Forgot your password?  

If: a play in four acts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

MARY

Not a gentleman!  Good gracious, Liza, whatever do you mean?

LIZA

’E would come in, mum.

MARY

But what does he want?

Liza [over shoulder]

What does you want?

John [entering]

I am a beggar.

MARY

O, really?  You’ve no right to be coming into houses like this, you know.

JOHN

I know that, madam, I know that.  Yet somehow I couldn’t help myself.  I’ve been begging for nearly three years now, and I’ve never done this before, yet somehow to-night I felt impelled to come to this house.  I beg your pardon, humbly.  Hunger drove me to it.

MARY

Hunger?

JOHN

I’m very hungry, madam.

MARY

Unfortunately Mr. Cater has not yet returned, or perhaps he might . . .

JOHN

If you could give me a little to eat yourself, madam, a bit of stale bread, a crust, something that Mr. Cater would not want.

MARY

It’s very unusual, coming into a house like this and at such an hour—­it’s past eleven o’clock—­and Mr. Cater not yet returned.  Are you really hungry?

JOHN

I’m very, very hungry.

MARY

Well, it’s very unusual; but perhaps I might get you a little something.

[She picks up an empty plate from the supper table.]

JOHN

Madam, I do not know how to thank you.

MARY

O, don’t mention it.

JOHN

I have not met such kindness for three years.  I . . .  I’m starving.  I’ve known better times.

Mary [kindly]

I’ll get you something.  You’ve known
better times, you say?

JOHN

I had been intended for work in the City.  And then, then I travelled, and—­and I got very much taken with foreign countries, and I thought—­but it all went to pieces.  I lost everything.  Here I am, starving.

Mary [as one might reply to the Mayoress who had lost her gloves]

O, I’m so sorry.

[John sighs deeply.]

Follow Us on Facebook