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Produced by Paul Haxo from page images generously made
available by the Internet Archive and the University
of Toronto Libraries.




(Suggested by Scribe's Five Act Comedy, "Une Chaine.")



Author of

Mammon, The Snowball, The Vicar of Bray, Rachel, The Queen's
Favourite, The Glass of Fashion, A Little Change, Man Proposes, &c.

London: | New York:

_Produced at the Prince of Wale's Theatre, under the management of Mr.
Edgar Bruce, 25th September, 1880._


Sir George Carlyon, Q.C., M.P. MR. EDGAR BRUCE.

Philip Graham MR. ERIC BAYLEY.





Scene. - _Room at SIR GEORGE CARLYON'S. Fire lit, R.; in front of it, a
wide, luxurious lounge with high back; against it, C., a writing
table, piled high with briefs, so as to help to obscure the view of
the lounge from anybody sitting at the desk; in front of desk a
writing chair; a piano, music seat and davenport, L.; doors, R. U. E.
and L. 1. E.; window at back with curtains drawn. The room is lighted
by a lamp which stands upon the desk, a box of cigars by the side of

_SIR GEORGE discovered, seated at the desk, reading and under-scoring
rapidly an open brief. He is in evening dress._

SIR G. (_folding up brief_) Ah, the old story! I need read no more.
(_lays down the brief and rises_) What's this? (_picks up a letter
lying on the edge of the desk_) Oh - ah! - the letter that came by this
morning's post for Philip. A woman's writing. How alike they write!
The very double of my niece's hand! (_throws down the letter and looks
at watch_) Eleven o'clock. What has become of Philip?

_Enter PHILIP GRAHAM, L., evening dress._

Ah, there you are!

PHILIP. Are you at liberty?

SIR G. Yes, I have done work for to-night. Come in. I am afraid I have
neglected you.

PHILIP. Not in the least. I stayed upstairs on purpose, knowing you
were busy. I have been unpacking.

(_SIR GEORGE draws forward chair, C._)

SIR G. Sit down. You must be tired after your journey.

(_sits on the end of the lounge, facing audience_)

PHILIP. (_sits, C._) I _was_ tired and hungry, but your cook has
kindly seen to that.

SIR G. Lady Carlyon had quite given you up, or she would have stayed
in to welcome you.

PHILIP. My train was very late.

SIR G. Oh, by-the-bye (_rises_) there is a letter waiting for you.
(_gives it him_)

PHILIP. Thanks. (_SIR GEORGE resumes his seat - aside_) Rose's hand.
(_pockets it_)

SIR G. My wife is at the theatre.


SIR G. We have had another visitor to-day - a niece of mine, who has
come from abroad. I promised I would take her to the play, but just as
I was leaving chambers some briefs tumbled in, and I thought it might
be as well to glance them over; so my wife has taken her.

PHILIP. Lady Carlyon is quite well, I hope.

SIR G. Perfectly, thank you.

PHILIP. It is two years since I saw her.

SIR G. So it is. We have seen nothing of you lately - you, whom we used
to see so much of. Where have you been?

PHILIP. Well, all over the world. The day I met you, when you were so
kind as to invite me here, was the day of my arrival home.

SIR G. So kind as to invite you! My dear boy, you raised objections
enough to my invitation.

PHILIP. I was afraid of trespassing on your hospitality.

SIR G. And so you have been round the world?

PHILIP. From Dan to Beersheba.

SIR G. And you found all barren?

PHILIP. On the contrary, I've had a very jolly time - especially upon
the voyage home.

SIR G. You look the better for it.

PHILIP. I am a new man.

SIR G. You weren't well when you went away.

PHILIP. I was depressed and out of sorts.

SIR G. So I observed.

PHILIP. You noticed it?

SIR G. And I remember thinking at the time there was a woman in the

PHILIP. That is all over now. I am as happy as the sandboy in the

SIR G. Then, there's another woman in the case.

PHILIP. My dear Sir George, according to your views, there is a woman
in every case.

SIR G. (_pointing to table_) There are some twenty briefs. Open which
one of them you please, and somewhere in the folds you'll find a

PHILIP. What, twenty women hidden in these briefs?

SIR G. At least. There never was a case without a woman in it, and I
never leave one till I've found her; for I know well enough until I do
I have not mastered it. There is a woman in your case, my friend.

PHILIP. To tell the truth, there is. A charming girl I met upon the
voyage home.

SIR G. The jolly voyage home!

PHILIP. I am in love this time, Sir George.

SIR G. Oh, yes! we always are in love this time.

PHILIP. I thought I was before, but I was wrong.

SIR G. Of course! we never were before!

PHILIP. And, better still, I am engaged.

SIR G. What, to the charming girl?

PHILIP. The only girl in the wide world for me.

SIR G. Well, you've been round it, so you ought to know. I hope you
will be happy. It's a toss-up, Philip.

PHILIP. I'm afraid your profession makes you cynical.

SIR G. Gad, it would make an angel cynical.

PHILIP. No doubt, you meet with some extraordinary cases.

(_turning over briefs_)

SIR G. Never. All ordinary. To a man who has had twenty years'
experience, no possible case can appear extraordinary. There aren't
three there of which I didn't know the end before I turned a page. No
wonder we don't always read our briefs, for we know most of them by

(_lies back_)

PHILIP. Hallo! (_smiling_)

SIR G. What have you found?

PHILIP. A breach of promise case. This looks amusing.

SIR G. Very amusing for the judge and jury. Very amusing for the
public too. Very amusing for the new-made wife to read in all the
newspapers her husband's past.

PHILIP. Is the defendant married, then?

SIR G. Of course he is. They always are. And of course he was on with
the new love before he was off with the old. They always will be. The
old love was no better than she need be, and no more was he. Very
amusing for the new love, isn't it?

PHILIP. Of course the letters will be read in court?

SIR G. And published in the papers. "November, 1877 - your own loving
and devoted Harry. (laughter) November, 1878 - Yours most
affectionately, Henry. (loud laughter) November, 1879 - Yours truly,
Henry Horrocks. (roars of laughter)." Oh, it's a most amusing
case - for Mrs. Henry Horrocks.

PHILIP. Why don't you settle it? You are for the defendant.

SIR G. We've tried, but it's too late. Take warning by my client.


SIR G. You be in time, if you are not too late already.

PHILIP. Excuse me, mine was quite a different case. Thank heaven, I
have no reason to reproach myself. There was no love, at any rate on
my side, in the matter you allude to.

SIR G. And yet you fled the country to avoid the lady. (_sitting up_)

PHILIP. I never said so.

SIR G. No, my boy; you never said that two and two makes four, but it
does, doesn't it? (_looking at PHILIP through his glasses_)

PHILIP. No doubt. I felt that my position was - - (_hesitates_)

SIR G. Equivocal.

PHILIP. That is the word I wanted.

SIR G. Useful word.

PHILIP. And feeling that, I thought the best course was to - -

SIR G. Run away.

PHILIP. But as for promises of marriage, there was nothing of that
sort. In fact, there couldn't be.

SIR G. Because the lady was already - -

PHILIP. Hang it, Sir George, _you're_ telling _me_ my case!

SIR G. (_drops glasses_) You'll find it in the third brief on your

PHILIP. (_looking at brief_) "Winter _v._ Winter and Hockheimer"?

SIR G. That's your case, as far as it has gone.

PHILIP. (_takes up brief and reads endorsement_) "In the High Court of
Justice - Probate and" - - But this is a divorce case!

SIR G. Just so.

PHILIP. Oh, that's not my case. (_puts brief back in its place_)

SIR G. I said as far as it had gone. Hockheimer ran away. You ran
away. But Hockheimer came back again. And I observe that _you've_ come
back again.

PHILIP. But I'm not Hockheimer!

SIR G. As far as you have gone. Hockheimer was a friend of
Winter's - -

PHILIP. But I'm _not!_ I never saw the man in my life!

SIR G. No, but the other man?

PHILIP. What other man?

SIR G. The husband.

PHILIP. I didn't say he was my friend!

SIR G. Oh, yes, you did.

PHILIP. When did I say so?

SIR G. When you ran away. (_puts glasses up_)

PHILIP. Spare me, Sir George. You make me feel like a witness under
cross-examination. I didn't mean to breathe a word of this, and
somehow I have told you everything.

SIR G. Well, you have told me a good deal. (_drops glasses_) Now, will
you let me give you my advice?

PHILIP. By all means.

SIR G. Keep those women apart.

PHILIP. Which women?

SIR G. (_smiling_) The charming girl and the neglected wife.

PHILIP. I never said she was neglected.

SIR G. But she is, isn't she? (_putting up his eye-glasses_)

PHILIP. Those glasses worry me.

SIR G. (_dropping the eye-glasses_) I beg your pardon; it's the force
of habit. Off with the old love - friend - or what you will - and never
let the new one see her. Off with her entirely! That's my advice; and
many a hundred guineas have been paid for worse.

PHILIP. Oh, they will never meet. I mean to live abroad. The girl I am
engaged to is a South Australian. (_SIR GEORGE lifts his head
quickly_) And she has only come to England on a visit. Her parents are
both dead, and she came over with a maiden aunt with whom she is now

SIR G. Where?

PHILIP. At Bayswater. In a few weeks she will go back to Melbourne;
and then all danger, if there be any, is over.

SIR G. So you have come from Melbourne in the "Kangaroo"? (_rises_)

PHILIP. Who told you what boat I came over in?

SIR G. I gathered it from what you said yourself.

PHILIP. I won't say a word more, or in two minutes you will guess the
lady's name.

SIR G. I have already guessed it.


SIR G. Rose Dalrymple.

PHILIP. (_springs up_) This is inexplicable!

SIR G. Not at all.

PHILIP. I have told nobody!

SIR G. You have told _me_.

PHILIP. You know Miss Dalrymple?

SIR G. She is my niece. (_PHILIP steps back_) She is a South
Australian. She came to England in the "Kangaroo," and has been
stopping with a maiden aunt at Bayswater.

PHILIP. Your niece!

SIR G. I am her guardian, since my sister died.

PHILIP. Then, she is your wife's - -

SIR G. Niece by marriage. (_crosses, L._) They have just come back
from the theatre.

PHILIP. Oh! (_drops into chair, C._)

SIR G. I hear them.

_Enter ROSE DALRYMPLE, in evening dress, as if returning from the

ROSE. Ah, Uncle George! (_about to embrace_)

PHILIP. (_springs up again_) Rose!

ROSE. Philip! (_rushes to his arms_)

SIR G. Humph. Exit Uncle George.

(_arranges papers on desk_)

ROSE. How late you are! We've been expecting you all the afternoon.

PHILIP. (_taking her aside, R._) You didn't say that you were coming

ROSE. No! didn't I tell you I would give you a surprise?


ROSE. In my letter. Haven't you received it?

PHILIP. Yes, but I haven't had time to open it. (_produces it - breaks
the seal - and replaces it in his pocket, unnoticed by SIR GEORGE_) And
when I told you of my invitation here, you didn't tell me that you
knew Sir George.

ROSE. Because I wanted to surprise you, dear.

PHILIP. Well, you have done so most effectually. Tell me, does Lady
Carlyon know of our engagement?

ROSE. No, not yet. I never saw her till to-day, and I didn't like to
be so confidential.

PHILIP. (_relieved_) Ah!

ROSE. You're not angry with me for not having told her?

PHILIP. Not at all. We will surprise _her._

ROSE. Shall we?

PHILIP. To-night we will pretend we are strangers.

ROSE. But I shall pretend very badly, I am sure.

PHILIP. Oh, you can keep a secret. You have shown me that.

ROSE. I'll try, at any rate.

SIR G. (_putting chair, C., into its place at desk_) Now, Miss
Dalrymple, if you are at liberty, perhaps you will be kind enough to
tell me what has become of my wife.

ROSE. (_going to him, C._) She'll be here directly. She is only
speaking to the servants. (_kisses him_)

_Enter LADY CARLYON, L., also in evening dress, with a bouquet; she at
once sees PHILIP and he her; PHILIP, R., turns full front to

LADY C. (_aside_) Philip! (_stops short_)

SIR G. (_seeing her_) Ah, here she is! (_goes to her, L._) My dear,
you don't look well!

LADY C. The theatre was so close.

SIR G. It always makes you ill. But you have not seen Philip.
(_indicates PHILIP_)

LADY C. Ah, Mr. Graham! (_advances C. - PHILIP advances to meet her_)
Excuse me for not recognising you. (_they shake hands rather

SIR G. What has turned Philip into Mr. Graham, pray?

LADY C. He has not been to see us for so long.

PHILIP. Allow me. (_helps to remove her cloak_)

SIR G. No wonder, if you make a stranger of him when he comes. (_sits

LADY C. If Philip is a stranger, he has made one of himself.

PHILIP. The fault is mine entirely. (_takes cloak_)

LADY C. Thanks.

_Goes L. again with bouquet and sits down - ROSE has meanwhile
deposited her cloak at the farther end of the lounge - she takes the
other cloak from PHILIP and flings it upon her own, then leans over
the desk - PHILIP sits upon the end of the lounge._

SIR G. Well, how did you enjoy the play?

ROSE. Oh, so much, Uncle George! Although it was in French, I followed
every word.

PHILIP. It is the French plays you have been to?

SIR G. What was the piece?

LADY C. "Une Chaine," by Eugène Scribe.

SIR G. I don't remember it.

ROSE. And it is so exciting. There is a young man in it - such a nice
young man, with a moustache - oh, such a sweet moustache!

SIR G. Well?

ROSE. He's in love.

SIR G. Of course.

ROSE. With a young girl - oh, such a stupid girl! I can't think what he
could have seen in her - and _she's_ in love with _him_.

SIR G. And they get married, I suppose.

ROSE. In the last act; but in the meantime there is such a to-do.

SIR G. Why?

ROSE. It appears, before the play began, the hero - the young man - -

PHILIP. With the moustache - -

ROSE. Had been in love with someone else.

SIR G. Ah!

ROSE. But now he doesn't care for her a bit.

SIR G. What is the difficulty, then?

ROSE. _She_ cares for _him_; and though he's trying through the whole
four acts, do what he will, he can't get rid of her.

SIR G. I see. That is the chain.

ROSE. He nearly breaks it half a dozen times, but something always
happens to prevent him. You've no idea how interesting it
is - although, of course, it's very, very wrong.

SIR G. Why wrong?

ROSE. Well, you see, someone else is married; and of course she
oughtn't to care anything about the nice young man.

SIR G. Although he has so lovely a moustache.

ROSE. But she does - which is wicked - but it's very interesting.

SIR G. (_to LADY CARLYON_) What did _you_ think of it, my dear?

LADY C. It is a painful subject.

ROSE. Aunt Bell didn't like it; but she took it all so seriously. If
it were real, it would be very sad; but after all what is it but a
play? Besides, it all takes place in Paris: nobody pretends that such
things happen here.

LADY C. Of course. (_quickly_)

PHILIP. Of course. (_quickly_)

SIR G. (_ironically_) Of course. (_takes up the third brief on his
right - and plays with it_)

ROSE. I read a notice of the piece this morning, and I quite agreed
with it.

SIR G. What did the notice say?

ROSE. It said it was "an admirable play, but that an English version
of it was impossible."

SIR G. Why so?

ROSE. "Because" - how did it put it? - oh, "because these vivid but
unwholesome pictures of French life have happily no" - something - I
forget exactly what - "to the chaste beauty of our English homes." I
can't remember the precise words, but I know the criticism made me
long to see the play.

SIR G. (_putting the brief back in its place, after he sees it has
caught PHILIP'S eyes_) Of course it filled the theatre?

LADY C. The house was crowded, and the atmosphere was insupportable.
(_smells bouquet_)

SIR G. No doubt; if you were bending all night long over those sickly
flowers. (_crosses to her - she rises_) Give them to me. (_takes
bouquet_) Why, they are almost withered.

(_comes, C., with bouquet_)

LADY C. They were fresh yesterday.

SIR G. (C.) To-days and yesterdays are different things.

(_holds the bouquet, head downwards_)

ROSE. It wasn't the flowers, though. Aunt Bell didn't like the play

PHILIP. It isn't everybody who admires French plays.

SIR G. (_to LADY CARLYON_) What, were you scandalised? You must know,
Philip - you do know, of course - Lady Carlyon is a dragon in her
way - the very pink and pattern of propriety. Now, I'll be bound, she
didn't like the moral of that comedy.

LADY C. Had it a moral?

SIR G. Certainly! and one men would do well to lay to heart. If that
young man - -

ROSE. The one with the moustache?

SIR G. Had buried his first love when it was dead, he wouldn't have
been haunted by its ghost. When passion is burnt out, sweep the hearth
clean, and clear away the ash, before you set alight another fire. It
is a law of life. Old things give place to new. The loves of yesterday
are like these faded flowers, fit only to be cast into the flames.
(_flings bouquet into fire_) That is the moral: and I call it
excellent. (_sits, C., and looks at PHILIP_)

LADY C. (_aside_) He doesn't speak to me. Am _I_ a faded flower?
(_sits, L._)

ROSE. Very good, Uncle George. That ought to get the verdict.
(_leaning upon his shoulder_)

SIR G. Let us hope it will. (_looking at PHILIP_)

ROSE. If all your speeches are as nice as that, I must come down to
court and hear you plead.

SIR G. I shall be proud to have so fair an auditor. But we've not told
your aunt the news.

LADY C. What news?

SIR G. Philip informs me, much to my surprise - -

PHILIP. (_rising_) Sir George! I have considered your advice, and have
resolved to act on it. Till I have done so it would perhaps be
better - -

SIR G. Not to say anything? I will respect your confidence.

LADY C. You have some private matter to discuss. Shall we go?

SIR G. _We_ will go, if you will excuse us. (_rises_)

LADY C. Certainly.

SIR G. (_to PHILIP_) Come with me. (_Exit, L._)

PHILIP. In case I don't see you again, Miss Dalrymple, good night.

ROSE. Good evening, Mr. Graham. (_she curtseys ceremoniously_)

LADY C. (_aside_) What can they have to talk about - those two?

_PHILIP comes, L., and stands before LADY CARLYON._

PHILIP. Good night. (_puts out his hand_)

LADY C. (_giving him her hand slowly, which he takes and drops_) Good
night. (_exit PHILIP, quickly, L._) How glad he is to go! (_drops down
on seat again, L., leaning her head back, pressed between her
hands - slight pause - ROSE comes down_)

ROSE. Is anything the matter?

LADY C. I beg your pardon, dear. (_rises and puts her arm round ROSE
and leads her to the lounge_) I don't feel very well to-night.

ROSE. Sit down and let me talk to you. A chat will cheer you perhaps.

_LADY CARLYON sits upon the lounge before the fire - ROSE kneels beside
her, on the further side from audience, so that both their faces are

LADY C. I am so glad to have you with me, Rose. I wish I had you
always. I am very lonely.

ROSE. You have Uncle George!

LADY C. Sir George is always busy, and I do not care to interrupt him.

ROSE. But he has _some_ leisure.

LADY C. I never knew him to have any, since I was his wife. It's not
his fault. A man in his position has so much to do. When he is not in
court, he is in Parliament.

ROSE. He is at home to-night.

LADY C. And when he is at home, he is at work.

ROSE. Poor lonely aunt! (_clasps her arms round her_) I told you at
the theatre how like you were to Madame de Saint Géran in the play.

LADY C. Don't let us talk about that cruel play.

ROSE. Why was it cruel?

LADY C. What did it make you think of Madame de Saint Géran?

ROSE. Well - I thought she was a very wicked woman. Wasn't she?

LADY C. Perhaps. But if we had been told her history - if we had ever
been in her position - we might have sympathised with her. Were you
ever in love?

ROSE. Yes! I mean no! I can't exactly say.

LADY C. If you had been, you wouldn't hesitate. There is no doubt
about it. It is a weird thing. Sometimes it leads to heights,
sometimes to depths. I do not say it is an excuse. All I say is, those
who have never loved are not entitled to judge those who have. Wait
till you are in love yourself, before you judge poor Madame de Saint
Géran. And if you ever should be - -

ROSE. Oh, I shall be!

LADY C. Marry for love, my dear, or not at all.

ROSE. What did _you_ marry for?

LADY C. (_stroking ROSE'S hair_) I didn't marry; I was married. Don't
ask me any more.

ROSE. Poor Aunt Bell! lie down, and let me play to you. (_rises_)

LADY C. Do, dear. I am too tired to talk. (_she lies back on the
lounge, ROSE goes to the piano_)

ROSE. (_sitting at piano_) What shall I play you?

LADY C. Anything you please.

_ROSE plays on the piano - LADY CARLYON, with the firelight flickering
about her, gradually falls asleep._


ROSE. Aunt! (_turning_) Aunt! (_rises and goes on tip-toe to the back
of the lounge_) She's fast asleep. (_covers LADY CARLYON with the
cloaks, until the upper part of her figure is quite hidden, and then
stands surveying her_) How pretty she looks! but how pale! I like you,
aunt! I never saw you till to-day, but I like you. (_comes down_) If I
stop I shall wake her. (_crosses to C._) I'll lower the lamp and go.
(_lowers the lamp and crosses behind desk to R. at back_) Good night,
Aunt Bell! (_bending over the further end of the lounge_) Good
night - (_kisses her softly_) - and pleasant dreams! (_Exit, R._)

_The room is now in darkness, except for the firelight, which throws a
strong glow over LADY CARLYON, so that her slightest movement is quite
visible to the audience, but not from the L. side of the desk. At
present she is fast asleep and motionless._

_Re-enter SIR GEORGE, L., followed by PHILIP._

SIR G. Yes, they have gone to bed. The lamp has been turned down. Now
we can smoke. (_about to turn lamp up_)

PHILIP. Don't turn it up, please. This half light is charming.

SIR G. Just as you like, but I can scarcely see you. (_takes up cigar

PHILIP. (_aside_) So much the better.

SIR G. A cigar? (_offers box_)

PHILIP. Thanks. (_takes one_)

SIR G. Now we can talk more comfortably. (_takes a cigar himself while
PHILIP lights his with a match which he then hands to SIR GEORGE_)
Thanks. (_PHILIP sits, L., SIR GEORGE, C._) As I was saying, Rose
being my ward, I am concerned in this affair, and what I just now
recommended as a friend, in my position as her guardian I can insist

PHILIP. I have already said, Sir George, that I intend to act on your

SIR G. How does the matter stand?

PHILIP. Exactly as it stood when I left England. It was a friendship,
nothing but a friendship.

SIR G. Friendship?

PHILIP. Dangerous, no doubt; that's why I went abroad.

SIR G. Have you communicated with the lady since?

PHILIP. Never.

SIR G. Nor she with you? (_pause_) Eh?


SIR G. Ah! Now I understand the case. May I inquire what you propose
to do?

PHILIP. To see her and to tell her I am going to be married.

SIR G. What does that put an end to?

PHILIP. Everything.

SIR G. What, friendship?

PHILIP. Well - -

SIR G. You said friendship.


SIR G. Does marriage put an end to friendship? I hope not.

PHILIP. Of course it doesn't, but - -

SIR G. That friendship must be put an end to. Philip, you are the son
of an old comrade, and I believe that, if you start fair, you will
make an admirable husband. But you _must_ start fair, or you won't. I
don't ask you to bring to me a spotless character - a history without a
speck or flaw; all I ask - and on that I insist - is that you shall
begin your future life unhampered by the past.

PHILIP. What would you have me do?

SIR G. Make your fair friend distinctly understand that all - however
little that all may have been - is over.


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