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An Inspector Calls - Mr Birling
Terms in this set (29)
Arthur Birling is a heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties with fairly easy manners but rather provincial in his speech.
Gerald, I'm going to tell you frankly, without any pretences, that your engagement to Sheila means a tremendous lot to me.
Your father and I have been friendly rivals in business for some time now...perhaps we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing but are working together - for lower costs and higher prices.
There's a good deal of silly talk about these days...I say, you can ignore all this silly pessimistic talk.
...you'll hear some people say that war's inevitable. And to that I say - fiddlesticks!
unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable
We can't let these Bernard Shaws and H.G. Wellses do all the talking.
'...there's a fair chance that I might find my way into the next Honours List. Just a knighthood, of course.'
'...a man has to look after himself...'
'...as it happened more than eighteen months ago...obviously it had nothing whatever to do with the wretched girl's suicide.'
'If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody...it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?'
'They wanted the rates raised so that they could average about twenty-five shillings a week. I refused, of course.'
'...it's my duty to keep labour costs down.'
'...we let them all come back...except the four or five ring-leaders...Eva Smith was one of them. She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go.'
'Inspector...I don't like your tone nor the way you're handling this inquiry.'
'What's the matter with that child?'
'Now, Sheila, I'm not defending him. But you must understand that a lot of young men-'
'...when this comes out at the inquest, it isn't going to do us much good. The Press might easily take it up-'
'Look Inspector, you're not trying to tell us that - that my boy - is mixed up in this-?'
'Sheila, take your mother along to the drawing-room-'
'You must give me a list of those accounts. I've got to cover this up as soon as I can.'
Eric: '...you're not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble...'
'There's every excuse for what both your mother and I did - it turned out unfortunately, that's all -'
'And really, when I come to think of it, why you all had to go letting everything come out like that, beats me.'
'He was prejudiced from the start. Probably a Socialist or some sort of crank...'
'There's no Inspector Goole on the police...we've been had.'
'They [Sheila and Eric] just won't try to understand our position or to see the difference between a lot of stuff like this coming out in private and a downright public scandal.'
'Nonsense! You'll have a good laugh over it yet.'
He puts the telephone down slowly and looks in a panic-stricken fashion at the others. 'That was the police. A girl has just died - on her way to the Infirmary...'
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