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Cecily Cardew's Lines
Terms in this set (128)
But I don't like German. It isn't at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.
Cecily, Cecily! Surely such a utilitarian occupation as the watering of flowers is rather Moulton's duty than yours? Especially at a moment when intellectual pleasures await you.Your German grammar is on the table. Pray open it at page fifteen. We will repeat yesterday's lesson.
Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so serious that I think he cannot be quite well.
Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that you should improve yourself in every way. He laid particular stress on your German, as he was leaving for town yesterday. Indeed, he always lays stress on your German when he is leaving for town.
I suppose that is why he often looks a little bored when we three are together.
Your guardian enjoys the best of health, and his gravity of demeanour is especially to be commended in one so comparatively young as he is. I know no one who has a higher sense of duty and responsibility.
I wish Uncle Jack would allow that unfortunate young man, his brother, to come down here sometimes. We might have a good influence over him, Miss Prism. I am sure you certainly would. You know German, and geology, and things of that kind influence a man very much.
Cecily! I am surprised at you. Mr. Worthing has many troubles in his life. Idle merriment and triviality would be out of place in his conversation.You must remember his constant anxiety about that unfortunate young man, his brother.
I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down I should probably forget all about them.
...You must put away your diary, Cecily. I really don't see why you should keep a diary at all.
Yes, but it usually chronicles the things that have never happened, and couldn't possibly have happened. I believe that Memory is responsible for nearly all the three-volume novels that Mudie sends us.
Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary we all carry about with us.
Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily. I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.
Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days.
I suppose so. But it seems very unfair. And was your novel ever published?
The good ended happily and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
But I see dear Dr. Chasuble coming up through the garden.
Alas! No. The manuscript unfortunately was abandoned. I use the word in the sense of of lost or mislaid. To your work, child, these speculations are profitless.
Miss Prism has just been complaining of a slight headache. I think it would do her so much good to have a short stroll with you in the park, Dr. Chasuble.
And how are we this morning? Miss Prism, you are, I trust, well?
No, dear Miss Prism. I know that, but I felt instinctively that you had a headache. Indeed I was thinking about that, and not about my German lesson, when the Rector came in.
Cecily, I have not mentioned anything about a headache.
Oh, I am afraid I am.
I hope, Cecily, you are not inattentive.
Horrid Political Economy! Horrid Geography! Horrid, horrid German!
That would be delightful. Cecily, you will read your Political Economy in my absence. The chapter on the Fall of the Rupee you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational. Even these metallic problems have their melodramatic side.
'Mr. Ernest Worthing, B 4 The Albany, W.' Uncle Jack's brother! Did you tell him Mr. Worthing was in town?
Mr. Ernest Worthing has just driven over from the station. He has brought his luggage with him.
Ask Mr. Ernest Worthing to come here. I suppose you had better talk to the housekeeper about a room for him.
Yes, Miss. He seemed very much disappointed. I mentioned that you and Miss Prism were in the garden. He said he was anxious to speak to you privately for a moment.
I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather frightened. I am so afraid he will look just like everyone else.
You are under some strange mistake. I am not little. In fact, I believe I am more than usually tall for my age. But, I am your cousin Cecily. You, I see from your card, are Uncle Jack's Brother, my cousin Ernest, my wicked cousin Ernest.
You are my little cousin Cecily, I'm sure.
If you are not, then you have certainly been deceiving us all in a very inexcusable manner. I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
Oh! I am not really wicked at all, cousin Cecily. You mustn't think that I am wicked.
I am glad to hear it.
Oh! Of course I have been rather reckless.
I don't think you should be so proud of that. Though, I am sure, it must have been very pleasant.
In fact, now you mention it, I have been very bad in my own small way.
I don't understand how you can be here at all. Uncle Jack won't be back till Monday afternoon.
It is much pleasanter being here with you.
Couldn't you miss it anywhere but in London?
That is a great disappointment. I am obliged to go up by the first train on Monday morning. I have a business appointment that I am anxious... to miss.
Well, I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a business engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life, but I still think you had better wait until Uncle Jack arrives. I know he wants to speak to you about your emigrating.
No: the appointment is in London.
Your emigrating. He has gone up to buy your outfit.
About my what?
I don't think you will require neckties. Uncle Jack is sending you to Australia.
I certainly won't let Jack buy my outfit. He has no taste in neckties at all.
Well, he said at dinner on Wednesday night, that you would have to choose between this world, the next world, and Australia.
Australia! I'd sooner die.
Yes, but are you good enough for it?
Oh, well! The accounts I have received of the next world and Australia are not particularly encouraging. This world is good enough for me, cousin Cecily.
I'm afraid I've no time, this afternoon.
I'm afraid I'm not that. That is why I want you to reform me. You might make that you mission, if you don't mind, cousin Cecily.
It is rather Quixotic of you. But I think you should try.
Well, would you mind my reforming myself this afternoon?
You are looking a little worse.
I will. I feel better already.
How thoughtless of me. I should have remembered that when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals. Won't you come in?
That is because I am hungry.
A Maréchal Niel?
Thank you. Might I have a button-hole first? I never have any appetite unless I have a button-hole first.
No, I'd sooner have a pink rose.
I don't think it can be right for you to talk to me like that. Miss Prism never says such things to me.
Because you are like a pink rose, cousin Cecily.
Miss Prism says that all good looks are a snare.
Then Miss Prism is a short-sighted old lady. You are the prettiest girl I ever saw.
I don't think I would like to catch a sensible man. I shouldn't know what to talk to him about.
They are a snare that every sensible man would like to be caught in.
Uncle Jack! Oh, I am pleased to see you back. But what horrid clothes you got on. Do go and change them.
This seems to be a blessing of extremely obvious kind.
(Enter Cecily from the house)
What is the matter, Uncle Jack? You look as if you had toothache, and I have got such a surprise for you. Who do think is in the dining room? Your brother!
My child! my child!
Your brother Ernest. He arrived about half an hour ago.
Oh, don't say that. However badly he may have behaved to you in the past, he is still your brother. You couldn't be so heartless as to disown him. I'll tell him to come out. And you will shake hands with him, won't you, Uncle Jack?
What nonsense! I haven't got a brother.
Uncle Jack, you are not going to refuse your own brother's hand?
Brother John, I have come down from town to tell you that I am very sorry for all of the trouble I have given you, and that I intend to lead a better life in the future.
Uncle Jack, do be nice. There is some good in every one. Ernest has just been telling me about his poor invalid friend Mr. Bunbury whom he goes to visit so often. And surely there must be much good in one who is kind to an invalid, and leaves the pleasures of London to sit by a bed of pain.
Nothing will induce me to take his hand. I think his coming down here disgraceful. He knows perfectly well why.
Yes, he has told me all about poor Mr. Bunbury and his terrible state of health.
Oh! he has been talking about Bunbury has he?
Uncle Jack, if you don't shake hands with Ernest I will never forgive you.
Of course I admit that the faults were all on my side. But I must say that I think that Brother John's coldness to me is peculiarly painful. I expected a more enthusiastic welcome, especially considering it is the first time I have come here.
Never, never, never!
Never forgive me?
Certainly, Miss Prism. My little task of reconciliation is over.
Cecily, you will come with us.
I feel very happy.
We must not be premature in our judgments.
Oh I merely came back to water the roses. I thought you were Uncle Jack.
But I must see her before I go, and make arrangements for another Bunbury. Ah, there she is.
Oh, is he going to take you for a nice drive?
He's gone to order the dog-cart for me.
Then have we got to part?
He's going to send me away.
It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a very brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity. But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.
I'm afraid so. It's a very painful parting.
It can wait Merriman... for... five minutes.
The dog-cart is at the door, sir.
I think your frankness does you great credit, Ernest. If you will allow me I will copy your remarks into my diary.
I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be the visible personification of absolute perfection.
Oh no. You see, it is simply a very young girl's record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication. When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy. But pray, Ernest, don't stop. I delight in taking down from dictation. I have reached 'absolute perfection.' You can go on. I am quite ready for more.
Do you really keep a diary? I'd give anything to look at it. May I?
Oh, don't cough, Ernest. When one is dictating one should speak fluently and not cough. Besides, I don't know how to spell a cough.
I don't think that you should tell me you love me wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly. Hopelessly doesn't seem to make much sense, does it?
Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly.
Uncle Jack would be very much annoyed if he knew you were staying on till next week, at the same hour.
You silly boy! Of course. Why, we have been engaged for the last three months.
Oh, I don't care about Jack. I don't care for anybody in the whole world but you. I love you, Cecily. You will marry me, won't you?
Yes, it will be exactly three months on Thursday.
For the last three months?
Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger brother who was very wicked and bad, you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between myself and Miss Prism, and of course a man who is much talked about is always very attractive. One feels there is much in him after all. I daresay it was foolish of me, but I fell in love with you, Ernest.
But how did we become engaged?
On the 14th of February last. Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lover's knot I promised you always to wear.
Darling! And when was the engagement actually settled?
Yes, you've wonderfully good taste, Ernest. It's the excuse I've always given for your leading such a bad life. And this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters.
Did I give you this? It is very pretty, isn't it?
You need hardly remind me of that, Ernest. I remember only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always three times a week, and sometimes oftener.
My letters! But my own sweet Cecily, I have never written you any letters.
Oh I couldn't possibly. They would make you far too conceited. The three you wrote me after I had broken off the engagement are so beautiful, and so badly spelled, that even now I can hardly read them without crying a little.
Oh, do let me read them, Cecily?
Of course it was. On the 22nd of last March. You can see the entry if you like. 'To-day I broke off my engagement with Ernest. I feel it is better to do so. The weather still continues charming.'
But was our engagement ever broken off?
It would hardly have been a really serious engagement if it hadn't been broken off at least once. But I forgave you before the week was out.
But why on earth did you break it off? What had I done? I had done nothing at all. Cecily, I am very much hurt indeed to hear you broke it off. Particularly when the weather was so charming.
You dear romantic boy. (Pause) I hope your hair curls naturally, does it?
What a perfect angel you are, Cecily.
I am so glad.
Yes darling, with a little help from others.
I don't think I could break it off now that I have actually met you. Besides, of course, there is the question of your name.
You'll never break our engagement off again, Cecily?
You musn't laugh at me darling, but it had always been a girlish dream of mine to love someone whose name was Ernest. There is something in that name that seems to inspire one with absolute confidence. I pity any poor married woman whose husband is not called Ernest.
Yes, of course.
But what name?
But, my dear child, do you mean to say you could not love me if I had some other name?
But I don't like the name of Algernon.
Oh, any name you like- Algernon- for instance...
I might respect you, Ernest, I might admire your character, but I fear that I should not be able to give you my undivided attention.
Well my own dear sweet loving little darling, I really don't see why you should object to the name of Algernon. It is not at all a bad name. In fact, it is rather an aristocratic name. Half of the chaps who get into the Bankruptcy Court are called Algernon. But seriously, Cecily... ...if my name was Algy, couldn't you love me?
Oh yes. Dr. Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single book, so you can imagine how much he knows.
Ahem! Cecily! Your Rector here is, I suppose, thoroughly experienced in the practice of all the rites and ceremonials of the Church?
I must see him at once on a most important christening- I mean on most important business.
Considering that we have been engaged since February the 14th, and that I only met you to-day for the first time, I think it is rather hard that you should leave me for so long a period as half an hour. Couldn't you make it twenty minutes?
I shan't be away for more than half an hour.
What an impetuous boy he is! I like his hair so much. I must enter his proposal in my diary.
I'll be back in no time.
Isn't Mr. Worthing in his library?
A Miss Fairfax has just called to see Mr. Worthing. On very important business Miss Fairfax states.
Mr. Worthing went over in the direction of the Rectory some time ago.
Pray ask the lady to come out here; Mr. Worthing is sure to be back soon. And you can bring tea.
Pray let me introduce myself to you. My name is Cecily Cardew.
How very nice of you to like me so much after we have known each other for such a comparatively short time. Pray sit down.
Cecily Cardew? What a very sweet name! Something tells me that we are going to be great friends! I like you already more than I can say. My first impressions of people are never wrong.
I may call you Cecily, may I not?
If you wish.
And you will always call me Gwendolen, won't you?
I hope so.
Then it is all quite settled, is it not?
I don't think so.
Perhaps this might be a favorable opportunity of my mentioning who I am. My father is Lord Bracknell. You have never heard of Papa, I suppose?
Oh! Not at all, Gwendolen. I am very fond of being looked at.
Outside the family circle...so do you mind my looking at you through my glasses?
Oh no, I live here.
You are here on a short visit, I suppose?
Oh no! I have no mother, nor, in fact, any relations.
Really? Your mother, no doubt, or some female relative of advanced years resides here also?
My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous task of looking after me.
Yes, I am Mr. Worthing ward.
Pray do! I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid.
How! It is strange...if I may speak candidly-
I beg your pardon, Gwendolen, did you say Ernest?
Well, to speak with perfect candour...quite unreadable.
Oh! But it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is my guardian, it is his brother- his elder brother.
I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time.
Ernest never mentioned to me that he had a brother.
Quite sure. In fact, I am going to be his.
Ah! That accounts for it...Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian?
I berg your pardon?
I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time.
Ernest never mentioned to me that he had a brother.
Quite sure. In fact, I am going to be his.
Ah! That accounts for it. And now that I think of it I have never heard any man mention his brother. The subject seems distasteful to most men. Cecily, you have lifted a load from my mind. I was growing almost anxious. It would have been terrible if any cloud had come across a friendship like ours, would it not? Of course you are quite, quite sure that it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian?
Dearest Gwendolen, there is no reason why I should make a secret of it to you. Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married.
I beg your pardon?
I am afraid you must be under some misconception. Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago.
My darling Cecily, I think there must be some slight error. Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me. The announcement will appear in the 'Morning Post' on Saturday at the latest.
It would distress me more than I can tell you, dear Gwendolen, if it caused you any mental or physical anguish, but I feel bound to point out that since Ernest proposed to you he clearly has changed his mind.
It is certainly very curious, for he asked me to be his wife yesterday afternoon at 5.30. If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so. I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you, but I am afraid I have the prior claim.
Whatever unfortunate entanglement my dear boy may have got into, (sit) I will never reproach him with it after we are married.
If the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish promise I shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once, and with a firm hand.
Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade.
Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? You are presumptuous. On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
Yes, as usual.
Shall I lay the tea here as usual, Miss?
Oh! Yes! A great many. From the top of one of the hills quite close one can see five counties.
Are there many interesting walks in the vicinity, Miss Cardew?
I suppose that is why you live in town?
Five counties! I don't think I should like that. I hate crowds.
So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax.
Quite a well-kept garden this is, Miss Cardew.
Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London.
I had no idea there were any flowers in the country.
Ah! That is what the newspapers call agricultural depression, is it not? I believe the aristocracy are suffering very much from it just at present. It is almost an epidemic amongst them, I have been told. May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax?
Personally I cannot imagine how anybody manages to exist in the country, if anybody who is anybody does. The country always bores me to death.
Thank you. Detestable girl! But I require tea!
Cake or bread and butter?
No, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable anymore.
Hand that to Miss Fairfax.
Bread and butter, please. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses now-a-days.
To save my poor, innocent, trusting boy from the machinations of any other girl there are no lengths to which I would not go.
You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go to far.
It seems to me, Miss Fairfax, that I am trespassing on your valuable time. No doubt you have many other calls of a similar character to make in the neighborhood.
From the moment I saw you I distrusted you. I felt that you were false and deceitful. I am never deceived in such matters. My first impressions of people are invariably right.
I knew there must be some misunderstanding, Miss Fairfax. The gentleman whose arm is at present round your waist is my dear guardian, Mr. John Worthing.
Thank you. You may.
This is Uncle Jack.
I beg you pardon?
Here is Ernest.
Jack! Oh! (Enter Algernon)
A moment, Ernest! May I ask ou- are you engaged to be married to this young lady?
My own love!
Yes! to good heavens Gwendolen, I mean to Gwendolen.
To what young lady? Good heavens! Gwendolen!
Thank you. You may.
Of course not! What could have put such an idea into your pretty little head?
Algernon Moncrieff! Oh! Are you called Algernon?
I felt there was some slight error, Miss Cardew. The gentleman who is now embracing you is my cousin, Mr. Algernon Moncrieff.
I cannot deny it.
A gross deception has been practiced on both of us.
I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked. But my name certainly is John. It has been John for years.
My sweet wronged Gwendolen!
My poor wounded Cecily!
There is just one question I would like to be allowed to ask my guardian.
You will call me sister will you not? (Embrace)
No brother at all?
...and I certainly have not the smallest intention of ever having one in the future.
It is not a very pleasant position for a young girl to find herself in, is it?
I'm afraid it is quite clear, Cecily, that neither of us is engaged to be married to anyone.
No, men are so cowardly, aren't they?
Let us go into the house. They will hardly venture to come after us there.
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