Title: The Philanderer
Author: George Bernard Shaw
Release Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5071] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 14, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK the philanderer ***
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A lady and gentleman are making love to one another
the drawing-room of a flat in Ashly Gardens in the
Victoria district of London. It is past ten at night.
The walls are hung with theatrical engravings and
photographs—Kemble as Hamlet, Mrs. Siddons as Queen
Katharine pleading in court, Macready as Werner (after
Maclise), Sir Henry Irving as Richard III (after Long),
Miss Ellen Terry, Mrs. Kendal, Miss Ada Rehan, Madame
Sarah Bernhardt, Mr. Henry Arthur Jones, Mr. A. W.
Pinero, Mr. Sydney Grundy, and so on, but not the
Signora Duse or anyone connected with Ibsen. The room
is not a perfect square, the right hand corner at the
back being cut off diagonally by the doorway, and the
opposite corner rounded by a turret window filled up
with a stand of flowers surrounding a statue of
Shakespear. The fireplace is on the right, with an
armchair near it. A small round table, further forward
on the same side, with a chair beside it, has a
yellow-backed French novel lying open on it. The piano,
a grand, is on the left, open, with the keyboard in
full view at right angles to the wall. The piece of
music on the desk is “When other lips.” Incandescent
lights, well shaded, are on the piano and mantelpiece.
Near the piano is a sofa, on which the lady and
gentleman are seated affectionately side by side, in
one another’s arms.
The lady, Grace Tranfield, is about 32, slight of build, delicate of feature, and sensitive in expression. She is just now given up to the emotion of the moment; but her well closed mouth, proudly set brows, firm chin, and elegant carriage show plenty of determination and self respect. She is in evening dress.
The gentleman, Leonard Charteris, a few years older, is unconventionally but smartly dressed in a velvet jacket and cashmere trousers. His collar, dyed Wotan blue, is part of his shirt, and turns over a garnet coloured scarf of Indian silk, secured by a turquoise ring. He wears blue socks and leather sandals. The arrangement of his tawny hair, and of his moustaches and short beard, is apparently left to Nature; but he has taken care that Nature shall do him the fullest justice. His amative enthusiasm, at which he is himself laughing, and his clever, imaginative, humorous ways, contrast strongly with the sincere tenderness and dignified quietness of the woman.