Pygmalion and Three Other Plays (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Pygmalion and Three Other Plays (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by George Bernard Shaw Read Free Book Online

Book: Pygmalion and Three Other Plays (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by George Bernard Shaw Read Free Book Online
Authors: George Bernard Shaw
Whigs, aj and believe in liberty. Let snobbish people say what they please: Barbara shall marry, not the man they like, but the man I like.
    STEPHEN Of course I was thinking only of his income. However, he is not likely to be extravagant.
    LADY BRITOMART Dont be too sure of that, Stephen. I know your quiet, simple, refined, poetic people like Adolphus—quite content with the best of everything! They cost more than your extravagant people, who are always as mean as they are second rate. No: Barbara will need at least £2000 a year. You see it means two additional households. Besides, my dear, you must marry soon. I dont approve of the present fashion of philandering bachelors and late marriages; and I am trying to arrange something for you.
    STEPHEN It’s very good of you, mother; but perhaps I had better arrange that for myself.
    LADY BRITOMART Nonsense! you are much too young to begin matchmaking: you would be taken in by some pretty little nobody. Of course I dont mean that you are not to be consulted: you know that as well as I do. [STEPHEN closes his lips and is silent.] Now dont sulk, Stephen.
    STEPHEN I am not sulking, mother. What has all this got to do with—with—with my father?
    LADY BRITOMART My dear Stephen: where is the money to come from? It is easy enough for you and the other children to live on my income as long as we are in the same house; but I cant keep four families in four separate houses. You know how poor my father is: he has barely seven thousand a year now; and really, if he were not the Earl of Stevenage, he would have to give up society. He can do nothing for us. He says, naturally enough, that it is absurd that he should be asked to provide for the children of a man who is rolling in money. You see, Stephen, your father must be fabulously wealthy, because there is always a war going on somewhere.
    STEPHEN You need not remind me of that, mother. I have hardly ever opened a newspaper in my life without seeing our name in it. The Undershaft torpedo! The Undershaft quick firers! The Undershaft ten inch! the Undershaft disappearing rampart gun! the Undershaft submarine! and now the Undershaft aerial battleship! At Harrow they called me the Woolwich Infant. ak At Cambridge it was the same. A little brute at King‘s al who was always trying to get up revivals, spoilt my Bible—your first birthday present to me—by writing under my name, “Son and heir to Undershaft and Lazarus, Death and Destruction Dealers: address, Christendom and Judea.” But that was not so bad as the way I was kowtowed to everywhere because my father was making millions by selling cannons.
    LADY BRITOMART It is not only the cannons, but the war loans that Lazarus arranges under cover of giving credit for the cannons. You know, Stephen, it’s perfectly scandalous. Those two men, Andrew Undershaft and Lazarus, positively have Europe under their thumbs. That is why your father is able to behave as he does. He is above the law. Do you think Bismarck or Gladstone or Disraeli could have openly defied every social and moral obligation all their lives as your father has? 15 They simply wouldnt have dared. I asked Gladstone to take it up. I asked The Times to take it up. I asked the Lord Chamberlain to take it up. But it was just like asking them to declare war on the Sultan. am They wouldnt. They said they couldnt touch him. I believe they were afraid.
    STEPHEN What could they do? He does not actually break the law.
    LADY BRITOMART Not break the law! He is always breaking the law. He broke the law when he was born: his parents were not married.
    STEPHEN Mother! Is that true?
    LADY BRITOMART Of course it’s true: that was why we separated.
    STEPHEN He married without letting you know this!
    LADY BRITOMART [ rather taken aback by this inference ] Oh no. To do Andrew justice, that was not the sort of thing he did. Besides, you know the Undershaft motto: Unashamed. Everybody knew.
    STEPHEN But you said that was why you

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