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_These plays may also be obtained separately: in cloth, 2s. net each; in
paper covers, 1s. 6d. net each._



_Entered at the Library of Congress, Washington, U.S.A.
All rights reserved._

_First Impression, August 1909_
_Second Impression, September 1909_
_Third Impression, November 1909_

To the memory of my fellow-worker,
St. John Hankin.

The Marrying of Ann Leete




_The first three acts of the comedy pass in the garden at Markswayde_,
MR. CARNABY LEETE'S _house near Reading, during a summer day towards the
close of the eighteenth century: the first act at four in the morning,
the second shortly after mid-day, the third near to sunset. The fourth
act takes place one day in the following winter; the first scene in the
hall at Markswayde, the second scene in a cottage some ten miles off._

_This part of the Markswayde garden looks to have been laid out during
the seventeenth century. In the middle a fountain; the centrepiece the
figure of a nymph, now somewhat cracked, and pouring nothing from the
amphora; the rim of the fountain is high enough and broad enough to be a
comfortable seat._

_The close turf around is in parts worn bare. This plot of ground is
surrounded by a terrace three feet higher. Three sides of it are seen.
From two corners broad steps lead down; stone urns stand at the bottom
and top of the stone balustrades. The other two corners are rounded
convexly into broad stone seats._

_Along the edges of the terrace are growing rose trees, close together;
behind these, paths; behind those, shrubs and trees. No landscape is to
be seen. A big copper beech overshadows the seat on the left. A silver
birch droops over the seat on the right. The trees far to the left
indicate an orchard, the few to the right are more of the garden sort.
It is the height of summer, and after a long drought the rose trees are

_It is very dark in the garden. Though there may be by now a faint
morning light in the sky it has not penetrated yet among these trees. It
is very still, too. Now and then the leaves of a tree are stirred, as if
in its sleep; that is all. Suddenly a shrill, frightened, but not
tragical scream is heard. After a moment_ ANN LEETE _runs quickly down
the steps and on to the fountain, where she stops, panting_. LORD JOHN
CARP _follows her, but only to the top of the steps, evidently not
knowing his way_. ANN _is a girl of twenty; he an English gentleman,
nearer forty than thirty_.

LORD JOHN. I apologise.

ANN. Why is it so dark?

LORD JOHN. Can you hear what I'm saying?

ANN. Yes.

LORD JOHN. I apologise for having kissed you . . . almost

ANN. Thank you. Mind the steps down.

LORD JOHN. I hope I'm sober, but the air . . .

ANN. Shall we sit for a minute? There are several seats to sit on

LORD JOHN. This is a very dark garden.

_There is a slight pause._

ANN. You've won your bet.

LORD JOHN. So you did scream!

ANN. But it wasn't fair.

LORD JOHN. Don't reproach me.

ANN. Somebody's coming.

LORD JOHN. How d'you know?

ANN. I can hear somebody coming.

LORD JOHN. We're not sitting down.

ANN'S _brother_, GEORGE LEETE _comes to the top of the steps, and
afterwards down them. Rather an old young man._


ANN. Yes.

GEORGE. My lord!


GEORGE. I can't see you. I'm sent to say we're all anxious to know what
ghost or other bird of night or beast has frightened Ann to screaming
point, and won you . . . the best in Tatton's stables - so he says now.
He's quite annoyed.

LORD JOHN. The mare is a very good mare.

ANN. He betted it because he wanted to bet it; I didn't want him to bet it.

GEORGE. What frightened her?

ANN. I had rather, my lord, that you did not tell my brother why I

LORD JOHN. I kissed her.

GEORGE. Did you?

ANN. I had rather, Lord John, that you had not told my brother why I

LORD JOHN. I misunderstood you.

GEORGE. I've broke up the whist party. Ann, shall we return?

LORD JOHN. She's not here.


LADY COTTESHAM, ANN'S _sister and ten years older, and_ MR. DANIEL
TATTON, _a well-living, middle-aged country gentleman, arrive together_.
TATTON _carries a double candlestick. . . the lights out_.

MR. TATTON. Three steps?

SARAH. No . . . four.

LORD JOHN. Miss Leete.

TATTON _in the darkness finds himself close to_ GEORGE.

MR. TATTON. I am in a rage with you, my lord.

GEORGE. He lives next door.

MR. TATTON. My mistake. [_He passes on._] Confess that she did it to
please you.

LORD JOHN. Screamed!

MR. TATTON. Lost my bet. We'll say . . . won your bet . . . to please
you. Was skeered at the dark . . . oh, fie!

LORD JOHN. Miss Leete trod on a toad.

MR. TATTON. I barred toads . . . here.

LORD JOHN. I don't think it.

MR. TATTON. I barred toads. Did I forget to? Well . . . it's better to
be a sportsman.

SARAH. And whereabout is she?

ANN. [_From the corner she has slunk to._] Here I am, Sally.

MR. TATTON. Miss Ann, I forgive you. I'm smiling, I assure you, I'm

SARAH. We all laughed when we heard you.

MR. TATTON. Which reminds me, young George Leete, had you the ace?

GEORGE. King . . . knave . . . here are the cards, but I can't see.

MR. TATTON. I had the king.

ANN. [_Quietly to her sister._] He kissed me.

SARAH. A man would.

GEORGE. What were trumps?

MR. TATTON. What were we playing . . . cricket?

ANN. [_As quietly again._] D'you think I'm blushing?

SARAH. It's probable.

ANN. I am by the feel of me.

SARAH. George, we left Papa sitting quite still.

LORD JOHN. Didn't he approve of the bet?

MR. TATTON. He said nothing.

SARAH. Why, who doesn't love sport!

MR. TATTON. I'm the man to grumble. Back a woman's pluck again . . .
never. My lord . . . you weren't the one to go with her as umpire.

GEORGE. No. . . to be sure.

MR. TATTON. How was it I let that pass? Playing two games at once.
Haven't I cause of complaint? But a man must give and take.

_The master of the house, father of_ GEORGE _and_ SARAH COTTESHAM _and_
ANN, MR. CARNABY LEETE, _comes slowly down the steps, unnoticed by the
others. A man over fifty - à la Lord Chesterfield_.

GEORGE. [_To_ LORD JOHN.] Are you sure you're quite comfortable there?

LORD JOHN. Whatever I'm sitting on hasn't given way yet.

MR. TATTON. Don't forget that you're riding to Brighton with me.

LORD JOHN. Tomorrow.

GEORGE. To-day. Well . . . the hour before sunrise is no time at all.

MR. TATTON. Sixty-five miles.

LORD JOHN. What are we all sitting here for?

MR. TATTON. I say people ought to be in bed and asleep.

CARNABY. But the morning air is delightful.

MR. TATTON. [_Jumping at the new voice._] Leete! Now, had you the ace?

CARNABY. Of course.

MR. TATTON. We should have lost that too, Lady Charlie.

SARAH. Bear up, Mr. Tat.

MR. TATTON. Come, a game of whist is a game of whist.

CARNABY. And so I strolled out after you all.

MR. TATTON. She trod on a toad.

CARNABY. [_Carelessly._] Does she say so?

MR. TATTON. [_With mock roguishness._] Ah!

GEORGE _is on the terrace, looking to the left through the trees_.
TATTON _is sitting on the edge of the fountain_.

GEORGE. Here's the sun . . . to show us ourselves.

MR. TATTON. Leete, this pond is full of water!

CARNABY. Ann, if you are there . . .

ANN. Yes, Papa.

CARNABY. Apologise profusely; it's your garden.

ANN. Oh . . .

CARNABY. Coat-tails, Tatton . . . or worse?

MR. TATTON. [_Ruefully discovering damp spots about him._] Nothing
vastly to matter.

LORD JOHN. Hardy, well-preserved, country gentleman!

MR. TATTON. I bet I'm a younger man than you, my lord.

ANN. [_Suddenly to the company generally._] I didn't tread upon any toad
. . . I was kissed.

_There is a pause of some discomfort._

SARAH. Ann, come here to me.

LORD JOHN. I apologised.

GEORGE. [_From the terrace._] Are we to be insulted?

CARNABY. My dear Carp, say no more.

_There is another short pause. By this it is twilight, faces can be
plainly seen._

SARAH. Listen . . . the first bird.

MR. TATTON. Oh, dear no, they begin to sing long before this.

CARNABY. What is it now . . . a lark?

MR. TATTON. I don't know.

ANN. [_Quietly to_ SARAH.] That's a thrush.

SARAH. [_Capping her._] A thrush.

CARNABY. Charming!

MR. TATTON. [__ LORD JOHN.] I don't see why you couldn't have told me
how it was that she screamed.

CARNABY. Our dear Tatton! [_Sotto voce to his son._] Hold your tongue,

MR. TATTON. I did bar toads and you said I didn't, and anyway I had a
sort of right to know.

LORD JOHN. You know now.

SARAH. I wonder if this seat is dry.

LORD JOHN. There's been no rain for weeks.

SARAH. The roads will be dusty for you, Mr. Tat.

MR. TATTON. Just one moment. You don't mind me, Miss Ann, do you?

ANN. I don't mind much.

MR. TATTON. We said distinctly . . . To the orchard end of the garden
and back and if frightened - that's the word - so much as to scream . . . !
Now, what I want to know is. . .

LORD JOHN. Consider the bet off.

MR. TATTON. Certainly not. And we should have added. . . Alone.

CARNABY. Tatton has persistence.

SARAH. Mr. Tat, do you know where people go who take things seriously?

MR. TATTON. Miss Leete, were you frightened when Lord John kissed you?

GEORGE. Damnation!

CARNABY. My excellent Tatton, much as I admire your searchings after
truth I must here parentally intervene, regretting, my dear Tatton, that
my own carelessness of duennahood has permitted this - this . . . to

_After this, there is silence for a minute._

LORD JOHN. Can I borrow a horse of you, Mr. Leete?

CARNABY. My entire stable; and your Ronald shall be physicked.

SARAH. Spartans that you are to be riding!

LORD JOHN. I prefer it to a jolting chaise.

MR. TATTON. You will have my mare.

LORD JOHN. [_Ignoring him._] This has been a most enjoyable three weeks.


LORD JOHN. Is it four?

CARNABY. We bow to the compliment. Our duty to his grace.

LORD JOHN. When I see him.

GEORGE. To our dear cousin.

MR. TATTON. [_To_ LADY COTTESHAM.] Sir Charles at Brighton?

SARAH. [_Not answering._] To be sure . . . we did discover . . . our
mother was second cousin . . . once removed to you.

CARNABY. If the prince will be there . . . he is in waiting.

LORD JOHN. Any message, Lady Cottesham? . . . since we speak out of

SARAH. I won't trust you.

CARNABY. Or trouble you while I still may frank a letter. But my
son-in-law is a wretched correspondent. Do you admire men of small
vices? They make admirable husbands though their wives will be
grumbling - Silence, Sarah - but that's a good sign.

SARAH. Papa is a connoisseur of humanity.

ANN. [_To the company as before._] No, Mr. Tatton, I wasn't frightened
when Lord John . . . kissed me. I screamed because I was surprised, and
I'm sorry I screamed.

SARAH. [_Quietly to_ ANN.] My dear Ann, you're a fool.

ANN. [_Quietly to_ SARAH.] I will speak sometimes.

SARAH. Sit down again.

_Again an uncomfortable silence, a ludicrous air about it this time._

MR. TATTON. Now, we'll say no more about that bet, but I was right.

LORD JOHN. Do you know, Mr. Tatton, that I have a temper to lose?

MR. TATTON. What the devil does that matter to me, sir . . . my lord?

LORD JOHN. I owe you a saddle and bridle.

MR. TATTON. You'll oblige me by taking the mare.

LORD JOHN. We'll discuss it to-morrow.

MR. TATTON. I've said all I have to say.

GEORGE. The whole matter's ridiculous!

MR. TATTON. I see the joke. Good-night, Lady Cottesham, and I kiss your

SARAH. Good morning, Mr. Tat.

MR. TATTON. Good morning, Miss Ann, I . . .

SARAH. [_Shielding her sister._] Good morrow is appropriate.

MR. TATTON. I'll go by the fields. [_To_ CARNABY.] Thank you for a
pleasant evening. Good morrow, George. Do we start at mid-day, my lord?

LORD JOHN. Any time you please.

MR. TATTON. Not at all. [_He hands the candlestick - of which he has
never before left go - to_ GEORGE.] I brought this for a link. Thank you.

CARNABY. Mid-day will be midnight if you sleep at all now; make it two
or later.

MR. TATTON. We put up at Guildford. I've done so before. I haven't my
hat. It's a day and a half's ride.

TATTON _goes quickly up the other steps and away. It is now quite
light._ GEORGE _stands by the steps_, LORD JOHN _is on one of the
seats_, CARNABY _strolls round, now and then touching the rose trees_,
SARAH _and_ ANN _are on the other seat_.

GEORGE. Morning! These candles still smell.

SARAH. How lively one feels and isn't.

CARNABY. The flowers are opening.

ANN. [_In a whisper._] Couldn't we go in?

SARAH. Never run away.

ANN. Everything looks so odd.

SARAH. What's o'clock . . . my lord?

LORD JOHN. Half after four.

ANN. [_To_ SARAH.] My eyes are hot behind.

GEORGE. What ghosts we seem!

SARAH. What has made us spend such a night?

CARNABY. Ann incited me to it. [_He takes snuff._]

SARAH. In a spirit of rebellion against good country habits. . .

ANN. [_To her sister again._] Don't talk about me.

SARAH. They can see that you're whispering.

CARNABY. . . . Informing me now she was a woman and wanted excitement.

GEORGE. There's a curse.

CARNABY. How else d'ye conceive life for women?

SARAH. George is naturally cruel. Excitement's our education. Please
vary it, though.

CARNABY. I have always held that to colour in the world-picture is the
greatest privilege of the husband. Sarah.

SARAH. [_Not leaving_ ANN'S _side_.] Yes, Papa.

CARNABY. Sarah, when Sir Charles leaves Brighton. . .

SARAH _rises but will not move further_.

CARNABY. [_Sweetly threatening._] Shall I come to you?

_But she goes to him now._

CARNABY. By a gossip letter from town . . .

SARAH. [_Tensely._] What is it?

CARNABY. You mentioned to me something of his visiting Naples.

SARAH. Very well. I detest Italy.

CARNABY. Let's have George's opinion.

_He leads her towards_ GEORGE.


CARNABY. Upon Naples.

GEORGE. I remember Naples.

CARNABY. Sarah, admire those roses.

SARAH. [_Cynically echoing her father._] Let's have George's opinion.

_Now_ CARNABY _has drawn them both away, upon the terrace, and, the
coast being clear_, LORD JOHN _walks towards_ ANN, _who looks at him
very scaredly_.

CARNABY. Emblem of secrecy among the ancients.

SARAH. Look at this heavy head, won't it snap off?

_The three move out of sight._

LORD JOHN. I'm sober now.

ANN. I'm not.

LORD JOHN. Uncompromising young lady.

ANN. And, excuse me, I don't want to . . . play.

LORD JOHN. Don't you wish me to apologise quietly, to you?

ANN. Good manners are all mockery, I'm sure.

LORD JOHN. I'm very much afraid you're a cynic.

ANN. I'm not trying to be clever.

LORD JOHN. Do I tease you?

ANN. Do I amuse you?

LORD JOHN. How dare I say so!

ANN. [_After a moment._] I was not frightened.

LORD JOHN. You kissed me back.

ANN. Not on purpose. What do two people mean by behaving so . . . in the

LORD JOHN. I am exceedingly sorry that I hurt your feelings.

ANN. Thank you, I like to feel.

LORD JOHN. And you must forgive me.

ANN. Tell me, why did you do it?

LORD JOHN. Honestly I don't know. I should do it again.

ANN. That's not quite true, is it?

LORD JOHN. I think so.

ANN. What does it matter at all!

LORD JOHN. Nothing.

GEORGE, SARAH _and then_ CARNABY _move into sight and along the
terrace_, LORD JOHN _turns to them_.

LORD JOHN. Has this place been long in your family, Mr. Leete?

CARNABY. Markswayde my wife brought us, through the Peters's . . . old
Chiltern people . . . connections of yours, of course. There is no

LORD JOHN _walks back to_ ANN.

SARAH. George, you assume this republicanism as you would - no, would
not - a coat of latest cut.

CARNABY. Never argue with him . . . persist.

SARAH. So does he.

_The three pass along the terrace._

ANN. [_To_ LORD JOHN.] Will you sit down?

LORD JOHN. It's not worth while. Do you know I must be quite twice your

ANN. A doubled responsibility, my lord.

LORD JOHN. I suppose it is.

ANN. I don't say so. That's a phrase from a book . . . sounded well.

LORD JOHN. My dear Miss Ann. . . [_He stops._]

ANN. Go on being polite.

LORD JOHN. If you'll keep your head turned away.

ANN. Why must I?

LORD JOHN. There's lightning in the glances of your eye.

ANN. Do use vulgar words to me.

LORD JOHN. [_With a sudden fatherly kindness._] Go to bed . . . you're
dead tired. And good-bye . . . I'll be gone before you wake.

ANN. Good-bye.

_She shakes hands with him, then walks towards her father who is coming
down the steps._

ANN. Papa, don't my roses want looking to?

CARNABY. [_Pats her cheek._] These?

ANN. Those.

CARNABY. Abud is under your thumb, horticulturally speaking.

ANN. Where's Sally?

_She goes on to_ SARAH, _who is standing with_ GEORGE _at the top of the
steps_. CARNABY _looks_ LORD JOHN _up and down_.

LORD JOHN. [_Dusting his shoulder._] This cursed powder!

CARNABY. Do we respect innocence enough . . . any of us?

GEORGE _comes down the steps and joins them_.

GEORGE. Respectable politics will henceforth be useless to me.

CARNABY. My lord, was his grace satisfied with the young man's work
abroad or was he not?

LORD JOHN. My father used to curse everyone.

CARNABY. That's a mere Downing Street custom.

LORD JOHN. And I seem to remember that a letter of yours from . . .
where were you in those days?

GEORGE. Paris . . . Naples . . . Vienna.

LORD JOHN. One place . . . once lightened a fit of gout.

CARNABY. George, you have in you the makings of a minister.


CARNABY. Remember the Age tends to the disreputable.

GEORGE _moves away_, SARAH _moves towards them_.

CARNABY. George is something of a genius, stuffed with theories and
possessed of a curious conscience. But I am fortunate in my children.

LORD JOHN. All the world knows it.

CARNABY. [_To_ SARAH.] It's lucky that yours was a love match, too. I
admire you. Ann is 'to come,' so to speak.

SARAH. [_To_ LORD JOHN.] Were you discussing affairs?



ANN. Yes, George.

_She goes to him; they stroll together up the steps and along the

SARAH. I'm desperately fagged.

LORD JOHN. [_Politely._] A seat.

SARAH. Also tired of sitting.

CARNABY. Let's have the Brighton news, Carp.

LORD JOHN. If there's any.

CARNABY. Probably I still command abuse. Even my son-in-law must, by
courtesy, join in the cry . . . ah, poor duty-torn Sarah! You can spread
abroad that I am as a green bay tree.

CARNABY _paces slowly away from them_.

LORD JOHN. Your father's making a mistake.

SARAH. D'you think so?

LORD JOHN. He's played the game once.

SARAH. I was not then in the knowledge of things when he left you.

LORD JOHN. We remember it.

SARAH. I should like to hear it.

LORD JOHN. I have avoided this subject.

SARAH. With him, yes.

LORD JOHN. Oh! . . . why did I desert the army for politics?

SARAH. Better fighting.

LORD JOHN. It sat so nobly upon him . . . the leaving us for conscience
sake when we were strongly in power. Strange that six months later we
should be turned out.

SARAH. Papa was lucky.

LORD JOHN. But this second time . . . ?

SARAH. Listen. This is very much a private quarrel with Mr. Pitt, who
hates Papa . . . gets rid of him.

LORD JOHN. Shall I betray a confidence?

SARAH. Better not.

LORD JOHN. My father advised me to this visit.

SARAH. Your useful visit. More than kind of his Grace.

LORD JOHN. Yes . . . there's been a paragraph in the "Morning
Chronicle," 'The Whigs woo Mr. Carnaby Leete.'

SARAH. We saw to it.

LORD JOHN. My poor father seems anxious to discover whether the Leete
episode will repeat itself entirely. He is chronically unhappy in
opposition. Are your husband and his colleagues trembling in their

SARAH. I can't say.

LORD JOHN. Politics is a game for clever children, and women, and fools.
Will you take a word of warning from a soldier? Your father is past his

CARNABY _paces back towards them_.

CARNABY. I'm getting to be old for these all-night sittings. I must be
writing to your busy brother.

LORD JOHN. Arthur? . . . is at his home.

SARAH. Pleasantly sounding phrase.

CARNABY. His grace deserted?

SARAH. Quite secretaryless!

LORD JOHN. Lady Arthur lately has been brought to bed. I heard

SARAH. The seventh, is it not? Children require living up to. My

LORD JOHN. Won't you write them?

SARAH. We are not intimate.

LORD JOHN. A good woman.

SARAH. Evidently. Where's Ann? We'll go in.

LORD JOHN. You're a mother to your sister.


CARNABY. My wife went her ways into the next world; Sarah hers into
this; and our little Ann was left with a most admirable governess. One
must never reproach circumstances. Man educates woman in his own good

LORD JOHN. I suppose she, or any young girl, is all heart.

CARNABY. What is it that you call heart . . . sentimentally speaking?

SARAH. Any bud in the morning.

LORD JOHN. That man Tatton's jokes are in shocking taste.

CARNABY. Tatton is honest.

LORD JOHN. I'm much to blame for having won that bet.

CARNABY. Say no more.

LORD JOHN. What can Miss Ann think of me?

SARAH. Don't ask her.

CARNABY. Innocency's opinions are invariably entertaining.

LORD JOHN. Am I the first . . . ? I really beg your pardon.

GEORGE _and_ ANN _come down the steps together_.

CARNABY. Ann, what do you think . . . that is to say - and answer me
truthfully . . . what at this moment is your inclination of mind towards
my lord here?

ANN. I suppose I love him.

LORD JOHN. I hope not.

ANN. I suppose I love you.

CARNABY. No . . no . . no . . no . . no . . no . . no.

SARAH. Hush, dear.

ANN. I'm afraid, papa, there's something very ill-bred in me.

_Down the steps and into the midst of them comes_ JOHN ABUD, _carrying
his tools, among other things a twist of bass. A young gardener, honest,
clean and common._

ABUD. [_To_ CARNABY.] I ask pardon, sir.

CARNABY. So early, Abud! . . . this is your territory. So late . . . Bed.

ANN _starts away up the steps_, SARAH _is following her_.

LORD JOHN. Good-bye, Lady Cottesham.

_At this_ ANN _stops for a moment, but then goes straight on_.

SARAH. A pleasant journey.

SARAH _departs too_.

GEORGE. [_Stretching himself._] I'm roused.

CARNABY. [_To_ ABUD.] Leave your tools here for a few moments.

ABUD. I will, sir.

ABUD _leaves them, going along the terrace and out of sight_.

CARNABY. My head is hot. Pardon me.

CARNABY _is sitting on the fountain rim; he dips his handkerchief in the
water, and wrings it; then takes off his wig and binds the damp
handkerchief round his head_.

CARNABY. Wigs are most comfortable and old fashioned . . . unless you
choose to be a cropped republican like my son.

GEORGE. Nature!

CARNABY. Nature grows a beard, sir.

LORD JOHN. I've seen Turks.

CARNABY. Horrible . . . horrible! Sit down, Carp.

LORD JOHN _sits on the fountain rim_, GEORGE _begins to pace restlessly;
he has been nursing the candlestick ever since_ TATTON _handed it to

CARNABY. George, you look damned ridiculous strutting arm-in-arm with
that candlestick.

GEORGE. I am ridiculous.

CARNABY. If you're cogitating over your wife and her expectations . . .

GEORGE _paces up the steps and away. There is a pause._

CARNABY. D'ye tell stories . . . good ones?

LORD JOHN. Sometimes.

CARNABY. There'll be this.

LORD JOHN. I shan't.

CARNABY. Say no more. If I may so express myself, Carp, you have been

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