And this is some of his lines :
MORELL. Well, Lexy! Late again, as usual.
LEXY. I’m afraid so. I wish I could get up in the morning.
MORELL (exulting in his own energy). Ha! ha! (Whimsically.) Watch
and pray, Lexy: watch and pray.
LEXY. I know. (Rising wittily to the occasion.) But how can I
watch and pray when I am asleep? Isn’t that so, Miss Prossy?
PROSERPINE (sharply). Miss Garnett, if you please.
LEXY. I beg your pardon—Miss Garnett.
PROSERPINE. You’ve got to do all the work to-day.
PROSERPINE. Never mind why. It will do you good to earn your
supper before you eat it, for once in a way, as I do. Come: don’t
dawdle. You should have been off on your rounds half an hour ago.
LEXY (perplexed). Is she in earnest, Morell?
MORELL (in the highest spirits—his eyes dancing). Yes. I am
going to dawdle to-day.
LEXY. You! You don’t know how.
MORELL (heartily). Ha! ha! Don’t I? I’m going to have this day
all to myself—or at least the forenoon. My wife’s coming back:
she’s due here at 11.45.
LEXY (surprised). Coming back already—with the children? I
thought they were to stay to the end of the month.
MORELL. So they are: she’s only coming up for two days, to get
some flannel things for Jimmy, and to see how we’re getting on
LEXY (anxiously). But, my dear Morell, if what Jimmy and Fluffy
had was scarlatina, do you think it wise—
MORELL. Scarlatina!—rubbish, German measles. I brought it into
the house myself from the Pycroft Street School. A parson is like
a doctor, my boy: he must face infection as a soldier must face
bullets. (He rises and claps Lexy on the shoulder.) Catch the
measles if you can, Lexy: she’ll nurse you; and what a piece of
luck that will be for you!—eh?
LEXY (smiling uneasily). It’s so hard to understand you about
MORELL (tenderly). Ah, my boy, get married—get married to a good
woman; and then you’ll understand. That’s a foretaste of what
will be best in the Kingdom of Heaven we are trying to establish
on earth. That will cure you of dawdling. An honest man feels
that he must pay Heaven for every hour of happiness with a good
spell of hard, unselfish work to make others happy. We have no
more right to consume happiness without producing it than to
consume wealth without producing it. Get a wife like my Candida;
and you’ll always be in arrear with your repayment. (He pats Lexy
affectionately on the back, and is leaving the room when Lexy
calls to him.)
LEXY. Oh, wait a bit: I forgot. (Morell halts and turns with the
door knob in his hand.) Your father-in-law is coming round to see
you. (Morell shuts the door again, with a complete change of
MORELL (surprised and not pleased). Mr. Burgess?
LEXY. Yes. I passed him in the park, arguing with somebody. He
gave me good day and asked me to let you know that he was coming.
MORELL (half incredulous). But he hasn’t called here for—I may
almost say for years. Are you sure, Lexy? You’re not joking, are
LEXY (earnestly). No, sir, really.
MORELL (thoughtfully). Hm! Time for him to take another look at
Candida before she grows out of his knowledge. (He resigns
himself to the inevitable, and goes out. Lexy looks after him
with beaming, foolish worship.)
LEXY. What a good man! What a thorough, loving soul he is!
(He takes Morell’s place at the table, making himself very
comfortable as he takes out a cigarette.)