List Of Contents | Contents of Man and Superman, by Bernard Shaw
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not morality! I agree with you; but unfortunately Violet does

MALONE. I take leave to doubt that, sir. [Turning on Violet] Let
me tell you, Mrs Robinson, or whatever your right name is, you
had no right to send that letter to my son when you were the wife
of another man.

HECTOR. [outraged] This is the last straw. Dad: you have insulted
my wife.


TANNER. YOU the missing husband! Another moral impostor! [He
smites his brow, and collapses into Malone's chair].

MALONE. You've married without my consent!

RAMSDEN. You have deliberately humbugged us, sir!

HECTOR. Here: I have had just about enough of being badgered.
Violet and I are married: that's the long and the short of it.
Now what have you got to say--any of you?

MALONE. I know what I've got to say. She's married a beggar.

HECTOR. No; she's married a Worker [his American pronunciation
imparts an overwhelming intensity to this simple and unpopular
word]. I start to earn my own living this very afternoon.

MALONE. [sneering angrily] Yes: you're very plucky now, because
you got your remittance from me yesterday or this morning, I
reckon. Wait til it's spent. You won't be so full of cheek then.

HECTOR. [producing a letter from his pocketbook] Here it is
[thrusting it on his father]. Now you just take your remittance
and yourself out of my life. I'm done with remittances; and I'm
done with you. I don't sell the privilege of insulting my wife
for a thousand dollars.

MALONE. [deeply wounded and full of concern] Hector: you
don't know what poverty is.

HECTOR. [fervidly] Well, I want to know what it is. I want'be a
Man. Violet: you come along with me, to your own home: I'll see
you through.

OCTAVIUS. [jumping down from the garden to the lawn and running
to Hector's left hand] I hope you'll shake hands with me before you
go, Hector. I admire and respect you more than I can say. [He is
affected almost to tears as they shake hands].

VIOLET. [also almost in tears, but of vexation] Oh don't be an
idiot, Tavy. Hector's about as fit to become a workman as you

TANNER. [rising from his chair on the other ride of Hector] Never
fear: there's no question of his becoming a navvy, Mrs Malone.
[To Hector] There's really no difficulty about capital to start
with. Treat me as a friend: draw on me.

OCTAVIUS. [impulsively] Or on me.

MALONE. [with fierce jealousy] Who wants your dirty money? Who
should he draw on but his own father? [Tanner and Octavius
recoil, Octavius rather hurt, Tanner consoled by the solution of
the money difficulty. Violet looks up hopefully]. Hector: don't
be rash, my boy. I'm sorry for what I said: I never meant to
insult Violet: I take it all back. She's just the wife you want:

HECTOR. [Patting him on the shoulder] Well, that's all right,
dad. Say no more: we're friends again. Only, I take no money from

MALONE. [pleading abjectly] Don't be hard on me, Hector. I'd
rather you quarrelled and took the money than made friends and
starved. You don't know what the world is: I do.

HECTOR. No, no, NO. That's fixed: that's not going to change. [He
passes his father inexorably by, and goes to Violet]. Come, Mrs
Malone: you've got to move to the hotel with me, and take your
proper place before the world.

VIOLET. But I must go in, dear, and tell Davis to pack. Won't you
go on and make them give you a room overlooking the garden for
me? I'll join you in half an hour.

HECTOR. Very well. You'll dine with us, Dad, won't you?

MALONE. [eager to conciliate him] Yes, yes.

HECTOR. See you all later. [He waves his hand to Ann, who has now
been joined by Tanner, Octavius, and Ramsden in the garden, and
goes out through the little gate, leaving his father and Violet
together on the lawn].

MALONE. You'll try to bring him to his senses, Violet: I know you

VIOLET. I had no idea he could be so headstrong. If he goes on
like that, what can I do?

MALONE. Don't be discurridged: domestic pressure may be slow; but
it's sure. You'll wear him down. Promise me you will.

VIOLET. I will do my best. Of course I think it's the greatest
nonsense deliberately making us poor like that.

MALONE. Of course it is.

VIOLET. [after a moment's reflection] You had better give me the
remittance. He will want it for his hotel bill. I'll see whether
I can induce him to accept it. Not now, of course, but presently.

MALONE. [eagerly] Yes, yes, yes: that's just the thing [he hands
her the thousand dollar bill, and adds cunningly] Y'understand
that this is only a bachelor allowance.

VIOLET. [Coolly] Oh, quite. [She takes it]. Thank you. By the
way, Mr Malone, those two houses you mentioned--the abbeys.


VIOLET. Don't take one of them until I've seen it. One never
knows what may be wrong with these places.

MALONE. I won't. I'll do nothing without consulting you, never

VIOLET. [politely, but without a ray of gratitude] Thanks: that
will be much the best way. [She goes calmly back to the villa,
escorted obsequiously by Malone to the upper end of the garden].

TANNER. [drawing Ramsden's attention to Malone's cringing
attitude as he takes leave of Violet] And that poor devil is a
billionaire! one of the master spirits of the age! Led on a
string like a pug dog by the first girl who takes the trouble to
despise him. I wonder will it ever come to that with me. [He
comes down to the lawn.]

RAMSDEN. [following him] The sooner the better for you.

MALONE. [clapping his hands as he returns through the garden]
That'll be a grand woman for Hector. I wouldn't exchange her for
ten duchesses. [He descends to the lawn and comes between Tanner
and Ramsden].

RAMSDEN. [very civil to the billionaire] It's an unexpected
pleasure to find you in this corner of the world, Mr Malone. Have
you come to buy up the Alhambra?

MALONE. Well, I don't say I mightn't. I think I could do better
with it than the Spanish government. But that's not what I came
about. To tell you the truth, about a month ago I overheard a
deal between two men over a bundle of shares. They differed about
the price: they were young and greedy, and didn't know that if
the shares were worth what was bid for them they must be worth
what was asked, the margin being too small to be of any account,
you see. To amuse meself, I cut in and bought the shares. Well,
to this day I haven't found out what the business is. The office
is in this town; and the name is Mendoza, Limited. Now whether
Mendoza's a mine, or a steamboat line, or a bank, or a patent

TANNER. He's a man. I know him: his principles are thoroughly
commercial. Let us take you round the town in our motor, Mr
Malone, and call on him on the way.

MALONE. If you'll be so kind, yes. And may I ask who--

TANNER. Mr Roebuck Ramsden, a very old friend of your

MALONE. Happy to meet you, Mr Ramsden.

RAMSDEN. Thank you. Mr Tanner is also one of our circle.

MALONE. Glad to know you also, Mr Tanner.

TANNER. Thanks. [Malone and Ramsden go out very amicably through
the little gate. Tanner calls to Octavius, who is wandering in
the garden with Ann] Tavy! [Tavy comes to the steps, Tanner
whispers loudly to him] Violet has married a financier of
brigands. [Tanner hurries away to overtake Malone and Ramsden.
Ann strolls to the steps with an idle impulse to torment

ANN. Won't you go with them, Tavy?

OCTAVIUS. [tears suddenly flushing his eyes] You cut me to the
heart, Ann, by wanting me to go [he comes down on the lawn to
hide his face from her. She follows him caressingly].

ANN. Poor Ricky Ticky Tavy! Poor heart!

OCTAVIUS. It belongs to you, Ann. Forgive me: I must speak of it.
I love you. You know I love you.

ANN. What's the good, Tavy? You know that my mother is determined
that I shall marry Jack.

OCTAVIUS. [amazed] Jack!

ANN. It seems absurd, doesn't it?

OCTAVIUS. [with growing resentment] Do you mean to say that Jack
has been playing with me all this time? That he has been urging
me not to marry you because he intends to marry you himself?

ANN. [alarmed] No no: you mustn't lead him to believe that I said
that: I don't for a moment think that Jack knows his own mind.
But it's clear from my father's will that he wished me to marry
Jack. And my mother is set on it.

OCTAVIUS. But you are not bound to sacrifice yourself always to
the wishes of your parents.

ANN. My father loved me. My mother loves me. Surely their wishes
are a better guide than my own selfishness.

OCTAVIUS. Oh, I know how unselfish you are, Ann. But believe me--
though I know I am speaking in my own interest--there is another
side to this question. Is it fair to Jack to marry him if you do
not love him? Is it fair to destroy my happiness as well as your
own if you can bring yourself to love me?

ANN. [looking at him with a faint impulse of pity] Tavy, my
dear, you are a nice creature--a good boy.

OCTAVIUS. [humiliated] Is that all?

ANN. [mischievously in spite of her pity] That's a great deal, I
assure you. You would always worship the ground I trod on,
wouldn't you?

OCTAVIUS. I do. It sounds ridiculous; but it's no exaggeration. I
do; and I always shall.

ANN. Always is a long word, Tavy. You see, I shall have to live
up always to your idea of my divinity; and I don't think I could do
that if we were married. But if I marry Jack, you'll never be
disillusioned--at least not until I grow too old.

OCTAVIUS. I too shall grow old, Ann. And when I am eighty, one
white hair of the woman I love will make me tremble more than the
thickest gold tress from the most beautiful young head.

ANN. [quite touched] Oh, that's poetry, Tavy, real poetry. It
gives me that strange sudden sense of an echo from a former
existence which always seems to me such a striking proof that we
have immortal souls.

OCTAVIUS. Do you believe that is true?

ANN. Tavy, if it is to become true you must lose me as well as
love me.

OCTAVIUS. Oh! [he hastily sits down at the little table and
covers his face with his hands].

ANN. [with conviction] Tavy: I wouldn't for worlds destroy your
illusions. I can neither take you nor let you go. I can see
exactly what will suit you. You must be a sentimental old
bachelor for my sake.

OCTAVIUS. [desperately] Ann: I'll kill myself.

ANN. Oh no you won't: that wouldn't be kind. You won't have a bad
time. You will be very nice to women; and you will go a good deal
to the opera. A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a
man in London if he has a comfortable income.

OCTAVIUS. [considerably cooled, but believing that he is only
recovering his self-control] I know you mean to be kind, Ann.
Jack has persuaded you that cynicism is a good tonic for me. [He
rises with quiet dignity].

ANN. [studying him slyly] You see, I'm disillusionizing you
already. That's what I dread.

OCTAVIUS. You do not dread disillusionizing Jack.

ANN. [her face lighting up with mischievous ecstasy--whispering] I
can't: he has no illusions about me. I shall surprise Jack the
other way. Getting over an unfavorable impression is ever so much
easier than living up to an ideal. Oh, I shall enrapture Jack

OCTAVIUS. [resuming the calm phase of despair, and beginning to
enjoy his broken heart and delicate attitude without knowing it]
I don't doubt that. You will enrapture him always. And he--the
fool!--thinks you would make him wretched.

ANN. Yes: that's the difficulty, so far.

OCTAVIUS. [heroically] Shall I tell him that you love?

ANN. [quickly] Oh no: he'd run away again.

OCTAVIUS. [shocked] Ann: would you marry an unwilling man?

ANN. What a queer creature you are, Tavy! There's no such thing
as a willing man when you really go for him. [She laughs
naughtily]. I'm shocking you, I suppose. But you know you are
really getting a sort of satisfaction already in being out of
danger yourself.

OCTAVIUS [startled] Satisfaction! [Reproachfully] You say that to

ANN. Well, if it were really agony, would you ask for more of it?

OCTAVIUS. Have I asked for more of it?

ANN. You have offered to tell Jack that I love him. That's
self-sacrifice, I suppose; but there must be some satisfaction in
it. Perhaps it's because you're a poet. You are like the bird
that presses its breast against the sharp thorn to make itself

OCTAVIUS. It's quite simple. I love you; and I want you to be
happy. You don't love me; so I can't make you happy myself; but I
can help another man to do it.

ANN. Yes: it seems quite simple. But I doubt if we ever know why
we do things. The only really simple thing is to go straight for
what you want and grab it. I suppose I don't love you, Tavy; but
sometimes I feel as if I should like to make a man of you
somehow. You are very foolish about women.

OCTAVIUS. [almost coldly] I am content to be what I am in that

ANN. Then you must keep away from them, and only dream about
them. I wouldn't marry you for worlds, Tavy.

OCTAVIUS. I have no hope, Ann: I accept my ill luck. But I don't
think you quite know how much it hurts.

ANN. You are so softhearted! It's queer that you should be so
different from Violet. Violet's as hard as nails.

OCTAVIUS. Oh no. I am sure Violet is thoroughly womanly at heart.

ANN. [with some impatience] Why do you say that? Is it unwomanly
to be thoughtful and businesslike and sensible? Do you want
Violet to be an idiot--or something worse, like me?

OCTAVIUS. Something worse--like you! What do you mean, Ann?

ANN. Oh well, I don't mean that, of course. But I have a great
respect for Violet. She gets her own way always.

OCTAVIUS. [sighing] So do you.

ANN. Yes; but somehow she gets it without coaxing--without having
to make people sentimental about her.

OCTAVIUS. [with brotherly callousness] Nobody could get very
sentimental about Violet, I think, pretty as she is.

ANN. Oh yes they could, if she made them.

OCTAVIUS. But surely no really nice woman would deliberately
practise on men's instincts in that way.

ANN. [throwing up her hands] Oh Tavy, Tavy, Ricky Ticky Tavy,
heaven help the woman who marries you!

OCTAVIUS. [his passion reviving at the name] Oh why, why, why do
you say that? Don't torment me. I don't understand.

ANN. Suppose she were to tell fibs, and lay snares for men?

OCTAVIUS. Do you think I could marry such a woman--I, who have
known and loved you?

ANN. Hm! Well, at all events, she wouldn't let you if she were
wise. So that's settled. And now I can't talk any more. Say you
forgive me, and that the subject is closed.

OCTAVIUS. I have nothing to forgive; and the subject is closed.
And if the wound is open, at least you shall never see it bleed.

ANN. Poetic to the last, Tavy. Goodbye, dear. [She pats his
check; has an impulse to kiss him and then another impulse of
distaste which prevents her; finally runs away through the garden
and into the villa].

Octavius again takes refuge at the table, bowing his head on his
arms and sobbing softly. Mrs Whitefield, who has been pottering
round the Granada shops, and has a net full of little parcels in

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