A MORALITY


                          THE AUTHOR OF "ROSA MUNDI"

"                                 ""In Memoriam"


"                             "Obiit Kal. Mai." 1906

                                   MR. TODD

                             PERSONS OF THE PLAY

ALFRED OSSORY ("fifty"), "his son, a shipowner"
EMILY OSSORY ("forty-five"), "his wife"
EUPHEMIA OSSORY ("eighteen"), "his daughter"
CHARLEY OSSORY ("ten"), "his son"
GEORGE DELHOMME ("twenty-four"), "of the ministry of Foreign Affairs"
DIONYSUS CARR ("thirty-four"), "Professor of Experimental Eugenics in the"
"    University of Tbingen"; and

THOMAS, "a footman"

SCENE:  "The sitting-room in" OSSORY'S "house in Grosvenor Square."

TIME: "Midday."

"The persons are in correct morning dress, except the invalid "GRANDFATHER, "who"
    "is in a scarlet dressing-gown, with gold embroidery, and "CARR, "who affects"
    "a pseudo-Bohemian extravagance.  He wears a low collar, a very big bow-tie"
    "of gorgeous colours, a pale yellow waistcoat, a rich violet lounge suit"
    "with braid, patent leather boots, pale blue socks.  But the refinement and"
    "breeding of the man are never in question.  His hair is reddish, curly,"
    "luxuriant.  He is clean-shaved, and wears an eye-glass with a"
    "tortoiseshell rim."

TODD "has a face of keen pallor; he is dressed in black, with a flowing black"
    "cape, black motor-cap.  He gives the impression of great age combined with"
    "great activity."

                                    ACT I

GRANDFATHER "sunk in melancholy in his arm-chair;" MRS. OSSORY "red and weeping;"
    OSSORY "(a British heavy father) grief-stricken;" EUPHEMIA "sobbing at the"
    "table;" CARR "and "DELHOMME "cold and hot respectively in their expression of"
    "sympathy."  MR. TODD "is at the door, his cloak on, his hat in his hand."

   OSSORY.  It is kind of you to have so far to break the sad news, my dear
sir.  I hope that we shall see you again soon under --- under --- under
happier circumstances.
   [TODD "bows very low to the company as if deeply sympathising; but turning"
        "his face to the audience, smiles as if at some secret jest.  The actor"
        "should study hard to make this smile significant of the whole"
        "character, as revealed in the complete play; for" TODD "does not develop"
        "through, but is explained by, the plot."  TODD "goes out;" OSSORY
"        "follows, and returns in a minute.  There is no sound in the room but"
        "that of "EUPHEMIA'S "sobs."
   OSSORY "[returning, throws himself into a chair near the door]."  Dear me!
dear me!  Poor, poor Henry!
   DELHOMME.  In the very flower of his life. ...
   CARR ["solemnly"].  Truly, my dear sir, in the midst of life we are in death.
   [EUPHEMIA "looks up and darts a furious glance at him; for she knows that he"
        "is mocking British solemnity and cant."
   DELHOMME.  Crushed --- crushed in a moment ----
   MRS. OSSORY ["very piously"].  Without a warning.  Ah well, we must hope that
--- ["Her voice becomes a mumble."
   DELHOMME.  I will bid you good morning; I am sure you will not wish
strangers to intrude upon your grief.  If there is anything that I can do ----
   MRS. OSSORY ["conbentionally"].  Pray do not leave us yet, Monsieur Delhomme.
Lunch is just ready.
   DELHOMME.  I really think that I should go.
                                                 ["He shakes hands."
   MRS. OSSORY.  Good morning.  We are so grateful for you sympathy and
kindness.  ["He turns to the old man."]  Grandfather is asleep.
   [DELHOMME "shakes hands coldly with "CARR, "wondering why he does not offer to"
        "come with him.  He goes to "EUPHEMIA.
   EUPHEMIA.  ["Jumps up and gives her hand, hiding her tear-stained face.  She"
"has a slight lisp."]  Good morning, monsieur.     ["He bends over her hand and"
"kisses it"
   DELHOMME.  Always my sympathy and devotion, mademoiselle.
   EUPHEMIA.  Thank you -- thank you.
   ["Her real attitude to him is listlessness bordering on aversion, but"
        "constrained by politeness; he mistakes it for modesty striving with"
        "young love."]
   DELHOMME.  Good morning, Mr. Ossory.  Anything I can do, of course;
anything I can do.     {214}
   OSSORY.  thank you, my dear lad.  Anything you can do, of course --- I will
let you know at once.  By the way, you haven't asked her yet, I suppose?
   DELHOMME.  NOt yet, sir.  I am rather diffident: I do not care to
precipitate affairs.
   OSSORY.  Well, I am really very anxious to see her future assured.  And you
know our proverb, "The early bird catches the worm."  ["Points to him, and over"
"his shoulder to her."]  There's our scientific friend, eh?
   DELHOMME.  Oh, I'm not afraid of him.  A "farceur," no more, though sometimes
a pleasant one.
   OSSORY.  "Tu t'en f----, ‡a, mon vieux chameau?  Quoi?"
   DELHOMME.  ["very disgusted at "OSSORY'S "vulgarity, which mistakes "argot "for "
chic].  Well, sir, as soon as I can find a favourable opportunity ---
   OSSORY.  Grief is a good mood to catch them in, my boy.  I know!  I know!
I've been a bit of a dog in my time.
                                   ["Shakes hands as they go out."
   DELHOMME.  ["returning"].  One word in your ear, sir, if I may.  It's purely
instinctive --- but --- but --- well, sir, I mistrust that man Todd!
   OSSORY.  Thanks: I believe you may be right.
   DELHOMME.  Good-bye, sir!
   OSSORY.  Good-bye.
   MRS. OSSORY ["rising"].  Alfred, that man is a devil!
   OSSORY.  What, little Delhomme?
   MRS. OSSORY.  Of course not, Alfred.  How can you be so silly?  Todd!
   OSSORY.  Why, whatever do you mean?
   MRS. OSSORY.  I don't mean anything but what I say.  {215} He's a devil;
I'm sure of it.  I know it was his fault, somehow.
   OSSORY.  Nonsense, nonsense, my dear!  He was not even in the car.
   MRS. OSSORY.  It was his car, Alfred.
   OSSORY.  You're a fool, Emily.
   CARR.  I think Mr. Ossory means that we could hardly hold him responsible
if one of his steamers ran down a poor polar bear on a drifting iceberg.
   MRS. OSSORY.  I know I'm quite unreasonable; it's an instinct, and
intuition.  You know Saga of Bond Street said how psychic I was!

   ["During the next few speeches" CARR "and" EUPHEMIA "correspond by signs and"

  GRANDFATHER.  When I was in Australia forty-four years ago there was a very
good fellow of the name of Brown in Ballarat.  Brown of Buninyong we used to
call him.  I remember ----
   MRS. OSSORY.  ["bursting into tears"].  How can you, grandpa?  Can't you
realise that poor Henry is dead?
  GRANDFATHER.  Henry dead?
   MRS. OSSORY.  Didn't you hear?  He was run over by Mr. Todd's motor-car
this afternoon in Piccadilly.
  GRANDFATHER.  There, what did I tell you?  I always disliked that man Todd
from the first moment that I heard his name.  Dear, dear!  I always knew he
would bring us trouble.
   OSSORY.  Well, this doesn't seem to have been his fault, as far as we can
see at present.  But I assure you that I share {216} your sentiments.  I have
heard very ill things said of him, I can tell you.
   MRS. OSSORY.  Who is he?  Does any one know?  A man of family, I hope.  How
dreadful for poor Henry if he had been run over by a plebeian!
   OSSORY.  Well, we hardly know --- I wonder if his credit is good.  ["His"
"voice sinks to a whisper as the awful suspicion that he may be financially"
"unsound strikes him."]
   CARR.  ["sharply, as if pained"].  Oh, oh!  Don't suggest such a thing
without the very best reason.  It would be too terrible!
   ["This time "EUPHEMIA "laughs."
   OSSORY.  My dear boy, I deliberately say it.  I have the very best of
reasons for supposing him to be very deeply dipped.  Very deeply dipped.
   CARR.  ["Hides his head in his hands and groans, pretending to be"
"overwhelmed by the tragedy.  Looks up."]  Well, I was told he other day that he
held a lot of land in London and has more tenants than the Duke of
   OSSORY.  Well, we'll hope its is true.  But in these days one never knows.
And he leaves a very unpleasant impression wherever he goes.  If I were not an
Englishman I should say that the feeling I had for him was not very far
removed from actual fear!
   CARR.  well said, sir.  Hearts of oak in the City, eh?

   [OSSORY "glares at him suspiciously."  EUPHEMIA "both enjoys the joke and is"
        "angry that her father is the butt of it."

   EUPHEMIA.  Well, I'm not afraid of him --- I think I rather like him.  I'm
sure he's a good man, when one knows him. {217}
   CARR.  Oh, Todd's a good sort!  I think I must be going, sir.
   EUPHEMIA.  I wish you would stay and help me with the letters, Mr. Carr.
We shall have a great deal to do in the next day or two.
   CARR.  Well, if you really wish it, I will try and be of what service I

   [CARR, "with his back to audience, laughs with his hands, behind it."

   MRS. OSSORY.  That is indeed kind of you, Professor!
                               [CARR'S "hand-laugh grows riotous."
  GRANDFATHER.  Where is Nurse?  I want my whisky and milk.
   MRS. OSSORY.  ["Rings."]  I shall go down to lunch, Alfred.  lunch when you
like, please, everybody.  I fear the house will be much upset for a day or
two.  You must go down to the mortuary at once.  I am really too upset to do
anything more.
   CARR.  ["Over" L.  "To " EUPHEMIA.]  She hasn't done much yet!
   EUPHEMIA.  What a brute you are!
   MRS. OSSORY.  And we can't possibly go to the dear Duchess on Friday!
   CARR.  ["almost in tears"].  Forgive my seeming callousness!  ON my honour, I
never thought of that.  "Sunt lachrymae rerum.'
   ["A nurse and a footman appear.  The latter wheels "GRANDFATHER "out of the"
        "room, using the greatest care not to shake him." {218}
  GRANDFATHER.  Oh, my sciatica!  You careless scoundrel, you're shaking me to
pieces!  Emily, do get a gentler footman.  Oh!  Oh!  Nobody cares for the poor
old man.  I am thrown on the dust-heap.  Oh, Emily, may you suffer one day as
I suffer!  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!
                           ["The Nurse comes forward and soothes him."
  NURSE.  You must really be more careful of my patient, Thomas.
  THOMAS.  I humbly beg pardon, miss.  I think the balls is gritty, miss.
I'll ile 'em to-morrow.
  GRANDFATHER.  There, you see, Nurse is the only one that loves me.  I should
like to marry you, Nurse, eh?  And cut 'em all out?
   MRS. OSSORY.  ["Glares at Nurse in silence, not trusting herself to speak to"
"her."]  Now, grandpa, don't be silly!  You know how we all love you!  ["She goes"
"to the chair and shakes it, unseen."]  Thomas, there you are again!  How can
you be so thoughtless?
  GRANDFATHER.  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!
                                   ["They get him out of the room."
   MRS. OSSORY  ["returning"].  Good-bye, Mr. Carr.  It is so good of you to
   CARR.  Not at all, Mrs. Ossory, not at all.  I am only too glad.  You
should try and get a nap after lunch.
   MRS. OSSORY.  I will --- I really think I will.              ["Exit."
   CARR.  ["Closes the door, turns to " EUPHEMIA, "executes a quiet hornpipe,"
"goes to " EUPHEMIA, "holds out his arms."]  Sweetheart!
   EUPHEMIA.  How dare you!  How can you!  With poor Uncle Henry lying dead!
   CARR.  Why have a long Latin name if you mean to play the English
hypocrite?  Who was poor Uncle Henry?  Did you love poor Uncle Henry so dearly
as all that?  How old were you when your father quarrelled with poor Uncle
Henry?  About two and a half!  The only thing you know about poor Uncle Henry
is that poor Uncle Henry once tickled your toes. [EUPHEMIA "gives a little"
"scream of horror."]  Enough humbug about poor Uncle Henry! ... Sweetheart!
   EUPHEMIA.  Mine own!
                     ["They em brace and kiss with great intensity."
   EUPHEMIA.  Unhand me, villain! ...
   But one has to be decent about one's relations.  Even the humbug of it is
rather fun.
   CARR.  There speaks the daughter of Shakespeare's country.  I am sure the
Bacon imbroglio was a consummate practical joke on somebody's part.  As I see
the joke, I take no side in the controversy!
   But we should look on the bright side of things!

        Poor Uncle Henry, dead and turned to clay,
        May feed the Beans that keep the Bile away.
        Oh that whom all the world did once ignore
        Should purge a peer or ease an emperor!

   EUPHEMIA.  But where is the bright side of our love?
   CARR.  Why, our love!
   EUPHEMIA.  Cannot you, cannot you understand?
   CARR.  Not unless you tell me!
   EUPHEMIA.  I can't tell you.  {220}
   CARR.  --- Anything I don't know.
   EUPHEMIA.  Oh, you laugh even at me!
   CARR.  Because I love you.  so I laugh at humanity: if I took men seriously
I sold have to cut my throat.
   EUPHEMIA.  So you don't take me seriously either?
   CARR.  If I did, I should have to cut ---
   EUPHEMIA.  What?
   CARR.  My lucky!
   EUPHEMIA.  What a dreadful expression!  Where do you learn such things?
   CARR.  I notice you don't have to ask what it means.
   EUPHEMIA.  Stop teasing, darling!
   CARR.  I'm not teething!  That's what I complain of; you always treat me as
a baby!
   EUPHEMIA.  Come to him mummy, then!
   CARR.  You're not my mummy!  That's what I complain of; you always treat me
as a Cheops, ever since that night on the Great Pyramid!
   EUPHEMIA.  ["Hides her head in his bosom."]  Oh shame, shame!
   CARR.  Not a bit of it!  Think of the infinite clearness of the night ---
        "The magical green of the sunset,
         The magical blue of the Nile."
The rising of the great globed moon --- the stars starting from their
fastnesses like sentries on the alarm --- the isolation of our stance upon the
summit --- the faery distance of Cairo and its spear-sharp minarets --- and we
--- and we ---
   EUPHEMIA.  Oh me!  Oh me!
   CARR.  Shall I remind you ----  {221}
   EUPHEMIA.  Must "I" remind "you?"
   CARR.  No; my memory is excellent.
   EUPHEMIA.  Of what you swore?
   CARR.  I swore at the granite for not being moss.
   EUPHEMIA.  You swore to love me always.
   CARR.  The champagne at the Mena House is not champagne; it is --- the cork
of it is labelled "Good intentions."
   EUPHEMIA.  Then you didn't mean it?
   CARR.  ["kissing her"].  Am I, or am I not --- a plain question as between
man and man --- loving you now?
   EUPHEMIA.  Oh, I know!  But I am so worried that everything most sure seems
all shaken in the storm of it!  I was glad --- glad, glad! --- when that Mr.
Todd came in with his news, so that I could have a real good cry.  ["Very close"
"to him, in a tragic whisper."]  Something has happened --- something is going
to happen.
   CARR.  And something has not happened --- I knew it was a long time since
we missed a week.  By the way, have you heard the terrible news about Queen
Anne?  Dead, poor soul!  Never mind, silly, you told me most dramatically, and
it shall be counted unto you for righteousness.
   EUPHEMIA.  I think you're the greatest brute in the world --- and I love
   CARR.  How reciprocal of you!
   EUPHEMIA.  Sweet!
   CARR.  On my honour, I haven't a single chocolate on me.  Have a cigar?
                                              ["Business with case."
   EUPHEMIA.  Be serious!  You must marry me at once.
   CARR.  then how can I be serious!  I understand from a gentleman named Shaw
that marriage is only a joke --- no, not Shaw!  Vaughan, or Gorell Barnes, or
some name like that!
   EUPHEMIA.  But you will, won't you?
   CARR.  No, I won't, will I?
   ["Sings."]  "I have a wife and bairnies three,
                And I'm no sure how ye'd agree, lassie!"
   EUPHEMIA.  What?                                 ["She releases herself."
   CARR.  Well, the wife's dead, as a matter of fact.  Her name was Hope-of-
ever-doing-something-in-the-Wide-Wide.  But the bairns are alive: young
Chemistry, already apt at repartee --- I should say retort; ,little Biology,
who's rather a worm between you and me and the gate-post; and poor puny,
puling, sickly little Metaphysics, with only one tooth in his upper jaw!
   Oh, don't cry!  I love you as I always did and always shall.  I'll see you
through it somehow!
   But don't talk foolishness about marriage!  We are happy because when I
come to see you I come to see you.  If we were living together you would soon
get to know me as the brute who grumbles at the cooking and wants to shut
himself up and work --- ["mimicking her voice"] "And I wouldn't mind so much if
it were work, but all he does is to sit in a chair and smoke and stare at
nothing and swear if any one comes in to ask him if my darling news old rose
chiffon moir‚ Directoire corsets match my eau-de-Nil suede tussore appliqu‚
garters."  See?
   EUPHEMIA.  But --- hush!

   ["She flies away to the other end of the room.  The door opens.  Enter"
        THOMAS.  {223}

   THOMAS.  Mr. Delomm would like to see you for a moment on urgent business.
                                  ["the lovers exchange signals privately."
   EUPHEMIA.  Show him up.
   THOMAS.  Yes, miss.                              [THOMAS "goes out."
   CARR.  I will go and get a snack.  Trust me --- love me ---
   EUPHEMIA.  I will --- I do.
                  ["They embrace."  CARR "goes to the door --- turns."
   CARR.  Love me --- trust me.
                  [EUPHEMIA "flies to him, kisses him again, nods."
   EUPHEMIA.  I will --- I do --- I love you --- I trust you.
   CARR.  Sweetheart!  ["they kiss, furtively, as if hearing footsteps."]  So
                   ["She retreats into the room, and blows him a kiss."
   CARR.  ["outside, loudly"].  Good morning, Miss Ossory!
   EUPHEMIA.  ["sinking into a chair, faintly"].  good-bye --- no. no!  Till ---
                  ["She is almost crying, but sets her teeth and rises."
  THOMAS.  ["opening the door"].  Mr. Delomm.
                                            ["Enter" DELHOMME.
   DELHOMME.  I am a thousand times sorry to intrude upon your grief, Miss
Ossory, but ----
   EUPHEMIA.  Uncle Henry was nothing to me.
   DELHOMME.  In any case, I should not have spoken to you, but my Embassy has
suddenly called me.  I am to go to Constantinople --- I may be a month away
--- and --- I want to see you first.
   EUPHEMIA.  Of course, to say good-bye.  It is sweet of you to think of us,
Monsieur Delhomme. {224}
   DELHOMME.  Of you --- of thee.  How difficult is the English language to
express subtle differences!
   You must have seen, Miss Ossory ----
   EUPHEMIA.  ["dully"].  I have seen nothing.
   DELHOMME.  May I speak?
   EUPHEMIA.  What is this?  Oh!
   DELHOMME.  I need not tell you, I see.  My unspoken sympathy and devotion
   EUPHEMIA.  Spare me, I pray you.
   DELHOMME.  I must speak.  Mademoiselle, I am blessed in loving you.  I
offer you the sympathy and devotion of a lifetime.
   EUPHEMIA.  I beg you to spare me.  It is impossible.
   DELHOMME.  It is the truth --- it is necessary --- I should kill myself if
you refused.
   EUPHEMIA.  My father ----
   DELHOMME.  Your respected father is my warmest advocate.
   EUPHEMIA.  You distress me, sir.  It is impossible.
   DELHOMME.  Ah, fairest of maidens, well I know your English coyness and
modesty!  ["Taking her hand."]  Ah, give me this pure hand for good, for ever!
This hand which has been ever open to the misery of the poor, ever closed to
box the enemies of your country!
   EUPHEMIA.  It is not mine!
   DELHOMME.  I do not understand.  I am too worn a slave in the world's
market for my fettered soul to grasp your innocence.  Ah! you are vowed to OUr
Lady, perhaps?  Yet, believe me ----
   EUPHEMIA.  Oh, sir, you distress me --- indeed you distress me!   {225}
   DELHOMME.  I would not brush the bloom from off the lily --- and yet ----
   EUPHEMIA.  My god! --- Monsieur Delhomme, I am going to shock you.  Oh!
   ["She buries her face in her hands.  He starts back, surprised at the turn"
        "things are taking, and at the violence of her emotion and of its"
   DELHOMME.  What is it!  Are you ill!  Have I ---
   EUPHEMIA.  ["Steady and straight before him."]  I am another man's --- his
--- his mistress.  There!

   ["He reels, catches a chair and saves himself.  Her breast heaves;"
        "swallowing a sob, she runs out of the room."

   DELHOMME.  ["Utterly dazed"].  I --- I --- oh, my god!  My father!  My God!
I thought her --- oh, I dare not say it --- I will not think it.  ["On his"
"knees, clutching at the chair."]  My god, what shall I do!  She was my life, my
hope, my flower, my star, my sun!  What shall I do!  Help me! help me!  Who
shall console me?  {"He continues in silent prayer, sobbing"].

   ["The door opens;" MR. TODD "steals into the room on tiptoe, bends over him"
        "and whispers in his ear.  The expression of anguish fails from his"
        "face; a calm steals over him; he smiles in beatitude wand his pips"
        "move in rapture.  He rises, shakes" TODD "by the hand; they go out"

   [GRANDFATHER "wheeled into the room by" THOMAS, CHARLEY "walking by him.  The"
        "servant leaves them."

  GRANDFATHER.  bitter cold, Charley, for us old people!  {226}  Nothing right
nowadays!  Oh, my poor leg!  Bitter, bitter cold!  I mind me, more than sixty
years ago now --- oh dear! oh dear! run and tell Nurse I want my liniment!  Oh
dear! oh dear! what a wretched world.  Sciatics --- like rats gnawing, gnawing
at you, Charley.
  CHARLEY.  You frighten me, grampa!  Why doesn't Mr. Carr come and play with
  GRANDFATHER.  He has gone out with your mother.  He'll come by-and-by, no
doubt.  Run and fetch Nurse, Charley!                 [CHARLEY "runs off."
   Oh dear!  I wish I could find a good doctor.  Nobody seems to do me any
good.  It's pain, pain all the time.  Nurse! can't you tell me of a good
doctor?  For oh! for oh! ["He looks about him fearfully; his voice sinks to a"
"thrilled whisper"]  I am so afraid --- afraid to die!  Is there nobody ----

   ["Enter "TODD, "and stands by his chair, laying his hand on the old man's"
        "shoulder.  He looks up."

   I wish you were a doctor, Mr. Todd.  You have such a soothing touch.
Perhaps you are a doctor?  I can get nobody to do me any good.

   [TODD "whispers in his ear.  The old man brightens up at once."

   Why, yes!  I should think that would relieve me at once.  Very good!  Very

   [TODD "wheels him out of the room, the old man laughing and chuckling."
        "Enter" OSSORY "and" EUPHEMIA, "talking."

   OSSORY.  I want to say a word, girlie, about young Delhomme. {227}  Er ---
well, we all grow older, you know --- one day --- er --- ah!  Nice young
fellow, Delhomme!
   EUPHEMIA.  I refused him twenty minutes ago, father.
   OSSORY.  What?  How the deuce did you know what I was going to say?  Bless
me, I believe there may be something in this psychic business after all!
   EUPHEMIA.  Yes, father, I feel I have strange powers!
   OSSORY.  But look here, girlie, why did you refuse him> "Reculer pour mieux"
"sauter" is all very well, don't you know, but he gives twice who gives quickly.
   EUPHEMIA.  That's the point, father.  If you accept a man the first time he
asks you it's practically bigamy!
   OSSORY.  But --- little girl, you ought to accept him at once.  He will
make you an excellent husband --- I wish it.  ["Pompously".]  It has ever been
the desire of my heart to see my Phemie happily mated before I lay my old
bones in the grave.
   EUPHEMIA.  But I don't love him.  He's a quirk.
   OSSORY.  Tut!  Nonsense!  Appetite comes with eating.
   EUPHEMIA.  But I don't care for "Hors d'oeuvre."
   OSSORY.  Euphemia, this is a very serious matter for your poor old father.
   EUPHEMIA.  What have you got to do with it?  Really, father ----
   OSSORY.  I have everything to do with it.  The fact is, my child --- here!
I'll make a clean breast of it.  I've been gambling, and things have gone
wrong.  Only temporarily, of course, you understand.  Only temporarily.  But
--- oh, if I had only kept out of Fidos!
   EUPHEMIA.  Is it a dog?  ["Whistles."]  Here, Fido, Fido!  Trust, doogie,
trust! {228}
   OSSORY.  that's it! they won't trust, those dogs!  to put it short --- ["a"
"spasm of agony crosses his face"] --- Good Lord alive, "I'm" short!  If I can't
find a couple of hundred thousand before the twelfth I'll be hammered.
   EUPHEMIA.  And so ----?
   OSSORY.  Very decent young fellow, little Delhomme.  I can borrow half a
million from him if I want it; but I don't care to unless --- unless things
--- unless you ----
   EUPHEMIA.  I'm the goods, am I?  You old bear!
   OSSORY.  I know, Phemie, I know.  It's those damned bulls on Wall Street!
How could I foresee ----
   EUPHEMIA.  AT least you might have foreseen that I was not a bale of
   OSSORY.  But I shall be hammered, my dear child.  We shall all have to go
to the workhouse!
   EUPHEMIA.  ["coldly"].  I thought mamma had three thousand a year of her own.
   OSSORY.  That's just what I say.  The workhouse!
   EUPHEMIA.  My dear father, I really can't pity you.  I think you're a fool,
and you've insulted me.  Good morning!                ["She goes out."

   OSSORY.  Oh, the disgrace of it, the shame of it!  She little knows ----
How will the Receiver look at that Galapagos turtle deal?  Receivers are
damned fools.  And juries are worse.  Ah, Phemie, so little a sacrifice for
the father who has given all for you --- and she refuses!  Cruel!  Cruel!
Which way can I turn?  Is there nobody whose credit----  Let's think.
Jenkins?  No good.  Maur?  Too suspicious --- a nasty, sly, sneaking fellow!
Higginbotham, Ramspittle, Rosenbaum, Hoggenheimer, Flipp, Montgomery, MacAn
--- no, hang it! {229} no hope in a Mac --- Schpliechenspitzel, Togahening,
Adams, Blitzenstein, Cznechzaditzch --- no use.  I wonder where I caught that
cold!  who the devil is there that I could ask?

                           ["Enter" THOMAS --- OSSORY'S "back toward door."
  THOMAS.  Mr. Todd.  ["Enter" TODD --- OSSORY "doesn't turn."
   OSSORY.  I can't see him, Thomas.  ["Turns."]  I beg your pardon, Mr. Todd.
The fact is, I'm damnably worried over pay-day.  I really don't know you well
enough to ask you, perhaps, but the fact is, I've a good sound business
proposition which I must put before some one, and I believe you're the very
man to help me.  Now ----
   [TODD "takes him by the shoulder and whispers in his ear."
   Why, really, that is good of you --- damned good of you!  Why, damme, sir!
you're a public benefactor.  Come, let us arrange the preliminaries ----
   ["They go out," OSSORY "clinging tightly to" TODD'S "arm."
        "Enter" MRS. OSSORY "and" CARR, "dressed for walking."
   MRS. OSSORY.  She cut me!  You saw it!  She cut me absolutely dead!
   CARR.  Possibly she didn't see you.
   ["As "MRS. OSSORY "is not looking, he employs a gesture which lessens the"
        "likelihood of this, by calling attention to her bulk."
   MRS. OSSORY.  I know she saw me.  My only Duchess!
   CARR.  There's better duchesses in Burke than ever came out of it, Mrs.
Ossory.  By the way, unless rumour lies, the jade! you can fly much higher
than a paltry Duchess!
   MRS. OSSORY.  Why, why, what do you mean?  Oh, dear Professor, how sweet of
you!  Or are you joking?  Somehow {230} one never knows whether you are
serious or not!  But you wouldn't make fun of my embarrassments --- Society is
so serious, isn't it?  But, oh do! do tell me what they say!
   CARR.  Well, Mrs. Ossory --- you know our mysterious friend?
   MRS. OSSORY.  Mr. Todd?
   CARR.  Yes.  Well, they say that --- he is a King in his own country.
   MRS. OSSORY.  And I've always disliked and distrusted him so!  But perhaps
that was just the natural awe that I suppose one must always feel, even when
one doesn't know, you know.  I wonder, now, if we could get him to a little
dinner.  One could always pretend one didn't know who he was!  Let me see,
now!  Caviar de sterlet royale ----
   CARR.  Consomm‚ royale, sole … la royale, haunch of royal venison --- can't
insult him with mere baron of beef --- pouding royale, glace … l'imp‚ratrice,
canap‚ royale --- you'll be able to "feed" him all right!
   MRS. OSSORY.  How clever you are, Professor!  Thank you so much.  Now who
should we ask to meet him?
   CARR.  I rather expect you'll have to meet him "alone!"
   MRS. OSSORY.  "Tˆte-…-tˆte!"  But would that be quite "proper," Professor?
   CARR.  How very English! --- all you English think that.  But --- royalty
has its own etiquette.
                                                          ["Enter" CHARLEY.
   Come along, Charley boy, and show me how the new engine works! {231}
   Never mind that old frump of a Duchess, Mrs. Ossory --- perhaps Mr. Todd
may call.                                ["Goes out with" CHARLEY.
   MRS. OSSORY.  I do hope he meant it.  But he's such a terrible man for
pulling legs, as they call it. --- I can't think where Euphemia picks up all
her slang! -- If that plain, quiet man should really be a crowned King!  Oh!
how I would frown at her!  Ah! ah!  Somebody coming.
                                                           ["Enter" THOMAS.
   THOMAS.  Mr. Todd.                                         ["Enter" TODD.
   MRS. OSSORY.  Oh, my dear Mr. Todd, I am so glad to see you!  I'm in such
distress!  You will help me, won't you?
   [TODD "bows, smiles, and whispers in her ear.  She smiles all over.  "TODD
"        "offers his arm.  She goes out on it, giggling and wriggling with"
        "pleasure.  Enter" EUPHEMIA.
   EUPHEMIA.  I wonder where mother is!  No, I don't want her.  I'm too happy.
How I love him!  How proud I am --- when another girl would be so shamed!  I
love him!  I love him!  Oh, what a world of ecstasy is this!  To be his, and
he mine!  to be --- oh! oh!  I cannot bear the joy of it.  I want to sit down
and have a good cry.  ["Sits, crying and laughing with the you of it."]  Oh,
loving Father of all, what a world Thou hast made!  What a gift is life!  How
much it holds of love and laughter!  Is there anything more, anything better?
I cannot believe it.  Is there anything, anybody that could make me happier?
   THOMAS.  Mr. Todd.                                         ["Enter" TODD.
   EUPHEMIA.  Good afternoon, Mr. Todd!  So glad to see you!  Why, how strange
you look!  What have you to say to me?      [TODD "whispers in her ear." {232}
   EUPHEMIA.  How splendid!  You mean it?  It is true?  Better than all the
rest!  Come, come!

   ["She throws her arm round his neck and runs laughing out of the room with"

   ["Enter" CARR "and" CHARLEY, "a toy steam-engine puffing in front of them; they"
        "follow on hands and knees.  The engine stops at the other end of the"

  CHARLEY.  Oh, my poor engine's stopped!
   CARR.  You must pour more spirit into it.

   [CHARLEY "goes to the cupboard and gets it, busying himself until" CARR'S
"        "exit.  "CARR "signs heavily, and sits down thoughtfully."

   Todd's been too frequently to this house.  Well, Charley and I must get on
as best we can.  Life is a hard thing, my god!

          "Meantime there is our life here.  Well?"

   It seems sometimes to me as if all the world's wisdom were summed up in
that one Epicurus phrase.  For if Todd has solved all their problems with a
word, at least he supplies no hint of the answer to mine.  For I --- it seems
I hardly know what question to ask!
   Oh, Charley boy, the future is with you, and with your children --- or, can
humanity every solve the great secret?  Is progress a delusion?  Are men mad?
Is the great secret truly transcendental?  We are like madmen, beating out our
poor brains upon the walls of the Universe.
   Is there no Power that might reveal itself?
   ["Kneels."]  Who art Thou before whom all things are equal, {233} being as
dust?  Who givest his fame to the poet, his bankruptcy to the rich man?  Who
dost distinguish between the just and the unjust?  Thou keeper of all secrets,
of this great secret which I seek, and have nowise found!  This secret for
whose very shadowing-forth in parable I, who am young, strong, successful,
beloved, most enviable of men, would throw it all away!  Oh Thou who givest
that which none other can give, who art Thou?  How can I bargain with Thee?
what shall I give that I may possess Thy secret?  O question unavailing!  For
I know not yet Thy name!  Who art Thou?  Who art Thou?
   THOMAS  ["opening the door"].  Mr. Todd.               ["Enter" TODD.
   CARR.  ["rising"].  How are you?  I'm afraid you find me distracted!  Listen:
all my life I have sought --- nor counted the cost --- for the secret of
things.  Science is baffled, for Knowledge hath no wings!  Religion is
baffled, for Faith hath no feet!  Life itself --- of what value is all this
coil and tumult?  Who shall give me the secret?  What is the secret?
         [TODD "whispers in his ear."
   Why, thanks, thanks!  What a fool I have been!  I have always known who you
were, of course, but how could I guess you had the key of things?  Simple as A
B C --- or, rather, as A!  And nothing to pay after all!  "For of all Gods you
only love not gifts."  ["Ushers" TODD "to the door."]  I follow you.
                            [TODD "smiles kindly on him.  They go out."
   ["The child turns; and, finding himself alone, begins to cry."
   CHARLEY.  My nice man has gone away.  Old Todd has taken him away.  I think
I hate that old Todd!
                                                  ["Enter" TODD.    {234}
   I hate you!  I hate you!  Where is my nice man?
                                                 [TODD "whispers in his ear."
   Oh, I see.  It is when people get to be grown-ups that they don't like you
any more.  But I like you, Mr. Todd.  Carry me pick-a-back!
   [TODD "takes" CHARLEY "on his shoulder, and goes dancing from the room, the"
        "boy crowing with delight."