral 
hobby and ride in an argumentative sense to the 
Devil, I shall cut the discussion altogether. Either you 
are going to behave properly with a proper regard to 
the world and all that[,] you know or you are going 
to do the other thing. Now the question is, which do you 
mean to do ?4tThe girl is a very nice girl. I've seen 
nicer, but still she is a nice girl but as to your making 
her Mrs. Daubray the thing won't hold water. All 
those marriages of people with common people are all 
very well in novels, and stories on the stage because 
the real people don't exist, and have no relatives who 



221 

exist, and no connections, and so no harm' s done 
and it's rather interesting to look at ; but in real life, 
with real social relations, and so on real connections 
and mothers, and so forth it's absolutely " 
Captain Swynton described a circle with his cigar. "I 
don't pretend to be a particularly good fellow, or a par- 
ticularly bad fellow ; I suppose I'm a sort of average 
regular standard kind of man I'm not particularly 
worldly. I gave up the girl I was attached to we'd 
neither of us any money and I preferred that we should 
have enough and be apart, rather than be hard up to- 
gether. ftYou've heaps of money, but you can't marry 
a woman you can't present everywhere. Out of the ques- 
tion, Dib, and you know it. The world's the world, 
and you and I didn't make it very good thing for the 
world we didn't." 

Ensign Daubray took his hat, and after a long and 
searching contemplation of the lining, put it on his head. 

" Going ? " asked his friend. 

"Yass." 

"Where shall you dine ?" 

"Club." 

"And after ?" 

"Theatre." 

The captain hissed significantly as he sank into his 
chair. 

"By the way," he said, "you'll lose your bet with 
Sydney.' ' 

"Why?" 



222 

" I met Thraxton yesterday, and he told me that war 
was certain." 

"Bosh!" 

"How so?" 

"Too far off." 

"What is?" 

"Ruthshia. They'll do something at the Foreign 
Office ; both sides will cry a go, and they'll throw up 
the sthponge mutually j so I heard at the Club. Shan't 
pay till war's declared." 

Saying which Ensign Daubray descended the staircase 
of Captain Swynton's lodgings in Mayfair, and walking 
to the nearest cab rank, took a Hansom. 

" Westhminsther Bridge, t'other side, as fatht as you 
like," he ordered, and the cab rattled over the stones 
rapidly. 

Ensign Daubray was twenty-three years of age ; stood 
six feet two in his stockings, and in his saddle weighed 
over seventeen stone. He was of one of the first families in 
England. His father was dead, and his mother, who had 
been a great beauty, and was in her age hook-nosed, 
majestic, and terrible, had married a second time, and 
she ruled Lord Clardonax as tightly as she had ruled 
Fairfax Daubray. She was a haughty, irascible old 
woman, who knew no law but her own will, and whose 
pride of birth and family was French and pre-revolution- 
ary French. Ensign Fairfax Daubray was a fine young 
fellow, high-hearted and broad-chested, single-minded 
and straightforward, and not particularly bright. He had 



223 

a vacant expression of face, which fact, joined to the 
possession of a tongue either too broad or too thick for 
his mouth, made him seem stupid. He was fond of field 
sports, had been reared to regard his lady-mother with 
a superstitious sort of awe, and was a very quiet, well- 
disciplined young man. 

Captain Swynton was Daubray's senior by about six 
years. There was a suspicion of trade in the family of 
the gallant captain, which he endeavoured to stifle by 
professing a contempt for commerce that would have 
been exaggerated in a duke. He was a sort of mild roue 
and amiable worldling, with a considerable capacity for 
misconduct, and a fair share of good nature and kind- 
heartedness. He was never known to do anything exactly 
noble, nor had he been discovered in the execution of 
anything particularly mean. He expressed openly and 
with perfect sincerity, his regard for number one, and 
thought that all men should seize every opportunity for 
self-advancement. He was a good-tempered man about 
town, who would leave the society of a baronet for that 
of a lord, unless the baronet happened to be very rich 
and influential, would drop a viscount for a marquis, and 
the marquis for a duke. In whatever society he found 
himself, he invariably addressed his conversation to the 
most important person present, and was considered among 
his set a very nice, gentlemanlike fellow. 

At Westminster Bridge Fairfax Daubray dismissed his 
cab, turned to the left, and walked till he came to Stangate. 
He paused before a house with a shrivelled shrub and 



224 

some mangy grass between the lead-coloured wooden rail- 
ings of the " front garden " and the door, and then open- 
ing the gate gently, he tripped up some steps, and 
knocked a small double knock, quite a diminutive 
knock for so large a young man. Having committed 
himself thus far, Ensign Daubray fell to a persevering con- 
templation of his boots, and the colour ebbed and flowed 
about his temples, and the short fair hair in their immedi- 
ate neighbourhood, with the regularity of the pendulum 
of a clock. 

It was a dreary morning, and Stangate is a dreary 
neighbourhood, and has an air of general neglect and 
decay, as though the hand of Chancery were strong 
upon it. There is but little stir in Stangate. It is not 
a crowded mart or thoroughfare. Purveyors of cheap fish 
and damp cocks and hens are its most ordinary frequent- 
ers. The very children seem I depressed, and turn to the 
river side for excitement and fresh Thames air. Ensign 
Daubray' s mother, Lady Clardonax, would have stared, 
had she seen her son in such a place, with all the might 
of her dark eyes and purple pince-nez. 

The door was opened by a young girl with black, 
shining hair and a pale face. 

" Oh, it's you, is it ? " she said ; "I thought it was 
you." 

And she laughed. Fairfax Daubray seemed to think 
it a good joke, too, for he also laughed. 

" May I come in ? " he inquired. 

1 Origina' reads : seemed. 



225 

" Of course you may ; we are all at home." 

The young man was ushered into a room where there 
were three more young ladies, all with dark shiny hair 
and large eyes ; one was mending a pink silk-stocking, 
another was covering a tiny canvas shoe, and the third 
was recumbent on a dusky sofa, deep in a well-worn and 
unpleasant looking romance. The fair young hostess 
snatched a basin containing vegetables from the table, and 
disappeared with them, saying, as she returned 

"You mustn't see what we have got for dinner, or 
you'll be as wise as we are." 

" How do you all do ? " asked Daubray, as he dropped 
into a chair. 

"We are all quite well, and so is Polly," said the 
first speaker. 

Polly was the young lady mending the pink silk-stock- 
ing, and her three sisters for they were all sisters 
looked at her as they spoke, and then looked at Ensign 
Daubray and smiled archly, and went on with their 
occupations. 

Daubray sat near Polly, but did not address her per- 
sonally. Polly was the eldest, the darkest eyed, and 
the prettiest of the sisters j demure, quiet, and self- 
possessed. 

"What are you going to have for dinner, Jenny?" 
the young man asked. 

"Find out," was Miss Jenny's reply. Jenny was 
the plainest of the sisters, and had acquired a sort of 
family celebrity for housekeeping and repartee. 



226 

"I wish you'd ask me to dine with you," said the 
young soldier. 

"Oh, no ! " Jenny pursed her lips, and shook her 
head. "You're too grand for us; you'd be wanting 
two sorts of puddings, and all sorts of things. ' * 

" No, I shouldn't," urged Daubray. 

"Then you'd eat too much," said Jenny, at which 
the sisters laughed. 

"No, I shouldn't. I'm moderation itself. I can eat 
anything," said Daubray, somewhat contradictorily. 

Jenny shook her head again. "It's all very fine, Mr. 
Ferguson," she said, "but you don't dine here. What's 
the time ? ' ' 

The sister covering the shoe, the sister reading the 
romance upon the sofa, Polly and Jenny, each produced 
from the bosoms of their jackets a gold watch. 

" Half-past one," they all said in concert. 

Daubray looked at Polly, drew a long breath, and 
asked, "What time?" 

" Half-past one," answered Polly ; and she smiled on 
him, and then lowered her large eyelids ; and Daubray 
hitched his chair nearer to her ; and the other sisters 
looked everywhere but at them, and pursued their avoca- 
tions with an absorbing interest. 

"Now, Sabina," began Jenny sharply, "are you 
going to lie about reading that filthy book all day ? 
And you, Cecilia, are you ever going to finish that shoe 
of mine ? Do do something, there's dears." 

At this signal the sisters Sabina and Cecilia rose and 



227 

left the room, and Jenny laughed and said to Daubray 
and Polly, " Now, you two, you can go on just as you 
like, for we shall be in the kitchen till dinner-time, and 
that's half-past two ; then Polly must go out for a pink 
saucer." Jenny then hummed an operatic air, threw 
her arms gracefully from side to side, executed a pas 
from the Grand Divertissement des Bayaderes, and left 
the room laughing loudly. 

Ensign Fairfax Daubray was desperately in love with 
Miss Polly Eccles, a fact which was known to everybody 

at the Theatre. Love had seized upon the young 

soldier as fiercely as fire seizes on a river-side wood-yard. 
The flame was so restless and so brilliant, that it was 
reflected around him, and about him, and above him and 
below him. He sighed like a furnace. He was in the 
habit of relieving his feelings by tipping the porter and 

the carpenters of the Theatre so liberally that they 

swore he was the gentlemanest gentleman they ever see, 
and that he came of a fine old stock, and understood 
how thirsty were the natural emotions of the working 
man. Daubray was a large man, and love raged over him 
like a benignant fever. He did not say much indeed, 
his conversational powers were not extraordinary, but he 
looked smitten to the core. The thirsty carpenters called 
him " Miss Eccles' s young gent," and Miss Eccles' s com- 
rades in the corps de ballet nicknamed him "Captain 
Spooney." The actors and actresses regarded him with 
a sort of sympathetic pity for all of which Daubray 
cared not one strap-buckle. When at the theatre, he 



228 

saw neither the carpenters, nor the actors, nor the act- 
resses, nor the gas, nor the scenery, nor the play, nor 
the farce, nor the green curtain he only saw Polly. 
At the conclusion of the performance he was permitted to 
see Polly from the stage-door to her home, and to carry 
her small basket j her three sisters discreetly walked 
before. The young man passed the day contentedly, 
knowing that that half-hour of bliss must in time come 
round again. 

During the run of the celebrated and magnificent melo- 
dramatic Eastern spectacle of " The Star of the Orient," 
the part of Zuleika, the favourite of the Caliph, was per- 
sonated by Mademoiselle Sara, from the Grand Opera, at 
Paris. The Sara who, it was said, had turned the heads 
of so many English and foreign noblemen, and other per- 
sons of distinction. The Sara did not act, she danced 
nightly before an indifferent Caliph and an enraptured 
audience. Humm, the manager, the successor to the late 
Mr. Loosefish and the celebrated Mr. Lowcadd, swore 
that is swore literally she was a great go, a cigar of 
the most enormous magnitude, and presented her, in the 
green-room [,] with a bracelet, as he said, "as a trifling 
tribute of his deep sense and estimation of her professional 
talents, and private virtues." To which fine speech 
Mademoiselle Sara replied that he was a droll, and then 
kissed him on both cheeks. 

It was reported that Daubray had spent several hun- 
dred thousands of pounds upon "the Sara," and that he 
had the tenderest interest in her j the poor lad had never 



229 

really cared for her, but had been led into her toils by 
his friends Captain Swynton, old Lord Gasseleer, and 
Colonel Corcarmine. The Sara told him frankly that she 
liked him because he was young, because he was bete, be- 
cause he was rich, and because he was English. " I like 
to conquer you, you English," she said to him j "and 
you must attend always by the side to aid my mantle. ' ' 

It was when in attendance on this gorgeous creature, 
during the run of the " Star of the Orient," that Ensign 
Daubray first saw Polly Eccles. Mr. Lowcadd, the man- 
ager of the opposition establishment, had produced a rival 
spectacle and a rival dancer, and had, as Mr. Humm 
feelingly expressed it, "in the basest, most blackguard, 
and ungentlemanly manner, offered his ballet higher terms 
to go over to him. ' ' A number of the corps deserted Mr. 
Humm. Mr. Humm had to make fresh engagements, and 
among these engagements he was fortunate enough to 
secure the services of the Eccles family. 

The history of the Eccles family was by no means sin- 
gular or romantic. Of the pre-nuptial antecedents of Mr. 
and Mrs. Eccles, nothing is known. Mr. Eccles had been 
a mechanic of some sort or other. Mr. Eccles was either 
overproud, or possessed of mental attributes too high for 
his station in life for he would not work. As all men 
of active minds must find some occupation to interest and 
amuse them, Mr. Eccles took to drinking a pursuit 
which he varied at tolerably regular intervals by beating 
his wife. The poor woman eked out a scanty livelihood 
by letting off a portion of the house in Stangate, and by 



230 

her needle. She gladdened Mr. Eccles' s home by four 
pledges of mutual affection all of the female sex. While 
the fourth was still a nursling, Mrs. Eccles did the very 
best possible thing she could do under the circumstances 
she died leaving Mr. Eccles a disconsolate widower 
with four children. 

The measure of Mr. Eccles' s grief may be best judged 
by the copious means he took for banishing recollection. 
He wept tears whenever he alluded to his late wife, in the 
presence of a person of sympathetic mind and hospitable 
intentions. " Polly," sobbed and hiccupped Mr. Eccles, 
" my eldest gal, is now my only consolation she takes 
after her poor mother, which is a comfort to me." 

And Polly, who was barely nine years of age, took 
after her mother, and nursed her baby sister, and washed 
and combed her other little sisters, and waited on her 
father, and was abused and beaten by him. It was a hor- 
rid thing, as Mr. Eccles often remarked, to have ungrate- 
ful children. 

The younger Eccleses flourished under Polly' s maternal 
care ; and a young Frenchman, a watchmaker, took a 
room in the house. The young Frenchman was visited 
by an older Frenchman a thin, pale little man, who 
was a ballet-master at one of the large theatres on the 
other side of the water. The old Frenchman took a fancy 
to little Polly, and seeing that she was pretty, well limbed, 
and graceful, asked her if she would join his class. 

"When you shall be older," he said, "a young 
woman, you shall be able to get your living by dancing - 
or as I get mine by teaching to dance." 



231 

Polly told him that her father could not afford to pay 
for her tuition, and the pale little Frenchman said that he 
did not require payment, but that he would teach her for 
nothing, because she was like a little lady he had known 
long years ago, and a long way off. And so Polly took 
lessons of the kind old ballet-master, and in her turn 
taught the lessons she learned of him to her two younger 
sisters 5 and every evening when Mr. Eccles was at the 
public-house, the three sisters used to dance, which not 
only interested and amused them, but interested and 
amused the baby in the cradle, who sat up and watched 
them. 

Thus the Eccles family became part and parcel of the 
London corps de ballet. About the same time that Polly 
had acquired some proficiency in her art, her old patron 
the ballet-master left England for Vienna, and poor Polly 
remained a private fairy in the rank and file of the terpsi- 
chorean regiment. 

No satisfactory reason has yet been discovered why 
two young people should fall in love. No special com- 
mission, or scientific inquiry, or metaphysical discussion 
has ever yet given to light those mysterious affinities that 
compel one young gentleman or lady, or a young lady 
or a young gentleman, to ignore the rest of the world in 
favour of one person to overlook eight hundred mil- 
lions of inhabitants of this terrestrial globe for the sake 
of a single unit, because that single unit possesses a peculiar 
smile, or tone of voice, or an expression which, somehow or 
other, warms and gladdens, and melts the worldly surface, 



232 

and liquefies the feelings of another unit. These unaccount- 
able sympathies are more extraordinary than electricity, 
galvanism, earthquakes, aerolites, and spontaneous com- 
bustions, with which last mentioned phenomenon they have 
something in common. Ensign Fairfax Daubray must 
be excused for exhibiting a weakness which has been 
considered honourable in philosophers and statesmen, to 
say nothing of poets and warriors, who are supposed to 
be peculiarly susceptible to the influences of the tender 
passion. Love has been said to be a furious democrat, 
who flies about and levels all distinctions. He, she, or it, 
whichever love may be, would be better described as 
a mischievous aristocrat, who, kicked out of his, or her, 
or its own sphere for misconduct, pervades the world, 
a beautiful incendiary smouldering the hearts of rich 
and poor, and high and low, and finding pleasure in watch- 
ing the agony, the joy, the flames, and smoke and light 
and charred ashes, and hope and desolation, he, she, or 
it occasions. The only scion of the house of Daubray was 
wrong to fall in love with a young woman who earned 
eighteen shillings per week, and whose father was known 
as Sodden Sammy, for a mile round Astley's amphi- 
theatre but he was hot-blooded and young and it 
<was to be. The Fates had declared that they should 
meet, and had employed Mademoiselle Sara of the 
Grand Opera at Paris to negotiate with the liberal and 
enterprising impresario, Mr. Humm; Mr. Lowcadd, the 
other enterprising and liberal impresario, to quarrel with 
Mr. Humm and to produce a rival spectacle, and entice 



233 

away Humm's ballet-dancers ; Captain Swynton, Lord 
Gasseleer, and Colonel Corcarmine, to present the En- 
sign to the Sara. The remorseless ones, perhaps, even 
doomed Mrs. Eccles to an early death, and afflicted Mr. 
Eccles with a desire for drink, for the purpose of bring- 
ing them together. 

Ensign Daubray was in attendance on the gorgeous 
Sara on the night that his fate cried out and pro- 
nounced the dissyllable " Polly." Miss Mary Eccles was 
standing at the second wing on the opposite-prompt side of 

the stage of the Theatre, attired in simple white, and 

carrying in her hand a long pink scarf, which in company 
with fifteen other young ladies, each carrying a long 
pink scarf, she was about to wreathe around the celebrated 
danseuse from the Grand Opera at Paris. Their eyes 
met. Daubray experienced a pleasant momentary spasm, 
such as Paganini might have felt, if, after the very 
moment he discovered his power over the fourth string of 
his violin, that string had snapped. Miss Mary Eccles' s 
gaze passed on to other objects and the work was done. 

"How are you, Sampray ? " said the Ensign to an 
actor who, dressed in stage clothes for the farce, was 
watching the dancers from the wing. Who is that girl 
there?" 

" The one on the bank nearest us ? " 

"Yes." 

" One of the Eccleses ; the eldest Poll. " 

Daubray' s nerves were jarred by the monosyllable 
Poll." He placidly asked, " Who is she ? " 



234 

"Oh, in the ballet. She's got three sisters too." 

"In the ballet too ?" 

"All in the ballet!" 

" And here I mean engaged here ? " 

"Every man Jack of 'em. Polly always takes them 
with her," was the reply. " There they are t'other side 
up the stage. Clever girl, Polly nice dancer $ but 
the others keep her down. By Jove ! ' ' continued the 
comedian as he listened to a thunderous burst of applause, 
" Sara's hitting 'em to-night! " 

Daubray first looked at Sara, and then at Polly; Sara 
in rainbow hues and diamonds, and Polly in white, with 
her hair in bands and her long eye-lashes, contrasted as 
might a black-edged daisy with a tiger-lily. 

The Ensign went to a splendid supper that night, with 
Gasseleer, Corcarmine, Swynton and friends, and Sara 
and friends ; but the young man was distrait, and did 
not seem to enjoy himself. His apparent apathy to the 
glories of the gay and festive scene was remarked on bril- 
liantly by old Lord Gasseleer, who was extremely anx- 
ious to be an amiable and gallant cavalier in the eyes of 
the Sara ; and Sara herself laughed, and said, with an odd 
look, that she supposed he Daubray was in loaf. 

" Old Gazzy wants to cut me out! " said the Ensign 
to Corcarmine on the following morning; "I wish he 
would ! " a fact which Corcarmine mentioned to the noble 
lord, and Daubray' s wish was gratified. 

The Sara having disappeared from the panorama of 
events, his next difficulty was to obtain an introduction 



235 

to Polly. Not that one was needed. He knew perfectly 
well that Miss Eccles knew him to be Ensign Daubray, 
and believed him to be attached. He wished to be pre- 
sented as a fresh, free man, and, to quote from his own 
mental soliloquy, "To begin all over again quite new, 
you know." Luckily, though the "Star of the Orient" 
was withdrawn from the playbills, the Eccles family were 
retained on the establishment. Ensign Daubray sat in 
his rooms and abandoned himself to thought. How 
could he make friends with the Eccleses ? He knew 
them to be retiring, bashful girls, and he wanted to know 
them on domestic familiar terms, and not merely to be 
able to nod to them. The gallant officer was slow at in- 
vention. On such a subject he could not ask his friends 
to put him up to a notion. He sat and pondered, but no 
notion came. He lit a cigar, but inspiration was not to 
be wooed by the most fragrant of havannahs. He dressed 
himself, and went out for a walk in the park, where his 
mind would be undisturbed by horseflesh j and on his 
return stopped at a pastry-cook's, where he saw a stout 
woman and four fat children eating. 

The sight of the stout woman and the four fat children 
eating suggested an expedient. Daubray entered the shop, 
and purchased some of the most expensive sweetmeats. 
These at night he gave to Cecilia, the smallest, young- 
est, Eccles ; from chatting with Cecilia, he was in time 
noticed by Sabina ; after Sabina, Jenny very kindly 
nodded to him $ and, at last, Polly spoke. 

Behold, then, our Ensign thoroughly installed as the 



236 

friend of the Eccles family, with honourable intentions 
towards the eldest sister. It was Daubray's particular 
request that the young ladies should call him "Dib," 
which they did ; that is, all but Polly, who would never 
call her Fairfax Dib, but who afterwards invented the 
diminutive "Fax." The prattle of the girls over their 
tea they seldom or never took dinner was delightful 
to the young swell. He often enjoyed that refreshing 
beverage with them, and brought tarts for the consolation 
of the younger sisters. When he went over to Paris, he 
bought each of them a gold watch and chain, and the 
day of the presentation of those gold watches and chains 
was the happiest of the lives both of the Eccles sisters 
and the gallant Ensign. They were wonderful watches, 
they wound up so beautifully, they ticked so regularly, 
and they opened and shut with such delicious bran-new, 
first-hand snaps. As for the chains, they were indeed 
heavenly. Such workmanship, such weight! Solid gold, 
too ! so bright, so yellow ! The joy of their possession 
was only damped by the reflection that if their father 
saw them, he would assuredly make away with them. 
The watches, chains, and all were therefore kept a secret 
in the most literal sense of the word in the bosoms 
of the four sisters. 

Ensign Daubray was naturally very much shocked at 
the first sight of Mr. Eccles, and it required all his love 
to make him remember that so damaged a parent was his 
Polly's misfortune and not her fault. Mr. Eccles was a 
dirty-looking old villain, with the flavour of last night's 



237 

tap-room strong upon him. His address was unpleasing, 
fawning, and sham-propitiatory. Daubray saw the black- 
guard under his too civil, over-deferential manner, and 
wondered why for the sake of his own comfort he 
Eccles did not wash himself oftener. The girls consid- 
ered their father a good average sort of parent ; a little 
tipsified, but that they were used to j and certainly some- 
what eccentric, which was proved by his frequent personal 
castigation of his daughters Polly, as the oldest and 
most habituated, being his favourite for punishment $ but 
a very clever man for all that, and who could have done 
wonders had he liked. 

The courting, walking home, and tea-making went on 
for more than a year, at which time the narrative com- 
mences ; when Polly was promoted to the position of 

Columbine at the Theatre, of which she informed 

" Fax," who turned pale, and said he'd be hanged if she 
should be Columbine, and that he had made up his 
mind. 

Not two months after, Captain Swynton, who had 
long missed his friend from his accustomed haunts, met 
him on Westminster Bridge with a lady on his arm. The 
captain smiled and nodded, and would have passed on, 
had not Daubray stopped him. 

" Swynton, how do you do ? " said he, and then, low- 
ering his voice, whispered, "I'm married!" 

The captain's face assumed an odd, lowering expres- 
sion, as if he would have said, ' * You fool. ' ' But it changed 
immediately as he uttered, " I congratulate you! " 



238 

' My dear, Captain S wynton, Mrs. Fairfax Daubray. 
Come back and dine with us, will you ? Five. ' ' 

" Thanks, no, not to-day; I've an engagement 
some other day I shall be " 

"Say Thursday. Will Thursday do, Polly? Yes, 
Thursday by ourselves you know. ' ' 

"We shall be most happy to see Captain Swan- 
down." 

* * S wynton, love. ' ' 

" Swynton I beg pardon," said Polly, thinking how 
much handsomer her " Fax" was than his friend. 

Swynton accepted the invitation and strode off to Bird- 
cage Walk, tapping his trousers vigorously with his cane. 
"Cheese and crust!" he said to himself; "what will 
the old lady say?" 

They were very happy, the young pair, in their little 
cottage at Twickenham, and it was by the river side one 
darkling evening that the young wife whispered to her 
young husband that an heir or heiress to the house of 
Daubray might be soon expected. 

"Let's walk quickly home, pet," said the anxious 
Fairfax, "for it is beginning to rain, and you might get 
wet." 

Ensign Daubray' s regiment was ordered to the Crimea. 
Lady Clardonax kissed her son's forehead, and pressed 
his hand as she told him that she was sure that he would 
do his duty. 

"Dib," said Captain Swynton, as he met the Ensign 



239 

in Piccadilly, "you see you've lost your bet. Been to 
Lady Clardonax' s ? " 

"Yes." 

"Did you tell her?" 

' About Polly no ! " 

" What do you mean to do ? " 

"Not tell her at all," replied Daubray. "When I 
come back if I come back she'll be so glad she'll 
forgive me, and if I don't come back, why, it won't 
much matter." 

" That's a very good notion," remarked Swynton. 

"It wasn't mine. It was my wife's." 

" How does she bear it ? " 

"What the my going? Oh, splendidly, before 
me. I'm afraid when I'm out there she rather, you 
know I've been to the agent's, and I think I'd rather 
leave a sum, and I haven't got much, to be sure. She's 
going back to live with her sisters." 

"What!" said Swynton, "do you mean to allow 
that?" 

"She'll be so awful lonely when I'm gone 5 and you 
know there's a baby coming," said the poor fellow, 
apologetically. "It's a bad job, isn't it? and there's 
that little wife of Sergeant Dwyer's breaking her heart 
because he won't take her out with him. I don't think 
soldiers ought to marry. Orders do so cut up the 
women." 

It was a terrible parting. Polly bore it as meekly as 
she could, but there are bounds to the endurance even 



240 

of women j and Fairfax had to go upon his knees and 
implore her to keep calm for the sake of the little one 
not yet of this world. The bugles rang out and the 
drums rolled as Ensign Daubray took his place with his 
company ; and as he marched past the Queen, his heart 
thumped, and he felt every inch a soldier. At the same 
moment his wife was lying insensible, with her three 
pale sisters hovering round her. 

Fairfax Daubray was a brave, stupid, good-natured 
young man, and adored by the men under his command. 
A finer-hearted gentleman, or a more incapable officer 
never buckled on a sword-belt. He fought gallantly at 
Alma, and wrote after the battle. His wife, who was 
again in the little house in Stangate, read parts of his 
letter to her sisters, who cheered, and wept, and hurrahed 
as she read. She took them all with her to church upon 
the following Sunday. 

It was in a hot skirmish that Ensign Daubray found 
himself in command of his company. His captain had 
been shot, and the lieutenant borne wounded to the rear. 
He saw the enemy above him. He knew that it was a 
soldier' s duty to fight, and he led on his men up the hill- 
side. 

" Dib, Dib, come back!" shouted two or three old 
officers from the main body of the troops behind him. 
Daubray turned round to them. 

" Come back be damned!'"'' answered he, waving his 
sword above his head ; "you fellows come on!"" 

The next moment he fell pierced by three Russian 



241 

bullets. The soldiers saw him fall, cheered, and rushed 
on. The Russians were in strong force, the odds, nu- 
merically, were six to one, but the English regiment 
cleared the hill-side. 

Daubray was carried to the rear. The surgeon shook 
his head. The dying man raised his eyelids, looked at 
his friend Swynton with a look that said plainly, "Oh, 
if I could speak." His comrade pressed his hand, and, 
bending over him, put his lips close to his ear. 

"Dib," he said, "can you hear me ? do you under- 
stand me ? ' ' 

Daubray nodded an assent. 

"I know what you mean," continued Swynton. " I 
know what you would say your wife. ' ' 

Daubray smiled. 

" Rely on me, I'll look after her, take care of her, 
and and your child ! ' ' 

The wounded man smiled again, pressed his friend's 
hand, sank back, and died, as the general of division 
galloped up, and said to a bleeding major 

"Beautiful! beautiful! Like men, by God !" 

A son and heir was born to the house of Daubray. 
The mother had hardly recovered when the fatal letter 
reached England 5 but Jenny, when she saw that the 
address was not in the usual handwriting, guessed in- 
stantly at its contents. She opened and read it, and kept 
it from her sister for some days. When she heard the 
news, the widowed mother was prostrated for some 
weeks afflictions seldom come alone. The last money 



242 

received from the agent's had been intrusted to Mr. 
Eccles. Whether he had gambled or spent it was never 
known, but a balance of but a few poor pounds was 
found at the banker's, and over that Mr. Eccles had full 
power : he had banked it in his own name. A stormy 
scene ensued between father and daughter. Mrs. Daubray 
asked him if he wished to see his grandson starve ? To 
which Mr. Eccles replied that after all he had done for 
her, the position he had raised her to, she was ungrateful, 
and hoped that she never might live to feel how sharper 
than a serpent's tooth was a thankless child. Mrs. Dau- 
bray thought of returning to the stage, but her sister 
Jenny would not hear of it. Mr. Eccles advised his 
daughter to apply to Major Daubray' s friends, who 
would be sure to stand something handsome under the 
circumstances ; upon which, Mrs. Daubray desired him to 
hold his tongue. 

Major Swynton returned to England with one of his 
coat sleeves empty. Almost his first call was on his com- 
rade's widow. She told him of her pecuniary troubles, 
and he lent her money. He paid a visit to Lady Clar- 
donax, and told her how her son died. The stem old 
lady's eyes moistened at the story, and she sprang from 
her chair and startled the major when he mentioned that 
he had left a wife and child. 

"What ? " she cried, " who was she ? Some common 
person, of course ? ' ' 

Major Swynton related the whole history. 

"Major," said Lady Clardonax, "are you sure that 
they were married ? ' ' 



243 

The major laid the marriage certificate upon the 
table. 

" And is my grandson" the old lady's voice faltered 
at the words, "with these wretched people ? " 

The major assented. 

"He must not remain there. I'll get a nurse and 
have him here at once. What's the address ? I'll go 
there at once." 

" Shall I accompany you ? " 

"No, I'll go by myself," replied Lady Clardonax, to 
the major's great relief; for brave among men, he was 
afraid of women in their wrath. 

A carriage stood before the door of the little house in 
Stangate. Lady Clardonax introduced herself, and desired 
that her son' s son might go back with her. Mrs. Daubray 
fired up and refused. The old grandmother was haughty 
and imperious ; the young mother, passionate and proud ; 
a violent altercation ensued, and Mrs. Daubray, in a flood 
of tears, desired Lady Clardonax to leave the house. 

"Part with him, my boy!' 1 '' she panted, "I'd sooner 
die!" 

" You can see him when you wish to do so," said the 
lady. 

" Better do what the good lady asks you, my dear," 
suggested the amiable Mr. Eccles, who was present, and 
desired to make himself agreeable to the owner of 
a carriage and pair; "for sure she's advising you for 
your good, and for the child's likewise." 

"My good creature," urged Lady Clardonax, "you 



244 

surely cannot intend to bring up my son's son in a place 
like this?" 

"It is a poor place," sighed Mr. Eccles, "and we 
are poor people, that's sure enough. We ought not to 
fly in the face of our pastors and masters, our pastresses 
and mistresses." 

" Do hold your tongue! " said Jenny, who felt a strong 
inclination to assault both Lady Clardonax and her father 
at the same time. 

" Master Fairfax Daubray," said Mrs. Daub ray, hug- 
ging the infant, who was serenely unconscious of the 
storm about him, " Master Fairfax Daubray will remain 
with his mother ! ' ' 

"But you've no money. Fairfax's father and Fairfax 
himself so dipped the estate that it will be ten years 
before it is got round. How do you intend to live ? ' ' 
asked the old lady. 

" Turn Columbine," replied the [mother 1 ] ; " go on 
the stage again and dance ! ' ' 

This last speech was too much for Lady Clardonax, who 
beat a precipitate retreat j at the bottom of the stairs Mr. 
Eccles overtook her, and requested the loan of the sum of 
a sovereign until that day week. 

" Go away," said the old lady, as she stepped into her 
carriage and drove off. 



But a Higher Power than that of a mother over her 

1 Original misprints : themer. 



245 

child had decreed that the infant was to be reared by Lady 
Clardonax. Mrs. Daubray fell ill, and her illness was past 
cure. Lady Clardonax, accompanied by Major Swynton, 
were received at the little house in Stangate by Jenny, 
who tearfully told them it would soon be all over, that 
her sister had been delirious, and had kept on saying that 
she was going away to see Fairfax to tell him about the 
child, and when they went into the sick-room the young 
mother hugged her baby and said 

" Take him, Lady Clardonax, and forgive me for what 
I said to you. I need not ask you to be kind to him, for 
I know you will for his sake! My darling! oh, my 
darling ! ' ' 

"And so," concluded the Tax Collector, "Major 
Swynton was the boy' s guardian, and old Lady Clardonax 
brought him up, and a real young swell he is, and looks 
as proud as you please ; and as for the old lady, who, be- 
tween ourselves, is an awful old devil generally, she doats 
upon that boy to that extent that she' s a regular slave to 
him. When Lord Clardonax wants a thing done, he tells 
the boy, who tells his grandma, who has it done *too 
sweet,' as the French say, for she thinks nothing too sweet 
for him." 

"And what became of the other girls ? " asked the 
Water-rate. 

" They married and so on." 

" And the major ?" 

" Oh, he married his first love as he found was a 



246 

widow. He's been an altered man ever since he came 
back from the Crimea, very grave and serious, and all that; 
don' t seem to care about being so uppish. ' ' 

" And what became of old Eccles ? " 

" Don't know," was the reply. " He went some- 
where to the bad, of course, in a general sort of 
way." 



In this Bibliography, the editor has confined himself to Robertson's 
dramatic 'work. To make a complete record of the extraordinary 
number of short stories, and articles on all kinds of subjects, that he 
contributed to magazines and other publications ivould be not only 
impossible but outside the purpose of this book. Even this list 
of plays, as far as adaptations are concerned, may, in spite of the 
editor's researches, be someiuhat incomplete, Robertson in his strug- 
gling days 'worked "for stock,'* that is, he 'would procure as many 
French plays as possible, prepare English 'versions of them, and then 
sell them, at 'what price he could, and as opportunity offered, to 
Thomas Hailes Lacy or any other purchaser of such 'wares. An 
example of the 'way in 'which Robertson' s u stock " adaptations 'were 
treated may be found in his version of The Ladies' Battle. In 
Lacy's list it appeared, 'with the cast given of Charles Readers trans- 
lation of the same play, as represented at the Olympic Theatre on 
May fth, 1851. There is no evidence of Robertson's 'work get- 
ting a good hearing until it 'was staged by John Hare and the 
Kendals at the Court Theatre in iSjq, and, a season or so later, at 
the St. James's Theatre. 

I. ROBERTSON'S PLAYS 

Wherever it has been possible the editor has given the dates offrst 
performances. Unless any other to'wn is mentioned, London may be 
understood as the place ofjirst performance or of publication. 

Ad. signifies an adaptation. Un. an unacted piece. 

The other plays are original. 

A BREACH OF PROMISE, farce, 2 Acts. Globe Theatre, April 
loth, 1867. 

A DREAM OF VENICE, 2 Acts. German Reed Entertainment. 

A GLASS OF WATER, comedy, 2 Acts. Ad. 

A NIGHT'S ADVENTURE, comic drama, 2 Acts. Olympic 
Theatre, Aug. 25th, 1851. 



248 

A RAPID THAW, comedy, 2 Acts. St. James's Theatre, March 
2nd, 1867. 

A Row IN THE HOUSE, farce, I Act. Toole's Theatre, Aug. 
30th, 1883. l 

BIRDS OF PREY, or A DUEL IN THE DARK, drama, 3 Acts. Ad, 

BIRTH, comedy, 3 Acts. Theatre Royal, Bristol, Oct. 5th, 
1870. 

CASTE, comedy, 3 Acts. Prince of Wales' s Theatre, April 6th, 
1867. 

CASTLES IN THE AIR, drama. City Theatre, April 29th, i854. 2 

DAVID GARRICK, comedy, 3 Acts. Prince of Wales's Thea- 
tre, Birmingham, April, 1864. Ad. 

DOWN IN OUR VILLAGE, comedy drama, 2 Acts. Un. 

DREAMS, drama, 5 Acts. Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool, Feb. 
22nd, 1 869.3 

DUBLIN BAY, farce, I Act. Theatre Royal, Manchester, May 
i8th, 1869. 

ERNESTINE, drama, 4 Acts. Ad. 

FOR LOVE ; or Two HEROES, drama, 3 Acts. Holborn Theatre, 
Oct. 5th, 1867. 

FAUST AND MARGUERITE, drama, 3 Acts. Ad. 

HOME, comedy, 3 Acts. Ad. Haymarket Theatre, Jan. I4th, 
1869. 

JOCRISSE THE JUGGLER, drama, 3 Acts. Ad. 

M. P., comedy, 4 Acts. Prince of Wales's Theatre, April 
23d, 1870. 

MY WIFE'S DIARY, farce, I Act. Ad. 

NOEMIE, drama, 2 Acts. Ad. 

NOT AT ALL JEALOUS, farce, I Act. 

OURS, comedy, 3 Acts. Prince of Wales's Theatre, Liverpool, 
Aug. 23d, 1866. 

OVER THE WAY, comedietta, I Act. Un. 

PASSION FLOWERS, drama, 3 Acts. Ad. Theatre Royal, Hull, 
Oct. 28th, 1868. 

1 This was produced by his son, T. W. Robertson the younger, and in 
it his daughter, Miss Maud Robertson, took part. 

2 Robertson sold the entire rights in this drama for .$ ! 

3 This was at first called Mj Ladj Clare, but on its production at the 
Gaiety Theatre on March 27th, 1869, it was renamed Dreams. 



249 

PEACE AT ANY PRICE, farce, i Act. Ad. 

PHOTOGRAPHS AND ICES, farce, i Act. Un. 

PLAY, comedy, 4 Acts. Prince of Wales's Theatre, Feb. I5th, 
1868. 

POST HASTE, comedy, 3 Acts. Un. 

PROGRESS, comedy, 3 Acts. Ad. Globe Theatre, Sept. 1 8th, 
1869. 

ROBINSON CRUSOE, burlesque, i Act. 

RUY BLAS, drama, 4 Acts. Ad. 

SCHOOL, comedy, 4 Acts. Prince of Wales's Theatre, Jan. 
i6th, 1869.' 

SHADOW TREE SHAFT, drama, 3 Acts. Princess's Theatre, 
Feb. 6th, 1867. 

SOCIETY, comedy, 3 Acts. Prince of Wales's Theatre, Liver- 
pool, May 8th, 1865. 

THE BATTLE OF LIFE. Ad. 

THE CANTAB, farce, I Act. 

THE CHEVALIER DE ST. GEORGE, drama, 3 Acts. Ad. 

THE CLOCKMAKER'S HAT, farce, i Act. Ad. 

THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH. Ad. 

THE DUKE'S DAUGHTER ; or THE HUNCHBACK OF PARIS, drama, 
3 Acts and Prologue. Ad. 2 

THE HALF CASTE ; or THE POISONED PEARL, drama, 3 Acts. 
Ad. 

THE HAUNTED MAN. Ad. 

THE LADIES' BATTLE, comedy, 3 Acts. Ad. 

THE MULETEER OF TOLEDO, drama, 4 Acts. Ad. 

THE NIGHTINGALE, drama, 5 Acts. Adelphi Theatre, Jan. 
1 5th, 1870. 

THE SEA OF ICE j or THE PRAYER OF THE WRECKED, AND THE 
GOLD SEEKERS OF MEXICO, drama, 5 Acts. Ad. 

THE STAR OF THE NORTH, drama, 3 Acts. Ad. 

Two GAY DECEIVERS j or BLACK, WHITE, AND GREY, farce, 
I Act. In collaboration with T. H. Lacy. 

WAR, drama, 3 Acts. St. James's Theatre, Jan. i6th, 1871. 

WHICH Is IT ? comedy, 2 Acts. Un. 

1 Partly suggested by the German Aschenbrodel of Roderich Benedix. 

2 This was another version of the play made popular by Fechter as The 
Duke's Motto. 



250 



II. TEXTS 
SOCIETY 

1 86-. DE WITT'S ACTING PLAYS. No. 26. [Robertson's 
son says in the Memoir (Dramatic Works, y. lix) that this is the 
pirated edition made by W. J. Florence and differs from the Eng- 
lish acting version.] N. Y. 

[ ? ] FRENCH'S STANDARD DRAMA. London and N. Y. 

1893. PRINCIPAL DRAMATIC WORKS, 2 vols. Memoir by his 
Son [Thomas William Robertson]. Society, vol. n. 

CASTE 

1 86-. DE WITT'S ACTING PLAYS. No. I. 

1876. THE NEW YORK DRAMA. Vol. v, No. 54. 

187-. FRENCH'S STANDARD DRAMA. London and N. Y. 

1889. ROORBACK'S EDITION OF ACTING PLAYS, No. 37. 
N. Y. 

1891. IHRE FAMILIE. Julius Stinde and George Engels. Pro- 
duced at the Wallner Theatre, Berlin, in September. 

1893. PRINCIPAL DRAMATIC WORKS. Vol. i. 

III. BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL 

1866. RATES AND TAXES AND How THEY WERE COLLECTED. 
Edited by Tom Hood. Groombridge & Sons. The Poor-Rate Un- 
folds a Tale, pp. 15784. 

1870. MODERN MEN OF LETTERS HONESTLY CRITICISED. 
J. H. Friswell. T. W. Robertson, pp. 345-56. 

1871. DRAMATISTS OF THE PRESENT DAY, by Q. Reprinted 
from the Athenaum. Mr. T. IV. Robertson, pp. 8093. 

1882. ENGLISH DRAMATISTS OF To- DAY. William Archer. 
Sampson Lowe, Marston, Searle and Rivington, pp. 21-26. 

1883. NIGHTS AT THE PLAY, 2 vols. Dutton Cook. For 



251 

contemporary criticism of Robertson's plays, see vol. i, pp. 40, 96, 
100. 

1888. MR. AND MRS. BANCROFT ON AND OFF THE STAGE. 
Richard Bentley and Son (Fourth Edition). See especially chapters 
vi, xi. 

1888. PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS I HAVE KNOWN, 2 vols. John 
Coleman. Chatto and Windus. Tom Robertson, pp. 140164. 

1890. A MEMOIR OF EDWARD ASKEW SOTHERN. T. Edgar 
Pemberton (Fourth Edition). Bentley and Son. Passim. 

1893. LIFE AND WRITINGS OF T. W. ROBERTSON. T. Edgar 
Pemberton. Bentley & Son. 

1895. JOHN HARE, COMEDIAN, 1865-1895. T. Edgar Pem- 
berton. George Routledge and Sons. See especially chapter i. 

1897. THE ENGLISH STAGE. Translated from the French [of 
A. Filon] by Frederic Whyte, with an Introduction by Henry Arthur 
Jones. (Chapters iii and iv especially. ) John Milne ; Dodd, Mead 
& Co., N. Y. 

1899. TRELAWNEY OF THE WELLS. A Comedietta in Four 
Acts. A. W. Pinero. R. H. Russell, N. Y. This represents the 
theatrical conditions discussed in the Introduction to this edition. 

1899. THE DRAMA OF YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY, a vols. 
Clement Scott. Passim, especially chapter xv, vol. i, The Success 
of Tom Robertson. 

1904. REAL CONVERSATIONS. William Archer. W. Heine- 
mann. No. I. With Mr. Arthur Pinero. 



THE GOOD-NATUR'D MAN 

AND 

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER 
By OLIVER GOLDSMITH 

Edited by AUSTIN DOBSON, LL.D. (Edinburgh). 



Illustration and Facsimiles 

A frontispiece showing stage scene from She Stoops to 
Conquer ; and reduced facsimiles of the title-pages of the 
fifth octavo edition (1768) of The Good-Natur'd Man, 
and of the fifth octavo edition (1773) f ^ ne Stoops to 
Conquer. 

The Texts 

The text of The Good-Natur'd Man is that of the fifth 
octavo collated with that of the first, second, and third 
octavo editions, with variants noted. The text of She 
Stoops to Conquer is that of the fifth edition the last 
published during Goldsmith's life with variants noted. 
Appended are the epilogues and song. 

The Editor's Work 

also includes a Life of Oliver Goldsmith, 4 pages ; an 
Introduction, 2 1 pages ; Notes, 2 1 pages ; Bibliography, 
7 pages ; Glossary, 2 pages. 



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