ACT I

Edwardian England, looking very pleasant on a fine day of 1913. In the countryside boys are bathing, and women are resting, surrounded by woodland views while remembering their ski-ing holidays and remote sunsets over the Islands of Eigg and Rum.

ACT I

Lantern Slides in a Slide Box. Paget Colour Plates possibly by H. R. Philpot, Canterbury. AMC 3586 & 3587

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

NURSE GUINNESS [carrying the table, with the tea-things on it…] And very glad you should be to see your own daughter again after all these years.

CAPTAIN SHOTOVER. I am not glad. The natural term of the affection of the human animal for its offspring is six years. My daughter Ariadne was born when I was forty-six. I am now eighty-eight. If she comes, I am not at home. If she wants anything let her take it. If she asks for me, let her be informed that I am extremely old, and have totally forgotten her.

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

CAPTAIN SHOTOVER [gloomily] Youth! beauty! novelty! They are badly wanted in this house. I am excessively old. Mrs Hushabye is moderately young. Her children are not youthful.

LADY UTTERWOOD. How can children be expected to be youthful in this house? Almost before we could speak we were filled with notions that might have been all very well for pagan philosopher of fifty, but were certainly quite unfit for respectable people of any age.

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

LADY UTTERWOOD. Nurse: will you please remember that I am lady Utterwood, and not miss Addy, nor lovey, nor darling, nor doty? Do you hear?

NURSE GUINNESS. Yes, ducky: all right. I’ll tell them all they must call you my lady. [She takes her tray out with undisturbed placidity].

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

ELLIE DUNN. It is just because I want to save my soul that I am marrying for money. All women who are not fools do.

MRS HUSHABYE. Youve made the acquaintance of Ellie Dunn, of course. She is going to marry a perfect hog of a millionaire for the sake of her father, who is as poor as a church mouse.

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

MAZZINI DUNN [smiling]. I’m afraid my daughter is not interested in young men, Mrs Hushabye. Her taste is on the graver, solider side.

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

LADY UTTERWOOD. I don’t want to be kissed; but I do want you to behave properly and decently. We are sisters. We have been separated for twenty-three years. You ought to kiss me.

MRS HUSHABYE. Tomorrow morning, dear, before you make up. I hate the smell of powder.

MRS HUSHABYE. Living at the rate we do, you cannot afford life-saving inventions. Can you think of something that will murder half Europe at one bang?

CAPTAIN SHOTOVER. No. I am ageing fast. My mind does not dwell on slaughter as it did when I was a boy. Why doesnt your husband invent something? He does nothing but tell lies to women.

Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587
Edwardian England, Paget Colour Plates 1913 – AMC 3586 & 3587

CAPTAIN SHOTOVER. No. Give me deeper darkness. Money is not made in the light.