The Admirable Crichton: A Comedy
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trying to get your boots from you. There is nothing in the world we wouldn't give for boots. ERNEST (rising haughtily, a proud spirit misunderstood). I only wanted the loan of them. AGATHA (running her fingers along them lovingly). If you lend them to any one, it will be to us, won't it, father. LORD LOAM. Certainly, my child. ERNEST. Oh, very well. (He is leaving these selfish ones.) I don't want your old boots. (He gives his uncle a last chance.) You don't think you could spare me one boot?
attired in skins. He is still stout, but all the flabbiness has dropped from him; gone too is his pomposity; his eye is clear, brown his skin; he could leap a gate. In his hands he carries an island-made concertina, and such is the exuberance of his spirits that, as he lights on the floor, he bursts into music and song, something about his being a chickety chickety chick chick, and will Tweeny please to tell him whose chickety chick is she. Retribution follows sharp. We hear a whir, as if from
very much, Gov., please say it to Polly Lasenby. CRICHTON (again in the grip of an idea). A king! Polly, some people hold that the soul but leaves one human tenement for another, and so lives on through all the ages. I have occasionally thought of late that, in some past existence, I may have been a king. It has all come to me so naturally, not as if I had had to work it out, but-as-if-I-remembered. 'Or ever the knightly years were gone, With the old world to the grave, I was a king in Babylon,
(Pointedly.) George, watch whether Crichton begins any of his answers to my questions with 'The fact is.' LORD BROCKLEHURST. Why? LADY BROCKLEHURST. Because that is usually the beginning of a lie. LORD BROCKLEHURST (as CRICHTON opens the door). Mother, you can't do these things in other people's houses. LADY BROCKLEHURST (coolly, to CRICHTON). It was I who rang. (Surveying him through her eyeglass.) So you were one of the castaways, Crichton? CRICHTON. Yes, my lady. LADY BROCKLEHURST.
accompanies us. FISHER (acidly). I thank you, my lady. LADY MARY. That is all; you may go. FISHER (rapping it out). If you please, my lady, I wish to give notice. (CATHERINE and AGATHA gleam, but LADY MARY is of sterner stuff.) LADY MARY (taking up a book). Oh, certainly—you may go. CATHERINE. But why, Fisher? FISHER. I could not undertake, my lady, to wait upon three. We don't do it. (In an indignant outburst to LADY MARY.) Oh, my lady, to think that this affront— LADY MARY (looking up).